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Kissed by Stardust


Once bitten, twice shy.

Lanie had been bitten by heartache once already, she didn’t want to go through it again. But when the handsome wolf shifter who broke her heart walks back into her life, she fears history will repeat itself. Determined to keep her heart safe, she vows to stay as far away from Cipher as possible.


Ten years ago, Cipher ran away from the feelings Lanie stirred in him, breaking her heart in the process. It was the biggest mistake of his life. Now, he’s back in the shifter realm, and planning to win back her heart.


Can Lanie keep to her vow? Or will Cipher win back her heart?

Connor New Wolf.jpg
Midnight Unchained.jpg
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“Cipher’s back,” Myra announced.
No matter how many times Lanie reminded herself that she didn’t care about Cipher, she couldn’t stop her heart from skipping a beat at the news of his return to the shifter realm.
“Is he?” Lanie asked.
She tried to sound nonchalant, but by the look on Myra’s face, she hadn’t pulled it off.
“Yeah, I heard my brother talking about him last night. Do you know what Cipher was doing in the human realm?” Myra asked as ducked to avoid a low-hanging branch.
Lanie shrugged. “I don’t have a clue,” 
Cipher had broken her heart the day he left the shifter realm. After everything they had been through together, he hadn’t even had the decency to tell her he was leaving. So why should she give a shit if he had returned or not? She shouldn’t, but that didn’t stop her heart from wanting to find him.
“So, I take it you haven’t seen him yet?” Myra asked.
“No.” Lanie shook her head.
She didn’t want to see him, either. Having her heart stomped on once was more than enough for one lifetime. She didn’t need a repeat. If she could just convince her heart and body of that, everything would be fine.
“He still looks the same,” Myra continued talking, unaware of Lanie’s internal struggle. “Well, that’s what Connor said, anyway.”
“Of course, he hasn’t changed.” Lanie rolled her eyes. “He hasn’t been gone that long.”
Ten years was a long time in human terms, but not for a shifter. When a shifter reached the age of twenty-five, they stopped ageing. It was one of the benefits of being a shifter. Along with enhanced senses, increased strength and speed, they also had the ability to communicate telepathically, whether in human or animal form.
Cipher had reached the point where he’d stopped ageing long before he left the realm. So, it was no surprise he still looked the same.
“Didn’t you two have a thing before he left?”
Lanie and Myra spun around at the sound of Nix’s voice behind them. Neither of them had heard her approaching, but that was no surprise, either. She had a habit of sneaking up on people.
“Shit, don’t do that,” Myra snapped as she held a hand over her heart. Her pale blue eyes glared daggers at Nix. “You made me jump.”
“How the fuck do you always manage to sneak up on us?” Lanie asked.
Nix shrugged. “I wasn’t sneaking. I can’t help it if neither of you are paying attention to your surroundings.”
“You could try making a little noise as you’re walking,” Lanie suggested.
Nix frowned. “Where would be the fun in that?”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that rumour,” Myra said, turning to Lanie. “What happened between the two of you, anyway?”
“There was no thing,” Lanie lied. “We were just friends, that’s all.”
Cipher had been her best friend. Even though he was a year older than her, he never treated her like she was younger. But all of that changed one drunken night.
Lanie didn’t regret their night together, but she did wish things had ended differently between them.
She could still remember the way he made her feel that night. She’d never felt so beautiful, so wanted, in all her life. She had stupidly thought it meant something, but when she woke up the next day, he was gone. And not just from her bed, but from the shifter realm.
“I could have sworn it was more than that,” Myra said as she raised an eyebrow. “The way you two were always together, everyone thought you would end up mating.”
Unlike humans, shifters mated for life. There was no cheating between mates, and there was no way to undo the mating, either. 
Once mated, their lives would be tied together. And when one mate died, the other would follow soon after.
“Yeah, well.” Lanie shrugged her shoulder nonchalantly. “As I said, we were just friends.”
No matter how much she might have hoped otherwise, she would always remain in the friend-zone. Cipher had made that blatantly clear when he left the realm without saying a word.
Before their night of passion, Lanie would have been happy with being his friend. But now, she wanted more. Much more.
She mentally shook her head. There was no point letting in thoughts of Cipher. It would lead to nothing but heartache. She had already dealt with enough of that. She would much rather focus on the task at hand, but unfortunately, Nix hadn’t finished talking about him.
