Blood Moon Rising, Book 2
Their shared blood will destroy them in hatred — or unite them in passion...
After years of waiting, Lycan Alpha Lucien Mondragon is poised to take revenge on his brother, Rafael, by killing Rafael's life mate, the Lycan/Slayer half-breed Falon—but he cannot complete the kill. Instead of ending her life, Lucien defiantly marks Falon as his own.
Though terrified by the savage Lucien, Falon finds herself drawn to him. Torn between the love she has for Rafael and the hunger she holds for Lucien, the will of Falon's heart will lead her to her destined life mate--but it may also doom the brothers and the Lycan race to extinction...
Read an Excerpt
Vulkasin Compound, Sierras, California
THE BLOOD LAW is avenged.
Years after alpha Rafael Vulkasin kills his brother Lucien’s chosen one, the ancient council of the Lycan, the omnipotent Amorak, demands that Rafael honor the Blood Law. The Blood Law can only be avenged with an even exchange. An eye for an eye. The life of Rafael’s chosen one in exchange for the life he took from Lucien.
But Rafael refuses to give his beloved Falon to his vengeful brother, who will destroy her. Rafael pleads to the Amorak to spare Falon’s life.
After a great debate, the council reaches a verdict both brothers as well as Falon agreed in advance to honor. The council could have demanded Falon’s life for the one Rafael took, but because doubt is cast on both brothers’ claims, the council gives Lucien the choice: accept Falon as his own chosen one and treat her with the respect and honor due an alpha’s mate, or surrender Falon to his brother, alive. Revenge never tasted sweeter to Lucien. Lucien chooses to keep Falon as his own. And with his choice, the Lycan nation plummets into chaos.
“I WILL NOT join with him!” Falon shouted, pointing a finger at Lucien, the dark and dangerous brother the council had just given her to. The brother she despised. The brother she would never lay with!
Lucien’s brilliant golden eyes sparked furiously. Hand extended, he strode toward her with the confidence of a man who knew he had won the prize fair and square. “You are mine now. Come to your master.”
Rafael, Lucien’s twin brother, the man Falon loved, snarled as he shifted to wolf and lunged. Lucien shifted and met him in the air, his black wolf snarling just as ferociously as Rafael’s golden wolf. Their two bodies clashed and, as they had years ago, they tore at each other with one purpose: to kill. Only this time, it was Rafael who fought his brother for the life of his mate.
Still shocked at the verdict, Falon’s brain sputtered, unable to react.
Never in her wildest dreams had she expected the verdict that had just been handed down. Never would she have agreed to abide by it. This could not be happening! She was supposed to stay with her beloved Rafael. Did the council not hear his truth? Lucien’s mate was a Slayer! It was every Lycan’s bloodright to kill any Slayer. And so Rafael had. But they believed Lucien’s lies that she was not, and for his deceit, Falon was being torn from her true love’s arms and forced into his brother’s.
Just as stupefied, her pack, Vulkasin, and Lucien’s pack, Mondragon, stood in dumbfounded silence. Unmoving, Falon stared as the twin wolves viciously tore into each other. Warm blood sprayed across her face and chest. Chunks of fur and flesh flew around her.
The cracking sound of breaking bones, punctuated by terrifying snarls. Dear God, they were going to kill each other! Falon shifted into a ferocious she- wolf. She would defend her mate to the death. She would not live without him. Falon leapt into the vicious fray. She yelped as fangs sunk into her flesh and bones, tearing her apart. Despite their blood frenzy to destroy the other, the brothers broke apart when they realized Falon had entered the fray.
Neither wanting to harm her, they backed away. Heads down, ears pinned low, with wary eyes on the other, they circled her maimed body. Shaking from the pain of the wounds, Falon shifted back into her human form.
“Rafa,” she pleaded, touching his bloody muzzle as he came around to her, “don’t do this. I could not bear losing you.”
He snarled and shook his great golden-furred body, blood stinging her skin. She looked past him to the great black wolf that was Lucien. The brother whose own chosen one, a forbidden Slayer, died by Rafael’s righteous hand almost sixteen years ago. And today, Rafael paid the price of the Blood Law for his deed. Falon’s life had been spared, but in sparing it, the council gave her to the prodigal son as payment for what his brother had so viciously taken from him.
It was fair in all eyes but hers and Rafael’s. She would never lay with his brother, not when she loved Rafael and not after the pain and suffering she had endured by Lucien’s hand.
She would kill him first.
