Authors: Bailey Bradford
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
A Totally Bound Publication
Run with the Moon
©Copyright Bailey Bradford 2015
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright January 2015
Edited by Rebecca Douglas
Totally Bound Publishing
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorized or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2015 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN
Totally Bound Publishing is a subsidiary of Totally Entwined Group Limited.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
RUN WITH THE MOON
Book one in the Valen’s Pack series
Two species that have always kept themselves separated are about to collide and create a new world.
Humanity almost managed to do itself in. Ravaged by wars and plagues, the human population on earth has been bordering on extinction, although pockets of people have been forging on over the past few hundred years. It’s a hard life, and one Aaron Olsen fears he doesn’t fit into. As a son of a village leader, there are pressures on him he can’t manage, and things he keeps hidden, desires he doesn’t know how to express that keep him up many nights as he worries over them.
Valen is an alpha, born with the crescent moon mark on his chest. It means he’ll have to leave the pack he was born and raised in. It is the way of the wolf, and the only way to prevent it is to fight his father. Valen has no intention of doing such a dishonorable thing. He leaves as he’s supposed to, only to find himself the victim of thievery. When he hunts down the party responsible for stealing his belongings, Valen finds himself attracted to the human Aaron Olsen.
Now, if they can only survive their own pride and insecurities, and an attack that threatens everything they love, they just might have a chance at happiness in Valen’s Pack.
To my family. I love y’all madly.
Being born an alpha wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, despite what Rivvie said. Valen glared at his older brother and pack mate—although the latter would be changing very soon.
Valen crossed his arms over his chest, irritation getting the better of him. “No, it
cool that I’m going to get to start my own pack. I have to leave behind everyone and everything I’ve known, Rivvie. Why would that be cool?”
Rivvie sighed as if Valen was the dumbest wolf shifter in existence. “It’s an adventure, dude. You get to go off and explore the world, see new places, maybe even meet an actual human, if there’re any of them left. How is that
cool? Added to that, you are the boss of you and anyone joining your pack? I am so frickin’ jealous. Ugh.” Rivvie exhaled and sent the thick fringe of blond bangs fluttering wildly around his forehead. “It’s not fair. I’m the oldest.
should have been the alpha. You don’t even have an ounce of fun in your body.”
Valen didn’t bother to ask what fun had to do with anything. Rivvie only made sense about half the time when he spoke. Valen stared at his brother, who was very close to being pretty, with his perfect features and golden blond hair. Then Valen thought of his own dark, wild hair and his less than perfect looks. He was as rough and tumble in appearance as Rivvie was beautiful.
“It is what it is,” Valen finally said, since Rivvie kept standing there, waiting for something from him. “I love this pack. This is home, Rivvie. These trees that you and I climbed and ran under.” He gestured at the towering pines, thick with foliage. “This earth we pawed at and tumbled on.” Valen toed the ground, the soil dark and loose. Stirring it brought the musky scent of fecund earth rising up to his nostrils. “The flowers and river—”
“Oh my gods, you are such a sentimental idiot,” Rivvie muttered before laughing. “You have gotta be the weirdest alpha
Valen was inclined to agree, since any alpha he’d ever known, including their father, would have ripped into anyone for talking like that to him. Those could have even been fighting words, except Valen knew Rivvie didn’t want to challenge him. No, Rivvie just wanted to be an alpha and he wasn’t. It was Valen who had been born with the crest of the moon on him. It was an undeniable brown mark in the shape of a crescent moon right above Valen’s left nipple. That mark proclaimed his status to all who saw him, whether he wanted to be an alpha or not.
“Maybe something went wrong in the womb,” Rivvie mused, frowning as he rubbed his chin. “There were how many in the litter with you?”
Valen didn’t answer. Rivvie was being difficult just for the hell of it. He knew full well that Valen was the only pup out of the six that had survived. It was common enough in their kind for such things to happen when a large litter was being carried.
