The truth was, Mathews already hated him. Drudging up that experience, in particular, would only add fuel to the fire.
Young and headstrong, it was his fourth field assignment that delivered the scar he would wear for the rest of his life, the creature who gave it to him, a fiend so frightening he would never forget its face.
His team had split up to search for a reported rogue in the forests near Castine, Maine. Being the cocky young officer who was quickly advancing in his career, he elected to go on alone while the other officers remained in pairs due to issues of safety. He had followed what he thought was the rogue's trail, but hell rained down before he could discover its hiding place.
A disturbance in the trees above had drawn his attention upward, limbs violently shaking while leaves fell in showers to the ground around him. Moments later, Grayson was confident that the devil himself materialized directly in front of him.
The creature was massive, two times Grayson's height with wings stretching from its back. Sickly pale gray skin covered its body, its mouth full of sharp jagged teeth and red eyes that bore into Grayson's soul. It emitted an ear-shattering screech as long clawed fingers reached for him.
Frantic, Grayson's eyes widened, he fumbled for the pistol on his belt, but the creature's hand swept it from his grasp. It landed yards away, and he stood defenseless, panic ripping through his body. The only thing left to do was run, so he did, his heart thundering in his ears, ragged hysterical breath tearing through his lungs and throat.
The devil creature followed, slicing through the air with a sweep of deadly nails as it pursued him, shrieking with fury. Grayson couldn't outrun it. Hot searing pain shot through his back as the talons penetrated his skin, ripping through bone and flesh. He gasped for air, agony driving darkness into his eyes. As he fell into a heap on the ground, he remembered the texture of the leaves beneath his fingers, crunchy and dead, as dead as he would be soon.
When he awoke, he was in the hospital on his stomach, tubes protruding from his arms, his mind fuzzy. Once his vision cleared, he found Captain Hale at his bedside, his face grave. He never told the Captain the actual story, just that he had been attacked.
What happened to Grayson years before had nothing to do with Mathews, at least not then. Their mission together before he left on his sabbatical brought back the terrible memories when he was once again face to face with the monster who scarred his body and mind years earlier.
Dayne Walker was a Were, just like him, had once been an Eliminator, just like him, but it was there the similarities ended. Inside the man lived a creature whose murderous tendencies nearly killed Grayson, a demon so vile and one who used Dayne's body as a shield to survive. It was an unbelievable account and one that Grayson never revealed later in his reports after the mission was complete. To save sounding like a maniac telling ridiculous stories, he would never breathe a word to anyone about Dayne's demon. Mathews was the only other living soul who knew.
If you've read 'I Had Him' and 'Dayne's Demon', you already know a bit about Erik Kosnov. As you may have learned, Erik is a gentleman nearly to a fault. He has high expectations, ambitions, and his honor is of the utmost importance. The next book will explore his history, his future, his feelings for Alana, and how Sydney Dionisio fits into his world. You'll discover who she is, where she comes from, and what drives her to take the extreme action she does in 'Dayne's Demon'.
But don't worry, I'm not finished with Alana and Grayson Stone just yet. Their book will come after Sydney's story.
“Erik,” Anton spoke with exasperation. “You must choose.” He stepped forward and spread the pictures out with his index finger. “Certainly one of these females must strike your fancy.”
With a low growl in his throat, Erik ran his hands through his blonde hair. “I can’t. None appeal to me.”
“Then I will choose for you.”
With that, Anton flipped through the photographs until his eyes settled on one. Picking it up, he flipped it over in his hand.
“Sydney Dionisio, Red Lake pack, Minnesota. I’ll make arrangements to travel there in two days. Be packed and ready.” He tossed the picture down on top of the pile and walked away.
With a brooding stare and shake of his head, Erik glanced at the photo of Sydney Dionisio. She looked nothing like Alana Mathews.
Perhaps a few of you know where this is and if not, maybe you should visit. (Woodlock Cemetery, Davisville, MO) At first glance, it seems a little creepy, but once you understand, it isn't creepy at all. I think that's the way with everything in life. We get confused and disappointed in people because we don't understand them. We create false images of who they really are and what they're about because we don't know any better. Most often, we don't care enough to look for the person underneath and learn who they are and what drives them. Just like this old cemetery...you need to hear people's stories before you can really understand.
