Authors: Amber Ella Monroe,Ambrielle Kirk
AMBER ELLA MONROE
writing as AMBRIELLE KIRK
Caedmon Wolves Volume One (3-book bundle) - Includes Books 1-3
Caedmon Wolves Volume Two (3-book bundle) - Includes Books 4-6
RESDAN COVEN (Coming Soon
OLF IN EXILE
Part 1: Captured
Part 2: Unchained
Part 3: Ascend
Part 4: Reclaimed
Part 4.5: Bound
SPEN VALLEY PACK
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– Each pack
has 1 Alpha. This Alpha is the dominant ruling body over the rest of the pack.
– Each pack
has 1 Beta. This Beta acts as the second in command and handles certain pack matters while the Alpha is away. The Beta works with the Alpha to manage the pack.
– Each pack
as 4-6 Deltas who act as messengers, delivering news between packs or other groups.
– Each pack
has several Epsilons who are guardians to all members. Mostly, they act as security staff to the Alpha when requested.
– Each pack has numerous Zetas & Etas depending on the group population. They are warriors and will fight in the name of their pack if orders are given by the Alpha during times of bartering or trading.
– Each pack has at least one doctor or nurse to assist pack members with their ailments. Thetas are lead doctors who train the Iotas to take their place when they step down.
– Each pack has several lead hunters and numerous hunters that they’re responsible for. They follow orders from the Alpha and Beta. They are trained to fight, as well as lead and execute wolf hunts.
Wolf in Exile Part 1
hen Kalena is caught snooping
around in the laboratories at Silex Pharmaceuticals, a shifter-owned company, the guards label her a spy. She’s captured and tossed inside of a barricade filled with wolves who have been deemed menaces to society. What’s worse is that her memory of what happened over the last few days isn’t all that clear. Her only hope of escape is linked to Thane Silex, a convicted felon with a vendetta against his brother.
CAPTURED is the first installment in the serialized paranormal romantic suspense story,
Wolf in Exile
WOLF IN EXILE SERIAL READING ORDER:
Part 1: CAPTURED
Part 2: UNCHAINED
Part 3: ASCEND
Part 4: RECLAIMED
Part 4.5: BOUND
and stirred nearby on the ground, rattling Thane Silex awake from his nap. Sunlight broke through the tree branches and leaves, obscuring his vision. When his eyes adjusted against the bright rays, he found the source of the noise.
A male shifter stood near a stream just yards away from where Thane was perched in a tree. He was the same shifter Thane scented earlier on a trail that morning.
Almost all of the inmates who inhabited the confines of Area S2’s barricades could tell when a new prisoner had arrived and, most of the time, within twenty-four hours of their arrival. The humans were usually the last to know, and their knowledge came by word of mouth or after catching sight of the newcomer. The shifters caught wind of the new arrivals almost immediately, tracking the newcomer through a unique smell they left behind while trying to find their way around what resembled a dark wilderness; a maze of valleys and dense foliage. The location within the privately owned southern Illinois wilderness was well hidden. Obscured on public maps, it was not easily accessible by the general population.
Both shifters and humans were held at Area S2 inside the same barricades. It didn’t matter what crime they had been accused of committing. This shifter wasn’t even trying to hide his presence, and from the tracks and scents he left on the ground, he wasn’t the least bit alarmed. It was almost as if the newcomer thought he was the only one out here—or didn’t care one way or the other what was out here with him.
Inmates who came here eventually died here. There was no set parole, halfway house to migrate to, or leniencies to be given. The sentence was life.
True adventurers and naturists would give anything for the chance to trek the landscape and enjoy the views. But what most didn’t know when they were thrown in, was that it was a dog eat dog world out here. You had to fight for the right to live and eat.
