Perfect Tales of the Were - Bianca D'Arc


Cody Tyler reported to his Alpha’s office, wondering what new adventure Joe Villalobos might send him on this time. Cody had been born and raised in the Big Wolf Pack, but he got the wanderlust from time to time, unlike most other wolves. There was a real possibility he’d go lone wolf one day, but Joe was a good friend, and a good Alpha, and he tried to give Cody assignments that would settle his restlessness while still keeping him firmly connected to the Pack.

Cody liked and respected Joe. He’d done some traveling, getting an education and running a string of businesses, but when it came down to it, he always returned to Big Wolf, Texas, because of Joe. The man had earned Cody’s loyalty and trust, which wasn’t something Cody gave easily.

“Morning,” Joe greeted him when Cody stuck his head in the open office door. “Come in and take a seat.”

“Morning, Joe,” Cody replied as he entered and sat in one of the guest chairs across the big desk from the town’s mayor, who was also the Pack’s beloved Alpha.

“How are our investments doing today?” Joe asked, as if he didn’t already know. He might’ve turned the investment portfolio over to one of Cody’s companies to run, but Joe knew to the dollar how everything was invested, and Cody knew the Alpha followed the stock market news daily.

“Looking up, as usual, though you may want to divest in some of the commodity markets,” Cody told him. “Talk to Megan at the office and see what she recommends. She’s got her finger on the pulse more than I do these days.”

“I’ll be calling her once the markets close,” Joe said offhandedly. “I want to get her take on a bakery business.”

“Bakery?” Cody frowned as Joe sat back in his chair and regarded him steadily.

“As you might know, the Weaver place is bordered on one side by a large tract of ranch land that used to be owned by Billy Singleton.”

“Used to be?” Cody asked, feeling a bit like a parrot at the moment.

“Yeah, that’s the problem. Billy died, and his heir was some stockbroker from New York City. He sold the land—at a very large profit—to a city gal who used to own a chain of bakeries. Cassandra’s Cakes. Ever heard of it?”

Cody shook his head. “Can’t say that I have.”

“Well, apparently, there really is an actual Cassandra. She sold her bakery chain and bought the Singleton ranch with the proceeds. What I need you to do is check her out. Cal Weaver told me he’s seen some strange goings on over there since Billy Singleton died. Cal couldn’t swear to it, but he thought he saw some evidence of ritual sacrifice on the back forty.”

“Ritual sacrifice? Seriously?” Cody frowned.

“I’m afraid so,” Joe said, sitting back in his chair, frowning. “Cal Weaver isn’t the excitable sort. If he says he saw something like that, there’s got to be an explanation. I want you to go over to the ranch and see if you can get hired on as a hand or something. Word in town is she’s hiring. Report back when you have something to tell me. Sooner, if you need backup.”

“Will do.” Cody stood, sensing Joe had said all that needed saying. Joe wasn’t in the habit of micromanaging his people. He was the kind of Alpha who put the right people in the right jobs and let them get on with it.

“Hopefully, it’s nothing,” Joe said as Cody headed for the door.

Cody paused and looked back at Joe, seeing an expression of doubt on the Alpha’s face that caused Cody some concern.

“But you don’t think it is?” Cody had to ask.

Joe shook his head and grimaced. “I can’t say exactly why, but I’ve got a feeling…” He trailed off, then his expression turned to exasperation. “Just be careful out there, okay?”

“Will do, boss. I’ll be in touch if there’s anything you need to know.”

Joe nodded, and Cody went on his way. Just like that, he had a new adventure, and this one sounded both intriguing and dangerous. It was the kind of combination his inner wolf liked best.

Chapter One

Damn, that new cowboy is hot!

Sinewy muscles gleamed in the summer sun as he worked. The new guy, Cody, was quite possibly the most perfect specimen of manhood Cassandra Drake had ever seen. And he was all hers.

Well, he worked for her. Technically. Though, in reality, it was her foreman, Rich Jessup, who’d hired him.

Cassandra had always dreamed of living in