Sat
Feb 12 2011 6:00am

Bad Moon Rising - Excerpt

In the sultry realm of the Sanctuary, neither passion nor grudges die easily. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Bad Moon Rising brings you the long-awaited tale of forbidden love between Fang Kattalakis, Were-Hunter and Aimee Peltier, scion of the Ursulan clan. As war destroys an already uneasy alliance, danger and emotions run high. Torn between their families and their hearts, Aimee and Fang can only rely on each other.

“So that’s the infamous Sanctuary...”

Fang Kattalakis looked up from where he was locking down his sleek Kawasaki Ninja to see Keegan eyeing the triple-story, red brick building across the street.

The pup was just hitting puberty– about thirty years old in human time, but true to their species and his Were-Hunter age, Keegan appeared around the human age of sixteen–which meant he was as excitable as an adolescent. Dressed in black leather to protect him while he rode his motorcycle, Keegan almost dropped his bike in his eagerness to visit the famed sanctuary that was owned by a family of bearweres.

 

Fang let out a long, exasperated breath as he secured his helmet to his backpack. As punishment, he and his brother Vane had been assigned watch duty over Keegan and his twin brother, Craig.

Joy, oh joy. He’d rather have his entrails pulled out through his nostrils–whelp-sitting had never been to his tastes. But at least they didn’t have their leader, Stefan, along on this outing. That would have resulted in all out bloodshed since Fang had no respect or tolerance for Stefan, even on his best day.

The blond pup was all limbs as he started to leave, but Vane caught him by the scruff of his neck.

Keegan went instantly limp, which said it all about his age and inexperience. Even when he’d been a pup, Fang had never surrendered without a fight. It wasn’t in his nature.

Vane released his grip on the kid’s collar. “Don’t leave the pack, whelp. It’s a bad habit to develop. Wait on all of us.”

It was why they were all riding motorcycles. Since “average” young weren’t real good at teleporting until they were around a forty or fifty years old, and because whelp powers tended to play havoc with even the strongest when being teleported by another, mundane human transportation was best.

So here they were.

Bored. Agitated. And looking human. What a disgusting combination.

Most of all, Fang was tired.

And since they were training the whelps to socialize and maintain human forms during the light of day...

Sanctuary had seemed the best and safest place to take them outside of camp. Only the strongest of Katagaria wolves could remain human in daylight. If the pups couldn’t learn to hold their alternate human forms under the power of the sun by the time they turned thirty-five, their leader would order the pack to kill them.

It was a harsh world they lived in and only the strongest of their species survived. If they couldn’t fight and blend in with the humans they were dead anyway. No need in wasting their precious resources on creatures who couldn’t defend the pack.

Vane glanced over to Fang as if waiting for him to say something nasty to Keegan. Normally Fang would have some smart-ass comment about the pup, but he was just too tired to bother.

“What’s taking so long?” Fury paused beside Fang, chafing at his delay. Not quite as tall as Fang, Fury was lean and vicious. With turquoise eyes, Fury had sharp features and everything about the Wolf made Fang’s hackles rise. His long white-blond hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail.

Slinging the backpack over one shoulder, Fang raked him with a sneer that said what he thought about the Wolf...not much. “Locking down my bike, dickhead. You want I lock it to you so that I know it’ll be here when I come back?”

Fury’s pupils narrowed. “I’d like to see you try.”

Before Fang could lunge at him, Liam, Keegan’s much older brother, was between them. “Down, Wolves.”

In true wolf form, Fang bared his teeth at Fury, who returned the gesture. At Liam’s insistence, Fury moved past him while the others crossed the street.

He and Vane pulled up the rear.

Fang indicated Fury with a jerk of his chin. “I really hate that troll.”

“Don’t kill him yet. He has his uses.”

Maybe. But not enough of them that Fang wouldn’t rejoice to mount Fury’s hide to his wall. Not that he had a wall, but if he did, Fury would make a nice hairy decoration.

Fang turned his attention to his brother who was about an inch shorter–Fury’s height. “So why are we really here? We could have trained the pups in camp.”

Vane shrugged. “Markus wanted us to register with the Bears. Since we have so many burdened females, we might need the help of their doctor.”

Yeah, their sister, Anya, and half a dozen other females would give birth at any minute. Markus...the unwilling sperm donor for the three of them, had also wanted his “sons” out of his sight. Which was fine with Fang. He wasn’t exactly fond of the old fart either. He would have already challenged him for leadership, but Vane and Anya kept pulling him back.

Since Vane was an Arcadian hiding in the midst of their Katagaria pack, the last thing they needed was Fang to be leader. That would lead to uncomfortable questions such as why Vane, his elder litter mate who was their father’s heir apparent and one they all knew had more magick strength than Fang did, wasn’t the one fighting for leadership. But Vane could never do that. Because pain tended to make them involuntarily shift into their base forms, they couldn’t risk Vane accidentally turning human in a fight.

It was why Fang had stayed up all night. Unconscious and wounded as he’d been, Vane was human and their pack would kill his brother if any of them ever suspected Vane’s true base form.

Yawning, Fang caught up to the pack that’d been stopped at Sanctuary’s door by the club’s bouncer. Bulkier than the wolves, the Bear had long curly blond hair and wore a black t-shirt with the Sanctuary logo on it that was partially covered by a worn black leather jacket to stave off the chill in the air.

His blue eyes carefully scrutinized them. “Pack?”

Vane stepped forward. “Kattalakis Grand Regis Lykos...Katagaria.”

The Bear arched his brow as if impressed with their pedigree. Grand Regis meant that their father had a seat on the Omegrion–the council that oversaw and made the laws that governed all Were-Hunters. Since there were only twenty-three members (twenty-four original, but one species had gone extinct)...it was impressive to be one of them. “Any among you bearing the Kattalakis name?”

“Me and my brother.” Vane indicated Fang.

The Bear nodded as he folded his arms over his chest and took on a tough stance. “We’re Peltiers. I’m Dev–one of a set of identical quadruplets so no, you’re not seeing double or triple inside–and stay clear of the one who looks like me dressed completely in black–Remi’s an irritable SOB. My mother, Nicolette, is the Katagaria Grand Regis Ursulan–so don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit. Quick rule rundown. No fighting, no biting, no magick. You break the rules, we break body parts and you’re banned from here...if you survive.” He passed a meaningful stare to the pups. “In short, come in peace or leave in pieces. You got it?”

Fang raised his hand to flip him off, but Vane caught his wrist before he could.

“We understand.”

Hissing from the burn Vane was putting on him, Fang twisted out of his brother’s grasp.

Vane glared at him. Keep your mouth shut and your gestures to yourself, he mentally projected to him.

I don’t take orders from Bears.

No, but you take them from me. Behave, Fang or I’ll kick your butt back to the Stone Age. Vane grabbed the sleeve of his jacket and dragged him into the bar.

Fang shoved him away. Unless he took him down with magick, Vane was nowhere near as strong as he was. “I’m not your bitch, boy.”

Vane turned on him with a look that said he was one step away from taking his best shot. “Then do it for Anya. We might need them to help us if she has problems with her litter.”

That was a low blow and it was the one thing Vane knew he wouldn’t fight against. Anya was their lifeblood. For her, they’d do anything.

This excerpt is reprinted courtesy of the She Loves Hot Reads website.

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