Another Monday and another excerpt! Last week I shared one from Poisoned Message, so this week I’ll share from Bad Wolf Hunting. BWH is the first book of a new series. It’s a spin-off from Enforcers and Coteries, focusing on the werewolves of Toronto.
Patient and still, Zmitro waited for her to leave. She had no reason to remain and yet, Mara didn’t move, simply stared into the flames like they had another story to tell her. What did she see in the flicking light?
“Come out, Zmitro. Join me by the fire.” Her gaze unerringly found him, startling him. Had she cast a spell?
With a shrug of his wolf shoulders, he stood on all fours and prowled out of the bush, branches brushing against his fur. Since he had no clothes, he remained in his other form. While nudity didn’t faze him, he figured making a powerful mage uncomfortable wouldn’t help his situation.
Zmitro sat next to Mara, wagging his tail like a friendly dog. Other werewolves would find his behaviour insulting, but he wanted to keep his potential opponent off guard.
A wisp of ozone tickled his nose and he sneezed. You cast mind-speak?
The spell was a familiar one. A friend, Victor, used it often when Zmitro stayed in wolf form. Victor wasn’t as powerful as Mara, but then again, few were. However, his friend had made a name for himself in hunting demons and banishing them if they broke the law.
Yes. What you just witness isn’t for public knowledge. Keep it quiet or––
Or you’ll torture me? Wipe my memories? Keep me in werewolf form for the rest of my life? he interrupted, a hint of laughter underlying his words. Not for a second did he believe she wouldn’t do any of those things, but he’d seen enough of Mara in action to know she would persuade him first. A shame she wouldn’t tempt him with what he really wanted.
Mara rolled her eyes at him, something he hadn’t thought possible with the emotionless mage. Then again, he also hadn’t expected laughter from her either. The mage continued to surprise him. What else would he learn about her? In a brave––and infinitely stupid––move, he rested his chin on her knees, whipping his tail back and forth like an excited puppy about to receive a treat. She chuckled softly and rested her hand on his head, scratching behind his ear.
None of that. I would hate to upset Victor. He seems to like you, and he’s a valuable Enforcer. No, I’m simply punish someone you care about. Maybe Simone or Heather. I’m not cruel enough to touch Sylvia. She’s been through enough. Her fingers continued to rub through his fur, but he no longer felt relaxed.
Muscles tensed, he lifted his head, catching Mara’s gaze. Touch my packmates and I’ll shred you to pieces.
Mara cupped his face, not flinched from his sharp canines, and her face hardened, the frightening angel of death chasing away any inherent innocence by virtue of her youthful features. Then we have an understanding. This meeting stays between you and me. Break the silence and suffer the consequences.