Beneath the Broken Moon

December News Update

Thief's Gambit

There’s plenty of news to share this month!

The Thief’s Gambit is on pre-order and is available at all the retailers! In addition, The Assassin’s Mark, the first book in the Edge of Oblivion series is no longer exclusive to Amazon. Give those a look, especially if you enjoy urban fantasy romance!

Something else that’s pretty awesome is I’ve started releasing Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One on Radish. If you enjoy reading on the app, be sure to check out the available episodes and subscribe to get notified when new ones come out.

I’m also excited to announce the title for Cry Wolf 7. Titles are usually harder than writing the book for me, but I’ve finally settled on The Wolf Who Kept A Secret. Hooray!

At the end of this week, I’m taking a holiday break to spend time with my family. It’s something I’m really looking forward to. But I’m delighted about the possibilities for the new year and new decade, too.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Until next time,

Sarah

P.S. If you need some new books to fill your ereader, check out these great giveaways with all sorts of books on offer!

Take an Author for a Test Drive (all genres)

Delightful December (sweet and spicy holiday reads)

Fangs and Magic (paranormal romance)

Winter is Coming (romance of all kinds)

Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One is Available

Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One

Find it now at your favorite retailers.

Carmela struggles to choose between the alpha werewolf she’s destined for and the vampire she’s enchanted by, but the wrong decision could lead to deadly consequences…

Werewolf relationships are all about influence and offspring, especially as the species is becoming extinct. Carmela Santiago resents that type of life. She dreams of falling in love and being happy, not following the dismal example her parents have set.

When sensual vampire Derek Ashmore rescues her from dangerous hunters, she tumbles head over heels for him. Not a wise decision since werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies.

Meeting her caring mate-to-be Brendan Kelly has her further questioning the future. Regardless, her life has forever changed now that she’s met not one, but two men who pull at her heartstrings…

Read an Excerpt

Buy Links: Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google

Add to Goodreads

Until next week,

Sarah

News and Excerpt for Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One

The book will be out next week! Woohoo! If you’re a blogger or would like to share the release on your social media, please be sure to sign up for the release blitz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One

Chapter One

Carmela

Bullets peppered the big screen of the Teatro de la Noche. Screams rang out around me, and I dropped to the floor, pulling my cousin Chandra down with me. Tension ached in my shoulders, and my heart pounded in my chest like a trapped animal, desperate to escape.

Gunpowder stung my sensitive nose, but through the overpowering scent, I caught a whiff of a hunter heading our way. “Chandra, we have to move.”

If Chandra and I didn’t get out of here we’d end up dead—or worse, test subjects for the Cazador—human hunters ordered to scour the land of nocturnes by the plutocratic government.

“How? They’re all around us.” Chandra peeked over the seats before dropping back down beside me. “A few of them are chasing down those who ran from the first assault, but two more are heading straight for us.” She ran a manicured hand through her honey-brown hair, which was only a shade darker than my own. “Come on. I have a plan. Let’s try to sneak out the side door.” She crawled in the opposite direction, down the row of seats.

The sight of my cousin’s butt cheeks hanging out of her short skirt filled my vision; some things were better left unseen. I lowered my gaze, particularly since Chandra had forgone panties. She almost always held herself with an air of power and purpose. Perhaps that’s what it took to get attention from other werewolves. Chandra got it in heaps, but her lower social status stopped a lot of relationships.

While it was a horrible time to second-guess my modest fashion sense, I couldn’t help wonder if I should take a lesson from my cousin. My own blouse and dark blue jeans had much less pizzazz. But I doubted my father would allow me to dress like Chandra; we had a privileged image to uphold.

I bit my lip, struggling to turn my thoughts back to the problem at hand. This was all too much. How could we get out of here unscathed when the roar of gunfire continued to close in?

We reached the end of the aisle. Chandra moved to glance over the seat, when a shout came from the opposite end, startling us both.

“Run, Chandra!” I barely kept my voice to a whisper.

She sprinted toward the bright red exit sign at the front of the theater, and I chased after her, trying to keep my pace natural though her long legs made it challenging. Maybe if they suspected we weren’t nocturnes, they’d leave us alone.

