Romance: Tied To The Wolf: BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance (Werewolf Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, Shifter Romance)

BOOK: Romance: Tied To The Wolf: BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance (Werewolf Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, Shifter Romance)
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Tied To The Wolf

Ashley Hunter

 

 Copyright 2015 by Ashley Hunter

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced

in any way whatsoever, without written permission

from the author, except in case of brief

quotations embodied in critical reviews

and articles.

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any

person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

First edition, 2015

 

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Chapter 1

 

“Alright everyone, lock up! Tonight’s a full moon, and you know what that means!”

A collective sigh rose from the group within the tavern. Patrons exchanged uneasy and drunken glances yet didn’t dare argue as the barkeep began to stock up for the late night that followed. It had become a sort of routine now.

It had started a couple of years back… the attacks. They had received word from other villages and towns nearby that women would disappear, never to be seen again. The first few weeks had left the town relatively underwhelmed—news is news, and a few missing women wasn’t strange. As time passed, however, that changed when a woman in their own town began missing, and then the sightings…

Wolf packs were not unusual around their town; surrounded by dense woods and a deep forest that only those who were born and raised here could dare venture in comfortably.

Hearing a pack of wolves howl into the night was not unlike listening to crickets when the time of year was adequate. It wasn’t until recently that those sounds would cause people to hide within the safety of their own homes.

It got to the point where disappearances were so high that the local authorities were having trouble catching up, and people who had once offered freely to search within the woods now remained painstakingly silent when the sheriff asked for volunteers. Each name, each missing face, soon littered over the missing person’s post in the Sheriff’s station.

Young women didn’t dare go out at night… and on the night of a full moon, the streets were bare and empty save for the occasional drunkard or idiot straggler who believed themselves too invincible to get taken.

The bar was clearing out by 9 pm on a Friday night and the barkeep could only watch his customers walk out with a disappointed look that was visible to only his most familiar employees.

It was usually at this point where one of his employees would pipe in, and it was usually Cecilia.

She was a sweet girl, barely in her mid-twenties and far too innocent to completely comprehend the dangers of the outside world.

The barkeep, Big Rocko, had turned from seeing his customers leave for the night to see his best waitress beaming up at him with a comforting smile.

“Pretty good night, right?” she offered optimistically.

Rocko shook his head, “It would’ve been better if we didn’t have this issue.”

“It’ll get better!” Ceci said, patting the burly man on the shoulder as she cleared out the tables. Rocko shook his head as he watched her work.

“Ceci, you should get going home.”

She blinked up at him, big hazel doe eyes and plump cherry lips.

“What’re you talking about, Rock? I’ve got tables to clean up.”

“Not tonight, you don’t,” Rocko shook his head, rubbing his fingers against one of his eyes.

“There’s still a bit of sunlight left, you should get going before the howls start up.”

The girl gave a good-natured snort, “I’ve left much later than this and made it home safely, Rocko. I can handle myself.”

“I’m sure those are famous last words,” he retorted.

The older man gave her a stern glare, “Go home, Cecilia. I don’t want you to tempt no devils here.”

Cecilia paused for a moment, turning to peer into her boss’ eyes before sighing with a small nod. “Yeah, okay.”

Rocko smiled at her. She was a good kid.

“Get going, I’ll light some sage to ward them off from you enough for you to get home.”

“Thanks Rocko,” she said as she removed her apron and began to head out.

He didn’t catch the way she muttered to herself, how she couldn’t help but snort.

This place where she grew up wasn’t particularly remarkable. It was a small joint, a small location where those who grew up in it sort of just ambled on to aimless duties and activities. Ceci wasn’t born here though, that much she had been told.

Her mother had brought her in when she was a little baby of maybe two years old, seeking refuge. A few years later, her mother died of heart failure and the clinic—it was all they had there—hadn’t been able to help her survive the issues.

Orphaned and alone, Ceci was taken in by a few members of the clinic, and while no one took sole custody of the child, she was very much well loved by those who met her.

If there was anyone whom Ceci had a close—even paternal—connection it would be Rocko, who not only gave her a place to stay next to the clinic, but also gave her a job as soon as Ceci turned fifteen.

A whole decade of working and living with the people there, Cecilia had proved to have little ambitions at all.

“I love it here,” she had insisted when Rocko once asked if she wanted to explore the world outside their little town.

“It’s all I have.”

But even if she did love this tiny little town with its tiny little houses and home-grown businesses, she couldn’t deny it got boring here. She had attended school the next town over, and while she was just as familiar with the kids there as they were with themselves, she was still vastly ignored. It probably didn’t help that most of everyone saw her as a pity case, so she didn’t have many friends at all.

Ceci was on her own, had been for most of her life, but she was happy because she still had caring people who watched over her.

When she turned 21, Rocko had even allowed her very first drink—she loved his cocktails, but never ordered another one since.

Now, at age 25, Ceci could be called a town expert since she knew everything about her little home.

She wouldn’t deny she did feel some fear at the thought of wolves outside, even if it was shrugged off often. Ceci had never had an issue with wolves before aside from knowing they were kind of annoying scavengers that liked to take stuff that wasn’t theirs.

This abrupt change… where women were going missing, where people were fading from people to names and pictures on posters… it was frightening.

Cecilia had read the missing posters, had seen the pictures, and she noticed something about all of those women’s faces that she probably shouldn’t have out of human decency.

They were all skinny and gorgeous women…

She was neither skinny nor gorgeous.

It was shallow of her to think, immediately after seeing the posters, that she would be okay. And for a while, her hypothesis had been proven correct.

