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Embers curse prime wolf, p.16
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       Ember's Curse (Prime Wolf), p.16

           Gena D. Lutz
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  I didn't witness him finish the guy off because I was tackled by the two remaining guards. I didn't waste any time trying to maneuver my way out from underneath them. Instead, I started to rip and tear anything in my way. One of them got ahold of my hair and started pounding my head into the stone. My ears rang from the abuse and I could feel blood slide down the side of my face. A fog began to roll over my eyes and my movements became sluggish. I barely felt when my ankle snapped. The air whooshed out of my lungs when two knees landed on my stomach, another crack signaled a rib breaking. My wolf whimpered inside of me but I could feel magic build around her. I could almost see her. She was backing up, away from the darkness of my pain. She shivered and looked for a safe place to hide. Then my dark beast emerged from the same darkness she was inching away from. My pain fed this wolf, made her stronger. She howled at the other half of her that slunk away like a coward and then leapt, teeth bared and snarling, into the spitting image of herself. They became one. I pushed out from underneath the vampire’s attack.

  My wolf roared through me and I threw my head back and savored its release. "Is that all you got?" I challenged. I shifted my foot and pushed off, turning my body into a weapon. With my claws out, I twirled like a tornado.

  When I finished spinning, I looked back at them. A small smile crept over my face as I watched their two heads, and a few other body parts, roll across the floor.

  Chapter 19

  I staggered away from the blood that slowly pooled out from underneath the dead vampires. The thick goo also painted the walls like a certifiably insane or death crazed Michelangelo might have. There was a severed arm wedged between the bars of one of the empty cells. It hung there limp and weeping. The vampire it belonged to lay dead underneath it, his own blood dripped over his face, covering it in a glistening red. A thick splinter of wood stuck out from a wound in his chest, which was the weapon that I had used to deliver the killing blow.

  Collin gently pulled me from my thoughts and the gruesome scene before us. His eyes were blue again, not even a hint of red remained. Thank God. I'd seen enough of that color to last a lifetime.

  "We actually pulled it off. There's not even one of those bastards left standing," he said, putting his arm around me. I leaned against the comfort of his body. My ankle was still in the process of healing and now that the rush of magic had subsided, I could feel the stabbing pain that came along with it. My ribs were the first to mend, so thankfully, my breathing wasn't as labored as it had been only minutes ago.

  "Yes, my love. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless I suppose."

  I wasn't happy about what we had just done. The slower gate in my steps and the hunch of my shoulders proving that, but I was satisfied with the fact that Collin and I were fortunate enough to have lived through it all. Killing in the name of defense was still murder, and it left me with a queasy feeling in my gut.


  We climbed the narrow steps that lead back to Tommy’s den. The bulbs flickered as we passed them, probably caused by the residual magic surrounding us. I could see the back of the bookcase as we rounded the corner near the top. I took those final steps with a little more pep; I was anxious to put the underground compound behind me. The shelf pulled out with ease. Collin pushed it aside and light spilled into the passageway. I blinked several times to try to acclimate my eyes to the brightness. The room was empty when we walked into it. There were logs in the fireplace that had been burned down to just embers. They shone a bright red. I was so sick of the color red. After today, it would always remind me of death.

  "Do you think Harper and Milo were able to get the prisoners off the island safely?" I asked, looking around the abandoned room.

  "We can easily find out." Collin reached over and picked up the phone. He quickly dialed a number from memory then leaned against the desk to wait. "Hey man, you guys make it into town safely?" He listened for a while, nodding his head occasionally. "Glad to hear it. Do me a favor and check on Tegan. Tell her we're safe. See you soon."

  "Everyone's okay then?" I asked hopefully.

  "They’re all safe and sound at my place," he explained. He took my hand and released a heavy breath as his thumb absently stroked my fingers. It was a comforting touch. "There's something else."

  My muscled tensed up and I searched his face. "What is it?" I asked.

  "Nathan and Brady are missing. Milo said he searched Nathan's house and even went as far as to check Haven. But they came up empty."

  "Tyson must have taken them," I said, staring down at my bloodstained feet. "We have to find them."

  Collin placed his hands on my shoulders and leaned down low enough to stare me in the eyes.

