Authors: T. E. Ridener
Tags: #werebears in tennessee, #Shape-shifters, #shifters, #Romance, #werewolves in tennessee, #Paranormal, #paranormal m/f romance, #Werewolves, #new adult paranormal romance, #adult paranormal romance, #Werewolves & Shifters, #paranormal romance in tennessee, #paranormal m/m romance, #werebear romance, #Literature & Fiction
The Siege of Kadenburg
The Kadenburg Shifters Series, Volume 3
Published by T.E. Ridener, 2014.
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
THE SIEGE OF KADENBURG
First edition. June 29, 2014.
Copyright © 2014 T.E. Ridener.
Written by T.E. Ridener.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for you,
, so please let me thank you first and foremost.
For my Double J’s
, I love you to the moon and back. You are truly the greatest niece and nephew an aunt could ask for. Thank you for inspiring me, loving me, and believing in me. I hope that one day you will realize the stars are never beyond your reach.
For my sister-in-law
, you’ve always been my rock and I will forever be grateful for that. Thank you for never letting me give up even when I wanted to.
Jasmine and Lauren
, the very best PAs a gal could ask for. You two go above and beyond for me every day. Thank you for keeping me grounded. Thank you for taking a chance on me and doing all that you do.
My street team
, you are the greatest! Thank you for your tireless ‘pimpage’ and always being there to listen. You ladies have done an outstanding job and I am incredibly lucky to have you in my life.
To the betas
, you rock! Thank you for continuing this adventure with me.
o my fans
, for always waiting so patiently for the next story, for reviewing my books and sharing them everywhere you can, for your encouraging words and amazing support: THANK YOU.
od, I hate it,” he groaned as he doubled over and clutched his stomach. “This feels worse than that time I ate really old pizza and ended up in the hospital with food poisoning.”
“Just try to pace your breathing, Rut,” Dimitri offered in a gentle tone as he patted his back. “It’ll help, I promise.”
“Nothing is going to help this,” Rutley replied through clenched teeth. He sucked air into his lungs, lowering his head as his free hand slammed against the cool ground. “What are the chances of this killing me, huh?”
“You’re not going to die,” Dimitri rolled his eyes. He shifted, seating himself on the ground as he stretched one leg out, the other bent at the knee as he cocked his head to the side. “I’ve never known of a person dying from the bite-or the change. You’re going to be okay.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Rutley mumbled, gasping as the sound of bones snapping echoed through the night. “Ow, fuck! What was that?”
“Your bones are breaking,” Dimitri frowned. “It’ll get easier with time.”
“The hell it will,” the wolf-hunter-now-turned-werewolf replied. “I think I’ll pass on ever doing this again.”
Dimitri pursed his lips together, tilting his head back to gaze at the starry night sky. The snow was coming soon, but he didn’t really have a choice on the timing for Rutley’s first shift. He needed to teach him to control his urges as quickly as possible. Sheriff Holter was already threatening Mr. Bamey with shiny bracelets if he didn’t reveal where Rutley had gone off to.
It was bad enough Mr. and Mrs. Bamey were covering for him, let alone trying to protect Rutley as well. It was too much trouble. If Dimitri was capable of taking care of something, he wanted to. Rutley was definitely one of those capabilities; especially considering Dimitri was now his alpha.
“I can’t do this,” Rutley whined as he fell back against the ground and stared at the sky. “It feels like labor, doesn’t it?”
Dimitri lifted a brow, staring at the other male in confusion, “Come again?”
“You know what they say….” Rutley licked his lips. His eyes closed as he grimaced. “Labor for a woman is supposed to feel like twenty bones breaking at once or something…..so I’m guessing that’s exactly what shifting is going to feel like, too.”
“Am I close?” Rutley asked after a few seconds. “Tell me I’m close because this is frigging ridicul—OW.”
Dimitri winced, frowning as he pressed his palm against the ground, hovering above Rutley as he watched the male’s eyes pop open. His usual baby blue hues were a furious bright teal, and that caused Dimitri’s heart to jump for some reason. He’d never seen such beautiful eyes before…..
“Try to think of something else,” Dimitri murmured gently. “Think of your mother.”
“I don’t remember her all that well,” Rutley growled, arching his back. “And don’t ask me to think about my grandma because I can only ever recall washing her dentures.”
Dimitri bit back a smile in spite of himself, shaking his head.
“What about your mom?” Rutley asked between pants of breath. “Did you ever figure that out?”
Dimitri didn’t really want to think about that, actually. He knew what Natalie said that night in the Bamey house could very well mean Breslin Connor was his father-and he refused to ever believe that. There was no way in hell he came from such a monster. It was impossible.
“How much longer will this last?” Rutley asked, tugging Dimitri out of his thoughts.
“However long it takes for your body to give in to the wolf.”
“Oh, that’s great. So now I have some sort of split personality? Consider me surrendering! I’m done! He can have it!”
“It doesn’t work like that,” Dimitri sighed, reaching his hand out to push Rutley’s blond hair away from his eyes. “He isn’t trying to take over, Rut. He wants to be one with you.”
“I’ll give him whatever he wants as long as it stops hurting.”
“It won’t be much longer.” Dimitri promised. He shifted, sitting Indian style as he reached down and gripped Rutley’s wrist between his large hands.
“What are you doing?” Rutley asked, lifting his head off the ground to stare at him with wide eyes.
