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Wheel Wolf (Werewolf Horror), страница 1

 

Wheel Wolf (Werewolf Horror)
 


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Wheel Wolf (Werewolf Horror)


  Wheel Wolf

  A Werewolf Horror/Love Story

  Copyright © 2013 Victoria Valentine

  All Rights Reserved Victoria Valentine

  Cover Art by Vin Hill Art

  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, locations, and incidents are a product of the author's imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

  Printed in the United States of America

  Water Forest Press Books

  PO Box 295, Stormville, NY 12582

  waterforestpress.com

  Victoria Valentine Mailing List. Keep updated on news and giveaways.

  JANUARY VALENTINE BOOKS

  Love Dreams Contemporary Romance

  Michael is in a wheelchair. Sienna has been emotionally damaged. Can they find love?

  Sweet Dreams in the Mind of a Serial Killer

  He plants roses ... in dead women. A witness says: He doesn't look human.

  Head Over Wheels Steamy Contemporary Romance

  Jewelia wants to work for the NYPD. Indigo is a medical student with baggage. They come from two different worlds. Can they beat the odds?

  Beautiful Experiment Paranormal Romance Book One of The Island of Defiance Trilogy

  Six unruly teens are kidnapped, sent to an uncharted island. Caretaker, Brook, is hot. Father is mysterious. Will they find a way home before the island is overrun with demons?

  Thank you for reading Wheel Wolf. I love to hear from readers. Connect with me on

  Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – Linkedin – Amazon Author Page

  http://www.januaryvalentine.com

  http://www.januaryvalentine.blogspot.com

  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

  http://awaywithbookreviews.blogspot.com

  http://www.victoriavalentine.net/VictoriaValentineMailingList.htm

  I think we all have to fight the werewolf within us somehow.

  —William Kempe

  My werewolf ... my second skin ...

  When the moon is on the rise,

  I go naked into night.

  I am never dressed to kill.

  —January Valentine

  You try to be a decent human being,

  but sometimes the world is just so evil,

  it's all about ... REVENGE!

  —January Valentine

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  JANUARY VALENTINE BOOKS

  PROLOGUE

  JENNY’S PORCH: TONIGHT, NEW YORK

  PHANTOM LAKE

  JENNY: ICU

  JACK: COMA

  JENNY’S INTERROGATION

  JACK: AM I AWAKE?

  JENNY: THE MORNING AFTER

  JACK: JENNY I’M INNOCENT

  JACK: SHADOW LANE REHAB

  JACK: NIGHT OUT WITH THE COWS

  JENNY: TERRITORIAL FEMALES

  JACK: JENNY’S FIRST VISIT TO REHAB

  JENNY: DOING JACK

  JACK: RIVAL DON DELGADO

  JENNY: AT THE CLINIC

  JACK: BEFORE JENNY CALLS AND AFTER

  DETECTIVE WORK

  THE FUNERAL

  THE FINAL TURNING

  MUTUAL CONFESSIONS

  SILVER BURNS

  LEGENDS, FOLKLORE, MYTHS

  THE CHASE: THE KILL

  MY FOREST RANGER COMPETITION

  NEXT STOP THE RUDEAS

  YAMAHA

  HARD COLD SILVER CROSS

  READY TO WALK OUTTA HERE

  LEAPS AND BOUNDS

  TRACKING AN ANIMAL

  THE SHACK

  JACK

  JENNY

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  PROLOGUE

  The stage lights burned out with the sun

  while the moon fell into a sea of blood

  a lone wolf howls to a starless sky

  no night; no day

  in longing desperation

  hungers for his departed

  stormy eyes flood eternity

  separation, unbearable

  soon he shall perish

  body and soul into void

  mind racing to the brink of insanity

  screams unheard, so loud as to deafen

  the ears of the one who cries out with anguish

  too weak to live; too strong to die

  lights faded, deserted stage

  death is calm

  the peace not found in living hell

  The storm blew into the Pacific Northwest with fury, battering the mortuary with such force, the woman feared the plate glass windows would shatter, and the rich mahogany caskets might float down the hall with rainwater and splintered glass.

