tagNonHumanShadow of The Wolf Ch. 08

Shadow of The Wolf Ch. 08

byblackduchess©

A/N:

Thanks a million to you my readers who have patiently waited for this chapter. I hope you enjoy this one, I sure did.

Once more, I'd want to thank my faithful editors: Lunarosa, for her tiring help and invaluable input in the story and injecting your own brand of humor. MythOFreak, for her help in pointing out stuff I've missed. To you both -- THANKS!

CHAPTER EIGHT

The night was dark and still, and the moon obscured by gathered clouds. Crickets sang their nocturnal songs while the owl hooted its call to hunt deep in the forest. The night was broken by the sudden howl of a wolf, scattering the foraging small animals as they sensed a predator approach. As the clouds moved across the night sky, a shard of moonlight struck a full-grown wolf stalking through the forest. The wolf's massive head majestically inclined as it surveyed the various animals scurrying away. Her fur glistened reddish-brown as she slowly padded through the woods. Pausing now and then to nose at the rich undergrowth in curiosity, she roamed with no apparent destination in mind. A bold squirrel approached the wolf and started to chitter, as if reprimanding it for disturbing the squirrel's nighttime foray. The wolf cocked her head and nosed the belligerent rodent. The squirrel batted at its nose, causing the wolf to yip in surprise. Feeling playful, she crouched and danced around, batting playfully but gently at the squirrel. The frustrated animal finally had enough and scampered off, climbing into the nearest tree and leaving the wolf behind. The wolf sat on its haunches with an apparent grin on her face, as she watched the squirrel scuttle away.

Tilting her head from side to side, the wolf alertly twitched its ears, appearing to listen. An alluring voice beckoned for her to follow, its tinkling resonance floating in the air. Bounding up from her seated position, the wolf exploded into motion. An intense desire to follow and obey the voice had the wolf in its grip. The wolf's big paws carried her fleetly through the forest. The sheer exhilaration of being free to run and roam to her heart's content made her howl with joy at the moon peeking through the canopy with a weak light. Her nimble legs soared through the air as she jumped over a fallen log by the stream. Scrambling and climbing on the banks of the stream, she relished the natural sounds of the forest teeming with life around her. Tongue lolling out of her opened jaw, the wolf appeared to smile. Pointing her nose up in the air, the wolf sifted through the scents carried by the wind. Nothing new, just the usual smells of small wild life that scurried away as she neared and passed by, and yet a voice called and tantalized her to follow. Hastening her pace, the urging inside her became more insistent.

The trees blurred as the red wolf ran, veering left then right as the beckoning voice grew louder. Her strong legs ate up the distance, speeding to the call beating within her with such urgency. The wolf dodged low hanging branches and leaping over tree roots in her hurry.

Screeching to a sudden halt, the wolf broke into a clearing and the summoning voice stopped. She cautiously approached with silent tread, cocking her head in curiosity. The clearing seemed devoid of anyone except for the wolf. She paused in the middle where a huge boulder rested. Panting slightly, she waited patiently at whoever summoned her. Suddenly, the flat surface of the boulder glittered under the light of the moon. Tiny dots of flickering light slowly gathered and grew larger, finally exploding in a blinding brightness and leaving behind an unmistakable silhouette of a woman, standing on the rock.

The wolf crouched, ready to pounce if needed, not knowing whether the strange apparition was friend or foe. The woman slowly took substance but retained her luminosity, seeming to reflect the moon's light as she glowed.

The shining woman gazed down the wolf at her feet. A gentle smile graced her generous lips as she appeared to hover over the rock. Her willowy figure was clothed in a wispy ivory gown that floated around her, as if teased by the breeze. Her heart-shaped face appeared ageless, elegant and beautiful with delicately arched brows, high defined cheekbones and piercing golden amber eyes. Power emanated from her, and seemed to pulse with a life of its own.

The wolf stared in awe at the being in front of her, not knowing whether to run in fear or cower in submission. As if she knew what the wolf was feeling, the woman floated down to the ground and in a clear voice said, "Be at ease, my friend."

Her voice reverberated with power, like a mighty rushing river, calming and energizing at the same time.

