USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RENEE ROSE loves a dominant, dirty-talking alpha hero! She’s sold over a million copies of steamy romance novels with varying levels of kink. Having featured on USA Today list nine times with her Bad Boy Alpha and Wolf Ranch books and various other anthologies. Now, the full Wolf Ranch series is available to read on the hotly tipped reading app, Galatea.
Galatea has received recognition from BBC, Forbes and The Guardian for being the go-to place for explosive new romance novels. With over 400 books in its ever growing library, Galatea focusses on romance, fantasy and erotic novels. Renee Rose’s Wolf Ranch series is set to be another Galatea smash hit and it is easy to see why, with 6 spicy, binge-worthy books available in the series, Renee takes hot fantasies to the next level.
The first book in the Wolf Ranch series is named Rough. Boyd broke his pack’s rule; to never reveal to a human, the day he met Audrey, the beautiful doctor at the state rodeo. Boyd might be a rodeo champ, but just one look at her knocked his concentration immediately. In the ring, the bull tossed and gored him, and now sweet doctor Audrey is on to him. When Boyd healed within hours, she knew something wasn’t right. Boyd’s alpha told him to watch her. So he stuck to Audrey like superglue. And those human men who want to date her? They’d better step back.
Because the doctor is all his. Whether she knows it yet or not.
Most guys had their head focused on their upcoming bull ride, the eight seconds they had to keep their butt on the back of an angry bull. Me? I had other things on my mind.
I was amped up and I wanted to pump that excess energy. There were tons of options around the arena.
“Hey, champ. Can’t wait to see you ride,” one of the buckle bunnies cooed as she strutted past me.
“Thanks, gorgeous.” All I had to do was wink at Sherry or Cindy… whatever her name was, and I was in. With the jean skirt that was—thank you baby Jesus—nothing more than a denim Band-Aid around her waist, and a white tank top that barely hid what was beneath, I knew what was on offer. It might take longer than eight seconds—I could go all night—but once I climbed off, like with a bull, I didn’t linger. The ladies knew the score. They could brag they’d been with the rodeo champ. Everyone left satisfied.
Satisfied, definitely. Happy? Not so much anymore. Sure, Sherry/Cindy was gorgeous, but a date with the lollipop of the day didn’t do that much for me anymore.
Or for my wolf. It wasn’t what we wanted. Maybe it was the start of moon madness kicking in, but it was annoying me. I had become… selective. That’s what happened to shifters who were ready to mate. Their inner wolf sought a true mate and no other female would do. That was a big problem for a guy like me who had it on his mind… all the time.
The noise from the crowd in the stands was muted on the lower level of the arena. The scent of popcorn and spilled beer couldn’t cover the tang from the animals. The concrete floor had scattered bits of hay that clung to my sturdy boots, but I wasn’t heading toward the chutes. Not yet. With the steer roping event happening now, I had time to check on my friend, Abe, before my turn in the bull riding event. I turned down a narrow hall and ducked into the medical room.
“Damn, you hurt your hand before you even got in the ring? What were you doing?” I asked, pulling my hat off as I came in the door.
Then I stopped short. Froze. Holy crap.
My wolf perked up. Sniffed.
Yeah, Abe was sitting on an exam table in his dusty jeans and snap shirt, but I wasn’t looking at him. Hell, he could have been wearing a hula outfit and I wouldn’t have known. It was the woman who was holding his hand, putting some kind of metal brace around his finger, who I stared at.
Petite and curvy with the most luscious figure, she could make a man weep. My wolf stood up and preened. She looked my way with wide eyes behind glasses. Jesus, I had no idea I had a thing for glasses. My usual woman ran tall and willowy. Maybe that was where my problem lay, where my selectiveness came from. None of them were her.
But that didn’t make sense. I didn’t need to breathe in to pick up her scent. In the small room, the sweet aroma of ripe peaches hit me like a stampeding bull.
Delicious. But not the scent of a she-wolf.
She was human. A gorgeous, curvy, human.
My wolf practically howled at the sight of her. Long hair cascaded down her back like a dark waterfall. She had a round face with skin as pale as cream. And those curves. Oh god, yes.
