I’ve got the first four chapters of Darkness Clashes for you all below. It comes to almost 12k words and should help tide you over until the novel releases. At the end, you’ll also get the details for a giveaway of new series promo items.
The werewolf had been staring at me for the last twenty minutes. His relentless gaze sent chills along my spine and made it hard for me not to turn and face him. Even from twenty feet away I could sense his growing desire. What was he waiting for? The right moment to pounce?
The dozens of humans surrounding us might have had something to do with it. This was Spokane, Washington. Not a lot of vampires around to compel the mortals into forgetting if the werewolf made a big scene. With the full moon just passed, he’d still be on edge and have to watch himself.
People from one end of the rectangular bar to the other drank, danced, and played pool games as they enjoyed their Saturday night. Music blared from the nearby speakers and it didn’t take a sensitive nose to catch the conflicting scents of sweat, stale beer, and cheap perfume. It was the picture of normalcy and proved how utterly oblivious these people were to the dark underbelly of the supernatural world rubbing shoulders with them.
A world I’d once avoided and pretended not to see.
The werewolf couldn’t know I wasn’t human—at least not anymore—but some sixth sense must have registered that I wasn’t easy prey. Not even close. I was more like a spider weaving an alluring web and waiting for him to step into it. The one enigmatic smile I’d given him when I arrived started the game. My loose auburn hair and blue halter dress with its short skirt kept it going.
Playing the role of a shy and vulnerable woman wore on me, but I wanted him to make the first move. For him to think he was in control—until he wasn’t. I didn’t get away from Fairbanks, Alaska that often. I had to get my kicks when I could.
I took a sip of my fruity drink. A husband and wife sat on the left side of me, drinking beer and complaining about their kids. I’d adopted a teenager myself and understood their difficulties. The barstool on my right side was empty, but an older man with a long gray beard sat just beyond it. He studied his beer bottle as if the answers to the universe might be revealed on the label. I’d tried that once. The words turn cryptic if you stare too long.
Toward the back of the place, a chair scraped against the tile floor. The werewolf had finally decided to make his move. My unique abilities as a sensor allowed me to track his movements without looking, but I also had the mirror behind the bar to help. He had to weave around a handful of high tables filled with patrons before he could reach me.
My belly churned at the thought of him getting close, but I had to do this. He was the first potential contact I’d found in Spokane and I only had one night to get what I needed. Lucas wouldn’t care for my methods, but I was doing this for his brother—who’d been missing for four months. We had to do whatever it took to find him.
The werewolf put a hand against the bar to my right, filling my peripheral vision. His tanned arm was covered with curly dark hair. My gaze trailed up to a bulging bicep and farther, to a thick chest covered loosely with a white t-shirt. It had a Coors Light logo on it.
He leaned down until his face couldn’t have been more than a foot from mine. His hair was shaved off, emphasizing a round head and full cheeks. A day’s growth of beard dusted his chin and jaw.
“Hey, sweetheart. What’s a pretty lady like you doin’ here all alone?” he asked, letting out a whiff of beer breath.
Take one for the team, Melena. You need this guy.