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Authors: Jody Morse,Jayme Morse

Wolfsbane (Howl #3)

BOOK: Wolfsbane (Howl #3)
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Wolfsbane

 

by

 

Jody Morse

Jayme Morse

 

Wolfsbane

 

© 2012 by Jody Morse and Jayme Morse

 

Wolfsbane is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents in this book are products of the author’s imaginations or have been used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons or locations is coincidental and not intended by the authors.

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook 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 book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please purchase your own copy.

Thank you for respecting the hard work of these authors.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from Jody Morse and Jayme Morse.

 

Connect with the authors at:

http://www.jaymemorse.com/

http://www.jodymorse.com/

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

“Sa
mara?” her dad called. His facial expression
was unreadable. “Is that you?”

Samara McKinley pulled herself up off the cold, hard pavement that she had been slammed against only moments before
from the force of her father’s SUV hitting into her
. Luke Davenport, her mate, held out his hand to her, helping her off the ground. “Yeah, i
t’s me,” she replied shakily.

She didn’t know what to say. Her father had just seen her turn from her human form to her wolf form, but he
hadn’t said anything about seeing it yet
. Could she have been mistaken? Was there a chance that, whether it was out of luck or mere coincidence, her father had hit her with his car, only to not see the transformation take plac
e right in front of his eyes?

No, that couldn’t be possible. It was so blatantly obvious what had happened. It would have bee
n very hard for him to miss it.

As her father continued to just stare at her and then at the ground, the realization hit her;
the reason he wasn’t bringing it up wasn’t because he hadn’t seen anything—it
was because he
had
seen something, but he was in shock. He probably thoug
ht
the whole thing
had been a hallucination
.

I think it’s time for you to tell him
, Luke’s voice filled her head. Since they were mates, they were talking through what Samara now referred to as mind-
speak, or mental communication—which
was reall
y useful right now because she w
ould never
want to
talk about this out loud, in front of her father, who loo
ked like he had seen a ghost.

Now? Are you sure this is the right time?
Samara asked, feeling uneasy about it. This wasn’t the way she had
envisioned
herself telling her father that she was a werewolf. Not that she was really sure how she had pictured it. How did someone just tell their parent tha
t they weren’t human anymore?

Yes, now
, Luke told her gently.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hard, but now’s the right t
ime. You were going to tell him
anyway, right?
The acciden
t just speeded
things up a little.

I guess
, Samara agreed. Still, it felt like she was being forced into something
that she still felt reluctant to do
. If this were a speech that she had to give for one of her classes at school, she would be going in without any note cards to help her out . . . and she wasn’t
the greatest at
improvisation.

Clearing her throat, she turned to her father. “Dad, I, um, have to
talk to you,” she whispered.

“I know,” Mr. McKinley replied.

I know?
What type of response was that? Did he know that they needed to talk (
what else
c
ould they have to talk about?
) . . . or did he
know
the truth about w
hat she was
?

“Say goodnight to your friends, and meet me back at the house in ten minutes,” Mr. McKinley said, glancing over at the other guys in her pack—Steve Bryant, Chris Priestley, Colby Ja
ckson,
and her cousin, Kyle
, along with
his best friend, Josh Masterson
—who had all lined up alongside of the road, watching them the same way
they would watch a television show, as cars passed by slowly, their drivers wondering why Samara and her father were just standing there in the middle of the
highway. The guys
were probably trying to figure out how much her dad had really seen
, too—after all, it affected all of them.

Samara glanced over at the side of the highway, where she had seen Jason only moments before. She had been racing from one side of the highway to the other because she’d seen his eyes—those evil, nearly black eyes, which had been visible thr
ough the trees. But Jason was gone; he evaporated into thin air.

Her dad got back into the
SUV and slammed the door behind him before he took off, driving away into t
he dark night, leaving Samara standing on the black pavement,
wond
er
ing
what had just happened.

 

*

 

Ten
minutes later, Luke stood on the front
porch step with her. “It will be okay,” he whispered into her ear, nuzzling his chin against her forehead.

“Yeah” she replied, even though she wasn’t completely
convinced that he was right
. The night had been all sorts of crazy; they’d had a run-in with her former best friend and former
almost-
mate, Declan Kingsbury, at the Homecoming dance, the car accident had happened, and, somehow, they’d managed to let Jason Masterson, the guy who they so desperately wanted to kill, get away from them. The night felt more like a failure than anything else.

Samara pulled away quickly and was about to go into the house without giving him a goodnight kiss when he stopped her. “Samara, why are you acting different towards me?”

“Luke, I’m sorry, but I’m not in the best of moods right now,” Samara replied, shaking her head. “I care about you, yes, but . . . you don’t know what it’s like to go through what I’m about to go through when I walk through that door.
You never had to worry about telling your parents that you’re not human because they already knew.

Luke’s face softened
a little
. “Don’t worry, Sam. Your dad loves you
. He’s still going to love you
after he finds out that you’re not the same daughter he thought you were when he woke up this morning.”