I couldn’t miss those delectable curves since she faced Abe, but was glancing over her shoulder at me.
“What the hell, Boyd?” Abe muttered. “I broke my god damn—sorry, ma’am—finger helping Burt with his tow hitch.” He glanced up at the woman, chagrined for saying a bad word. And ma’am? What the hell? He was behaving like a blushing school boy with his first crush.
Oh, no. Abe wasn’t getting his hands on her. He was human and a decent guy. Still, no way.
“The doc here’s bracing it so I can compete.”
Doc? She was a doctor? Maybe I expected a guy in a white lab coat and pressed khakis, not a little number like her. A hot smart number. She probably had more brains in her left pinky finger than I did in my whole head. All I knew was she was mine.
She deftly wound some white medical tape around the braced finger and the one beside it, securing them together, then tore off the strip. He’d lucked out it wasn’t the hand he used to grip the rope so he could compete.
“What are you doing later? Think I can buy you a cup of coffee to thank you?” With Abe sitting on the exam table, they were the same height. She eyed Abe and I wanted to growl, then rip his head off.
“I won’t be able to concentrate without knowing your answer.”
“Focus less on me and more on that bull you’ll have to ride.”
I launched myself forward, tugged off my cowboy hat and stuck my hand out. “Hey there, I’m Boyd.”
She glanced my way, then back to her work. Her gloved fingers wound one more strip around Abe’s fingers. “Hi, Boyd. Sorry—my hands are full.”
Blue. Her eyes were blue behind those nerdy, cute glasses.
“Oh, ah. Right.” I dropped my hand and settled instead for my star smile. The one that usually guaranteed me a woman’s phone number without having to ask for it. I stepped closer, close enough that Abe frowned.
Mine, buddy. Back off.
“I’m Doctor Ames—Audrey. Excuse me.” She needed me to step back because I nearly had her pinned against the table with my body. Not touching, but definitely crowding.
“Audrey Ames,” I repeated. “Guess you always got the first desk in school.”
“Yep, you know it.” She didn’t look at me twice. Didn’t blush or bat her eyelashes. Didn’t stick out her chest so I could see what was on offer. Hell, she hardly did more than glance my way once more as she moved to the counter where she made notes in a file.
“Doc here works at a hospital, but is moonlighting the event in case someone gets hurt,” Abe explained, holding up his injured hand.
I frowned. “You know her shoe size and what she had for breakfast this morning, too?”
Audrey spun about and gave me a look that would have withered a lesser man. Still, it was far from the take me now expression I was used to. “I’m standing right here.”
I winked and looked her up and down. “You sure are.”
After a quick purse of her lips, she tugged off her gloves and tossed them in the trash can.
Jeez. The first time a female had truly interested me in years—maybe ever—and she barely saw me. Didn’t give a hoot that the big buckle on my belt meant I was a rodeo champion.
How was that even possible?
I ignored the hairy eyeball Abe threw my way.
“Why haven’t I seen you around before?” I tried again.
“Me?” She looked over, surprised. Like I came in here to flirt with Abe or something.
“As Abe said, I work at Community General in Cooper Valley and unless you were going to have a baby, we’d never meet. Your regular rodeo doc had something come up, so they called our hospital begging for a fill-in to cover tonight. The pay was decent and I have med school loans, so I figured, why not?” She shrugged. “I’ve always wanted to see a rodeo.”
Of course, I never got hurt, or if I did, not enough to ever need a hospital since shifters healed so fast.
“Sorry, sweetheart,” Abe said, his eyes going up to the ceiling as if he could see through to the stands above us. “I’ve messed up your spectator plans.”
She gave him a small smile. Him. Why the hell didn’t she offer me one of those soft turn of her lips?
“I’ll get up there after this and see you ride.”
Abe’s chest puffed up and I wanted to break the rest of his fingers. Better yet, his leg, so he couldn’t compete. If she was going to see someone ride a bull, it was going to be me.
“You live in Cooper Valley.” I hardly believed the coincidence. “You gotta be kidding me.”
She finally gave me her full attention, turning and leaning that gorgeous butt against the cabinet to look at me with curiosity. “Yes. I moved here a little while ago. Why?”
