Siberians live for the thrill of the chase; wolves exist for the joy of the capture. On a foolish dare, Jasper O'Shea takes a gamble at the Last Call, letting fate chose his lover for the night.
Detective Brutus "Brutal" Ballantine came to the Last Call looking for something far different than a sly, clever Siberian Husky. Yet when the call comes over the sound system, he finds himself unable to resist the lure of laughing blue eyes and a happy tail.
The chase is on, but who is the hunter, and who is the prey?
Author's note: While this story stands alone, it features characters introduced in Last Call Europe: Devil's Advocate.
Praise for Black Wolf
Best Book All Around
"I have found that good stories are ones that you are excited to read and they live up to your expectations, while great stories you are excited to read and by the time you finish, you are even more excited than when you started. Belinda McBride's Last Call Europe: Black Wolf is a great story."
-- Buttercup, Whipped Cream Reviews
This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
Last Call Europe: Black Wolf
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Belinda McBride
Last Call Europe. It was the exclusive nightclub catering to the paranormal community on the eastern side of the Atlantic. Brutus "Brutal" Ballantine wound his way through the maze of tables scattered throughout the place, barely glancing at the Specialty Bar as he spotted an empty table in a dimly lit corner. It was his third visit to the bar this week, and he wasn't particularly fond of the habit he'd developed.
Like any club, it was loud, lively and fairly teeming with sexual potential. He sniffed, relieved not to catch the scent of any werewolf bitches in heat. He preferred men but when the girls came into heat, Brutal was just as likely to fall victim to a breeding frenzy as any other male. Tonight, a distraction like that could prove deadly.
He kicked a chair away from a small round table and didn't bother slipping out of his leather jacket. He was here to watch, not to display himself. He leaned back, stretched out his legs and nodded when the waitress brought him his beer. Telepathic wait staff could be a very good thing.
He sipped and winced slightly at the bitter drink. Yeah, it was the real deal, but still a bit of an assault to his very American palate. Another sip had him accustomed to the stuff, and after a third, he was enjoying it.
The music battered his ears, but he quickly became accustomed to it and concentrated on watching the dancers over the edge of his glass: werewolves and vampire, elves and Fae, humans with extra gifts, and the odd creature that wasn't quite anything he'd ever seen before. What he was looking for wasn't here, even though he wasn't entirely certain what exactly it was he sought.
He sighed in frustration, glaring at a flirtatious young Fae. He honestly couldn't tell what gender the wickedly beautiful creature was. It didn't matter. He wasn't here to play.
His journey had started in Seattle, and he'd hopped from city to city, first down Interstate Five, through Oregon and California, straight down into Mexico. From there, the trail had led erratically through Central America and down to some of the glittering cities of Brazil. He'd island-hopped through the Caribbean, and then had flown to South Africa. Egypt had sent him to Athens and up into Eastern Europe. Taking an insane risk, Brutal had decided to overshoot his quarry, gambling on the chance he'd beat the killer to London, where he'd most certainly visit Last Call. This was his typical hunting ground, and Brutal intended to head him off.
He scrubbed at the bristle of his late-day beard and grimaced. By moving out ahead of the killer, he'd taken a huge chance. There was the distinct possibility the killer would strike in Paris or Berlin. There was also the chance he'd skip those cities and come straight here. That's what Brutal was banking on.
He was jolted from his reverie by a burst of laughter. The door to the bar had slammed open; bodies poured in from the foggy evening. He heard someone groan in dismay and looked at the table next to him.
"Damn huskies. And they're here in a pack." The stranger was speaking to his companion, but rolled his eyes when he caught Brutal's gaze. "Damn clowns, every one of them. Make sure your wallet's put away."
Brutal twisted in his chair, watching as several men and women flooded the room, some heading for the dance floor, others making their way to the bar. They carried with them an air of excitement and electricity, almost bringing a smile to his face.
They were party animals. They shouted to one another over the music, and one young woman dragged a couple out of their chairs, pulling them to the dance floor with her. A dark-haired man did a series of flips before vaulting over Brutal's empty table.
He pushed his chair back and growled.
Most of them were striking in appearance, medium height and muscular. They were lithe and agile, with exotic faces and upturned eyes. They were almost as fae looking as the Fae! Most spoke in heavily accented English, sounding as though they were from Russia or Eastern Europe.
The majority had dark hair, black or dark brown. Through the throng, Brutal glimpsed coppery hair that looked like a flame amidst all the bodies. He saw a clownish smile and a mischievous face. The man was gone in a flash, only to reappear at the bar.
"Oy! First round's on the birthday boy!" The redhead reappeared with a tray burdened with pitchers and heavy glasses. He was followed by a laughing waitress who carried another pair of pitchers. Unlike the others, his accent spoke faintly of Irish origins. It certainly suited his appearance. They pushed tables together and a large bakery box dominated the center, surrounded by heavy pub glasses and pitchers.
Brutal's attention was caught by an angry roar. To his left, a female werewolf burst out of her chair, chasing a laughing young woman through the crowd.
"Damn you! Give that back!"
The young woman leapt easily to the top of Brutal's table, a purse dangling from her hand. "You mean this?" She held it up, dangling it by the straps.
In her fury, the wolf had started to shift. Her wild anger spread like fire, and Brutal felt a low growl erupt from his throat. Slowly, the husky on his table turned to look at him, her brilliant blue eyes large and startled.
She grinned and vaulted from the table, landing easily on another table. The race resumed, finally coming to an end when she dashed by the wolf, looping the edges of the purse over her head and planting a kiss on her cheek.
The crowd cheered, and even Brutal gave a reluctant chuckle.
"Lass needs a spankin'." The red-haired Siberian was at his table, leaning down with both hands planted on the surface. He had a brilliant smile that caused his eyes to crinkle at the corners. His bristly, punkish hair grew back from a widow's peak. Oddly, one eye was blue; the other looked as though amber swirled through the cerulean depths.
One of his front teeth was a hair shorter than the other, and his canines were short and sharp.
"I suppose we all do, coming in and wreaking havoc this way!"
Before Brutal absorbed the fact that he was suddenly aroused, the redhead was gone, darting after the woman, picking her up by the waist and carrying her to the dance floor. He caught glimpses of the man through the crowd of dancers, and momentarily wondered if anyone would notice his cock was hard and bulging at the front of his pants.
Briefly, he closed his eyes and scented the air, catching a wisp of the redhead's fragrance. It made him growl with need. He shoved his chair closer to the table, propping his jaw on his fists, and scanning the crowd for the man. Desire hit him nearly as hard as if there'd been a bitch in heat somewhere. Fortunately, he still had control of himself. He could still think and plan, and if necessary, he could still hunt.
He finished his ale and waited for the waitress to bring another. Brutal Ballantine was a hunter, and he'd be damned if some flirtatious dog would distract him from the kill.