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Authors: Marisa Chenery

IceSurrender

BOOK: IceSurrender
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Ice Surrender

Marisa
Chenery

 

Book eight in the Werewolf Sentinels series.

 

Ryder finds the process of coming into his full shaman
powers harder than he expected. And it doesn’t help that he’s being
relentlessly pursued by a female werewolf who doesn’t step down from a
challenge. Unable to bed her for reasons of his own, he struggles to keep his
yearning hidden from everyone—especially her.

Wren has set her sights on Ryder, and that is that. He may
have turned her down time and time again, but she knows he’s the one meant for
her. If it takes a little persuasion on her part, all the better. And sexier.
She won’t give up until she gets the ultimate prize—the sentinels’ shaman as
her mate.

 

A
Romantica®
paranormal erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave

 

Ice Surrender
Marisa Chenery

 

Chapter One

 

Ryder slumped in the patio chair and leaned his head against
the back of it. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket. It was now
the beginning of September in Juneau, Alaska, and colder weather had slowly
crept in.

He closed his eyes and sighed. He’d hoped to have gained his
full powers by the change in the seasons. So far nothing he’d done made that
happen. It frustrated the shit out of him. The wolf brothers needed him to have
all his shaman abilities to aid in their fight against the dark wolves. And it
didn’t help that for the last few weeks his shaman ancestor had sent him vision
after vision, almost demanding he claim his powers.

The sliding glass doors opened behind him. “There you are. I
was looking for you.”

Ryder barely held back another pained sigh. The voice
belonged to Wren, the only unmated female werewolf of the house and the one who
had set her sights on him the instant they’d met. So far he’d been successful
in keeping his distance, but his luck was soon going to run out. Not because
Wren was persistent. No, it was because his will was weakening. She had no idea
how very attracted he was to her. If she ever found out he would be toast.

He opened his eyes, sat up straighter and watched Wren sit
in the chair next to his. “As you can see I wasn’t that hard to find,” he told
her.

“No, but this is the second place I looked. I went to your
bedroom first.”

Of course that was where Wren would have gone before coming
out here. She was forever trying to get him to allow her to share his room with
her. And he was pretty sure she didn’t want the sleeping arrangements to be in
separate beds. Right now she slept on the couch in the living room. Durlach,
the wolf brother who lived with his mate Meadow next door, had offered Wren one
of his spare bedrooms, but she’d refused.

“Was there something you wanted?” Ryder asked, hoping to get
rid of Wren as fast as possible. The longer he stayed around her, the harder it
was for him not to stare at her beautiful face and think about all the things
he wanted to do to her sexy body.

Wren shifted her chair closer. “Yeah. You.”

Ryder bit back a groan. When Wren talked like that, it played
havoc with the act of indifference he put on around her. Unlike the wolf
brothers, he wasn’t a werewolf, so he had no idea if Wren was his mate.
Edensaw, the alpha of the sentinels, had offered to turn Ryder, but that wasn’t
to be his fate. He was their shaman, and like their first one, he’d remain what
he was.

He shook his head. “Are you ever going to give up?”

Wren smiled. “No. I go after what I want, and I definitely
want you.”

“We’ve discussed this before. You’re a werewolf, I’m a
mortal. I can’t take one whiff of your scent and know you’re my mate. For all
you know there’s a male werewolf out there just waiting to find you to set off
his mating urge.”

She waved what he said away with a flick of her hand. “I
know there isn’t one. Psychic, remember? I’ve never
seen
me with a
werewolf for a mate. Not even an ordinary mortal.” Wren leaned toward him. “The
only mortal I
see
with me is the one I’m looking at right now.”

Ryder’s cock twitched in his jeans. He shifted his hands
inside his jacket pockets to cover his crotch. If Wren happened to notice the
bulge in his pants had suddenly gotten bigger she’d be all over him.

“So you actually saw us together, as mates?” he asked.

“Well, to be honest, the vision I had wasn’t all that clear.
I didn’t see your face, but I know it was you I was with. And it was hot.”

She was going to kill him. Already his mind was filled with
his imaginings of what Wren would look like naked as he made love to her in all
the ways he’d thought of over the last few months since she’d moved in. If he
did them all, they wouldn’t leave his room for at least three days.

“I’m not going to comment on that one,” he said, hoping Wren
didn’t hear the slight strain in his voice that he did. “And if that’s
everything, I want to be left alone.”

