Authors: Catherine Banks
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Vampires, #Adult, #Fantasy, #Magic, #Witches, #werewolves, #teen, #fairy, #Fairies, #Fae, #YA, #young, #sidhe, #dhampir, #ares, #artemis, #lupine
KISS OF A STAR
(Artemis Lupine #2)
Copyright 2011 Catherine Banks
design and artwork by Avery Banks
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ARTEMIS LUPINE SERIES
1. Song of The Moon
2. Kiss of A Star
3. Healed by Fire
Ares, Koda, Matt and I left France early in
the morning, but without Victor or Jean Pierre. They were forced to
stay behind to discuss some impending threat, which I assumed was
regarding the attacks on the other countries. The connection
between Ares and I was stronger than ever. I needed to have
constant physical contact. We grabbed the first flight and I felt
my worry ease as we left France and gained distance from the
“Where are we going, Ares?” I asked as I
relaxed against the seat.
Ares smiled happily. “My home, in
I stared at him in shock for a minute and
then smiled. He did have German features as did Koda and Matt.
My smile left as a thought came to mind.
“Great. Big, German, werewolf women. You couldn’t have come from a
country with small women, could you?”
Ares kissed my cheek. “You’ll be fine.”
I smiled evilly. “Maybe I’ll just toast them
with a fireball.”
Ares shook his head. “You aren’t allowed to
use your sidhe powers unless absolutely necessary. No one must know
that you have them.”
I groaned. “Great. I finally get powers and
now I can’t use them.” After a little accident this morning, where
I’d torched a hand towel, we realized I was able to use my sidhe,
or fairy, powers.
The plane touched down and we walked through
the airport to the waiting vehicle. A man, standing at least seven
feet tall, leaned against the hood of a strange European vehicle.
He smiled at Ares and bowed at the waist. “Greetings Ares.”
Ares bowed. “Greetings Brother.”
The man turned to me and smiled as he spoke
to Ares. “I see your taste in women has improved.”
My lip twitched in a snarl and Ares wrapped
his arm around my shoulders. “This is my mate, Ulger and your
Ulger dropped to one knee in front of me.
“Forgive me, Princess, I had not heard that Prince Ares took a
I looked at Ares for help, but he just
smiled. “Uh, you’re forgiven,” I said awkwardly.
Ulger stood up and kissed the back of my
hand. “Thank you, Princess.”
Ares cleared his throat and Ulger turned
back to him and said, “Darius wanted me to tell you that Darren has
escaped our trackers. We aren’t sure where he has gone, but we’ve
sent additional trackers to pick up his trail.”
“My dad got away? He’s still alive?” I asked
Ares squeezed my shoulders and whispered, “I
won’t let him hurt you.”
His words and touch calmed my nerves and I
relaxed against his side. “I know.”
Ares opened the back door and smiled
brightly. “Are you ready to meet more of our kind?”
I shook my head as I climbed inside. “No,
but what choice do I have?”
We drove in silence for a few hours and my
mind began wandering.
What were these women like? Were they all
as beautiful as the ones I had seen?
Ares tried to pull me into
his lap and I resisted, pulling away from him. He frowned. “What’s
I saw the look of concern on his face and
forced the words out before I lost my nerve. “If I let you, would
you leave me, for these women?”
Ares smiled, his blue eyes sparkling. “Not a
chance. Artemis, I love you. I thought you were over this?”
I shook my head. “I’m sorry. I’m just
nervous.” I leaned against him and closed my eyes.
He whispered, “You are the only woman for
me. Whether you feel the same for me or not, I will always love
I looked up at him and saw the pain in his
eyes. He thought I was trying to tell him that I didn’t truly care
for him. I whispered, “I do love you, Ares.”
Ares whispered, “It’s our destiny to be
together. Are you rehashing old issues because you don’t want to
discuss the new ones with me?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I
said indignantly and looked out the window to my left.
Ares whispered, “I know it’s hard to deal
with the fact that you aren’t a virgin anymore, but isn’t it
satisfying to know that you’ll be with the one that you gave it to,
the rest of your life? Not many humans can say that.”
I turned to him and kissed his lips. “I love
you Ares. I’m just insecure.”
He shook his head. “You have no reason to be
insecure. I only have eyes for you.”
Koda groaned and turned around from the
passenger seat. “That was so cliché Ares. You’re how old and you
couldn’t come up with something better than that? I mean, you did
work with Shakespeare!”
Ares frowned. “I was trying to be cute.
Thank you for ruining our moment.”
Koda winked at me. “Just here to help.”
We drove for hours through a thick forest on
an unmarked dirt road, until finally coming to a small gate with
two male guards. Ulger rolled down his window and spoke in a
foreign language, I assumed was German to the guards. The guards
opened the gate, bowing to our vehicle as we drove past. The trees
began thinning and we came to a large wood barn. Ulger stopped the
car and we all climbed out. I stretched my arms up over my head,
squealing as I stretched.
Ares wrapped his arms around my waist and
kissed my cheek. “You keep doing things like that and we won’t make
it to the village.”
I blushed and tried to step out of his arms.
“Ares, don’t tease me.”
He licked my cheek, holding on tightly to
me. “I believe I was just saying that to you.”
Ulger parked the car inside the barn and
then walked back to us. “Ready?” he asked as he cracked his neck
from side to side.
