Free Chapters – Introduction, 1-5

Chapter  1


Three days earlier



Pulling her cream-colored cashmere wrap off, Vivienne angrily threw it across the living room as she stormed into her bedroom.  Long chocolate brown hair whipped furiously around her petite frame.  Warm, brown skin was flushed with anger and humiliation as she tried not to think about the fierce discussion she just had with two important men in her life:  one, a superior and quasi-adopted brother, the other, her lover in a position of power over her.


Viv didn’t think Brig would show his face after that, but she wasn’t going to wait around to see.  She wasn’t even sure which would make her angrier – him showing up or not at all.


The evenings were no longer warm as the winter breezes began dropping the late night, early morning temperatures below forty degrees on the east coast, so Viv opened her closet and pulled on her light-weight wool trench with long sleeves.  It was a ¾ length black pea coat style that she’s had for years.  Soft and worn, she pulled her hair out of her jacket, grabbed her bag, and made haste off the property.


The building she exited out of was an enormous three winged two-story log and stone cabin that was in no small part the center of the Greater Pack members’ universe.  Affectionately and aptly named The Den, it was a self contained small city and located across the newly built Academy of Sciences, an accredited four year university originally based out of Canberra, Australia.  In between the two massive areas were acres of forests, natural lakes, and trails used for leisure as well as training.  Over a thousand acres was dedicated to the newly established pack and Vivienne was merely a permitted guest, which said more than her previous years at the home base in Canberra.


She called a cab on her walk off the property and toward the front gates.  The cab was there to meet her within fifteen minutes, and within another five, she was halfway downtown with the light traffic.


“Where to, miss?”  The cabbie looked up at her in the rear view mirror as she crossed her legs, still angry.


“Uh,” where was she going, she wondered?  She had escaped the Den without running into Brig or Hammer, but now she was just wanted to relax, the adrenaline having left her body, making her tired.  “Grand Piazza, I suppose, please.”


The crown jewel of the hotel district located uptown, the Grand Piazza was a 5-star hotel made of marble, glass, and steel.  The hotel itself was the very first of its kind in its Eastern Seaboard city.  Its architecture reflected the elite rich that founded the original city.


Pulling up to the front of the ornate structure, Viv stepped out as the doorman opened her door.  The front desk clerk did not question as to why she was without her luggage, but instead informed her that her original suite from two months prior was still available for her.


“It is?  For how much longer?”


“Says November 30th, ma’am.”


Viv tried not to imagine the room bill.  “Fine, can I get another card key?”


With key in hand, Viv made her way to the private elevators and inserted her card into the unmarked slot to take her to the penthouse suite.  It was easier going to the gigantic apartment than using her credit card to get a smaller room.  Leaning back against the mirrored walls of the elevator, she considered what she was doing.


It’s not running if you don’t have luggage, she decided.


Just needed a break, she said to herself.  She had been feeling weird the past couple of weeks – her emotions on a roller coaster with Brig; being so in love with him that she didn’t know what to do with herself, but now being so pissed off that she wanted to put her fist through a wall.  And then there was Hammer.


Viv crossed her arms angrily, glaring at her reflection just thinking about the one-eyed pig.  The elevator came to a slow stop and opened its doors for her.  Right was the opposite side suite, left was hers.  Turning to the left, she briskly walked to her door and again used the key to unlock it.


Nothing had changed.  Why would it, actually, it was a hotel, wasn’t it?  Throwing her card key and bag onto the foyer marble table built into the wall, Viv unbuttoned her pea coat and walked down into the living room area of the suite, easily throwing her legs over the couch and landing in the middle.  The lights were subtly dimmed and the twenty foot high wall window in front of her had its curtains partially opened.  She could see part of the skyline of the metropolis and its harbor.  A manmade atoll was just past the harbor, used as a recreational resort.  She left the curtains the way they were and just sat in the dark.  Leaning her head back, she closed her eyes and tried deep breathing since willing the anger out of her would probably result in something being broken.


Quietly, and quickly, she slept.

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