Authors: Mike J. Banes
The Peace Treaty
Mike J. Banes
Copyright © 2016
Copyright 2016 – All Rights Reserved – Mike J. Banes
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written, dated, and signed permission from the author.
The information contained in this book, and its complementary bonuses, are meant to serve as a comprehensive collection of time-tested and proven strategies that the author of this book has applied to earn extra income. Summaries, strategies, tips and tricks are only recommendations by the author, and reading this book does not guarantee that one’s results will exactly mirror the author’s own results. The author of this book has made all reasonable efforts to provide current and accurate information for the readers of this book. The author will not be held liable for any unintentional errors or omissions that may be found.
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Great effort has been exerted to safeguard the accuracy of this writing. Opinions expressed in this book have been formulated as a result of both personal experience, as well as the experiences of others.
Dedicated to my wife Nila Banes for her effort and support in publishing this book.
I’ve always wanted to write romance fiction story ever since I can remember. For some reason it had always incited a spark of interest in me and here I am today with what I’ve been wanting to do for such a long time.
I know you will enjoy reading this book as much as I have writing it. It is a short story book with lots of excitement. As I write this now, the second book in the series is being produced. I hope you the reader stay captivated during your read and I wish you all the best.
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War. Conflict. Dispute. Since the beginning of time, the clash of interests resulting in often violent confrontations has pervaded the world and more than a few times threatened to bring it to its knees. As old as time itself, this relatively inadvertent and essentially ancestral aspect of our various natures has arisen from the most logical of reasons to the most irrational and all round off-the-wall concoctions of varied makings.
As much an outlet for inbuilt aggression as a simple excuse for complete overthrow or score settling, the various reasons for which wars have arisen always seem to fade into oblivion in the wake of the war itself. Everything else dissolves and the major task becomes winning, except now, for the personal reason of survival above the original reason.
Some wars, so old that the reason for their existence has faded into the annals of time, have left behind devastating effects long after they have ended. While others go on still, even when the reason for fighting has long since been forgotten.
For as long as either side could remember, the werewolves and vampires had been at war.
Theirs was such a war that despite extensive casualties and horrendous consequences suffered by both sides, the boisterous tempo of the chaotic exchange never seemed to waver. Their hatred for each other burned brighter and each tumultuous clash was carried out with all the venom each side harbored for the other.
Several attempts at peace had been made and had each ended in varying levels of fervid failure.
Demetrius Thorin, the wizened vampire king and Phelan Roz, the belligerent and equally wizened werewolf chieftain, as legends passed by word of mouth claimed, were once friends. Theirs was a friendship that bordered on brotherhood, and as with brothers of varying strengths and qualities, a simple, initially, seemingly harmless rivalry had existed between the both of them. The details of the evolution of the rivalry to a full blown enmity and the inception of the conflict had been subjected to bias. Each side would claim the other was responsible for the complete dissolution of what was formerly a prosperous friendship.
Other legends still, attributed the hatred to simple base instinct. A natural hatred deep within each side for the other. As much a part of their respective natures as was their urge to feed on blood, or turn under the full moon.
All that had changed though. An uneasy peace treaty had finally been reached between both sides. Unsure of what to expect in this brave new world where it was hypothesized that vampires and werewolves could coexist, each side watched with bated breath and simply hoped for the best.
The wind rustled, scattering a few leaves that had gathered at the base of an ancient looking tree. Branches of other nearby trees creaked as the wind picked up and settled again in the rhythm it had employed for the night.
The night was silent apart from the occasional owl hoot far off in the distance. Otherwise, all was seemingly peaceful.
She listened carefully. The wind rustled again. She could not be bothered by that. Her senses were tuned to one thing, and one thing only. For a minute, she zoned in on it, but then it was gone.
The wind rustled again.
Smart move staying upwind she thought.
She flexed her knuckles, protracting and retracting her claws in the process, a subconscious habit she usually engaged in when she was in deep concentration.
She took a deep breath again, assessing the various smells.
Rotten fruit. Peach.
Her ability to differentiate between smells was second to none in the entire Kingdom and had earned her a lot of accolades and as was normal, envy.
She turned around, trying to stay cantered but trying to get as much of an angle on the scent as was possible.
She listened now. Her ears, while very acute, were not as good as her nose.
She heard the snake slither away slowly with its full stomach. Off to find a place to sleep off the meal no doubt.
Animals. She thought and then scoffed at the irony of her thought.
