Finding Snow (Fairytale Shifter Book 4)

BOOK: Finding Snow (Fairytale Shifter Book 4)
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Finding Snow
Alexa Riley

FINDING SNOW

Fairytale Shifters Book 4

by Alexa Riley

K
oda's found his sister
, Winnie, and now he's made a life for himself in Gray Ridge, Colorado. As a bear shifter, he's naturally a loner, and with so few females around, he's resigned to never finding his mate. But when he stumbles upon a woman in the woods, his whole world changes.

Snow's been on the run and has made a makeshift family with a band of seven wanderers. While resting in the woods and waiting for them to come back, something big finds her.

When Koda and Snow collide, they realize their stories are woven together more tightly than they could have imagined. Will the truth break their mates bond? Or will it bind them closer together?

W
arning
: This fairy-tale shifter story is full of alpha sweetness with a side of growly bear. What's not to love?! If you love a classic story with a dirty twist, then get your click on!

C
opyright
© 2016 by Author Alexa Riley LLC. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, email to [email protected]

http://alexariley.com/

Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.

Edited by
Aquila Editing

T
o the hubs
; my life, my love, my mate.

Chapter 1
Snow

Smack!

F
inn drops
the bacon and pulls his hand back, a grunt coming out of his mouth like my little slap actually hurt him. I raise my eyebrow at him, knowing better. The man is six foot and probably has a hundred pounds on me. Not to mention he’s a shifter.

“Forest hasn’t gotten his yet,” I scowl. Finn just grunts again and goes back to eating his steak and eggs and everything else he has left on his own plate. I lift the coffee pot and top off his coffee. Living with three male shifters can be a fight when it comes to food. You’d think they’ve never eaten before, like I was starving them and not making sure they got three full meals a day, but since I’ve been cooking for them for the past seven years, I know that’s a load of bull. I keep them well fed.

Three is a whole lot easier to handle then the seven it used to be, but over the years, one by one, the brothers have started to find their mates. Our little family gets smaller and smaller each year. That’s all the band of brothers seems to be about—looking for their one true mate.

Each time one found his mate, it was bittersweet—knowing he found what he were looking for but would be leaving us. We were always on to the next town. Never staying in one place too long. I liked being on the move at first. It felt like my past couldn’t catch up to me. If I kept moving, I’d never be found.

For the last year it has just been Finn, Forest, Flint, and me. Down to three brothers and not one has gotten lucky with finding his mate yet. Tired of being on the road and hopping from town to town, we all decided it was time to settle in somewhere. We’ve been in Gray Ridge, Colorado for over a month now, and I’ve been stuck inside this cabin.

We’d chosen Gray Ridge because we’d heard they were a more laidback pack. Not so sticky with the rules. Some packs only accept certain shifters and have a list a mile long of dos and don’ts. But it isn’t like that here. Or so my brothers have told me. Everyone just has to be a part of the community. They all work together here. I like the sound of that. It sounds friendly and even homey.

“Do you think I can just go out for a little? I’ll be real careful.” I bite my lip and give Finn my best sad face, opening my blue eyes real big. It’s something I’ve been doing for years when I’m trying to get something. When I was little it was just candy or ice cream. As I got older, it tended to lean on the side of family movie night or them taking me fishing.

“Ahh, Snow, don’t do that.” Finn puts his fork down, and I can see he feels guilty, and that makes
me
feel guilty. I know they’re just trying to keep me safe. It’s all they have ever done since the day they became my family. All I want is to take care of them and make them happy. It’s all I know.

But it’s like I’m going to be a secret my whole life. No one is allowed to even know I exist. Ironically, it was something I’d begged them for when they’d found me out in the snow all alone seven years ago. Begged them not to take me back. Begged them to hide me from my father.

They did. Now I’m like their little sister. At first they were reluctant about taking me in and hiding me like I asked. Not that I blamed them. I was eleven, and they found me running through the woods in the middle of the night all alone. But soon their protectiveness ascended to a whole new level. I was one of them. I belonged with them. They were my world. All I had. A better family than I’d ever had. It was a miracle that brought them into my life. They saved me, and I would forever be indebted to them for that.

“I’m sorry. I’m just going a little stir crazy, is all.” I make Forest a plate as he stumbles into the room and sits down at the breakfast bar next to Finn. His blond hair is sticking in five different directions. It took me a good six months to be able to tell them apart—they’re identical twins—but now I can just tell with a glance. “I was hoping since we were staying here that maybe I could come out of hiding. I, ahh…” I pause, feeling a little guilty at my next confession. “I turned eighteen last week.”

“What?!” Flint growls from the kitchen entryway, making me jump. Even after all these years I still haven’t gotten used to how these big men can move around so quietly.

