Sometimes the very thing you've run from all your life is the one thing that can save you.
A street-wise hustler, Stormy has been running most of her life from the creature that killed her family. However, when she meets Fury, a being so stubborn he could give a mule lessons, running is no longer an option. When he claims he’s her protector and the other half of her soul, Stormy would rather take her chances with the beast chasing her.
His dogged determination to protect her and his seductive expertise spark to life dreams she’d all but given up on: dreams of belonging to a family, and of having a life where running is nothing more than exercise. But with vile creatures hunting her, demanding her blood, and pack members who want her head instead of her help, Stormy will have to find a way to place her trust and heart in Fury’s care. If she can’t, then neither of them will have a future to dream about.
Thunder preceded its lover, lightning, as it sliced across the sky. Rain poured down, blanketing the city, its goal to punish the millions of sinners calling it home.
Ambrosia “Stormy” Wyatt’s foot sank into a puddle of sullied water, saturating her sneakers. Fear stiffened her spine as a trash can crashed in the darkness behind her. She spun around and searched the shadows to her left and right. They seemed to breathe and swell with a heartbeat all their own. They reached out to her, called to her, promised her a lifetime of pain whenever she got too close.
She hefted her bag higher on her shoulder, spun back and broke into a sprint toward the mouth of the alley.
Her breath shuddering, water soaked through Stormy’s clothing, carrying a chill deep into her marrow.
Stormy hurdled a bag of garbage that could have been mistaken for a dead body, determination her only friend. She knocked a nearby trash can over in hopes of slowing her unseen pursuers as she raced for the well-lit street.
She had to get to the light. They couldn’t get her there.
Stormy had stayed too long when she knew better. The little voice in the back of her mind urged her to stick to the original plan—three weeks—and get the hell out of town before leaving was no longer an option.
She hadn’t listened this time.
Instead, she had made a friend of Mrs. Velda Johnston, the sweet old woman rooming above her. Mrs. Johnston had had a stroke earlier that week, and Stormy stayed to help with her affairs until her daughter could fly in. One extra day, that was all, and they were close on her trail once again.
She barreled around the corner and took only a second to scan up and down the sidewalk.
Pushing soaked strands of hair out of her face, she cursed under her breath. “Sin City, huh? Well, where the hell is a sinner when you need one?” There wasn’t a pimp, prostitute, sidewalk evangelist, drunk, or police officer in sight.
Stormy spared another second to glance behind her before she turned and bolted across the deserted street and down the strip toward the lights of the Bellagio.
She didn’t know a soul there, and she damn sure couldn’t afford one of their rooms even if she saved for six months. But she’d heard rumors that the hotel had so many lights it could be seen from a shuttle orbiting the earth. That was probably a lie, but any place was safer than where she was.
The noise came then, like a million screeching claws raking across a thousand chalkboards. It dug into her soul, buried itself deep into her mind and demanded she halt. A part of her felt compelled to obey, but the primitive part wouldn’t allow her to. It ordered her to run harder, faster, and further.
And run she had, but how much longer would she have to run before she felt safe again?
Stormy covered the remaining distance to the hotel and pushed through the revolving doors. Her chest heaved, and her lungs burned as she turned to look back into the night’s shadows.
She could feel their eyes on her, waiting for her to let her guard down and to give in to their silent call. The danger and their merciless intent were undeniable.
“Never,” she whispered, her breath fogging the glass door sealing her in. In that moment, she swore the shadows closest to the building reared up, transformed into a clawed hand that reached out across the ground toward her, leaving jagged ruts in the street.
She staggered back and through the second set of thick glass doors. “Never,” she hissed at the darkness.
Thunder rolled. Blades of lightening streaked angrily across the domed skylight high above her head and crashed into something in the near distance, sending a loud boom echoing through the night.
In the instant it took Stormy to understand that the sound was a transformer blowing, she was standing in a sea of darkness.