The stomping of heavy boots on the theater’s plush carpets said otherwise. Then again, they weren’t opposed to taking their fellow humans down too. The very rich in power thrived on oppressing those less fortunate. What better way to keep the populace down than to have their thugs strike whenever possible.

“We should split up.” Chandra shoved a heavy trashcan in front of the door, but that wouldn’t be much of an obstacle to the pseudo-military bastards.

“What?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “No way. If we do that, we’ll—” The trashcan scraped the cement as the hunters tried to open the door. Maybe she was right. If we were together, there was a better chance of them catching us both. Alone, we might survive the night.

I nodded to her, and we took off in opposite directions down the alleyway behind the Teatro. The door slammed open, smacking the wall hard, as I turned the corner and headed toward the main street. I had to find somewhere to hide out before the hunters spotted me again.

In front of me, another group of Cazador chased a few werewolves down the main road. I slowed to keep my distance from them, but if I didn’t get somewhere fast, they were going to catch me. Ugh. As much as I loved getting out of the house and going to the movies, I wished I’d listened to my instincts tonight and stayed home.

Two sets of feet pounded the sidewalk behind me. Perhaps they’d spotted me before I reached the corner.

I picked up speed a little, pumping my arms as I struggled to keep to a human speed while staying out of range. The temptation to race through the streets nearly drove me to action, but I glanced back, seeing my pursuers for the first time.

One of the men had greying hair and a rounded belly, which explained the slower, heavier footfalls, while the other guy appeared younger and super-athletic. No wonder I was having trouble getting away. If he hadn’t been so scary, he might’ve been attractive. Pure masculine aggression raged through him, tensing his shoulders as his gaze focused solely on me, his prize. Each man carried a large-caliber handgun. I was just glad they were too busy running to try to shoot me…for now, at least.

My sandal hit an uneven patch of concrete in the sidewalk. My body lurched forward, but I caught myself before I could go down. I should’ve been paying more attention to the street. Up ahead on the opposite side of the road, I spotted a dark alleyway running alongside a row house. If I cut through, I could safely turn up the speed without exposing myself, and lose them.

The older hunter slowed; his breathing had become increasingly labored. He cocked his revolver’s hammer, and I darted across the empty road, making a beeline for the alley. The last thing I wanted tonight was to see Dr. Matthews. Just a little bit farther. A bullet smacked the ground at my feet, hitting me with fragments of pavement. I bit back a yelp, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of knowing my fear.

“I got this one, old kook,” the younger hunter grumbled, and his footsteps slowed too.

Another gunshot pierced the hazy night air. White-hot pain rocked my shoulder, nearly toppling me to the ground. I screamed, unable to hold it in, and picked up speed, no longer caring if I appeared human or not. The faint creak of a door barely registered before a pair of arms wrapped around my waist, jerking me inside the dark row house.

My rescuer softly shut the door, careful not to make a sound, and shoved a hand over my mouth. “Sshhh,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you. You’re safe.” His voice was deep, with an English accent. He pulled me away from the door and hunched down in the darkened room, holding me close, waiting and listening.

Agony clouded my thoughts, but I couldn’t let myself lose focus.

Footsteps thundered through the side alley. I stiffened at the sound. The hunters’ harsh voices and the clanking of metal were the only differences between them and a herd of cattle. They made no attempt to disguise themselves, taking delight in the fear they provoked. The Cazador weren’t true predators, but they held power over their fellow humans and the weaker of the nocturnes.

I stayed silent in my mysterious savior’s arms. Thoughts of my cousin Chandra sparked inside my mind. She was still out there. What if the Cazador found her and killed her as they’d tried to kill me?

This man had saved my life. I needed to do the same for my kin.

His large hand flexed slightly, crushing my mouth. I placed my hand against his wrist, hoping he’d release me, since I no longer heard the disgusting Cazador who hunted me like an animal. How had I gotten myself into this mess?

Shifting my weight, I groaned as my shoulder brushed against his smooth chest, my arm hanging limply by my side. The bullet must be impairing my movement. I doubted even shifting into wolf form would fix this right now. What was I supposed to do? Not even my people were immune to blood loss.

The scent of death crept into my nostrils, which could only mean one thing: my savior was a vampire. In this weakened state, he could easily end my life, and I wouldn’t be able to stop him.

