Rachel lives and breathes the world of magic. As an heir to the throne of a secret werewolf culture, she stands in the doorway to the spirit world, staring in the face of things her pack can only imagine. That is the way. Her parents understand, as does the next Alpha, Andrew, her predestined soulmate. But when the scale is tipped out of balance, they're both placed in a race against time to save their pack and everything they have ever known, plagued by a question of morality: What is right? Or, more importantly, what's wrong?


11. Rachel


I blacked out.

Days, months, years could have passed. I was beyond caring.

Andrew was dead. My pack was gone. I was alone, a queen with no Alpha. I knew they were testing me. These creatures that my instinctive brain had told me were predators, just cousins. Humans. They had shaved my head, tattooed some code at the base of my neck. I simply stared straight ahead, catatonic.

“How are the others?”

The words sounded like they were from another planet, but they clicked in my brain. Like a long-missing key, they turned to unlock the awareness I had been missing for what felt an eternity. When I started and looked around me, though, I was alone in a room. The words seemed to echo through my ears endlessly, and I had to wonder how long it had taken for me to understand what they could mean.

I didn't have much time to wander, though, when a door opened from the seamless wall behind me. I whirled, fangs bared, to see someone stumble into the room. Shivering, ragged and frightened, I barely recognized the bald young woman. Slowly, a name came to me.

My eyes widened. “Heather?!”

She turned wide eyes on my, like saucers planted into that frighteningly thin face. “Rachel!”

My past troubles vanished in an instant, my grief for Andrew being set aside when I knew that my pack needed me. She stumbled forward and I let her collapse in my arms, the arms of a leader. I hushed her quietly, seeing the burns on my shoulders and back. I recognized them easily: silver.

I felt my face harden in anger, but I only let her feel my gentle assurance. Slowly, her wounds lessened and she fell asleep against me. Laying her down gently, I stood and went to investigate the wall. I couldn't see or feel anything, but when I felt that anger at the helpless Heather being tortured, a seam of burning red appeared before me, splitting the wall in two.

Darts shot from the walls.


I blacked out.

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