Werewolf Nights (The Pack Trilogy Book 2)

BOOK: Werewolf Nights (The Pack Trilogy Book 2)
2.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

WEREWOLF

NIGHTS

 

A Pack Trilogy Book 2

 

by

 

Chanel Smith

 

OTHER BOOKS BY CHANEL SMITH

 

THE PACK TRILOGY

Werewolf Moon

Werewolf Nights

Werewolf Forever

 

THE HUNTRESS TRILOGY

The Vampire With the Golden Gun

The Vampire in the High Castle

The Vampire Who Knew Too Much

 

THE GHOST FILES

Ghost Crypt

Ghost Town

Ghost Writer

Werewolf Nights

Published by Chanel Smith

Copyright © 2015 by Chanel Smith

All rights reserved.

 

Ebook Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Werewolf Nights

 

 

Chapter One

 

Shot and Forgot

 

“Petra? You don’t remember anything at all?” Melina asked as she piloted her ancient Taurus across the lake.

“Is that my name?” Petra asked, wondering. It didn’t sound familiar in the least.

“Far as I know, honey. You and…” Melina stopped short.

“Me and what?”

“Nothing, dear. Dunno what I was thinking. Let’s take you home and get something warm into you. You’ll feel better and it will all come back, you’ll see.” She rummaged through her large purse with one hand. “Dang, where’s that phone? Need to call the doctor to come see you. You do have a hole in a mighty strange spot.”

“A hole? Where?”

Melina sighed.

“Honey, right between those gorgeous green eyes of yours.”

 

***

 

Deep in Eastern Europe, Raya was sitting at a cafe, drinking coffee and ignoring two croissants that sat next to it as he watched the small TV above his head.

“… family was decimated last night, when the Don and his first-born son both died at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. At this moment, doctors at Mount Sinai have no official explanation as to the cause of death.” The camera panned out to show a pretty, dark-haired woman standing in front of the famous hospital as she reported.

“Stay with News 7. We’ll bring you the latest updates as soon as they break.” A commercial flashed onto the screen and the bartender turned down the sound.

“Something had to kill them. Two guys don’t just die for no reason, do they?” he addressed Raya in Romanian.

“No idea,” Raya responded in his home language.

“We’ll know soon enough. Can’t wait for the autopsies,” the bartender said with a grin.

“Me neither,” Raya said dryly. No autopsy would ever show the truth: both the Don and his heartless son had died from a certain strong werewolf power, something that hadn’t been seen in centuries.

Unlike the bullet that had killed his mate, he thought in misery. Those were all too common. He reached out over the Alpha channel for the hundredth time and tried to sense Petra, only to meet a dark hole of nothingness where her vibrant soul had emanated for centuries.

She was dead, he’d have to face it. Never again would they be connected telepathically… or physically.

Had Raya not been in such dire shape, he might have realized that he himself had passed on the Alpha duties, and all that went with it, to Itchiko, before he had set off for that ill-fated Italian dinner last night.

Raya wasn’t Alpha anymore, and most assuredly had no mental access to the telepathic frequencies of the Alpha channel.

What he did have was a pressing question; one he had no way of answering himself. One that meant everything to him, now. This question held the answer to the rest of Raya’s hopefully short life. All he wanted was to be with Petra, to the exclusion of all else.

Almost anything else, he corrected himself. It was he who had written the first rule of the now-famous and venerable Werewolf Codex, by which all of werewolf society was ruled. No werewolf shall take his own life and impenitently destroy the gift of shapeshifting and eternal life that no other creature on earth was known to enjoy. If it happened, that werewolf’s entire pack would suffer the consequences of being left behind by a suicide.

What if one happened to be the Alpha wolf of all the known werewolf packs or, as it was called, the Trans-Alpha? Would those consequences fall on all wolves, or just his own pack? Not that he’d allow such a thing to ever befall his own pack.

He needed the answer to this quite badly. Life held nothing for him, now. Only the hope of being with Petra held any joy for him at all, but not if his pack or, worse, all werewolves had to pay a price. Another werewolf rule stated that to mate once was to mate for life. Surely him wanting to join his mate was a condition that would invalidate the other rule?

