Psyche Honor (Psyche Moon)

BOOK: Psyche Honor (Psyche Moon)
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Psyche Honor

Psyche Moon Two

 

Chrissie Buhr

 

 

Psyche Honor

by Chrissie Buhr

 

Amazon Edition

Copyright 2014 Treasure Valley Writing Services

ASIN: B00IU1Y6KG

 

Psyche Honor
is a work of fiction and a construct of
the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead,
businesses, organizations, locales, or events is coincidental.

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It
may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share
this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each
recipient. If you're reading this ebook and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased solely for your use, then please return to an online retailer and
purchase your own copy. No part of this ebook may be reproduced in any form
without the prior permission of the author, except for the use of brief
quotations in a book review.

Thank you for respecting my creative efforts!

Dedication

For all the women in my life:

Family, Friends and Lovers

Sisters, Nieces, and Mothers.

Dance. Sing.

Listen to the Blackbirds Sing.

We’re taught to think and reason,

But never forget how to dream.

 

 

“Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to
prey.”

 

~Lord Byron~

 

Chapter 1

“Jason, we have a big problem,” John's voice,
strained and tense, sprang from the phone.

“What’s wrong?” Jason growled. He didn't want any more
problems, big or otherwise. He had enough to manage without something new
surfacing.

The drive back to Boise had given him plenty of time to ask
Nathan questions about the Wolf who bit him. When asked, the Pup’s eyes
darkened, and his shoulders tightened. Jason had coaxed and pushed for the
information, but the man remained taciturn most of the trip. Dealing with a
panicked Wolf while driving could be disastrous, so he took it easy on the Pup.
With shadowed eyes, Nathan watched the scenery pass, new instincts drawing him
inexplicably to the forests and hills.

The transition of becoming Wolf was never easy, and his had
been more difficult than most. Alone, with no way of understanding the changes
within him, he'd responded with escalating aggression and violence. One
unfortunate man still lay in a hospital bed after an encounter with Nathan.

Fortunately news of the brutal assault and Nathan's arrest had
reached Jason's ears. He'd left for Rigby immediately, posing as an old family
friend. The local judge listened to his story about owing a debt and a promise
to Nathan’s father. Jason asked to take Nathan under his wing in payment of
that debt. Instead the wily old man surprised him by replying, "Don’t lie
to me, Alpha. If the kid’s a Wolf, just say so and he’s yours.” He’d take good
luck any way he could find it. Wolves don’t tolerate captivity well, and they
avoided the perils of having a Wolf in prison at all costs. Risk to other
inmates and exposure to humans was too high.

Jason had planned on spending a great deal of time with the
Pup during his first week in the Pack. Instead he’d come home to the worst Pack
cleanup since becoming Alpha, and a Mage living in his territory. Reluctantly,
he'd focused his immediate attention on the nine dead teenagers, a wounded
Beta, and a powerful but seemingly benign Mage. In his wildest dreams, he'd
never imagined a situation in which he'd allow a Mage to live in his territory,
let alone date one of his Wolves. The proverbial shit had hit a very large and
rapidly spinning fan. A week later he could still smell it.

John's announcement promptly returned his thoughts to the
present. “Nathan told me who bit him and what happened. All of it this time. He
said the one who bit him was ordered to do it by a human.”

“A human?” Jason’s lip curled in skepticism. His normally
stony face darkened even further than usual.

“The way he described it, no way that Wolf was acting on his
own.” John’s voice shook in fear masked with a healthy dose of anger.

“A Mage made a Wolf and then abandoned him? That doesn’t
make sense.”

“Wait ‘til you hear the rest of his story.”

“I’m on my way.” Jason jabbed a button on his cell phone and
shoved it into his pocket. He paused, thinking through the situation. He could
do without Mage problems until he knew how he felt about Sadie. He’d have
killed her the moment he knew if it hadn’t been for Billie. He’d kill her now
if not for his promise.
Dammit, Billie,
he thought.
Only you would
dare fall for a Mage.
He’d promised his Beta, and he kept his word. He'd
allow Sadie to live so long as she didn’t threaten the Pack. That didn’t keep
him from wishing he’d never given his word to begin with.

Mage trouble on the heels of Sadie’s arrival couldn’t be
coincidence. Jason didn’t believe in coincidence, and he wondered how it all
fit together. He hoped, for Billie’s sake, that Sadie had nothing to do with
Nathan. For all of their sakes, he hoped Sadie was exactly who she said she
was. If not, they could be wishing for a quick death before this ended. He
ground his teeth and growled.

Pulling a worn T-shirt over his head, Jason grabbed a set of
keys off the kitchen counter and left for John’s home.

