Authors: Noah Harris
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and events are all invented for the reader’s desire. Any similarities to real people, places, events, living or dead are all unintentional.
This book contains sexually explicit content that is intended for a MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY.
Table of Content
Dylan’s mission: assist his Navy SEAL team as they infiltrate enemy territory and gather Intel on the new shifter pack called the Shadow Pack through distant observation.
Blake’s mission: infiltrate and live within the Shadow Pack and gather any useful information and data from the inside as one of them.
One is a SEAL, and the other is a spy. Their missions were never supposed to cross, yet one fateful accident during a full moon intertwines their fates. Dylan finds himself in the middle of the Shadow Pack and under the charade that he’s Blake’s mate. They must learn to live and work together, or risk exposing both of their covers, and Dylan’s team. Blake is charming, flirty, cocky, and irritating; yet Dylan finds himself strangely drawn to the man. Blake’s strength of will and patience are put to the test, but Blake is patient, and he’s not willing to give up so easily.
Notes from Noah: I would love to dedicate this book to Amber Krogh for always being there for me and Jo Bird, without you this book wouldn’t be possible. God bless.
There were many things Dylan was prepared for.
He was prepared for the mission to be a success, in which, a temporary base of operations would be established in Scotland. Surveillance would be conducted, and intelligence gathered. Then they would pack up and leave as if they were never there. He was prepared for a few minor ifs, as he was trained to be. If the radios malfunctioned and they couldn't get in touch with their superiors. If their equipment malfunctioned or if they lost provisions. If they had trouble finding a suitable place to set up base camp. If information was harder to gather than originally thought. He was even prepared for worst case scenarios, such as being discovered, being attacked, or being forced to evacuate early.
They were prepared to use force if necessary. They were trained to do so. But such measures were last case scenarios. Their mission was one, if all went according to plan, without confrontation.
Hell, he was even prepared for having freezing feet at night and for stubbing his toe.
What he was not prepared for, however, was being welcomed into enemy territory with open, if not wary, arms.
It started with the full moon.
Missions couldn't always be planned around the moon's cycle, but measures could be taken to make sure the shape shifting SEALS could still serve and participate, rather than rotating men around the platoons depending on the time of the mission. This mission, in particular, fell squarely during the full moon.
Dylan's platoon had six shifters, including himself and one of the two officers. The night before the full moon, they all shifted to relieve the stress and itch that the moon brought on, but unlike during the full moon, they were still in complete control and could have resisted the call if they had wanted. They stuck close to camp, roaming restlessly in their animals forms.
As an omega, Dylan wandered further from the rest and was careful to stay downwind. Two of his fellow omegas stuck near him. Donald was a fellow wolf and fairly jumpy around the full moon. Reggie was a werebear, although he was somewhat small for his kind. The alphas could, and would, resist any temptation brought on by their monthly heat. They were conditioned to ignore the primal urge of rutting, just as the omegas were conditioned to ignore the primal urges caused by their heat. Still, Dylan saw no reason to tempt fate and tended to avoid the alphas anyway.
Jeremiah, the officer in charge and a rather enormous and vocal alpha werebear, was particularly restless that night. His mate was newly pregnant with their child, and it was his first full moon away after receiving the news. Though they all knew his roars could wake up the whole continent if he wanted to, Jeremiah had enough sense not to make too much noise even though he did stomp around, grunting and clawing trees. He didn't stay still, and so the omegas continually moved to remain downwind of him.
The next night, it was the chief's job to administer the appropriate amount of sedatives. The sedatives weren't enough to knock them out completely; that could be dangerous in case of emergency. It was better to have them wild and shifted but alert and ready to run than to be unconscious and susceptible to attack. With the regulation amount, the sedatives would simply make them groggy and put them in a unenergetic and lazy state. Combined with the chains, it would keep them all under control, safe and stationary for the duration of the full moon.
Or, at least, it should have.
