BEAR FACTS by Julia Talbot
Mixed Breeds Book Two
Jeanette has no interest in all the political wrangling her werewolf pack is doing these days, so she strikes out on her own. She thinks she's escaping any kind of danger, but being alone has its scary moments, too, like when she injures herself on a remote jog.
Werekitty Neale is happy to come to the rescue, and even happier to bring this sexy lady home to his werebear mate, Zane. The two boys think Jeanette is just what they need to complete their happy family, but is Jeanette willing to take a chance and lose her newfound independence?
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Mixed Breeds: Bear Facts
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Copyright ©2013 Julia Talbot
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"Don't you tell me what I can and can't do, Ralphy." Jeanette waved a finger under the big wolf's nose, not at all fazed by his ugly snarl. "You are not the alpha of me."
"I am one of the pack enforcers, woman! There are too many hunters in town. You can't just go off and run on your own. You need to stay with the pack, do your damned work."
"I am going jogging in the park, not running under the full moon. Asshole." She'd had it with the hyper-vigilant, testosterone-riddled attitude the pack had since Marin, the old alpha, had died, and no one had been chosen to replace him yet. In fact, she was pretty sure she was going to go lone wolf here soon. She could do her work from anywhere, since she designed websites. Thank goddess for the internet.
Maybe she would go rogue right now if Ralph didn't get out of her face. "When I'm alpha I'm going to lock your ass in the closet until you learn your place!" he shouted, and damned if he didn't put a hand to the center of her chest and shove.
She didn't think; she slapped him so hard her hand throbbed, and they stared as if they hadn't known one another since they were pups, like they were seeing each other for the first time. "You ever touch me like that again, and I will kill you." She would, even if she had to do it in his sleep.
Jeanette turned on her heel and walked away, grabbing her gym bag with her running shoes and shorts and all in it. She always thought things out better when she was jogging. It was time to figure out what she was going to do while the new alpha was chosen. Or maybe permanently. Hunters all over town or no, she had no desire to hang out with such hidebound, controlling assholes.
A girl had to think of her future, after all.
Time to run.
* * *
Her feet pounded on the trail, the bass from the iPod thrumming in the base of her skull. She was heading into mile three and feeling good. Damned good.
Jeanette loved this part of the state -- Boulder close enough to visit, Denver close enough to work in, and the fucking pack far enough away to leave her alone. It was going to be fall soon and then her running would have to move inside to the gym track. Right now, she could smell the outdoors, all the trees and animals, the feel of actual earth under her feet.
She pushed deeper, harder, keeping up with the rhythm of the music, telling herself that it was totally good, to run alone. Be alone. All the time. Even if she was lonely. All the time. Damned macho pack assholes, making her take her dignity and leave them.
She turned a hairpin curve in the path and shrieked when the earth slid out from under her feet, gravel sliding, sending her slipping down the slope. One of her feet smacked into a rock and turned, rolling hard with a snap that she actually heard a split second before the jolt of pain shot up her leg. "Fuck!"
When she came to a stop, her head pointed downhill, her broken whatever pointed up, and she lay like a turtle on her back, the world slowing from a sickening spin. She sucked in a sobbing breath, telling herself she was not going to cry. Not. She had her phone, she had a bottle of water. The trail wasn't busy, but it wasn't deserted, either. Help wasn't beyond reach.
"Holy shit, are you okay?"
Oh. Unless she was hallucinating the pretty blond guy appearing over the ridge, help was right here.
"No. God, no. I need help." She nodded, reaching out instinctively.
"I saw you disappear right off the trail." The man came pelting over, his trail runners slamming on the dirt. "Crap. I think you broke your ankle." He helped her right herself, her leg screaming the whole time.
"Uh-huh." She was covered in a cold sweat, shaking, nausea in her throat.
"Your phone getting any signal? Mine is dead. I can get you back to my Bronco, but we might want to call 911."
"I don't... I'm not interested in hospitals, man." Doctors didn't love people like her. Well, half-people, half wolf people like her.
He tilted his head, nose working hard. "Oh, man. I was running hard and so freaked I didn't notice 'til now... How fast do you heal?"
"Fast enough to only have to take the rest of the week off work." She tilted her head, sniffing. Oh, not one of her kind, but pretty, and not wholly human himself.
"Well, that's cool, I guess. I have to lick things a lot more..." His cheeks went red-hot, and he grinned at her. "Didn't mean that quite like it sounded. Here, grab my neck."
Jeanette couldn't help her chuckle, but she did reach up, arms wrapping around his neck. "There's something to be said for licking."
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