After waiting for…ever, it’s finally here. The sequel to River’s Recruit is now available!
To thank her loyal followers for their patience and encouragement, Charlotte Abel is making it available for the first twenty-four hours for just $.99. On June 21st, the price will go up so grab it while it’s a bargain.
Jonathan closed Ephraim’s journal then put it in the fireproof safe in the basement. He rubbed his eyes. He had no trouble seeing the tiny words, thanks to his enhanced vision, but it didn’t help him decipher Ephraim’s nearly illegible handwriting. It was pretty to look at but a bitch to read.
Thanks to Dad’s genealogy addiction, he was used to reading that type of stylized writing. He’d already studied the book with a magnifying glass and was able to tell Jonathan what he needed to know. He knew not to eat or drink anything in wolf form—unless he wanted to be a wolf for the rest of his life. He also knew he needed to be careful about how much time he spent as a wolf and that he needed to stay in charge. He’d figured that part out on his own the night he merged.
There was a lot of stuff about shifter history and lore, but that could wait. It was fascinating, but Jonathan needed to focus on the things that would keep him alive and human.
He hadn’t shifted again since merging, and didn’t want to, but apparently he didn’t have a choice when the moon was full.
He locked the basement door, double checked the plywood sheets he’d nailed over the windows then stripped and removed his prosthesis. He wrapped a towel around his waist then FaceTimed Dad. “Okay, I’m ready.”
“I wish I could help you.”
“You are helping me.” Jonathan didn’t know how out of control things might get so there was no way he was endangering Dad by letting him stay in the basement with him. “Promise me you won’t try to come down here.”
“I can’t even get out of bed without help.” Dad’s bitter tone surprised Jonathan. It was the first time he’d heard him complain about anything to do with his illness.
“There’s nothing you can do down here that you can’t do over the phone. The sound of your voice will help me remember who I am.” Jonathan hoped it would be enough. According to Ephraim’s journal, he should be surrounded by older, more experienced shifters. He hoped River was with Reuben.
The thought of her ignited a radiant heat deep inside his chest. Ever since he’d merged, he felt her presence. It was a blessing and a curse. Their connection was real and tangible and he was grateful to have it. But the need to find her ate at him like an addiction.
Electricity charged the air. Jonathan’s hair stood up on end. He didn’t want to short out his phone, so he propped it up on a box then scooted over until his entire body was in view of the camera. “Can you see me okay?”
Dad nodded. “Plain as day.”
“Can you reach your water?”
“I’m fine, son. How are you feeling?”
“Itchy.” Jonathan scratched his chest. His bones ached, but he wasn’t going to complain about pain to Dad. “I feel like bugs are crawling all over me.”
“Don’t fight it. Embrace the change. Let your wolf help, but stay in control.”
Tremors racked Jonathan’s body as fever consumed him. His connection to River intensified exponentially. She must have shifted.
Yes! Run. Find mates!
Jonathan felt as if someone had embedded a giant fish hook in his heart and was trying to reel him in. Beads of sweat popped out across his forehead and upper lip. He gritted his teeth to keep from screaming.
“Jonathan? What’s wrong?”
Dad carried enough guilt about delaying Jonathan’s search for River. He wasn’t going to add more weight to that burden by confessing how much it hurt to fight against their bond. “The fever’s started.”
“It’ll break as soon as you shift.”
Jonathan’s body convulsed then exploded in a blinding flash of pain. But it happened so fast, and disappeared so quickly, he wasn’t sure if the pain was real or imagined. He scrambled to his feet and howled.
There was nowhere to run.
Jonathan trotted around the perimeter of the basement, knowing it was futile. He scratched at every board covering every window, but was thwarted by his own prior diligence. A corner piece of plywood splintered under his front paw. He wedged his muzzle into the triangular opening and bit off another chunk.
“Jonathan? What are you doing? I can’t see you.”
Dad’s worried voice pricked Jonathan’s conscience, but his wolf refused to acknowledge it. He was hellbent on escape. He could almost feel the wind in his fur and the damp gravel under his paws as he ran along a river bank. The sharp tangy scent of pine layered over the sweetness of meadow grass called to him. He knew that he’d find River there. He intensified his efforts, digging and biting at the wood. Splinters pierced his gums and paws, but he barely noticed.
“Jonathan, please, I can hear you tearing something apart but I can’t see you. You’re not on camera.”
Jonathan tried to regain control of his wolf when he heard Dad’s plea, but the beast was too strong. Too determined to escape and find his mate. He knew he wouldn’t be able to shift back until after the moon set, but he tried anyway.
That got his wolf’s attention. He trotted over to the box where Jonathan had set up his phone and hiked his leg.
“No! Jonath—” The screen flickered then went black, silencing the distracting voice.
A feeling of pride and ownership flowed through the wolf. He sniffed his mark then moved to the next box and claimed it, too.
He marked each wall, establishing his territory. Mine. Mine. Mine. He sniffed the pile of clothes his man had discarded and marked that, too. Mine.
He scratched the floor with his hind legs three times then trotted to the window and got back to work. He would find his mate and bring her here to his new den. They would stay until the man upstairs died then go home.
Jonathan was glad that his wolf at least acknowledged his existence, but he was not happy. I can’t believe you pissed on my clothes!
If you haven’t read River’s Recruit yet, pick it up today. And grab River’s Remorse while it’s on sale.
About Charlotte Abel
Charlotte Abel was born and raised in Oklahoma where she met her soul mate, Pete. She chased him to Boulder, Colorado and finally convinced him they were meant to be together forever. They’ve raised three kids, two ferrets, three dogs and countless hamsters — and are still happily married.
She’s in love with “real” life and paranormal romance. When she’s not reading or writing, Charlotte enjoys hiking, bicycling and primitive archery (although she’s never shot at anything other than a target!)
The final book of The Channie Series, “Finding Valor,” is now available!
Look for “River’s Revenge,” the third book of “The Sanctuary Series” in early 2015.