Home > Gentry (Wolves of Winter's Edge #1)(2)

Gentry (Wolves of Winter's Edge #1)(2)
Author: T.S. Joyce

“You boys need to come home.”

“That ain’t home,” Roman growled.

In a careful voice, Terry murmured, “It was once. You have a duty to your father. There are things that need to be settled.”

“Like the pack?” Gentry asked. “Hell no.”

“It’s not the Striker Pack anymore, Gentry,” Terry said. “There’s a new alpha.”

“Who?” Asher asked.

“Rhett.”

“Fuck!” Roman said too loud into the phone.

Gentry winced away. His ears were too sensitive this close to a Change.

Rhett was going to drive that pack into the ground. Probably expose them to the humans in a year or less. He was about as careful as a wild wolf. Worse even than Tooth. And Rhett had killed Dad.

A vision of Dad’s charcoal gray wolf bleeding out on the sticky floor of that old Winter’s Edge tavern back home made Gentry buckle in on himself. That’s where the alpha fight would’ve been. Maybe Asher was right. Maybe he should’ve been there. He’d bet everything he owned Dad was only still fighting alpha wars to protect his people from Rhett. Why hadn’t he told Gentry? Why had he kept quiet about it? Gentry hadn’t even gotten to say goodbye.

“Stop with the snarling, Favorite,” Asher gritted out. “You’ll force us all to Change, and I’m in a public place. This is on you. You go home, you fix it. Roman and I are good with where we are.”

“Which is where?” Gentry asked.

“Kicked out!” Roman yelled. “That’s where. The destination doesn’t matter, does it? When you get kicked out of your own fucking pack by your own fucking father, it doesn’t matter where you are. It’s all Hell. I’ll be at the funeral, Terry. Whatever he left us, I don’t want it. Gentry can have it all. I’ll be on the first flight out of there.” The line clicked.

“Same,” Asher said blandly before the line clicked again.

And then there were two.

Terry sighed into the phone. “It sounds windy where you are. Your dad told me you hunt the wild wolves now. Are you hunting tonight?”

Gentry felt numb. It felt like he’d buried himself in the snow and fallen asleep, only to wake to a frostbitten body. Dad. Eyelet’s howl lifted again, and this time it was close. Too close.

“I was hunting.” Gentry swallowed hard. “Now I’m being hunted.”

Gentry hung up the phone and barely resisted chucking it into the woods at the lanky black wolf with the missing tooth that stepped from the shadows.

Gentry was being hunted by wild wolves, yeah, but that’s not what he’d meant.

He was being hunted by his destiny, too.

His head wasn’t in the right place for a fight right now. He was too sluggish, too slow. His inner wolf was in shock, and his insides were a tornado. Tooth, sensing weakness, bolted for him before he could even stand up. Gentry braced for impact and rolled with him, kicking up as he did and shoving Tooth behind him. Hurry Wolf!

His back broke. Ribs rippled and cracked like gunfire. Fingers, neck, legs, muscle, sinew, cells, everything reshaped with excruciating pain in a matter of seconds as the wolf ripped out of his skin. Tooth was already back on him, teeth clamped on his neck. That missing tooth was saving his jugular right now. No help for it, Gentry ripped away from his jaws, the pain blinding for a moment before he spun toward the alpha and engaged.

This wasn’t a bar brawl, though. This wasn’t one on one. It wasn’t dominant monster versus the same. Wild wolves didn’t understand honor. Hell, most werewolves didn’t either. Out here, it was Gentry, Tooth, and the entire pack of eight that landed on him like flood waters.

Eyelet yipped a death chant.

Tooth’s snarling promise of demise filled Gentry’s entire mind.

And the pain had him fighting for his life.

His wolf looked just like Dad’s. Dad. Laying there on the floor alone. Alone like Gentry.

Maybe his destiny wasn’t in Rangeley like everyone had always said.

Maybe his destiny was right here.

Chapter Two

Blaire Hayward was utterly lost, which was shocking because she could spit from one side of this teeny town to the other.

She’d passed the darned Welcome to Rangeley sign half a dozen times now and had to turn back time and time again. She still could not find the right road, and GPS was being a snarky ho who kept changing her mind on direction. It didn’t help that Rangeley, Maine was one of the most confusing places on planet Earth. It was a small town, but as far as she could understand, it was made up of three villages. And possibly a plantation or two. All the signs were getting truly confounding now. The area was called the Rangeley Lakes Region because of all the bodies of water, but the more ponds and lakes she passed, the more everything started to look the same.

When the tires of her rental car slipped on the frozen road, Blaire gripped the steering wheel tighter and muttered, “Take a break, Ashlyn said. It’ll be fun, Ashlyn said. I’ve arranged everything, Ashlyn said.”

Bullcaca. Blaire was not convinced this supposed rental cabin on the outskirts of town even existed. Ashlyn had been scammed.

An older gentleman in a thick winter coat with his hands shoved deep in his pockets nodded his chin to her and stepped off the curb toward the car. Blaire slowed and rolled down the passenger’s side window.

“You lost?”

Blaire’s cheeks heated, and she gave a self-deprecating laugh. “Is it that obvious?”

   
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