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Declan Lionhart has been running interference between the Founding Families and the citizens of Noctem Falls since the day he arrived in the city. His hopes of being a simple unit warrior crumbles in the face of their troubles and it looks like he will always be bound by his family’s political legacy. But with current tensions skyrocketing to unimaginable levels, Declan’s laid back persona and easy smile are needed now more than ever.
Kari Delaney has finally achieved everything she’s ever wanted. The business she created from scratch is booming and she has her dream custom built condo in the heart of the small town where she was raised. But all that changes the day she gets her evacuation notice.
Despite being a vampire, Kari hates Noctem Falls and the politics that permeates every aspect of life within the city. Under protest she and her younger brother leave for the City of the Night.
Declan is smitten with his little general and the strength she exudes. But when it’s just the two of them he begins to break down her carefully constructed walls and show her that even though he’s easy going, he is still an Alpha, and his lion is demanding her heart.
When the entire city erupts into chaos with matings being dissolved and Founding Families making alliances, Declan realizes it will take every trick he learned at his father’s knee to maneuver through the murky political waters. Both he and his mate race against time to keep the people of the city safe, despite homesick children, disastrous dinners, Meryn’s wacky revenge plans and an unexpected pairing.
Teaser 1: (unedited and under copyright Alanea Alder 2016)
Chuckling to herself Kari met up with Rex just past the transport tunnel on the way to the Council room. At the door she saw Meryn standing with her hands on her hips, face turned up to the man at the door. Kari looked over at Rex who was now scowling. Rex and Kari walked up behind Meryn. Rex wrapped protective arm around Meryn’s shoulders.
“What seems to be a problem here?” he asked.
The man looked up, eyed Rex quickly. “No one is to be admitted.”
“On whose authority?” Rex demanded.
“The founding families have determined these will be closed-door proceedings.”
The guard never even looked up as he was speaking to Rex.
“Son, do you know who I am?” he asked.
The guard scoffed. “I am a vampire and probably older than you shifter. Watch who you call son.”
Kari heard a distinctive sound and then looked over Rex was grinding his teeth, his jaw muscles clenched. Declan shared the same habit when he was aggravated.
Meryn pointed at him. “Aiden does that a lot too.”
Kari looked at her. “With you I’m not surprised.”
“You have two seconds to move before I move you,” Rex threatened.
The guard finally looked up and met his eyes. “I would like to see you try.”
Without another word Rex stepped away from Meryn and grabbed the guard by the collar, with one arm he threw him across the room. When the guard’s body hit the stone wall an echoing boom reverberated through the hall. The stone around his body cracked leaving a huge crater. The guard fell to the floor groaning.
“Holy shit, that was awesome!” Meryn exclaimed.
She turned to Rex. “Hey flex your arm,” she asked.
Grinning her mate’s brother lifted his bicep and flexed. Meryn jumped up and began dangling from his arm. When the door opened Aiden, Adriel, Gavriel and Declan stood there looking confused and shocked.
“What happened?” Adriel demanded.
Kari jerked her thumb to the wall. “The guard said that there were no shifters allowed and that these were closed-door proceedings.”
“And evidently he doesn’t recognize any of the elders here,” Rex added, still holding his arm up for the giggling Meryn.
Aiden stepped forward. “Meryn get off the elder.” He lifted her up and into his arms.
Kari cocked her head to one side. “Is your walkie-talkie turned off,” she asked Aiden.
Aiden’s eyes narrowed. “Why?”
Kari took a deep breath. “Meryn had…” she paused, unsure how to explain what happened. “An episode earlier. She found out that Doctor Who is no longer on Netflix and didn’t handle it well.” Kari watched as every ounce of color drained from Aiden’s face.
He stood suddenly. “I have to go to her.” His eyes darted around the room. “I need Bart! Bart would know what to do.”
“Who is Bart?” Magnus asked.
“He is an old human that runs the store near Lycaonia. He is an expert in all things female.”
Magnus smiled. “He sounds like an extraordinary human.”
Aiden stepped from around the desk and headed toward the door. He stopped then turned to Magnus. “Is there a place to buy chocolate here?” he asked.
Magnus nodded, pointing a finger up to the ceiling. “Level Six, look for Pierre. He deals strictly with imported chocolate.”
Aiden exhaled in relief as the air whooshed from his lungs. “Chocolate fixes everything,” he said seriously and then opened the door and left.
“I truly think he believes that,” Kari said, more to herself than anything. Magnus chuckled. “Chocolate will help a man like that go a long way,” he joked.
Ryuu stood, looking first at Kuruk and then Sebastian, both men nodded. He looked down at Meryn. “If you would excuse me for a moment denka, I will be back momentarily.” He quickly walked out of the dining room.
Meryn just stared at the door. “He left me,” she muttered. She hopped down out of her chair and started to leave, but the door wouldn’t budge. “He locked it!” She put her ear against the door and then spun to face the table, a look of disgust on her face. “And soundproofed it.”
Aiden shrugged. “It’s like he knows you or something,” he said, his lips twitching.
Magnus, Adriel, and Declan all exchanged looks. Kari could understand exactly how they felt. What could possibly chase a squire as powerful as Ryuu out of the room?
After a couple minutes, Ryuu walked back into the room and took up his usual position behind Meryn without saying a word. Meryn got up on her knees and turned in her chair to face her squire. “Well?” she demanded.
“Well what?” he asked civilly.
“You know what I’m talking about. Why did you leave?”
“I just had to contact someone; it is nothing denka.”
“Don’t tell me it’s nothing. You locked the door and soundproofed the room.”
“And how would you know that?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Fine!” Meryn sat back down in her chair. “But you have diaper duty for forever,” she threatened.
He smiled softly. “Of course, denka.” He bowed at the waist, his hand over his heart.