The Reluctant Wolf: A Paranormal Romance (Werewolves and Shifters) (2 page)

BOOK: The Reluctant Wolf: A Paranormal Romance (Werewolves and Shifters)
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“You’re a lucky woman to have survived at all. Quite lucky. But for some reason it seems intent on getting only you,” the old man said slowly after he listened to her whole story, “if he was only after blood or flesh he would have left your home to kill someone else. This wolf has fixated on you and you alone for some reason. Do you know why a werewolf would want you, my dear?”

“No, I have no idea. Why would a werewolf want me? I’ve never had any kind of problems like this before. And it was strange – almost was like it was frustrated that it couldn’t reach me. I have no idea why it would be hunting me?”

“It has some reason in mind to hunt you, even if we are unaware of it right now. So you must be exceedingly careful. The main thing I can tell you is you need to arm yourself for when it comes back. Not if it comes back – but when it comes back.” He sat back in his chair and took a deep breath before going on.

“Since the beast stayed such a long time you can be assured that it will return on the next full moon. It has your scent now. It will be back. You need to know that werewolves do have a weakness – they can’t heal themselves from a wound – but only if it is inflicted by a silver object. Get yourself a silver plated knife or dagger – or buy a gun – but make sure you only get silver bullets for it. Even something as simple as the touch of a silver necklace will burn their skin. So silver jewelry might be another thing to invest in and wear.”

Bailey sat there as the old man went on and on. She made mental notes of everything he said and tried not to wonder about Morgan. The old man gave her a few items to put in her purse to take with her. They talked for a while longer, then she thanked the old man and left his office. She felt better understanding a little more about what she needed to do though.

After she got back in her car she sat there and tried to call Morgan again. Still no answer. Arrghhh, so aggravating. Where is he? After a few minutes though the memory of the wolf was back in her mind. She didn’t like the idea of killing it however, no matter what the old man had said. It seemed wrong to Bailey. Werewolves couldn’t help their existence or their nature – they had no real knowledge of what they were doing. But still, if it was her life or the wolf’s she knew which decision she would make. She had made hard decisions before and she knew she could make them again. If she had to. She hoped she would not have to make that decision though.

Killing it had to be the last resort though. If she could get away from it, rather than kill it, she would definitely do it. She cranked her car and headed for home. Before heading back there though she went to a jeweler, as soon as she got back in town and ordered a silver dagger, in case of emergency, a silver necklace and bracelets and a few days later the knife was safely tucked under her bed within reach and the jewelry was on her body, 24/7.

After she left the jewelry store, her phone rang just as she sat down in her car again. She put her purse down, looked at the phone and realized it was Morgan. She answered it immediately. “Hey, where have you been? I’ve been so worried! I tried to call you so many times….”

Morgan was nothing if not apologetic, “I know, babe. I’m so sorry. I meant to call you but we had a situation at the shelter last night and it was crazy…..”

“Are you okay? What happened?” Bailey asked, now more worried than ever about him.

“Yes, I’m all right. One of the people at the shelter had an episode and it just went down hill after that… we were short staffed as usual. You know how it can be. I’ll tell you all about it later. But I’m so sorry I never had a chance to call you. I missed you. Are you all right?” Morgan asked.

“Well, I had a very unusual evening. Where are you at now?” Bailey responded.

“I’m on my way home now. Why?” he asked.

“Don’t go there. Don’t go home yet! Why don’t we meet somewhere and eat supper and catch up first and then go home?” Bailey suggested.

“Oh, all right. Now you’ve got my curiosity up. Okay, so why don’t we meet at the Pub – I can be there in just a few minutes?”

Bailey replied, “Yes, that’s perfect. I’m on my way now. Morgan…”

Morgan realized something was a bit different in her voice, “Babe, you okay?”

“Yes, I’m okay…. I’ll talk to you in just a few minutes. I love you – be careful,” was all she could get out.

“I love you too. See you in a minute,” Morgan said as he heard the phone go dead on the other end.

