Ivoire, the packmaster's Omega cousin, has gone and gotten himself in a family way. Abandoned and alone, he and the pup he carries are in need of sanctuary.
There's not much packmaster Lewis can do about Ivoire's situation beside busting heads and making the bastard responsible pay. And -- while he's away -- making sure the young Omega finds himself safe in the hands of Zachariah, a widowed Alpha who's turned his back on the rest of the world.
Zachariah is everything Ivoire needs, and Ivoire is nothing Zachariah thought he'd ever want again, but nothing good was ever gained from playing by the rules.
Praise for Safe and Sound (Omega Wolves 2)
"Watching these two fall in love is a great experience. They both need each other for who they are just as they are. I like how Ivoire brings Zachariah back into the land of the living with his antics and love. This is a hot sweet read! I really want more from this series now. I hope there are many more to come."
-- 5 Shooting Stars from Redz, Redz World Reviews
"I fell completely for Ivoire. He's sweet, gentle, kind, compassionate, funny, and doesn't take crap from anyone. He knows that giving Zachariah his heart could end in disaster, but it's in Ivoire's nature to love and nurture. How could Zachariah possibly hold out against that? Watching these two lonely men fall in love was wondrous and made my heart happy. Thank you, again, Willa!"
-- Christy Duke, Rainbow Book Reviews
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Safe and Sound (Omega Wolves 2)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2016 Willa Okati
Wolf howls split the evening air so loud they fairly made the sky shake, and very nearly cost Zachariah his right foot. He managed -- just -- to swing his ax wide and instead divert the blade into the side of his barn with a splintering thwack. The blow reverberated clear up his forearms and made his skin tingle.
Zachariah glowered first at the ax, then up at the source of the racket. With that much commotion, it had to be the Wasp Lake pack's deputies. Deputies, hah! A fine and fancy name for a group of roughnecks who liked nothing better than to lay down the law as they interpreted it. They weren't bad when taken one or two at a time, but with three or more they tended toward mob madness.
Every now and then they tried to recruit Zachariah. They liked his size, his Alpha status, and his stoicism. Would have been better off saving their breath. Zachariah wanted nothing to do with them. With any wolf, come to that, and for good reasons. He lived at the very edge of the pack's boundaries, and he kept himself to himself. Their troubles were none of his concern.
Still, unless Zachariah stuffed his ears with cotton wool he couldn't help hearing the wolves howl and yelp, and though he wasn't in wolf form he could still understand their yammering.
Hunt! Smell! Smell here? Smell there?
No smell here. Want them, want them. Trail by lake?
Must find, must find. Smells good, want him --
Want him, want him, yes! Take him --
Zachariah rolled his eyes. So they had mating on their minds, and an Omega in their sights. Too bad for the Omega, but whoever he was, he sounded smart enough to lead the deputies on a decent goose chase.
He shrugged the intruders off, knowing they'd pass through his land and be out of his hair soon enough, and scowled at the ax sunk into his barn wall. Tugging it free was relatively easy, but the hole it left behind would be a bitch and a half to repair. He poked at the splinters with a grim scoff, wondering if the Packmaster would hear a demand for restitution. He was a young man, this new Packmaster, and supposedly fair minded.
Maybe so. Zachariah would believe it when he saw it.
He sank his ax into the chopping block to get it safely out of the way. Like the barn wall, it gave way far too easily. Zachariah hadn't built either cabin or barn. He'd bought them from an Alpha moving north to join a Barrow pack. They must have been good in their day. Well-loved.
Too bad for them. Zachariah wasn't the man or wolf to give love to anything. How could he, when his heart had died the day his mate and pup did?
He might be better off tearing down the barn and building a new one, he decided after a moment's thoughtful rubbing at his chin. He had no need for such a large outbuilding anyway, since he didn't keep goats or cows, and if he got rid of the barn then he could tear down the thickly overgrown herbs that surrounded it, too. Someone must have put a great deal of care into that garden once upon a time, though their choice of planting had always baffled Zachariah. Lavender, lemon basil, rosemary -- and peppermint, that last choking everything else half to death.
Zachariah kicked carelessly at the peppermint, releasing a cloud of nose-blinding reek, then drew up short in surprise.
He wouldn't have been surprised at anything taking root there, but the last time he'd checked he hadn't had any Omegas growing in his garden.
Zachariah looked again, but his eyes hadn't deceived him. An Omega had hidden himself in the heart of the peppermint tangle, crouched and ready to run at a split-second's notice.
He froze when Zachariah looked at him, his blue eyes wide with alarm behind the tangle of soft brown curls that tumbled over his face. He was all but naked, dressed in tatters that barely covered his dignity.
Zachariah blushed and looked away, but the face lingered in his mind's eye, tempting him until he glanced back. The peppermint drowned out any hint of Omega scent, but as dainty and sweet-looking as the young man was, he couldn't be anything else.
Two and two came together in Zachariah's head. So you're the one they're hunting, hmm?
The Omega raised a finger to his lips and gave Zachariah a pleading look.
Pretty smart to hide in the peppermint. Zachariah hadn't smelled a thing.
Not his problem. Still...
Zachariah raised one shoulder and turned away, back to the barn.
A good thing, too. Seconds later, one of the deputies barreled into his yard, nearly knocking himself unconscious on the chopping block before he tumbled to a stop and shifted into man shape. He sneezed mightily once he got a whiff of the reeking peppermint and scrubbed irritably at his face. "Have you seen an Omega come through here?"
Zachariah gave the deputy a sideways look and pulled his ax free of the chopping block.
To give credit where credit was due, the deputy had balls. He took a step back at the sight of the ax, but didn't tuck his tail between his legs and run. "Well? Have you?"
Zachariah chose a hefty chunk of wood and braced it on the chopping block, then split it neatly in half before he answered. "Nope."
"He's the packmaster's cousin," the deputy went on, either brave or stupid or both. "Packmaster got called out to a territory dispute, and he'll be gone at least overnight. The cousin was supposed to have come in today, but he didn't make the meeting point and no one's seen him."
Zachariah scoffed quietly. He chose another section of firewood and set it up for the strike. "That a fact?" Arm raised, he aimed. "I don't know about this Omega. But if it were me, I'd probably run like hell from all that 'take him'."
Thwack! He hit the log dead center with his ax.
The deputy's face went ghostly pale. "Fuck it, man. Just let us know if you see him."
Zachariah raised the ax in what could have been either agreement or warning. He didn't much care how the deputy interpreted the move so long as he got his mangy hide shifted and off Zachariah's property.
Which, Zachariah was grimly glad to note, the deputy did. Pretty damn fast, too. Zachariah stacked firewood while he waited to be sure the whole gang of them were well away, and didn't make a move toward the peppermint before he was certain.
Then he stalked to the overgrown garden patch and parted the weeds with two hands to glower down at the Omega still hiding there.
The Omega grinned up at him. "Thanks. Mind giving me a hand up?"
"I don't need your thanks," Zachariah grumbled, stripping off the flannel-lined coat he wore to toss it at the Omega. "Cover yourself up." He waited until the Omega was done with that before he took the Omega's hand and pulled, helping him to his feet. Good God Almighty, he was heavy for such a small thing. He --
As the Omega stood upright, Zachariah saw the reason why. No wonder he was heavy, with a belly like that on him. Not just an Omega, not just pretty --
No, not pretty. Beautiful, rather, lovely in a way that Zachariah had thought he'd forgotten how to recognize, a way that sent a punch of hungry wanting through his guts. Beautiful, and plainly unmated, and pregnant as all hell.
And hiding in his peppermint.