Beware of Wolves
THE MOST DANGEROUS WOLF OF ALL:
What chiseled lips he had! The better to fan desire's flames. What strong hands he had! The better to touch her as no one had before.
THE MAIDEN AND THE WEREWOLF:
The Maiden: Flaxen-haired Kira knows nothing of her destiny in the eternal struggle between the Light and the Evil Ones, until she's called to join the battle by the arrival of. . .The Werewolf: Silver-maned Valgard knows everything about the battle and the time has come for him to claim his mate to fight beside him for. . .
Word Count: 23,104
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, 2012
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Kira flicked her eyes from side to side, gauging the moments left in her life. Her breath puffed quick white clouds into the icy air as spasms of fear shot through her. Her gaze froze on the wolf in front of her--a huge beast black as midnight with gleaming amber eyes. He snarled, revealing long white fangs. A growl rumbled from his chest.
I must not run.
Movement caught her eye. More danger appeared on both sides.
Two more wolves, one on each side, slinked into the moonlit glade from the shadows of snow-boughed firs. Her heart pounded faster.
Her gaze snapped back as the leader stepped nearer, his keen eyes locking onto hers--a mesmerizing gleam, holding her, paralyzing her. She could not look away.
Suddenly she sensed this was no bestial countenance facing her. There was more than animal intelligence in those amber eyes.
The eyes appeared ... human.
Her knees buckled briefly as a spasm of horror shot through her.
A movement forced her to break the bizarre connection to the wolf approaching from the front. The creature to her left was coming closer, head lowered, teeth bared. The wolf on her right copied the action.
She sent up a prayer to the Spirit of All Things. And began to mourn, not for herself, but for Amma, who would be alone now, with no one to care for her.
If only I’d waited until dawn.
But Kira knew self-recrimination was useless. Her grandmother desperately needed the medicine she carried in her apron beneath her cloak. Delay had been impossible, so she had pushed aside her fear of the forest at night and gone out because she’d had to. Amma must not die.
But now, Amma would die. And she would die alone, back in the cottage, without Kira’s presence to give her what comfort she could.
Unless she could run. Perhaps she could escape.
Her gaze flicked from one side to the other, then back to the leader. He moved slowly forward, step by step, as though he didn’t want her to bolt. His amber eyes caught hers again, and this time she thought she saw a question in them.
Then she heard words in her head.
"Your time has come."
Shock made her shake the sound of a man’s voice from her head.
At her movement the wolf in front leapt forward, halving the distance to where she stood. High into the air he arced, exposing his long underbelly, and within its darkness, a florid erection.
The sight of the glistening carmine shaft shot a shudder through her body. Spirit help her.
Then the voice came again.
"It cannot be denied, my beauty. You have met your fate."
She almost laughed at the madness of it. The horror of what was happening had made her lose her reason. Her breathing quickened. Her heart pounded so hard she thought it would burst. She closed her eyes and prayed to the Spirit for death to come quickly. The next time she would see Amma again would be in the Beyond.
A rustling from behind her made her jerk and her eyes snap open. Another wolf? Truly she was dead now, four times over.
Then an arc of silver flashed over her head, a rumble of thunder following it. A scream formed in her throat, but she was unable to open her mouth to free it.
A massive silver wolf--teeth bared, forelegs rigid, hackles raised--faced the black leader. He growled, the force of the rumble echoing on the night air, and Kira recognized the thunder she’d heard before.
The black leader returned the growl.
The word formed in her mind, like before, only this voice was different. Deeper. Stronger.
"I will protect you. Run."
Kira heard the words clearly in her mind, but her body would not respond, her feet frozen by the instinct of all prey.
A twig snapped to her left. She dared a glance to the side only to see the wolf approaching from that side move closer still.
The silver wolf swung his head in that direction and growled a threat. The beast slunk back into the cover of a thicket, its tail between its legs. Then the silver wolf turned a menacing eye to the wolf on her right, a bigger animal who turned immediately and took off at a lope into the forest.
The voice again pierced her mind and this time, not knowing why or how she did so, she obeyed, clutching the apron to her breast, protecting the precious cuttings, and fled down the snowy path toward home.
Lungs struggling for air, heart pounding in her breast, legs watery weak, Kira pushed herself.
One more step. I can make one more step.