Elizabeth’s Wolf

Breeds Book 3

From New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh comes a new, revised edition of a beloved classic in the passionate Breed series—Elizabeth’s Wolf won the hearts of readers everywhere when it was first released, and now experience the magic again in this special, expanded edition!

Special-Forces solider Dash has all but given up his will to live until an innocent letter from a little girl brings him back to life. Cassie writes to him every week, strengthening his resolve to recover from the devastating loss of his unit. But when the letters suddenly stop arriving, Dash instinctively knows Cassie and her mother are in critical danger.

Elizabeth and her daughter are on the run from a dark and bloody past that refuses to let them go. The stakes are too high for her to fall for this dangerous man who’s just walked into her life, but now more than ever she needs help.

Saving his mate and her daughter calls Dash’s beast to the forefront and transforms the lone wolf into an alpha protector—he becomes Elizabeth’s wolf.

Read an Excerpt »

Chapter 1

Six Weeks Later

Not today. Not today.

Elizabeth Colder chanted the words with silent determination as she ran through the dirty, run-down halls of the apartment building, fighting to get to the basement and the only avenue of escape left to her.

If she was lucky-God, let her be lucky-the men ransacking her apartment hadn’t seen her in the hall. They wouldn’t know she was aware of their presence and escaping. They wouldn’t catch her before she could get away.

In her arms, held tight to her, the too-small, terrified body of her eight-year-old daughter clung to her with arms and legs, her shudders noticeable even as Elizabeth raced down the stairwell.

She fought to breathe, to go faster, to get away.

As she hit the bottom step she heard the door above them crash open and knew they were out of time.

Out of time.

“There she goes!” Furious, filled with the excitement of the chase, one of the men called out an alert just as Elizabeth rounded the corner and found a burst of added speed as she saw the opened door of the laundry room.

She prayed it was empty. She didn’t want another innocent life destroyed because of the hell she and her baby, Cassie, were forced to live. She couldn’t bear knowing the cost someone else would have to pay in her fight to escape.

Reaching the door, she slammed it closed as she entered the laundry room and hurriedly pushed the bolt in place before shoving the chair next to the door beneath the knob and jumping for the washers.

“Up, Cassie. Out the window.” She lifted her daughter to the washers and pushed her to the open window as she climbed onto the appliance behind her.

Urging Cassie through the window, she was right behind her when the sound of the door crashing inward sent rage and terror tearing through her. Clawing her way through the small opening, she felt a shard of broken glass cut across her waist a second before the sound of a weapon discharging.

Fire burned across her leg as Elizabeth pulled herself free of the window.

Jumping to her feet, she ignored the pain.

It was bad, bad enough that tears burned her eyes and she was forced to lean more on her left side, but not enough to halt her flight.

Thank God Cassie was already in the car, the driver’s-side door open, just as she’d taught the little girl to do. She was lucky the car hadn’t been stolen yet, not that it was worth stealing.

She jerked the keys from her back pocket and within seconds the motor was running and she was pulling from the alley and shooting across the main road into the next alley. She’d already planned an escape route, already had another car in place, just in case this happened.

In the past two years she’d learned the tricks to surviving, to escaping. Too many near misses-far too many, actually-had forced her to learn. She felt like a mouse and the enemy was a cat watching her in anticipation.

“You’re bleeding, Momma,” Cassie whispered, her voice trembling, shaking just as hard as her thin body.

Yes, she was, too much. Dammit, she didn’t have time to stop either. Not yet.

“Just a little cut, baby. Nothing to worry about,” Elizabeth promised, glancing in the rearview mirror, then at the little girl. “Buckle your seat belt.”

She checked the mirror again.

The other car wasn’t much better than the one she was in and the tires were just as worn. That wasn’t going to help, she knew, as she saw the snow falling in the air and remembered the weather report.

A coming blizzard.

God help her. She wasn’t going to go far in a blizzard and she knew it.

It wasn’t the first time Elizabeth had prayed in the past two years, and she prayed she and Cassie would live to pray another day. She had a feeling this was the end of the line if a miracle didn’t come soon, though.

Unfortunately, she’d learned that miracles were few and far between in real life.