Thane pulled himself upright and settled his back against the tree trunk as he watched the newcomer near the stream. Now in human form, the new inmate was crouched low to the ground, cupping water in both hands and guzzling it down. Thane immediately wondered what Pack he belonged to since he appeared to be so naïve and distracted. There were no symbols or tattoos marking him, or none that Thane could see, for that matter. He was probably a city wolf. He didn’t seem to know the countryside by the way he observed the wilderness around him with disdainful uneasiness.
The newcomer’s attention shifted from the water source to the mountains several miles ahead. Thane wasn’t surprised that the shifter seemed hell-bent on the promise of escape those mountains offered and oblivious to everything else.
Everyone here knew that freedom lay on the other side of the mountains and the countryside. Unfortunately, what this stranger wasn’t aware of, were the multitude of traps set up along the borders for eager inmates trying to flee. To date, all attempts had been unsuccessful. Most couldn’t climb a mountain of that elevation before falling to their death or becoming exhausted, and that was if they made it past the man-made hazards first. Area S2 guards made a show of the failed attempts by putting the bodies on display near the food tent before finally taking them to the onsite crematorium.
Something else loomed over the stranger’s head: the threat of those who inhabited Area S2 with him. Territories were marked, and if anyone laid their head on the wrong domain these days or took from a claimed food or water source, they’d better be well prepared to accept a challenge.
The stranger was currently on Thane’s territory, but he’d give the guy a break this time. Excessive visits, however, would be dealt with. Thane couldn’t risk his primary lair being discovered. And he wasn’t looking to make friends. Thane didn’t like to meddle in affairs that didn’t concern him. He kept to himself and he didn’t participate in the prison politics of Area S2. He’d leave that to Zcesar Nolan and his pack of runners, who were probably already out waiting to drag the unsuspecting newcomer to the unchallenged ringleader of Area S2.
Thane was less than a dozen feet above the stranger. If he’d wanted to, he could have taken the shifter down himself. But he refused to follow such a callous leader and uphold backstabbing tactics; therefore, he refused to act like they did. There was already a bounty on Thane’s head for refusing to submit to Zcesar. It was too bad that no one would ever collect. Thane submitted to no one. He had no leader and no Alpha. He was without a Pack. And just six months ago, he was labeled a convicted felon. But so far, no human or wolf under Zcesar’s leadership had even come close to killing Thane. And they wouldn’t. He’d rather go out on his own terms.
Less than five minutes passed before the stranger rose and walked downstream toward the mountainous region with his back facing Thane. Escaping these confines wasn’t an option, at least not at the moment. And eventually, the stranger would have to choose a side unless he could take care of himself in this deserted wilderness full of convicts and the deranged. The man was fucked either way.
Thane didn’t take sides. And he trusted no one.
he deadly silence
in the room caused feelings of unease and discomfort for Kalena Jackson. Laboratory hours were nearly 24/7, except for holidays and special periods of time when top executives ordered a halt in productions. None of those exceptions were the case here. Business was booming at Silex Pharmaceuticals. Just recently, they’d acquired FDA approval to start research for a brand new drug.
But something was wrong. Not only did the lack of noise concern Kalena, she’d also smelled something in the air the moment she’d entered. The odor was rank and metallic, though it could have been anything. On any given day, the scientists in the labs dealt with a number of chemicals and substances that could result in unique reactions—both good and bad—when mixed together. Despite her unease, she remained in front of the main computer that had drawn her attention, trying to make sense of the information before her eyes.
A small click echoed behind Kalena. Fear jolted through her and her shoulders tensed up instantly. Holding her breath and half expecting to find the lab head catching her in the act of snooping, she peeked over her shoulder. As her eyes swept the darkened room for the source of the sound, she racked her brain for an excuse as to why she was accessing the reports on the screen. If she were asked, she’d need to explain.
Three rows of metal tables covered with medical research equipment, test tubes, microscopes, stacks of typed reports, and chart sketches lay behind her. None of the stations were manned. Yet, the poster by the door said there were three technicians on duty.
