Lord of The Wolves Chapter Thirteen

February 10th, 2016  |  Published in Haventon Chronicles  |  1 Comment

Start | LoTW Chapter Twelve| Index | LoTW Chapter Fourteen

A/N: Hey, Peeps, the paperback version of Haventon Born is out and on special offer at £7.99 until 9th March. Why not pick it up?

“You’ll like Keran,” Kate said as she drove Anna, David and Tanya towards the dojo. “He’s a real sweetheart and a tremendous fighter. He’ll teach you a lot.”

“The lesson tonight is supernaturals only,” Tanya said. “But he’s asked me to bring you both a couple of hours early so he can judge what you know already.” She gave a smirk. “Be prepared for a few bruises from that.”

“I’ve already told him you’ll both be able to see past his glamour so don’t worry about pretending you can’t,” Kate added. “Keran’s cool about people being able to see him anyway.” She drew up outside a dilapidated building with a faded banner. “Here we are.”

“Really?” David said. “Does he attract many human students?” The sun was still up and Kate had the roof open on her convertible. David stared at his arms looking for any sign of burning but the sunblock Tanya had fetched from the chemist for him seemed to be doing the trick much to his relief.

“Not many but more than you’d think,” Kate replied. “He doesn’t advertise among humans but he’s a good enough teacher that people find him by word of mouth. Come on.” She led them to the door and rang the bell.

“My Queen!” Keran bowed to Kate when he opened the door. “I was not expecting you to come with the new students!”

“Gwen set the Hunt on David, so I thought it wisest. And how many times do I have to tell you to call me Kate when we’re not at Court.”

“That was probably wise, your… Kate.” Keran turned to where David and Anna were standing nervously behind Tanya. “Welcome, both of you.”

Even though Kate had said Keran knew they could see his true form, David was still careful not to stare at him. It wasn’t easy though, he really hadn’t been expecting the guy to be part plant. He glanced at Anna and saw her doing the same thing. She caught his eye with a wry smile.

“You didn’t tell them what to expect?” Keran asked.

“We told them that you’re a woodwose,” Tanya said.

“But not what that meant.” He sighed. “Most people these days don’t know what a woodwose is, but anyway come in, come in. I need to check your skills out.” He led them into the dojo. Inside it was much less tatty than the outside.

“Is the renegade boy coming this evening?” Tanya asked.

“Colin?” Keran said. “Yes, he should be. Don’t worry he’ll keep the rules.”

“So will we,” Anna said. “Though I might have to grit my teeth.”

“Oh?” He tilted his head at her.

“She’s Karen’s daughter,” Tanya explained.

“Ah,” he said. “That could be interesting. Guess who’s bringing Colin to the class.”

Tanya frowned for a moment before groaning. “Oh, that’s going to be awkward.”

“My aunt is coming here?” Anna hazarded and Tanya nodded.

“Unless I’ve misunderstood, yes,” she said.

“You haven’t,” Keran said. “Maelin always sends them with Lu.”

“You need to decide what you’re going to do about what Stephen told us anyway,” Anna said.

Tanya gave Anna a surprised look. “You’re taking this calmly for someone who was feeling murderous yesterday.”

“I’m calm now.” Anna frowned. “Perhaps too calm. That keeps happening. I’m not sure it’s right.”

“We’ll talk to Dan tomorrow,” Tanya said. “Though I don’t know what could cause that.”

“The Huntsman told you something?” Keran asked curiously. “May I ask what?”

“Apparently David is a potential Winter Warrior,” Kate said.

The leaves in Keran’s hair moved in a non-existent breeze as he stared at David. “So that’s why the Summer Warrior wants him dead? But what does that have to do with Lu?”

David gave a bitter snort. “Apparently this Maelin dude has the Winter Blade and I need it.”

Keran gave a low whistle. “Yes, that is a problem, because you don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hades of taking it from him by force.”

“We’re having a pack meeting after the Wake tonight,” Tanya said. “We’ll have to figure what to do then.”

Keran nodded solemnly then turned back to David. “So, let’s start with you then. He jerked his head towards the mat.

