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Dark Moon's Howl

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In a world where shifters are the norm, Kylie's a human who's never felt like she belongs. She's always been the odd one out, especially when it comes to her shifter family. But when she meets Thane, a ruggedly handsome shifter with a wicked grin, she can't deny the instant attraction that sparks between them. Thane knows that Kylie is different from the moment he lays eyes on her. Her scent is intoxicating, and he can't resist the urge to claim her as his mate. But Kylie's not like other humans he's met. She's fiery, independent, and has a mind of her own. And even though she's drawn to Thane, she's not willing to give in to his demands without a fight. As they navigate their differences and confront their own desires, Kylie struggles to contain the werewolf within her. She's always tried to keep her true nature hidden, but being around Thane makes it nearly impossible. The more time they spend together, the harder it becomes for Kylie to resist the urge to shift. And Thane, who's never met a human who can shift, is both fascinated and terrified by Kylie's unique abilities. Can they find a way to make their relationship work despite the danger and uncertainty that comes with Kylie's true nature? Or will the secrets and fears that threaten to tear them apart prove too much to overcome?

Chapter 1

Kylie fiddled nervously with the leaflets, pens, and free merch on the table in front of her. This was her first convention, and the endless crowds of people made her more nervous than she'd expected. She could do this. She totally could. Barbara was counting on her.

“Hey, look at you, still alive after an hour up here alone?” Her co-worker and their development team leader, Andrew, gave her a soft punch in the arm.

Andrew was decidedly human and normal, and sometimes, she was incredibly jealous of how easily he charmed and flirted with everyone. Kylie was terrified of flirting, fearful of her own kind, though she tried desperately not to show it. As soon as her company benefits kicked in, she'd gotten herself birth control and suppressants and prayed to every god she knew that she was some genetic anomaly, that her heat would never kick in, and she'd just be… dormant for the rest of her life. Her first change had come so late; everyone had assumed, despite her blood tests confirming her heritage, that she didn't have enough blood after all, and it wouldn't happen.

And then she had, at seventeen, waking up with an itch under her skin and a desperate need to run… and she loved it. Her wolf form was sleek, mostly white, with tufts of gray at the ears and a stripe along her back spread out over her flanks, and she was fast. Marlon could yell all he wanted; the grubby old bear could never chase her down.

She had run away from that shithole and never looked back as soon as her secondary certificate was in her hand. She'd gotten odd jobs in tech, fixing private computers and setting up small business networks, until she randomly applied for a scholarship-to-work program offered by Myst Tech. Kylie remembered Barbara Myst from a TED Talk about women in tech, omegas especially, and she thought, why not? Her bloodwork showed it clearly, although she’d never gone through heat.

And before she knew it, she was sitting behind the table at a tech security convention, representing Myst’s newest Spacelock app. This mobile application stores and aggregates all your banking info, coordinating with Google and Apple Pay based on your preset preferences. She and Andrew had spent a year developing it; now, they had to sell it to an increasingly paranoid populace. He gave her an easy grin as a young man stepped up to try out the app on one of their testing tablets.

“Does this work on all Android devices? I only see Samsung tablets here.” He looked at her when he spoke, and Kylie felt giddy pride.

“Yes, everything is available in the EU and North American markets. It depends on your carrier elsewhere, but we're working with the Asian markets.”

“So this will work on my Sony Pryde?” He held up a larger smartphone, and Andrew leaned forward with interest.

“Oh, hey, is that a Pryde Z? I've never seen one,” he watched as the man went to the Play app and typed in Spacelock, a flicker of surprise in his eyes as he saw it was compatible.

“This is a nice interface,” the young man observed. Again, his eyes fell on Kylie. “You designed this?”

“Andrew and I did, yeah.”

“Huh. Nice.”

The visitor left, and Andrew gave her a mischievous wink. Kylie frowned at his teasing.

“What?”

“He was checking you out,” he grinned. Kylie shook her head, laughing. She'd been so nervous that she barely paid attention to his appearance.

“I think you were checking him out,” she teased, fluttering her eyelashes dramatically. “Oh, is that a Pryde? I've never seen one of those before. Please. We're in a technology and communication convention. He knows you're lying.”

“Yeah, and he left when you weren’t interested.” She rolled her eyes but had to admit it was a good thought. That a man had come to their booth to talk because he found her alluring was a completely new idea to her. “It's your turn to take a break if you want. The falafel place is good, and it's right next to the novelty frozen custard stand.”

“Ooh, I think I will take lunch then. Good luck on your own.” She gathered her wallet but left her jacket and purse over her chair. “Don't steal my stuff.”

“You took the good part anyway,” he laughed, gesturing to her wallet. “Bring me a coffee? Iced mocha, extra shot?”

“Ugh, okay, but only if the line at Starbucks isn't down the street.”

Chapter 2

She was turning, a black currant-flavored custard in one hand and Andrew's coffee in the other, when he practically mowed her over. Immediately, they were both apologizing, but she took one look at him and realized he was the worse for the wear.

“I'm so sorry - they didn't get the lid on the right - I'll buy you a shirt-” her voice trailed off as his eyes, a piercing liquid brown, found hers, and the most wonderful scent of something woodsy and very masculine rolled over her. Kylie gulped when she realized she had almost closed her eyes in pleasure. What the hell was that about? Was he wearing some expensive cologne? His eyes bored into her as her speech stammered to a halt.

“Don't worry about it. Are you alright?”

He was concerned for her, ready to care for her needs like an alpha should. Kylie felt a blossom of warmth in her belly and had to fight the urge to rub her face against his broad chest. She stopped herself when she realized they were in the middle of a

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