Dylan wasn't sure if the chief had administered the wrong amounts, or if the fault lied with those who measured and packaged the sedatives before sending them to be added to the provisions for the mission. Either way, something went wrong, and the sedatives weren't enough. Especially for Jeremiah.
It all went smoothly at first. It was all routine. After the evening meal, they hammered in the spikes that would ground their chains. Each man found his spot far enough from the others, but still within a good range of the camp where the non-shifters could keep an eye on them. Right before nightfall, each man went to his station and stripped before chaining wrist and ankle. Each shackle was sized to everyone's individual shifted form. Then the chief would administer the sedatives, which would kick in shortly before the transformation.
At least, that's how it should have gone.
Dylan knew something was wrong when he felt more of his transformation than he usually did, and when he didn't feel as groggy afterward. He remembered feeling restless and pacing the limits of his bonds. Eventually, he laid down and idly gnawed at the chains. As far as memory served, everything was fine until the height of the full moon.
Dylan had heard the roars from Jeremiah, and lifted his head, ears perked. He remembered the jingle of chains, the grunts of frustrated effort, and the smell of anger. Dylan remembered the roar of triumph that brought him to his feet. The fog of the sedative wasn't strong enough, and in some recess of his mind, he knew that was wrong, but he didn't care. The beast was in control, and he was aware of his incarceration and the need to run, to hunt. The beast was aware of the other beasts, and of the triumphant energy radiating from the dark forest around him.
He threw back his head and howled. Several other howls and roars sounded in response.
He remembered the sounds of the rampaging werebear, clumsy but determined. He remembered the smell in the air: excitement, sweat, adrenaline. Then the giant brown bear came stumbling into sight. He ran past Dylan, barely sparing the wolf more than a cursory glance. Dylan stood at the edges of his bonds, with his back hunched, tail erect, ears back, and lips in a snarl. Wary. Cautious.
The werebear was still wearing his shackles, but the spike had been ripped from the ground, and he dragged the spike and chains along behind him almost absentmindedly.
They caught on the top of Dylan's spike, and the werebear was sharply tugged to a stop. He growled in irritation, dug his large claws into the ground, and thrust himself forward. Dylan's spike was torn from the ground, and the werebear was freed. He charged onward without a backward glance, leaving Dylan still chained, but now free.
Without much hesitation, Dylan ran. The moon called, and the beast answered. He was in a new wilderness, with new smells, new sounds, new things to explore, and the beast demanded to explore it all.
The rest of the night was a blur. Dylan remembered the way his muscles didn't feel quite right, and the way his body didn't always react the way it should have. He remembered the fuzziness that clouded his mind and the way his senses were blurred, but the beast pushed through the fog to embrace the night.
The next morning, Dylan woke to find himself naked, freezing, and surrounded by five curious onlookers.
They all wore the same uniform: black pants, black boots, black jacket thick with padding and a fur lined hood. Details were embroidered in silver, and an emblem was displayed in bright red over their left breast. They all wore masks that were pulled up from around their necks to cover mouth and nose.
Dylan came to slowly, as the last of the fog faded. The five pairs of eyes waited patiently as he woke, saying nothing. When he finally fully realized their presence, he jolted upright and immediately took up a crouching defensive position. His eyes darted around, taking in his surroundings. He had no weapons, no clothes, and no allies. Assessing the strangers, he picked out the one who had the air of a leader and kept eye contact, waiting for him to say something.
He didn't have to wait long.
"Who are you?" He asked, his breath visible in the cold air, even through his face scarf.
"Dylan," He had replied with little hesitation, forcing himself to relax a fraction. It was better to appear less threatening and truthful. His mind was churning with his options, trying to decide what lies were possible and, more importantly, which of those were believable. He narrowed them down further into which lies would get him out of this situation safely, without jeopardizing the mission and his comrades.
"Did you have an ... eventful full moon?" Though Dylan couldn't see the man's mouth, he saw the way his cheeks rose and heard the smile in his voice.
