Here's a little taste of what's coming. I'm sure because of the delays some folks are thinking, "Is she really writing?" I'll be posting the first few chapters of Ravaged over the next couple of weeks as I wrap up things.
* * *
The scent hit
Logan Polk as he straightened with a bag of feed on his shoulder. She-were.
Wolf. His kind.
His canine libido stirred regardless of his human side, and he sniffed the air, trying to detect
her location amid the cold, wet wind of the approaching snow storm. Montana was
neutral territory for the various North American weres, but most of them visited
in the summer and fall when hunting was good.
Not that the
occasional loner didn’t find it a good place to relax other times of the year.
Like he did.
There. He admitted
it like the therapist wanted.
It was fucking
embarrassing for an alpha to have been kidnapped and tortured by a bunch of
Normals. It was far worse to be treated for PTSD because of the experience.
But the therapy
was working. He didn’t have the nightmares like he used to. He owed Esther and
Aaron a lot for insisting he talk to their daughter Sarah’s doctor in Billings.
Honestly, if another were had suggested it, he would’ve ripped their throats
But the witches
understood. Sarah understood even more because she had been captured and
tortured by the same assholes. The nineteen-year-old was talking about going to
college next year back in California. She was getting on with her life.
And he was killing
time in neutral territory.
insult was lost when he spotted the she-were. She approached a bright yellow
Jeep. Even if the plates hadn’t screamed rental, the color did. Not even
Marvin, the town’s librarian/theater operator would be caught dead in anything
that bright as his camouflage-style nail polish attested.
The lady had long
brunette hair pulled in a tight ponytail. Legs that went on forever. If only
she would turn around…
“Dammit, Polk! Get
a move on. Ed can’t wait all afternoon for you to load his truck.”
whirled around at Wade’s shout. Mother Wolf bless his boss’s bullhorn voice.
The stranger was even better looking than his imagination had painted her. A
perfectly proportioned rack and a face that would make angels weep.
She frowned when
she caught Logan staring at her. Even though he was downwind from her, his
unblinking gaze was unmistakably wolf. Instead of approaching him, either to
take him up on his blatant offer or to warn him off, she tossed her shopping
bags in her Jeep, climbed in and pulled away.
Ed and Wade
flanked him as she headed down Main Street and out of town. Wade clapped his
shoulder. “She’s a looker all right.”
drawled. “We were all beginning to wonder which way your flag flew. Guess
Marvin wins the pool.”
* * *
glanced in the rear view mirror. Nothing was behind her but the deepening
twilight. Of all the things that could have gone wrong on this trip, another
werewolf in town was not one she expected. Much less a lone alpha from the bold
way he watched her.
Was he yet another
beau Papa had steered in her direction? Damn, she knew she should have lied to
him about where her next project was taking her.
Please, God. Let
the wolf at the feedstore be the only one around. The last thing she needed was
fighting off a bunch of suitors in Tuttle Creek while landing the biggest
interview of her career.
The Reverend Ford
Haight had taken over the Sunshine Believers four years ago. He moved the
controversial group from Los Angeles to a ranch outside of the little Montana
town. He was also credited with turning them into productive members of society
after their leaders had kidnapped American TV actress Jessie Alton, the star of
the hit comedy “Buddies”.
For some strange
reason, none of the media had run the story, not even the most notorious of the
tabloids, The National Scoop. He’d
brought the incident up first when he answered Alyson’s letter and emphasized
that he wouldn’t cooperate if Alyson only focused on his group’s lurid past.
When she wrote back, saying she strived to be even-handed about her subjects in
her documentary on splinter religions, Haight agreed for the Sunshine Believers
to be included.
When she asked if
they could have a phone conversation, he refused politely. He pointed out he
didn’t trust her enough yet to allow her to have the ranch’s private numbers.
Given modern trolling techniques, she really couldn’t blame him.
So, she had left a
message with Maddy, one of his adherents, at the general store to let him know
she was in town as he had instructed. The teenager was far younger than Alyson
had expected, but she promised to deliver the note when she went home after her
shift. For now, Alyson had to be patient, something she’d never been good at.
Her real problem on
this project may be the alpha wolf getting in her way. This close to winter,
she figured she would miss most of the hunting crowd. And he may take her
rudeness as a reason to approach her.
Oh, hell. If he
was one of Papa’s plants, he’d approach her anyway. Maybe it would be best to
do her own hunting rather than go back into town when she needed more supplies.
Except she couldn’t
hunt cherry amaretto ice cream in the wild.
Why couldn’t Papa
be as forward thinking as John Lannigan, the leader of L.A.’s werewolf pack?
According to the grapevine, Lannigan’s daughter was his beta.
Not that she
wanted to be Papa’s second. She wanted love, passion, respect for being
herself, not because she was the pack princess. She definitely didn’t want to be
treated like a breeding bitch. She wanted to be swept off her feet by someone
who adored her.
You’re being as chickenshit and backwards as
you accuse Papa of being. You’re the wolf, not Red Riding Hood.
A flash of tan fur
darted from the forest. She slammed on the brakes, and the Jeep’s tires
screeched as it slid on the asphalt. Thank Mother Wolf, the forecasted snow
hadn’t arrived yet, or the vehicle would have slammed through the guard rail
and rolled end over end into the deep ravine on her right.
The acrid scent of
burnt rubber mixed with the wet air as she opened the vehicle’s door. A few
flakes fluttered to land on the hood of the Jeep and her nose. The wolf had
already disappeared into the thick brush on the other side of the road.
She took a deep
breath. Werewolf. An unfamiliar pack. The one who had been staring at her back
on Main Street? She hadn’t been able to detect his scent in town with the wind at
her back, coming off the surrounding peaks.
The road meandered
around the river and up Mount Tuttle. He could have caught up with her if he
knew the area better than she did.
Not if. Since. She’d
been in Tuttle Creek long enough to pick up the keys for the rental cabin and
supplies. Scouting the area should have been her first priority.
But then, she’d been
mocked incessantly for being more human than wolf. Never in front of Papa
though, and she hadn’t been stupid enough to whine to him. Deep down, she knew
he felt the same way as those who’d insulted her even if he never said a word.
Still, if it were
the werewolf in town who’d been staring at her, there were easier ways to get
her attention than running in front of her Jeep. She climbed back into the
driver seat, shifted gears, and hoped she found the rental cabin before dark.
* * *
Golden eyes watched the vehicle as it disappeared
around the bend. The shape-shifter would be strong enough to breed. She wouldn’t
survive any more than the weaker mammals he had experimented with on the
ocean-side of these mountains, but she would live long enough. And in this
isolated plateau, no one would discover she was missing until he had a score of
his kind to prepare the way for his master by killing the usurper.