Witch & Wolf: The Complete Series
Witch & Wolf snippets:
#1, from Inquisitor:
Autumn had come, and I was powerless to stop it—this time. A yellowed leaf clung to its branch, mocking me with its splash of color. The rest of Central Park clung to the hope of summer. I stood on my toes and snatched at it, but a chilly wind ripped it from my reach.
The leaf landed on the path several steps away. When I reached it, I crushed it beneath my boot.
“Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, Allison?”
I twisted my heel while wrinkling my nose. With light brown hair and creamy skin prone to burning rather than tanning, Mark would never be my tall, dark, and handsome, though he was good looking and aggressive with his money. With my sort of luck, he’d never account for anything more than an occasional lunch buddy who needed my help with his finances. Then again, maybe it was better for both of us that way.
Some girls had all the luck. Me? I had more money than I knew what to do with, most of it acquired from Mark in management fees like I was some sort of modern-day vampire. Too bad money couldn’t buy me a life.
“Who said I went to bed last night?” Hopefully, he wouldn’t think too long or hard on my delayed quip.
“What’s got your tail in a bunch?”
I shoved my hands in the back pockets of my jeans and swallowed my relieved sigh. No tail. Good. Last thing I needed was to sprout a tail on Halloween at noon. “N-nothing. You’re always ‘blah, blah, blah, something’s wrong.’ Nothing’s going on.”
Mark arched his brow at me. “So what did that poor little leaf do to you?”
“It failed its calculus test twice.”
#2, from Winter Wolf:
I slammed my car’s door, spun on a heel, and swore I would have a perfectly normal visit to the mall. All I needed was one little book. Even I could walk into a bookstore, pick up a novel, and leave without causing any trouble.
This time I wouldn’t blow out the lights. There wouldn’t be a single power surge. I wouldn’t turn on every unplugged device in the electronics store on my way across the mall. In the ten minutes it would take me to get in and out, the only thing anyone would notice about me was the fact that I wore a high-collared sweater in late summer. I had a mission, and I would complete it without fail. The novel my agent insisted I read would be mine.
For a long moment, I considered turning around and getting back into my car. Dominic would forgive me if I didn’t start reading the book until tomorrow. I could call in a favor and ask someone to pick up a copy for me. Then I definitely wouldn’t run any risk of blowing anything up. If I had been smart, I would’ve just ordered the damned thing on the internet, but I had waited too long.
Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I unlocked the screen with a swipe of my finger. The charging icon mocked me. Despite running every battery-draining app I could find, the battery held a full charge. I opened another app, a devilish program capable of killing the battery in ten minutes. It wouldn’t, not with me around, but if I was too busy keeping my phone topped up, maybe my mall shopping trip would prove to be mundane.
I shook my head, laughing at my foolishness.
No one would notice my phone. No one would notice me for more than a second. They’d notice my clothes, and then they’d file me away as yet another weirdo wearing something strange to catch attention. L.A. was full of people like that.
I had no reason to worry. Even if I managed to embarrass myself yet again by losing control of my powers, no one would know I was the cause of unplugged electronics turning on or unusual power surges.
Straightening my shoulders, I fixed my eyes on the line of glass doors and marched my way across the parking lot.
In and out. No blown lights. No power surges. No feeding power to unplugged electrical devices. No charging batteries for strangers. I was in control, and I would charge only my phone.
Making my way to the entry, I paused long enough to hold the door for a little old lady who insisted on making her way through the regular doors despite her walker. I couldn’t blame her. If I lived to be her age, I wouldn’t want to rely on automatic doors either.
She thanked me with a pat on the arm. Flashing her my best smile, I slipped inside.
I could handle ten minutes in the crowded corridors. Maybe if I told myself that enough times, I’d believe it.
I stuck to the center of the hallway, dodging kiosks as I worked my way to the bookstore. Despite being so near to closing time, the place was busy, leaving me to navigate a sea of bodies. I considered stopping at one of the jewelry kiosks. There was something appealing about the humble, cheaper baubles, but I didn’t quite dare.
In and out. No stops, not even to admire the gemstones twinkling under the display lamps. This time, I wasn’t going to break anything, not even a single light.
#3, from Blood Diamond:
The world was full of corpses, and I, Dante Jackson Emmett Anderson, knew them by name. Unfortunately for me, my brother knew my secret.
When my brother asked for help, it usually involved unidentified bodies or paperwork. When he had shown up at my door, I hadn’t expected an invitation to join an Inquisition field operation, one dangerous enough to warrant the use of my brother’s armored truck. He had me dead to rights when he told me I’d be driving, and judging by the way he had smirked while spinning the keys around his finger, he had known it.
I doubted the red-painted, tempting seductress of a monstrosity could be eliminated by anything other than a missile or a tank; even if someone wanted to blast their way in, they’d need a ladder to reach the door. I wasn’t small, not at six foot three, and I needed the help of the step rail and roll bar to climb in. The rest of the team needed me to give them a hand.
I drew a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. I should have refused my twin and ignored the lure of driving his absurd, stupid truck. I should have told him I would do a stint at the Inquisition headquarters shuffling papers and naming dead people instead of pretending I was trained for field operations.
Drumming my hands against the leather wheel, probably the only normal thing in the truck, I waited. The manila envelope on the dashboard mocked me, reflecting in the windshield as I watched the darkening forest for any signs of the team’s return. Once I opened it, I’d know more about the operation and its Inquisitors than I wanted. I’d know the names and faces of the dead, and if my bad luck held, I’d get a glimpse of their final moments.
The dead were vindictive like that.
I leaned forward, resting my forehead on my hands. My brother had been in enough of a hurry to get me into his truck and on the road I hadn’t had time to change out of my suit. Combat boots, fatigues, and Kevlar protected the Inquisitors. I wore a silk dress shirt and an equally thin jacket a bullet would ignore before tearing a hole through me.
Clenching my teeth, I bumped my forehead against the wheel as I cursed my idiocy.
A smart man would’ve put the idling engine into gear and left. If I did that, I’d be the target of my very own Inquisition operation. I doubted even the Red Beast could withstand a pack of angry Fenerec armed with more firepower than the military. They had missiles, and I had supplied all six warheads to them. If they launched one at the truck, they’d blow it—and me—into scrap metal and unidentifiable bits.
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.