RomanceScience Fiction & Fantasy

Under The Moon

Tahlia

He set fire to the world around him, but never let a flame touch her… Belle is a beautiful ray of sunshine, bringing happiness and light to everyone she meets. Ryker, on the other hand, is an infamously deadly alpha who strikes fear into the heart of his enemies…and everyone else, too. Together they’re a team unlike any other, balancing each other out perfectly. She calms his chaos and he fuels her fire in a match made between heaven and hell.

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Child Abuse)

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Under The Moon - Book cover
RomanceScience Fiction & Fantasy

Under The Moon

Tahlia

He set fire to the world around him, but never let a flame touch her… Belle is a beautiful ray of sunshine, bringing happiness and light to everyone she meets. Ryker, on the other hand, is an infamously deadly alpha who strikes fear into the heart of his enemies…and everyone else, too. Together they’re a team unlike any other, balancing each other out perfectly. She calms his chaos and he fuels her fire in a match made between heaven and hell.

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Child Abuse)

1: Chapter One

FLASHBACK

Sarah had had a very traumatic and toxic childhood, one that she spent her life running from. But one day it came after her harder and faster than ever.

Her father, a gang member and notorious hitman, decided that his daughter knew too much, and it was her time to sleep with the fishes.

Sarah had been all over the country running from him, and she now found herself in a small town in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by forests and mountains. She thought she was safe. She was wrong.

At one in the morning, the door to her motel room was smashed down, and the face she had seen in her nightmares all these years was back in front of her.

He looked the same but different. He had aged a lot, with wrinkles and gray hair taking over his appearance. That scar on his cheek was still there though.

Sarah acted quickly. She had been prepared for this if it ever happened. She grabbed her duffel bag, ran to the attached bathroom. and locked the door.

Her father, Robert, knew it wouldn’t take him long to smash through it, but what he didn’t know is that she had already thrown her bag out the window and jumped after it.

She sprinted across the parking lot and into the forest. She wasn’t sure it was the best place to go, but her instincts pulled her there.

After running for what felt like hours, she came to a stop by a swift river. She dropped to her knees, refusing to let her emotions rise or her tears fall.

She bent down, cupping her hands to pick up some cool water and splash it over her sweaty face. She sat down and caught her breath. She was in shape—she had to be—but she hadn’t run like that in a long time.

She hadn’t noticed that sleep had claimed her until a twig snapped nearby. Her eyes snapped open as well. She shot up, holding her duffel bag over her body, almost like a shield. She scanned the area.

“Hello, love.” It was that sickly, croaky voice from her childhood.

All the hair on her body stood up. Her heart stilled.

“You thought you could run from me, Sarah—”

“Don’t say my name!” she screamed back at him.

He laughed—that laugh where you know they’ve smoked too many cigarettes in their life, and their lungs are full of tar.

Another twig snapped, but this time, it stopped the laughter polluting the air, and both Sarah and Robert turned to see who was responsible for it.

There stood an enormous gray wolf. Those eyes—those glowing yellow eyes—would be forever tattooed in Sarah’s mind.

It wasn’t like any other wolf she had ever seen—six feet on all fours and looked to be observing the two.

“Oh bugger off, you stupid animal,” Robert yelled at the wolf.

Sarah knew better. She took slow, careful steps toward the river, already plotting her escape. The wolf’s eyes were watching the man, and faster than Sarah’s eyes could see, the wolf was on top of her father.

She lost her balance and fell into the river, screaming. She must’ve hit her head because her vision was beginning to fade.

The last thing she saw was the head of her father, infamous serial killer, the man she had been running from her entire life, in the jaw of the beast.

When Sarah regained consciousness, she was in the arms of a stranger. Her hands began working before her eyes did, and she explored where she was. She didn’t notice she was exploring a man.

When realization dawned on her, she abruptly opened her eyes and attempted to sit up.

“Easy there,” a calm deep voice soothed her.

She stopped in her tracks and relaxed into the man’s arms.

Looking up at this mystery man, she was surprised to see how handsome he was. Unlike any other man she had ever laid eyes on, this man looked to be the work of an angel.

She didn’t understand why she felt so comfortable in his arms or why all her worries and reservations had fled her mind. She just went with it.

A light chuckle left the man’s lips, and Sarah was enchanted. Just as she was working up the courage to lift her hand to his face, he placed her in a deck chair.

She looked around confused. She was sitting on the veranda of a small cabin in the woods. Where am I?

The man sat down across from her. He was only wearing a pair of loose basketball shorts that clung to his waist, leaving the rest of him exposed. Sarah couldn’t rip her eyes away from him.

“I’m Julien.” He reached out his hand toward the girl he had found in the river. She seemed to be in shock, and Julien pulled his hand back, understanding he wouldn’t be getting a handshake just yet.

“I’m sure you’re wondering where you are. This is my home. I live here in the woods, and I heard your scream.”

Sarah was still reeling from everything that had just unfolded, and the only thing that came out of her mouth was “Wolf.”

