The Takeover

Anise turned her gaze from Ronan to see her mate enter the room. Butterfly stitches held the wound closed that had recently been pouring his precious life-blood down his face. Though most of the blood had been cleaned from his face and he appeared calm, she couldn’t help the protective instinct that rose in the pit of her stom- ach. She’d gone through too much to allow harm to come to her son.

There were some Alesers who embraced the tendencies of their lion cousins by killing off the newborn Alesers of other males who’d impregnated their Soul’s Mates. And like their lioness cousins,

Aleser females would enter their Rut, the Lycan fertile period, in order to bear their mate’s child.

Anise had been witness to the screaming pain of a mother whose child had been taken from her soon after birth and the silenced wails of a child too young to understand the way of an Aleser married too closely to his inner beast. She’d never looked at her brother the same way and she would never understand how his mate never killed him in his sleep for the pain he’d willingly inflicted on her.

She wouldn’t delude herself with a lie. If she was forced to kill her mate, a part of her would die, but the female she’d become if she sat by and let him kill her son wasn’t any more appealing.

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