Half Moon Harbor Resort Book Three

A life threatening attack woke Jackie Wilder up. Tired of waiting, her lioness is determined to convince her mate to claim her.

Haunted by his past, Kevin Roberts doesn’t dare allow anyone close, not even the woman he knows is his mate. Years spent as a lab experiment left their scars on his body. But when a lioness hunts, his desire may be their undoing.

Can Jackie help him shed the shackles of his past? Or will his scars rend them apart?

Jackie Wilder struggled to sit up and her head swam. Every fiber of her body screamed out in pain when she moved, but she was tired of being stuck in bed. Tired of staring at nothing, but the pale blue walls of her room at Half Moon Harbor Resort. Her twin sister, Jacey, pushed open the bedroom door and relief washed through Jackie. It wasn’t Kevin Roberts.

Jacey, Jay, and she had always been the closest of the Wilder siblings. While the rest of their sisters were off exploring the world, they had stayed in Wilderville to assert themselves as leaders of their family pride.

“Jacey, what happened with Kevin? He sits here by my side hour after hour, yet he won’t speak to me. When I ask him a question, I get nothing but a few words. Things were always so easy between us. The friendship we shared is gone, and I don’t understand why.” The words poured out the moment Jacey shut the door giving them at least the idea of privacy. In a house full of lion shifters privacy was rare.

“Jackie, you were brutally attacked. He’s coming to terms with the fact we almost lost you.” Jacey sat on the edge of the bed, ignoring the damp spot created by her wet pink bikini. “You should have seen him when we got the news. It hit him hard, he’s realizing he could have lost you before he had the opportunity to claim you as his mate. Give him time.”

Jacey still struggled with finding her mate at such an inopportune time. She wasn’t prepared to accept Blake until her abusive ex Gray was completely out of her life and the only way that would happen was with his death.

“Give him time? Time to what? Deny what’s between us? I can’t sit around waiting for him forever. We’re supposed to be—destined to be together and he needs to accept that.” The pain of his denial ran through her like ice water. Quickly she closed the dam, refusing to give him satisfaction of tears, yet her heart broke knowing her mate was in the other room denying her. What’s so wrong with me that he would deny me?

“What do you want him to do, claim you while you’re still recovering?” Jacey tried to laugh it off but when Jackie remained mute, her twin raised an eyebrow in question.

“Yes.” Ignoring the nausea swamping her when she moved, Jackie scooted up further in the bed. “After the attack, I didn’t know if I’d make it. I was so cold. He was all I could think about. I wanted him there with me, to feel his touch one last time. To feel his lips on mine. Nicholas kept telling me Kevin would be there soon.” Tears coated her throat. “But damn it, I’ve known for over a year he was my mate, and he had to have known longer. I shouldn’t have had to wait all this time and I sure the hell won’t have to wait any longer.”

“Then you need to tell him that.” Jacey took her hand and squeezed it gently. “He’s suppressed his mating urges because he believes there are too many differences.”

How would she know why? Jackie interrupted her. “How do you know that?”

Jacey winced a frown as if she realized she gave away something she wanted to keep hidden. “There’s only so much to talk about with your guard. It comes back to mutual topics…you’re our mutual topic. I asked him. I was trying to help.” She pulled her hand back from Jackie, picking up the towel again, using it to dry her hair. “It doesn’t matter, how. Show him your differences don’t matter, that you can work through anything and he’ll step up and claim you as his mate. He loves you but his position in the pride puts you in danger. He’s one of Jay’s most trusted guards.”

She let out a small laugh, her lips curling into a halfhearted smile. “That’s just an excuse…Damn it, we’re Jay’s sisters his position in Wilderville wouldn’t bring more danger than that. As sisters of the ruling alpha, if someone wanted to hurt the pride we’d be high on their list of targets. It would weaken Jay.” She slammed her hand down on the bed. “Enough about my issues. Tell me what’s happening with you and Blake.” She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

“Oh Jackie, I don’t know.” Jacey dried her hair with a towel, her unease clear in the jerky motions.

“How do you not know? You haven’t been moping around here because of what happened have you?” When her sister didn’t answer, she added. “Oh tell me you haven’t. Jacey this isn’t your fault.”

“I wish everyone would quit saying that. It is my fault. I’m the one who brought Gray into our lives. If it wasn’t for me none of this would have happened.” Jackie opened her mouth to deny it but Jacey held up her hand. “As for Blake, I don’t want him to get hurt because of Gray.”

“Jay’s going to take care of Gray. Stop worrying about it. Has Blake made his claim known?” When she raised her eyebrow in question, Jackie added. “I know he’s your mate. I can smell him on you. But the mating hasn’t been completed yet. What are you waiting for?”

“For everything to be over. For Gray to be out of our lives.”

“Don’t wait. You don’t know how long that will take. Don’t let Gray still have control over you. We’re safe here, and Jay will make it safe for us to return home soon. In the meantime, enjoy our time here. Go to Blake make your mating official. And while you’re at it, send Kevin in. It’s time he and I talked.”