Wolf Slayer (The Order of the Wolf, #2) by Angela Addams
As if one contract wasn’t good enough, my fabulous editor, Holly Atkinson, went ahead and offered me another. Thanks, Holly, for believing in my stories enough to go round two with me. Once again, I’m going to thank my amazing beta readers, Dianne Waye and Tammy Crosby who aren’t scared to tell it like it is and whip me into shape when I need it. And thank you to my husband and kids for putting up with my one-track mind where writing is concerned.
“Corra Devlin, I am your Hunter.”
The man who spoke was large, muscular and tall. From Aubrey’s view, the image of strength was amplified. She rested on her knees, as did her parents, paying homage to one of the great Hunters. She stared up at him, in awe of this almost mystical creature. She and her sister had only ever heard the stories—folklore. He wore his Hunter mark on his wrist: a magical tattoo that appeared on the chosen ones, a wolf to symbolize his destiny as a companion to the wolf slayer. Aubrey would have pinched herself if she wasn’t so numb with shock. A Hunter had come to claim Corra. A dream come true for her sister. It was surreal.
She was also trying very hard at that moment not to laugh. This Hunter—he wasn’t exactly what she and her sister had imagined. He was, well, a little on the medieval side. Like old school romance novel hero style with long flowing hair and a very chiseled face. Attractive, oh yes, but almost too much so. Aubrey expected at any moment for him to flip his hair back, then heave Corra into the cradle of his arms and carry her off to his awaiting horse or something. Aubrey gulped down another laugh and glanced at her sister.
Corra looked like she was ready to drop, her legs trembling so much that Aubrey wanted to reach out and steady her twin so she didn’t make an ass of herself. She wanted to but didn’t, distracted suddenly by the other two Hunters who entered the room. All of her joking thoughts were pushed aside as hope surged. Was one of them there to claim Aubrey as well?
“I’ve been chosen,” Corra whispered, her gaze drifting down to lock with Aubrey’s before snapping back to meet that of her destined mate.
“You are a Huntress of the Order of the Wolf. I come to you with my vow to honor, protect and fight alongside you,” Corra’s Hunter said.
“And my sister?” Corra asked, her words hedged with doubt, her brow suddenly furrowed.
The Hunter shook his head, refusing to meet Aubrey’s gaze. “I’m sorry, not this time.”
In a flash, shame burned Aubrey’s cheeks. His words like a slap to the face. I’m sorry, not this time.
Not chosen. Not a Huntress. Not a wolf slayer.
“Perhaps another year,” the Hunter offered, his tone holding no conviction.
Everyone knew there was no merit to his hopeful offer. Aubrey and Corra were already older than most who had been chosen. At least, according to legend anyway. It was only after a Hunter reached peak power that he had the ability to seek out his mate. The woman who would fight the beasts alongside him. In some cases, he was driven toward her like a magnet seeking its counterpart, ready to share all that he had with her, transforming her into a Huntress once they’d bonded.
“But we’ve both been training our whole lives,” Corra argued, her fiery temper showing itself in the blush on her cheeks, the flare in her eyes, the clenching of her fists. Aubrey had seen it a million times before. Corra was gonna go ballistic in a matter of seconds. Always the petulant child deep down, determined to get her way at all costs. It was what made her a good warrior. She never gave up.
Their mother gasped, reaching out a hand as if to stifle Corra’s defiance and tugging on her jeans like that would stop the torrent. “Sh-h-h-h, Corra, what is meant to be will be.”
“Not without my sister.”
The Hunter smiled indulgently, motioning for their mother to ease back. In a flash of movement, he had Corra in his arms, lifting her to her tiptoes so they were chest-to-chest, gazes locked. “You are mine, Corra Devlin.” And like a snake, he struck…but not with venom, even though his kiss might as well have been full of poison.
Aubrey watched as her sister’s body went languid, like she was suddenly melting into the man. When Corra reached her hands up to thread through the Hunter’s curly brown mane, Aubrey knew all was lost. There was no sister bond on the face of the planet that could trump the connection between Hunter and Huntress.
Silent tears slid down her cheeks—unstoppable, uncontrolled. The other half of her heart shred right before her eyes.
Aubrey slammed open the screen door and barreled into the crisp autumn air. Cool enough for her breath to frost, to sting her eyes and make them water. Yeah right—that was what she was telling herself anyway. She wiped the tears from her cheek with the back of a gloved hand.
You’re crying because it’s cold outside, not because your sister has just left you forever.
With a deep shuddering breath, Aubrey sucked back her emotions as best she could. The pain—no—the agony of her loss so profound she almost didn’t want to live. Because what was the point of living if you didn’t have a purpose? And as of this moment, Aubrey was purposeless.
She scanned the tree line surrounding her family’s quaint cottage home and felt hedged in, claustrophobic. Trapped.
Wolf Slayer (The Order of the Wolf, #2)
Written By: Angela Addams
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