  She stalked the length of the showroom, lowering polished lids, drawing velvet draperies closed.

  "I can save the wood," she lost her breath to the lifeless room, "but if these plush linings get soaked they'll mildew. Who wants to foot the bill for someone to be buried in a moldy casket? Leave that to the earth they're entombed in." Her pinched nose sniffed the musty air that had scented the room for as long as she could recall.

  The power clicked off and the place went dark. A gulp caught in her throat. She snapped on the flashlight she always carried in a pocket, anticipating nights like this, which came often. The batteries were practically drained. Maybe tapping the casing would buy more time.

  A wolf's howl punctured the night, seeping in with icy wind through an open kitchen window. The wolf sounded close, which interrupted the woman's thoughts, and her displeasure of the power failure flew to the back of her mind. Another high-pitched wail charged the air, and the tiny hairs on the back of her neck. What flowed into her ears were solitary howls, and not followed by the usual chorus of the timber wolves' bark she had come to know all too well during her lifelong existence in the ghastly town.

  Lightning scorched the air, but only for a moment while thunder rocked the house with unnerving concussions.

  Her husband's heavy footsteps creaked up the stairs and paused in the archway. She knew the sound his feet made, and the pungent aroma of his skin: hearty spice mixed with sweat. In the storm's momentary silence, his calloused fingers could be heard sliding across the stippled wall as he gained his footing and leveled his bearings.

  His bellow filled the stillness. "Some storm. When did we lose power?" His breath came faster as he groped his way around a corner. "Sounded like something crashed into the ..."

  Her voice sped across the darkness. "We lost the power an hour ago. Where were you?"

  "Working downstairs. The lights flickered, guess the emergency generator kicked on without me realizing."

  "I've run out of batteries," she moaned, clutching the collar of her robe to her throat. "Why can't you connect the upstairs circuits to the generator?" Her whine resembled the pitch of the wolf's. He despised her pissing and moaning, along with a few other things, but still, she was a good cook and housekeeper.

  His grim voice, indicating a scowling mouth, grew closer as his feet shuffled on the carpet. "It's a small unit. You know it can't power the entire house."

  "The wolves are about." She shivered a whisper. He imagined the fear in her eyes. "I've been hearing them a lot lately."

  "It's breeding season." Patience evaporated, his tone turned tart.

  "But this one was different. It had a distinct tone. Warning or ..."

  "Attracting a mate," the husband clucked.

  "It didn't sound like any mating call I've ever heard. In fact, I'
ve never heard anything quite like it." She pulled her robe so close, the collar met her lips. "It almost had a human edge to it."

  Another howl resonated, this one low-pitched and menacing, louder than the thunder which was finally ebbing.

  "I see what you mean. That doesn't sound like a mating call." He honed in on her location, and shuffled in another direction. "Perhaps it's a lone wolf crying for a lost mate."

  "Or it's hunting," she croaked, and as she sought a safe corner, a lamp wobbled on a cherry wood tabletop.

  "You're letting the dark get the better of you. Come down to the crypt. The lights are on."

  "Please. I see enough dead bodies all day. I don't need them at night. I'm sick of touching dead bodies, talking to dead bodies, smelling dead bodies." Her sigh rattled with phlegm from a past pneumonia that had almost gotten the better of her. "I'd rather sit in the dark."

  "And brood," he grumbled, stumbling into his wingback chair. He lit the last cigarette in the pack crushed into his breast pocket. The flickering flame brightened the grooves in his face. His lips puckered, his cheeks hollowed, and the glowing red tip arced as the moist end was plucked from his lips.

  Something hopeful filled her otherwise sallow voice. "A nice young fellow called about the apprenticeship. Said he's new in town. Likes it here. Wants to settle into a career. Sounds like a good candidate."

  "I can't believe you're bringing a stranger into the business ... our home." He puffed out annoyance with a feathering stream of smoke that circled his head like a halo. She noticed this when a rogue clip of lightning burst through the undraped window beside her.

