Amber flame (the flame series book 4)

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Table of Contents

Amber Flame

Copyright

Dear Reader

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

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About the Author

AMBER FLAME

THE FLAME SERIES #4: THE WOLVES OF FIVE BRIDGES

A PARANORMAL ROMANCE

CARIS ROANE

 

Amber Flame - The Flame Series #4: The Wolves of Five Bridges

By Caris Roane

Copyright © 2016 Twin Bridges Creations LLC

All rights reserved. No part of this eBook may be reproduced in whole or in part, scanned, photocopied, recorded, distributed in any printed or electronic form, or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without express written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the fourth installment of the Flame Series called AMBER FLAME! If you’ve read DARK FLAME (Book #3), you will have met Fergus briefly, the alpha of the Gordion Pack. I’ve looked forward to embracing the shifters of Five Bridges for a long time and here’s the first one just for you!

Against his alpha wolf principles, Eric Fergus, seduces a beautiful fae woman in the dreamglide and soon discovers she’s the only woman who can save his life…

Fergus has been without an alpha-mate for three years, from the time his wife was murdered. He’s failed repeatedly to bond with the female wolves of the Gordion Pack. When he rescues a fae woman from a sex club, his need to bond with her goes into overdrive. But how can an alpha bond with a fae? Can his pack ever accept her as his bonded mate?

Mary has lived a solitary fae life in the Territory of Revel. As a veterinarian, she’s established a thriving small animal practice. Having survived a recent abduction, she’s leery of entanglements of any kind. But when Fergus contacts her through a dreamglide, asking her to save his life, she hurries to the Graveyard and rescues him from certain death. But when she discovers that for the past month he’s been her lover in the dream-world, she’s appalled. Mary doesn’t like wolves or anything to do with Savage Territory. She wants him out of her life, but soon realizes if she doesn’t serve as his bodyguard the whole territory will go to war and hundreds of innocent wolves will die. But how can she align herself with the wolves of Five Bridges?

I hope you’re enjoying the Flame Series. I’ve had a wonderful time developing a world inspired by my love for bridges and of course, hunky warrior types of everyalterspecies!

Enjoy!

PS: For thelatest releases, free e-booksandgreat giveaways,be sure to sign up for my newsletter!!!http://www.carisroane.com/

CHAPTER ONE

FERGUS SAW A GLINT of something metal slide out of his challenger’s black leather wrist guard. Before he could move, the skewer pierced Fergus’s gut, then punctured the base of his heart.

A searing pain drove through his abdomen.

His whole body seized.

A blow followed as Sydon, the contender in the wolf dominance battle, used his fist to knock Fergus into the sand.

Fergus landed on his side and the air fled his lungs.

He had only one chance of surviving the illegal skewer stab; he had to shift. With a thought, he transformed into his wolf shape.

Since Fergus’s heart was leaking blood, he couldn’t move and he couldn’t defend himself.

But Sydon didn’t stop. He added more blows with his fist to Fergus’s head.

Fergus watched Sydon leap into the air.

Shit, this was going to hurt.

Sydon came down hard, jumping onto Fergus’s ribs.

Fergus heard the bones crack. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t think. He couldn’t do a damn thing.

Sydon howled his victory.

Fergus heard a shrill whistle which ended the Savage Territory dominance battle. About the same time, Fergus passed out.

When he came back to consciousness, he was still in wolf form. Instead of the sand pit, though, he was on the bed of a truck being bounced to hell and back. His tongue lolled out of his wolf mouth.

His heart barely beat, and he couldn’t breathe very well, except for small puffs of watery air.

He passed out again.

When he woke up, he’d been thrown onto a heap of broken up cement, dirt and weeds. He heard a lot of male laughter and the roar of a truck engine. A spray of gravel hit him as the vehicle wheeled out of what he recognized as the Graveyard.

So, this is where he would die.

He knew the place well. As a Savage Territory Border Patrol officer, he was familiar with the central part of Five Bridges where at least a dozenaltercreatures were dumped every night. Most were dead. But the few that arrived still breathing, yet unable to move, would perish once dawn arrived. Long-life came with an aversion to sunlight.

Thirsty, cold and shaking, Fergus knew he didn’t have long to live. He was already half separated from his corporeal being.

