Her Solstice Wolf by C.D. Gorri

PROLOGUE

Ten years ago...

Snow had already started falling while she prepared the yule log for the solstice feast. As she’d been doing most of her life, Gran prepared the rituals she and her granddaughters would celebrate to welcome the coming dawn.

The banging on the door caused her to jump and drop the chocolate cupcake she’d been icing onto the cold tile floor. Gran wiped her hands on her apron, calling upon her guides and guardians for strength.

“Are they okay?” Margaret O’Hare wailed as the heir to the seat of Alpha for the Macconwood Pack, Rafe Maccon, stood in her doorway.

“Yes ma’am,” he replied in a voice warm with sympathy. “The girls have been brought to the hospital.”

“I have to go---”

“I am afraid you should prepare yourself,” Rafe said, gazing at her with icy blue eyes that were the signature of his line.

“Oh, who? Please tell me who,” the old woman demanded.

She knew better. Really, she did. A human did not simply make demands of a Werewolf, and an Alpha at that.

Not a Wolf herself, Margaret, or Gran, as she was known, became aware of the Macconwood Wolf Pack the second she moved to the small Jersey shore town. And when her daughter had married one of their own, she did her best to stay out of their way.

What did a Wolf want with a Druidess with no Magical talents, anyway? Still, she kept to the traditions and honored her ancestors as best she could. When her granddaughters came to live with her, she did the same for them. Keeping them out of it, until now.

“I am sorry, but Clara’s injuries are quite severe,” Rafe continued.

“Clara? No. Not her,” Margaret said, exhaling as she gathered her small magical stores to her and began to pray to the goddess for strength.

Memories filled her mind on the short drive to the hospital, and she knew then she had nothing to fear. This was not Clara’s time to die.

“It will begin on Solstice,” the fortuneteller had whispered in a scratchy voice that had more than grated on Margaret O’Hare’s nerves.

“Two are yours. One light, one dark. Both skin, both fur. They will hurt, they will bleed. A fight to survive. The battle does not end there. Like the star that grounds us all, fate pulls the Wolf to her. Balance and temperance must be learned. Independence is not a foe. If she fights it, she will not win. It will begin on Winter Solstice at the culmination of her twenty-seventh year, and that will be the end. Do not forget.”

Gran had almost forgotten the strange words of the old woman who’d read for the Coven in secret so many years ago. For some reason now the words came rushing back, clear as day.

“I’m afraid Clara had the worst of it, Mrs. O’Hare,” the future Alpha stated. “Delia was thrown from the vehicle and has a concussion, but Clara was pinned inside for the better part of ten hours. She is getting surgery now.”

“Oh no,” the older woman whispered, allowing the tall Wolf to help her into his truck.

He was with a few others like him. Big, strong Wolves, the lot of them. Men that would be his Guard. She turned to land her steely gray gaze on a set of twins. Rare even in normals, and almost unheard of for Wolves.

“Don’t worry, Mrs. O’Hare,” one twin said to her. “We take care of ours.”

“She’ll give you a hell of a time taking care of her, son,” she said, smiling suddenly as the fortuneteller’s words came rushing back. “But she is worth it, I’ll wager.”

The young man blinked, nodding, a small smile on his face. He was humoring a nervous old woman. But Gran finally began to understand the words of the fortune teller.

But before she could prepare her granddaughter for her future, she must make sure she survived the night.

Please, goddess, keep her safe.