  "We will," he assured me. The corners of his lips tipped down and he wiped away the stray tear that escaped from my eye. "But we have to get you home first."

  I shook my head. I barely had the energy to accomplish such a simple task. "There's no time for that. Who knows what they are doing to them. We can rest later."

  "You're going to rest now," he said, swinging me up into his arms. "Harper and a small group of my men are already out looking for them. There's nothing more we can do. So for now, we go home and recoup. We're no good to anyone in our condition."

  I had no choice but to go along with his plan. The lack of rest, food, and all the fighting, left me barely able to keep my eyes open. "You gave Milo your truck. How are we getting home?"

  Collin walked us out of the den and into the great room, where just a few nights before, the whole pack had gathered to celebrate my engagement to the enemy. If only they knew what had really gone down that night. I had a feeling that some of them had an idea of the betrayer Tommy had become. Werewolves have great instincts after all.

  "There's an Adelphi helicopter in a clearing a few miles from here. My men already secured this house and will be waiting to take us home." He leaned down and brushed his lips over mine.

  "Just close your eyes and sleep, we've done all we can for now."


  The sound of giant blades beating against the air jogged me from my deep sleep. I woke up belted into my seat with the top half of my body leaning against Collin. A searing pain pierced my stomach and I heaved forward, grabbing my knees. I gulped in several mouthfuls of air, but my lungs didn't seem to want to accommodate my efforts. Instead, they constricted and burned.

  Collin reached over to unfasten my buckle. He fumbled with the catch, cursing under his breath. When he finally unfastened the clip, he lifted me onto his lap.

  "What's wrong, baby?" he asked with a gentle voice.

  Pain racked my body so I had to force out a reply, "I think I need to feed."

  He reached his arm around me to unbutton his shirt. He shrugged it off one arm at a time. When he finished, I was repositioned into a more upright position. He was making it easier for me to reach his neck.

  "Feed from me," he urged.

  I shook my head against him and groaned. I didn't want to hurt him. I had never done this before, so I had no clue how much control I would have over my vampire self. What if I lost it and accidentally drained him?

  "I want to do this for you. Let me be the one to ease your pain," he said, pulling my face closer. My lips pressed up against him and I could feel a thumping pulse flutter underneath his skin. My tongue flicked out, tasting the salt and sweetness of him. It made me want to bite down hard; to take every bit of him into me that I possibly could. Somehow, I just knew that he would be the perfect filler of my needs. My ambrosia.

  I guess one little sip couldn't hurt, said a voice inside my head. The voice sounded strangely like my own. My fangs began to pulse and ache, and before I could stop myself, they sank deep into Collin’s neck. He grabbed hold of the back of my head with a groan. I wrapped my leg around his waist and pressed myself up against his hard length, pinning him under me. It fulfilled my sexual hunger for him and the need to keep him still while I drank.

  With his free hand, he pushed my ass down against h
im. Heat exploded from between my legs and built up with every one of his delicious thrusts. "My God, that feels so good," Collin said, still holding my mouth to his open wound. "Suck harder."

  He didn't have to tell me twice. I gulped down a few more mouthfuls, savoring every last drop. A persistent tingle knotted up in my belly. It was like my instincts were telling me that I had taken enough, a personal alarm system to keep me from killing my prey. So with a pout, I forced myself to pull away. Collin reached for me. His head was leaning heavy against the back of his chair. The puncture wounds at his neck were already healing and his coloring was good.

  My first real feeding had been a success. I looked down at the plain green shirt hugging my body. It hung long enough to reach the bottom of my knees. I hadn't noticed it before, but then again, I hadn't been in any condition to.

  "How are you feeling?" I asked. He looked just fine. There was a tiny amount of blood smudged on his skin where I had fed, but other than that, he sat there dazed with a goofy smile on his face.

  "We are definitely doing that again soon...and often," he said with a glint of promise and lust in his eyes.

  I gazed out the window at familiar land. I had run through the forests and drank from the streams we were now flying over.

  "You have a house in the prime's territory?" I questioned.

  He nodded his head, "I have one in every pack territory."

