Screams filled the night. Blood drenched the floorboards and seeped into the house’s soul. Macon Wilde and Keenan Smith were there. They witnessed the annihilation. As children they had no power.
Years later, Macon has achieved his vow of revenge for the destruction of his family. Now, as alpha, he has returned to Belle Grove. It is time to restore his ancestral home and rebuild the Wilde Wolf Pack to its former glory. He wasn't going to let anyone stop him from achieving those goals.
Keenan has waited. As an omega wolf shifter, all he could do was hide and defend Belle Grove from marauders and derelicts intent on destroying what was left, and survive the nightmares of that horrible day when he was to be the prize of a wicked, murdering, alpha.
Two strangers brought together by evil. Both are ready to fulfill their destinies, entwined with love and passion. But evil is still haunting Belle Grove and the Wilde Wolf Pack. It will be up to Macon and Keenan to figure out who is their friend and who is their enemy, because people are coming at an alarming rate and not everyone is happy that the Wilde Wolf Pack is back.
Fifty-seven years. Macon Wilde stood in front of the large iron gates leading to a place he hadn’t seen in nearly a lifetime. He looked through the rusted bars to the trees lining the decrepit driveway and forming a wedding arch of sorts that led to the vast estate beyond.
What he could see of the once pristine estate made his heart hurt.
Macon reached up and grabbed the rusted lock chaining the gate closed and twisted until the lock snapped off in his hand. He dropped the lock and chain to the ground, not caring that they would alert someone that the estate was once again occupied. After so many years, it was sure to draw attention.
Macon just didn’t care. This was his ancestral home and he had every right to be here. He had spent almost five decades earning that right.
He pushed the gate open and took his first step onto the land that his very soul was tied to. Macon’s eyes slid closed. His body vibrated with renewed energy from the power seeping into his bones, up through his legs to his chest, and then out to his arms and fingertips, swarming him.
Time away from his birthright had eaten at his consciousness until he thought he would go mad. Only his vow to avenge the deaths of his family and his pack had allowed him to stay sane as the years slid by, each one harder than the last.
His wolf sat up and howled.
He was home.
Macon drew in the first calming breath he'd had in more years than he could count. For so long his life has been all about hunting down those who took his world from him; he isn’t sure he knows how to do anything else.
But he is damn well going to try.
Macon's breathing hitched as he walked down what was left of the long concrete driveway that led to the estate manor. Time had reduced the once smooth surface to rubble and tall tangled weeds.
Belle Grove was more than just an estate but the alpha house had always been the center of it. He would restore it to its former glory if it was the last thing he did.
Even though he'd walked slowly, Macon was a little out of breath by the time he approached the house. His gut, clenched into a tight knot of dread, and apprehension crawling across his skin like a thousand fire ants. He wondered if his senses were in overload because of overwhelming memories, or something else?
Ivy grew around and up the tall pillars in front of the mansion, digging into the little cracks in the plaster created by time and weather. Grass and brush grew as high as Macon’s waist, completely covering what had once been his mother’s prized gardens.
Rotting and faded wooden slats boarded up broken windows. Chunks of brick and mortar that had once been part of the magnificent home of the Wilde family for centuries, littered the ground.
Time had taken its toll on Belle Grove, just as it had on Macon. He had spent decades seeking revenge for the wrong done to his family and pack, for the lives stolen in a bloody night of terror that had haunted his dreams ever since. He had found the last of the monsters that had taken his family from him just over a year ago.
Every spare cent he'd earned over the decades in the Marines had been invested. That, combined with the family money he'd inherited when his parents were murdered, meant he'd have enough money to return his home to its former glory.
Goddess, he hoped he'd have enough. Belle Grove was in such a state of disrepair, he wasn't sure there was enough money in all the world to make her beautiful once again. It was just one more desecration to lay at the feet of the monsters who'd started this.
Macon was still a little unsure why it had all started. Sure, greed and the desire to steal another pack's territory played into it, but Macon always felt as if there had to be something more to the heinous crime. His entire pack had been wiped out; every man, woman, and child. He had been the lone survivor and then only because of his mother's quick thinking. She had hidden him away in the large flour bin inside the pantry. When he'd emerged hours later, everyone was dead.
Macon doubted he'd ever forget the nightmare he'd encountered, or the screams of terror he'd heard while he'd been hiding. The land had run red with blood. His loving parents had fallen mere feet from the opening of his hiding spot, their hands clasped together as if they had reached for each other with their dying breath.
He had been a mere ten years old and his entire world had been ripped away from him. He had taken his mother's last words to heart and run, not even stopping to bury the bodies. His only thought had been to escape and then hunt down everyone who had taken his world away from him.
And now he was back. Fifty-seven years ago, the ground had been covered by the bodies of his family and pack members, the dirt soaked red with their blood. Their cries of death and betrayal had filled the air and sunk into the very foundation of the land.
As he glanced around, Macon couldn't help but wonder what had happened to the bodies. Were they there, hidden in the tall grass and weeds? Were his parents still holding hands on the tiled floor of the kitchen? Had anyone cared enough to bury them?
Pausing at the bottom of the steps, he closed his eyes. His senses swarmed around him, bringing in the soft breeze and the rich scent of earth and trees. He could just make out the sounds of a mother bird talking to her chicks off in the distance and the soft trickle of a creek just beyond the tree line.
But there was something else... a pulse. A rapidly beating thud.
Signs of life.
Macon opened his eyes and glanced around. He couldn't see anything out of place, not even with his enhanced senses, but he knew something was there. Someone. His jaw clenched. He knew he had killed everyone who had murdered his family and pack.
So who had invaded his home?
Slowly, so as to not give away his awareness that something was off, Macon climbed the steps to the large stone portico that was the front of the manor. It went from one side of the massive house to the other, separated only by giant pillars that went clear to the roof of the tall structure.
The large oak doors Macon remembered from his childhood were gone, leaving an empty entryway and easy access into the interior of the mansion. Macon vowed that his first purchase would be a new set of doors befitting the once lovely lady’s grandeur.
He stepped carefully up to the entrance of his family home and drew in a deep lungful of air. He expected the hint of stale and musty air after the years of disuse, but there was something else just under those scents. Sunshine and... Macon frowned. Baked bread?
That did not make sense at all.
What was stranger still was Macon's sudden, overwhelming desire to wrap that alluring scent around him, and rest for the first time since he'd heard that terrified scream all those years ago and his mother shouting at him to get to his hiding spot.
Macon drew in another breath—this one not quite as deep—then stepped through the doorway into the home he hadn't seen in fifty-seven years. Something inside of him that he'd closed off long ago, shattered when he got his first look at the place that he’d dreamed about since he left.
The beautiful crown molding his mother had loved so much was gone or chipped and broken beyond repair. The plaster on the walls was faded and peeling. The hardwood floors that had once shone so much Macon could almost see his reflection in them, were now dull and lifeless. While a few pieces of broken furniture littered the main hall, not a single one of the gilded paintings that had hung on the walls remained. Even the ornate glass sconces were gone. Now he wondered if he had been foolish to think anything would be left.
Macon carefully made his way through the rest of the manor, but avoided going downstairs where the kitchen was located. His last memory of that room had been the sight of his parents' dead bodies lying alongside of each other. He knew he'd have to face it at some point, but wasn't ready to go in there. Not yet. Maybe later.
The glass on the windows had been shattered long ago and the openings allowed enough light to shine through that Macon was easily able to move about the house without incident. He was also able to see how much work was ahead of him if he wanted to get this place restored to its former glory, and he did. He'd promised himself that would be the first thing he'd do when he came home.
It was time.
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