Big Bad Wolf (The Lycans #1) - Jenika Snow
It was spur of the moment, maybe reckless, definitely a shock to everyone I knew when I decided to take a trip across the ocean to a foreign country and stay for an undetermined amount of time.
Renting out a cottage in a tiny European village whose residents barely spoke English was the perfect escape from overbearing parents, fake friends, and a future that seemed bleak. And helping out an elderly woman with her shopping to earn some extra cash seemed easy enough.
Mindless, hour-long walks through the thick woods that surrounded said village also sounded ideal. No Internet. No television. And just the bare basics to get me by.
Perfection. Stress-free. Exactly what I needed.
Or maybe I was wrong about it all.
I felt someone or something watching me from the darkened, dangerous woods.
I felt someone—something—stalking me.
I didn’t know what or who it was, but I knew with certainty it wasn’t human… and that it wanted me.
I wasn’t human, not completely.
A Lycan—a centuries-old wolf-like creature that was feared by all, stronger than anything on the planet, and who was only ever after one thing.
For over three hundred years, I had one purpose in life. Find her, the one female born to be mine. My female who’d cause the Linking Instinct—that supernatural connection that told me she was mine and I hers—to finally take root and make me whole.
And for hundreds of years, I’d been alone, saving myself for my mate, never stopping the search.
Until I scented her, saw her, finally felt my heart beat and the blood rush through my veins with hope and anticipation.
She didn’t see me, but she sensed me. And she ran. She couldn’t possibly know how much the chase turned me on.
I didn’t know how I’d make her understand I could never let her go, that nothing and no one would stop me from making her mine.
Because once a Lycan found his mate… nothing in this world, nothing supernatural or human, could keep him from her.
“This is ridiculous.”
“Are you going through some kind of crisis?”
I closed my eyes as my parents' words reverberated in my head. After a moment, I reopened them and stared out the little airplane window.
Apparently, quitting your shitty job to pack up and leave for an undetermined amount of time and flying across the ocean to first sightsee through another continent before settling in a tiny Eastern European village in the middle of nowhere was now what constituted someone being mentally unstable. At least in my parents’ eyes.
God, I hate the window seat, I thought ideally, bitching at no one yet feeling like the idiot my mother called me right before I left for the airport.
But when you do a spur of the moment thing like—oh, I don't know—empty out your savings, quit your job, and fly across the world for a little adventure, beggars can’t be choosers.
I rubbed my eyes, dropped my hands to my lap, and saw the flight attendant start to come by. After calling her over, I gave an awkward smile to the person in the center seat, since I had to lean toward them in order to be heard.
“Can I get some booze?” Lord, yeah, I actually said that, asked it that way. “I-I mean, can I get a Bloody Mary?”
The flight attendant smiled and nodded before leaving. After giving my center seat neighbor another forced smile, which got me an equally tight—and very annoyed—grimace in return, I focused out the window again.
Before long, the flight attendant was coming back with my Bloody Mary. I didn’t even care for alcohol all that much, and didn’t like tomato juice either, but hell, since I was in the mind frame recently of doing things out of character, I just went with it.
First stop was landing in London. I planned on sightseeing for a couple of days before taking the Eurostar to Paris and checking out the catacombs. After that, a few more stops—Germany, Hungary, Poland. Then I’d end my little “vacation” as I headed east and settled on a tiny Romanian village nestled in the Carpathian Mountains.
Sounded pretty cut and dry to me, and despite trying to act like this was the best idea in the world... I was terrified.
I didn’t know the land. I didn’t know the language. And taking this trip was like throwing pudding against a tree and hoping it stuck.
But I’d been at a point in my life where everything else seemed lost. It felt as though I was running around in a circle, taking four left