40 years ago
A couple stood on a rise silhouetted against the full moon, Sonja couldn't make out who it was but they were mating. As she moved her gaze from the couple she noticed the bodies. There were bodies everywhere. The pools of blood at her feet were still warm. She started shaking when she recognized the faces. Her pack, this was her pack! Slowly, carefully, she threaded her way through the bodies. She came to a stop in front of the mating couple. Her daughter was on all fours, head hanging between her shoulders in defeat. She was covered in bruises and blood flowed from several deep cuts. The man mating her had shifted to his lycan form. He was pounding her body viciously with his cock. She looked into his eyes, mad, sadistic eyes, she knew him.
The scene shifted.
She was on the same rise in the moonlight. This time there was no couple just a man. He was standing there defiantly, even though his body looked wasted silhouetted against the full moon. Sonja moved closer to him, feeling his eyes on her. The man was held to the ground by thick chains that led to a collar around his neck. From the collar ran thin silver chains, those chains lead her eyes to see what she did not want to see, those she loved dead at his feet. She looked into his eyes, angry, frustrated eyes, she knew him.
The scene shifted once again.
She was once again on the same rise in the moonlight, this time it was full of lycans mating. She looked to the couple silhouetted against the full moon. Slowly, carefully she threaded her way through the lycans. She came to a stop in front of the mating couple. Her daughter was on all fours with her head thrown back in passion. She had shifted, her eyes swirling silver and blue. The lycan mating her had also shifted. He was thrusting slowly, drawing out the pleasure. She looked into his eyes, loving, trusting eyes, she knew him.
Sonja woke up in a cold sweat. With a shaking hand she turned to wake her husband.
The rest stop was empty when Tera had parked the truck in a secluded corner the night before. She hadn't slept in almost three days and it was finally catching up to her. The grey light of dawn was just beginning to show as she jerked awake. She had been dreaming again. Tera never used to dream; at least if she did she couldn't remember. The dreams she had been having since her mothers' death were vivid and cryptic. If the fates were actually letting her see visions she thought it would be nice if they made sense. These dreams were like snap shots, frozen in time, not really giving her a complete picture of what was going on. She had distinct impressions of emotions though; some of the feelings left her almost too scared to sleep.
Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, she searched the parking lot for trouble. She noticed a couple of eighteen wheelers idling in the next parking lot, their orange lights hazy in the morning gloom. She wondered if she should get rid of the truck, maybe one of the drivers would be willing to give her a ride. She slid out of the truck, pulling her backpack with her.
After going to the rest stops bathroom to wash the sleep out, she plastered a smile onto her face and walked over to talk to the truck drivers. She found that she was stuck with the truck, for now. Neither of the trucks were going her way, not that she really cared where she ended up, she just wanted to see home one more time. It had been such a long time since she had even been near the place where she grew up and it was starting to eat at her. She would have to do something about the truck though or it would only be a matter of time before she was caught. 'Oh well', she thought. 'I can dump the truck in Taylorsville, there are probably some chop shops that would pay good.'
The cold wind coming from the open window of the truck pushed threw Teras' brown hair. She had been on the road for so many hours she was almost in a daze. Miles upon miles of empty flat land had finally given way to the rolling green and lush forests of the mountains. She only had about an hour or so until she reached Taylorsville. Her spirits lifted at the thought. As she started up yet another long incline, the truck started slowing down, she glanced at the speedometer and the check engine light came on. Tera started easing the truck to the side of the road, she got stopped and turned off the engine; she saw the tale tale sign of steam coming from under the hood. She wearily got out to investigate.
"Stupid truck", Tera mumbled as she slammed the hood of the Dodge hard enough to leave dents. She started walking. 'Of all the places on this Godforsaken earth I had to break down in Pines. I don't even know why I thought it was a good idea to even travel through here. So stupid, so, so stupid. This has to be the most idiotic thing I have ever done, I know better damnit! Suck it up and stop your moaning Tera, nothing to be done about it now except to deal.' Tired and angry she kept walking, wrapping her scarred black leather duster to her closely trying to keep out the cold.
