Wes POV - Scene from Cold Blood
I yanked my lips away from Tara’s—hating the feeling of loss that always accompanied that particular action.*Swoon* Ok that last line... Brilliant! Love it :) and I just fell in love with Wes a lot more *if that was possible*
It wasn’t something I wanted to do, ending the contact, but the growl I’d just heard wasn’t something I could ignore. For two reasons. One, it wasn’t friendly. And two, it wasn’t alone. All around me I could hear them. Breathing. Snarling. Readying.
Tara asked me if I could see them. I shook my head no. But I could feel them. And they felt … odd. What the hell were these things?
One of them walked forward—the alpha. I could tell by the way he met my eyes, challenging me even before he issued a demand.
“Two for the price of one,” it snarled.
It was caked with mud—either as a way to distract from its scent or evidence of hard travels, I wasn’t sure.
“What do you want?” I demanded, forcing myself to remain human even as my form shook and blurred at the edges. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind: How many were there? Could I take them on my own? Make Tara safe. Could she climb this tree? Wait it out? Maybe I could run, lead them away …
“The girl. But we’ll take you too,” answered the alpha.
That did it. I couldn’t remain on two legs. My mind emptied of all thoughts but one: shift.
“Tara, stay back. I can’t—I have to change.” I struggled to stay human long enough to warn her.
She moved away immediately. Not far, just enough to give me room. Damn, I loved that about my girl. She knew exactly what I needed from her right now. Like a sixth sense.
“Do it,” she whispered.
The words, her voice …at the sound of them my instinct to protect kicked in, so fierce I thought I’d choke on it. I shifted easily, pushed over the edge by her response.
I’d barely landed on all four paws before the alpha came at me. Good. My teeth ached to sink into something.
I tore through half a dozen wolf-hybrids before I’d taken an entire breath. The feel of their flesh giving under my jaw gave me a rush. Battle strategies. Technique. Look for an opening. Tara. Disjointed thoughts flashed through my mind as I tore at the horde of mud-caked Werewolves. They continued to come, one after the other. No matter how many I put down, three more popped up in its place.
My lungs began to burn as I struggled to breathe around the flesh and blood that coated my mouth.
When my teeth closed around the next one, I yanked us both out of the chaotic center and away from the pack. Strategy.
We circled around and around each other, the mangy wolf unconcerned with its own injuries, the blood seeping from its fur. I looked for an opening while keeping half an eye on the rest of the circle. Technique.
A movement in the center of things caught my eye. Taller than the others. Smooth skin, long hair. Tara.
I looked over and was struck motionless for a breathtaking moment. Her hair hung loose around her shoulders, shadowing her dirt-streaked cheeks. She held a gnarled branch in her hands that dripped with thick blood. Her chest heaved up and down from exertion and the expression in her eyes—fierceness and unchecked rage—was not the Tara I knew. The Tara I knew was gone, this was …
“Tara, look out!” I called to her just as the wolf charged from behind. There was no need.
She kicked out without turning and the fluidity of the movement, the ease and lack of hesitation, made her a warrior like I’d never seen in a human. Her instincts were almost animal.
I felt the moment happen in slow motion—the exact instant I realized I’d let my guard down a second too long. I tried to block it but my body couldn’t move as fast as my mind and the muddy wolf locked its teeth around my throat, slamming me to the dirt.
I winced and let out a whimper. Mind-numbing pain followed, knocking the wind out of me and paralyzing my legs.
Failure cut through me almost as hard as the pain in my throat. I’d been beaten. Tara would be taken. We’d lost.
“Are you okay?”
More than the words themselves, the closeness of Tara’s voice startled me. I pried my eyes open and found her peering down at me, her brow creasing with concern. Where was the wolf? I hadn’t even noticed when he’d removed his teeth from my neck. The pain had remained the same.
“I’m fine,” I managed, lacking the strength to even raise my head and look for the absent wolf. We both knew I wasn’t fine.
“I’ll be back. Don’t move.” She was gone before I could argue.
What happened next wasn’t something I’d ever seen before—or probably ever would again. One thing remained certain through all of the shock and carnage that followed: I loved Tara Godfrey with all of my heart and with both of my souls, human and Wolf.
Let's learn a bit about Heather.. Then Stalk her with the links!!
Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. She now lives in coastal VA, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, with her husband and two adorable children. She works from home, part time, as a property manager and when she's not furiously pounding at the keyboard, or staring off into space whilst plotting a new story, she's helping her husband with DIY projects in their home (he woodworks - she paints) or she's lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays.
Heather loves Mexican food, hates socks with sandals, and if her house was on fire, the one thing she'd grab is her DVR player.
You can find out more about her and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com
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Heather is a co-founder of Accendo Press, a publishing group she operates with fellow authors: Angeline Kace and Jennifer Sommersby. Accendo (a-CH-endo), A Latin word, means “to kindle, illuminate, inflame, or set fire.” This is something Accendo strives to do inside a reader’s imagination with every title released. For a complete list of titles and author bios, visit www.accendopress.com.
If I had to choose one word to sum up all of my problems, this would be it.
Without hybrids, I wouldn’t have to watch my best friend slowly becoming a monster. Without hybrids, I could let go of the mentality “hunt or be hunted.” CHAS wouldn’t be scouring the Earth, intent on slaughtering and using Alex to do it. Without hybrids, I wouldn’t have to be on guard that losing my temper meant losing my shape. There would be no monster inside me, struggling to get out.
Then again, without hybrids, I wouldn’t have Wesley St. John.
Want to win a paperback copy of Blood Bond? A PAPERBACK copy??? Oh yeah you know you do! So here is the dealy-o Comment below and tell me : how many of the ways you stalk Heather Hildenbrand... each one is an entry!