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In My Brother's Shadow BOOK FOUR

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The last Vampyre Queen.

Her cabin was small but pleasant enough. And it was situated in the beautiful forests just below the Alpha couples home. Lenora made sure she was hardly ever seen, which seemed to work well for Shadow and Isabella's pack, and she had friends, which was odd. Lenora even had family, though things were still awkward between Morgana and herself. But the true reason for her smile and why Lenora continued to get up every morning was currently talking her ear off as they licked their ice creams and walked along the outskirts of Howling.
Maria Stalker.
Somehow this pint-sized ball of energy wore down the Vampyre Queen’s strongest barriers and ensconced herself firmly in Lenora's black heart. Every afternoon, she would stop by the cabin on her way home to tell Lenora about Razorclaw's newest scandal or show the Vampyre her latest magical accomplishment. However, this afternoon Maria talked about something else entirely. Uncle Lucien.
According to the six-year-olds excited chatter, Lucien Stalker was larger than life and, in her own words, "To die for" whatever that meant. Lenora rolled her eyes so much during this particular conversation; she'd given herself a headache. Now, as they slowly made their way up the side of the mountain, heading for home, a familiar black range rover chugged its way behind them, causing Maria to squeal. That's an odd reaction to your father's car? Lenora thought as it slowed until he was crawling alongside them. At that moment, the window wound down, and Maria yelled, "Uncle Lucien!" Before launching herself at the passenger door and wrenching it open.
"Uh, Maria? A deep gravelly voice questioned, and Lenora got her first glimpse of the man of the hour. Dark, sinewy forearms tapered towards large hands, gripping the steering wheel with confidence. Hair as black as sin draped over one eye, while the rest of it looked like it came off second best to a lawnmower. But it wasn't until Lenora locked eyes with the most beautiful blue orbs she'd ever seen that she realized Lucien was staring back at her with a feral look. The word that flew past his lips had the Vampyre Queen doing the one thing she had never done before...
"Like Hell, I am!" Lenora exclaimed, and she turned tail and ran, leaving an open-mouthed Maria in her wake.
"Get in, Maria, and take me to my mate's home," Lucien demanded as his Alpha dominance took over, and for once, Maria did as she was told.


Lucy was a well-oiled weapon as she went through the afternoon's training. Thanks to Lenora's extra lessons, she had mastered several weapons, and her technique in ground combat was flawless. But as she breathed her way through the meditation concluding her practice, Lucy could feel him, in front of her, waiting for her to open her eyes. Aphrodite’s hackles were up as well, as they had been since her mate started doing this months ago. Her response was also still the same.
"Is there something you need, Beta Romano?"
"Lucy, please, we need to talk about this."
Opening her eyes required extreme effort, Lucy's pulse twitched in her jaw, and jumping lithely to her feet, she stared at the spot just over his muscled shoulder.
"You are to address me as Beta Wheeler; if you have to talk about anything pack related, other than that Onyx, I don't even want to breathe the same air as you, much less waste my time talking to a man that wiped his hands of me so easily, so what is it? Pack or pain?"
When no answer was forthcoming, Lucy steeled herself, "That's what I thought." She growled before brushing past him, ignoring the tingles that accompanied the touch, and made her way back to the packhouse.
As she had done, every day since Onyx and Maeve returned from Merde, Lucy held her head high, all the way to her room. She opened the door and went inside. Once the door was closed, Lucy cried soundlessly, biting her knuckles with her teeth as the pain of denying the mate pull ricocheted throughout her body, slicing open Lucy’s wounded heart and leaving the pack Beta curled up in a fetal position until the sobs that wracked her broken body exhausted Lucy enough to sleep.


Lenora stuck to the trees like a shadow, blending in with her surroundings as she hid from Lucien. Hopefully, Maria wouldn't help her uncle find her until Lenora could develop a better plan than hiding for the foreseeable future. She didn't want to be a wolf's mate. As the last full-blooded Emmett to walk this land, Lenora had dreams of producing offspring with another pureblood someday, maybe even two or three kids, to help repopulate their kind. While she no longer had the urge to dominate other species or even be at the top of the food chain, Lenora's survival instinct was strong, and somewhere out there, she knew that there must be others like her, just wanting to live peacefully among the living.
'I never picked you for a coward, daughter.'
The voice in her head had Lenora spinning around, daggers drawn and crouched to attack, when she saw a small black wolf walking towards her. Maria's wolf, Jezzabelle. Lenora sighed and sunk to the ground, letting the wolf sit beside her, placing her head on her lap in comfort.
'Why do I have to have a wolf mate, mother? I'm already bound to them through Maria; they have my loyalty forever. Why must they have my heart as well?'
Jezzabelle's violet eyes looked at her through the wolf. 'We all have our crosses to bear child, the fates decide where one cross ends, and another begins. For reasons yet unknown, our family is strongly linked with the Stalker-Romano bloodline. Maybe we need to atone for your father's sins as well as our own?" Lenora felt like a child at that moment, despite her mother inhabiting a six-year-old’s body, and when she said as much, Jezzabelle growled at her. " I am just a wolf spirit residing in Maria, and I can't possess her or change the way she chooses to live her life. This is my atonement." She corrected fiercely. Jezzabelle got up, shaking her fur out angrily, "Grow up, Lenora," She admonished with a huff and took off, leaving the Vampyre wallowing in self-pity.
Lenora was new to this compassion thing. It wasn’t part of her nature, and truthfully maintaining a caring attitude was tiresome sometimes. At the end of the day, when Maria lay sleeping and Lenora sat on the porch of her cabin, she felt so lost to the old ways. Morgana was busy with the Ice brothers, Isabella had a pack to look after, and Lucy tried to actively avoid Onyx, meaning she was hardly ever there. Her only constant companion was Kahn, who was to begin training the new Cerberus for the High Priestess’s guard any day now.
Who was left to give the three-thousand-year-old virgin mating advice?

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