A Cursed Moon Page 9

I gritted my teeth as the last pangs of my healing thigh subsided and wiped the sweat off my forehead. “Good idea. The pack and I have had our share of face-offs with the phantoms and the freaky lately.”

Celia smirked. “So have the vamps and I. Just last week, we took out the Jersey Devil. Can you believe that crap?”

I stretched behind her so my regenerated muscle wouldn’t tighten up while she continued and to demonstrate that the healing hadn’t wiped me out too bad. If Celia knew how bad I’d hurt moments before, she sure as hell didn’t show it. She continued unaffected. “The vamps think a Tribe witch may be using her magic to summon all these spirits—you know, in order to distract from whatever her demon lord leaders are plotting now.”

I kicked out my back leg. “Yeah. The weres are under the same assumption. We bashed a couple of skin-walkers into kibble not too far from Mount Rose last Wednesday. Damn, those things are butt ugly.”

“You should have seen the Jersey Devil. He was a slobbering mess of half moose, half bear, and reeked like decaying meat.” She shuddered. “I can still smell his soiled fur every time I inhale.”

My lip curled. “That sucks. The skin-walker had a serious case of leprosy but I’ve smelled worse. Hell, I even sucked in some of his flaking flesh but thankfully managed to sneeze most of it out.”

“Most of it?” Celia grimaced. “Good Lord, Bren. My sister’s right. Saving the world sucks serious donkey balls.” She motioned around us. “It looks like it was La Llorona’s turn to play tonight.”


“The spirit of the woman you chased down. Latin folklore states she killed her children long ago and now haunts the night in search of them.”

“Ah. That’s why she was asking where her kids were.”

Celia glanced at me before remembering I remained very naked. She quickly looked away. “You understood her? She was speaking in Spanish.”

I laughed. “Spirits have a funny way of making themselves heard, Ceel.”

“I guess.” She kicked at the toadstools that had escaped her wrath. “Although I never expected the little monsters to show up and protect her as viciously as they did. I wish you hadn’t chased after her. Aric had Tahoe’s head witch reinforce the protective wards around our house. She couldn’t have invaded our property if she tried. We could’ve figured out a way to send her back to the dark realm before her offspring made you their bitch.”

“Those little punks didn’t make me their bitch!”

She threw her hands in the air. “Bren. I found three very spooky and very dead children with missing eyes and crawling bugs for knickers humping your back and chewing on your ass like bubble gum. Trust me, you’d seen better battles.”

“I resent that. I was just waiting to make my move.”

Celia winked and nodded slowly. “Sure you were, big guy.”

I threw an arm around her and hauled her against my side, knowing the last thing she wanted was my hot naked body against hers. She shoved me off, laughing. “Knock it off, Bren.”

I tried to grab her again but she leapt out of reach. “For a sexy little thing, you’re quite the prude, babe.”

She laughed again. “Yeah, the vampires think so, too.” She glanced around. “How’d you kill her, anyway?”


“La Llorona. I didn’t see how you vanquished her.”

I stopped smiling, the sense of “oh-shitness” tensing my muscles. “I didn’t kill her. I thought you did.”

“No . . .” Her head jerked as she scanned the area. “Oh my God. She’s still out there. . . . We have to find her—fast.”

Chapter Four

I inhaled long and hard while Celia prowled the perimeter. My nose honed in on a faint trail of rot and torture in the far distance. The sour stench trickled into my nostrils, polluting the otherwise crisp and clean night air. I called to Celia. “She rounded back toward your place.”

Once more my beast emerged and tore down the steep mountain. Rocks and debris rolled down from the force of my digging paws. La Llorona was a predator in search of prey. She needed a victim. And it looked like she picked Celia’s old turf as her place to find one.

Celia’s steady steps were barely audible behind me. She was keeping up, even without changing into her golden tigress—her secret weapon when she needed the extra muscle. I skidded to a halt when we reached her back lawn. “Where is she—”

A deep hiss cut off Celia’s words just my senses alerted me that we’d found her. Aw hell. La Llorona scurried like a scorpion up Mrs. Mancuso’s house, naked. To her credit, she had quite a fine ass for someone who’d bit it long ago. Although her lolling head where my fangs had mauled and her graying skin did take away from the otherwise sweet view.

I bared my fangs and stalked forward with Celia by my side. A subtle slice through the air signaled my girl’s claws were out. Celia was ready. I was ready. And so was La Llorona’s dress.

I shit you not. The blood red dress pooling at the base of Mrs. Mancuso’s deck slithered toward us, ripping into long and lengthening silky ribbons. Rows of little mouths ran from one end of the ribbon to the next . . . screaming.

La Llorona continued to scale the side of the house toward Mrs. M’s bedroom unaffected. My wolf and I couldn’t blame her really, not with the devil’s prom dress there to protect her. The ribbons snaked my front paws and spiraled up my broad chest and neck from one blink to the next. They squeezed, slowly against my throat while the mouths vocalized their pain. Some shrieked in agony. Others spoke in a haunting echo, soft, sinister, and ghoulish as all hell. I hated what they had to say.

“She murdered me and ate my insides . . . can she eat yours?”

“I like blood,” a childlike voice said. “I’ll have yours when we kill you . . . if she’ll share.”

The tiny faces of La Llorana’s victims pressed against the fabric of the ever lengthening and widening ribbons. My fangs snapped on pure vicious instinct and tore through the fabric, cutting off the voices of the demented and departed. But there was still plenty of dress left.

“Feed me, wolf, I want to taste you. Won’t you let me taste you?”

“Tighter,” a male with a garbled voice urged, forcing the party dress to cut off my air. “I want to have him . . . and the woman.”

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