Lately, Skye Collins has been unable to shake the feeling that she’s being watched. After a lifetime spent hiding her true nature, she knows that any unusual attention is something to be wary of.Â And the only attention she’s been receiving lately is from the intense and attractive Jason McVale.
Jason claims to know things about Skye that can’t be true, and it’s obvious he’s hiding secrets of his own. Yet despite herself, Skye can’t resist the attraction between them, and her surrender will set in motion a chain of events that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.
Gradually, Jason convinces Skye that she has to trust him if she is to solve the riddle of her past and learn the truth about her power.Â But believing Jason means that her entire life has been based on a lie.
As her enemies gather strength and the danger increases, Skye is forced to accept who she really is. Will she risk everything and fight for those she loves? Or save herself and let them be destroyed by the forces of darkness?
A tingle started down her spine. Was he watching her? Were his eyes caressing her arse the way he said they had before he crashed into her? She almost groaned at the memory of the way theyâ€™d come to a stop, his body spread on top of hers, chest to chest, legs tangled. Skye bit her lip as muscles well below her abdomen clenched and quivered.
It was a sensation sheâ€™d not felt for a long timeÂ â€“Â too long. Hell, sheâ€™d almost become a nun with the length of time sheâ€™d been celibate, and sheâ€™d been content with that. But coming face to face with that Adonis would make even a nun change her habits. It wasnâ€™t so unusual heâ€™d had such an impact on her.Â She chuckled at her pun.
Not that it mattered what she felt. Lifting her face to the sun, she decided to luxuriate in the rare spring day and not worry about could have beens.
The sapphire blue sky was glorious. She was so thankful Shelley and Bron had agreed to change their plans to go to Noosa and had come with her to Mt Buller for the last of the season. When she was a child, thereâ€™d often been good snow until the end of September. Now, spring snow was a rarity, so she hadnâ€™t expected to get any good skiing done, but sheâ€™d been looking forward to it regardless. It brought back good memories of times with her grandpa.
None of them could believe it when the day after they arrived there was a massive dump of snow, and instead of slush and only a few runs being open, they were skiing on fresh powder on over half the runs.
Swishing down the slope, with the deep, downy white snow squeaking beneath her freshly waxed skis, the fresh air a chill puff on her face, she tried to recapture the feeling sheâ€™d had before Adonis had crashed into her. But no matter how lovely the day still was or how soft and powdery the snow, she just couldnâ€™t regain that sense of freedom being in the mountains always gave her; that feeling like she could fly.
Her spine tingled again. Just in case Mr Too-Gorgeous-For-Sanity was watching her, she decided to show off. She jumped over a snow-encrusted boulder, catching some air. The thrill of flying ended the moment she landed and pain shot up her leg. She groaned.
â€˜Are you okay?â€™ he yelled.
She didnâ€™t look back, only waved, hiding her red face. She hadnâ€™t groaned that loudly. How had he known? The landing was perfect.
So much for showing off.
And why was she trying to impress him when heâ€™d knocked her down, ruining her perfect run record?
That thought brought her up short as she joined the queue at the lift. She wasnâ€™t a massive hothead, but being mown down by a beginner on a run they shouldnâ€™t have been on was just the kind of thing that would normally have had her firing up and letting lose. Yet her temper had only lasted for a few seconds and then died away.
What the hell was that about?
Adonis might not be a Warlock, but his combination of good looks, charm and velvety voice was just as dangerous. Heâ€™d not only made her want to change her nun-like habits, heâ€™d made her behave like a horny teenager. Heâ€™d even made her consider, for a split second, turning her back on her obligations and the promises sheâ€™d made to her grandpa and to River.
She could never do that. Ever.
Those promises kept them all safe.
As the lift rose over the crest of the slope, she shivered. This time it wasnâ€™t the feeling of being watched that made that strange tingle race up and down her spine; thoughts of what happened all those years ago always did this. Her magic pushed at her, fighting to get out. She swore, pushing it back down. That manâ€™s presence had addled her brain, made her shields weak. Closing her eyes, she repeated the mantra sheâ€™d been taught.
Her magic was dangerous. To protect River and everyone she loved, it was something she could never set free.