She appeared to study him closely. “You’re getting stressed
out because you can’t bring on your full shaman powers, aren’t you?”

“You could say that.”

“You know what’s a good stress reliever? Sex. And lots of
it. I can help you out with that.”

Ryder’s cock gave another jerk. Yup, she was going to kill
him. He wanted nothing more than to take her up on her offer, but he couldn’t.
Out of all the visions his ancestor had shown him about gaining his full
powers, one thing was very clear. Ryder had to remain celibate until that
happened. Why? He didn’t have a clue, and his ancestor was not forthcoming with
that information. He just knew if he went against that dictate he’d never gain
them. Too much hinged on what he would become to take the risk. It could mean
getting laid or losing an advantage over the dark wolves.

He shook his head. “Thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass.”
And damn, didn’t that hurt to say it? If not for the whole celibacy thing,
Ryder would have Wren stripped naked and already have his cock buried deep
inside her.

As usual, his rejection didn’t seem to faze Wren at all.
“There’s always another time. I can be very patient when I need to be. I’m not
going to give up on you.”

“I wish you would.”

“No, you don’t. You need me, want me. You haven’t admitted
that to yourself yet. That day will come though. Then we’ll make up for lost
time. I can’t wait.”

“And what if it takes years to happen? Will you remain so
patient?”

Wren reached across and tucked some of his shoulder-length
hair behind one of his ears. Something she liked to do on a regular basis, and
something Ryder, for some reason, always allowed.

“It won’t be that long,” Wren said as she stared into his
eyes, her green ones seeming to look right into his soul. She leaned even
closer, their faces a mere inch apart. “I have the feeling I’ll get what I want
very soon.”

Ryder’s cock grew harder. It would be so easy to close the
little space between them and take Wren’s lips in a heated kiss. He’d ached to
taste them, to feel them under his. At twenty-five, he thought about having sex
all the time, as a male did at his age. It was so damn unfair he couldn’t do
anything about it. And after he came into his full powers, he wasn’t sure what
he’d become.

That thought had Ryder jerking away from Wren. It was something
he tried not to think about, and deep down inside he had a feeling his
unwillingness to accept the changes that would happen was what held him back
from being able to become what he was born to be.

The sliding glass doors opened behind Ryder once again. He
looked over his shoulder, thankful for the interruption. Edensaw, Wachei,
Ketah, Kajakti and Capac filed out onto the deck with their mates following
behind them. Cassidy, Edensaw’s mate, held their three-month-old son Wyatt in
her arms. He was bundled up in a warm jacket and wrapped in a knitted blanket
against the cool afternoon breeze.

Most of the group headed down to the lawn, then shifted to
their dire wolf forms. Like every afternoon around this time, the wolf brothers
and their mates held a practice session to train the women to fight in their
other forms. With the dark wolves still a threat, all of them needed to be able
to defend themselves if a situation ever arose that had them fighting one of
the enemy.

Wren sighed, then rose to her feet. She fell into step with
Jaren, Eryn, Riya and Haven. Ryder watched her shift to her dire wolf and
timber wolf mixed form once she reached the grass. Even though she wasn’t mated
to a wolf brother, she’d asked to be bitten by one, to be turned into the same
kind of werewolf as the sentinels. She also happened to be the strongest female
of the pack.

Cassidy came to stand beside Ryder’s chair. “You don’t mind
watching Wyatt, do you?”

“Of course not.”

His alpha’s mate placed the baby in his arms and smiled. “I didn’t
think you would. If it gets colder, you don’t have to stay out here. I just
finished feeding Wyatt so he should be good for a while.”

“All right.”

Cassidy walked down the deck stairs and joined the others on
the lawn. Her body blurred and shimmered as she took on her dire wolf form.
Ryder watched the werewolves cluster together. It looked as if they were
staring at each other, but in actual fact, he knew they were telepathically
communicating with one another. It was something only they could do. Modern-day
werewolves—the descendants of the original six sentinels—hadn’t inherited that
ability.

The baby squirmed in Ryder’s arms. He adjusted Wyatt so he
was propped in the crook of his arm in a sitting position. Wyatt smiled up at
him. Ryder kissed his silky cheek in return. Everyone in the pack showered the
newest generation with love and attention. Wyatt would never have to worry
about being ignored. There was someone always there, ready to give him whatever
he needed.

