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Authors: Gabrielle Evans

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Haven 4: Back Roads

BOOK: Haven 4: Back Roads
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Haven 4

Back Roads

It’s not that he isn’t insanely attracted to Bannon Murphy, but when the man starts talking about mates, Galen balks. He’s been burned by a lying, manipulating shifter before, and he isn’t convinced that he can trust the sexy Irishman.

After months of trying to convince Galen they’re fated to be together, Bannon is at the end of his rope. Not only does Galen refuse to accept that they’re mates, but he stubbornly clings to the idea that he’s nothing more than human. No matter how hard Galen tries to push him away, Bannon isn’t going anywhere without a fight.

When The Council convinces him to take Galen on his next assignment, Bannon decides to use the time to woo his obstinate mate. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that keeping them safe from their enemies will be easier than convincing his mate to stop running from the truth.

Genre:
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves

Length:
40,700 words

BACK ROADS

Haven 4

Gabrielle Evans

EVERLASTING CLASSIC

MANLOVE

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Everlasting Classic ManLove

BACK ROADS

Copyright © 2011 by Gabrielle Evans

E-book ISBN: 1-61926-095-6

First E-book Publication: November 2011

Cover design by Jinger Heaston

All art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

PUBLISHER

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

Letter to Readers

Dear Readers,

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Back Roads
by Gabrielle Evans from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.

Regarding E-book Piracy

This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.

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This is Gabrielle Evans’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Evans’s right to earn a living from her work.

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BACK ROADS

Haven 4

GABRIELLE EVANS

Copyright © 2011

Prologue

“They’re moving away.” It was like a little spark that continued to grow fainter, until Galen knew it would disappear completely.

“Well, bloody hell and damnation.”

Cian Murphy didn’t sound happy about the news, and Galen found himself opening his mouth to apologize. There wasn’t anything he could do about it, though, unless they wanted him to sprint out into the trees and drag the shifter back by the scruff of his neck.

A bony elbow caught him in the ribs, causing him to grunt and rub at his side as he cast Kendall a disgruntled look. What the hell was that all about? He hadn’t said a word.

“This isn’t your fault,” Kendall stated firmly with a glare of his own.

“Well, of course it’s not.”

Galen barely resisted the urge to close his eyes and groan when Bannon Murphy crossed his arms over his chiseled chest and arched one dark eyebrow at him. The man could make his cock stand erect with just a look. When he spoke in that deep, deliciously sexy voice of his, it was enough to send anyone into heat.

“What would give ya a fool idea like that?” Bannon was giving him that look that meant they’d be talking about this later. It seemed like all they’d done for months on end was talk until Galen barely recognized his own voice.

“Which way are they movin’?” Bannon asked when Galen refused to answer the first question.

This part he could do. Closing his eyes, Galen turned one way, then the other, pulling in the energy from the kidnapper and the pups.

Keeping his eyes closed, he felt the morning sun warming his face as he lifted his arm and pointed toward the east. “They’re moving fast, too. I can barely feel them anymore.” It was merely a flicker at this point, and soon it would be gone completely if they didn’t do something quickly.

A large, warm body pressed up against his back, and Bannon’s unique scent permeated the air around him. Those long fingers curled around his shoulders and began massaging gently. “What else are ya feelin’?”

“Shifter.” That wasn’t completely true. “No, he’s only part shifter.” It bothered him that he couldn’t figure out what this guy was other than shifter. It was as if he could feel something just on the fringes, but he couldn’t lock onto it.

“That’s good, darlin’,” Bannon whispered in his ear, pulling a full-body shiver from Galen. His hands roamed, caressing up and down Galen’s arms and completely driving him out of his mind. God, the man had good hands.

“They’re so sweet together I think I’m going into a diabetic coma.”

Galen frowned at Jory’s words, but kept his eyes closed. No one knew how he felt about Bannon, though. He’d gone out of his way to make sure of it.

“We’ll drag the details out of him later,” Kendall whispered loud enough for Galen to hear. They did know he was standing right there, didn’t they?

“What’s going on?”

Oh, poor Aslan.
Galen loved the guy to death, but he honestly just seemed to exist inside his own world. Galen had a feeling that Aslan understood a lot more than he let on, but it was just easier to let everyone think that he was a clueless twit. Galen could definitely see the appeal. If people thought he didn’t comprehend what was going on, no one would ever ask anything from him.

While he was thinking through this, a large burst of energy hit him square between the eyes. “There’s someone else,” he announced.

“Coming from that way.” He swung his arm around to point toward the northeast.

