It's hard to believe that I started this journey 4 years ago today. I hit that publish button on my very first book. Revitalized. Since then I have learned a lot, grown a lot and improved. I sit here today and I have to stop myself. Why? Well, I find myself going over the laundry list of things I didn't do. Things I didn't accomplish. That list starts to put me in a bad spirit. I cannot cross over into a new year while in a funk. So I have to stop and instead think of all the good, the wonderful little victories I did accomplish. I take an hour to focus on that positive energy and then I start preparing.
Yes, tomorrow will mark the start of a new year and in the eyes of some, it is a chance for a new beginning. For me it is quite different. Tomorrow is in fact a new year, but it is a continuation of all that I have already started. There is no new beginning, no starting over. Why would I want to do that? I wouldn't be the person, the mother, the author that I am today if not for all the lesson, trials and triumphs I have seen through the years. Tomorrow I continue on, tomorrow take another step towards my goals as I do everyday. Don't get me wrong, I have some awesomeness planned for 2015 and I am so excited to get to it all! Vampires, Sirens and Wolves oh my!
Once again I want to thank everyone who has been by my side showing love and support. It means so very much to me and this journey wouldn't be as fulfilling if not for all of you.
Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!
Stay Safe. Have Fun.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
He hadn’t expected to run into her. He danced along the borders and stayed as hidden as he could. He’d only come in contact with two wolves who he had no trouble dodging. He caught her scent long before he ever found her. He could have veered off, and headed another way. It would have been the smart thing to do. Avoiding her made sense, but he didn’t. He wanted to see her even though he knew in his gut that it would only complicate things further for him. She wouldn’t recognize his scent even if she had caught wind of him. He no longer carried the fragrance of a beta wolf. Nor did he smell of an alpha, the sent was his own, completely unique to him. He approached with caution; she was the kind to attack if she felt threatened. Why would she be out in the middle of nowhere and by herself? He scoped out the area and scented the air for any companions. There was no one around but her. Where was her pack? So many questions passed through his mind as she came into view. She sat on the edge of the bank of a small river. Nude. She washed herself and he watched her closely. Her body was just as he remembered it to be. Every curve was there, taunting him and inciting memories of the past.
“Are you going to just stand there or are you going to speak?” Tatiana called out. He did not move. “I know you are there, whatever you are. If you have been sent to find me, let me remind you, the last person who tried to capture me was unsuccessful. I would tell you to ask him yourself but I don’t think he will have much luck expressing his failure without his head.” She stood from the water peered out into the trees around her. She couldn’t see him yet, he wavered. Should he reveal himself to her? “I have your scent now, I will find you. I will not let you lead them to me!” Still nude she challenger her hidden admire.
“Calm down, Tot!” He called out on top of a smooth chuckle.
“Tot?” She turned towards his voice. “Only one person has ever called me that. Who are you?” She thought she recognized the voice that used her nickname given to her by a once stranger. Had she finally lost her mind? Even the scent of this thing was wrong. It was wolf but it smelled like no other wolf she’d ever come across.
“Well,” he stepped out of the shadow. “If only one person has ever called you by that name, it would stand to chance that I would be that person.” He flashed her the same cocky smile he always had and waited for her reaction.
“Fuck me senseless!” She relaxed her stance. “Jeremiah?”
“In the flesh baby!” He grinned from ear to ear and held his hands out in expectation of a hug that never came.
“I thought you were dead.” Tatiana picked up her clothing and started to dry and cover herself.
“Yeah, a lot of people seem to have come to that very same conclusion.” Jeremiah leaned against the moss covered side of a tree and watched her closely, tilting his head to get a better view of her ass as she bent to pull her pants over her legs..
“How? How are you here? I searched for you, for a long time. Your scent, every trace of you was gone.” She stopped and scrunched her nose as she inhaled him again. “Your scent, you don’t smell the same. What is that about?”
“A lot of things have changed about me over the years.” He dodged her question and wondered how many times he could to do that before she insisted he actually answer it.
“Oh, yeah, like what?”
“Well, I think we should start with you. Why are you out here Tot? Who is out for you?” He searched her expression. “There is only one reason you would be out here on your own and killing anyone who comes to look for you. Who did you piss off?”
“That is not important.” She pulled her hair back from her face.
