We’ve made it to Thursday — and we think that means we deserve an excerpt break! How about a peek at Dragon Spawn, Eileen Wilks’s December release. In the thirteenth (!) Lupi novel, the stakes are even higher as Lily and Rule head into strange and dangerous territory. Let’s see what they’re up to …
He felt Lily pull up in front of the house, heard her car door shut, followed by Dirty Harry’s loud greeting. And grimaced.
He wanted, needed, to see her, hold her, draw her scent in. He didn’t much want to talk with her, knowing what they’d be talking about. Death. War. War and death, and didn’t the two go together? A small, limp body, still warm, the big brown eyes open and staring.
“Goddammit,” he muttered. He was sick of his bloody, unsubtle unconscious.
Two months ago, Rule had led the brownies in defending their home. One of them had ridden his back, acting as his communications officer. Dilly. At first Rule hadn’t even realized the little brownie was shot. They’d come under fire and Rule had been creased by a bullet, but it hadn’t knocked him out. He’d been able to run, to get away. He hadn’t known Dilly was hurt until he stopped. He’d run again then, raced as fast as he could to the brownie healer . . . but Dilly had died in his arms before they reached her, his passing unnoted.
Brownies look like children. They took advantage of that, too, sneaky little buggers that they were, but Dilly hadn’t been a child, dammit. He’d had a wife, a husband, and two children with a third on the way. Rule knew that, but his stupid bloody unconscious couldn’t seem to grasp the fact. No doubt that was why this death, out of all of them, haunted him.
Knowing where the nightmare came from didn’t do any good. It came anyway. He was damned if he was going to let it start visiting when he was awake, though. It wasn’t as if—
The door opened. His beloved’s sweet voice snapped, “What are you doing still up?” She stood just inside the door holding seventeen pounds of purring, battle-scarred tomcat—an intimacy Harry permitted only her and Toby. Anyone else who tried to pick the cat up was going to bleed. “Dammit, Rule, I told you to go on to bed.”
“Ah, yes, and naturally you’ve every right to expect that I’ll do as you bid me.”
They glared at each other from across the room. After a moment Rule made a spinning gesture with one hand. “Stop. Rewind. Let’s try that again, without the sniping. Neither of us is really mad at the other.”
“Actually,” she said, coming on into the room so she could deposit Harry, her laptop, and her purse on the couch, “I am mad. At least I want to be. Mad is easier than scared, and in way too few hours an idiot is going to try to kill you.”
Harry gave her an indignant look and leaped off the couch. Cats considered it a matter of honor never to stay where they’ve been put. He yowled.
Lily frowned at him. “You’ve been fed.”
Harry yowled again.
“Not by you,” Rule translated.
She shook her head, but headed for the kitchen. “Why aren’t you guarding Toby?”
Rule assumed that was directed at the cat, not him; Harry usually spent the first part of the night with his boy. He followed Lily into the kitchen. “Harry’s been restless tonight. Not surprising, given how tense everyone has been.”
She bent and shook kibble into Harry’s bowl. The cat sauntered over and took a desultory bite. He wasn’t hungry; he simply wanted the proprieties to be observed. She straightened. “I wish you’d gone to bed, gotten some rest.”
“I don’t need as much sleep as you do.” Which she knew very well. “And I don’t sleep as well when you aren’t with me.”
Her mouth quirked into a line that hit somewhere between wry and unhappy. “You just aren’t going to let me stay mad for no good reason, are you?”
“You’ve reason to rage.” He went to her, took the kibble container from her and set it on the counter, and touched her cheek. “Around three hundred reasons, last I heard, though they didn’t have a full tally of the dead and injured when I turned off the news. I’m not the cause of your anger, nadia, but if you really need a target for it, I can say something obnoxious. How’s this? Don’t worry your pretty little head about me, darling. What’s for supper?”
She snorted and wrapped her arms around him, resting her head on his shoulder. “Want some kibble?”
“Not just now, thank you.” And at last, as he wrapped his arms around her and her warmth and scent began to sink into him, some of his tension began to unknot. He felt her body relaxing, too. He no longer knew how much of that easing was the mate bond and how much was simply love. Both were real. For a few moments they just held each other, letting two kinds of magic soothe them. “I should have been with you,” he murmured.
“Nope,” she said muzzily, her voice muffled by his shirt. “You should have been right where you were, with Toby. How is he?”
Dragon Spawn will be available in stores and online December 6, and you can grab your copy here: Amazon | BN.com | Kobo | iTunes | GooglePlay | All Romance. Digital copies start at $7.99. For more paranormal reads for you to enjoy, why not check out our Everything Paranormal page?