Taming the Wild Cougar

By: Terry Spear

Heart of the Cougar, Book 3




Synopsis





Cougar shifter, Dr. Kate Parker, is planning her annual camping vacation alone this year. She runs into trouble before she even starts her trip in the form of one wounded, hot cougar, undercover agent—or so he says. He’s not going along with just her tender loving care because he came into town as a cougar, and he needs her help to get him back to where he can take up the search to look for an arms dealer, who just happens to be a cougar too.

Leyton Hill slipped into the unlocked, darkened clinic, figuring his luck had just changed. Except he doesn’t plan for the good doctor to be napping in her office. Taking him on her vacation wasn’t in the plan, and taking her hostage, hadn’t been either, but now she’s stuck with him until he can get back to his mission and the chase at hand. Yet it appears the roles have reversed and who’s holding whom hostage now?





To my good friend, Dawn Marie Hamilton, who I love seeing at conferences and enjoy getting to hang out with her. Thanks for being such a dear friend!





Prologue





On high alert, Leyton Hill and his teammates, members of the extremely skilled Rangers, a sophisticated raid force in the Army, moved like shadows through the woods, located an encampment of enemy terrorists, and flex cuffed them before they even woke in their beds. He’d had days of firefights at night, one mission after another, when he had a night of reprieve and thought he saw a soldier exchange a confiscated terrorist weapon for money. The guy wasn’t a Ranger, just someone with another unit they were working with.

Before Leyton jumped the gun, he did a little checking. The guy’s name was Bart Smith, and he was a cougar shifter, just like Leyton, not that anyone else would be aware of their…uniqueness.

For two days now, they’d been in a pacified area, no fighting, no trouble, but they could never let down their guard. The next thing he knew the fighting broke out all over again. He protected his good friend Travis MacKay, fellow Ranger, tackling him and throwing him to the ground, then rolled away to take out as many of the terrorists shooting at them as he could, when he saw Bart Smith aiming a rifle at him. He was supposed to be on Leyton’s side, his blue eyes narrowed as he fired. Chaos reigned everywhere, the fighting forcing everyone to take cover and shoot back. All but Leyton Hill, who lay in a bloodied heap, fighting for his life. He would take down that traitorous bastard, if it was the last thing on earth that he did.





1





The Colorado summer’s day appeared awash in blue—the lakes, the sky, the mountains, even the forest—beautiful, if Leyton Hill hadn’t been on a killing mission. His target?

The man who had nearly killed him in Afghanistan, Bart Smith, now known as Butch Sanders, and sniper trained. The bastard had turned a terrorist’s rifle on Leyton his last day in Afghanistan, and with all the shooting going on, no one had seen Butch fire the rounds that had nearly killed him.

Now, both, no longer in the military, were running as cougars through the pine forests of Colorado. Butch seemed to know this territory as if he had been born and raised here. Every once in a while, he left tell-tale cougar pugmarks in mud, or a scruff of tan cougar fur snagged on shrubbery, like leaving bread crumbs in the wild that he hadn’t meant to. Or had he?

Leyton had never been to Colorado as a cougar, never traveled through White Fork River in the Flat Tops Wilderness, so he was at a strong disadvantage. Not to mention he'd had to leave his vehicle, clothes, and weapons behind several hours ago in Cheyenne, Wyoming before he crossed the border.

No matter what, Leyton was supposed to check in with his boss concerning news of what he’d learned by next weekend. At this rate, that deadline would be shot to hell. He couldn’t do anything about it now. He had to learn where Butch had hidden the gun used to kill Leyton’s informant, that he’d planted Leyton’s fingerprint on. It wasn’t unheard of for some corrupt cops to plant evidence like that. Just use powder to look for prints, then lift the fingerprint with a piece of sticky tape and place it on the incriminating evidence.

Leyton was still torqued off that the guy managed to leave the Army with an honorable discharge and was picked up by a police force!

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