Excerpt Blog Hop for Conquering Theana #IRMC #EvernightLines @SeurriCity
Theana ran from Seurri City, home of the wolf shifters now public to humans, to escape a mating with her childhood friend. She wasn't in the mood for a mate, or the trappings of politics. Then she meets Rafael, alpha of the strongest pack in Seurri, and his beta, Gregori. Suddenly she can't catch her breath, or keep control of her emotions.
Rafael and Gregori refuse to let Theana get in her own way, and the love they could share. Perhaps two men for their feisty mate are definitely better than one. Now to stall the would-be childhood suitor, and stop all out war between the packs—but love is worth fighting for.
Driving up to the Ulric clan's holding had never been a hardship for Camden—until now. He'd always thoughts of himself as a powerful, thoughtful alpha, one who put his people's needs before his own, and fought for all of his kind to be free of persecution. It had humbled and strengthened him to be their alpha, every day—until he had seen Theana. He'd spent the first ten years of his reign cultivating friendships, gaining trust, and showing his pack that he could provide for them after taking the position from the former alpha, Justice, whose name belied the darkness in his heart, his very own brother.
Camden shook his head, not wanting to go down that road. His brother's death at his hands had saved the pack from ruin, and removal from the Seurri borders, when the plans came through. He'd saved them, brought them to a place where they could feel at home, and not have to fear what their alpha would do to them. But Theana...she was like a sickness in his blood. The moment he captured her hazel gaze with his he'd been lost to desire. She was everything he'd wanted in his alpha bitch—statuesque, powerful, with a no-nonsense attitude, but a heart big enough to cry with her wolves when necessary. She'd been the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, her model appearance heating his blood and stiffening his cock. He'd figured that the desire he'd felt for her, the sudden urge to make her his, was a sure sign that she had been his mate.
And then she'd denied him.
Despite the strength of his pack, his position, his looks, and what he had to offer, she'd run. Well, maybe not run. She hadn't been very far out of Seurri walls, but neither Camden nor her father had made her bend to their will and return to him. She'd known, somehow, that she wasn't his mate and had strength to keep away from him. Sure, he understood that whenever he had met his mate he would leave a woman he had chosen to be with. His instincts would have propelled him, but he hadn't agreed withTheana, and later Walter. He'd felt too needy, too hot, too...everything for her not to be his mate. How could he want a woman more than he wanted her?
But Rafael and Gregori showed me wrong, he thought and cursed. They had the reactions of a mate, and so did Theana. Though she had fought it, he was sure, as she'd fought him, she was in their home. He could smell her on them in the meeting. Knew they'd touched her. The both of them. Something else that he hadn't even thought of, but fitting when Theana's own father had been one of a trio. He hadn't thought many wolves could bond as such, but it seemed that Theana could. And he could smell her now. The taste of her essence was on the air, swirling around him, taunting him, until he fairly couldn't breathe. He clenched his jaw until it ached, forcing his hands to leave the steering wheel. He exhaled, trying to calm down. When he couldn't smell her he was calm, rational, even jovial as he always was. A jester who enjoyed making people laugh. Theana, it seemed, brought out the worst in him. Made him feel like he was just as dark as his brother, as if the same darkness that had permeated Justice's soul was also in him.
"Gods no," Camden moaned, and crawled from the car, eager to put some sort of physical distance between him and the thought. He was not his brother. He couldn't be. He was kind. He was strong, but fair. And was only ruthless to those that deserved it. He took a deep, calming breath and stepped from his car. He had no time for trips down memory lane, or even crying over spilled milk. He could not hope to best Rafael, let alone him and his beta. He had lost, and he would do well to deal with it. The Udolphclan had been able to get more from the woman, he was sure by some unpleasant means. She had nearly killed one of their own, and they would want revenge. Though he may not like the methods, he understood the necessity, and had even administered his own form at times when it was needed for the safety of the shifters. It seemed that his original thought had been true upon hearing General White's name. There was a special unit, of a few hundred soldiers, whose sole job was to eradicate the shifters, or so the woman had told them. This group, though working secretly out of the government view, was a part of the government, and so had the resources and manpower to cultivate from. There was no telling how far up the chain of command went, but Seurri could find itself in danger in the coming months if they didn't fortify themselves. Before he would begin the plans for the change, as Rafael had requested, he would share this information he received with them, even if he hated them at the moment. The wolves of Seurri came first. Always and forever.
