Reno's a tough Enforcer for Lycan Link. Brandi's a Disaster Control officer who cleans up his foul-ups. Enforcers and DC's don't get along...unless a string of circumstances force them to. Can duty and love co-exist? A prequel to The Mating.
I'm finally back with a new tale in my Law of the Lycans series. As the blurb says, it's a prequel to The Mating and I hope you enjoy it
I have a few favours to ask. First, if you find typos please feel free to PM them to me. My editor Jan and I do our best but things slip through. Secondly, give me feedback – this is a rough draft and I will be tweaking the tale based on what you tell me.
Also, since you are my privileged (? LOL!) 'test' audience and are basically getting a sneak preview of the book I ask that you NOT talk about it on my FB page if possible. This isn't the finished story and I don't want people confusing it with the published e-book.
And now, on with the story!
In ancient times, the purity of Lycan blood was not only a source of pride and prestige, but even more importantly, a matter of survival. Having been hunted almost to extinction, the preservation of the species became paramount. The unique genetic code that made Lycans what they were had to be protected from contamination or dilution caused by cross-breeding. If allowed, mating outside the species could, conceivably, jeopardize their existence. To that effect a set of bonding laws were put in place.
Matings and blood bonds had to be approved by the pack Alpha. Having relations with humans was forbidden and severely punished while bearing young with a human was deemed an act of treason, a betrayal of the species and an act of purposeful defiance against the Alpha.
Despite the bonding laws, love, or lust, prevailed and some Lycans still had relations with humans. Their offspring were derogatorily called 'halves,' a term which persists to this day, but without any of the associated negativity. However, in those less enlightened times, halves were considered second class citizens and a source of shame for the pack. Discrimination, intolerance, even persecution of halves and their parents was prevalent.
As Lycans came back from the brink of extinction and their numbers increased, the importance of bonding laws lessened. Alphas still approved matings and blood-bonds, but it was more of a formality than a matter of ensuring the lineage. Lycan-human relations still were not encouraged, but when they occurred a more tolerant attitude prevailed. Also, the off-spring of such unions were no longer scorned or hidden away in shame. Lycan society evolved, the lot of the halves improved, and for the most part the days of discrimination and intolerance have faded into the annals of history.
But, for a small pocket of Lycan society acceptance of halves was not considered an option. They clung to the old ways, to the literal interpretation of the Book of the Law. Blood purity became an obsession and to further their cause they formed a society called the Purists.
When the Purists first emerged, their agenda had seemed noble enough. Returning to the old ways, and adhering more closely to the Book of the Law, had a certain nostalgic ring that appealed to some in a world full of constant change and disintegrating morals. Purist numbers swelled and many of the gains made by the halves over the centuries seemed in danger of disappearing.
Eventually the voice of reason prevailed and the Purists began to lose favour. Strict adherence to the letter of the law wasn't as appealing in practise as it had at first seemed. Many of the new followers had friends, neighbours, or even family members who were half-blooded; turning on them did not sit easy with a tender conscience.
Complaints against the Purists began to trickle in and Lycan Link, the international organization that functioned under the radar and assisted Lycans in co-existing with humans, started an investigation. Their conclusion was that there was a faction among the Purists that were an extremist group with an ethnic-cleansing agenda.
Once this was brought to light, the group seemed to disappear and were deemed an unfortunate blip that had righted itself. People went about their lives and pushed the group from their minds. Lycan Link revised its Rights and Freedoms Act to ensure all Lycans, regardless of purity, were treated fairly and while some grumbled, it quickly became a non-issue. The Lycans relaxed and all seemed well in the shifter world.
Unbeknownst to many however, the Purist group wasn't gone. Small pockets persisted in the more remote areas and once again were slowly gaining followers. Insidiously, they were spreading their ideology, taking over packs and turning neighbour against neighbour.
When reports of Purist activity appeared again, Lycan Link was determined to stop them from gaining momentum and formed the Anti-Cleansing Squad or ACS. It was charged with finding conclaves of Purists and ensuring that the rights of halves within those packs were not being violated. While freedom of thought and speech were the right of every Lycan—even the Purists—there were certain boundaries that couldn't be crossed.