Centuries ago, he’d met a powerful man, a leader of a mystical group who had such answers. He’d saved that man’s life, and had been told that one day he’d have a question that required their services. Come back, and he’d have his answer.

He was banking on that and hoping that those people still existed in that same remote location where he’d met them some 420 years ago, in the depths of the Carpathian Mountains. A three-week trek on foot through dense, thorny thickets that no horse could pass through, and then days of searching for that opening in the cliffs which likely was grown over by now. A miserable trip with an unknown ending, but it was all he had.

He threw a few bills on the table and stood. The sooner he started, the sooner he’d have his answer.

 

***

 

Petra was starting to get a headache as Melina pulled up in front of a small wooden house at the end of a long, deeply-rutted dirt road. The bouncing had done her head no good. But now the door of the house flew open and two kids came running out.

“Mom! You’re home!”

They flung themselves on Melina, who laughed and grabbed them both.

“You devils! Meet Petra, she’s going to stay with us for a while. Allie, could you go call the doctor for me? Tell him we’ve got a lady with lead in her head.”

The girl looked solemnly at Petra.

“Lead in her head? Weird, but I’ll tell him.”

She turned on her heels and back into the house she went. They were so cute. Petra wondered if she had any children, or even… she looked down at her left hand. There was a beautiful ring on her ring finger: it was deep red with a star in it, surrounded by clear stones. She somehow knew it was a star ruby. But had she been married to whoever gave it to her?

Melina had her stretch out on the old couch in the living room while they waited for Doc… whoever that was. Petra was content just to lay and watch Melina bustle around her small house, shouting at everyone with joy and love. The kids yelled right back, and Petra had to grin.

A banging on the door announced Doc’s arrival. He was an older man with a stooped back. He limped in and hugged Melina tightly.

“Another stray? Now what did I...”

“Shhhh!” Melina hissed. “She’s right in the living room, poor little thing. You just wait and see, she’s the sweetest thing. But Doc, she ain’t got all her brains. She’s forgot just about everything. You gotta help her, please.”

“Mel, there’s not much you can do for her memory if it’s really a true case of amnesia. Either her memories will return or they won’t. Most do within a month or two, and there are things you can do to try and prompt her to remember, but let me examine her first.”

Melina introduced him, then stood back as he went over Petra with care.

“Hmmm. I do believe you took a large caliber shot to the head, young lady. Thought the kid was gaming me over the phone! Got a headache, do you?”

Petra nodded. By now, it hurt so badly she was seeing double.

“Bad, is it?”

A tear oozed out of her eye.

“Give me a second, here.” He opened a battered black bag, ripped a syringe out of its sterile paper and plastic wrapper and filled it with liquid from a vial. “Here we go.” He took her arm and gave her a shot so rapidly she didn’t even have time to yelp.

Oh that felt better!
She grinned at him.

“Better, eh? Good. You need an x-ray badly, to see where that bullet is. Shall I call 911 for you?”

“No!” Petra said, surprising herself. Why was she so against going to the hospital? Even the thought of it filled her with dread.

“You do something against the law to get that bullet? I won’t have you getting Mel and the kids into anything bad, you hear?” He scowled down at her.

“No!” Petra said again, then realized she didn’t know. “At least I don’t think so.”

“But you don’t know, do you?” the doctor asked, his white brows coming together. “I don’t like this situation worth a damn, Melina. I’ve told you time and again...”

“Now don’t you start!” Mel flashed back at him. “I found this poor thing wandering around in the Grand Hotel, where she was staying. You know as well as I do how many thugs hang out there.”

He nodded grimly.

“Staying at the Grand certainly isn’t a character reference,” the man mumbled, as he put his bag back together. “Convince her, Melina. Get her to the hospital today for an x-ray, no matter what. We need to know where that bullet is! In the meantime, keep her as still as you can. Any sudden movement could dislodge it and kill her faster than she can blink.”

Melina promised to try, and the doctor strolled back out.

“You sure you don’t want to go to the hospital?” she asked Petra.

“God, no!” Somehow the very thought horrified her. Why, she had no clue.

