-This book has been proof read (by me) but not yet edited. Sorry in advance for any mistakes that may pop up. Please take this into account when leaving a review.
-Don’t read this book unless you have read the first book of the series, Blood Stained. Available on my profile.
-This series is a FANTASY series. We are not talking about humans - the same morals do not apply. Please remember this if you decide to rip apart the characters I have created in your comments or reviews.
If the moral dilemmas touched on in this book upset or offend you…simply stop reading and choose a different book/author to indulge in.
For everyone else…
Enjoy! And welcome back to Quinn’s story x
The hot sun warms my skin, I close my eyes for a moment, face to the sky. I smile, inhaling the forest air.
“Pay attention Quinn!”
I ducked and weaved as Cameron’s fist came flying towards my face, causing him to lose balance. I used this time to spin around, kicking him in the back and into the dirt.
I smiled as I heard him drop a few curse words then he was straight back up on his feet.
“I was paying attention” I laughed, shrugging my shoulders, “He was taking too long”
The Fern Creek Beta cracked his knuckles and readied his stance. I was bored. I had been training for weeks now and Cam had been the only wolf to come even slightly close to being a challenge for me...in my human form. But now, I feared, I had even surpassed him.
“Quinn. At least look like you are taking this sparring session seriously” Dominic grumbled from the sidelines.
I rolled my eyes and readied my stance, nodding my head to a very ticked off Cameron.
He ran at me again, this time swapping his punch for a kick. I blocked the kick and then caught the punch that followed in quick succession. I held Cameron’s fist then used his own momentum, twisting his arm until I heard a satisfying pop. Cam yelled out and I let go, stepping away.
“She fucking dislocated my fucking shoulder...again!” He hissed as he punched the joint back in.
“You should probably have Moira look at that” I giggled.
Cameron’s head shot up, his eyes blackened as he glared at me.
Oops. Beta’s mad.
“Ok. That’s enough for today before Cameron goes all wolf on you. Hit the showers then you have your meditation with Moira at three”
I slapped Cameron on the back as a peace offering and headed back to the pack house.
Dominic had taken on the role of training me since we had taken down Clayton and the Orcann Pack a month ago. I really enjoyed being in his company, he had a calming presence and was extremely knowledgeable in everything to do with hand to hand combat. The thing that I admired most about him, though, was that he treated me like me...not a Luna.
I was finding it hard to make friends at Fern Creek. My last real friend had been Beth, and well...she was dead now after pretty much handing me over to the enemy to become a breeding experiment.
Everyone else was so ‘yes Luna’, ‘no Luna’, ‘whatever you say Luna’...it was exhausting. I wanted someone to challenge me, to tell me I was wrong or to laugh when I said something stupid.
Cameron and I had, what I would describe as, a brother/sister relationship. He had moved on from his guilt about Beth’s part in the whole Clayton saga and now pretty much didn’t give a shit that I was Luna and would quite happily spar with me or poke fun at me. No one else would fight me and part of me thought it wasn’t so much that they were too scared to hurt their Luna but more than likely too scared their Luna would hurt them.
One person I particularly wanted to spar with was Jayce. I knew he would be the closest match to my speed and strength but so far he had refused. His reasoning for not sparring with me was that he wouldn’t be able to control himself and would just end up tearing my clothes off in the middle of the training grounds and screwing me senseless...not an ideal situation considering his father was the one training me.
I missed him. He had been handling pack business at Eastern Ridge for the last two days. Something about a neighbouring pack not holding up their end of the bargain with a trade deal.
So it was my job to stay here and look after Fern Creek until his return tomorrow.
“Good afternoon Quinn. Please come in”
I smiled politely at Moira and entered her house, taking up my regular spot on the floor. Moira had been helping me become more in tune with my animals. We had been working together on a daily basis, using a mixture of meditation, mindfulness and crystal therapy to achieve maximum results.
