Havermouth, Present Time
The pack’s headquarters was also the original homestead of the area, built back before there was running water and cars, and when there were hundreds of servants to maintain the property. According to local legend, the Havermouth family and every last servant had disappeared one night, inexplicably, leaving clothing and valuables untouched. The vanishing of Havermouth was discovered over a month later, when one of the Havermouth’s daughters’ suitors, mystified how his letters to his beloved were going unanswered, rode to the property from Rideten, then a journey of several days, in order to investigate.
He described the sight in a letter to the Havermouth’s next of kin, as a scene from a horror book – horses, sheep and cattle grazing amongst the roses and kitchen gardens, chickens wandering the main hall, and the house and outbuildings untouched. Not a single human being to be seen, no corpses, no sign of packing or preparation. Just empty.
The Havermouth’s next of kin was the pack alpha of the Les Guerriers Sanctifies and brought his pack across the ocean to inhabit the property. The Havermouth property became the Havermouth town, and it slowly absorbed into its spread the smaller human homesteaders in the area, creating a mix of werewolf and human inhabitants.
Heath parked between a Lexus and a Hummer and sighed. The Lexus was his father’s car, and the Hummer belonged to August. He regretted not taking the time to stop at the river house and change his clothing, however he had not wanted to leave Aislen for too long with no one but the human, Tyler, to look out for her.
He had left a message for Talen as he’d left, and he was confident that the vampire would return to the house, if it were at all possible for him to do so. Talen was as much a problem as Aislen, he admitted to himself. Now that his father knew about Talen, Abigail and August would as well, and soon the entire pack.
If they objected to taking a human into the pack, they were not going to be any more receptive to taking a vampire – and this vampire, more than any other.
He ran his fingers through his hair and checked his reflection in the mirror regretting not shaving that morning. “F-k it,” he sighed and opened the door. He crossed to the porch, and before he even reached the ornate front door, he could hear his father’s voice, raised to the strident spittle-flicking pitch that he used when delivering his most fervent sermons.
“Hmm,” Heath groaned rolling his eyes as he pressed the doorbell. “Into the fray.”
August opened the door and paused for a moment his eyes holding Heath's so that they could both hear Charlie Gale exclamation: “A vampire! That vampire of all vampires! Talen Gawaine!”
“It occurs to me, Heath,” August said quietly. “That I only receive visits of this nature when Aislen Carter is in Havermouth.”
“I am sorry,” Heath said. “But I will add that Aislen is not to blame for any of this.”
“Walk with me Heath,” August stepped out and closed the door behind him, cutting off Charlie Gale’s tirade. August gestured with his head, and the two alphas stepped off the porch and followed the garden path towards the formal gardens. “Talen Gawaine?”
Heath sighed and shoved his hands into his pockets. “He has claimed Aislen as his mate, except that he is being very careful about just how he puts it as he’s obviously gotten a good measure of Aislen’s personality and worked out that she will pretty much pit herself against anything that resembles a command.”
“You are familiar with his name?”
“I wasn’t at first,” Heath confessed. “But it wasn’t hard to dig into him a bit. He is mentioned a few times in the historical records.”
Jules Edison had also been very informative when Cameron had asked him. The Edisons had been one of the original pack families to move to Havermouth, and their family records went way back. Heath wasn’t about to betray that father and son chat however – August could demand why Jules hadn’t alerted the pack about Talen, and Heath didn’t want to cause issues between Cameron and his father.
“In not very complimentary ways,” August pointed out, pausing to deadhead a rose.
“People change, August,” Heath replied calmly. “I have had the opportunity to get to know Talen, and he is very different to how the history books paint him. As you know, historians can be biased.”
“What is the situation with the Triquetra and the vampire?” August asked bluntly.
“Congenial,” Heath replied straight-faced. Very congenial, he added to himself, seeing as the vampire had finished in Heath the night before whilst Heath was in Aislen. Just the memory made Heath’s c-ck harden. F-k it, he cursed himself, sporting wood whilst talking with August was not a good idea. “The vampire accepts the Triquetra’s claim on Aislen and believes that we can come to a mutually agreeable arrangement.”
August raised his eyebrows. “He will turn her,” he predicted. “It might be for the best. It might sever this unfortunate bond between your Triquetra and Aislen Carter.”
Heath drew in a deep breath. “We do not know if that will also sever the bond between the Triquetra,” he told August. “So, we would prefer to avoid that. We would also prefer if the pack ceased referring to it as an unfortunate bond. She is our mate. The Moon Goddess created the bond for a reason, and if the Moon Goddess saw something in Aislen that inspired her to create a Triquetra in order to protect her, then we insult the Moon Goddess in calling the bond unfortunate or in trying to reject the mate she has given us.”