â€˜Was that her?â€™
With a slide of board on snow, Adam came to a halt. Jason didnâ€™t turn to look at his brother, his gaze still following the lithe redhead down the slope. A warmth fired through his body that was totally unexpected.
â€˜If that was her, whyâ€™s she running away?â€™ Adam clapped his brother on the shoulder. â€˜Did you try your charm on her?â€™
Jason didnâ€™t answer, his mind was too full of the woman: those green eyes like spring pools, glistening with hidden depths in the sun; her hair, licks of flame on her shoulders; her generous mouth full of laughter and mischief. Even that spike of temper and the funny way sheâ€™d had of swearing had been sexy.
Despite himself, he was engaged. He hadnâ€™t expected that. And her scentÂ â€“Â his wolf had growled at her scent. Familiar, yet there was also something strange about it.
â€˜Arenâ€™t you going to follow her?â€™
Jason shook his head and brushed the snow off his pants. â€˜No. Somethingâ€™s wrong. She didnâ€™t recognise what I am.â€™
â€˜Maybe she isnâ€™t our Pack Witch.â€™
Jason clicked his boot onto the snowboard and balanced for a moment, shifting his weight back and forth. â€˜Iâ€™m pretty sure she is. But thereâ€™s somethingÂ â€¦â€™ He shook his head. â€˜She should have expelled some magic when she saw me, but she didnâ€™t.â€™
Adam frowned and sniffed. â€˜But I can smell that zip in the air, like the electrical build-up before lightning. Doesnâ€™t that denote magic?â€™
Jason thought about the last time theyâ€™d encountered the scent of magicÂ â€“Â the night their parents, two older brothers and their mates had been murdered in their never-ending quest to find their kidnapped Pack Witch. The scent in the air now, a scent that lingered in his nostrils like a teasing perfume, was nothing like that acrid scent. â€˜It is magic. But she didnâ€™t expel it when I came along. Itâ€™s around her all the time, like a cloak, but muted or something.â€™ That was definitely wrong. Yet he was sure it was her. Heâ€™d seen her in his dreams. Dreams heâ€™d always had of her; dreams that had been nebulous things until the Calling had caught up with him after his fatherâ€™s murder and heâ€™d become Alpha.
â€˜How can you be certain itâ€™s her then?â€™
â€˜Because of the dreams. I saw her skiing here with her friends.â€™
â€˜You dragged us here chasing down a woman who doesnâ€™t even smell like she has the magic of a Pack Witch all because of some dreams?â€™
â€˜Theyâ€™re not just dreams. Itâ€™s the link.â€™
â€˜The link between the Alpha and the Pack Witch. Dad was linked to Paul Collinsâ€”â€™
â€˜As Lydia Collins was linked to Grandpa before him.â€™
â€˜Yes.â€™ It was the only way the magic worked. The Pack Witch fed it into the Alpha and the pack siphoned it from the Alpha through the pack bondÂ â€“Â the ultimate form of synergy.
â€˜But how are you linked to Paulâ€™s daughter?â€™
The question was understandable. A bonding wasnâ€™t supposed to be undertaken until a Pack Witch or Warlock was of age, after theyâ€™d imbibed the Bond Wine. But in this caseÂ â€¦
Jason looked out at the distant mountains. The moment heâ€™d clapped eyes on her, heâ€™d realised that Paul Collins had linked them all those years agoÂ â€“Â the future Alpha and the future Pack Witch. Itâ€™s why heâ€™d had the dreams. It made sense of something that had always seemed nonsensical to him. Something heâ€™d spent years denying because heâ€™d been too young to understand the significance of what had been done to him. The proof was irrefutable though. The link was the reason heâ€™d found her when nobody else could.
â€˜Paul linked us when Skylar was a few months old.â€™
â€˜What?â€™ Adam gripped his arm, his voice bitter. â€˜Did you keep this from me because Iâ€™m nothing but the Trickster?â€™
â€˜No.â€™ Jason clasped Adamâ€™s shoulder. â€˜And donâ€™t talk like that about yourself. From what Iâ€™ve been reading in the Pack Witch Diaries, the Trickster is far more essential to a pack than we remember. Besides, I have named you my second. I wouldnâ€™t keep anything from you. Itâ€™s justÂ â€¦Â Iâ€™ve only now realised what Paul did.â€™
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