Falon swallowed hard and looked at the two packs that had drawn into a tight circle around them, and then behind them the other packs that had come in support of each brother. Past them on a raised dais stood the council of the Amorak, the keeper of the wolves. Their grave faces stared unblinking as the blood feud that had been building for over fifteen years played out.
Falon’s heart ached with such pain she could scarce draw a breath. Her lover’s blood smeared her bare chest, mingling with her own, dripping onto her feet, pooling around her toes. Rafael’s great body heaved as he drew ragged breaths. Lucien was in no better shape. If she did not intervene, they would kill each other.
For Rafael’s life, she accepted what she must do. Inhaling deeply, Falon held her breath for long seconds, then exhaled.
Rafa, my love, my heart, my soul. Your life is more important to me than all the lives in this world combined. Please, stop this. Let me go. We will be together again. I promise.
He will kill you, Falon, if I do not kill him first!
Rafael leapt over Falon tackling his brother. And the fight was on again. Frantic, and desperate for them to stop, naked and bloody, Falon stumbled into Rafael’s office where she knew he kept a loaded handgun in his desk. She grabbed it. She would not stand by and watch her beloved be destroyed. Running back into the great room, Falon shot several rounds into the ceiling. The shots had no effect on either brother. They continued to fight. Time stopped. In slow motion, Falon watched the wolves tear each other apart, their fangs dripping red with blood, their great chests heaving as they sucked in air.
“You must stop this!” Sharia, the elder Amorak, shrilled, pushing past the council into the crowded floor.
Falon shot off another round. When the brothers continued to fight, she put the barrel of the gun to her chest and screamed, “Stop now or there will be nothing to fight over!”
Simultaneously, Rafael and Lucien shifted into their human forms and turned to face her. Falon cried out at Rafael’s condition. Large gaping gashes filleted his chest, thighs, and arms. His golden skin glittered crimson.
He reached out to her, taking an unsteady step toward her. “No, Falon,” he said hoarsely.
“The Blood Law has been avenged!” Sharia, cried stepping toward the alpha brothers. “You both know to kill an alpha is a death sentence!” The grizzled old woman tottered toward Lucien and grabbed his bloody hand. “Kill your brother this day and lose your life before the sun sets.”
She took Rafael’s hand and placed it over his brother’s. “Swear before the packs you will not break our covenant.”
Rafael yanked his hand from Sharia’s and spit on the floor. “The Blood Law has forsaken me! Only Lucien’s death will atone for it!”
Lucien stepped snarling toward Rafael. “The Blood Law has betrayed me twice! Only your chosen one’s death will redeem it!”
“No,” Falon whispered. “I do not want to die.”
Lucien turned and faced her. “You will not die by my hand. I swore to accept the verdict and so I shall.” He extended his hand, motioning her to him. “You belong to me now.”
“I don’t.” Desperately Falon looked past Lucien to Rafael, who stepped toward her. His ocean-colored eyes cried out with pain, longing, and a love for her so profound she felt it to her marrow. But shining just as passionately, she beheld his honor, his pride, his love for his people. And most heartbreaking of all, the truth of what she must do. Go with Lucien or refuse; either way, the outcome would destroy Rafael. She could not live with that guilt.
She straightened and faced Sharia. “I reject both alphas. I choose to remain unmated.”
“You gave up that choice when you exchanged marks with Rafael,” Sharia said evenly. Her tobacco brown eyes glittered furiously. Her gnarled hands fisted at her sides. “See it done!”
Falon shook her head and stepped back. This was barbaric! She was not a commodity to be traded because of a law she did not live by. And she would not be a slave to any man or nation.
“Come with me now,” Lucien said softly.
She looked at him through blurry eyes. Lucien: the dark, mysterious, misunderstood alpha who maybe, in a different place and a different time, she could accept. But not now. Not when that choice would destroy Rafael.
“No,” she whispered and pulled the trigger.
Pain exploded in her chest. Her heart shuddered from the percussion. Falon knew her body was shaking, but she felt only the profound loss of the life she had prayed for with Rafa. Barely able to stand, she blinked back the blood and tears as every eye in the great room stared dumbfounded at her. The only eyes she met were Rafael’s stunned aqua- colored ones.
“Noooo!” he cried, running toward her.
The gun slipped from her bloody fingers. The pain mushroomed throughout her body. “I love you,” Falon said as she crumbled to the floor.
It was not Rafael’s arms that caught her but those of his brother. Lucien’s horrified golden eyes were the last thing she saw before she gave up her life for the man she loved.