Reclaimed wolf in exile.., p.1
Reclaimed (Wolf in Exile Part 4): Werewolf Shifter/Vampire Paranormal Romance, page 1
Reclaimed (Wolf in Exile)
Amber Ella Monroe
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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AMBER ELLA MONROE
Caedmon Wolves Volume One (3-book bundle) - Includes Books 1-3
Caedmon Wolves Volume Two (3-book bundle) - Includes Books 4-6
WOLF IN EXILE
ASPEN VALLEY PACK (BAD BOYS)
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Wolf in Exile Part 4
In the conclusion of Wolf in Exile, Thane’s bond with Kalena is shattered following a devastating revelation. They survived exile, but now the real test begins…
Thane is under scrutiny for his family’s involvement in producing a life-altering drug. Kalena feels deprived of her memories and takes matters into her own hands. Everything is falling apart around them. Is their love for each other strong enough to battle the forces trying to tear them apart?
RECLAIMED is the fourth installment in the serialized paranormal romantic suspense story, Wolf in Exile.
WOLF IN EXILE SERIAL READING ORDER:
Part 1: CAPTURED
Part 2: UNCHAINED
Part 3: ASCEND
Part 4: RECLAIMED
Part 4.5: BOUND
“Open the door, Kalena.”
Kalena heard Thane’s footsteps coming from down the hallway before he arrived at her door. She would never forget the look etched on his face when Tomas the vampire revealed her real connection to Gavril.
She drew in a deep breath, pushed off the windowsill, but made no move to open the bedroom door. Over an hour had passed since the revelation, and it was all she could think about. What little information the vampire had pulled from her memories had come back to her. Feelings of shame and betrayal still coursed through her body.
“I know you’re in there.”
He could probably smell her presence and even hear her heartbeat. He wasn’t going anywhere. This was his home, his domain. Did she really belong? But leaving here meant leaving Thane. But what did it matter? How could they go on now that they knew the truth?
Kalena glanced over her shoulder at the door. “Yes, I’m here.”
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she finally said.
“I want to talk to you,” Thane said, his voice muffled behind the door.
“What else is there to talk about? You have what you need. You helped me escape. I helped you by giving you the code. That was the plan.”
“Will you open the door and let me in?” he asked calmly.
If she opened the door, she’d see the face of a man that resembled the one who’d betrayed her. She’d see Gavril, Thane’s twin.
“I can’t…” she replied.
“Kalena, I’m leaving tonight. I’ve been called to appear before UCON.”
“I know. I remember when you received the letter over breakfast. I’m leaving, too. I’ll be gone by tomorrow.”
“Don’t, Kalena.” His tone sounded strained.
“It’s better this way. You can’t possibly want me after I…” Not able to say the words, she wrung her hands together.
“I don’t care about that. Gavril lied to you. Even if we had known…that was then and this is now.”
“If I had entered Area S2 knowing full well that I’d slept with your brother, do you really think I’d be here now? Do you think I would’ve slept with you, knowing the things I had done” Her voice rose in aggravation.
Thane was quiet for a while, and Kalena almost thought he was at a loss for words.
“The fact is that you didn’t know,” he finally said. “We can’t change anything that’s already happened.”
“You’re right.” She turned and folded her arms across her chest. Her eyes were fixed on the closed door. Even now, Thane’s scent called to her. She wanted to go to him, but it was that same urge which had led her astray in the first place with Thane’s brother.
“Can we move past this and come together like we talked about?” he asked.
“Yes, we’ll move past it, but I can’t deal with all of this now. I look at you and I also see the man who would have had me murdered. He knew what the injections would do without the cure. He wanted me dead. I need you to understand. There is no way I can look your brother in the face again and not want to murder him. Or at least attempt to. He’s a very dangerous man. If he did this to me, he’d do it to anyone…”
“You’re right. I get it. The feeling is mutual,” Thane replied. There was a long pause. “I wanted to see you before I left. It could be a couple days before I return.”
An unsettling feeling rippled through Kalena’s belly, but she didn’t move to open the door.
“You won’t have to see my face during that time…or ever again if you choose,” Thane stated just before walking off.
Kalena cringed at the possibility of never seeing Thane again.
Just as Thane reached the last few steps on the staircase, the doorbell chimed. His wolf ears picked up on the voices outside. Two of them were male. The female voice belonged to his niece, Danika. He even scented her. His anticipation tripled. A wolf could track his blood kin from miles away.
