Lycan by Stein Willard A spooky scene with a wolf with red eyes.


Stein Willard

© 2021

(Unedited version)


“Uh…Mother, perhaps you should not…? Mother!”

The door swung open and Juno noticed that everyone in the large room was startled by her bursting into what was obviously a tribunal meeting. Everyone, except her husband.

Jupiter for all his godly power and presence, was far from the blustering being that myths made him out to be. He was most powerful of all gods, yes, but Juno knew that her husband’s power was never wielded with petty intent. He did what he thought was right and she greatly appreciate the fact that he was also quite aware of his shortcomings as a man and husband.

And as of recently, as a grandfather.

She hoped that his self-awareness would reassert itself before her reason for this impromptu call turned ugly. He waved his hand and set back in his gleaming throne as he watched his subjects file out the door. The moment the door closed behind the last man; Juno erupted.

“Your own blood! How could you?”


She turned a flashing dark glare on her son, which quickly quelled any protests he might’ve had. When she turned back to her husband, he was watching her intently with his piercing blue eyes.

“You seem upset, Juno.”

Behind her, she could hear her son gulp at his father’s almost nonchalant response in the face of her wrath. Juno felt her power surge through her body and she knew her dark eyes glittered with menace. She might not be Jupiter, the king of gods, but she was Juno, daughter of Saturn and a powerful member of the Capitoline Triad. Her ire suddenly simmered down and she saw the confusion and regret in her husband’s eyes. He fed off her rage and it, in turn, fed his desire for her. By calming her rage, she had basically rendered him momentarily impotent.

“Your son,” she bit out, “raped a Vestal Virgin.”

“I will not put it that way, Mother. She didn’t protest when…”

“Mars, I think you need to let your father and I conduct this conversation without your input.” She saw the discontent on her beloved son’s face and softened her tone. Had he kept his unruly manhood from pointing in the direction of a Vestal virgin, they wouldn’t have found themselves facing this dilemma. But he didn’t and not even that could make her stay angry at him for long. “Go now, my love. I promise not to hurt you father—intentionally.” Jupiter let out a loud snort which she ignored. “I’ll come find you after I’ve spoken to him.”

He nodded and she watched as his towering frame shimmered and then he was gone. Alone now, she approached the throne and looked up at her husband. “You need to come down here so we can talk. I’m not going to address you as a subject, but as your wife and equal.”

His eyes narrowed slightly. He was Jupiter, after all. No one dared question his station and power without facing his wrath. But he also knew that she was the other half of his heart. Jupiter loved her and she didn’t doubt that, even as he took lovers, some she knew of and some she didn’t. Their love transcended the physical. Gods are invincible and therefor their bodies remained unchanged. Jupiter was possessive of Juno’s heart, because that was the part of her that could change and learn to expel him.

Jupiter slowly climbed to his feet and stepped down from the dais that elevated his massive throne to come stand next to her. He was a beautiful man. Tall, broad shouldered and with piercing blue eyes and a face carved for desire.

“You’re wrong.”

She frowned. “About what exactly.”

“He’s not my son; he is our son.” The warmth in his eyes as he corrected her almost made her forget that she was here to confront him.

“Fine. I misspoke. Our son took advantage of a Vestal Virgin which resulted in the birth of our grandsons.”

Jupiter frowned. He was an arrogant man. One, who believed in keeping the bloodline uncontaminated. His son’s transgression was just that to him—a transgression. He didn’t care that the deflowering of a Vestal was crossing the line between gods and the trust of their adoring human subjects. The Vestals belong to a sect that worshipped her and they depended on her favour to protect and ensure their prosperity. They were like her children and to have her own son violate the oath of one of them was tantamount to disloyalty from her side. Jupiter didn’t see it that way. He firmly believed that a beautiful woman hankered for the amorous attention of a virile man. It was evident in their situation and the horde of children she had borne him.

“He didn’t force her, otherwise she wouldn’t have borne him half-breeds.” The last part he sneered and his expression resembled that of someone who have ingested a truly vile concoction.