  I tried to estimate how many packs there were in the world. My eyes widened at the number. "There are at least two hundred claimed territories, Collin. Surely you’re not suggesting that you have as many homes," I chuckled.

  "I suppose you have a castle in Scotland as well," I jested.

  He reached around my waist to refasten my buckle. "We will be landing soon." A smile twitched at the corner of his mouth and before he spoke again, he wet his lips. "The Adelphi's main facility is located in Scotland."

  He was serious. "It's in a castle, isn't it?" I asked.

  "Yes, my curious Kitten. It's in a castle."

  "We are set for landing," the pilot announced.

  "Are you ready for a hot bath and a warm bed?” Collin asked me. His fingers crawled up my leg and my heart began to beat faster the farther up they traveled. "We can finish what we started."

  I stifled a moan. His offer was so tempting and not altogether impossible, but finding Nathan and Brady had to be dealt with first.

  "Right after we find our men." I looked deep into is glorious blues and my expression softened. "Then I'm all yours, Pookie.”

  His forehead pinched up in a frown and disgust washed over his face. "Pookie?" he questioned.

  "Keep calling me kitten and I will keep calling you worse things than that. It's all a part of your training."

  He leaned in until his mouth was almost touching mine and whispered softly against it, "Good luck with that.”

  Chapter 20

  I hopped out of the helicopter’s open hatch and pushed my way through the thick winds churning and beating against me from its blades. My hair slapped against my face like tiny whips stinging me. I scraped it back and held the long strands captive in my grip until I was far enough away for the wind to die down. I took in long, deep mouthfuls of air that was full of familiar scents; the nutty aroma of Fir trees, the clean crisp smell of grass spurting out from damp soil. I could taste the mildly humid scent of water rushing in a stream somewhere in the distance. My muscles relaxed for the first time in days. This was my land and it pulled at me like a siren’s call.

  Several people came rushing from the house to greet us. Some of their faces were unfamiliar but others I recognized from my time locked up in the cells. It seemed like forever since I'd seen them last, but in reality, it had only been a handful of hours.

  Leading the group, pumping his arms and legs as hard as he could, little Dane ran toward us. His face was beet red from the effort. The boy’s eyes were as big as saucers, and they were glued on me. I held my arms out to him and he barreled right into them. After holding him for a second, I set him in front of me.

  "Hi Dane, I see you're doing well."

  He bobbed a dirt smudged chin up and down. "I got to shift today," he said, hopping from one foot to the other. "Sadie says my wolf is huge!" he said holding his arms far apart; he looked so proud and happy. Seeing such an innocent smile helped in making things a little more bearable for me.

  "I knew you were a special wolf," I said, getting back to my feet.

  "Glad to see you made it out safe," said a soft voice. I turned to see who it belonged to. The female cop from earlier walked up and stood in front of me. I had to tip my head down so I could get a good look at her. She was out of the filthy clothes the Gatherers had put her in, and was now wearing a very comfortable looking pair of jeans with a black lace tank top that showed off a very impressive six-pack. Her black hair was still pulled back tight from her face, slanting her gigantic eyes. But this time it wasn't knotted up and dirty. It was clean and damp from a fresh wash.

  "Yeah," I said, glancing at everyone. "I wish I could say the same for Brady and Nathan." My fists clenched at the thought of them being at the mercy of Tyson. The desire to search for them rode me hard. "I never got your name," I said absently.

  "Sadie," she said, offering me her hand. I took it in mine and after a firm shake, turned to leave. I hesitated for a moment then glanced back. "Thanks for being so good to the cub. I appreciate it."

  "Hang on!" Sadie said, falling in behind me. "I'd like to help find the others, if that’s cool with you."

  I shrugged in answer. I was too tired to do anything else and who was I to stop her from trying to be useful?

  I waded through the group of wolves waiting to welcome us. All of them were reaching over one another trying to pat me on the back or arm, anywhere they could reach. It made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, but I smiled and nodded at them all as I hurried by.

  "Let her through, she needs to rest. You can all thank her later," Sadie announced to everyone. She then took it upon herself to grab my arm to help guide my sluggish body through the crush. "Some of them have been imprisoned in those cells for years," she explained.