Thane rushed to answer the door, but before he could reach the foyer, a maid had already opened it.
Danika looked the same as the day Thane had last seen her. She had a head of lush, thick strawberry blonde hair like her mother. Thane had only seen it this color a few times. She usually kept it dyed, but in a darker shade. She looked younger now with the lighter hue. Female wolves aged slower than their male counterparts anyway. When she reached her maturity in a few years, she’d a
“Thane.” She rushed into his arms, pressing her head to his chest. “I was worried about you.”
“Worried about me? Why? It was me who was supposed to keep you safe, yet I failed.”
She parted from him and looked up with innocent green eyes. “You didn’t fail. Gavril betrayed our family. He told me he would kill you and no one would think anything of it. He said once I turned eighteen, if I didn’t sign the company and the rest of Dad’s holdings over to him that he would kill me, too. I don’t know what’s happened to him honestly. He’s gone mad. He’s crazy.”
That asshole. Not only was Gavril trying to take over Silex Pharmaceuticals, he was also after money that didn’t belong to him.
“You’re safe now, but you have to listen to me, Danika.” He met her gaze. “Don’t go out in public for now. That means no outings of any sort without one of our Epsilons.”
Danika’s brows furrowed. “For months, I was confined to an itty bitty room with no windows. And I’ve been chaperoned and followed by vampires into the ladies’ room for nearly two days now.” She waved an arm out behind her at the two vampires who’d accompanied her into the home. “I don’t need any more guardians. I can take care of myself.”
“Not now, Danika. You can go out, but not without security. Gavril is still out there, and I don’t think he acted alone in this.”
“He definitely wasn’t acting alone. The horde of vampires who got me out of the room left several of Gavril’s guards dead. At least a dozen more were injured too. They had it coming, and they deserved it. But something just wasn’t right about them. They seemed just as deranged as Gavril.”
Thane swallowed. “I was warned there would be casualties in the process of getting you out. Was Gavril there?”
Danika shook her head. “I don’t know. I…sometimes he came by. Maybe every few days or so to talk me into signing papers.”
“Did you sign anything?”
“Of course, not. I didn’t know if he was telling the truth or not, or if you were already dead. What difference would it have made if I had signed anything? Sure, I suppose it would’ve been worse if he had control of Dad’s money. But the truth is, I don’t want my dad’s company. I don’t want his troubles, his money, or his enemies. Why couldn’t he have been here…?” A pained expression washed over her face and she pressed her palm against her forehead.
“Danika…” Thane reached to embrace her, hugging her close. “It’ll be okay.”
They moved to sit on a couch in the great room. A maid brought Danika some water and a tissue.
“You’ll get through this, I promise. But you have to do your part by staying close to the Epsilons that I assign to you.”
“Fine.” She shrugged. “Just make sure they can keep up with me. I don’t want to be cooped up in here 24/7. I’m sure you can understand that.”
“I have to answer to UCON for all of this, so I’ll be gone for a couple days. There are guests on the premises and I’m leaving Brant in charge.”
“I’m a little curious. Vampires believe in fair trade. My traveling companions wouldn’t tell me what they were being paid. What did you offer them in exchange for breaking into Gavril’s compound to get me?”
“I haven’t paid anything…yet.”
“Would you mind telling me what you have planned?”
“I’ll tell you later when I get back. Don’t cause any trouble while I’m gone.”
“You love telling people what to do, don’t you?” she scowled.
“I’m your legal guardian, and yes I will tell you what to do,” he said, before starting off down the hall toward his study.
The Steel Gate Casino was the official headquarters of the United Council of Nightdwellers. The establishment was located a few hundred miles north of the ShadowRock estate. It had taken Thane and the small entourage he brought with him just under an hour yesterday evening to arrive via private helicopter. Since the Heads of UCON conducted business only at night, Thane and his crew had taken refuge in a nearby hotel and resort—also owned by UCON—to rest.
The casino portion of Steel Gate was operated by a master vampire, and had been for several decades. The same master vampire that led the Council—Luxar Monte. The man who would finalize Thane’s sentence after judgment was passed. Being called to appear before the Council was never really a good thing, and this would be Thane’s second time doing it.
Two security guards brought Thane from the casino’s mid-level down a brick-enclosed stairwell that led into the underground basement. They’d gone so deeply into the level, the sounds of the casino had long faded out. Behind him were Zeff and Ulrick. Another of Luxar’s security guards flanked them. Luxar’s guards had clarified that only those responsible for the raid on Area S2 were wanted. What greeted him down below was deadly silence and the unusual vampire aroma that permeated the darkened space. Thane wasn’t in a position to cross paths with vampires in his daily dealings so he never got used to their scent.