But he didn’t want to die, and he sure as hell didn’t want to leave the Gordion Pack in the hands of a fucking psychopath like Sydon. Worse, he’d felt his bond with the pack break, a sudden severing that felt as painful right now as the puncture in his heart.

Sydon.

Bile filled his mouth.

The rogue alpha would send the female wolves into the sex and drug trade along Savage Strip, he’d rape the women at will, believing it was his due, and he’d order the strongest male wolves to begin moving drugs in and out of the territory.

Sydon represented everything evil in their world.

His thoughts took a sudden hard turn.

Mary.

Oh, God, he didn’t want to leave her.

For the first time in years, since his wife’s murder, he had a woman in his life. Over the past month, since he’d helped rescue Mary Somers from a despicable sex club in Revel Territory, he’d been sharing her bed. Sort of.

The problem was, she didn’t know about their relationship in real-time, only in what was called a fae dreamglide. When he’d fabricated his first dreamglide, something a wolf shouldn’t be able to do, he’d had one purpose in mind: To bed the woman he craved. Having reached the peak of his mate-hunting cycle, he’d wanted Mary as though she was rain to his parched earth.

A woman’s voice penetrated his fading mind. It wasn’t Mary’s, but sounded a lot like his dead wife.Fergus, use the dreamglide. Mary can save you. Let her save you.

Sharon?

Yes, I’m here. But don’t waste time on me. Focus on Mary.

What did he have to lose?

With the last ounce of his strength, he formed a dreamglide. Once within it, yet weaker than he’d ever been before, he stood up in his human, non-wolf form, and took the helm. Focusing on Mary, he located her, then piloted the dreamglide swiftly.

He found her sitting on the floor of her family room going through photos of her life from before heraltertransformation. She’d been in Revel Territory five years. All of her family was gone. He’d learned a lot about her over the past month.

Three of her several rescue cats lay stretched out near her, one with his paw on a photograph.

For a moment, Fergus didn’t know what to do. He usually reached Mary in her dreams, but right now she was awake. Could he even make contact with her?

He had to try.

He called to her telepathically.Mary?

She straightened her back and grew very still, definite signs that she’d heard or felt something.

Mary, it’s Fergus and I need your help. I’m dying. Hell, I may already be dead.

She rose to her feet and turned in a full circle, wild-eyed. The cats scattered, running away from her obvious distress. One of them bumped a bird cage near the window and set the inmates chattering as well.

She must have heard him. Hope sent a flame through his chest.

“Fergus? You mean the wolf from Savage?”

He was surprised, then realized they’d never even met in real-time. He might have carried her out of Roche’s hellhole, but she’d been unconscious the whole time.

Yes, the wolf from Savage.

It seemed strange that she didn’t know him. How many times had he had made love to her in the dreamglide? Dozens, yet the blocks she’d put in place kept her from knowing who he was.

“Where exactly are you?” She searched the room.

In the dreamglide, the one we share.

At these words, she grew very still once more. “What do you mean, the one we share?”

He’d never expected that these would be the circumstances under which Mary would come to learn what they’d been doing together. She had no idea right now how much he’d grown to care for her or how many times they’d talked and shared their thoughts with each other.

Was it possible he’d fallen in love with her?

For a moment, as he watched her, he forgot about his plight in the Graveyard or how dizzy he felt or that death was riding his heels. Instead, his wolf was all about the barefoot woman in jeans and a purple silk tank.

She had large light brown eyes and a rich scent that captivated him, layered with roses and a sharp, wood-like yarrow. His nostrils fluttered. Even in the dreamglide he could catch her scent.

Her long, blond hair hung around her shoulders and down her back. He’d loved holding her thick hair in his hands when he made love to her, especially when he took her from behind. He’d slowly wrap the length around his forearm to control her. She’d howl softly, like a wolf despite the fact that she was a fae woman from Revel Territory.

“Fergus? Answer me. Are you still there?”

Sorry. Got distracted. Can you come to my dreamglide? I need to talk to you.

“Okay, but I don’t get it. How can you create a dreamglide? You’re a wolf. And are you saying we’ve been together in the dream-world?”