  As her eyes readjusted, her husband became a silhouette again, not a ghost. "We'll be dead and buried and the business will still be here. My back is killing me, and your daughter doesn't want any part of it. Not that I blame her. It's a dying business." A derisive laugh ripped from her throat, rattling the phlegm again. "Let someone else make the killing."

  "Where is Lucy?" His annoyance escalated. The burning red tip of his cigarette grew brighter.

  "Where does Lucy ever go? Out. That's all I know. She tells me nothing."

  "A fifteen year old belongs home by nine. Ten the latest. You should keep a better eye on her."

  "Like you? When you pull her into that closet down there?" She pointed to the direction he had come from, the stairs leading down to the embalming room.

  "What's wrong with you? You make everything dirty. I'm trying to show her the ropes, that's all." He mumbled a curse she couldn't quite decipher, but imagined it to be one of his four letter favorites. "I've got plenty of company downstairs that never complains."

  "The fat six inch rope? Is that what you're referring to?" She spat the words that had held her hostage for so long. "You're sick. You know that? I should have left you years ago."

  An interruption pounded at the front of the house. "Who the hell could that be at this hour?" She fixed her robe and groped her way down the hall to peer through the glass paned entry door and straight into the headlights of a van. "For heaven sake," she cried to her husband, shielding her eyes from the blinding beams. "Did you expect a delivery tonight?" She yanked the door open and poked her head out.

  A man shifted from foot to foot, blowing on his bare hands. "Good evening."

  "Good evening? It's almost midnight," she snarled. "Bring it to the back."

  The man, who worked for the coroner's office, nodded and faded into a chilling mist.

  The coroner's deliverymen hated coming here. They resented her nastiness, her wrath, but if they wanted jobs they had no choice. Employment didn't exactly grow on area trees, so one held his tongue and did what he was told.

  As ordered, the deliveryman and his partner showed up at the back of the mortuary. On screeching gurneys they rolled two cadaver bags stuffed with mangled victims through the doorway where the husband stood smiling.

  "Doubt there's much you can do with these," one warned the husband who ushered both men into receiving, an alcove adjoining the embalming room.

  "Oh, I don't know about that. My skills are noteworthy." The overhead light flickered; the generator must be running out of gas.

  The man who had stood on the front porch tried to swipe his face dry by dabbing with the edge of the sweater he pulled through his vinyl coat sleeve. Again, he shifted from foot to foot, scrubbing his hands together. "Terrible accident out on the old Cross Bridge Highway." Although the storm had dwindled, his raingear glistened.

  As the husband, also known as the mortician, laid a hand on one of the thick plastic bags, the house lights sprang on with a surge of power. When the entire place glowed, they all jumped. All but the mortician, who was about to examine the corpses. "Damp, still warm though. No autopsies?" He stared at the bags as the coroner's men exchanged a concerned glance. They knew they were not supposed to use the van's heater while transporting cargo, but the night had been so raw.

  The mortician didn't notice, or perhaps he didn't care. His eyes were too busy for concern.

  "Nope. Coroner was at the scene. Took care of the paperwork. They're all yours." The deliverymen edged toward the door, where a brisk wind curled around the peeling wood frame.

  "And you ask why I've quit my job without notice?" The wife, leaning on the door casing, not actually standing in the small room, smarted off in front of the coroner's men. Her only display of vulnerability was the way she hugged her midsection.

  The following day, the young man who had responded to the help wanted advertisement arrived promptly at noon, as scheduled by phone. The wife immediately took to him; the husband had no choice but to hire him.

  "He's big and strong and healthy looking," she drummed. "And since you need help hauling corpses, washing the bodies, shampooing the hair, manicuring the fingernails," she smirked, "all the odd jobs I've always done ..."

  His stern jaw and narrowed eyes stopped her. "I'll still handle the emptying of the stomach and intestines, of course. Draining blood from the veins, pumping in chemicals." His chest puffed importantly. "Aspirating the bodies with the air pump for a rounded, healthy appearance."

