The human world is long gone. Now wolves, vampires, and witches rule the ruins of the old order as humanity serves their new masters or struggles desperately for survival in the ruins. Under this harsh regime, Scarlet of the Ocean Family rules the ring as one of the greatest human fighters in the Pit, battling for survival and the bloodlust of the crowd. But Scarlet Ocean has a secret heritage, and a hidden beast inside her. When Kylian, the powerful and sophisticated werewolf alpha chances upon the pit fights, an irresistible bond awakens her beast and drags it out kicking and screaming in a story that will upend her life...and change the world.
Age Rating: 18+
A little over a hundred years ago, the monsters came out of the shadows. They crawled out from under beds and crept out of closets. Beasts descended from the mountains and came from the forests.
Living for millennia in secret, they were able to build armies, infiltrate every government, and take over every part of the world within hours.
You only have yourselves to blame.
The stories were there.
You just didn’t want to believe that Dracula was in that fucking castle, or that Little Red Riding Hood really did run from the big bad wolf.
Shit, who knew those crusty bible thumpers were on to something when they were burning so-called witches at the stake.
Although, that still wasn’t very nice. Most of them didn’t deserve it.
Humans became the minority. You either served the beasts or took your chances in the Trench, where only the cunning and strong survive. If you were smart, you pledged loyalty to a Family. Money was obsolete, so resources were what mattered, and your loyalty was all you really had, so it was taken very seriously.
Families, you ask?
They are like gangs, but a little more civilized, for lack of a better term. They barter with each other for resources and provide protection. As good as protection gets here, anyway. Disagreements between the Families are settled in the Pits. No weapons, just fists.
Since the monsters took over, the human world shut down. Great for the whole global warming problem, but shitty for dumb humans who had trouble adjusting.
In the beginning, there was a violent fight between humans for resources. They formed gangs and became even more violent and more brutal than before.
As humans became fewer, the gangs formed the Families and now try to take care of each other, for humanity’s sake, blah blah blah… Give me a break.
I know, I sound cynical.
Probably because I’m not human.
I’m not one of those beasts either.
I don’t belong in either world, but I pass mostly as a human, so it’s easier to live among them. It’s simply a way to exist.
I don’t know if my mother was a wolf, embarrassed to get knocked up by a human, or was she a human, disgraced by a wolf.
Either way, nobody has ever spoken of such a thing happening, and as far as I’m aware, I’m the only one of my kind.
A freak of fucking nature.
Obviously unwanted, I was dumped in a human orphanage, where I stayed until I was ten. That’s when I realized I was…different.
Female wolves are bigger than the average human, usually around six feet tall. Although I’m under that at five foot nine, I was always taller than all the other girls and much stronger than the boys. On my tenth birthday, or tenth anniversary of being dumped actually, one of the boys teased me to the point of anger that my nails grew out into claws, piercing the skin in my tightly clenched fists.
Besides my eyes changing color, this is the extent of my shifting. I’ve never gone full wolf, no matter how hard I’ve tried.
There is only one other soul in this world that knows about me. Shortly after running from the orphanage, I met Rose, a witch.
Yes, witches are real.
Witches are just what you think they are. Born human, with a little something extra. Some have chosen to use their abilities for good and live among humans, while others are a little more… ambitious.
Those bitches are social-climbing whores who will do anything to be in the good graces of the Covenant.
Fuck… The Covenant.
They rule this whole shit show.
Rose knew what was lurking in my blood the second she met me but treated me with nothing but kindness.
With her help, I learned everything she could teach me about wolves, but even she only knew so much. More importantly, she taught me how to mask my scent to avoid detection by other wolves.
I guess I even smelled like one of the Covenant’s lapdogs.
So now you have an idea of my world.
The vampires rule everything. Wolves protect them and maintain order. Witches, while human, are considered a persecuted supernatural race and therefore allowed to live however they want. Humans only have two choices: slavery, or life in the slums of the Trench.
If you want to live with the assurance of food in your belly, a clean bed to sleep in, and a roof over your head, you become a feed bag for a vampire or a slave to a wolf. Those who have a little more dignity, live in the outer edges of the cities, where life is hard, and supplies are limited.