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. But you didn’t want to know what we were up to, so you set up blocks.

She put a hand to her breast. “You mean, you and I have been together?”

Yes.

“Physically? As in sex?”

Yes.

The full month that they’d been lovers, since he’d helped rescue her from Neal Roche’s perverted sex club, had been the most satisfying and intense four weeks of his life. Mary had been a willing, enthusiastic participant in the dreamglide, but she’d refused to let her real-time self know that she was involved with him.

Mary didn’t like wolves.

“Fergus, I’m so confused. Wait a minute, what did you mean, you’re dying?”

The dizziness increased as he explained about Sydon and the dominance challenge.

Mary blew the air from her cheeks a couple of times. “And you say you’re in the Graveyard?”

I am, but I’m fading.

“All right, let me think.” He watched her move to the couch and stretch out. “Okay, I want you to pull me into your dreamglide, then take me where your body is.”

Got it.

As Mary began dropping into a meditative state that would allow her to join him, his dizziness grew more intense. He felt the dreamglide falter. Summoning his strength once more, he pulled the remnants of his consciousness together and kept his dreamglide intact. But he could tell he was slipping away.

~ ~ ~

Mary lay on the couch and breathed deeply. She didn’t understand what was happening at all. Fergus was here, in a dreamglide, one that he said he’d built, which was impossible. Fergus was a wolf from savage Territory. Wolves didn’t have the power to even enter a dreamglide by themselves, never mind build one.

Worse still, how could she have been with him in his dreamglide for the past month and not have had an inkling in real-time? Talk about denial.

But if what he said was true, and he was near-death, she’d worry about their sexual relationship later.

As she fell deeper into her meditation, she focused on Fergus. Though he’d saved her life over a month ago, she’d never really met him. She’d been unconscious when he’d carried her out of a prison-like cell where Neal Roche had held her captive. Later, she’d done a search on the web, so she knew what he looked like. He was a handsome man, with long, thick, black hair that had an intricate braid on the right side.

She held that image now in her mind.

As she began to sense the presence of Fergus’s dreamglide, her blocks started to dissipate.

A new image arrived, something from the past, of being with Fergus, one arm slung around his neck, her fingers tracing the flow of the three separate braids into one larger one and the thin amber leather cord that held it in place. His wife, Sharon, had created the design.

He’d loved his wife, who had served as his alpha-mate until she’d been murdered three years ago. Her neck had been bitten almost in half by an unknown wolf, her spine shattered. Mary had learned about the brutal attack from accounts on the web as well.

The deeper she dropped, the more the memories began to return. She could see him more and more clearly as well.

The next moment, she was in his dreamglide and there he was. He stood in front of her, deathly pale. But his dark eyes were lit with an amber glow, very wolf.

The air left her lungs in a one long worshiping sigh. Fergus was ungodly handsome.

Memories of her time with him rushed through her mind, of making love with him repeatedly. Chills traveled up and down her body and a sudden overwhelming desire for him raced through her blood. Without a moment’s hesitation, she moved into him and slung her arms around his neck. She kissed him, nothing held back.

She was so into this wolf.

In return, he wrapped her up in a powerful embrace. He had massive corded arms and shoulders, and a beautiful wolf’s body, athletically perfect, including washboard abs she’d kissed and licked dozens of times.

She and Fergus really had been lovers for the past month.

As quickly as the passion had bloomed, however, it began to dissipate. No, that wasn’t right. The passion wasn’t fading, it was Fergus. He was fading.

Just as he’d said, he was near-death.

She drew back. “There has to be something I can do. Fergus, tell me what to do?”

The dreamglide began to move like a swift rush of air, then stopped suddenly. Fergus glanced at the floor of the dreamglide and pointed.

She followed his line of sight. Through the dreamglide, she could see into the Graveyard. And there was Fergus, in wolf form, his black fur dusty. He lay on his side as still as death.

Glancing back at Fergus, she finally put all the pieces together. “You’re almost gone.”

He blinked slowly. “Get Warren. My heart was punctured. I need wolf blood.”

With that, Fergus’s eyes rolled back in his head and he faded to nothing. At the exact same moment that his dreamglide vanished, she was right back in her home on her couch.

