Authors: Mel Favreaux
Paranormal Romance by Mel Favreaux
Was a life dealing with the pressure of photographing an A-List crowd really what she wanted to be known for? Casey Maynard decided a trip home was called for: a camping trip into the wilds of North Western Montana.
But Casey finds herself in the middle of a twenty year vendetta against her father for killing the Alpha of a pack of werewolves who hold a Sanctuary deep in the mountains of the Cabinets. In a battle for her life, Casey falls for the new Alpha of the pack while he shows her how to handle and communicate with her own wolf.
Upon discovering the wolf spirit who chose her was the Mother of all Weres…more treachery thrives. Finding love and true bonds that know no bounds, her life is turned upside down.
From a deep family secret to a two thousand year old murder, will Casey’s link with the Silver Wolf be enough to save them all?
A Sanctuary Novel: Book One
The candlelight played across his body, making his sweat soaked skin glisten. What a wondrous and passionate mating it had been. Gorgeous and young; a Celt with pale grey eyes and sandy brown hair, he’d left me far from disappointed. As we reveled in the afterglow, I breathed in our mingled scents and those of the candles burning near the bed.
I felt a painful searing on the inside of my left wrist and watched as a Celtic infinity knot appeared. The symbol meant I’d finally found my life mate, the only one with whom I could bare children. After thousands of years in search of him, I’d finally found the one I was fated to be with.
The happiness I felt as we rolled across the bed together was insurmountable. Then with pain in his eyes, he whispered we could never be. I felt my heart break as his words sank into me. We would never be together and never have children.
My temper flared and I tried to push him away, but he pinned me. The silver jewelry given to me by a powerful wizard lay on a table out of reach.
“You are far too powerful,” he said looking down at me. “I’d never have dreamed it would be you the fates destined to be mine.”
There was torment on his face while he spoke, but it didn’t stall his actions.
“I made an oath I intend to uphold, no matter the consequences.” His tone hardened. From beneath his plaid that was draped over the foot of the bed, he pulled a short sword. The candlelight gleamed off the blade he raised over his head.
“No,” I pled.
A sob choked him when he looked in my eyes “I cannot ask for forgiveness nor can I ask you to spare me in your next life. But know that I am a man of my word, and I promised to carry out your assassination in exchange for a position of prestige. With no one as powerful as you in the way, I can rise to greatness.”
“You'd murder me for power? Have I taught you
as a Were? We are only
human, we do not have to be
The hardness in his eyes softened for only a moment, and he raised the sword again. “It’s what must be done.”
“By whose rule?” I countered.
My death was eminent. In his eyes, I could see nothing I said would change his mind. All I could do was pray that in my next incarnation I’d have the chance to exact revenge upon this man. The one man who had taken my heart. He’d taught me how to love in the one place I’d found had truly lacked the cruelty of the rest of the world.
“It does not matter because I will rule!” His eyes flashed golden.
I had watched civilization flourish on every continent and seen a great many empires destroyed by greed for power and pride. Life hadn’t been easy for me, I’d had to fight for everything to get where I was. In the two hundred thousand years since my creation, I’d refused to submit. Swallowing, I did the one thing I hadn’t since I’d lived among my pack. I gave him my throat. A pose I swore I would never give again.
“You could rule at my side,” I hissed through clenched teeth.
When he gave no response, my heart dropped into my stomach. I was through fighting, tired of living the life I’d been foolish enough to accept.
I surrendered completely. “Take my life. I have given you all I have. There’s nothing more.” Tears stung my eyes at the betrayal of the one being I never thought would forsake me, my life mate.
He choked back another sob. “I do love you,” he whispered and brought the sword down.
* * * *
The end of my first incarnation; nearly two hundred thousand years…over. For two thousand years after my murder, I stayed in stasis, waiting with the spirits. Some bound themselves with the new lives being born. Many, like me, were so jaded from our first lives that it took a long time before we felt ready to return.
I have been a Goddess, a queen, a warrior, and the lover of many. I was the wolf that became a woman; I am the Silver Wolf: the mother of all Weres. I’ve watched humanity grow and my brethren learn to get along or create their own communities for protection. Weary of watching, I’ve finally decided to try life again.
A new Were would soon be created. I’d followed the human from infancy. She has an indomitable spirit within her; one that matched my own. In joining my spirit with hers, the gifts of the Silver Wolf will once again be known.
“I can’t take any more of this,” Casey Maynard mumbled, watching the model she was photographing turn from the camera to puke in the bucket that had been strategically placed out of the scene.
Dorian Xanthis sighed, pulling another roll of film out. “It looks like this is going to be a long day.”
Casey turned to her assistant and shook her head. “I can’t do this anymore, Dori. I’m done with all of this. Three a.m. shoots with models and actresses who have to be coddled by their handlers. This is not why I got into photography.”
