Future Earth. The privileged few build their wealth on the backs of slaves who are neither man nor beast, but both. Those with gold to spare spend it at the Arena… betting on the Warrior Shifters is the pastime of the elite.
Claimed by the Guardian Wolf: Miranda is the daughter of one of the cruelest Gladiator owners. Still her heart remains pure. The last thing she bargained for was catching the eye of the fiercest warrior of all — Brandwulfr.
To Brandwulfr, Miranda is a way out of this godforsaken realm, a way to get home. He doesn’t need to be attracted to the silly little human. Yet something in her touch awakens the wolf within him…
Taken by the Wolf King: Caught between deadly politics and a man bent on claiming her, all Elsa can afford to focus on is saving her children — at any cost.
Tortured and maddened by pain, Leif vows revenge on the woman he would have made his queen. Will his hatred of what she was forced to do build a wall between them that can never be torn down?
Warning: Adult Content including graphic violence, scientific experiments, alien abduction, and torture, may be triggers for some readers.
Publisher’s Note: Wolf Warriors Duet contains the previously published novels Claimed by the Guardian Wolf and Taken by the Wolf King. These books have been extensively edited for this volume.
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Copyright ©2022 Marteeka Karland
Excerpt from Claimed by the Guardian Wolf
Leather encased Brandwulfr’s body like a lover’s jealous embrace. Perhaps it would be truer to say it suffocated his frame like a master assassin, killing him by inches as the humans could never do. Thick, padded leather underneath steel chain mail protected his torso while knee-high boots with greaves and bracers protected his limbs. All of it in jet black lined with gold threads and trims. A slave had nothing, but he’d managed to secure the best protection he could. His master had seen to the style, wanting his star fighter to look the part.
He could hear the wagers being made, the comments and speculation as people around him looked to profit from his death. Could the Barbarian Wolf survive the Gladiator Warriors?
Gladiator Warriors. Brandwulfr nearly choked on the title. He was stronger than all of them — the humans, that is. Had he not defeated their best men? Even with the damned collar around his throat that kept him from shifting into his wolf form, he’d not merely defeated every man they’d set against him, he’d massacred them in a flurry of sword and shield. If he hadn’t been prevented from shifting to his battle wolf form by the cursed collar all shifters wore, he’d slaughter as many as he could before they killed him.
This was no battle, it was a game. A needless waste of sacred life. A game he played with deadly skill. As if the very Earth agreed with him, the ground beneath his feet seemed to rumble ominously. Not an overt movement, but the slightest tremor. It was likely the humans around him would never feel it. To him, it was a clear warning, heightening his already elevated senses for the coming battle.
As he entered the arena, a roar of cheers erupted over the nearly deafening music. The booming blast assaulted his ears but didn’t shake his pre-battle calm. With his mind firmly on the task at hand, Brandwulfr knelt to sift the sands through his fingers. Up close the grains were coarse, rough, and soaked in the blood of men. Like his soul.
A shot rang out, signaling the start of the match. Brandwulfr exploded into action, charging into the middle of the pack in a leaping sprint. The glory hound went down with one deadly arched stroke to the neck. Blood sprayed in a ruby shower, droplets wetting those nearby before they realized what had happened. Never stopping his forward momentum, Brandwulfr plunged his sword into the chest of his second target in a thrust of pure power. The force made his weapon stick in the man’s rib, but Brandwulfr yanked it free, shoving the man off with his foot.
Swinging his sword in a wide arc, Brandwulfr slashed out, using his shield to block a blow from one sword while the momentum from his own swing blocked the other, pushing the aggressive little human backward. Brandwulfr fought with intricate movements, a dangerous dance fueled by instinct and pride. Pride in who he was, who his people were. His feet moved in a choreographed ballet of death, leading his opponents to their doom with a carnivorous kind of beauty.
The second swordsman regained his balance, charging with a brutal yell. Engaging in the fight again, he rained down two-handed blows on Brandwulfr. It was a valiant try to drive Brandwulfr back while allowing his partner time to recover. With a devastating swipe of his shield, Brandwulfr sliced the man’s throat all the way to the spine. Blood sprayed over Brandwulfr’s face and chest like a fountain, the coppery smell washing over him along with the liquid, but he merely swiped at it with his forearm to clear his eyes. His vision was already red, his sole focus on one thing. Victory.
The remaining experienced fighter backed away. Too bad — it was already too late. Swords clashed and sang with each bone-shattering blow, the crowd’s roar growing louder with each strike. The other man dropped his shoulder as he swung his sword in an arching slice, intent on taking out Brandwulfr’s sword arm. Dodging the blow was child’s play. Brandwulfr plunged his own sword into the human’s side as the man completed his downward blow. Blood poured from the wound like a thick crimson waterfall. Brandwulfr twisted his sword before pulling it free of the other man’s body. The fallen warrior screamed in agony, his face contorting with it. Brandwulfr had no pity.
The remaining man huddled against the wall, begging for his life.
“Pick up your sword and face me. Die with honor,” Brandwulfr bit out, giving the man room to maneuver if he chose.
“Please, I’m begging you! I have a wife! Children!”
Brandwulfr tilted his head. “You’re not a slave then?”
“No! I was promised a quick payday. All I had to do was show up and they’d pay me once you were dead! I was never supposed to do anything! I had no desire to harm you!” The man whimpered, clasping his hands in front of him.
“You… volunteered to be here?”
“I was never supposed to have to fight!”
This sniveling weakling had actually thought to profit from Brandwulfr’s death? Idiot. Before the man could cover his head with his arms again, Brandwulfr struck, driving his sword into the neck of the still-whimpering man. Not so much a quick payday as it was a quick death. Far more merciful than the human swine deserved.
The crowd cheered, flash lenses twinkling like thousands of exploding stars all over the arena once again, the masses getting their snapshot of history, an immortal representation of the victorious gladiator as he spat on his last victim. It all sickened Brandwulfr.
As his keen wolf gaze roamed the stadium, he sought the man responsible for this mockery. Rudolph, the man who owned Brandwulfr along with roughly half the shifter slaves fighting this night. Rudolph stood on the balcony above the arena, the place of honor reserved for the sponsor of the games. He was the perfect target. Only about fifty meters or so. One true throw of his sword, straight through the neck…
Then a flash of gold caught Brandwulfr’s eye. A young woman approached Rudolph’s side, grasping his arm. She wore a cloak of midnight woven through with gold. A beseeching look graced her face, as if she were pleading with him for something. Probably wanting Rudolph to give him to her as a prize. Brandwulfr sneered. It wouldn’t be the first time a highborn lady had sought to know the pleasures he could offer.
The girl was passingly pretty. In another life, he would have enjoyed introducing her to the carnal side of sex. In this one, if she were related to Rudolph in any way, she would die by his hand.
Her hair was bound loosely at the back of her head in a thick knot of shining gold. Skin of milk white shone under the harsh lights of the stadium, encased in emerald silk beneath the cloak. She was too thin for Brandwulfr’s taste, though she had potential. A little fattening up would definitely do her good. As she spoke to Rudolph, ruby red lips seemed to beckon Brandwulfr to taste.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.