Who is excited about B2B CyCon? This girl! And you lovely readers should be too! It is all the joys of an international book convention without all the hassle.
I am doing a lot of really fun stuff this year (check out the deets at my booth), including cover wars, some great panels, interviews, a lip sync battle, and...... *Drum roll*
A story hop! There are going to be some great story bits shared, so be sure to hop on through.
I decided to share a sneak peek of The Hunted, the sequel to The Hunters, which will be out this summer. Here you go, and you are welcome!
Screvin groaned and tried to keep his mind focused as Havoc had instructed, but Fury was making coffee and the smell was so distracting! He only had three weeks until the next full moon and the anxiety was killing him. Havoc said that the main focus had to be on meditation. No matter how his transformation took place, he would not be able to manage being a Were if he didn’t learn to meditate. But it was hard! Here they were, living in the woods, tracking the Were who had bit him, and all of the changes were just too much.
Sighing, Screvin tried to clear his mind again and focus on his breathing. Given that as a human Screvin struggled with anger issues, Havoc’s concern was that as a Were the anger would be a key trait in his change. That was no good. If he lost control, if he hurt… killed others… how could he ever live with that?
His breathing accelerated as his heartbeat increased with the fears eating him up inside. Damn, Focus Screv! Focus only on the breathing. Only on the heart rate slowing. Let your mind go blank.
Havoc sighed next to him, and it sounded like he was disappointed. “Alright, that is about enough for today, I think.” He murmured softly. Screv opened one eye and peeked at him. Havoc’s lips were pressed tightly together. He stood lithely and offered Screv a hand.
“Sorry,” Screv muttered as he rose.
“It is difficult,” Havoc conceded, brushing his silky black hair out of his face. “If meditation were easy, everyone would do it. But unlike humans, you must learn it.”
Screv hung his head. “I know. I really am trying.”
“I know. Don’t beat yourself up. That will only make it more difficult.”
Fury came around the other side of the fire with two cups of coffee. She offered one to Havoc and took a sip from the other. Screv resisted the urge to glare. He knew she was baiting him. “Any more coffee?” he asked.
Fury shrugged and tossed her long black braid over her shoulder. “Sure, feel free.”
Screv rummaged through the gear bag and all he could find was a tin cup. It would have to do. He lifted the coffee pot off the fire stand and sighed in annoyance when he barely managed a half a cup before the pot was empty. He rejoined Havoc and Fury, who were in a heated discussion. Not that they did it in front of him. But he could tell by the looks they were giving each other that they were doing the mind-talk thing again.
Fury shot a piercing glare with her ice blue eyes and Havoc shook his head firmly, closing his soft brown eyes.
He wasn’t supposed to know about the mind talk. As a matter of fact, Havoc denied it when Screv asked if they did, but Screv didn’t just fall off a turnip truck. He had been with them pretty non-stop for a while now. The week on the road had been a clear indicator. They were having conversations without him.
He cleared his throat as he sat down. “So the trail we are on, is it still pretty fresh?”
Havoc turned his hawk eyes on Screv. “Yes, two, maybe three days at most. We should catch up to her tomorrow.”
“Even if she is still moving?” Screv asked.
“She is slow,” Fury commented, crossing her arms over her ample chest. “I still want to know what your plan is, once we find her,” she snapped.
Screv looked to Havoc. It was a good question.
Havoc glowered at Fury and waited a beat. “We need to help her,” he insisted. Fury rolled her eyes. Screv sighed.
“We don’t know that she needs help,” Screv pointed out. He wasn’t entirely convinced that he wanted to help her. She had turned Doc into a Were and he had killed his whole family because of her. And because of the vampires, but Screv still blamed her.
Havoc eyed him. “I know this must be hard for you.”
Screv laughed bitterly.
“She was as much a victim of the vampires as you were,” Havoc admonished.
“She may have been forced to turn Doc, but she wasn’t forced to turn me. She could’ve waited until I passed. But she didn’t bite the first person walking by. She bit me.” Screvin rubbed the scars creating white striations across his black shoulder.
