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Authors: Mikea Howard

The Mechanic's Mate

BOOK: The Mechanic's Mate
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Table of Contents

THE MECHANIC’S MATE

The Diesel War Series Book 1

MIKEA HOWARD

SOUL MATE PUBLISHING

New York

THE MECHANIC’S MATE

Copyright©2015

MIKEA HOWARD

Cover Design by Melody A. Pond

This book is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher.  The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.  Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502

ISBN: 978-1-61935-
902-4

www.SoulMatePublishing.com

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

We would like to dedicate this book to all of the writers out there who have yet to be able to share their story with anyone. To the writers who get beat down by all the “No thank you” replies to their queries because their worlds are unique and don’t fit in a box, your persistence has and will continue to inspire us.

Also our families . . . the ones who let us live to adulthood, the ones who joined our lives and let us keep all the childlike wonder that survived the journey, and the ones who created new wonder and purpose with their messy, whaling arrivals. Thank you for putting up with us through all of this and supporting us no matter what.

Acknowledgements

In the very nerve-wracking process of writing a debut novel, it was spectacular to find those special gems who made it all easier.

First and foremost, we’d like to thank our beta readers. They took the time to read and give their honest feedback. Carolline, Jarylynn, Sandy, and Mar, your words and support were invaluable. Even those of you—not mentioning names—who were surprised you liked it.

Next, our author friends who gave us the inspiration to try co-writing together . . . and then actually put it out there for others to read. First, Joey W Hill, for reading our query and helping us make it shiny. Stella Price and Jae Lynne Davies, for always letting us know you have our backs. Andrew Grey, A.L. Davroe, and Leanna Renee Hieber, your advice was monumental, and while we’re sure it seemed like a simple short conversation to you, it turned out to be the pivotal point that we decided to dive in head first.

Most importantly, we’d like to thank Soul Mate Publishing for taking a chance on our idea. And our editor, Cheryl, you took our book and helped us make it even better than we ever thought possible. We are blessed to have you on our side.

Finally, Google . . . We had many long hours together where you occasionally brought us places no one should go, but we forgive you.

Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them. Even though it’s in an alternate universe, due to the probability of string theory, all events described herein actually happened, though on occasion we took certain, very small, liberties with chronology, because that is our right as writers.

Chapter 1

Sadie ran as much as she could. Crouched behind a downed tree, her heart pounding, she took a couple of deep breaths to calm her burning lungs and tried to figure out what to do next.
Think, think, think
. How could she be such a sap?
Come on, Sadie, this had been your brainchild.
She’d asked for this and now found herself hiding like a frightened rabbit.

The chorus of her father’s favorite song ‘Run Rabbit Run’ by Flanagan and Allen danced into her mind. Visions of Pop turning his wrench singing the lyrics while she worked alongside him in his garage had her toes tapping. Great, just great now she was going crazy!

Focus!

Maybe he infected her with crazy, not werewolfism.
Is that even what I should
call it? Chump.
She chastised herself for not foreseeing these types of things. No, she had imagined a great romantic image like
some teenage idol story.

Sadie pleaded with him, “Maybe you should just change me. We should be the same. It makes sense.”

“Say it now. Say you want to be changed, say you'll accept me as your mate!” he demanded.

Yep, his manic response should have been a
clue that she didn’t live in some teenybopper romance novel. Her mate’s heartfelt attempt at saving her soul, making sure she wanted to be a werewolf, or spend her life with him, never happened.

Okay, focus again. There should be some great benefits now, right.

She was a werewolf for goddess sakes, not that she'd shifted or anything.
But shouldn't some part of this change include animal powers? Or did he con me and I’m a dud?

She attempted to take a deep breath, lost her balance, and stuck her hand on the downed tree to rebalance. Her hand sunk into the rotting tree.
Eww gross!
She flung herself back away from it and onto her butt. Loudly.

She deserved extra points for not screaming though. This being her first foray outside of the city, Sadie should get even more points for surviving out here this long—it'd been at least thirty minutes. Believing his fear of leaving Eureka
and returning to the woods would keep her safe, here hiding deep within the trees, she saw it as the only viable option. Eridon
said his former pack just didn't understand the world of engines, motorcars, and airplanes and how much better city life was. He couldn't go back to their primitive ways.

Scanning left and right didn't reward her with anything. Nothing moved, she found nothing but the quiet woods.
This hits the grit.
Resolving with a sigh of frustration, Sadie realized she had no super vision
. Everything looks the same, as it always has. Okay, try another sense.

