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Betrayed: Days of the Rogue by Nicky Charles
Free ebook: Paranormal Romance

Category: Romance Books, eBooks & Novels
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Betrayed: Days of the Rogue by Nicky Charles
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Synopsis

Reader age rating 17+


This is the sequel to Bonded in The Law of the Lycans series.

Damien has been living out his days as a rogue werewolf ever since his mate died in a horrifying explosion. Stricken by grief and consumed with rage, is there anything he will not consider doing in his pursuit of revenge? And who will be stuck in the firing line? It may be it be Fae, Eve, who is about to enter her Awakening period? Or could it be part empath, part wolf, Rafe? It’s been rumoured that a rogue Enforcer is too desperate to be allowed to roam. Betrayed is a suspense driven tale of love, betrayal and revenge.

Also by Nicky Charles on obooko:

The Mating by Nicky CharlesThe Keeping by Nicky CharlesThe Finding by Nicky CharlesBonded by Nicky Charles


Check out “The Shifter Shop”. It features a range of unique designs based on the book series:


Excerpt:

A twig snapped behind her and Eve spun around, heart pounding, muscles tensed ready to defend herself. She narrowed her eyes, her gaze darting left to right, searching among the greyish brown tree trunks for whatever had caused the twig to break. There was no sign of movement, though. In fact, the woods were unusually still and silent, only the sound of her own harsh breathing filling her ears.

She waited a beat before straightening from the half crouch she’d instinctively gone into. Blowing out a long slow breath, she wiped her sweaty palms on her jeans and rolled her tense shoulders. For the last half hour she’d had the uncomfortable feeling that she was being followed. It was nonsense, of course, the season being too early and the location too remote for tourists. The local population wouldn’t be hiking this area either, since it was private property. No, the chances of someone being here were slim.

Yet, if that was the case, why were the hairs on the back of her neck prickling?

She forced herself to think rationally. There were a number of sensible explanations for her jitters. The mystery movie she’d watched, the fact that she’d stayed up too late reading. Things like that could play on a person’s mind, right?

With one last look around, she resumed her journey, though her pace was slightly brisker than normal. An afternoon walk had become a habit this past month, but this was the first time she’d ever felt nervous about being alone in the woods.

Maybe it was the sweep of dark shadows over the land that was making her skittish. It had been sunny when she’d set out an hour ago but now large clouds raced across the sky, obscuring the sun while thunder rumbled ominously in the distance. A cool wind began to blow and she hunched her shoulders against the chill, keeping her eyes focussed on the path. Absently, she noted landmarks that told her she still had some distance to travel before she reached the small fishing cabin she was renting. Would she make it back before the storm struck?

She picked up her pace even more, breaking into a slow jog. Pebbles skittered and leaves crunched as her feet rhythmically pounded down the path. The trail she habitually followed wound through the trees, but today she took no notice of the scenic beauty. Unfurling ferns and small spring flowers held no interest for her. Instead, she anxiously approached each twist and turn wondering what potential danger hid just beyond her view.

Were there bears in the area? Coyotes? Cougars? Strange how she’d never worried about that before, but it was possible that predators from the nearby Rocky Mountain wilderness could wander into the foothills. Eve wasn’t sure if she preferred being stalked by a hungry beast or a human, but at least she could eliminate one possibility. Pausing to catch her breath, she braced herself against a tree and reluctantly stretched out her mind letting ‘The Gift’ free. If another human was in the area, she’d be able to sense their emotional presence.

Even as she searched, she assured herself there was nothing to encounter. She was alone in the woods, and this would prove it. In fact, she actually began to relax when no human mind touched hers. See? An overactive imagination was the source of her fear. No one was out there except…

She frowned. Something wasn’t right. Emotions were present, but it wasn’t what she’d usually sense from a person. In fact, the feelings didn’t resemble human ones at all. They were more primitive, raw and shocking in their baseness. An instinctive fear of the unknown curled inside her and she pulled back, mentally closing herself off from the source.

Another twig snapped and she pressed her spine against the tree trunk, fists clenched, ready to fight whatever danger was there. The rising wind whipped her hair across her face and into her eyes. Impatiently, she brushed the locks aside and scanned the forest, looking for a sign that something was hiding behind the gnarled trunks. Seconds ticked by as she searched for even a hint of movement, but everything was still except for the branches swaying in the now gusting wind.

She licked her lips and swallowed hard. Vague recollections of news reports were coming to mind; hikers who’d disappeared without a trace, only to have their mangled decomposing bodies found months later. The incidents had occurred several hundred kilometres away so there was no reason to be thinking along those lines...was there?

A trickle of sweat slipped down the centre of her back and she twitched her shoulders at the feeling. Her nervousness was making the hooded sweatshirt she was wearing feel too warm despite the early spring temperatures. Yet she didn’t dare pull it over her head and blind herself even for a fraction of a second.

Dammit, where was this…this…thing that was following her?

