Big Bone Lick Pack

an excerpt

At the sound of the barking dog, Seth sat straight up in his grave. He reached for his sidearm before he remembered where he was. He laughed at his own overreaction. Yeah, it could be a wolf, but it was probably just someone's pet dog.

The dog barked again, raising the hair on the back of Seth's neck. He scrambled out of his grave, unsheathing both his weapons. There was something about the barking that had Seth on alert. He quickly flicked the lantern on, but its dim circle of light was little help. He turned in a slow three-sixty, peering into the darkness, trying to assess possible threats among the shapes and shadows.

A growl carried from the far side of the river, loud enough the rushing water didn't drown it out. The dog was getting closer and it sounded like a damn big one. Seth flicked the safety off and tightened his grip on his sidearm. He'd need it if the dog turned out to be a wolf. Wolves avoided humans, though, so there wasn't much chance of that.

Seth snorted derisively. "There's no such thing as werewolves," he said under his breath. "You asshole, Chad. You can't be right about this."

The growl came from across the river again. It was deep and ferocious, full of menace and hostility. That was a damn big wolf.

"Just 'cause it's big, doesn't mean it spends half its time human." Hearing the words out loud reminded Seth how ridiculous the idea of werewolves was. Christ. Why had he let Chad talk him into this?

This time, the growl was almost a roar. Something large and heavy-bodied crashed through the trees, headed right for Seth. Okay – not a wolf. He raised the Smith and Wesson in the direction of the rampaging animal, adjusting his grip on the Ka-Bar.

A shadow moved quickly through the trees. It ran on four legs but was too tall at the shoulders, too wide in the chest to be a wolf. When it wove its way between two trees, Seth caught sight of its profile. His knees went weak and his heart slammed in his chest.

"Jesus Christ, a bear," he muttered through clenched teeth.

The bear reached the riverbank. It didn't even pause before plunging into the rushing water, splashing its way across. The bear didn't swim, it kept running. Seth realized the river was shallow in that spot. This thing was going to be on him in seconds.

The bear charged up the near riverbank and panic gripped Seth. He scrambled backward, his hand trembling as he tried to hold his sidearm steady. Despite the darkness, the bear was close enough now that Seth could see the giant, round head, and the thick ridge between its shoulders.

He'd rather face down a werewolf than a grizzly bear.

The bear ran straight toward Seth, its mouth open wide, frighteningly long teeth clearly visible. Seth fired several rounds at the grizzly, knowing it would have no effect on an animal that large. He was right; it didn't slow the rampaging bear at all.

Throwing the gun aside to free his hand, Seth fought the urge to turn and run. That would excite the predator even more. If the bear attacked him, Seth's only hope was to bury his Ka-Bar in one of its eyes, or its nose. If he lived through this, he was going to be totally fucked up.

When the enormous bear hit Seth, it felt like he'd been slammed into a brick wall. Seth hit the ground hard, all his breath knocked out of him, sharp pains shooting up his back. His head struck something hard and Seth saw stars.

The grizzly's hot breath blasted Seth's face. He stabbed the Ka-Bar into thick fur. He tried to reach the bear's eyes. He had no effect on the rampaging animal. Seth screamed when claws raked his arm. His side was on fire as claws sank into his stomach.

The last thing he saw was wickedly long teeth descending over his face.