But why would he save me? Maybe he required his next meal. An icy shiver slithered down the length of my spine. For the first time, I felt real fear.

If only I’d insisted on returning home from the Teatro sooner instead of catching the night’s second movie, we wouldn’t have been there for the raid. Already my energy waned due to the rocky power of the three raging moons. The added exertion of running from the Cazador and getting shot strained my body even more.

Somehow, the Cazador had known nocturnes frequented the Teatro. Who would give that kind of information away? Wolves wanted the same pleasures in life that humans desired.

My savior readjusted his grip on me, brushing against my upper back. I swallowed a scream, unwilling to alert anyone who might be listening outside this man’s home. This vampire’s home. Clenching my teeth, I pulled at the vampire’s wrist. I would not be his victim.

He remained steadfast, proving my weakness. “Don’t scream. Don’t run. Don’t do anything that would force me to hurt you, because I’ve had a lot of practice.” His crisp voice caressed my ear, and his breath moved tendrils of light brown hair, tickling the flesh on my neck. “Do you understand?”

While he meant the words as a threat, I couldn’t help the way my body responded to his intensity. I nodded, forcing my thoughts back into place. If he attacked, I needed to remember my Militia training.

The vampire released me, but he stayed still, as if waiting for my next move.

Slowly and carefully, I scooted away and turned to face him. My eyes had gradually adjusted to the darkness, allowing me to see more clearly in the dimly lit room than a human would. What a sight he was. I brushed my fingertips over my sore lips.

Crouching in the shadows, he wore a navy-blue dress shirt with the buttons undone to show off his pale, sculpted chest, and dark jeans that snugly fit his long legs. I’d only seen a few vampires, and none of them had looked this exquisite.

My eyes widened as he ran a hand through his shoulder-length black hair. His gaze had dropped to my lips, and I lowered my hand. Hunger burned in his deep blue eyes; I prayed it wasn’t bloodlust.

What was I thinking? Our species didn’t see eye to eye on anything except survival. The Feud between vampires and werewolves had raged on for centuries now, since well before bickering humans shot the moon with a nuke after a resource dispute and nearly killed the world’s population. Little did my ancestors know just how much and how fast the world would change. Instead of bridging the gap, vamps and wolves had grown even further apart. No one remembered what or whom first started the divide, but neither race spent any effort on diplomatic relations.

Kill or be killed.

I took a deep breath and sat a little straighter. With space between us, my fear lessened. The Militia had taught me to defend myself against hunters and other nocturnes. They made sure I wouldn’t be easy prey for the enemy. Of course—they preferred to have my womb protected, since it ensured our race would live on.

Bitterness soured my taste buds, and the urge to spit overwhelmed me.

Admittedly, vampires were the hardest foes to defeat, and I couldn’t practice my skills much these days. Not with Father keeping me almost literally a prisoner in my own home.

But if I had to fight this vampire, I would go out having inflicted a lot of pain.

“Why did you help me?” I asked, keeping my gaze on the wall near his head. No way would I look into his eyes. While I was strong, I wasn’t stupid. His kind could easily manipulate, and I had no idea what he had in mind.

“I think it was your caramel-brown eyes, love.” He leaned into my line of sight, but I looked away. Instead, he closed the space between us in a heartbeat and gently stroked his index finger along my jaw.

The sudden intrusion on my personal space had me jerking away, but with my back so close to the wall, I had nowhere to run. “How could it have been my eyes?” I crossed my good arm under my breasts, but that drew his attention down to my chest. Not what I’d intended. “I’m sure you couldn’t have seen them while I was running from the hunters.”

With a sensual swipe of his tongue, he licked his lips. His gaze lifted to meet mine, but I quickly averted my eyes. “You caught me.”

Add to Goodreads

I’d love to know your thoughts on the excerpt!

Until next week,

Sarah

Cover Reveal for Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One

I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be releasing the complete first season of Beneath the Broken Moon in March. If you’ve read all five parts currently available, then you’ll have read this book. It’ll be available in both ebook and paperback.

