Well, it’s nearly book release time! We’ve had two free excerpts. And now we have the last one.
After reading the first chapter and the second chapter, are you ready for this spring’s dark fantasy book release? Calling The Wolf is the fourth book in the Indigo Skies series and it will be the last book release before I move house. Isn’t that exciting?!
You can still grab Preying On Time (the first in the series) for free everywhere, except Amazon, up until Calling The Wolf’s book release. So don’t hesitate!
But until then, here’s your last free excerpt before the book release goes live!
Calling The Wolf
3. A Crossover
By some miracle, the caller ID told me it wasn’t Jenna calling. But my relief was short lived when I realised exactly who it was that was ringing me.
Ignoring the video call option, I hit voice and nervously brought the phone to my ear, glad that I’d had the sense earlier in the evening to lower the speaker volume on my iCom to nearly nothing. At least this way, the other werewolves wouldn’t hear, because a cop for a sister? That would be bound to go down well.
“Hey Logan. Everything alright at home?”
“Yeah. Why wouldn’t it be?” I frowned, trying to project the image of a harangued newly bitten to the other wolves. If they sympathised with me then they might let something slip like why exactly they were looking for panthers on compound land.
“I don’t know, I just… I feel bad about having a go at you this morning.”
I tried not to let my surprise show on my face as she paused. If Violet knew where I was and what was going on she would go absolutely ape.
Phelan was pretending to be completely absorbed in his food, but I could tell by his stillness and the minute way his ears twitched that he was trying to catch anything he could from the conversation.
“Look, while Simon and I are in New York, I thought… I figured it would be stupid not to ask you to do some research into Jenna’s case for me.”
I frowned again, this time for real. Had she just offered to let me look into the case? No. Violet wouldn’t do that, would she? I wet my lips, aware that the old alpha was paying close attention in a way that made my skin crawl. “You mean Simon though that and, for whatever reason, he’s made you agree somehow.”
“Don’t be like that, Logan. I’m trying to make amends.”
“Fine. I guess I could do it,” I muttered, trying to sound grumpy but not ungrateful. After all, it was Violet. If she thought I was being a brat about it then she might renege on her offer and after tonight I knew I could get information on the case far easier than she could.
“Well don’t sound too enthusiastic about it.”
I glanced at the other werewolves gathered around my table. They ate nonchalantly, which just made me feel more and more on edge. “Then don’t call me at a stupid time to talk about it.”
“Where are you, Logan?” Her voice had turned hard and suspicious. Damn.
“At the centre.”
“That werewolf gym thing? Is somebody with you?”
“Yes, already,” I answered, feigning irritation and glancing at the guys around the table.
Her voice fell flat. “This is something to do with Jenna’s case, isn’t it?”
“God damn it, Logan. I told you not to look into it!”
I winced, the first break in my character, but any good actor could work past it. Sulkiness clouded my expression with its soured blackness. Fen and Lyle exchanged glances again, one of those ones that said more than anyone could hear. “I thought you changed your mind.”
“Research. I told you just to research.” There was a pause before she added, “Is that why you’re being even brattier than usual? Can they hear me?”
“Just me, I think.”
She sounded strained when she spoke. Probably angry with me.
“Friendly so far or…?”
A glance at the werewolves around the table told me that they were digging in to whatever they’d ordered. Mash and gravy flecked faces and shirts. They really were animals. “A bit of both.”
Violet was talking again. It was one of those nagging speeches about what I should and should not do. To save my ears, I zoned out, thoughts running back to Jenna. Why had she decided to pick such a dangerous place to come and see me? Why had she come at all?
I’d been almost certain that she was going to dump me, considering her recent behaviour. Like a yoyo on a string she kept hurling me away and then snapping me back in. We had to have some serious words. I needed to know where I stood.
“I know, I know.”
Violet continued with her rant, but I was getting bored now, my attention span well and truly waning. I wanted to get out of the werewolf centre so I could confront Jenna about her behaviour. It was pretty shit not knowing where I stood with her, especially when I’d managed to get the first real lead on what was happening to her nekojin friends.
“Why are you always trying to ruin my life?” I snapped, pulling off the irritable teen tone with a degree of artistry. The other werewolves around the table looked up, but I kept my gaze bent down to the table top, growling my words. “I don’t want to come home.”
“Ha ha. Very funny. You’d better be using this phone call as an excuse to leave.”
“I’m a wolf now, I can handle myself.” The other guys around the table looked quietly impressed.
“Don’t make me cut my trip short.”
“Fine,” the words slipped off my tongue like rocks down a well. “I’ll be home soon.”
“I’ve got to go. Keep yourself safe.”
“Yeah, whatever.” The call dropped but I kept the iCom to my ear. They had no idea she’d already gone so now I could say what I liked, playing my undercover story any way I wanted. “You’re just trying to ruin my life. I don’t belong with you guys any more.” I grit my teeth, enacting a dramatic pause and pretending that I was being yelled at from the other end. “Fine. Fine!”
And I snapped the iCom shut, plonking it down on the table with enough force to seem really riled. Lyle looked up, glancing at me with his strangely cool, blue eyes. Something about him made me feel like I was being watched by a true predator. Sure, there was the comfy, old man outer façade, but inside there was something much darker, much scarier than I’d previously anticipated. His ear twitched almost indistinguishably. I bet he’d been trying to hear the heavily muted phone call.
“Everything okay, son?”