“I’m going to take your mind off the pain.” Dimitri glanced at him briefly.
Rutley’s mouth fell open, “You better not pull any of that Major Pay—Ow! Fuck! Shit! Fuck! Why?!”
feel bad for the fact he was deliberately crushing the bones in Rutley’s wrist, but it was the only way he could get the boy to give in to the wolf. If he distracted him with this pain, then the other pain would be forgotten.
“Oh, you frigging asshole!” Rutley howled, writhing in agony as he cradled his wrist against his chest and rolled away from him.
“I’m sorry.” Dimitri said softly, listening as the bones in Rutley’s body snapped like spaghetti noodles. It was a sickening noise, and he supposed he’d forgotten how disturbing the noises could be-he’d done it so many times in the past.
It wasn’t long before Dimitri found himself staring at a massive blonde wolf. It stood timidly from the ground, shaking the dirt away from its fur before licking at its snout. He knew it would take a lot of getting used to, but Rutley would come to his senses soon enough.
“See? It wasn’t
bad, was it?” Dimitri asked as he lazily rested his elbows against his knees.
The wolf huffed, blinking at him.
Another small smile played at Dimitri’s lips as he tilted his head to the side.
“You do realize I can totally hear your thoughts, right?” Dimitri asked after a moment.
The wolf’s ears perked up before it released a soft whine. Rutley was scared.
“Hey, no,” Dimitri whispered, reaching out to gently scratch behind the wolf’s ears. “You’re going to be okay. I promise you’re not in this alone, all right? I’ll teach you everything you need to know. This isn’t something you have to do on your own, Rut. I’m your alpha. I’ll take care of you.”
The wolf seemed pleased with his response as it stepped closer, pressing its wet nose against his cheek. Dimitri stroked the length of its back as he chuckled.
“The hardest part is over,” He promised, pulling his head back slightly to stare into the wolf’s brilliant blue eyes. “How about a game of tag?”
ne month later
rc, can you help me with this?”
Sometimes, Presley really hated the fact that she was so short. It was hard to reach certain things in the house, and she had the worst hankering for honey at the moment. She stretched up on her tiptoes again, grunting in frustration when her fingertips barely grazed the bottom of the jar.
“Here.” Lorcan said from behind her, one hand falling to her waist as he reached above her to grab the jar easily.
“You are a lifesaver. Thank you,” She sighed, gripping the jar between her hands like a prized possession as she slowly turned around to face him. “I thought I was going to have to grab the broom to get it down.”
Lorcan gazed down at Presley with a tender smile, his eyes sweeping over her face before he leaned in to kiss her lips.
“You’ll never have to use the broom to get things down as long as I’m around.” He promised, kissing her again.
Presley’s entire body heated up as his arms slowly circled around her. Her body melted against his much harder one as she found herself becoming lost in his kiss. This always happened.
“I love you.” She whispered, pulling away after a moment.
“I love you, Pretz. Always have and always will,” he nodded, allowing her to pull away as he crossed his arms over his chest. “So are you robbing my mother blind of her honey because you’re hungry or because of the baby?”
Presley couldn’t hide the smile as it grew bigger on her lips. She instinctively reached down to rest her hand against her stomach, glancing at him over her shoulder.
“Your mother was kind enough to give me this jar, thank you very much. Why wouldn’t our baby want honey?”
“I was just asking,” Lorcan chuckled. “I’m going to head back outside and help Dad with the porch. We’ve almost got it finished.”
“Okay.” Presley called out to him as the screen door swung shut.
She sighed, gazing around the small kitchen as a gentle breeze swept through the open window. It was only a temporary weather break, but she loved the bright sunshine and the autumn-like feel of the day. She couldn’t wait for fall to arrive, actually. She knew that by then, she and Lorcan would be welcoming their cub into the world and nothing made her happier.
Nearly a month had already passed by since that fateful night when Colin Grimes sentenced Lorcan to death. Presley was grateful she could figure out a solution before losing him. She knew, deep down, that she couldn’t live without him.
It was sort of funny how that worked out. She fully understood how deep an ursithrope’s love could run now, and there was no way in the entirety of the universe that she could continue living happily without Lorcan by her side. He truly was her one and only, and a world without him was not a world she wanted to live in.
I wouldn’t be like my mother.
She reminded herself as she carefully opened the jar of honey and gazed at the golden substance inside.
I would live for our cub. I won’t throw it away like a bad reminder.
That wound was still incredibly fresh for her. She was happy that her aunt Natalie was back in her life, but Presley often worried that her mother would pop up out of nowhere and toss a wrench into the small bit of contentment she’d only just managed to find. As far as Presley was concerned, Caroline Goult could stay gone.
Colin was sent away, forbidden to ever return to Kadenburg. Uncle Arnold insisted that he be put to death since he was so hell bent on Lorcan and Rutley dying, but Davey Berdine made his own argument by saying the old rules needed a bit of updating anyway. Presley didn’t agree with that. Lorcan and Rutley
have died without her small stroke of genius. Dimitri came to the rescue with agreeing to give Rutley the bite that would change him into something other than human, and it was the only loophole that kept the love of her life from being executed. Colin
have died for what he did.
Oh well. It’s too late to think about that now. What’s done is done.
She nodded, scooping up a spoonful of honey as she lifted her eyes to gaze out the window.