Ok, here’s the first excerpt from “The Grey God!” As usual: this is the pre-Christine (editor) version, so please ignore typos/grammatical atrocities. Also, this excerpt includes profanity. Enjoy!
Excerpt from “The Grey God:”
Jenn glanced over her shoulder. Calm and alert, Darian had changed again over the course of the two weeks she’d been assigned to the Black God. Though she expected him to continue the rapid cycle of changes, she couldn’t help feeling this metamorphosis was different. She’d watched him go from near-comatose through the teenager stage that nearly drove them all mad to the gym-obsessed warrior trying to understand his place in the world.
But this felt permanent. Little of the darkness that plagued him was visible in his handsome features and gaze. His wiry body was honed and ready to pounce, his golden eyes taking in the world around him with wary curiosity. He’d even learned to watch and think before the wild animal in him reacted.
This was Darian, not the shell of a man whose mind was stuck somewhere else. Like Jonny, he’d grown into what he was virtually overnight.
“So, what do you do around here all day?” Darian asked, taking in the vamps outside the doorway of the Black God’s fortress.
“Try to keep Jonny focused on his vamps and not on dragging me to his bed. Kill a vamp or two when it gets in my way. Burn the bodies of Jonny’s girl-toys. Avoid Xander. Spar. Oh, and try to stay alive,” she summarized. “The vamps only try shit when Jonny and Xander aren’t around. They have a standing order not to touch me, but they can make it look like an accident.”
“Did you say Jonny tried to drag you to his bed?”
“Is that all you heard?” she asked, amused. “He thinks about it too much. I have probably three days until my mind control no longer works on him. And then, it’s up to my wits to keep me alive.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“Why would I? This is what I do, Darian. I fuck – and fuck with – dangerous men,” she replied. Jenn leapt the last few feet to the level ground. When she didn’t hear Darian drop behind her, she turned.
He was staring at her hard. His features had grown dark and shuttered. She caught the slightest hint of his memory.
“I remind you of her,” she said. “At least I serve a higher cause than myself.”
“I know that.” His voice was soft, and he shook off the darkness before dropping to the ground beside her. “I know you’re nothing like her. I wouldn’t be here if I thought you would betray me.”
But … she heard the uncertainty in his voice.
“Of the two of us, I’m the better liar,” she said. “You know by now not to trust a woman who lies for a living.”
“I’m not afraid of you.”
“You sure?” Jenn looked up at him. She took a step closer, waiting for him to back down. The Darian she’d left behind two weeks ago hadn’t resolved his issues with his past. He would’ve turned tale and run.
This Darian held her gaze. He smelled of pine trees and a bonfire, his earthy scent mixed with the softer scent of soap. She couldn’t read his thoughts, but she saw the shadows in his eyes. She’d stood close to him before, normally when he had her in a headlock. This time, their proximity seemed too intimate. The moment stretched on until she grew uneasy. They studied each other, trying to read one another.
“I’m sure, Jenn,” he said at last.
His resolution brought home just how much she didn’t know this Darian. He’d found some level of peace, and he’d grown powerful enough to kill an Other. What took two gods and two Original Beings to do in Ireland, Darian had done on his own. No, he definitely wasn’t the man she’d left in Texas.
He was dangerous in a way that left her certain of two things: being too close to him would probably get her killed. And, if he found out she was meant to be his mate, he’d pursue her with the same determination he pursued Others.
Darian didn’t flee, but suddenly, Jenn wanted to.
The Grey God stepped around her, striding towards the door to Jonny’s fortress. Jenn shivered involuntarily as a cool breeze replaced his body heat. She watched him, unable to identify why she felt the loss of more than his warmth. She had to keep pushing him away, or she wasn’t the only one who’d probably end up dead in a few days.
She just had to drive him off before he found out.