Blurb: Carmela she struggles to choose between the alpha werewolf she’s destined for and the vampire she’s enchanted by, but the wrong decision could lead to deadly consequences…

Werewolf relationships are all about influence and offspring, especially as the species is becoming extinct. Carmela Santiago resents that type of life. She dreams of falling in love and being happy, not following the dismal example her parents have set.

When sensual vampire Derek Ashmore rescues her from dangerous hunters, she tumbles head over heels for him. Not a wise decision since werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies.

Meeting her caring mate-to-be Brendan Kelly has her further questioning the future. Regardless, her life has forever changed now that she’s met not one, but two men who pull at her heartstrings…

Add to Goodreads

Until next week,

Sarah

21 Shades of Night’s Spotlight on Sarah Mäkelä

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Introducing Sarah Mäkelä

Beneath the Broken Moon is Sarah Mäkelä’s contribution to 21 SHADES OF NIGHT box set.

For only 99 cents, you can own 21 wicked novels from today’s NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors.

BtBM1

About Beneath the Broken Moon

Werewolf relationships are all about influence and offspring, especially as they are becoming extinct. But Carmela Santiago resents that type of life. She dreams of falling in love, not following the example her parents have set. 

 

When sensual vampire Derek Ashmore rescues her from dangerous hunters, she tumbles head over heels for him. Not a wise decision since werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies. 

 

Meeting her caring mate-to-be Brendan Kelly has her further questioning the future. Regardless, her life has forever changed now that she’s met not one, but two men who pull at her heartstrings… 

 

This is part one in a werewolf/vampire menage serial with a cliffhanger, explicit language and sexual situations. Please read the books in order.

 

About Sarah Mäkelä

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author and a life-long paranormal fan who still sleeps with a night light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies, and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

Want to learn about new releases? Sign up for her newsletter!
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Find Sarah here:
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21 Shades of Night
Limited Edition. Sale Ends Soon!

21 SHADES OF NIGHT

With one million words of romantic paranormal fiction, this boxed set will light up your night with sexy shifters, hot vampires, wickedly cool witches, gargoyles, and so much more —take your pick!

For a limited time, you can enjoy books from today’s NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling authors!

When purchased separately, these books cost over $50! But they are yours today for less than $1.

This set is only available at this price for a limited time, so order your copy before it’s gone forever!

The Hottest Titles from Today’s Bestselling Authors!

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Nook: http://bit.ly/1YP7dj4
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Beneath the Broken Moon: Part Four

BtBM4Beneath the Broken Moon: Part Four
Sarah Mäkelä

Genre: New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Shifter Romance

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LV9VgN
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Nxie2F
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1NwiUGc
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1BZ1AbA
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25821918-beneath-the-broken-moon

Book Description:

The more Carmela Santiago thinks about her vampire lover and her alpha werewolf, the more she realizes that she can’t let either of them go. However, the last thing she wants is for her secrets to drag them down with her.

Derek Ashmore has lived for many centuries, but even vampires can get stressed. Not only does he need to rescue his longtime friend from the Cazador, but he also needs to keep Carmela safe all the factions threatening them.

The clock is ticking for Brendan Kelly. His Alpha and father has given him a deadline for bringing Carmela to a werewolf safe house, but when Carmela doesn’t budge on the issue, he’ll have to find a way to convince her before it’s too late.

Excerpt:

I couldn’t suppress my relief that Carmela hadn’t fled to Derek because she hated me. But I still seethed with anger that her father had almost raped her. If I’d known things would get so bad, I could’ve done something to prevent her pain… Maybe I should’ve pressed to visit her sooner, or talked my father into bumping up the mating ritual. No, I couldn’t second-guess myself. What William did wasn’t normal. You didn’t expect your future mate’s father to do something like that.

“M-mate? S-so soon?” Carmela met my gaze with slivers of panic in her eyes.

Damn. The last thing I wanted to do was scare her. My words had just slipped out in my desperation to draw her close, although I meant them from the bottom of my heart. What if they drove her away from me? I’d been unable to protect her before due to our customs, but now I could change that. My father was the Alpha of Alphas. He could ensure her safety and bring William to justice once we were mated.

The only other thing that bothered me was how she looked at Derek.

