As I mentioned in my last post, I’m giving you all an early peek at the first three chapters for Darkness Shatters. Please keep in mind that this is not the final version and that there may be some minor changes before the novel releases. Hope you enjoy!
There was no price I wouldn’t have paid for one night of peace and quiet, but unfortunately even the brief illusion of peace couldn’t be bought. Not by me, anyway. It was a squeaking noise that woke me.
Coming from inside my house.
I cracked my eyes open and ran my gaze about the dark bedroom, searching for the source. Nothing stirred. My hand crept over to the other side of the bed and found cold, empty sheets. Lucas hadn’t returned during the night. Not that I’d expected him to since he’d called the previous evening to say he’d arrived in Portland—still searching for his missing twin brother.
Faint giggling floated down the hallway, coming from another bedroom. I sent my senses out. Emily’s boyfriend, Hunter, had snuck in sometime after I’d gone to sleep. He was over at the house often enough that I’d almost forgotten he shouldn’t have been there. Emily came up on my radar as warm and familiar, whereas his presence sent light claws raking against my mind.
I shoved my warm blankets away and got up. It was time to do my duty as a parent and put a stop to this. Padding across the room, I grabbed a robe and pulled it on. No need to give Hunter, an eighteen-year-old werewolf, an eyeful since I only slept in a skimpy tank top and underwear.
The wood floor didn’t creak as I crept down the hallway, but that wasn’t my real concern. Emily was a sensor, like me. If she was paying attention she’d know I was coming toward her room, but the emotions I picked up from her revealed no panic. Instead all I sensed was lust and excitement. Those sort of feelings could distract our kind from picking up any trouble coming our way.
The door wasn’t locked. I pushed it wide open and got an eyeful of the teenagers in bed. Hunter didn’t have his shirt on and Emily’s was pulled up to her neck. His body blocked my view of her chest.
“Hunter, get off of her right now.”
Their heads swung in my direction. Emily’s face was flushed and her shoulder-length brown hair was tousled. She shoved Hunter to the side and pulled the blanket over herself. I caught just enough before that to be sure they hadn’t gone all the way. Both of them still had their pants on. I could give small thanks for that.
“But we weren’t doing anything wrong,” Emily argued. “Just kissing.”
Like it wouldn’t have gone further.
“On a Sunday night when you have to be up for school in a few hours? He’s leaving.”
“It snowing outside.” She pulled the blanket tightly against her chest and scooted up. “You can’t make him leave now.”
Hunter sat next to her on the bed and stared at me with frozen horror. He hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and there was a bit of dark scruff on his face. Emily might not care about getting caught, but he did. The dread in his brown eyes said it all.
“Not my problem. He has to go.”
I moved toward the bed, grabbed his arm, and hauled him onto the floor. He had to weigh about a hundred and eighty with all the muscle on him, but it didn’t bother me since I’d become immortal and increased my strength. I did make a point of not looking at his pale, naked chest too closely. It was awkward enough that I’d walked in on them making out.
Emily grabbed her phone off the nightstand and pressed her finger to the screen. She lifted it up for me to see. “It’s like, negative forty degrees outside. Let him stay until morning.”
I moved to the window and peered out. It was dark, but the porch light lit up the yard. Only my Jeep sat in the driveway with a thin layer of snow covering it. No other cars were out there, but there was a faint hint of recent tracks leading to the side of the house.
“He should have thought of that before coming here. He’s a werewolf. I’m sure he’ll survive getting home.”
We might live out in the bush of Alaska where houses were few and far between, but there were only so many places to leave a car in January with all the snow that had accumulated over the last few months. I was willing to bet he’d parked it around the side of the house where he could plug the vehicle into an electrical outlet to keep it warm. That’s where it was the last time I’d caught him in Emily’s room. With winter set in the temperatures were too low to risk a cold start. It could ruin the engine.
“Fine.” She shot me an annoyed look before hopping out of bed to give Hunter a quick kiss, blanket still wrapped around her. “Just come by tomorrow night.”
He gave her a rueful smile.
“You know the rules, Emily.” I pointed a finger at her. “You two got caught in the act and can’t visit each other for a week.”
There was nothing I could do about school, but since they tried to spend every possible moment with each other I could take nights and weekends away.
“That’s such bullshit.” She plopped herself onto the bed.
Sometimes I missed the old Emily who was sweet and didn’t argue with me so much. She’d been an easy teenager to take care of until she’d gotten a head injury the previous spring and her personality had altered drastically. Now we fought more than we got along.
“Sorry, Melena,” Hunter said as he pulled on his sweater.
“You need to stop letting her talk you into this…” I stopped.
A scratching noise came from downstairs. Sable had just come through the cat door and was making her way toward us at a fast pace. She skidded to a halt at my feet, currently in the form of a reddish-brown lynx with black markings, and growled at me. Then she sunk her teeth into my robe and tugged until I almost fell over. It was the sign she’d been taught to give me in case there was an emergency and I needed to follow her somewhere. Probably into the woods since that’s where she typically roamed and there wasn’t much else this far outside Fairbanks.
“Is it really that important?” I asked her.
She ran to the doorway and then looked back. I could sense the urgency in her emotions. She was definitely upset about something and wanted me to see it. Whether I wanted to or not, I was going to have to check it out.
“Finish getting dressed and meet me at the front door,” I ordered Hunter. Continue reading →