I pointed at my chest. “I’m from Cooper Valley—Wolf Ranch. You know it?”
She shook her head, her dark hair sliding over her shoulders. “No, I’m fairly new to town and work tons of hours. I know the inside of the hospital really well.” She gave me a wry smile.
There. A smile. I was like a beggar seeking the smallest of crumbs from her.
I sidled in her direction. “I could take a day or two off and show you around. Love to, in fact.”
Abe cleared his throat, making Audrey look his way. “You’re all set,” she told him. “Don’t break anything else out there. I have no idea how you guys do it.”
He hopped down off the table, picked up his hat and settled it on his head. He didn’t make a move to leave. Hell no. He was trying to make a move.
The jerk had the nerve to grin, then slap my back with his good hand, much harder than necessary. “Well, we’d better get into the chutes. Almost time for the bull rides. You gonna watch me, Doc?”
I gave him a look that screamed back off, she’s mine. I might’ve even growled a little, too.
We had a short stare down and he finally relented. He sighed, flicked the rim of his hat. “Ma’am.”
I knew Abe was a smart guy, because he finally left and I was alone with the hottest female in all of Montana.
“About that tour,” I said, taking a step closer and giving her my easygoing smile. I tucked my thumbs into my front pockets.
I wasn’t the kinda guy who believed in signs or gave much credence to fate, but after my wolf’s reaction to her presence, to discover such a gorgeous creature was living in my hometown felt significant. After all the wandering the country riding angry bulls and she’d been right here. It was fate the rodeo was in my hometown and she was working it.
“Oh, no,” she dismissed me immediately, turning away to clean up from tending to Abe. “I’ll watch the bull riding and see you and Abe ride, but have to go right back to work when I go home. Thanks, though.”
Shot down. It was just a tour. Sure, it meant I wanted to show her around…the bedroom, but I’d show her a few sights first. Maybe she needed to see me in action. First on the back of a bull, then maybe in bed. Who didn’t want to hook up with the champion? It wasn’t like I had anything to worry about. No human could out-ride me. Especially not when I wanted to win.
I definitely wanted to win now. I stuffed my hat back on my head.
Doctor Audrey wanted to see some riding? I would show her exactly how it was done.
The testosterone in the arena was overwhelming.
Unfortunately, my body was standing up and taking notice. I would swear my ovaries dropped two eggs when Boyd entered the med room. All cowboy swagger and charm. He’d stepped so close I’d been able to smell his aftershave and soap and it did something crazy to my head. I meant, my body. Everywhere. I got all hot and tingly and my brain lost power for the moment.
I already had a thing for cowboys. The hats, the loose hipped gait, rugged exteriors and the air of maleness.
It was definitely a perk of moving to Montana. Boyd was about as gorgeous as God made them with that chiseled jaw and lazy smile. Sandy colored hair that was a few weeks past a haircut. Pale eyes that had roved over me as if I were a tasty treat he wanted to devour. A crooked nose that proved while he might be quick with the smile, he was probably quick with the fists, too. It was the whole package, all six feet plus of pure muscle and virile man that made me wild.
My body had reacted to his presence like I’d been seeping in pheromones. I might not have been with a man in a while… close to a few days short of forever, but I knew the signs. He’d wanted me.
My mind was a total mess which it had no business being. The animals might be branded, but each of one of those Grade-A cowboys should have a mark that guaranteed them players. They were all quick grinning males who could make a woman hot with just a wink.
These rodeo champs apparently thought they were God’s gift to women, although why Boyd and Abe—Abe might have been subtle about his intentions but he’d tried nonetheless— bothered making a play for me when there were a dozen or more scantily dressed cowgirls out there for the taking, was beyond me. They probably dished it out to every female they met. Cowboy code or something. I had no doubt Boyd knew his way around a woman.
Yup, my mind was pretty darned busy. Abe was the only injury so far for the event and I was able to head to the stands and watch the bull riding. I was the doctor on call. If someone got hurt, I was to tend to them, connect with the ambulance standing by and get the person to the hospital.
