Home > Blood Law (Blood Moon Rising Trilogy #1)

Blood Law (Blood Moon Rising Trilogy #1)
Karin Tabke

His Desire Sealed Her Fate

“Accept me,” a harsh, husky voice demanded above her.

Like quicksilver, excitement thrummed through her veins. Her breath rushed from her lungs. She would not deny him. In doing so, she would deny herself. She closed her eyes as every part of her loosened. Finally, she would know how it felt.

In answer, she undulated beneath his hardness as it pressed for entry.

He put his lips to her ear. “Say the words: I accept you.”

She gasped at the raw passion of his words, the tone possessive and commanding.

“Say it!” he hissed. His body coiled above hers, like a serpent ready to strike.

“I-I accept you,” she breathed.

The Truth

In medieval Europe, wolves were feared and looked upon as the scourge of the earth. Many people lost their lives to wolf attacks. In 1281 Edward I, Longshanks, king of England, commissioned the great hunter, Peter Corbet, to eliminate the wolves in England. Peter, who would come to be known as Peter the Wolf, accepted the charter with bloodthirsty gusto, and soon hundreds upon thousands of wolves were slain. The devastation of wolves did not end with their demise in England and Scotland. As the centuries passed and the wolves fled into other parts of Europe, the hunt continued.

The Lore

In Peter’s time, there was a deformed wolf, Fenrir, an outcast born of an alpha and his mate.

All of the alphas, even Fenrir’s own sire, were so disgusted by Fenrir’s deformities that they banished him from all the packs. Furious that his own kind would shun him, Fenrir struck a deal with Gilda, the Druid witch of the Marches. She would grant the outcast wolf alpha strength and immortality in return for the slaying of twin wolves and the delivery of their souls every one hundred years.

Fortified and hungry for vengeance, Fenrir offered his services to Peter Corbet.

With Fenrir’s help, Peter hunted the packs and slew them. Only the strongest survived. Most fled north into Scotland, then into Norway and Russia. In Russia the great pack, Vulkasin, was born. Another pack fled south into France and across the Great Pyrenees where they settled and coexisted with the fierce Basque people. There, the formidable Mondragon pack multiplied and thrived.

Before Peter Corbet’s death, King Edward rewarded the great hunter for his fearlessness with a gold ring fashioned in the image of a howling wolf. Set as the eye, a rare, bloodred ruby. Peter dubbed the ring the Eye of Fenrir. And it was passed down to the eldest Corbet son.

The wolf hunts did not end with Peter’s death. With Fenrir’s guidance, Peter’s progeny picked up where their sire left off, as did their descendants through the ages, who would come to be known as Slayers.

The centuries passed, the hunted wolves moved into the vast Siberian wasteland and then across the great Bering Sea and into the New World. There the mystic Inuit people who had great respect for the wolves befriended them. But the Slayers, led by the vengeful Fenrir, followed.

On a fateful night, one that coincided with the sun reflecting on the full lunar eclipse and turning it bloodred, the Slayers, led by Fenrir, attacked the great wolf packs—both the Mondragon in Europe and the Vulkasin in the New World. Both packs fought valiantly. But Fenrir’s vengeance was too potent.

Seeing that the great packs were on the verge of extinction, Singarti, the great spirit guide of the Inuit, called to the gods for intervention. Lightning struck the master Slayer known as the jager, killing him. Singarti took the Eye of Fenrir from his hand and turned it on its namesake, forcing Fenrir’s spirit into the ring. Singarti cast a sealing spell, trapping Fenrir within, then buried the ring deep into the frozen tundra of the North.

Singarti knew for the wolves to survive into the next millennia they must be able to shift into human form. And so she raised her arms to the great gods once more and asked that they have mercy on the wolves. The gods were benevolent that day. The surviving wolves shifted into human form and were called Lycan, only to take their natural wolf form for twenty-four hours during each full moon or when provoked by great rage. Singarti further protected the Lycan with the gift of her daughter, Sasha, to the great Vulkasin alpha, Arnou. With an infusion of Inuit blood, the Lycan thrived.

This infuriated Fenrir. Through the confines of the ring, he called upon the dark gods and demanded they favor him with a chance to raise his Slayers against the Lycan. And the gods scoffed but promised him this: when he found one who was equal to him in power but pure of heart, the gods would release him from the ring and grant him the chance to defeat the Lycan on the next rising of the Blood Moon.

The Slayers continued to hunt wolves and Lycan alike. The wolves continued to grow fewer in numbers, but the Lycan thrived. With no help from the banished Fenrir, the Slayers turned to black magic to aid them in their efforts to annihilate all things Lycan.

