The actions of a wolf shifter gone rogue forces Ben Maxwell, the alpha of the Catskill Mountain wolf pack, to act on a vision of his mate quicker than he‟d planned. He discovers that she‟ll be at an aerial acrobat performance several days before Halloween, which also coincides with the blue moon. Unable to attend himself, he sends his best friends and betas, Adam and Devon, to seek Sandy out. He knows he‟ll be sharing her with them and trusts them to care for her in his stead. But Sandy is a human, and finding out that not only are shifters real, but that she‟s mated to not just one, but three of them, is a lot to take in. Can Ben and his betas convince her to accept her place at their side before the pheromones caused by a blue moon on Halloween draws every shifter in the area to her door, including the rogue wolf that would rather see her dead than in the arms of anyone else? .
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Chapter One T he knock on the door drew Ben out of his thoughts. With relief, he dismissed the memory of the visions that had been plaguing him every night for the last week. He could dwell on them later. Looking up from where he‟d been staring blankly at the screen of his desktop, he took a deep breath and smiled. “Enter, Devon.” The door opened, revealing a six foot muscular blond. Devon entered, ducking his head in submission before closing the door. Ben rose and grinned. He knew he‟d have to tell his beta about the visions soon, but not now. He motioned the man forward and Devon obeyed. It was then that Ben scented what he‟d missed through the door, the man‟s tension and anxiety. Something must have seriously rattled his normally calm beta for him to be this upset. He wrapped his arms around his friend, rubbing his cheek against the other man‟s, offering him support and comfort as only a shifter could. He‟d never understood why humans kept their distance from each other. Touch was such a powerful way to reassure those around you. He kept his voice soothing. “What‟s wrong?” The slightly shorter man melted into him, accepting the support and comfort Ben offered. Seconds later, Devon pulled away and frowned. “Roger started an uninitiated change. A group of humans were hiking in the forest and he bit one.” Ben shook his head. They‟d had trouble with Roger for a while. The shifter didn‟t seem to be able to control his wolf‟s 1 .
Blue Moon Mating aggressive tendencies, especially while out hunting. After several close calls, they no longer let him go out alone. “It takes more than just one bite to change someone who isn‟t a mate. What makes you think the human will change? What happened?” “Roger went running with Adam and Cody,” Devon started. Nodding encouragingly to the frustrated man, Ben urged him to continue. As Ben‟s second beta, Adam often ran with adolescents who had trouble controlling their shift. He‟d probably looked forward to an outing with adults. Cody was Roger‟s older brother and often felt responsible for his brother‟s mistakes. Ben knew something must have gone horribly wrong for Roger to be able to get near a human while out with the two watchful wolves. “They were stalking a deer together when Roger took off. Adam didn‟t realize it until he flushed the deer to where Roger was supposed to be waiting, and he wasn‟t there. He and Cody tracked the wolf, but it was too late.” Devon ran a hand through his short hair, dropping his gaze. “Adam saw Roger try to attack a small woman. A man stepped in the way to save her, and Roger bit the human at least four times before Adam and Cody tackled him and dragged him into the woods.” Damn. Four or more times? If the bites were deep, that could definitely initiate a change in the human‟s DNA. “Where are Adam and the brothers now?” he asked, heading toward the door. Before his eyes, Ben watched the man straighten and again take on the persona of his strong second-in-command. Devon‟s ability to shift gears effortlessly was one of the reasons Ben depended on him so much, sure he didn‟t mind comfort in privacy, but out among the pack, he was the one other shifters came to for help. 2 .
