The Wolf’s Torment by Stephanie Burkhart *Giveaway
Posted by brriske
The Wolf’s Torment
by Stephanie Burkhart
It’s 1865 and Moldavia is a country nestled against the shores of the Black Sea. Lady Theresa travels from Austria to this country that’s haunted by tales of vampires and werewolves. She’s going to marry the Crown Prince, but she harbors her own unspoken secrets.
Prince Mihai has just returned to Moldavia to discover he’s a witch. He’s intent on being a good husband and modernizing his country, but he must find a balance with his supernatural heritage. His best friend, Viktor, accompanies Mihai and marries Mihai’s sister. In an unfortunate twist of fate, a werewolf bites Viktor.
Viktor’s transformation threatens everyone around him, including his wife’s safety and Mihai’s happiness, but he’s especially dangerous when he’s near Theresa. Can Mihai save his family from Viktor’s lies and deceptions?
Tybeski nodded and walked out. Now alone, Mihai escorted Sonia to the sofa and sat down next to her. Viktor stood behind the leather-bound chair adjacent to the sofa, bracing his hands on the headrest, keeping a certain distance between them.
“Sonia, tell me what happened.”
“Viktor is a werewolf.”
“What? Impossible!” Mihai got to his feet, a wave of nervous apprehension threading through him.
“It is possible, Mihai. A wolf named Bane bit me on our honeymoon. I have transformed,” Viktor said quietly.
Mihai lunged at his friend, grabbing the right lapel of his frock jacket. His nostrils were distended with shock, coupled with fear. For him. For Sonia. For Moldavia.
“How could you? You were armed!”
“Mihai, no, don’t harm him. He tried to fight them, but they overpowered him.” Sonia got to her feet and clenched her fists against his chest. “You have to help him — you’re a witch, after all. You have to teach me to help him.”
Mihai took a step back, his body as tight as a bowstring. Yes, he was a witch, but he had no idea what to do. He was no teacher.
“I must go to Mulfaltar the next full moon and meet with my maker’s pack,” said Viktor.
Mihai slowly ran his gaze over Viktor. Sonia was right. His eyes were no longer soft and kind, but hard and edged.
“Are you a danger to Sonia?”
Theresa wrung her hands together, worried. Sonia was in her eighth month and her baby was nice and round. Sonia reminded Theresa of when Victoria had given birth. She hoped that wasn’t happening now.
“She’s not going to have the baby, is she?” asked Theresa.
“No, the pain is in the wrong place. I’m going to get Dr. Stanza and the willow bark pills.”
“I will.” Mrs. Nocesti rushed out the door.
Theresa knelt next to Sonia, rubbing her hand over Sonia’s hair. “This is so sudden. Did the baby kick?”
“I don’t know…Theresa…am I bleeding?”
Theresa shivered at the thought, but visually checked Sonia’s dress. “I don’t see any blood staining your dress.”
“Thank God. Theresa, it hurts.”
“I’m sorry. I wish I could do something.”
“Hold my hand.”
Theresa offered Sonia her hand. Sonia gripped it so tightly, Theresa’s knuckles turned white. Her own pulse accelerated. Spots appeared before her eyes. Theresa’s breathing grew rapid. Theresa saw the baby in the womb, kicking the spot of Sonia’s discomfort. The baby struck the blood barrier. It was weak, and because of that, was causing Sonia pain.
“Baby, no, don’t kick your mother there. You’re hurting her. Please, don’t kick. Turn around, please, turn around,” Theresa said, gasping for air as sweat trickled down her brow. The baby turned. It was a boy.
Sonia let go. Theresa’s link with the baby disappeared.
“What did you do?” whispered Sonia.
Theresa walked down the hall toward Mihai’s study, thrilled to finally receive an invitation from him. They were only a week into Lent, but each time she was with Mihai, his hesitation and reservations grew less. His kisses grew bolder, harder, full of passion, and the way he ran his hands over her body ignited a fire in the core of her being that she could hardly contain.
Then there was ‘the feeling’ between them. She didn’t know what else to call it. When she and Mihai were kissing, touching, caressing, she could swear she felt his emotions, his passions, his desires, and that only heightened the sensual experiences between them.
And he felt her.
She guessed this had to be because he was a witch. The thought didn’t unnerve her. She’d overheard her family on occasions talking about witches and their powers, and she always accepted the existence of witches because they did, but she never thought she’d meet a real witch, let alone marry one. She believed witches to be good, so she had no fear of Mihai or his talents.
She stopped in front of the study’s door. She wanted to be good. Beatrice once told her good was boring, but Theresa never believed that. She was having fun. Mihai stimulated her like no other. He listened to her. He believed in her causes. She would be a good wife to him and a good mother to his children.
Yes, she resolved, she would be good. Her shoulders set, she knocked on the door. “Come in.”
She walked in, closing the door behind her. Mihai stood behind the desk, a map nailed up on the wall behind him. A bottle of brandy and two glasses rested on his desk.
He studied her with an intense gaze.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.
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