Genre: Urban Fantasy
I strolled inside the pack house, right into the middle of an argument. It was always tricky, dealing with an irate wulfkin pack. Yeah, there were egos and tempers the size of mountains, but the problem at hand never failed to cause pandemonium. And as if on cue, the ache in my gut flared.
The hearth's fire, the only source of light, painted the other occupants in a harsh burnished, amber, and Radu sneered at a figure in the corner. “You’ve killed us.”
Sandulf stepped out from the shadows, his chest puffed. “Is that the way you address your alpha?” Blood seeped through the bandages tracing his arm and torso, and a metallic sensation slicked over my tongue, but I shouldn’t have tasted blood from across the room. The full moon was days away, so it couldn’t be my inner wolf.
Sandulf’s head jerked in my direction. His eyebrows lowered and his voice hardened. “Doesn’t concern you, Daciana.”
Pack problems were notorious for ricocheting back my way. “Like hell it doesn’t.”
The alpha said nothing, never lifting his gaze off me. Had humans discovered our existence, or had another pack entered our territory?
Radu’s silvery eyes met mine for a split-second. His strawberry-blond hair, stubble and sideburns set him aside from the pack, and as the newest pup to cross over from moonwolf to wulfkin, I admired his courage to confront Sandulf.
The kitchen door flung open, and I flinched when Enre entered the room. His t-shirt stretched tight over a solid stomach I remembered too well. His jeans hugged him, and I fought the urge to gawk. His short, night-black hair stuck out in every direction and a three-day beard graced his jaw-line. As the pack’s fiercest hunter, he wasn’t a wulfkin to upset. My muscles softened, maybe too much, and all of a sudden I needed a seat.
Enre had eyes only for Sandulf. “I keep thinking about what you did, and it isn’t a little mistake. You intentionally mated with a wolf and raised the pup as your own.”
Radu’s grim look didn’t help the panic growing inside me. Had Sandulf created a dracwulf, the same unstoppable creature who instilled fear in wulfkin? As a child, I had read stories about dracwulf eating entire villages.
Sandulf turned and huffed. “No one’s been hurt.”
“Except you. You admitted you lost control of the pup and it almost ripped your arm off. But that’s not the point.” Enre’s words grew raspy, and he paced to the window and back. “It’s forbidden under Varlac law.” He punched the air in front of him.
The Varlac, an enormous wulfkin clan descended from Hungarian royalty set the laws by which wulfkin alphas followed. Their mere pack size alone stopped anyone from challenging them. Fierce, egotistic and quick to anger, they used any justification for a needed killing.
Sandulf said, “Calm down.”