Read Forbidden Hope: A Werewolf Wars Prequel Novella Online

Authors: Bethany Shaw

Tags: #paranormal werewolf romance, #Paranormal Romance, #shifter romance, #werewolves and shifters, #suspenseful romance

Forbidden Hope: A Werewolf Wars Prequel Novella

Forbidden Hope: A Werewolf Wars Prequel Novella

Werewolf Wars, Volume 1

Bethany Shaw

Published by Bethany Shaw, 2014.

This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.

FORBIDDEN HOPE: A WEREWOLF WARS PREQUEL NOVELLA

First edition. August 13, 2014.

Copyright © 2014 Bethany Shaw.

Written by Bethany Shaw.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Also by Bethany Shaw

Werewolf Wars

Out of the Shadows

Forbidden Hope: A Werewolf Wars Prequel Novella

Into the Unknown

Finding Our Way

Watch for more at
Bethany Shaw’s site
.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Also By Bethany Shaw

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Also By Bethany Shaw

Chapter One

E
mily wrung out the washcloth before gently rubbing at the unconscious man’s forehead—she didn’t even know his name. Angry blue bruises and deep gashes covered his olive skin, his thick, jet-black hair matted with blood. He looked close to her age, maybe a little older. Possibly early twenties.

The man flinched as she dabbed at a large laceration. His eyelids fluttered open. He mumbled something, but she couldn’t make it out.

Emily swallowed and set the towel down, gingerly touching his cheek. Her fingers tingled under his fevered skin. “It’s okay. You’re safe,” she reassured.

His hand swung up and latched onto her wrist, pulling her on top of him and holding her there. Her breath caught as his blue-grey eyes settled on hers. Emily opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. She knew that she should try to get away—that he could be dangerous—but all she could do was remain frozen on top of him. Only the roaring in her veins filled the silence as she got lost in his irises.

The man’s grip loosened, but his fingers stayed around her wrist. Time slowed as they stared at each other, mesmerized.

“Do I know you?” he asked in a hoarse voice.

“No,” she answered. She would have remembered meeting him. “Your pack was attacked. By the time we got there...” she shook her head, not sure how to tell him he was one of only five survivors. “My pack got your distress call and we brought you back here.”

“There was a fire
...a
nd other wolves,” he murmured. “My brothers?”

Emily hesitated. She’d seen the other four survivors and was confident none of them were related to him. As a wolf, her sense of smell was strong and families carried similar scents. “There were only four other survivors. Two teen girls and two men about your age, Quinn and Aidan are there names. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe they have any relation to you.”

His eyes darted away from hers and she instantly missed the connection. “I see.”

“I’m sorry,” she repeated, unsure of what else to say.

He gritted his teeth. “Did your pack get the men who did this?”

“Some of them. They have already been taken care of. They won’t hurt anyone else again. We are hunting down the rest and won’t stop until justice has been served.”

He mumbled something, his words slurring as his head lolled to the side. His arm flopped back down to the bed and his eyes rolled to the back of his head. He was unconscious again. She bit her lip, watching the even rise and fall of his chest. Satisfied that he was okay, she reached for the water basin. Emily lifted the washcloth up and continued cleaning the blood from his face.

He was going to be okay, she assured herself. Butterflies fluttered in her belly at the thought and she smiled slightly to herself. The stranger had only been in her care for a few hours, but there was something about this man that she couldn’t shake—that she didn’t want to shake.

Don’t do this to yourself—don’t fall for him, Emily. You’re the alpha’s daughter. This man isn’t an alpha and your father isn’t going to let you mate with just any guy.

***

E
mily sat down in the wicker chair next to the man’s bed. It had been two days since their conversation and he’d yet to wake up again. Her older brother, Devon, attributed it to the raging infection from a deep laceration in his side. Devon was a newly certified paramedic
—a
nd by no means a medical expert when it came to this type of thing—but he was the only doctor the pack had.

Her heart clenched painfully in her chest at the thought of something happening to him.

I barely know him.

There was something about this wolf. She’d tried to avoid seeing him, but the physical pull was too much. This afternoon she’d wandered to his door without even realizing it until she’d twisted the golden knob. It was unnerving.

Shaking her thoughts away, she picked up a clean cloth and wiped at his clammy forehead. Her free hand went to his cheek and, without thinking, she trailed her fingers into his hair. The strands were silky, causing goose bumps to erupt on her arm from the simple touch.

Startled by the unconscious reaction, she immediately recoiled, nearly throwing the towel in the water basin. She put some distance between herself and the nameless wolf, running an anxious hand through her long, chestnut hair.
What am I doing?

The door creaked open and she jumped, her hand flying to her chest as she stared at her oldest brother.

“Back in here again?” Devon asked as he strolled into the room.

Heat crept over her cheeks.
Stop acting silly, you have nothing to be embarrassed over.

Emily cleared her throat and shrugged. “Fall semester is over and I’m not allowed to leave the house so...” she trailed off.

Devon nodded as he walked to the bed. He pulled out a syringe and injected something into the man’s IV.

“Having someone here is good for him,” Devon said, running a digital thermometer over the unconscious man’s forehead.

“Really?”

“There’s research that proves people can sense their surroundings.”

Emily nodded, watching as Devon examined the man. She stiffened, sitting rigidly, awaiting the diagnosis.

“His name is Marcus. Mom finally got one of the girls to talk to her,” Devon stated as he examined a large gash on Marcus’ right side. “I think he’s going to pull through. His fever is breaking and the infection looks much better. He’s lucky.”

Emily smiled and closed her eyes. The tension in her shoulders eased as she leaned back in her chair.
He’s going to be okay—Marcus is going to be okay.

