India and Imogen Rose are now living in the shifter compound with the pack and flame-haired, India has fallen hard for pack beta, Garrett Adair. She wants nothing more than to be his lifelong mate and bear his children but then she overhears a conversation saying that Garrett never truly got over the death of his first mate. Not willing to be second best she pulls away from him, her heart bruised and broken, leaving him bewildered and throws all of her energy into getting her new clothing business up and running.
Garrett is at a loss as to why India changed her mind about them but isn’t willing to give up on her so easily and with her sister’s help he kidnaps her and whisks her off to a remote cabin in the snow-capped mountains. He is determined to keep her there until she admits her insane attraction to him and why she is running away from him. Garrett is coming home with a mate or she can tell him to leave her alone for good.
As they unravel the complications of their relationship and truly get to know each other they come face to face with bloodthirsty hunters and two wolf shifters who are barely more than children and desperately need their help. When his sister, Rylee, goes missing and his spoilt, entitled brother shows up in the compound, putting India in grave danger, Garrett needs to face the family he turned away from and discover who he truly is and India gives him the most precious gift he will ever receive in his lifetime.
Seann led them all inside the Den and closed the doors, Garrett appeared suddenly at her side and the unpleasant atmosphere of the last few weeks evaporated as he sat down beside her and put his arm around her waist. She leaned in, drawing on his strength and grateful for his support.
Bree put a glass in her hand and she sniffed it, Brandy. She didn’t normally drink but these were exceptional circumstances and she lifted the cool liquid to her lips and felt the slight burn as it slipped down her throat.
Imogen looked longingly at the glass but shrugged and sipped her tea, Brandy and pregnancy didn’t go hand in hand.
Only a few minutes had passed since he dropped his bombshell but suddenly India needed to know where the hell her father had been and why he hadn’t contacted them before this.
She had been to hell and back losing her parents when she was barely eighteen and her sister already blamed herself for not being able to convince them not to take the trip they were going on. She had pleaded with them after she had a terrible feeling of foreboding, a premonition, that something awful was going to happen, but they had gone anyway and they never came home again.
Now her father was sitting in the chair opposite her and his face mirrored what she had been feeling all this time. She waited until Roisin handed him a plate of food and left the room before she spoke again asking what she needed to know the most,
He shook his head sadly,
“Her injuries were just too serious, India, I’m sorry, I wish things were different,”
Imogen started to sob and India knew, like her, she had been holding out hope since her father stepped onto the porch that somehow their mother had also survived the crash they thought had claimed both of their lives.
“Then where have you been Dad, why have you waited until now to contact us,” she was angry at him and it was showing in her glowing eyes. Imogen was controlling her emotions better than she was, but she knew she wanted to know the answers just the same.
“We were dragged out of the burning car by two men just before it exploded and taken to a cabin. Both of my legs were broken and I was bleeding internally and I knew I was dying, there was no time to get me to a hospital. When one of the men suddenly turned into a wolf and sank his teeth into my arm, I thought I was dreaming,”
He took a deep breath before he continued,
“They tell me I was unconscious for almost a week while the changes in my body healed me and when I woke I asked about your Mom but I knew in my heart she was already gone. They couldn’t help her, she was dead from the impact. It took me several more weeks to get fit again and I have been watching you both from a distance ever since,”
“You could have come to us, Dad,” Imogen said through her tears and Seann was trying to comfort her.
“No, I couldn’t, they told me I could have no contact with humans for a while, especially family and I could never tell what I had become. They also said I was free to join their pack or I could go out on my own. I stayed in the cabin for a month and then moved into their compound, it can be really lonely on your own. My job is doing the accounts for several of the pack’s businesses but each Sunday since I was changed I have been coming into town to check up on you both, from a distance of course,”
“We have missed you so much, Dad but how did you know we were here?”
