Moonlight's Peril – Excerpt

"I've given you my protection, but right now my world is the worst place for you, and I can't be here. You have to be smart," Law said firmly.

"I've been on my own a long time without protection. I'm fine," Bianca insisted.

"You've stepped into a new world. Bianca, please don't reject what I'm offering you. Both you and your child have my vow."

"I never asked for any creepy vow." Her chin jutted out, and she looked away. "I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but this is weird."

"I know," he said as he tilted her head so she'd look up at him. "I've never given my promise to anyone before. I've made you part of my pack, my life. That gives you a certain safety, but Tobias's pack can't be trusted to follow tradition."

Lightning lit up her yard and thunder cracked so loud her house rattled. A startled cry flew from her lips as she took a step closer to Law.

He reached out and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "Giving you my vow was as natural as taking a breath."

"The way you talk about this 'vow' stuff is like you donated your kidney to me. Explain what you're giving up."

"I never said I was giving up anything, but while you have my protection, you're mine. Antiquated, I know, but the concept is very old."

"Yours?" Bianca's voice squeaked. Strange, but she didn't hate being his as much as she should.

"I will guard what you value and what you love as if it were mine. Offering to protect another is not done lightly." He stepped closer to her and put his hand on her shoulder.

"Why did you?" She looked away, again, biting her lip.

Law cupped her cheek. "I have no idea. Ask me someday and I might have an answer."

Bianca's head snapped back, and her eyes widened for a second before they narrowed. She slugged him in the bicep. "That's just peachy." She shrugged off his touch, taking a step back.

He grinned. "You're a very challenging woman. The women I'm used to would have a very different reaction."

She glared at him. "I feel like I should thank you, but I also kind of want to pepper spray you or at least throat-punch you. This old-fashioned werewolf chivalry freaks me out."

"Noted."

Silence stretched out, and the bizarre connection grew awkward again. Super. She grimaced.

"So, what do we do now?" she asked.

"You stay home, and I'll be back to visit you after the full moon."

"That's not my style," she quipped. "I need to be doing something to help Ches."

"Staying safe helps her. If I'm worried about you, I won't be my best."

"Don't get in a fight." Don't get yourself killed.

"Are you worried about me?" His slow smile and teasing tone brought a hot rush into her cheeks.

She rolled her eyes at him. "Just don't go all suicide-mission-guy on me. I have enough guilt over my daughter, I don't need to blame myself for your untimely demise."

Law put a hand on her shoulder, tipping her chin up with the knuckle of his other, and her gaze locked with his. He gave her a sad smile. "I know a thing or two about guilt. Those feelings will eat you alive. Don't do that to yourself." Law leaned down and kissed her softly on the forehead. "Stay here."

"I don't like staying here."

"I didn't ask you to like it, but I need to trust you to do it."

She bit her lip. "If there's anything I can help you with, you get me. Wolf or man, I don't care, get me."

"You have my word." Law went to the door. He turned to look at her, his hand on the doorknob. "Swear you'll stay out of trouble."

She shrugged. "Promise me you'll save Ches, no matter what?"

"No matter what."

"Okay. I'm not going anywhere outside of town."

"Even in town, there's danger. But the wolves should mostly be in the woods. The old, or women with young might still be here on lockdown. Be careful, they can be the most dangerous."

A chill crept down her spine. "Thanks."

"For what?" he asked.

"For protecting me."

"You accept me—my protection?"

What a strange question. "Yes, why wouldn't I?"

"There's so much you don't understand about my kind." A sad half-smile curved his sexy mouth. "Find a way to secure the patio door until you can get it fixed, and lock this one behind me," Law said before he left.

She peeked out the window as she turned the deadbolt until it snicked in place. As soon as the metal landed home, Law rushed away into the darkness with preternatural speed.

Why do I suddenly feel so damn lonely?