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Authors: Janet MacDonald

An Undying Love

BOOK: An Undying Love
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An Undying Love

 

Janet MacDonald

 

 

Edited by Marisa
Chenery

Cover design by
April Martinez

 

 

Copyright 2013
Janet MacDonald.  Published by Forever More Publishing, 31 Wycliffe Place,
Kitchener, Ontario, N2M 5J6, Canada. All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise,
without the prior permission of the author.

 

ISBN:
978-1-92785-912-4

 

 

This ebook is
licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or
given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re
reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use
only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard
work of this author.

 

This is a work
of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the
author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to
actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.

Blurb

 

Anya sneaks off
to the ancient ruins on Temple Island in the hopes that the legends are true,
but it lies in enemy territory. The one thing she desires the most she hopes to
find there. Her excursion takes a catastrophic twist, and she ends up a
prisoner and her captor uses her for the safe return of his sister. But the tug
of an ancient longing—one her brother will never allow—claims her.

Dante catches an
interloper in his pack’s territory. The pretty young female werewolf captures
his attention in ways he never thought possible. He hoped to use her to learn
of his sister’s whereabouts, but he soon feels the pull to keep Anya for
himself.

With outside
forces trying to come between them, the love they share is put at risk, and
Dante may lose Anya forever.

Dedication

Dedicated to my
daughters, Bretony, Sydney and Cathy, by far the best accomplishment I have
ever created. Also to my best friends Steve, Richard and Big Brother Phil, who
have encouraged me not to give up.

 

Acknowledgments

To Marisa at
Forever More Publishing, my editor and publisher. Thank you for giving me this
opportunity.

To the girls on
my Facebook page, who so diligently read everything I write.

A special thanks
goes to
Ana, Asha, Charlene, Gina, Holly, Ihekaria,
Jennifer, Kelli, Melody and Tina. You drive me to always do better and are by
far the most constant driving force behind my writing. You girls are the best!

Prologue

 

Looking out over the bay, Terra
knew she would never return to the island. Her home, her mate and the rest of
her pack were lost to her now. It’d been nearly five months since Samson stole
her from Jared. They’d come to trade goods with them, and the alpha had taken
her in the middle of the night while Jared had been away. Before anyone had
known what happened, she’d been gone. The large ship the Silverbacks had could
cross the bay. It was something her own pack did not have, and this was the
first time one of her own had ever set foot on the mainland.

The Silverback pack had set up
camp only a few miles from there, and Terra liked to come to this spot to clear
her thoughts. This was the most beautiful place she’d ever seen. It afforded a
full view of the bay. The swells smashed into the cliff face far below where
she stood. The sound almost drowned out the birds gliding on the evening
breeze. The sky was painted in a brilliant mix of blues, purples and pinks as
the sun dipped down on the horizon. She had to return to her new mate, Samson.
Her heart grew heavy at the thought. If not for the child growing in her womb,
Terra would have rather died than be without Jared.

It was not of Samson’s blood, not
that she would tell him. Jared had not known of her being with child, she had
not gotten the chance. Someday, she prayed, they could be together again, that
her soul mate and her would be reunited and made whole once more.

Stepping away from the cliff, she
gathered up the long skirt Samson told her to wear and began the trek back to
the encampment. She did not like the clothes or the fact she had to wear her
hair up in a bun instead of long and loose. And the shoes hurt her feet. She
preferred her doe skin dress and to run bare foot. As she entered the forest,
the hairs on the back of her neck prickled. A long, lone ethereal howl of such
heartache drifted on the winds. Jared. She turned her head to look at the bay
and something inside pulled at her, and her heart felt as if it’d just
shattered. Terra knew with all her being that her soul mate had called to her
in his passing. She felt his death, knew right down to her soul he was gone. Crashing
to her knees, she screamed out her own sorrow, swearing to find him in the next
life.

 

Chapter
One

 

Temple Island

 

The warm breeze
had all but died down as Anya slipped into the shelter of the ancient stone
structure. The air within was dusty, and the rays of the late day sun caused
the dust in the air to glitter like floating specks of gold. The moss-covered
stone walls had stood there for more years than anyone knew. At the center of
the large open space was a raised dais. A stone altar of the blackest basalt
stuck out in the otherwise empty room.

Anya’s legs
trembled ever so slightly as excitement and fear filled her. The legends had to
be true, she thought as she walked carefully over and leapt up onto the altar.
The pool sat there just as the tales had told, her reflection looking back at
her in the brackish water. Gingerly, she sniffed it. It stank to high heaven.
Twitching her ears, she steeled herself, pawed the water to get the film off
the top and took a tentative lap.

The taste nearly
made her regurgitate the water, and she shivered as a bone-chilling feeling
coursed over her. It was as if a cold icy shroud had enveloped her. It gave her
goose bumps even in her wolf form. For a brief moment, she thought she saw the
reflection of a woman’s face in the water staring back at her. The ghostly
image was superimposed over Anya’s white furred face on the surface on the
water. She shook her head and it was gone.