“So I have a theory” Moira said as she sat down on her yoga mat opposite mine.
I smiled and raised an eyebrow.
“Yes. Hear me out. So I think I have found the key to unlocking your ability to partially shift...”
“How is this key different from the last keys you’ve come across? That didn’t work, let me remind you”
Since the night at Clayton’s compound I hadn’t been able to complete a partial shift again. I had tried numerous times, even trying to do exactly what I did there; shift my wolf paw into a bear paw.
Every time I tried, I failed. The only thing that I would achieve was a splitting headache and projectile vomiting.
“Because this key would work in a similar way to how Cassius and Alessandra were harnessing the energy from the surrounding wolves. Only this key would use the energy of the moon”
Moira took out a small velvet bag and passed it to me. I opened it up, inside was a beautiful stone; almost the same colour as my eyes.
“That’s a moonstone” she said, “it’s beautiful but also very powerful to our kind”
I rolled the stone between my thumb and forefinger, studying the way the colour changed in the sunlight.
“I can feel it” I whispered.
“If we can harness the energy of that moonstone... turn it into an amulet of some kind, then maybe it will be enough to allow your partial shift”
I sighed and placed the stone back in its bag. I knew that Moira had so much faith in the moon, crystals, The Goddess...but I was finding it hard to have any. I had been raised agnostic. I didn’t believe in God, so the idea of there being a wolf Goddess was a hard concept to grasp. But Jayce had made a good point that there had been a lot of things that I didn’t think were real, like shifters, witches and mages. But they were real so I had to keep my mind open to everything.
“It’s just a theory” Moira added, sensing my scepticism, “If it doesn’t work, then no harm done”
I smiled at her. She was such a beautiful being, it was hard not to like her. I knew that if Moira wanted me to try something that I would do it just to make her happy.
“Of course” I said, “when do you want to try it?”
“Tonight. Come back when the moon is high, the moonstone will be at its optimum power then”
For the rest of the hour Moira had me working on some basic meditation techniques that would help me shift as quickly as possible with utilising very little energy.
I had said my goodbyes and told her I’d be back during the night, when the moon was at its highest.
Walking back to the pack house I decided to take the long way. It was a beautiful walk, along the back perimeter of the compound. There was a creek that ran through part of it and passed behind Dominic’s cabin, where he spent a lot of his time finishing.
I knelt down at the edge of the creek and dipped my hands into the cool, running water. I splashed the water on my face, it was a welcome reprieve from the heat of the afternoon. There was simply no mistaking that Fern Creek was beautiful. I remembered when I’d first arrived here and the feeling of warmth and tranquility that it gave me, even in those early days.
I dipped my hands back into the water, splashing some more on my face. I closed my eyes, breathing in the warm air.
What is that?
A scent in the air tickled my nostrils, causing something inside me to stir. I turned around, sniffing the air, trying to pick up the direction of the scent. The hairs on my body stood on end, a shiver passing over my skin. Something wasn’t right.
I started to walk back towards the pack house. The scent dropped in and out as I walked, as if toying with me. Rogue was alert, she was on edge.
Quinn. We have visitors. Meet me at the gates.
Cameron’s mind link confirmed my thoughts. I knew there was someone around that didn’t belong here. The fact that the scent had been so strong at the back of the compound had me very wary though, even if these visitors had announced themselves at the front gate.
On my way.
“Who is it?” I asked Cameron as I approached the front gate.
“The Alpha and Beta of the Kylo Pack” he answered, stunned.
I bit my lip, trying to remember the wolf pack information that Jayce had been drilling into me.
Cameron rolled his eyes jokingly and lowered his voice.
“It’s a pack North of here. They deal primarily in free range meats and dairy. Their Alpha is Hamish and their Luna is Selena. Their Beta’s name is Percy”
I winked at Cameron and walked next to him to the gates. Two wolves in their human form stood on the other side. One, the taller of the two, smiled at me warmly; the other...appeared not so warm.
