Chapter - 2 | Sample

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Juan suppressed a growl as he walked through the woods with his brother. They rushed here after receiving a message from the border patrol. There had been a breach. Somehow, the intruder slipped through their tight security.

They circled the perimeter, concluding their uninvited guest had escaped into the no man's land once again. The brothers backtracked to where they started––the outskirts of the town. Scrunched leaves and the broken twigs guided them through its path.

"The trail ends here," Juan said. His head tilted, thumb and index finger caressing his square chin. A habit he obtained in his childhood. He squatted to study the wet footprints on the ground.

His gaze lifted, peering into the darkness. Everything was calm, nothing out of the ordinary. The lingering dampness the atmosphere hinted at another downpour. His nose flared, drawing in the different scents from his surroundings––wet sand, trees, rotting leaves, small furry animals that ventured out of their holes in search of food––drifted through his nostrils.

Then there was this stench that assaulted his senses. Corrupt. Damaging. The distinguished smell was laced with thrill––excitement of a predator. Who is the prey? Being a lycanthrope, he could smell the emotions of a person. His senses never betrayed him. He has spent years, honing his tracking skills.

The furrow between his brows deepened. "He was alone," Juan murmured, inspecting the tree line again. "And looking for prey."

"They've never hunted this far into our territory before," his younger brother, Matthew, said. "This is the third sighting this week. Two humans are missing."

Juan's jaw clenched. These weren't just attacks, but an open challenge to their pack. One they'd gladly respond to.

The messy footprints belonged to one person. The creature met no one that night. Their intruder was observing. He seemed to have remained at one particular spot a little longer. The spot allowed him vantage point to one particular building. He gazed at the old structure, concluding that the prey resided in one of the apartments.

"Something's amiss." The leeches didn't stalk or target a prey. They attacked out of the blue.

"Brother, did you smell that?"

He inhaled deeply, tuning in his senses before finally catching it. A mixture of citrus and flowery fragrances with an underlying stench that shouldn't belong––

An image popped in his memory. It was coming from one of the open windows. It was her.

The girl they ran into earlier. There was a hint of a vampiresque scent on the female when they met. It set their impulses on fire. But she possessed no characteristic features that can be defined as a vampire.

Was she his accomplice?

He was quick to curb that notion. It didn't make sense. He rubbed his chin out of habit. Perhaps it was a coincidence, and he was actually here for someone else. But they needed to investigate this further. How she went unnoticed for so long was something he couldn't come to terms with.

The omegas, that comprised the majority of the pack worked around the city. They should have been able to sense her presence. Last night's encounter could be intentional. She showed no fear or shock. Her heartbeat was normal.

"There's more to this." Every single thought ended with a question in his mind. How did she mask her scent? Witchcraft? What if there were more like her? The thought was unsettling to his beast.

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