Home > The Wild (The Lycans, 6)

The Wild (The Lycans, 6)
Author: Jenika Snow


Prologue

 

 

Odhran

 

 

I pulled at my cuffs again and growled, letting my wolf rise, allowing them to see how feral I was. I had nothing else to lose in going after them.

Everything that I was, that meant the most to me, had been taken away, ripped from my heart and soul.

And then they stepped aside in unison, and my heart stopped, my wolf stilled, and for the first time in far too fucking long, the meaning of my life was in front of me once more.

And then that happiness, that elation, vanished as I took in the fact that she was being dragged into the room, her slight body clearly unconscious, her long black hair hanging around her face so I couldn’t see her features well. But I didn’t have to see her face to know she was mine.

Larkin.

I snarled with more aggression as they laid her out on the table, strapped her legs and arms down, then pushed her hair out of her face.

Oh gods. I’ll kill them all ten times over.

She had a bruise on her cheek that snaked up to her ear. I felt even more primal now that I saw they’d dared to touch my tiny nymph mate, her species so fragile and gentle, kind and naturally sweet. She’d never hurt anyone, never say a word that would harm another. But here were these soon-to-be corpses, touching what I held most dear.

I looked at the two males who came in first, promising them retribution and a slow, painful death. One had the intelligence to take a step back, fear crossing his face. The other, a cocky motherfucker, just smirked.

“Welcome, esteemed cardholders,” a voice from an overhead speaker announced, and the humans watching through the glass perked up.

The soft female moan that came from Larkin had me snapping my head in her direction and straining against my bonds.

Get tae her. Gods, please let me get tae her. Tae hold her. Tae tell her everything is okay now, and I’ll never let anyone take her from me again.

“Ah, my sweet lass,” I wheezed out, my chest too tight, my heart breaking over and over again as I watched her wake up and fight through the clear confusion. “I’m here, darlin’.” I bared my teeth as a fucker stepped forward. “Ye’d do best tae stay away from her.”

He paused and cocked his head. “Don’t think you’re much of a threat, Lycan.” He grinned and reached out, grabbing a lock of her hair and rubbing it between his fingers.

My eyes flashed as I stared at him. “Ye signed yer death warrant before now, but now that ye’re touching my female…” I felt a surge of power move through me. “Now, I’m going tae make sure I kill ye nice and slow. I’m going tae fooking enjoy tearing yer throat out and offering it tae my mate as a prize.”

 

 

Chapter

One

 

 

Odhran

The past

 

 

I was losing my mind, a beast pacing and clawing, and every day, it got worse. I felt my sanity slipping through my fingers. I once heard a tale of a Lycan in Eastern Europe who’d let the madness consume him, who was more beast than man.

And all because he hadn’t found his mate.

And I was there. I felt it start to consume me like ink spreading out over a table and staining the grain.

A Lycan male had one priority in his life from the time he was born to the time he took his last breath. One single thing that was of the utmost importance, the light of his life, the soul housed in his core.

His heart beating outside his body.

It was the elemental part of him, the only thing in this world that could tame the wild, ferocious beast inside.

And that was his mate.

That single female who was born to be his and his alone. The woman who would awaken every emotion, every feeling, every desire and pain. She’d amplify it, shape and mold it. Without her, he was nothing.

I am nothing.

A shell of a male. Living but not truly alive.

My mate. Whoever she was. Wherever she was.

And I was forever searching for her. Even if Banner, King of the Scottish Lycans, sent me on missions, even if I was out hunting, she was the only thing I could concentrate on.

I stopped and closed my eyes, inhaling deeply as thoughts of her—whoever she was—filled every part of me. That faceless female I’d die for, whom I’d kill for.

And with every passing year, my mate was the only thing on my mind, my need for her growing and growing until it consumed me.

I fought constantly, trained relentlessly with the Guard, the army of the Scottish Lycans. I took on the most dangerous tasks, the most brutal, in order to become stronger, to be so ruthless I could take care of my female when I did find her, no matter the enemy.

As more time passed, I became distant from my clan, letting the desperation fill me that so many of my kind experienced when the years turned into decades and we still hadn’t found our other half. Although I didn’t give up hope, with each passing day, I preferred to be more on my own, my free time spent in the wild, letting my Lycan out more and more.

I’d volunteered for the task of hunting for the clan farther out, away from the protection of my kind, miles upon miles of untouched wilderness as my home. It was dangerous being alone without your king or the Lycan Guard to watch your back. But at this point in my long life, at over two centuries old, I saw nothing but blackness. Felt bleakness.

I felt nothing but loneliness.

I opened my eyes, exhaled through my nose, and continued moving forward. I focused on why I was out here. Prey. I hunted the creature with accuracy and stealth. The buck would help feed the clan, and that was what I told myself to focus on, not my faceless beauty of a mate.

I froze, tilting my head and listening, inhaling deeply and breathing in. I smelled a buck a hundred meters away, hidden, camouflaged in the foliage. I let my inner animal rise up and moved slowly as I followed the trail, picking up the scent as it became stronger.

I leaned against a large tree, my shoulder butting up against the bark as I stared at the massive animal grazing. The horns spread out like curling fingers, and I felt my wolf ready for the hunt.

And there was nothing better than this, the only thing that made me feel anything. Stalking my prey, taking it down, praising and thanking it for the gift of its life that would feed many of my kind and keep them strong and healthy.

We’d use the skin to stay warm, and the antlers would be weapons, utensils. And no meat would be wasted. Everything would be appreciated.

I crouched low, about to let my inner wolf out, about to let him have the pleasure of taking down the creature, doing it the natural, primal way, where it was beast against beast, survival of the fittest.

And just as I felt my eyes flash blue and my bones start to crack and reshape, the wind picked up and blew from the west, and with it came the most glorious scent I’d ever smelled.

Fuck hunting. My instincts pulled me in the direction of where the aroma was coming from. I could hear the creature scurry off behind me, his hooves digging into the earth as he scented the predator—me.

Yet I didn’t care about anything else but finding the source. My ears twitched, my nostrils flared, and I felt my Lycan rise up even more. But I wouldn’t let him out completely, my human side wanting to experience this first and foremost.

And I knew. I knew without seeing proof what I was headed toward.

My mate. Mine.

The Linked Connection was so powerful it nearly knocked me on my ass as I raced through the forest. And the closer I got, the stronger the aroma filled my head, and the louder I started growling. My blood rushed through my veins and filled my ears, my heart pumping fast and hard. It ached from the force.

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