"I have not come to harm you, but to warn you." She regarded the wolf intently and looked around the clearing. With a resigned sigh, she kept on, "Peace reigns for now, but conflict and bloodshed is coming." An air of sadness surrounded the ethereal figure. "It's the nature of both man and beast, and doubly so when the two co-exist: always struggling and contending to rule over the weaker. I should have known better... but in my vain need for veneration and companionship, I have wrought a new race of being capable of annihilating and subjugating another." Pausing, the woman gently ruffled the fur on the quiet wolf's head. After several quiet moments, she pointed her finger at the wolf. "Change," she commanded and instantly the wolf was no more. In the wolf's place, Alex crouched on the ground, shaking her head in bemusement.

"W-Who are y-you?" her voice cracked in apprehension.

"You need not fear me, child." The woman floated back to the rock and sat, patting the space next to her and nodding her head at Alex. "Come sit by me." She watched as a wary Alex slowly approached and sat next to her. She smiled in approval as Alex fought her instinct to run. She could see Alex's fear written clearly on her face. She knew that her appearance put awe, if not outright fear, in most creatures she met.

Taking one of Alex's hands, the woman caught and held Alex's gaze. "Who do you think I am?" she asked.

"I-I d-d-don't k-k-know." Alex stuttered, as her heart kept pounding in her chest. She tried to look away but could not seem to manage it. Her inexplicable reaction baffled and angered her. Although the woman looked friendly and harmless, Alex's animal half continued to cower and tremble inside her, making her heart thunder inside her chest.

The woman's eyes drilled into her, "Yes you do, Alexandra. Stop thinking and feel. Free yourself from the restraints that logic and reality put on you. Listen and hear what your feral half tells you."

"L-Luna?!" Alex's eyes went wide in incredulity.

The woman smiled serenely and patted her hand. Nodding infinitesimally, she acknowledged Alex's outburst.

Scrambling off the rock, Alex attempted to bow before the Goddess. She landed in a graceless heap before Luna's feet. What a klutz, she thought to herself. Here I am meeting a goddess for once in my life and I land on my butt. What an impression I'm giving the shifters' goddess. Rance would just kill me! Where is he, anyway? I manage to slip my protective leash for a minute and THIS happens.

Luna burst out laughing. Alex looked up from her sprawled crouch, "I'm not laughing at you child. I'm laughing at your thoughts, mostly." She smiled mischievously at Alex. "Come and sit here with me. We don't need to be so formal."

After sitting back down, Alex was at a loss for words to say to the beautiful goddess. Making a "tsking" sound, Luna leaned and lifted Alex's chin with her finger. "Child, listen, and listen carefully to what I will tell you. I have chosen you, child, to be Rance's, my faithful one's, mate. He suffered so much heartache when he lost his mother and father. I think he's due for happiness, don't you? Before you were born, I saw in you the other half of him. So I kept watch over you, guarding and preparing you for your future." She smiled warmly in remembrance, "You were a handful when you were young, getting into trouble and leading your brothers into all sorts of scrapes. You had always been protective of them, like a mother wolf ready to defend even when they didn't need it."

Looking Alex up and down, the goddess smiled radiantly. "Look at you now. A fitting mate to your Rance. Always bear in mind you are stronger together than apart. And from your union will spring forth the future of all shifters. Guard and protect the Promised One who rests under your heart. Keep the identity of the Promised One secret, for many will conspire to terminate the fulfillment of my promise. I have bestowed favor and blessings on your mating, and you, I have touched more than most." Pausing, her gaze became steely, "Remember to be canny and wise, for there's always a serpent in Eden. Find that serpent before it spread its corruption and decay."

"But..." Alex tried to ask, but Luna's finger on her lips shut her up.

"I know you have a lot of questions to ask, but now is not the time for it. All will be revealed in time." Giving Alex an enigmatic smile, she said, "Look to your past, Alex, and clarity will be yours. But above all, be strong and believe in yourself and in your mate."

And with those words, Luna simply vanished in thin air, leaving Alex more confused than ever. She sat up, startled awake, sitting up in her bed next to Rance.

Seeing that the moon was still high up on the sky from the opened balcony window, she surmised that she must have been asleep for two to three hours. Moving gingerly, she left the bed pulled on a robe and walked out to the balcony. Breathing the scents of the night, she tried to clear her head and recall as much of the dream as she could. She had been standing no more than three minutes when she felt Rance rise and move behind her.

