A Promise on White Wings - R.E. Butler

R.E. Butler - Wiccan-Were-Bear #7 - A Promise on White Wings

A Promise on White Wings (Wiccan-Were-Bear #7)
R.E. Butler

fantasy/erotica/romance/vampires

Chapter 1

Jesuit Denali, Prince of the only were-falcon nest in the state of Ohio, stared mutely at the computer monitor and then read the email. He’d read it several times during the last hour but couldn’t bring himself to do anything other than stare at the screen.

From Adriel Stalking-Horse to the Leaders of the were-houses of Northern Ohio:

In celebration of the newly formed alliance between the were-houses and the were-lion pride, the den will be hosting a welcoming party on Saturday, October fifth. All leaders are expected to attend.

Jes had first met Jantha, the head of the lion pride, in early September, when the pride came to Ohio and met with the leaders of all the were-groups. Jantha had approached the heads of the groups, asking to bring his clan of white lions to Cleveland to join the were-group alliance. Jes didn’t have a problem with more groups coming to Cleveland as long as they kept their noses clean and didn’t cause trouble, and the other were-group leaders had agreed.

The heads of the current were-groups – tiger, wolf, serpent, bear, and falcon – met last week when the heads of the were-houses gathered to vote on whether to extend their alliances to the lion pride or to encourage them to move on to another, less populated, area. Jantha was a large man with a mane of graying blond hair and a goatee. His pride was small, only thirteen, but lions were rare in the states — and white lions even rarer — and it was a boon to the area that they considered Northern Ohio a place they would like to live.

“Sire?” his right-hand Ley asked from the door of the office in Jes’ home. “Will you be sending your regrets to the party?”

Jes exited his mail program and swiveled in the office chair. There was only one reason not to go, and that would be if he were still harboring hurt feelings over being cast aside by the Wiccan Elizabeth, when she chose to collar twin were-bears. He could admit, at least to himself, that his pride still stung a bit, even two years later. But he knew that he’d never loved her, and it had been his foolish pride that had caused him to lash out and try to come between her and her mates.

“I’ll be going.”

Ley nodded his happiness that Jes was being agreeable and left him alone after asking if he’d like lunch brought in. At eight hundred and sixteen, Ley was an old falcon, even by their long-life standards when every supernatural creature, except for vampires, aged one body year for every twelve years that passed. Jes was twenty-three plus two. Technically, he was eighty years old. As Prince of his nest, he was the leader, responsible for the welfare of the one hundred and thirteen falcons who called their territory home.

When he found his mate, he would become King, and his mate would be Queen. His father had been King and ruled the nest for three hundred years, until he lost a leg in a car accident. His kind could repair most injuries, but a severed limb was not one of them. During his father’s recovery, Jes’ mother took him back to her home nest in West Virginia, and Jes stepped up to rule in his stead.

Once he found a mate, they would be expected to produce heirs so that the line of leaders would continue uninterrupted. Someone in his family had been head of the falcon nest for more than two thousand years. He wasn’t about to break that streak.

His people wanted him to choose one of the unmated females in the nest to mate with, but he couldn’t bring himself to commit to any of them, and he thought it was cruel to ask a woman to enter into a loveless marriage. No, his woman was out there somewhere, and if he believed in all that Wiccan nonsense, she’d have white wings as the prophecy from the Wiccan coven had proclaimed two years ago. With a snort of derision, he knew that was impossible. There were no shifters with white wings, which meant that the prophecy was a joke and he was, perhaps, fated to be alone for the remainder of his very long life.

A disturbance at the door made him lift his eyes, and he found his younger brothers, Tonik and Revere, watching him.

“Yeah?” he