Conner is a hard working farmer with a generous heart and a lonely existence. When a couple of his much needed milk cows go missing he tries to find them. Instead he finds that some legends are truths. Faoladh, werewolves, exist, and a good deed done a couple of years earlier to an injured young wolf leads to changes in his life he could never have imagined.
Delighted to have such a beautiful mate as Ciaran at his side, Conner feels his life is complete. But another man's greed threatens to destroy Conner and Ciaran's happiness.
Staring around, Conner saw a bleak, desolate heath with nothing in sight except a long, low, rude shieling. The hut, although it barely qualified for the name, might have been the den of a robber or a wild beast. But a gleam of light came from a chink between the wooden boards.
He’d never expected to experience magic for himself, but he’d been raised to know and respect what others might call myth and legend. Not knowing what else to do, Conner approached it, constantly looking all around, his stick raised, and knocked at the door.
The solidly built man that opened it was poorly dressed, his knee britches and shirt had seen better days and his feet were bare. The man was tall and grey-haired but his eyes were keen and dark.
“Come in.” The man stepped back and gestured into the hovel. “You are welcome. We were waiting for you. This is my wife.” The old man led Conner over to the hearth, where a woman, her red shawl pulled tight around her, sat. Her long auburn hair cascaded around her shoulders, and her eyes glittered as she watched Conner approach.
“You are welcome.” She repeated her husband’s words. “We have been waiting for you. My name is Maeve and this is Daithi. It’s nearly time for supper. Sit down and eat with us.”
Despite the oddness of the couple, Conner nodded. He was young, strong, and had his stick. He was sure he could easily escape if he needed to. Not that he knew where he would escape to. He’d grown up around the forest and knew it well, but had never come across such a mist, or such a desolate heath in the forest.
“Thank you. I’d be honoured to stay.” Conner sat at the other side of the hearth while the couple set the table which, along with its chairs, was the only other piece of furniture Conner could see.
While the man put out some wooden plates and cups, the woman turned her attention to the pot she had bubbling over the fire. Conner’s attention was distracted by a short knock at the door. The man lifted his hand and the door opened. A grey and white wolf trotted in then passed through a doorway that led farther into the hut.
Leaping to his feet, Conner grasped his stick, barely able to believe the couple hadn’t reacted. “You just let a wolf into your house.”
“He’s Lorcan, our oldest son.” The woman stayed beside her pot. “There’s no need to worry.”
Instead of a wolf, a man came back through the doorway, dressed in similar clothes to his father. The similarity in build, grey hair, and dark eyes was plain to see. Before Conner could speak again, there was another knock, and once again the man raised his hand and the door opened.
A second wolf trotted in. Unthinkingly, Conner took a few steps toward it. “Is it you, my handsome boy?” The wolf was young, and with its amber eyes and black fur, it may have been that young wolf he’d helped.
“Sit you down.” The woman’s hand on his shoulder pulled Conner back to the present. “That’s Ciaran. He’ll be through in a moment.”
Sure enough, the wolf trotted through the doorway and a moment or two later, a young, dark-haired young man came out. He gazed at Conner. “He knows me. I said he would.”
“That you did, my son.” The man came to stand beside him. “But then you were far too young to take a mate.”
“You were the wolf I rescued.” Conner stared at Ciaran. “But it’s as though I’ve seen your face before. Yet I’m sure I’d never forget such a dathúil young man, had I seen you.”
“I was considered too young to claim you as mate. Once we mate, there can be no other for me. I am faoladh. Werewolf. In times gone by, my ancestors fought alongside kings. Today we remain hidden, guarding man as best we can.” Ciaran stepped closer to Conner. “I used to watch you sitting in front of the fire. I knew you were my mate.”
His hand shaking, Conner reached out and let his fingers trail over Ciaran’s cheek. “When I saw a face in the flames, I thought it was my imagination, but I felt less alone. No one I’ve ever met before has stirred my blood the way you do.”
“As it should be. Because I’m your mate.” Ciaran came so close that he could rest his head on Conner’s shoulder and Conner wrapped his arms around him.