“Half-breeds who carry your blood, Jupiter.” She had known he didn’t like the idea of the twin boys and their mother residing in the Sky Palace with them. He thrived on the adoration humans carried for their gods, but he abhorred being in their presence. He found them to be fickle and weak. “How could you be so cruel and cast them from the Palace like that?”

“She’s human and I’m sure she’ll find her way on earth. She doesn’t belong here.”

Juno shook her head as she searched Jupiter’s eyes. He actually believed that. For him, humans belonged with their own kind and gods remained godly. 

“And what of your grandsons? Have you no compassion for them?”

Jupiter shrugged. “If they show any promise, I’ll step in and guide them to greatness.” Juno pursed her lips and turned on her heel. “Where are you going?”

“To arrange protection for them.”

She could feel his rage built as she walked to the exit.

“You’re going to her, aren’t you?”

Juno’s strides faltered a little. He knew her too well and his jealously was growing more powerful by the day. Jupiter had no right to be jealous. They had numerous discussions on the matter and had come to a non-verbal decision. As the doors closed behind her, she could hear Jupiter’s enraged bellow. 


The smell of sweat and blood rode on the breeze as Juno appeared in the corner of the room. The room was bare, except for a bed in the corner and a writing a chair that stood before a smouldering fire. Juno hadn’t visited the exiled camps in months. She tried not to. Jupiter was growing more and more morose when she did. His jealousy was also not unfounded. The occupant of the room turned away from the window to look at her. Juno’s breath caught as she met the green gaze.

Her heart was split in two. One half loved Jupiter thoroughly and the other adored the powerful woman standing a few feet away.


Juno swallowed hard. She had missed that voice. Those penetrating eyes. The look in them. Her hands moved to the sleeve of her dress and she held the verdant gaze as she slid it off her shoulder. This wasn’t part of her visit, but her body and heart ached for the woman.

“Lupe,” she breathed softly as she did the same to the other sleeve and allowed the dress to slid down her body. The powerful female warrior inhaled sharply as her eyes roamed over Juno’s body. “I’ve missed you, warrior.” The air in the room thickened with excitement as the darkhaired woman examined her. Lupe had been cast from the Palace soon after Jupiter found out about their relationship. Juno can’t tell when exactly her feelings for her erstwhile guard changed into something stronger than appreciation, but their coming together had been explosive and insatiable. Jupiter noted the change almost immediately and his suspicion led to him uncovering their affair. He had raged and threatened to destroy Lupe, but Juno had calmly assured him that if he were do something so petty, that he should be ready to lose her completely.

Their clash ended with Lupe being banished to live on the outskirts of the Great City in the exile camps with all the other outcasts. Lupe slowly approached, her eyes burning Juno skin where they raked over her.

“I had dreamt of this moment for months, goddess.”

“As did I, my beautiful warrior.” She reached out and with practiced skill divested the towering woman of her clothes. Lupe was all feminine curves and hard muscles. The warrior ran her rough hands down Juno’s skin, leaving an outbreak of goosebumps in their wake. When Lupe sank to her knees, Juno’s mouth fell open in quiet anticipation as she widened her stance. The first touch of the warm tongue made her throw her head back as she savoured the sensation of the nimble organ sliding through her wetness. Three months without Lupe’s lovemaking had been too much and she knew she wouldn’t last long. Luckily, she wasn’t expected home tonight. Jupiter would be assuaging his rage with one of his many mistresses this day and perhaps the next.

She gasped when Lupe’s teeth raked over her clit. The woman was well attuned to her needs and thus aware that Juno was already on the verge of explosion. Lupe’s slick tongue slid over her hardened nub and lingered there as it mercilessly teased her with rapid licks.

Juno knew she had lost the valiant fight when her lover sucked the twitching clit into the hot cavern of her mouth. The deep sucking made her lock her fingers in the dark locks to keep Lupe’s head steady as she rolled her hips, increasing the friction. A sharp stab of delightful pain made her hook her leg over a broad shoulder as she howled her pleasure into the darkening room.