Women went missing and while she had walked home at night, nothing happened to her. She knew these wolves were not like regular wolves… she had read books, she had read up on the situation.

They were dealing with more than animals from the forest.

But at least they had a well-known M.O so there was some comfort in that at least… right?

It was ironic that this rare moment of selfish and even arrogant mindset would be the reason why Ceci had gotten overconfident, why she had snorted when Rocko expressed concern for her wellbeing—and thusly, why Ceci had been an easy target that night.

The last of the sunlight was fading into the deepest shades of blue that made the night appear beautiful. The moon was just barely peeking over the sharp edges of the mountain range that surrounded their forest.

Its face was a deep yellow, huge and amazingly vast as it ascended from the horizon and towards the sky. Ceci watched the face of the moon for a while as she strode down the familiar streets, sighing to herself as the summer warmth faded to a fresh and cool breeze that caressed her cheeks and teased her wavy hair.

The walk to her apartment near the clinic was only fifteen minutes away from Big Rocko’s Tavern. If she was in a hurry, ten minutes, and on times she liked to take her time, it would be twenty minutes. This should not have been a night where Ceci took her time…

She was maybe ten minutes away from her apartment when she heard it… in the distance.

It was a long and extended howl, one that rose high into the heavens. Ceci felt a chill run through her skin, make her limbs shake with unease and short bursts of adrenaline made her stomach churn.

It wasn’t until she glanced up that she noticed the moon was more pronounced that she finally felt something cold settle into her stomach.

Swallowing thickly, the young woman hugged her arms around herself and continued on her way, increasing her pace from a leisurely stroll to a brisk walk. Another howl followed the first one and Ceci felt her stomach wobble when she vaguely realized it was far closer than the first one had been.

Her nerves began to react, making her body feel heightened with attention. Suddenly, she felt like she was being watched, and a cold sweat began over the flesh of her neck.

Heart pounding, Ceci threw wary glances at her surroundings. She was alone. The streets where she was now were usually bereft of people, but now they were completely deserted.

“This place is a cursed one.”
One of the patrons at the bar had said, nursing a cold beer and staring grimly at one of the windows that faced the forest.

Ceci had overheard him mutter to himself, had paused for just a moment to listen as she held to a tray of food and drink.
“No doubt about it. These wolves are damned… and they have picked this place to feast until none remain.”

Shaking her head furiously, Ceci continued her walk, laughing at herself for getting so easily spooked about the words of some silly drunkard who had stumbled out of their bar and never returned.

It wasn’t the first time she had heard people mutter about their town like it was cursed. She doubted it would be the last.

Still the unsettled sensation refused to give to the soothing comfort of logic. Her footsteps did not slow down, but kept their brisk pace, and while her lips now curled into a wan smile, her heart was still beating uncomfortably hard in her throat.

She was two minutes away from her home, from safety. Her bed and a warm shower were within reach and Cecilia had already begun to calm down and breathe easily… until the light of the moon above shown down over unfamiliar figures standing right in the middle of the road.

They were men. Tall and gangly looking men whose features were indescribable to Ceci, the light of the moon above was strong but not strong enough to distinguish friend from foe.

Something in her told her to stop, to turn another way and find another direction home, yet her feet were already pacing out a steady rhythm Ceci was far too nervous to break now. She just hoped that she would be ignored.

These men were restless, moving about and speaking to each other in gruff grunts that were indecipherable.

All she could hear was how sometimes they would break into fits of laughter so harsh that it made her insides freeze. Everything came to a brief standstill when she heard their laughter stop without warning.

“HEY!” Cecilia heard, her eyes going wide as she foolishly reacted to the call.

Her gaze rose over its place on the ground to meet with one of the men, and she felt her body grow still with alarm.

She didn’t know how she knew, but she did. She knew as intimately as she knew that she was in more than danger now, because one look only made her mind click with revelation.

These were not regular men. These were not simply degenerates looking out for a good time that meant worse times for her.

These men were
them.
Monsters that had risen from fairytales and into their modern world abruptly.

And suddenly it made sense.

Why it had only been women that were disappearing, why the woods were feared more than ever.

It made sense why there were no coincidences when it came to the full moon.

She could see it on their faces, the way they contorted between half-men and half-animal. Their eyes bounced off light like that of beasts, their noses elongated past their faces to resemble deformed snouts, teeth bunching out of their lips in canine jags of jaws.

She had heard tale of sightings of men like these…

Cecilia was a deer caught between headlights, staring wide and gasping short frightened breaths as she saw this group saunter toward her.

Fear didn’t strike until she could clearly see their faces, and it wasn’t until she saw one of them grin widely at her—all teeth and jagged edges—that she felt her body spook into a sprint.

“Hey, baby come back!” she heard as she turned and ran, gasping far too hard.

Ceci could hear them laugh, hear them making some other comments she couldn’t quite catch before one of them erupted one loud and soul tearing howl.

Cecilia ran, wanting nothing more than to return home, but knew that if she went there… they would know where she lived.

She made a sharp turn right, then another turn down an alley, and she could hear them catch up. Their breaths were hard against the wind, sounding like vague huffs that Cecilia could
feel
on her neck.

Suddenly she heard a snarl, felt a snap of teeth just shy of her elbow. A shriek startled out of Cecilia’s throat, and she could hear the beasts behind laugh in response.

Tears burned in her eyes, making her gasps become harsh wheezing pleads as she tried to escape. In her fear and anxious desperation to escape, Cecilia found herself turned around, unable to recognize her surroundings as she had booked it into the woods.

BOOK: Romance: Tied To The Wolf: BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance (Werewolf Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, Shifter Romance)
12.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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