Besttace, p.1
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       BestTace, p.1

           Jana Leigh
 
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BestTace


  Trace: Following Your Destiny

  By Jana Leigh

  Editing: Kerri Good

  Published by JK Independent Publishing

  No part of this book may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form, or by any means.

  Electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

  © Copyright 2012 Jana Leigh. All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author From the Author: Thank you to all those who have sent encouraging email and messages.

  You can check out my web site: janaleigh.webs.com. Alternatively, contact me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jana-Leigh/252352951490534.

  Email: [email protected]

  Dear Readers,

  There are so many characters in these books and for me they have become family. So at my website is the family tree I have made so that you can all see where I am heading and where we have been. You have been such amazing fans and I have said this so many times that you may not actually believe me but it’s true. YOU are the best fans in the world! I have been inspired and humbled by your responses on Facebook and my website.

  For those of you who do not know, I have embarked on a business deal with my editor and good friend, Kerri. We have developed JK Independent Publishing, to help other self published authors get their names out there. She puts up with the hysterical phone calls and texts daily, and for that alone she needs recognition. She has the most important job, other than being my business manager, senior editor and ‘keeping the high maintenance author in line’ person. So I love you, Kerri in a completely dependent and deeply disturbed way and now that we are partners, you may never leave me.

  Prologue

  After a week in the Seattle negotiating territorial lines between two Aeries’, Bald Eagle, Trace Pete was glad to be home in Niarada before the weekend. This small town in Montana on the Salish Indian reservation suited his personality and lifestyle. Now he’d been called in to Aerie headquarters, a small building near the center of town.

  Trace thought about his plans for the weekend. Friday’s full moon, day after tomorrow, would be a fun time in the Aerie, a real celebration of their kind. The moon was a talisman for all shifters. He smiled when he thought about the birds actually celebrating the full moon. It was one of the few things that all shifters had in common.

  Trace wore his favorite snakeskin boots, pressed jeans and a new ‘Gray Eagle’ Resistol.

  He bought the cowboy hat in Seattle because he couldn’t resist the name. He hadn’t even unpacked, so it must be important, he thought as he went to answer the call of his Aerie’s Peck. As he walked, he wondered why he had been asked to come in. He was of the age to start courting a mate, maybe she was going to ask why he was delaying. How could he answer that none of the eagles in his Aerie appealed to him, he didn’t think she’d like that response. Trace knocked on the door and figured he shouldn’t borrow trouble, it could be something else entirely, he hoped.

  “Come in, Trace” said Genaya from her desk where she dealt with tribal business. “Go ahead and sit down. It’s time you were given some information that’s been kept from you.” She noticed the puzzled look on his face as he sat in the chair.

  Probably thought I was going to be pecking at him about courting a female, she smiled to herself. “Trace, as you know I was very supportive of you becoming a mediator and starting your company. Your success has made the Aerie and me extremely proud of you. Tell me, how many associates do you have at the firm now?”

  “Three, I have three that I’ve been training for various lengths of time from one year to five years,” he answered more confused than ever.

  “That’s very good. Another question, do you keep up on shifter politics at all? Are you aware of the New Council and the New Council Prophecy?” Shane looked at his leader like she had grown a second head. First she asks about his business, which surprised him because he was quite aware that she received weekly updates on all of the businesses that affect the Aerie. Now she was asking about the New Council. What the hell was going on? Why did he feel like the next few moments were going to change his life forever?

  “Yes, even though the bulk of my mediation work is with humans, we’ve recently started to become known to shifter groups. The changes in the shifter community have been a hot topic. Several of the mediations have surrounded shifters who want to remain in the background, unknown to humans, while others want to come out. I figure in the next few years I’ll get a lot of these requests as the New Council gears up and starts setting and enforcing its laws. Do you want me to take on a mediation or negotiation on behalf of the Aerie and the New Council? I would love to get my foot in the door with them.” Trace thought as he asked that it would be a wonderful opportunity, and he hoped his shot in the dark question would turn out to be correct.

  “This is not really about a job, well a job for your company, this about your past and your future. I need to tell you something your parents shared with me shortly before their deaths. They gave me some information about your future that I kept from you, both for your safety and so that I could make sure the time was right. That information is why I encouraged you to pursue mediation and negotiation as a career choice and went so far as to lend Aerie funds to your start up and then used my resources to get you referrals. Because I knew what your future held and wanted to prepare you the only way I knew how.” Trace frowned and looked at her, holding his breath for a moment. This was not like him. He was always in control and logical, but right now he felt like things were coming apart at the edges. Trace did not like to talk about his parents, the memories bothered him. “It was your parents’ wish that you be well prepared for your destiny and I agreed with them. You see, they were not born to this Aerie, I know that you have always assumed that, but when they came to me, they were scared and on the run. I gave them protection and allowed them to join the Aerie.”