From where I sat—unless someone randomly started choking on a corn dog in the vendor area—I’d know if my assistance was needed. I sat near the aisle with easy access to the competitor area and a great view of the chutes. This was where the bulls were held and readied, then the cowboy climbed the fence and hopped on its back. Once the man was secure, the gate was flung open and off they went, the angry bull doing anything to fling off his rider. It practically guaranteed me a few more patients before the event was over.
I scanned the chute area for the two of them, watched as the first few competitors completed their rides. I was equally excited and filled with dread as one after another had his turn. The crowd felt the same as me, cheering and gasping in equal measure. Riding a bull was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. And the dumbest.
I didn’t know how these guys lived past thirty. Maybe they didn’t. That thought made my chest unexpectedly tighten, like I’d already developed an attachment to the two cowboys I’d met.
Not the first one, the second. Abe was handsome. Gentle, considering his size and what he did for a living. Sweet, even. Boyd though, was… dangerous. I wasn’t afraid he would hurt me physically, although he had at least a foot on me and probably fifty pounds, but something else. He could hurt my heart. Screw with my plans. I’d been so focused on med school and my residency. On my career. It wasn’t like me to deviate because of a perfect butt in a pair of Wranglers. He was a bad boy who I knew was trouble but wanted anyway.
A rider was flung from his bull and landed hard, then rolled to clear himself from the back hooves of the bull. The rodeo clowns—I was sure they had some other name I didn’t know—ran over, redirected the animal so the rider could get to his feet. I exhaled as the crowd cheered at his high score. He dusted himself off, lifted his hat in salute and walked out of the ring.
Boyd’s face appeared on the jumbotron, his quick smile twenty feet wide. The crowd went wild, which meant his ego was probably as big as his image on the huge screen. Yeah, I needed to keep my distance from that one, because I wasn’t that kind of woman. With med school and residency, I barely socialized, let alone dated. Or anything, really. I was the long term, commitment type. In fact, I’d moved to small town Montana to settle down. Slow down. Find a partner and start a family, just as I’d always longed to have. A family made up of two parents who loved each other, and a gaggle of kids. I wanted that kind of insanity. Sledding, science fair projects, pet gerbils. That was what I longed for. Especially babies.
Hooking up with a rodeo champ was not part of that picture and I doubted a rodeo champ wanted a woman who had baby fever. The words “ticking clock” wasn’t the same for him as it was for me. His plans lasted eight seconds, mine a lifetime.
Still, my body went on full alert when I spied his name on the ticker—Boyd Wolf vs. Night Sweats, which was a crazy name for a bull.
I leaned forward to spot him down in the chutes. They all looked the same in their helmets, safety vests and chaps, the sponsors’ logos splashed across the shoulders of their collared button-downs. But then I saw him—at least I was fairly certain it was him. The rider oozed the same raw confidence he’d shown in the medical room.
He straddled the snorting black bull then set about adjusting his grip on the rope with easy, deft movements. Only his hand held him on that beast. I knew none of the details about bull riding, only that I’d overheard it was called a rough stock event. Rough was the definitely right word.
“Hey, pretty lady.” Abe came up the concrete steps and settled his large body into the seat beside me.
I couldn’t help but smile at him, but I glanced back at the chutes.
“Hard to watch?” he asked.
I nodded. “Your ride went well. You stayed on past the buzzer. I should be congratulating you, right?”
He tipped his hat back, then set his hand on my shoulder. “Yes, ma’am. Best ride of the night. So far. We can celebrate by getting that coffee with me after.”
His quick grin and mild manner had me smiling. He was handsome. Courteous. But like Jett Markle, the local rancher who I’d had one bad date with the week before, he didn’t do anything for me. Like those romance novels I read in my spare time, I wanted spark. Heat. Attraction. Chemistry.
Jett was turning out to be a creep so I couldn’t put Abe into the same category.
The announcer called the next ride and I was distracted by Boyd’s imminent turn. When I looked his way again, he wasn’t focused on the thousand pounds of pissed off animal beneath him, but at me. His gaze was locked onto me and I gasped. No, he wasn’t looking at me, but at Abe’s hand on my shoulder. Boyd’s jaw clenched, his eyes narrowed. If I wasn’t mistaken, he was as annoyed by that action as the bull was to have a rider sitting on him.
