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Authors: Leia Stone

Matefinder

BOOK: Matefinder
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Matefinder

By: Leia Stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 by
Leia Stone. All rights reserved.

Cover Art by Adithya
Kaushik, Copyright © 2014 by Leia Stone

Matefinder
characters, names and related items are trademarks owned by Leia Stone.

 

No part of this
publication may be reproduced. Stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise, without written permission of the author.

 

This is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
persons, live or dead are purely coincidental.

Stone, Leia

Matefinder

Gilbert, Arizona 85297

1. Fantasy Fiction

 

For information on
reproducing sections of this book or sales of this book go to www.facebook.com/leia.stone

[email protected]

 

ISBN:
978-0982068724

 

 

 

 

 

 

For
every woman who has ever had to fight to be who they were destined to be, this
book is for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgments

This book
literally wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my mother and father
in law. I sat at the dining room table in our kitchen dreaming up Kai and
Aurora while they ran after my twins and made sure everyone was clean and fed. Thank
you, Amma and Appa. To my husband, my biggest supporter and fan, I love you so
much. Thank you for pushing me to follow this dream, and for helping Kai’s
fight scenes be a little more badass. To my mother, who allowed me to be free
spirited and creative as a child. This is all because of the person you raised
me to be. To my editor Patti Geesey, an author herself, thank you for taking on
this project and pushing me to finish it! Lastly, I want to thank Earl Chessher
and the awesome authors at Fiction Writers Group. I love our 2 A.M discussions
over comma usage and the best place to hide a body.

Changed

 

I never asked for this. To be
changed
.
To be on the brink of death, waiting for release from the pain, only to wake
and find out I was a monster, an impossible thing, an animal. The thought was
funny, really. As I lay there going in and out of consciousness, I laughed. I
was a vegetarian. I couldn’t be a werewolf, I just couldn’t. But there was no
denying what I was becoming. I could feel my inner wolf lingering inside me,
waiting to break the surface.

That’s when a steely voice broke
through my thoughts. His voice, my savior and my maker. ‘
You are a werewolf
and you’re mine.’ 
My insides turned over at the mental invasion. Yet, it
felt like he was a part of me. ‘
Pack.’
Something inside me whispered. The
searing pain that burned on my abdomen threatened to make me go unconscious
again.

“Stay with me. Please survive,” his
voice said aloud this time, and I felt a hand cup my face. The last thing I
thought of before losing consciousness again was the memory of my body lying in
the winding road that led to Mt. Hood. Of the tall dark man that changed into a
werewolf and ripped me to shreds with his teeth.

I awoke sometime later and sat up,
fully expecting to be sore or to have stitches all over my body; bandages, a
cast, something. I looked down and saw my pale skin. I had a t-shirt on and it
smelled like
him
. I pulled it up and traced my fingers along the white
jagged scar that marked my belly. That’s where he bit me first. Other than that
bite mark, my skin was flawless. I looked around. I was in a simple room. There
were hardwood floors, a small bed and a dresser.

My mind flashed back to the scene, to
last night. The dark-skinned man that turned into a… a wolf, and attacked me.
Well, that wasn’t quite right. I had been in an accident. Oh god, it was bad. I
grabbed my head remembering the pain I had felt. My leg had been twisted at an
odd angle. Blood had poured freely from my abdomen. I was waiting to die. If I
hadn’t tried to swerve and miss that deer, I wouldn’t have crashed my Jetta.
What do they tell you? Swerve into the mountain? Away from the mountain? Don’t
swerve? Hit the deer? I couldn’t remember, and I was a vegetarian, so I went on
instinct. My instinct said
Don’t hit the cute baby deer
, and it got me
killed. Well… I would have died but then
He
attacked me. He
changed
me.
I knew it. I could feel it. I was like him. I was….. a shapeshifter?

‘You’re a
werewolf.’
The man spoke into
my mind, and I jumped startled and looked around. My heart was racing. I looked
down at my body once more. No marks other than the bite mark on my stomach. I
healed, like in the movies. Like Hollywood werewolves do. A soft knock came at
the door and I covered my legs, which were bare.

“Come in?” I said, unsure. It’s not
like it was my room. A girl who looked to be about twenty years old poked her
head in. She had bright red hair that was cut in a short pixie style and spiked
up all over with long bangs in front. She had a heart-shaped face and green
eyes. ‘
Pack,’
I thought, and shivered at the new feelings. The voice.

“Hi,” she said tentatively as she
came in and softly closed the door behind her. In her hand was a bag.

“Hi,” I croaked back, unsure of what
to say.

She tossed the bag onto the bed. “We
seem to be the same size, so I hope they fit.” She gestured with her hands, as
I opened the bag and saw clean clothes and a pair of flip-flops.

“Thanks.”

“Kai sent me to check on you. To help
you get accustomed. I can’t believe you survived.” Emma sat at the edge of the
bed.

“Kai?” Somehow the name resonated
deep inside me.

“The guy who saved your life. Our
Alpha.” She seemed unsure of what to say next.

‘Our Alpha.’
My stomach dropped. Everything I had
ever heard or read about Alphas was not good.

“Does he own us?” I shuttered at the
thought. I worked very hard to get my college degree and become an independent
woman. The last thing I needed, on top of becoming a flesh-eating monster, was
to have some psycho hopped on steroids bossing me around.

The girl barked out a laugh. “Well, that’s
funny. I hadn’t thought of it that way. He protects us, keeps us safe from
rival packs and others. Keeps us fed, happy, and takes care of all of our
needs. He keeps peace within the pack. He’s a good Alpha; the strongest man in
the pack. We’re lucky to have him. My name is Emma.”

She held out her hand to me; I shook
it. I noticed she didn’t exactly answer my question. “I’m Aurora.”

“How old are you?” she inquired.

“Twenty-two, how old are you?”

“Nineteen.” She sat there in silence
for a few minutes biting her lip. “Look, I’m sorry about your accident. This
must be really overwhelming. I can take you out to meet the others but first we
should go over some things. Kind of like werewolf 101.”

My accident…so she knew. “Werewolf
101?” I queried.

“Yeah, let’s start with the rules.
When you’re around Kai, you don’t look him directly in the eyes for more than a
few seconds. You actually wouldn’t be able to hold a staring contest with him;
it’s physically impossible for less dominant wolves. You don’t want him to
think you are challenging his strength to lead us. How’re you doing, you okay?”

I picked this odd moment to think of
my roommate and my mother. How worried they must be that they hadn’t heard from
me. “When can I go home?” I asked shakily.

Emma’s face fell. “Aurora, you’re
pack now.” She rested her hand on my knee and it felt oddly comforting.

‘Pack
,’ a small voice inside me said.  

“You can’t leave. Kai wouldn’t let
you. If he cut ties with you, then you wouldn’t last a week as a lone wolf
before another pack found you. Female werewolves are rare. Most of them don’t
survive the
change
and only a handful are born to werewolf couples. If
another pack claimed you, they might not treat you properly. Kai’s pack is
respectful of females, they cherish us, protect us. Not all packs are like
that.” Something dark crossed her face but before I could figure it out, it was
gone.

“I can’t go home. I can’t stare the
Alpha in the eye. Okay, keep going.” I took a deep breath. Werewolves existed.
I was one of them. I would have been dead if Kai hadn’t
changed
me. I
couldn’t go home. Okay. Just breathe.

Emma nodded. “That small voice you
are probably hearing, that’s letting you know that I’m pack, or that you’re in
danger. That’s your wolf, your instinct. She will barely speak to you now but
as you get to know her better and trust her more, you and her will become one.”

I could only nod.

Emma smiled. “You’re doing great. Now
that big booming voice in your head, that’s Kai. He can pick up on your
thoughts, emotions, and he can speak directly into your mind. You’ll get used
to it. In a moment, I want you to change into the clothes I brought you. Then
I’m going to take you out to meet everyone and we can establish your place in
the pack. The sooner we do that, the better off everyone will feel.”

“My place?” I could feel something
inside me thrumming with excitement. My inner wolf, I recognized.

“Every pack functions smoothly
because we all have a place in the pack. There’s no need for me to get into a
dominance battle with Sadie because I know she’s ninth in the pack of
dominants. I’m twenty-sixth; the last and most submissive wolf. Everyone
protects me and that’s my place. That’s where I feel most comfortable. That’s
why Kai sent me in here, so that there was no chance that your inner wolf would
feel threatened.”

I nodded. Something about what she
said felt right. I would go out there, establish my place and then talk to Kai
about my old life. I needed to at least call my mother… and my roommate, Lexi.

“And how do I establish my place?” I
stared into Emma’s green eyes.

She quickly lowered hers after a few
seconds. She swallowed hard. “A staring contest. You will start with me. If I
lower my eyes first, then you are more dominant than I am and you move to the
next person in the pack and so on and so on. You do this until you lower your
eyes. Then we all know your place. No fights. Kai runs a clean pack.”

I nodded. That didn’t seem so hard.

She elbowed me. “I can already tell
you are more dominant than me. For a human female to survive the
change
,
you have to at least be in the middle. You might even be higher than Sadie.”
She grinned like that would bring her immense joy.

I felt nauseous. “Well, you survived,
so you must be pretty strong, too.” I added, trying to make her feel better.

“Oh, Aurora, I wasn’t
changed
.
I was born this way. Both of my parents are wolves.”

“Oh. Well, how many females do you
have in the pack that have survived the
change
?” My heart raced in
anticipation.

She fiddled with her hands. “Just
you.”

Emma cocked her head to the side. “Kai
says everyone is waiting, so go get dressed, okay?” She smiled sweetly.

I picked up my new clothes and went
to get dressed. It was time to do a staring contest.

When Emma led me out of the room, I
realized we were in a huge house that overlooked Mt. Hood. The ceilings were
vaulted with exposed wood beams, and one of the living room’s walls was
entirely made of glass. I could see through the glass that a large gathering of
people stood outside. They were all lined up in a row and talking. Once I came
closer and Emma led me outside, they became silent.

‘Pack. Pack. Pack,’
my inner wolf chanted.

I scanned the faces. Some smiled at
me, some scowled. Then my eyes rested on
Him.
Kai. I quickly looked down
towards his full lips remembering Emma’s advice not to meet his eyes. He was
East Indian, over 6 feet tall and built from rock hard muscle. He had dark,
unruly hair and chestnut eyes. If I wasn’t feeling like I had been abducted by
aliens and taken to a new werewolf planet, I might actually say he was hot. His
lips quirked up to a smile and I realized the other thing Emma had said. That
he could read my emotions, my thoughts. Just kill me. His smirk disappeared and
he stepped forward placing a warm, possessive hand on my shoulder. Emma took
her place at the end of the line.

“Brothers and sisters, a new pup has
joined our ranks!” His voice commanded attention and oozed with power. The
hairs on the back of my neck stood up. “This strong female survived a horrific
accident and the
change
. I feel your anxiety about her. Is she
submissive, should I protect her? Is she dominant, more dominant than me? Could
she be my mate? I think it’s best to establish her place before we have
celebrations to welcome her. This will ease your minds.”

I balked inside when he said
mate
but kept my face a mask of calm. Werewolves could smell fear, right? Well, I
wouldn’t give them the satisfaction.

Kai walked me towards the end of the
line to where Emma stood. She smiled.

“Emma, you have explained how this
will go?” Kai spoke to her as if she was a cherished little sister, something
to protect.

She nodded. “…and you can start with
Sammy. I already know she’s more dom than me.”

Kai let go of my shoulder and Sammy
stepped forward. He looked about fourteen years old and had blonde hair and
brown eyes. I stared, heart pounding, not out of fear but out of nerves. Where
would I fall in the pack? What would it mean? If I was low, did that make me
weak? If I was high, did that make me more of a monster than I already thought
I was? After about five seconds, Sammy looked down. Sweat beaded on his
forehead and I wondered if that was from me. I went to the next person. A tall
and lanky man with kind eyes stepped forward. After a few seconds he, too,
looked down. Sweat shown on his brow as well. I kept moving up the line. Once I
got to the middle, I could hear murmuring.

‘Silence
.’ Kai commanded. It was so alien to
hear someone speak in my mind.

I looked back at Kai, unsure.

“Keep going, Aurora. You’re doing
exactly what Emma and I told you. Don’t worry.”

I turned to face the next person and
then the next, until I met who I assumed to be Sadie. She was ninth from the
top of the pack and had long, ink black hair and medium dark skin. She looked
Native American. Maybe mixed. She was beautiful, exotic. As we stared, I began
to feel my pulse pick up the longer we locked eyes. A bit of sweat beaded on my
upper lip but Sadie looked down after about ten seconds. She was panting. She
cursed under her breath and shot me a death look. She wasn’t happy about my
place in the pack being above hers. I swallowed hard and moved on.

It began to get harder to hold their
gaze but I was able to. Three pack members from the top, whispers had started. Kai
had to quiet everyone multiple times. He kept reassuring me that I was doing
fine and needed to continue. I continued on until I was standing in front of the
last man. He was tall, broad shouldered and his arms were littered with scars.
What would be so bad that it would scar a werewolf? He had sandy blonde hair
and ice blue eyes. He stepped forward and puffed up his chest.

BOOK: Matefinder
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