When Sorcha finds herself kidnapped by a lykae that once broke her heart, she discovers to win you have to lose.
When Alex learns that he can gain his vengeance after centuries of waiting, he does not hesitate to do what must be done—kidnap the head of the Jade Coven.
But with the fiery, drop-down gorgeous redhead, he soon discovers that the past cannot compare with what the future—with Sorcha by his side—will hold.
Will Alex break the bonds he has imposed on his wolf in order to win his witch’s heart? Or, will his thirst for retribution destroy every chance for this fated couple to taste freedom in each other’s arms?
Reader Advisory: This book contains reference to non-consensual sex and abduction.
General Release Date: 15th November 2013
Sorcha shook her head and blinked to clear her eyes. Beneath her, a dirty street came into focus. Confused, she squeezed her eyes shut. Nothing was making sense. She should be at home, in her bed. Instead, she was slumped over a shoulder that was digging into her stomach. Everything hurt. Even breathing freakin’ hurt.
Had someone hit her with a baseball bat when she hadn’t been looking?
It certainly felt like it.
Concentrate on what you do know.
A hard, muscled back hit her face and ewww...musty smelling fabric assaulted her. Whoever held her obviously had no sense of personal hygiene. She smelt smoke, not cigarette smoke, but more like the lingering aroma of pine and oak she remembered from the giant hearth in her home as a child. Well, mixed with enough body odour to knock out a prizefighter.
Trying not to alert her captor that she was awake, she tested the rough bindings around her ankles and wrists. Whoever wanted her seemed to believe that old ‘bind a witch and you bind her powers’ jive. For some, it may even be true.
Not for her.
She was at her peak—the most powerful witch of her era and head of the Jade Coven. Ropes couldn’t bind her—not any longer. After the strife and sorrow she’d endured to get her coven where it was today, to have somaeone sneak into her grounds, steal her from her bed? It would have been laughable—if it weren’t blaringly true.
She considered frying the guy, but she wanted information. Like why her? Most of her enemies would simply kill her—not kidnap her. Unless there were things they wanted that only she could provide.
Still acting as if she were dazed and confused—which wasn’t a stretch, she had to admit—she created a space within her mind where panic and fear couldn’t enter. Magic worked best with a still mind so that a witch’s power wove within the body, moving outward with the weave of the spell. How many times had she taught that to younglings? More times than she wanted to think about, and yet all those faces, all those magic users, flashed through her mind in steady, disordered wisps of memories she couldn’t hold on to.
What had they given her? She could taste something, but the flavour blended with a citrusy sweetness that made it hard to concentrate.
More frightened now, she blocked out everything around her that she could and focused on calm. Peace of a sort descended after several steady heartbeats. Silence echoed in her mind and she sought within for the power that flowed like a mystical river through her centre...and encountered nothing.
No, she thought, not nothing—there was something lurking in her mind. Something that didn’t belong. It reminded her of a grey curtain on the breeze, sheer enough to sense the sun through it, but strong enough to hold back any warmth. Alarms shivered down her body. She shoved at the barrier, pushed, pulled and tried to go beneath it. Nothing worked. Nothing. It was like digging into air. She let herself fall deeper into her subconscious mind, but still encountered no end to whatever was blocking her. A rush of adrenaline-laced fear chilled every inch of her body.
Okay, maybe panicking might be the best plan.
The sudden, complete loss of her magic was inconceivable—before now.
She couldn’t hear the earth, couldn’t feel the flow of air, or sense the currents of water rushing underground. She couldn’t reach the elements in any way. They were there—but not there for her. Her mind reassured her that if she could but reach her power, the elements would obey her call.
Suddenly her predicament took on a completely new level of urgency. She was head of the most powerful coven on the planet, but without her powers—
She was screwed.
How could this be? Who would do this? Who could do this?
Spells fortified her home with power so deep that no one could enter unless...invited. But that made no sense.
Concentrate. Think, Sorcha. Think.
