CHASING THE MOON
LUNAR MATES 3
Jackson has problems. His most trusted friends are gone, his Beta is convinced another werewolf stole his mate, someone in his pack is trying to steal his job, and his woman is on the run. When everything comes to a head at once, the situation quickly escalates to deadly levels.
Summer Lambert, the last single hold out of the witch cousins, has a relaxing and solitary two-week mountain vacation planned. She is outraged to learn the whole trip was a ruse by Jackson to get her to his home. Once there, she is trapped and finds herself increasingly drawn into his world.
As the sparks fly between Jackson and Summer, his enemies move into position. Will he be able to outmaneuver them before it’s too late?
This book has been revised and expanded.
As soon as she got to the lodge, she was going to sleep for twenty-four hours. Since meeting Jackson several months ago, she’d thrown herself into work, staying so busy that exhaustion rode her hard. Mr. Hardy had offered her the use of the jet and the lodge as a bonus for finishing a project early, but she suspected he’d done it knowing how badly she needed a break. Smiling, she wondered if she was finally going to meet the old man in person and started the climb up the steps to the plane.
The inside was small but plush, with a couch along one wall and two captain’s chairs on the other. The cockpit was to her left, and she assumed the door to her right led to a bathroom and maybe a small galley. The floors were carpeted in a thick pile, and she slipped her shoes off with a sigh. The cockpit door opened and a young man stepped out. He grinned, walked over and extended his hand. “Summer. I’m Billy Cagle.”
“Hey, Billy,” she answered, pleased to finally meet one of the anonymous names from the other side of her email account. “It’s nice to meet you in person.”
“Yes, it is. We’ll be taking off soon. Can I get you something first? Something to eat? A drink?”
He seemed eager to please, so she hated to say no. “Sure. Something to drink would be great.”
He walked past her through the cabin and she trailed him, wondering what was behind the other door. It opened onto a narrow hall with a restroom on the left side and galley at the end. Opening the small refrigerator, he poked around.
She nodded in response.
“Red or white?”
Definitely not red. After the champagne at the reception, she’d end up with a raging migraine. “White is good.”
She looked at the door to her side and thought she’d better use the facilities before they took off. While Billy uncorked the wine, she stepped in and splashed water on her face. Leaning over, she took a good look in the mirror. Makeup barely concealed the black circles under her eyes, and fine lines marred her forehead. No wonder he was offering her wine. She looked tired and stressed out.
When she came out, he was waiting for her in the cabin and handed her the glass. She took a sip as she walked to the couch. Sitting, she tucked her legs up under her. She really ought to change; she’d ruin the dress. With a mental shrug, she gulped more of the wine. It wasn’t like she was planning to wear it again. Lifting the glass for another drink, she was surprised to find it empty. Amused, she looked up and caught Billy’s intent expression, as if he was waiting for something. She should be curious about that, but she was suddenly very tired. Standing, she swayed on her feet, and he caught her shoulders, letting go as soon as she stilled.
“Steady there. I think you drank that a little too fast.”
She shook her head, trying to clear the growing haze and puzzle this out. Then she caught site of something under the open collar of his shirt. A small silver disc. It threw off a hazy vibe, interfering with her senses. She hadn’t seen one in more years than she could remember.
“That’s a witch’s talisman. Why would you wear one of those, Billy?”
She swayed, and he again caught her shoulders. A shadow blocked the open cabin door. Why was it still open?
“I think she’s feeling a little woozy, boss.”
Boss? Was this Mr. Hardy? She leaned around Billy and squinted, but her eyes didn’t seem to be working right. The shadow moved closer and took over, plucking the glass out of her hand and passing it to Billy.
“I’ve got it from here,” he said with Jackson’s voice.
She’d never forget that voice. It haunted her dreams and kept her up nights. But how could he be here? She struggled to think, to force her eyes to focus on him. Yep. It was definitely Jackson.
“What are you doing here, Jackson?” Her mouth felt like cotton, and she had to force the words out.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart, you’re gonna be fine.” He looked over his shoulder and spoke to Billy. “Shut the door and tell Clint we’re ready to take off.” Her mind cleared a moment, and she realized what must have happened. She sat down hard on the couch, and he moved closer, reaching a hand out to balance her. Glaring, she shifted away from him. “You drugged me.”
The moment of lucidity didn’t last long, though, and she stifled a yawn once the words were out, her eyelids sinking closed no matter how hard she fought against it. Before the drug took her, she felt him pull her into his lap and cradle her in his arms like a child. She couldn’t find the will to struggle. Besides, it was kind of nice to stop fighting and sink into his warmth. He smoothed the hair away from her face. She wasn’t sure if his response was real or imagined.
“You didn’t give me much choice, sweetheart.”