Though Grace McGovern just graduated college, she’s restless, has no idea what to do with her life and to top it off, she finds herself single and unsatisfied with relationships in general.
Roman intends to claim Grace and make her his mate and part of his pack. He’s searched for her for five years and now she’s within his longing grasp, apart from one minor problem. She has no idea she’s a wolf.
As Grace tries to identify and cope with her inner wolf, she also needs to figure out the unprecedented and undeniable pull Roman has on her. Could he finally offer her the fulfilling relationship for which she’s been yearning?
When Grace woke again, Roman’s fingers were tangled in her curls. She was back in her human body, naked under piles of hospital blankets. A few strands of hair broke as she tried to untwist his fingers.
“You’re awake.” Roman sat up, blinking. His dark hair in a knotted mess around his face.
“I feel pretty weak,” Grace said with a croak.
The doctor came into view. “Grace, hello. You’ve been through quite a lot in the last twenty-four hours.”
“How’s my wolf?” Tears stung her eyes as the words came out. She had no idea about the wolf before this, but felt wholly responsible for the animal’s decline.
“There’s no need to cry. Your wolf is regaining her strength. I’m going to suggest you go back to the main house, get plenty of food and rest. Try not to shift again until you’re back here, so we can tend to your wolf right away.” The doctor handed her a pair of sweats. “Your clothes were destroyed, so you’ll have to wear this for now.
“Does she need bed rest?” Roman asked.
The doctor shook her head. “Bed rest would be overkill, but nothing more intense than a stroll through the woods.”
Roman patted Grace’s leg and stood. “I’ll give you privacy to change.” He stepped outside of her room and closed the door.
“He’ll be a good mate”
Grace shook her head as she heard the words inside her head. “I can’t think that far ahead. Let’s get you healthy first.”
“He’s strong and he loves us already. He’ll be a good provider and a great pack master.”
Grace chuckled. “You move a little fast for me.”
“Talking to your wolf is good,” the doctor said with a smile. “But you don’t have to do it out loud. You can talk in your head. Just think the words.”
Grace looked at the doctor, red faced. “I need to say it out loud for now. This is all new to me. I already feel like I’m going crazy.”
Doctor Maryann laughed. “Yes, but remember when you need those private moments, you don’t have to speak. For what it’s worth, he will be your mate.” She didn’t wait around for Grace to argue. She called over her shoulder, “You can go whenever you’re ready.”
“You get some rest now,” she said to her wolf, “we can talk later.”
Outside, Roman leaned against the wall in the hallway. “I’ll walk you back.”
Grace offered a weak smile. “It appears like my wolf isn’t the only one who needs rest. You look exhausted.”
Roman shrugged while gazing at the ground in front of him. “I’m fine.”
They walked back to the main house in silence. Grace’s legs were weak and shook slightly. It felt like she’d run a marathon.
The sun was setting in the distance, the air cooled. Grace took deep breaths of the country air appreciating its cleanliness, purity and the quiet surrounding her.
When they walked through the back door to the house, the kitchen was buzzing with three women cooking. Grace ducked her head, knowing she looked like a mess.
“Oh you poor dear,” an older woman rushed over to Grace’s side. “Let’s get you into the shower. Come on, there’s a back stairwell, so no one sees you until you’re ready.”
“Uh, thanks.” Grace looked over her shoulder at Roman.
“I’m Wendy, Colin’s sister.” The woman spoke as she pushed Grace up the back staircase. “These were the servants’ stairs back in the day…” She pointed to the left, “turn here.” There was a hidden doorway that led to the main hall in the second floor. “Here we are.” She opened Grace’s bedroom door and pushed her through.
Grace turned to face her and slow the older woman down. “Ma’am.”
Grace looked at her, her blonde hair wound in a tight bun, worry lines forming on the sides of piercing blue eyes that were full of warmth as she smiled at Grace. “Thank you for sneaking me up here. But my legs are so wobbly and you’re really rushing me…”
Wendy smacked her hand to her forehead. “I’m sorry, it’s just that everyone is coming to dinner tonight. I know we women are so hard on ourselves, and you’ve been through so much and feeling out of sorts and a mess would only…”
“Wendy!” Grace couldn’t help but giggle. “Slow down. You’re right. I need a shower and my own clothes. But don’t worry so much. I’m not as fragile as your brother seems to think.” Grace smiled and walked over to her suitcase, which was empty.
“Your clothes have all been ironed and hung in the closet.” Wendy said a little slower. “We wanted to help. I hope it doesn’t feel like an invasion of privacy. It was only Tiffany and me in here.”
Though it made her uncomfortable, she knew their heart was in the right place. “That was sweet. Thank you.” Her clothes were arranged by type and color. It was the most OCD arrangement she’d ever seen. She snagged a pair of jeans and T-Shirt. “Uh, where are my underthings?”
Wendy chuckled. “In the dresser out here. I’m sorry.”
Grace crossed the room to the dresser. “You really have to stop apologizing. I’m going to need a bit of privacy. I’ll be down as soon as I can.”
Wendy nodded and fled the room before she could apologize again.
Grace leaned against the dresser and took a deep breath. She was exhausted and very hungry. One step at a time. One foot in front of the other.
She gathered her things and went to shower. It took all of her energy to stay upright and not sit on the floor of the shower stall. As soon as she was reasonably clean, she toweled off and dressed.
Staring at herself in the mirror, she could see her wolf in her conscience. It looked better. Still weak, but its head was perked up and looked like it was smiling back at her. “How are you feeling, girl?”
Weak but much better thank you. Please go down to dinner. We need to eat.
Grace smiled. “Yes, well, I can’t meet everyone looking like this.” She quickly applied a light layer of tinted moisturizer, a bit of blush and a thin layer of mascara. “What do you think?” she asked her wolf.
She made her way down to the dining room, following the sound of voices, plates and silverware scraping against dishes. When she walked into the vast dining room, her heart leaped in her throat. There were so many new faces.
Roman was at her side before she could even look for him. “I have a seat for you over here.”