She was numb and struggling to breathe as Lupe carried her to the bed where she settled her larger body over Juno and rode herself to a shattering climax against Juno’s derriere.

Many minutes past before they could both speak and Juno lay quietly, inhaling her lover’s mixed scent of sun and sweat.

“I need your help, my love.”

Lupe hoisted herself on her elbow so their eyes could meet. “I’m at your service, regina.”

Queen. Juno swallowed hard at the honorific title. She didn’t feel like a queen today. Her immense power couldn’t magically solve this situation. Gods do not interfere in the affairs of humans. Not anymore. As much as she wanted to, she couldn’t break the rule.

“I need protection for my grandsons.”

There was a short silence. “What do you want me to do?”

She kissed the soft lips as she bathed in the love blazing from the green eyes. “I’ll make sure that you’re well compensated for your effort.”

“I don’t need a reward, goddess. My sole aim is to ensure that I am well-armed to defend any threats to your grandsons.”

Juno’s eyes glittered as she ran her hand over the strong chest. Her power pulsed between them as she lay her hand over Lupe’s heart.

“You’ll be sufficiently equipped to keep them safe.”

 Lupe gave her a solemn nod. “Then your wish is my command.”

“I love you.”

“I love you with every breath in my body, goddess.”


Jupiter stayed away for longer than she anticipated. Three days and nights, to be exact. His possessiveness was becoming a cause for concern. The sky was splintered by lightning bolts and thunder claps heralding her husband’s return to the Sky Palace. The crackling air in the library made Juno look up with a sigh. Jupiter stood a few feet away, dressed for war.

“Are the outcasts raiding our borders again, husband?”

Cold blue eyes raked over her where she lounged on the daybed. She knew her relaxed pose was infuriating him further.

“A battalion of Etruscan warriors were waylaid by some creature that decimated their ranks.” 

“Why? Did they happen upon its lair by accident or…”?

“DO NOT PATRONIZE ME, WOMAN!” He was visibly shaking as his fist clenched and unclenched. “What did you do?”

Juno slowly sat up, her own ire rising as she fixed a glittering stare on her husband. “You first, husband. What was a battalion of warriors doing scouring the area around the Euphrates River?”

“How should I know the minds of men?” His gaze slid from hers for a instant, but that was enough to confirm his guilt. “Such sorcery is beneath you and your standing.” Faced with the truth, Juno’s temper flared.

“As is your cowardice to send a whole battalion to kill two helpless infants.” He raised his hands ready to scorch her with thunderbolts, only for her to raise her brow inquiringly. “You hope to destroy both your wife and grandsons in one fell swoop? Should I assume that you hope to elevate one of your lesser families by instating them in the Palace?”

The utter horror that came over Jupiter’s handsome face was real. He glanced at his hands and back at her before he slowly dropped them.

“Forgive me, beloved.” He came to take her hands, his eyes pleading with her. “I will never harm you. Never.”

She blinked up at him. “Then why do you want to murder our grandchildren? They didn’t ask to be conceived and they carry our blood.”

He dropped her hands. “We have to keep our lineage pure, Juno. Any imperfections or contaminants could weaken our House.”

“Or maybe strengthen it.”

“You don’t know that,” he snapped. “Humans are weak. Their only good trait is that they recognize and respect power; as well as know how to follow our commands.”

Juno shook her head in incredulity. “Is that really all you see when you look at them? Your subjects? They, who built temples in your name and worship you?”

“Yes. What do you see?”

She turned to the Eternal Window that gave a wide view of earth and its inhabitants. A mother was humming a tender melody to her dozing baby. In an apple orchard a father hoisted his son onto his shoulder so the boy could reach a succulent red apple. A group of children were chasing after a wayward baby goat. Their laughter was light as air and their joy infectious. She smiled. How could her husband be blind to all that? Most of all how could he not see that which was so blatantly evident?