  “Okay.” Trace said and thought this was not so bad. He would put this in the back of his mind and process it later as he did habitually.

  “I promised them I would keep their secret as long as necessary, but the time has come for you to know the truth. Your parents were Eagle ambassadors to the Old Council.

  When you were born in Europe, things were in such turmoil. They felt the best thing for you was to get you away from the people who were looking to harm you. They also felt they couldn’t return to their own tribal lands. As you know, though our eagles prefer to migrate, our humans become more connected with our tribes. They couldn’t go home and so they asked me if they could come here,” she said watching him closely.

  “Now, you’re confusing me,” he said. “Why the hell would anyone want to harm me?”

  “I’m getting to that part; it’s because of your destiny, to stop the prophecy from coming true. You are one of the Chosen and the time has come for you to take your rightful place on the New Council,” she said and sat back, trying to gauge how he was taking the news that his life as he knew it was a lie.

  Trace remained silent for a few moments; he was not going to be able to put this in the background. He had to deal with this now. First, the anger of being lied to came to the surface and Trace wanted to lash out. Only his training held him back.

  “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? It’s been over a year since the New Council has started coming together.”
He didn’t mean to sound accusatory to his Peck. “I believe I had a right to know.”

  Genaya looked at him and said, “I felt it was not the right time.”

  “Is that really your decision to make? It was and is my future. I think I’ve proven that I am more than capable of making my own decisions.” Trace could not keep the bitter tone in his voice out. “How do you know I am one of the Chosen, my parents may have been wrong.”

  She smiled gently at him. “You always were the one who had to have all the facts before you accepted something. Here are the papers that your parents left.” Trace reached for them and then took a moment to read them. It was a statement from the Old Council pronouncing him one of the Chosen. He raised his eyes to his leader and knew she could see the anger in them. Genaya raised her eyebrows and he continued to frown at her. Finally, she sighed and explained.

  “Our Aerie’s seer came to me five years ago. He knew that at some point in the future you would be going to Colorado. He saw an explosion and said that if you went before the explosion took place that you wouldn’t be able to stop it and that you would be killed. He also saw an alternate future, you with your mate and chicks if you waited.

  Two possible futures and I needed to make sure you took the second future. Now is the right time for you to go.” And she smiled at him.

  “If the seer saw an explosion, why didn’t you warn them?”

  “If I had known, I would have. The vision showed death and then no death. The way we interpreted it was that if you weren’t there, there would be no explosion. The vision was incomplete. I am relieved that no one was hurt seriously.” Trace nodded and then sat back and processed all he’d heard. He knew it was useless to argue his destiny, but it still angered him that so much had been held back from him.

  Where would he have been if they had told him the truth a long time ago, he thought and closed his eyes. He was relieved that Genaya gave him the time to think, she did know him well. This was a bombshell though, how was he supposed to respond to it?

  On one hand, he was angry and on the other, excited.

  “This is hard to accept,” he whispered and opened his eyes slowly. “Me, one of the Chosen?”

  “You are more than equipped to handle this. I would like to say that I’m sorry that I kept this from you but I can’t. I really don’t think you were ready to hear all of this.

  There were other things you needed to deal with first,” she said softly and he looked up at her.

  “This means that I’m not Salish either and have no place on this reservation. Do you know my tribe?” He was not going to think about that the rest right now. It would cause too many painful memories and waste time. He needed to find the answers he deserved. Slowly and calmly, he started asking questions. He needed to hear it all, for this he fell back on his training, the rest could be dealt with later, he thought.

  “Yes, you are Diné or as the whites say Navajo, born of the ‘Ats ‘osi Dine’ clan, the Feather People clan, as was your mother. And born for the K’aa’ Dine’ clan, the Arrow People for your father,” she told him. “Put that aside for now, I will give you all of your parent’s things and some materials on Diné culture you can look over as you drive to Colorado. I’ll also give you contact information for the Peck of your Diné Aerie, the one you were born into. Niyol has kept up with you through me and has also referred clients to you when she could. It’s a good thing you are going straight to Colorado, she has a great many nieces she would like to introduce to you,” Genaya said with a laugh.

  They went on to discuss all the facets of the prophecy, recent events, and what his most likely role would be. “We will miss you in the Aerie and I wish you well finding your mates in Colorado.”

  Trace smiled back “That’s right, I will have two mates, I’m not sure I can keep two females happy. Oh, why did you ask about my associates when we first started this conversation?” He asked and thought of the answer himself but let his Peck answer anyway, he didn’t want to interrupt.

