Scent of Valor (Chronicles of Eorthe #2)

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

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
hair hung down his back in untamed tangles, and even from this distance, his gray gaze latched onto hers.
    He wore a leather kilt the males of her people preferred and a light blue sweater that appeared new.
    From here, the mating parties would enter the Temple where, in front of their alphas, he’d smudge secretions from the glands under his ears onto her wrists to temporarily mark her as his. Her stomach rolled. Then they’d have to undress and shift to feral form. For the next three days, they would roam both packs’ lands together and get acquainted until their scents mingled enough to mark them as mated.
    She swallowed with a throat gone dry and stopped in front of him.
    He easily stood five hands taller. Bowing slightly at the waist, he offered her his wrist to smell. “I’m named Nahuel.”
    She slipped her wrist toward his nose. “I’m named Kele.” Nothing sparked at his touch. Not like it had with Peder. Would her parents disown her if she changed her mind?
    She glanced at her mother, who sternly glared as if she could read Kele’s mind. How did she do that?
    After three days together, she and Nahuel would have to decide which pack they would return to and live with. A portion of her desired his pack. She’d have to face a number of challenges since she’d be a new threat to the female hunters but she wouldn’t have her parents watching every mistake.
    The sound of musket fire filled the forest and the acrid scent of gunpowder burned her nose.
    Hunters in the distance howled a warning. As one, they tensed and scanned the surrounding forest. Nahuel shifted to feral form, tearing through his clothes.
    A red bloom formed on her father’s chest. He stared down at the hole, where his heart was, before his legs failed and he folded to the dirt.
    “No!” She reached for him, but a heavy weight dragged her to the ground. Struggling against Nahuel’s body, she could do nothing as she watched her mother tear headlong into the woods toward the vampire hunters, who sprang from the foliage in an ambush.
    The attackers outnumbered their small party. How had they masked their scent? Why would Benic send his men to kill her father? If he thought to take her again, he would find a well-trained hunter under this civil form.
    Another volley of shots cracked against her eardrums. Someone shouted, “Don’t kill them all. We need to replenish our stock.”
    Her mother and the Yaundeeshaw alphas fell in a cloud of smoke and blood.
    Darts flew through the air thick like mosquitoes. Snarling, she shifted to feral form under Nahuel’s unconscious weight and pushed him off. Her mother could still be alive. She might only be injured. Kele hurried to her father’s side and fell next to him, rolling his body only to meet his unseeing eyes. Sorrow crushed her chest. She couldn’t breathe.
    She stroked his pale fur.
    “Look at the pelt on the white one. Don’t let it get away.”
    She twisted to see a vampire pointing in her direction. He wanted her? Then the bloodsucker would get to meet her face-to-face. Keeping low to the ground, she raced over dead branches and pack members. They would be avenged if it took her last breath to do it.
    Screams stabbed into Peder’s consciousness and he jerked awake, not in full control of his limbs. Flailing, he smacked something solid that stung the back of his hands. He blinked, trying to clear the fog from his visions. Shots rang against his ears. The stink of gunpowder overwhelmed his nose and blinded him from smelling his surroundings.
    Where was he? Who was making that horrid high-pitched scream? He had to help but suddenly it seemed as if he’d grown eight legs and had no control over what direction they moved. Had he gotten into Dorian’s lightning water again? After the last time, he’d sworn never to touch that stuff.
    His stomach didn’t want to turn itself inside out, though. Last time he’d gotten drunk it had taken all day for the retching to stop.

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