Where was everyone? Where was Tracy? Kalena had come down here specifically to touch base with her friend and bring her some brownies she had baked. They now worked opposite shifts, so having a chat with her buddy at lunchtime wasn’t possible anymore, leaving them no choice but to find other times to connect.
It was possible that the other technicians were in one of the storage closets or back rooms. Either of them could pop out at any minute and notice Kalena at the station peeking at top-secret information. But that was beside the point. What she’d just uncovered stole her attention away, and suddenly, she didn’t care about getting caught. Now, she sought answers to the many questions spiraling through her head.
Kalena turned back around and her fingers shook on the mouse as she toggled through the documents on the laptop. She tried to contain her nervousness and clicked the mouse quietly. Aside from a lamp at the other end of the room and a dim light shining just above the entrance, the interior of the laboratory was pitch black.
When the time came, she hoped that she would have a valid excuse on the tip of her tongue to explain her actions. After all, she shouldn’t even be here. She wasn’t allowed within the restricted labs unless accompanied by an approving technician. This area should have been locked, but someone had left one of the doors slightly ajar. When she’d called out for Tracy upon entering, there had been no answer. Once inside the lab, the rapidly flashing screen of the computer had caught her attention. Being too curious for her own good, she had dropped the goodies she’d made to share with Tracy on the workstation and grabbed the mouse.
Now, Kalena didn’t know what to make of her discovery. She blinked to quench her dry eyes and focused on the bright LCD screen once more.
Drug: D996. Test subject thirty-nine. Deceased. Cause of death: Unknown. Test subject twenty-eight. Deceased. Cause of death: Unknown. Test subject forty-one. Deceased. Cause of death. Suicide.
Kalena browsed through the files and found more death records. The information came from some kind of backdoor database system. Nothing like this program existed within the company. That she knew of anyway. And she’d never heard of this drug. As assistant to the Vice President of Accounting, her status may not have allowed her free access to the labs, but Rhonda had always given her access to information about any new or pending drugs. It was necessary for whenever Kalena worked on the accounting reports in Rhonda’s absence. With every product, there were expenses linked to the item, and she would have remembered assisting the VP while setting up the item in the financial system. On top of that, Rhonda approved all purchases. Did she have knowledge of this drug and the deaths tied to it?
Kalena flipped through the death reports until she came across something that looked like a memo or some kind of signed report. There were initials at the bottom, but they weren’t Rhonda’s, they belonged to Raven Bauer, the head scientist. If Raven had signed this, it must have been legit. But why were so many people dying from this drug? To Kalena’s knowledge, none of Silex’s test subjects had ever died during trial before. The side effects even tended to be minimal. Silex Pharmaceuticals was primarily in the business of research, development, and production of over-the-counter painkillers. Occasionally, they’d do R&D for drugs requiring a physician’s approval. Kalena had no knowledge of any other operations.
Kalena clicked the mouse again to reveal more scribbled notes:
D996 was not the name of a drug she recognized. Every drug was given a numeric identification, and the list of current drugs on the market and in research was proudly displayed on the company’s progress board for all employees to see. D996 was not on that list. Was there an exception made for this one that appeared to have been the cause of so many deaths?
Kalena continued reading...
D996 has proven to be fatal in seventy-seven percent of test subjects. Prolonged or extended use of D996 may cause test subjects to fall into a coma-like state. A subset of test subjects has reported waking days after consuming recommended dosage. The remaining percentage never wakes. It is unknown at this time why these test subjects expire during the comatose phase. Raven Bauer’s recommendation: discontinue trial until further notice.
The more information Kalena uncovered, the more she wanted to delve deeper. From her past experience, digging deeper into anything rarely resulted in desirable findings, but she clicked the mouse once more anyway.
D996. Gavril Silex disputes and overrules the recommendation of Raven Bauer. Continue research and distribution of the drug to all test subjects until drug research is finalized.
