It’s not due out until January 2013, but there’s no better time to start piquing interest than now. Here’s a taste from Loki’s Game.
Where we pick up, Lily has pulled away from Rowan because of his shifter nature. She’s working for Loren, but he wants more. In this particular scene, she has agreed to go to dinner with Loren only to find it has turned into a date… and things are about to get ugly.
“I can make you forget all about him,” Loren whispered, and devoured her again.
As quickly as this new assault began, it came to an end when Loren abruptly flew backwards, sliding away from her across the floor. His retreat happened in slow motion. When he skidded to a stop, the sounds of the club crashed down on her in full focus, threatening to deafen her with the heavy bass-beats. Lily thought her mind had overloaded and played a nasty trick on her when Rowan’s face materialized in front of her, his massive frame blocking her view of both Loren and the still dance floor.
“Rowan?” she said, struck dumb by his presence. “What are you doing here?”
“Protecting you,” he snarled, his teeth bared in a frightening half-grimace.
Loren’s laughter cut through the noise of the club like a knife, piercing her skin with its icy tone as he stalked into view. “The great white knight has come to rescue the damsel in distress, I see,” he said. His eyes were dark and cold, and while Lily could only see Rowan in quarter-profile when he turned his head, she was certain his expression was much the same.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Rowan growled.
“I was sharing an evening with my date, not that it’s any of your business.” Loren causally brushed off the sleeves of his shirt and tucked the hem back into his pants, repairing the damage Rowan had done. Tension popped between them like arcs of electricity. Lily could feel it crawling over her skin, threatening to drown her in frustration and fear.
“Why come here?”
“Rowan!” Lily snapped, stepping between them. The sight of him—the strong, possessive, alpha-male—sent a shock of awareness bolting through her. His handsome face, even contorted with anger, tangled her heart up in knots. “What the hell is going on?”
“Your friend,” Loren said, stepping up to sling an arm around her shoulders, “doesn’t seem to like me very much.”
Lily twisted out of his grip to glare up at him. “What did you do to him to make him not like you?” she shouted over the music.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Loren shouted back, but the hard set of his jaw told her he was lying. She didn’t have to hear his voice to know that.
“Get out of here,” Rowan said over the top of her head. His breath ruffled the small hairs across the back of her neck. She suppressed a shiver, and rounded on him. His vision was still trained hard on Loren.
“And who are you to decide that?” she asked. Again, the sight of him was like a punch in the chest, and she had to focus just to keep breathing.
“The owner,” Rowan and Loren said at the same time. She fell short on a response, gawking back and forth between them. Even in the relative dimness of the club she saw Rowan’s face pale. “And he should have known not to come in here,” Rowan added.
Lily’s mind reeled. They knew each other. And they hated each other. And Rowan owned the damn club. This must be the trouble Rowan talked about.
“All right, outside…both of you,” she shouted, and started for the front door. Rowan caught her wrist and pulled her around behind a curtain, into a dark hallway. The touch of his fingers on her skin burned; threatened to derail her completely. Then the cold night air rushed over her and his touch left her. Lily turned to face the pair of them, taking a deep, hard breath to steady her jangled nerves. “Now, will one of you please explain to me what the hell is going on?”
Loren and Rowan caught each other’s stare, holding in that pattern for a long moment. Neither spoke.
“Rowan…how do you know him?”
“We go way back,” he said through clenched teeth. She was afraid of what that meant. “Your boyfriend,” he spat the word at her, “has a bad habit of stealing things from me.”
“First of all, Loren isn’t my boyfriend.”
“Didn’t look that way inside.”
“I work for him, you idiot. As for that kiss…I hardly had time to process it before you threw him halfway across the room!”
“My prerogative as owner,” Rowan replied, unrepentant.
“Go to hell, Keir,” Loren snapped, obviously having had enough of this game.
“Fuck you,” Rowan said. “Fucking poacher.”
“If you wanted her, you should have marked her.”
“I am not a barbarian.”
“What?” Lily interjected, but went unnoticed.
“So the chest-beating He-Man bullshit is considered civilized in your world?” Loren asked with a smirk.
“You will destroy her.”
“And it is no concern of yours.”
Loren rolled his eyes and laughed, a deep, sardonic chuckle that rattled Lily’s nerves. She had no idea what this argument was really about, but at the center of it was not where she wanted to be. “Don’t give me some lame line about her being your mate.”
“Hurt her and I will tear you limb from limb,” Rowan threatened.
“I’d like to see you try.”
“There won’t be any trying, kitten.” The air shimmered around Rowan’s form. His eyes, normally that soft sea-and-sky color Lily loved, had dilated, shifting to black. His teeth looked sharper, his fingernails more like claws.
“BOTH OF YOU SHUT UP!” Lily screamed, and both men froze.