As Tera crested the last hill, she paused to look down onto the small town of Pines, it seemed that nothing had changed in the years that she had been gone. The small spattering of houses on the highway gave way to the tiny town. As the road melted into Main Street, it suddenly seemed to get wider with rows of shops on either side, the bright lanes of sidewalk in front of the shops were shaded by maples that would turn red and gold in the fall, but now at the very end of winter, stood with their buds swollen, only a few bright green sprouts bravely announcing springs arrival. She had to admit the place was beautiful. Tera trudged the rest of the way down the hill into town and entered an alley. The alley opened up onto a chain link fence woven with faded green strips of wood that protected the back of the garage she remembered. Walking around the fence brought her to the front of the building that was on one of the little side streets that littered the town. The garage had one bay with roll up doors on either end with a small office space on one side, large trees stood in front of the structure, effectively keeping out the humid heat of summer, but now their skeletal branches swayed lightly in the breeze. There were several vehicles out front but she didn't see anyone outside.
"Hello?" Tera said as she walked into the bay. She didn't see anyone so she headed toward the office.
"Hello?" She said again as she knocked on the half open door. She walked into the room and looked around for a second. The scent hit her then, pack. She stood there for just a moment, to her the smell of pack always made her think of home. With a shake of her head she turned to leave.
Quinlan walked into the garage and saw someone standing on the other end of the bay. He scowled, he didn't have time for distractions, he had a deadline to meet, he needed to change and get back to the office, play time was over for the day. The woman turned and Quinlans scowl deepened, he knew her didn't he? The woman wore a long black duster, and a black shirt that stopped at the edge of her jeans, the black boots she had on looked scuffed and worn as did most of her attire, she had her hair stuffed under a battered black cowboy hat that was pulled low over her eyes.
"What do you want?" Quinlan barked into the silence.
"My truck broke down about three miles out of town." She was about to ask for the parts she needed when he interrupted. Tera eyed this stranger; she was in trouble, the scent of pack had already warned her, but now she was too late. She sniffed the air, he was pack no doubt there, but there was something more, something that made her heat speed up.
"You need a tow, then. Quinlan didn't have time for this; he was just about to tell her she would have to wait until his brother got back, when he caught her scent. Lycan, that's interesting, loner, no smell of pack on her. That was really interesting, they had loners come through there from time to time but almost never a woman, she would have to be insane. Without the protection of pack, she was fair game for anyone of their kind.
"No, I need a radiator hose."
Quinlan smirked, "We don't sell parts, if you want to fix yourself you need to go down the street to RJs'." He saw the look of fear that flickered over her face to be replaced almost immediately with her disinterested mask. That's interesting too.
"Is there any other place?" Tera knew that RJ's was a pack business, she avoided the chain parts outlet like the plague in any place that she was, but this place, in this place she knew that it was RJ's home territory.
RJ was alpha of the Rèalta, and he was always thirsty for blood, especially her blood. The Rèalta were a pack of lycans, werewolves or shapeshifters to the human population, who for the most part, had no idea that lycans existed much less thrived. The Rèalta had a den that was based about thirty miles away, but RJ had set up business in her home town. Tera was starting to feel that this sentimental streak she had been having was going to be her downfall. She had just wanted to smell home, the smell of the trees, the river. She had lived long enough on the run to know that this wasn't like her, and would get her killed. This mechanic guy was lycan, she didn't want to fight, but it was just something she was going to have to do especially if she wanted to save her own hide. RJ's lackeys had almost disappeared for the last five years, but that didn't mean he wasn't coming after her anymore, she knew better, that power hungry lycan would never let her go. She was trapped in the wolf's den, and she didn't like it at all.
The quiet quality of the woman's voice made Quinlan take a closer look at her. The woman was staring through him, as though lost in her thoughts. Quinlan just stood and studied her, she was tall, but he was taller. His eyes narrowed as her scent came toward him again. She had a really weird smell, Quinlan walked closer to her, there was something there that had his interest, it wasn't her looks, she was pretty, with blue-gray eyes and skin tanned to an almost gold color that set off her high check bones and full lips. But not his type, he liked his women small and soft. This one was built like a fighter. There was just something that he couldn't put his finger on, that he found almost irresistible.
When the man walked toward her Tara snapped out of her thoughts, what the hell is wrong with me, he could have taken me out right there and here I stand like a untrained pup, maybe I have a death wish or something. "Tow it" Tera snapped. She didn't like the way he was looking at her. He hadn't acknowledged the fact that they were both lycan, which put a little worry into her. Maybe if he just towed the truck in she could fix it, after she took care of him. She figured one on one she could take him, he was big, but she had taken down bigger.
Quinlan went into the office and came back with a set of keys. When he got to the truck to get in she was still standing in the bay, "Coming?" was all he said. She walked over and got in the back of the truck. So she didn't trust him at all, well he supposed he wouldn't trust anybody either if he was a lone she-wolf. He smiled at that, maybe he could take the rest of the day off; she didn't need to know who he was as far as she knew he was just a mechanic. It had been a while and she was ... interesting.
