Chapter 1

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Under the Blood Red Moon


Brenda Sparks

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Chapter 1

Caden Jennings sat behind the large oak desk, his leg bouncing with pent up energy. His body pulsed, blood thrummed through his veins as sharp stings burned along his flesh. The scorching sensation beat in his brain, throbbing with a relentless torture as his inner beast pushed to the surface, called forth by the coming moon. Tonight the blood moon rose, full and plump in the sky. The planets were aligned, bringing the moon closer to the earth, making its pull strong. It would call to his kind, demanding they give into their inner wolves. And they would be helpless to do other than answer that call. That was the way for all unmated Weres. The change would take them, forced upon them by the unusual moon, sitting in the night sky like a fiery, crimson beacon. Normally they had power over the shift, controlled it. But tonight nothing could stop his change.

When the moon rose to its apex in the dark sky, his body would contort, limbs growing short, his muscles bunching. The human features of his face would be lost to the beast, his nose and mouth becoming a muzzle as his eyes rounded. Tonight the black fur pushing through his skin would become a thick pelt that matched the color of his black hair.

If only he could shift now, the burning, itchy sensation would be taken from him. But that was the curse of their kind. The blood moon took control of their shift, determining when it would happen, and like a cruel master it made sure they suffered as long as possible. There would be no respite from this pain for many hours yet.

A heavy sigh pushed through his lips as Cade glanced down at the stack of bills lying unopened on the desk. He needed to focus. The needs of the pack came before his own. The due dates did not change, just because an unusual moon waited to wreak havoc tonight. Charged with the task of seeing to the pack's needs, he forced his fingers to tear through the top envelope.

Outside female shouts mixed with male demands. Caden's head snapped up, eyes darting to the closed door of the office. The sound of a male growl made him push away from the desk and seek the cause of the raucous. The thick muscles of his legs took him out the door and through the plantation home. As he made his way down the hall of their large manse, the emotions of the pack pushed in on him. With most of the pack in tow, Caden pushed through the front doors and stepped onto the porch. He stopped short, frozen in place by the sight before him.

Two members of his pack had their hands on a female, holding her arms. She thrashed in their grip—like that would do her any good. Those guards were the strongest males in the pack who spent long hours in their gym working on their strength. The small blonde didn't have a chance against them, but apparently that didn't stop her from trying. Cade cocked his head to one side, considering her as he watched the melee.

Dressed in a pair of tight fitting jeans and a sweater that showed off her personal assets nicely, her body turned and twisted in their grasp. Her long blond hair and emerald eyes complemented the delicate lines of her face and petite nose. Her ruby lips were pulled back into a taunt line as she struggled, but he was sure they would be plump and full when relaxed.

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