Full Blooded

Page 42

Geez, now I knew who was in charge of bringing sexy back.

The mystery woman laughed as she drew near. “Did you miss me, my sweet? It’s been entirely too long since our last rendezvous, don’t you agree, Rourke?”

I tore my gaze from her as Rourke lunged at Valdov.

He stopped himself a foot shy of the vampire, who hadn’t even so much as blinked at Rourke’s sudden reaction. “How dare you bring her into my woods, vampire,” Rourke raged. “We all know you are a weakling, forever hiding beneath the folds of your Queen’s skirts, but hiring werewolves and witches to do your bidding? That is a new low, Valdov, even for a vampire rat like you.”

The witch in question, because she obviously wasn’t a shifter, seemed bored. She picked at her nails as she planted her feet directly in front of both the angry vampire and a molten Rourke. When she was firmly rooted into place, she placed her hands on her hips and drummed her fingers against her teensy studded waist.

She was absolutely stunning.

What a total bitch. I can’t wait to wipe that insipid smile right off her lips. My wolf snarled in agreement.

She was flawless, like a porcelain doll, complete with a set of perfectly pouty heart-shaped lips and high, rounded cheekbones.

Leaning forward, she purred into Rourke’s ear, “I’m a Sorceress, not a witch, darling. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Did you miss me?” When he kept his eyes fastened on Valdov, she seemed mildly put out. “I don’t work for vamps,” she spat. “But, my dear, I wouldn’t have missed this party for the world—and you know how I love a good party. And if the Queen wants to part with a few trinkets in the end, who am I to challenge her generosity?”

Rourke didn’t so much as breathe in her direction.

It was a damn good thing, because if he had my wolf would’ve thrown down all over her perfect tiny ass.

The witch brought her hand to Rourke’s face, her dark red nails flashing as she slowly caressed the back of her knuckles down his cheek. “What’s the matter, kitten? Wolf got your tongue?” She laughed, a perfectly pitched voice tinkling like bells on a hot summer night.

My wolf surged in me so fiercely, my claws formed to vicious points and my incisors dropped instantly. I managed to hold her back before it went any further, but only because Rourke still hadn’t responded. Just wait! We can’t do this yet! If I freed my wolf, the whole yard would go ballistic and we would likely die. We were going to have to shift at some point, but it had to be exactly right. We still have to assess the situation. We don’t know what that witch is capable of, but I’m sure it’s something terrible, because Rourke is wary of her. Maybe if we stall long enough backup will arrive. I knew that was wishful thinking. “Daddy” and his band of werewolves would clearly be our ace in the hole tonight.

My wolf snapped the air repeatedly, throwing me a graphic picture of her teeth sinking into the Sorceress’s hands, the same ones that had just traced down our mate’s face, and ripping them apart. Right on, but let’s hold on to that thought for just a few more minutes. She snarled her answer, clearly not on my side of the waiting game. She did have a point. Every molecule in my being detested that red-haired bitch on sight, even before she’d approached, and seemed to know, my mate. Now I wanted to kill her and watch her die a slow, painful death.


Rourke’s body trembled with rage. His scent was so strong and menacing a few of the wolves in the clearing took a step back. “Selene,” he snarled. “I will give you five minutes to get out of my sight. You made a grave mistake coming here tonight and aligning yourself with the vampires. If you don’t leave right now, I will kill you this time. I swear it.”

This time? Selene? The Lunar Goddess? The Grand Patron of magic and witchcraft? Surely he wasn’t talking about that Selene.

“Oh, Rourke, don’t be such a party pooper.” She snickered. “I’m not only going to stick around, but I’m going to enjoy this little show more than anything I’ve done over the last … um … millennium … and that includes you, lover.” She tapped the edge of her fingernail into his chest.

Rourke was a statue. He didn’t move a muscle, or even pretend to look her way. He’s not paying attention to her. Calm down. We’ll bite her fingers off soon.

Selene’s voice changed to a shrill. “Did you really think I would ignore what you did to me? Let you just go about your business without some sort of revenge?” She leaned in close, her anger searing. “Listen to me when I say this, Rourke. This time it will be you who will pay. And I’m planning to start with this little wench over here.” She nodded frivolously at me like I was nobody. “Then I’ll move on to bigger and better things.” Her irises sparked red to match her hair, naturally. “I swear it.”

My hackles rose and I growled without any aid from my wolf. Was she kidding? The tension in the air had become unbearable. Steady, I told my wolf. Only a few more seconds. My blood danced in anticipation. Then we’ll rip her goddamn heart out.

“Ahem,” Valdov broke in. “I do hate to break up this charming little reunion, but we must be off. The sun will be rising and my Queen is anxiously awaiting our return.” He turned toward Selene. “Get on with the binding then, witch, and we’ll leave you the cat for your troubles.”

