The Legend of Sanctuary
You can take my life, but you’ll never break me.
So bring me your worst….
And I will definitely give you mine.
Those words, written in French, still remained on the top of Nicolette Peltier’s desk where she’d carved them with her bear’s claw after the death of two of her sons. It wasn’t just a motto, it was her angry declaration to the world that had taken her sons from her. A ruthless tragedy that had spurred her on to create the most renowned of the shapeshifter havens.
For over a century, she’d owned the famed Sanctuary bar and restaurant that rested on the corner of Ursulines and Chartres in New Orleans. There she’d reigned as the queen of her kingdom. The mother bear of her remaining twelve cubs who struggled hard every day with the grief over the sons she’d buried.
Not a day had passed that she hadn’t mourned them.
Until the day war had come to their door. True to her nature and the words she’d carved as a permanent reminder of her spirit, she had done her worst and she’d protected her children with everything she had.
But that love for them had cost her her life. When her enemies moved to kill her daughter’s mate, she’d protected the lycanthrope with the last of her strength and she’d given her life to save her daughter Aimee the agony of burying the wolf were she loved.
The tragedy of her loss was felt throughout the entire Were-Hunter counsel. Nicolette had been as much a legend as the club she’d owned. A club that had welcomed all creatures and promised them safety and protection so long as they obeyed her one simple rule:
Come in peace.
Or leave in pieces.
Since the night of her death, her cubs have sought to carry on without her support and guidance. No longer an official haven recognized by the Omegrion council, Sanctuary now stands outside the laws that had once shielded them and her patrons.
And that was fine with Dev Peltier. He’d never liked rules anyway.
But the war that had come to their door wasn’t over.
They had only fought the opening battle….
“Is it just me or has the entire world gone stump stupid?”
Dev Peltier laughed as he heard his brother Remi’s voice in his ear while he stood outside the front door of the Sanctuary club his family owned. He and Remi were half of a set of identical quads…and that comment was so out of character for his surly brother that Dev had to shake his head. “Since when you channel Simi?” he asked into the headset he wore so much that it felt weird whenever he didn’t have it in his ear.
Remi snorted. “Yeah…like I’m a friggin’ Goth demon chick dressed in a corset, frilly skirt, and tights trying to eat my way through the menu…and staff.”
That was definitely Simi to a T.
But Dev couldn’t resist ribbing him. “I always knew you were a freak, mon frère. This just proves it. Maybe we should rename you Frank-N-Furter and throw little wienies at you whenever you walk past.”
“Shut up, Dev, before I come out there and make myself a triplet.”
As if. Remi had obviously forgotten who’d taught him how to fight. “Bring it, punk. I got a new pair of boots itching to head up someone’s—”
“Would you two stop fighting over the open channel?…And grow up while you’re at it. I swear I’m going to make bear stew out of both of you tonight if you don’t stop.” Aimee broke off into a round of French, their native language, so that she could continue insulting and emasculating them.
Dev bit back a smart-ass response to his sister’s hostile tone that was punctuated by several cheers of approval from the rest of the crew, whose headsets allowed them to overhear every word.
To be honest, he and his family didn’t need the headsets to communicate. Part of being shapeshifting bears was that they could project their thoughts so long as they were within a reasonable distance from each other—though some of them were better at that than others. But that tended to raise suspicion among the mundane humans who worked for them and especially the ones who patronized their business. So they wore the sets in an attempt to at least appear normal.
Yeah, right. Normality had waved bye-bye to his family and his species a long time ago. But what the hell?
He rocked the headset look.
Even so, Dev pulled it off his head as his sister’s ranting in French reminded him