Jason entered without knocking to find Nathan pacing
erratically about the living room. John and Phil shared a modest urban home
rented from the Pack. The Pack owned several houses for young or volatile
Wolves. After the inevitable property damage, they had to explain themselves to
a packmate, but they didn’t need to pacify an irate landlord. Closer to
Nathan's age than anyone else and with a bedroom to spare, it was the best
living situation available for the Pup. They lived in a classic bachelor’s pad,
worn mismatched furniture in a living room cluttered with clothes and gear. It
nevertheless smelled clean with a prevailing odor of mild soap and Wolves. A
quirk of the species – most Wolves preferred to live in a clean environment,
single or not.

The Pup stopped pacing as soon as Jason entered, his eyes
meeting his Alpha’s gaze for a few seconds before lowering meekly. John stood
in the doorway between the living room and kitchen, muscled arms folded across
his chest. He watched the agitated man’s internal struggle with sharp brown
eyes. “He’s restless. He needs to run.” John stated the obvious.

Jason nodded. “We’ll run soon. But first I need to hear what
happened.” Nathan resumed wearing a path in the carpet, and Jason listened to
his rising heart rate. The frightened Pup didn’t want to run – he wanted to
tuck his tail between his legs and bolt blindly into the brush. “Sit down,” Jason
ordered sharply, his command giving no room for disobedience. Nathan obeyed
without hesitating, crossing to the couch and falling into it. His hands and
feet continued to twitch with the impulse to flee.

Jason gazed down at the man with his best kind but stern
Alpha expression. He was better at stern and intimidating with his tattoos and
chiseled features. His more temperate side, buried deep beneath the tough
exterior, didn't show easily. Over the years he'd learned how to soften his
expression when helpful. “Look, kid. The way that you were made Wolf isn’t the
way we do things. It makes the transition more intense and emotions harder to
control.”

Nathan interrupted insolently. “You told me that already.” His
rising voice demonstrated the level of his irritation.

Jason growled. “Don’t interrupt me.” Nathan shrunk a little,
his Wolf nature instinctively submitting to his Alpha’s authority. If he’d been
in wolf form, his ears would have dropped in apology. “If the situation was
different, I wouldn’t push you. I’d let you run this energy off and calm down.
But I need you to tell me what happened first. All of it this time.” His tone
left no room for argument.

Nathan nodded and closed his eyes. He pressed a hand against
his forehead as if the memory would explode if allowed to surface. “It was a
couple o' months ago in Rigby. I was at home changin' out a bad starter in my
old Dodge when two men drove up. They got out o' their car, and the skinny one
started asking me for directions into town. I lived a few miles out off the
main roads, so it was strange them being there at all. The big one didn’t say
nothin'. His eyes were dull, like he wasn’t playing with a full deck. The
skinny one made my skin crawl, and I could tell right away he was trouble. I
didn’t want trouble, so I told him how to get to Rigby and was done with him.

“Behind me, I heard the skinny one say ‘Do it.’ I knew
somethin' was wrong and spun around ready fer whatever. But the big guy - the
one with the dull eyes - was built like a tank and freakin’ strong. I hit him
and he didn’t even feel it. He broke my nose and a few ribs, or that’s what I
thought when it happened. He knocked me to the ground, grabbed up my arm and
bit a chunk out of it. After that he just stopped. He walked back to the skinny
guy and stood there like a moron.

“So I’m bleedin' from my nose and arm and in a lot of hurt.”
He paused, and Jason waited in silence, sensing the poor man’s struggle to
explain what he’d experienced. “I’ve been in plenty of fights. Nothin' like
this ever happened before. It felt like somethin’ was crawling inside my head.
Like a bad trip I had once as a kid and I popped acid. Never did that again. For
a minute I thought the skinny guy was talkin’ to me in my head.” He shook his
head, either to banish the memory or clarify it. Jason couldn’t tell. “Then out
of nowhere a woman shows up. They argued and the air went sharp like it does in
a thunderstorm. She said me and the big guy belonged to her now. Like we were
pets or somethin'. The air went sharp again, worse this time. My head cleared
enough to stand, and I took off running. Never looked back.” The Pup reached
the end of his story and stopped.

“Did you call the police?”

Nathan shook his head. “Nah. It was too weird. Didn’t know
what to say to them. Didn't want anyone thinkin' I was crazy. I went to a
buddy’s house and crashed there for a few. Never healed so quick from a fight.
My nose and ribs were good in ‘bout a week. The bite took a lot longer.” He
pulled the sleeve of his shirt up to show Jason an ugly scar on his upper left
arm. Jason had seen it before.

The story troubled Jason. Two Mages fighting over Wolves
didn’t bode well. “Did you hear any names?” Nathan shook his head. “Describe
them.”

“The skinny guy had glasses and light brown hair. My height.
He talked like the local kids do when they come home from college. You know,
like anyone else 'cept bigger words and full o' themselves. The big guy, the
one who bit me, was solid muscle, over six foot, army haircut. I didn’t get a
good look at the woman.”