She sat up. The blocks to all the former memories fell into place again, but she still retained the image from this dreamglide. The recollection would remain vivid, including the kiss she’d shared with Fergus and the tremendous wave of emotion she’d felt the moment she’d seen him.

She also knew she had only a handful of minutes left to save his life.

Her heart pounded and her hands shook.

Fortunately, her job as a veterinarian afforded her certain tools that would allow her to get him out of the Graveyard. She would need help moving him. She would need Warren and some of his men.

Her phone lay on the floor next to her photos. She grabbed it, then froze. She knew Warren was one of Savage’s most powerful pack alphas, but how was she supposed to reach him? In real-time, she’d never even met Fergus and definitely not Warren.

She released a cry of frustration that sounded strangely like a yelp, more wolf than fae. She wondered at the weird reaction, but her need to reach Warren kept her focused on the task at hand.

The alpha of the Caldion pack, like Fergus, was part of the Savage Territory Border Patrol. She could start there.

She put her feet in motion as she contacted the station. She asked for Warren and was given the runaround until she said she had information on Fergus.

The woman on dispatch grew very quiet. Mary grabbed the keys for her Four-Runner off the peg near her surgery. As she headed to the garage, she focused on the dispatch operator, extending her fae senses. She could detect both grief and rage for what had happened to Fergus.

Mary spoke quietly, “Listen to me. I know where Sydon dumped Fergus’s body, and I might be able to save him, but I need Warren and I need him now. Can you get word to him and can you keep this between us?”

“Yes.” The word came out hushed and was spoken with the wolf gravel. “I’m in his pack and we’re in trouble. We thought he was dead.”

“He’s not, but don’t tell anyone. Fergus asked me to bring Warren over to Revel, where I live.”

“You’re not a wolf?”

“No. I’m fae. Please, can you connect me with Warren?”

“I’m not supposed to, but I’d do anything if it meant getting Fergus back. Give me a sec.”

Mary got in the cab of her modified Four-Runner. She’d had a long bed installed as well as a sling apparatus she used for transporting big animals.

She set her phone on the dash-holder. She tapped ‘speaker’, hit the automatic garage door and cursed the damn thing for being so slow.

Turning the key, she revved the engine and as soon as she had clearance, she drove out, bouncing off the curved driveway and shooting down the street.

A deep wolf’s voice hit the airwaves. “Warren, here. Who’s this?”

“Dr. Mary Somers from Revel. I’m a friend of Fergus’s and a trained veterinarian. He contacted me.” She debated for a moment. She didn’t want to get into the whole dreamglide situation, especially since she didn’t understand why Fergus had the ability to even create one. He was a wolf, not a fae. “That is, Fergus reached me telepathically. He’s in the Graveyard and he’s still alive, though barely. There’s a chance we can save him. But I’ll need your help getting him into the sling and back to my surgery. He said he needs wolf blood.”

A long, tense pause followed, then, “Where in the Graveyard?” Exactly the words she needed to hear.

“Not far from the bombing that took place about three months ago, you know, the one involving the witch, Iris.”

“I know the location. I’m on my way.”

The Graveyard was the roughest part of Five Bridges, full of ditches and cacti. Dozens of small makeshift bridges were the only means a four-wheel-anything could get through the no-man’s land. The large central part of their province kept all five territories separated. But it was a hellish place, given to death.

She drove like a madwoman, but her powerful fae instincts told her every second counted.

When she found Fergus, she screeched to a halt and sent dust, rocks and bits of concrete into the air. She backed up close to him, ignoring the fact that she couldn’t detect the rise and fall of his abdomen.

He looked dead.

She didn’t care. She knew what she knew.

By the time she was using the controls to guide the sling over to Fergus, she felt a vibration in the air and knew Warren was close. “That you, Warren?” she called out. She didn’t turn to look.

“Flying in behind you,” he shouted. “I’ve brought two of my men with me.”

“Thank God for that.”

Warren landed and slid across some of the debris to grab for the far end of the heavy rubber sling. He moved it next to Fergus.

As soon as it was in position, she hurried to unlatch the closest side to her so that it lay flat.

The men wasted no time as they picked Fergus up and slid him onto the sling. Mary worked around them as she grabbed the latches, then locked them in place.