“I heard one of the guys saying that he was looking for you,” Nix told her.
Stop it! Lanie shouted at her heart when it skipped a beat again. He left you without a word, remember?
But no matter what she told her heart, it didn’t listen. It filled with excitement and hope at the thought of Cipher searching for her.
Lanie refused to show any emotion as she turned to face Nix. “He couldn’t have looked very hard because I haven’t been hiding. Either that, or he’s become really shit at tracking since he’s been in the human realm.”
It didn’t matter if her heart wanted to go looking for Cipher, Lanie wasn’t ready to see him yet. So she was happy he hadn’t found her.
Lanie knew she wouldn’t be able to avoid him forever. Sooner or later, their paths were going to cross again. She would just rather it be later. Much, much later.
“We’ve nearly finished patrol for this evening,” Myra said. “Why don’t you head off early and go find him?”
“I don’t mind covering for you,” Nix offered. “I don’t have anything else to do.”
Lanie was about to agree, but she stopped herself at the last second.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” she told them.
“Are you sure?” Myra asked.
“I’m positive. Now,” Lanie raised an eyebrow as she looked between them. “Can we get back to work?”
She didn’t wait for their reply. She spun on her heel and continued walking.
“Okay,” Myra relented as they caught up with her. “Just know that the offer is still there if you change your mind.”
“Where are you two headed, anyway?” Nix finally asked.
“We’re on our way to deal with a couple of pups,” Lanie said. “The little shits have been chasing the feline shifters again.”
“One of them managed to nip one of the adult’s tails,” Myra grimaced. “As you can imagine, they weren’t too happy about it.”
Nix burst out laughing. “Well, of course they wouldn’t be happy about it. Would you be?”
“Nope,” Lanie agreed. “Which is why we offered to go and deal with them.”
“Ah, I see,” Nix said. “I thought Rush might have sent you as punishment or something.”
It did sound like something their alpha would do, but that wasn’t the case this time. Lanie and Myra had been talking to him when he got word of the pup’s misbehaviour. Rush had other things that needed his attention, so they offered to deal with the pups for him.
“Why would we need punishing?” Myra asked.
“I don’t know,” Nix shrugged. “But I certainly wouldn’t have offered.”
“That’s because you don’t like pups,” Myra said.
“I do, too,” Nix told her. “I just don’t want to be dealing with their shit. I prefer them when they’re too young to wander off on their own, or old enough to move out. It’s the bit in the middle I don’t like.”
Myra laughed. “So, basically, you like them when they’re newborn and when they leave home?”
“Yep.” Nix grinned.
Lanie shook her head as she smiled. Nix may not admit it, but Lanie knew she secretly liked pups of all ages.
The four pups Lanie and Myra were on their way to deal with came into view as they drew closer to the border with the feline shifters. Two adult feline shifters were standing guard of the youngsters as they waited for Lanie and Myra to arrive. Even from a distance, Lanie could see the pissed off look on the adult’s faces.
“Well, I’m not hanging around,” Nix said when she spotted the group ahead of them. “What are you two doing after work?”
“I’m heading to my parents’ house,” Myra said.
“Boring,” Nix said, pretending to cover a yawn with her hand. “What about you, Lanie?”
“I’m heading home,” Lanie said. “I was planning a nice early night.”
“Do you fancy going to the clubhouse for a drink instead?” Nix asked, her emerald green eyes pleading with Lanie to agree.
Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to go out with Nix. After all, it would definitely take her mind off Cipher, if only for a couple of hours.
“Fine,” Lanie relented. “I suppose one won’t hurt.”
“Come with us, Myra,” Nix said, turning her pleading eyes on Myra. “It’ll be fun, I promise.”
“That’s the problem,” Myra said. “It’s never just one when you’re involved.”
Nix looked at her as if she’d lost her mind. “And that’s a bad thing?”
Myra rolled her eyes, but she had a grin on her face as she did. “Fine, I’m game.”
“Yes!” Nix fist pumped the air. “Meet at my place as soon as you’re ready.”
Before either of them could say another word, Nix raced off in the direction of her home.
“Are you sure you don’t want to head off early to go find Cipher?” Myra asked when they were alone.
“Yep, I’m sure,” Lanie said, then quickly changed the subject. “I’m looking forward to going out for drinks with you and Nix later. You’re definitely joining us, aren’t you?”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Myra said, grinning from ear to ear. “You know it’s not going to be an early night, don’t you?”
“Of course it’s not,” Lanie laughed. “Nix is involved.”
As long as it helped take her mind off Cipher, Lanie didn’t care how late they were out.

*** Content Warning ***
This book contains content that is unsuitable for some readers.
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