Broods Of Fenrir - By Coral Moore

Prologue

Brand spat a mouthful of blood onto the frozen ground. The sharp flavor coated his tongue. He rolled to his feet, favoring the cracked rib from the blow that had sent him flying. The heavy tread of his sire"s approaching footsteps brought up his head. Though fear tightened his chest, displaying weakness would likely mean death.

Geir glared down at Brand, disgust evident on his hard face. “This tiny, frightened pup is not worthy to be called my offspring.”

In his shadow, Brand felt small indeed. His mother had told him he would stand taller than his sire one day, but he found it hard to believe. Geir was a giant of a male. His powerful body swelled with every enraged breath.

Brand curled his hands into fists at his sides. Keeping a tight hold on the panic twisting his gut, he stared up at Geir.

“I"m not scared of you.”

With a motion too quick to follow, Geir locked his hand around Brand"s throat. “Then, you"re an idiot, and I should cull you for the good of my bloodline.” Pain shot through his neck as Geir"s fingers tightened and lifted him off his feet. He clawed at the hand holding him aloft, but the stone-like grip didn"t loosen. He couldn"t draw a breath. Geir stared into Brand"s eyes, on a level with his own.

1

The almost-black irises glowed. “I"m going to snuff out your pathetic life right now.” His voice sounded as if he were enjoying a meal rather than strangling his first-born son.

Anger surged, pushing away Brand"s fear. Rage roared through his body. A furious presence howled to life within him and wrested control of his body; he was too weak to resist.

With his consciousness pushed aside, the pain faded to a distant annoyance. Pressure built in his chest until he thought his ribs would burst. His ears rang with a low rumble like thunder, but after a few seconds, he recognized his own growl.

His wolf had roused. The dormant beast shouldn"t have woken yet. Brand was years too young. Panicked, he scrambled to regain control, but with every attempt, he lost more ground.

Deep within, a barrier gave way. A rush of power flooded through him.

Confusion narrowed his sire"s eyes. With a curse, Geir released him. He fell heavily, the impact jarring his teeth.

Muscles and bones shifted under Brand"s heated skin as he flailed. All over his body, countless stabs of pain pricked his skin. A yowl of anguish escaped his lips, and the wolf clamped his mouth shut.

The agony continued in waves as he convulsed.

Sheltered from the worst of the sensation by the wolf, he wondered how much suffering the beast could endure before it broke. He concentrated on each tremor, willing himself to survive. Several minutes later, he lay panting on his side.

Beneath him, the ground was icy cold. The wolf maintained control, but Brand could sense the precariousness of its grip.

A gentle hand patted the fur covering his head. Though his eyes were closed, he recognized his mother"s scent at once, a honeysuckle meadow after a rain.

His mother pulled the front half of his wolf body into her lap. “Easy now. He"s gone, and you made it through.” Her power radiated into him, lessening the lingering pain in his exhausted muscles.

2

He strained to regain control, and after a brief struggle, the wolf relented. His fear eased. Falling under the thrall of the beast wasn"t as common as dying in the throes of the first change, but it did happen. He nuzzled into his mother"s warmth and opened his eyes.

Her amber gaze filled with worry, she looked down at him. Her lips curled into a soft smile that made her face all the more lovely. “There you are. Can you shift back? It"s not wise to provoke him further.”

He tried to puzzle out her meaning while he took stock of his newly transformed body. Like his sire, he was large, with coal-black fur. He"d hoped for the tawny coloring of his mother"s line.

In principle, he knew what was required to make the return transformation, but everything seemed so different in the wolf"s body. His senses felt sharper, and a strange thrumming he couldn"t identify vibrated at the back of his skull.

“It"s the moon,” an annoyed voice said from beside him.

He lifted his head to look at the female who had spoken. While it was rumored Ingrid could read minds, he"d never believed it.

She stared at him, her mouth set in a severe line. “The moon is new. That is what you feel. Now

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