Jason nodded, taking it all in and liking the situation less
with every sentence. “What do you remember about their argument?”

Nathan's eyes darkened and his shoulders hunched forward,
like something warred within him. “Not much. It’s kind of a blur.” Jason could
smell his fear rising in acrid waves, panic not far away.

“Look at me.” Nathan's head snapped up, his eyes focusing.
Jason held the Wolf’s eyes, forcing the man to see the strength of his Alpha
and Pack. “You’re safe now. You’re Pack, and we protect each other. We'll
protect you. For now, I want you to always have a packmate with you. Until I’ve
looked into your story and you quit acting like a caged animal about to jump
the gate, you don’t go anywhere alone.” He looked pointedly at John. “Don’t
take any chances. Keep a few Wolves around here at all times – safety in
numbers.” John nodded solemnly, understanding his orders to protect the Pup and
to protect others from him. Without a word, he flipped out his phone and sent a
quick text.

“Any sign of a Mage, let me know. Kill any Mage you find if
you can do it without getting caught.” Jason remembered the newest
complication. “Except Sadie.”

“Sadie? Billie’s girl?” John exclaimed, his dark blue eyes
widening in alarm.

“Yeah,” Jason snarled. “Billie’s mate is a Mage.”

“Holy shit!” John dissembled visibly. “How the hell did that
happen?”

Jason glowered. He'd been asking himself the same thing for
days. “Sadie didn’t even know what she was.”

“She … How? … Shit! Do you trust her?”

“I trust Billie. I gave my word – I won’t kill her if she
doesn’t threaten the pack.” Jason reiterated the same words he'd conveyed to
everyone.

“Billie’s not collared?” He shivered involuntarily.

Jason's jaw twitched at the thought. “No sign of it. Sadie
saved Billie’s life last week. You heard about the mess in the North End?” John
nodded. “She protected the pack, too. She’s earned the benefit of the doubt.”

“Jesus. This is fucked up.”

“Tell me about it,” Jason rumbled.

Nathan had been listening intently. “I thought Billie was a
girl.”

“She’s my Beta, second in command.”

“And she’s dating a girl?”

Jason looked sideways impatiently but spoke to John. “Why
don’t you fill him in on Mages. And explain what a lesbian is while you’re at
it.”

“I know what a lesbian is,” Nathan huffed and grinned.

Jason met the Pup's eyes and held them, his voice low and
threatening. “Billie is the second most powerful Wolf in the Pacific Northwest.
She can kick your ass without breaking a sweat, so I suggest you don’t go
there.” His tone softened. “Besides, she’s the only other Wolf here that was
turned by force. She knows what you’re going through firsthand, and she knows
how to pull out of it. You’d be wise to learn from her.” Nathan nodded, his
silly grin vanishing.

Jason fished out his cell once again and hit speed dial.
“Amy. I want you to check the Pup again. If anything is off, I want to know.” He
listened. “After work is fine. You can join us for his first run when you’re
done.” He hung up and turned to Nathan. “I’ll be back later. Stick with the
others. Do what they say.” The Pup nodded compliantly.

He gestured for John to follow him outside. Far enough away
from the house that they could speak without Nathan overhearing, Jason
whispered, “We don’t know how far the Mage got with him.” John nodded gravely
and without surprise. “He could be collared. Don’t let him out of earshot and
keep others with you at all times. I won’t lose anyone to him if he’s collared.
I’ll be back before sundown and we’ll run.”

“What about Sadie?” John asked hesitantly.

“What about her?” Jason groaned, ready to order yet another
Wolf not to harm her. He didn't want to consider all the possible ways this
could go wrong. As Alpha he had no choice.

“Could she tell if he’s collared?”

Jason’s eyebrows hit his hairline. He hadn’t anticipated the
question. “You would trust a Mage?”

“I trust Billie,” John stated simply. “Unless you think
Sadie was the woman Nathan mentioned?”

Jason frowned, rolling the events of the last week over in
his mind and looking for a connection to Nathan's story. “No. The description
doesn’t fit, and she wasn’t lying when she didn’t know about Mages. I’ll
consider it. She’s Billie’s mate, but she’s still a Mage.”

“Mind-blowing.”

“To say the least,” Jason agreed. Phil drove up in his new
pickup and joined them silently. Jason filled him in on the situation quietly.
Phil looked to his Alpha for reassurance, but Jason’s response didn’t console
him. “A collared Wolf turns him, one Mage tries to collar him, and another Mage
tries to steal him. Somehow he gets away and winds up in my Pack. He’s either
incredibly lucky or we’re in deep shit. Be very careful and very aware. Sleep
with two ears up. No one is to be alone with him.”

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