Dark Terror (Spirit Wild Book 5)

By: Kate Douglas

Before she was rescued from a human trafficking ring by the Chanku, Mary Ryder had lived a tortured life as a sex slave and prostitute, and the emotional scars of that time still haunt her. Through the patient strength and genuine devotion of Jack Temple, Mary is slowly learning to open herself to the possibility of uncorrupted love and passion in his arms. But before the two can explore their newfound connection and dream of life as a mated pair, they must face a dark menace threatening all Chanku.



Aldo Xanakis was thought to be dead, but harnessing the life force of those he had slain, he has reappeared as a dark and vicious demon hell-bent on the destruction of the pack—and of all humankind. With only days to stop the demon’s lethal plans and the fanatical religious cult he has enlisted to serve him, the entire Chanku pack unites to combine their power against him.



As Mary and Jack are thrown together in an epic battle against evil, they and the rest of the pack will be forced to harness all the magic and sensual power they possess to preserve their way of life and everything they hold dear.





Acknowledgments



Writing a book is a solitary venture, at least until the author thinks it’s done. That’s when beta readers and editors come into play and the party really starts! My betas on Dark Terror, Jan Takane, Jennifer Brame, Lynne Thomas, Rose Toubbeh, Kerry Parker, and Sue Thomas, definitely had their work cut out for them, and I thank you ladies most sincerely for your eagle eyes and nit-picky ways. What amazes me more with every book is how all of my betas will find different things—there are always a few duplicates, but each of them reads in their own unique manner, and their “catches” greatly improve my stories.





This book is dedicated to my editor, Bill Harris, who makes me a better writer without any tears, bloodshed, or ugly, messy incidents (mine, not his . . .). Bill actually makes the final edits the best part of writing a book, because the parts he cuts and the things he asks me to fix are always exactly what the story needs.



If you truly enjoy reading a book, you really need to thank the editor. The same goes for writing, and for that, Bill gets my most grateful thanks. He’s helped me find the joy in telling stories again, something I was afraid I might have lost.



And to my agent, Jessica Faust. Just because . . .







Chapter 1



Chanku pack headquarters, South of Glacier National Park

Wednesday, June 6, 2040, 11:45 p.m.



Goddess but she ached. The pain was difficult to describe, though one of her friends had come close. Janine said it felt just like what it was—being caught in an endless cycle of unfulfilled lust, a pain so intimate, so visceral, that it burned like an orgasm forever denied. Pain that went on, and on, and . . .

“Whatcha thinking, Mary?”

Jack Temple’s teasing voice slashed through her misery. Mary floundered for an answer, took a deep breath and shot him a saucy grin instead. He’d caught her, fair and square. She had come out here to the pond to think.

Unfortunately, Jack was the one she was thinking about . . . in a roundabout way. All that unrequited lust was killing her. She almost laughed at that. Poor guy didn’t have a clue.

Shaking her head, she shrugged self-consciously while checking to make certain her shields were up, her personal thoughts blocked. “Oh, nothing important.” She patted the rock she liked best for sitting on out here, one big and flat and wide enough for two. The alpha’s mate had designed this beautiful pond with secluded gardens and private walkways all around, a perfect place to find solitude on a lonely night. “You’re welcome to join me in my vast mental wasteland. At least we have a gorgeous view.”

As late as it was, the solar fairy lights twinkling along the edges of the pond lent a mystical, almost supernatural feel to the dark shadows beyond. The faint slice of the waning crescent moon was barely visible in the night sky, almost lost in the countless numbers of stars that swept from one mountain-studded horizon to the next.

Jack folded his big, powerful body down beside her. Odd, how she could be so afraid of men and yet never fear this one. “That actually sounds pretty appealing,” he said, tweaking her long hair with his fingertips. “Today was nuts with the final testing—math is not their favorite subject. Tomorrow’s the last day of school and the pups are growing restless. I can’t wait to turn them over to their parents for the summer.” He laughed. “I really love my job, but there are days . . .”