Juno sighed. “I see love. They live it; breathe it— celebrate it.”

A sneer forced her to turn to Jupiter. “What do they know of love? Their lives are simply too short for them to fully comprehend the concept.” He reached for her hand. “We are love. Whatever they call love is a diluted version of its true power.”

For the first time in many, many millennia, Juno questioned her dedication to this powerful, beautiful man. Their union was an ordained prophecy.  The two of them, together with his daughter, would become the strongest, most revered Triad. Had she mistaken her duty for love? She quickly shook her head to stop her trail of thought. It was too late to doubt herself. Together, they have had a happy life, sired powerful children and yes, they loved each other.

“I disagree with you, for I feel their love, their hopes and their destinies. Unless you see beyond your prejudice, you’re missing out on a truly humbling experience.”

Jupiter pulled her into his arms and she felt his bulge press against her. “I have better things to do with my time.” Her traitorous body responded to his powerful lure and Juno allowed herself to be overwhelmed by his need. No matter how many mistresses he took to his bed, Juno knew that she was the only one who could extinguish the fire in his loins. They were made for each other, after all.

Their passion for each other would frighten those not in the know. It was alarmingly intense, searingly hot and yet, so light it left them both floating aimlessly in knowledge that they could always meet and find each other on this plane. Many hours later, her body was still humming from Jupiter’s expert command of her body as she lay quietly listening to his thunderous snores. Nothing about the man was subtle. He voiced his dislikes, acted out his displeasures and marvelled in his own power.

He was larger than life. A true god.

“Your Majesty?” The soft call from the other side of the library door made her dress quickly to answer it. One of her personal aides stood there. “Minila, what is it?”

“You need to see it for yourself, my queen.” The way her servant was avoiding her eyes was concerning. “We need to go down to earth.”

The twins! She glanced over her shoulder to the where Jupiter lay sleeping and found his eyes open, an enigmatic expression in them. June closed the door behind her and closed her eyes allowing senses to steer her to where she was needed. When she opened her eyes, her heart almost exploded with pain at the sight that greeted her. Her rage was instantaneous and she rushed into action with a bloodcurdling yell.

Her tunic was soaked with blood and her body vibrated from bloodlust as she knelt next to the battered body of her beloved. They had bound her to a tree with chains made from silver, the only weakness she had left so Lupe could wear the silver bracelet she had gifted her as a token of her love never to forget her. Her love for her beautiful warrior had almost been the cause of her demise. She lifted the bloodied head into her lap, cringing at the impotent rage and hatred she read the emerald gaze.

“How did they know?”

“I’m sure we both know who helped them.”

Jupiter! No, he wouldn’t…couldn’t be so cruel. Would he really make love to her while his men were violating Lupe? She recalled the strange look in his eyes just now.

He knew! He allowed it to happen!

She turned to the power surge she felt behind her and skewered her husband with a fierce stare. He met hers head on, unapologetic and haughty. She had been very wrong about him. His jealousy had made him petty and cruel.

“You have crossed the line, Jupiter.” She took a deep breath. “From this moment one, you’ll have my body, but you’ve forfeited my heart forever.” The shock in his eyes turned to horror. “My heart will be hers, even after she perishes one day.”

“Don’t be overly hasty now, Juno. I can explain what…”

“No, I don’t need explanations or excuses. You should congratulate yourself, husband, for this day you have relegated me to one of your many mistresses.” He flinched at that but Juno dismissed him as she kissed the bloodied lips of Lupe. “And you have won yourself the full and sole adoration of a goddess, my beloved.” Her body shone with her power as she laid her hand on Lupe’s stomach. “You will bear a girl-child from this unfortunate ordeal, but she will be first in a line of a powerful race that will rule the earth.” She glared at Jupiter as she continued to speak. “No man will ever enter your realm and presume to reign over you. Your rage will show them what real power is.” The heat of her power surged through the body in her arms. “Rise now, my love, as a newly born creature; more powerful than before.” Lupe climbed to her feet and Juno looked on as the transformation began. Cries of pain tore through the night as bones cracked, muscles stretched and bulged. When it grew quiet, June stood back to admire her creation.