“One Sunday I was parked outside and realized you were gone, someone else was living in your apartment. I made some discreet inquiries and found out you had quit your job, Imogen. I went back to the compound and they agreed to help me locate you. Then one of the women heard through a friend that Donovan’s pack had two new wolves that were bitten, two young women and I knew I had to find out more. It only took a few days and some gossiping wolves before I was sure it was you.”
India and Imogen stayed quiet as they absorbed what he was telling them and Seann said he knew the pack alpha of the other compound, about fifty miles east of them by road.
“Kaleb is a good man, I’m glad it was him that found you,” Seann added,
“I was going to ask you to come back with me,” he looked from one to the other, “To come back and make a home with me again but I can see that you are settled here,”
“Dad, come live with us here,” Imogen said, turning to Seann, “That would be okay, wouldn't it?
“Of course, he’s your father and would be very welcome to join our pack. Jonathan, we have plenty of room here or we have some empty cabins, it’s up to you,”
“Thank you, I would love to spend some time with my girls but I can only stay for a few days, I have a job,” he looked at them apologetically, It’s not so far away, we will see each other regularly,”
Seann stood up and motioned to Garrett and they slipped out through the door and left them alone with their father. India was a little tongue-tied, it had been so long since she had seen him but he was still her Dad. He stood up and held out his arms and Imogen rushed into them with a sob,
“Shhh, my darling girl, I know, I know,” he soothed her and reached out a hand for India to join them. He pulled her close and when his familiar scent hit her she leaned on his shoulder and cried like a baby. He stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head and India wished with all of her heart that her mother had survived the crash too but her Dad had buried her three years ago, there would be no happy ending there.
“I missed you, Dad,”
“God only knows how much I have missed you too but we can have a fresh start now, dry your tears and show me around your new home,”
They introduced him to everyone they met as they toured the compound and India could see the quizzical looks, they all believed her father to be dead. Thankfully none of them mentioned that fact. Jonathan Rose was still a handsome man and some of the women showed interest which had Imogen’s hackles rise. India rolled her eyes at her sister and suggested they all go for a run.
Jonathan’s wolf was black, the color Imogen should have been and he towered above both of them. He followed Imogen’s lead and India followed behind, her wolf content because India was happy. They ran the perimeter of the outer compound and she wanted to go running through the national park but it was too risky in the daytime. The last thing they needed was panicked families if they were spotted and the vigilante hunters that would surely follow.
Imogen beat them back by quite a margin and was already dressed when they came into view. She changed back in a flash and her father turned his back while she pulled on her jeans and shirt and they finished their tour on two legs.
Lachlan was supervising a delivery at their new workplace and India’s excitement rose at the thought of moving their operation all under one roof. Marie and Stella were going to supervise the small factory on a day to day basis leaving India free to design and Imogen to market their products. Imogen also had other responsibilities as the alpha's mate but Seann shouldered most of them for her. She was surprised to see Garrett coming through the door towards them,
“Just checking everything is on schedule,” he said and took off toward the Den,
“He has been here daily, trying to help get this place finished for you girls,” Lachlan said, “Quite frankly, he has been a pain in my ass,” he grinned and India wondered why Garrett was going to all that trouble.
They hadn’t been on the best of terms lately and she knew he was angry that she was pulling away from him. She wanted to explain her feelings but no matter how she rehearsed what to say in her head it always sounded petty and jealous and that’s not what she wanted to convey. He had moved back to his cabin a few weeks ago and she cried most nights when she went to bed, she missed him terribly and the pain of their separation was getting worse instead of better.
Imogen was showing their father where their offices would be and she took a moment to sit down on a picnic bench outside and try to make some sense of her jumbled brain. She had such high hopes for her and Garrett until she overheard a conversation saying he had never quite gotten over his mate’s death and India knew she would never tie herself to someone who was still in love with a ghost. It wasn’t his fault, but she could never be anyone’s second choice, for her it had to be all or nothing. She was just grateful that he hadn’t bitten her on sight as Seann had with Imogen. One of these days she would try explaining it to him when he wasn’t so angry and she wasn’t so heartbroken.