Taken by Moonlight

By: Violette Dubrinsky

When they reached the lake, the site that greeted them would have made the woman faint once more. Over ten large wolves, all of different hues and builds, were frolicking by the water’s edge. Some were sleeping further up, closer to the cave, while others leapt about, romping and flirting, eager for this night to mate. In all, over twenty wolves were present, and every wolf was part of his pack.

As Conall passed with the woman in his arms, the wolves growled softly, not a challenge, but a question. He ignored them, making his way to the cave. As alpha, Conall answered to no one, but he would tell them later, after leading the pack run.

“Conall, I’ve been waiting for you.”

Samia stood as she heard the commotion at the cave’s mouth, and allowed the quilt covering the voluptuousness of her naked body to slide to the floor. She was among the most beautiful in his pack, and she craved the title of alpha bitch. She was also strong, a good fighter, and from what he’d seen in the past years, loyal. He’d taken her numerous times. In fact, she was his most consistent female, but there was something about Samia that gave his wolf pause, and Conall always listened to the animal.

“Who is she?” Her brown eyes flashed yellow and she bared sharp, white teeth.

“Are you questioning me?” Conall’s voice was soft steel. Samia immediately shook her head before lowering her eyes. Their pack operated by hierarchy and while she was top bitch for the females, he was alpha. “Eli, spread the quilt properly.” Eli, who’d been walking silently beside him, leapt into action, going about his task with gusto. Samia glared at Eli, and the quilt, before demurely lifting her eyes to Conall.

“Will you take me after the run tonight?” Her voice was low, suggestive.

Kneeling beside the quilt, Conall carefully lowered the human female onto it. Turning to Eli, he noticed that the boy had a look of fascination about him. So, that was how she’d gotten into his territory. His nephew had been distracted and as a result, had failed to drive her in the other direction. By Luna, if not for the fact that he had loved his brother, loved his nephew, he would have Eli’s hide.

“Samia, leave us.” With that dismissal, he returned his attention to the unconscious woman on his quilt. He didn’t need to look at Samia to know she was displeased. She always was when he sent her away, and Conall was growing to dislike it.

“Tell me what happened and start at the beginning.”

Eli’s eyes bulged and a fierce blush stained his cheeks. Conall suppressed the urge to groan, knowing Eli had been somewhere he shouldn’t have been, doing something he shouldn’t have done.

“Tell me everything, Eli. If I’m to figure this out, you must leave nothing out.”

Conall learned that the woman had been with four friends, who would miss her, and Eli had sneaked up on her after watching her in the bushes. Conall hadn’t needed his nephew to explain that he’d been spying on a urinating woman to know that he had. It was written all over Eli’s now splotchy-red face, beet-red ears, and downcast eyes.

“Where is their camp?”

“About four miles northeast. I can take her back—”

At Conall’s glare, Eli snapped his teeth together.

“You’ll stay here with her.” He paused and shook his head when Eli made to interrupt. “Find something to cover her eyes and make sure that if she wakes up, she doesn’t make too much noise. When I return, I’ll take her back. I’m sure her friends are searching for her by now.”

Eli nodded, and from the look on his face, Conall knew his nephew was slightly disappointed he wasn’t going to be able to take part in the run. As Conall removed his clothing, he studied her features. The dim light of the moon barely spilled into the cave but his sight was powerful. Long, coal black lashes fanned a pale brown cheek that, despite a few red scratches, looked soft to touch. He couldn’t tell the length of her hair, because it was pulled away from her face in an untidy and puffy bun, and although she was dressed in overly large clothing, he could see that she was very slender.

He frowned. Was she one of those anorexic human females? He returned his gaze to her face and he dismissed that thought. While thin, she wasn’t the skeletal, unappetizing thin he’d seen on some women. The fact that human men found skin and bones attractive only reaffirmed his belief in their stupidity. After his thorough appraisal, Conall decided that the woman was pretty. Pretty enough to make a puberty-stricken pup lead her right into their lair.

Turning to Eli, Conall scowled. His nephew was staring at her with a silly smile on his face. Conall briefly contemplated leaving one of his betas, Sloan or Raoul, to ensure that nothing went wrong. Shaking his head, he dismissed the idea. Eli would have to prove himself soon, and the pup needed to feel the weight of responsibility. As Gregory, his blood brother, lay dying, Conall had given his word to raise his only surviving pup to be strong and fair. It was a promise he intended to keep.

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