Tall, all-powerful and frightening, the creature stared at her with intense red eyes.

“Go now and hunt them down. Each and every one of them, who had dared to lay a finger on you this night. Let them know the wrath of the Lycan.”




Philippa sat up with a gasp, her eyes wild as she looked around her. She was alone. There was numbness in her hands and she looked at them to find them grotesquely transformed. The claws were deeply lodged in the mattress and the sheet was completely shredded. She stared at the claws, willing them to change back. The nightmares were growing in frequency and imagery. Gorier and more frightening. It made her fear for Leland’s safety as she slept next to her at night. She had tried to get her mate to allow her sleep in a different room. But it was all in vain. One night, as she had woken from a particularly horrific dream, she had slipped from their bed to sleep in the guestroom. She was just about to settle in hoping to fall asleep again when Leland marched into room and slid into her arms. Philippa had reluctantly given up on the idea.

With a soft sigh she got out of bed and walked over to the window. It was very early, but she doubted she would sleep again. Not now that she could sense her mate out there. Leland’s pregnancy was plagued by mild insomnia which sent her out running in the quiet hours of dawn. Luckily, they have decided to return to Owensville to try and see if a more natural and familiar setting would help with the nightmares. That left Leland to commute to and from New York daily in the beginning, until Philippa’s grumbling grew more frequent about the impact such a strenuous schedule might have on the blonde. In the end, Leland cut down her commuting to between three or four days. It was even lesser now, but it still worried her that her mate was taking too much of a risk in her state. She only attended urgent meetings now and work from the office at home for the rest of the week.

The door opened behind her and she turned to smile as a naked and damp Leland entered the room and closed the door behind her. She was only six weeks along and wasn’t showing any signs yet, but the fluttering in her own stomach and the multiple heartbeats that echoed in the room, were more than enough confirmation for Philippa.

“Nice run?”

Leland crossed the room to press her cool body against Philippa’s “I also had a nice swim.” She searched Philippa’s eyes. “Bad night?”

“Same as the others.” She cupped the beautiful face wanting to ease the tension around the dark eyes. “But it’s better now that you’re here.” She kissed Leland and held her close. The woman had an incredible effect on her. Her nearness made Philippa feel confident and all-powerful. In fact, the lingering uneasiness of the nightmare was completely gone. She smiled and pulled back to look in the smouldering dark eyes. An errant hand was suggestively rubbing her butt. “Need help to get back to sleep?” The reply was a passionate and thorough kiss that left Philippa breathless. She swung Leland in her arms and carried her over to the bed. With her heart pounding in her ears, she ran her hand between the silky thighs. Her lover was ready for her. Leland’s libido has been supercharged by her condition and Philippa was all too happy to accommodate her lover’s needs.

She gently parted the swollen lips and felt a hand cupping the back of her head. Her mate loved her first orgasm to come hard and fast, before she settled in for an extended, slow lovemaking session. Philippa ran her tongue up the slick slit to the hardened nub. Leland’s grip on her hair tensed and Philippa flicked the tip of her tongue over her lover’s clit. A deep growl reverberated through Leland’s body and rebounded against walls of the room. Philippa repeated her action but ended by sucking the clit into her mouth while she still brushed her tongue over the tip. Leland’s reaction was almost violent as she bucked her hips and Philippa was shocked that the other woman hadn’t pulled a fistful of hair from her scalp.