When Tera turned to tell him what side of town her truck was on, saw his smile, and stopped dead. She had seen that smile a hundred times before on many different faces. "The truck is on 89 just east of town, she growled through her teeth.
His smile widened, she was going to challenge him? That was funny. It had been a long time since anyone had dared to challenge him. Still smiling, Quinlan got in and headed toward her truck.
He doesn't know who I am, she thought, I could just leave him alive. Where that thought came from she would never know, most of time men that looked at her like that ended up hurting. What is wrong with you! Just get the damn truck and get out, you have already made a huge mistake for coming here, now you want to fuck this guy? He was good looking in a rugged sort of way, almost angular in his features, eyes as green as new blades of grass, long black hair held in a pony tail at the back of his neck, and all hard tanned muscle. Not big muscle, but hard, she knew that there would be steel under that all that sinful skin. She groaned as she leaned back against the cab, she just knew he was going to be trouble.
She didn't talk to him while he hooked up the truck, even when he asked her did she live in it, she just watched warily through narrowed, glittering eyes.
"It's not just the hose. It's going to take about two days to replace the pump." Quinlan said to her a little while later as he looked her truck over.
"No, I need it fixed now." Tera was frustrated, she had caught him looking and sniffing for the last half hour. He still hadn't acknowledged what they were, but it was just as well. She was out of there, she had come to the conclusion that she wouldn't hurt him, for some reason she wanted to trust him, but she knew that she couldn't.
Quinlan snorted in exasperation, not only was his wolf hungry for her, she was being difficult "Look lady, we have a lot of people ahead of you, paying customers, that's just how long it's going to take.". He didn't even look at her as he said this, he couldn't, his wolf was too close to the surface, and he had to struggle not to take her up against her truck. He didn't understand it; he had never felt like this before.
"I'll see you in two days." Tera walked around to the passenger side of the truck to grab her bag, she was leaving. The truck would just have to be a casualty of her safety.
Tera felt his presence when he came up behind her, the waves of heat that hit her were almost physical. She froze when she heard him inhale deeply. She closed her eyes as her stomach clenched and she felt her blood begin to warm. She turned to him them and looked into his eyes, this close up they were impossibly green with flecks of gold fire swirling in their depths. They stood staring for seconds, minutes, hours, neither really knew. His hand came up to cup her face, she felt a tingling begin when his thumb brushed lightly over her lips.
This girl was calling to his wolf, Quinlan could feel him pacing in his mind. He was overcome with the desire to touch her, to skim his fingers over her glowing skin. His hand rose under its own power his fingers finding the softness of her face. The touch was electric, sending jolts of heat through his body. He brushed his thumb over the fullness of her bottom lip. Quinlan slid his eyes away from her liquid swirling depths to stare at her lips wondering what they would taste like, feel like, as he stole his tongue across them.
Tera didn't understand what was happening, she didn't want to understand, she just wanted whatever it was to happen. This was so surreal. She wasn't inexperienced, but she had never felt anything like this before. He had barely touched her and already she was soaked. It was like her body knew him, even though her brain was screaming for her to run.
Quinlan slowly leaned down and pressed his lips to hers. He leaned into her to deepen the kiss. His tongue slid against hers his and his whole body shuddered when a small moan escaped her. At this range her scent was the most erotic thing, ever. It was like warm vanilla with something spicy lacing the edges. He felt himself get impossibly hard, if he didn't stop this soon his wolf was going to get out of control. Quinlan was not so sure he wanted that control. He wanted to possess her so fully she would never want to leave.
The spell was broken by the sound of blaring music and tires on gravel. Both of them snapped their heads around and growled. Startled by their twin reactions they jumped apart. Tera was looking every where but at him, her chest rising and falling rapidly. When he tried to lift her chin, she jerked away. Her stubbornness infuriated him and he pushed her harshly against the truck. He was unprepared for the kick she threw at him. It was forceful enough to send him falling back hard on his ass. He had been caught off guard, but still he was surprised that she had been able to knock him down.
Tera grabbed her bag, and turned. She looked at him then, with confusion and anger.
Did he imagine the hurt in the edges of her eyes?
After slipping on her backpack, she left the way she came.
Jay had been in a wonderful mood all day. So good in fact he had put the top down on his Jeep despite the cold spring air. By the time he got to the town center he had felt even better, the cold air had driven the small worry he still had for his mate out of his head. Shona was pregnant with their first litter and he worried for her and the pups. The visit to the healers today had reassured him and Shona both, everything was coming along nicely.