  She smiled as she had seen the enlightenment on his face. “Yes, they can take over the business. You paid off your original investors years ago, and the firm’s reputation is excellent. I’m sure they’ll have no problems getting loans to buy the firm from you. Go ahead now, just pack up your dogs and your suitcases. Anything else you think you’ll need we can send. But since you’re getting mates, you may need to build a new aerie and pay for new furniture. Let us know, there are always others who have less that would be glad of a parting gift.” Genaya finished. “But you will not have two females, I don’t think; I believe you’ll share a female with another male. The female in the seer’s vision was such that I think you’ll be glad of the help.” And she laughed.

  “More cryptic comments, Genaya? Wait, did you say a male and female mate?” He said and sat stunned.

  She smiled and said, “Not all matings are sexual. Your male mate will have a deep connection nonetheless. There are things to come that even I cannot tell you. You will need him to help you protect your future.”

  Trace frowned and nodded again. “I need to get my stuff together, I suddenly feel the need to face the future,” he said and Genaya laughed at his eagerness. She had known once Trace knew the truth he would leave immediately. He had been waiting too long to find his mates. “I will take just my clothes and personal family belongings, feel free to donate the rest; and actually it will take some time to sell my house. If anyone is in need, I’d appreciate it if they would stay and act as a caretaker for me. I’m not in need of funds right now, so I can wait a few months to put it on the market,” Trace replied back, getting the strong hint that she already had a family in mind.

  “Wonderful, drive safely and keep in touch. You’ll not be back here to stay and I worry you’ll let go of us, you may not be Salish in your body, but you are Salish in our hearts.”

  “That will never happen, Genaya; I will hold the Aerie in my soul.” And he got up and walked out. As he stepped out of the office into the hall, he could see a family of five coming towards him. He recognized them and knew they’d recently lost their home in a forest fire. He nodded and smiled as they passed in the hall. As usual amongst his people, their clothes might be new or old and a family might be having problems; however, they walked tall and proudly and were clean and neatly dressed. I’d better get home and pack up the rest of my stuff. Good thing I didn’t unpack from the last trip it looks I’ll be on the road again. He thought back to the family he’d passed in the hall and was expecting to hear from Genaya before evening. His house was small, but it looked like he’d have caretakers before dark. Well maybe they could help him pack up his clothes and he might get a home cooked meal out of it, he thought with an inward smile.

  Trace was looking forward to the drive, it was about a 1000 miles, he better get an early start, get it done in one day. His two huskies, Lois and Clark, were good travelers too.

  ***

  A day had passed since he’d found out the truth. Since then so many things had happened. As was his way, Trace had thought long and hard while he packed his belongings and loaded his truck. He was glad he had chosen to leave so early to drive as it gave him the time he needed to work through his feelings. He was good at that, putting things in perspective and compartmentalizing. In a few more hours he would be ready to speak to Genaya, ask the questions burning through his brain about why his parents had lied to him and asking questions about what she might know about his home clan and Aerie. He was halfway there when he contacted Niyol his Peck in New Mexico, though he’d had to use an interpreter because she refused to speak English.

  Genaya was right, she had been planning to introduce him to all of her nieces born into other clans in hope one would prove to be his mate. He’s promised to visit as soon as things settled down in Milliken. Now he was focused on his future and the job he needed to do. Plus he needed to learn to speak Navajo.

  As Trace drove down the highway, he kept on the lookout for a gas station and thought o
f all that his Peck had told him. The betrayal of one of the Old Council members had disheartened the elders and they had splintered. Trace knew he would have an upward battle getting them all working in harmony together again. It seemed that there were a lot of hard feelings about what Oliver, the Alpha of the Old Council, had allowed Braden, the Beta of the Old Council and new Rogue leader, to be in control of. When Oliver’s child had been kidnapped, he had fallen apart. It sounded like Braden had taken a lot more control than should have been allowed. Because of this, all these years, Braden had been working against the Chosen. Oliver had been ill and those around him had not gathered to heal him, they had separated themselves. Trace believed that Braden had nurtured the separations, making sure the Old Council remained fractured.

  Now he would have a part in cleaning up the mess. Trace wondered how Oliver would deal with his involvement in the Old Council. The man had to be feeling guilt and shame; it was going to be Trace’s job to bring the man back to what he once was, the Alpha of the Old Council.

  The New Council was essentially up and running. They only needed two remaining Chosen to move on to the next phase of their destiny. Trace knew that they had to be brought together and each of the Chosen must bear a child, in order for the prophecy to come true. He was excited about the prospect of having a child. Trace would be the kind of parent he dreamed his father would have been had he lived. Teaching the fledglings to soar and catch a salmon while flying over a lake. It would be amazing.

  The next phase of their destiny would take a little while. The New Council was going to lead them into the human world. Bringing their existence out in the open and stop the humans being used for their money and power without their knowledge. They would work together with the humans.

 
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