Destined to be His
by Bryce Evans
Pre-order: March 16, 2017
Published: March 23, 2017
A Paranormal Romance Suspense
Book #5, Love of a Shifter Series
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Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Witches, Shifters, Vampires, Action, Drama, and Suspense.
Nash Wilder is used to being in control as the head of security for his pack, and it’s frustrating him to no end that so many of his family and friends have found love, while he sits around twiddling his thumbs waiting for fate to drop his mate into his life. When he’s sent to rescue shifters from involuntary medical testing, he goes in single, and comes out knowing who he’s meant to spend his life with.
Emerson Prescott left home for a dream job that turned into a horrific nightmare. As a member of the Witches Council, she’s never felt helpless until she’s strapped to a table, forcibly drained of her blood for greed.
Could it be her Prince Charming lives in a shifter’s body? He certainly looks the part, and Emerson can’t deny she’s drawn to him. Trusting him is another matter altogether.
Unknown forces are plaguing Emerson and Nash and secrets are being kept at the Meadowland Lodge. Can the two stay together long enough to see if true mate’s equals true love or will the enemy find Emerson before they can find out.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Nash said.
Emerson glanced up at him. “To be honest, I was thinking about you and how nice you are.”
“Well, I’m a nice guy.” Nash gave her a lopsided grin.
“Apparently. Everyone likes you, Nash. I haven’t met one person yet who hasn’t had something nice to say about you. They all love you, and maybe that’s how shifters are, but to me it’s rare. I’ve been around my father’s crowd so long that I’ve become distant, but not here. I really do like it here at the lodge.”
“I knew you would. You’ll see that this is a great group of people who live here. I love them all. That’s what I missed growing up; a family that shared everything and loved each other. Even,” Nash held up a finger, “when you do something wrong. Once Ash got here she felt it too. This was what we were missing—family and friends to call you on your shit.” Nash laughed. “Trust me when I say that they will always tell you when you’re wrong, but they do it in a nice way. That’s why I’m so excited for you to join the Unit. They are a family and they protect each other. They’re not looking just at physical strength; they need your mind, your abilities. For you to use what you’ve been blessed with.
“You see, any one of them, including me, would’ve stopped to check on that car and would’ve ended up in the same predicament you were in. So, don’t think ‘if I was only stronger this wouldn’t have happened to me.’ The purpose of the Unit is to solve the mystery and get these people so they can’t do this to anyone else.”
Emerson stood there with her mouth open and tears in her eyes. “If only my dad had said that to me when I woke up, would I be having these panic attacks or be second-guessing myself? Why couldn’t he have said it like that and be the loving father he once was?” Emerson wiped away the tears that escaped.
“You said he was once a loving father?” Nash asked, interested.
“Yeah, he wasn’t always this way, Nash. I don’t know what happened. When my mother was killed, he changed. Even toward me, he changed.”
“Have you ever tried to talk to him about it?”
Emerson pushed her fingers through her hair. “Some, but he just changes the subject. To be honest, I’ve…I’ve let him get away with not talking to me for so long that I never bring it up. I know I should’ve put my foot down, but my father is different and I guess I didn’t want to know the truth.”
“I’m sorry, Emerson. I truly am, but we can’t go back. If I could, I would’ve gotten to you sooner. But it did happen, and I’m here now for you. I’ll hold your hand and tell you that everything will be okay. You’ll never forget this, but you’ll find a way to cope with it and go on with your life. These panic attacks will get better and you’ll realize that the answer was always inside of you.”
Grabbing his arm, she searched his eyes. “Are you for real? What if you get tired of waiting on me? I’m going to disappoint you, and what if—”
Nash leaned forward and softly slid his lips over hers. He didn’t force the kiss, but he wanted her to know that he was here to stay.
Pulling back, they both stared into each other’s eyes. “Emerson Prescott, I’ll wait forever for you if I have to.”
Emerson wrapped her arms around his chest. “Thank you. Thank you for being here for me.”
She didn’t want to let go, but they couldn’t stay like this forever, even though she would. His body was so warm, and he smelled divine. All she wanted to do was lick him all over. Whoa, where did that come from?
