For six years Anya Korbin worked with Del-Rey Delgato—the genetically altered rebel known as the Coyote Ghost—to free a group of coyote women kept in her father’s lab. As Anya matured into a woman, she and Del-Rey grew close…but then he broke his promise and killed her father. Now she must deal with her animalistic desire for the one who betrayed her.
**Note: This is an unedited excerpt**
A petition for separation from a mate had never occurred, not once in the eleven years that the breeds had known of mating heat and suffered through it. Not until Anya Kobrin had submitted to three weeks of tests to complete the research the doctors needed to created a base hormonal therapy that would control the symptoms of the heat.
She had been warned it wasn't cure, merely an aide. She had been told she would never be free of the man they called her mate, but she would have the time she needed to figure out what the hell had happened to her life and how it had managed to go to hell so fast.
She stared at the breed tribunal from the table she sat at in front of them. Nine men and three women drawn from each species of the breeds. Wolf, Feline, Coyote. Del-Rey and Sharone were there to stand for the Coyote's. Her mate and one of her dearest friends.
Her mate, she wanted to scoff at the title as she glared at him. She was furious. Enraged. Scorned. In three weeks she hadn't forgotten a single complaint she had against him.
Her attention was drawn from the man, to the young woman at her side. Cassandra Sinclair, daughter of a tribunal member, Dash Sinclair. At eighteen, Cassandra was slender, with long black hair and light, almost pale blue eyes. She had the genetic perfection of features that all breeds had, though she was what they called a hybrid. A child born of breed sperm that had fertilized a human egg that hadn't been changed by the genetics needed to create the breeds. Her mother had then been artificially inseminated and carried Cassandra to term.
She was still breed though. There was no mistaking the looks or the longer canines at the side of her mouth.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the tribunal," Cassandra announced. "You have before you a petition of separation between the breeds Del-Rey Delgado and his biological mate, Anya Kobrin. I'm acting on behalf of Ms. Kobrin and officially request an order of separation be issued and constraints be placed on the Coyote breed Alpha leader, Del-Rey Delgado and that she be given Sanctuary within Haven as long as Alpha Delgado is in residence at the base the Coyote breeds have established. We further request that Alpha Delgado be refused his counter order, in effect his petition to have access to his mate, over her wishes. At this time, Ms. Kobrin is willing to take questions from the tribunal and has sworn on the tenements of breed law that her answers will be truthful and without prejudice to Alpha Delgado."
There was a shuffled of papers along the table as each member except Del-Rey and Sharone took another look at their papers.
Cassandra resumed her seat, her expression composed as the tribunal stared back at them.
"We have only a few questions, Ms. Kobrin. Merely clarifications to your statement." Jonas Wyatt, the director of the Bureau of Breed Affairs began the process. Eerie silver eyes stared back at her surrounded by lush black lashes. His expression was cool and imposing, and perhaps about his lips there was a faint hint of cruel arrogance.
"To start with, I'd like you to clarify for the tribunal that you did indeep work with a man that you knew first as the Coyote Ghost, and finally by his true identity, Del-Rey, for a period of six years to weed out the spies within the Coyote back at the facility where you headed administration and inner facility security affairs."
Anya breathed in slowly. She swore she could smell Del-Rey. A subtle hint of spicy male warmth and sexual intensity. Too bad he hadn't been willing to share any of that warmth with her.
"That's true," she answered.
"Did you research the man you contacted before sending that first message?" Jonas asked her.
"I did." She nodded.
"And were you aware of the Coyote Ghosts habit of killing the head of security forces within the facilities he attacked over the years. Facilities that held wolf, feline and coyote breeds that he deemed acceptable risks to rescue."
"I was aware of this," she stated.
"And what made you believe no harm would come to your family then?" He questioned her, his voice growing colder. "Your father commanded parameter security and training. He was aware of what the facility was, and the international laws against those facilities. What made you believe he would not kill your father?"
Because she had believed in his word. She had trusted him. And over the six years they had worked together she had believed there was more binding them than a job.
"He swore before we met that my family wouldn't suffer," she told him. "He swore for six years as I did what he told me, risking myself and my family if I were caught, that they would not be punished nor harmed unless there was no other recourse but to wound him to protect their own. We had an agreement."
"You have the secured emails that have been retrieved, director Wyatt, that backs up Ms. Kobrins statement," Cassandra injected.
Jonas looked back at her with faint surprise. "I didn't need proof of her statement, Ms. Sinclair," he told her. "I merely needed to clarify that she was aware of the risks in contacting Alpha Delgado before she did so."
"Miss Korbrin." Merinus Lyons, wife and mate to Alpha Lyons, the feline prides leaders spoke up then. "Do you feel that were, at any time, raped?"
The question had a deadly tension beginning to fill the air. Anya hadn't expected that question.
"I never stated I was raped," she answered.
"No you didn't," Merinus agreed. "You have instead petitioned this tribunal for separation from a man that we know for a fact is your biological and we suspect, your emotional mate. No mate has ever done this, no matter the anger or misunderstandings. As a woman, as part of this tribunal, I'd like to understand why you've taken this stance."
"I wasn't raped." She shook her head. "Not by Del-Rey. I feel raped by the insanity of these laws I'm forced to abide by and I feel raped by a hormonal phenomena neither Alpha Delgado nor myself had control over. I had no choice but to accept him as a lover because of the loss of control this biological connection forced. I resent that this tribunal feels that I should subject myself to that feeling whenever Alpha Delgado is present. And I resent that the choice could be taken out of my hands. That Prima Lyons, is the worse sort of rape."
Merinus stared back at her for long moments before inclining her head in agreement. "Thank you Ms. Kobrin for that clarification."