First, I want to apologize for the delay ?. I was trying to have the story posted by now but I hit a few snags:
1. Couldn’t think of a title… Then I ended up with several titles that I liked and couldn’t choose ?
2. Tried to figure out the description…It almost didn’t happen ?
3. Had the hardest time brainstorming what the cover should look like…you don’t want to know how bad the first few were ?
4. My story wanted to play tricks on me…Seriously! ? I nearly had a million POVs in this SOB ?. I kicked most of them out and put them on hold for their own story.
But finally I’m bringing you the first book in a series of standalone books that I still haven’t found a title for (the series I mean). As for the book itself:
Anise is used to trouble. She works in the middle of nowhere in a bar that welcomes truck drivers and bikers — some good, but mostly bad. While she’s used to taking care of herself and has learned to brush off the occasional roaming hand, she never expects to be in a situation where she needs help from werewolves. And not just any werewolf. The one who saves her is the scary type that even the local alpha wants nothing to do with. Yet she can’t, won’t deny the attraction. To her its a drug that devours her common sense.
War is no saint. Even most sinners want nothing to do with him. He’s seen things, done things, been things that make most people tremble and flee in terror. While he feels no shame for his past, he feels no honor. Now he only feels resolve to remove the marks of his past at any cost. First, he has to shake off the reckless little thing that refuses to leave him and ignore the pull that demands the impossible… because someone like him doesn’t deserve a mate.
As a warning to all: WARNING! And I do mean warning!!! This book will be violent. Blood. Gore. Of course nasty sex. Some dubious consent. This will be more gritty than my previous stuff so prepare to cringe. But no fear, the romance is here! You’ve been warned.
So… ? would you like the first chapter?
You would? ?
Okay, Masters, your wish, my command!! ?
Enjoy, while I get back to work…?
Reckless and Wretched
“In this world, werewolves protect the Territories. And vampires rule the cities… Huh? Where do humans reign… Ha! They don’t. If humans want to live a posh or comfy life they live at the mercy of the vampires. Or if they don’t mind the strict rules of the pack, they live in werewolf territory. Humans unlucky enough to live in neither, live in the Outlands among the the rogue wolves and the blood thirsty vampires who kill anything that moves… Yep, in the Outlands, its eat or be eaten and shitted out…” — Clover —
Anise took the drink order to the bar and gave it to the bartender. Usually a nineteen-year-old in the Silver Star Pack Territory wouldn’t be allowed to work in such a risky place, they would be in school learning something that could benefit the pack. But she wasn’t officially pack yet and the owner would never complain about the help seeing as she was the only waitress willing to work in the old dive called Lost – an old hardware store and gas station turned bar and inn right smack dab in the middle of nowhere Missouri on the edge of pack territory. Lost was aptly named because anyone who found the place had to be lost — lost, passing through, or a runaway like her.
The bar part was a small brick building, a re-purposed gas station that went on sale years ago when the owner of the land at the time, had to sell off half of his property to pay bills. The grungy two-story fixture with broken windows sat nestled between acres of pack farmland and the Outlands. Basically, it served as a truck stop to those with low standards. The closest town or city was an hour west. When she asked why a gas station would have two-stories, the owner, Jay, told her that the gas station doubled as a general store back in the day.
The closest place to lodge was the motel attached behind the bar that slept up to ten people in cramped rooms. It used to be the local hardware store, but when Jay took over, he made it into something almost profitable. Though the building was kind of worn and had seen better days, and paint, he kept is clean…well his sister did. His sister, Melody, took care of the guests in the motel while Jay handled the bar.
Anise waited for Jay to finish mixing the drink order then handed it off to her. She took it to the old worn dark wood table where the sleepy trucker sat nodding off.
Country music played on the jukebox that had a few of the neon lights busted out. Anise wanted to change the song because she was tired as hell of that same thing playing over and over. But for some reason the redundant tune was a hit with many of the visitors.
Night began to fall, and that’s when the little bar got a lot busy. And rowdy. Usually they got the same visitors who just passed through for a drink and a place to lay their head before heading to a job or some unknown destination. There were a few regulars that came from the local farms to gather. Then there were the newcomers passing through that she never saw again.
