It's the start of a new year a time to set new goals, make resolutions and assess the past year. I'd intended to do a whole post on this, but good news changed that. I just got a release date for Hunted Intensity. Before I post the blurb and excerpt, I will ask a question. Did you make any resolutions?
I set a goal for myself this year to focus more on my writing. I felt I got a little off track last year and fell behind on some of the aspects like promo. So I'm going to try to make it a priority. Without any more delay, here's Hunted Intensity
Stranded at a cabin on the mountain by a fierce storm, Tori Cha’Nesat doesn’t expect to meet a gorgeous but apparently intoxicated shifter. Tyson’s amorous attentions leave her wanting more, but she’s torn between giving in to the hot desire, and guilt over hungering to be with him when he doesn’t know her.
Tyson followed his mate’s scent to a cabin, but his instincts are almost completely in control. Something’s wrong, but he can’t focus beyond her. He wants to make love and bond with Tori until she realizes she belongs with him. As the drug’s effects begin to fade, he can think beyond the raging need. He needs to get her to safety before his enemies destroy their chance at happiness.
Tori added a couple of logs to the fire and stirred the soup in pot hanging in the huge rock fireplace. The cabin was stark and definitely bare. There weren’t even chairs or beds, only the essentials, supplies and a couple of pots for cooking. She took a seat on the cushions she’d placed on the bare plank floor in front of the fireplace and leaned back on her arms relaxing for a moment. She had a fire for warmth, a comfortably padded pallet for the night and soup to eat.
Now, she could rest while the storm rolled overhead. It was a relief and a much better option than having to stay out in the cold rain and eat whatever she could find in her bag or on the trail. That could have happened if the michkal had run off a little later in the trek around the mountain and through the forest to the valley.
Dozing slightly as the warmth of the fire filled the cabin, her eyes snapped wide in alarm as the door rattled against the bar holding it closed. Mirlu stood and walked to the door, but he didn’t growl or even seem alarmed. His head cocked to the side and his long, pointed ears swiveled. Must be the wind. She turned back to the fire. The door banged against the bar again, but this time, it did it three times in a row. That couldn’t be just the wind.
The fact that Mirlu wasn’t agitated reassured her. The canil was protective and if it was anything or anyone he considered a threat, he’d be all fangs and growls. She rose to her feet and walked over to the door. She cautiously slid the board free of one of the loops and pulled the door open a little to look outside. Even though Mirlu wasn’t worried, she wasn’t going to take chances. The plank would keep it from opening fully.
She looked out and at first didn’t see anything, but then she looked down. A sleek black form stood right in front of the door. A big feline paw with long, sharp claws raked at the door. A tiron. She blinked. She’d only seen the animal form of a Santir shapeshifter in a book, but she couldn’t mistake it. Looking back at Mirlu, she raised her brows. Not a threat? The animal was huge. He stood chest high, muscled and she’d bet those claws of his had left marks on the door. She’d never met one of them, but she knew there were a couple of groups in the area.
The tiron stumbled sideways as it raised its paw to scratch at the door again. It didn’t even seem to be aware that she had it partially open. Okay, something was wrong. Maybe it, he or she, was hurt. Now, that she wasn’t gaping in shock, she noticed that the tiron’s sides heaved with labored breaths. Where were the tiron’s friends? She knew shifters tended to stay in groups and seldom traveled alone. Wondering why the Santir was here during one of the worst storms to hit the area in years was going to have to wait. He was in trouble and obviously needed help.
She pushed the door closed far enough to remove the bar fully and then opened the door. Stepping to the side, she held open the door so the tiron could enter. The tiron’s eyes fixed on hers and it took a slow step forward. Its rounded head pressed into her stomach and even through the fabric of her shirt, she felt him take in a deep breath. A rolling purr rumbled through the beast as he turned and entered the cabin. The beast’s triangular ears swiveled and tipped back. He couldn’t seem to walk a straight line as he moved into the room.
She frowned as she followed after shutting and barring the cabin door. What had that been about? Who was this shifter? Mirlu seemed comfortable with him, but right now she was questioning the canil’s ability to know what was dangerous. That shifter was huge and the claws on those paws looked lethal.
The tiron plopped on his butt in the middle of the floor and watched her with deep green eyes. Tori raised an eyebrow. She’d expected the tiron to change into human form. From what she knew about them, they weren’t shy about nudity, but maybe he was being considerate of her.
Tori bit her lip. She had no idea if she’d be able to find any clothing to fit him among those on the shelf in the storage room. At least, she thought it was a he. After the way he’d pressed against her and the intense look in his eyes, she hoped it was a he. Without getting a little personal and much closer to him, she couldn’t be sure. Until he or she changed and there was proof, she’d just think of it as he. She didn’t even know what he really looked like or how tall he was. Shaking her head, she closed her eyes for a moment and took a calming breath as she ordered her thoughts. She was getting ahead of herself. The shifter needed to get warm and dry first and then they could see if there were some pants or something to fit him.
“I’ll go get a pallet and blankets for you. It’s wet and chilly out there. You look a little drenched,” Tori said hesitantly before she turned and headed toward the door to the storage area. She felt a little strange talking to a huge animal, but she knew he could or at least should be able to understand her.
She opened the door and stepped into the cool cave carved from the dark gray and black mountain stone. Shelves filled with dried food, blankets and other supplies lined the walls. She stacked blankets, thick padding as well as a towel on one of her arms. Taking a chance that they might fit, she added a pair of soft thick cloth pants to the pile. She turned to go back into the main cabin and stumbled to a stop. The tiron stood in the doorway. Deep green eyes locked on her. They burned with intensity as he watched her every move. She hadn’t seen such strong emotion blazing from anyone’s eyes before.
Her nerves stretched taut. She eased by the animal and glanced nervously back over her shoulder as she walked across the room. He followed her with a stumbling, weaving gait that worried her. She couldn’t think of anything other than time to help that.
Tori spread the padding near the fire and piled on a blanket or two. She put the towel and pants near the bedding and turned down the blankets as she stepped back. Her feet touched fur and she felt something brush against her thigh. She stiffened and stopped, managing not to trip over him. Looking back, she saw his head brushing against her thigh.
“Why don’t you change and dry off so you can get under the covers and warm up a little?” She moved to the side and half-turned to give him or her some privacy in case they were shy.
The tiron rose and paced a circle around her. His large heavy body pressed against her and she felt the dampness of his fur through her pants. His long tail hooked around her leg just before she turned her eyes firmly to the wall. She waited and waited, hoping that he’d say something once he was covered. She heard a light thud and that drew her eyes to the pallet.
He sat on the pallet without so much as a blanket pulled over his legs. Goddess above, the man was sexy. Long straight black hair hung over his wide shoulders. His rich, brown skin gleamed in the flickering firelight. Dark spots at his jaw and ribs were barely visible against the rich tone and noticeable only because she couldn’t take her gaze off him. His green eyes looked unfocused as if he was drunk or drugged. His long lashes lowered and rested against his cheeks drawing her attention to the high arch of his cheekbones. A smile curved his full lips.
“I found you.” The man’s words slurred together, but were clear enough that she had no problem understanding them.