Mine to Claim by JS Bright and Holly Holston

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This is an excerpt from one of the stories in the Fated Mates Box set! Can't wait for more? iBooks and Google Books preorders begin on Dec 6th!


I trailed Black for a couple of blocks, across busted pavement where weeds fought with trash, growing so tall in places a small child could end up lost. He headed towards Fremont Street Experience, which since the renovation was always crowded. Perfect, I could take him on the old downtown strip turned quasi-amusement park for tourists and out-of-towners.

My coyote senses were on high alert. The scent of beer, wine, and weed mixed with unwashed bodies, heavy perfume, and overcooked hot dogs. Plus Black's scent, a mixture of sweat, Axe body wash, and the beautiful scent of Marlboro Red tickled my senses when the wind hit just right. Pretty boy was a smoker.

I chomped down on the gum, wishing I could frisk Black for a Marlboro to bum. I picked up my pace, as the pumping bass from the Fremont Street Experience hit me. Years ago, the city had turned Fremont into an amusement park which may seem nice, but locals loathed it. Tourists flocked to the experience with the flashing lights, zip lines, loud music, and street fair atmosphere. Today, there were plenty of people on hand, and I had hoped I could blend in while I followed Black.

We were twenty yards in, maybe more, when things started to go wrong. Perhaps I was sloppy, or Black had some super-secret Spidey senses, but he stopped walking and turned. His sunglasses were still in place, but I could tell the moment he laid eyes on me. His shoulders stiffened as his knees bent a little as if he was preparing to run. Above someone screamed as they were released from the zipline. I played the tourist part and glanced up as I pulled out my handy-dandy Welcome to Las Vegas guidebook from my back pocket. I'd picked the prop up yesterday. Hopefully, the ruse would work, and he'd think I was a tourist—an extraordinarily dumb and lost tourist since I'd followed him from his apartment where gang bangers and drug dealers hung out.

Black started walking again and was about ten feet ahead. I breathed out a sigh of relief and was close to celebrating with a fist pump when Black took off running. I'd been made.

"Freaking shizzle," I said under my breath. Running it was. I had on my fairly new running shoes—lucky for me—and I wasn't losing him.

He made a quick right down South 13th Street, and I followed, gaining ground as my shifter speed kicked in. Being a shifter was like an amusement ride on crack. Not that I'd ever smoked crack, after all, Whitney was right, 'crack is whack.' However, I had the added benefit of heightened senses which made everything more vibrant. The lights of Vegas were nice with human vision but using my coyote eyes made the Strip pop like fireworks on the 4th of July.

I had to focus on Black and block out everything else as I tracked him like the dog he was. I chuckled thinking of him as a dog. He didn't have a scruffy look about him, but the Axe body spray was covering something, I just wasn't sure what.

With my vision narrowed, blocking out extraneous sights, and my hearing focused on Black, keying into his sounds, I didn't worry when he dashed to the left down a dark alley. I took the main street to the left to cut him off and didn't lose him even though he appeared to be running full bore, using all of his strength and speed to get away.

Idiot human, you can't outrun a coyote shifter.    

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