“I’m sorry, Momma,” Cassie whispered, staring straight ahead, her expression dazed, her face white. “I’m so sorry . . .”

Cassie said that too often, as though she could stop any of this.

“Cassie, this is not your fault,” Elizabeth snapped, not for the first time. “None of this is your fault.”

And there was no convincing her daughter, not that Elizabeth could blame her. She alone had witnessed her father’s murder, had seen the man who had killed him. She believed it was her fault because the man who killed him told her to watch and she’d obeyed him.

Elizabeth wanted to scream, to rage at whatever forces had converged on the very night Dane had insisted on having Cassie with him. Why had he allowed his daughter there, knowing his life was in danger?

Rather than saying anything more, Cassie huddled into the seat, shivering as much from fear as the cold. There hadn’t even been time to get her coat. All her daughter wore was the sweater, jeans and sneakers she’d worn down to the basement. In a blizzard she’d be more than defenseless against the cold. Both of them would be.

As soon as she switched cars Elizabeth knew she’d have to find some place, some way to hide them for just a few days. Just long enough to contact the only person who might have the power to help them.

It would be a risky move, she knew. She didn’t even know the man who had made the offer of help should she ever need it. She didn’t know him and she sure as hell didn’t trust him, but she knew she wouldn’t escape the next time they found her. The next time, they’d kill her and then there’d be no one to save her baby.

But she was out of options.

And she didn’t see a miracle anywhere in sight . . .

Dash stood still, drawing in the scents of the small ransacked room, and felt rage wash over him. He’d been so close. So damned close to catching up with Elizabeth and her child, only to have those chasing her manage to get ahead of him.

Over the past six weeks he had investigated Elizabeth and Cassidy Colder until he knew even the most minute detail concerning them.

He’d made contacts while in the Forces. Contacts that owed him, and he pulled in each favor he could draw on once he reached the States to learn everything he could to ensure their survival.

Cassidy Colder was a little girl living on borrowed time. A child with a price on her head and a mother fighting to save her. The lengths to which Elizabeth Colder had gone to save her little girl made his gut tighten in fear each time he thought of the information he’d collected. Such a small woman should be protected, cuddled, just as the child should be, not running in fear for that child’s life.

Yet that was exactly what was happening.

Staring around the small living room of the apartment from where he stood in the doorway, he drew the scents that lingered there inside his nostrils and let the information filter through his senses.

He could smell the little girl’s terror, her tears, just as he sensed her mother’s rage. He snarled silently at the scents, allowing them to fuel his rage. The men chasing them would pay.


He picked up a child-sized jacket, brought it to his nose and drew in deep.

Innocence and the smell of baby powder clung to it. But the fact that it was here and not wrapped around Cassidy’s small body sent chills snaking down his spine.

It was damned cold out there. A little one would freeze quickly in weather like this. Not that the jacket would do her much good, ripped in half as it was.

He picked up a woman’s sweater next and did the same.

Ahh, there was a smell a man would die happy to know. Female, fresh and clean, a hint of baby powder but filled with the delicate scent of womanhood.


Dash stared around the room again. He wasn’t far behind them and it was obvious they were still several steps ahead of the men chasing them.

He smiled slowly.

He’d find the woman and child first. It was too cold, too brutal out there to go hunting for the enemy with no assurance that what was most important was safe first. And Elizabeth and Cassie were most important. Their safety was paramount; even above the hunger to feel the enemy’s fear as death came for them was the need for the woman’s warmth and the child’s safety.

In the middle of the room a little girl’s doll was ripped apart, stuffing littering the room. Clothes were shredded, books ripped in half. He knew the smell of the enemy now and he drew it in, memorizing it, making certain he never forgot it.

Cassidy and her mother must have come in after the destruction of their temporary home.

A small basket of clothes sat by the door, left forgotten but undamaged. Laundry. Doing the laundry had saved their lives.

He dropped the garments. They wouldn’t be needed after he found them anyway. He had everything they would require packed in an SUV. He had made certain that once he found Elizabeth and Cassie, they would want for nothing. He took care of what he considered his, and everything inside him screamed out in possession of Elizabeth and her child.

