Authors: Marisa Chenery
Love Bound in Ice
Book three in the Werewolf Sentinels series.
Finding his mate on an Alaskan glacier, in need of rescue, is the highlight of Ketah’s day. Having that mate reject him outright after a scorching kiss is not. Getting her to agree to see him again is going to be harder than trying to explain his true nature—that of an immortal werewolf.
After Ketah’s toe-curling kiss, Haven knows she’s giving up some fantastic sex, but her mistrust of men has her pushing him away. But when he shows up at the park where she works, she finds herself letting her guard down and agreeing to a date. She just hopes it isn’t the biggest mistake of her life.
But her deadbeat dad’s greed for money soon lands Haven in the hands of the dark wolves, and only thoughts of the sexy werewolf who is her mate keep her hope alive that she’ll see Ketah again.
Love Bound in Ice
The sun shone brightly high in the sky without a cloud to be seen. It was a perfect day to be out trekking on the Matanuska glacier. Not that Haven paid it much attention. Normally, she’d enjoy it since she spent almost every day out on the glacier as one of the guides from the park. She loved her job and looked forward to going to work.
It was her day off and Haven had come to do some hiking, needing to get rid of her foul mood. Even though she’d told many visitors not to venture out on the glacier alone, she needed the solitude and exertion to help clear her head. It was all because of
The bane of her existence was supposed to be the one man she could look up to and depend on whenever she needed him—her father. Haven snorted as she lengthened her strides. Her deadbeat dad was far from any of those things. He was once again back in Juneau and, as per usual, had only come to see her with the hopes of hitting her up for some money. Haven of course told him no, but that didn’t mean her dad had given up. He’d stick around for another week or so and try to wear her down until she caved and gave him something just to get him out of her hair.
The last time she’d seen her father was the year before on the day of her mother’s funeral. Even then he’d tried to bum some money off her. Haven shook her head. She hadn’t known how low her dad could go until that day. She’d just about slapped him.
Feeling her mood worsen instead of getting better, Haven pushed herself to walk faster. As if the farther out on the glacier she went the further she could distance herself from her crappy thoughts. She breathed in big gulps of clean air, telling herself not to let her loser father get to her, but that was easier said than done.
Haven came closer to a crevasse she planned to rappel into. It was a bit of a tricky one to maneuver through, but she was up to the challenge. She felt at home on the ice of the glacier.
At the edge, Haven stopped and slipped off the rope she wore slung over her shoulder and across her chest. She placed it on the ice while she hammered in the necessary equipment to secure it. In a matter of minutes, she had the rope thrown down the crevasse and she was harnessed up and ready to go.
She slowly made her descent but soon became lost in her thoughts about her dad once more. That inattention cost her. Haven’s foot slipped and she fell before she could catch herself, landing in a way that had her wedged between two pieces of ice with the rope tangled around her. The impact knocked the breath out of her, and she knew she’d feel it in the morning.
Haven tried to free herself but found she was stuck in there tight. “Shit!” she yelled, her already bad mood causing her temper to flare at her dumbness. She then proceeded to swear up a blue streak, calling herself every insulting word she knew.
* * * * *
Ketah steered the crossover into one of the parking spots at the Matanuska Glacier Park. It was privately owned and was the only access point to the glacier itself. He shut off the engine and looked through the windshield at the ice. It had been a full year since his alpha’s mate, Cassidy, had found Ketah and the rest of his wolf brothers asleep in an ice cave on this very glacier. Even though he’d accepted the new world he’d awakened into, he still felt a connection to the place where they’d slumbered for ten thousand years. It also reminded him of the Ice Age, the time he’d been born into.
He got out of the car, shut the door and locked it. He’d only had his driver’s license for a few weeks. Thanks to Brice, the local werewolf pack leader, Ketah and his wolf brothers had fake IDs. Shortly after getting his, he’d gotten Cassidy to take him to start the process of his being able to drive.
Ketah had embraced this modern life, and hadn’t looked back. He reached up and ran his fingers through his recently cut hair. It now only reached the top of his shoulders. The others still kept theirs long, but he wanted to look more like what he considered modern.