Ares nodded his head, smiling wide. I asked,
“Ready for what?” Koda pulled his shirt and pants off, and then
dropped to his hands and knees shifting forms flawlessly in
seconds. His wolf form was more beautiful than I remembered. I
fought the urge to run my hands through his fur and turned towards
Ares, who was taking his shirt off.
I sighed. “Fine, but I’m not changing back
until we’re somewhere I can get dressed. I don’t want to parade
I took my shirt off slowly, noticing Ares
watching me and folded it nicely on the ground. I slowly pulled my
pants off, wriggling my butt excessively. Ares took a step towards
me and Koda stepped between us, whining and barking. I stripped my
underwear off quickly and changed shapes. It felt good to be a wolf
again. My wolf felt ecstatic at being let out and we stretched from
head to tail. Ares sniffed my shoulder and I wagged my tail.
Koda’s tongue lolled out the side of his
Loser has to run around the house naked?
No one wants to see you run
around naked, anymore than we already have to.
Loser has to give the winner
We all ran down the dirt road kicking up
dust behind us. My muscles stretched and my blood pumped harder as
I ran. The boys were lengths ahead of me when a familiar scent
tickled my nose. I jumped into the forest to my right and ran
through the trees towards the smell.
I could hear Ares, Koda and Matt barking for
me, but they could wait. I had to find my mom. Ares spoke through
Where are you going? What’s wrong?
I ran faster trying to follow the scent
before it disappeared.
My mom’s here. I can smell her.
I jumped over a fallen log and the forest
quieted. I strained my ears to listen to Ares’ approaching barks,
but not even the wind whispered through my ears. I changed back to
human and crossed my arms over my chest. “Hello?”
A bright light darted through the trees
coming towards me. I lifted my arm to cover my eyes and the light
dimmed. A man with pale skin and blue vines etched in his arms and
across his chest walked towards me. He wore only a pair of pants
and was sleeker muscled than Ares, built more like a runner or
swimmer. I swallowed in fear. “Who are you?”
He spoke and the leaves rustled. “I am
“What are you?” I asked in the silence.
“I’m sidhe.” The leaves rustled again as he
spoke making me shiver involuntarily.
“What do you want? Why are you here?” I
asked growing more and more nervous and wishing Ares was here.
He smiled and held out his hand, his body
glowing slightly as though a light was turned on inside of him.
“I’m here for you. I’m your fiancée and I’m here to take you,” he
said in a soothing voice.
Ares touched my shoulder and the sounds of
the forest crashed into my ears deafening me. I dropped to the
ground covering my ears with my hands and moaning in pain. Ares
voice boomed like thunder, “YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER ANYWHERE!”
My ears were still ringing as I knelt on the
ground beside Ares. Koda and Matt finally found us and moved to
stand behind Ares in protective stances.
“What are you doing here, sidhe?” Ares asked
angrily. I’d never seen him so mad before. His hands were balled
into fists at his sides as he glared at Achilles.
Achilles glanced from Ares to me. “What is
My ears finally stopped ringing, so I stood
up, slightly behind Ares, and placed my hand on his shoulder. The
skin to skin contact allowed some of his power to seep in and heal
the damage to my ears. “It’s alright, Ares. He hasn’t hurt me,” I
Ares’ fists loosened and he grabbed one of
my hands in his. I could feel his anger and worry as if it were my
own. Koda whispered, “Ares.”
Ares looked at my face and exhaled. The
anger and worry disappeared, allowing me to breathe.
When had I
“I’m sorry,” Ares said softly to me.
I kissed his cheek. “It’s alright.”
Achilles began glowing again and he clenched
his teeth as he said, “Do not touch him.”
I glared at Achilles. “I don’t know who you
are, but I’m not in the mood. State your business.”
Achilles’ eyes widened in shock for a
moment, but he quickly recovered. “Artemis, I’d appreciate it if
you would step away from Ares.”
Ares growled. “Not going to happen. State
Achilles stopped glowing and rubbed his
temples, looking weary. “Of all of the werewolves in the world, why
did it have to be you protecting her?”
I looked Achilles over while he was babbling
and felt a smile tug up the corner of my lips. He was incredibly
handsome, very close in competition for most handsome with Ares.
Achilles’ blue vines were beautiful and throbbed like veins. His
face looked familiar, but I couldn’t remember where…
Achilles spoke, interrupting my thoughts.
“Artemis, I’ve come for you. You’re mine.”
I looked at him and then at Ares. “There’s a
lot of that going around lately. Why do you think I am yours?”
He smiled making my knees wobbly. “You’re my
fiancée. You were betrothed to me at birth.”
I shook my head. “I can’t be your fiancée. I
already have a mate.”
Achilles looked at Ares in shock. “Mate?
She’s your mate?!”
Ares nodded his head. “She’s my
Achilles shook his head. “You’re lying. You
just don’t want to give her to me.”
Ares snarled and his anger returned. “She’s
my match, Achilles. She’s my
Why was he so easily upset by this
Achilles glared at him. “I will not give her
up simply because she’s your match! I was promised the first of her
mother’s children. I’ve waited
seven hundred years
and I will
just let you have her.”
Ares rubbed his face and his anger
dissipated just as quickly as it had come. “I don’t want to start a
war between us, but if neither of us is willing to give her up,
what do you suggest we do?”