TurningWildBlankEditionHTML

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Book: TurningWildBlankEditionHTML Read Online Free PDF
Author: Erika Masten
acquaintance.
Instead he said, “I had to bite you.”
    The shifter said it
apologetically and gently. This whole time, he was speaking with such care and
deliberation, not like he was taking time to find the words or like English was
his adopted language, though it may well have been with a name like Ivan. It
was rather like there was an unnatural calm about him, the kind she’d have
imaged only truly unhinged, truly dangerous people had.
    “I hope you
understand,” he went on, still holding and stroking one of her hands. The cold
of his skin began to make hers crawl, even more than the “comforting” caresses.
“You are a wolfkin, Holly, and I had to know what kind. I had to know if you’d
turn.” Those blue eyes honed in on hers. “And what you’d turn into.”
    “I don’t know what
you’re talking about.”
    The shifter nodded. “I
know. Most wolfkin start out not knowing what they are. It means you carry the
blood to be one of us, Holly. You could be a shifter, if there’s enough wolf in
you. Sometimes there isn’t.”
    “That makes no sense. I
mean, I’m not. I’d know that. Why would you even think….?”
    “It’s the smell, Holly.
Trust me. I can smell it on you. We all can. The only matter is whether you
have enough that you can actually turn, and then….” Ivan’s serene expression
hardened before Holly’s eyes: his mouth pressed into a severe line, cheeks
sinking even further, gaze sharp and suspicious. “Whether you will be the right
kind of wolf.”
    “You make it sound like
there’s more than one.”
    “Many, actually, but
only two kinds I’m concerned with. Only two kinds related closely enough that I
can smell them. I’m Fenris-blooded, Holly, and we are rare. Especially females.
We are one of the few kinds that turn the first time from a bite by another of
our breed, and thus, I tracked you down that night by your scent and I bit
you.”
    “And I didn’t turn,”
Holly whispered.
    “You didn’t turn. So
either you do not have enough of our blood in you or you are the other kind of
wolf.”
    “What other kind?”
    The shifter’s hold on
Holly’s hand tightened until he was cutting off the circulation to several of
her fingers, until it hurt. “One of his soldiers, an Odin Wolf. Do you know
your Norse mythology, Holly?” She shook her head no without stopping to think
about it. “It doesn’t really matter, not now. You didn’t turn from the bite,
and so….”
    “And so?”
    “And so I cannot breed
with you.” He didn’t seem to notice, or maybe he just didn’t care, when Holly
leaned back hard at these words, at the thought. Without meaning to, Holly let
the idea cycle briefly through her imagination: the dead feeling of that cold
skin against her, the sour musk stink of him, his ghostly face and sunken
cheeks and haunted eyes staring down from above her as he….
    The horrible image
broke when the reality before Holly started to shift and distort with a vision
more distressing, because she was not imagining this one. Ivan’s pale skin
began to darken, as he started to sweat and shake, his eyes rolling back in his
head. Holly bit down a panicked keen behind her closed lips and climbed
backward off the ottoman. She jerked her arm, even putting her feet flat on the
side of the stool for leverage. There was no breaking his hold on her hand. She
was bound tight to the shifter who was going to kill her, every bit as helpless
now as she’d been that first night.
    “Stop,” she pleaded,
trying to sound reasonable to a shifting werewolf. Her tone peaked as hair
began to sprout from his neck and cheeks, black and wet and glistening. Holly didn’t
think it was her imagination that the body beneath his baggy clothes was
expanding to fill the space. “Ivan, don’t. You don’t have to hurt me. Ivan.
Ivan!”
    Beyond the pounding of
her heart in her chest and her pulse in her ears, the world seemed to recede
and spin, moving too quickly for her. The sound of
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