“That sounds so reassuring,” Samara muttered under her breath.

Luke gave her a sympathetic look. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come in th
e house with you? Because I can . . .”

Samara shook her head. “No, I wish you could . . . I just feel like this is something that I need to do on my own. It will only make it weird for him if you’re there, too.”

“I understand,” Luke replied, but Samara wasn’t sure if he really did. Not that she should really expect him to. Her situation was unique on so many levels. Not only was she a werewolf, which had to be shocking enough for a family to deal with, but she also came from a line of powerful werewolves. Yet,
neither of her parents knew about it.

At least, she didn’t
think they knew about it.

Giving Luke a small kiss on the lips before
going into the house
, she found her dad sitting at the dining room table, fiddling his th
umbs. “Samara, you’re home.”

She nodded, glancing around the darkened house. “Where’s Mom? I kind of want to
talk to both of you at once.”

“Your mom went away for the night with her friend Darcy from college. Sorry, kiddo, but it’s just you and me.” Mr. McKinley smiled at her, rubbing his temples. “H
ow was the Homecoming dance?”

Samara shru
gged. “It was fine, I guess.”

“Was Luke
a gentleman?” her dad asked.

“Dad,” Samara began, ignoring his question. “Something happened tonight, and I’m not sure you’re aware of it. Something
I need to talk to you about.”

Her father nodde
d knowingly. “I know. I saw.”

“You did?” Samara could feel her own voice
squeaking out of nervousness.

Mr. McKinley nodded. “Yeah.”

She wasn’t sure if her father was talking about the same thing she was, so she didn’t say anything for a moment. Her father stared at the mug of coffee in front of his hands, and she tapped her fing
ers against the wooden table.

Finally, breaking the silence,
she asked, “What
do you think
happened?”


You know exactly what happened
, Samara,” her father answered matter-of-factly. “You’re a werewolf . . . just like your grandfather was.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

“You knew about Grandpa Joe?” Samara knew that the surpris
e was written all over her face,
along with the hurt and anger. How could her father have kept this a secret from her all along? It had been hard enough for her to keep her own identity as a werewolf a secret from him, but she’d been doing it for his own good. It would have been nice to h
a
ve had a warning from him about what would happen to her once she came of age.

Her father nodded, gripping his coffee mug tightly. “Yes, I did know. Well,
I sort of knew, I should say.”

“What do you mean?” How did one ‘sort of’ know that their father was a we
rewolf? It just made no sense.

Mr. McKinley inhaled deeply. “When my mother was murdered, I saw
the people who killed her. Except they weren’t humans, t
hey were wolves. I was so young . . . I thought it was my memories playing tricks on me, but once I got older I truly realized what I had seen.” The look in his eyes said that the memo
ry was still fresh in his mind; it was
likely one that he had replayed over and over again i
n his head, like a bad movie.

Her dad met her gaze. “Before your grandfather died, I asked him about my mother’s murder. I told him what I thought I’d seen, and he didn’t argue with me over it. Your grandfather argued with me over everything, Sam.
If you told him the sky was blue, he’d tell you it was gray.
He was a very stubborn man.” He laughed to himself. “For him to not deny that this happened. . . . Well, let’s just say that I knew werewol
ves existed after that.”

“How did you know that
he
was a werewolf, though?” Samara pressed. “Just because werewolves existed didn’t mean you were related to one.”

“A lot of things about my life with my father never added up,” Mr. McKinley admitted. “He was always gone, which in itself wasn’t weird. But thinking back, I can remember that he was always
gone one week out of the month . . . probably during the full moon. That’s not how I knew for sure, t
hough.”

Samara stared back at him questioningly, and he continued. “One night, shortly after you were born, your grandfather came to stay with us. He insisted that he had to meet you, which wasn’t something he had done when Seth was first born, so it was unusual.” Her father’s face twisted into an angry
expression, and she knew that his father being unequal to his children upset him. Her father always preached about how parents s
hould never choose favorites, and now she knew the reason why.

“What happened during that visit?” Samara asked when it seemed as though her dad was
lost in thought at the memory.

“Wolves aren’t common in this area. I looked
it
up later on, and I found out that a wolf hadn’t been seen in Grandview since 1902. That’s a really long
time,” Mr. McKinley explained
, meeting her eyes
.
“There was a full moon, and I looked outside. A wolf was staring back at me. When I looked in the bed that
your grandpa
was supposed to be sleeping in, I found that he wasn’t there. His bedroom window was open.
The next morning when I questio
ned him about it, he said he’d
sleepwalked the night before, but if that were true, I
probably
would have seen him.”

“So, you think the wolf you saw that night was Grandpa Joe,” Samara fil
led in the blanks on her own.

Her father nodded. “It was so obvious to me, but . . . I couldn’t tell anyone. I knew that your mother wouldn’t believe me. She’s the least likely person to believe in the supernatural.” He chuckled. “And I thought about telling your aunt Rae, but I didn’t think s
he would believe me, either.”

