Authors: Fawn Atondo
A big thank you to my family, they keep me grounded just enough to allow my head to be lost in my stories. I love you, but most of all thank you to my husband I couldn’t do it without you!
Twigs broke, the snapping sound sending alarm rushing through her body, her ears straining to hear, her eyes taking in the dark forest around her. Then came the howls, one after another; the pack was tracking her! She knew they would be moving in on her within minutes. It was useless to run.
It was luck that she caught the smell of a human. She followed it to a clearing where an old truck was parked. A tent was set up, the human inside fast asleep. Going around to the back of the truck, she gently laid the small ball of fur in it. There was no time for a tender moment. She never looked back.
Moving faster now, she headed toward the rushing sound of the river. The pack was hunting her, not the infant. They would not know its smell, only hers. The babe was safe and that was enough to fill her with some hope.
She made it to the edge of a long drop. The water was moving fast. It would drag her under but she knew it would not kill her. One minute she was in the air, the next under water. She moved with the current, letting it push and pull her, before the river spat her out a few miles downriver. Her lungs filled with air once more. She paddled slowly toward shore. Breaking the wet sand she lay down, shivering.
She shook and her muscles stretched over bone as her body broke and came apart, reshaping into human form. Her long black hair was wet and tangled around her face. Her slender limbs lay limp. Now only the thumbing of her heart could be heard.
Naked and dripping, she shook her hair from her face. Fighting the ache in her body, she stood. She would not let the pack come upon her naked and broken on the sand! She could smell them now in the air; they would cross the river any second.
She was not left waiting long. The first powerful hunter broke through the tree line, splashing through the river as though it were a puddle. Teeth bared, he let out a warning growl. She lowered herself to the ground, showing her submission and proving she was not challenging him.
He walked over to her before placing one huge paw on her back and taking her neck lightly in his jaws, careful not to pierce skin. He held her like this while he waited for the rest of his pack to join them. Once all the pack hunters gathered on the sandy shore, he let her go.
One by one they too took human form. Now one small naked woman and several naked men graced the river bank. The leader came to stand in front of her, his dark eyes boring into hers. He was clearly very angry with her.
“Luna, where is your child?” His deep voice shook with raw emotion. He crossed his arms over his bare chest.
Luna refused to meet his cold gaze and instead she looked up at the pale moon. She was not going to tell him. Her child would not suffer because of her choices.
Those words drew a hiss from the pack.
“Luna, you face death without your child’s return to the pack!” He was pleading with her now, but his plea fell on deaf ears.
“Then kill me.” Her chin came up with her words, her eyes blazing with fire. Let him kill her!
The leader let out a sigh before pulling her close to him, drawing her into his body as though he were hugging her. In her ear he whispered his goodbye.
“You brought this onto yourself, sweet Luna. You could have stayed mine forever! You blended your blood with mine and now you dare hide the fruit of our labor?”
His breath was hot on her skin, making her shiver. He pushed her back to look once more in her eyes then he stole her lips in a kiss. A kiss that betrayed all the lust he had for her, but her lips stayed cold to him.
Once more he asked, “Tell me where your child is and you shall not die this dark night.” His words were so soft they were almost lost.
“I will never let you touch my child.”
Those were to be her last words. He snapped her neck with ease. Her body went limp.
Turning to the others, he handed her over to a hunter and told him to take Luna’s body to her father.
“What do I tell him?” The hunter searched his leader’s eyes. He was looking for a glimpse of remorse. He saw none.
“Tell him the truth. Tell him his daughter broke the law. She refused to give me my child and justice was served.”
He waved the man away.
“We will search the woods all night until we find the child!” the leader cried. His words ended in a deep howl as he once more returned to beast form.
The other hunter watched his pack disappear into the woods and then he began to head toward the Reservation, holding Luna’s body close. He could only guess the sorrow her father was going to feel.
Wolf’s cry was heard everywhere in the village. Even in the clear blue sky of morning, the village seemed to become dark. Those with a family took their children inside and closed their doors. That left just the elderly and the warriors to stand watching from their doorways.
Wolf came out with Luna. He had put her in a sheer white gown and placed white death beads around her head, soft white moccasins on her feet and a single eagle father in her hair. He was taking her out to bury her. He did not ask the others to join him and none dared ask to come. Everyone watched him take Luna to the sleeping hill.
A few hours later he came back, his hands dirty, his legs covered in mud from the earth. He went into his home. Ryan, the hunter who had brought Luna’s body home, was foolishly hoping Wolf would keep his temper under check. He may not like that his only daughter had fallen for a Lycan and then chosen to run, which had ended with her death, but his daughter had willing agreed to be Malcom’s mate.
Ryan hoped Wolf would mourn his daughter and be done with it.
He was dead wrong. Wolf came back out dressed for battle, his long dark hair in a braid down his broad back. His war paint was blood red, his ax a silver glint in the heat of the sun.
Ryan made his way toward him.
“Please think about this,” he pleaded with the old man, placing a hand on his arm.
Wolf shook it off before knocking Ryan down and pinning him to the ground with the ax at his neck. Wolf’s eyes were mad with grief.
