I’ve handed over the blog to the awesome Keri Lake while I’m off celebrating my birthday today (I’m an Earth Day baby so I promise to recycle all the wine bottles I drink tonight…LOL) and she’s sharing a special treat with us. Soul Avenged is one of my top reads for 2013 and I’m super excited to share a deleted scene from the second book in the Sons of Wrath series with you all…courtesy of the fabulous Keri of course! If you haven’t already met the Sons of Wrath you’ll want to after reading this! And now, onto the good stuff… xoxo
Calla emerged from her bedroom, dressed in Ayden’s clothes. Not bad. They fit okay, aside from the fact that Calla’s breasts were a bit fuller and stuck out like tuning knobs through the thin white t-shirt. Smoothing the bouncy curls that she’d added to her hair, she made her way downstairs. Halfway down the staircase, she stopped, noticing Gavin, Zeke, Calix, Kane and Ayden all waited in the foyer, the gaze of three demons tracking her every step.
Zeke whistled. “Damn sexy.”
Gavin cleared his throat. “Lets roll.”
“Where are we going?” Ayden asked.
“We’re switching it up a bit,” Zeke said with a grin. “A hoedown baby!”
The smile on Ayden’s face quickly morphed into a frown. “What?”
“Country bar tonight. I want a girl in a cowboy hat and boots. Need a little variety, ya know? No offense Ayden, goth chicks are cool and all, but man cannot live by bread alone.”
Gavin frowned. “It’s better when you don’t talk, Zeke.”
The demons, Calla, Kane and Ayden filed out of the mansion and piled into the SUV, parked in the circle drive. After a long drive and little scenery, they reached the bar. Situated out in the middle of nowhere, the building looked more like a shack, flanked by a hardware store on one side and open field on the other. Half the neon sign glowed, turning what should have been a misspelled, Tuff Bucks Bar into fucks Bar, when the B flickered. Motorcycles and pick-up trucks lined the parking lot.
The brothers wouldn’t stand out at all, dressed like the mafia in their button down shirts and leather trench coats; and Ayden, vampy as usual, in her leather getup. Calla glanced down at her casual jeans and t-shirt and breathed a sigh of relief. Probably the only one who’d somewhat blend into the crowd, she hoped.
Calla climbed out of the vehicle and followed Ayden through the rickety wooden door that creaked as she opened it. An uninviting combination of stale smoke and greasy food hit Calla’s nose. Ugh. The clash of odors assured she wouldn’t be ordering anything to eat.
Deer heads mounted to the wall had been decorated with cowboy hats and beaded necklaces that strung from the antlers. Smashed peanut hulls littered the floor. Aside from the smell, the bar had a quaint feel, busy night it seemed, as just about every table stood occupied, each by about a half dozen cowboys guzzling beers. Eyes zipped like magnets in Calla and Ayden’s direction and droning conversation died down to a hush, amplifying the country music that played on in the background. What appeared to be awe on the faces of the cowboys quickly turned to a hell-no frown.
The demons must’ve stepped inside.
Calla turned, catching sight of the males lined up against the wall behind her. Looking like three crime bosses, Calix, Zeke and Gavin scanned the room—their dark aura, a stark contrast to the rest of the human crowd. Kane entered behind them and Gavin moved ahead of the group, leading everyone toward a vacant half-round booth at the back of the bar.
As they gathered around the booth, all four males stood as though waiting for something.
Ayden rolled her eyes and plopped down on the bench, scooting herself toward the center of it. “What if I have to take a piss?”
“Pace your drinks.” Calix sneered.
Calla followed suit and squeezed herself toward the middle.
Kane crammed into the booth beside Ayden, an amusing spectacle, as his big body bent forward, cramped and no doubt, uncomfortable. He’d have had no problem wedging himself into the small space just a couple days prior, before his full Lycan change. The expression on his face, brows forming a hard line, indicated he hadn’t quite figured out the whole extra muscles thing yet. Calix sat on one end. Gavin piled in next to Calla and Zeke made up the other end.
