Rate of Return by Cassandra Chandler
When Kimmy dreamed of meeting a werewolf, she never imagined he’d be from space!
As co-owner of the only pet parlor in the county, Kimmy is serious about taking care of animals. When she hears a pair of dogs fighting in her yard in the middle of the night, she runs out to break them up. The only problem is they aren’t dogs—they’re wolves. And one of them has tentacles. And the other one is glowing.
It seems like something straight out of her favorite paranormal romance novels when the glowing wolf turns into the hottest guy she’s ever seen. So what if he’s actually from outer space?
Serac is intrigued by the courageous Earthling that ran to his aid wielding only a primitive weapon called a ‘broom.’ His zyln, the elemental spirit that lives within him, is fascinated by her—a fascination that Serac quickly shares. But she’s thrown off his mission, accidentally imprinting with the Lyrian pet he was supposed to deliver and distracting him from securing smuggling routes out of Earth. To make things worse, his ex-partner, a shapeshifting mercenary from Scorpii-2, is out to capture Kimmy for his own nefarious ends.
When Serac’s attraction deepens into his only chance at forming a mate bond, he is once more forced to choose between his heart and his conscience. And this time, he may not be strong enough to walk away.
Can their bond survive while they work together to complete a mission that could benefit billions of sentients throughout the galaxy?
Author’s note: This novella was originally published in the Pets in Space® 5 anthology.