By Kelley Armstrong
Table of Contents
01 • Initiative
02 • Vision
03 • Lesson
04 • Player
05 • Angst
06 • Misunderstood
07 • Problem
08 • Circumstances
09 • Legend
10 • Changes
11 • Challenge
12 • Stalemate
13 • Endgame
I raced over the snow, head down, eyes slitted against the flurries thrown up by Jeremy’s paws.
Although Jeremy was cutting the path for me, I could still barely keep up, and with each bound, I fell a bit
farther behind. For once, Jeremy didn’t slow to let me catch up. He couldn’t. Just ahead of him ran a
doe. Antonio kept pace on the deer’s other side, reigning her in and keeping her running straight.
At a soft growl from Jeremy, I glanced up. Still running, Antonio ducked his head to peer at Jeremy
under the doe. Jeremy growled again, and they both checked their speed, letting the deer pull ahead. As
they fell a foot behind, then a yard, the doe found her last reserves of strength and shot forward, all
attention fixed on the field just ahead. She made it another couple of yards. Then Malcolm sailed from the
bushes on her left side. The deer skidded and wheeled on him, hooves flying. As Malcolm danced out of
her way, Dominic flew from the bushes on the other side of the path. He vaulted onto the doe’s back.
Her thin legs buckled and she went down. Malcolm lunged at her belly, teeth bared, but Dominic
snapped at him and Malcolm veered out of the way, leaving the final blow for the Alpha.
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As the deer’s blood seeped into the snow, Dominic fed. Everyone else had to wait, which they did with
varying degrees of patience, from Malcolm and the Santoses, who paced icy ruts in the snow beside the
deer, to Antonio and Dennis Stillwell who stood poised like setters on point, to Jeremy, who found
himself a clear patch of snow and laid down, head on his paws.
After Dominic took the first few gulps, he glanced my way and snorted, jerking his muzzle toward the
deer. When it came to eating, I w