Here’s a snippet from book 4 of the Fae-ry Tales series, due out in April. Enjoy!
Arulas stretched and rubbed his flank on the rough tree trunk. The woods were oddly quiet this morning, almost as if the creatures waited for something to happen. Arulas huffed and settled on the leafy ground, senses on high alert. He needed to eat, but the energy felt too weird right now.
A twig snapped, and he focused in the same direction. No animal smell he recognized. Definitely not a Light Fae either. Even his wolf couldn’t hear them. Damn Fae were silent as wraiths.
Leaves rustled, then something large dropped to the ground. Whatever it was, Arulas couldn’t tamp down the curiosity to investigate. He stood and slunk through the trees, keeping to bushes as he followed the unusual scent.
Just on the outer edge of a clearing, he stopped and blinked. What the hell?
A tangled mass of long black hair hid the person’s face, but given the lean body shape, Arulas had the feeling the stranger was Fae. The smell Arulas had picked up in faint traces before now swirled around the area. Blood. Whoever this was, they were hurt. Grumbling to himself, Arulas shifted back to human form. Last thing he needed was to finish the job by scaring the poor person to death.
He crept closer and crouched to brush a bit of hair from the stranger’s face. Handsome, despite the cuts and bruises. Arulas gently rolled the man over and picked him up, holding him close. If the man woke now, they’d both go down, and Arulas had no desire to eat dirt today.
Once back at his cabin, he placed the unconscious man on his bed and sighed. Not Light Fae. They were taller. This was a Dark Fae, but why was he way out here, alone? Figuring he’d get no answers right now, Arulas set a pot over the fire to warm up some water. He found a clean cloth and wet it before turning back to the bed.
Ice-white eyes stared at him, wide as saucers.
“Shit.” Arulas glanced down at his lack of clothing. “Sorry. Um…” He grabbed his pants and managed to get them on without dropping the cloth or taking his gaze off the man’s. “I, uh, found you in the woods.” He held up the warm rag. “You’re hurt. I was going to clean you off and tend to your wounds. I guess you can handle that now.”
“Who are you?” The man sounded like someone who’d been running for his life.
“My name is Arulas. You’re in my home. And you are?” He approached the bed and handed over the cloth.
The man nodded in thanks and gently wiped his face before letting out the most defeated sigh Arulas had ever heard. “I am — I was — Lord Ren, of House Daturi.”
“My people have no doubt branded me a traitor. They are going to war, and I want no part of it. I left.”