Here is your sneak peek at After Star's Prologue!! (It may change a tiny bit once my editor gets it:-) Enjoy!!! Add TBR list on goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18493278-after-star?from_search=true
I stepped through the now empty house. My shoes clapped on the bare floor where a beautiful Persian rug once lay. The sound echoed as if pronouncing someone dead, like the hollow of a tomb. My gaze hovered over the spot where the grand piano once stood. A ghost-like memory of a haunting melody vibrated in my ears. My chest tightened, but I refused to shed tears over the memories. I stepped towards the stairs made from polished driftwood. My hand outstretched, until my fingertips curled around the dimpled wood of the hand rail. I knew these stairs well, but everything was different—empty. The knot in my throat tightened. This would be the last time I’d climb these stairs in this lodge where my life was changed forever.
The thump of my shoes was deafening to my wolf enhanced ears. I was no longer the girl that climbed these same stairs last April. I wasn’t even human any more. The curse had snagged me with a barbed hook, and I was lucky I had even survived the change. My foot thumped against the next stair, and my mind wondered back to that night in the meadow where I had made my Choice and the eight werewolves that had died because if it. That was eight that we knew of. How many more died in other packs because of me? Because of the Choice I made?
I crested the stairs and pushed my squeaky bedroom door open. Moonlight trickled in through the drapeless windows, forming square patterns on the floor. I walked into the light as if it was the comforting blanket I craved. The silver shafts melted on my skin like a lover’s embrace. I still didn’t understand the reason why werewolves felt so connected to the moon, but it was like we were a part of it somehow and it a part of us. I had my theories. The simplest was that the moon was a celestial body just like Star and the power she had used to curse man to werewolf form. But we still knew so little about all the changes Star instigated in us.
I sighed and leaned my forehead against the cool glass window. The meadow plants were yellow, dry from the heat wave that consumed all of the month of June and was continuing into July. Gone were the luscious green plants of May. The month the curse had been broken and I was forever turned werewolf.
Yet, I loved this place. My eyes roamed over the meadow where I had first meet my mom in wolf form, where Beast had cut and infected my finger with wolf venom, where I wrestled Beast and ended up a muddy mess, and if I could see through walls, I would turn to look at the mountain Beast and I had climbed to stargaze. I rubbed my hand over my aching heart. This lodge had once been a symbol of my bondage to the curse, but now it was my home—a home I had to leave. Sadness swelled in me. I loved these mountains, running in wolf form through the tress. I was leaving so much behind. It just wasn’t fair.
I tried to be understanding, to see the good in this move, but honestly I was angry. Even with Kyle miles away in a mental institution, his influence still affected my life. His parents refused to let the wolf attack go, even if it had been Kyle’s stupid fault in the first place. They kept pressuring the authorities to hunt down the wolf pack and execute them for their crime. I snorted and my fists clutched at my side. As if any of this was our fault!
Arms circled around my waist from behind, and I stiffened. My shock lasted only a moment. I knew those strong arms and the woodland scent that clung to them.
“Beast,” I sighed. His real name was Jameson, or James for short, but in private I still called him Beast. My body melded to his in complete surrender. His arms tightened to take my weight and his warm breath caressed my ear.
“Tayla, you are letting your emotions blind your senses,” he said, concern evident in this voice.
“You don’t know that.” I couldn’t help but defend myself. I didn’t want him to think I was weak. “I just let you think you surprised me.”
The reflection in the glass told me he was amused. “Love, you can’t lie to a wolf. Your body betrayed the truth.”
I scowled. “The truth is overrated.”
“Perhaps, but I appreciated the opportunity nonetheless. It isn’t very often I can sneak up on you.” His lips skimmed my neck before nibbling on my ear, heating my skin. Need rose up in me, need for him to take the pain and frustration away. I clung to the man that held my heart captive. I turned ever so slightly, tilting my head back just enough to look into his caramel eyes. My hand brushed over his lips like a feathers touch, asking. A deep rumble resonated from his chest, and his lips found mine. They moved with a hunger that I matched. My hands tangled in his dark brown locks. My wolf sang through my blood with a fever to take more, a sign I needed to stop.
With great effort, I loosened my grip on James and took a heart wrenching step back. He let me retreat with a frustrated sigh. He respected mine and my mothers’ wishes for me to be eighteen and married before we went any further, but it wasn’t easy upholding my promise when I yearned for him like he was the missing piece to my soul. He was the one constant in my ever- changing life, and without him, I’d surely shrivel up and die.
I couldn’t look up at him, knowing I’d see his eyes streaked with the most breathtaking ethereal silver. It glowed with a light of its own, as if his Alpha powers enhanced the color. I could hear his breathing calm, along with my own. I turned to look out the window again, resisting the urge to peek at his alluring eyes.
“I am really going to miss this place.” I folded my arms around my torso, trying to keep myself together.
James stepped toward me and stroked my arms. “Tayla, we can come back. I’ll never sell this house. There’s just too much heat from the law right now. If we had stayed it would’ve only been a matter of time before they snag one of us. And the pack is tired of all the restricted runs.”
“I know.” I laced my fingers through his and rested them on my bicep. “But it doesn’t make it easier.”
“Give it time. It’ll grow on you. Idaho has loads of open land to run unnoticed.” He placed a kiss atop my head. “It’s a perfect place to start our lives together. I’ll even let you have a say in the house design.”
“You might regret that promise,” I teased, my lips curving into a small smile.
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