Why was he looking at me? I wasn’t important. I was the short, dumpy doctor who had zero social life. Still, he stared. I tried to school my breath when he nodded his head. I realized it wasn’t for me when the chute was flung open.
Night Sweats came pawing out, snorting with fury over the rider on his back. I held my breath, stomach bunched up in a tight knot as he kicked his back legs up.
Even with the wild ride, Boyd seemed to take the body-snapping movements with ease, his thighs gripping the sides of the bull, his arm flung up, his back staying loose, his movements gracefully in sync with the animal.
It was mesmerizing.
A wide smile stretched across his lips like riding bulls was a walk in the park for him. Oh God. Was that for real?
He scanned the audience… as he rode the bull.
What bull rider had the presence of mind to look for Mom when he was trying to stay on the back of a bull?
The crowd was going wild—cheering and stamping. Boyd had already been on the bull for eight seconds.
I stood to see better and he caught sight of me. Again.
That was impossible.
He might have glanced my way before, but now? On the back of a bull? He wouldn’t be looking for me in the crowd.
I shrieked, covering my mouth as he was thrown, flipped straight into the air like a frisbee. Oh God—no! Time slowed. I squeezed my eyes closed, then opened them again at the horror unfolding. As Boyd’s spinning body came down, the bull turned and tossed its head, landing a vicious horn right below the protection of Boyd’s vest.
He’d been gored.
“Oh my God,” Abe said. While I knew it wasn’t good, Abe’s words confirmed it. He’d seen more rides than I had and this was worse than others.
I switched into medical mode, my training kicking in. I ran down the steps before I even knew my feet were moving, sprinting along with the EMTs for the arena.
“Hold up!” a manager yelled, barring our entrance while the rodeo clowns distracted the bull, and two riders rode out to rope it. “Now, go! Go!”
Boyd was on one knee, trying to get to his feet. Adrenaline was probably the only thing keeping him upright. Blood soaked his shirt and jeans, staining the dirt below him.
“Stop moving!” I yelled as I ran up. “Hold still, Boyd.” To the EMTs who followed with a backboard, I barked, “Get him on.”
Carefully, they transferred him to the board, strapped him to it and stood, walking quickly across the dirt ring toward where they’d left the gurney.
“I’m going to need a pressure bandage and an IV. And morphine,” I ordered, one of them speaking into the walkie talkie strapped to his shoulder, giving information, hopefully, to the ER. “I’ll ride along to the hospital.”
I wasn’t a trauma doctor. I was an ObGyn, but all my training as I did my rotations came rushing back. I jogged alongside the gurney, trying to gauge the depth, location and severity of the wound when a hand closed on mine.
My gaze flew to Boyd’s face. It was pale and sweat stood out on his forehead, but he grinned at me.
“Just a scratch, Doc,” he said, his voice raspy. His breathing was difficult, especially on inhales. I had to assume a punctured lung. “No need to worry.”
Was he actually comforting me? Now?
I squeezed his hand back, surprised at how relieved his upbeat attitude made me feel. As a doctor, I knew he was in a great deal of danger, but was also aware the patient’s outlook could make the difference between living and dying.
“I usually do the reassuring, but I’m glad you’re staying positive. I’ll get you something for the pain as soon as we’re in the ambulance.”
He winced, trying to sit up and look at the injury.
I pushed him back down, although he wasn’t going anywhere with the strap around his waist. “Take it easy, champ, you’re losing blood.”
He gave a half grin as his face turned pasty. His blood pressure was most likely dropping and he was going into shock. I needed to get him stabilized right away. As his lashes flickered, he mumbled, “Guess you’re not going out with Abe for coffee, huh?”
What? He had a hole in his chest and was worried about me going out with Abe? “Guess not. Hang on for me, okay?”
But it was too late. He’d lost consciousness.
Heart thundering in my chest, I hustled into the ambulance with him and took over the insertion of the IV needle into his arm as the paramedic settled an oxygen mask over his face.
Boyd Wolf was probably the cockiest cowboy in the west. It was his job to get on the back of a bull, but it was my job to save him when he fell off. I’d do everything I possibly could to do so.
I blinked, looked around. Where the hell was I? Sterile walls. Beeping monitors. Antiseptic scent. Crap. No.