“It isn’t?” He remained in place against the tree watching her closely. He still got under her skin. She would never admit it but it was true.
“No, not really. It’s my business and therefore not yours. You get to keep your business to yourself. I have the right to do the same.”
“Okay, we will let that stand, for now.” He chuckled again now remembering just how tough of a wolf Tatiana was. She never backed down, never gave in even to him and that was what he’d loved the most about her.
“For now, you say that as if you have some plan of hanging around.” She turned on him as she pulled her shirt over her head and across her abdomen.
“Well, as far as I can tell, we are both loners. Maybe we can be loners together.” He flashed a smile that made her melt. She’d missed him, every bit of him, and especially that cocky ass grin of his.
“Loners together, huh? That is a shitty line, you’re out of practice.” She laughed as she stepped away from the water and closer to him.
“You know, you didn’t have to cover up because of me.”
“Right, I guess I was just supposed to stand there and let you ogle me? I think not.”
“Who was ogling? I was simply appreciating the view.”
“You are such a perve. So where are you headed ghost boy?” She punched him in the shoulder, the first moment of contact they would have had in years and even the playful gesture did something more to her.
“My brother is hurt and I need to go help him.” He said in short as he grabbed her wrist preventing her from moving further from him.
“No one else capable?” She questioned.
“No, unfortunately, not with what happened to him.” Jeremiah’s eyes became hard and Tatiana stopped her effort move away from him.
“You look a little tortured there, guilty.” She said now more serious.
“I am, in a way.” It was the truth he’d already admitted to himself.
“In a way, and I suspect it is something that you won’t be talking to me about any time soon.” She cocked her head to the side and smile just slightly. He was the same as she’d remembered him, even the touch of his hand on her wrist; it was tight, secure and it made her stomach do flips she’d missed feeling.. He was always so careful with her even though she was tough as hell. He’d be the first man to treat her as a woman and not just a warrior who stood by the side of the Alpha.
“You would be correct about that.”
“And what exactly is the benefit of two loners traveling together when they both have their own set of secrets?” She moved the topic back to one that they both felt comfortable in discussing.
“The same as it was before, you watch my back and I will watch yours. No questions asked.” He pulled her close to him and wrapped his arms around her hugging her closely to his body. The moment their bodies made contact he knew just how big of a mistake he’d made by not turning away from her scent. His wolf rumbled from within and he held back the urge to vocalize a growl.
“Hmm, I think I like the sound of that.” She grinned at him and enjoyed the hug for just a moment longer before pulling away.
Jeremiah waited for Tatiana to get her things together and thought about the first time they’d met. It was right after Malcom had been called to beta for that ass hat Vincent, who he was happy to hear had finally been taken down after all of his years of leading their pack into the ground. When Jeremiah left, he made sure to make it look believable. He had to be sure it looked like a lost cause. No one would spend much time looking for him anyway but if it looked like his chances of survival were low they damn sure wouldn’t waste the manpower.
Malcom was a friend but he’d never known that they were brothers. He’d never known that their father had done the down and dirty with about six of the she-wolves in the pack. This resulted in four children, two boys and two girls. The girls were twins and were taken away from the pack with their mother who said that she refused to have them live in the shadow of his favorite, Malcom. Their father had married Malcom’s mother as she bore his first son and that was all that seem to count in his eyes. Jeremiah came years later proving that his dear old dad was still sleeping around.
Time and time again Jeremiah wished his mother had had the guts to pack up their home and move away. Instead they lived the secondary life. His father’s visits were often late and even still, they were a rare occurrence. He’d come, toss some hand-me-downs from his brother and then head to the bedroom with his mother. The most he’d ever said to his father was hello and goodbye. The only times his father showed any pride in his second son was his time he spent playing sports. Jeremiah was a star and he proved it on the field. But even that wasn’t enough to gain a permanent part in his father’s life. Besides Malcom was equally as skilled on the field and older which meant more people were looking his was when game time came around.