So he walked through the front door, acknowledging the bowed inclined heads of pack members at his entrance with a nod of his head and waited in the main foyer. An omega would already be rushing off to alert Rafael and Gregori that another alpha was on the premises. He was sure, though, with their strength, they already knew he was there. His thoughts were proven true when not a few seconds later Rafael appeared around the corner into the main room, Gregori close on his heels. What Camden hadn't been prepared for was Theana, wearing soft pink yoga pants and a matching tank top coming with them, the dark crests of their marks clearly visible on her neck where it met the shoulder. Camden tried to contain his fury. She'd let them mark her, let them make love to her. She was theirs, never to be his. The pain that lanced his heart nearly staggered him and washed away the rage. Not his. She would never be his. He swallowed, closing his eyes and stifled a moan. His wolf whimpered before lifting its head with a wail. Camden shushed him, trying his best to look away. But he couldn't. Each step brought her closer, a smile on her face, still lost in the bliss of their possession. He'd never made her smile like that after he'd shown his interest. Not like he had before, when she'd found him entertaining, a friend that was as strong as she, and protective to boot. No. The minute he'd said he'd wanted her she'd done nothing other than snarl at him. Even when he'd tried to run with her, as he'd done so many times before, her nightly jaunts around the lake well known by all of Seurri, she'd run from him.
"Why are you here, Camden?" Rafael said, and Camden could hear the warning in his voice. He forced himself to look away from Theana and stare off Rafael's left shoulder respectfully.
"The woman has told us more," Camden said then, not sure how much Rafael had told Theana or the others.
"Go ahead. My alpha bitch will be coming to Council meetings from here on out. There is nothing to be kept secret from her." Theana gasped, and then beamed. Beamed. The bastard. The fucking bastard had found the key to her happiness, and Camden hadn't.
"She states there is a military group, several hundred strong, that's run by a covert unit of the government whose job is to eradicate shifters. We couldn't get how high the chain goes. She most likely wouldn't know real numbers, all the players, or who's pulling the strings, but what she gave us doesn't bode well," Camden answered through clenched teeth.
"So, it's what you feared," Theana said, her husky voice wrapping around his cock and stroking. Camden shifted his weight on his feet, sick he was still so affected when she had another's scent all over her.
"Not nearly as bad as we imagined, but much worse than we hoped," Rafael agreed.
"We will have to verify if it's true or not," Gregori said, staring Camden down. Camden could feel his gaze but didn't look at him. He knew the reproach he would find there. He knew he shouldn't be lusting after another alpha's mate, or any other wolf's mate for that matter. But he was in a constant battle to not stare at Theana, to take her and run from the building and keep her with brute strength.
I am out of my mind.
"We have a possible location," Camden said out loud. "I have a team ready to move at your orders."
"I need you here, Camden, to finish the preparations that I asked of you. If this is true then we must safeguard our people sooner than later. Begin immediately. Gregori and I will move out with your team and some of the Rendall clan as well. Make the preparations," Rafael ordered. It took everything he could muster not to roar a denial. Leave him behind. He understood that protection was important, but it was his team. His men who could be in danger. Why would he be left in safety while his men weren't?
"Alpha," Camden began.
"No. I need you here. End of discussion," Rafael said and then turned to Gregori. "We must leave within the hour."
"I will protect those in the house," Theana said. Such a perfect alpha bitch. No crying, no arguing. She simply did what needed to be done. She should be his. He would appreciate a woman like that. He would be strong enough to protect her and be by her side. Rafael and Gregori didn't deserve her. As Rafael and Gregori turned to leave, secure that he would follow their orders like a fucking dog, he stared at Theana. She left with her mates, hips swaying suggestively with each step. He would have her. Of that he had no doubt.
Fuck it, he thought with a growl. He stalked from the house, whipping out his phone. It rang twice before the burly voice of his beta came over the line.
"Alpha," Sloane said.
"Are you with me?" Camden asked, knowing that Sloane would understand.
"You've decided to do this?" Sloane asked.
"More than ever. They stole her, and it's my right to have her back. She is my mate. I have a right to have her at my side, and fight any who would challenge me."
"So is the rule. If such is the case, I am with you, alpha."
"It is," Camden assured him.
"I will replace some men on the team to verify the traitor's information, and those that will remain behind will be trustworthy. We will run with you."
"I thank you. I have never thought to fight Rafael before, but I must have my mate. My wolf will let me do no other." Camden sighed, climbing in the car.
"Then we will be ready. Where will Rafael and Gregori be?"
"They are going to go with the mission. She will be defenseless. We will take her on her run. No one goes with her when she runs."
"Agreed, alpha. We will be ready."
So would he. Never before had he thought he would fight his own leader over a woman, but tonight he would. It was his right to protect his mate, to do whatever was necessary in her defense. Something was wrong with her, or Rafael had done something. She wasn't meant to be theirs. She was meant to be Camden's. No one would challenge him on this. Even Walter had originally agreed to give Theana to him. He was the aggrieved party, and everyone simply moved on, forgetting the pain they caused him, the shame, or the disrespect. Well, he would earn it all back. He would claim her, and never give her back.
Lillian MacKenzie Rhine