“You’ll kill me one day,” Leland panted as she thrust into Philippa’s mouth. With a final kiss she let go to the slippery nub causing her lover to protest by yanking on her hair. The woman was impatient, but also well-aware that Philippa always delivered on her promises. She slid her tongue down the slit and inside past the tight ring of muscles to massage the erogenous zone that she knew would blow Leland’s mind. As expected, the blonde hissed as she impaled herself on Philippa’s tongue with a series of fast, powerful thrusts before she stiffened and let out a howl as she came in Philippa’s mouth. With loving care, Philippa cleaned her lover with gently licks before she slid up the sweaty body to kiss Leland’s slack lips. The dark eyes were closed tightly as the blonde’s chest heaved from her energetic exertions. Philippa licked the area that still held the faint indentations of her teeth when she had bitten Leland and opened her mouth wide to expose her fangs before she bit down. Leland’s body stiffened under hers before she convulsed again as another orgasm racked through her. Philippa’s saliva contained traces of her pheromones and mixed with her mate’s it set off a series of physical responses that emulated an orgasm, but was in fact a mental bond through which they shared memories, thoughts and visions. Fantasies. It took a while for Leland to absorb the erotic imagery and for her eyes to open. They were slightly dazed.

“I can’t wait for when you’re ready to be with me again,” she murmured as she caressed Philippa’s cheek. “The visions are incredible, but I miss you.”

“I know, my darling. I miss you, too.”

Of late, Philippa had sensed a change in the Lycan and as a precaution had stopped making love with Leland. She didn’t trust the creature not to take over and harm her mate while she was delirious from passion. She kissed the other woman and gathered her in her arms.


Antonia stepped off the elevator to find the foyer of the main floor of Peters, Heath and Quill grind to a halt. She acknowledged the bobs and stares with one of her own as she made her way down the gleaming hallways to the boardroom. She had made many trips to the same office and the reaction had always been the same. Until after a few weeks ago. She wasn’t only the reigning Supreme Alpha; she was also the mother of the Lycan.  It still filled her with awe to think she had found her daughter only to discover that said daughter was the reincarnation of Lupe, the Revered Wolf of Roman lore. The past two weeks had been hard for her since all she had wanted was to be with Philippa. Leland had kept her informed on Philippa’s progress. It seemed the nightmares were worsening and that Philippa was becoming more withdrawn from her mate.

If she didn’t have so much on her plate, she would’ve been at Philippa’s side in a heartbeat. Which could still be arranged, but she had some business to take care of first. She walked past Henry’s office and couldn’t help but stop to peer into the spacious office. He was standing at window looking out over the London skyline. Antonia’s heart filled with love at the sight of her handsome lover. They had made love this morning but she doubted she would ever get over how much she wanted this wonderful man. Henry spun around and his eyes widened as he saw her.

“Milady?” He quickly came over to her to bow low. “How could I be of assistance?”

She ached to touch him; stroke the handsome face, but they had decided that they wouldn’t blur the lines between their personal lives and their professional ones. She smiled thinly.

“I have a meeting with Reagan and Thomas.” She saw how being left out when his two partners were invited, made his shoulders drop. “It pertains to you. More specific, you and I. They didn’t want it to present a conflict-of-interest issue for you.”

He nodded. “I understand, milady.”

She sighed. Henry was bad at hiding his feelings from her. He was still a little crushed that he was being left out and Antonia glanced at her guards. They stepped back, allowing her to close the door. She cupped Henry’s face and studied his gorgeous eyes.

“I have to discuss the mate bite with them, my love. It will have a number of ramifications for you and your daily schedule.” His eyes lit up and she smiled. “We won’t be able to remain apart for long periods and I’ve asked them to present me with a number of mitigation strategies which I could discuss with you afterwards.”

Henry gave her an entreating look and she chuckled as she lifted her lips for his kiss. They made the rules to their professional interaction and they could break them occasionally. His kiss was tender and Antonia pressed closer to him. Her companion adored Henry’s wolf. She could ‘see’ it licking the snout of Henry’s smaller wolf. The two would be just as happy together as she and Henry.

“We still haven’t decided on a date yet.” Henry used his thumb to wipe at some smeared lipstick.

“That’s why I called two weeks ago to give them enough time to come up with good proposals.” She stepped back to look into his eyes. “You have worked very hard to get where you are, my love, and I’ll be damned if you have to give it all up because of me.”

He blinked at her. “But…”

“No, Henry. This is your life and your dream.”

