This week’s Wicked Wednesday brings you another installment of my urban fantasy involving a twist to the werewolf mythology, battles with vampires and a struggle for control in a werewolf pack. The tentative title is UNDEAD UPRISING and I hope you like this next free chapter that I’m offering you.
This is the morning after Catalina has become the wolf she hates. Ramon has been resting at her side and now they are arguing about Catalina’s fate. After, Catalina goes to office only to have a surprise visit from one of her half-sisters.
For those of you who may have missed the first chapters, you can read them here:
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
The cold of the metal made him jerk back in surprise, but she pressed forward and held it there, forcing him back step by step until she trapped him against the wall.
“This is my destiny.” She pressed a bit more and the blade pricked his skin. She continued. “Death and destruction. Hatred and violence.”
Ramon wouldn’t be cowed by her actions. Hands outstretched, he pleaded with her. “Your destiny is to lead your people. To keep them safe. To keep the humans they protect safe.”
“My father’s words, not yours.” She dropped the sword to her side, all fight and desire gone from her.
He cupped her cheek as he pressed his point home in a more tender way. “What do you want me to say?”
“I . . .”
Catalina shook her head, because she didn’t really know what she wanted other than for him take her into his arms and promise her . . .
She dropped the sword, closed the small distance between them and wrapped her arms around him. “Tell me your destiny.”
He tightened his hold on her, almost to the point of pain, bent his head and whispered against the side of her face, “To be with you until the day I die.”
She wanted the same thing, only she feared that death would touch their lives much too soon.
The deep burgundy Armani suit hugged the curves of her body and accented the darker highlights in her auburn hair. Her power suit. The one she always wore when they had either an important or difficult client visiting.
She grabbed the stack of messages from her assistant who chased her down the hall. Slowing her pace as she realized the young woman had trouble keeping up with her, she shot her assistant a grateful smile. “Sorry. I’m on a Starbucks rush,” she teased and the young woman smiled.
“Then maybe I should have the venti mocha latte waiting on your desk for you.”
She chuckled. “Actually, it was a rough night so I could use the extra jolt. Thanks.”
“Rough, huh?” said her half-sister, Helena, as she walked toward her and after, followed Catalina into her office. Uninvited.
Catalina closed the door behind them, but before she could sit down, Helena wagged a finger at her neck. “You may want to button up.”
“Huh?” she said out loud, walked to the full-length mirror behind her door and took a look. At her neck, barely visible as it finished healing, was Ramon’s love bite. “Oh.”
Helena came to stand beside her, sniffed and then wrinkled her nose. “Human? Papi’s still putting up with that with so many wolves eager to — ”
“Why are you here?” she asked as she moved away from the door and to behind her desk, where she sat down and crossed her legs.
Helena smiled — her Big Bad Wolf smile — before plopping onto a black leather chair before Catalina’s desk. “Are those Jimmy Choo? Very nice, hermanita.”
“Helena. You and I are — ”
“Barely social, I know. But rumor has it that Papi’s decided you will lead and unless you fuck it up somehow — ”
Her sister emphasized the point with her carefully manicured hands. Nails artfully done, just like the rest of her. Her blonde hair perfectly styled. Brows waxed to emphasize the sharp arch that framed stunning crystal blue eyes.
Cold eyes, she thought. “So you’re here — ”
“To offer my allegiance. To warn you that Hemmerich is making trouble.”
“Hemmerich who couldn’t handle two vamps — ”
“He killed three last night. Or so I heard. Three less undead while you were chained with your pet.” Helena motioned to the Starbucks cup on the desk and before Catalina could refuse her, grabbed the coffee and took a sip. Then she grimaced.
Sweet being anethma to her hard-edged and bitter sister. As the third born and a woman, her path to leadership of the pack was even harder than Catalina’s. “So, you want to be — ”
“On the winning side.”
Annoyance flared through her at the interruption, but she tamped it down. To give into it would give Helena too much satisfaction. Leaning her elbows on the arms of her chair, she steepled her fingers before her, conveying her position of power. “And if I don’t win?”
“Don’t win?” Helena asked with a harsh laugh. Leaning forward, she said, “That isn’t an option and you know it. Papi will never turn over control of the pack to anyone else.”
“There’s you. Selena. Hembra.”
“Hembra is just a child. A helpless unwanted child.” Bitterness flavored her tones and she could understand it well. All of Rafael Villalobos’s daughters were unwanted — second best to the son he had never had.
“There’s something else you’re not telling me.”
“Hemmerich has been courting Selena in the hopes she will choose him.” Helena flounced back on the chair as she said it, her annoyance all too obvious.
“Selena should be wise enough — ”
“She isn’t. She can’t see past his attentions — his sheep’s clothing as it were.”
One of her best traits was her ability to get a read on people. To gauge what they weren’t saying by their body language. Her half-sister was clearly angry. But she was
also . . . hurt. Worried. Jealous and not in a good way, she realized.
“Selena’s your sister,” she blurted out, unwilling to believe she was right with her observation.
Helena jumped out of her seat, obviously unnerved and uncomfortable. “Watch your back, hermana. Watch Hemmerich — ”
“And Selena? What do I do about her?” Her half-sister had to be well aware that if Selena acted against her . . .
Helena braced her hands on the edge of the desk and leaned forward until she was directly in Catalina’s face. “She is our sister. If you hurt her — ”
“Then help me keep her safe. If you’re so sure Hemmerich is behind something — ”
“I will keep on eye on him. On them,” she promised and as she hurried from Catalina’s office, she had little doubt Helena would do as she said.