Melina threw her short, pudgy arms into the air. “Can’t say I didn’t try! OK. You hungry? Let’s try food.”

Petra wrinkled her nose. For some reason, food was far from her thoughts, although she had no idea when she’d last eaten and her stomach did feel empty. Empty and something else she couldn’t identify, some odd, excited feeling that seemed to be lodged directly in her gut. It was enough to propel her off the couch and across the room to the window.

The night was calm and still. A full moon was rising just at the horizon of the bayou – the sight gave Petra another heady dose of that same weird feeling. She wanted to run, jump, play. What on earth?

“Back on that couch, girl. I reckon getting up too soon might shock your system. The doc said keep still,” Melina said as she trotted back in from the kitchen.

Petra stood and stared at that moon for another moment all the same. Something about it – well, it wasn’t coming to her. Might as well lay back down and rest.

 

***

 

That same moon glittered through the trees as Raya tore through the woods. He was still miserable, but who could resist the pull of a full moon? Certainly not him! He had another forty minutes, if he had to guess. Then he’d really be able to run.

The scent of the forest with the pine trees, the crumbling leaves under foot, even a hint of rotting meat – all of it– reminded him that he was home in Romania. He never got here as much as he liked, and he missed it so badly. Nowhere else felt like the Carpathian mountains. Not the Alps, not the Himalayas. Nowhere.

A distant howl stopped him dead still. Where had that come from? One of the very last times he’d been in these woods alone, before he had come to meet Petra, he’d heard just such a howl, but it had been the precursor to another sound: a man’s scream, which had been suddenly cut short.

It had been enough to cause Raya to bolt in the direction of that shout. Someone was in trouble; that much he had been sure of. At the time, he’d only hoped that he could be of help. The mountains were notorious for bandits leaping on hapless strangers. He had run around the edge of a small stand of trees and onto the main path just in time to see three men beating the hell out of a fourth, who appeared to be much older than they were.

“You there! Leave off,” Raya shouted as he’d increased his speed.

“Fuck off!” the first man had yelled back, and Raya realized that they were probably bandits after all and were attacking an old man.

He’d pulled a sturdy lower branch right off a nearby tree as he ran past it. If the bandits had noticed when he had ripped it effortlessly from the tree trunk, they would have been running away immediately. But they had been more interested in a wallet at that moment.

When he’d reached them, Raya swung his heavy branch widely and caught two of them directly in the face; the men went flying backward. The third stopped shaking the old man and whirled around to face the threat.

Raya had raised his branch and advanced, ready to do serious damage to someone who would hurt an elder. The man read all the intentions in his tightly-clenched mouth and flared nostrils, and had taken off at a dead run into the forest. His two companions had quickly followed him.

“You alright?” Raya remembered asking the man, who was even older than he’d originally thought.

“I think so,” the man had replied. “You arrived in the nick of time! They were just about to take the only thing I have left, and it means – well, it means the world to me.” The latter words were spoken with a distinct shakiness in the voice.

“It’s alright now,” Raya said. “Come, let’s start a fire. I brought tea.”

“That would be marvelous,” the man said. “And if you could see your way clear to bandaging my arm and gut, that too would be a wonder.”
Raya had been upset at his initial oversight of the man’s condition, but he had also realized that both of them had still been responding to a lot of adrenaline at the time.

“I should have asked if you were wounded!” Raya exclaimed, horrified. “Let me see to them.”

He’d wanted to take the man to a nearby village that had a healer, but the man had refused. Raya took a good hour to stitch the wounds together himself. He had been able to do it from experience gained during all his years as a soldier, but there had been no particular style to the suturing. Raya had been worried that the belly wound was so deep it would get infected without a healer’s touch, but the old man was adamant. Raya would do what he could and his own tribe would heal him, if Raya could get him there.

BOOK: Werewolf Nights (The Pack Trilogy Book 2)
2.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Sandman by Morgan Hannah MacDonald
Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella
The Drifter by Nicholas Petrie
Valley of the Moon by Bronwyn Archer
Necrophobia by Devaney, Mark
Jaggy Splinters by Christopher Brookmyre
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Stone Giant by James P. Blaylock