***

The unnatural calmness still had Anna in its grip as she finished her sparring with Keran. While she was pretty certain that it was there to stop her doing something stupid when her aunt and the renegade boy arrived but it had the side-effect of dampening her mortification at the ease with which Keran has tossed her around the mat. She’d thought her training with the Order had given her a good grounding in hand to hand combat but Keran was something else. The fact that he’d tossed David around with equal ease was only mild consolation.

She pulled herself to her knees, still gasping from where the last throw had winded her and let Keran help her up.

“Are you both vampire hunters?” he asked as she sat on one of the benches.

Surprise broke through the icy calm for a moment. No one had mentioned that to Keran.

“How?” David sounded as shocked as she felt.

“I’ve encountered enough Order members in my life to recognise both the fighting style and the subtleties that say you were trained by the Vampire section.” He fetched a couple of cans of orange juice from his office. “You two both did well. I have a fair idea how to train you now to make the best advantage of your claws and fill in the gaps.”

“You’d better teach David sword play as well,” Kate said. “He’ll need it.”

“Presuming the Winter Blade manifests as a sword for him and not, for example, as a whopping great axe like the Night Blade does for Tyler.”

Kate snorted at that. “Well, yes, Tyler always has to be different. It’s usually a sword and you know it.”

“But there’s no knoowing what type of sword. I’ll have to teach him a variety of sword–” Keran stopped as the bell rang. “That will be Lu and Colin. I’ll let them in.”

Anna took a shaky breath as he went to open the door. Even with the strange calm she knew she was going to struggle not to verbally lash out her aunt and her charge.

No shouting at Lu, petal. It was her mother’s voice again, this time Anna had no doubt it was real but she still couldn’t see any ghosts. That’s because I’m not out there, dear.

Anna was about to ask what that meant when Keran returned with Lucy and Colin. She immediately realised that she would have known Lucy for a relative anywhere. She looked like a taller, more elegant version of how her mother looked in photos. As she studied her Lucy’s eyes fixed on her and she gave a slight gasp.

“Anna?” She covered the floor between them even as she spoke. “I should have realised, who else is the right age to be newly changed?” She sounded so sad. “My God, you look so much like Karen.”

Anna opened her mouth to snap at her Aunt about working for the person who had had her mother killed but something in her mind jerked her back.

Don’t. You’ll regret it later.

Anna tried to figure out what had just happened and noticed that Lucy’s eyes had widened.

“Oh, Karen,” she whispered. “What have you done? You–” She shook her head and turned to look at Tanya. “Slightly diverting but has no one noticed that my niece is possessed?”

“What?!” Tanya said.

“It’s mild and you know Karen wouldn’t harm her but I thought you should know.” She turned to look at David. “My goodness you’ve grown, David. I was sorry to hear about your father. He was my favourite cousin.”

Anna’s mind was racing as she tried to process what Lucy had said but she couldn’t help noticing the intensity of the gaze her aunt had turned on David. She was clearly looking for something. He apparently noticed as well because he folded his arms and looked at her steadily.

“Was there something?”

Lucy gave a half smile. “Yes, apparently he was right about you. Interesting.” She turned to Kate and inclined her head. “Your majesty, I wasn’t expecting to see you here. The Lord of the Wolves asked me to pass a message on to you. He wishes me to reassure you that he won’t attack you if you say no. He says coercion is a poor basis for a negotiation.”

“Like he cares about that,” Tara muttered.

Lucy just gave her a calm look before turning back to Kate. “He means it, your majesty.”

“We’ll bear that in mind,” Kate said.

Lucy looked like she might say more but then she suddenly stiffened and gave Kate a sharp look, bent a little closer and clearly sniffed the air before giving a worried scowl.

“Is something wrong?” Kate asked.

Lucy said nothing she just turned and went and sat on the benches on the other side of the room.

“Something is definitely wrong.” Tanya started across the room but then the bell rang again indicating that the other students were arriving.

***

David ignored the arriving students as he was too busy staring at Lucy, who seemed to have recovered over whatever had distressed her fairly quickly and was fussing over Colin, trying to work out if she’d figured out that he was potentially the Winter Warrior or had meant something else. He was so distracted that he didn’t sense the newcomer who’d come up behind him until she spoke.