“Are you tired?” Nash’s voice mumbled in her hair.
“Not yet. Are you?”
“Nope, I could stay like this all day.”
“I think you would get tired pretty quick.”
“No ma’am. You’re the most comfortable pillow I’ve ever had.”
Emerson giggled. “I’m a squishy pillow.”
“No, you’re everything.” Emerson felt relieved for the first time since her mom died. She didn’t feel like she had to impress Nash. He seemed to like her as she was. To him she was perfect.
“I want to take you up to the mountain to meet Jessie. She does all kinds of crafts, and it’s simply remarkable to watch her blow glass and make her jewelry.”
“That would be fun, and I want to thank her for this.” Emerson held up her bracelet.
“I think she would like that. You ready?”
Emerson walked hand-in-hand with Nash down the hallway. When the elevator door opened, her heart started beating faster.
Nash didn’t hesitate; he pulled her inside, trying not to give her time to think about it. He moved closer to her and whispered, “I have another surprise for you, but only if you can answer my riddle.”
Her whole face lit up, because she loved riddles. “What’s the riddle?”
His eyes twinkled. “Are you sure you can get this?”
“I’m very good at riddles, Nash. I think I can handle this.”
“Okay then. Well, what slides, stomps its foot, and jingles all the way?”
Emerson looked down to the ground in thought. “What slides, stomps its foot, and jingles all the way?”
“Yep.” Nash took her arm and led her out of the elevator. She was so preoccupied that she didn’t realize that a woman was standing in front of them handing him a coat and he was slipping it over her arms. Then he led her out the door.
“Huh?” She looked up at him, pulled out of her deep thought.
“What slides, stomps its foot, and jingles all the way?” He pointed, and that was when she heard bells, and saw a horse pulling a sleigh up the hill.
“A sleigh,” she whispered. He was taking her for a sleigh ride.
“We’re going to see Jessie in the sleigh?” she asked, excited. Her eyes darted back and forth from him to the sleigh.
“Oh my God. Oh my God.” Emerson jumped up and down, clapping her hands together. “This is wonderful. I’ve always wanted to ride in one.” She jumped up into his arms and kissed him, then pulled away and ran down the steps.
A man stepped down from the sleigh, smiling. “She’s all ready to go, Nash.”
Emerson was too busy petting the horse to even give the man a second look. She loved horses and always wished she could own one, but her father was allergic to them.
“Thanks, Josh, I appreciate this. And sorry for the short notice.”
“No problem. The big ones are out on tours, and Betsy here had just finished her lunch. She should be ready to go now.” Josh started to walk off but stopped, “Oh yeah, the blankets are in the box and there’s fresh hot chocolate in the Thermos. Have fun.”
Nash stepped over to where she was standing and smiled. “Good surprise?”
She couldn’t stop smiling. “The best.”
“Well Miss Betsy has had her lunch and is ready to go. So, my lady, are you ready?” Nash held his hand out to her.
“Why yes, kind sir.” Emerson gave him her hand and he helped her up into the sleigh. Nash got in and pulled out a blanket, and placing it over both of their legs.
“Yes…and thank you for doing this, Nash. I’ve never had this many surprises in my life.”
“Many more to come.” Nash said with a wink. He made a clicking sound with his lips and the sleigh moved forward. This was a moment that she would always come back to. This would be her happy thought.
“If you want some hot chocolate, look in that Thermos and pour yourself some. We just had some fresh snow fall last night, so it should be a white ride.”
Her face felt like it was going to break from grinning much, but she didn’t care. This was wonderful. She closed her eyes and listened as the sleigh slid across the snow and the bells jingled with each step Betsy made as she stomped the ground. It was magic.
About Bryce Evans:
As a mother, wife, and career law enforcement officer, Bryce Evans deals with a variety of people on a daily basis. With her days packed full of packing lunches, fighting crime, and taxiing kids around, she uses her nights to dream of exotic worlds and intriguing characters and bring them to life. Her characters are strong, and resilient, but harbor enough heart to make you fall in love with them. Much of the time you’ll find her chatting books with her friends.