Music blasted threw the speakers as he made his way to Main Street. Turning onto Oak he spotted his garage. He had bought the place after he had followed Quinlan here. He smiled at the thought. He would have never met his Shona if he had not. Driving up to the front on the garage he switched off the engine. Smiling he looked up to see Quinlan shove a girl into a black truck that had not been there early this morning. He was shocked when the girl stretched her leg out in a kick that sent Quinlan sprawling in the floor. Jay had sat there unable to move for a few seconds. He finally managed to jump out of the Jeep and take off after her, but she had disappeared.
"What the hell was that?" Jay said as he walked back to where Quinlan was still sitting in the floor.
"I don't know." Quinlan shook his head in an effort to clear his thoughts. He got up and dusted himself off, still thinking of the girl with her blue and silver eyes.
"You look alright, still ugly as ever." Jay had started to smile. "You mind telling me who she was?"
"I don't know." Quinlan repeated.
Quinlan had gone back to the den after he had calmed Jay down. Jay had kept nagging him about the girl, where she had come from, who she was, and why Quinlan had been shoving on her. The 'I don't knows' were piling up, and that just plain pissed him off. The drive had calmed him somewhat, but he couldn't get his mind off that girl. He didn't even know her name.
The garage was a good escape for him. His brother, Jay, really appreciated the days off when he could get them, with a litter on the way he wanted to spend as much time with Shona as possible. But real life always called Quinlan back too soon. He was currently sitting at his desk fuming, trying to get through reports, which needed to go to the council that day. He growled under his breath, the council, they had been the ones that let this pack run amuck, turning a blind eye. The blinders seemed to be lifted when it came to him being Alpha though; they were trying to overreach their power. He leaned back in his chair and tried to rub away the burn in his eyes.
The woman at the shop had gotten under his skin, it was irritating. After she had took off he had gone through the glove box of the truck, it was licensed to a Jake Cane on Bodie Island. Maybe this was her lover, he thought, though he didn't like where the images of that were leading him. Why did he even care? There was nothing else in the truck to go on. His wolf may have been reassured, but now his logical side wouldn't stay quiet. He still couldn't get over his reaction to the woman. Never in all his years had a woman called to his wolf as she had. He hadn't alerted his pack to this lone wolf. He didn't know why, he just wanted to keep her to himself for a while. Gabriel knew but he wouldn't tell anyone, he was his second as well as his friend.
"What do you want to know about this guy?" Gabriel had asked as he sat in one of the chairs in front of the desk.
"There was a woman that came into my brothers' shop today," he started slowly. "Her truck had broken down right outside of town and I towed it in." He hesitated. "She was wolf, lone wolf. The truck she was driving is registered to this guy. I want to know what he knows about her."
"Lone she-wolf? Damn she must be crazy. That's insane. Why didn't you keep her here if you want to know about her?" Gabriel was confused. Jay had told him about the girl and they way Quinlan had acted after she had left. He had convinced Jay to keep it quiet until he could figure out what was going on with Quinlan. He hadn't known about the loner part, which was a piece of information he did not like.
"She knocked me on my ass and by the time I got over being shocked she was gone." Quinlan growled.
A big grin flooded Gabriels face. "A she-wolf knocked you on your ass? Man, I can't knock you down, how the hell did that happen."
Quinlan scowled, he didn't want to admit that this woman had gotten to him. "I had my mind on other things."
Gabriel caught the look, and was surprised at his friend and Alpha. Quinlan had no mate, but that didn't make him celibate, but still he was never involved with a wolf. He usually took these rare urges out on the human population in Taylorsville, the biggest town in a hundred miles. One night stands with women he picked up at clubs, never a wolf, it would cause too many problems in the pack. Although he could have his pick, he was Alpha, Quinlan never did.
"This wolf I've got to see for myself," Gabriel smirked, "any wolf that can distract you, I've got to meet. Who you want to track her down?"
"I don't want her tracked down by pack, if anyone is going to track her I will." Quinlan growled out. "Besides she won't be going anywhere for a couple of days, it will take Jay that long to fix her truck."
"Are you drunk? She's a lone she-wolf. Do you think you would stick around in a town when the first person you come across is a wolf in heat for you? I can't imagine what you're thinking." Gabriel laughed at that because he knew exactly what Quinlan had been thinking.
"Just find this guy and see what he knows."
Gabriel left the office snickering, with Quinlan growling a low rumble under his breath. He hadn't thought about her leaving the truck. He went back to his paperwork, never really seeing the words he was trying to read.