“I’m not a witch, you filthy bloodsucker, I’m a Goddess.” She glared, her irises a pure, fiery red now. “Goddess of the Moon, to be exact. Or if you prefer, a powerful Sorceress of Enchantment. Take your pick. But I am most certainly not a witch.”

It was Valdov’s turn to look bored. He flicked his wrist at her. “Just get on with it.”

She sneered at him, raising her hands. A low chanting erupted from her lips and her fingertips began to glow.

Christ, the plan was to have the Sorceress bind me? So the vamps could whisk me away to hell knows where?

I don’t think so, dollface.

But before I could react, Rourke roared, whipping his powerful leg around, striking Selene squarely in the chest with the force of a Mack truck. At the same time, he swiped his curved hand, full of claws, at Valdov’s throat, just missing the vampire by a millimeter as he slid out of the way.

Selene flew into the darkness with a satisfying crash.

It would be wishful thinking that she’d somehow find her true death on the side of a boulder, but it was fun to hope. She’d likely return unscathed within moments, no doubt terrifying us with her scorn. Rourke had effectively stopped her spell in its tracks, however, which had been his intention. But there were plenty more spells where that came from.

We were going to have to work fast to eliminate the vampires and exit this mad scene before the wolves shifted and the Porcelain Doll from Hell shook off her injuries.

“Now you’re going to pay with your sorry little life, Valdov.” Rourke sprang at the vampire, catching hold of his cape before he could escape.

The wolves around us howled in unison and dropped to the forest floor to make their change.


My wolf responded in a rush of delicious power, adrenaline shooting like a fire hydrant through my veins. My wolf was ready and my partial change into my Lycan form was almost instantaneous. My muscles transformed into a thick, hard mass coated with smoky fur. My throat issued a deep snarl and I stood taller within seconds. My muzzle expanded to accommodate my canines.

I focused on Rourke. The fight between him and Valdov was happening so fast I could barely track it, even in my new, enhanced form.

The other vamps stood off to the side, still cloaked, watching Valdov with seemingly little interest. They didn’t appear anxious to join the party.

I stalked forward, keeping an eye out for Selene. I was in the mood to do some damage, and my plan was to start with the vamps, even if they hadn’t joined in yet. The wolves would be up in a few moments, and Rourke and I would need to be free of the vamps before we could fight the wolves and have a chance to get away.

I was almost to the group, who didn’t even seem to notice my advance, when a figure barreled out of the trees. It buzzed straight toward me with menace and it wasn’t Selene.

It was a werewolf in human form, and the anger coming ahead of him was intense.

It only took me an instant more to recognize him.

My eyes narrowed.


My wolf howled.

I could taste his hate as he approached. It was dry and rancid, like something dead. My wolf danced in a rage. There was nothing a werewolf abhorred more than a loss of honor.

I called to him as he came forward, my vocal cords rough but audible. “Well, well, I guess I’m not surprised to see you here. You’ve always detested me, so I guess it makes sense. Do you like what you see, Stuart?” I snarled, delighted as he gave me pause, his eyes widening a flicker before he recovered. “You filthy piece of shit,” I growled. “You’re lucky my father’s not here to rip your sorry head from your shoulders. He’d make damn sure you understood the depth of your betrayal.” I grinned, flashing him my new, lengthy canines. “But lucky you, you get me instead.”

Stuart Lauder, son of Hank, looked at me, his furor bubbling over. “You’re an abomination,” he foamed. “A blight on the great race of werewolves. You’ve always been a freak, and it was just a matter of time before you brought the whole race down. I’m not about to let that happen. I chose to take a stand. Not even my father was brave enough to stand up, but I am.” He spat on the ground. “The old generation was content to wait, sitting on their asses with their thumbs in their mouths, until you finally ended us. But the next generation of wolves aren’t going to sit back and take it. We’re ready to rise up and fight as one united Pack, one force. We’re not going to wait around until it’s too fucking late and you destroy us all.” He halted a few paces from me, his yellow eyes firing, brown fur sprouting along his forearms.

“Stuart, this is your war, not mine. You’re bringing the race down by pitting wolves against each other because of your own stupid fear. It has nothing to do with me. I’m not a threat to any wolf. And do you honestly think our Pack—excuse me, my Pack—isn’t going to win? The Southern wolves are no match in strength to us. They never have been. You picked the losing side, asshole.” I liked the sound of my voice; it sounded tough, like I ate rocks for breakfast. “The Northern Territories are stronger, and we will remain strong. There’s no contest. You are going to die for absolutely nothing, not that I give a shit, mind you, I’m just pointing out the facts.”

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