A sudden
snapping sound from behind her caused her to leap from the stone surface. She
knew in an instant she’d been discovered, and she bolted for the small cave-in
at the far corner. Squeezing through it was easy, and Anya didn’t bother or
wish to turn around to see the cause of the noise. She caught the scent of
horses and men as she fled down the stone path, which led out of the ancient
courtyard around the temple. As she ran down it, she heard the quick, hard
pounding of hooves on the hard-packed trail.

Weaving in and
around trees, over deadwood and down a sloped embankment, she was hard-pressed
to lose them. The forest was only thick in a few places, not making it easy for
her to evade them. Their horses were able to follow unhindered by the
sparseness of the underbrush. Anya’s only hope was to make the water before
they caught her.

Racing down the
path toward the shore, Anya felt as if her heart would explode. Her own heavy
panting filled her ears as her paws dug into the soft soil of the small fallow
field overlooking the bay. The muscles in her legs and chest burned. She ran as
fast as she could for the next half hour on adrenaline as her energy diminished.
She’d managed to just keep ahead of them, but if she slowed, they’d be on top
of her.

Anya had planned
on being home long before dark. The small outboard motor boat had made the trip
in less than two hours, and if her brother, Mitch, found it missing he would
have a fit. Now, as she propelled herself toward the cove where the craft was
hidden, she realized she was in a whole lot more trouble than what her brother
would dish out. The sun was already starting to set, and if she didn’t make the
bay before her pursuers, she might never get off the island alive. Mitch, or
anyone else in her pack, didn’t know where she’d gone, and now she really
wished she hadn’t come there.

The rustling
sounds of someone breaking through the small trees and shrubs from behind her
had her trying to run faster. Her thick fur coat had protected her from the
brambles when she bulldozed through the same area her pursuers now followed her
from. Fear gripped her heart. She saw the small embankment just before the
shoreline.

The sudden
retort of a rifle echoed through the air, and the bullet whizzed across her
flank. She felt the brushing of something against her, and it took a tuft of
fur with it. Never in all her life had she been so utterly terrified. She
started running in a more rabbit style, shifting her movements from left to
right, trying to make it harder for whoever was shooting at her. Anya really
wished she’d heeded her brother’s words this morning about not to straying too
far from home.

With the bank so
close, she pushed even harder, leaping over a fallen tree in the hopes it made
it harder for the hunters. Her paws barely touched the soft muddy slope as she
skittered down it. There being just over twenty feet to the water, she felt
elated as her claws ripped up the sandy shore. Just as she made another jump to
clear the last few feet, something slammed into her right haunch a split second
before the retort of the rifle. The burning pain elicited a yelp from her. She
was hit.

As her body hit
the cold water with a splash, shock washed over her. Anya went into instinct
mode as her mind fought not to be lost in the surge of panic flooding her.
Doing the dog paddle with her front paws to try to gain some more distance, she
weakened very quickly. She realized her back legs were not working. Her hind
quarters dragged her down.

When her head
dipped under, she tried not to swallow any of the salty sea water. Struggling
to get her face back up for air didn’t work, and she sank lower. All around her
the waters were being stained a muddled pink. As her paws clawed at the water,
it stirred the murky color around, making seeing impossible.

The necessity to
breathe had her lungs on fire. The pressure building inside her as the need
became all she could think about.
I’m going to die
, she thought as her
lungs forced her to inhale. Water rushed into them in place of the air they
craved. The painfully invasion of salty brine tore at her lungs as her mind
struggled to stay conscious. Anya lost the battle, and just as everything faded
into darkness, she felt a large, powerful hand grip her by the fur on the
scruff of her neck.

 

* * * *

 

Dante awoke to a
rumbling stomach. His late night of drinking hadn’t helped the sleepiness he
felt, and now he was slightly hungover as well. Tossing his legs out of bed,
his feet hit the hardwood floor of his cabin. He found it a little chilly and
jerked them back up. He grabbed his socks from the pile of clothes messily
lying beside the bed, then slipped them on before again putting his feet down. He
yanked his pants on and then reached for his shirt, mentally telling himself he
had to do laundry tonight after he scouted the perimeter of the pack’s
territory.

 The sudden loud
banging on his cabin door reverberated through his head, not aiding the mild
headache he had. It was not a pleasant way to start his morning. With a
grumble, he walked toward the door.

He wrenched it
open just as the young, grinning man standing there prepared to beat at the
door again. “What do you want?” he asked with a growl at Memphis as he smiled
even wider. It made the man look younger, making Dante feel old.

“Oh, I was
hoping you were up,” he said and barged past Dante.

“Please come in,”
Dante said sarcastically with another low growl. The pup had no common sense.
Irritating one’s alpha after a wild night of partying was a bad idea. Dante had
drunk way too much of his brother, Chris’, home-brewed beer. He should have known
better. It was pretty potent stuff.

He watched
Memphis stroll to the small kitchen table and sit, before turning to look back
at him. Yes, please have a seat, Dante thought with a snide tone. Instead, he
snapped, “What the hell do you want this early in the damn morning?”

