Spirit wolf a short stor.., p.1
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       Spirit Wolf: A Short Story, p.1

           Lisa Toppin
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Spirit Wolf: A Short Story
Spirit Wolf


  Copyright © 2011 Lisa Toppin

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidence either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locals is entirely coincidental.

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.

  Lowell’s Island was a lush, private haven off the northern tip of Long Island. The community was so exclusive, that with few exceptions, you had to have been born there to be allowed to set foot on the island. The short hike along the trail behind Greg’s house cleared Melissa head and helped her relax after being cooped up in the house for the last three days.

  Walking through the forest of pine and oak trees hearing nothing but the wind and the distant Atlantic, Melissa could almost imagine that she and her fiancee were on vacation. The stark truth was that Greg had to return to the island once a year to reaffirm his allegiance to the pack and pay pack dues in exchange for his freedom.

  Melissa felt the wolf in the yard before she saw it. The approaching wolf’s energy flowed over her like of horde of biting ants each sharp, stinging sensation seemed calculated to remind her who had the upper hand. She wondered when the Lupa would make an appearance.

  Melissa started moving toward the house. She hoped that the wards she’d set and the shot gun hidden under the bench on the porch would be enough to keep her alive.

  The wolf, a large, silvery gray female with delicate black markings stared at her with open contempt. Melissa didn’t recognize her in wolf form, but she was sure it was Roxanne; Lupa of the Lowell Island pack, her energy signature was unmistakable. The wolf stood five feet high at the shoulder, but Melissa couldn’t take her eyes off the black claws that looked strong enough to carve through stone.

  She side-stepped angling toward the safety of the porch once more, the movement drew a growl from the Lupa who flattened her ears and flashed her teeth in warning. The message was clear “don’t you move human.”

  Melissa froze. She breathed slowly willing herself to relax. The Lupa could smell her fear. In spite of the sweaty palms and queasy stomach Melissa straightened, standing tall claiming the area as her territory. She contemplated the comforting thought that if Roxanne was here to kill her she would already have been reduced to a cooling pile of meat strewn around the yard.

  “What do you want Roxanne?” Melissa said mustering as much of the dog whisperer’s calm assertiveness as possible wishing all the while that she’d set wards around the whole property. Roxanne growled again her hackles rising. Clearly, she expected Melissa to use her pack title.

  The Lupa had the power to sever any shifter from the pack bond which was a virtual death sentence. A lone shifter eventually lost control. When the wolf took over the bodies piled up fast. The only choice to protect the pack was to kill the lone wolf. Melissa edged back a few more feet.

  She was close enough now that, at a dead run, she might make it before Roxanne was on her. She was already turning to run when the shifter’s energy surged and the change was on her. Melissa watched the fur retract into the woman’s skin. Even after seeing Greg shift many times, she wasn’t immune to the wonder of the Change. The sound of Roxanne’s bones cracking as they shifted position got Melissa moving.

  When she stood in her human form the Lupa was covered with a light sheen of sweat. At five foot seven Melissa was above average height. Roxanne stood at least six inches taller. Being up on the porch gave Melissa the advantage of not having to crane her neck to look up at the naked, pissed off, Amazon standing in the yard.

  Roxanne’s wide shoulders balanced her hips and accentuated her narrow waist. The Lupa’s café au lait skin and red hair reminded Melissa of an exotic flower that while it was beautiful it was also toxic. The Lupa stalked over to the landing. Melissa focused on strengthening the ward she saw it, in her mind, as a shining wall surrounding the house. Roxanne looked as though she would have climbed the stairs, but she couldn’t seem to move past the first one.

  She smiled a tight, nasty smile. “I heard you were a witch. I wanted to see for myself.”

  Melissa sagged a little relieved that the ward held. She wanted to correct the witch to Mage. She wasn’t surprised; most people got it wrong. Witches invoked gods and while Mages worked directly with Mana, the energy field that encompassed all existence. She decided that now wasn’t really the time for that discussion.

  “You’re going to have to leave your little house sometime you know.” Roxanne said finger combing her hair into place.

  “We would have left two days ago if...” Melissa stilled feeling the increasing pressure on her ward. The air seemed to thicken. Roxanne was trying to break through using the pack’s energy.

  Melissa gave a mental shove; the ward bulged and pushed Roxanne back hard. She fell on her ass in what should have been an undignified heap. Furious, the Lupa leapt at the porch and was knocked back again with an audible crack. Her eyes shifted to the ice blue of her wolf and when she bared her teeth she flashed a mouthful of fangs.

  “Get off my island.” Her voice took on gravelly tones.

  Melissa reached under the bench and pulled out the sawed off shotgun Greg had hidden there just in case. The gun in her hands was heavy, cold and very reassuring.

  “Accept the dues and we’re out of here.” Melissa said.

  Roxanne growled her fury the diamond engagement ring on the other’s finger was another act of defiance she’d tolerated for too long. She took a swipe at Melissa claws extended from partially shifted hands. Melissa flinched back pumping the shotgun prepared to fire at least once before the shifter killed her. Melissa released the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding.

  “You can never be his mate.” Roxanne said suddenly changing tactics “Have some pride and walk away while you can.”

  That vicious little barb hit its mark. Blood rushed to Melissa’s face, her dark chocolate coloring would have hidden the blush from anyone but Roxanne. Melissa fired the gun over Roxanne’s head. She had a moment of satisfaction as Roxanne ducked startled by the shot. Roxanne wouldn’t forget showing fear to a lowly human.

  “The next one will be in the gut Roxy.” She said. “I know it won’t kill you, but healing it would be really inconvenient.”

  The shifter turned her back on Melissa and slowly walked out of the yard. She’d be back. Next time Melissa knew there wouldn’t be any conversation. She watched Roxanne until she disappeared into the trees. Still clutching the shotgun she went inside and collapsed on the couch.

  “Why didn’t you call me?” Greg yelled when he returned about an hour later. Frustrated, he’d wasted much of the day attempting to complete his business with the pack. “Her scent is all over the yard.” The door slammed followed by the sound of dishes crashing to the floor.

  “Damn.” Melissa said. She’d had a dozen plates spinning in mid air before she lost focus. She started picking up the porcelain collecting the largest pieces first.

  “Males can’t interfere in female dominance fights.” She tried to focus on cleaning up the broken dishes.

  “That doesn’t apply to you. You’re not Pack.” Greg said, hating the hurt in her eyes. He wished he could cut ties with the pack. Living in New York was just the illusion of freedom, he was tied to the pack as tightly as ever. He reached out to caress her cheek.

  “I survived.” She wanted to refuse the touch, but her body wouldn’t obey. She leaned into him savoring his his warmth.

  “This time.” The only reason he’d brought her to the island was that Roxanne dem
anded it as a condition of accepting his pack dues.

  “If I was your mate she would have to back off.” She got the broom and started sweeping up the smaller pieces of crockery. She could see the tension in his long lean frame. He paced restlessly back and forth making his waist length dread locks move like they had a life of their own.

  “You wouldn’t survive a mating.” He looked around like the walls were closing in on him. Something dark stirred in side him licking it’s chops at the possibility. Greg quickly stifled the notion. He would rather let her go than subject her to his wolf.

  “Sooner or later Roxanne’s going to come after me.” She said, looking into his eyes.

  Greg looked away and took several deep breaths clamping down on his wolf that raged at the thought of anyone hurting his mate.

  “I talked to Mama Donna before we left the city. It might be possible
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