Last week I shared from my current WIP which is book four in The Protectors, so this week I'm sharing from The Witch's Protector, (book two) This is set to release April 2nd, and I'm eagerly awaiting edits and cover art.
To set the scene little, we are going back in time in this book to 1958. Mrs. H, the village elder and extremely powerful witch readers will have met in book one of the series, Her Bear Protector, is a young witch at the cusp of her powers. She has witnessed a wolf shifter being deliberately run off the road, and she has followed him into the forest, intent on healing him.
His pack are less enthused at this idea, as they crowd around her in the pack club house.
*****This is still unedited, as yet, so subject to change*****
More naked people crowded in and Joanne shut her eyes. Jesus, trust her to go from never having seen a man’s appendage up close to having several shoved in her face, figuratively speaking at least.
“Tell me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill her. The Alpha’s blood is all over her, for fuck’s sake.”
The white haired oaf, as she decided to call him in her head, growled the words, and Joanne shuffled upright on the couch and opened her eyes. Surely, they hadn’t brought her here to kill her. Unfortunately that move brought her face to face with his cock, and heat flooded her cheeks.
The man was huge, and he wasn’t even happy. Joanne inwardly grimaced at her choice of words, even in her head. At least he wasn’t getting off on the thought of killing her, that would have been vomit inducing. The thought of how much danger she was in sent a spike of adrenaline through her system and the inevitable happened.
The lightbulb just above them shattered and bits of glass rained down on them. Books flew out of the bookcase on the opposite side of the wall, narrowly missing several men in the process of pulling up their trousers and Joanne winced. Power surged through her, hot and heavy, and all consuming, and she screwed her eyes shut again, and desperately tried to hold it in.
By the time she could be reasonably sure she wouldn’t emit sparks from her fingertips and she opened her eyes again, a deadly silence had fallen inside the room. Everyone had moved away from her, and even Mr. Oaf had taken several steps back. Relief washed through Joanne, seeing that he had also pulled on some jeans. It meant she could take him in without embarrassment and she sucked in a breath of surprise, when the large angry red gash he was sporting across his rock hard abs closed in front of her eyes.
Holy moly, that part of the legend was true then. Shifters did heal faster, much faster than mere humans.
“There now, calm down, little witch, we mean you no harm. I’m Rhonda.” That female voice she heard earlier belonged to a slender, petite woman with a friendly, heart shaped face. Long brown hair cascaded down her back and she approached Joanne slowly.
“The fuck we don’t. The boss is not healing. That’s got to be some sort of witch craft right there, and —”
“It doesn’t mean she is the witch that did it.” Rhonda interrupted Mr. Oaf, and Joanne watched in fascination as the small woman stepped right into his personal space, and sunk her nails into his stubbly chin. Mr. Oaf, blinked, murmured something under his breath and bowed his head.
“Better, Olaf, much better.” Rhonda said, and she stepped away from him. Mr. Oaf, or rather Olaf, as his name seemed to be, settled for glaring at Joanne, and finding her umph from somewhere, she glared right back at him.
“Who isn’t healing?” she asked, and she felt the whole atmosphere in the room change, as their combined worry hit her in full force.
“Our Alpha, Henry. He won’t stop bleeding.” Rhonda’s voice held a suspicious wobble as she said that.
“He’s the wolf that got run over by the truck on the road? The one I followed here? Damn fool, I told him to stay put, but he wouldn’t let me help. Where is he? Take me to him, I can help him.”
Joanne’s voice had risen to a shrill imitation of its usual cadence in her agitation, and even she winced at that. The assembled shifters with their sensitive hearing held their ears and stepped further away from her. Talk about giving the impression of a cackling witch.
Still, worry gnawed at her, because if she concentrated hard she could feel his pain. It pierced her side as though an unknown force twisted a knife in her guts.
