Blood Moon, Original Version (Shifters #1)

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Chapter One

             
Nate Jackson refused to give up. The Brotherhood of Wolves wanted answers. Their numbers had dwindled over the years until there were only a few of them left. Now they all looked at Nate to do his part as leader of the pack, and he knew they deserved that and much more.

             
He would find those answers and take care of the problem with his last breath. He had only started to close in on the vampire responsible for so many of his own kind’s demise.

             
Nate knew where he must look; he had received one of the best clues to their whereabouts. Only this time, he would be going alone.  Too many of his brothers had been lost, he could not chance any more lives knowing that as their leader, the burden rested on him.

             
Now here he was sneaking in the shadows of the city alleyways waiting for his target.

             
A vampire slinked past him. The kid was young, a teenager who would never become a man. The stench rolled off of the newborn and met Nate’s senses, the smell was wrenching.

             
Nate waited until the newborn was in front of him before springing from the shadows and shoved a stake through his heart. Just a small cry came from the impaled vampire’s lips. Nate said a quick blessing before sinking back into the shadows to make his way down the street.

             
A young woman hurried down the darkened road as she made her way home from a late shift at the diner. Maxine Lewis was no stranger to the violence that lurked the streets.

             
She could swear there was another set of footsteps echoing behind her own. A couple of times she had turned but she only found the empty street. Maxine picked up her pace feeling as if she were being pursued.

             
Something rose up in Maxine that yelled danger as she broke into a run. She could hear the footsteps behind her. There was no use in calling out for help in the empty streets and stopping at a payphone to call the police would only further her danger.

             
She kicked off her heels and ran through the streets in bare feet as small stones cut at her flesh. She ran with all of her might knowing her life depended on it. It was only when she turned a corner that she was sure her luck had run out. Stepping from the shadows, a man reached out and pulled her to the side of the building. Before she could scream, another man came around the corner, the one that had been pursuing her.

             
Before her eyes, the man that had grabbed her changed into a beast. In a swift movement he was on her pursuer. Fangs protruded from his mouth and his eyes were like fire as beast and monster slashed at one another. Maxine could not move as her eyes watched the battle taking place.

             
The werewolf lunged at the vampire striking the fatal blow as his teeth sunk into the vamp ripping out its throat and shoving its clawed fist into its heart. The vampire shrieked in anguish and fell to the ground bursting into flames.

             
Maxine stood with her eyes fixed on the werewolf with blood dripping from its clawed hand. The beast stepped closer to Maxine just as she was finally able to scream. Taking back his human form, Nate put his hand over Maxine’s mouth and pulled her body in closer to his.

             

 

 

Chapter Two

             
Fear surged through her. Maxine would not suffer the same fate she had just witnessed. She bit down on the man’s hand, and at the same time she brought her heel down as hard as she could on his foot. He only flinched.

             
Nate held the woman in a tight grip. As small as she was, the woman had strength. She had bit down on his hand and he could smell the scent of his own blood.

             
As Nate loosened his grip on her, he removed his hand from her mouth only to be greeted with a loud scream that was painful to his ears.

             
As the woman twisted from his grip and turned to face him, he could see the fear in her eyes. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he said.

             
Nate noticed he was still holding the woman. He was not sure if letting her go was the right option. Maxine looked down at her wrist. “Let me go!” At her request, Nate released her.

             
Maxine stepped back from the man before looking down at the pile of ash that lay on the concrete walk. “What was he?” Maxine looked up into the man’s face remembering his own transformation and took another step back away from him. “What are you?” She asked.

             
Nate took a step closer in hopes of calming her fear, although he was not sure why he cared.

             
Maxine did not trust him. “If you come any closer, I will scream!”

             
If anything, Nate was not looking forward to another bought of this woman’s shrill cries. “Why would you want to do that when I just saved your life?” He asked.

             
He had saved her life. But that didn’t mean she trusted him.

             
Nate could smell the woman’s floral scent which caught him off guard. The woman was becoming too much of a distraction.

             
Nate reached out and grabbed the woman pulling her hard against him. Her scent banged at his senses jumbling his thoughts and summoned a need that bordered on danger. He wanted her and he could see the fear in her eyes that understood the danger that held her.

             
Maxine’s hands pushed at his chest, her fingers digging into him ready to fight off an attack. The man held her tight with no promise of release. Maxine’s fingers were stained with blood. She did not know if the blood was his or belonged to his victim.

             
Nate did not bother to look around the streets for onlookers; his attention was focused elsewhere, on the woman he held tight in his arms. She fought against his hold, but with each struggle, he held her even tighter.