Julien shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He knew it was dangerous to expose his wolf like that to a human, but there was something about her. Plus, he really wanted to kill that putrid man.

“I saw a wolf.” Her voice was quiet and still confused.

Julien moved his chair closer to her and placed his hand on hers comfortingly. “I know,” he replied, and his yellow wolf eyes flashed.

She gasped, and as an eyebrow raised, she simply said, “You?”

Sarah spent the night with the man, asking endless questions and finding him absolutely fascinating.

They had found themselves on Julien’s bed, and Sarah stroked her fingers over the rise and dip of his muscles as she continued to ask him questions.

She didn’t know if it was his enchanting nature or the fact that she was finally free of her father, but she was spontaneous that night.

***

Belle was the embodiment of kindness. You could see it in the softness of her eyes, the lightness of her touch, and the gleam in her smile. She was put on this earth to bring happiness.

Her beauty was evident as her olive skin had freckles sprinkled over it, her untamed curls framed her face perfectly, her soft brown eyes resembled that of a doe.

And her ever-so-crooked smile was the only proof that she was in fact a human rather than an angel.

Despite her appearance, most of her beauty shone through from her heart. You see, you smile differently when you’re actually happy.

Although all of this was the case, Belle had a far from perfect life. She wasn’t privileged and wealthy. She had been raised by her single mother, Sarah, who worked hard to provide them shelter, food, and clothes.

She knew nothing of her father and wasn’t sure she’d ever want to.

Belle was intelligent and well-read. She excelled at school but stayed under the radar. Now she was graduating and, looking back at all her years of school, wondered how she had never made any real friends.

Sure, she would smile at her classmates when their paths crossed, but Belle had no real friends she could spill her secrets to or spend hours on the phone with.

She guessed it had something to do with the fact she was a werewolf.

Well that’s a story.

Belle grew up as a normal girl, happy and carefree. She spent her time traveling the world from the comfort of her window seat through the pages of books.

She would ride her bicycle to the playground and spend the whole day climbing rock walls, swinging from monkey bars, and shooting hoops until the streetlights alerted her it was time to head home.

She had had your run of the mill childhood until her thirteenth birthday. She was excited because she was finally going to be a teenager.

Although her mother asked her if she wanted to throw a big birthday party with her schoolmates, she declined. She wanted to spend the day with her mom watching movies and eating junk food.

They were halfway through Eclipse—a Twilight marathon—when the pain hit. One minute Belle was sitting on her floral-patterned sofa, the next she was curled over in pain as she fell from her spot on the couch.

Sarah reached for her in panic, asking if she was okay, but all she got in return was a blood curdling scream as she watched tears rush down her daughter’s face.

Just as she was reaching for her phone to call an ambulance, Belle’s scream transformed to a deep, animalistic growl, and suddenly her eyes were yellow.

Sarah fell backward and remembered the only other time in her life that she had seen those eyes. Sarah knew what was happening to Belle.

She quickly got her on her feet and helped her down to the basement. She then filled a bowl with cold water and took off most of her daughter’s clothing.

It was a long evening of Sarah dabbing Belle with a flannel trying to keep her cool and coaching her through her turn.

Sarah had hoped and prayed that Belle wasn’t going to end up like this, but here she was, doing a fine job of taking control of the situation.

She often thought back to the night she had spent with Julien and thanked her lucky stars he was so open when speaking about his kind. Otherwise she wouldn’t have known what to do.

When the loud sounds of breaking bones began to bounce off the brick walls of the basement, Sarah knew that she had done all she could and it was now time for her to leave.

She didn’t want her baby girl to go through this alone, but she knew that if she stayed, she risked being hurt.

Sitting with her back and head against the basement door, she listened to her baby scream in pain and heard Belle’s bones snap in and out of place as tears spilled down her cheeks.

When everything suddenly went silent, Sarah stood from her place on the floor and put her hand on the cold metal doorknob, wondering if it were time to go back in.

She turned the knob and slowly opened the door, trying to be as quiet as possible. She poked her head around the corner and couldn’t see Belle.

She descended the stairs softly and began to hear a panting sound. When she got to the bottom, she found those familiar yellow eyes staring back at her from a corner.

Oh, how those eyes brought back memories.

“Belle, it’s me. Are you okay?” Sarah took a single step closer to her daughter who was now a large light gray wolf. As she moved forward, the wolf stepped back.

Belle didn’t want her mother to come close to her, worried for her safety. She didn’t know what she’d do to her.

“It’s okay, sweetie. You won’t hurt me.” It took some courage, but Belle came out of the corner of the room and stood under the buzzing lightbulb screwed into the ceiling.

The sound of the lightbulb was clear and loud in her sensitive ears and the brightness of it assaulted her eyeballs. She had no idea what was going on, and she was slightly freaking out.

Her mother’s hands suddenly found their way into her fur and began stroking it. Belle calmed right down and soon curled up into a ball on the floor as her mother told her the story of her father.

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