Here’s a little insight into Jake. The hero of my new Paranormal Romance coming December 19th.
The following deleted scene is a shared dream/memory with the heroine, Anjali, of Jake’s childhood from when he was on the streets as a kid, using his dragon talents to find jewels and his lion agility to acquire them. Unfortunately, his prowess drew the attention of the wrong kind of people…
(apologies for any weird formatting)
She found herself sprinting down a dark street, tennis-shoed feet slapping the pavement. Her heart galloped against her ribcage.
Footsteps and shouts echoed off the buildings around the corner.
She scanned the street, looking for somewhere — anywhere to hide. A dumpster loomed against a building, but it was too obvious.
She looked up. There. A deep recess above the second floor of the building could work. She grabbed the first hold she could find and pulled her body up. Tucking her frame against the squared column that created the alcove, Anjali realized she was much smaller than usual, the size of a child. This was a dream. Jake’s dream.
Wanting to respect his privacy, she tried to wake up, but she was either too tired or had ingested some venom because nothing she tried worked. Trapped in his nightmare, she had no choice but to ride it out.
“There’s the little shit! Grab him, Vin!”
“Damn, he’s strong for a kid!”
Pain shot through Jake’s shredded fingers as he dug into the cement of the building. Vin grunted with effort, his hand biting into Jake’s skinny legs while he grasped the building with the other.
Jake lashed out with his foot, connecting hard enough to hurt his toes.
“Fuck!” The man looked up at Jake. Blood gushed from Vin’s broken nose. His eyes screwed into cruel little slits. He bared his teeth. Mouth dry, Jake tried to scramble higher.
The other man climbed up. Together, they ripped Jake from the building, leaving bloody streaks behind. He kicked and scratched, but they dragged him to a car and stuffed him inside.
Vin clambered in, hand smearing blood across his broad face. “You’re lucky my boss wants to see you kid, or I’d do you right now.”
Anjali cried inside at Jake’s fear. The dream jumped to the inside of a house. Jake was bigger now. Maybe a year had passed.
An older man sat behind a desk. The man, Vin, stood behind him and the other man from the street stood on the other side, arms folded across a barrel chest.
“Do you have it?”
Jake swallowed and shook his head. “I couldn’t get it.”
The man stood. He was handsome in a cold way that reminded Anjali of a snake. He advanced on Jake with swift purpose, jellying her insides with fear. “There’s never been anything you couldn’t get.”
“Jewels, yes. Drugs…” Jake searched the floor as if he could find a trap door and escape.
“You think you’re better than me. Don’t you, boy?” The acrid burning smell of anger stung his nose.
Jake looked up. “No, sir.”
“Don’t look at me with those freaky eyes.”
Jake’s gaze found his sneakered feet. The click of a round being chambered in a gun shattered the quiet in the room. Adrenaline spiked the hairs on the back of his neck and prodded his heart into jet speed.
“You stay alive only as long as you are useful to me. Now tell me you can bring me the drugs.”
Jake’s heart pounded so violently Anjali thought it might burst.
Lie, she yelled at him. Lie.
But he didn’t. “I’ll bring you all the jewels you want, but I can’t find the drugs.”
The older man snapped his fingers and the other two men sprang to life.
Vin moved around the desk, his wide face alive with eagerness. “This is going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me,” he joked, and buried his fist in Jake’s stomach.
Except for being knocked against the wall by the burrower during their attack, Anjali had never been struck and even then unconsciousness had blocked most of the sting.
Now, the pain rolled through her like a concussion bomb. Jake groaned and fell to his knees.
The other man picked Jake up, held him on his feet, and Vin punched him again and again until every breath was a blur of agony.
Until he changed.
The young lion wasn’t full-grown, but his weight still took Vin to the ground. The snap of gunfire assaulted Jake’s ears. Pain stung white-hot in his flank. The coppery stink of blood suffused the air, but it wasn’t all his. Vin lay still beneath him.
He spun to confront the other men, taking down the boss before he could shoot again. When he whirled to attack the last man, he was gone.
Was that how Kincaid had found him the first time?
The dream merged into another scene, and another — some clear and linear, others a jumble of chaotic happenings — each a memory full of pain and fear. Anjali prayed for it to end.
Finally, something cut into the dense fabric of the dream and she found herself awake under the blazing sun, her face wet with tears. A bird, another raven, had landed on her. She yelped and shooed it away, almost grateful to it for freeing her from the snare of the nightmare.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into Jake’s past! Look for more deleted scenes, excerpts, etc as we near the release date!