“You’ve got to be bloody kidding me, witch, if you think I’m going take you to him, so that you can finish the job.” Olaf approached head down, and ignoring Rhonda’s warning to stop, yanked Joanne to her feet by grasping her shoulders. Not thinking of the consequences Joanne stepped on his bare foot with her pumps, while pushing against his chest. The flesh sizzled, leaving her hand prints behind, and Olaf, growled and let her go.
“I’m here to help, you oaf, and don’t put your hands on me again, or so help me. I’ll do something I’ll regret.”
Olaf clenched his hands into fists by his side, but didn’t touch her.
“I still say we kill her. She’s a fucking witch. They’re not to be trusted. You know damn well Skye Salasino dabbles in witchcraft. Who’s to say she’s not working for him, and playing fucking dirty to kill our Alpha?”
A murmur went through the crowd and Joanne had enough. Her temper bubbled just under the surface and she took a deep breath in and continued in a deceptively quiet tone.
“For the last time, take me to see him now. I’m here to help.”
Anyone who knew her, knew that tone spelled trouble, but, of course, this oaf of a man, wolf whatever he was just carried on grumbling.
“I’m his beta and I say, no.”
“Oh for the love of all the elements, move out of my way and take me to him, now.” Joanne stamped her foot and all the remaining lightbulbs in the house smashed, plunging them all into darkness.
“Oh damn, it.” Joanne swore and stretched out her hands to make sure she wouldn’t bump into anything. Naturally, that would happen. Damn her powers. So much for not showing them in front of paranormals. Then again, they already knew she was a witch, and seemed to have her pegged as a black witch at that. Ridiculous things, and dang, she couldn’t see a thing in this gloom.
“Where are you, for pity’s sake,” she murmured. An action that earned her a few chuckles from the rest of the room. Of course, they would all be able to see her with their superior night vision, which left only her blind as a bat in the room.
“Fix the blooming light, so I can see, and take me to Henry.” The name rolled off her tongue with ease and her heart beat faster. When there was no response bar a stony silence, she took a few cautious steps into the room, only to bump into a wall of muscle. Goosebumps broke out on her skin, as she explored the smooth skin in front of her, and found the large bleeding gash on his side. Her fingers trailed lower, until they encountered the edge of his jeans, and lower still, until she found the prominent bulge there. Hot minty breath ghosted across her face, and brought with it the most intoxicating scent that wrapped itself around her in a comforting cocoon, and made her want to press herself against this man in most inappropriate ways,
Really, what was wrong with her? He was in pain and needed her help, not for her to imagine them both in a tangled heap of sweaty limbs. Her nipples beaded, and her underwear grew damp, as completely inappropriate arousal swamped her system. She took small comfort in his sharp intake of breath, as he curled his hand around her questing fingers and took it away from his groin. Not before she’d felt the flare of heat though, and the way his cock had started to harden.
He wrapped his other hand in her hair, which had long escaped its chignon, and pulling her head back to expose her throat inhaled against her skin. For some reason that was the most erotic thing ever, and Joanne went limp against his long frame. Releasing her hand he supported her with one arm round his waist, and the bristles of his beard, created delicious friction against her neck.
“Little red.” Two words, uttered in that deep growl of his right in her ear, and Joanne’s scrambled brain gave up any pretense of knowing what was going on here. She simply curled her fingers into his biceps, and allowed these newfound feelings to surge through her.
In 1957 the tiny village of Middle Brook is caught between two warring MCs, the Mongrels and the Lupines. As a fledgling Guardian witch, not yet in full control of her immense powers, Joanne Lilley knows to stay away. When she witnesses the Mongrels leader being run off the road, the instant connection she feels to the wolf shifter changes everything. Is he the one destined to awaken her?
Henry Hastings is the Alpha of his pack, and the village’s Protector. He’s a man with a vision—all shifters will unite against the evil that haunts Cumbria at night—something the Lupines vehemently oppose. Finding his mate is a young and innocent witch, wasn’t part of that vision, but the fates have decided.
Being with him places Joanne in danger, as her awakened powers are sought by his enemies.
When disaster strikes, Henry is faced with an impossible choice…
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Til next time, and do stay naughty, folks.