Read An Excerpt
Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Adam turned down a rear access road for a quick canvas of the area before the day’s light was completely gone. The single large building turned into four, arranged around a yellowing square of grass at the center. A long stretch of his legs took him down its length. The busy street hummed to his left, cars speeding though the intersection without slowing. To his right, beyond a rusted, squealing gate, lay a black hole of an alley.
“Anyone there?” His breath suspended for thick moments, the sound of his own heartbeat dominating the pressure in his head. Nothing. He had to check it out in person, but he wished he’d brought a piece. The talk of demon feed made him edgy.
Adam moved into the press of blackness. “Hello?”
“Shhhh,” a voice hissed.
Adam’s eyes adjusted; the darkness thinned to heavy gray. In the litter of the alleyway, a young, filthy woman lay collapsed on the pavement. All eyes in a narrow white face.
Two months of searching, of studying her face in photographs so that he could be prepared for the moment of recognition. He knew every contour by heart. There was no mistaking the angled tilt of her glassy eyes. The curve of her jaw. The straight, thin line of her nose. Talia O’Brien.
The monster glided forward, closing the distance between him and his prey, a man ducking down the alley to help her.
The good samaritan was going to die. Talia had witnessed it many times since Melanie: the inhuman strength, the vicious teeth, the kiss. Then the dark, sick pull as the vital essence was ripped from a person.
She couldn’t let it happen, especially now at the end of everything.
A part of Talia stretched, not her lethargic body, but something deeper. The last bit of herself extended a lifeline to curl around the man’s form and mask his presence from the oncoming monster. To share the shelter of her cloak.
Her shadows enveloped then inundated him, his features snapping into focus. Dark hair, clipped short. Pale, intent eyes in an angular face. Vital body, tall and strong. Trim waist, belted slacks. His polo was a perfect fit over a strong chest and shoulders.
And still more. This deep into her veils, her sight penetrated the surface of the man. He was lit inside with a blazing column of purpose and will. Light permeated every cell of his body with vibrant life and intelligent power.
Spirit. Awe bloomed within Talia and clogged her throat. So beautiful. Too beautiful to be consumed by the oncoming horror.
Talia swallowed hard and tried again. “Please be quiet.”
Frustration closed her lungs. She couldn’t save him if he wouldn’t cooperate. Her shadows weren’t going to be enough.