Today is my post as part of the Homecoming book blitz. Homecoming is a short story that takes place before the first book in the Cloaked Devices series by Cecilia Robert.
Blurb: **Mature Content Warning** 17+ for language and sexual content.
Five years ago, twenty-three-year-old panther shifter Sera Czedar left her home and her newly mated groom in a humiliating position after a mating ceremony gone wrong. She built a new life for herself in Varselles, the City of Outcasts where shifters exiled from their clans in the Seven Kingdoms can go for sanctuary.
Five years ago, panther shifter Levian Grayson was abandoned on the bonding bed by his bride, Sera. After years of tracking her, he arrives in Varselles, intent on staking his claim on her once and for all, even if it means hauling her over his shoulder just to make sure that happens.
Sera has always known her homecoming would eventually catch up with her one day. The one thing she can’t bear to do is hurt Levian, which will happen as soon as he finds out the reason she left him. Is she ready to take that path? Most of all, will Levian still want her when the truth comes out?
You can add Homecoming to your to-read list on Goodreads
As she rounded the street corner, an iron-clawed hand appeared out of nowhere, swinging in her direction. She cursed and ducked in time, and a thud resounded behind her as the blow connected with the stone wall.
Damn summer carnival and the inventors who thought these seven days were the best time to parade their inventions. The seven-day carnival brought out the worst and the best in people—depending on how one looked at it. Four more days and this madness would be over. As she regained her balance, she lifted her head in time to see a drunken body staggering towards her.
She whirled around and away as the man lost control and barrelled towards her. Her arms shot out and grabbed the body to keep it from taking both of them down. She pushed him to the wall, then released him. He slid down and immediately started to snore. No sooner had she turned around than a large paw snuck up her skirts and clamped on her right leg.
Not this again. This was the fourth time this week someone had tried to paw their way up her clothes. Or inside her bodice. This sort of behaviour was part of the reason she was a walking weapon. She’d just have to show the idiot not every woman walking down the street was prey.
She wheeled about. One of her hands clamped around the man’s thick neck and squeezed, and the other went for the dagger on her inside her boot on her thigh, yanked it out, and shoved it to his neck. “Lost something, tiger?”
The man’s amber eyes grew wide, already glazed by whatever alcoholic beverage was soaking through his veins. They grew wider as they seemed to finally focus, realising whose hand was bleeding the life out of him.
“I… I’m sorry Miz Sera. I had no idea it was you when my hand decided to—”
“Know what I think? Your restless paws can’t resist crawling under women’s skirts,” Sera said between clenched teeth. “Is that the case? Because if it is, I can find a way for them to behave. Want that?” She pressed the dagger to his neck, drawing blood.
He jerked back. A low growl rumbled in his chest as his eyes darted to the knife. The growls transformed to whimpers as his gaze narrowed on the green liquid writhing inside the transparent handle.
“Y… your merciness, you’re not going to use that on me. A… are you?”
“Still thinking about it.”
“But… but it will disable me. I won’t be able to perform.” He wailed in a guttural voice.
Typical man. “That is the point.”
“My wife will leave me.”
Sera narrowed her eyes at him. “If you’re depraved enough to paw under women’s skirts, you don’t deserve her.”
He wailed louder. People stumbled out from nearby shops, chattering, or stopped whatever they were doing and dashed to form a circle around Sera. The prospect of another probable death happening in the streets of Varselles was too enticing to pass up. A booming voice announced a bet, and seconds later there was a flurry of movement and the clinking of silver and copper coins as money exchanged hands. What a bloodthirsty bunch.
She glared at the tiger-shifter, whose face was turning blue at an alarming rate. His fangs were already extended. Gnarly claws, dirty as though he had been digging in the coal mines at the outskirts of Varselles, wrapped around her wrist.
This shifter was a mammoth of a man. He could take her down any other day if it wasn’t for the alcohol flowing in his veins and reducing his strength—and his manners as well. Just because she was midget-sized didn’t give anyone the right to stomp all over her. There was a reason they called her the Storm. She squeezed the idiot’s neck harder.
“I… I’m… please don’ hurt me. Forgive me, your graciousness. You see, this is not me. It is the drink infecting my senses.”
Sera leaned closer and gagged as the smell of alcohol mixed with damp underground space slammed into her face. “You’re lucky you’re clanless. Otherwise I’d have had you dismembered for such misconduct. If I see these overgrown paws meandering up any woman’s skirts or you eyeing any woman in particular, you’ll have no stripes the next time you shift. Got it?”
About the Author:
I write YA, NA and Adult. My motto: Passion rules. I enjoy writing stories about people finding love in the most unexpected of places,and also about people finding their true purpose in life coupled with adventurous journeys, whether it’s urban, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary or paranormal romance. There’s always a happy ever after, no matter how long it takes for the characters to get there. When I’m not working in my full time job, I don my supermom cape, or in most cases find myself trapped between the pages of a book in search for a hero who’ll make me swoon with just a look or a word. My favourite form of therapy is knitting. Best. Therapy. Ever.
There is a book blitz wide giveaway, which you can enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway