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egpenny
May 31st, 2013, 08:19 AM
Chapter One

Jaegar Logan’s fist slammed into his office wall, creating a hole that was very close to the hole he’d fisted into the wall earlier that day. “Damn it!” he shouted in frustration. He sucked on his knuckles and then flexed the tightness out of his fingers.
The door creaked open and Brand’s head poked around the edge before he entered the office. “What is with you? If you wanted to redo your office, there are easier more efficient ways to do it.” He looked at the twin holes and shook his head. “Dude, what’s up?”
“She’s out there Brand,” Jaegar said. “I get close and then she disappears. It’s driving me nuts.”
“Who? What … oh no, you’re talking about a life mate, you found her?” Brand’s face broke into a grin. “Congratulations Jaeg. Who’s the lucky lady?”
“That’s the hell of it, I don’t know. I smell her, begin tracking her, and then poof, she’s gone. Somehow she can cloak her scent.” Jaeg collapsed into his desk chair and stared at his beta. “Brand, this has been going on since right after that last meeting with the Sampson pack. How can I concentrate on Sampson’s rogue problem when she’s playing with my head?”
“Okay, let’s figure this out. Have you been actually hunting for her or do you just run into her scent when you’re out and about?” Brand began pacing in front of the desk. Lifemates were a one-time deal for wolves. If Jaegar couldn’t find his one-and-only after he’d scented her, he’d become unstable. That was not what the Westfall pack needed with a rogue shifter fomenting trouble.
“When I’m out and about, and it’s never in the same place, at least it hasn’t been so far,” Jaegar replied as he watched Brand wear a path in his carpet.
“Well, we’ve got to find her.” Brand stopped and stared at his alpha. “Tell me, is she wolf?”
“Not entirely, maybe not even half. I can sense human, wolf, and something else, but I don't know what. I’ve scented it before, but I can’t remember where and have no idea what it is.”
“We’ll work on that Jaeg, but right now we need to deal with the latest news from Sampson’s.”
Straightening in his chair, Jaegar asked, “What are they up to now? I told Henry not to mess around until his rogue problem is settled. He’s to keep his pack stable. If he’s done anything I’ll have his hide.”
“No, Henry’s good. He called and said one of his soldiers had caught the scent of a couple of strange wolves in his territory. He said they hadn’t checked in with him as they should have. He was going to check them out, see what they wanted and get them gone. Henry knows we’ve got problems enough without strangers stirring things up.” Brand settled into a chair. “Do you want me to go up there and see what’s cooking or wait for Henry’s next call.”
“No, call Henry tomorrow. Offer to help find the strangers. If he says yes send two of our best trackers up there to find them. I’m not looking for any more trouble until we catch the Sampson rogue. He’s already killed and we have to stop him.”
The Sampson Pack, led by Henry Chambers, had the territory to the north of Jaegar’s region. One of Henry’s wolves had gone feral and had killed two humans, and that had the local Sheriff’s Department poking around where they shouldn’t be. Jaegar had dealt with rogues before, Henry hadn’t, and had come to him for help. It was important for them to solve their problem without human intervention. The timing couldn’t have been worse for a life mate to show up.


*****

Carly Howard had learned early in life to stay in control, to blend in with the humans around her. She had done just that for all of her twenty-four years. No one had figured out or even suspected that she was something other than human. Now, she was on the run and had to be extra careful not to do anything unusual or memorable. It wouldn’t do to broaden the trail she was already leaving.
She needed to get on the move again. There were wolves, shape-shifters, living in this town, she had smelled them. They weren’t the ones tracking her, but if they caught her the local Alpha might turn her over to the others that were. If she was doing more than traveling through protocol said she should check in with the local alpha. She didn’t dare do that; all she needed to do was stay out of sight long enough to get out of town. The only place she went was to the diner and to the bank, trying to keep a low profile.
She needed to leave, but didn’t have the money to go. Her small motor home had broken down just outside of Westfall and had been towed in to the closest auto repair shop. The estimate of the repairs was over two thousand dollars and she didn’t dare withdraw any of her own money. Her father was watching her bank and credit card accounts for any activity. She couldn’t access anything until she was able to run again.
There was five hundred dollars left from her last big withdrawal, and three hundred from last week’s paycheck hidden in the RV. The three hundred she had from today’s check would make eleven hundred, just short of what she needed.
She’d found a job at a diner as a cook to get the money she needed. The owner of the repair shop had said he needed half of the estimate to get parts, but he’d agreed to let her stay in the motor home while she got the money for him. She was parked in an out of the way spot on his back lot. He’d even let her use the shops facilities when they were open. There was no way for her to dump her black and gray water tanks, so she’d taken him up on his offer. He’d offered to do more for her, but the price he asked was not something she wanted to pay … that type of price was why she was running.
“Two more weeks; that’s all I need,” she said. She was sure the man would take what she had now and begin ordering the parts. The diner’s manager had asked her to work the lunch shift for two days along with her late shift as a cook. She was beginning those hours the next day and was scared to death. Waitressing was dangerous, but she’d agreed, and could only hope no shifters came in. Carly hoped she had the time to make good her escape before she was brought to the attention of the local Alpha, or found and drug back to what would be a living hell. Her father had agreed for her to be a brutal man’s third wife, which amounted to being nothing more than a slave.
With her nose raised, she scented her surroundings and damped down her own scent as she neared the shop and her RV. It was late, after eleven, and the streets were deserted; no humans were around. Thankfully there was not a hint of the tantalizing aroma she’d smelled earlier, either. At noon, on her way back to the diner from the bank, she’d smelled an earthy, wild, male scent. Her wolf had raised her head and muttered, “Mine.” The fae part of her had become alert, too. She sensed them both urging her to claim their mate, but had shoved the feelings down, allowing her human half to dominate the others.
That was all she needed, finding a true mate now. She was running from an arranged mating and didn’t dare stop for the real one. “Sucks to be me,” she murmured. Whoever belonged to that scent smelled like paradise. She yearned to go find him, but the one’s following her would be a danger to him. There was no way she’d put her unkown mate in a situation like that.
Carly’s mind stayed on him as she made her way through the shop’s fence and walked to her RV. The man was probably a pure blooded wolf, not a half-breed like her. “Humph,” she snorted. “I’m not even that much; a quarter-breed at the most.” She’d been told all her life that she wasn’t good enough to be a desirable mate. She didn’t have enough wolf, not enough fae and too much human in her. The only thing she was useful for was a bargaining chip, someone to seal a deal. Her looks made that possible, and that was the only good thing about her. Carly shook her head at the thought of having a mate, someone just for her. How would he feel about her? Would he be disappointed, feel cheated to be saddled with a reject.
Had the male scented her? If he had he’d be looking for her. Her fae ability to cloak her scent was spotty at best. She’d have to work on improving that gift or he’d find her and then she wouldn’t be able to leave. Mate sickness would afflict both of them if she left after touching him. There was the fact that she’d be in trouble for not checking in with the alpha, too.
“Why couldn’t I have broken down somewhere else? Why here?” she moaned.
The area around the RV carried no fresh scent, only the faded, familiar traces of the mechanics moving through the collection of cars and trucks waiting for service. Her breath huffed out in a sigh of relief when she closed her door behind her. She renewed her wards; and felt safe for a little while longer.
It was even more of a relief to pop out her contacts. The lenses were brown and covered her sky-blue eyes. Blue eyes in combination with her dark-chocolate colored hair and pale complexion were memorable. She didn’t want to be someone anybody would remember.

Ariel
May 31st, 2013, 11:42 AM
There isn't a tabbing ability. Most of us use the enter function to make space between paragraphs. :)

This reads cleanly and is actually fairly interesting. There are some punctuation troubles but nothing that hinders reading. I look forward to more.

Ben Logan
June 1st, 2013, 11:23 AM
Firstly- Yay, Logan!
Secondly, although I do like the opening and how it brings us right into the action, I do feel that the opening sentence is a bit long.
Thirdly, the story is a good and easy read, so well done on writing it.
I especially like the end of the first passage, and how it ends with a problem of sorts.
Granted, there are a few minor mistakes, but with editing all those would be washed away.
I enjoyed the story, so keep working on it. Don't forget to go over it again and again until all the mistakes are cleaned up, and then I'd say you have a great story. Keep it up!

Jagunco
June 1st, 2013, 07:52 PM
No a bad concept. Written in a style I don't really approve of but others seem to so I'm just a snob lol. Not bad at all

Pelwrath
June 1st, 2013, 10:07 PM
Nicely done, opening conflict left unresolved. A society of werewolves layered over the human society they hide from. Nicely done and interesting, keep the work up.

egpenny
June 4th, 2013, 03:29 AM
Thank you for the good comments and encouragement. There will be, and already has been, a bunch of editing done. Hopefully it will be even better by the time I'm finished. I have a huge comma fault problem, I've tried to correct it and came up with run-on sentences. :sour: Luckily, I belong to a writer's group, here in my town, that proof reads what I bring in to read to them. I'm on chapter seven now, and still going strong.

BobtailCon
June 21st, 2013, 10:03 AM
I like the idea of a pack of werewolves, very cool.