  "Yes. I know you make the dead look alive. Do you want a medal?"

  He shook his head and left her standing in the kitchen, cleaning up after dinner.

  "He'll have the extra room downstairs," she called after her husband. "He's awfully handsome. Our daughter will probably be spending a lot more time at home. Did you see the way he looked at her?" She scraped mashed potatoes from a pot then scrubbed it, mumbling to herself. "Love at first sight, I tell you." When the howl of a wolf all but sliced the room in half, she slammed the window over the sink shut.

  "Over my dead body," the husband bellowed from the next room. "He'll not be with my daughter. Helpful or not, if that boy doesn't keep his lips and hands to himself, I swear by the balls I was born with, he's fired."

  The wife was stunned. The husband was rarely this alpha. Maybe when they'd first married, and he'd impregnated her with Lucy, but over the years he'd mellowed into the mush he was today.

  That very night, the man and woman were awakened from a dead sleep by a flashlight trained on their twitching eyelids. Bound and gagged, they were hauled downstairs, dragged into the showroom, and sealed inside caskets. Under polished mahogany and through closed windows, no one heard their blood-curdling screams.

  They weren't discovered for a week. By the time the coroner's deliverymen lifted the lids of the caskets, the husband's and wife's fingernails were torn off, hands caked with blood, and they were stark raving mad. The state had the couple committed. A relative reported Lucy missing.

  JENNY’S PORCH: TONIGHT, NEW YORK

  Whoever said "think of life as you do the weather" needs to revise his quote. Sure, both are unpredictable. Indecisive. The weatherman isn't always on target, but at least he can tell you to stuff a poncho into your backpack, 'cos there's a sixty percent chance the sky's gonna rock with one of the meanest storms of the season. Who's around to warn you not to stop at t
he lake on your way home from your girlfriend's house? Avoid dusty back roads because you never know what you'll run into.

  The moon is full and crimson, as though a beating heart at the core is pumping blood through its craters.

  It's a warm spring night. Breezy. Smells like musty leaves and pine. Early blossoms. All kinds of good karma surrounding me, reminding me of her.

  Jenny is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Since I'm standing on her front porch, I don't need to be reminded. Gazed at by a pair of dreamy violet eyes, grinned at by lips still rosy from mine, is melting me, gluing me to the two planks my boots have been planted on for the past fifteen minutes. The aroma of the dinner cooked by her mother lingers. Pot roast and potatoes. Almost like my mom used to make ...

  My fingers slip around Jenny's waist, mosey up her back, bringing her sleek black hair over one velvet shoulder. Wrapping a satin skein around my fist, I pull her into me. "Mmm." I nuzzle her throat, growl softly against her peach-scented skin. "You taste so good."

  She giggles. "You want to taste something good? Try this."

  She's hanging on my shoulder, draping herself around my side. One of her smooth legs is climbing mine. Her body is so toned, I feel the tension of her calf muscle beneath my jeans. That's not all I feel.

  "Come on. Open up." She's taunting me with a home baked donut, gliding it back and forth inches from my nose.

  Now she's on tiptoes, and the sound of her laughter washes every thought from my mind. Every thought other than how to dodge the plump, doughy thing that's being shoved at my mouth, because I've already made a pig of myself.

  Arms wrapped around her, I'm trying to shove her off, pulling my head back and straining away. I'm laughing. "I can't, babe. I won't be able to button my uniform. Rule number one: spotless and wrinkle free, professionally dressed at all times. I'll be written up for insubordination before I even start my new job."

  Starting with my deltoid, the fingers of her free hand squeeze their way down my arm. She shakes her head, making the cutest clicking sound with her tongue. "Never happen. You're solid muscle, Jack Bailey." Her eyes fill with a passion that elevates mine. Which doesn't take much. A glimpse, even a thought is enough to do it. "The fittest ranger that will ever roam these forests. Devoting himself to our wildlife." She's lifting a brow, warning, "And that better be all, because you know how some women around here have a tendency to jump hot guys in sexy uniforms."

 
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