He saw the others grin as well, and he forced himself to relax further, standing up straighter. They seemed wary, but not hostile. If anything, they saw him as more of an amusing happenstance during their morning rounds. "It was ... interesting. To say the least."
"I see." The man nodded and looked him up and down. His smile faded, and a note of seriousness entered his voice. "Why're you here, Dylan?"
That was the question he was waiting for, and it was evident what the question was actually about. Not why Dylan was here in this country or why he was here in the woods. It was why he was here, so close to their base of operations. The man, obviously a fellow shifter, was mildly suspicious. Dylan had been preparing for it the moment he had come to his senses and realized what had happened. There were still several possibilities floating around in his head, and he wasn't sure what he was going to say until he opened his mouth.
"I'm here to find you," Dylan said slowly, slightly disbelieving of his own words, but hoping they sounded sincere. It wasn't even a lie. They just hadn't intended to find the enemy this way. "Well, not you specifically, but you, your group, your ... pack."
Dylan had nothing on him to give away who he was and who he worked for. He just hoped they hadn't found any of the others. Dylan had no idea what had happened to them. Other than his escape, he had no memory, foggy or otherwise, of his team. Dylan tried subtly to sniff the air, but he didn't smell any of their scents on the wind or on the five shifters before him.
He stood silent, fighting both the urge to twitch or the urge to fall back into a defensive position. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized that, had these been human men, he would seem odd by not feeling the urge to cover himself. As it stood, these were not human men. These were shifters, and they don’t have the embarrassed modesty of people. They couldn't. Not when they had to strip to shift comfortably and woke up naked again. Shame in one's body was not something they felt.
So he stood still, trying not to fidget, as he regarded the leader. The leader looked him up and down again before his eyes settled on Dylan's. Out of the corner of his vision, he could see the others looking him up and down, sniffing the air, before turning to glance at their leader. He was silent for a long moment, making Dylan uncomfortable. Had he somehow figured out Dylan's lie?
"I see." He said finally, in a tone that gave away none of his thoughts. "You had better come with us." He nodded to his group, and they silently moved to surround Dylan.
Dylan watched them. They all had a gun strapped to their backs and knives strapped to their belts, but none of their weapons were drawn. His team would have had their weapons drawn the moment they found an intruder, and they would have been trained on said intruder until it was determined he wasn't a threat. Despite the open threat, these men were apparently prepared and obviously confident in their natural abilities and reflexes of being a shifter.
Dylan fell into step with the shifters as they led him away. The leader spoke into a walkie-talkie on his shoulder, but he was talking in a language Dylan didn't understand. His lips twitched into a subtle frown. Dylan still wasn't sure if he was a prisoner or a guest.
It took them roughly twenty minutes of walking before they reached the compound, and for the second time that day, Dylan found himself unprepared.
If his superiors knew what the enemy base of operations looked like, they hadn’t told anyone at Dylan’s level, so he had had nothing but his assumptions to go on. He knew that they were a suspicious organization of shifters that had been drawing members from all over and were known simply as the Shadow Pack. They were organized outside of the US borders but close enough that the government was worried. Those who knew of the paranormal, at least, were worried. Dylan’s team, being part of the relatively secret Navy SEAL team which consisted of supernatural beings and dealt with paranormal activities, was charged with a mission of surveillance.
They had a source on the inside, but information from that source had been few and far between. Dylan’s team was just supposed to survey the surrounding land and activities without ever getting close to the compound. He never anticipated going inside the compound, for that was the job of the moles.
He had expected the base of operations to be like any cliché terrorist hideout: a dingy building, possibly of concrete, heavily reinforced and surrounded by high fences and guards. He anticipated it being an obvious structure to house nefarious activities. He expected it to be a mar on the otherwise beautiful forest landscape. He expected a training area, a shooting range, armored vehicles, and men in uniforms with scars, frowns, and hard eyes.
The base of operations for the Shadow Pack didn’t meet any of his expectations.