He stepped into the apartment and moved silently through the room, aware of the hidden bugs placed within it. He had smelled them immediately upon stepping through the doorway.

His lips twisted into a cold smile. He was dealing with amateurs. There would be little challenge in taking them out when their time came.

The scent of Elizabeth’s fury and fear went no farther than the door, so he knew she hadn’t taken time to investigate the destruction.

She was smart.

He’d been chasing her for weeks and only in the past days had he gotten close enough that he knew the end was in sight.

She wouldn’t be easy for the others to catch up to. After he found her, they would never have a hope of capturing her.

But first, he had to find her.

He backed away from the doorway, closing the door silently before turning and drawing in the scents along the hall. Moving past the basket of clothes, he headed for the far end of the hall.

Moving carefully along the dirty passageways, he followed the scent of the woman and child down the stairs and then to the basement and into the communal laundry room.

There, a small window had been pried open. Stepping to the line of washers, he reached up and removed a tattered piece of flannel from the broken window above the machines and brought it to his nose.

Once again, Elizabeth’s scent filled his senses. She had cut herself escaping. Blood marred the soft, worn fabric. But she had been smart. Smart enough to know the enemy was watching the front entrance. Over the past two years since she’d been on the run with her daughter, Elizabeth had grown in strength and instinct. She was smart and intuitive. She was learning to hone the abilities she needed to stay on the run and proving herself to be adept at evading the enemy. He’d seen proof of the fact that she’d learned to use her wits where she lacked physical strength.

As Dash stood there staring at the fabric, his fingers running over the dark stains that marred it, he felt another presence begin to disturb the air that flowed in through the opened door.

Animal senses snapped into place, increasing his ability to draw in and separate each individual smell with lightning-fast instinct. Strength filled his muscles, hardened them. Calculating, predatory, confident, he let the animal out to play.

And the animal demanded blood.

Dash paused, his head turning slowly to the partially opened door as a new scent began to mix with that of fabric softener, detergent and stale water. A scent that had his lips curling in a silent snarl of predatory fury.

The scent of the enemy was insidious. The stink of corruption and furious intent. It wafted through the cool basement air, dug into his senses, filling him with the need for blood. The prey was moving closer, unaware of the predator waiting for him.

The enemy was on the prowl, stalking him now, foolishly moving from cover to investigate a stranger’s interest.

Dash was looking forward to the confrontation.

He stilled the warning growl that rose instinctively in his chest. The smell of cold steel moved closer, the tread of cautious steps. There was only one. He was confident, but filled with arrogance, bloodlust, and weakness. It was that weakness, that overconfidence that would destroy him.

Dash smiled. He’d so rarely felt the well-honed strength that flooded him now, the mercilessness or icy logic that now infused him. He’d fought to be human, forgetting for far too long that he wasn’t human. And men such as the one he faced now deserved no more mercy than a quick death.

The man moving toward him was no more than a flunky.

No true threat.

A hired gun and little more. Disposable. It was a good thing because he wouldn’t leave the building alive.

Silently, Dash waited.

He didn’t have to wait long. The door swung open slowly, revealing the lean, tense form of the fool who believed himself to be a true killer.

He was a man full grown. A gamma trying to play alpha with an animal he had no idea existed. Dash allowed his lips to curl into an anticipatory smile, knowing the other man wouldn’t see it for the lethal threat it was.

“Can I help you?” he asked softly, the graveled sound of a growl at the back of his throat ignored by the other man.

“Getting nosy, stranger?” the enemy grunted as he carefully closed the door and aimed his weapon at Dash’s chest. “Put your hands up where I can see them and don’t move funny or you’re dead.”

Dash lifted his arms, hands behind his neck, the fingers of one hand curling around the hilt of the large knife concealed in its sheath between his shoulder blades.

The blade was eighteen inches long, the hilt eight. Secured in a leather sheath attached to a shoulder harness and deadly when Dash wielded it. It surpassed deadly when training merged with instincts and strength that went well beyond human.

Oh yeah. Now he could play.

“Just checking some things out.” Dash narrowed his eyes, aware of the gun barrel’s angle, straight to the heart.