She stumbled heading back to the truck, picked herself up and with bleeding palms worked the machinery.

The wolves kept the sling steady. Like the garage door, the damn thing couldn’t move fast enough. She let loose with a long string of beautiful words. She sensed all the wolves staring at her, but she only had eyes for the sight of Fergus’s black and way-too-dry snout as the sling drew close.

“Warren, get up here on the back of the vehicle, your men with you. Take the Goddamn controls and keep Fergus steady. I’m taking off.”

Warren levitated swiftly toward her. “I’ve got it, Mary.”

She jumped over the side of the truck, landing in the gravel. She slid into the driver’s seat, started the Four-Runner and put the vehicle in motion.

The large tires gave it the traction she needed through the shitty roads and wobbly bridges.

She once more drove like she’d escaped from an institution.

As she turned down her street, tires squealing, she contacted Warren telepathically.I need one of you to give him blood right away.

I’ll do it, unless blood-type matters.

Not with wolves.She knew at least that much about the species she disliked so much.

As she pulled into the garage, she hopped out of the truck. “Warren, you and your men haul him to the surgery while I get the transfusion equipment set up. This way.” She gestured with a flip of her arm in the direction of the double swinging doors.

She didn’t wait for Warren to say anything. She ran up the ramp and into the surgery and propped the doors open. She raced around and gathered tubing and needles. She locked in the feet of the surgical table to make sure it didn’t slide around. She could hear the men moving in her direction.

Seeing them levitate up the ramp, she called out, “In here.”

They carried him straight to the surgical table. Though she’d cared for great Danes on this table, it still wasn’t big enough for Fergus in his wolf form. One of the wolves held his hindquarters in both hands. She directed Warren to pull up a second smaller table and place it beneath Fergus’s hind end.

Afterward, she threw a rubber tourniquet in Warren’s direction. “Tie yourself up. I need a strong vein.”

“You got it.”

From the corner of her eye, she watched him wrap the rubber strip around his arm.

She ignored Fergus’s open, glassy-eyed look. He was hanging on by a thread, but he wasn’t dead yet. She quickly shaved his front right foreleg, then waved Warren in her direction.

She wasn’t messing around with cleaning anything up. Time was her enemy.

She inserted a needle into Fergus’s vein, though with difficulty. Not much blood was moving through his body.

Without once making eye-contact with Warren, she began the transfusing process. She complimented him on the size of his vein, drove the needle home and watched as gravity did its thing and Warren’s beautiful red blood began to flow along the tubing.

As soon as it reached Fergus’s vein, she felt a roll of energy move through the wolf’s body and the blood began to flow.

Her eyes started to burn, and her throat felt tight.

Warren’s wolf-voice sounded through the space. “This is a good sign, isn’t it? I mean, that the blood is going in.”

“It is. It’s the best.”

She took a moment to breathe and to give thanks for small miracles.

With the most critical element in place, she began a careful examination of Fergus’s body. She quickly discovered the broken ribs. She couldn’t imagine what had done this kind of damage.

With Fergus unconscious, she felt the individual ribs then carefully pulled each one back into place. There was no way she could perform any kind of surgery, not with how close he was to death. But she also knew that as soon as he was able, he could self-heal the bones. Her greater concern was making sure his lungs weren’t torn up.

As more of Warren’s blood flowed into his system, she watched Fergus take a decent breath, then another and another. Her sense of relief increased.

But she remembered what Fergus had told her about being skewered. She ordered Warren to stay put and got her ultrasound equipment.

Once again, she shaved Fergus, though this time on his chest. Using the gel, she ran her wand over the area that allowed her to see his heart.

“Why are you doing that?” Warren asked.

“Something Fergus told me about how he was injured. I understand there was a dominance battle.”

“Yes. Sydon, a rogue alpha, challenged him. I was sure Fergus could take him. I wasn’t there during the battle, but I was on the phone with one of his betas and got a blow-by-blow. Sydon caught Fergus below the sternum with a heavy right punch, or at least that’s what we thought it was. Fergus seized while in the air, fell, then shifted, which indicated he’d been badly wounded. Sydon went in for the kill and punched at his head, then jumped on his ribs. I don’t know how Fergus survived.”

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