Steeling her nerve, she once again opened her mind to seek out who—or what—might be present. If she could pinpoint an exact location, she’d be better able to defend herself. Forcing her mind to relax, she released the firm control she always maintained over her sixth sense and let the web of awareness spread around her. Seeking, testing, searching for subtle clues…

Oddly enough, she came up empty. She tried again, pushing the limits of her meagre powers, but there wasn’t even a wisp of emotion left in the area save her own. How could that be? There was usually some latent trace, especially if strong feelings were present.

She rubbed her nose and tried to think logically. Something had definitely been there, and now wasn’t. It couldn’t have been an animal she’d been sensing; all her research on empathic abilities indicated that only human emotions were accessible. Maybe she’d been mistaken. After all, she was new to this whole Fae-empathic-mindreading-thing. Perhaps the approaching storm was causing a glitch in her radar. That could happen, couldn’t it? Damn, she wished she understood her own powers better. Not that it was her fault, of course. If no one told you about something, you could hardly be blamed for your ignorance, right?

Forcing her tense muscles to relax, she stepped away from the tree. Cowering was pointless. Lifting her chin, she made herself stand tall and widened her stance. She’d continue her walk, but on her own terms.

With one last look around, she turned only to let out a gasp. Something dropped right in front of her, and she jumped back barely maintaining her balance. A scrambling sound had her looking up to find a pair of bright eyes staring down at her.

A raccoon!

Eve sagged in relief then glared at the masked assailant.

“Have you been following me?” She scolded the creature, bending down to pick up the pinecone that it had lobbed at her.

The animal didn’t answer, of course, but she did get a vague sense of annoyance emanating from it. It made a few indistinct muttering sounds before scampering higher up the tree and disappearing into a hole in the trunk.

“Crazy beast,” she muttered, tossing the pinecone to the side. “What are you doing up during the day? Aren’t you supposed to be nocturnal?”

Feeling more at ease, Eve finished her walk chuckling over how she could have allowed herself to become spooked by a mere raccoon and an approaching storm.

A bright flash of lightning followed by a loud crack of thunder accompanied her arrival home, and she hurried across the small clearing and up the steps, eager to be inside before the rain started. Envisioning a cup of tea and curling up in a chair to read while the storm vented its fury, she reached for the door handle only to freeze in place. Her skin began to prickle again, and the odd feeling of being watched returned with a greater intensity than before.

Her heart began to pound as a sense of danger welled within her. There was something dark and angry, something filled with rage, just behind her. Somehow she knew if she turned to look it would be fatal. Sweat sprang up on her skin and her slippery fingers fumbled with the latch.

As soon as the handle turned, she yanked the door open and ran inside. Slamming it shut, she slid the deadbolt into place. She leaned against the wooden surface, paralyzed with fear as a sense of evil swirled around her, hovered and then slowly faded leaving her feeling weak and exhausted.

Her knees gave out and she slid to the floor, resting her head against the door. Brushing her hair from her face, she willed her heart to stop racing and the queasy feeling in her stomach to settle. It had to be the storm, the electricity in the air that was causing these feelings. It was preposterous to think otherwise. If there was someone out there, she’d have sensed an actual person. A mischievous raccoon was nothing to be upset about. She repeated the fact to herself several times, willing herself to believe it.

When her heart finally quit pounding like she’d just finished a race, she kicked off her shoes and pulled the too-warm sweatshirt over her head. Hugging the soft material to her chest, she looked around the open-concept cabin and let the cosy atmosphere soothe her spirit. Simple braided rugs, warm pine panelling, and a stack of unread books by the comfortable but sagging sofa. Her makeshift art studio stood in a corner of the room, unfinished projects awaiting her return.

Yes, everything was as she’d left it, homey and peaceful. She relaxed even more, and chuckled softly at her own foolish flight of fancy. There was nothing evil here except the occasional spider and a few rodents outside. Deciding that a soothing cup tea really was what she needed, she pushed to her feet and padded towards the kitchen.

A flashing light on the side table caught her attention. Someone had called while she’d been out on her walk. Her sock-clad feet skidded slightly on the polished wooden floor as she changed directions and went to check her messages. Maybe it was her friend, Aly; a long chat would certainly help settle her nerves.

The smile that had started to form on her face faded when she looked at the number displayed and realized who had called. It was her agent, Caro. Eve grimaced, not wanting to deal with the overly effusive woman just then. She contemplated ignoring the silent summons of the blinking light, and even took two steps away before guilt had her turning back.

With a sigh, she listened to the message that stated Caro was driving to Edmonton tomorrow and planned to stop in on the way, provided Eve was going to be home. There was a hint of dire consequences should she not be available. Grimacing at the woman’s over-bearing manner, Eve picked up the phone. Being level-headed and responsible sucked sometimes.

“Hello?” Caro’s voice sounded distracted, as if she were doing a dozen things at once, which she likely was. Her office always bore a resemblance to the aftermath of a tornado though, surprisingly enough, the woman knew exactly where everything was.

“Hi, Caro. I see you called.”

“Eve? Where have you been? I’ve tried at least a dozen times and—”