Authors: Hazel Gower,Jess Buffett
Copyright© 2014 Hazel Gower
and Jess Buffett
Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is
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except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a
work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any
resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.
our families for putting up with our constant chats and focus on our work. We
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CLAIMED BY HER PANTHER
Mount View Treaty, 1
Hazel Gower and Jess Buffett
Copyright © 2014
One thousand five hundred years ago
echoed deep through the mountains as both Shifters and Vampires, for the first
time in history, came together. While neither completely trusted one another,
they had been left no other choice but to take action against their common
enemies, to make a treaty, one that allowed them to focus all their efforts on
annihilating the threat, the true monsters that walked the night.
is a piece of paper supposed to guarantee these animals will not still attack
us in our sleep?” one of the councilmen grumbled.
no different from us expecting you leeches to keep your fangs to yourself,”
sneered the closest Shifter, a panther with skin as dark as his fur would have
been if shifted.
demanded one of the Vampire Elders,
. He stood
in front of the podium, his presence fierce and dominating in the burning light
of the torches. “We will all uphold this treaty for the very reason that
separates us from the ones we call enemy. Honor. It is that which defines us,
our moral center. Why we do not hurt or kill the innocent. It is the reason we
are here tonight.”
says is true,” one of the Shifter Elders
added. “Our enemies grow stronger by the day, yet we spend so much time and
energy feuding with each other. No more.”
fell across the crowd, the
eager and yet
fearful of what the Elders had planned. While they each cared for the
individual people in their species, they held the wellbeing of the whole as a
priority, even if that meant sacrificing a few.
gather here tonight to bring our species together. For too long the likes of
Demons and Wraiths have gone unpunished for their cruelty.”
addressed the crowd.
is a treaty going to help us do that?” a faceless voice shouted from the
,” the Vampire Elder answered. “While they remain
neutral on many things, they have conceded that the earth, so precious to them,
is slowly being destroyed by the Demons. The
care very little about others, especially humans, but the earth is their
we will protect that gift,” spoke a bodiless voice.
and murmurs filtered through the air as
, one by
one, appeared in the cavernous room. Soon more than twenty of the mystical, yet
wary, creatures had joined them. Both handsome and stunningly beautiful, these
fair people gathered onto the podium with the Elders of Vampires and Shifters.
payment for agreeing to protect the earth, we, too, have a gift to bestow.” The
regal looking blond
arched a brow. “We do not
give this lightly, be assured. This gift will grant those of you chosen, more
strength, energy, and resistance to harm than you already possess. With it, you
will have the means to control the chaotic nature that is in the Demons, Wraiths,
and many more. And while we find no use for the humans, we acknowledge their
necessity and understand your need to protect them from the unknown. So now the
questions stands … who among you are worthy of such a gift?”
and Shifters of all walks of life spoke up, the sounds almost deafening in
their bid to gain power.
However a few, small in their
numbers, remained quiet and still.
It was they who were asked to come
, the son of the Vampire Elder
, was the first to speak. “Exactly what is it that
will be expected from us?”
“To work together, as one.
To rid the
earth of those who poison it.” The
and the others, who now stood in a line.
“You will become two species with one goal. Guardians of the earth and the
humans you hold so dear. You will fight to wipe out the evil. And you will do
it with a strength known only to a few.”
came forward with what appeared to be wooden
sticks, though there was something otherworldly about them. The
Elder also withdrew one from the cloth he wore and
raised it. “Remove the garments from your chests. The brand we give you now is
to be placed over your heart, ensuring you never forget its true meaning.”
You want to
brand us?” one of the men asked, outraged.
shrugged. “There is a price for everything. Do
the man’s reluctant nod, the crowd gathered and watched as the men and women removed
their upper garments. Only moments later cries sounded, echoing off of the cave
walls as those chosen were marked with a magical brand that would stay in place
regardless of any paranormal healing ability, for the mark went further than
skin deep. It marked their souls.
and silence fell upon the room as the marks were revealed. The double infinity
symbol, wrapped around the top half of the letter “T”. It glowed in the dim
light, giving off the sense of power.
is done,” the
Elder announced as the last person
was done. “We leave with your Elders now the tools necessary to grant this
blessing. It will be for them to decide who is worthy.”
what do we do now?”
asked, still stunned by
the effects of the mark.
keep our word,” the Elder Shifter answered. “We put our energies into stopping
the enemies that threaten us. We may not always get along, but we will never
turn on one another.”
you will not,” the
interrupted. “That is a
condition in our agreement. The spell that gives you your extra strength, that
empowers the mark, will break if your two species were to turn on one another
in the name of war.”
The Vampire Elder,
, wore a mask of fury.
“That was not part of our arrangement.”
said carelessly. “However it is part of our
stipulation nonetheless. How can you possibly keep the earth safe if you are
squabbling amongst yourselves? Now, you have even more reason to maintain this
treaty of yours.”
disappeared as quickly as they had come,
leaving the Elders furious at their underhandedness. Though, since it was the
, not too many were surprised.
carried through the crowds, with the knowledge of what these men and woman
would have to face. With the threat of the Demons, Wraiths, and others growing
every day, the only thing that would keep their species safe now … was the
Mount View Treaty.
Twenty-two years ago
watched his friend, Joel’s head dart back and forth between him and Stephan.
“Do you think my mum has had the baby yet? I can’t believe she’s having another
child. It’s just gross. I’ll be fifteen next month, and Mum will be forty.”
shrugged. “Forty to Shifters isn’t old. We live until about two hundred. Gramps
is one hundred and eighty.”
wish I was a Shifter. It’s so cool. Aunt Stacey said she can’t change just ‘cos
she’s mated to one of you. Donavan will, and any other children she has with
your great uncle.”
sorry we couldn’t tell you when we were younger, but it’s a secret. The council
in our area didn’t allow it, but now that your aunt is mated to one of us and
your mum needs help to get away from your father we can,” Stephan said to their
best friend, as he laid a comforting hand on the human’s shoulders.
smiled, showing his braces to Owen. “Do you think my dad will stay away if he
knows Mum, the baby, and I
living up in the
mountains with you?”