Which one is which?
Cameron managed to hide his smirk at my panicked mind link.
The tall one with the red beard is the Alpha.
“Alpha Hamish. To what do we owe this pleasure?” I asked in my most confident, Luna-like voice.
Cameron snorted, causing Hamish to look at him quizzically.
“Luna Quinn I presume” the Alpha said, bowing his head respectfully, “We had come to see you and your Alpha, but you must understand my surprise when your gate keeper refused to let us in”
I turned to Luca who stood at the other end of the gate. He held his head high. I smiled and nodded in his direction and he began to open the gate.
“My apologies. Luca is just following orders from Jay- the Alpha and I. Last time another pack came to visit we lost one of our own”
A look of realisation passed across Hamish’s face and I could tell all was forgiven.
“Of course. Sorry for your loss. May the Goddess protect his soul”
The gate opened fully and I gestured for Hamish and Percy to follow me.
Once inside the pack house I invited the Alpha and Beta to sit at the table and Cameron fixed a couple of drinks. I felt out of my element. Without Jayce here I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I knew Cameron would assist but it didn’t look very professional if a Luna was turning to their Beta every two seconds for reassurance.
“So” I started, smiling warmly at the duo, “how can I be of assistance? I’m sorry that Alpha Jayce isn’t here to greet you but he is dealing with some pack business...I’m sure you know how it is”
Hamish returned my smile but I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable with the fact that the Beta, Percy, wouldn’t even make eye contact with me.
“It’s actually you that we wanted to see, so with Alpha Jayce not being here it means we get you all to ourselves. How fortunate for us”
My stomach turned a little bit at the last part. It almost felt condescending. I had been reading Hamish’s smile as being friendly but now I felt like he was smiling at something else.
“The Luna asked how she could be of assistance. What did you want...Alpha?” Cameron spoke cooly.
This got Percy’s attention and he looked up at Cameron, then turned his attention to me; his eyes narrowing.
“Since the beginning of time, wolves, panthers and bears have fought against each other; or have otherwise stayed out of each other’s way. I guess we just wanted to meet the Luna that managed to convince an Alpha of a wolf pack to turn against this and to use the enemy to fight his own wars”
I sat back in my chair, blinking silently at Percy’s statement. It had been a month since the siege at Clayton’s compound and this was the first I had heard about anyone having an issue with the fact that a panther and a bear fought with us.
Hamish cleared his throat and gave his Beta the side eye. I could almost feel the steam coming from Cameron but could tell he didn’t want to overstep as Beta.
“I think what my Beta is trying to say is that we heard one of the strongest, fiercest Alphas in the region resorted to using a bear and panther to fight his battle against other wolves. We figured this would have been your doing since you are...a crossbreed of sorts. I guess what I am wanting to know is if this is going to be a regular thing...using an enemy species to fight your battles?”
I kept eye contact with the Alpha, my jaw clenching as he spoke. The obvious venom in his voice when he spoke of bears and panthers made Rogue stir. I felt like they were trying to get a reaction out of me to prove their point that these species were the enemy.
“This panther and bear that you speak of were held captive by the Alpha of the Orcann Pack. They had been tortured...they were young girls for Goddesses sake! How dare you suggest that our Alpha resorted to using them because his Luna forced his hand. They fought with us not for us” Cameron answered angrily.
I placed my hand on Cameron’s shoulder. We needn’t give these two the reaction they were hoping for.
“I might ask you to control your Beta” Hamish spat, looking at me.
I rose from my chair and smiled at the Kylo Pack’s Alpha.
“I’m sorry. I think what my Beta is trying to say is...Get the fuck out!”
Hamish and Percy jerked back in their chairs then looked at me. The Alpha’s eyes darkening.
“Excuse me” he hissed angrily.
“You heard her”
I turned around as the smooth, deep voice sounded from behind me, making my knees weaken just at the sound of it.
“Welcome home Alpha” I purred.