“You’ve always been my life and my dream since I was a nineteen-year-old first year student at uni.”

Antonia’s heart lurched and she closed her eyes tightly.  If she hadn’t known better, she would have been convinced that Henry was a fallen angel. Or a warlock. He simply bewitched her with his guileless heart. It galled her that by marrying her, he would be privy to the depraved ugliness that crossed her path daily. He would sense her rage, vengeance and bloodlust through the mental bond that their mate bite would establish.

“Henry, are you sure you want to marry me? We don’t have to…” She took a deep breath. “My world is an ugly, cruel one. I don’t want any of that to touch you.”

He smiled at her—that same shy smile he had given her when she had taken the empty seat next to him in their Public Law class over forty years ago. Her companion had sensed his innate goodness almost instantly and had been drawn to him. It was doing the same at this moment.

“I’ll cope just fine and if I don’t, I know you’ll protect me.” He shrugged. “You always do.”

Antonia stared at him for a long moment, completely tongue-tied. Then she opened his jacket and placed a kiss on his chest right over where his heart was beating. She ran her hand over the red lips that stood out of the crisp white shirt.

“Just so you can think about me until we meet again later.” She basically fled from the office scared that if she remained any longer, she wouldn’t want to leave him. That was why they had put rules in place, to avoid situations like these.

The two men shot to their feet when she entered the boardroom. She nodded at them and took the seat at the head of the table and studied the two partners with a sharp look.

“Before we start, gentlemen, I want you to know that I wouldn’t consider any suggestions that would involve that Henry give up what he had worked for all his life.”

The men shared a quick glance. “We have several ideas that we thought we could run by you, milady. They are not cast in stone and your input would be greatly appreciated.”

“I’m listening.”


“Relax, Babushka.”

“Don’t tell me to relax, Katya. Do you actually realize the amount of trouble you’re in?” Katerina rolled her eyes at her grandmother’s tone and watched as the older woman’s icy grey eyes flashed a fiery amber. “Don’t roll your eyes as me, child,” she snapped “IT squashed your friend like an overripe tomato.”

That description sobered her up instantly and she frowned. Pablo’s demise had been unexpected, especially after they had planned everything to the finest details. Taking out the North American Alpha Prime would’ve set their plan in motion. The ensuing chaos as the World Council struggled to recover from the assassination, would’ve been an suitable opportunity to rise up the clans against centuries of submissive rule. They were Wolven, apex predators, for crying out loud. Yet, they were force-fed some lame, constricting decrees that degraded them in the eyes of the other supernaturals. 

But they hadn’t foreseen the appearance of the Lycan.

The Lycan’s rebirth spelled danger for them. That was why she was holed up in an underground cave in Uzbekistan. If they didn’t already know of her involvement; they would do so very soon. Every door she had knocked on for help had been slammed in her face and she quickly came to the realisation that those cowards wouldn’t think twice of betraying her to save their own hides.

“I see that we’re on the same page now. Good.” Her grandmother skewered her with a cold stare. “What were you thinking?”

Katerina pursed her lips. “Where do you want me to start?”

“Don’t mess with me, Katerina. I’m still your Alpha and I won’t hesitate to remind you of that fact.” The seventy-four-year-old Alpha looked more than capable of following through with her threat. Olga Volkova has been ruling the Volkova Pack for almost fifty years now. Her keen intelligence and dynamic character had cemented her position at the top for five decades, successfully averting two challenges to her position.

“The old ways have worked for you guys,” Katerina began softly. “It had been a time of prosperity then. You shared everything and everyone had enough.”

Olga frowned. “As opposed to?”

“That crap doesn’t work for my generation. We are predators, yet our teeth had been filed to the gums. It is our nature to fight for supremacy. Not to sit and talk ourselves into oblivion while we should draw battle lines and affirm our power.”

The old woman stared in silence for so long that Katerina was worried that the screen had frozen. When she finally blinked, Olga shook her head slowly.