I let the creases deepen across my forehead, promoting the sense of annoyance I’d been trying to convey. “My sister’s being even more controlling now I’m a werewolf,” I grit. And, in reality, wasn’t that the truth? If Violet had been overprotective before I’d been turned, it was nothing to how she was now. Hell, if I breathed the wrong way she’d have a fit. Part of me hated it, but part of me, the part that knew she was right about searching for a job of my own, didn’t blame her for her reaction. “She doesn’t understand.”
The other werewolves around the table remained silent for a moment, though Phelan was still seething with rage. He glowered at his now empty plate, trying not to make eye contact. Maybe that was him recognising I was higher up the food chain than him.
Who was I kidding? Food chain?
I was even beginning to start sounding like one of these werewolf meatheads!
“Most humans don’t,” Fen responded quietly. His alpha nodded in silent agreement, as if the words had been somehow mentally preapproved. Was that how these things worked in a real pack? Could they sense things from one another? I’d never really looked into it before. “They don’t have a bond like we do. They’re not as strong.”
Without missing a beat, I nodded my head, forcing a steely expression into my eyes. If enamouring myself with them was a question of strength, then I needed to make sure they didn’t doubt my power as a wolf.
The old guy cracked a smile, his eyes still calculating. “You look like you were made to be one of us, son.” Exactly what I wanted to hear, in a roundabout way. If they accepted me, then I could glean more information to give Violet when she returned from her New York mission. Maybe she’d even be proud of me. And wouldn’t it be nice to be considered a real werewolf instead of a bitten, too? “A fine specimen of a wolf. Maybe you’d like to join us next time we go for a run?”
“Hell no!” the kid snarled, flinging his fist down onto the table. This Phelan character needed some anger management. He looked like he was in his late teens, but he was acting like a disgruntled child. “A bitten? Are you crazy, old man?”
His father, Fen, released a warning growl as Lowell shifted in his seat, his first noticeable movement in a while. The old alpha set his gaze on the young mutt.
“Remember who you’re talking to, Phelan, or I’ll have to bind that unruly snout of yours.”
The kid looked quashed, but his dark eyes darted to mine, venom filling their glare. He was going to be a problem if I wanted to infiltrate this particular pack of werewolves. It would have been easier to find another group, but their strange interest in Jenna’s panther form might mean that they had some intel on the nekojin abductors.
“So, son, what do you say?” Lyle asked, reinforcing the question with a kind old man smile that didn’t wash with me. Still, I set a cheesy grin on my face in my best impression of the new kid at school routine.
“That would be awesome, sir.”
“Sir?” He beamed, much to Phelan’s disgust. “I like you, son.”
A nod at his beta had Fen holding out an iCom. I did the expected swipe of information from my mobile phone to his. His eyes narrowed, scrutinising the screen as I drew away. Lyle was still watching me, his beta pocketing the newly acquired data with all the air of a mafia thug. What was I getting myself into?
“Maybe next time we can catch that big cat together.”
My mouth ran dry, a cardboard tongue on sandpaper walls. I cracked a duty bound smile, hoping it looked more genuine than it felt. “That would be pretty cool,” I added, trying to back up my stiffly sprung facial expressions.
My phone buzzed again. I flicked the message away before prying eyes could spy it, the growl that curled from my throat only half an act. The men around the table didn’t falter. The energy they exuded was deadly and serene, apart from the kid that didn’t seem to get he was the runt of the pack. I shoved my iCom in my jacket pocket.
“For fuck sake,” I grouched, gritting my teeth and scraping my chair back unceremoniously. All eyes were on me. “I’d better go, guys, or my sister is going to lock me out of the house.” The old guy nodded silently.
I hesitated. If Violet was here, in this situation, would she stay and find out more?
Maybe, but Violet was a pro. I was just her useless brother with no job, no income and, according to her, no brains. Plus, she’d already warned me not to get too deep. And it wouldn’t hurt to take her advice for a change. Especially with the way these guys were so interested in Jenna.
The text message that had flashed up on my iCom screen tore across my mind again. It had been from her.
We need to talk.
Hell yes, we needed to talk. What had she thought she was doing getting herself into wolf territory without warning me first?
I cleared my throat, tucking my chair in. “Thanks for the sandwich.”
The men remained seated, but I had a feeling that they wouldn’t stay that way for very long. If they had any sense they’d tail me out of the building. Of course, that might lead them right to Jenna. She could be waiting somewhere outside for me. Who knew? I just couldn’t predict her. And if she was waiting there then how did I explain that to my ‘new friends’? That would be my intel gone.
With that in mind, I ducked back through the changing rooms, circling around the lockers and muddying my own scent before taking a side exit. Even then I doubled back a couple of times, making sure to throw a glance over my shoulder, but I couldn’t spot the foursome anywhere.
A few blocks away from the exercise centre, I slipped into an alley and read through Jenna’s message. It was stern, not a trace of her earlier playfulness detectable anywhere in her tone. A hand ruffled through my hair. Anyone would think she had a split personality the way she kept pushing and pulling me.
I rocked on my heels, trying to come to a decision. Another text buzzed onto the screen. I swiped it away, leaving the contact details tab underneath. Fen’s information showed up. He must have tapped it across when he’d taken mine. Unease stalled the rocking on my heels and then I took off, letting my feet decide the direction I was heading in.
That’s it. That’s your lot. I hope you really enjoyed the excerpts. Points to those that realised this was Violet calling from the previous book, Lightning & Power, which runs parallel to this story. The book release is on the 24th so get your preorder in now!
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