Scent of Valor (Chronicles of Eorthe #2)

Scent of Valor (Chronicles of Eorthe #2) by Annie Nicholas Read Free Book Online

Book: Scent of Valor (Chronicles of Eorthe #2) by Annie Nicholas Read Free Book Online
Authors: Annie Nicholas
Tags: thriller, Fantasy, vampire, Werewolf, shapeshifter, second chances, Alternate world
    It would be nice to be celebrated for a change.
    Inali waited by the exit and fell in next to her as they strolled through the woods toward Temple lands. Everyone had shifted to feral form but her.
    His gaze fell upon the amulet hanging from her neck. “Your mother told me of that gift. Do you think it’s wise to wear something from another male?” He sniffed. “It even carries Benic’s scent.”
    “I hadn’t noticed.”
    “Kele.” He said her name as if she were a pup in trouble.
    “I would welcome a reaction from my mate-to-be, but I doubt the amulet will be noticed. If anything, it will remind the Yaundeeshaw of our wealth and our strong connection to Benic.”
    Inali growled low and quiet when she mentioned the vampire’s name. “He rejected our invitation. He is no longer welcome on our land, let alone our den.”
    “You’ll have to forgive him eventually. Most of our power is tied to the vampires. We can’t afford to alienate Benic.”
    His step faltered. “You, of all people, know why I can’t do this.” He appeared genuinely shocked.
    “I, of all people, will ask a blood price of Benic for taking me to his castle against my will. I will use this money to restore the Temple and you can increase the price of your wine.” She gave him a small smile. “His pride suffered more than anything from that adventure. If not for Ahote and Sorin, it could have ended much worse.”
    At the mention of the Apisi alpha, her father flattened his ears. They had met once after Sorin had rescued her and Susan. Her father had given Sorin a handsome gift of gold for his poor pack in recognition of the Apisi alpha’s part in saving his daughter. Kele wouldn’t declare their packs allies, but at least they no longer called each other enemies.
    “You will make a fine alpha one day. If this hunter proves worthy in future challenges, he should beg you to keep him. Our pack will always need a strong alpha couple to rule them.”
    What if she didn’t love him after a year? She wouldn’t give voice to this question. Her father would probably laugh at the idea. She had always thought her parents loved each other, but by watching Sorin with Susan, she had realized that her parents shared a love for power. It wasn’t the same thing.
    She wanted what Susan and Sorin had fought tooth and claw for. But what did she know of love? She’d almost given everything to an omega male who’d been the first to show any real attention to her as a female.
    Desperate. That was what she’d been.
    Then why did she still dream of Peder every night?
    Stupid, stupid heart. She had to let Peder’s memory go as he had let her go.
    She crested the hill leading to the Temple. The ancient stone walls loomed ahead. All her life, the site of worship had filled her with peace, but today dread lived in her heart. She cared not for this fate. Her mother called this mating an opportunity, her father a treaty, but she named it a prison. She’d agreed to this farce in a moment of weakness when she’d craved her parent’s approval.
    Who was she trying to fool? She still craved their approval, but she’d come to realize they did not share the same ideals and her wish to gain their praise couldn’t ever be fulfilled.
    Tracing the amulet necklace with her fingertips, she drew courage. Benic had been her friend since childhood and his betrayal still stung. Yet out of that darkness, she’d found the trigger to shift to feral form. She’d found the body to go with her hunter’s soul. This mating couldn’t take that from her. She’d faced worse when Benic had captured her and Susan. At least her mate wouldn’t chain her to a wall.
    Her mother led the tiny mating party with three hunters. She noted Ahote wasn’t among them. He’d been against this mating from the beginning.
    Yaundeeshaw shifters stood at the base of the Temple stairs alongside a male in civil form. He appeared as she had expected, tall with strong shoulders. His pale brown

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