“The sooner the better, babe.” Glancing up at the balcony, I caught Derek watching us from the shadows. He wasn’t trying very hard to conceal himself. Emotions warred within me. She was my future mate, but the two of them seemed to have feelings for one another. I was grateful that Derek watched over her while I was injured and at home, but I couldn’t let him take her from me. I was falling in love with her.

She chewed on her lower lip. Memories of our kiss shoved all other thoughts aside. The only thing that kept me from leaning in to claim her mouth again was the worry in her eyes. I brushed a strand of hair from her cheek, tucking it behind her ear. She leaned into my palm.

“I—”

“You don’t have to make that decision right now, love.” Derek walked toward us, stopping mere feet away, and much closer than I’d have preferred.

Every muscle in my body tensed. “She was going to say something. Let her speak.” The hair on the back of my neck rose, and a low growl trickled up from my chest. I must’ve been so caught up in being close to Carmela that I hadn’t remained aware of our surroundings. Vampires were stealthy, but I was the Alpha of Alphas’ son; my keen senses were sharpened from an early age. He shouldn’t have been able to sneak up on me.

She placed a small hand against my chest. “It’s okay, Brendan.” She leaned up and brushed her soft lips against mine.

I gently cupped her cheeks, not wanting just a chaste peck. After everything that had happened, I needed more than that. I needed her. Her hands covered mine, and she softly moaned as I swiped my tongue over her lower lip.

Derek cleared his throat. “As I said before, you should be going.” His power surged toward us in a hot wave.

Carmela tried to turn to look at him, but I kept her gaze on me. “I can protect you. Just say yes.” My wolf wanted to rip the vampire’s throat out, regardless of the help he and his friend had provided us. That would resolve some of my problems, but it went against the kind of man I was. Besides, he’d taken care of Carmela when I could not. Regret twisted my stomach in knots.

Derek took a couple steps closer. “You had your chance to talk with her. Leave us.”

I grabbed the crutch from beside me and stood. Our eyes met, and I felt the soft tug of his power as he tried to mess with my mind. Even though I was injured, I wouldn’t put up with this. He might have feelings for her, but she was a werewolf, and my destined mate.

“Guys, please.” Carmela looked between us and sighed. “I need to talk with you both.”

Beneath the Broken Moon: Part One – Release Day!

Hey everyone! I’m so excited that it’s release day for Beneath the Broken Moon: Part One! In addition to this new book coming out, I’m celebrating the release with a few fellow author friends at Facebook TONIGHT from 5:00PM to 9:00PM (Eastern Time). Beneath the Broken Moon – Release Party! We have plenty of great prizes (including Amazon GCs and ebooks), and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope to see you guys there!

Beneath the Broken Moon: Part One
Sarah Mäkelä

Genre: New Adult Post-Apocalyptic Shifter Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Date of Publication: April 28, 2015

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1DpPTo1
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1b3QlSm
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1HHJJWA
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1FohnAt
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25368926-beneath-the-broken-moon

Book Description:

Werewolf relationships are all about influence and offspring, especially as they are becoming extinct. But Carmela Santiago resents that type of life. She dreams of falling in love, not following the example her parents have set.

When sensual vampire Derek Ashmore rescues her from dangerous hunters, she tumbles head over heels for him. Not a wise decision since werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies.

Meeting her caring mate-to-be Brendan Kelly has her further questioning the future. Regardless, her life has forever changed now that she’s met not one, but two men who pull at her heartstrings…

Excerpt:

Bullets peppered the big screen of the Teatro de la Noche. Screams rang out around me, and I dropped to the floor, pulling my cousin Chandra down with me. Tension ached in my shoulders, and my heart pounded in my chest like a trapped animal, desperate to escape.

Gunpowder stung my sensitive nose, but through the overpowering scent, I caught a whiff of a hunter heading our way. “Chandra, we have to move.”

If Chandra and I didn’t get out of here we’d end up dead—or worse, test subjects for the Cazador—human hunters ordered to scour the land of nocturnes by the plutocratic government.
“How? They’re all around us.” Chandra peeked over the seats before dropping back down beside me. “A few of them are chasing down those who ran from the first assault, but two more are heading straight for us.” She ran a manicured hand through her honey-brown hair, which was only a shade darker than my own. “Come on. I have a plan. Let’s try to sneak out the side door.” She crawled in the opposite direction, down the row of seats.

