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Authors: Shannon Duane

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Romantic Comedy

Surviving the Pack

BOOK: Surviving the Pack
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Surviving the Pack

Fated Mate
: Book 5

 

Shannon Duane

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013 by: Shannon Duane

Cover Design by: Laura Shinn

 

 

 

 

Other books by Shannon Duane

 

Fated Mate Series:

 

An Alpha’s Trust

A Second Chance

A Pack Family

Mate Magic

Surviving the Pack

 

Irish Boys Series:

 

Carrick’s Caress

Liam’s Danger

Book 3 coming soon…

 

License Notes:

 

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without express written permission of the author. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy or copies. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Surviving the Pack
is a work of fiction. Though some of the cities and towns actually exist they are used in a fictitious manner for purposes of this work. All characters are works of fiction and any names or characteristics similar to any person past, present or future are coincidental.

 

 

Dedication

 

Sooo, I’ve dedicated books to my parents, my husband, my kids and my sister.  Obviously, I love my family.  My parents are such a constant support and I am so blessed to have them.  My hubby is the love of my life and has been very supportive in my writing career; mostly by listening to my shock when I get positive feedback and my attempts to correct the negative.  My kids are simply awesome.

 

 

This book is most definitely dedicated to any and all fans.  I have been contacted by a few readers and because of them I will continue to write, happily.  I have no formal training and sometimes I make errors, however, I entertain myself and in turn hope it spills over for you.  If you enjoy this book or any others I’ve written please drop me a note, my contact info is below. 

Tootles.

 

 

To view more of Shannon’s writing, please visit:

http://shannonduane.yolasite.com
.

http://www.facebook.com/shannon.duane.98?ref=tn_tnmn

 

Prologue

 

How was it possible for his life to become even more complicated?  Since becoming alpha of the Sacramento pack Dante had lost his twin sister to another pack and was forced to banish his deceitful bitch of a mother.  He received weekly death threats and had to accept at least three challenges to his leadership already.  His only goal was to fix the pack he’d belonged to for his life and make the members happy and whole.  He was beginning to think that was impossible.

He remembered his first alpha as strong, yet, kind and gentle, which is probably why he was defeated in a challenge by Allen, who was an underhanded cheater.  The morals of the pack quickly were thrown out the window and the females were forced to breed and care for the young while the men were the only ones allowed to work.  Allen figured if the women weren’t allowed to work they would be fine with tending to the males needs and raising the pack children. 

It wasn’t until Dante’s last moon run where he impregnated a female, not knowing she was forced into the run, and she left the pack taking his children with her.  He understood why Tara had done it and was pleased that she’d found her mate but he wished he’d listened to his sister in the beginning and saved his pack so much trouble.  Hindsight was amazing.

And that’s how he ended up in the woods hiding from his sister to watch her marriage to a shifter in a different pack.  He’d lost her support a long time ago and longed to go back to the days where they ran together in the woods and the simplicity of simply living and being free.  Now he was weighed down with responsibility he didn’t want and she was currently marrying her fated mate in a private ceremony.  Well…technically it was private, seeing as how the rest of her new pack was huddled behind the bushes to watch as they took their vows.  Bailey was uncomfortable being the center of attention, especially after receiving her scars.

Dant
e watched the exchange of vows and couldn’t help but sulk; his sister was in a sheet no less.  He thought about how messed up his life was and how he, unintentionally, almost messed hers up too.  Bailey was a strong woman and he was proud of her.  He’d let her down so badly by not taking control of the pack sooner and was glad when her mate asked him to attend their mating; hidden like the rest of his pack to prevent Bailey’s discomfort. 

He wasn’t going to mope though.  He needed to get back to the pack he’d just taken over.  The pack was broken and he had a lot of work ahea
d of him.  If only he could find his mate to share his worries with.  He needed a strong female but all the women in his pack we’re weak, made that way by the old Alpha, Allen.  He’d just have to work hard to repair the damage.  He’d already gotten rid of the moon runs and outlawed attacks on women.  Some of the pack weren’t trustworthy, so it was his job to cut away the dead wood. 

Dante was already putting a few women through school so they could feel less dependent and helpless.  Of the six women he paid for to educate themselves at the college three had dropped out and one had broken her leg forcing her to put her classes on hold.  Dante didn’t understand why she couldn’t attend using crutches but who was he to know the severity of her pain.  Although her bone would be good as new in a week or so she refused to go back to her classes.

It wouldn’t be easy and it would take a long time but he was committed to making sure the women of his pack were safe and never again abused.  A delicate cough came from beside him.  He whipped his head around to see the woman who was haunting his dreams. 
Katarina.

“Can I speak to you?”

