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Vesa doesn’t know why she and the dozen or so other women corralled with her have been kidnapped.  What she does know is that something is off with the group of leering men surrounding them.  Flashing eyes, animalistic snarls, and hungry—almost predatory—smiles have her wondering just what these men have in store for her and her fellow captives.    

 

Haddix doesn’t want or need a mate, but even as Alpha of his own pack, he isn’t immune to the Council’s dictates.  The Hunt is taking place, and he’s forced to take part.  Whether he’s ready or not, he’ll be hunting some poor unwitting female and claiming her as his.  The prospects seem dismal until his attention snags on one female in particular.  One beautiful little spitfire refuses to cow to the men surrounding her.  He wonders if she would if she knew what they really were.  Eyes on his prize, Haddix—once opposed to The Hunt—now finds himself eager to compete.     

 

***

 

“It’s simple ladies,” the man spoke.  “When you hear the howl, you run.  Doesn’t matter what direction.  You.  Run!  If you don’t run, if you stay here, drop to your knees in fear or submission, it simply means you’ve denied your Hunter the benefit of the chase.  He won’t like it.  I promise you won’t either.  You’ll get a five minute head start.  You’ll need it.  I reiterate.  When the howl bays, run!”

 

Hunter?  Run? 

 

So that was the game.  Suddenly, the paint made sense.  They’d been brought here to be hunted down by these men but for what?  Had they paid just for the experience of hunting humans down like they were animals?  Her eyes dipped to the different colored paint on each woman’s chest. 

 

Like licking a doughnut so no one else touches it! 

 

She wanted to puke and it only intensified when she realized that these Hunters could only have one end game.  She and all the other women were going to be chased down and killed.

 

Before she could even register what was happening, the men surrounding them all suddenly backed up. 

 

Vesa’s eyes scanned the forest around them, seeking out the best path when her eyes snagged on a wooden structure that looked like a row of stalls.  There was a single man in each stall.  Her eyes tracked down the men pacing in their respective stalls and landed on Haddix.  He was watching her, his eyes intense, and it made her sick that a few short minutes ago she was thinking he was hot and now he was going to be hunting her like she was a deer! 

 

Screw him!  Screw this game! 

 

Her lips thinned into a grim line and she lifted both hands and gave him two middle finger salutes.  If she was dying today it was going to be on her terms. 

 

Her belly dipped when he merely beamed a grin and then blew her a kiss.

 

Jerk!

 

Spinning she gave him her back and locked her eyes on a path.  Hands shaking and blood rushing too loudly in her ears, she wondered if she’d even be able to hear this stupid howl.

 

The Hunt

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