The road isn't always an easy one to travel. We sometimes find ourselves lost along the way and wondering what's next. Don't be distracted from your course. You know where you're going and what you need to do. If you can't find answers where you're looking, it's time to look elsewhere.
Wow. It's been almost two years since I've made a blog post. Well, I am going to try to remedy that little
issue! This is the area where I will post my random thoughts on random subjects. Sometimes I will post little tidbits from my books, or perhaps review another author's book. Regardless, I hope you have time the check it out!
As the woman turned, Shane's hand tightened on mine, his expression lost somewhere between alarm and disbelief. His jaw falling slack, his lips parted to allow a gasp of air to escape. Under the increased pressure of his fingers, my hand started to ache and I jerked it away.
He didn't seem to notice.
I didn't understand his response to the woman. Although she looked slightly familiar, she didn't appear to be anyone significant. Her side profile didn't mean much to me, just an average woman with ordinary dark brown hair. Absorbed in her own conversation, she inadvertently tilted her face in my direction. It was only then that I grasped the reason for Shane's reaction.
The beginning of my life could be found assembled in pictures along the outside hallway wall of Dad's room. Some in full color while others black and white with only the lingering brilliant green of my mother's eyes to disrupt the gray-scale shades. This woman's eyes were the same rich shade matching the forest in summer, tiny flecks of golden yellow catching the light and drawing out the darker hue. While I had only the memory of those photographs to compare the resemblance of my mother to this woman, Shane's heart remembered much more.
Unmistakable pain crossed through his face and his eyes glistened with fresh moisture. Placing his hand on my shoulder, he gently urged me in a different direction, away from where she stood.
"You're going to need to relax," he lightly teased. "I won't bite. Not hard, anyway."
He stood before her, staring into her warm brown eyes for a moment before he lifted his hand to her hair, pushing it off her shoulder to reveal the full left side of her neck.
She inhaled sharply and Jeremy felt her body stiffen.
Leaning in, he brushed a light kiss next to her ear. "Relax," he whispered before pulling back, letting his hand leisurely trail down the length of her side and hip as he kneeled in front of her. As his fingers skimmed the bare skin of her knee and shin, he felt his pulse quicken.
Looking up, he met her eyes, "Your shoes."
Lifting each foot as he prompted, he removed one heel and then the other. Pausing to admire the red leather, he fingered the intricate detailing across the toe. He appreciated a good pair of red stilettos and the results to a woman's backside from wearing them.
I Had Him - A Daughter's Story
A stand-alone sequel based on "What Lies Beneath -The Brothers Series."
I never knew my mother.
Only a baby when she died, I grew up in the Edgewoods Pack, surrounded by a loving family, and raised by the man they called Jeremy. He wasn't my real father, but I was told he loved my mother so much that when she died, it nearly destroyed him.
They said I was the only reason he didn't die too.
The man who I called Dad was my hero, my playmate, my confidant, and my protector. He was my entire world. My love for him surpassed the number of stars in the universe and exceeded the billions of raindrops in a thousand thunderstorms. I couldn't imagine my life being any different. I never needed a mother...I had him.
I thought there was nothing in the world he would ever allow to separate us.
I was wrong.
Lifting his good arm to knock, the door opened before his knuckles made contact.
Agent Price had to be the most cold and indifferent woman he'd ever had the privilege of meeting. Not that it was a privilege so much as a misfortune. Dressed all in black except for the white shirt beneath the suit jacket, her apathetic expression remained steady.
"I see Doctor Baldwin took care of you, Mr. Carrington, and you're only twenty minutes late."
Jeremy snickered, but refrained from commenting as he stepped into the office and she shut the door behind him.
"Normally I would require more appropriate attire, but I'll make an exception." She looked down at his un-tucked shirt with blood splattered up one sleeve. "Have a seat."
Scowling, he sat down. He detested this woman. If they were anywhere but here, he would take her down a few notches.