He looked into her beautiful almond shaped brown eyes wondering if she was truly evil or if she was poorly influenced by her bear friends.  He could never engage in a relationship with someone who would be evil, poisoning his pack even further.  She was amazing though; tall and slender with shapely legs and hips made for a man’s hands. 
No, stop.  Bad wolf.

“I want to apologiz
e for what Bernard and I did; it was never my intention to hurt your family or pack.  I’ll make a formal apology if that’s what you need.”

“That’s fine.  We hold Allen and Travis responsible
as well.  They were a poison to our pack and we’re glad to be rid of them.  You all share in the responsibility of the attack on my sister and the attempted destruction of her new pack to gain territory.  I ask that if you hear from Travis you contact me immediately so I can get rid of him permanently.”

Katarina nodded her head, “Of course.  Some of our people have chosen to stay here in American Canyon,” she hesitated
biting her lower lip in obvious discomfort.  “I do not feel comfortable here.  Even though I personally destroyed Bernard, I feel dreadful for what I have put these people through.  Especially, your sister, she is a wonderful person.”

Dante knew what she was leading up to and he wasn’t sure how he
felt about it.  He hated pulling his eyes away from her pure white teeth sinking into her lush lower lip but he found the strength to cast his eyes to the side and respond. “I’m sure we could find land for your people but they would be expected to contribute as well.  My pack is going through some changes so it’s not exactly, safe, for some women.  I’m actively changing pack laws daily that have been in place for years.  If you can attempt to be nontoxic, I will allow it.”

Katarina’s
eyes flared with temper. “My only wish is to protect my people as well.  I'm willing to assist you in securing your pack, and see that they remain unharmed.  My people are loners and have never caused trouble,” Dante’s eyes widened but she continued, “With the exception of the last few months when we were led astray.  I will be the first to admit it, but you
Alpha
must also admit you were led astray in the past as well.  We must start by being honest.”

His ardour was swiftly fading with her mood. 
“Agreed, and I will allow your people to come into my territory with the knowledge that we are a pack in progress.  Have patience and keep to yourselves.”  Dante bowed to her and spun in place to walk away, promptly ending their conversation. 

He heard her voice trailing, “We will be there in a weeks’ time, Dante.”  He paused and rotated around looking at her expectantly.  She stood stony faced not giving away her emotions.

“In my pack we acknowledge the Alpha’s with respect.”

Katarina
knew what he wanted, for her to address him as Alpha Dante; not happening.  “I am bear.  A wolf has an Alpha but a bear does not, the strongest survive and lead; the rest follow if they want.”

“I’
m still the leader in the Sacramento territory.  If you cannot find a way to give me the proper respect you’ll not be welcome.  You will be entering pack territory so I suggest you learn to play nice with others.”

She smiled showing a row of perfect white teeth and her amusement.
  Her voice was husky when she challenged, “Would you like me to bow,
sir
?”

Oh shit.  I’m in trouble.
  “You have a week to figure it out, princess.  I will host a dinner in your honor and we’ll introduce you and your bears to my wolves when they arrive.”

 

Chapter 1

 

Dante took in a lungful of air when he arrived home.  The familiar scents of dirt, clean air and his car exhaust accompanied another familiar scent, rage.  He wanted to be grateful he was home but as soon his Subaru pulled into the pack house he was assaulted by his pack mates.  “When do you want to schedule another moon run?”  “Where were you?”  “When will you take a mate?  My daughter is willing to serve.”

At the last comment his jaw clinched.  “Isn’t your daughter thirteen, Dave?”

“Yes, but she wants what’s best for her pack.  A mating with the alpha would increase our family standing-and let’s be honest, we’ve supported you throughout your increase in position and all of your new…improvements.  You’ve proved to be virile since you have twins with Tara and it’s time the alpha provides pups.”

Dante could hear the sarcasm in the old man’s voice.  Sighing and running a weary hand over his face he attempted a polite tone.  “I thank you for your support but I plan to mate only when I meet my fated.  I want no other and will wait my lifetime if needed.  I’ve seen and felt the bond my sister has with her mate and I’ll not settle for anything less.  I’m prepared to wait a very long time.”

Not waiting for the older man to respond Dante pivoted on his heel and began walking towards pack house.  Even though his back was turned he still heard Dave’s last words “you’ll regret that decision alpha.”

Letting out a sigh Dante rounded on Dave.  “Are you challenging me, Dave?  I’m more than happy to accept.”  Dante smiled and let the anticipation of a good fight light his eyes.

Dave’s eyes narrowed and he bow his head, “No alpha Dante.  I just mean that my daughter is a catch and would make your job easier.  She would cook and clean for you making sure you had time for your duties.”

“I assure you that I have time for my duties and have no need for a wife.  When I find her I will
want
my mate, but until that time I will survive on my own.  Thank you for your concern.”  Dante made sure to add just enough sarcasm.

Opening the door to pack house he met his second in the atrium.  Dallas smiled and clasped his alpha’s shoulder.  “Damn, I’m glad your back.  This pack is a cluster fuck.  They fight all the time like little children going after the biggest lollipop.  I’ve never been so annoyed.”  They gave each other a chest bump as Dallas went on.  “Dave asked you to marry his baby girl?”  There was definite laughter in his voice. 

Dante closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.  “Yeah, can you believe it?  I’m sure she’s a nice young lady but I don’t want a meek woman nor do I want jailbait.  The more I try and change the more the women in this pack lay at my feet.  No matter how often I tell ‘em that I’ll protect them they still keep coming.  It’s frustrating.”

Dallas chuckled, “Yeah boss I can see how women throwing themselves at you could get exasperating.  I’d hate to be in that position.”

Dante scowled at Dallas.  “Just let me know what’s happened since I’ve been gone.  It can’t have been much because I’ve only been gone couple days.”

Dallas looked uncomfortable for a moment, shuffling his feet and looking at the ground making Dante even more annoyed.  “Well…spit it out.” 

Dante didn’t mean for it to happen but some of his power slid through the air cracking and hissing his irritation causing Dallas to take a step back and go to his knees.  Dante blew out a breath, reached down and pulled his long-time friend to his feet.  “I’m sorry, man.  It’s been a long couple of months and I’ve had an emotional few days with Bailey’s wedding.”  He thought about his interaction with Katarina and knew that was where the bulk of his tension centered.  “I didn’t mean for the power to slip out.  You know I’d never hurt you and I’m still getting accustomed to these power flares.”  He pulled Dallas’s face up and looked into his eyes.  “Please forgive my mistake.”

Dallas nodded his head and took a step back.  “The last two women we enrolled in school have dropped out.  When I questioned them they said it was their wish to simply get married and start a family like it was expected of them.  Although they smelled of anger and fear they would not confide in me and I told them they would have to answer to you upon your return.”

Dante was even more agitated now.  “That’s thousands of dollars we’ll never get back.  Those women made assurances they would complete their courses and go on to get respectable jobs in the pack.  I fear they were the strongest women we have and it’ll be even more difficult to find others to enroll next session.”

“That’s not all, alpha.”

Dante simply sent Dallas a questioning look which had him looking to the floor once again.  Dante growled.  “Dallas, if you’re going to be second in this pack you have to stop subordinating to me.  You have to show your strength at all times.  I will not hurt you but I’m getting sick of you constantly acting like a pussy cat instead of the mighty wolf you’re supposed to be.  Did I choose wrong when I made you second in my command?  What would the rest of the pack say if they saw you breaking eye contact or backing up when you’re not even being challenged?”   

Dallas’s yellow wolf eyes met Dante’s and he was clearly pissed if his wolf was coming to the surface.  Dallas clinched his teeth and took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  When he opened his eyes they were hazel and held a bit of laughter.  “Touché, fearless leader.  I’ll remember but it’ll take a little time to get used to the drastic changes.  Thank you.”

Dante nodded his head and punched him in the shoulder.  “We’re both making changes and we’ll have to roll with the punches.  I’ll try and control my power and you need to accept yours.  Now tell me what else happened?”

“I scented Travis near the border of our lands.  He was…umm, marking territory.”

“You have to be fucking kidding me.  He has some nerve to wait until the alpha is gone and the come piss in my forest.  Did you re-mark the territory?”

Dallas inhaled sharply, “No, I’d never-“

“Dammit, you are acting alpha when I’m out of territory and you need to take initiative.  If I’m not here to piss on a tree then you have to until I get back.  Are we clear?”

Dallas’s back straightened, “Yes, alpha, I’ll remember that.”

“I know it wasn’t the way things used to be but it’s a new era.  Did you follow his scent and find him?”

“I lost it in the river.  I’m sorry.”

Dante walked toward the front door with Dallas following.  “Come on, I’m going to mark the border to our lands and I want you to watch and learn for next time.  When we’re done I want you to go to the American Canyon pack and watch the interaction between their alpha and second.  They’re very close and I’ve already spoken to them and they’re expecting you.  You’ll stay in their alpha house for two days and then return.”  Dante sighed.  “We’ve been best friends for ten years and the power shift has you acting differently.  I want our status to be solid in the pack.  Our friendship carries over to our rule and I think seeing Jake and Conner will help you to understand what I expect.”

“I’d be happy to go learn how to do this.  To be honest I’m running blind.  My old inclination has been to back down to prevent people getting hurt by Allen and I think I need a kick in the pants to bring me back to the way it used to be.  Thank you for the opportunity.”

“Let’s get this marking out of the way and then I’ll see you off.  I want you to check in daily and we can keep our communications open.  There are a few more changes coming and I don’t want you to be surprised.” 

BOOK: Surviving the Pack
10.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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