“That’s right. Five others,” Rivvie said, snapping his fingers. “And only you survived. They say—”
“I know what they say,” Valen snapped, his temper flaring. “I don’t fucking need to hear it!” He’d heard more than once that he was the only survivor because he’d battled the others in utero. It was a ridiculous piece of gossip that wouldn’t be stopped. Everyone seemed to think he should glory in it. He didn’t.
Rivvie hummed. “Oh, look at you getting all growly and alpha-y. See? You do have it in you.”
Valen cradled his head in his hands. Why did he even bother trying to talk to his brother? Rivvie never understood. None of his siblings did. Though he was the only one from his litter, his parents had managed to bring three other litters to full bearing. Each had resulted in two pups, and they were all older than Valen. He’d definitely been a surprise, coming out an alpha.
“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Valen asked Rivvie.
“Nope.” Rivvie nudged him. “What’s wrong with your head? Does it hurt? Maybe you have a tumor.”
“Argh!” Valen threw his hands up in the air. “Sweet baby buffalos, maybe leaving is the best damned thing for me after all.”
Rivvie rolled his eyes. “Well,
, that’s what I’ve been saying all along. And
supposed to be the smart one. Hmph.”
Oh no, Valen thought, his gut going tight with unease. He really didn’t like that contemplative expression on Rivvie’s face. It never boded well when Rivvie looked that way.
“You know,” Rivvie began.
Valen didn’t wait around to hear the rest of it. He shifted and took off at a fast clip through the trees, staying off the familiar and worn paths.
With every beat of his heart, his mind cried out for him to stay. The land and people were his home. He didn’t want to leave—was, in fact, afraid to. The world was a big, scary place. It was unknown to him except in rumors and tales, both horrifying and intriguing, told to him and other children.
There were humans out there, somewhere, possibly. It was said that some of them had survived the End Times. Valen had never seen one for himself, nor did he know of anyone else who had. It’d been the diseases that had done most of the humans in, not the wars, although those had certainly contributed.
Humans were a violent, sickly lot. Or at least, they had been. Who knew what any might be like now?
A yip from behind him rattled his thoughts and sent them in another direction entirely. Rivvie was following him, going on like they were playing a game of chase. Why couldn’t he ever be serious? Valen would like to know that. Every single one of his siblings was more on the ridiculous side than not. He kind of envied them their good-natured, carefree attitudes.
Yes, being an alpha really did kind of suck.
* * * *
The ceremony had begun despite Valen’s desire to remain with the pack. He hadn’t said as much to his father, Varex. Dishonoring him was unthinkable. Varex had been a good father and alpha. Fear of being alone wasn’t an acceptable reason to ask to remain there. Besides, he
succeed in making his father, and himself, proud.
Soft chanting filled the air then ceased. The gathered pack members joined hands and moved closer to them as Valen’s father clapped him on the shoulder. The chanting ceased, and expectation hung heavy in the air. “You told me once that you didn’t want to rule.”
Valen flinched. “I respect you and can only hope to be half the alpha you are.”
Varex squeezed gently. “You were only a young boy when you said that. To see a child’s adoration for his parent is one of the greatest moments in the parent’s life. I know you love this pack, and your family. Leaving us behind to embark on your new life is frightening. Not knowing where you will find yourself tomorrow, or next week, when your life has been all about this pack is difficult to accept. I remember well how scared I was when my father died, and I had to take over the pack. I wasn’t yet twenty, and I thought I wasn’t capable of taking the alpha position. But I was, and
are ready for this. You aren’t a power-hungry man, and you’ve been raised well. That’s part of why you’ll be a good alpha. You’re wise enough to know that power can do more harm than good in far too many instances. One only has to think of the humans to realize that.”
“I thought they were almost wiped out by diseases, not power struggles.” That was what they’d been taught in the small classroom the pack had for the kids.
Varex gave him a slight squeeze before letting go of Valen. “Diseases made and used as weapons, for the most part. Had our kind not been immune, we’d be almost extinct as well. Instead, we are thriving, as much as nature allows it.”
They still had deaths, and the odd accident that killed a shifter, but Varex was right. There’d been fewer losses when it came to pups and litters as a whole over the past several decades.