Kalena’s eyes widened and she brought her hands up to her mouth in shock. Mr. Gavril Silex was the owner of Silex Pharmaceuticals. Although she had never met the man, she’d heard some disturbing things about his management style. She’d only been employed by the company for three months and had initially been attracted by the generous salary and benefits offered to her. Once she began working, however, a whole slew of other information was presented to her, making her question her loyalty and dedication to the company and its mission statement. She’d had personal reasons for seeking out the high-paying position and ultimately accepting, but now that she knew more about the risky way in which the company operated, she was even more concerned. Especially after what she’d just discovered by looking into confidential information she was not privy to. She was glad she had seen what she had, but she felt like a guilty criminal, and she didn’t even want to think about the penalties for her actions.
Kalena heard something crash to the floor near the doorway to her right. Someone or something was definitely inside the room, and it was high time she got out before she got caught. But first, she had to make sure Tracy was okay. Something seemed odd about all of this, and the fact that Tracy wasn’t at her station made Kalena very nervous, and very worried about her friend.
Tension pulled at the back of her neck and blood crackled through her veins as she walked to the doorway in the direction of the noise. One of the hanging lamps was busted overhead, so the area was clouded in obscurity. She stopped short, about a couple feet before the door and waited for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. Just as she took another step, the toe of her sneaker bumped into an object. When she looked down, she realized that the object on the floor was a badge. She bent to scoop it up, gasping when she read her friend’s name.
“Tracy?” she whispered, her mouth falling open as she became puzzled.
Her breath caught in her lungs and her heart froze when she saw the blood splatters on the other side of the door’s window. A small cry caught in her throat. Every nerve ending and cell in her body wanted her to stop, go back, and get herself out of there. Yet, there was one curious urge deep down inside of her that needed to know. Demanded that she go further. Curiosity won out again, and she lifted a hand, her fingers shaking as she pushed the door open. It swung open to the inside, and her gaze immediately fell to the floor where she spotted a motionless body.
Kalena shrieked, the sound echoing through the interior of the room. A nurturer by nature, she collapsed to the floor near the unmoving person. Grasping stiff shoulders, she rolled the body toward her and stared directly into the glazed over eyes of the dead woman. She wore a badge designating her as a lab technician, but she wasn’t Tracy. A stream of blood leaked from the woman’s forehead, and there was a puddle of it on the floor and more splattered on the front of her lab coat.
Kalena let go of the dead body and pressed her hands to her mouth, gasping for air that didn’t seem to come quickly enough. As she rose, her eyes searched wildly around the area, seeking out the danger that had killed the woman on the floor, and making sure it wasn’t coming for her next. Bile rose in her throat and she swallowed. Slowly, she walked backward to the door, intent on making it to the nearest phone to dial for help.
With her eyes never leaving the sight of the body on the floor, Kalena reached behind her, grasping for the knob. It wasn’t there. In a daze, and still disbelieving what she was seeing, she took a few more steps back. What she made contact with was not a door or wall, it was cold, hard flesh...
Before she could turn around, the harsh voice of a male startled her.
“Well...looks like we got ourselves another spy,” he crooned.
Kalena tried to turn around, but the man grabbed her about the torso, planting her arms hard to her sides and holding her like a moth in a tight cocoon. He pried Tracy’s badge from her fingers, but before she could scream, her mouth was covered with a damp cloth. The fabric was filthy smelling and had a strong chemical odor to it.
Her survival instincts told her not to breathe, and for a moment, she held her breath until she couldn’t hold it any longer.
As soon as Kalena took in more of the chemical odor, her lungs burned, her eyes clouded, and she struggled against her captor’s grip—fighting to stay alive.
As she started to fade away, a sharp pain shot up through her knees and crippled her. The room seemed to move, and something about her center of gravity didn’t seem right. She fell to the hard concrete floor and every nerve in her body flared up with pain. Suddenly, she was looking directly into the soulless eyes of the dead woman. She choked on her own breath. She wanted to scream for help, but whatever they had drugged her with had rendered her speechless.
Kalena’s eyelids grew heavy and she faded quickly into darkness.