I couldn’t be in a hospital. I’d barely gotten scratched when that bull nicked me with his horn. It had hurt like hell, but it hadn’t been so bad. Just a little blood loss. A big hole in my chest. I’d seen Audrey in the stands—my wolf ready to show off for her—and was prepared to focus on the ride, all eight plus seconds, and then get back to her. But then I’d seen Abe set his hand on her shoulder and I’d focused on that. The way his fingers lightly gripped her. Felt her heat, could breathe in her sweet scent. I’d thought of that, only that. Not the big bull I’d been riding on.
Was she interested in Abe? Had she liked his touch? I’d wondered about that, then I’d been angry as hell. No way. My wolf had screamed at me, “He’s touching her! Get his hands off her. Now!”
Abe would’ve have more than a broken finger before the night was out, an entire hand, except the bull had kicked just right and I’d gone flying. I was used to falling off. Hell, I did it on purpose often enough so people wouldn’t wonder as to why I was so daring. It was the fact I knew I’d never get hurt that made me champ. Even a horn in my torso couldn’t keep me down for long.
What was bad, and sad, was that I’d passed out. I’d planned on jumping off that gurney before it ever made it into the ambulance, track down Abe and tell him he could forget Audrey even existed.
Not that Doctor Blue-Eyes would’ve let that happen. She’d been there within seconds of me hitting the hard packed dirt and began to treat me as if I were human.
She’d touched me. I’d felt it through the pain. My wolf had, too.
Hell, if getting her to focus on me was to get gored by a bull, I should have done it earlier in the night. I remembered her squeezing my hand as she jogged beside the board they’d strapped me to. Vaguely, I remembered her next to me in the ambulance, speaking in those low, clipped tones to the EMTs. Stern. Authoritative. Bossy. That little slip of a female had given orders like the most ruthless of alphas.
I was good at sensing people. It was the shifter in me. Audrey had been worried… about me. And I remembered liking how that felt. She cared and if that didn’t do something funny to my insides.
I fought the drugs pumping through my veins and opened my eyes once again. I had no idea how long I’d been out and that was bad. My body was healing wolf-quick and anyone could have noticed. I knew exactly nothing about hospitals since this was the first time I’d been in one, but it looked like they were going to do some kind of procedure, maybe even take me to the operating room. Watching doctor shows on TV clued me in to that possibility. A nurse in blue scrubs had her back to me, arranging instruments on a tray, then stepped out of the room. Like whatever was planned was going to happen.
I stifled a groan as I tugged the IV needle out of my arm and disconnected the monitoring equipment.
The last thing I needed was to expose my species to human doctors, especially the ones in my own home town. Revealing what we were was against pack rules. The easiest way to do that was to get them to cut me open.
My brother Rob—the pack alpha—would kill me. He’d do it in a more painful way than being gored, that was for sure. He already thought I was a loser and would probably swear up oneside of Sunday and back down the other for getting injured in front of an entire arena full of people and forced to have medical intervention.
If he were me, he would have gone off into the woods, shifted and licked his wounds until he was healed, which would have taken a few short hours.
Me? Yeah, I was in trouble here.
As softly as I could, I rolled off the hospital bed to crouch on the floor. A hospital gown had been draped over my privates and fell to the floor. I had to assume they hadn’t put me in it so they could keep my chest exposed so they could treat it. I was naked. Picking the gown up, I shoved my arms through the sleeves. My butt was hanging out and I was too weak and groggy to reach back and tie the tabs closed, probably more from the morphine than from the wound. I gave my head a shake to clear it.
I looked down and touched the place on my chest the bull had punctured. I couldn’t see it through the scratchy fabric, but I could feel that the flesh had closed. It was well on its way to healing, thank God. Even an injury as grave as a bull horn through my chest knitted and fused fast. Quickly, before the nurse returned, I slipped out the door, the back of my gown flapping open in the back. I didn’t care if someone saw my bare cheeks. I just wanted out.
I opened the cabinets outside my room until I found the plastic bag with my bloodied clothing and personal items and ducked into a bathroom to pull on the crusty clothing. They weren’t ideal, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. My hat sat on top and I set it upon my head. I didn’t like being without it. I felt more naked with my head bare than in the hospital gown with my butt hanging out.
