Coming December 26, 2012 from Ellora's Cave!
Walking home from a late-night shift at the hospital, Amy Bennett unwittingly stumbles into the violent, mysterious world of sexy Rhys Morgan. She wants him at once, but he’s a man with dangerous secrets, and despite the explosive attraction between them he seems determined to push her away.
One of the oldest of his kind, the intense Immortal warrior Rhys spends his nights on the streets of Chandler protecting the city from the demons that threaten to overrun it. He’s always been strong, but now he has a weakness…Amy.
His gift of premonition has always been more of a curse, and especially since Amy’s death has been haunting his dreams. But she’s part of his world now, and he doesn’t know how to save her, or how to protect his heart.
An Excerpt From: IMMORTAL DUTY
Copyright © J.K. COI, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Rhys was jerked from sleep. His heart pounded hard within the confines of his chest, and his breathing was heavy and labored, though he couldn’t remember why. The strangling panic had propelled him forward to sit straight up in the bed, though he couldn’t remember doing it. He did remember shouting her name.
It was hanging there, heavy and thick, all around him. More than a word—a warning, an omen, so filled with foreboding that it still vibrated in the air, charging the darkness like a specter lurking in the room.
Rhys had been having the dreams off and on for the last several weeks, but now they were coming practically every night. In the last week he had been hitting the sheets later and later in an attempt to keep the images at bay, and only after working himself into complete physical exhaustion first. So far those efforts had been for nothing.
“Christ,” he muttered, rubbing both hands briskly over the top of his head and through his shaggy hair to help shake off the dream. It didn’t work.
His scowl was wasted on the empty room. The only thing the extra workouts had accomplished was to make him more unnerved when he was wrenched from sleep…at three o’clock in the freakin’ morning.
The last remnants of the dream began to blur. The sensation of having cotton stuffed deep down his throat started to ease and his breathing slowly returned to normal, but in his mind he could still see her eyes, her tears…and the blood.
Rhys often had premonitions of things to come—it was one of the gifts he had been granted when he’d become an Immortal so many years ago. So he knew this wasn’t about his subconscious dragging out some random innocuous memory of a stranger he may have passed on the street, never to see again. No, whatever this was, it came from that place inside of him that knew.
Knew him for what he was, where he came from.
What he’d done.
The images that now lingered fuzzily in his mind screamed of that kind of paranormal psychic shit. He would be a fool to ignore the warning. And Rhys was no fool.
A few visions he could handle. Compared to the mess that was his daily routine, that added bonus was just icing on the cake that was his life. Yet something about these particular visions made him feel edgy and worried, and it didn’t help that they always had him jerking awake soaked to the skin as he sweated out a deep state of fear.
He was afraid for her. It was a fear that lingered, growing heavy in his stomach like a ball of lead, consuming not only his sleep but his waking hours.
Which was stupid. Rhys had never met the woman who had the current starring role in his dreams. He most definitely would have remembered if he had. So then why did he feel…protective, as if with her it was something personal and not just the job?
Whatever. He knew that feeling for a lie because he made a point of not getting personal with anyone.
Still, he was certain she was no figment of his imagination, whether a phantom or a living, breathing person, out there…somewhere.
The time was coming.
The reason for the dreams—the connection—was still hidden, but considering how often he was having them now, Rhys had a feeling sitting heavy in his gut that the time to meet in person was fast approaching. And it wasn’t going to be over lattés at Starbucks.
With a grimace he stood, resolutely shoving the distracting thoughts from his mind. There wasn’t time for any of that right now. He had a mission, a death to avenge.
And vengeance was a time-consuming business.
Rhys looked at the floor and grabbed a shirt from the pile of clothes lying by the bed. He quickly tugged it on. Clean pants were harder to find. The ones he’d had on the night before were stained with blood and gore. That shit was a bitch to get out of denim, but he couldn’t very well take the clothes to the cleaners. For some reason it always seemed to invite way too many questions.
Rifling through a drawer for a clean pair of jeans, he thought of what he had to do, and the familiar itch of desperation crawled his bones. The demon responsible for his friend’s death had all but vanished into thin air and Rhys was afraid it had already been too long, that the trail was too cold.
“Damn.” Muttering to himself, he continued searching the room for a pair of jeans. He was going to have to clean this place up…someday. He should also make a trip out to buy clothes. Just the thought sent a shiver of distaste up his spine, but the chore couldn’t be avoided much longer. He’d had to throw away three pairs in the last week, and since he wasn’t exactly a clothes whore at the best of times, that left him with the pair he’d been wearing last night and—
He stomped to the overlarge closet, but besides an impressive array of deadly weapons that encompassed everything from submachines to broadswords, there was very little else inside.
Let there be another pair of jeans lying around somewhere. Coffee stains he could handle. Tears and holes he would put up with. Please, just—
Reaching deep inside the closet, he pulled out an old, faded pair of jeans and dragged them up and over his thighs. He swore under his breath. They were tight. 1980s heavy metal band tight. Well, that was too damn bad because he sure as hell wasn’t going out naked, and he had a hundred better things to do than hang out at the mall like a damn teenager.
Such as tracking and killing a demon.
His pursuit had lost some momentum since the demon had disappeared—okay, it had died, been cremated and buried six feet under the ground—but Rhys had no doubt the monster would eventually turn up to kill again, and he couldn’t exactly sit around waiting for it to happen, usually tried not to let things like that happen if he could help it. Unnecessary human deaths were bad for business.
Rhys had spent weeks trolling the streets, searching every back alley and deserted building, searching the warehouses along the wharf and searching clubs, bars and every other den of iniquity Chandler boasted. Every demon he snagged was “interrogated” before being sent on an exclusive, one-way trip back to where it came from, but so far there had been nothing, no sign. All his usual underground connections were tapped out, and at this point there was only one more option available to him. Whatever it took, he would catch the demon.
It would mean gathering the others like him—the Immortals.
Fuck. He would do it. His friend’s honor, and Rhys’ own gnawing guilt, demanded no less.
Rhys’ first responsibility was to find the young one. He had kept a discreet eye on Baron Silver over the last several weeks but had otherwise admittedly neglected his duty when it came to the newest Immortal.
He no longer had the luxury of ignoring Duncan’s replacement.
Immortal Kiss (Book 2)