Read An Excerpt

by Deborah Cooke

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifter, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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There was trouble in the wind.

It was late on a Saturday evening and Niall was walking home from the gym. He’d left Thorolf at a café; already he needed a break from spending every moment of the day with the Pyr’s newest recruit. The fact that Thorolf was driving Niall nuts within mere hours of Thorolf’s having moved in with him wasn’t a very good portent for this mentorship.

There had been a partial eclipse in the morning, one that had been mostly visible over the Pacific. Niall hadn’t needed to see it to feel his body respond. If nothing else, it reminded him of his self-imposed deadline. In December 2010, the first of three total eclipses would occur. The three firestorms linked to those eclipses had to be key to the Pyr, and Niall was determined to ensure that the world was devoid of shadow dragons by then.

He had roughly six more months to destroy all of the shadow dragons. The Dragon’s Blood Elixir that had been used to create the shadow dragons was destroyed, and Magnus, the leader of the Slayers who had raised dead Pyr and Slayers with the Elixir, was dead. Niall had volunteered to clean up the details.

He had expected the cleanup to be quick, but it had been an ordeal. The shadow dragons had been unpredictable.

Niall hadn’t thought they had it in them. In the past, they had been robotic, mindlessly following the commands of Magnus until they were incapable of doing so. With Magnus gone, they should have attacked in unison, keeping at it until they were dismembered and their ashes scattered.

But they hadn’t. Niall couldn’t figure out what had changed.

Worse, Erik, the leader of the Pyr, had insisted that Niall and Thorolf work together. Niall had eliminated twenty shadow dragons, sometimes with Thorolf’s help, including another the night before. But Thorolf was less than reliable, and Niall was sick of having to track down the other Pyr. He was fed up with Thorolf’s being out partying when he needed him. The shadow dragons tended to appear suddenly, as if conjured from nowhere, always having the element of surprise on their side.

Niall had lost it the night before. Thorolf had arrived so late for the surprise attack that Niall had given up on him. They’d argued after the shadow dragons were destroyed, Niall insisting that Thorolf move in with him or quit. He’d known it wouldn’t be easy to live with Thorolf, but he needed eyes at his back.

He needed a fighting partner he could rely on.

He needed some sleep.

And that meant he had to keep a closer eye on Thorolf, whether he liked the prospect or not.

Niall walked quickly, fighting that sense of being watched. He still couldn’t get the smell of incinerated shadow dragon out of his nostrils. Maybe it was the scent and the reminder of that near loss that made him feel vulnerable. Maybe it was a lack of sleep that left him feeling stalked.

Maybe he shouldn’t have left Thorolf behind.