She squeezed her eyes shut. At least she wouldn't lose her balance this time since she already sat. She kept them tight until stars appeared behind her lids, so she eased up a bit and focused on her ears. Ugh, no use! Her heartbeat pounding in her ears had become the sole sound. The loud thud of the organ pumping drowned out everything else, her pulse pounding against her temples and behind her eyes.

How did she miss the onslaught of internal noise earlier? Maybe the lack of vibration, the constant hum of the engines no longer muffling her senses. She needed to escape the rumbling noise
driving her insane, with the same urgency as escaping Eridon. Eureka’s
constant motion never bothered her before that bastard bit her. This should be a sweet relief, but now her pounding heart created a whole new distraction. How would she concentrate on anything else?

Calm down, don’t flip your wig, and relax a little!

So she had no super sight or super hearing that she could tell.
Obviously her balance didn’t improve either.
She rolled her eyes in exasperation; sure she’d be the lone clumsy, blind, deaf werewolf out in nature for the first time.

Oh yeah, can’t forget that I’m also a sap who’s going crazy. How did you think this would work, Sadie?
Okay, enough beating myself up. Move on.

Another sense, what else could she try? The crack of a twig
startled her out of her musings. Turning her head she found a pair of steadfast big black stompers planted on the ground, about two feet away.

Oh goddess, I’m all wet, he found me, he found me, he found me
. The panicked words played like a broken phonograph in her mind.

Okay just
look
sorry and maybe he won't get in a lather
. She took a deep breath of resignation, and that's when it hit her. A scrumptious scent caressed her nose. Oh, that smelled good, like sandalwood and evergreen, pure werewolf, however, not
him
.

Attagirl! I have super smelling!
Getting up and doing a happy dance crossed her mind. She could smell and could tell what stood there and who he wasn't.
Oh wait, I’m still all wet, and still caught. They could be in cahoots.
How could she forget that? She’d always been a little scatterbrained, but now bordered on crazy.
Focus!
Okay, time to figure out who found her.

She stared at the black boots.
How the hell did this goon sneak up on me trudging around in those things?
Oh yeah, because I’m the worst werewolf ever! Wait, what was I doing? That’s right, checking out this oilcan.

She shook her head as if the action would clear her mind and continued up past his knees to thick legs encased in green striders that went on forever. How tall did werewolves get? She froze at the crotch of his pants, noting the
bulge outlined in the material.

Oh my goddess! He is hard.

Was he excited about bumping her off, eager to end the life of some dame he didn’t even know? Her gaze sped up to his stomach, not wanting the answer to her own question. The outline of his abs through his tight undershirt moved with each patient breath while she continued the visual trek up his body.

Just an undershirt out in public, no way this goon is from Eureka.
Sadie then chastised herself, as though she had any right to judge how the man dressed right now.

Sadie paused on a set of broad shoulders then moved up his corded neck to full lips. Oh, those full lips, she didn't want to lick them.
Really. Did he just smirk with those sexy lips? Creep.

A pair of ice-blue eyes met hers and straightaway she averted her gaze to his black hair.
Oh, the beautiful palooka
. She tried again to lock eyes with him and couldn't. What the hell was wrong with her?

“Look at me, in the eyes, now,” he said quietly.

She snapped to meet his command
immediately. He cocked his head a tiny bit and studied her. Did he like what he saw? She raised a hand to fix her hair, tangling her fingers in the matted mess. She hadn't been near a mirror for so long. Not that it mattered; she didn't care if this goon liked her appearance.

Honestly, I don’t
.
He must think he’s the big cheese.
She knew he must believe so after the first words left that kisser of his. This wolf must be a savage living in the enclaves, all city slickers said so. Just crazy Natties, who couldn't cope with progress, as though any advances made in the cities were harmful. Of course they built machines to better mankind.

On the other hand, if she believed werewolves so old hat, why did she run to them? It's not like they wouldn't find her. She knew the wolves would catch her in their territory the moment she entered. And if Sadie believed machines so harmless, why did she have the overwhelming need to escape, not just her captor, but Eureka? Sadie’s desire to be away from the oil, gasoline, and noise drove her on.

She shouldn't care if he liked her, or found her pretty. This concern with her appearance and obedience troubled her. Why did she burn with this urge to please him? She should run. Just go back home, coming here was wrong.
Right! Run! Running would be Dillinger.
She picked a direction to head and began to stand up.

He spoke in a quiet, yet stern tone, “I’ll allow you to stand now, but you may not run. Understand?”

