(cross-posted from my personal blog)
So July is a month that I always expect lots and lots of presents. My birthday… and my anniversary is also this month. I always expect to score, big. Yes. I am materialistic. I admit this…I own this.
But this year, I’m actually going to give away a pressie.
I Thought It Was You
Grimm’s Circle, Book 2.5
The events of this free short story take place between the events of No Prince Charming and Ren’s story, Crazed Hearts. It turns out both Ren and Elle had some loose ends they needed to tie up…and that’s what this story is about. It’s not Ren’s happy ever after. That’s in Crazed Hearts.
This story is available for free via download @ Samhain Publishing, and I think will also be at places like Amazon, via the Kindle, BN via the Nook, etc. It’s just a short story, but it tied up some loose ends Ren had.
You don’t need to read it before you get his story… but hey, he’s so much fun to write. Maybe he’s fun to read, too.
Wanna read it? Here ya go…have at it!
And now… Ren’s story.
FYI… I adored Ren. And noooooo. I’m not telling you who he is. You’ll need to read it to find out.
And when you’re done… NO SPOILERS!!!!
He’s no fairy-tale prince. But he just may be the hero she needs.
Grimm’s Circle, Book 3
Ren has always danced along the fine line between being a little bit crazy and being overcome by a darkness that’s haunted him since his mortal days. As an empath, he prefers to live far from people who would leak their emotions all over him, so he’s not expecting the woman who drives right into the heart of his wood. She has a cursed book with her and demons hot on her heels. Even more surprising are her abilities and the reaction Ren has to her.
Aileas is on the run. She just isn’t certain if she’s running from something real or imagined. One thing is for sure, her brother is dead and she’s certain the book she found has something to do with his death. She really starts to doubt her sanity when she meets a hot but somewhat crazed man in the middle of nowhere.
He calls himself Ren, and although he doesn’t seem to be out to hurt her, he definitely seems to want something. She just doesn’t understand what. She does know what she wants though. She wants him, and the shadows and darkness she glimpses inside him don’t matter. At least, right up until he claims to be a guardian angel.
And she thought she was going crazy.
“Where in the hell did you come from?” she asked, eyeing him suspiciously.
“I was out hiking,” he said, gesturing toward the hill. He lifted a hand and whistled. “Me and my sister.”
Mandy peered down at him from the top of the incline a minute later. He could see the disgust in her eyes and if he wasn’t so disturbed by the ever-darkening ripples he could feel moving through the air, he might have been amused by the silent fuck-you he saw in Mandy’s eyes.
“Your sister. Hiking.”
She started to back away, eyeing him like he’d grown an extra head and razor sharp teeth. Ren acted like he didn’t notice, but he mentally commanded Pan and the dog obediently padded forward and placed his bulk in front of the door of the car. She couldn’t go traipsing off. Somehow she was in this mess up to her pretty neck, which meant she was in danger. He couldn’t have that, even if he wasn’t feeling strangely, almost insanely protective of her.
“Why would you hike around here?”
Now that he could answer.
“Oh, because I live around here, that’s why.” He flashed her a grin, tried to temper down the raging maniacal edge and pretend to be friendly, perhaps even charming. Did he remember charming? No. He was quite sure he didn’t. He didn’t know if he’d ever known charming. Well, other than a prince, of course. Still, he really didn’t want to show the crazier side of his nature. He needed to keep that under wraps.
“Just over the rise, a few miles down.”
Up said rise, Mandy was swearing as she started to make her way down. Tripping, too and not particularly happy. But as she moved to the busted, uneven road, she fell silent, picking up on something.
The mortal wouldn’t pick up on Mandy’s tension, but Ren had spent months with Mandy and he knew her well.
Well enough at least.
The look in her eyes was one of fear…and resignation.
She was staring not at the woman though.
She was staring just past her, at the car.
Ren shifted his gaze, focused on the car.
Yes…there. There it was, he realized. He lowered his shields, and that was when he sensed what Mandy had sensed.
That black, nasty vibe.
Something shuddered, twisted from the car.
Could a whisper have a stench, a feel? Could it make the air quake and wrench around you?
It seemed so.
“What have we here,” he mused, narrowing his eyes.
The whispers grew louder—an ocean of them. They flooded his mind, flooded his soul.
The darkness… It was all but reaching for the woman, trying to wrap itself around her like a boa constrictor.
Like hell, Ren thought.
He extended his gift, touched one of the distant minds in his territory. It was a bear cub, perched high in a tree and trembling, shaking. There was a smell in the air the cub didn’t like and
Ren understood why.
There was a car drawing closer to them that had some unpleasant bastards in it. They looked human on the outside, but that was it. Soul-sucking monsters. Orin. They fed on souls, stank of death and evil.
He watched through the cub’s eyes for a moment and then returned to himself.
Reaching up, he touched the leather band he wore around his wrist. It held a silver medallion in it. Under his touch, it pulsed once with an answering warmth, but he didn’t know if that was any sort of reply. Two women with him, and his animals. One of the tomes.
And it seemed this woman had orin trailing after her. Either her, or the book. Perhaps both. Ren wasn’t sure and there was no way for him to know. The minds of the orin were too alien for him to connect with, and they had nothing that even remotely resembled human emotion.
It made his skin crawl to think they might be after her directly.
They can’t have you, he thought, his mind teetering dangerously close to that dark, dark edge. Too close.
What in the hell? He pulled himself back under control.
He needed to focus, needed to think. Needed to get these two women someplace far safer than here. Back to his home. They’d be safe there and he could deal with this mess. Then he could figure out what was going on with—
Later. Problems now, woman later, Ren.
So…you want? Go buy…
And to head the question off….this will come out in print, but it’s probably about a year down the road. It’s not long enough on it’s own, so it will be paired up with Grimm Book 4, Tarnished Knight, which won’t be out until October-so, the print release will be at least 6 months after that. Spring or summer at the soonest… sorry!