“She would have,”
Samara replied
quietly
. “She knows.”

As soon as the words slipped out of her lips, she regretted them. Mr. McKinley’s face paled, and his
jaw dropped open. “Rae knows?”

Knowing that there was nothing she could do or say to prevent him from knowing the truth now since she had already let the cat out of the bag, sh
e nodded. “Grandpa told her.”

Her dad stood up, nearly tipping the coffee mug on the table over with his hand, and began to pace.
“How come she never told me?”

“Grandpa Joe made her promise to keep it a secret from you,” Samara replied quietly. She was going to have to apologize to Rae later on for letting her secret out. She hadn’t realized that her father would be so upset and hurt by this, but then again, why wouldn’t he? She felt hurt about her father not telling her that he’d known
about her grandfather all along.

“Did you know
I
was a werewolf?” Samara asked, trying to change the subject. Luckily, it worked. Her fath
er turned around to face her.

“I didn’t know for sure, but I did suspect it,” Mr. McKinley admitted. “I couldn’t understand why he favored you over your brother. But that could be explained easily enough. Maybe he just wanted a granddaughter and not a grandson.” He shrugged. “But
then he left you something.”

Samara’s eyes widened. “You mean before he died, he left me something?” Why hadn’t her father ever mentioned her grandfathe
r leaving her anything before?

Mr. McKinley nodded. “Yes, he left behind a book for you. I’m not even sure how he intended for you to read it, since it was locked
up in a little safe
and he didn’t leave behind a key. It was a little unusual. Well,
anyway, my curiosity got the be
t
ter
of me. I wasn’t sure why he had left something behind for you, but nothing behind for his other grandchildren. He barely even left anything behind for me.” He chuckled. “So, I did what I thought had to be done. I hired
a locksmith to open it.”

“You did?” Samara laughed. She couldn’t imagine her father
invading
someone’s privacy like that, but she couldn’t blame him. It was hard to imagine her grandfather, who may have favored her, but who still wanted very little to do with her, l
eaving anything behind for her.
He must have found it really unusual at the time.

“I did, indeed,” her father replied, nodding. “He left a book behind
for you. And not just any book . . .
A book abo
ut werewolves, of all things.”

Samara raised her eyebrows. She wondered why her grandfather would leave her a book. It probably wasn’t even necessary; she had her choice from all the books she could have wanted to read inside Colby’s family’s large library selection. “Did you save the book?
I’d like to read it sometime.”

Her dad shrugged. “I didn’t throw it away. It’s lying around the house somewhere, collecting dust, I’m sure. I’ll have t
o see if I can hunt it down.”

“How come you never said anything to me?” Samara asked. “I mean, a lot of werewolf parents give their children warnings, but I had no idea what to expect. It made things a lot harder for me.”

“A few reasons,” her dad replied. “First, there was the risk that you would be a skeptic like your mother and only think I was crazy.” He laughed at that idea. When he spoke again, his tone was serious. “I also wanted to protect you. If you weren’t a werewolf, I didn’t want you to know that they existed. Because once you begin to suspect that there could be werewolves out there, the world seems like a much s
carier place than it once was.”

“Oh.” Samara knew that she shouldn’t let herself be angry at him. He was only trying to protect her. And she reminded herself of ho
w she had felt about telling her parents the truth about who she was
, up until tonight, when that fear had suddenly washed away. Actually, it hadn’t, but she’d known that she had no other choice but to discuss this
with him
. A
nd she was glad that she had.
But when she had kept it a secret, she had been doing the same thing; she had only been trying to protect them.

It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders
now that her father knew the truth, though
. She hated
keeping the secret from him
. She hated keeping the secret from her mom, too, mostly because she and her mother usually told each other everything. But, in a way, it was more difficult to keep the secret from her dad simply because it also meant that she was keeping the s
ecret about Grandpa Joe, too.

“Now, let me ask you the bigger question. Why didn’t you tell
me
?” Mr. McKinley asked,
as though he had read her mind.

Samara shrugged. “I don’t really know. I guess I thought you wouldn’t believe me. I mean, how crazy does it sound to just say, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m a werewolf now?’” She shook her head. “I was just more af
raid
that you wouldn’t believe me
than anything
else
, I guess.”

“Well, you didn’t have to be,” her father said quietly, meeting her stare. “It’s important for us to always be honest with each other. I would have believed you . . . At least, I think I would have, and if I didn’t, all you would have h
ad to do was prove it to me.”

Samara smiled. “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind when it comes time for me to tell Mom.” She glanced down at her cell phone, which had a blinking light. She lit up the display screen and whispered, “Oh, no. I forgot about Emma.” She jumped out of her seat, grabbing her purse. “I’m sorry, Dad, but Emma needs me right now. It’s a long story, but we’l
l finish our conversation later . . .  p
r
eferably when Mom is around.”

In her head, she told Luke,
I need you to drive
me to Emma’s if that’s okay.

Minutes later, she spotted his headlights from her window, ready to take her where she needed to go.

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