The smell of freshly broken earth caused by her turning around wafted up to her nostrils and she pushed it aside as a faint wisp of the scent she was after reached her again. She assumed a defensive stance now and placed a hand on the sabre tucked into her belt.
The scent had been close. Too close.
Just then, she caught a movement to her right, and immediately lashed out with the sabre. It met with a hard resistance and a resounding clash as her assailant blocked the attack with a silver blade. The blade had inscriptions carved all along its length. Runes.
Reacting quickly, she let the sabre drop, and caught it with her other hand and slashed upwards. Her assailant jumped backwards, sailing easily away from her.
He looked at her as he landed. His pale, arrogant face drawn into the scornful smile he seemed to wear at all times. He stood up slowly, rearranging his coat and slowly still, dropped his blade wielding arm to his side, swaying slightly.
She raced towards him at a dizzying speed and upon clearing the distance between them, wrapped her hand around his throat. She protracted her claws a bit, nicking the skin a little. He barely even winced. Two drops of dark red blood trickled unto her fingers and she returned his smile, satisfied with her upper hand.
Her smile was replaced with open mouthed surprise as he grabbed her arm and in two quick movements, kicked her right leg out from under her and bent her arm to her back, sending her to her knee and doubled over in pain as a sharp sting coursed up her shoulder and back.
Her sabre dropped.
With a low growl, she righted herself and getting on her feet, did a full back dive. Now behind him, she put an arm around his neck and her hand behind his head as his hands shot upwards to grab her arm, dropping his blade in the process.
"You're getting better" he said between short gasps, and she rolled her eyes.
His voice which was ordinarily deep was now rendered virtually incoherent by the air restriction she was placing on his throat.
"I've always been better than you. Your kind has always been inferior. In all things." she growled in his ear, tightening her hold to prove her point.
"Really?" came his voice and in one smooth move, he threw her over his shoulder and unto her back. Then he bent over, retrieved her sabre and examined it.
He got the faint smell of garlic.
"When are you going to get a real weapon?" he asked with disdain.
"I'm not about to discuss the realness of my weapon with the likes of you." came the reply as she got up. Her voice had lowered to a hush. Her rein on her temper was slipping.
It was a common thing with her kind. Temper. Her kind were slaves to their temper. It was the only other thing apart from the moon, which they had no control over. The best they could do in both cases was stall, but eventually, it had its way.
He rolled his eyes at her words.
"You Wolves. Always so angry. Very unappealing"
"I assume I am meant to be offended by your words is that right?"
"Well, if you had half a brain, you would be. But your kind isn't famous for its genius level intellect. So, nope, I won't raise my hopes up just yet"
He smiled again as he looked at her. Her stance shifted slightly again. She was preparing to attack. He had struck a nerve.
He held her sabre out to her and she snatched it out of his hand, twirling it as she did. He hooked the tip of his boots under the hilt of his blade, then kicked it up and caught it in one smooth motion.
"So are we going to fight or are you just going to stand there looking angry?"
Christoph Thorin gazed at his opponent. She stared back, her yellow eyes mere slits in her face as her frown intensified. They'd been doing this for a while now, but he had never seen her so angry. Granted, anger was a part of her kind's D.N.A, and no one could dispute that. But tonight, something extra seemed to be at play. Her claws protracted and retracted steadily as her hand tightened round the hilt of her sabre. She always did that when she was trying to concentrate.
He wondered why he would even notice something like that. Of what use was it to him? Keena Roz was just a means of proving to himself something he'd always known from birth.
Vampires were a better, more refined species, and the werewolves were, in one word, savages.
This was told to every new born vampire. Drummed into their ears until it was engraved in their very subconscious. Werewolves were beneath them, period, and they needed to be out in their place. So far he'd fought in many wars than he could count, and though he was thankful that there was finally peace, he had grown used to the rush of battle and needed the high he got from their occasional bouts.
The whole thing had been her idea. "A means to let out steam and decide who's really better." she'd said.
Her quick movement broke him out of his thoughts.
Damn she's fast he thought as he moved to the side to avoid the clawed hand she thrust forward. She came back swinging with her sabre and he bent down, letting it pass over his head with an audible swish. Then he dropped, rolled away, and stood to face her.
"Whoa there. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to kill me" he said and winked again
"Shut up" she yelled and lunged at him again.
Something was definitely wrong. Her attacks, while powerful, were haphazard and uncoordinated. He dropped his blade and caught her as she reached him, twisting her arms around her back and wrestling her to her knees.