  I saw an older lady squeezing the arm of a teenage boy tightly, who was her mirror image. Tears rolled down her face as she winked at me. I wondered how long it and been since she last held her son like that.

  "Tegan deserves their thanks, not me," I said remaining humble.

  She smiled, "If you say so."

  I climbed up the wooden steps leading to the backdoor of Collin’s house. To call it a house was putting it mildly. The building was massive.

  "Do you like it?" Collin asked. He ran up the stairs and held open the door. "I can have anything changed to fit your tastes, just say the word."

  I stood there stunned. My mouth fell open like a door without its hinges and I slowly shook my head. "It's perfect just the way it is." I somehow stammered out. And it was.

  Large stone pillars held up a wood balcony that towered high above us. It was the perfect setting to lounge around and lose oneself in a good book. The house stretched out long, and wide enough to take up the dimensions of half a football field. The entire back wall comprised of stone pillars. They matched the ones holding up the porch, with large panes of glass placed seamlessly between each one. Several of them were opened wide to an outdoor lounging area. There were a few werewolves lying around in animal form, next to the Olympic sized pool, taking full advantage of the warming sun. I felt like I was in another world, one where it was okay to be something other than human.

  "This is all yours now, Ember," Collin said, grabbing my hand with a feather light touch. "Would you like a tour of our room?" he asked wagging his brows at me.

  "Do you ever stop?" I asked amused.

  “Now that I have a woman as sexy as you to warm my bed? It’s not likely.”


  My bare feet sunk into the plush carpet that covered the floor of Collin’s bedroom. Everything was decorated in hues of
gold and tans with subtle punches of brilliant red. I gazed up at a tall ceiling that was bordered with crown molding; the moldings had different images of wolves meticulously carved into them. The scenes depicted in the wood were amazing. There was one with two wolf cubs playing by a lake. Another with a mated pair wrapped intimately around each other. The attention to detail was beautiful.

  My eyes landed on a round platform bed that sat smack dab in the middle of the spacious room. There were carpeted steps surrounding the bed frame and yards of silk pooled at the bottom of all four posters that attached to a wooden canopy. I walked over to the bed and stared in wonder at what was placed neatly on top of the plush blanket.

  "Are those for me?" I asked, practically drooling all over myself.

  Collin pulled off his shirt and tossed it aside. I was torn between ogling the guns displayed in front of me on the bed or the ones flexing and pulsing across the room. My gazed lingered more on the hunk but I still kept the .38 revolver in my peripheral.

  "I will explain the guns in a minute," he said, throwing on a fresh shirt. He rifled through a department store bag that sat next to the huge walk-in closet. Shirts and pants overflowed from it with tags still attached to them. With a smile, he pushed the bag in the closet and stood up. There was something in his hand, but he shoved it behind his back before I could see what it was.

  "What are you up to?" I asked him. He wore a devilish grin as he stalked slowly towards me. His gaze ran up and down my body and the musky scent of his desire assaulted my senses. My heart began to pound and raw heat spread throughout me, overtaking me, making me a puppet to his whims. He pressed his hard body to mine. I could feel the length of his erection up against my stomach and my legs weakened. I had no choice but to lean on the wall behind me. Collin smiled and with molten eyes, held my gaze. I returned the heat filled look with one of my own and he pressed himself even harder against me, pinning me between him and the wall. I was trapped. There was nowhere for me to run. There was no way in hell I wanted to. Collin reached down and slid the t-shirt from my body, dropping it to the floor. My nipples puckered at the sudden exposure to the cool room and his keen eyes zeroed in on them. He leaned down and slowly sucked one nipple into his mouth and then the other. Oh my God, his tongue felt so good as it traced the very tip of my breast, swirling in slow circles, then sucking the rosy bud back into his mouth. His hand traveled down my belly, and with a firm nudge, he pushed my legs apart, opening me up, giving him better access to my sex. He parted my folds and slipped one, then two fingers deep inside of me. A moan of pleasure escaped my lips and I gently bucked and rode his hand. The ball of his palm rubbed against my clit with delicious friction, making it swell from heat and arousal. I was close to the edge. I was hungry for it, for him. His tongue traveled down my body and I almost screamed out when it replaced the fingers delving expertly, in and out of me.

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