"What brought you out here? It's lonely in bed without you." He breathed in her ear, as he nipped her lobe, dipping his tongue briefly inside as he kissed behind it.

"Just a tad restless." Turning, she hugged and smiled at him.

Rance looked feral under the moon's light. Wearing nothing but a toothy smile, he ran his hand up and down Alex's back. Cupping her ass, he pulled her tight to his massively erect cock.

"It seems to me that I did not tire you enough to make you sleep through the night. I should remedy that." He lowered his head and nipped at her lips. Licking between them, he pushed his tongue in.

Alex encircled Rance's neck with her arms and wrapped her legs around his trim waist. Her robe gaped open, showing her nakedness and spilling her bountiful breasts. Rance walked backward and sat slowly on one of the armless chairs scattered around in the balcony.

He lifted his head and stared intently at the erotic picture his mate made. Alex's eyes were languorous with passion. Her lips were swollen and glistening, her breasts dappled in the moon's light beckoned his lips to taste and mark the ivory flesh topped with tight dark pink nipples, already crinkled in arousal.

Alex met Rance's eyes and pushed the robe open all the way. She slowly pushed the garment off her body. With eyes locked on Rance's face, she ran her hand slowly down her body. She saw his nostrils flare and fire burned behind his emerald gaze as his eyes tracked her hand. She started lightly grazing her fingertips over her mounds, bypassing the nipples. She twirled in concentric circles that grew smaller and smaller until finally she grasped her aching tips and pinched them hard. She moaned at the pleasure-pain.

"Let me...." Rance rasped, as he pulled one of her hands away and licked the abused tip with his warm wet tongue. He then trailed both their hands down, skimming over her torso down to where their baby nestled safely in her womb. For a brief moment, Rance let their hands linger on the shimmery tattoo. He paused in his licking. With a suddenness that startled Alex, Rance engulfed her right breast into his ravening mouth where he proceeded to suck strongly. He wrapped his arms snugly around her wildly writhing form.

Alex ignited at Rance's aggressiveness. He nipped the tips of her breasts rather painfully. The pain morphed into bliss as his thumb found the engorged nubbin at the juncture of her thighs. Expertly polishing it, he fanned her desire higher and brighter. She was left clutching helplessly at Rance's shoulders. Without further ado, Rance lifted Alex up, lined up their sexes and thrust home.

Alex's moan rang in the quiet of the night. Her sheath convulsed as his towering rod invaded inexorably. "Ride me," Rance demanded of Alex.

Opening eyes she did not realized she'd closed, Alex looked at her mate. He looked wild. His bunching muscles jumped and rippled with his desire. Eyes slitted such that only a small bit of his emerald eyes showed, he oozed danger and raw sex. "Ride me now..." Rance's guttural utterance snapped her out of her stupor. Alex started to move up and down clumsily on the rod buried to the hilt in her shuddering vagina. Rance's hands gripped her hips lightly as she tried to establish a rhythm, finally managing to move faster in an even pace.

Holding on to Rance's shoulders, Alex rode him wildly as pleasure surged in her wet pussy. His cock touched and caressed every erogenous area in her as she moved up and down and squeezed with her muscles. Panting loudly and hair plastered in her sweating face, she scrunched her face and bore down as the explosive release washed over her. She stilled and screamed as her body spasmed in ecstasy.

Rance grunted and grabbed her tightly as he hammered powerfully with his cock. In and out he went, deep and hard as he shafted her, savoring the tight fist of her spasming muscle massage his shaft and sensitive head. Rance growled deeply as he blasted his sperm into his mate. Holding her slumped form, he crooned until he felt her succumb to sleep.

******

Today was Alex's mother's birthday. Everyone was assembled in their family home. It was a whole day affair, so Alex and Rance set off early enough to get there before noon. They agreed to officially announce their engagement. In fact, Alex was wearing the Alpha Regina's ring on her finger, a 10-carats, antique cut red diamond with faceted girdle set on gold that was passed on from one Regina to another, to evidence it. It glittered quite majestically on her ring finger.