With a deep inhale, Calla sucked in the scent of Gavin beside her. His cologne smelled delicious, not too overpowering, but enough to erase the musty, greasy aroma that lingered in the air.
A young, skinny woman with bleach-blond hair and a cowboy hat, sporting half her breast out of a cut-off like some Hooters wannabe, walked up to the table and pulled out a tablet of paper. A smile crept across her face as her eyes swept over the booth. “Well, what have we here?” She ended the appraisal with a long stare on Calix then nodded in Calla’s direction. “Mind if I squeeze in with you ladies?”
“I’ve got a seat right here,” Zeke said, patting his thigh that stuck out of the booth.
The waitress bit her lip and sat down on his lap. “Now what can I get you fine looking folks?”
Zeke’s gaze trailed down the woman’s back, presumably landing on her ass. “I want something hard that’ll have me crying like a pussy later.”
The waitress turned and smiled. “I’ve got just the thing.” She twisted back around and fixed her gaze on Gavin. “How bout you handsome?”
“I’m guessing you don’t have absinthe?”
Gavin grimaced. “I’ll take a beer.”
“Same here,” Calla said.
“Tequila. Bring a couple.” Ayden sat back in the booth and Calla caught a glimpse of her gliding a hand along Kane’s thigh beneath the table. He shifted in the seat.
Kane and Calix both ordered beers and the waitress stood up from Zeke’s lap, ran a finger down his cheek before walking away.
“She’s got potential. Killer ass.” Zeke turned back to the group.
Calix shook his head. “I think you get more ass than I do in a week and I’m half incubus.”
“That’s because you pine after one ass, brother. Broaden your horizons a little.”
“Zeke, I’m curious,” Ayden leaned forward and rested her elbows on the table. “Say you were stranded somewhere, in an avalanche or some shit. Just you and one other chick. And there was no chance of rescue. She’s the last lay you’ll ever have. What kind of girl do you want to spend your last moments on Earth with?”
Zeke threw his head back and laughed. “You’re shitting me. Like I couldn’t barrel through a pile of snow, take my little snow bunny’s ass back to a ski lodge and find three others to join me in a hot tub orgy.”
“You’re impossible.” Ayden rested her head on her palm. “You’ve never given thought to the type of woman you’d want to spend the rest of your life with?”
Gavin smirked. “Zeke’s going to be one miserable motherfucker when his Savidon hits.”
“Savidon?” Calla glanced over. “What’s that?”
“End of days.” Zeke said, sinking down into the booth. “You tell me how that goes old timer.” He knocked Gavin in the shoulder.
Gavin’s lips tightened, brows knitted together and he turned back to Calla. “The Savidon is when a demon goes through some physical changes. It’s designed to encourage him to find a mate.”
“Encourage?” Zeke chuckled. “Who you kidding, my man? You’ll be like a blood hound for a piece of ass and wherever your nose leads you is who you’re stuck with.” A frown slipped across his face. “For eternity.”
“I’m not getting into this with you again Zeke.” Gavin rubbed his hand down his cheek and scratched his smooth jaw.
The waitress sidled up next to Zeke and, bending forward a little more than necessary, set the drinks out on the table. Zeke grabbed her arm as she turned to leave and tugged her toward him, her hand lost somewhere between his thighs as he whispered something in her ear. She bit her lip and smiled, then sashayed away, stealing another glance behind. Zeke lifted his drink up like a toast to her and tipped it back.
“Now what if something better comes along tonight?” Calix held his beer to his mouth. “You just committed yourself to that one.”
“I didn’t commit shit.” He leaned forward. “That’s how you play the game, bro. Leave all options open. There’s plenty of room in the SUV if I happen to pick up more than one.”
A muffled groan in Gavin’s throat accompanied by a roll of his eyes forced a smile from Calla as he turned his attention back on her. “How’s Logan been?”
“I’m pretty sure he hates my guts.”
Leaning in, Gavin spoke low. “Did I mention he’s a fucking idiot?”
Calla smiled and froze. Her gaze landed on the mechanical bull across the bar. “Oh my God!” Her eyes lit up and she slid down the bench, under the table, careful not to touch the floor, dodging demons’ legs.