Once Malcom was called to his post, Jeremiah decided to leave. He was old enough to be on his own. He watched their father as he beamed with pride over Malcom and he couldn’t take it anymore. The trail left behind was for his mother so that she wouldn’t come looking for him. Malcom made it look as though he had perished, fallen into the Gulf of Mexico during an excursion to Corpus Christi where there was said to be activity between sirens and the witch covens. This was a duel that they had long since thought was squashed but apparently an unknown Siren was stirring up some trouble. He’d watched the woman crawl from the clear waters carrying a small baby in her hands. He could have stopped her but something told him not to. Besides it wasn’t really the wolves’ concern but it was close to home and they had to be sure there was no foul play that would trickle over into their territory. As far as he could tell it wouldn’t be a problem for him and he was acting out his own escape plan.
His mother held service for her son and mourned him for years before she finally died peacefully in her bed, alone. He’d watched over her from afar, had informants that kept him posted, a few friends that knew his intentions. Once she died, he stopped communications with everyone from his former pack and headed further north.
It was after he finally turned his back to his past that he first encountered Tatiana. She was running free through the woods and he’d been watching her until she caught his scent and started to chase him. He wasn’t afraid of her and knew that he would have no problem tanking her down if it came to that but he ran anyway. He let her chase him until she could no longer. He listened to her labored breathing and her curses as the distance between their two forms increased. Eventually he turned back and slowly closed in on her. He knew that she would be able to sense him near.
“Tired already?” He said in nude male form after shifting back from his wolf.
“Who are you?” She growled and fanned herself. Her body had nearly overheated during the run. She’d been focusing on getting into better shape but still had a long way to go. Tatiana had huge plans for herself and he could sense her determination from the moment they spoke.
“Woa she-wolf, I come in peace.” He held his hands up in defense and took a step backwards. He wore that cocky smile that she would grow to love.
“You don’t belong here,” she sniffed the air around him. “Your scent, you are from the southern territories. What are you doing here?”
“I’m from no territory, not anymore.” He dropped his hands.
“You’re leaving your pack?” She abandoned her offensive posture. “That takes a lot of balls. What could be so bad to make you risk such a bold move?”
“Something I would prefer not to talk about if you don’t mind.”
“If you are caught up here you will die,” she eyed the lone wolf and changed the topic.
“Lucky I don’t plan on getting caught by anyone. I’m just passing through.” He turned to walk away and continue his path further north.
“Where are you going?”
“Why? You planning on joining me?” He looked over his shoulder to her.
“No.” She responded quickly before looking away from his tight ass. She forced herself to dispel any thoughts of grabbing hold of the dark flesh and squeezing it with her hands.
“I didn’t think so.” He chuckled. He guessed exactly what thoughts were moving through her head from the slight rise in her pheromones.
“Well its getting dark soon. You realize the pack is about to tighten their patrols for the vampires. They won’t care if you aren’t a fanger, you don’t belong here. I can get you somewhere safe. This way you can rest up and continue on your way in the morning.” She offered hastily and then wanted to bite her own tongue off. If anyone found out what she was doing for this man she would lose all hope for her plan to become second in command to her pack’s Alpha. Odds were already stacked against her because she was a female. Through her training she had proved time and time again that she was just as good if not better than most of the men in their pack. She had to push hard still, she had to outshine them all.
“You’d do that for me? Why?” He turned to face her completely and cocked his head to the side.
“I don’t know,” she looked him up and down. “You seem like a nice enough guy, possibly out of your mind for coming here alone, but an okay guy all the same.”
“Well, thanks.” He smirked. “Happy to be an ‘okay’ guy if it gets me safety for the night, I appreciate it.”
“No problem, Follow me.” He followed her happily to the placed they would spend many nights together. From that first encounter he was hooked to her completely.
They had many meetings after that. It became a routine for them. No meeting ever lasted for more than a weekend. After many years, while traveling through Canada he was approached to be a part of the team and part of that deal meant leaving his old life behind. It meant leaving her behind. He kept tabs on her over the years and even sent her anonymous flowers when she was called to beta for her pack. But as far as she was concerned, Jeremiah was no more.
Now he followed her through the woods just as he did that first time and watched as she carefully surveyed their surroundings just as he’d done before. The sun would be setting soon and they would need to set up camp. He hadn’t covered nearly as much ground as he wanted to and would have to move double time the next morning to make up for the time he’d lost but he couldn’t turn away from her. Even if they were only together for one night, he would have his time. Hell, with the team no doubt strategizing to take him down if he succeeded in curing his brother, he had wasn’t sure how much time he had left to go off on tangents with old pals. He damn sure wasn’t going to pass up this chance.