Gauntlet Teaser #3

October 28, 2020


From Chapter 33

(rough draft phase)


Reece said nothing for several moments. The wariness I'd sensed in him earlier was still present, a wispy cloud imprisoned by restraint. He seemed to be fighting it. I waited in silence, my fingers crossed.


“I’ll make you a deal,” he said at last.


What? Now, I was wary. “A deal?”


“Most of what I know is classified,” he went on, “but there are some small details I can share without violating my officer oath. I will tell you as much as I can.” He gave me a second to revel in that before adding, “If you’ll tell me what happened with Morry.”


My heart sank. “I said I didn’t want to talk about it.”


“That’s the deal, Butterfly. Take it or leave it.”


“But it’s not fair.”


“What’s not fair about it?”


I gave him the best—and only—argument I had. “Kane is part of my life, Reece. He doesn’t have much longer, and that’s partly my responsibility. I have a right to know about him.”


“Fair argument. Now hear mine.” His eyes gleamed as he leaned toward me. “You’re part of my life. A very important part, I might add, and your well-being is my responsibility. Not to mention”—he took a strand of my hair between his dusky fingers—“my pleasure.”


The tiger uttered a soft chuff of approval, but I wasn’t so easily swayed. “You think flattery will help get your way?”


Reece shrugged. “It’s not flattery if it’s true.”


I glanced down and watched him play with the strand. He hadn’t done that since our hallway moment, right before I’d met Fenn for the first time. I remembered being completely thrown off by the intimacy of that gesture, as well as the look in his eyes.


Was he doing this as a reminder?


“You drive a hard bargain,” I said slowly.


One corner of his mouth lifted. “Do we have a deal?”




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The Last Starling

Horror and deep magick lurk in this YA gothic fantasy about a teenage werewolf who must decide how far he'll go to save his mortal enemy.


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