Imperfection (Pure Blood)
At the center of a war brewing between two packs: her son
Meara Falk always followed her parents’ rules, until one night in March when the temptation to let loose changed her life forever.
Nine months later, disowned and with a baby on her hip, she discovers werewolves exist after being on the wrong end of some teeth and claws. During her first change, werewolves attack, stealing her son and driving her out of her home.
Now she’s looking for the man who kidnapped her baby and turned her life upside down. Meara’s son is in the middle of a threatened war between two powerful packs. Getting him back will jeopardize the lives of everyone she loves.
About Phaedra Seabolt
Phaedra Seabolt is the youngest of four and the only girl. She spent her childhood trying to be the best she could be at everything she did which drove her to attend college long enough to attain her master’s degree. Now she is a stay at home mom and happily married.
The sounds of the forest could be heard before I saw anything. It must be night-time. Frogs and toads croaked along with the chirping of grasshoppers making music all of their own. An owl hooted the tempo and some nearby water churning over rocks gave the melody a soothing tone. The music of Mother Nature surrounded me. My skin was cold as the wind blew a soft breeze across it. Slowly, I cracked open one of my eyes to see a beautiful full moon overhead. The entire earthen floor was aglow from the moon’s bright beams. I tried to sit up only to find that I was tied to four stakes in the ground.
Am I about to be sacrificed? I thought of what I had been doing before the world went dark around me. I had been in a battle. It was a brutal but short battle. I could remember a voice asking me to join him and forsake Sessrúmnir. I had said yes. I could remember him picking me up from the ground, but that was all. Now there was a full moon overhead, and I was staked to the ground.
At least it is peaceful here. Wait…how am I still alive? Why did he save me in battle just to kill me later? Did he need a willing sacrifice instead of just any old person?
As I lay there contemplating what was about to happen to me, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I was not the only one staked to the ground. There were members of both sides from the battle all around on the forest floor. Each one of us was injured in ways that we should not have still been alive, but I could see them breathing and looking around, just like me.
While I was looking to see who else was near me, I heard a scraping sound coming from my left. It sounded like someone dragging something across the ground. Looking in that direction, I saw one of the biggest men I had ever seen. He stood at least seven feet tall. His long, bushy hair fell into his face preventing me from seeing it, but the moonlight allowed me to see that it was a sandy color. He was slightly hunched over and walking backwards towards me. As he got closer, I could see that he was dragging a stick across the dirt. It appeared that he was drawing a line going around all of us staked to the ground.
It took him only a few minutes to make a complete circle. Never once did he cross over the circle while making it. He kept all of us, including himself, inside of his creation. After he completed it, he knelt on the ground in between each of us as far as I could see and drew something inside the dirt circle. I could not see exactly what he was drawing, but it looked like some kind of symbol. He chanted while he worked, but the words meant nothing to me.
Slowly, the man walked to what I assume was the center of the circle. I could smell some form of incense that he must have lit and heard him mixing and grinding things together. More spicy smells drifted through the air. The smells brought a sort of calmness to me, and the pain I had been ignoring seemed to ebb to a dull ache.
Once again, he walked around to each person in the circle, only this time carrying a jar with him. He stopped next to the man staked next to me and began taking the oily substance from the jar and spreading it on his wounds. The man next to me hissed a little from the contact, but then grew quiet. I heard a rumbling sound coming from the giant man as he continued working on the man’s wounds.
Next, he came to me. This time I could make out some features of his face. He had large bushy eyebrows that somewhat resembled cotton. His bulbous nose was scarred and took up most of his face. He had a long bushy beard that blended into his mane of hair. What was the most striking though were his eyes. They seemed kind, which strongly contrasted with his large battle worn face. They were such a dark shade that I honestly couldn’t say if they were brown or just solid black.
He reached into the jar and scooped the oily mixture onto my spear wound. It stung as he smoothed it on.
“Take slow deep breaths. Envision yourself healing and whole once again. Feel no pain,” he said in a calm soothing voice. “In order for the Seidr magic to work, you must remain calm and meditate on what you want the results to be. You must envision yourself whole and living for all eternity. The salve will speed the process, but you must believe what you want to happen is actually reality. Once I complete the anointing of each man here, I will lie down in the center of the circle and enter my own trance. We will all take the forested path together. Do not leave the circle before I join you, or your soul may be lost forever. No Valkyries will come find you and Odin will not even know to look for you. Wait. For. Me.”
I took in a couple deep breaths and let the spicy, earthy air bring me peace. I closed my eyes and said, “I will wait.”
He continued the same process on each of the other men in the circle before I heard him walk above my head. He said something that I could not understand before I heard him move onto the ground. I continued taking in deep calming breaths as I waited for something to happen. I must have fallen asleep in the process though because when I woke up, I was no longer tied to the ground. I stood up, as did all but one of the other men. The giant in the center sat up as well and looked around.
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