“You told me to
come by first thing, remember?” he told him, his face looking expectant.

“Memphis, I don’t
even remember coming home last night.” He fixed a pot of coffee and then pulled
some eggs and smoked meat from the larder.

“I’m supposed to
be going with you to patrol the island.”

“Oh yeah…” Dante
began. He’d all but forgotten he’d told the pup he could join him today. His beta’s
son was working his way to replacing his father. Ned was wheelchair ridden, and
truthfully should have been replaced as beta shortly after he’d lost his legs
two years ago. However, Dante could not do that to him, and no one in his pack
questioned his decision to keep Ned as his beta.

After eating and
getting dressed, Dante met Memphis out by the barn, and they saddled up their
horses before heading out of the small archaic-looking village. Not much had
changed around there in the past hundred years. There was no running water, no
electricity and no phone service, although he did have a cell phone he used in
case of emergencies. They also kept a small generator for the little amount of
electricity they needed for certain things like the community freezer.

When they needed
particular items like fuel, clothing, sugar, coffee or what have you, they
simply took their boats across the bay to the mainland and traded handcrafted
goods for them at the Brookville General Store. The old man who ran it was a
lone wolf, but he had the decency to barter with Dante’s pack. Their primary
resource for any cash was from their fishing fleet. It was only a handful of
boats, but it helped to support the pack during the more lean years.

The morning went
by without much incident and Dante showed his eager young pack mate the areas
he routinely patrolled. They really never had any problems there, not even in
the height of winter when the bay froze enough to travel over the ice. They
were too far out for the mainland packs to bother with them. Once in a while an
attack would come from the Silverback pack, but it’d been nearly two decades
since their enemy had set foot there. Dante truthfully wasn’t too worried about
them showing their mugs any time soon.

Those thoughts
changed, though, as they neared the ruins of the old temple. Their horses
became skittish while they tethered them down at the base of the long narrow
path. Their animals were used to their scent, but not outsiders. Dante gestured
for Memphis to follow quietly as they walked to the ancient site on foot. The
old stone walls that had surrounded the place had all but succumbed to the
years of neglect and decay. Heavy green moss grew on them so thick there were
only a few places one could see the stones.

The actual
temple still stood, although the roof had collapsed and the stone steps were
cracked and shifted out of position. The place had fallen into decay in a time
when white men hadn’t even set foot on this continent. The pack Dante now led
were all descendants from the original werewolves of the island. His own
lineage traced back to Jared, the Wolf Lord himself. The progenitor of all
their kind it was said, but whether that tale was true or not was something no
one knew for sure.

 As the pair of
them walked to where a great oak door once was, Dante reached out and stopped
Memphis from moving any farther. He heard the faint rustling of movement from
within the ruins. It was too soft a noise to be a stray steer from their herd,
which roamed free. Yet it was not quiet enough to be a small animal like a
rabbit or raccoon, either. Again, he heard the noise and the hairs on the back
of his neck prickled. As Dante lowered his rifle from his shoulder, Memphis did
the same with his.

No one was
supposed to come there other than himself and his beta. This was sacred ground.
Every member of his pack knew this and had obeyed it, which meant an outsider
was in there. Putting his finger to his lips for the young man to be quiet, he
motioned for him to move to the side entrance. As Memphis disappeared around
the side, Dante stealthily stepped in under the archway. The sun was setting
behind him, and soon it would be dark. They needed to see who or what was
inside before they lost the light or they would have to shift.

Dante could just
see Memphis as he cleared the other opening, entering nearer to the center. He moved
as silently as Dante in the debris cast about the stone floor. It wasn’t hard
to see the form at the far end of the decayed interior. The white fur made it
nearly shine within the gloomy hall. The last rays of sunlight that filtered in
bathed over the animal, making it look eerie within the sacred temple. It wasn’t
a very large wolf, maybe a hundred pounds or so. To him it looked very young, he
surmised based upon its size.

Even though
there was no breeze, he caught the slight lingering of the animal’s scent and
knew it was a female. A lost pup or a real wolf, he wasn’t sure. In their
animal forms they smelled exactly like a normal wolf, and there really was no
way to tell the difference until one shifted. Just like other wolves, his own
kind didn’t tend to stray far from their pack, unless it was a lone wolf.
Perhaps one who’d been tossed out of a pack for one reason or another, or maybe
it looked for shelter.

Dante was
curious as to how such an animal came to be on the island. The bay was normally
far too rough for even a werewolf to swim across. And a boat should have been seen
or heard by his scouts who routinely patrolled the shore line. As he studied
the wolf, he was a bit mesmerized by its graceful movements as it crept toward
the large stone altar. It leapt up onto the slab that dominated the back of the
room, sniffed it and pawed at the water lying in the basin-like groove in its
center. It lapped up the water and then shuddered all over. He figured the
thing had to be exceedingly thirsty to drink stale old rain water. He was
pretty sure no werewolf in their right mind would drink gross, stagnant water
so it had to be a real wolf.

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