Jason & Cadence - R.E. Butler

R.E. Butler - The Wolf's Mate #1 - Jason & Cadence

Jason & Cadence (The Wolf's Mate #1)
R.E. Butler


Chapter 1

Cadence headed to Jake's for her night shift, her heart in her throat and her stomach in her feet. Jake was an old family friend. She had known him and his wife Renee her entire life. Renee and her mother went to school together and were best friends. When she was a child, she called them Uncle Jake and Aunt Renee. Because her mother died while pregnant with her, Renee was the closest thing she had to a mother figure in her life and Jake was more a father to her than her own. They were always what she needed: a shoulder to cry on, emergency money to fix a broken down car, and a job to keep her afloat in between semesters.

Jake owned a bar that he named after himself, in the center of a podunk town in Kentucky called Allen. At 22, Cadence was done with college and ready for whatever turn her life was going to take. She'd gone to NKU for a business degree to help out her father's restaurant, but he had died at the beginning of her freshman year. She had kept plugging away at it, going back home in the summer and staying at the old farmhouse that belonged to her grandparents on her mother's side. It was nestled in the woods away from the center of town, private and quiet so she could be alone with her thoughts. And pretty much just alone.

Now she had a bachelor's degree in business management but had no job to do something with it, although she had not really looked. Her father's life insurance had more than paid for college and she bought herself a tricked out Charger when she graduated. Jake offered a bartending job to tide her over, which she took even though she hadn't really needed the money. It gave her something to do, though, and unfortunately it was going to give her a front row seat to the object of her affection, denied as it was: Jason Gerrick. Jason was masculinity personified: gorgeous, year-round tanned skin, light blonde, shoulder length hair that was always tousled like he'd just rolled out of bed, and light blue eyes like a summer sky. He rode a motorcycle with his friends, owned the local garage called Pete's named after his father, and he happened to also be an alpha werewolf. As a matter of fact, over half the people in town were werewolves; it was just one of those things.

Jake was a wolf, too, alpha of the pack that shared the town with Jason's pack. A number of Jake’s pack also rode bikes, and she thought there was probably something in that but never asked. Maybe all bikers were werewolves.

Her mother was a wolf, but married her father who was not. She became pregnant with her and in most normal situations, a mix of human and werewolf resulted in a completely human baby. Just days before she was due to come into the world, her mother was attacked by a rival wolf pack female. Minutes after she was born by emergency cesarean, her mother died.

That violence while she was still in her mother’s womb changed her on a cellular level in a way that was wholly unique. She became a hybrid wolf. Part human, part she-wolf. All attitude, strength, and speed but not fur. Kind of like Blade for dogs. Her mother was part of her uncle's pack, so naturally they tried to include her and raise her in the ways of their pack. Her father – who had not liked wolves that much to start with – hated wolves with a blistering passion because one had killed his wife, so Cadence had to deal with the hatred from him for her own people and a part of herself. He prevented her from learning anything but the barest bit about being a werewolf.

And then there was Jason. Sweet Jason. She had grown up with him. Even though his pack was separate from Jake's, wolves ran with wolves, and they all looked out for each other unless one crossed another, and then it was a problem. As a hybrid, the only one that anyone had ever known, she was not technically part of Jake’s pack because she had not ever chosen to join. It would have been a simple ceremony on the full moon and then her wolf, at least