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First Glimpse - ENTRAPPED by TL Reeve and Michele Ryan

Erotic Romance Michele Ryan Michele Ryan and TL Reeve Paranormal Romance Shifters TL Reeve Wolves


Leaving the Past Behind, Book Two

Copyright © 2019 by TL Reeve & Michele Ryan


The Raferty men are falling in love at an alarmingly rapid pace, and Royce is no exception to that. However, a three-year mission has threatened everything between he and his mate, Charisma Winters. 

When Holly, Katie, and Brooklyn disappear after Hayden's abduction, Royce’s new assignment will either fix the tattered edges of his mating or destroy everything.

Their job takes them to Everett, Massachusetts...

Charisma doesn't have to play the grieving daughter-in-law. She's been doing so since her mate decided she wasn't good enough. But, she also has secrets of her own, and she'd do anything to keep anyone from finding out.

Being away from Window Rock puts things back into perspective, and now she's scared...

Royce and Charisma are thrust into a volatile situation of espionage, lust and greed. Can they find Holly and close the last cell of the Paranormal Bounty Hunters—or will the last remaining Geithner slip through their fingers again?



Prologue Pt. 1

June 2032

Apache County Sheriff’s office, three weeks ago...

Royce Raferty walked into the Sheriff’s department determined to end the charade he’d been tasked with for the last three years. He couldn’t continue hurting his sweet little mate. Charisma deserved better than that.

Their relationship hadn’t been the most stable. Royce and Maxwell Steele—an FBI agent who willfully took the position of protector to watch over a small, severely abused, and neglected coyote—had tried to keep a professional front when it came to the senator’s curvy daughter. But, every time Royce had been around her, he couldn’t control himself.

It had also led Charisma to believe he didn’t want her.

Not the case. He did. Wholly. Unconditionally. She needed to know the truth. He planned on telling her later, when he returned from his meeting with Kalkin.

Three years ago, Kalkin came to him after the first night of a full moon—the same night Royce claimed his Oasis. For the last nine years he’d been doing his own investigation of Holly Geithner, aka Holly Raferty. The story Hayden and Holly gave never jived with the Alpha, it appeared, and he wanted to dig deeper. Why Royce had to embed himself in the unlikely trio of Katie, Brooklyn, and Holly hadn’t made sense at the time, though now it did.

At least, partly.

Now, however, Charisma was retreating from him.

He missed her soft sighs. Her laughter. He missed the way her plush body would soften the minute he sank balls deep inside her. He missed everything, but most of all, he missed being able to look her in the eye when he made love to her.

His wolf snarled and snapped at him at all hours of the day and night, because he couldn’t fix it without telling her the truth. A truth he promised never to reveal until the mission was complete. He punished them both for his deceit and, worst of all, he couldn’t look at her when the full moon rode him hard.

Couldn’t look at her when he lied about his job.

Their bed became a cold, sterile environment. He used her body to gain some control over his traitorous ways and lessen his guilt. Unfortunately, it only ate at his gut more and soured everything between him and Charisma. He called her his Oasis for a reason. She’d been his bright spot when nothing made sense. She’d been the one to help him process his feelings when Mackenzie came home.

He dimmed her existence with his unintentional actions. She no longer beckoned for him in the darkness, guiding him to do the right thing. Royce Raferty was lost, and it’d been all his fault.

Royce used his pass card to shove through the department. Everyone was on patrol now. He could have that conversation he’d meant to have three years ago, when he’d gotten in too deep. Today he’d tell Kalkin, enough was enough. He couldn’t continue.

He knocked on his uncle’s door and waited. Kalkin Raferty never did anything without reason; nevertheless, his reasons came at a cost to everyone around him—family had never been immune to it. Even the station had been uncharacteristically quiet, given the time. When the door opened, he stopped dead in his tracks as the Alpha standing before him strode over to where Royce’s desk sat, situated between his uncles’ workspaces. Kalkin pointed to the chair, but Royce placed his ass to the surface, a sheer act of defiance, if only small in measure. Kalkin snorted, pulling out the chair across from him.

Royce waited.

He gathered up his courage. He wouldn’t allow the man he’d called uncle to dictate his life anymore. He’d turn in his badge before he allowed his uncle to manipulate him one day longer.

“Pup?” The rough edge of his uncle’s tone had the hairs on the back of Royce’s neck standing on end.

“It’s over,” Royce snarled. His hands clenched at his sides. The distinct pop of his knuckles didn’t cause him pause. “I will not be a part of your games. Charisma is my mate, and I can’t keep hurting her.”

Kalkin’s lip curved. A low growl vibrated in his chest. “This is why I didn’t want you knotting her. I needed you for this assignment! You were the onlyone I could count on.”

“No.” Royce gave a humorless chuckle. “I was the only one stupid enough to try to please you. You figured I’d done it all my life, you could keep pushing me.”

Kalkin leaned forward, getting into Royce’s face. His lips pulled back to reveal the curved canine of his wolf seeping through his facade of control. “Remember who you’re talking to, pup.”

He snorted. “Every day.” He stood and began to pace. “I have given you three years of my life for this investigation. Three years of not being able to look at my mate. Three years of avoiding the full moon, to the point I physically hurt, and what do I get in return? Nothing.

Kalkin sighed. “Royce—”

“No. Don’t Royce me. While you get to hold your mate at night, I get a cold bed with no comfort. While you have pups running around your home, I have to lie to my mate. While you have a welcoming mate, I have to take mine from behind, so she doesn’t see the depth of my deceit or my gut-wrenching guilt.”

“You think I don’t see it in Charisma’s eyes when she’s working with Keeley and Danielle? That I can’t smell it? Fuck, Royce. You think I don’t look at your father every day and see the lies he’s made truths?”

What. The. Fuck? What game was his uncle playing this time? Royce opened his mouth to ask just that when Kalkin shot him a look so deadly, a lesser man would have pissed himself.

“How about instead of wallowing in your self-pity and self-righteous indignation, you consider for one second what will happen to Hayden when she finds out the truth.”

Low. Fucking. Blow.

“Asshole,” Kalkin grumbled. “You didn’t, did you? Not for one second have you put your cousin ahead of your own needs. She came to us nearly ten years ago not knowing a thing about herself. We had to teach her how to be a wolf. We had to teach her how to control the beast inside of her, all while allowing her to assimilate to her new life, and her father. Meantime, we have the last piece of the Geithner family still hiding something right under our noses.”

Royce stared at his uncle. Each word was another jolt of guilt to his already addled mind. No, he hadn’t thought of Hayden or her life. He hadn’t worried about her fears or yearning for acceptance. He’d been thinking of himself and his mate, the two things he should have always been focused on.

No matter the outcome.

The door swung open, and there stood Hayden and Nico. She’d been through so much. All of the pieces of truth, when fit together, would rip her apart. Royce knew that. She was still unsteady in their world, trying to find her place. At least Nico gave her a bit of grounding, but even the orphan faltered more than his fair share.

“Look at her, Royce,” Kalkin dropped his voice until it was almost inaudible. “Tell me you can destroy the things she’s built and continues to build.”

Motherfucker. No, he couldn’t. However, he also couldn’t destroy his life with Charisma, despite what Kalkin wanted to believe.

“’Bout time you two showed up,” he drawled as they approached Royce and a standing Kalkin. “Was just going to contact Jace to see if he could find your sorry asses.”

“We had other shit to handle,” Nico said before following Kalkin through the maze of desks to his office.

Royce picked that moment to leave. Seeing Hayden, his resolution didn’t waver one bit. He was going to tell Charisma the truth.

He couldn’t lie anymore.

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