             
“Why do you fight me?” He asked.

             
She trembled with fear and scratched his skin until she felt every nail would break off.

             
He pulled her closer until she could hardly breathe. “Why are you doing this to me?”

             
As he pondered the woman’s words, he took in her scent only intensifying his need. As if knowing he was not about to release her, she let her head fall back exposing her slender neck. Nate was still as he imagined his lips on her skin. He could see the thump of her pulse quicken beneath her flesh. He lowered himself closer lavishing on the thought of tasting her.

             
She pulled away in a desperate attempt to free herself.

             
A growl broke the silence that came from him with a need he could barely fight anymore. His only thought was to lay claim to this woman as he lowered his lips to her flesh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three

              Maxine had fought with every ounce of strength to free herself from this man, and he still held her tight. As he bent his head and lowered his lips onto her neck, she found herself overwhelmed. Her heart pounded as if it would burst from her chest at any moment. Alarms were sounding inside of her that roared danger, but her body remained locked in place.

             
His body was warm and his scent intoxicating. All reason was lost as she stopped fighting him and lay limp in his arms.

             
“What… What are you doing to me?” The words were so quiet, they were barely audible. Maxine looked up trying to register what was happening.

             
The depth of his eyes were as dark as night. His hair matched the color of his eyes and spilling in waves down his shoulders. An urge came over Maxine to touch his face as she brought her hand close to his brow.

             
At that moment, something registered in Nate forcing him to return to his senses. He released the woman and shoved her to the side.

             
Maxine turned and made a mad dash down the street.

             
A shrill scream Nate would recognize anywhere pierced the night. Having no choice, he ran in the direction the sound had come from.

             
Nate was supposed to be on a mission but had fouled up miserably by allowing the woman to distract him.

             
He rushed down the street, in just a few seconds he came face to face with the woman’s terror. Three vampires stood in front of him and one other vampire behind them, with the woman in his hold.

             
Nate didn’t waste any time. He morphed into werewolf form, and in a matter of seconds he had taken out two of the vampires and was left fighting one as the other still stood back holding the woman in a tight grip.

             
By the time the last vampire fighting went down, the other vampire was dragging the woman off into an abandoned building.

             
Even if the woman had been a distraction, she was now thrown in the middle of his mission, and he had to follow, straight into the nest of vampires.

             

 

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Four

             
Maxine’s body hurt from the pain she had already gone through tonight. The creature that held her now, she had no doubt been more dangerous than anything she had run up against.

             
Deeper into the abandoned building she was being drug against her will, and something told her if she did not find a way to free herself, she would never leave this place alive.

             
As the creature rushed into the building holding her from behind, Maxine struggled.

             
The vampire stopped in front of a large door and removed a metal bar that hung across it. Maxine watched as the bar grinded across the door. As it opened, it revealed catacombs with stairs that led under the streets of the city.

             
Maxine became frantic and looked behind her in the direction they had come hoping for a miracle she would see a rescuer, there was no one there. Maxine looked back to the vampire who was forcing her to follow. She had no idea where the catacombs led; all she knew was that there was no way she wanted to find out.

             
Maxine tried to pull away from the vampire only to have him pull her further into the opening of the door. With the heels of her bare feet, she dug them into the ground. She turned scanning her surroundings. There on the ground was a pipe that was sharp at the end. She bent down and grabbed it just as the vampire jerked her in its direction. That was all the momentum she needed. Holding the pipe firmly in her grip, she swung herself, sinking the sharp end straight into the heart. The vampire let out an anguished scream and released its hold on Maxine.

             
Stepping away from the wailing creature, Maxine watched as just like the others, it burst into flames.

             
Nate who was following found the woman in a corner trembling as she watched the last remaining evidence of the vampire turn into a pile of ash.

             
Nate tried to think of the mission at hand. His mind was only on the woman who sat huddled in the corner.

             
Against all better judgment Nate approached the woman and extended his hand.

             
The darkness closed in around them making Maxine’s surroundings even more frightening. She strained against the dark to focus her eyes. As he extended his hand to her she accepted it. Maxine clung to the man’s hand making sure not to lose the grip she had on it.

             
The woman’s scent was already attacking his senses again. He took in a deep breath, licked his lips, and beat down the urge that rose in him once more, and this only made his battle to fight the oncoming urges he was feeling that much harder.   Silky strands hung down in wavy curls that framed her face. His breath quickened as he remembered the feel of her close to him while he looked into her blue eyes.

             
He pushed the thought from his mind trying to calm himself. He knew he should get as far away from her as he could, but like a drug, the woman was becoming an addiction.

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