I end the previous chapter with Leonidas discovering that Alexis continued on the bus to Montgomery, Alabama. He is now getting ready to drive there and collect her up to be his mate, whether she agrees or not.
Before he makes it out of Atlanta, he receives a call from Ellijay with bad news. The news puts the brakes on his quest and prompts him to shift into wolf form. His actions will ultimately create a secret he must keep, along with a game-changer for Dimitri, who wants his granddaughter back without the condition of ritual mating with the future pack alpha.
The moon disappeared and reappeared behind tall buildings as Leonidas walked to his car. It would be full in a few days."Full moon rising," he said to himself, and chuckled under his breath.He'd always found it amusing how mortals, and even some ferals, thought a werewolf was somehow tied to the moon. The moon guided him no more than anything else but he did need the full moon for the mating ritual, and he planned to be mated to Alexis in just a few days, with or without his father's blessing.It would be easier to wait till morning, get a fresh start to Montgomery, but he didn't want to wait. He'd checked a map and found Montgomery was only about three hours West on Interstate eighty-five. It would be better to get there tonight, find the bus station first thing in the morning. Alexis would be back to Ellijay by tomorrow afternoon, or He'd find a way to get her ostracized from the pack. If that didn't work, he'd find a way to make her dead.His cell phone rang as he was pulling into traffic."Leonidas, it's Paul. I'm afraid I've got some news."Leo threw the phone from his ear. It landed on the seat next to him and he could still hear the pack doctor talking on the other end."Leo ... Leo? You still there?" came from the phone in a minuscule, tinny voice.Whatever the doctor had to say, he didn't want to hear it. Leo pulled to the side of the street and took a deep breath. He was prepared for bad news, but there was always the chance the doctor was just calling to tell him his father's health was improving. But Leonidas knew the doctor wouldn't be calling him with good news. For that, he'd wait until he returned. Leo gathered his strength, and hesitantly reached for the cell phone."What is it, doc.""It's about your father, Leo," the doctor's voice sounded hushed on the phone. The kind of voice doctors always use when they give bad news to family members."Don't say it," Leo yelled into the phone."He passed sometime last night.""Damn it, I know," he yelled back, his voice starting to crack as his vision blurred."You didn't have to tell me.""You need to come home, Leonidas.""I'm on my way." Leo ended the call and threw his phone away. It bounced off the roof and cracked the passenger window before landing right back beside him on the seat.I should have been there.Leo fought through a torment of conflicting emotions as he mindlessly pulled into traffic and drove. Lights from oncoming traffic blinded him, appearing as sunburst, cutting harshly through the darkness.I should have listened to him.He drove. Leo drove blindly through the streets of downtown Atlanta, unaware of his surroundings, not caring where he went. Just driving, running. He fought hard against a rage building within himself. It was the only emotion he knew, and the most dangerous. He struggled to contain a building howl, a shifting. There was no outlet for his rage. He was in his car amongst a city of mortals, like an animal locked in a cage. He found himself driving along a dark street, some kind of park out his driver's side window. The need was too great. He slammed on his brakes, sliding sideways into a parking spot.The shift came within three steps of the car, and the wolf ran into the darkness. The wolf ran blindly down deserted park pathways along a lake, tears wetting the fur along the sides of its face. The wolf ran, stopping only to sniff the air for any creature to hunt down.
Hope you enjoyed this scene. I will continue to skip ahead on scenes as I am in the process of finishing the draft now. For those interested, I'm now in the process of looking for Beta-readers after my project goes through the first edit. As always, comments and critiques are welcome.