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Chaper 1 of TEMPTED BY HER WOLVES (HUNGRY FOR HER WOLVES #4) by TARA WEST EPUB
Eilea read her letter of resignation for at least the tenth time. Swallowing a lump of sorrow, she finally folded and sealed it, addressing it to her uncle. Writing that letter had been one of the hardest things she’d ever done, but the Amaroki tribe didn’t need a medical doctor when they had Amara Thunderfoot. Eilea had seen the shifter cure her uncle’s stage-four cancer simply by laying hands on him. What use did the Amaroki have for a human doctor when one of their own could cure the sick in minutes?
Since opening her clinic over a year ago, she’d had fewer than a dozen patients, all feds who’d worked for her uncle. She also vaccinated and did physicals for the shifters used as trackers, a secret elite team of Army soldiers able to spy in wolf form. Other than the trackers, who were always healthy, none of the reservation shifters had set foot in her clinic asking for medical care. Before she came along, the trackers were seen at the military hospital, so they certainly didn’t need her.
She didn’t know why she’d stayed around this long, though somewhere deep in the recesses of her soul, she suspected it was because she’d been waiting on the four Romanian shifter brothers, who’d once tried to claim her as their mate. It had been over a year since she’d seen them. She wondered if they’d ever return to Alaska. Perhaps they were still mourning the loss of their first mate. Not that it mattered to her. She wasn’t going to mate with them, no matter how hot and bothered they made her.
She shoved the letter in her pocket when she heard the clinic door open. Most likely Uncle Joe was back to check on her. Over the past few weeks, his visits had become more frequent, as if he suspected she wasn’t going to renew her contract. Much to her surprise, it was the tribal chieftain, Tor Thunderfoot, along with his retired tracker brother, Van, and their pretty mate, Mihaela. Behind them was their twenty-year-old daughter, Tatiana, who had her mother’s pert nose and slender frame, and her Native fathers’ dark complexion and black hair.
It had taken Eilea a long time to get accustomed to Tor and other alpha shifters, like his sons Drasko and Hakon. Not only could they turn into wolves, they could also transform into ten-foot-tall, hulking ape-like beasts, able to uproot trees from the ground and flip over trucks. Though Tor had never been unkind to Eilea, he hadn’t been particularly friendly either. He always had such an imposing demeanor, reminding Eilea of the monster lurking inside him.
As always, Tatiana had this look, like a shadow cast a gloom over her soul.
Eilea stood and walked around her desk. “Chieftain Thunderfoot, Van, Mihaela, Tatiana… what an unexpected surprise.”
Mihaela lunged forward and grabbed Eilea’s hand. “We didn’t know where else to turn,” she said, her Romanian accent thicker than normal.
She squeezed Mihaela’s hand. “Would you like to come into my office?”
Tor and Van made noises that sounded like bears waking from hibernation.
Mihaela said to them with a scowl, “I think it’s best if you wait in the lobby.”
“She’s our daughter, too,” Tor grumbled.
When Mihaela’s expression darkened, he and Van looked away, all knees and elbows when they folded themselves into the hard chairs lining the wall. Tor was well over six feet tall, and his brother wasn’t much shorter, making the chairs look like kid furniture.
“Come on Tatiana,” Mihaela said, latching onto her daughter’s elbow and dragging her to the exam room at the end of the hall.
Eilea followed, feeling less like the doctor in charge, and shut the door behind her. Tatiana sat on the exam table, staring at her feet. Mihaela hovered beside her like a mother hen watching over an egg.
Maybe she should’ve pulled her file on Tatiana Thunderfoot. She had inherited medical records for all the shifters. What kind of doctor was she, going into an exam room empty-handed?
“How can I help you?” She hoped the she-wolves didn’t notice how nervous she was, but they were part animal and probably smelled her fear.
“She’s been like this over a year, doctor.” Mihaela glanced at her daughter. “Fourteen months.” Her voice cracked like splintered glass. “She refuses to open up to anyone, even her mates. I’m afraid she’ll never complete the bond with them.”
“You’ve said enough, Mom.” Tatiana groaned.
Mihaela’s eyes watered. “I-I’m just worried about you, fiică.”
“Mom,” Tatiana pleaded, “can you wait in the lobby?”
Mihaela flinched, as if she’d been splashed with a bucket of cold water. “But I’m your mamă.”
Tatiana pulled back her shoulders, remarkably cool and calm. “Please go.”
“Fine,” Mihaela spat, storming out of the room with all the finesse of a bull trampling a field of daisies.
Eilea looked from Mihaela’s retreating backside to Tatiana, who instantly deflated. Eilea rolled her stool over to Tatiana, dropping her voice to a soothing whisper. “What’s going on, Tatiana?”
Eilea’s breath hitched when she saw the look of despair in the younger woman’s eyes. She knew the girl had been dealing with depression, and she inwardly chided herself for not checking on her. It was no secret Tatiana blamed herself for the death of her future mother-in-law, Katarina Lupescu. From what Eilea had heard, it hadn’t been her fault. Katarina had chosen to run off after she and Tatiana had a fight, even though the tribe was on lockdown after a corrupt federal agent started hunting them.
“Do you have anything that will help me sleep?” Tatiana asked.
“You’re not sleeping enough?” Eilea chewed on the end of her pencil, warily eyeing the girl. Something told her she’d have a difficult time getting an honest answer.
Tatiana vehemently shook her head. “I want to sleep more.”
The warning sirens in Eilea’s head went off when Tatiana averted her eyes. She was hiding something, and Eilea suspected the sleeping pills masked a more serious problem. Was the girl suicidal? Did she plan on misusing the prescription? Eilea didn’t recall any mention of suicidal shifters when reading their history, except in cases where the rest of the pack had perished.
“How long are you sleeping at night?”
Tatiana frowned. “Not enough.”
She leaned into the girl, not surprised when she scooted back. “Is it sleeping meds you need or depression medicine?”
Tatiana wrapped her arms around herself. “Something to knock me out cold so I don’t have nightmares.”
Awww, fuck. This kid was definitely messed up. “What kind of nightmares are you having?”
“I can’t talk about them.” She hugged herself tighter. “I just need the medication.”
“Please tell me what’s wrong.” Eilea took a chance and rested a hand on her arm, pleased when she didn’t pull away. “Let me help you.”
“Nobody can help me.”
Eilea summoned the courage to find the right words. “Katarina’s death wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes it was!” Tatiana said, burying her face in her hands, “and now I’m paying for it.”
Paying for it? Had Tatiana’s mates rejected her because of their mother’s death? She didn’t understand the intricacies of wolf culture. She wanted to help the girl, but this was beyond her expertise. “What do you mean?”
Tatiana dropped her hands, focusing on something in the corner and reminding Eilea of an alley cat preparing to lash out.
“I’ve said enough,” she snapped. “Are you going to give me the medication or not?”
Eilea stood, folding her arms, doing her best to sound stern but not threatening. “I need more from you before I can give you drugs.”
Tatiana turned away, but not before Eilea saw the tears in her eyes. “I can’t give you more.”
Detailts about TEMPTED BY HER WOLVES (HUNGRY FOR HER WOLVES #4) by TARA WEST EPUB
- Name: TEMPTED BY HER WOLVES (HUNGRY FOR HER WOLVES #4)
- Author: TARA WEST
- Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Publish Year: 2019
- Format: EPUB
- Price: Free
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