*GIVEAWAY AT THE END OF THE POST*
By: Denise McFarland
The world has evolved. Fairies exist and have the power to heal. Vampires are real and aren’t to be trusted. Wolves have revealed their ability to shift into human form. Will Jaxon is both man and wolf. He is the Alpha of his community’s Wolf Force, the agency that provides security and protection for all mankind. In addition to his role as the head of his pack, Will has been working undercover to infiltrate an illegal drug organization that is trafficking women. When Will is coerced to take the lead in an abduction, he agrees in order to preserve his cover. But one look into the terrified, green eyes of the woman he attacks, leaves him powerless to continue. As Rayne Daniels stares into the face of the man restraining her, she sees a shift, for a fraction of a second he changes and his true form is revealed. She realizes he is a wolf, a protector, and almost before she knows what is happening, he releases her. Rayne escapes physically, but emotionally she continues to be haunted, held prisoner by the trauma of that night. When Will discovers that members of the organization are still looking for Rayne, his entire world is altered. Now, Will spends his days undercover and every other free moment keeping Rayne safe, because her survival has become critical to him in a way that he cannot explain.
Chapter 1 Excerpt:
Rayne Daniels was tired. It felt like a long week and it was only Wednesday. But she’d promised herself she’d exercise three times a week and she hadn’t cheated at all for the last four weeks, so she wasn’t going to start now. After locking her ground floor apartment, she jogged down the first part of the path, around the corner and three blocks over, heading for the park in her neighborhood. She slowed as she crossed the street and made her way around the corner, with the park in view. The sun was just starting to think about setting, telling her she’d have to do more jogging than walking to speed up her trip around the park and be back home before dark.
Exercise was her attempt to get a little healthier. Following her 25th birthday Rayne had noticed her curves were getting a little softer and she’d heard about women’s bodies betraying then after 30. She’d decided she should get a head start on beating back the clock. She was in the process of congratulating herself for heading out into the cool dusk, despite her exhaustion and the later start, as she rounded the higher bushes on the edge of the park. She’d trained herself to speed up the jogging to a run in this area because as a single girl who ran alone, it wasn’t wise to linger near large shubbery that blocked you from view. Automatically running faster, she continued to think about this new phase of her life.
She was in a new city, with a new business, and now she had a new exercise routine. She was like an entirely new woman. Rayne was so caught up in her thoughts that she failed to notice the bent branches and scattering of leaves around the bushes. If she’d been paying attention, this would have warned her that something was wrong. As it was, she never slowed, never even suspected danger, until she was caught in the grip of it.
Rayne stopped short as she felt firm hands reach out and pull her off the path. She lost her breath as it was jerked from within her and was so shocked that the attack was really happening that she forgot to struggle for the first 3 heartbeats. But then reality set in and she pulled back, opening her mouth wide to scream. At the same moment anticipating her reaction, her attacker clamped both of her wrists in one vice grip, and he used the other hand to cover her mouth as he pulled her deeper into the shrubs.
Rayne knew no one was coming for her. The path had been empty as she’d entered the park and with every passing moment the darkness was settling around her. People didn’t come to the park after the sun set. She was completely on her own. She silently prayed, please God, please no, please help me.
They were totally surrounded by the high growing bushes and as she continued to struggle, she began to feel helplessly like she was about to live every nightmare she’d ever had. It was becoming harder to breathe through her panic and she tried to turn her head to find some form of escape. That was when she saw the ground behind her attacker. There was a whole cluster of men watching her world end. She couldn’t make out features, but they were standing there, witnessing her terror like it was some new sporting event. She couldn’t help the whimper that made its way up from her throat, as she finally looked up into the face of her assailant. She pleaded with her eyes, because her voice was still trapped behind his hand, begging him silently to let her go.
Watching his eyes she saw a slight change, so quickly she thought she must have imagined it.
He leaned in toward her and almost growled, “Stop. Quit fighting me.”
He lowered his voice further and tears burned into her eyes as he roughly whispered, “Use your knee and push me away. Do you understand? Make it look convincing. Look at me. Do you understand?”
The words were starting to penetrate her terror. Was he telling her he was going to let her go? She barely tilted her head forward, watching his eyes, momentarily paralyzed by her hope. She watched him match her movement, and saw the spilt second difference in his eyes again as he tilted his head forward, acknowledging that she’d truly heard him correctly.
Louder again he said, “Stop struggling.”
The words were barely out of his mouth when she reared her head back and slammed it into his face. Feigning that he was caught off guard, his head snapped back on impact and he released her hands. Rayne used that moment to thrust her knee upward and then shove him off balance. The second her hands left his shoulders she turned and ran. She ran with everything she had, her panic and adernaline pushing her forward faster than she’d ever run. And she was screaming as loudly as she could. No words would form, she just screamed and ran for her apartment. Nearing her door, she briefly wondered if she was leading the mosnter right to her home, but a quick glance behind her showed no one was following.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise McFarland is thrilled to introduce her very first publication, Immer. As a voracious reader from childhood, she found herself frequently being drawn into paranormal fantasy novels, falling in love with the interesting quirks and powers that made the characters “para” and the stories fantasy. It’s not surprising that when she finally jumped into the author pool, she dove toward her favorite genre. She has dreamed for years of being a novelist. So, when she developed a story that she couldn’t get out of her head, she knew she had to start typing.
Denise is a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Florida. She spends her summers soaking up the Florida sunshine and the rest of each year teaching 4th grade.
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