Today I am so pleased to welcome Cardeno C back to the blog! Cardeno has brought a great excerpt from a new release, All of Me, to share. Cardeno also is giving a copy away to one lucky reader! So please join me in giving a big welcome!
SNARLS AND yips woke me up. I blinked and peered at the alarm clock. It was three in the morning. I hadn’t been able to fall asleep until after midnight. Damn my brothers for screwing around in the middle of the night. I thought about getting up and kicking their butts, but I needed more sleep. I’d deal with them in the morning.
My eyelids dropped closed but snapped open when I heard a howl. That wasn’t Edward or Bernie. I’d heard that howl before. At a funeral. Lee Berura’s funeral.
I shot up to a sitting position. What was Kai doing in my house?
“Calm down,” my father said frantically. “You need to calm down.”
The snarling intensified.
“Can’t you get him to stop?” Bernie said.
“You think I’d be holding out on you if I could do that?” Kelly hissed.
He howled again.
“We won’t hurt you.”
Just the idea of someone hurting my Kai had me jumping out of bed.
No, I reminded myself. He isn’t yours.
He whimpered, the sound so pained, so pitiful, so forlorn, that I couldn’t stay away.
“What’s going on out here?” I said as I stepped out of my room.
My father, Bernie, and Kelly were standing at the end of the hallway, where they’d cornered a snarling wolf. At the sound of my voice, his ears perked up and he whined.
Though I should have gone back into my room, closed the door, and let them deal with the man who had betrayed me, I couldn’t. Kai looked taller and broader than when I’d last seen him in this form, which made sense because he’d been sixteen then and he would have been expected to grow in the dozen years since.
What I wouldn’t have expected was to see his fur matted and filthy, his skin almost hanging off him. I’d never seen a thinner wolf.
“What’s wrong with him?” I demanded.
“Oh, now he cares,” Kelly said sarcastically. “Isn’t that convenient?”
There was nothing, absolutely nothing, convenient about my mate being hurt.
“We have this under control, Abel,” my father said. “Sorry we woke you.”
“Yeah, Abel,” Kelly sneered. “Go run away and hide again.”
When they both turned back to Kai and reached for him, he shook and cowered.
I couldn’t have stopped myself from rushing over to him if I’d wanted to, and I didn’t want to. “Get away from him!” I shouted as I shoved between them and dropped to my knees.
I didn’t bother to turn around, so I didn’t know if they listened. I didn’t care. Because the second I hit the ground, my mate crawled into my lap, curled into a circle, and fell asleep.
In that moment, I realized that whatever had happened between us, however much he had hurt me, and even if he continued to reject me, my father and mother were wrong. Our bond wasn’t broken, and I would never get over Kai. I didn’t want to.
Bonded by their parents before they were conceived, Abel Nasa and Zakai “Kai” Berura adored each other since they were children. As teens, the two future Alphas took the next step in their bonding process and vowed to remain true to one another until Kai came of age. But when tragedy struck, Abel felt betrayed and ran from Kai instead of completing the mating bond.
Years pass with no contact between the two, but Abel never stops yearning for the man who was supposed to lead by his side. When Kai returns, broken and on death’s door, Abel must look past what he saw and trust his heart so they can fulfill their destiny and merge their packs.
Cardeno has brought a copy of All of Me to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on at Thursday June 5th 11:59 pm EST.
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