An all-new story in Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protectors/Rebels paranormal romance series is out this week, and I have a sneak peek for you.
“Come as soon as you can.” She ended the call and ran back into Evan’s bedroom, stopping short as a wave of power hit her. Whoa. What was that? Her hands shook, but she quickly put on her clothes from the day before. “Evan?”
He still didn’t move.
All right. That fever couldn’t be good for him. She hurried into the master bathroom and doused several towels in cold water, returning to gently place them on his back and behind his neck. Then she winced as she saw the clear outline of her bite right beneath his jaw.
Her fangs were small but sharp. Very rarely used.
She quickly braided her hair out of her face while watching Evan, her stomach cramping. What if she’d just sped up his death? Oh, she should’ve done more research before trying to mate him. What the hell did she know about the process?
A loud knock sounded on the outside door. She jumped and then ran through the house to yank it open.
Raine Maxwell stood in the dawn light, his hair mussed and his jeans wrinkled. A dark tee stretched tight his wide chest. “Are you all right?”
She gulped and nodded, pulling him inside. “I’m fine. Although I may have really screwed up.”
Raine stepped inside and looked around, his green eyes blazing. “Where are we? This isn’t your place.”
“It’s Evan’s,” she said, her breathing shallow.
Raine’s eyebrow rose. “You killed the cop?”
“I don’t know.” She grabbed the vampire’s arm again and yanked him. “This way.”
Raine sighed and followed her through the house and down the hallway. “I thought he was on your side. Why would you kill him?”
They reached the master bedroom, and Tabi pointed inside. “I mated him.”
Raine jerked to a halt, and his eyes widened. “You fucking did what?”
Tabi winced. “I mated him. He’s a nice guy, and he should live forever.”
Raine shook his head like she’d thrown water up his nose. “You mated a human male?”
She gulped. “Yeah. I think so. I mean, I’ve never done it before, but I bit him and I think I marked him.” She held up her hand to show her family marking on her palm. When a demon found their mate, a marking appeared with the first letter of their surname, kind of like a family crest. The marking transferred during the mating.
“You think?” Raine snapped, stepping into the room. He stopped cold. “Wow. That’s a bucket full of power coming from that bed.”
The wooden floor was cold on her feet but solid. Very solid. “I know,” she admitted.
Raine shook his head and continued forward, looking down at the burning-up male on the bed. With one finger, he slid the sheet down to reveal Evan’s hip and the perfect branding of the Rusko marking. “Yep. You sure branded him.”
Tabi’s eyes widened as she studied the marking. It was far more delicate than the military tattoo on Evan’s shoulder. “He bit me, too.” Her neck still hurt, and she sent healing cells to the injury. “Does that usually happen when an immortal mates an enhanced human?”
“I don’t think so,” Raine said, tugging the sheet back into place. “But we don’t know much about enhanced males, since there aren’t supposed to be many, if any, still alive.” He stepped away from the bed, leaned against the wall, and stared at the silent male still sweating profusely.
“What now?” Tabi asked, her legs weak again. What had she been thinking?
“Hell if I know,” Raine admitted. “You’re young to mate, and he’s a human who was dying of some sort of disease that I could sense.”
“Huntington’s Disease,” she confirmed. “But mating should cure him, right?” Although she wasn’t as strong as she’d be one day, once she’d lived a century or two. Surely that couldn’t hurt Evan. Or could it? Yeah, she should’ve done a lot more research, somehow, before she’d risked his life like this. She was so impulsive sometimes.
“Shit,” Raine said. “You might’ve just created a monster. We really don’t know much about enhanced males. There’s even a theory that they’re more related to dragon shifters than witches.”
Tabi coughed. “There’s no such thing as dragon shifters.”
Raine crossed his arms. “Yeah, there is. I guess it’s a big secret, but it’s getting out these days. Secrets never stay for long, you know.” He shook his head. “We need to find out more, just in case I have to put him down.”
No way. Tabi shook her head. “You will not harm him.”
“Might not have a choice,” Raine said. “Either way, we have to make a call.”
Tabi’s eyes widened. “No. Please.”
“Yeah. We’re calling the queen.” Raine reached for the phone in his pocket. “God help us.”