“You going to stay with him a while?” Devon asked, fixing his hazel eyes on her.

“Yeah. I mean, sure, unless there is a problem with that,” she stuttered.

Devon frowned. Flames engulfed her face and she licked her dry lips.

“I don’t see a problem with it. If he wakes up, it would be good to have someone here to keep him calm. Emmett said they pulled him out of a burning building. He was trapped under a beam. Most likely, he’ll awake with a start,” Devon explained.

Emily nodded.

“Call me if you need me.”

“I will,” she replied, watching her brother walk out. Her eyes drifted back to the wicker chair. Sighing, she plopped down. This was where she wanted to be.

***

M
arcus blinked his eyes open as he took in the unfamiliar room. His heart accelerated and he sat up, his eyes darting wildly around the unfamiliar room. He noticed the black duvet that covered his body and the soft sheets beneath him. The bedroom had the necessities: a dresser, rug, and mirror. The sweet, flowery scent of lilacs surrounded him. His pulse slowed as the calming scent overpowered his senses.

The door clicked and opened. A brunette woman walked in. Her chestnut hair was thrown into a messy do with loose strands surrounding her face. Her emerald eyes widened when she saw him.

“Hi,” she stammered, with obvious surprise, causing him to wonder just how long he had been unconscious. “You’re awake. How are you? Do you need anything?” she asked in one breath.

Marcus watched as she took a seat in a brown wicker chair and scooted toward him. He appraised the stranger for a moment. She wasn’t a theat. In fact, her presence was soothing. Remembering her question, he mentally made note of the aches and pains in his body. He felt all right, except for the burning sensation in his side.

He froze as her cool, slender fingers brushed some of his hair off his forehead. A warm smile graced her face and he leaned into her touch.

“I think your fever finally broke,” she said, dropping her hand.

Marcus instantly missed the contact. He cleared his throat, staring at her. She was beautiful. Her smile was warm and friendly and her eyes sparkled brightly. It only took him a second to realize that the lilac scent belonged to her. A blur of a memory entered his mind. He’d seen her before. She cleared her throat and it took him a moment to realize she’d asked him a question.

“What?”

“Are you okay? Would you like me to get you anything?”

He was famished and his throat, parched. His limbs tingled from lying in one position for too long. “How long was I out for?” he asked instead.

“Nearly four days.”

“You were here before, right?” Surely, he hadn’t imagined that.

She nodded. “You woke up very briefly a few days ago. We spoke for a minute before you went under again.”

“Oh.” He grimaced as the memories came flooding back. They were gone. His family—his pack
—w
as gone.

He shuddered, remembering the events that had taken them from him. A wave of nausea washed over him as he remembered the smell of burning plastic and rubber. His breathing quickened as he closed his eyes, a flash of yellow flames entering his mind.

“Hey.” She placed a hand over his palm. His eyes popped open at the unexpected contact. Her gaze met his, pulling him from the memories. “It’s going to be okay.”

Marcus got lost in her emerald eyes. She was mesmerizing. Her lips were pink, and he imagined they would be soft to the touch.

“My father has already promised you sanctuary and eliminated the wolves that attacked your pack. I’m so sorry for what happened,” she whispered, giving his hand a firm squeeze.

“Where am I?”

“Guymon, Oklahoma. About an hour away from your old home, or so I’m told.”

Marcus closed his eyes, balling his free hand at his side. “What did they do with the bodies of my pack mates?” Had his brother’s at least gotten a proper burial? Anger and despair surged through him. He’d never see them again. First his parents, now his brother’s. He had no family left.

“They were given a ceremony and buried at your home. I can’t begin to imagine what you must be feeling right now. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Marcus opened his eyes, watching the unknown woman. There was no malice in her voice. She genuinely seemed to care. Though her words were kind, it did little to stop the anguish churning inside him.

“I’m Emily by the way. I know things are difficult right now, but I’m really glad you are okay. Can I get you anything to make you more comfortable?” Her eyebrows rose up expectantly as she awaited his reply.

Marcus yawned, exhaustion gnawing at him yet again. “I think I’m okay for right now. Tell me about your pack and your alpha,” he murmured, closing his eyes. Emily seemed safe and kind, but he wanted to know more about the place that was his temporary home. With his pack and older brothers gone, he would have to look out for himself.  Emily took a seat next to his bed. The chair creaked and the legs scraped against the floor as she scooted closer to him. He could feel her warm breath on his arm as she leaned toward him. Her voice was melodic as she began to speak, and it quickly lulled him to sleep.

***

E
mily combed a hand through her hair before knocking lightly on Marcus’ door.

“Come in,” he called.

She sucked in a deep breath and twisted the knob, smiling as she entered. “Hi,” she greeted “You look better.” He did too. The color had returned to his olive skin, and the bruises that marred his flesh were erased. He was even up moving about. At the moment, he stood by the window.

“Thanks. Your brothers, Devon and Vincent, came by earlier and helped me outside to transition. I feel a lot better.”

Oh. He doesn’t really need me here, then.

One of the perks to being a werewolf was quick healing. The healing process accelerated during shifts.

“I’ll be meeting with Devon and your father in about an hour. I’ve decided to stay here and be a member of your pack. I have to officially swear my allegiance to your alpha,” he commented.

He’s staying,
she thought joyfully. Emily frowned as she processed the rest of what he said. Devon and her father certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near each other unless it was absolutely unavoidable. Her eldest brother was not Emmett McKinley’s flesh and blood, and Emmett made sure that everyone knew that. Not to mention, Marcus wouldn’t need to swear allegiance to Devon.
Wait! He doesn’t mean Devon, he means Daniel. He must be confused—not that I can blame him. Devon is an alpha.

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