In the Light of the Moon (Dark War Chronicles Book 1)

By: A.L. Kessler
Dark War Chronicles #1

To Jamie, keep dreaming big.


Thank you to everyone who made this book possible. To my beta readers and my street team, to Minion who kept me level headed. Thank you to my dearest husband who made me make a choice and stick to it. To Crystal who helps me out and deals with my craziness, you are the world’s best PA. To Jamie who kept telling me a little black panther needed her story told.

Chapter One

Her body shook from side to side as a panicked voice growled at her. “Kassity, wake up.”

Kassity’s eyes shot open as she recognized the voice. Her gaze met Josh’s black eyes as he shook her again. “You need to run.”

Her confusion didn’t help push through the drowsiness. She rubbed her eyes, trying to focus. “What?” She sat up and her body protested a little. The muscles in her back tightened and her bones seemed to creak as she recalled losing a fight against Lucius. “Where are we?” She sniffed the air and then she glared at him. “Mae’s?” The name trickled out of her lips as a growl. As her heart pounded against her chest, she couldn’t fathom why he would have brought them here.

He gave a subtle nod and then his eyes shot to the door. “Lucius is coming. Go.” He moved away from the couch, giving her room to stand up.

She stretched her stiff body; to her surprise everything seemed to be in working order and energy coursed through her. “How long have I been unconscious?” She could sense his panic, but she couldn’t rush off without knowing the entire situation.

“Almost twenty four hours, the sun’s not up yet.”

“I need food.” Her stomach rumbled as it always did after shifting.

“Go, please.” Josh shoved her towards the back of the house.

“What about you?”

“I’ll find you. Promise.”

She knew he would keep his promise to her. He always did. Lucius’ power crashed over her and sent tingles down her spine. She gave him a quick hug before running out the back door.

A familiar rumble started in her body, a beast feeding off of her panic and wanting out. She could taste freedom, they both could. She slinked into the shadows of an alley, pulling on the panic and feeding it inwards, stroking and coaxing the beast to come out. Snapping, wet sounds filled the night and fur covered her human skin as her body bowed to all fours, her hands and feet turning to powerful paws with claws. There would be no more master. Tonight she would have her freedom.

Jaxon tapped his fingers against the table. He agreed to meet his client here and see what they had to offer. The little bell on the cafe door rang as a towering man walked in and caused the attending waitress to look up.

“Welcome, take a seat and I’ll be with ya in a moment…” The words died in her throat when the man pegged her with a stare and then moved to Jax’s table.

Jax stood and extended his hand to the man. “You must be Quinn.” The moment the other man’s hand met his, energy shot up Jax’s arm and through him, letting him know that his client was also a shifter.

“I am.” The man sat across from Jax. “I’ve heard good things about you, Jaxon, they say you are the best tracker in the states.”

Jax sat back down and shrugged one shoulder. “High praise. What can I do for you?”

“My daughter’s been kidnapped and I want her home.” Quinn crossed his arms and met Jax’s eyes. “She was taken from our clan’s territory by a vampire.”

Jax leaned back and watched the man. Quinn’s breathing never hitched, his pulse didn’t stutter, and no nervous tick showed, all the usual signs of lying were absent. “What clan do you belong to?”

“The Black Moon Clan.”

A ping of realization went through Jax. The stories of the Black Moon Clan were told even in Europe. The last panther clan in North America, rumor said they had gone insane. He raised his brows. “Interesting. Do you have any leads on where she might be? You said she was taken by a vampire.”

“She was, one named Josh. He lived at the edge of our territory for a while, but disappeared with her. My sons have caught her scent outside of Lucius’ territory, but that’s as much as we know. We hope to move in, but we need to know what the situation is.”

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