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A little treat in the form of a fiery excerpt follows!
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Excerpt from Fire & Shadow:Maya stalked to the door and flung it open. She had every intention of shoving past him and getting the hell away. Joss would still be in the car so if she ran fast enough she’d get there before Byron.
Byron was ready for her.
Maya tried to run past him, but he slammed his palm into her chest. She stumbled backward, her hip hitting the basin with a solid thwack. Her body ached but her gaze remained on Byron. He kept his head down, looking at her out of the top of his eyes. Like a bull, readying himself to charge straight at her. She expected smoke to rise from his nose soon.
The scent of blood and spice floated thick on the air. Cloying. Maya felt like she was drowning just on the odor. Her heart beat faster than anything she’d ever experienced. Sweat beaded on her forehead. Her hands shook and burned with an inexplicable, spreading heat. And the strange and unfamiliar sensation coursing within her veins? Adrenaline or fear?
Byron closed the distance between them in the blink of an eye. His hand spread around her neck before Maya could move. Before she could think. Even before she realized there was nowhere to go. He lifted her by the throat, her feet dangling at least a foot off the floor.
He was so strong, so frighteningly strong. His fingers dug deep. Maya tried to cough.
Tried to breathe.
Darkness enveloped her, thick smoky darkness shrouded her. Hazy. She kicked her useless feet. Ragged jerky movements. She was going to pass out. Then she’d be at Byronâ€™s mercy. No way. Not happening. But the flickerings of unconsciousness began to seep into the edges of her vision.
Fear streamed through her and then, with the last reserves of energy, she kicked hard at Byron’s knee. Hard enough to break it. A satisfying crack echoed across the tiled bathroom. Byron hunched over his knee, releasing his grip on her throat. Maya gasped, sucking air into her starved lungs, stumbling away from him, but he growled. Like a rabid animal.
Fear spun Maya around on stricken feet. Facing her attacker, she could see his next move. He barreled straight at her. And for all her training, she did the one thing her dad always said never to do. She ducked her head and hid her face, hands out, as if she could fend off this vicious attacker merely with her bare palms.
Maya sensed the heat on her skin before she saw it.
Byron was on fire. A living column of shimmering orange flames. She couldn’t breathe. Was afraid to breathe. How did that happen? She glanced around the bathroom as panic filled her veins, her fear taking on a whole new level of hysteria. She had to put the fire out. She edged around Byron as he clawed at the melting skin of his face. She reached the basin and hesitated. Was water really the best thing to douse the flames? Would I do him more harm than good?
She turned to the faucet and froze. In the mirror, she watched the burning reflection of Byron disappear. He was there one moment and gone the next, only a few burnt shards of fabric left to say he’d even existed.
Maya gasped as she remembered the last thing she’d seen before Byron became nothing: brilliant blue eyes turning a frighteningly blood-red.
And Nik, holding the doorknob, staring at the empty space on the floor behind her.
IF you have read Fire & Shadow make sure you are up to date on ALL of Maya’s adventures! This girl can’t catch a break!