Running with the Wolf - Melissa Schroeder

Running with the Wolf

Our next author up for Romancing the Wolf is Gayle Donnelly!

Running with the Wolf

Part of the Romancing the Wolf Anthology.


Running from an abusive ex-husband, Sydney Fuller faked her death, bought a new identity and hopped a bus North to Oregon; far away from her Louisiana roots. Two years later, now living as Abigail Mann and teaching Kindergarten in the small town of Sisters, she thought she could finally exhale and stop looking over her shoulder. But getting comfortable and trusting again was something Abby was having a problem with. Especially when it came to the tall, dark, and brooding guardian of three of her students.

After recently gaining control of the Oregon territory, the Cascadia wolves needed to protect what was theirs. And as one of the strongest hunters known, Abram Keaton knew the pack children had become targets. Abram became their guardian; taking them to school, watching over them, and delivering the young back to their families. It was a massive responsibility considering the children belonged to his Alpha but as an added bonus, Abram began forging a relationship with the distant but alluring teacher.   Chocolate brown hair, wide brown eyes, and a shyness that only made him to pursue her even stronger, Abram found he couldn’t stay away from Miss. Mann. But involving her in his world wasn’t smart and the more he watched her, the more he came to believe she was hiding from something. Or someone.


Abby walked through the front door and greeted her landlord. “Hey Miss Ruth. Can you believe this weather?”

“Abby, how many times do I have to tell you, this is nothing. Snow up here is like the sun where you’re from. It’s always around. School let out early?”

Abby unwrapped her scarf and shook it by the front door. She walked across the room and grabbed a sugar cookie off of the front counter. “Yup. I thought I would go take a nice hot bath and crawl in bed with a good book.”

“Now that sounds good to me too.”

Abby spun around only to see Abram standing in the doorway with all three kids with him. Why the hell was he here?

Mrs. Hayney walked out from behind the counter. “Abram Keaton! Don’t tell me you couldn’t make it through this? If anyone could, it would be you.”

He gave the sly older woman a wink. She knew exactly who and what Abram was and thank heaven for it. Ruth Hayney had provided years of support and much needed cover for the Cascadia pack and Alex had repaid her in kind. He and Abram had refurbished her home after her husband passed a decade ago and also financed her purchase of the B&B so she could keep a high profile presence in the area. Everyone in town knew Ruth and when it came to the sightings of gigantic wolves and strange goings on, she was right there telling tall tales of mystical creatures and magic within the forest.

The older woman reached up and placed a chaste kiss on Abram’s cheek. “So good to see you.” She leaned down and brushed the snow from Sawyer’s head. “And you three…how big you’ve gotten. Why don’t you go and get a cookie from the counter and I’ll see what I can do about a room.”

The kids scampered across the room and Abram was stuck staring at Abby. “So, a bath and a book, huh? What do you read?”

Abby’s cheeks pinked. “Romance novels.”

Abram instantly hardened, picturing Abby lying in a tub full of bubbles, hair piled on top of her head, reading a sexy story.   He walked toward her and rested his elbow on the counter. “Really?”

Abby blew out a raspberry. “Oh please, Abram. Seriously? I can see your mind churnin’ at this very moment.”

Abram laughed. “You can actually see that? Well, I’ll have to be more careful around you from now on. “

Abby laughed right back. A pretty tinkling laugh that had Abram’s stomach in a knot. Making her happy felt good. Especially after overhearing her with her friend Charlotte the other day. If Abby was dealing with a bad past relationship, he wanted to show her what a good one was really like.

“Well,” Abby began, “I was always told my family had some kind of sight. Remember, I’m from New Orleans. That’s where magic was born. Momma said the women in our family could always tell if someone was genuine or not. Hell, I failed that one like a champ.”

“Hell!” Marina yelled.

Both Abram and Abby looked down at the little princess. Her face covered in pink icing from the cookies and her hair damp and curly from the snow. The little mockingbird.

Abby closed her eyes in defeat. “I give up. No matter how much I say, how many words come out of my mouth, she will always choose to repeat the one word she’s not supposed to say. It’s a gift and a curse.”

“You have no idea.” Abram chuckled.

Silence enclosed them both as they just stared into each other’s eyes. Abram knew he was in trouble the first day he saw Abby but looking at her at that moment, he didn’t care any longer. There was something about the little Southern belle that intrigued him and he didn’t want to wait any longer to see what it felt like to touch her.

He slowly raised his hand and tucked her hair behind her ear. Running his finger across her cheek, her skin felt like warm silk. Abram watched as Abby’s eyelids fluttered and he couldn’t take it any longer. He slid his index finger under her chin and tipped her mouth up to his. Leaning down, he gently brushed his lips against hers. Soft, warm, and plump, he sucked her lower lip into his mouth and gently bit down. Her soft moan took him by surprise but not as much as feeling her hands on his chest. Her acceptance of his touch fueled his need for her even more.

Without thought, Abram dug his hands into her hair and deepened the kiss. His tongue slid inside her warm mouth and once again, a moan escaped her.   All rational thought left his brain and he could feel his wolf jump to attention. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end and his muscles tightened under his skin. The wolf liked this. Liked her.

A biting pain suddenly engulfed his crotch and Abram fell to his knees. Breathing heavily and gripping what was left of his balls, he looked up to find Marina standing in front of him, her little hands balled into fists. Jesus Christ. She had punched him in the balls.

“You can’t do that to Miss Mann, Unka A. You not married to her. Momma says you have to be married to kiss so you can’t do that. Momma says anybody tries to kiss me like that, I have to hit them in the zipper.”

Wincing, Abram looked past the little princess and saw the other two standing behind her, nodding in agreement.

He closed his eyes, dropped his head, and tried to breathe through the pain. Alex’s kids were fucking lethal.


About Gayle!

Gayle Donnelly earned her degree in English Education and immediately fell in love with British Lit. She has a profound weakness for Starbucks coffee and is completely captivated by the ethereal beauty found in the Pacific Northwest. Spending the last 20+ years calling Oklahoma home, she recently moved to Texas and immediately bought the hottest pair of cowboy boots she could find! She lives there with her husband, two daughters, three dogs, and Gus – the bearded dragon.

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