Lia Davis is the author of the bestselling shifter series, Ashwood Falls, a mother to two young adults and three kitties, a wife to her soul mate, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very active imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing is stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.
Gift of Winter
An Ashwood Falls free read
Danica Welsh lit the last candle around the living room and scanned the small cabin as she bit her bottom lip. She never thought she’d be celebrating the first year anniversary of her mating. Hell she never dreamed she’d find a mate. A year ago she lived in this very cabin, which was located on the edge of the den, far enough away that she could be alone.
Now she was mated to a wonderful, caring, and loyal human male that she’d surrendered her heart and soul to.
Nevan was her world. He’d also brought her out of her self-pity and made her see that her scars weren’t what everyone saw when they looked at her. Accepting that fact, she gave up on hiding out from her Pack and work toward healing. Shay’s magickal potions helped bring back some of the feeling in her hand, making it possible for Dani to work as she was born to. As the leopard Pack Healer.
There was only one thing missing in her life.
After this weekend, she hoped to quiet that little nagging voice of her leopard…and her mother-in-law.
Her cell rang, making her jump. She picked it up from the kitchen counter and smiled at the name on the screen.
Shay. Her best friend.
“Hi! I’m so excited for you.”
Dani walked over to the couch and sat. “Well, I’m scared to death.”
“Don’t be. By the end of the weekend, every part of your body will ache in all the right ways.” Shay broke out into a fit of giggles.
Dani laughed. “What if he doesn’t want…?”
“Oh hush. He will. Don’t you ever doubt that. Now I called to give you a heads up. Nev is heading home early, which means you better be ready.”
Dani’s heart rate kicked up and the butterflies in her belly swarmed. “Okay. Thanks.”
“You will have a wonderful weekend with your mate. Stop worrying. I’ll see you on the flip side.”
Dani laughed again and said her good-byes to her bestie. She couldn’t imagine a life without her friends and extended family. Yet, she longed for a family of her own. Until now, she didn’t think it would ever be possible.
Nevan changed all that. Now it was her turn to gift him with something.
Nevan entered his home expecting his mate to greet him like she did every day, but the house was silent.
“Dani,” he called out, then walked farther into the living room.
He was about to drop his keys on the coffee table when he noticed a note. Dread cut through him. He knew this was coming. She’d said she would be going through her heat cycle soon. A wave of sadness washed over him.
Dani had said before that she wasn’t ready for children and Nevan respected she wishes. It didn’t mean that he had to like it.
Picking up the note, he unfolded it and read.
Forget everything you think you know upon finding this note. First, I love you with my heart, soul, and body. You are my world and my hero. Second, I’m entering my heat cycle and will be at the cabin for the weekend.
If you dare to be ravished by a hormonal leopard for the next three days, come join me.
Nevan’s heart stopped for a long moment. He reread the note several times before it really sank in. He stood and rushed to the door, flung it open, and jumped at the sight of Blaine standing on his front porch.
Nevan shook his head. “I have to go. Whatever it is can wait until Monday.” He paused and thought for a moment. “No make that Wednesday.”
Pushing his way past the Alpha, Nevan damn near ran down the porch steps and to his car. Only Blaine’s words stopped him half way there.
“I know a faster way to get to your female.”
This was the only time Nevan welcomed the chance to be teleported by Blaine. “How did you know?”
Blaine shrugged. “Shay told me.”
Nevan chuckled. “Figures. I love that sister of yours.”
Blaine smiled. “Yeah, me too. Even though she’s still a brat.”
Nevan shook his head and moved to stand next to the Alpha. Blaine gripped his bicep, then with a flash of white light they dematerialized.
Bracing one hand against a large oak, Nevan took deep, slow breaths. He’d never get use to teleportation. It was so disorienting that he felt ill for a few moments after.
He glanced at Blaine, then straightened to his full height. “I’m fine. You can leave now.”
Blaine gave a low chuckle as he flashed away.
Nevan stared at the small cabin where his new life started almost a year ago. He was about to start a new one. He took the steps two at a time and when he reached the door, it opened. His beautiful and amazing mate stood in a sheer black, floor-length night gown. Her strawberry blond hair hung loose around her shoulders.
She looked to the sky and sniffed the air. A wide smile spread across her face, enhancing her beauty even more. “Looks like we may be snowed in.”
He stepped into her, snaked an arm around her waist and tugged her to him so their bodies pressed together. Too bad he had his clothes on. “I like being snowed in with you.”
She didn’t speak, she just peered into his eyes. He could feel her nervousness and a hint of fear. “What is it?”
“Are you sure you want to start a family with me?”
He pulled his head back to study her features. “Of course. Why would you ever doubt that?”
She averted her gaze. “I don’t know. It’s not like you fought over my decision to wait.”
He wrapped both arms around her, walked her a few steps back, and closed the door behind them. “I didn’t want to push you. I figured we have another few hundred years. But I was going to start leaving hints around the house after the first century.”
She laughed and squeezed him tight. “I love you, Nevan Matthews.”
He kissed her quick and hard before replying. “I love you too, Danica Welsh-Mathews.”
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