Although Alex was not crazy about dresses, she found one, sleeveless and royal blue, that appealed to her and thought she'd wear one to her mom's birthday. She loved how the color made her skin seem luminous. Its simple cut and flowing lines made her legs look longer and sexier. Rance was dressed casually in a fitted short-sleeved shirt and low slung jeans that clung to his muscular thighs and made his butt look yummy, in Alex's humble opinion.

"You okay?" Rance turned in his seat and asked Alex, who'd been unusually quiet during the long drive to her parent's house. Although the mental link between them was open, he did not want to intrude on her thoughts. He figured that she would share it when she was ready.

"Yes, just a little preoccupied, is all."

"Don't worry about your brothers. I'm sure we'll get along famously," he reassured her.

"I'm not worried about that. They'd better be in their best behavior or else I'll beat the crap out of them," she retorted half seriously.

Alex was not worried about her brothers and Rance getting along. She knew in her gut they would. She was just pondering the past days and the most recent dream she'd had, still unsure if it was a dream or a visitation, coming on the heels of the stress of her presentation to the pack.

The days after the presentation had been quite busy. Most of the Council members and their families stayed for a longer visit. It gave the Council members and Alex a chance to get to know each other more in an informal setting. So far, she liked all of them. They were very welcoming and friendly. The same could not be said to some of their family members, though. Although they were lupine, the unmated females acted -- in her opinion- very catty.

Ophelia and Katherine had been a big help during those trying days. Ophelia always managed to be by Alex's side when the bitches, bitter about her mating with Rance, threw their barbs and unsheathed their claws on her. Trying to keep her cool was a frustrating exercise when what Alex really wanted to do was beat the crap out of them.

"Let them vent." Ophelia spoke quietly in an aside to her one afternoon after Susan, a bitch from the Carolina pack and daughter of one of the council member, commented about Rance's great stamina in the bedroom. The women who weren't themselves on the Council were gathered in one of the smaller rooms that lead to the expansive garden, as the Council members were closeted with Rance and the Alphas in one of their interminable meetings about the rogues. Alex didn't really understand why Ophelia even tried to be discreet, when the bitches around could practically hear her because of their enhanced senses.

"Everyone here knew that they were just casual outlets for him. They all meant nada. He made it clear that he was willing to fuck them raw in one of the guest rooms, but then once they were s done, that was it. None of them ever managed to even set foot in his private rooms." She smirked at the room at large, knowing that every ear could hear her clearly. "So Alex, remember that they are not even worth your attention, let alone jealousy."

Alex was surprised that Ophelia spoke bluntly, but she should have remembered that underneath her elegance, Ophelia was still an apex predator and had a primal and feral nature like all shifters.

"That's fine. I know that Rance has a past. I don't begrudge him his past dalliances -- as long as they remain firmly in the past," Alex's voice became hard and threatening as she continued, "anyone who thinks to revisit it with him will have to deal with me. I may be small -- but I tell you now that I can be a deadly adversary. Encroaching on my territory will be a challenge to my leadership, and something that I can only be tested on by the passage of time. Encroaching on my mate, on the other hand, is a challenge I will respond to immediately." Looking around at the gathered beautiful, sleek bitches, she lifted one brow and raised her chin in fearlessly. "And that I take seriously and would not hesitate to mete out just rewards."

Ophelia chuckled beside her, "Well said, my Regina."

The women in the room had different expressions on their faces when Alex scanned them casually. Most had approval and smiles on their faces, but a handful wore frowns and some had outright defiance writ clearly on them. She'd keep her eyes on them. She'd sensed their animosity the previous night before. Their group was comprised of young single bitches who had been with Rance in the past. And according to Ophelia, were hoping to be chosen his Regina, mate or not.

The five women stood with noses turned up and plastic smiles fixed on their faces. All were either daughter of a council member or of an allied alpha. She could clearly tell that the leader of the group was the black haired witch who towered over all of them. Antonia, or Toni, as was she snootily informed her, was drop dead gorgeous, with beautiful violet eyes, pouty lips and a sexy body. It was a pity her personality needed more work. Every word that came out of her mouth since they were introduced was either a thinly-veiled insult or laced with scorn. The only thing that stopped Alex from punching her in the mouth outright was Rance's calming presence in their bond. Her wolf warned her that those five warranted deeper examination, and she should always be wary when dealing with the bitches.

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