“It’s not a big deal.” I try to reassure them, seeing the annoyed, angry looks on their faces. “I didn’t want to make a fuss. You guys have been working like crazy, and I didn’t want to be a bother, is all. It’s fine, really.”

“It’s not fine, Snow. We should have celebrated. You just came of age,” Forest says, looking at me with sad eyes. He’s always the softy.

“I’m not a shifter, so I don’t think it really counts.”

“It matters.” Flint walks the rest of the way into the kitchen and wraps me in a hug, kissing the top of the head.

“I mean, just think about it. My father can’t, like, come and take me or anything. I’m eighteen and all.”

“I’d snap his fucking neck,” Flint growls, making me smile at his protectiveness.

“But you said your dad took all kinds of people,” Flints adds, squeezing me tighter like someone might bust in and take me now. He’s right. My father liked to take shifters. Cage them and then do God knows what. It still eats at me that I’d run and left them all behind. By the time the Denali brothers found out where I’d been, the building I’d run from was empty. They’d said the place was completely bare. Maybe if I hadn’t been so scared. Maybe if I’d told them sooner, they could have saved some of them. I push the painful thought away.

“I know, but it’s been seven years, and I can’t hide forever. If I do that, I might as well have stayed in the cage he put me in.”

Flint releases a deep breath then lets me go. He walks over to the counter and picks up a piece of bacon, popping it into his mouth. “Thing is, I still got to tell the alpha about you. It’s kind of against the rules to let humans who aren’t mated to shifters know about us.”

“It’s not like you spilled the beans,” I remind him. I’ve known about shifters most of my life.

Flint runs his hands through his hair, something he always does when he’s thinking.

“Just think on it is all I’m asking. Nothing has to be done today. Besides, you’re going to be late. Can’t be doing that your first month here.” I turn to the fridge and pull out the three lunches I packed, then I grab the thermoses I filled with coffee, handing them over to each of them.

“Make a cake. I’ll grab some candles. We’re celebrating,” Forest says, pulling me into a hug.

“Okay.”

“Chocolate,” Forest adds. I smile.

“It’s my cake. Shouldn’t I get to pick?”

“Fine.” He winks.

I’ll still be making chocolate. I know it’s their favorite, and I can’t seem to help myself. It’s hard not to dote on them. Even more so considering they’re pretty much my whole world. They each say their goodbyes before filing out the door. Flint pauses in the doorway.

“Stay inside, Snow.” He gives me a hard look. He’s the eldest, so he uses the same one on all his brothers.

I just smile and nod.

I step over to the kitchen window to watch them pile into the truck as snow starts to fall. If the storm gets too bad, maybe they’ll be home early. I’m not used to this new schedule or being alone so much. Since we got to Gray Ridge, they’ve been working, building houses with some guy named X. That’s about all I know.

Sometimes they work twelve-hour days. I get lonely. I’ve become so used to taking care of people. It makes me long for what some of my other brothers have found. Mates. But I guess for me it would be a husband. A family of my very own to take care of.

I turn away from the window and clean up the kitchen. It only takes five minutes. Then I stand there, looking around the cabin that’s now our home. When we first got it, I was thrilled. We’d always moved around so much that I was excited to have a place that would be ours. I didn’t realize that meant I’d be left alone so much.

There really isn’t anything for me to do. I can only clean a house so many times, even with it being a four-bedroom and three-bathroom. I turn to the window again and look out. The snow is falling harder. I’d once heard Flint say the snow can often hide your scent, make it harder to track or catch someone.

I know most of the town of Gray Ridge is shifter, but I also know we have a cabin with a good amount of land. I’m not sure where ours ends and begins. Maybe I could just go out a little. No one would know.

I need to do it now. The snow will cover my tracks back up, so no one will know I went out. Just twenty minutes, I tell myself.

Excitement has me dashing to my room. I find my dark blue hooded cape and slip it on over my clothes. I pull the hood over my long black hair, then slip on my boots. Grabbing some gloves from the front-door closet I slip out onto the porch, breathing in the winter air. Normally we stay a little farther south, away from the cold.

I haven’t seen snow since…I ran. The urge hits me again. This time, I’m not running from something, but I just want to run. I jump off the porch and sprint towards the woods, running as fast as I can, as I’ve seen by brothers do many nights. Only I don’t shift. Dodging the rocks and ducking below low tree branches, I run until my legs start to burn and the cold air fills my lungs. I finally break free of the trees and come to a sliding stop at a little iced-over pond.

Dropping to my knees, I look up at the sky, trying to catch my breath as the snowflakes fall around me. I close my eyes and relax into the snow, breathing in the winter air and thinking about how different running was this time. So different from before.

BOOK: Finding Snow (Fairytale Shifter Book 4)
7.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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