Funny how all my friends seem to have new releases coming out in the same week. It sure makes my TBR-pile groan, and generous as I am, I'm sharing the joy with you. Here's another great read for you by the lovely Jess Buffet:
The Kayan's Mage
When Jake Hunter, Kayan for a Clan of Wolf Shifters living in Australia, finally finds his true-mate, he doesn’t expect it to be in the midst of a brutal attack. Through omissions of truth, misunderstandings, and fear, Jake struggles to prove to Sawyer that he can trust him.
When Sawyer is finally willing to give Jake a chance, a ghost from the past returns to destroy everything they have built together. Will they be able to overcome the foe long thought gone, or will it be the end for the Kayan’s Mage?
“Come to the new club, you said. It’ll be fun, you said…I’m not really feelin’ it, Riley,” Sawyer McLeod muttered to his brother.
One of these days he was really going to stop listening to that brother of his. Really, any day now. Shame he should have started yesterday.
His twin, Riley, had always had a knack for getting them into one scrape or another, but to his credit not even Sawyer had seen this coming. The group of men who were currently backing them into a corner were twice their size and just as drunk, looking more than ready to start something. The fact that their so-called best friend, Elijah, was standing with the men and encouraging them was a real kicker as well.
Sawyer was still reeling from seeing their former friend walk toward the group of men. He had thought the man had lost his mind, until Elijah had turned back, pointing his finger in their direction, and informed the men that they were the ones the group had been waiting for. Elijah had been the only friend they had, not having stayed too long in the one spot, and watching him betray them like that had felt like a knife in the gut to Sawyer. He had never had a reason not to trust the other man though. Even Elijah suggesting parking in this lot, which was situated further away from the club they were headed to, hadn’t set off any of his usual alarms. Jeez, I must be losing my touch.
“Eli, I don’t know what’s going on, but you need to stop this. Please,” he pleaded, his voice shaking toward the end.
“Why would I want to do that?” Elijah frowned. “Things are going exactly like they should.”
“You and your brother. You’re supposed to be dead, and now you will be.” Elijah made the claim as if Sawyer should have known that. “We can’t have your kind running around and multiplying.”
An icy knot formed in the pit of his stomach. Your kind? Did he know what they were? How? They were always so careful. His heart sank as Elijah’s words truly registered. He was right, they should be dead, and the fact that Elijah knew that could only mean one thing. They had been found.
Sweeping his gaze over the dimly lit lot in desperate hope of finding a way out, Sawyer noticed it was almost empty of cars. As the three large men at the front stepped forward, closing in on them, he became more aware than ever that there was no way anyone would hear a call for help from here. Even if they did, chances were it would be ignored. Life in the city.
The sounds of gravel shuffling under his feet echoed through his ears as they were backed up against the metal fence. Sawyer’s heart was beating so loudly and frantically that he was surprised he could hear anything else. Risking a quick glance at his brother, he saw his own fear mirrored in Riley’s icy blue eyes. It amazed him, even at times like this, that their eyes were the only physical difference between them, Riley’s being blue, whereas Sawyer’s were green.
Struggling to keep himself calm, at least on the outside, he tried to figure out a way of getting them past the three gigantors, then Elijah and the others. There was also another twenty metres to where their car had been parked. No problem, right?
“Com’ere, blondie,” the middle man slurred, his body swaying as he spoke. Sawyer could smell the pungent scent of stale alcohol from where he stood and shivered in revulsion when the man’s eyes raked over him. Worse still was when the man cupped his crotch and licked his lips like they were some sort of delicious meal he couldn’t wait to dig into. God, he was going to be sick.
Riley reached over and gripped Sawyer’s hand tight. He could feel the tremors running through his brother’s body, but he was hiding it well. While they may have had a slight advantage since neither he nor his brother was human, these men were big and outnumbered them. And if Elijah knew what Sawyer and Riley were, he also knew how old they were and that they wouldn’t have their abilities yet. Prime pickings.
“Seems they think they’re too good for us, Bear,” the one to Bear’s left chuckled. He took a step forward, and Sawyer couldn’t contain the whimper of fear that passed his lips even as he stepped sideways to place himself in front of his twin.
“Well now, Tiger, we’ll just have to change their minds. Won’t we, blondie?” sneered Bear.
Really, Tiger and Bear! Who were these guys, the rejects from an L. Frank Baum novel? Sawyer was just waiting for the guy on the right to pipe up and announce to the class that his name was Lion. If they were shifters, maybe he’d get it.
Wait, scrap that. Not even shifters would be that corny.
From behind him, he heard Riley mutter, “Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my.”
A snigger slipped past Sawyer’s lips, clearly indicating that his self-preservation wasn’t kicking in. Both of them had always found the most inappropriate things amusing when they were scared, and unfortunately for them, Bear didn’t seem to appreciate their particular brand of humour. No one ever did.
A fist collided with the side of his head, blindsiding him and knocking him to the ground. From where he fell, Sawyer shoved at Riley, moaning for him to run. Somewhere to his left he heard Riley scream his name, but there was nothing he could do but draw their attention, giving his brother a chance to escape as another hard kick landed in his stomach. That was going to leave a mark. Managing to regain his footing, Sawyer blocked the next hit, following it up with a right hook of his own. His fist collided with the man’s temple and the guy went down with a grunt. All those years they had spent on the street were paying off, and by the look on Elijah’s face, he hadn’t been prepared for that. A small sliver of satisfaction ran through Sawyer. The arsehole hadn’t expected on him fighting back, which meant he didn’t know Sawyer as well as he thought he did.
“That’s right, bitch. This twink fights back,” he spat out.
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