Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Crissy Smith, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.
Excerpt From: Pack Daughter
Becca Nelson blew her bangs from her eyes and surveyed the mess that the old community center had turned into. The fire had been extremely hot and had burned quickly.
The community center was just the latest casualty in a line of local buildings that had been targeted for arson.
Becca raised her camera and started to click. In less than thirty seconds she had dozens of photos. The building still smoldering in the cool night air, the exhausted firefighters that had fought to save it, and the residents that looked on in horror and unease.
She’d already taken photos of the fire itself when it had still burned brightly. It was her job—she had to remain professional, even if the sight made her stomach hurt. The reality of what was happening right in front of her was devastating.
Sighing, she lowered the camera again. "Damn it," she mumbled under her breath, unable to understand why anyone would torch the building that had been the centerpiece for so many wonderful memories.
She’d attended her senior prom there, watched several of her friends perform mating ceremonies, and had even planned one for herself. Her ceremony had never taken place but the memories associated with it still made her smile. Now she felt her heart ache with the loss.
The fourth building burnt to the ground. What would be next? Who might be hurt or killed? Those questions haunted her and every resident of Riverwood.
For over a month, the city where she’d lived her entire life was slowly being taken from her. The first fire, a small one compared to tonight’s, had been just on the edge of town—an old farmhouse that had been converted into the town’s museum. When tourists wished to learn more about the first known wolf shifter community, they could stop by and pick up brochures and information.
With the help of the Alpha Council, the city of Riverwood, once on the brink of extinction, was now a hot, must-see tourist site.
Riverwood, population just over three thousand residents, had barely been surviving before the shifter world had gone public. Now, three months after the announcement, visitors flocked to the once forgotten town.
Businesses that had been boarded up and abandoned had been remodeled and now thrived. Families who had believed they would have to leave their homes to find work were now proud and happy in their hometown.
The changes had come quickly but had breathed new life into the Pack.
Then the fires had started. First the museum, then the school house, followed by the bank and now the community center.
Becca turned and walked back to her Tahoe. She packed away her things and turned to look one last time at the community center. She’d need to get the photos printed for both the police and the newspaper. It would be a long night and she didn’t look forward to seeing what she had captured—a memory that would forever be imprinted on the community.
As she stared back at the building, two bodies broke away from the small group of firefighters and made their way over to her. She offered a small smile to her two best friends when they reached her.
Kenny Moore and Todd Wilkins looked exhausted. Sweat soaked their T-shirts, their eyes were dark and serious, and they appeared almost dead on their feet.
Kenny shook his head. "I can’t believe this," he said quietly.
She would have hugged him but she didn’t think she could offer much comfort right then without breaking down herself. Todd clasped a hand on his shoulder and squeezed.
Kenny visibly relaxed. They loved one another, had committed themselves, although they had never taken the last step. She was a little jealous of them but had always supported them. The two of them had got her through the roughest patches of her life.
"Anything?" she asked, nodding towards the building.
Todd dropped his hand and turned to look at the community center that was now no more—rubble on the ground. "Same as before. It was too late by the time we got here. All we could do was stop the fire from spreading. It’s a complete loss."
"They keep getting closer to downtown," she admitted her fear. "And I can’t help but wonder, then what? The entire town or Alpha property could be next!"
Todd shook his head. "I don’t really want to find out. We have to stop this. So far no one’s been hurt but…"
He trailed off. Neither she nor Kenny wanted to be the one to finish the thought. They were all thinking it, but to say it out loud? No one wanted to be the one to go there.