Chapter 4

A few nights later Morgan rolled over under the heavy covers and draped his arm over Bailey. She smiled absently and sighed in her sleep. Morgan was a happy man – not one to always say what he felt, words were never his strong suit, he knew he could never put into words exactly what she meant to him if asked by another. She had filled a void in his life that he didn’t even know was there. Best of all, she accepted him for the man he was now, rather than the man his father had tried to make him out to be when he was a young boy. Bailey accepted him at face value and only seemed to see the good in him.

Bailey had long hoped to have a man who could love her as she was and she tried to do the same, so instead of rejecting a persons weaknesses, she made it her mission to see the good in everyone, including him, instead of focusing on the bad. His father had built up a wall of hatred and loathing in him long ago and Morgan found it hard to allow anyone over it but Bailey seemed to be an excellent climber. He was glad for that.

His hateful father had found it funny to originally name him Mordred, though he never ever used that name, preferring Morgan instead. Mordred was the mortal opponent of King Arthur and Arthur was his fathers name. The irony was that Mordred and Arthur were always bitter enemies in the stories he had read, where as he, Mordred, aka Morgan, son of Arthur, his fathers name, had only ever wanted his fathers blessing and love.

His father, a nasty, vile and loveless man, had accused him of causing pain wherever he went. Really though, it was always Arthur who had done such a thing. If there wasn’t any kind of drama happening around him, he was well known to stir the pot until something bad happened. And most of that strife had been aimed at his son Mordred, now known as Morgan. Morgan never really understood why his father hated him so other than the fact that his mother had died in childbirth. Apparently an act Arthur never forgave his son for.

But as soon as Bailey had found him, he felt she released him from the hatred of an unforgiving father. He felt a weight lifted off of his shoulders. And he felt happy – real happiness, maybe for the first time in his whole life. It was a different kind of feeling but one that he hoped to be able to get used to. She was an exceptional woman with a bad background of her own, so maybe it was meant to be for the two of them to find each other and heal. As far as he was concerned, she would never have to worry again or look over her shoulder to see who might be there.

He smiled as he thought about the events of the night before. They had both had a stressful week – especially Bailey. And it was his desire to make her feel safe again. Morgan had gone down onto one knee just after a special candle lit dinner at their favorite restaurant and proposed to her. And thankfully she had accepted. He knew he was a lucky man and he would do everything in his power to make her happy and safe. He smiled at the memory.

He could still see the tears in her eyes but the sparkly diamond ring on her elegant finger now rested on the pillow next to her head. Morgan had no idea what he’d done to deserve a woman like Bailey. She was beautiful, friendly, kind, sweet, and sensible. Morgan thanked his lucky stars for the miracle that was Bailey, then closed his eyes, hugged her a little bit tighter and smiled at the happiness he now felt. He started to fall asleep.

Suddenly his eyes opened wide as he did his best to see the calendar on the other side of the room. What day of the month was it? Damn it, he couldn’t see the calendar from the bed, so he did his best to silently slide out from underneath the covers, hoping not to wake her. Morgan got up, padded across the large bedroom and crouched over the desk in the corner of the room trying to get a better look at the calendar. Still too dark to read it, he picked it up and held it next to the bedroom window as he slowly moved the curtains allowing a little bit of streetlight in.

“Damn it,” he said quietly to himself as shivers ran down his spine. With all the drama that had gone on in the past several days both at work and here at home he just realized that the days had gotten away from him – and tomorrow was the first night of full moon!

“Damn it,” he whispered to himself again – he hated the full moon. Always had hated the full moon – at least as long as he could remember. Basically it was two painful nights long. Ever since he had become an adult, somewhere around the age of thirteen or so, the first night of the moon had not been entirely enough to bring about the curse hibernating inside him, but the second night was a different story. The second night was strong – strong enough to cause him to lose every trace of humanity he had ever known.

Simply stated, Morgan was a werewolf – a fact that he had not yet shared with Bailey. In his family, the werewolf curse was passed from father to son. In fact, all of his male ancestors were werewolves as far back as he could remember. The change came on with every full moon, especially on the second night. When that happened his blood lust raged with such fervor that he often feared it might tear him apart if he didn’t tear someone else apart first. His entire life he had hated himself for the lives he’d claimed while under the control of the full moon.