“Ultimately, the vampires are more of a risk than she is,” Fury pointed out. “Whatever her role, intentional or otherwise, the vampires were subjugating his town. We should go after them!”
“Your feud with Malich has been going for hundreds of years, it can wait until we get this Were and help her,” Havoc said sternly.
Fury stomped her foot and stormed off into the woods. Screv couldn’t help but admire her tall full figure as she went. “Bit hot under the collar, isn’t she?”
Havoc smiled. “You will learn that Fury… has very little patience. Ironic, for an Immortal, eh?”
Screv cocked his eyebrow at Havoc. That was the understatement of the century. “So what are we going to do when we find this girl? I mean, do you think she is just going to listen to us?”
Havoc stared off the way Fury had gone. The bronze skin around his eyes crinkled in thought. “I have to hope. If she doesn’t…. we may have to use force. I cannot allow her to keep going as she is. Not only is she a danger to humans, and to herself, she risks exposing all Weres. If we don’t deal with her, someone else will. And they may not be so kind.
There was so much more of this world that Screv knew nothing about. It terrified him, but at the same time he felt an urgent need to know more before it was too late for him. As annoying as Fury was, Screv was glad he had Havoc to help him. The thought of being alone in this whole transformation process was unfathomable.
“You should go work on your Katas.”
Screv nodded and headed into the woods. He veered away from the direction Fury had gone, in no mood to deal with her. Screv found a nice clearing that allowed him to be in the sun as he practiced. Going through the first Kata, Screv focused on precise motions. This was so much easier than meditation! Screv focused on his breathing and form, and the outside world melted away. He could feel his heart beating with a hard thump at every thrust and jab. He followed the rhythm.
Unaware as he was, so focused inward, he didn’t hear Fury approach and was shocked as she launched sending him sprawling face-first into the underbrush. She was on his back and had him pinned. He fought to get free, but she kept him pinned. Finally he stopped struggling. She leaned down next to his ear. “Do you yield?” she purred.
He tried to use her shift in position to his advantage, but she had anticipated that and kept her balance, but ground his face into the dirt in the process. She waited patiently for him to quit struggling again. He hated to give in to her, but she had played this cat and mouse game with him before. She was too fast and too strong. If she caught him unaware, he had no chance of beating her.
Groaning in resignation, he stopped struggling. She re-positioned herself, letting him lift his head.
“Well?” She asked caustically.
“What the hell do you want?” he demanded.
“This is not really talking, is it?”
“Shouldn’t have let your guard down,” she tsked. “Do you yield?”
“I yield,” he growled. She leapt off him lithely, and he sat up, dusting himself off. When he turned to stand, she was there offering him a hand. He slapped it away.
Screv simply glowered at her. “What do you want?” he snapped.
Fury rolled her eyes. “You know we should be going after the vampires.”
Screv shook his head. “I only know what you and Havoc tell me. Seems like we have time to go after them after we get the girl.”
“If we wait, we will lose Malich’s trail. He is a wily devil!”
“I am sure we will find him.”
“You don’t know!” she snapped. “The last time I lost his trail, it took me 80 years to find him again!”
Screv kept his face placid. Still, the concept of 80 years just being a blip in their feud boggled his mind. “What is your deal, anyway? I thought you couldn’t do something that would put humans at risk.”
Fury scoffed, stalking around the clearing. “Malich is a greater threat than this she-Were could ever hope to be!” She leaned against a tree. “You need to convince Havoc.”
“How am I supposed to do that when you still haven’t convinced me?” Screv challenged.
Fury’s face grew stormy. It scared Screv. He needed to be careful with her. His every instinct reminded him that she was far more dangerous than she appeared.
“Fine, little pup! But you had better do your damnedest to get that bitch on board, or I might just leave you,” Fury hissed through clenched teeth.
She stormed off through the woods away from Screv. He had no idea what the threat meant, but it still left a foreboding knot in his stomach.
What do you think of The Hunted so far? Share in the comments below!
There are a ton of other great stories in the hop, so be sure to go to the Event page and see if you can find some more that interest you!