Dori’s eyes widened. “What are you saying?”
Another violent round of wretches came from the make-shift stage.
“How much longer do you think it will take this time?” Casey ground her teeth and the model’s handler glared back at her.
“She had a movie premiere last night—”
“I don’t give a shit if she did a groundbreaking ceremony with the royal family! This is bullshit! My time is just as valuable. But what do I know? I’m just the one that takes these mind-blowing shots to revamp the careers of those who have fallen out of the limelight.” Casey threw her camera at the stage, hearing it break all to hell. She didn’t care.
Turning, she stormed out of her studio into the cool predawn morning.
How had things turned into this?
“Casey! Y-you can’t walk out like that,” Dori said running out to her.
“Why? Can’t I act like a superficial bitch? How many of those have we had to shoot this month? What should have taken two hours tops, turns into a five or six hour fiasco. I’m done.”
Dori shook her head, taking Casey’s arm. “Don’t do this. You’re going to regret it. You’ll ruin your career.”
“Right now, I don’t care. I…I just need to get away for a while. Go home. Go camping with my dad and brother. Get away from civilization for a little bit. I’m feeling caged in.”
“A vacation then.” Dori nodded. “I can postpone all your shoots for a while.”
Casey sighed, looking back at her studio. The very last thing she wanted to do was return to the madness her career had become, but she wouldn’t tell Dori that. She would spare her assistant’s feelings for a while. Out of the three she’d had over the last ten years, Dori had been the most competent and a good friend and confident too.
“Call me in a couple of days and let me know how you’re doing, okay?”
“I’ll try to, but out in the woods there is no signal.”
Dori wrinkled her nose. “I keep forgetting you’re one of
“What do you mean by that?”
“Fucking hell Casey, you are far more beautiful than those you shoot. The difference is you don’t need an ounce of makeup to make you look good. You’re a natural beauty.
you can rough it and not worry about the essentials.”
Casey scoffed and waived her off. “Yeah.” She sighed, purposefully looking away from the studio. “I just need some time to get back to the basics and reevaluate everything. The crap we’re dealing with is not why I started taking pictures.”
“Just think long and hard, okay? I really like my job.”
* * * *
Casey stretched, waiting at the baggage return. The flight had been long enough to stiffen her muscles. The hubbub in the airport was the closest to silence she’d heard in nearly four years.
Had it really been four years since she’d been home?
Her father and brother had been the central male figures in her life. She still talked to them weekly. But had it been four years since her brother Dean had been sent home from Iraq as a wounded vet? Both men in her life were now retired marines.
Lifting her bag from the carousel, Casey rushed out to grab a taxi, only to find a long row of empty ones to choose from. She smirked to herself, so used to rushing everywhere for everything. It was time to relax. This was home.
An old man, with a long white beard sat on a bench near the taxi line. It was pretty chilly out. His clothing was worn and far too thin for the weather. Casey paused next to his bench and pulled out the blanket she had brought along for the flight.
He turned to her, his eyes were a timeless, deep, blue.
“Here.” Casey handed him the blanket, and then fished in her pocket and pulled out a twenty. “And please, get something to eat.”
The corner of his mouth lifted and he took the blanket, but hesitated taking the bill. “How do you know I won’t go and buy alcohol with that money?”
His voice was crisp and clear, with a hint of an accent she couldn’t quite place.
Casey pretended to glower at him. “Because you and I both know a cup of coffee and a hot meal will carry you a bit further.”
He smiled a bright white smile and reached for the bill. When his fingers brushed hers, Casey felt a slight charge that ran through her entire body. The old man leaned close. There was no stench of unwashed clothes or body odor.
“Your kindness, my lady,
Casey blinked and moved to step back…but the old man was gone, along with him, her blanket and money. She frowned, looking up and down the sidewalk. He was nowhere to be found.
That was strange.
Completely unsettled, she opened the rear door of the nearest taxi and slipped inside. “You didn’t by chance see where that old man went, did you?” she asked closing the door.
The driver raised a brow looking back at her through the mirror. “Lady, I been sitting out here for half an hour and ain’t nobody been out here but me and the other driver’s waiting for a fair.” He shrugged and put the taxi in gear. “Where to?”
Still shaken, she gave directions to her father’s bar then sat back, taking in the scenery. Not much had changed over the last ten years. There were a few more stoplights and a few extra businesses, but it was still recognizable.
Relieved, she paid the fair and stepped out of the taxi once they’d reached Maynard’s Bar and Grille. Standing there, she tried to collect her bearings a moment before going inside.
With a grin, she pushed into the bar.
There weren’t many patrons at eleven a.m. A few were at the bar eating an early lunch, and two guys were playing a quiet round of pool.