But when Bailey came into his life a few months ago he noticed that things had changed almost immediately. For the first time in his life Morgan found that he could control the blood lust. In fact, strangely enough, on some nights he could even resist the change in part, and sometimes even in full. She was his lucky charm and her love was so strong it allowed him to take control of the beast within him. Of all the things in his life, this was the one change that mattered most to him and proved that she was the perfect woman for him.

Morgan did his best to hide this single fact from her and so far he had been completely successful. It was simple but so far he always managed to arrange to be out of town for business on the nights of the full moon, carefully using business trips or visiting long lost friends in other cities as an excuse just so he wouldn’t be near her when the change came on. Bailey was trusting and had allowed him the freedom to travel freely as needed so far, and because of all of this he’d been able to hide his curse from her.

Chapter 5

Due to his oversight, though, tomorrow and the next night would be a problem. He cursed to himself for not keeping better track of the dates despite all the recent drama. But tonight he worried that he simply wouldn’t have any time to arrange a trip or come up with a credible cover story on such short notice. His other part time job never called on him just out of the blue. Panic ran through his body as he tried to think of any good and believable way out. He knew that he still couldn’t risk her seeing anything. It was way too early in their relationship.

Over the course of their budding relationship he’d become more and more able to control his transformation. Many nights, in fact, he was able to stay almost completely human. A lay person seeing him in such a transformation now might only notice a slight sharpening of his teeth or maybe an outbreak of extra hair on his back or hands. But, still, that didn’t happen all the times and sometimes he was more wolf than man. He knew he couldn’t risk having her see it.

Just then Bailey stirred in the bed, stretched her long arms above her head, and yawned. She rolled over, noticed Morgan was missing then pushed herself up on her elbows, and looked sleepily across the room to try and locate him in the dark. Finally she saw him standing next to the window holding the calendar in his hands.

“Morgan, what are you doing?” she asked, wiping at her eyes and looking at the clock now.

“Sorry, babe. I didn’t mean to wake you. I was just thinking.”

Bailey replied, patting the covers, “Come back to bed, honey, it’s lonely here without you.”

Morgan smiled at her comment and walked back to the bed slowly, carefully sliding in next to her. She wrapped her arms around his body as soon as he got back in.

“Baby,” he started, unsure what to say to her next, “I just realized that I have to go out of town for a few days. That’s why I was looking at the calendar.”

“What for?” she sat up in bed and looked over at him with her big brown eyes.

“For my part time sales job. With all that had gone on for the last week or so I completely forgot that they were sending me to a sales conference.”

“Really? On such short notice? But why didn’t you tell me about it?” Bailey asked.

“I meant to tell you about it – I’ve known about it for a little while, but it just slipped my mind. After your night from hell the other evening and my own blow out at the shelter things have just gotten out of hand… and I forgot. I just forgot… that’s all it was. I’m sorry, but that’s all it was – just a slip of my memory.”

Morgan’s heart was beating so fast and loud in his chest as he told Bailey the lie he thought she might even hear it. But she had to fall for it – she had to, he wouldn’t know what else to do if she didn’t. She sat quietly in the bed for a moment, frowning as she processed this new information. She looked at him for a moment as if she wanted him to say more. Then she simply asked one question.

“Okay,” she said eventually, “so how long will you be gone?”

“Not long at all,” he lied. “Two days and two nights total,” he said, breathing out relieved that she hadn’t flipped out at the short notice. “You won’t even miss me – I’ll be back before you know it, I promise,” he kissed her on the top of her head and hugged her even tighter.

Bailey didn’t say anything for a few seconds and Morgan began to worry as they lay there quietly. He knew she wasn’t going to sleep – not this easy. And just then she sat up in bed and asked, “I had no idea you were a speaker, Morgan… you’ve never mentioned that to me before? How often have you done it?”

BOOK: The Reluctant Wolf: A Paranormal Romance (Werewolves and Shifters)
11.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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