Raven’s Rose

Charity 3


DeAnna Kinney

Raven’s Rose 

      Chapter One

It was extremely hard for Raven to function knowing Rose was just across the facility from where he stood now. Levi had moved Rose and her parents into the pack’s living quarters within the facility, making them part of his ever-growing family. Although Raven lived in the L Wing and Rose lived in the D Wing, having her so close was torture. There was no other word for it—simply torture—and yet it was a torture he yearned for. For so long he had walked this earth alone, grieving the love he lost so many years ago.

Rose Monroe.

              He admired her spirit and spunk, and for the nineteenth century it had been a rare thing. It had been what he had loved about her most and the very thing that drew him, centuries later, to his friend, Charity, a girl he still adored, but perhaps in a different way now.

But now his hopes were alive again, and the possibility of love was just within his grasp. He could almost taste the sweetness of it—the sweetness of her. She was so much like his lost Rose, and yet, still so different.

              His lost Rose; it was her tenacity that drew him in the field so long ago. He recalled the memory as if not even a day had passed.

It was a lovely, sunny day in 1867, and he was visiting his good friend, Marcus Monroe. They were taking a walk along the grounds, just passing the stables, when he spotted a horse charging toward them with the loveliest creature he had ever seen riding atop. Her thick, chocolate hair was down and messy, as if she had perhaps had some trouble of sorts. He was mesmerized by her beauty. He couldn’t have torn his eyes away even if he had to. She seemed agitated as she pulled the horse to a rearing stop and prepared to climb down unassisted. A stable boy quickly rushed to her side and tried to take hold of her waist, but in her jerky movement, he grabbed her bottom instead. The rage that had filled her eyes as she slapped his shocked face was what had sealed the deal for Raven. He was lost to the dark-haired beauty that possessed a fiery spirit rarely seen in those days. It was that sassy spirit that would haunt him for all of his days thereafter.

As he recalled her anger that day he laughed at the very memory, so fresh in his mind he could almost see the fire burning behind her deep, brown eyes—eyes that now belong to this new Rose. Was that same fire there —suppressed within, threatening to surface at any moment?

              He had only just met her, this new Rose; introduced to him by the lovely Charity. Charity was the alpha female of his new wolf pack, his friend, and a girl who longed very much for his happiness.

              He was now so grateful for Charity’s interference. She was happy with herself for having the matchmaking ability, but Raven was the one who was benefiting the most. Charity had no real way of knowing just what she had done for him when she tugged the young Rose beside her, and with a smile wider than he’d ever seen, introduced the new girl to him.

              Raven’s dead heart began to beat again. One look at the lovely girl, a carbon copy of his lost Rose, a descendent of hers as well, and the sadness that always consumed him was gone in an instant, replaced by a flaming hope.

              She saved his life—this Charity, and now he owed her everything, though she’d never accept it. He knew her well enough for that.

              He chuckled to himself as his thoughts now turned to Charity and all she had been through in the past months, and finally pregnant with male triplets, of all things. She was receiving strengths from the trio that would someday birth the next alpha male of her pack—and now his pack. She kept the entire pack entertained with her latest episodes. The question, ‘what has she done now?’ was on everyone’s lips first thing every morning.

Raven glanced down at the photograph in his hands, and the grin that had been on his lips fell. Even after all these years, and with his new Rose here, he still missed her. His lost Rose was looking up at him with a wondrous smile, her brown eyes wide with excitement. He remembered the exact day this photograph was taken—a sunny day in 1867. She had one chance for a good pose and was trying to sit still, but Raven was behind the old, slow photographer, making faces behind his back, causing her to laugh. The old man had backed up unexpectedly, causing Raven to lose his balance and fall on his pride. Rose had laughed just as the photographer snapped the shot. He would never forget that memory for as long as he was blessed, or cursed, to walk this earth. He had sometimes been clumsy when he was a human, something far from a characteristic now.

              He would find a way to make this new Rose fall in love with him. It was something he had to do. His very existence depended upon it. He would not survive losing her again.

              She was the only teenage girl in the facility—among a handful of enthusiastic, hormonal, young men—all of them just like her—a werewolf. And Raven was so very different from her kind—an enemy really. He found himself wondering if they would let her go easily. If not, he would have to fight for her, and fight he would, with everything he possessed. Losing his first Rose had almost destroyed him, turning him into a vengeful monster and someone to be feared. If he lost her again he would not survive. He would not—could not—go through that kind of pain again. He knew he was not strong enough—not anymore. Once he had his family, but now, even that was gone. He could not bring himself to regret it though. Saving Charity’s life had been well worth being ostracized by his kind. He didn’t even miss his old brides, though he did sometimes get lonely; an emotion he had never struggled with before. He could only imagine the anger his brother, Griffin, had at him for joining the werewolves—their natural enemies.

              For as long as he could remember, vampires and werewolves had always been sworn enemies —destined to torture and kill one another. Now he was living among his enemies, taken in by the very ones he swore to destroy. But he was happy with them. He had been invited to be a member of the pack for choosing to save Charity. Losing his family forever was the price he had paid for making that choice. But now he knew that the choice he had made had brought him a new hope, a hope that someday he may be happy again. All he had to do was win the girl of his dreams—again.

              Had a vampire and a werewolf ever fallen in love before? Never. He couldn’t imagine it. Ever since the very beginning they’ve been at war. He himself had killed countless werewolves without any remorse. Only now was it a possibility—and all because of his young friend, Charity—the one he called his queen.

              He and this new Rose had spent hours talking last night. She’d wanted to know about her great- great grandmother Rose. She asked Raven many questions. How did they meet? Why did he leave her? And was she beautiful? He’d answered every one with eagerness. He enjoyed the brightness in her eyes when she was talking about something she was interested in. He would’ve answered any question she asked. Every time her eyes sparkled with delight, his now beating heart, jumped in his chest. But her questions had triggered his old memories, and he was hurting from the loss that now seemed so fresh.

              The truth was he had questions of his own, ones that only his lost Rose could answer, and thus, would never be answered. He wanted to know if she had missed him when he never returned. Had she ever thought of him? Had her husband been good to her? And in the end, had she ever stopped loving him?

* * *

Raven sat on his sofa watching the clock slowly tick away. He had a dinner date with his new Rose tonight. He was more than thrilled when she had agreed to go out with him. He wasn’t sure what he’d say to her. It had been a while since he had to win over a woman. His vampire brides were one thing, always flocking to him with

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