Stephen Skollsgaard is worn down from the duties of Pack Alpha. Now, the Huntress demands he hunt magical prey in a ceremonial hunt — one more burden for an overwhelmed Alpha. And worse, she sends an arrogant, narcissistic dragon to accompany him.
The Dragon Zhang doesn’t care much for things outside the Celestial Realm-but one good look at the sexy Pack Alpha Stephen and he’s willing to spend a little time in the real world. Plus, that Alpha looks like he needs a bit of taming, which Zhang is always eager to do.
It’s time for Stephen to prove his worth and hunt his prey, but will he find he’s the prey of the dragon, instead?
Zhang had nothing against London. It was a respectably large city, though a bit on the cold and rainy side. He had to get used to it. The cities in this part of the world weren’t like those in the East and certainly not like those in the celestial realm where he did most of his business.
Still, Zhang had a job to do. He was here, by special request, from the Goddess of the Hunt herself. She ruled beasts and fighters and those with the wild nature. Creatures whose lives were ruled around the chase and the hunt. Shapeshifting creatures like himself.
He strolled through the pouring rain, past the shops and the streets and the taverns. Women in uncomfortably long dresses skittered past; orphans with not enough clothes shivered in the dark spaces between alleys.
There were so many more people in the world since the last time Zhang had visited. It was louder, busier, and the air was dirtier. The wild spaces were being encroached upon with frightening speed.
No wonder the Huntress was keen to have someone look after her earth-dwelling patrons. It was far too easily for them to become despondent and lose their way.
Zhang finally found the place he was looking for. It was a stone building, firmly built, but with broken windows and detritus surrounding the outside. If the excessive noise didn’t indicate it as a place for a Pack meeting, then the smell of Wolfkin in rut certainly would.
Wolfkin. It had been some time since he’d dealt with any of them.
Zhang pushed open the door and stepped inside.
It was a Pack meeting all right: one part eating; one part fighting; one part rutting. Wolfkin conversed between bites of food and the occasional punch.
The hall was clearly too small for all of them. Rows of tables from one end of the hall to the other with chairs left barely enough room to walk between them. The Wolfkin didn’t seem to mind.
The Wolfkin ignored Zhang. His scent gave off no threat, so few paid him any mind. Zhang was just one more figure lurking in the corners. He was dressed down for this event, having traveled for three days in human form. Dragon form was quicker but Zhang wanted to be low key. Besides, people might notice. Wolfkin sightings were easily explained away but Dragons took quite of bit of magical spellwork to conceal. Zhang wasn’t in the mood to have to pay some greedy sorcerer just to cover up a sighting.
Echo Ishii loves to write stories of the fantastic-from high fantasy to high tech and everything in between. She is a long time science fiction fan, as well as a fan of all things fantasy and paranormal-classic sci fi movies, shows, and even radio dramas.