Moon Child Page 1

A year earlier

“Child, what’s your name?”

The boy bit his lip as he looked up at me. Of course, there was nothing to look at, just a spirit that was non-corporeal, but he still searched.

I always appreciated that in the young; they looked. It was only when they grew older that they stopped.

“D-Daniel, Mother,” he whispered, before he started gnawing on his lip again.

His nerves were interesting, especially in the face of the truth—he’d shifted young. Far younger than I’d ever intended a child to know the difficulties that came from splitting one’s soul with a beast.

It caused such a ruckus—far worse than puberty.

Back in the beginning, a child shifted when they’d seen fifteen years or more. Now, everything was so much faster. Life, itself, seemed accelerated in a way that was beyond my control.

I sighed. “Of course. Such trouble with your father, Daniel. I remember him.”

His eyes rounded. “You do?”

“I do. He was bad. Do you know that?”

The child hung his head. “I do, Mother.”

“You’re not like him.”

He peeped up at me. “How do you know?”

Amusement filtered through me. “I know all, do I not?”

He gulped. “I don’t want to be bad.”

“Maintain that desire, and you won’t be. You’ve a good soul, Daniel. Kingsley was wasted as an alpha. I sensed that when he was young. I hoped that by gifting him your mother, he would turn around, but he never did.” I hummed, which made a gentle wind whip around his legs. The sensation had him jerking in response, jumping off the ground as he peered around. “You, on the other hand, I can sense so much more about you.”

“What like?” he asked shyly, and his desperation for approval made me glad I’d sent him to Sabina and her mates.

She was a good girl. A loving mother. A nurturer. She’d give Daniel what few else could—a home. He was an orphan, unwanted, and even by his own parents, unloved. Sabina was too generous with her sense of self to deny a small boy her affection, especially with her past.

“I sense that you’re strong and kind. You want to help. You’ll make a good enforcer one day.”

His eyes lit up at that. “Not an alpha?”

“No. You’re an alpha type, but you’re not made to be the alpha. That isn’t your path.” Well, that was a technical truth, but he wasn’t to know that. Was he?

“What is, Mother?”

“Can you imagine what it’s like to have a brother or a sister, Daniel?”

He shook his head. “No, Mother. I can’t.”

“Did you ever wish for one?”

“Not really. You can’t wish for something that no one has.”

“Austin and Ethan have each other,” I corrected.

“I know. They were treated badly by the pack. I can see that now. The others only listen to them because of Eli.”

“I’m working on that,” I told him, annoyed by his words, even though I knew that to be the truth.

“You are?” His brows rose, but he shrugged. “I’m glad. I like them. They’re cool.”


This human vernacular was beyond bizarre.

As was using the word ‘sick’ to mean something that was good.

Inimitably strange.

“I’m glad you think so. Would you like to know your path?”

“You’ve decided it?”

“I have. Enforcer, to be sure. A mate, yes. She will find you when you least expect it. But your biggest task will start when a brother and a sister go to war.”

“Go to war?” His mouth formed a perfect circle.

“Yes. The brother—he will be tainted. It isn’t his fault. No one, except for you, will ever know that. You will be his sole defender. His only friend.”

“Why me?”

“Because you’re strong enough.”

“Strong enough for what?”

“To keep him from killing his sister.”

A gasp escaped him. “Why would he do something like that?”

“Because children often bear the sins of their fathers, don’t they, Daniel?” I asked him softly, reminding him of his own situation.

“Yes,” he said miserably. “We do.”

“Well, then, you understand.”

“Do I?” was his wary reply.

“Yes. You do. Or you will when your time comes. Keep them both safe, especially from each other.”

“Yes, Mother,” he said simply.

“Now, child, before I let you go and celebrate your covenant… You may tell them your fate as an enforcer. You may tell them you are to be mated. But do not speak of your other task.

“Finally, when the time comes and Eli is upset with Berry, explain to him that she is unable to shift now. There is no malice to her actions. She serves Sabina, and is my means of protecting her. Nothing more, nothing less. She serves out of love for him, for all her sons, and out of a desire to seek forgiveness.

“Do you think you can remember that, Daniel?”

He was back to biting his bottom lip. “I think I can, Mother.”

“Good.” I smiled, and instantly, the temperature in the clearing where he stood, a sea of mist around him, shadowed trees that loomed high overhead, surged so that he was no longer shivering. “Go, with my blessing, Daniel, son of Kingsley Rainford, adopted son of Eli, Ethan, Austin, and Sabina Highbanks and child of their heart.”

And with that, I sent him back, leaving him gawping at what I officially recognized far earlier than anyone else would.

He was a child of the Highbanks. That was as much his destiny as the other tasks I’d set him.

Now, I just had to pray that he’d live up to the potential I saw in him.



I sighed when the moonlight slipped over my body, recharging me with its healing rays.

I wasn’t sure why, when I’d once been a sun baby, spending every minute I could with my face tilted toward the sky to ease the nagging ache in my bones, but now? I loved the moon.

The sun drained, it didn’t recharge.

The moon soothed, even as it energized.

Maybe it was my lifestyle from before that hadn’t helped. Up at the asscrack of dawn, down toward midnight on dates when the carnival was open. I’d always been dog tired by the time the sun set, and had been dragging through my job as a tarot card reader-slash-faux psychic in my booth.

Thankfully, my clients weren’t annoyed by the sound of me slurring from tiredness. They just thought I was in the zone, and because I was pretty good with my predictions, thanks to my abilities with auras, I’d never had any complaints about sounding zombie-esque.

During those dark days, if I could have, I’d have spent every moment the sun was down in bed, snoring away.

Now? It was the opposite. I wanted to be awake through the moonlit hours, wanted to be here, at the circle, with the totem looming over me, the totem that was the… Hell, I didn’t even know what it was.

What I did know was that a kind of conduit, a voice, for the Mother embodied the totem, and she called herself Lidai.

Next page