#2 Excerpt – Midnight Revelations
“Hi, my name is Laylah Cherie Le Croix, and being ignorant can be life-threatening.”
Laylah Le Croix is searching for answers. Dissatisfied with the silence from her caretakers on the subject of her kidnapping and, unnerved by her Father’s sudden interest in her life, Laylah eagerly anticipates graduation day and the freedom to pursue her own goals.
She secretly continues to see her boyfriend, Donil Silentshadow, who values her as a person and gives her the love she desperately needs.
Were Council politics and a familiar enemy’s insidious plans collide with the couple’s happiness and threaten to unleash the hidden inter-tribal feuding amongst the Weres.
Will Laylah be able to navigate the onslaught of this latest disaster or will the secret, those around her are keeping, finally consume her?
New Florida Territory
Gerard Draco marched down the brightly lit hallway, scowl in place as he hurried toward his destination. He was a Beta, a top-notch enforcer, not a babysitter for weaklings and brats. He stopped and rapped sharply on the door. His ears could pick up the sound of a piano being played. He gritted his teeth. If he had to kick down the door, there would be hell to pay.
He raised his fist to bang on the door when it was jerked open and his irritated gaze was met by the bored expression of the beautiful young woman before him. Violet Spritz was a looker and knew it. Boys flocked to her and tried to earn her favor. Gerard personally felt she was little more than a spoiled brat in desperate need of some harsh discipline.
Violet eyed him and sniffed in disdain. “Yes?”
Her bored tone rubbed Gerard the wrong way and he contemplated slapping her. He checked the impulse and opted for a neutral expression. “Our Alpha wishes to see you.”
“Really? Well, I don’t need to see her. Tell her to call me when she gets a clue.” Violet reached for the door to close it.
Gerard’s hand lashed out and slammed the door back, wrenching it away from the surly young woman in front of him. “Sorry to disappoint you, Violet, but when the Alpha commands, you will obey. You will come peacefully or I will toss you over my shoulder, kicking and screaming. Makes no difference to me.”
He let her see the threat in his eyes. She snarled at him and barged by and out to the hallway. He grunted with satisfaction at her ungracious acquiescence. Gerard let her take the lead, content to stay behind her. It allowed him to keep his cool and not strangle the ungrateful teenager. He did a lot of things for his Alpha, but dealing with Violet was at the limit of his tolerance.
They entered into the large receiving foyer. Gerard passed Violet and came to a stop five feet from the raised dais. He bowed.
“My Alpha, I have brought Violet to you as requested.”
“Thank you, Gerard. That will be all.”
“Yes, my Alpha.” Gerard straightened, backed up two steps and left the pair alone.
The door closed with a loud click and Violet glared at the woman seated on the dais. “Really, aren’t you getting tired of summoning me here for pointless talk?”
The woman laughed, clearly amused by Violet’s words. Violet scowled.
“Oh, come now, Violet. Really, do you think I like wasting my time speaking with you?”
Violet stiffened and fought to keep her face from betraying the sting of the Alpha’s words. “Alpha Zina, I apologize for being such an inconvenience to you. Maybe if I bother you so much, I can move to another house.”
“Touche. Your mouth will get you killed one day, but today is not that day.” Zina rose and came down the dais to stand in front of Violet. She slowly walked around her.
Violet tensed, preparing herself for anything. Lately, Zina had become more physical and was prone to lashing out at anyone for the slightest offense. She didn’t feel like being on the receiving end of one of the Alpha’s furies.
“You’re very pretty. Make sure you use it whenever you can. Remember, men are tools to be used and discarded. Don’t get entangled with them, lest they use and lose you.”
“My Alpha, you have warned me about them before. I have followed your advice. I do not need more reminders. I am not a child,” Violet pointed out, aggravated with the disrespect.
“No, you’re not,” Zina growled and backhanded Violet.
Caught off-guard, Violet was knocked on her butt. Stunned, she stared up at Zina’s enraged expression. She froze, too scared to move.
Zina reached down, wrapped her fingers in Violet’s hair and hauled her upright. Violet swallowed a yelp of pain and did not protest the rough treatment.
“Now, Beta, I expect you to maintain pressure on the target. Do not ease up. If you can prove your competency, then perhaps there is a chance I will pick you for my elite Beta group. Fail me, and you won’t have to worry about Omega status.”
Violet nodded. She understood. She had no wish to cross this Alpha.
Zina released her and Violet stayed down. She didn’t move until she heard Zina’s receding footsteps. With an angry growl she stood. She wouldn’t put up with this for much longer. No, soon she would make her move. It was her moment and it was time for old-timers like Zina to step aside.
Violet straightened and stalked from the room.
* * *
A tawny puma lounged on the branch and watched as the guards, clad in gray uniforms, herded the captured men and women into the containment trucks. The battle between the two groups had raged for at least an hour before coming to a halt. The losers had changed back to human and surrendered. The victors did not celebrate their victory; rather, they appeared grim.
The puma yawned and blinked, its bright brown eyes glowing in the early morning light. The last of the captives were loaded and the containment trucks drove back toward the city.
Impatiently, the puma twitched its tail back and forth before stretching. It rose, yawned and nimbly climbed higher up the tree. The puma took its time maneuvering through the branches of the trees that took it several miles north of the people it had spied on.
The puma came to a stop, peered down at the ground and leaped from the tree, landing on its feet. Parked a few feet away was a rough terrain vehicle. A lanky young man leaned against it with an impudent expression on his face.
“You cut it close, you know, Sis,” he groused before pushing off the vehicle.
She yawned and gave the young man a smug look. He didn’t flinch, merely rolled his eyes and opened the back door. She strutted by him and jumped inside. He shut the door and climbed in the front.
“Did you get what you needed, Talia?” He glanced up at the rear-view mirror.
The puma no longer sat there. In its place was a raven-haired teenager, who pulled a shirt over her head and into place. She ran her fingers through her hair before answering him.
“Yes, Daryl, I got it all. The Council cleaned house and Zina’s dead.”
He sucked in a breath. “Are you sure?” he demanded.
“Quite sure, Big Brother. Now, the question is, who is going to tell Violet that she’s now Alpha?”
Daryl blanched, his fingers clenched around the steering wheel.
“We’re not telling anyone yet. Let’s wait until the Council announces Zina’s demise and then we’ll figure out something.”
“Anything you say, Big Brother,” Talia purred.