Midnight Run is my contribution to ARe's ALPHAS series! And I did write an alpha :D
Always the lone wolf, never the mate…
Alpha Jack Herman used to have a pack, but he's been alone for a long time. When he catches a whiff of another shifter encroaching on his preferred hunting grounds, he's determined to put a stop to that immediately. There's only room for one wolf in Jack’s territory—Jack.
Captured as a pup, Malakai is a shifter, but he's neither wolf nor alpha. What he is, is scared, exhausted, starving, and close to giving up. Hunted by a predator, Malakai fears his newly found freedom is about to come to a violent and abrupt end.
Instead, he finds himself in the arms of a man strong enough to do whatever he must to take care of Malakai.
There wasn’t even a hint of moonlight as Jack Herman ran along the hiking path at Government Canyon. The thud of his paws on the pavement soon changed to soft slaps when he finally hit dirt. He wanted to throw his head back and howl, but it wouldn’t be wise considering he was hunting.
And not just any prey. Jack had no intention of eating what he caught. He wasn’t on that kind of hunt.
The wind carried the scent of the intruder, spicy and earthy, like peppers rolled in fertile soil. Jack had detected it every night he’d come to revel in his wolf for the last week.
Tonight was a full moon, not that it could be seen behind the heavy cover of clouds. Besides the intruder, Jack could scent the impending rain. A storm was brewing courtesy of Mother Nature, and it matched the one building in him.
San Antonio didn’t have many places for a wolf to run. Government Canyon was Jack’s, and he’d be damned if he let some other shifter encroach on it. He was an alpha through and through, even if he no longer had a pack to lead.
An old, familiar pain streaked through his chest. He wouldn’t think about his past, not now. Possibly not ever again. The pain was too great.
And he had a task to complete—find the bastard trespassing on his packlands. Jack wouldn’t stand for someone to take it from him. He needed this space to run and rejoice in what he was.
Thunder cracked loud enough that Jack felt it shake the ground beneath his paws. A few seconds later, lightning brought the surrounding area into stark relief for one brief moment.
Then it was pitch dark again, and Jack’s usually acute wolf vision was a bit muddled from the quick reversion from light to dark. Just as when someone took a picture of him with the flash on, white spots danced before his eyes and he shook his head.
It was a good thing his nose worked just fine. He could run blind if he needed to, and let his sense of smell guide him. That, and his hearing, which was exceptional.
Although, in minutes he’d be hearing nothing but the storm itself, and the rain could very well fuck up his tracking ability.
It would figure he’d find someone trespassing on his lands in February. There were two things that could be counted on to occur in San Antonio in January—rain, and colder temperatures than the natives liked.
Jack was a native, but he was an exception to the cold rule. It invigorated him in a way the heat never would. In fact, for the whole month of August, he didn’t want to leave the comfort of his air-conditioned home or work.
Give him temperatures in the thirties or even a little lower, and he was thrilled to his webbed paws. Now he had that winter weather, finally. It wasn’t surprising that the rain had rolled in considering the overcast skies that had threatened to unleash on them.
Jack put his nose to the ground and inhaled the tantalizing aroma of the other shifter. Not a wolf, he could tell that much. There wasn’t the strong, piney scent that came with all of his kind. He ran over the other kinds of shifters he was aware of, but couldn’t decide what he was after. The paw prints were non-existent. Either the creature wiped them out or was of such light weight as to not leave prints behind.
That one sniff caused a sensation Jack was becoming used to when he got a good, strong whiff of his prey. His groin tingled, his cock tried to stiffen, and the heat of arousal rushed through him.
Jack tried his best to stomp that shit down. He wasn’t in the market for a lover or a fuck buddy. He was a lone wolf now, and always would be.
And that means no fucking? he asked himself.
It was best to ignore his scathing little inner voice. Especially since Jack had no good answer for it.
The loose dirt gave way to rocks, and despite his attempt to be silent, every now and then one gave way under his paw and went clattering against another. With the sky lighting up regularly every few seconds due to the lightning, Jack’s vision was a tad screwy. While it wasn’t rare to have a lot of rain during February, such a fierce thunderstorm was unusual.
Regardless, it was beautiful in its own way. The thunder clapped louder, making his ears ring on occasion. The storm excited his wolf, though there was some anxiety as well.
His beast knew the power of a storm, of lightning and the fire it could bring. The human side knew it as well, and reveled in being out in it. There was so much freedom to running full-tilt while the elements raged around him.
Rain began to come down, the drops fat and cold when they hit his nose. His thick black coat kept most of the moisture off of him for a while as he continued running, chasing after that scent.
If he didn’t find his prey soon, he might get away. Jack was certain the prey was male simply because the aroma of it aroused him. Jack was, and always had been, a gay wolf shifter. That wouldn’t have suddenly changed. Hence, he reasoned his was after another man, in whatever form that man might currently be taking.
The rain came down harder, pelting him like frigid wet pebbles. He tucked his head lower and ran faster, trying to hang onto the thread of the other shifter’s scent.
It was no use. Within minutes, he’d lost it. Frustrated, Jack threw his head back and howled.
The pleasure that brought him was undeniable, and he shook his coat before vocalizing again. He could have sat and sang to the moon all night if he didn’t have to fear being caught. Granted, there shouldn’t be anyone else out there, but it was Texas and people did have guns.
Jack trounced through the rocks and mud, no longer worrying about being silent. As heavy as the rainfall was, he doubted he’d be heard by anyone or anything in the nearby vicinity.
Mud squelched between his toes. He’d have a mess to clean off of his paws later. For now, he just let go of his disappointment at losing his prey and instead enjoyed the weather and the run. He was reminded of his childhood, and it was almost like he’d reverted back to the boy he used to be, when he’d run free and fast with his littermates through rain and mud, and occasionally even snow.
Veering off Black Hill Loop, Jack cut through on a path that was barely noticeable. Something else had been out there, some animal big enough to break some branches here and there but not too tall considering where the breakage occurred.
And he caught a whiff of that scent again. Thrilled to be back on the hunt, Jack could only assume whatever creature he was chasing, it’d only just passed through. Otherwise, the scent would have been washed away.
With the overhang of the tree limbs, the rain wasn’t doing quite as much erasure as it had been. The thunder and lightning raged on, the wind whipping at him in sporadic, chilly bursts.
Jack didn’t care. Excitement was pumping alongside adrenalin in his veins. He was so close he was almost salivating with anticipation.
Anticipation for what, he didn’t want to really think about, because his dick was harder than it’d ever been, and that wasn’t his normal reaction to hunting.