After attaching his crampons that were in the back of the crossover onto his hiking boots, Ketah headed out to the glacier. Once he was far enough out, and with no one around, it almost felt as if he were the only man in the world. He looked at the icy expanse in front and around him. He’d hunted many a woolly mammoth in this area prior to being turned by his shaman to be one of the werewolf sentinels, one of the first of a new race of man.
Ketah approached a crevasse and his sensitive hearing picked up the sound of a woman swearing. Her voice seemed to come from the opening, and from how she was cursing, he had a feeling she wasn’t happy where she was.
He hurried toward her, still watching where he walked. Once he came closer to the crevasse he saw the rope tied off onto a piece of metal that had been pounded into the ice. The rest hung down through the opening.
Ketah stepped to the edge and looked down. The woman was at the bottom, wedged between two tall pieces of ice. She looked stuck with her rope tangled around her. She cursed again as she struggled to free herself, which proved to be unsuccessful.
Without thinking about it, Ketah stepped off the ice and landed on his feet at the bottom. Being a werewolf had its advantages, and being able to jump from high places without causing injury was one of them. But he was quickly brought to his knees as he pulled the woman’s scent into his lungs with each breath he took.
“Holy shit, are you all right?” the woman asked as she craned her neck to look at him. “Did you fall?”
Ketah could only stare at her as his mating urge flared to life and made its presence known. His cock lengthened and hardened. She was his mate.
“Hello?” she asked. “Are you okay, because if you aren’t I can’t do much from where I am now.” At his continued silence, she said, “You’re gorgeous and all, I wouldn’t mind staring at you all day, but I could really use your help.”
A large smile spread across Ketah’s lips. His mate thought he was gorgeous. He continued to stare at her, soaking up her pretty face. She had long, auburn hair and green eyes that were now looking at him with concern lurking in their depths. He couldn’t believe she was to be his.
“Ah, are you going to say something or just kneel there and stare at me?” She sounded a little impatient now. “It doesn’t look as if you hit your head on the way down. If you’re not hurt, can you please snap out of it and give me a hand here?”
Ketah brought his wayward thoughts back under control and slowly rose to his feet. “Sorry. I can free you.”
“So he speaks. And thanks. The ice is starting to freeze my butt.”
His gaze landed on the part of her body she’d mentioned. It was jammed up against the ice. He also noticed she wore jeans that hugged her hips and shapely legs. As for her cold bottom, he’d be more than happy to rub it to warm it up.
“You’re doing it again,” she said, this time sounding irritated.
“Sorry,” he said as he jerked his gaze off her lower body.
“Just stop apologizing, okay? Get me out of here.”
Ketah closed the space between them. He bent and grabbed her by the underarms and pulled her free. He helped her to her feet, then untangled the rope from around her. His hands skimmed her body as he did so, making his erection even more pronounced. His mate was slim and toned, and her legs were long. He wanted them wrapped around his waist as he sank his cock deep inside her.
He must have gotten a little too grabby because she gave him a shove before she took a step back. “Enough. Thanks for freeing me.” She looked up at the opening. “Where’s your rope? I only see mine.”
“I didn’t use one.”
Her brows furrowed. “What? How else did you get down here? I know you didn’t use mine or I would have felt you pulling on it.”
He shrugged. “I jumped.”
She looked back up at the crevasse’s opening and then to him again. “You jumped? I thought I imagined it. How the hell did you manage not to break your legs? If I’d done that I would have.”
“I guess I got lucky. I heard you swearing down here and came to investigate. When I saw you were trapped I just jumped. I didn’t think. What’s your name?”
“It’s Haven. Well, thanks again for helping me out, but you took an awful risk. Don’t you know getting hurt on a glacier can increase your chances of not being found? Especially if you’re alone. I’m a guide here and I caution all the visitors I take out against going by themselves.”
“I’m Ketah. And it would seem you don’t follow your own advice. If not for me happening to come this way, who knows how long you would have been stuck down here.” A small smile tugged at his lips as Haven gave him a look that should have killed him where he stood.