“Do you have any idea how long our race would survive if we kill off each other to ‘affirm our power’, as you called it?”

Katerina frowned. She hated it when people talk to her as if she was a child and she said so, too.  This seemed to be the exactly what her grandmother had waited for.

“Then stop thinking like one. This is not a schoolyard competition where you have to fight to obtain street credibility. We have real enemies out there, who would pounce on the chance to exterminate us.” Olga sighed. “I have to go. Yevgeny will be in touch again soon to see what you need. Goodbye.”

Katerina stared at the dark screen and was tempted to hurl the laptop against the bare concrete walls of her temporary prison. But she needed it. This was the only way she stayed in touch with the outside world. It was also the only way out for her from this dank hole in the ground.

She only had to bide her time. Things will swing her way soon.


            “How do women go through this more than once?” Jeanine said as she rinsed her mouth. She threw a glance over her shoulder. “How did you bear it?”

“Obviously better than you.” Victoria was leaning against the doorframe, her sharp eyes watching her closely. “The idea is to take it one day at a time.”

Jeanine grimaced and rinsed her mouth again. “I feel like I would never get that disgusting taste out of my mouth. How will I be able to survive this for nine months?”

Victoria snorted. “You don’t know much about us, do you?”

Wiping her mouth with a towel, she felt her stomach roll again. Sweet heavens, she’s going to spend the duration of her pregnancy on the bathroom floor with her head stuck in the toilet. “Why do you say that?” She turned to face the older woman. “What am I missing?”

“Wolven pregnancies are much shorter than that of humans.”

Piqued, Jeanine blinked. “Shorter? How much shorter?”

“About three months.”

“THREE MO…!” She held up a hand and quickly turned back to the toilet bowl to heave and gag. Even the smallest movement made her stomach churn and so she decided to sat flat on the floor to Victoria’s consternation.

“The floor is cold, child. Come, let’s go find you some ginger to settle your stomach.” She gently pulled Jeanine to her feet and when they stood eye to eye, she hugged Jeanine briefly. “I’ll have the librarian sent you some books on Wolven reproduction.”

Jeanine cupped her mouth and held up her breath until she was seated on the bed. As a precaution, Victoria handed her the garbage can. She was relieved that she didn’t have to make a mad dash for the bathroom again, but the thought of seeing her own vomit made her stomach lurch.

“Tell me about the three-month thing,” she said quickly to take her thoughts off her roiling stomach.

Victoria held up her hand as she punched in the number of the kitchen on the landline phone. She was the only one who called the kitchen for service since both Antonia and Jeanine preferred to make the trip down to the ground floor. She curtly ordered some flat ginger and crackers for Jeanine before she came to sit next to Jeanine.

“We carry our young for about three months before we give birth.”

“T…three months? But…but the foetus is barely formed by then?” She was sure Victoria was making a mistake. Or maybe she was only telling Jeanine this to cheer her up and distract her from seven more months of torture. “I’m sure there must be a mistake, Gran.”

Victoria snorted. “I carried your mother for 65 days before I gave birth to her. So, I think I know what I’m talking about, child.”

Jeanine thought of Fraser and that she needed to talk to him. If this was true, why hadn’t he said anything? She studied her grandmother intently. The woman was cranky, but there were no signs of mental disease. Not obviously, that is. Victoria chuckled softly.

“We live very long lives, my dear. If there are any shortcuts taken with gestation then we have more than enough time to grow into our deficiencies.”

“But I’m human. Does that mean that I, too, would carry my child for two months?”

“There might be a slight discrepancy, but Mika will be able to tell us more when she arrives.”

When her order from the kitchen arrived, she warily drank the ginger, praying it wouldn’t make her throw up again. Her stomach was aching from all the heaving. She was momentarily alarmed that the heaving might be affecting her baby, but her grandmother was completely relaxed as she sipped on her tea. Victoria’s calmness did wonder for her own nerves and Jeanine decided to relax until the doctor arrived in a few hours.

The Lycan, sequel to Claimed, will be available on Amazon soon.

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