#Free Wolves and Tagged Lupines

Free Wolves and Tagged Lupines

A double title, and each subject joined by their natures. Wolves.
The first is a chin-lifted-to-the-sky celebration, howled to the moon by a lucky winner of a free copy of Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle. I offered it up at The Romance Studio’s Summer Bash, and it got snagged in minutes. Luna found a new home.

The second portion of the title refers to Grane: Book Two of The Luna ChronGraneicle. Once you read the book you’ll understand what I’m referring to. Things don’t go well for my title character.
In the story, at least. Outside of the book’s binding, things are going great for the gray wolf. He gets set free. Onto the general public. Effective midnight tonight, August 18, 2013.
In the pale light of a waxing moon, Grane will emerge from the shadows of Melange-Books LLC to show himself in all his scarred skin and yellow-eyed glory.

Here’s a taste:

The Luna with her mate.
I kept my nose tucked under my tail and feigned sleep so that I could watch them. They belonged together; it showed in the curve of their bodies as they folded in and around one another. I lay still, and when they had finished talking and Luna had fallen asleep, I could see their bodies rise and release in the harmony of their breaths. They were beautiful. And I was a fool to have ever taken her from him.
Alec, her mate, watched over her while she slept, his tender vigilance illuminating just how much he had missed her, and how ardently he protected her. From the likes of me.
Yet, they offered me consolation when it was I who had stolen Luna from her family, seized her from this fierce love. How could they overlook my crimes? My mauling by Meron’s pack of wolves would have been a fit ending to my wretched life, they should have left me to endure the justice of a cruel death.
But no, instead they protected me, and offered sanctuary to my little group from the violence of their daily existence. For that kindness alone, I owed the alphas more than my loyalty. I revved my spine and shot the blood to my skin so I could speak to my new leader with words and not my wolf body language.
He watched my transformation with a quietude born of confidence. “You do not sleep, Grane,” he whispered. Luna stirred in his embrace, but did not open her eyes. She smiled in her sleep, and looked nothing like the frightening creature I had witnessed earlier that day, when she had fisted Meron‘s head in her hand for us all to see.
I pulled my eyes from the vision of the Luna to watch my new pack leader. Like his mate, he smiled because they were whole again. Truly, I did not deserve to witness such affection, and I answered before my self-disgust overwhelmed me.
“No, we are too close yet to Meron’s pack. If they followed us…” I let my sentence trail away with my fretful thoughts. If these two creatures were harmed?
“I do not think they will come,” he predicted.
His conviction was not misplaced. My sister would not send anyone, nor would they come voluntarily. The Luna’s threat had pierced into the hearts of every wolf present. I had seen the dread in their eyes, their rigid bodies. She had not only challenged the pack leader, but the entire army of wolves, and they had focused on her with a terror born from survival. I know, because I had been just as frightened as the others. The Luna, with her poison, could have killed us all. Sweet deliverance, I had sat on that ground a bloody mess, and she had offered me her smile and her hand, a safe place within her family. I had stretched my arm across that terrifying reach, and had accepted her heart.
What right had I? A tremor sizzled across my back, and I spoke to quiet my thoughts.
“I believe you are right, Alec. But still, I tend to be cautious.”
“It is a trait that will benefit our pack, Grane. We welcome it.”
I dropped my eyes from his earnest gaze. He had uttered the word we as if he spoke for them all inclusively, and my charred heart fluttered with hope. I asked for my leave before I revealed my torment, and retreated into the woods to conceal myself in a cluster of alders.
I was a disgusting, spiteful wolf who did not deserve this opportunity for redemption! For too long I had been under Meron’s sway. How did I let myself dare await such promises? I was undeserving. Armand was the one. As were Ane and Elga. It was they who had needed deliverance. My atrocities against my fellow wolf deserved no forgiveness.
My lungs filled with my anguished howl, and I clamped my jaw to stifle it. That one wail would unleash too much from my scarred spirit, and I gripped the silver stems of the alders that offered their shelter to diffuse the tension that balled my muscles.
I would humbly serve this pack even if it tormented me. I would bow to each and every member to repay them for my barbarity, and for their kindness to mine. I let myself go and burned into my wolf form so that I could hunt to distract my thoughts. We still had far to go before we returned to the territory where I had stolen Luna.
Great suffering! We were returning to the origin of my crime. I moved my paws to silence my brain and shackle my heart. I had a debt to pay and I would own it if killed me.

~S.C. Dane

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