Ice Claimed

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Authors: Marisa Chenery
“Pretty good.”
    “I’m glad. Are you going to see her tomorrow?”
    “Yes, I made another date with Meadow. I’m to meet her at
her place in the afternoon and we’re going to go horseback riding.”
    Ryder smiled. “Have you ever ridden a horse before?”
    “No, but it doesn’t look that hard.”
    “Did you tell Meadow you didn’t know how?”
    Durlach shook his head. “Should I have?”
    Ryder chuckled. “Yeah. Some horses can be harder to control
than others, depending on their temperament. She might stick you on one that
would be best for an expert rider and the horse could take off with you.”
    “As far as I know, Meadow only has two horses. Hers and the
one Taylor uses so I’m not going to have much choice.”
    “Well, let’s hope the one you have to ride won’t be a
handful.”
    “I’ll manage.” Durlach toed off his shoes and made himself
more comfortable on the bed. “So what are you watching?”
    “Some movie. To be honest, I really haven’t been paying too
much attention to it.”
    He gave the shaman a closer look and noticed the twin lines
of strain between his eyes. “Something is distracting you.”
    “Yes. I have a feeling there’s going to be a change with the
dark wolves very soon, but I can’t focus my powers to ‘see’ what is coming.
It’s bugging the shit out of me.”
    Ryder was the strongest descendant of their original shaman
when it came to inheriting his powers, but they could be spotty at times. Ryder
had told them there was a way for him to truly come into his inheritance,
though he wasn’t ready to do that yet. What their new shaman had to do to
accomplish that, Ryder hadn’t said. They didn’t push him to explain. Besides,
what he was able to do was more than enough for what they needed him for.
    “It obviously won’t be anything good,” Durlach said as he
pushed himself backward until he sat with his back against his headboard.
    “With the dark wolves it never is.”
    “No messages from your ancestor?”
    Their old shaman had been the one to send a vision to Ryder
when Kajakti had been under the influence of dark magic, showing his descendant
where to find them and what he had to do to save Kajakti.
    “None. He hasn’t sent me any more visions lately. I think
he’s waiting for me to take the next step to come into my full powers. I was to
have done that shortly after I joined your pack.”
    “You’re obviously not ready for it.”
    Ryder snorted. “I don’t think it’s that I’m not ready as I’m
unsure of what I’ll be like after I do it.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “It’s hard to explain. I will do it, though. I won’t have
any choice soon. If I don’t I could be taking away an edge you as sentinels
would need against the dark wolves. I know what I have to do.”
    “We would never push you into something you’re not
comfortable with.”
    Ryder nodded. “I know that. But as your shaman, I know it’s
part of my duty.”
    “We’ll all be there for you when the time comes. You won’t
have to face it alone.”
    “Which makes it a little easier to face,” Ryder replied with
a smile. “Now enough serious talk. Let’s see if there is a better movie on than
this one.”
    Durlach turned his gaze to the LED television, which hung
from the wall across from his and Ryder’s beds. The shaman switched channels
until they both agreed on another movie that had just started. Talk of the dark
wolves had Durlach thinking about Meadow. As his mate, she could easily be used
against him if the enemy ever got their hands on her. They had tried using a
mate to their advantage in the past. It also meant he’d have to bring Meadow
into his world as quickly as he could. Until such time, she’d be vulnerable. At
least her living on the neighboring property meant she wasn’t too far away if
she ever had need of him.
    He placed a pillow behind his back and slouched down a bit.
The more he thought about Meadow the more he missed being with her. He

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