She didn’t always like the new types because they weren’t always on their best behavior — they knew they would never return and the local law — the pack deltas — were nearly an hour away only passing through once or twice a day, if that.
While Jay had a gun to defend the place, Anise preferred he not use it because she’d have to clean the blood up.
“Hey, sweet ass.” A hand grabbed her arm when she was walking by. “I’ve been waiting all night for a drink.”
She lifted an eyebrow looking at him. “Fat ass, if I have to drop this tray to grab for my knife and slice your wrist off me, we’ll both have a bad day.”
Mr. Demanding grumped and his buddy at the table chuckled. He let her go.
“Let me put this order in and I’ll be right with you.” She smiled sweetly and went to do just that. She had a bad feeling Mr. Demanding was going to be a problem when he started drinking. She warned Jay and the man nodded knowing to dial back the alcohol. If they could control the guy’s alcohol consumption, maybe they could keep him from tearing up the place.
The night dragged on, and Mr. Demanding grew louder as his buddy grew quieter. At first she thought it was Mr. Demanding she was going to have to worry about. But his buddy’s eyes were clear and lucid as he nursed his one drink. Those dark sleazy eyes stalking her as she worked.
Mr. Sleazy’s interest wasn’t the first and it wouldn’t be the last. Predators like him often dropped by the bar looking for easy prey. That’s why Anise kept a knife on her ankle and one at her back under her shirt. She might not be big, but she learned young that if you didn’t wear protection, living in the Outlands could be hell. Luckily, she wandered into Silver Star Territory and they allowed her to stay under their protection.
It was around midnight and the jukebox blared that same sad song. A drunk trucker held a glass in one hand while he did an awkward line dance by the glowing machine. Several bikers and truckers drank and chatted while Anise argued with a client about why they didn’t service food when the door to the place opened and several big guys walked in.
They weren’t just big, they were tall and built for intimidation. The whole room grew quiet as the group of five waltzed in like they ruled the land, and they did.
It was clear by their size and their fierce eyes, they were werewolves. The Silver Star alpha and four of his betas. The pack’s inner circle rarely hung around and only came to Lost to inspect the territory. They ruled and everyone who had sense knew it.
The group wore plain t-shirts, jeans, and bare feet but it didn’t make them look any less intimidating.
“Mack!” Jay smiled from behind the bar waving to the alpha.
“Good evening, Jay, everything going good here?” A deep resonating voice carried across the room.
Jay nodded giving a thumbs up.
The group took a table and Anise arrived a second later to ask if they wanted the usual. Because they were doing an inspection, they would only have one drink apiece. Because werewolves metabolism burn through calories like a kiln, drinking rarely made them drunk. However, the alpha and his team liked to remain reserved around humans.
Anise sighed, wishing to know what it was like to be among the pack, having others who protected each other, working together for a common goal. Everyone knew that werewolves had a family mentality above all else.
While living with Jay and his sister was nice, they weren’t family. And she mostly had to fend for herself. Unless a human was mated to a wolf, they weren’t automatically welcomed into the pack’s inner circle. And to be welcomed into the pack period was a trial in itself.
“Lil Anise.” Mack welcomed her with a polite smile, barely showing his teeth.
“Annoying Mack.” She snorted, hating to be called little and they knew it.
The others at the table chuckled.
“I’m still alpha.” Mack’s face lost its humor.
“Then stop calling me little.” She frowned putting her hand on her hip. “And when are you going to make me pack?”
“I’ve been busy…” He blew out a breath. “When I have time, I’ll let you know.”
She rolled her eyes having heard that before. Though she wanted to push the subject, she noticed the group was unusually tense — stiff shoulders, clinched jaws. Was there trouble? Instead of asking, she took their orders and strolled behind the bar when the front door opened and a tall figure strutted in like he was familiar with the place. The room quieted even more. All the werewolves turned their lupine eyes toward the male wearing motorcycle leathers and cradling a helmet under one arm.