"You're making this too easy. What's up with you wolf?" he asked.
She didn't say anything, but instead, just knelt there, heaving. He eventually let go of her, and she got up and retrieved her sabre.
"It's none of your business what's going on with me" she now said frowning even more till her eyes were barely open.
"I never said it was. I was simply curious" he said trying to sound as honest and uncurious as possible.
"Curiosity killed the cat" she said pointedly.
"Good thing I'm not a cat" he replied.
She looked up at him for a bit. She seemed like she was about to say something, then changing her mind, she sheathed her sabre and arranged her belt.
Somewhere off in the distance, an owl hooted.
"Hand to hand? You just don't get tired of losing do you fur face." Christoph taunted
"No. We're done for today." she said and then opened her mouth again, as if to speak. Then she pursed her lips and clenched her fists again. Then with a resolute sigh, she turned and stalked off into the surrounding woods.
"Yeah sure. Sun will soon be up anyways" he called after her, but she'd already disappeared.
For a while after she'd gone, he stood there, looking towards the direction she'd just walked in. Then, he turned and left as well.
In the distance, the owl hooted again.
"Where were you?" Turk asked for what seemed like the millionth time
"I went out, to clear my head" she answered, in no mood to explain any further and slowly getting irritated by his constant hounding.
"To clear your head" he repeated
"Did I stutter Turk? Get off my back"
"I'm only looking out for you Keena. We're live in dangerous times. We cannot have the daughter of the alpha chief of the pack roaming about unguarded" He said slowly, as one would when talking to a small child.
She looked up him sharply, flaring her nostrils as she did. She hated it when these male werewolves tried to 'protect her'. It irritated her. Made her feel weak. And she hated feeling weak. She had spent her entire life training and getting stronger, so she wouldn't have to rely on any one of them for protection.
"Are you saying I'm incapable of taking care of myself? Why would I need protection?" she squared up now as she matched the gaze he leveled at her with one of her own.
"No, not that. It's just. . ." he walked forward a bit and put a hand on her shoulder ". . . you know how I feel about you. I can't help worrying"
Slowly, and deliberately, she reached up, took his hand and let it drop to his side. Of course he'd take it there. So typical. Even after what he'd done.
"Don't touch me again Turk, or you'll lose your hand" she said, and walked away towards the throne room.
What was it with them and war. They'd since settled into an uneasy peace, but uneasy as it was, it was still better than the chaos she'd grown up in. Why couldn't they accept that?
She sighed as a small voice in her head chided her.
You're one to talk. You know why they're like that.
Truth was, she did know. War was all they'd known. And now, with the peace treaty in its fetal stage, there were not very many of them who trusted in its integrity. A lot of them had developed personal vendettas of their own. A lot of them had seen their loved ones die, and all that could not just be swept under the rug.
Her nightly meetings with Christoph only served to show how far much she'd grown used to the fighting and constant confrontation. She thrived in it and it was probably the only thing that kept her sane.
How then could she blame them for being antsy about her safety?
She didn't blame them she reminded herself. Turk was the problem. There was a time when she would have melted into his touch. When the mere sound of his voice would have sent shivers down her spine and massaged her senses to a fever pitch.
That time was long gone now and all he did was irritate her.
She shook her head to remove the thoughts from her head. She couldn't think of that now. She was glad she got back in time to pay her nightly tribute to her father before heading to bed. He would know if she came too late. He always knew.
She paused at the door to the throne room. She could hear his breathing. It was steady. He was probably asleep. She listened again; no one else was in the room. She guessed they'd all paid their respects.
Perfect. She hated waiting in line.
His breathing went up for a bit, then settled again. Her father was more than two centuries old. She knew it would soon be his time to ascend and leave the pack. When that happened, she would be challenged for the right to take over.
It was not something she looked forward to.
The acceptance of the peace treaty with the vampires, no matter how unsteady, was probably just an old man's attempt at seeking redemption for crimes only he had knowledge of.
One last act to be remembered for, before handing over.
Her mind flicked over to the challenge that she was to face. Could she really kill one of her own for the right to rule the entire pack? What if she lost? She would just yield more credence to the popular opinion that a female could never lead the pack.
She shook her head. She couldn't bother herself with such thoughts. She needed to have a stronger rein on her troubled thoughts. Christoph had noticed earlier. Granted, he was a very intuitive creature, but she had not done much to make it hard for him she knew that much. She needed to get it under control.
She took a deep breath and pushed the doors open.