So, you may or may not know that I’m wrapping up the Hunters series. I guess it’s a good enough point to do it. Sales are slumping off and although this wasn’t the way I’d planned to end it, at least it wasn’t right after Nessa’s book…I wanted to tell her story and I wanted to tell Toronto’s story. I got to tell both.
There are other books I wanted to write in that world, but…well. We don’t get everything we want in life, especially when sales are sliding off and it’s a crazy-tight market anyway. Le sigh.
I’m going to try and send it out with a bang, though. Between now and release day, I’m going to be posting snippets about the book. It would be the world to me if we sent it out in style and we can do that if the supporters of the book order it. Please be aware you might not be able to find the book in the store…sales have slumped that much, so if you want it, you might want to order it from your local bookstore if you have one or order it online.
meet the hero
“Come on, baby face.” The tall, slim blond brandished a knife as he squared off with the other man. His name wasToronto, and he was known for having a wicked temper, a wicked way with a blade and a smart mouth. He moved, graceful as a dancer, to face a man that outweighed him by a good fifty pounds and topped him by nearly six inches.
He was built like a tank, and he stank of blood, sex and violence.
That pissedTorontooff. A lot. He’d just pulled the bastard in front of him off a woman mere seconds ago. Now she struggled to live andToronto’s partner was kneeling at her side, trying to stop the bleeding.
Curling his fingers at the vampire,Torontosaid, “Come on. What are you waiting for?”
The vampire grinned at him, too young and too stupid to realize just how much trouble he was in.
“Get out of my way, fuckhead. You don’t know what you’re messing with.”
Torontococked a brow. The boy hadn’t been Changed long. Maybe a year. He didn’t stand a chance against a were likeToronto. “I don’t?” Twirling his knife, he smiled. “I think it’s the other way around, kid.”
“You think that knife is going to hurt me?” He flashed his fangs and gaveTorontoa menacing look.
Torontowasn’t quite impressed, and he had the feeling the vampire was shocked by that. And the idiot also hadn’t given Tor’s knife much more than a cursory look. The knife would hurt him. It was a custom-made Keltec, one that had enough silver in the blade that it would leave any vamp or shifter all but begging for mercy. It might not kill him, but it would definitely hurt. Silver was a bitch.
Yeah, this vamp hadn’t been around long, and nobody had bothered to teach him much, either.Torontocould teach him a thing or two. Before he ended the son of a bitch.
“Actually, I don’t need the knife.”Torontoflung it off to the right with enough force that it embedded itself in the wooden wall, hilt quivering. “I’ll just use this . . .”
He lifted a hand, watched the boy’s face as his hand shifted.
The vampire was every bit as uneducated asTorontohad thought. What in the hell is this? Toronto wondered as he watched the vamp’s eyes all but bug out of his head in shock. It was like the vamp had never seen a werewolf before.
A split second later, the young vamp panicked. It wasn’t much fun when they panicked. Still,Torontohadn’t done it in the name of fun—or at least not entirely. He’d been looking for information, and he had gotten a little bit.
Lately, more and more Hunters throughout the country were reporting incidents like this. That wasn’t good. A shitload of random, violent occurrences. Too much bloodlust, too little control. Too many who seemed to have lost all humanity—and that wasn’t how it was meant to be. Most vamps and weres had a sense of who could get through the Change intact, who couldn’t. They weren’t to be touched if they couldn’t live through it . . . or come through it sane.
Bad things happened when monsters thought they could do whatever they wanted without fear of consequences. Like what this fucker had done. Grabbed some poor woman off the streets, assaulted her and fed.
After he’d finishing dealing with the feral, he turned back and saw his partner Kel cradling the woman. The vampire had his hand, palm sliced open, over the wound in her throat in an attempt to save her life—the blood could close the wound, keep her from bleeding to death.
If she wasn’t too far gone.
She wasn’t bleeding anymore, but she was too still. Too pale.
“Is she going to make it?”Torontoasked.
“I don’t think so.” Kel gave him a sad look. “We were too late—she’s fading too fast.”
Torontogave a short, single nod and looked away. She’d lost too much blood. Fuck. Yeah, bad things happened with monsters, all right. “It happens that way sometimes.”
Kel swore under his breath viciously. “Happens, huh? Fuck that.”
“We can’t save everybody,”Torontosaid, jerking one shoulder in a shrug. He came closer, staring at the woman’s pale face. Her heartbeat was faltering, her skin taking on a waxen cast—that spark of life was already gone. She wasn’t going to make it. It was an ugly, bitter knowledge they’d have to carry’.
Kel swallowed, a muscle working in his jaw as he stared at the woman’s face. “Yeah, and you’re okay with that?”
“It doesn’t matter if I’m okay with it or not.”Torontoslanted a look at Kel. “It just is. We can either accept it . . . or go crazy fighting it. But . . . no. I’m not okay with it. It fucking pisses me off. And that won’t help her, either.”
Kel continued to stare at her, his eyes glowing. “I could . . .”
Torontoknew what he was planning even before he said it. “I wouldn’t, kid.” He crouched down, studying the woman.
“But it would save her.”
“No.”Torontoreached down and took the girl’s limp, cooling hand. “She’d either die in the transition or she’d go feral. You don’t want to save her only to have to kill her, Kel.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. That’s not my area, right? But you know.” He paused and then asked quietly, “What’s your gut saying, Kel?”
Kel’s furious glare was answer enough. He knew. She wasn’t strong enough to survive the Change. Not everybody was.
It only took a few more seconds.
Torontopretended not to see the faint glint of reddish tears in Kel’s eyes. He pretended not to notice the ache in his own chest, too.
No. They couldn’t save everybody.
Hell, some of them were hard-pressed to save themselves.
He’d been trying to save himself for a good long time. He was still trying. And failing.