August tilted his head to the side and regarded Heath for a long moment. He inhaled lifting his chin, his eyes flashing with his wolf, and he chuckled slightly on the exhale. “Finally,” he declared. “It’s about time that the Triquetra took a stand on this.”
“We have always taken a stand,” Heath protested. “We have always wanted Aislen.”
“Did you?” August replied sceptically. “An alpha who wants someone doesn’t take no for an answer, doesn’t let hurdles stand between him and her, and doesn’t let others talk him out of it, and here we have three alphas who have sat through countless meetings where others have discussed whether they can claim their mate, consented to her being sent away for three years, and allowed their bond to be spoken about as a tainted thing, a disease,” he revealed his teeth in a snarl. “Those are not the actions of alphas taking a stand.”
“Abigail…” Heath was taken aback.
“Abigail has her own agenda,” August interrupted. “As do I. A wise wolf would think about that and how those agendas might affect him, and his Triquetra.” He nodded as he saw Heath’s frown. “You’re a smart man, Heath Gale. You will work it out.
“In the meantime, now that you have decided that you want Aislen Carter, I hope that the Triquetra is prepared to fight for her because you are right. There is a hit on her, more than one. I have my own suspicions as to who originated these hits, and no, I can do nothing to help you other than tell you that I believe that you are correct. The Moon Goddess has a plan and purpose for you.
“A Triquetra with a human mate, and now this vampire connection, and not just any vampire but, as your father has been declaring ferociously for over an hour, that vampire…” He plucked off another dead rose head. “There are troubled times ahead of our pack, and your odd collection of mates will have a role to play in it.”
“Abigail was…” Heath’s mind was working furiously. “She was trying to control who became our female mate. She was the one who kept pushing werewolf females at us… She objected to Aislen. She suggested that we reject her, knowing that it could damage the Triquetra’s bond…”
“If you cannot manipulate a Triquetra to ensure that they worked for you, the safest thing is to destroy it to prevent it working against you,” August replied. “But she would tell you the same thing, were you to ask her, except that she would imply that accepting Aislen and Talen Gawaine would destroy your Triquetra, and that she has been working to save you. Who do you believe, Heath Gale?” He laughed ruefully. “Welcome to politics.”
Havermouth, Present TimeTalen had trussed Chris Errans up like a pig ready for the rotisserie, and Aislen enjoyed, very much, watching the man grunting, dragging air in through his broken and swollen nose as he was gagged, and squirming as if seeking relief from his predicament.“Be careful of the broken glass.” Talen scooped her underwear up off the floor, shaking them free of glass shards, and his eyes hardened as he passed them to her, his hand stroking under her skirt. “Did he…?” He growled.“No,” she assured him as she stepped into the panties and pulled them on. “He f-king tried though, the raping bastard. I kicked his balls so hard that I’m pretty sure they’re lodged in his throat, now, and he can taste his own come.”“Good,” Talen’s search had discovered the bruise on her hip, and he shook his head, his glower darkening.“I have a few lumps and bruises,” she admitted. “But I gave pretty good back, I think.”“I agree,” he caressed her hair. “I am sorry,” he leaned forward unti
Havermouth, Eight Years BeforeHeath watched as Rhett and Cameron laughed, trading the bottle between them. The music thrummed through him, the pulse throbbing in an echo to his c-ck. He was oblivious to the party around them, to the scantily clad human girls in their miniskirts and mid-drift tops, to the laughter and shrieks.What would he do, Heath wondered, if Cameron turned his face just slightly towards Rhett, if Rhett leaned forward just a little…? If Rhett’s hand slid down from Cameron’s shoulder, over his chest and stomach, would Cameron lean back…?“F-k,” he muttered and adjusted his jeans. He was sitting in the middle of a house filled with humans and pack members, fantasizing about his best friend and the new boy getting it on. As he cast around desperately for a distraction, he saw Lauren Bascall enter the party with her best friend Alice Kelly.What would the senior alphas do? He asked himself. They would take what they needed and do what they wanted.He shoved up from th
Havermouth, Present TimeThe house looked sad, Cameron thought as he parked in front of it. It was too much house for just Jules Edison, his father being more focused on the land around it than the architect designed mansion. The curtains were drawn in the rooms that Cameron knew his father did not use, the internal doors shut as if in doing so Jules could shrink the house to something more manageable.Cameron had begged his father to employ a house cleaner and grounds keeper to maintain the property, but it was the Edison way, it seemed, to let their empty houses decay around them, to shut off what they didn’t need or want, and to focus entirely on what they did. It was, after all, what the Edisons had done to the river house. Simply closed the doors and walked away from it, and all the history that it contained. Jules had employed two new field hands instead. Cameron headed to the stables and found Tim mucking out. “Hey.”Tim looked up and grinned. “Hey. How’s your lady?”“She’s o
