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The Luna’s Peak

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Blurb

It’s been five years since Reid found closure in Canada, and he and Natalie have settled into their happily ever after quite nicely. The Black Summit pack has continued to grow in size and in strength.

Unfortunately, a loss shattered Reid and Natalie’s world…a little boy with a head full of jet black hair, and Natalie’s desire for children, for an heir of their own, died with him.

After three wandering werewolves from a pack on the other side of the Canadian border open Reid’s eyes to the possibilities that lay in Quebec, he is determined to do something that no Alpha has done before.

In the midst of Reid’s negotiations with the Luna Bleue pack, an old friend resurfaces for the first time since the untimely death of Reid and Natalie’s son. She has come to collect, to take advantage of a contractual agreement that nobody expected she ever would.

While Reid is occupied with his newest business venture, and with satisfying the terms of the contract, Natalie’s worst fear becomes a reality.

Will Reid succeed, in all of his endeavors? Will Natalie overcome and face her most important role yet?

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1
JUNE 2026 There was a Hyundai Elantra on fire in the car lot. But I only knew it was an Elantra because Silas told me it was—I’d never have identified it on my own. Now it was a smoking, charred husk of what it was before. The sooty black, billowing plumes attracted quite a bit of attention, understandably so. When I arrived, there were at least a dozen pack members gathered there on the lot, and there were two fire extinguishers tossed carelessly on the asphalt, obviously having been emptied. We had a small fire response team, and they were there, too. The commoners were all spouting off what they saw and what they did to help and speaking over each other to Reid, Silas, and the response team. It was a mess—quite an unexpected start to my Tuesday. Reid allowed the crowd to continue collectively rambling for a few minutes after I arrived. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he looked as though he was masking amusement. The burning car was extinguished by the two discarded fire extinguishers, and by the efforts of the whole crowd combined, reportedly—none of them knew how to use an extinguisher. “I grabbed mine from my kitchen,” one of the pack members reported, “and then, I mindlinked my sister to bring hers, too.” The two pack members who we gathered were the first ones to arrive were actually there for a reason—for a day trip to Burlington. Their car, fortunately, was not the one that was set ablaze. We calmed them down, sent them on their way, and everyone else, too, except for the fire response team. But, at that point, they were only there to inspect the car and to clean up the mess. Silas and I stood off to the side as the fire response team worked and as Reid poked around in the scorched remnants of the car. Silas and I watched as he stooped, that one, ever-errant, loose curl falling across his forehead, and he peered into the broken passenger side window, brow furrowed. Overhead, thunder boomed. Dark storm clouds had rolled in a couple of days ago, and they never left. Summertime in Vermont was wet. Today was one of the only days I’d ever wished the rain would come, to cool down the car’s smoking skeleton and to help wash away the white, powdery stuff that came from the fire extinguishers. Suddenly, Reid straightened and turned around to look out towards the woods behind the car. Silas and I exchanged a confused glance, and I strained my ears. I didn’t hear anything but the commotion the fire response team was making, birds chittering, and the distant sounds voices and people moving about, of the day starting back in town. Reid took two steps towards the woods, and then I heard what sounded like a twig snapping, followed by a series of quick footsteps, and finally a heavy thud! Reid chuckled darkly as he strode forward. “What are you doing, man?” Silas and I followed. I listened to the sounds of scrambling, of fabric rustling and of fast movements in the grass. I heard running, and Reid didn’t hesitate. He darted into the fringe of the forest, and Silas and I jogged after him, leaving the fire response team to do their work without us hovering. Reid captured our unwelcome visitor before Silas and I even stepped off the asphalt and into the grass. We heard a stomach-churning snap! and a scream so blood-curdling that birds fled from the tree branches overhead, and Silas and I quickened our pace. We found Reid only about a quarter mile into the forest, standing before an unfamiliar man, sprawled on the ground with an obviously-broken leg—his bone jutted out from his shin. He was clutching his leg with both hands, gasping for breath and vocalizing in pain. His shaggy, dirty blond hair was messy, and stuck to his forehead with sweat. Reid’s arms were crossed over his chest as he stared down at the man. He glanced over his shoulder at Silas and I as we approached. The stranger’s wild eyes darted between the three of us, and he blurted out, “I came with two others! They’re leaving!” “Go,” Reid said simply, and Silas and I left him and the man to track down his accomplices. We ran through the woods in human form, ducking under low-hanging tree branches and leaping over bushes and thick, overgrown weeds. We hadn’t even been running for a full minute before I detected an unfamiliar scent, carried by the wind, and I looked over at Silas as we both slowed. He nodded his head once in the direction that the scent came from. “You get that one.” Head west, my Wolf instructed. I veered off to the left, pumping my legs and pushing myself to run faster, with the flowy fabric of my midi skirt blowing behind me, and with strands of loose hair whipping around my face as I scanned my surroundings with the kind of attention to the tiniest of details that only Reid could teach. I noticed several footprints in a patch of dirt, and I made a sharp right turn and ducked beneath yet another low-hanging branch as I went. I balanced on a fallen log to cross a small stream, and hopped off on the other side. Stop! my Wolf exclaimed. They’re close! I came skidding to a halt not far from the stream, and my brow furrowed in confusion. Is that…crying? I asked my Wolf. Sounds like it. Another light breeze rustled the leaves on the trees above my head, and at the same time, a male let out a panicked scream and tore out from where he was apparently crouched behind a large boulder, not four feet up ahead and to my right. Get him! my Wolf shrieked. Go, Natalie, go! I had already bolted after him. I was gaining on him quickly—he seemed to be struggling to navigate the tangled underbrush, but I knew these woods. I catapulted myself at him, and tackled him to the ground. He screamed again as he went down, and he fell face-first onto a sizable, jagged rock. The wet, crunching sound that seemed to reverberate all around us made me grimace. He immediately went limp. I was poised with one knee digging into his back, ready to twist his arms and knock him back into that rock if need be, but no— He’s most definitely unconscious, my Wolf said. That was easier than I thought it would be. I gingerly grabbed a fistful of his dark brown hair and lifted his head, as I leaned forward and peeked at the side of his face. I inhaled sharply, surprised at the extent of the damage done by just a fall, and dropped him. I winced when he hit the same rock, unintentionally. Okay, I said to my Wolf, now the hardest part will be dragging him back to Reid. He was bleeding profusely from the nasty gash right over his temple. It streamed down his face and stained the front of his shirt. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the water in the babbling stream behind us only went about up to my knees. So, I gathered up my skirt and tucked it into my waistband. I dragged the man by his arm, through the water and up onto the bank on the other side. When I let my skirt down, it stuck to my wet shins. I dragged the man back the way I came, through the tall grass and through the occasional patch of wildflowers and through dead leaves blanketing the forest floor. The nearer I got to where I’d left Reid, the clearer I could hear their voices—Silas beat me back to him, and they were talking quite casually about a recent financial report. I rejoined them, my wet shoes making squishing sounds with every step I took. The other two strangers were clearly stunned at the sight of their friend. The one that Silas had gone to chase down appeared to be unscathed. He was sitting on the ground with the one with the broken leg. They were huddled close together. I was surprised the first one wasn’t in shock yet. “Jesus Christ, Natalie,” Reid said, as I dragged the man’s body past him to prop him up against a tree. “Guess that’s what took her so long,” Silas mused. I shot them both a look. “It was an accident.” The other two men were staring at me with eyes the size of saucers. “Well,” Reid said, “while we were waiting for you, our friends here shared with us that they’re from Virginia.” Clarity struck me, and it must’ve registered on my face, too, because Reid seemed to suppress a smile. “Blue Valley?” I asked. “Blue Valley, yes,” Reid confirmed. We had absorbed the Blue Valley pack just about a week earlier. This happened sometimes after absorption: retaliation. I didn’t quite understand it. Dissociation was much more common, and it seemed like a safer choice anyway—more responsible even, despite dissociation meaning becoming rogue. Who in their right mind would retaliate against Alpha Reid? “Have at it, then,” I said to Reid and Silas, with a dismissive wave of my hand as I brushed past them to head back to the car lot. I very rarely partook in killing just for the sake of our reputation. I had no qualms, but I left the dirty work up to anyone else who could handle it for me, anytime I could. I’d gotten pretty good at blocking out the sounds that came with such work, too. I emerged from the woods to find that the fire response team had removed the charred hood of the vehicle, and they were all standing around what used to be the front of the car. I crossed through the patchy grass to join the men. I didn’t even have a chance to ask them what they were looking for before Reid and Silas returned. Silas had blood splatter across the front of his white shirt. The fire response team and I all watched curiously as they strode right up to the side of the Elantra. Reid dropped onto his belly on the ground by the back passenger side door, and reached his arm beneath the car to retrieve…a badly cracked iPhone. He got to his feet with an amused smile on his face as he tapped the broken screen, and then he tried the power button. He chuckled. “This is what they came back for.” “Alpha,” one of the men beside me chimed in, “we have something to show you.” Reid handed the iPhone to Silas, who pocketed it, and they both came to stand on either side of me to peer down into the engine bay of the car. One of the men pointed to something at the front of the engine block. “This is the VIN number, Alpha.” “Great,” Reid pulled his own cell phone out of his back pocket to take a photo of it, “thank you.” He slipped his phone back into his pocket. “Please let me know when you’re finished here.” He received a chorus of “yes, Alpha”s from the fire response team, and with that, he, Silas, and I finally turned to leave the car lot. I fell into step between them. I took took Reid’s hand, intertwining our fingers. “Why do you need the VIN number?” I asked, as we walked away. “So we can identify who that car belonged to,” Reid explained, “and let them know it was fucking incinerated.” I was aware that we kept a record of identifying information for every car kept on our territory, but I’d never once imagined we’d have to refer to that information for something like this. “Let me know when you figure out whose it is,” I said. “I’m invested.” “They thought it was mine,” Reid said, “but why the fuck would I drive an Elantra?” “Blue Valley must’ve used their cars a lot more often than we do, too,” Silas added. “I thought the same thing,” Reid agreed. “Like, really, I’ll set my own car on fire. Won’t miss it.” I rolled my eyes. “Are you going to contact the stand-in in Virginia?” “Yes, Luna,” Reid confirmed, as he raised two fingers to his forehead with his free hand to give me a small salute. “You’ll be patrolling in the southwest sector today. Keep an eye out for any more car fires.” The three of us followed the paved path back onto the main road. “Are you leading the patrol team this morning, Alpha?” I asked quizzically, sarcastically. “Nope,” he said, “but I’m telling you to station yourself in—.” “North sector. I heard you.” On my other side, Silas snickered, and Reid shot him a pointed look, and something about it made my heart skip a beat. A small smile played on my lips, and then his multicolored eyes flicked back down to meet mine. “Let’s try again. You’ll be patrolling in the southwest sector today.” My smile widened. “No matter which sector I decide to patrol in, I shouldn’t be late.” I used my free hand to wrap my fingers around the neckline of his shirt, pulling him down to my level to give him a brief, parting kiss.

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