I dipped my head as I slipped out, but I snapped it up the moment I stepped into the hall and caught her scent. I sniffed. Peaches and vanilla.Yeah, I’d recognize her anywhere. But where was—
I turned to search for her and she barrelled into my arms. Well, my chest, really. That hurt like hell, but I caught her elbows to steady her as we collided, my wolf celebrating her nearness. Mine!
I smiled down at her, so caught off guard by the intense pleasure of touching her, I forgot my dilemma. I forgot that I was supposed to have a huge hole in my chest.
She gasped, then frowned, looked me over. Since she was a full head shorter, her gaze was right at chest level and my bloody, torn shirt. “Boyd! How are you—”
She pulled back to look at my wound and I dropped my arm from touching her to cover it, hunching a bit like it pained me. I was a bull rider, not an actor, but I was messing this up more and more by the second.
“Listen, Doc,” I began. “I appreciate your help, but I’m more of a heal-at-home kind of guy. Nothing a little time on the couch can’t fix. I’m going to check myself out now.”
Horror flickered over her face. “You can’t!” She reached for the hem of my untucked shirt.
I shrank back. At least, I meant to shrink back. In actuality, something different happened. Her fingertips brushed the skin of my lower belly and every cell in my body reacted.
Shock flashed over her face when I kept her hand from drifting higher to the wound, her pupils narrowing to tiny points, then blowing wide. “But you… I mean—no way. You shouldn’t be standing, let alone leaving.”
My brain caught up with my body as soon as it happened, but by then it was too late. I’d wanted to feel her touch, skin to skin. Wanted to feel her heat, to have her scent on me, permeating into me.
Dumb move. Another one.
I pushed her hand out from under my shirt and stumbled backward. Running into her was pretty much letting her in on a big secret. A big shifter secret.
“I’m ah… not as hurt as you thought. Lots of blood for a little wound. I’m feeling better, but I’ll rest up. I promise.” I backed up. My wolf howled to stay near her. It didn’t understand why I was walking away. “I’m gonna head to my family’s ranch. You know, heal.”
I had her stunned surprise on my side. It took her seconds to process the unbelievable. At least unbelievable for humans.
“I’ll take good care of myself. As long as you promise me you won’t go out with Abe. He’s not the man for you.”
“Wait!” she called, but I’d already turned and started jogging as swiftly as I could down the hallway. As soon as I turned the corner, I broke into a run and got out of there as quickly as possible.
What had I been thinking? Yeah, I wanted the doc, but I couldn’t have her now. There was no way I could even see her again. The secret would be out. I couldn’t expose what I was or the pack. Rob would be even more angry.
All I could hope was that she didn’t realize the extent of healing that had taken place, that I was somehow just a hard headed bull rider who hated hospitals and that she’d let me go without further inquiry. That I wanted just that. Except… that was a lie.
She knew who I was. Knew about Wolf Ranch. I’d mentioned where I was from earlier in the arena. I was far from anonymous. If she was as smart as I figured, there was no way she’d take what she’d seen as the end.
No way. She’d come after me. My wolf howled at that. Perhaps that was the only reason why I wasn’t running back inside, finding the nearest empty hospital room and making sure she knew she was mine and mine alone.
That was the stupidest thing of all. If she showed up at the ranch, I was going to have to explain to Rob— not just Rob but the entire pack—exactly how badly I messed this up because my wolf was saying Dr. Audrey Ames was my mate.
Yeah, total mess.
The black sheep of the family returned.
And he was still the irresponsible playboy everyone thought he was. Plus, his wolf said his mate was human.
Download Galatea in your app store and read the rodeo ride series that is Wolf Ranch in its entirety.
I am so absorbed into these books… bye bye Netflix 😊
Honestly I think this app is great. I use it pretty much everyday and I love it.
App Store Review
I love this App. The books are amazing and I’m always excited to read more!
App Store Review
I really can’t get enough of this app. I spend most of my time reading, even at work. I just need a little taste of a chapter. The authors of the books are geniuses, I am sooo appreciative of their efforts.