“You must be David.”

He turned to find a young woman with pointed ears, solid blue eyes, pure white hair and skin that was nearly as pale and distinctly blue. Not just veins showing through the skin but genuinely blue. At least she looked young but he was fairly sure that meant very little with mistwalkers. She smiled at him revealing unnaturally sharp teeth and extended her hand.

“I’m Beth,” she said. “I’m a snow maiden, a winter fairy of the so-called rebel court. I hear Gwendolen is after you.”

David just nodded as he shook her hand as two other Mistwalkers joined them. Both of them were obviously summer mistwalkers, another young woman whose leaf green hair had roses and thorns growing in it. She introduced herself as Nina and said she was a rose daemon and the other was an older man whose tanned skin and gold hair seemed to sparkle like the sun on raindrops but otherwise looked human and who introduced himself as Jerry but didn’t specify what he was. From the way all three attached themselves to him for the rest of the lesson David was certain they’d been assigned to guard him by someone, though all three just laughed when he asked them to confirm it.
***
Colin watched Lucy worriedly as she drove them back from the lesson. She looked stressed and tired.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

She gave a heavy sigh. “Things just got a lot more complicated.” She pulled over and rested her head against the steering wheel. “He’s not going to like this.”

“Is this about that guy, your cousin’s son?”

“David? Oh no, he was right about Dave,” she said. “This is about someone else he’s interested in. I caught her scent on the Day Queen.” She straightened up and started driving again. “Better get this over with.”

Maelin was talking with Rachel when they got back to the house. The two of them had been plotting how to deal with Callie since he and Lucy had fetched her the evening before. Both of them looked up at them. Maelin took one look at Lucy and hurried over.

“What’s wrong, Lu?” he asked.

“Before we get into that there’s two other things,” she said. “One, David was there and you’re right about him.”

“I knew it!” he said triumphantly. “Mother’s grasp is weakening. I wonder if your family know yet.”

“Won’t that piss them off,” Lucy said.

“Indeed. What was the second thing?”

“The Day Queen was with him and I passed your message on, which brings us to the problem. While I was speaking with her I caught a scent about her. It was unnaturally faint but she’d been around that Laurel girl sometime in the last few hours.”

He stiffened. “You’re sure?”

She nodded. “It was a bit off from last time I picked up her scent but it was her.”

“Given that the Day Queen is around your family that complicates things,” he said. “How is her scent different?”

“She didn’t smell quite human anymore. It was too faint to tell how she’d changed but she definitely had. Are you certain that your mother’s grasp couldn’t have slipped enough that she emerged without hollowing?”

“Not a chance,” he said. “But given that the girl kept company with vampires and her husband insisted that he’d killed her I can think of one possibility, not that it makes much of a difference. She’s still got to die before my mother finds her and hollows her to power the spell keeping the Winter King alive. She’s only got to fail a couple more times and her entire spell comes tumbling down. Indeed given David’s emergence the spell is already weakening so maybe this time will be the charm.”

“I wish there was some other way,” Lucy said.

Maelin looked downcast as he nodded. “I do too,” he said. “But I tried for centuries and every time they died screaming in spite of my best efforts. But if Queen Katarzyna came into contact with the child on a more than casual basis then it’s going to make things difficult especially if your family are involved with Laurel as well.” He tapped his tongue against his teeth. “Would you mind missing your cousin’s wake tonight? The cats owe us a favour and they’re sneakier than us. See if you can get them to send one of the clowder to track her movements and figure out where she crossed paths with the girl.”

“I’d still like to go but Tanya noticed that something was wrong so it’s likely wisest if I don’t,” Lucy said. “I’ll go and talk to Mia but she likes my family and won’t want to get on the wrong side of them.”

A/N: Hey, Peeps, the paperback version of Haventon Born is out and on special offer at £7.99 until 9th March. Why not pick it up?

Start | LoTW Chapter Twelve| Index | LoTW Chapter Fourteen

One Response to “Lord of The Wolves Chapter Thirteen”

  1. torvawk says:

    Becka,

    We have only caught glimpses of Laurel yet she is quickly becoming a key person. How many parties are now interested in her? 4 I think.

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