She let out a snort.
Fathead.
Like him telling Sadie not to run could stop her from leaving. She readied her body to start running right now. She didn't move.
Okay, now!
She still didn't move, because she couldn't.

“Answer me now!” he barked.

“I understand,” Sadie squeaked, cupping a hand over her mouth in haste.
Wait who said that?
Certainly not her.

Domek smelled it the moment that rogue Eridon re-entered his territory. The bastard knew the rules when the pack forced him to leave. Returning after the choices he made, the damage he had done—not an option.

With that constant background noise of engines, the rumble and the hum could drive a wereanimal insane. The worst cases didn't lose their wits though, they’d become cruel and violent, with a cold calculation and a side of severe paranoia. Although most have milder effects like not being unable to concentrate or quick to anger from the grating on their nerves; knowing who would suffer the backlash most remained an unpredictable feat.

Not that the Shifter and Were coalitions shared that bit of information with the general public. At first Were healers couldn't figure out why so many suffered this new affliction, since the madness appeared to be like a gradual toxin that built up over time. Domek once heard it compared to a form of torture Chinese interrogators employed, where they would use drops of water dripped over the same location for a long period of time. Most find the repetitive annoyance to their senses innocuous but it breaks some people. That's what cities do, they just break some people. In all likelihood, not just wereanimals either.

Once the healers identified that the engines caused the insanity, at the dawn of the golden age for humans, the Were societies had to reveal themselves. They needed
to stop the roads and the cities from taking over all of nature. Human’s inherent xenophobia ruled their sensibilities, which resulted in the Diesel War.

So many lives were lost, on both sides all over the world. In America, humans were being compared to Nazis so soon after the defeat of Hitler. It struck a chord with the President, forcing him to call for peace. Humans, Weres, and Shifters formed a pact and they drew lines. Cities and machinery could not be built within earshot of Were and Shifter communities in the US. They divided the nation into six sectors to organize the militia and maintain the peace.

Much to their surprise the lines still held to this day, most likely because of the strong military presence along both sides of the borders. On occasion, wereanimals, often called Natties, crossed those lines to become rogues and live in the cities. Sometimes dieselheads would 'pull a Hemingway' and join the scrub encampments within the Were communities.

Domek assumed that Eridon fell under the heading of ‘one of the broken’, considering his psychotic behavior led to his exile. His instability became more evident when he chose to modify his left arm. It took, at best, twenty minutes to track down that iron and oil odor, which should have been the first clue the rogue wouldn’t be found at the end of this trail.

Eridon,
being a sinister bastard, would make following his tracks almost impossible. However the undesirable smell led him here. Standing next to this woman, he caught a trace of the rotter’s scent with a sweetness breaking through. Mmmm, she smelled like honeysuckle under that repulsive iron and oil scent.
Wait,
that’s not possible their scents aren’t blended
. Can someone accept a mating but something go wrong?
No, you aren't allowed to change your mind, or reject the bond once the sacred words have been said
. Yet as Domek stood there, stronger honeysuckle invaded his nose.

Full moon!
She smelled so good. He’d gotten hard while tracking, which had confused him, until he’d reached the reason now standing in front of him—a good reason. The female’s
brown hair hung stringy and dreadlocked in areas from her scalp. Pale skin with bruises in varying degrees of healing painted her arms and legs.

The dark wounds made it evident that a bitten werewolf sat here, not yet shifted, because she should be healing at a better rate. Soft hazel eyes gazed in his direction, and though they shone beautifully, no doubt they glowed when not so sunken and exhausted. Beat down and damaged right now, possibly a mere echo of herself remained for all the mistreatment she’d endured.

Swollen, purple marks covered her jaw on the left side, healing at a snail’s pace; he concluded she’d gotten the bruises from it being broken. The injuries made him want to tear Eridon apart with his bare hands, painfully, and at his leisure. When she’d considered disobeying he’d almost laughed, and would have if she didn't appear so defeated.
Gaia’s teats!
What the hell had that mangy mutt done to her?

Domek knew she wanted to run. It was obvious in her posture. The way her eyes darted around, looking for a means of escape, gave it away. But as an omega wolf, she remained submissive to his alpha bearing. Her very nature insisted she obey any direct command he gave. She fidgeted, fighting her growing arousal, her body responding to his desires. Unfortunately, his desire involved picking her up, turning her around, slamming her hips into that rotten tree, and grabbing her hair to take her until she couldn't see straight. Better yet, until neither of them could move.

BOOK: The Mechanic's Mate
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