She continued speaking as she walked around the desk and sat down. "I was surprised when I was told you called to make an appointment," she noted in a cool tone, "considering the outcome of our last meeting."
"My temper sometimes gets the best of me" he casually defended.
"And does that happen often?"
Jeremy took a deep breath. "On occasion."
"You don't appear too concerned," Jeremy observed, casting his eyes around the room. "Your sidekick not on staff today?"
Her dark eyes held his as she glanced down at his arm held secure in the sling.
She opened a file on her desk, and scanned it quickly.
"Why have you come here today, Mr. Carrington? You understand the law and must abide by it. What remains for us to discuss?"
This woman was like fingernails on a chalkboard, grating on his every nerve, but somehow he managed to stay calm, mashing his tongue between his back teeth until he tasted blood.
"I want a re-examination of my case."
"It isn't necessary. You have no blood tie to the child, do you?"
"No," Jeremy mouthed.
"But Mr. Mathews does, isn't that correct?"
"Were you bonded to Alana's mother, Elisa?" she continued to press.
A nerve began to pulse in the side of Jeremy's jaw.
"No," he growled.
"Was Mr. Mathews bonded to Elisa?"
She knew exactly what she was doing, pushing all of the right buttons in an attempt to push him over the edge and reveal just how quickly he could lose control.
"Yes," he muttered.
"The facts are straight forward, Mr. Carrington. The law will prevail."
"The facts are not straight forward," he snapped, "I'm the only father that little girl has ever known. I've raised her since her mother died. She is all I have left."
His raised voice and the fact he'd leaned forward menacingly in his chair didn't faze her.
"I'm not in the business of emotion, Mr. Carrington," she answered, "my job is to evaluate the facts and uphold Pack Law. Sympathy has no place in my line of work."
Jeremy leaned back in his chair, his eyes never leaving her face and a sneer on his tight-lipped mouth.
"I just want to know one thing."
"And that would be?" she inquired.
"Were you a bitch before you took this job, or did this position turn you into the bitch you are now?"
Okay, this picture literally makes me cringe...
What are you afraid of, and why?
It's important to understand the source of your fear.
Fear is learned, an impression from our own experiences, or possibly someone else's.
Here's an example.
I've been stung by wasps in the past; the big fire-red type that leave an inflamed and swollen welt as evidence they've been there.
They don't want you to forget they mean business.
It's an understatement to say I dislike wasps.
I loathe wasps.
Because I've experienced their angry wrath and understand without a doubt it hurts like hell, I've developed a justifiable fear of wasps. (Justifiable to me anyway)
Now, with that being said, my daughter has witnessed my flailing arms, unladylike curses, and less than graceful sprints across the yard often enough to understand these angry flying torpedoes from the netherworld cannot be trusted, and one should be terrified when in their midst.
To my knowledge she's never been stung, but because I instilled in her this fear from my own experiences, sadly, we now run like screaming crazy idiots together.
I fully understand the source of my fear - painful encounters with aforementioned offenders.
In my daughter's case, the source of HER fear is MY fear.
And I truly hate that.
On the other hand, I'm not afraid of snakes.
While many people would walk on water if a snake slithered up beside them, the two of us have caught many just to have a look and then set them free to go on their sneaky snakey little way.
Had I been a panicked sweaty mess around the slender legless creatures, my guess is, she would be as well. But because I haven't ingrained that fear in her, she has no reason to be alarmed in their presence.
The point this story was supposed to reveal is that sometimes we are afraid of things not because of our own experiences, but because of deep-rooted fears belonging to someone else.
Although fear isn't always a physical threat to one's body, mental fear is just as terrifying and can manifest into physical distress just the same. Fear of public speaking, fear of confrontation, fear of what other people will think, ect.
Whether mental or physical, can you identify the source of your fear?
Is it YOUR fear, or the powerful influence of another person's thoughts or actions you've witnessed in the past?
(What could happen, what might happen - according to Billy Bob)
Don't lose yourself in the fear of others or let fear paralyze you to the point you miss out on a great opportunity.
Don't judge a situation based on another person's experience and always, always search for the source of your fear.
Once you find it, you might discover the fear you've been allowing to feed you isn't even your own.