Awakened Animals

A Shifter Novel (15)

by Jaden Sinclair

Cousins. Close as brothers, both with a past they must deal with in order to embrace the future.

Stray has been held as a sex slave for years. His one and only thought night after night in his cage has been Vesper, his mate. Now with her in his arms, finally he thinks all will be well—until his cousin gets a call that will change both of their lives.

Mika thought he had found his mate, but he was wrong. After her death, he ran from it all, but he could only run for so long. Back in a place he had called home, he comes to terms with the fact that the one he thought he wanted wasn’t meant to be. He also has to deal with one family member who clearly doesn’t want him there.

As one bonds with his mate, the other struggles with his past as well as what is right in front of him. Mika refuses to see that he made a mistake and the pull he thought he felt toward one is really meant for another. When Mother Nature takes it all out of his hands, Mika must come to terms with what has been unleashed.




Stray stood outside the apartment, looking up at the window he was sure his mate was behind. It had taken him months to track her down. Just standing outside he could smell her, and it brought back all sorts of memories. Her scent he could never forget, no matter how much that bitch who’d caged him tried to drag it out of him. It was there for life, under his skin, in his very soul.

Thunder boomed off in the distance, but it didn’t bother him at all. He loved the rain. It washed and cleaned everything. Thunderstorms also relaxed him. But he couldn’t relax at the moment, not when his mate was so close.

He started to take a step out of the shadows and go to her but stopped when he saw a dark van drive down the road. Always one to listen to the gut, Stray stopped and watched the van. It came to the front of the apartment building and stopped. Taking a sniff, he picked up human scent as two men got out of the van and started for the front door. Not a good sight in Stray’s eyes.

Waiting until they went inside the building, Stray left the darkness and followed. He stayed one floor behind them as he followed, and when they stopped on the floor where his mate lived his stomach turned. Stray creeped up the steps and hunched down enough to watch them on the stairs without being seen.

One of the humans had a key. They both looked around as they put the key in the lock, turned it, opened the door and quickly walked in. Seconds later all hell broke loose in that apartment.

He heard things breaking and a woman scream, more stuff breaking, then silence. Emitting a low growl from the back of his throat, Stray came out of hiding and went to the door. He pushed it open since the humans left it ajar and saw red. One of the human men held his mate in his arms, and the other was pulling a needle out from her arm. Clearly, they’d knocked her out, but why he didn’t know or give a shit.

Stray growled loud enough to be heard. Both men looked up and the one that had the needle dropped it and brought out a gun which he pointed at Stray.

“Really?” Stray asked him, narrowing his eyes. Instead of moving, Stray kicked the sofa that sat right next to the guy. It hit his hip, distracting him enough that Stray was able to jump in the air and come down behind it. Not blinking, Stray took hold of his head and twisted, breaking his neck. “I suggest you put her down, or I’ll rip your fucking throat out next,” he snarled at the other man.

The guy tossed her toward the sofa, then turned completely around and faced Stray again, gun in his hand. He pulled the trigger. Bullets began flying, causing Stray to duck for cover. One of those bullets ended up grazing his arm and steam came out of the wound. The pricks were using copper bullets and that meant they knew what he was and had likely been expecting him. But how the hell would they have known about him?

“Get the girl!” the man yelled.

Stray peeked around the counter where he’d taken cover and snarled low when he saw his mate being picked up by another human just entering the apartment. When he made to follow them, more shooting came his way, forcing him to take cover.

“Come on out, dog,” the one sang. “Let me put a bullet right between your fucking eyes.”

“Why don’t you come here,” Stray yelled back. “And I’ll rip your windpipe out with my bare hands, and you can have a look at it before you die.”

He laughed and more rounds rang out. Then all went quiet. Stray listened hard for anything like the sound of a gun reloading, but heard nothing more. Turning again, he peeked out. The guy that had been shooting at him was gone.

Standing up fast and running toward the door he sniffed as he ran, making sure the bastard wasn’t in the hallway waiting to take his head off. What he did hear was heavy footsteps running away.

Following the sound, Stray ran hard and fast. He jumped down short flights of stairs, trying to close the distance. He wanted to reach them before they left with his mate.

Kicking a side door open, Stray made it outside the same time as the small group in the tiny apartment. He saw his mate slung over a male’s shoulder and that had him snarling, then growling. The humans turned in his direction with shocked expressions on their faces.

Seeing red again, Stray went after them. The one carrying his mate jerked the side of a van door open and tossed her in, then followed. Two more jumped in, and then one from inside leaned out and began shooting again. From the faint scent Stray picked up, it was the same son of a bitch that had been shooting at him a few minutes ago.

“Go!” the one shooting yelled inside the van. His looked back at Stray and shot at him again.

Stray reached the back of the van just as a bullet struck him. The burn from it knocked him down to the sidewalk and kept him there. Pain shot up and down his arm and when he looked, he saw he’d been shot in the left shoulder. Unable to get up from the pain and burn, he watched as the van pealed out, smoke shooting from the back tires as it sped off.

“Motherfucker,” he snarled then groaned, lowering his head down to the cement. His vision started to blur and he couldn’t seem to move. “I’ll get you,” he huffed, struggling to get his right arm to pull the cell out of his pocket. “I swear I’ll get you for this.”

Shaking his head to clear his eyes, he fought to dial a number to call for help. When he heard the phone ringing he almost blacked out in relief and wanted to cry for a moment when the other end picked up. “I need help,” he huffed. “Been shot and—and it’s copper. Tra—track phone—” he said, then all went black.


"Awaken Animals" - Jaden Sinclair



Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



? Heat Level: 5