Black Orchid, the fourth and final book of the Svatura series, will be out this Monday. Of the four books, this one might just be my favorite. Here is a quick excerpt – a scene in which Nate and Adelaide don’t know each other. He’s not there for good reasons, but she has her own problems. And the question is, who is a greater danger to whom?
“You can’t be here,” she said in a low, raspy voice.
“Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you…. I just saved you!”
She raised her gaze to his, and Nate was stunned to see her green eyes were now glowing bright yellow.
“You don’t understand,” she whispered. “I could really hurt you. You need to leave. Now.”
Nate took a step closer to her. He could see that her slender body was quaking from head to toe.
Adelaide held up both her hands. “I can’t hold it in much longer. You really need to go.” The anguish in her voice concerned him. He could tell she was terrified, but it seemed to be for him, not because of him. She bent over and put her hands on her knees, sucking air into her lungs as fast as she could.
Nate took a step closer but hesitated. She’s a con artist, don’t forget.
But he also wasn’t exactly sure what was happening to her. As far as he knew, none of her powers were actually dangerous.
Suddenly Adelaide fell to her hands and knees. He could see her chest heaving as she struggled for control. Nate acted on pure instinct. Tapping into his speed, he was at her side in less than a blink. He wrapped his strong arms around her from behind, sat down on the ground, and pulled her in tightly to his body. Leaving one armed wrapped around her midriff, he started running his other hand through her hair in a soothing gesture.
Now that he was touching her, Nate was amazed her shaking wasn’t rattling her very bones. It was that violent. Definitely not faking it.
“Breathe.” Come on.
“I… can’t,” she choked out. He knew that if he could see her face, tears would be streaming down her cheeks. And he didn’t like it. It reminded him way too much of his dreams. But he couldn’t think about that right now.