The last thing she remembered was sitting at home. Agni, her best friend, had brought her some of her favourite butterscotch tea from Germany. The silly demon had stopped by wanting to discuss the Fay Realm of all places. She’d not learnt why, but his sudden interest had intrigued her enough to spill a great deal on the methods for reaching their magical lands. Agni was many things, but she trusted him with her life. When he’d left, she’d been drinking another cup of the tea and reading from a book on gardening. She could picture the glossy coloured pages filled with rows of strawberries even now. The Fay possessed the most beautiful gardens she’d ever encountered, and yet, she loved her own and wouldn’t trade it for any of the most splendid of theirs. She’d been thinking of adding a strawberry patch for the spring, then...
The man carrying her said something in a harsh, guttural language and swung around, nearly toppling her off his shoulder.
She thought she spotted the outline of another figure for a second before her face hit solid muscle again. The shorter, bulker man responded in the same language. Then the walking continued.
Two men. Two captors or were there more, but they were just silent?
Calm, Sorcha. Keep calm.
She had to get free. Wrists tied. Ankles tied. Walking was out. At least until she got the bonds off. Then...
Ah, yes, then she would...fight? The thought nearly made her laugh—nearly. Unlike her sisters, Circerran and Talaith, Sorcha had never trained to use manmade weapons of war, but she could fight. And right now, she would need to. She was in her silky nightgown, head down, hands and ankles tied and more vulnerable than she’d been in centuries, but giving up wasn’t her style. Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself for pain, lifted her numb arms and drove both fists into the nerves along her captor’s spine. At the same time, she tried to jackknife her lower body free with a sudden twist of her legs.
Whoever held her stumbled. She jerked again and managed to shift enough that he unbalanced further. With a hissed out curse, he tried to catch himself, but in a panic she moved her weight in the opposite direction. He tripped forward, dropping her like a sack of potatoes right on her butt.
The pain shooting up her spine proved without a doubt that she wasn’t just having a nightmare. This was real. It felt like she had hit the concrete with enough force to fracture her tailbone—if she hadn’t had enough padding there. Still, it hurt.
She bit her lip to stop herself from making a sound and scooted backwards on her stinging rear as far away from her stumbling captor as she could.
“We can’t let her go!”
The two figures in black launched towardss her just as her shoulders hit a brick wall. Panicked, she tried to find some kind of landmark, but one of them immediately hauled her to her feet and dragged her face within inches of his.
He blinked and immediately she focused on his long zigzagged pupils. The slightly reddish skin and the teardrop mark by his right eye meant one thing—demon hunters. Only they didn’t hunt for demons, they were the demons that went hunting. They hunted for money and had no limits on who they’d go after. Everyone feared them. Rumours abounded on their tracking skills. If they were after somaeone...nothing could stop them. The target would be theirs within hours. Or whoever hired them.
“Ya shouldna’ ha’ done tha’.”
Whoa. His accent sounded like he mumbled his words around a mouthful of marbles. The hunters went after anyone—for the right price. Still, no one should have been able to reach her, demon or not. Especially sounding like a half giant and so ugly he could scare small children.
“You do realise who I am, right?”
“Aye, we know who ya are—or who ya used to be,” Mr Ugly growled. He set her down and folded his arms, clearly understannedding he had the upper hand.
She wobbled on her bound feet, found her balance then glanced to his slightly taller partner. He shouldered the first demon aside and grimaced in a mockery of a smile at her half exposed breasts. She fought a shudder of revulsion. With a broader grin, he revealed two long, sharp canines the wolf pack would envy.
“And we know how much ya are worth, witch. Alive. No one said anything about what condition though, so dinna push us.”
The quiet, almost whisper this one had spoken in freaked her out much more than the mumbled growl of his partner. If she had to fight these demons, this one would be the first to go down—she hoped.
He stepped close enough for her to feel exactly how much bigger and stronger he was, then without a word he dipped down, grabbed a six-inch two-sided dagger from his boot, then reached for her feet and quickly sliced through the bonds on her ankles. Immediately he straightened and grabbed a handful of her hair using it to pull her painfully to within an inch of his face and snarled at her.
“Try to run again and I’ll make ya wish ya’d never been born.”