What was once a pitch-black wasteland inhabited by only shadows and the most stupid ghosts like yours truly was now a sweeping landscape of sand and stars. Time never passed. It was never day or night, forever something in-between—a realm of eternal twilight. Or eternal dawn, depending on your perspective, perhaps. But I was a glass-half-empty kinda guy.
Near the climax of the 1st book of BifL:
Something slammed into the side of the car, causing Ryder to curse as he grappled with maintaining the vehicle. It felt like an eternity, but eventually he gained control and pulled off to the side. He turned to me before stepping out, “We go on foot from here.”
It was in the middle of nowhere in the fading light. “How far?”
“An hour, if I allowed you to walk…but I’m not. We’re shifting, and you will straddle my spine.” While his voice was calm for a very angry wolf, he was basically daring me to challenge him.
I’m not stupid. The longer we were out here, the greater the chances are that someone would be killed. I may have not wanted much to do with the wolf end of him—like riding an animal, but less under my control? No—not not but hell no. I had a strong sense of self-preservation for a reason. But in this case, the safest thing to do was to obey. I’m not about to be one of those girls that get yelled at in movies for doing the dumb thing.
I nodded and we got out the car—out of several vehicles. The others had pulled over, most of them already out and shifted. Stephen’s wolfy face was coated in blood, in this twilight world. Apparently he had took out whatever had hit us.
Of course, my mate used my distracted observations at that moment to shift. I didn’t have to be disturbed by the sight, but the sound of snapping bones and rending cloth did nothing to quell the memory. I refused to turn until he gave a soft chuff of noise.
He had himself down but alert, waiting for me to climb the mountain of fur that he calls his back. Even prone, his spine came up to my breasts. It was a struggle to climb. I realized, belatedly, that whatever I had seen before wasn’t a fill-sized shift. This likely was. My man was bigger than a horse, and that wouldn’t have fit in the office with me and the cat.
Finally he stood, resisting the urge to shake, although I could feel the tension yearning for it underneath me.
With a bark he reeled and dashed onward, dragging his cohort behind him like tin cans tied to the bumper of a newlywed’s car. There was no pretense of subtlety in the lot of them. The things knew we were coming.
And if it wasn’t for this baby, I would have ridden low, face buried in his neck, scared of the whipping-past branches of cacti and wild bushes alike. I couldn’t see them before they were already on me. A couple of times the barest scrape would touch skin—there was too little room to travel as we were, but he felt there was no choice in the matter, so endure scrapes or distract him? Endurance was the only real option.
All I could do was pray he wasn’t exaggerating when he said it would only take 5 minutes. I was shaking too hard to keep a firm grip after 30 seconds had passed.
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