~Last teaser for Of Love and Shadows since it's now in editing! Release date is April 13th. I'll post the preorder link in another post.
A MADDENED howl startled Austin awake. It was loud, menacing, and his heart rate shot through the ceiling when Kage jackknifed up in bed.
“What the hell is going on?” Austin demanded.
“I’m not sure. But that howl? That’s a pissed off werewolf.” Kage threw the covers off of him.
“What?” Austin scrambled out of bed too.
From one second to the next, Kage’s human façade disappeared, and the daemon stood there. That, more than anything, told Austin something was horribly wrong.
“Get your shoes on and grab a shirt. Hurry. Stay right beside me, just in case,” Kage said.
Austin slammed his feet into his shoes and dragged a long-sleeved shirt over his head. He glanced at his cell phone, debated on leaving it, then stuck it in his pocket. He followed Kage out of the bedroom and into the living area.
Even though all the lights were off, and it was still pitch-black outside, Austin could see fairly well. Once more he was thankful that he drank Kage’s blood.
Otherwise, he would be stumbling around in the dark. A daemon could not turn a human like a vampire, mer, or a werewolf, so their only recourse to extend their human’s live was to share their blood.
Austin’s senses were now almost as good as a paranormals, and he was stronger, but he couldn’t open portals like a daemon could. But being bonded to Kage did give Austin the ability to communicate mentally with his mate. Austin was stuck somewhere between being human and being paranormal.
“What are we going to do?” Austin asked softly.
The words had hardly left his mouth when Denisha and Maia stepped out of a shadow in the living area.
Austin was proud of himself—he only jumped a little.
“You heard that?” Denisha asked.
“Yes. The problem is, I’m unsure who the pissed werewolf is,” Kage answered.
Maia eyed Austin. “Maybe we should portal Austin back—”
“You know he’ll make one of you stay with me,” Austin snapped back. “Meaning there would be only one of you here with him.”
“We could all leave,” Maia pointed out.
“We are not leaving Axel out there all alone!” Austin glared at her.
Maia’s eyes widened. “I didn’t mean it like that! Honestly! I meant when he got here, we could—”
“That’s the thing, though. I don’t think he’s alone.” Bending, Denisha looked out of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area.
Austin crossed his arms over his chest. “What do you—”
Another maddened howl echoed across the desert. It was just as menacing as before, but now it sounded closer. Too close. The distant pounding of paws against packed dirt reached Austin a few seconds before snarling wolves raced into the area where the cabins were.
Dust swirled behind them as the wolves fought. What was going on? Why were there wolves in what was basically their camp and why were they fighting? There were shifters in their clan but no wolves—
Was this because of Axel?
Axel wasn’t a clan member, but he was a wolf, and part of Kage’s clan was out there in the middle of nowhere because of Axel. So who else was there because of Axel?
Through the massive window in the living area, Austin could see several wolves fighting too. He uncrossed his arms, slipped his hand into his pocket, and retrieved his phone.
As soon as he unlocked it, light flooded he room. He started to say something to Kage but got distracted when he noticed something about Kage's horns looked off. Were… were they bigger?
There was an anguished howl, and he completely forgot about Kage’s horns as he hit record. He had no idea which one of them was even Axel, but it didn’t matter. Something told him whatever was going on out there shouldn’t be happening.
Still, he worried about Axel. There hadn’t been sufficient enough time for him to gain back the muscle mass and strength he lost due to his captivity.
It also didn’t help that the wolves looked alike—they all had the same color fur. The snarling and threatening growls sent shivers up his back. Austin had never seen wolves fight.
They ripped into each other, blood spraying. Claws flashed. There seemed to be six wolves, and three of them were attacking the other three.
“What the hell?” Austin whispered. “I thought this was neutral territory.”
Growling, Kage slammed open the cabin door and stalked out onto the deck. Denisha and Maia stormed out after him. Austin inched out on the deck, and Denisha immediately planted herself next to him.
“This stops now, or I will drop every last one of you in the ocean!” Kage bellowed, his wings snapping out behind him. “My mate is here, and I consider your actions a threat.”
Some of the wolves were trying to disengage, but the moment they did, the attacks upon them increased.
“Fine!” Kage yelled.
Austin’s mouth dropped as shadows raced across the ground, snagging all six wolves and dragging them into a portal. Pitiful yelps, snarls, and howls followed them into the darkness.
Shit, he got that on video. Austin didn’t know a wolf could scream in panic. The hair the back of his neck stood up as Kage calmly stepped into the portal and disappeared.
“Did he…. Did he just…?” Gobsmacked, Austin stopped recording and looked from Denisha to Maia.
“Yes, he most certainly did,” Denisha said.
“But I’m pretty sure one of those wolves was Axel!” Austin yelled. “There was a really skinny one! I caught a glimpse of it a few times. That had to be Axel. Jeez, one of you do something!”
Denisha nonchalantly leaned against the deck. “Don’t worry, he’ll be back.”
Austin whipped around to stare at Denisha. “Axel or Kage?”
“It’s okay, Austin. More than likely Kage will return with all six of the wolves,” Maia said. “ Kage dropping them in the ocean is the equivalent of spraying fighting dogs with water. I highly doubt he leaves them there.”
“That is not reassuring,” Austin complained. “Just so you know.”
Austin was working on an argument for trying to track Kage when suddenly six sopping wet people dropped out of the sky and hit the ground.
What an entrance.
Austin discreetly started videoing again. A few seconds later, Kage stepped out of the shadows, his arms crossed over his chest. “The first one of you who shifts will go back, and this time, I’ll leave you there.”
Kage wasn’t kidding, and Austin hoped the wolves understood that. Whatever was going on with these guys had pissed Kage off.
Maia walked down the stairs of the deck and moved toward the only wolf in the whole group Austin recognized—Axel. Next to Axel were two women.
There was a wolf in that other group who looked familiar, but Austin couldn’t place where he’d seen the man. Of course, it didn’t help that every last one of them was as naked as the day they were born. Unlike the daemon, wolves’ clothes didn’t shift with them.
Kage squared off with one of the larger male wolves. “Explain to me, Sergeant at Arms for the Crimson Fangs pack, why you and two of your wolves are here on neutral territory when I know good and damn well you have pack lands.”
Austin swallowed. Now he knew where he had seen that man. It was at the first meeting at Isadora’s restaurant. That was when they’d learned Axel had become the alpha of the Crimson Fangs pack—only it hadn’t been Axel. It had been Nox, the mimic, impersonating Axel.
Jeez, what was the guy’s name? Ditch? No, no that wasn’t right. Dutch! Yeah, that was his biker nickname.
“I don’t answer to you,” Dutch snarled.
“You do if you want to continue standing on dry land,” Kage snapped. “Now explain, otherwise you’re useless to me. Maybe the other two wolves from your pack wish to live and will tell me what I want to know.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“Are you completely stupid? Of course I’m threatening you. Tell me what I want to know or die,” Kage replied calmly. “Is that clear enough for you?”