Here’s a sneak peak (unedited excerpt)
Mikel slammed the front door, whistling as he entered the room. He came to a complete stop at the sight of his mate lying on the couch. Dressed in a white T-shirt and jeans, his mate Inno lay clutching his cell phone tight against his chest, his skin unnaturally pale. The expression on his face sent worry spiraling through Mikel. If something had worked up his mate that much it couldn’t be good.
He hurried to set his bag of groceries on the dining table, only the steaks needed refrigeration and they’d be cooking those soon enough. His wolf shifter didn’t even twitch his nose and Mikel knew he could smell the meat by now.
Lifting Inno’s legs up he slid beneath them before resettling his lover across his lap. He ran a soothing hand up his mate’s leg. “What’s up sweetie?” he asked again.
“Claudia called. She said some mutants were setting up shop across from her.”
Mikel tried to show an expression of anything other than indifference. Truly he didn’t care if Inno’s sister died a tragic mutant-mauled fate. When she handed Inno over to the mutants whatever her intentions she snapped any concern Mikel might have managed to dredge up for her. Vampires weren’t known for their compassion. The only reason Mikel would even try to fake it was if it mattered to Inno. He might have vampire friends but Inno was the star he guided his life by. “Did she say what kind of shop? Maybe they just want to go into business?”
Inno raised an eyebrow at his ridiculous question. “Because the human public would take so kindly to mutants running free in the city? Unless they’re opening a Halloween shop they are going to have problems.”
“They could’ve hired someone else to run it.” Mikel shrugged. There never seemed to be a shortage of idiots willing to be pawns for the mutants. He didn’t know how they recruited but the mutants were oddly loyal to each other.
“Maybe but Claudia was worried.” Inno bit his lip as he thought over his sister’s concern.
Although Inno seemed to have forgiven if not forgotten her betrayal Mikel had kept a close eye on her the few times she’d come by to visit. Inno and Claudia’s relationship still had holes in it big enough to shove a parade float through but he knew Inno missed their closeness. Mikel hated the tears Inno inevitably shed after another meeting with his sister. Claudia still thought Inno had overreacted since now he could shift into a wolf. Inno had given up trying to get her to understand the trauma he experienced at the hands of the mutants.
Mikel just thought she was an insensitive bitch and wanted to bite her.
Inno looked up through his lashes at Mikel. “Do you think we can go and see what’s going on? I heard Leif spotted some mutants planning a territory grab. I don’t want her mixed up in that. It wouldn’t hurt to take a peek, right?”
Only his mate could think spying on mutants as innocuous as walking through the park. Mikel frowned. “I guess I can swing by after my meeting tomorrow. Just to see what’s going on.”
He knew from past experience that Inno wouldn’t be happy until they checked on his sister so Mikel didn’t even try. He couldn’t pinpoint the exact time in their relationship Inno became Mike’s sole reason for living but that didn’t make it less true.
“I want to see for myself.” Inno patted Mikel’s arm. “She won’t be as reassured if you’re the only one who shows up to investigate.”
“That’s because she hates me.” Mikel grinned. Inno’s sister didn’t think he was good enough for her brother. Maybe he shouldn’t have told her that she was a horrible person for getting Inno kidnapped at their first meeting.
Inno laughed but didn’t try to deny the charge. “Yes she does. I figure she’ll get over it eventually.”
“I’ve got plenty of time.” Mikel shrugged his indifference. He wouldn’t cry blood tears if his sister-in-law never fell in love with him. She was a deceptive bitch who handed Mikel over to mutants without even discussing it with him. How could she know what was best for her brother without even talking to him. Luckily, her human condition meant she’d die a natural death long before Mikel had to worry about her being a thorn in his side.
Inno wrapped his arms around Mikel’s waist. “I don’t like you two being at odds. I love you both and I want you to get along.”
“We’re not at odds. Claudia and I understand each other very well.” Maybe his grudge wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t let the mutants grab Inno while he slept but the fingerprint of terror remained in his lover’s psyche from that one traumatic event.