My name is Scarlet.
I’m half human, half wolf.
This I keep hidden, for fear it will either get me killed by the humans or condemn me to a life as a slave by the wolves.
This is my story.
We—werewolves and vampires—have always lived among the humans. We lacked the numbers needed to avoid the resulting genocide, should we be discovered.
Look at what happened to the witches, for Christ’s sake.
And you call us monsters.
Instead, we kept our secrets, and we slowly built our numbers. Why did it take so long?
Not all humans can live through the change to become a vampire. Most die right away. In a rare event, some have gone on a murderous rampage and had to be put down.
You may have heard of one of those.
Vlad Dracul ring any bells?
That was a damn bloody mess to clean up after.
The vampires’ secrets were almost revealed because of him. Luckily, the story was twisted so much through the ages to the point where it became just that… an old story.
The wolves face a different problem when it comes to making more of us. A human can’t be changed into a wolf, you have to be born one.
Do you believe in soulmates? Well, start believing.
A wolf will only be with another wolf that they connect with—on another level. A sort of invisible bond. Forged in links so strong, nothing can break it.
You smell them before you even see them.
You feel what each other is feeling.
A sort of imprinting happens.
Some of us will live our entire lives not finding our other half. Our mate.
Entire family lines have ended because of it. My family has been fortunate so far to have always been able to carry on the line of succession. My parents had a close call, however.
Desperate to produce an alpha heir, they had nine daughters before me. Only a male wolf can be an alpha.
Wolves are patriarchal pricks. Only a male is considered an heir and can carry succession.
It has taken us hundreds of years to reach our current numbers. Our lower-status wolves, the omegas, have learned to live among humans without detection.
They healed your sick, built your towers, and fought your wars.
Our relationship with the vampires has always been one of need. It wasn’t hard to get the witches on our side either. We needed each other to survive in the human world.
We protected the vampires while they were vulnerable, and, in return, they used their powers to help us infiltrate governments and compromise powerful humans around the world.
Humans were destroying our forests and our fresh water supplies were being cut off by industrialization. You were poisoning the earth, killing everything, and you didn’t even care.
The wolves finally had enough.
The Covenant thinks they rule the world now, but in fact, it is the wolves who control it all.
We leave them to their mansions and their fancy parties. We throw them a few humans once in a while to keep them well-fed.
Occasionally they have demands, which we will carry out to keep them in their fantasy.
If they know the truth, they haven’t let on. Maybe they really don’t care.
They know there is nothing they could do about it, anyway. They are powerless against us, and we know their weaknesses.
So why not just end them?
That’s not very nice.
They helped us out, after all.
Most witches seem to enjoy playing house with the vampires, but some prefer to live a more mundane existence among the humans. They wouldn’t cross us either. We can smell magic.
No witch would dare use it against us. As long as they don’t cause any trouble, we leave them to their little spells and their potions.
So here we are…a hundred years later.
The wolves rule it all. The vampires and witches are free to be themselves, in a world of our making. The human race has been culled and reduced to an existence much more useful than the nuisance it had become.
Since my twentieth birthday, my father has begun handing over the keys to the kingdom, so to speak.
By the three-hundredth moon of my twenty-fifth birthday, this coming year, I will be the Alpha of Eastern Europe.
No pressure at all.
Just to add to the weight on my shoulders, in order to complete the transfer of power, I need to do so with my mate.
I need to find her.
My other half. My soulmate. My mate.
The female who I was meant to rule with. A queen. A luna.
I need to leave the estate to find her, and I’m becoming restless.
Other dominant wolves want to challenge me for my position, so my family is against it.
But I’m not going to find her here tucked away in the vineyard or attending yet another dinner party my mother has arranged.
With the excuse of seeing for myself what my wolves have been up to throughout the territory, I finally received approval to leave the estate.
My beta, Victor, will come with me. He is searching for the same thing.
Maybe, just maybe… she’s out there somewhere… waiting for me.
I do love a good hunt.