Zeke’s knees fell to the side. “Hey you can start with me, babe,” Calla heard him say.
“Calla, what are you doing?” Gavin called from behind.
“I have to ride this thing!” Excitement bled into her voice.
She emerged from beneath the table and moved swiftly through the bar, eluding the eyes that were on her all the while, until she reached the bull. Tucking her hands into the pockets of her jeans, she studied the rider.
A redhead straddled the bull with her hand up in the air. Giving a quick nod, the bull jerked and her body began to slide to the side until she looked as if she was clinging to the thing for dear life. She landed on the padding that surrounded the bull and, grabbing hold of the saddle, clambered to her feet, stumbling and laughing. Drunk.
The brunette beside Calla scampered into the pit like she’d just won the Price is Right, and mounted the bull. She wriggled with a giggle, gripped the saddle with one hand and gave an upward point of her finger. The bull moved slow at first then jerked. Faster, faster. Her body awkwardly pulled with the movements until she flew from the saddle with a hard land on the padding.
Calla bit her lip and smiled as she stepped inside the pit.
Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. The country music that played a moment ago faded into a very unfitting Pony by Ginuwine. What the hell? Not the kind of song she imagined the cowboys would’ve appreciated. Perhaps the place boasted a younger crowd at some point during the week. Calla looked up to see Zeke standing by the jukebox outside of the pit with a wide grin. He shot her a finger gun and a wink before retreating back to the booth with the others.
Straightening her back, Calla slipped her hand beneath the leather strap across the saddle and gave a thumbs up. The bull jerked into motion, forcing her thighs to tighten around the machine. A slow and gentle rock had her hips moving to the beat of the song. Back and forth, her body undulated as if waves passed through her. God, why did this feel familiar? She closed her eyes and tipped her head back, allowing whatever distant sensation the bull had drudged from the dark recesses of her mind to take over.
Faster it jerked, spinning, rolling. A fire in her thighs burned and she tilted her head forward, eyes focused on the downward slope of its head. Faster. Her hair whipped as the bull dipped up and down, twisting and swirling. She gathered her hair with her free hand, holding it in a tangled mess against the back of her head while riding out each buck of the bull. Vibrations danced along her flesh. It slowed down and the tension in her thighs eased then tightened with an abrupt and choppy lurch of the machine, as if the operator had tried to throw her off. She kept to the rhythm, oscillating, until the bull finally came to a stop.
Calla grinned and dismounted, the urge to ride again overridden by a quick glance that paused her step and made her breath hitch as she exited the pit: in the thick of silence, every male in the bar, including the demons, sat slack-jawed and staring as if they might devour her.
Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan. She writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy and loves a good, tragic love story. Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction whenever distraction manages to suck her in to the Land of Shiny Things.
When she isn’t toiling away on plots and protagonists, she enjoys reading, music and travel. If she could create mystical powers for herself, she’d have the ability to flash to anywhere in the world. And if she could flash to anywhere in the world at this very moment, she’d be staring at the ocean from her adirondack chair on the shores of North Carolina.
Passion is blind in vengeance and love…
Ayden’s suburban home was invaded by a pack of Lycans.
The brutal attack is the only memory she carries of her former life.
Now, one motive burns in her soul:
KILL THEM ALL.
The Sons of Wrath—a brood of vengeance-dealing warrior demons—band with Ayden to hunt the Lycans on Detroit’s most deadly feeding grounds.
Kane Walker should’ve been her easiest kill.
Unfortunately, the newly bitten Lycan has something she wants—clues that may finally lay her past to rest. To reach them, she must be willing to submit to the sensual pleasures awakened by his touch.
Time is running out.
In seven days, Kane will become what Ayden despises most. She can halt his transformation but the antidote requires the ultimate sacrifice. As the beast takes hold, Kane becomes more of a threat.
Ayden must choose between her lust for revenge, or surrender to her enemy and discover a horrible truth.
Sons of Wrath
Never gamble with vengeance…