Good news is, it will be ready for submission within a day or so!!
So, for those of you who are dying to know the whole picture behind the weekly snippets I have been sharing, enjoy!
Tehya shook away the fat raindrops that had collected in her bangs and kept dripping into her eyes. Her clothing clung to her body, heavy and weighing down her gradually slowing steps. She felt utterly bone weary, her feet dragging along as she kept on through the night. Even though the small backpack slung over her shoulders had seemed lightweight when she donned it only hours earlier, in this downpour, the couple of changes of clothes and handful of other personal items she couldn't bear to leave behind, felt like a sack of bricks as it bounced against her shoulder-blades while she trudged through the muddy undergrowth edging the unsealed road.
There hadn't been a single car pass her since she started walking. While that was a blessing in some ways, her swollen and aching feet and calves protested her good luck with each increasingly shuffled step. Only the occasional distant hoot of an owl and the chirping of crickets kept her company, as she picked her way through the murky gloom the ungodly hour of night offered.
A deep chill had worked its way through her muscles and sank straight into her bones as the wind yet again picked up and buffeted against her. Just a short break to get warm, to put her feet up and eat would have been a blessing—a respite that her whole body ached for—but she still had a ways to go and her spirit guides wouldn't let her dare rest until she was safe...both her and the precious cargo she carried. She couldn't risk Uri finding her. If he did...well...she just couldn't let that happen.
It was in the primitive heart of a boar bear's nature to wipe out the bloodlines of a defeated Alpha...and Uri had challenged Marcus—her mate and Alpha of the Redclaw bear clan—and not only won the challenge, but had killed Marcus outright. He planned to force her to bond to him instead, to have control of her gifts for his own purposes. She had to get as far away from the clan as she could, before he twigged to the fact that she had given him the slip and escaped...but her time was running out so fast. With her bond to her life-mate severed, her own death was only days away. She had to get the only thing in the world that mattered to her now to safety, before that borrowed time ran out.
Drawing deep on her bare inner strength, Tehya drew the thin soaked sides of her coat around her shoulders a little tighter, bent her head against the rain and kept going. Her guides lent their energy, pushing her to the east...so that is the way she would keep heading until she found the help they insisted they were pulling her towards. Some days, though, it really sucked to be clan shaman.
"Would you mind telling me why on earth we're driving around at this disgusting hour of the night...and in the rain I might add?"
Reece shot Sean an irritated look. "I already told you, my damn wolf wouldn't let me sleep. It kept haunting me with stupid images...really stupid images every time I closed my eyes. It was almost as if the temperamental shit didn't want me getting any sleep at all. Then when I finally gave up and left the bed, it kept shooting me images of the car keys and this road. Who am I to argue with the beast when it wants me to take it for a drive? Besides, I didn't invite or make you come. You jumped into the damn truck on your own."
Sean snorted. "Do you hear yourself? You're talking as if your beast is a separate entity to you. It's a part of you, not an individual presence just hitching a ride inside of you like some fucking parasite. If your wolf is bristling and demanding...it's because your own psyche wants you out here. And anyway...would I let you get in trouble by yourself?"
Reece blew out an exasperated breath. "Whatever. All I know is that I need to be here if I want sleep any time soon. And I don't need any lectures about my wolf either. I know it has its reasons, I'm just pissed it chose the middle of the night to get its point across. You know I'm grumpy as hell if I don't get enough sleep. I'm not surprised I kept you awake with all the tossing and turning."
"Oh, you kept me awake all right, you great lug. I was hoping it meant you were horny, not wanting to take a midnight cruise through the deserted neighbourhood." He ran a palm up Reece's thigh, edging closer to the apex and squeezing. "Although you could make it up to me, you know. I haven't fed tonight, and with all this angst flooding through your system, I bet you would taste...delightful." Sean's husky murmuring was doing wicked things to Reece's nerves. His skin tingled, goose bumps spreading like wildfire across his limbs as Sean's breath ghosted along his neck, tickling and teasing his senses into a frenzy. Sean's' fangs grazed along the thick vein that seemed to throb just for his hybrid. His cock thickened and answered with a throbbing all of its own. "Just a little sip is all I need...enough to take the edge off, baby."
His cock jerked and leaked a trickle of pre-cum against the material of his jeans, liking Sean's train of thought. His lover lifted one of Reece's arms and scooted under it, plastering himself to his side. Reece leaned in and arched his neck to chase more of those tantalizing nibbles. Making a quick decision, he started to slow down and pull over with the intention of telling his half-vampire, half-wolf mate to feed, when a movement in front of the truck at the side of the road up ahead drew his attention.
A dark form separated from the shadows edging the road. An eerily white gentle glow ghosted the outline of the figure, which seemed to stumble, before wavering back and forth a little. Reece slammed his brakes on and threw an arm out to hold Sean back, the braking screech echoing through his teeth as the seatbelt bit into his hips and chest. The lights of his truck bounced off the muddy ground in front of the vehicle, illuminating the figure only feet in front of the grill in vivid detail. A smallish woman, completely drenched and paler than a sheet of paper, stared into the headlights. Her deep blue eyes were huge, her pale mouth dropping open as she shook so hard he could actually hear her soaked clothing squishing together from the shivers wracking through her body, even from inside the cab.
Reece threw open his door, sliding out and around the front of the dark blue four-wheel drive before he could think it over. Sean joined him on the other side of the woman as she tilted her small angular face towards his. A shaky smile kicked up the sides of her pale lips as she reached out and snagged his open flannel shirt in her small frozen fists. It took her a couple of tries, but when she could finally form the words, her voice sounded weak and raspy. "I'm here." Her eyes rolled back as her legs gave out, Sean catching her from behind and swinging her up into his arms, the backpack on her back and all. He swiftly carried her out of the headlights beam and to his side of the truck.
"Damn, she's icy cold. It looks like your little inner debate with your wolf was for a reason, love. Let's get her into the truck and pump up the heat. There's a picnic rug behind the seat if you want to help me wrap her in it too."
Reece nodded, rushing the passenger side door of the truck open. Sean slid in, jostling the woman slightly until her head rested on his shoulder as he nodded for Reece to close the door. Climbing into his seat, Reece reached over the back and pulled out the rug Sean had mentioned. He shook it out as best he could in the confined space of the cab and wrapped it over the top of Sean, tucking in the edges so that the woman was fully covered apart from her small damp head. Leaning against Sean, she reminded him of a child with her petite size and small defined features. Her hair stuck to her face in dark, dripping clumps, as he leaned over and pulled the strands out of the way. Even in the dimply lit cab, her face almost glowed with a sickly pale pallor. His wolf chuffed in his mind, as if pleased it had gotten its way and was thrilled with the result. She was definitely what his beast had wanted...but why?
"In case you were wondering, she's as wet as she looks. I'm already soaked through." Sean's forehead creased as he reached up with the arm that wasn't wrapped around his bundle and pulled the blanket a little tighter, stopping when he tried to tuck the fabric around her hips.
"What the fuck?"
Reece turned on the interior light and watched as Sean ripped back the blanket, revealing a large prominent bulge hidden beneath and now exposed to their eyes. The bulge jerked beneath their stares.
Sean gulped. "Is that what I think it is?"