Charlie Richards “Adam grabbed his ranger‟s uniform and took off to help the human, and find out who he is,” he explained, following out of the office. “Cody is keeping Roger under wraps at the bachelor house until you come.” Lifting his gaze to the ceiling, Ben growled, “This is the last straw, Devon. That damn shifter has pushed too far this time.” He led the way out of his house and down the path between pack homes. His pack almost appeared to be a tiny village tucked among the pines of the Catskill Mountains, with two large community homes, one for unmated males and one for unmated females over the age of eighteen, and nearly a dozen small cottage-like homes for mated pairs. As the pack leader, the downstairs of his manor-home was open to all pack members, and housed visitors from other packs. Half the bottom floor consisted of a large common room where pack gatherings were held when the weather was bad and they couldn‟t use the clearing out back. The other half consisted of a kitchen, dining room, and four guest bedrooms and bathrooms. He shared the upstairs with his betas, and it was off limits, except by invitation. They each had their own suite of rooms, including a bedroom, bathroom, study, and living area. They shared a media room. He wondered how it would change when he and his betas claimed their mate. He knew the woman he dreamed about would be the mate of his betas as well as his own. That‟s the way a fated mate worked. His own parents, deceased now, were proof of that. Biting back a sigh, he refocused on the task at hand and increased his pace. Ben‟s well-muscled, six-foot-three-inch body ate up the ground between houses, Devon flanking him. A few minutes later he climbed the steps to the male shifters‟ barracks. Men halted in their games of pool and darts to watch his progress 3 .
Blue Moon Mating across the room. He nodded and waved at them, giving them leave to resume their play. Cody appeared at the entrance of one of the halls, ducking his head in submission. Ben rested a hand on the back of the wolf shifter‟s neck for several seconds before releasing him. He knew it was a bit formal, but under the circumstances, he also knew it was necessary. “Your brother‟s mistakes are not your responsibility,” he said, pulling the man into a quick embrace, sharing his scent and assuring his fellow wolf that he was still welcome in the pack. Releasing him, he led the way down the hall. “He may be the younger brother, but he is still an adult.” “If I had stopped him from being taken,” Cody murmured. “There was nothing anyone could have done last year. Your brother knew better than to stray into the cougar pride‟s territory, and the members involved in tying him up and leaving him stranded were punished by their alpha once he found out. We both know he‟s been using that incident as an excuse to get away with the crap he‟s pulling now. This is on your brother, now, Cody,” Ben said sternly. Cody nodded, but Ben knew he still blamed himself for the incident. Roger had known their pack boundaries and had deliberately crossed them. Ben knew it wasn‟t the first time he‟d done it either. The younger brother had been a troublemaker since puberty. Ben felt more inclined to believe that Roger used his incident of capture as an excuse to stir up trouble. He‟d only been captured for eight hours. He hadn‟t even been beaten, just tied up, blindfolded, and left alone, which could definitely be considered a form of torture for their kind, which relied on touch and scent to reassure each other. Pushing the incident from his mind, he returned his focus to Cody. “Where is he?” 4 .
Charlie Richards “In his room. He says he feels terrible for what he did.” “I‟m sure,” Ben replied dryly. If only he believed the man‟s words. There had been too many incidences of violence, but this had been the first against a human. In the past he‟d attacked other pack members, always under the guise of challenging the other wolf for position in the pack. Ben just didn‟t know what to do with the wolf. They stopped outside a door, and Cody knocked. When he didn‟t receive a response, he glanced nervously at Ben. A niggling suspicion took hold in Ben‟s brain, and he inhaled deeply. “Shit!” he snarled, before pushing the other wolf aside and opening the door. It was empty. Ben crossed to the open window, shucking his clothes as he went, and peered out into the forest. “If he comes back, you know what to do, Devon.” “Yes, Alpha,” his beta answered quickly. Ben put his hands on the windowsill and leaped out. His body shifted and popped, turning wolf before he hit the ground. He lowered his nose to the ground, catching the scent of Roger in wolf form. He took off after the other shifter. He felt more than saw the two wolves who instantly flanked him. Kiall and Peter were enforcers for his pack, and when his betas weren‟t available to watch his back, the men instantly seemed to appear. The seamless inner workings of his pack made him proud. Now if he could just get this one wolf in line, things would be perfect. Then he could deal with his visions. Focusing on the problem at hand, he and his enforcers tracked Roger through fields, across streams, and in and out of gullies. Nearly three hours later, Ben admitted defeat, shifting and staring around the clearing where he‟d stopped. His enforcers did the same. “It looks like he had a truck hidden, Alpha,” Kiall 5 .