Ten generations passed. The Eye of Fenrir lay buried deep in the snowy tundra of the North. With the second coming of the Blood Moon looming, the two great packs, Mondragon and Vulkasin, united. Tamaska, pack Vulkasin’s alpha female, conceived and bore twin males, Rafael and Lucien: one dark, the other light. The births set off a year of countless other births, strengthening the bloodline and guaranteeing yet another generation of Lycans.

Though buried deep in the northern ice, Fenrir’s senses were so great that he was aware of the twins’ birth. Furious and more desperate than ever to be freed, he used all of his dark magic and called out to the jager, Thomas Corbet.

Thomas heard the call and unearthed the Eye of Fenrir. Knowing the power the ring possessed and what would happen if Fenrir was freed, Thomas kept the rising of the ring to himself. But Thomas exploited the ring’s power. The Lycans who had thrived were systematically hunted and slain at an alarming rate.

Tragedy struck on the Vulkasin twins’ tenth birthday. Their parents were slain by Thomas, his two brothers, and his marauders. Vulkasin’s powerful medicine woman, Layla, was kidnapped by Thomas Corbet. Though it is forbidden for a Slayer to lie with a Lycan, Thomas could not control the overwhelming desire he experienced when he was in the presence of the soulful Lycan. Shamelessly, he took Layla; she bore him a child, a girl she named Falon . . .

Fourteen years ago . . .

FOR LONG MINUTES, Rafael stood silent outside the two-story cinder-block walls that shielded pack Vulkasin from the world. Thick rolls of concertina wire topped the five-brick-thick concrete, and behind that, the hot currents of high-voltage electric wire hummed. Although it was spring, a chill still lingered from a rough winter, and gray smoke wafted in great arching swirls from the chimneys inside the compound. Soon, the pack would rise, only to find that something had changed.

After being gone almost a year, Rafael Vulkasin was home.

But his homecoming was not one to celebrate. It did not signify the completion of Rafael’s spirit journey in the North, but rather the confrontation he’d been long hoping to avoid.

Alpha against alpha.

Brother against brother.

Even as he clenched his jaw, resolute in what was to come, Rafael set one of his two duffel bags down on the ground, pressed a code into a keypad that opened with a soft click, revealing another keypad, then pressed his right hand to the biometric pad. Slowly the heavy metal gates clicked open. Grabbing his bag, Rafael slid inside as the gates clanged shut behind him.

Gravel crunched beneath his booted feet as he strode deeper into the compound and paused to take in the two-story log cabin–style building. He hated this place as much as he loved it. His chest tightened as memories stirred in his heart. Memories of his mother’s warmth and comfort, of his father’s strength and power, and of his brother’s unconditional love and loyalty. Memories of feeling secure—of knowing as long as his parents were alive, he, his brother, and the rest of the pack would be safe.

But they weren’t alive—not anymore—and the pack had nearly died right along with them.

Rage snapped, hot and vengeful, in Rafael’s belly. The beast within him snarled, gnawing at his gut, demanding release.

Retribution.

It was what he and Lucien lived for. It was why they had jointly challenged their cousin, Tallus, almost three years ago, for alpha rights. And while it was often the cause of tension between them when they disagreed about how to proceed, their goal had always been the same: hunt down Jager Thomas Corbet and his two brothers, Balor and Edward, and destroy them. To avenge the helplessness and despair he and Lucien had felt when they’d been forced to hide while the three Corbet brothers skinned their mother alive as their father and the rest of the pack helplessly watched.

Now Lucien was endangering the success of that goal.

According to Talia’s—his pack’s healer and spirit guide—dream visit, Lucien had brought someone into the compound walls that threatened their revenge as well as their pack’s strength—a human. A human his brother intended to claim as his mate.

As Rafael’s lip curled with distaste, Anton, Rafael and Lucien’s second-in-command, greeted him with a somber expression. The same somber expression that never changed. Though he was only a year younger, Anton’s face bore the stress lines of one who had witnessed unspeakable horror. As Rafael and Lucien had watched as their parents were eviscerated, so, too, did Anton witness the mutilation of his mother. Their bond went far deeper than their heritage. Their suffering had solidified their friendship for life.

“It’s been a long time,” Anton said, extending his arm but casting his eyes down in a show of submissiveness. Rafael grasped Anton’s arm at the elbow then quickly released it.

“Too long by some accounts,” Rafael clipped, staring hard at Anton. “How fares the pack?”

Anton’s glance shifted momentarily up then sideways before he nodded and met Rafael’s gaze. “There is unrest. Talk of mutiny. Some say your brother would sacrifice us for his own pleasure. I don’t agree, but Lucien . . .” Anton shook his head. “The human has a strong hold on him.”