“Do you think it justice, my daughter’s death? Her child killed?” His voice rumbled like thunder.
Ryan did not agree with Luna’s fate, or with the death of a babe, but the law she broke was punishable by death.
“I would never be agreeable to harm coming to a child or Luna.”
Ryan waited for his words to sink in. A moment later Wolf removed the ax from his throat and allowed Ryan to stand.
“Malcom acted too harshly, but Luna did break the law. She was the mate to the Alpha and then ran. That did give him the right to kill her, Wolf.” Ryan kept his words soft.
Wolf let out a deep groan before he returned his battle ax to its scabbard on his back. Ryan was about to let out a long sigh of relief, but he never got that far. The handle of Wolf’s ax came down on his head with such speed Ryan had no chance to block or move. Blackness washed over him as he came to rest on the earthy floor.
Pain raced through his head. His eyes fought to open but the light sent sharp whips of pain down his skull. He could feel cool water being pressed on his forehead.
“Hush! Do not get up yet.”
Ryan didn’t know the voice.
Ah, the pain.
The sound made his head pound again.
Curse Wolf and his damn ax!
“Yes hunter, your head wound was indeed the doing of the Chief. Many have met the wrath of Wolf this day. Be grateful your encounter did not end in death.”
The woman’s words brought Ryan painfully to his feet.
“Whose death?” Ryan stared down at the small, older woman as he waited for her to tell him.
Her dark eyes peered closely at him before she poked him in the chest. “Whose do you think, hunter? Bah, do not answer that, for you and I both know whose death is on Wolf’s hands, as well as of those who stood with him!” She growled the last part at him.
“He killed Malcom?” Ryan asked the woman.
“Shape shifters killing a Lycan full blood? Are you mad?” she asked.
“You said…” he began but the old woman cut him off.
“I did not say he killed the Alpha. He killed those who should have kept his daughter out of your leader’s hands in the first place!” she told him crossly.
“He killed his own?” Ryan gasped in shock.
“And you will likely be next if you don’t get your werewolf hide out of here!” she said, pushing him out the door.
Ryan was still dazed as he walked toward the woods. Malcom had lost his cool and gained himself an enemy. Not one he would fear – after all, Wolf was only a shape shifter – but Ryan had seen the look in Wolf’s eye. He would not underestimate the old chief.
Ryan only hoped his leader found his child before it drove him over the edge. Malcom was not a man one wanted to cross either. He was a full blood, an old one, and he had dealings with things darker than a moonless night.
Maybe it would be best for the child if it was never found.
Chapter One: Bad Moon
The streets were dark, cast only in the glow of street lights and a few neon signs. The air smelled of stale beer and other foul things as Falyn huddled under her jacket, trying to avoid the scent. She listened to the sounds of the city, waiting to hear the sound of footsteps indicating her next client was coming.
Falyn watched as cars drove past, some of their passengers giving her a worried glance, likely trying to figure out why a young girl was alone on a dark street in the heart of winter. But she was not worried about any threats to her safety – at least, not from anything in their world.
She knew in the dark of night many things roamed strong enough to do her harm, but she too was among the class you would want to avoid in the dead of night.
As if on cue, footsteps brought the yellow glow to her brown eyes as she used her wolf sight to see who was coming down the alley behind her.
Dressed in the high-end fashion of an upper-class business man, she knew this was her client. His name was Adam Elbane and he had been searching for his missing son. Falyn had found the boy and his mother in a small town up north. Adam was a member of the shifter family – they could turn into whatever animal their bloodlines had chosen, but nothing else.
Adam’s bloodline was from a tribe of Native Indians in South America which shifted into panthers. Meaning he did not get to freely change here often, seeing how Oregon did not have a large group of panthers roaming the wild. Yet his ex-wife was more freely able to use her gifts to hide herself and their son.
“Did you find them?” His accent was thick.
“Yes, but it wasn’t easy tracking a witch,” Falyn said.
“I told you she would be hard to find but it seems you match your reputation.” He gave her a smile but it was flat and lifeless.
Falyn shook her head. How word of her gift had spread so quickly through the world of the mystic still shocked her. After all, it had taken only one case for the other side before she had more other worldly clients then she had the human kind.
“Thanks, I’ll take my payment now. Here is the address where you will find them, but be careful because what happens now is on your watch.” Holding her hand out for payment.
Falyn pocketed the money before handing him the address. He gave her a stiff nod before fading back into the dark.
Portland was a busy town at night when it came to downtown, where she called home. Her tiny apartment was on the very top floor. Falyn did not care for city life. If not for the fact her work needed a bustling town like this to thrive she would stick to small towns.
Falyn didn’t use banks or credit cards. She was paid in cash for her jobs, which she used for all her transactions. She kept her cash stashed in her apartment. She had learned early it was best to stay off the radar of both the human and unnatural kind.
As a child she had been a ward of the state, thanks to her drunk of a mother. At the time she had thought her mom was a crazy woman. She was Native and held strong believes in the magical roots of her past. Daisy had told Falyn she was a werewolf from the start. Of course, Falyn had not bought any of it till years later when she had turned. That was all it took to find out she came from the world of the supernatural.