Craving Camden (Paranormals of Avynwood #9) - Michelle Dare



My knees hit the blood-covered floor a second before the tears begin to fall.

My parents.


Throats ripped out.


And my brother… gone. Not dead, just not here.

How did this happen? Who could have done this? And where did Caiden go?

So many questions rush through my mind in rapid succession. Ones I don’t have answers to. I wish I did. I’m not sure how to process the deaths of my parents, let alone the disappearance of my brother.

I have to stay positive. Caiden is alive. Somewhere out there my brother is hopefully okay. I’m going to do whatever I have to until he’s found. I won’t give up hope. The part of my being that was always connected to Caiden is still intact. I can sense he’s alive. Either that or it’s all in my head. Either way, I’m holding on to that hope.

It was a friend of my dad’s who found me to inform me of their deaths. A mage named Irus. He came to the house to visit them and discovered their bodies. Still warm. The crime had very recently taken place. If I didn’t know Irus as well as I do, I would have suspected he had something to do with it. But I was there the day Irus brought my dad home after a rogue attack from another shifter. I watched as my dad shifted to heal and Irus protected my family for a week solid until he knew we were safe. That was ten years ago. I’ve never forgotten what happened.

Luckily, Irus has vampire powers and teleported me home after he told me how he found my parents. He’s not one to use his powers often, but this was an emergency.

“Camden, we need to lay them to rest,” Irus says with a hand on my shoulder. He helps me stand then embraces me, not caring about the blood I’m covered in. Their blood. The crimson of the ones who brought me into this world.

The home I was raised in is on over three hundred acres in Wyoming. It was where my parents wanted to settle, away from everyone and everything. Irus and my dad grew so close they told him to build a home for himself on their property. They loved having him near.

“He’d want you to have it,” I state.

“Have what?”

“The land. The house. Everything. You were his best friend.”

“Camden…” Irus turns his head and tries to discreetly brush away his tears. I’m not the only one who is gutted. Irus hurts as well.

“Do you want the house? If not, let’s lay them to rest in it. We’ll burn it with them inside.” There’s no way I could live here again. Not after seeing them like I have in the place I considered my childhood home.

“I couldn’t… Not with them… Let them go in the place they loved.”

I nod once and slowly make my way through the house gathering what I want to keep, telling Irus to do the same. We collect everything we can that has meaning to us. More tears fall as I go through my parents’ most prized possessions. The jewelry my dad gave my mom. The paintings my mom made for my dad. I gather it all and take it outside, a safe distance from the home.

The worst part is my brother’s room. Nothing in here is disturbed. Not even the small stuffed wolf he keeps on his bed. He’s slept with it every night since he was a year old when my dad gave it to him. And Caiden left it here. He never would have if everything were okay. It solidifies that someone took my brother.

I grab the wolf and the framed pictures on Caid’s dresser and take them with me as I exit the house. When I do find Caid, I’ll buy him new clothes. I’ll give him whatever he needs. But the other things, they’re irreplaceable.

Once everything is outside and Irus emerges as well, with a few items that remind him of my parents, we go inside and cover Mom and Dad up with the quilt my grandmother made for them when they mated. It was always on their bed.

I have no family left except Caid. Everyone else is gone from this world. Never to be seen or heard from again. Then I remember I also have Irus. He isn’t family by blood but he’s proven to be part of us over and over again.

With one last look at my parents, the remainder of my heart shatters, leaving nothing but Copyright 2016 - 2024