The Council Heads were seated at a crescent-shaped table when the group entered. The guards led them to the center of the room then exited.
Luxar Monte, the oldest living vampire and most likely one of the richest beings in the world, sat in the middle chair. He oversaw both the vampire and werewolf races as part of a thousand-year-old blood truce. Outside of ruling on the Council, he and his squad owned dozens of legal and underground casinos around the world.
Silvano, the first shifter to ever turn vampire sat to Luxar’s right. He had been named Chairman by the previous Council Head, long before Luxar ever took the seat.
Luka, Silvano’s firstborn—also a hybrid—sat next to his father. There weren’t that many hybrid Packs, but of the few there were, Luka enforced their laws.
Blanc, made into a master vampire by Luxar, was enforcer of the vampire laws. His job was oversight of every coven. He’d sat on the Council for only about a decade. Prior to Blanc accepting the position, the previous enforcer had been removed for breaking a law himself.
Upir, who enforced the shifter laws, was not in attendance. His seat was empty, making Thane, Zeff, and Ulrick the only shifters in the room.
“Thane Silex,” Luxar said, finally breaking the silence. “This is our second in-person meeting. We keep coming together under the most peculiar of circumstances. Would you mind introducing me to your entourage?”
“Zeff and Ulrick Vasser are my best Epsilons.”
Luxar tilted his head slightly to one side and cocked an eyebrow. “The same Epsilons who murdered dozens of prisoners held at Area S2?”
“I take full responsibility for any harm caused at Area S2 on that day,” Thane said. “Zeff and Ulrick were following orders I would’ve given had I not been detained.”
“Orders from whom?”
“My second. My Beta. As I said, they were orders I—”
“—you would have given had you not been detained. Of course,” Luxar mimicked. “I don’t need explanations after the fact. We have enough evidence now to conclude that you stand up for your Pack mates.”
Thane was glad that someone at the table understood him, even if that person was a vampire. The vampire that had cast the deciding vote against Thane, leading to his sentence of exile. Silvano and his son, Luka, were the only two on the Council who had ruled in Thane’s favor. Of course, it hadn’t been enough to override the ill-favored votes from Luxar, Blanc, and Upir.
Thane’s gaze shifted to Upir’s empty seat. Even if Upir were there as representative of the shifters, Thane didn’t expect any support from him this time around either. After all, Upir had been the first to lay judgment and pin the murder of Thane and Gavril’s parents on Thane.
“Do you know why you’ve been called again?” Luxar inquired.
“Your escape from Area S2 didn’t cause as much concern as the destructive way in which you and your Epsilons chose to execute said escape.”
Zeff and Ulrick shuffled behind Thane.
“It wasn’t planned that way,” Thane replied.
“Let’s have them speak for themselves,” Luxar demanded.
Ulrick stepped forward. “Area S2’s prisoners aren’t exactly law-abiding citizens. We entered their territory to claim our Alpha, and they were violent toward us as soon as we got there. We killed several that hunted us down as we searched the area for our Alpha. I didn’t go there to get slaughtered before carrying out my mission. My brother and I are more than willing to pay the price.”
“Area S2 will need some renovation. The ease with which you breached the wall indicates this. Cleanup will be costly, however. I don’t think your Epsilons’ salaries will cover it.” Luxar arched a brow and his attention shifted to Zeff and Ulrick.
“Area S2 belonged to Gavril. He caused this mess. Let him clean it up,” Ulrick blurted.
The tension in the room lifted, and Thane held out a hand and gestured for Ulrick to assume his stance and remain quiet.
“For the record, when I got news of the numerous drugs that he’s been testing and forcing on innocents…” Luxar said between clenched teeth. “…I stripped him of everything he owns. The two prisons that he owned no longer belong to him. I tried to strip the Silex company, as well. However, after looking at the ownership records, it has come to my attention that Gavril isn’t the rightful heir. He isn’t even the owner. According to your uncle’s will, ownership is in limbo. So, I couldn’t take action or make decisions about the company. Obviously, the production of D996 in its altered and illegal form has to stop. Someone must pay for this mistake—this attempt to try and reveal what we are to the world. One thing I can do, and will if I have to, is go down the chain of command until your family no longer owns anything.”
by Amber Ella Monroe / Paranormal / Shapeshifters have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes