Home > Taken Under the Moon

Taken Under the Moon
Author: L.P. Dover

 


1

 

 

KARA

 

 

New Year’s Eve

 

 

* * *

 

My head feels like it’s been crushed by a sledgehammer. When Amelie attacked, and my skull cracked, it sent a wave of nausea through my stomach. Then, darkness overtook me, and I fell to the floor like a heap of nothing. I’ve lost all control of my body, and the only thing I feel is the searing pain in my head. The crack in my skull begins to mend, but not fast enough. The coldness of the hardwood floor against my cheek soon becomes warm as my blood makes a pool around my temple. I can smell it, and it infuriates me more. I hate myself for being weak. How could Amelie get the best of me like that? Where did her strength come from? She isn’t a royal, just a worthless, gray wolf.

I try to move, but it’s a futile attempt. It is as if there’s an invisible weight pressing me down on the floor. When I try to open my eyes, they’re too heavy. I’m stuck in the darkness of my mind. Even still, I can hear everything around me. Footsteps pound up the front porch steps, and I already know who it is.

Kami. If there’s anyone who hates me in the Royal pack, it’s her. The feeling is mutual. The slam of the front door hitting the wall echoes all the way upstairs into Amelie’s room, where I’m a sitting duck. I have to get up and fight, but my body doesn’t respond. Before, anger would motivate me and give me the strength I need, but it isn’t working.

Kami is here to kill me, and I’m going to die in a puddle of my own blood.

She enters the room and kneels next to me. “Looks like you got your ass beat.”

I can hear the satisfaction in her voice. I’d give anything to smack off the smugness I know is on her face right now. She has no idea what I’ve been through or what my life has been like. I can sense her moving closer, her breath warm against my neck.

“If you can hear me, just know that if things didn’t work out the way they did, I’d hunt you down and make you suffer as you’ve never suffered before.”

I would make her suffer, too. She may be a mated royal, but I am also a royal. I’ve lived over two hundred more years than her. Her arms grab me around the waist, and she hauls me over her shoulders. I’m trapped inside of my body, waiting for my wounds to heal. Usually, I mend a lot faster, but something is holding me back. Although I can’t sense any magic around, there’s an invisible force intentionally keeping me in the dark.

The sound of glass crunches beneath Kami’s feet as she carries me out of the room. “I should make you clean this shit up, but we have other plans for you.”

That’s not going to happen. As soon as I wake up, I’m gone. The Royal pack will never see me again. I’ll disappear as I did for the past two centuries. Kami takes me downstairs, and I can sense someone else around.

Colin. Her mate. They’re silent, and I can only assume they’re communicating through their blood bond so I can’t hear. I want to know what happened between my brother and Zayne. Knox was going to fight him tonight, to take Amelie as his own. For the life of me, I will never understand. Royals belong with royals. I tried to tell Knox there were more royal females out there, but he would never listen. I saw them when I took a vacation in South Dakota. Wolf packs aren’t known to be in that state. However, when I went out for a run, I saw them—there were three, two females and a male. They didn’t see me, and I didn’t try to seek them out. Although, now I wish I would have. Maybe I would have more allies instead of being on my own.

I can sense another wolf in the area, and my stomach sags with dread. Chase Maheegan. He’s the last man I want to see me like this. My body begins to have feeling again, and I open my eyes. A groan escapes my lips, and the room falls silent. I have to get up and run away, but my arms move slowly as I try to push up off the floor. There is no strength in my muscles so I roll onto my back. The side of my head throbs, and when I touch it, my fingers come back covered in blood.

Kami stands over me, her voice dripping with disdain. “You’re awake.”

“What the hell happened?” I growl. With the things she’s already said, I have a feeling I know the answer.

Kami clenches and unclenches her fists. “You failed, that’s what.”

I have to get out of here. Using all the strength I have, I try to pivot my body out from under her and take off, but Kami grabs my neck, slamming me back into the floor. Pain explodes all around me, and I hiss. I squeeze Kami’s wrist, but she’s too strong. “Where’s my brother?”

Her fingers squeeze harder, cutting off my air. “Knox is dead. You can’t come here and threaten my pack and expect to live.”

“You lie!” I shout, choking out the words. Tears fill my eyes because I know she’s telling the truth.

Kami clucks her tongue. “I don’t know why you’re so upset. Knox was going to kill you if Amelie hadn’t bashed your head into the floor. You should be thankful he’s gone.”

Her words sting like fire, and they burn me to the core. Even my tears feel like they’re scalding my skin as they fall down my cheeks. “Fuck you. Knox would never hurt me.”

Kami stares right into my eyes. “Do you honestly believe that?”

I want to scream and fight against her, but I can’t. Deep down, I’ve always known Knox would turn on me if it served his interests. Voices echo from outside, and I jerk my head toward the door. “Who’s here?”

Kami snorts. “No one that concerns you. It’s time you go back to sleep.”

Before I can take a breath, she grabs my neck, lifts me, and my head cracks against the floor, submerging me into darkness once more.

 

 

I float in and out of consciousness, but I can still feel my body. I’m on the edge of waking up, and everything aches. I don’t even know if I can run away. There are too many wolves here, ones who want to see me dead. The grip on my neck loosens, and my lungs fill with air.

“You didn’t let me say hello.” I recognize Chase’s voice.

Kami huffs. “Don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of time with her in California.”

California? What the hell are they talking about? I can’t go to California. My life is in Virginia, with my vineyards. If they take me away, I’ll lose everything. Their voices drift off into the distance, and after a while, they all jumble together. California is mentioned several times, and something about how Chase’s wine always beats me out in the competitions. Not for long. Once I’m free, I’m not going to let anyone beat me again.

As the seconds pass, my body begins to heal, but I stay as still as I can. The presence of more wolves prickles my skin, and I recognize Laila’s essence above everyone else’s. She’s a mated royal wolf which gives her phenomenal strength, but she’s also half-fae. As a result, her power outranks every single wolf in the Royal pack. If I tried to fight against her, I’d look like a fool.

She kneels next to my left, and I hold my breath.

“What is that going to do?” Kami asks, her voice on the other side of me. I want to open my eyes to see what they’re doing. All I know is that it’s not good. I tried to hurt Zayne, Laila’s father. She will undoubtedly unleash her vengeance on me, and there’s nothing I can do to stop her.

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