I have had the pleasure of reading The Ulfric's Mate and its sequels in eBook format. I am beyond excited that Leona Bushman's The Ulfric's Mate is being released in print. Now I can hope for an autographed copy at a future book signing. I'll be in that line somewhere and loving it!
If you haven't read it, I'm about to give you a taste of wicked that will leave you wanting more. The release is scheduled for July 18 and between now and then you will hear more about it on this blog.
Read on: (warning this scene contains violent elements)
Secretly, Roxy had always admired, even as she hated Heather. She was smart, strong, brave, and picked her battles. Part of the reason Roxy had stolen her mate was to prove she could. Same with killing him. She had wanted to establish early who was in charge. Heather had more of a following to back her challenge if the pack began to openly question Roxy's authority.
She let out a low laugh aimed at Heather, and gratification rolled through her when the healer backed up a step. "Our ancestors were exactly like me and would've done this years ago against a pack like the Wahpawhats. They don't deserve to be called weres when they adopt so many of the human ways. Many weren't happy with the way things were long before our ancestors had the courage to split from the other packs."
"We're part human. What does it hurt?" Heather argued hotly.
"Enough! Boris will escort you to your home office where you will give him the serum you have ready. Now." She waited until they had left, stripped off her clothing, and folded it on the chair. No need to ruin her favorite jeans.
She shifted, going out the back to avoid being seen, and ran through the still forest, the trees towering over her in a canopy of needles. The area nearest their village was quiet. All wildlife had learned to give the area a wide berth. The smell of so many predators in the vicinity deterred most newcomers, and the pack had long ago cleared the immediate area surrounding the lodge of edible game. She sniffed the chilly air searching for likely prey.
There. She caught the scent of deer. Doe if I'm not mistaken. Maybe I'll get lucky and be able to eat the fawn as well. She bounded toward the scent. Power rippled through her. She could not imagine being anything but a were.
As she neared her destination, she slowed, experience telling her the doe was in the meadow. She prowled low, keeping to the shadows of the towering evergreens and the thick underbrush.
She froze and watched the doe she wanted to devour. It looked straight at the clump of bushes where Roxy hid. The deer faced the area the sound had come from for a moment before grazing again, content in her safety.
Roxy stayed still for what felt like an eternity to her killing impulse. She slinked forward, being more careful of the fallen dried leaves scattered on the forest floor.
She reached the edge of the clearing and looked around. There were other does with their late fawns. None of the young brand-new, probably aged about six months. Although not newborns, they were still considerably smaller and slower than their mothers. She planned her attack.
Bunching her muscles, she sprang into the clearing, each sprint faster than the last. She was four leaps into the clearing before the first doe startled in fear and ran. The doe she had chosen jerked its head around and looked Roxy in the eyes.
The fear coming off the deer was strong; Roxy's saliva glands began to work furiously. The hunter zeroed in now, ignoring the other tempting morsels fleeing the clearing. Only this doe and this fawn held her attention.
The deer and its offspring turned and fled, up into the hills, heading for the far tree line. The beast within Roxy roared in challenge and victory. A predatory howl left her mouth, and more of her kind answered it. They recognized their leader and the howl of the hunt.
The chase went on. With each leap, the dark wolf gained ground. The deer tried a quick zigzag move, maybe to take the attention away from the fawn, but the younger deer followed its parent.
Roxy took a flying leap to the deer's neck and clamped down hard with her jaw, savoring the bloody gush that flowed down her throat. With a quick toss of her head, she snapped the wounded neck and let the doe drop.
The coppery taste still lingered in her mouth as she chased down the fawn. The best meat. She would take the doe home for the rest of the pack. It kept the grumbling down. But the fawn was hers.
In two quick bounds, she was on the fawn and ripped the head off. Spitting it out, she stood over the fresh kill, one paw holding it still while she tore jagged strips of tender flesh off the body. It was good to be the alpha.
Stop back next week for more about The Ulfric's Mate!