Havermouth, Present TimeTalen drove just out of town, deep into the forest that followed the contours of the hills, turning off the main roads onto dirt roads, and then from those to little winding tracks that were little more than two furrows carved into the undergrowth.He stopped at a gate and let the Ute idling whilst he went to open it. Aislen could see at the top of a hill a modern house that overlooked the forest. The front windows were mirror glazed, reflecting back the sky.“Where are we?” She asked Talen as he returned to the car. He left the gate open behind them, following the winding driveway, but turning away from where it rose up to the house.“Vampire safe house,” he told her. “New house up there, but there’s also the old farmhouse down here, along with a couple of smaller cottages.”They bounced along the track, and she imagined Chris Arrens being tossed around in the tray with malicious enjoyment. “What the f-k is an oubliette, daddy?”“It is called the Forgotten Ro
Havermouth, Eight Years Before“That one,” Rhett rested his elbow on his knee, and nodded his chin in the direction of a human girl walking by. On the grassy knoll behind them the cheerleaders shrieked as Rohan sprayed them with his water bottle held at groin level, gyrating towards them as if it were his c-ck. Rhett looked over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. “Arsehole.”“She’s a bit… round,” Heath wrinkled his nose. He leaned slightly against Rhett as he tracked the girl with his eyes, and Rhett breathed in the scent of the other alpha, feeling it unfurl with him, heating through him until his c-ck leapt to life.F-k, Rhett thought. He wasn’t sure which alpha he found more attractive, Cameron or Heath, and sitting between them was f-king dangerous. He was pretty sure that they were straight, from the way they talked about sex with human girls constantly, and that his mum was right, and the pack was generally intolerant, which sucked, because Rhett had always known that he was open
Havermouth, Present TimeBy the time Heath and August walked back to the house, there were more cars parked in a neat line up of luxury and excess. The Merc belonged to Lilith Boyston, the BMW to Harry Ridgeway, and the Porsche was Phillip Salem’s.“Shit,” Heath muttered sliding a look at August who did not look surprised. “This is going to be fun.”August chuckled under his breath as they stepped onto the porch.Due to the number of werewolves present, the meeting had moved from the office to the dining room and as Heath and August made their way down the wide, luxurious hallway with its antique furniture, brightly threaded rugs, and grim-faced paintings, Heath could hear the angry voices silenced abruptly.“We will not overtalk each other,” Abigail announced calmly, her voice carrying. “We will discuss this like the civilized adults that we are. Yes, I am aware that there are a great number of incidents of concern at this time, but we will address them one at a time.”“I am sure tha
Havermouth, Present Time“You going to ravish me in the barn like some hero from a historical romance, daddy?” Aislen smirked as Talen stepped between her knees.“After,” he told her and lifted his wrist to his teeth, using the sharp points to break the skin. Rhett would both be disappointed to have missed the classic vampire move, she thought, and disapproving of Talen giving her more blood.She caught her bottom lip between her teeth as she met his eyes. “Daddy,” she said uncertainly.“It will be okay, Morgana,” he told her with a small smile. His lip and the hair of his beard was stained with his own blood. “You have been favoring your hip, you have claw marks and bruises all over your arms, and I would be a fool not to have noticed that you have a sore head.”“Daddy,” she melted. “You take such good care of me.” She pressed her kiss to the bleeding wound. He had not pierced the vein, just broken the skin, giving her just a taste. He licked the wound closed and almost immediately c
Havermouth, Present TimeRhett trusted instinct and when that inner sense tugged his eyes up from his work, he paused the tattoo gun.Sure enough, the unmistakable silhouette of Aislen paused before his window. She was with Talen, the vampire out massing her twice over despite Aislen’s generous temptresses’ curves. She craned her head back in order to look at Talen’s face as they talked, and her hand rested on the vampire’s chest, stroking in an unconscious motion over the knap of the fabric as she smiled and nodded along to whatever he was saying.He cupped her skull, his fingers burying into the dark, unruly curls, and leaned over to kiss her in a leisurely, appreciative manner, drawing her bottom lip out as he pulled back.Rhett’s c-ck throbbed against his thigh. F-k, he thought in a glaze of lust. He knew that the vampire was dangerous, the Triquetra had discussed it amongst themselves, and agreed to play dumb for the time being to see where it went, but the massive man was sexy a