“Where is my brother and his—flavor of the week?”

Anton hesitated, then jerked his head toward the south wing of the compound. “He calls her elegida.”

Rafael scowled. Usually his brother’s conquests didn’t last long enough for a name exchange, but for him to go further and call her his chosen one? His scowl deepened. What hold did this woman have on his brother? “What do you think of her?”

Anton shrugged. “She makes your brother happy, but . . .”

“But?” Rafael questioned.

“But there is something not right with that one. Even for a human.”

For a moment, Rafael was tempted to share what he’d learned on his spirit journey—that an enemy was closing in on the pack, one with the power to destroy it completely. He didn’t think such a thing could be accomplished by a mere human female, especially one that his brother thought was his chosen one, but still . . . As he often did, Rafael chose to be cautious. Until he talked to his brother, he wouldn’t reveal too much. Rafael dropped his duffels to the plank wood floor. “Have the females prepare my quarters, and rouse the pack in an hour. By then, the human will be gone.”

Rafael turned and moved toward the south wing, halting in his tracks when Anton’s voice followed him.

“Lucien will not cast her out, Rafe. He loves her. He believes she is his chosen one.”

Not turning around, Rafael said more to himself than to Anton, “Lucien has no choice. I am taking control of the pack.” It had to be. If Lucien would jeopardize the welfare of the pack for an unworthy life mate, he did not deserve to lead it.

Without another word, Rafael strode into the large, sprawling building he had left on his eighteenth birthday. It was as he remembered it: dark, depressing, but home. Lucien’s dominant scent pricked at his nostrils, but other scents mingled with Lucien’s. The scent of a human female. The scent of sex. And something darker . . .

Urgency pushed Rafael faster. He could only hope his brother had not yet marked her; had he, there was only one thing that could separate her from Lucien: death.

That she was merely a weaker species, one unworthy of sharing its blood with the powerful Lycans and thus weakening the pack as a whole aside, something dark and terrible grabbed hold of Rafael.

As resolved as Rafael was to remove the human from the pack, he didn’t want to kill her to do it. Not only would he lose his own brother in the process, but there would be the Blood Law to answer to. An eye for an eye.

“Damn you, Lucien!” Rafael growled. He took off toward the heady scent of sex.

HE KICKED OPEN his brother’s door and stopped short at the shrill scream of a woman.

Rafael’s eyes narrowed in on the sight of his brother vigorously fu**ing the female from behind.

For a moment, her beauty, so spectacular, mesmerized him to stillness.

Thick auburn hair, deep-set blue eyes, high cheekbones, and lips so succulent he instantly imagined his dick shoved between them topped her voluptuous curves. His hands twitched at his sides. Her best asset, however, were her ripe tits. She slyly watched him watch her then wriggled her ass under his scurrilous glare, her tits bouncing in response.

Rafael’s blood quickened as the sudden urge to take her struck him. If it were under any other circumstances, he’d take a dip in that pond himself. But these weren’t other circumstances. Intuitively, he knew there was something terribly wrong here.

Jerking himself forcibly from the unease that has settled upon him, Rafael shouted, “Lucien. Stop!”

Unbelievably, even as the female met his gaze, as if he were in a sexual trance, his brother paid him no mind—didn’t even acknowledge his presence. Instead, he continued to pump into the woman, eyes closed, his fingers digging into the flesh of her hips, his own thrusting with manic power as low groans of pleasure escaped his throat.

Rafael stepped deeper into the room for a closer look at the girl’s neck for signs of his brother’s mark. It was smooth and unblemished. He was not too late.

In the next instant, his brother brought himself and the girl to a raucous cl**ax without attempting to mark her. Their heavy pants filled the small space as their bodies slowed.

Without breaking her stare, the female brushed damp hair from her brow and licked her full lips. She smiled deviously and straightened, arching her back and wrapping her arms around Lucien’s neck so that her br**sts thrust tauntingly in Rafael’s face. Rafael swallowed hard. Her mysterious, musky scent called to him as it must have to his brother. His gaze dropped to her flat belly, her flared hips, then lower to the fiery red curls at the juncture of her thighs. They were tight and glistened with moisture. She spread her thighs wider, giving Rafael an unfettered view of her pink, swollen lips cradling his brother’s dick. More of her potent scent released, snaring his rapt attention. He felt her pull, like sweet-smelling angel vines slowly winding around his chest, intoxicating, tightening, lethal . . . he resisted. She was all things carnal, and for a brief span of a second, Rafael understood his brother’s infatuation. Heavy lids dipped over passion-dark eyes. “Lucien, my love, we have company,” she purred.

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