The Sheriff and his
Shifters of Freedom Springs, 3
If your blood was the price of saving the world, would you pay it? Ariana Rika is asking herself that very question.
Ariana has always known what she would have to do in order to complete her portion of the prophecy.
The fact that she would find her mate, and be shown glimpses of a future she would long for more than anything, was completely unexpected.
Sheriff Ryan Winters is Ariana’s mate, and he and his wolf are in complete agreement. The cost is just too damn high. He struggles to get her to admit to their mating bond, and has to fight to get her to see him as more than just a weapon in the fight against evil.
Can the two of them come together, as the Fates decreed, and solve her portion of the prophecy without having to pay the ultimate sacrifice?
Shifters of Freedom Springs Series in Reading Order
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content. By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
The Sheriff and his Air Goddess
All rights reserved, Maia Dylan
Ariana swallowed hard, and Ryan suddenly didn’t know if he wanted to hear what she had to say. There was only so much rejection a guy could take.
“Casey told me that perhaps I haven’t handled our…situation as well as I could have.” Ariana nibbled on her bottom lip, and Ryan’s dick shot to full mast in a second. Jesus, this woman had him triggered to fire so damn fast it was almost embarrassing. “Everything I have said, everything I have insisted we do since we have met is what I think is for the best. Well, it was what I thought was for the best. But Casey made me see that perhaps you would see it more of a rejection than what I intended it to be.”
Ryan made a mental note to buy Casey whatever the hell she wanted when he caught up with her. “Yeah,” he said with a nod, “I do see it as a rejection. Not just of what the Fates believe to be what’s best, but of me as a mate.”
Ariana’s eyes filled with tears, and Ryan panicked.
“Please. Baby, please. Don’t cry,” he murmured as he raised his hands to cup her face, then gently pressed kisses across her cheeks, his wolf whimpering at the salty taste of her tears.
“That was the last th-thing that I w-wanted you to th-think,” Ariana whispered, and the regret in her tone had him stepping into her more firmly. Wrapping his arms around her, he leaned forward to press his forehead to hers. “I truly thought n-not being with you, or acknowledging the mating bond between us, would be what was b-best for you. But I see n-now that it was only what was best for me.”
Ryan froze for a second, then immediately dropped his hands and stepped back, so fast Ariana stumbled slightly, and he shot a hand out to grab her arm to stop her from falling. Once she was steady and she looked at him in total confusion, he dropped his hand and stood back even further. So this is what it feels like to have your heart ripped from your chest while it’s still beating.
“Ariana.” Ryan’s voice came out raspy, and he cleared his throat in an attempt to shift the lump that had suddenly formed there. “As your mate—wait…no, as a man who has come to care and appreciate you for what and who you are, I must do what is best for you. There is no alternative but to ensure your happiness and safety. If not being mated to me”—God, that hurt to say—“is what is best for you, then, okay. I’ll stop bothering you and making you uncomfortable. I’m, ah…well, I’m sorry. Why don’t you catch up with the rest? I think I’ll just run back to town from here.” Ryan turned and moved to run back into the forest.
“Wait!” Ariana cried out and grabbed his arm. Ryan stood stock-still, his entire body motionless with tension.
“I did it again. I said the wrong thing. Well, not the wrong thing exactly, but the wrong way! I wanted to say that it wasn’t you I had been trying to spare, but myself! Gah—” Ariana made a sound filled with frustration. Then she moved so that she faced him. Damn, she was so beautiful, her long black hair almost shimmering with a hint of blue in the sunlight, green-upon-green eyes that were so bright they were almost like a reflective pool, and he ached to count the freckles that were sprinkled across the bridge of her nose and cheeks with kisses.
“I have dreamed of you all my life.” Ariana’s voice rang clear, no hesitation and no grief. “You have come to me in times of need, in times of joy, and whenever I doubted my choices in life, you were there. The day I called you to ask for your help in rescuing Casey, I knew who you were. Then, when Dad and I arrived here in Freedom Springs, and we met, I felt the mating bond snap between us, and all I could think about, all that was running through my head was how was I going to say good-bye to you.”
Ariana was breathing heavily now as emotions swirled within her, and he could feel an echo of that turmoil down their tenuous link.
“Ryan, I know on every level that my blood is what will stop Aeron this time. I have no doubt in my mind that my blood will play a part in that.”
Ryan’s wolf lurched to the surface at the thought of his mate having to bleed. Neither of them was at all happy that the solution involved her being physically hurt.
“But I want to try to find a way to survive it.”
Ryan’s heart skipped a beat.
“Ariana?” he asked softly. Was she saying what he hoped she was with every fiber of his being?
“I have lived my entire life knowing that I was an instrument for a goddess who was fighting to keep our world safe. I trained to control my power, I studied to learn as much about Aeron as I could to try and further my cause, but I have never been selfish. I have never taken something for me, and now that I have found you, I want to be selfish for however long we have together.”
The Sheriff and his Air Goddess
"With plenty of action, plus lots of heartwarming moments, this is a book that will definitely take you along for the ride. My advice is to sit back and enjoy. "
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DECEMBER 8, 2021