Red Moon Rising by Joy Lynn Fielding
Caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, Tristan Howe is abducted and imprisoned by a pack at war with his own. His future looks bleak until he finds an unexpected ally in enemy pack member, Colby Williams. A fragile bond develops between them as they escape together.
Once he’s safely back with his own pack, Tristan finds his feelings for Colby are more than just gratitude for being rescued. He’s delighted to learn that they’re reciprocated, and even more excited to realize he and Colby are mates.
But idealistic Tristan finally has to face up to the fact that even true love might not be enough to defeat the forces ranged against them—not least his pack-mates’ suspicion and hostility toward Colby, and a mate so scarred by his abusive past that he doesn’t know how to be free. All Tristan can do is try.
Tristan liked working the late shift at the diner. He enjoyed every shift, for that matter—free food wasn’t to be sneezed at, and at twenty years old he was still a growing boy, even if Bryce was beginning to mutter that six one was quite grown enough, thank you. But the late shift was the best because he got to take home any cupcakes that were left over from Jason’s baking session that morning. He sometimes wondered if Sam kept them back for him, because one time he’d mentioned it to Jason and he’d looked blankly at Tristan. “Never happens when Riley’s working that shift,” he’d said.
Well, maybe that was because Sam, along with Tristan, hadn’t yet forgiven Riley for what he’d done to Jason. Sure, he could see that Jason was drifting around with a permanent smile in his eyes these days, happier than Tristan had ever known him, but Tristan still didn’t like Riley. He’d seemed so nice and easy to talk to, but all along he’d been lying to them, and now he was living as part of the pack and they were all supposed to try and get along with him.
Bryce had said to give it time. Well, it had been a month or so, and still Tristan hardly spoke to him, even if he did take some private amusement in seeing the way Riley, so full of himself at first and obviously thinking a job at the diner was beneath his special talents, had knuckled down to help Sam out while her waitress was off sick.
Tristan hung around till Sam had put the day’s takings in the safe because leaving her alone while she counted out piles of bills didn’t sit right with him—if he knew her routine, others would too. And when that was done, he headed out, happily clutching a paper bag containing his cupcakes.
The night was still and quiet and he shivered slightly at the chill in the air. Fall was here, and it would only get colder and darker from now on. The moon hung large and red in the sky, as if washed with blood, and he shivered again. This was the twenty-first century and he didn’t believe all those old shifter superstitions, but there was something about the moon that defied all science because how in the hell was it possible that a wolf’s coat could turn silver in moonlight the way Jesse’s did unless there was something in the old tales of moonlight and magic?
The scent of white chocolate and raspberry from the bag he was holding brought him back to himself—the moon was red due to atmospheric pollution and nothing else. With a grin at his idiocy, he headed toward his car, fumbling in his pocket for his keys. And then he stopped dead. Something was wrong.
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