Delilah is ready for a major life change and jumps on a job offer in the Appalachian Mountains with her best friend’s employer. The job is available shortly before Christmas and her new employers insist she move in time for the holidays. It’s a dream job with people she likes.
What they didn’t warn her about were the werewolves.
Cain and Abel Williamson take one look at her and know she’s perfect. Her beauty. Her ability to communicate with animals. They’ll do anything to make her theirs, to protect her. But can they save her from the danger stalking the woods?
Delilah opened the SUV door and shivered against the cold. When Jackson made her the job offer two weeks ago, she’d leapt at it. She wanted out of the stifling corporate world. What she’d neglected to consider was the climate difference between Orlando and the Appalachian Mountains. Her thin sweater did nothing to protect her against the cold, night air.
At least she’d experience her first white Christmas. She was taken aback when they insisted she make the move so close to the holidays instead of waiting until after the new year. But anticipation trumped surprise, and she’d jumped at the chance to spend the holidays with friends, something she hadn’t done in years. Usually she spent the day by herself.
Billy rushed around the Tahoe to help her out, and she smiled her thanks. Words wouldn’t have been heard over the howling wind, and she was distracted anyway. The door to the house had been thrown open, and a dark figure rushed down. Who was this? Where was this? They’d promised her a house as part of the job, but Billy said it was still being cleaned and upgraded. She’d expected to be taken to a hotel. Instead, they’d left the small airport and driven up the mountain to this house.
The stranger reached them as they rounded the front of the car. It was dark, and she was hunched over against the cold. She didn’t get a good look at him except to note he was huge. He seemed broad as a wall towering over her. Pulling off his coat, he draped it and his arm around her, effectively taking her from Billy’s care into his own.
She was bemused and charmed when he pulled her forward, placing himself between her and the worst of the wind. Inside, he left her on a couch before a roaring fire and disappeared. When he returned, he handed her a cup of hot tea. She smiled, charmed even more.
She was an orphan. No one had cared for her since the long string of foster homes she’d escaped years ago, and care wasn’t exactly the word she’d use to describe them. Once, she’d thought she’d find her own place in the world, create her own family. That hadn’t worked out, and she’d accepted there was just something missing in her, something that never really fit in. Or maybe there was too much in her. Her strange affinity with animals had freaked out more than one boyfriend.
She wrapped her hands around the cup, letting its heat sink into her. This place was different. She wasn’t sure how she knew that, but she trusted her instincts. Chloe had hooked her up with Jackson, recommending her for the job. When she’d come to the interview, she’d been surprised how much she wanted it, how much she’d liked Jackson and Summer and Chloe’s new husband, Billy. And the mountains. They’d seemed to call to her. Weird for a kid from the arid desert and Las Vegas’ neon lights. Then again, she’d escaped that place to attend college in Florida and had never looked back. Never felt like she’d left home.
Feeling started to return to her fingers, and she wiggled them, shrugging off the heavy coat a few seconds later. Warmth and comfort seeped into her bones.
Blinking, she looked up. She’d forgotten she wasn’t alone. There was no sign of Billy, only the stranger. She should be alarmed, but was only curious. God, he was gorgeous.
She studied him as blatantly as he studied her. Nothing subtle in that look. He was tall and broad shouldered, but her first impression was a little off. He was well muscled, but more lean than bulky. His eyes glowed silvery grey. It took her a minute to figure out why he looked so familiar. There had been a man around for her interview that looked just like him, except where he’d had a tight, military haircut, this stranger’s pale blond hair brushed his collar. She had an urge to run her fingers through it. To see if it was as silky smooth as it looked. It was beautiful, and a striking contrast to her own black locks.
The other man came in then, arms loaded with wood. He dropped it next to the fireplace and took up position next to the first stranger. She looked back and forth between the two of them. Brothers. Twins, unless she missed her guess. If it weren’t for the differences in hair cuts, she would never have been able to tell them apart.
The short-haired one spoke. His voice was deep, his tone disapproving. “You cut your hair.”
Feeling a pang of loss, she lifted her hand to finger the ends that fell just past her shoulders. She didn’t know what had possessed her. Last week she’d walked past a hair salon, spun around, gone back, and when she came out her hip length hair was gone, replaced by this shorter cut that left her feeling naked. Some women didn’t care about their hair. Some didn’t care for long hair. She wasn’t one of them. She’d cried for days but finally decided it would grow back. No point in continuing to stay upset over something that was done.
She felt their gazes on her and jerked her attention back to the present. They stood next to each other, stances a perfect mimicry of each other. Feet planted hip width apart, arms crossed over their impressive chests. She wondered if she’d get to try one of them out, if one of them liked sex the way she did. On the rough side. Intense and carnal. Arousal spiked her temperature as she considered it, and she hoped no one noticed how her nipples had hardened. Thank God they wouldn’t realize her panties were now damp.
The quiet stretched, and she suddenly realized her escort had disappeared. Alarm, belated and sharp, filled her. “Where’d Billy go?”
The long-haired one arched a perfect eyebrow. “Probably home to his mate.”
Mate? What an odd choice of words. She ignored that and digested the information. Billy had left her here, so he must trust these two men. Since he was married to her only real friend in the world, she was inclined to trust his judgement.
“Who are you two?”
The long haired one grinned at his brother. “Not a y’all in sight. She definitely isn’t Southern.” He turned back to her. “I’m Cain. This is my brother, Abel.”
She snorted. “Cain, Abel, and Delilah. You couldn’t have planned that better if you tried.”
They laughed, and she was bizarrely pleased. Another oddity. They were strangers. Why did it seem so important she amuse them both? Her stomach growled, and she tried to remember how long ago lunch had been. The laughter was cut off as if they had a switch, and the long-haired one, Cain, held his hand out to her.
“Let’s get you fed.”
She stood but hesitated, watching him. Them. Silver-grey eyes, silvery-blond hair. They were beautiful, unearthly. And yet, she felt as if she knew them. She’d never experienced anything like it before.
Was it the Christmas wish? Her heart skipped a beat. No way. It was a stupid tradition she’d picked up from one of her foster mothers. Make a wish on Thanksgiving for what you wanted for Christmas. Why she’d kept it up she had no idea, and usually she kept it to something so simple she knew it would be a possibility if not a probability. Hedging her bets. The scholarship she’d been all but told she’d get. The purse she couldn’t resist buying herself. Her first job out of college that she knew she’d get an offer for because, really, how much could one man ogle your legs? A few weeks ago, in a moment of insanity and intense loneliness, she’d wished for a home, for a man that was hers, who accepted her, weirdness and all.
“Delilah?” Abel stretched his hand out next to Cain’s.
Was this it? The wish? And if it was, which one? It would be damned near impossible to choose between them. She didn’t take either hand but smiled, hiding her confusion, feeling like there was a world of conversation going here that she’d missed.