The sight of my cousin’s butt cheeks hanging out of her short skirt filled my vision; some things were better left unseen. I lowered my gaze, particularly since Chandra had forgone panties. She almost always held herself with an air of power and purpose. Perhaps that’s what it took to get attention from other werewolves. Chandra got it in heaps, but her lower social status stopped a lot of relationships.

While it was a horrible time to second-guess my modest fashion sense, I couldn’t help wonder if I should take a lesson from my cousin. My own blouse and dark blue jeans had much less pizzazz. But I doubted my father would allow me to dress like Chandra; we had a privileged image to uphold.

I bit my lip, struggling to turn my thoughts back to the problem at hand. This was all too much. How could we get out of here unscathed when the roar of gunfire continued to close in?

We reached the end of the aisle. Chandra moved to glance over the seat, when a shout came from the opposite end, startling us both.

“Run, Chandra!” I barely kept my voice to a whisper.

She sprinted toward the bright red exit sign at the front of the theater, and I chased after her, trying to keep my pace natural though her long legs made it challenging. Maybe if they suspected we weren’t nocturnes, they’d leave us alone.

The stomping of heavy boots on the theater’s plush carpets said otherwise. Then again, they weren’t opposed to taking their fellow humans down too. The very rich in power thrived on oppressing those less fortunate. What better way to keep the populace down than to have their thugs strike whenever possible.

“We should split up.” Chandra shoved a heavy trashcan in front of the door, but that wouldn’t be much of an obstacle to the pseudo-military bastards.

“What?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “No way. If we do that, we’ll—” The trashcan scraped the cement as the hunters tried to open the door. Maybe she was right. If we were together, there was a better chance of them catching us both. Alone, we might survive the night.

I nodded to her, and we took off in opposite directions down the alleyway behind the Teatro. The door slammed open, smacking the wall hard, as I turned the corner and headed toward the main street. I had to find somewhere to hide out before the hunters spotted me again.

In front of me, another group of Cazador chased a few werewolves down the main road. I slowed to keep my distance from them, but if I didn’t get somewhere fast, they were going to catch me. Ugh. As much as I loved getting out of the house and going to the movies, I wished I’d listened to my instincts tonight and stayed home.

Two sets of feet pounded the sidewalk behind me. Perhaps they’d spotted me before I reached the corner.

I picked up speed a little, pumping my arms as I struggled to keep to a human speed while staying out of range. The temptation to race through the streets nearly drove me to action, but I glanced back, seeing my pursuers for the first time.

One of the men had greying hair and a rounded belly, which explained the slower, heavier footfalls, while the other guy appeared younger and super-athletic. No wonder I was having trouble getting away. If he hadn’t been so scary, he might’ve been attractive. Pure masculine aggression raged through him, tensing his shoulders as his gaze focused solely on me, his prize. Each man carried a large-caliber handgun. I was just glad they were too busy running to try to shoot me…for now, at least.

My sandal hit an uneven patch of concrete in the sidewalk. My body lurched forward, but I caught myself before I could go down. I should’ve been paying more attention to the street. Up ahead on the opposite side of the road, I spotted a dark alleyway running alongside a row house. If I cut through, I could safely turn up the speed without exposing myself, and lose them.

The older hunter slowed; his breathing had become increasingly labored. He cocked his revolver’s hammer, and I darted across the empty road, making a beeline for the alley. The last thing I wanted tonight was to see Dr. Matthews. Just a little bit farther. A bullet smacked the ground at my feet, hitting me with fragments of pavement. I bit back a yelp, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of knowing my fear.

“I got this one, old kook,” the younger hunter grumbled, and his footsteps slowed too.

Another gunshot pierced the hazy night air. White-hot pain rocked my shoulder, nearly toppling me to the ground. I screamed, unable to hold it in, and picked up speed, no longer caring if I appeared human or not. The faint creak of a door barely registered before a pair of arms wrapped around my waist, jerking me inside the dark row house.

My rescuer softly shut the door, careful not to make a sound, and shoved a hand over my mouth. “Sshhh,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you. You’re safe.” His voice was deep, with an English accent. He pulled me away from the door and hunched down in the darkened room, holding me close, waiting and listening.