eBook Details

Wrath

Series: The Niteclif Evolutions , Book 2.0
By: Denise Tompkins | Other books by Denise Tompkins
Published By: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Published: Apr 03, 2012
ISBN # 9781609287238
Word Count: 111,202
Heat Index   
EligiblePrice: $6.50

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, HTML, Mobipocket (.mobi), Rocket, Epub

Categories: Romance>Paranormal/Horror Romance>Werewolves/Shifter

Description
Haunted by personal betrayal, stalked by a murderer and taunted by destiny. Finding justice—not to mention a little faith—has never been so hard.

The Niteclif Evolutions, Book 2

A murderer is terrorizing the streets of London, targeting women who look suspiciously like Maddy. Under the mantle of darkness, the killer attacks his victims from behind, severing their heads with startling efficiency and single-minded brutality. A single gold coin is left at the scene of every crime, buried in the neck of each victim. Nothing adds up, and the deeper Maddy gets into the investigation, the more she learns that there are hostile eyes in every faction—some malicious, others murderous.

Amid her struggles to stop a seemingly unstoppable killer, Maddy learns that dreams are far too fragile to juggle. Her newfound love is crumbling around her under the burdens of guilt and blame, and where one man abandons her, another is slated by the gods to take his place. Defiant, Maddy finds her struggles with free will versus destiny have only just begun.

Figuring out whom she should trust, and when, will force Maddy to reassess her alliances…and reaffirm her fragile mortality.

Warning: Contains Scottish and Irish brogues, heads that—literally—roll, seriously random acts of violence, heartbreak and hope, explicit m/f sex in a variety of locations, a voyeuristic vampire and one dinner table that will never be the same.
 
Reader Rating:  Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   Not rated
Excerpt:
Copyright © 2012 Denise Tompkins
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

The trip by car was a bitch. Every bump seemed to make my liver wobble, and I thought my spleen was going to rupture from the tightening and releasing of the seatbelt. It was miserable.

Pulling up under the port cochère, I recognized the valet and smiled at him. He did a double-take at my present condition but said nothing about the cuts and bruises decorating my topography. I made it through the lobby with the predictable stares and behind-the-hand whispers, grateful to reach the bench in the elevator car. Rapid movement caught my eye as I turned, and I swore I saw a familiar face in the crowd—long hair, androgynous build, pixie-like face. Definitely fae, but he—or she—was gone too fast for me to be sure I recognized him. We rode up to the twenty-second floor and Clay helped me into the room. I still thought it was too lavish, with its electric fireplace, bedroom-bathroom combo located behind leaded glass French doors that separated it from the living area and the million-dollar view of Big Ben and the Thames, but Bahlin had insisted. I wasn’t proud I had, predictably, caved to his wishes.

Stripping to my T-shirt and underwear with Clay’s help, I crawled into bed and was grateful for the man’s medical indifference to my state of undress.

He settled the covers carefully around me. “Need anything else for the moment?”

“No, I—” The phone rang, interrupting me.

Clay reached over and answered, and his side of the conversation was made up of mostly grunts and “uh-huhs” and finally a “see you in a minute.”

“Who was that?”

Clay looked at me, face studiously blank. “You have a delivery at the front desk. Are you expecting anything?”

The skin on the back of my neck crawled, and I shook my head slightly in the negative. I was back to what was becoming my standby line: “No one knows I’m here.”

“Obviously someone knows.” Clay pulled a Walther PPK semi-automatic handgun out of the waistband of his jeans and checked the chamber. “It’s loaded,” he said, handing the gun over butt first. “Don’t hesitate to shoot if anyone other than me comes through that door.”

I had a flashback to my time in the fae’s sithen when Bahlin had offered almost the exact same advice. My lips twitched with a smile. “Aye, aye,” I said, giving him the same answer he’d given me.

“Smart ass,” he mumbled, turning away, but not before I caught the grin on his face.



Clay’s departure marked the first time I’d truly been alone in days, bathroom breaks notwithstanding. I closed my eyes and reveled in the small sounds that infect silence so gently it’s never really truly quiet: the drip of the faucet, the clicking of the thermostat, the hum of the heater, the distant sounds of traffic, the murmur of voices in the hallway. None of the sounds was threatening, and they kept me from feeling lonely.

My traitorous mind shifted back to Bahlin. I was both angry and hurt. The distance between us seemed self-explanatory now, and I felt incredibly foolish for not having seen it earlier. I didn’t know how to help him heal, and it felt like our disconnect could become a permanent thing if I pushed him at all. I hated feeling so ineffectual.

The electronic lock hummed, and I shifted slightly so the gun was hidden in the bedding, only to relax after Clay called out. My eyes nearly bugged out of my head when he walked around the corner carrying what had to be two dozen red roses in a cut crystal vase.

“You weren’t expecting these?” he asked skeptically.

“I have no idea who they’re from, so there’s no way I could have expected them, Clay.”

He set the vase down on the dresser and pulled the card out from the small holder nestled deep in the arrangement. He looked at it carefully before walking it over to me.

I took it from him and opened the sealed envelope, carefully extracting the card. The little I’d learned of magic had made me leery of such unexpected events. A lock of hair fell out of the envelope. I lifted it and thought with a sickening feeling that it was the same color as my own hair. The card read:



My dearest Maddy,

A typical mundane’s casket blanket has 144 roses. Here are your first 24. Be sure to lock your windows, love. You’re beautiful when you sleep.



I dropped the card and began feeling all over my head. It only took a second to find the small area at my temple where my hair was shorter than normal. He’d cut my hair as I slept. Holy shit.

Clay watched me carefully, taking in the signs of panic undoubtedly crossing my face. “Want to tell me who sent the flowers?”

I held the card out to him with a steady hand. Bully for me. I leaned back against the pillows and shut my eyes, my breath raspy and my heart tripping double-time in my chest.

Clay read the card and grasped my chin, turning it to look at the small area of shorn hair. Letting out a low string of curses, he dropped the card on the bed and grabbed the hair from my open palm. He sniffed it, eyes closed, before turning to put it in the discarded envelope.

“I don’t know what the hell is going on with you and Bahlin, but I have to call him, Maddy.”

“No!”

“Yes. No discussion.”

“Screw you, cinder breath. I’m not dragging him into this just because you feel the need to play pigeon. No.”

He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and began dialing. “If you can stop me, crip, bring it on. Otherwise? Sit back and shut up.”

What the hell had happened to my mild-mannered nurse?

“Listen, you sorry son of a—”

“Bahlin? We’ve got a situation.” He turned away from my squinty-eyed glare and listened to the response. I could hear yelling. “No, man, I know I shouldn’t have let her weasel me into taking her out.” More yelling. “We’re at your hotel—” Silence. Clay flipped his phone shut and turned to me, eyes flashing that otherworldly blue. “If you get my ass kicked over this, woman, you and I are going to have problems.”

I just laughed. “What are you going to do to me that hasn’t already been done in the last three weeks?”

He grimaced.

“Come on, Clay. You like me and you know it.”

He shrugged. “So? That’s not news. This,” he said, waving a hand toward the flowers, “is. He’s pissed, Maddy.”

I was certain it would only get worse when he saw the card and the flowers. And the shorn lock of hair? I didn’t even want to think about it. But no matter how angry Bahlin was, I didn’t think he’d wish death on me. That was a little extreme. “He’ll get over it,” I said, distance between me and the enraged dragon enhancing my bravery.

“Tough talk for someone who can’t take a piss on her own.” He smirked, and I flipped him off.

Asshat. What’s worse was he was right.

Wrath

By: Denise Tompkins
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