He strolled up to the bar with a slight scowl on his as in thought. And she feared those thoughts weren’t good. Anise had never seen such a sinister yet hot looking male. His dark hair was nearly black, chopped extremely short to show off the metal piercings in his ears. That can’t be right. Wolves tried to keep metal away from their body because it affected the magic of the change.
However, those feral iridescent green eyes told her he was definitely wolf. A sexy hot wolf with supple lips, a strong jaw, a dark strip of a goatee on his square chin, and skin that looked sun kissed, a bit rugged but kissable. Anise couldn’t help but stare, mesmerized.
Heat licked up her spine and between her legs the moment his eyes shifted to gaze at her.
Those eyes sized her up before they looked back at the bartender. “Bottle of your best local.” He placed cash on the counter.
She wasn’t sure if it was his eyes or his smoky smooth voice, but Anise wanted to melt. He was like wicked heaven wrapped in caution tape. She wanted to lick at the honey skin just to see how sweet he tasted.
Great… She’d lost her virginity a year ago and only had sex three times and now she was a ho ready to bone the first sex god she’d ever met.
Jay reached into the cooler, pulled out a bottle, knocked off the cap and slid it over before he took the cash.
Just as those lips wrapped around the head of the bottle, Anise and the sinister wolf’s eyes met. Her breathing stopped, stuck in her throat as she stared. Amazing, absolutely…
He drank, not taking his gaze away before he put the empty bottle down. Her own mouth felt dry. A thirst came over her she couldn’t explain.
His eyes roamed her over, slowly, peeling layers of her clothes off piece by piece before he frowned slightly. When he turned his gaze away from her, her heart seemed to beat again and her chest sucked in a breath.
Curiously, he tilted his head to the side a bit. “Thanks.” He lifted his chin at the bartender, picked up his helmet and swaggered out of the bar without looking back. Anise’s whole body began to move as if to go after him but halted when she noticed the alpha’s group quickly move to follow behind the stranger.
“That can’t be good.” Jay murmured as soon as the door shut.
“What do you mean?” Anise asked, staring at the door trying to hold herself back from running after him.
“A wolf just walked by the alpha without so much as giving him respect… Either he has a death wish or he’s not really a wolf.”
“Maybe he’s another alpha,” Anise said wondering if he belonged to a pack.
“Sweetie, even alphas give each other respect out of courtesy, it’s their unwritten law unless they want trouble.”
Anise nodded thinking about how he only seemed to look at her. She blushed but then worried he might get hurt. She couldn’t protect him, but maybe she could put in a word for him to the alpha and-
What was she thinking? She didn’t even know that male! He could be as dangerous as he looked. And yet, she could help but move toward the door, to get a peek of what was happening outside. She pushed the door open just enough to hear what was going on.
The sinister male had his helmet in both hands about to put it over his head when Mack approached him with his pack betas flanking him.
“Loner, you don’t know how to show respect?” Mack asked.
The lone wolf only paused for a moment before he continued putting his helmet on his head.
“I hope you’re on your way out of my territory.”
Straddling the jet-black sports bike, the loner started the motor, and without giving a reply, he peeled off. Gravel and smoke trailed behind him.
“Alpha, did you notice how he parked? His bike was strategically pointing toward the road as if he knew he’d need to make a quick getaway. And did you see the mark behind his left and right ears? Do you know what that means?” One of the beta’s face twisted in disgust.
“A vampire’s pet.” Another beta spat.
“Let’s make sure he keeps going and doesn’t stay in our territory.” The alpha shook his head. “I don’t need vampire spies…”
Anise pulled away from the door and frowned down at her dirty sneakers thinking over their words. It was said that sometimes vampires kidnapped werewolf pups from werewolves who don’t belong to a pack. They mark and train the young wolves to serve them. After being brainwashed, the wolves think of those vampires as their masters. The “pets” are used as bodyguards, assassins, enforcers, or whatever the vampires wish to use them as. And the vampires always marked their pets to keep them from running away and joining a pack. No pack trusted a pet.
So it was weird that a pet would be out here so far from its master and in werewolf territory knowing he would not be welcomed.
A slight sadness tugged at Anise. Did that mean she’d never see him again?