“I’m a guide. I know almost every inch of this glacier. I’m what you would call an expert.”
“That still didn’t save you.”
She narrowed her eyes. “Are you always this annoying?”
Ketah did smile this time. “I’m afraid so. My friends tell me I can be a pain in the ass.”
“I have to agree with them. Since you don’t have a rope, you’ll have to use mine to climb back up. I’ll stay on the bottom while you go first.”
That went against everything in Ketah. Haven was his mate, her safety came before his. Plus, he was immortal. He’d survive a fall, not that his wolf side would allow that.
“No, you’ll go up before I do. Once you reach the top you can throw down the rope.”
“I really must insist you go first. You don’t have a harness and I’m sure mine won’t fit you. I should stay on the bottom to watch you climb up just in case you slip.”
Ketah shook his head. “That’s not necessary. I won’t slip so I wouldn’t need a harness, anyway.”
“It’s my job to make sure everyone I take out on the glacier remains safe. It’s company policy and all that.”
“Are you working right now?”
Haven didn’t reply right away. “Ah, no.”
“Then you’re on your free time, which means you don’t have to follow this company policy, whatever that is.”
She crossed her arms and glared. “I still feel as if you’re my responsibility until we’re safely out of the crevasse.”
He stepped closer and touched the end of her nose with his fingertip. She swatted it away with a scowl, which made him chuckle. “You’re cute when you’re argumentative,” he said.
Haven rolled her eyes and pointed to the opening. “Go. Up. The. Rope. Please,” she said, each word punching out of her.
“Am I bugging you?”
“Ketah, get your damn butt up there. You’re making me lose my patience.”
“You’re not going to take no for an answer, are you?”
“No, I’m not.”
‘’In that case, we’ll go at the same time.”
Not giving Haven a chance to realize what he was about to do, Ketah picked her off her feet and slung her over his shoulder. She let out a little shriek and demanded he put her down. He ignored her as he scaled the wall of ice one-handed while he kept Haven anchored to him with his other arm. Her demands for him to stop grew in volume and her voice became shriller the higher he climbed.
Once Ketah reached the top, he took a few steps away from the opening. He slowly lowered Haven to her feet, positioning her so she slid down the front of him. He kept his arms around her waist and smiled.
She pulled back her fist and punched him in the chest. “Don’t ever do that again. You could have dropped me.” She punched him again, which he blocked by catching her hand and holding it against his pec.
He couldn’t resist. Haven was just too tempting, and having his mating urge newly awakened he couldn’t miss this opportunity. As she berated him again for his stupidity—her opinion, not his—he ended her tirade the best way that came to mind. He lowered his head and kissed her.
Haven stiffened in his arms but that didn’t stop Ketah from coaxing her to return his kiss. He angled his lips over hers for a tighter fit and swept his tongue along the seam of her mouth. She opened with a small sigh, and her fisted hand released and flattened against his chest.
The taste of her went straight to his head. He kissed her deeply and tightened his arm around her waist. His already aching cock throbbed even more as all the blood in his body seemed to center there. A muffled growl of satisfaction rumbled out of him before he could stop it.
That sound was enough to have Haven jerking away from his mouth. Her cheeks were flushed and she was breathing a little fast. As she looked at him, Ketah narrowed his eyes to keep them mostly hidden from her view. Considering how turned-on he was, he knew they had to have taken on a muted glow. He forced himself back under control. His mating urge clawed at him, but he wouldn’t let it have free rein over him.
“What was that?” Haven asked.
He smiled. “A kiss. I thought that would have been obvious.”
“I know it was. I meant why did you do it?”
“Why did I kiss you?”
“I have a beautiful woman in my arms who thinks I’m gorgeous. Why wouldn’t I?”
Haven pushed out of his embrace and took a step back. She ducked her head as she worked on freeing the rope from her harness. Her cheeks had flushed again, but this time Ketah figured it might be from embarrassment. He had a feeling his mate wasn’t used to getting compliments about her looks. He’d have to rectify that.