Warrior Unleashed (Book 1.5 in the Mythrian Realm Series) - Anticipated release date is May 7
Blurb:Nothing is more dangerous than a warrior unleashed.
When Sentinels begin dying under mysterious circumstances, the deaths are believed to be unrelated. Only one man sees the truth: an unknown enemy is targeting the elite group of warriors and no one is safe. As a panther Chimerae, Achaius Rilke recognizes the signs of an unpredictable predator. The only person he can trust is Saia Makan, the tempestuous Sorceri he has chased from afar. But when the killer has set his sights on Saia, Achaius faces the hunt of his life.
Rage suffused her, casting a red haze over her vision as she attacked the sparring post. Blood bloomed on her knuckles, but she didn’t register the pain. The blows continued to rain down as she embraced the bitter anger. Anything to keep from dwelling on the grief lurking just beneath the surface.
She didn’t know who was more deserving of her wrath: the draka who was murdering Sentinels, or Treven for having the audacity to be the latest victim. How dare he let some bastard catch him off guard. They were partners, supposed to look out for each other. Who was going to guard her back now that he was dead?
“Draka,” she repeated under her breath, redoubling her efforts to annihilate the padded target in front of her. Nobody spoke the old language anymore, save for a few scattered words or phrases, but the curse seemed appropriate. Any coward who incapacitated a Sentinel before slitting their throat deserved to be called draka.
“Come now, Saia. That’s a bit rude to say that to an innocent sparring post, don’t you think?”
Wonderful. Just what she needed to make this day even better. What in the Seven Hells was he doing here? The amusement in the deep voice only served to rile her up further.
“Go away, Achaius, I’m not in the mood.”
“I figured you could use some company, considering you’re missing Treven’s memorial. Unless you forgot it was today, of course.”
Right, how could she forget? They would light the funeral pyre for her partner of five years, but Saia couldn’t bring herself to attend the memorial. She’d said her goodbyes privately and she knew he’d understand. She clamped her lips, battling the wave of tears that welled up. Damn Achaius. She’d been fine until he showed up.
“I didn’t forget,” she managed, her voice betraying only the slightest tremble. Why couldn’t he leave her in peace before she made a fool of herself by bursting into tears? She refused to break down in front of him. Of all the people that had to track her down, why him?
Achaius Rilke could rile her temper faster than anyone she knew, but at the moment he wasn’t trying to annoy her or tempt her competitive streak. No, he was being nice to her and that was worse. She didn’t need nice, she needed to control her emotions and focus on revenge.
Sighing, she dropped her arms and stepped out of the ring of power used to protect observers of training sessions. When activated, no magic or weapons could leave the circle. Without a word, she walked past the wall of chiseled muscle and grabbed her towel, scrubbing it hard over her face. Working out in the training room wasn’t helping to stop the grief roiling inside and she was perilously close to giving into it.
The air shifted and she sensed him moving to stand next to her. Wild energy emanated from him and she knew his panther was straining to be let free. Of all the Chimerae she’d ever encountered, she had only ever been able to sense Achaius’ beast. The man intrigued her as much as he infuriated her, challenged her even as he pushed her to the limits of her patience.
He moved closer, warmth teasing the wisps of hair at the back of her neck as he exhaled. His musky scent curled around her, enticing her to lean against his strength. Get a hold of yourself, Saia Makan.
“Please, Achaius, just go away.” Exhaustion weighed upon her and she dropped to the bench, her head falling into her hands. Gods, she didn’t need this. Couldn’t he get it through his skull she wanted to wallow in self-pity alone?
“Contrary to what you may think, I’m not here to give you a hard time, Saia. I’m here as a friend. Let me help.”
She lifted her head, her gaze meeting his in surprise. “I don’t need your help. I’m fine.”
Was that hurt that flashed in his eyes? “You’re not, but if you want to be miserable, go for it. When you’re done feeling sorry for yourself, come find me. We need to talk. Treven was the third Sentinel dead in less than a month and we’ve got a serious problem.”
He turned, started walking toward the exit, and guilt stabbed her. Mother Night, she was being a bitch and he didn’t deserve it. “Achaius, wait. I’m sorry.” An instant later his words registered and her blood turned to ice in her veins. “Wait, what do you mean he’s the third death?”
Pausing at the heavy door, he shook his head. “Time enough for that later. Come on, I want to show you something first.”
Curiosity piqued, she stuffed her belongings into the simple black bag she’d brought and hurried after him. Somehow, the man had managed to pry her mind away from the crushing sadness at losing her partner and, despite her earlier words, she was grateful for the distraction. As he led the way, it was hard not to admire the way he moved, his panther showing itself in the graceful stride of a predator. Oh yes, she was definitely distracted now.