“You look more and more like your dad,” Ryder told the baby.
Wyatt was a miniature version of Edensaw, right down to the black hair and
brown eyes.

He shifted his gaze to the activity taking place on the
lawn. Of course he focused on Wren before anyone else. She was paired up with
Ketah and seemed able to hold her own against the wolf brother.

Wyatt let out a grunt, which was accompanied by a sound
Ryder had not wanted to hear. He looked down at the baby in time to see his
little face turn red as he finished filling his diaper. Ryder glanced toward
Cassidy and saw she was in the middle of sparring with Edensaw. He sighed.
There was nothing for it. He’d have to change Wyatt.

Ryder went inside the house and headed up the stairs to
Cassidy and Edensaw’s room where there was a changing table and everything he’d
need to clean the baby up. He laid Wyatt on the bed while he unwrapped him from
the blanket and then removed his jacket. A distinct odor wafted from Wyatt once
he kicked his legs.

He picked up the baby, then carried him over to the changing
table. “You’re a cute little thing, but you smell pretty bad right now.
Hopefully I can do this without messing it up.”

Ryder had only changed one other of Wyatt’s diapers, and it
had turned out to be a total disaster. He hadn’t been able to get the clean
diaper on properly. The baby had peed again right after Ryder had finished and
picked him up. Needless to say, both of them had needed a change of clothes
that time.

“All right, buddy. Let’s see if we can get this done without
any mishaps.”

He tugged off the baby’s pants before he opened the diaper
to see what he was faced with. It was a big mess. Ryder breathed through his
mouth as he grabbed some baby wipes, then used them to clean up Wyatt.

That was the easy part, even though it was the smelliest.
Ryder put a clean diaper under Wyatt’s bottom, then pulled the front up between
his legs. He fastened the tabs across Wyatt’s stomach. Wanting to make sure he
did the job right, he picked the baby up and looked at the diaper from every
angle. He shook his head at the sight of Wyatt’s butt crack showing above the
top of the diaper. That was another disaster waiting to happen. He fixed it
just as Carson and his mate Laci walked into the room.

Carson waved his hand in front of his face. “How did you get
stuck on poopy-diaper duty?”

“Everyone else is out back training. I didn’t want to
interrupt and get Cassidy to change Wyatt.”

“Then I guess we arrived just in time. If it had been any
earlier you might have tried to get one of us to do it instead.”

Ryder worked at putting the baby’s pants back on. “Like you
would have changed him,” he said. “You’re the only person out of the pack who
has yet to do it, and seems to conveniently disappear when it needs to be
done.”

Carson smiled. “I know, it’s a skill.”

Laci shook her head. “When we end up having kids, be
prepared to change messy diapers. I won’t let you get away with sticking me
with them all.”

“We’ve only been mated for three months. Let’s not hurry
into having kids.”

Ryder picked up Wyatt. “So what brings you two over here so
early? I thought you weren’t going to show up until dinner when Durlach and
Meadow are to arrive.”

“We were at their place before we came here,” Carson
answered.

“Why didn’t they come with you two?”

“Taylor’s leaving. Apparently for good.”

Taylor had worked for Meadow for the last few years, looking
after her two horses and handling anything that needed to be done on her
property. He even lived in the apartment above the stables. As a cat shifter,
able to take on the form of a cougar, he knew exactly what the sentinels were.
Even though he didn’t have a great fondness for werewolves, Taylor had taken a
liking to the wolf brothers and their mates. It mostly had to do with the fact
Meadow had become Durlach’s mate. She thought of the cat shifter like a
brother.

“I guess Meadow isn’t taking it well?” Ryder asked.

Laci shook her head. “No, not really. We left because Meadow
was trying to get Taylor to explain why he had to leave with no warning. We
figured he might open up if we weren’t around to hear.”

“I doubt Taylor will explain anything,” Carson added. “And I
don’t think Meadow can say anything to change his mind. He already has all of
his belongings packed and loaded into his pickup truck.”

From knowing Taylor, Ryder had to agree with Carson’s assumption.
If Taylor had decided he had to go, then he would go, regardless of what Meadow
said to try to convince him to stay.

“I take it Taylor isn’t going to stop by and say goodbye,”
Ryder said.

“I don’t think so. He looked more than anxious to be on his way.”

“Let’s go downstairs. I’m going to sit with Wyatt in the
living room until the others are done. You two can join them if you want.”

BOOK: IceSurrender
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