“What is it, Galen? What’s out there?” Bannon spoke quietly, still soothing Galen with his touch and his voice.

His heart pounded inside his chest, and his palms began to sweat.

Whatever was out there was massive and moving faster than anything he’d ever seen, and it was going right for the pups.

As he concentrated harder, the massive ball of energy began to shift, and he suddenly realized it wasn’t just one, but several different pulses. Pushing past the initial shock of such a huge blast, he began sorting out the different readings he was getting.

When he finally tapped in and figured out that it was a group of werewolves, he started laughing so hard that he could barely breathe.

Everyone was probably staring at him like he was insane, but knowing that Raina and her brothers were about to tear apart the man who’d kidnapped hers and Teegan’s babies was about the best example of cosmic justice he could imagine.

* * * *

“Hey.”

Bannon thought his heart would pound out of his chest at the shy smile Galen offered him as he stepped aside to allow Bannon entrance to his bedroom.

Slipping inside, he returned the man’s smile, but with a bit more confidence. They’d been dancing around each other for far too long, and it was time to get some things out in the open. Bannon could admit that he was little nervous about what Galen’s reaction might be to the biggest piece of news, but he couldn’t hold it inside any longer.

“Teegan and the pups are safe now, right?” Galen twisted his hands together as he eased down on the side of the mattress and looked up at Bannon with big, rounded eyes.

He was so adorable Bannon felt overjoyed that he could give the guy some good news for a change. “Everyone is safe and accounted for, darlin’.”

Galen’s head tilted to the side, and his soft brown curls fell over one eye. “Why do you call me that?”

“Do ya not like it?”

“Oh, I like it,” Galen admitted, his cheeks and ears tinting the cutest shade of pink. “It just confuses me. You know how I feel about you. Yet, you haven’t made a single move on me. Why, Bannon?” Choking back his sigh, Bannon moved farther into the room and knelt on the floor in front of Galen, resting his hands on the smaller man’s knees. This part of the conversation had come much sooner than he’d anticipated. While he’d been trying to find a way to bring it up for weeks, he wasn’t sure what to say that wouldn’t send Galen running for the hills.

There was a hurt and sadness in Galen’s eyes that tugged at his heartstrings. Something there that told him his little man had been hurt badly by someone in the past. He knew all about Galen’s imprisonment and the life he’d led as a slave. There was more to the story, though—something that went back even before then. Until he knew the details, he’d have to tread lightly.

“There’s somethin’ I’m needin’ to tell ya, Galen. I think maybe ya can feel it, too, but ya haven’t said a word. So, now I’m not sure what to be thinkin’.”

Galen’s small, trembling hands covered his own, and he offered a wobbly smile. “You’re making me nervous. Just tell me whatever it is you want to say.”

“You’re my mate,” Bannon blurted. Okay, so there wasn’t an easy way to tell someone that, especially if he didn’t understand the customs and lifestyle of shifters.

Immediately, Galen began shaking his head, and his eyes narrowed into slits. “No, I’m not. You know I can’t be. Why would you say something like that to me?”

“Ah, but ya are, darlin’.” Bannon had known it instantly. Galen’s past was a mystery to him, but there was no doubt that the man was his mate and therefore had some diluted shifter blood in his family tree.

Galen came up off the bed so quickly, Bannon fell back on his ass with a grunt. His mate looked hopping mad and ready to spit fire.

“I’m not stupid, Bannon. I know the rules. Shifters can only mate other shifters. I won’t even pretend to understand it, but I heard it from your own mouth, and it’s been verified by other shifters here in the coven. I would have given you anything you wanted. I would have happily shared my life with you. Why would you lie to me about something like this?”

Oh, yes, there was definitely a story there. Judging by the mottled red of Galen’s face, and the way his eyes sparked with anger, Bannon doubted he’d be hearing it any time soon, though.

“Now, calm yourself. Why would I be lyin’ to ya about somethin’ so important? Just talk to me, Galen. Ask me anything you’re wantin’ to know. I have no secrets from ya.”

“I don’t have any questions,” Galen answered flatly. “I just can’t believe you’d try to trick me like that. I thought I meant more to you.” He dropped his head, and his shoulders sagged. “Please, just leave.” Never had Bannon expected such a reaction. It left him grappling for something to hang on to while his entire world spun out from under him. Where was all the vehemence coming from? Galen was normally so shy and submissive. This wasn’t like the man Bannon had come to know and care for.

BOOK: Haven 4: Back Roads
9.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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