“Brett Dalton, Alpha of Hudson River, called me this morning.” With that statement, Mason had their undivided attention. Owen narrowed his gaze, studying his Alpha’s body language and scent. Concern tightened the corners of Mason’s eyes, and his shoulders set in a hard line. “They’ve suffered some losses over the last several months. One or two in separate incidences, nothing to tie them together, and no real pattern that aroused suspicion, except for his healer. Three days ago, Brett found his healer dead.”Long, Heather. Wolf Claim: Wolves of Willow Bend (pp. 10-11). Heather Long. Kindle Edition.
In an unprecedented move, Brett, the Alpha of Hudson River, has requested to borrow a healer from Willow Bend. There’s been a string of unexplained deaths in his pack, the last one being his healer. At this point, Brett needs to know how the deaths are occurring almost as much as he needs to know who’s doing it and why. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the deaths.
Gillian is a young journeyman healer in Willow Bend. She is apprenticed to Willow Bend’s healer Emma. Sweet tempered, she calms the dominants in the pack with just a touch. As a young woman, it would make more sense to send her as opposed to the older, mated, Emma.
Owen is senior Hunter and advisor to Mason. He loves Gillian but believes that she deserves better than he. His father was a Hunter, his mother a Teacher and they never seemed to be able to live together. Not that they didn’t get along with each other. But his father’s circuits around the pack territory kept him gone for long periods at a time. Owen saw what was happening there as a reason for him not to mate.
When Mason broaches the subject with his advisors, Owen is dead set against it. He even goes so far as to challenge Mason over it. A short scuffle later, Mason declares that Gillian will go with Owen as her guard. But, since healers can get caught up in their healing, Mason has also authorized Owen to forcible remove her if her life is threatened.
As they come near to where Brett is to meet them, they are startled at a rest stop to see him coming over the hill to them. He apologizes to them but informs them that anothe wolf has been found dead. They quickly drive there where Gillian starts to examine the scene.
Leaving there, they travel to the deceased healers home. Gillian briefly touches the old healer before dawning gloves for her work. Something keeps demanding her attention about the whole situation. Just as the explanation for “how” comes to her, she passes out while stripping off her gloves and washing her hands.
Thanks to the help of Brett and Mason, Gillian survives the experience. They now have the answer to how the wolves are dying. All that’s left is to figure out who and why…