Cover of Wolfbound


Eileen had always been a runner. She loved the feel of pavement under her shoes, the freedom of going for a jog. Then the car accident took everything from her: her freedom, her future, even her boyfriend. Alone and in pain, she can no longer run from the strange thoughts and bizarre dreams that have always plagued her. Is she destined to go mad?

Zachariah was everything she thought she wanted: a gorgeous green-eyed hunk who was, against all odds, as interested in her as she was in him. He’s almost too perfect… until he confesses to being a werewolf. Could werewolves really exist? And what does he mean when he calls her his “mate”? Should she run towards him -- or away?

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Keeping Time


"How about 4B?"

"Nah. Did you see his mustache? Talk about gross!"

"I happen to like mustaches."

"Not like his. It was like it was eating his face!"

I rolled my eyes at the girls behind me. Had I ever been that young, carefree, and shallow? Probably. Once upon a time I had been as cruel and self-absorbed as they were. I should probably cut them some slack, but six hours into a ten-hour flight I was growing a bit cruel myself.

This was supposed to be my clean break, my fresh start. I was moving away from home for the first time; I had lived on my own before the accident had made that impossible, but I was never that far from Mom and Dad. I wasn't ready to try and find a job yet, even if my sociology degree would lend itself to finding work easily. I'd done a few stints in retail and fastfood during undergrad, but I couldn't imagine standing that long now. A master's degree was a great stall tactic, especially one in a whole new country, someplace I could stretch my wings and grow. Someplace I could maybe learn how to be happy again.

The loss of Ray hit me like a punch to the gut yet again. It had been 8 months since he left, but I still couldn't think about being happy and not remember his smile. He'd been my best friend, my running partner, my life coach, and then suddenly he… wasn't. Just like I had been a smoothie-drinking high-powered distance runner and then suddenly I wasn't.

"7C. Final decision."

"Are you going to talk to him?"

"No way! He'd probably shoot me down."

Lord, I wished someone would shoot them. No, no I didn't. Nobody deserved to be shot. Four hours until I could get off this damn plane and get someplace reasonable and have a shower and maybe a nap. My knees were killing me. I hated the way my doughy middle pressed against the seatbelt. I hated the way I had to ration out my meager steps to the restroom. I wanted to go on a run, a real run — but I'd wanted that for a year now, and nothing had changed for wanting it.

The guy next to me had to be some kind of Eskimo or something - he had his air on full blast, and even sitting next to him, I was cold. I pulled my sweatshirt over my lap, trying to keep a little warmth in me. I'd always hated cold air on my skin; it just feels so utterly unnatural to have a constant stream of air on top of me. I preferred to set the AC just cool enough that I need a blanket, so I just have the feeling of being tucked into a safe bed rather than exposed to the elements.

In desperation, I pulled out my trusty black-and-silver headphones. I'd bought the iPod back when I still believed I'd run again; I'd tried music during meditation, but otherwise left it mostly unused since the accident. At least it would block out some of the rustling around and coughing that grated on my every nerve. As the familiar music started up, I felt myself relaxing subconsciously. This was good. I knew what this was; the patterns were simple and repetitive, and my mind knew every note that would be piped into my ears. Familiarity.

By the time I reached the end of the album, I was asleep. In my dreams, the drumbeat became the pulse of the world, beating like a heart under my paws. The world was green, humid, and wild, unspoiled by the likes of the girls three rows back. The air sang with insects. Water pooled on the top of ferns, and the earth was damp under me as I ran. I belonged here, smelling of rich loam and the sharp tang of green things. I lived for the rush of air against my fur, the slight give beneath me as I sprang over a log.

I was home.

Feet pounded pavement to the rhythm of an upbeat pop song; I navigated the streets of Manchester without seeing, without feeling, and without much speed. I could find my way back to the train station on rote instinct; the music was the only thing guiding me, the stabbing in my knees the only thing linking the world inside my head to the one outside of it. Even music couldn't take away the pain, my constant, unpleasant companion.

The meal had gone well: there was a great little burrito place halfway between the train station and the mall that did great carnitas. The shopping was a nightmare. I hated shopping, especially when I had no idea what size I was in the UK system. Finally, after about half an hour, I managed to get up the courage to ask for help - and the saleslady looked at me like I was had growled at her rather than spoken. I hobbled from store to store, hiding from salespeople, embarrassed as hell but determined not to cry. I'd gained some weight since the accident - okay, more than some. When you go from running every day to barely being able to walk, that happens. I wasn't huge, per se, but... okay, maybe I was huge. I was one size too big for the stores I was in, which probably meant overpriced "Plus Size" stores. On principle, I refused to shop there.

As dusk fell, I'd grabbed some vitamins and chocolate from a drugstore and stumbled my way back to the train station. I'd way overdone it in my determination to find something, anything, I could wear. Now every step shot pain up from my knee to my hip. I guessed I wouldn't be attending class the next day - I had a valid excuse to stay in bed, which was at least something.

By the time I reached the train station I was in bad shape. The music wasn't helping nearly as much thanks to the pain; the Madness was rising again, despite my perfectly human afternoon. If I skipped dinner and went to bed early, maybe I'd have The Dream. If I got the urges out overnight, I'd wake up exhausted but somehow relieved in the morning, much more able to control myself.

In this state, I didn't usually bother about other people. After all, it was hard enough to drag myself home - other people would see the headphones, assume I was some punk kid, and get out of my way. I knew there were other people around me, but the less I concentrated on them, the less I would start to panic, so I basically ignored them… until I ran straight into soft, warm flesh.

"Scuze me", I mumbled, moving to go around the man I'd bumped into with a wince. I tried hard not to limp, hating broadcasting my weakness, but I couldn't stop some of the flinching when I stepped oddly. Instead of letting me pass, however, the man stepped in front of me, his lips moving. I couldn't read lips; I had no idea what he was saying or why he was talking to me. He wasn't dressed like a ticket inspector, and besides, I'd already passed the checkpoint where they had waved me through without looking at my tickets. I glanced up, startled by his bright green eyes. My stomach lurched in a way it hadn't since Ray. Really, uterus? Now?

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