Keeper (Matefinder Next Generation Book 1)

By: Leia Stone

Chapter One

I awoke panting, the sheets stuck to my sweaty skin. My hands shook as I pulled my hair into a pony tail. The dreams … my God, they felt so real. Always about the guy – the human– a gorgeous, freaking human with eyes that were mint green and had burnt flecks of gold. He had wild, dark brown hair and the chiseled body of a professional athlete. I brought my hand to my forehead and recoiled; I was burning up. Again! What the hell was going on with me?

Throwing off my sheets, I quickly crossed my bedroom and stripped off my sweaty clothes. I grabbed a dry t-shirt and yoga pants and shrugged into them, tossing my wet ones in the corner. The hallway was dark and quiet as I padded silently through the house, careful not to wake my parents. My dad, Kai, was the Alpha of the largest werewolf pack in the Pacific Northwest. Our territory encompassed almost all of Oregon. From Mount Hood, where we lived, through Portland, and all the way to the ocean. My mom, Aurora, let’s just say she was special, and waking either of them was not a good idea because it would be interrogation central.

I opened the front door and the crisp, cold air hit my face, bringing with it a welcome relief from the heat that radiated within my body. Closing the door softly behind me, I took in a deep breath and stood on our front porch that overlooked the thick forested trees surrounding our property. Shit. What girl had dreams of a sexy ass human and woke up burning hot? Total freakville. Well, maybe some girls did, but this wasn’t a normal turned on type of hot, this was 105 degrees fever and illness hot. As a werewolf, I could withstand certain injuries and heal from things quickly. We didn’t get cancer or the flu or any other illness and I had never had a fever. So this fever that encompassed my body after the dreams was frightening. Something was wrong with me and I was no closer to finding out what it was than when the dreams began a few months ago.

I stared out onto the mountain and let my mind wander. Years ago, before I was born, the mountain was a mix of humans and my father’s pack. But ever since he outed the werewolf and vampire races to the humans, the mountain was strictly for werewolves. Our numbers, once small, were now in the millions thanks to my mom. She is a Matefinder, which means she can find werewolf mates. Which is HUGE since only mated couples can have children and grow our race, otherwise you are infertile. Before my mom, our numbers were dying out. I’m also a Matefinder and inherited her gift, well, sort of. I had yet to get a vision of my first pair of mates. Just recently, the dreams, the human, was this a part of my inherited gift? Was he someone’s mate? Lucky girl, whoever she was.

The door opened behind me and I groaned as I turned around.

My mother was gorgeous. She was tall, thin, had silky long blonde hair, and fierce blue eyes. She looked like a Danish super model, where as I took after my dad who was from India. My skin was caramel and I had thick, dark brown wild hair. I was tall but with a more muscular build but I did have my mom’s striking blue eyes.

“Anya? Why are you out here? The dreams again?” She frowned, hugging her arms against the cold, and gracefully strode over to where I stood on the porch.

“Mom, seriously? I’m twenty years old. You don’t have to check up on me.” I groaned. She was being super overprotective lately, more than usual if that was possible. Matefinders were notoriously hunted for their gift, as legend says that mates can be found by force if using dark magic.

My mom’s gaze went from sweet mom to Alpha glare in a nanosecond. Shit. I looked at the floor even though I wanted to hold her gaze. My twin brother, Jax, and I always tried to test our dominance with each other but we didn’t test it on our parents. Although my mom liked to challenge my dad all the time, she was technically his second in pack rank, but we all knew she could be Alpha if she wanted.

“I’m not checking up on you. I’m trying to help you figure out the dreams,” she said curtly.

I sighed and stared at her chin. “Sorry. Are they visions? Is he someone’s mate?” I asked her desperately. If anyone would know, she would. The Matefinder, half-witch, half-werewolf. Jax and I were the same unique breed of both species. Interspecies childbearing was unheard of and made us hunted, protected, and coveted. That was us. A life of always looking over your shoulder, and having every unmated werewolf you met ask who their mate was. It didn’t work like that; the mate visions came from Spirit and didn’t come on demand. And at twenty years old I still hadn’t found any.