Hunter

Legend of the Silver Hunter

by Kethric Wilcox

Book Cover: Hunter
Editions:ePub: $ 2.99
ISBN: 978-0-9965265-2-4
Pages: 231

Nobody ever tells you how hard it is to become a legend.

When Cory Cooper came to Maine with his boyfriend, Kieran Belle, to meet the family, he never imagined the chaos that would engulf their summer break. The seeming safety of the Oisín compound has been shattered. Kieran’s grandfather, the powerful Silver Witch is dead and Kieran has been severely injured fighting off the shifters who invaded his family home.

The dark forces arrayed against the young lovers aren’t the only forces in opposition to their quest for Happily Ever After. Camille Belle, reigning matriarch of the shifter hunting House of Beauty, and Kieran’s maternal grandmother, also stands in their way.

Can these descendants of rival houses over come the forces that oppose them or is this version of Beauty and the Beast doomed to repeat the sad ending of the past?

Excerpt:

Beauty's Tale

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He was within thirty miles of his own house, thinking on the pleasure he should have in seeing his children again, when going through a large forest he lost himself. It rained and snowed terribly; besides, the wind was so high, that it threw him twice off his horse, and night coming on, he began to apprehend being either starved to death with cold and hunger, or else devoured by the wolves, whom he heard howling all round him, when, on a sudden, looking through a long walk of trees, he saw a light at some distance, and going on a little farther perceived it came from a palace illuminated from top to bottom. The merchant returned God thanks for this happy discovery, and hastened to the place, but was greatly surprised at not meeting with any one in the outer courts. His horse followed him, and seeing a large stable open, went in, and finding both hay and oats, the poor beast, who was almost famished, fell to eating very heartily; the merchant tied him up to the manger, and walking towards the house, where he saw no one, but entering into a large hall, he found a good fire, and a table plentifully set out with but one cover laid. As he was wet quite through with the rain and snow, he drew near the fire to dry himself. "I hope," said he, "the master of the house, or his servants will excuse the liberty I take; I suppose it will not be long before some of them appear."

He waited a considerable time, until it struck eleven, and still nobody came. At last he was so hungry that he could stay no longer, but took a chicken, and ate it in two mouthfuls, trembling all the while. After this he drank a few glasses of wine, and growing more courageous he went out of the hall, and crossed through several grand apartments with magnificent furniture, until he came into a chamber, which had an exceeding good bed in it, and as he was very much fatigued, and it was past midnight, he concluded it was best to shut the door, and go to bed.

It was ten the next morning before the merchant waked, and as he was going to rise he was astonished to see a good suit of clothes in the room of his own, which were quite spoiled; certainly, said he, this palace belongs to some kind fairy, who has seen and pitied my distress. He looked through a window, but instead of snow saw the most delightful arbors, interwoven with the beautifullest flowers that were ever beheld. He then returned to the great hall, where he had supped the night before, and found some chocolate ready made on a little table. "Thank you, good Madam Fairy," said he aloud, "for being so careful, as to provide me a breakfast; I am extremely obliged to you for all your favors."

The good man drank his chocolate, and then went to look for his horse, but passing through an arbor of roses he remembered Beauty's request to him, and gathered a branch on which were several; immediately he heard a great noise, and saw such a frightful Beast coming towards him, that he was ready to faint away.

"You are very ungrateful," said the Beast to him, in a terrible voice; "I have saved your life by receiving you into my castle, and, in return, you steal my roses, which I value beyond any thing in the universe, but you shall die for it; I give you but a quarter of an hour to prepare yourself, and say your prayers."

The merchant fell on his knees, and lifted up both his hands, "My lord," said he, "I beseech you to forgive me, indeed I had no intention to offend in gathering a rose for one of my daughters, who desired me to bring her one."

"My name is not My Lord," replied the monster, "but Beast; I don't love compliments, not I. I like people to speak as they think; and so do not imagine, I am to be moved by any of your flattering speeches. But you say you have got daughters. I will forgive you, on condition that one of them come willingly, and suffer for you. Let me have no words, but go about your business, and swear that if your daughter refuse to die in your stead, you will return within three months."

The merchant had no mind to sacrifice his daughters to the ugly monster, but he thought, in obtaining this respite, he should have the satisfaction of seeing them once more, so he promised, upon oath, he would return, and the Beast told him he might set out when he pleased, "but," added he, "you shall not depart empty handed; go back to the room where you lay, and you will see a great empty chest; fill it with whatever you like best, and I will send it to your home," and at the same time Beast withdrew.

Beauty and the Beast, Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, English translation, 1757

Mother never refuted this section of the tale. She loved her father, the last man she ever really loved, and I think she wanted to remember him as someone who loved her after the rest of her family abandoned her to her fate. Family rumors abound. The youngest of my uncles, Johan, supposedly had a destiny he chose not to face or was forbidden to face by Grandfather. Whatever the case may be, Johan gifted Mother with the ability to channel Silver magic once in her lifetime in her greatest hour of need. We all suspect she used her spell during the fight with the Beast, but even on her deathbed, she wouldn't revel what she'd done with the spell. Father past many years after Mother. I believe his fear of her kept him from revealing the truth.

From the First Chronicle of the House of Beauty, translated from the original French, 1998

Prologue: Three Weeks Ago

John Mason was surprisingly excited when he got off the phone with Kieran Belle. The boy’s excitement about his upcoming wedding and handfasting was contagious. The photography professor dialed his travel agent to arrange for a trip to Maine. As he gave the travel agent his details, John wandered through the living room and stopped before the photographic portrait of Kieran’s fiancé hanging over the fireplace. A shirtless Cory Cooper, leaning on a piece of construction equipment, looked back at the professor with a deeply felt love for the man on the other side of the camera. The boys hadn’t even begun to admit their feelings for each other when the picture had been taken, but you didn’t have to know them to sense what they felt in that moment in time. John’s daydreaming was broken by the voice of the agent.

“Sir, are you still there?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. My mind wandered off. What were those flight times again?”

The agent rattled off the flight information between Little Rock and Maine, along with the cost. John agreed and added in a rental car booking, and then gave the agent his credit card information. The agent let him know his reservations were complete and could download his tickets when he was ready. John thanked the man and hung up. He decided he’d call Kieran back when he had his tickets in hand.

 

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Kethric Wilcox began writing and publishing as a personal challenge to be creative in a new medium. He was attracted to the LGBT Romance genre after reading several paranormal romances where it seemed like the shape-shifters never faced dangers outside the relationship issues thrown at them by their authors. Thus was born the shifter hunting House of Beauty on the premise of a twisted fairy tale. What if Beauty and the Beast didn't end with happily ever after? Wilcox's Legend of the Silver Hunter trilogy looks at this question and then asks what happens if a member of this family falls in love with a descendant of the Beast, can they find happily ever after or are they doomed to repeat the tale. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Wilcox now lives and works in Little Rock, Arkansas in a house that he and his partner renovated. By day Wilcox is a graphic artist and exhibit designer, and at night an author of paranormal romances.

Wilcox currently has two new trilogies in progress: Origin of the Vampires (The Curse, Lord Hunter, and Lord Slayer) set in a dystopian future of the Silver Hunter world; and Legacy of the Silver Hunter (The Goldilocks Pledge, Ruby Wine, and Black Snow) which continues the story told in the Legend trilogy from the view points of other couples in Kieran and Cory’s lives.


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