Into the Unknown by Bethany Shaw
Werewolf Wars Series
Expected Release date – January 2014
Cover Design Creator: Sarah Foster at Sprinkles in Top Studios
Hosted by: Reading Writing and Book Reviews
Trees spread out for as far as the eye could see. The sun hung low, filling the sky with an orange pink hue. She spun around relishing in the fresh scent and the complete seclusion the trees offered. Crickets chirped and she could hear wildlife scuttling about. “This is amazing,” she said, focusing her gaze on Gene.
“It is nice at your ranch,” Natalia commented. “I grew up in the city anything outside the city limits is rustic to me.”
“And you weren’t around any other wolves?” Gene questioned.
“No. My mother taught me what she knew. Which was not much. Her only experience was with my father, Luis.”
“I meant what I told you. I want to help you – teach you are ways.”
Natalia moved to the edge of the hill and stared down over the edge. Taking the chance and trusting him was about as appealing as jumping to the rocks and brush below. Still, she wanted to believe him.
“How do you do it?”
Swallowing she held her breath as he came to stand next to her. “What?”
Natalia turned to look at him quirking her brow up as he came to stand in front of her. His heels touched the edge of the cliff and she blinked surprised how vulnerable he was allowing himself to be.
Her breath caught in her throat as he placed his hands on her shoulders, his chocolate eyes meeting hers. Her pulse spiked and a shiver ran up her spine as anticipation rolled through her.
“Close your eyes,” he said quietly.
Her eyes widened, heart accelerated and she fought the urge to lean into him. The innocent touch seemed anything but to her.
“You need to focus, close your eyes,” he urged, seemingly oblivious to her discomfort and arousal.
Clearing her throat, she closed her eyes, needing to escape his gaze.
“Now, think about your wolf. Your sight specifically. Imagine you are running. The wildlife and trees are whirling by you as you survey your surroundings. Everything is clearer, sharper. Inhale the pine and oak, the dirt and leaves.”
Natalia forced her breathing to even out, letting his voice guide her as she imagined what he was saying. Warm puffs of air hit her face as he spoke. She let his voice soothe her until she found herself lost in his words.
“Open your eyes, Talia,” Gene said softly.
Fingers grazed her cheeks and gently cupped her face. Startled, she opened her eyes, gasping at their close proximity.
Blinking, she stepped back taking him in. His face appeared clearer, stubble poked out from his pores. Gene’s brown eyes stared at her allowing her to see her goldish eyes reflecting off of them. Turning away from him, she took in the leaves noticing the fine lines of each of them and the tiny insects that gathered on the trunk of a tree.
“All you have to do is focus. How do you feel?” Gene asked.
“Good,” Natalia beamed. In fact, she felt better than she had in weeks.
“If you follow the same mindset when you transition I think it will help. The important thing to remember is you are still in control even if you are the wolf. Embrace who you are don’t fear it.”
“I’m not afraid of-“
“Yes, you are. You’re afraid of what we are because you don’t want to be like Juarez. You can be the wolf and still be yourself,” Gene said. He took a step to the side. “The wolf doesn’t make us do anything we wouldn’t already do. It’s just like with humans there are humans that are just evil. The same rule applies to wolves. There are wolves that are just bad too. On the flip side, there are good humans and wolves. It’s what we do that defines us not what we are.”
Gene sighed as he looked over the edge of the cliff. “I’m heading back. The house is a quarter of a mile that way,” Gene said pointing as he turned in the direction they’d come. “You should try shifting.”
Natalia nodded waiting until she heard the dirt and gravel crunching beneath his feet to turn around. He’d helped her. Swallowing, she watched as he disappeared into the trees. Satisfied she was alone, she undressed and prepared to transition.