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Trapped by a mutual enemy, they have no choice but to work together.
All Sophie wants to do is escape the prison that has held her for so long. Years of abuse have taken their toll on her. After a failed escape attempt, she is imprisoned with a bear shifter. Can the two of them work together to achieve their freedom?
Captured by an enemy that wants to kill him, Callum is determined to free himself and the cute tiger shifter who shares his cell. It’s kill or be killed and he’s not ready to die. He definitely can’t stand the thought of anything happening to Sophie. She’s a gentle soul who despite her circumstances still has a good heart. As he fights to free them both, he begins to fall for the tempting tiger. Can he get them to safety and win her heart, or will his enemy destroy everything that he’s working for?
Read A Few Excerpts…
Callum forced himself to his feet. His knees wobbled, but he ignored it, wanting to see what was going to happen. Sophie stood next to him. He put his arm out, keeping himself protectively in front of her.
At least ten men marched toward them holding tasers and clanking chains. Callum balled his fists at his sides. This couldn’t be good.
The hunters stopped in front of the door.
“Get back,” one of them said, holding his weapon at the ready.
Callum took a step back and Sophie followed his lead. A man stepped forward and unlocked the cell door. He tossed a chain at Sophie then to Callum. They weren’t just chains, but handcuffs and ankle shackles. “Put them on.”
Sophie stared at Callum with wide eyes, and he gave her a nod, now wasn’t the time to fight. There were too many of them. It would serve them better to cooperate for the moment so they could stay conscious long enough to come up with a plan that would work.
He let out breath when she bent over to pick up the chains, securing the cuffs to her feet first then to her wrists. Callum did the same. He left the shackles loose enough on his joints that if he got the ability to shift back he could, hopefully breaking the bindings in the process.
The hunter nodded at them and moved with his back against the bars until he stood behind them.
Another man stepped inside, holding two needles. “Don’t move a muscle.” He popped the top of the syringe with his teeth and jammed the pointy end into Callum’s bicep, effectively squashing any hopes he had of shifting anytime soon. Then he did the same to Sophie. She winced but didn’t say anything as he plunged the needle into her arm.
The man behind them nudged him. “Now go. Slowly. Sophie first. Don’t try anything funny either.”
Callum watched as Sophie took a few steps forward, waddling as best she could in her constraints. He followed after her. She stopped next to the hospital bed and went to lean forward.
“Keep moving,” a hunter said as he shoved her forward.
“Now!” The man shoved her hard enough to make her stumble.
“I just want to say goodbye,” Sophie said.
The hunter’s hand whipped up, connecting with her face. She cried out and fell backward, colliding with the metal bars as she struggled to find her footing.
Callum roared as he moved forward. Several tasers pressed against his skin, sending charges racing through him. He grunted as he collapsed to his knees. Hands grasped him, hauling him back to his feet.
“Keep him conscious,” one man said. “I don’t feel like dragging his heavy ass across the complex.”
“Walk,” another man said, shoving him forward.
His muscles contracted painfully as he moved forward. If he weren’t as large as he was, the jolt would have incapacitated him completely.
They were led out into the sterile white hallway and Callum had to blink against the offensive brightness of the lights. The hunters led them through the complex, down winding hallways until they reached a garage. A large truck with a semi type trailer sat in the middle with its metal doors open.
“Get in,” a hunter said, shoving Sophie from behind.
“You too,” the man from behind him said.
He walked up the ramp and took a seat on a metal bench that had been screwed into the floor. Sophie sat down and stared at him from the opposite side.
A door clanged shut and they both turned. Another man, most likely a shifter, was being led to their truck too. Callum had never met the man before, but there was something familiar about him.
He nodded at the newcomer, silently asking Sophie who he was. She shrugged in response and motioned with her hands.
The man stumbled up the ramp and eased himself down on the bench next to Callum. He grunted and leaned back, sticking one leg out in front of him. Blood seeped through the white linen on his thigh.
Callum turned his attention back to the hunters, watching as they rolled the ramp up and someone tugged each door shut. The truck rocked back and forth and he heard a clicking sound, which he assumed was some sort of a lock. Then someone tapped on the outside of the truck and an engine roared to life.
Sophie ran a hand through her hair and let out a breath. She fiddled with the remote as she went to the bed, turning the TV on. Flipping through the channels, she paused at a news broadcast. On the screen was an image of her, Callum, and Terrence in their animal forms. The newswoman went on to say how there had been no other sightings since that day, but residents in the area were still urged to use caution.
“Looks like we caused quite the ruckus,” Callum said from behind her.
Sophie jumped, not realizing he was so close. He made his way to the bed and got situated in the spot next to her.
“I guess so,” she said, relaxing back into the pillows. “Is that a bad thing?”
He was shirtless, his hair still wet from the shower. She bit her lip, allowing her gaze to sweep over him.
“They won’t find us.” Callum shook his head. “I’m sure they will have some questions – they’ll just never get answered.”
She forced her gaze back to the TV, watching for a few moments as the reporter expanded on the story.
“It’s nothing to worry about,” Callum said. “The world doesn’t know about us. Shifting has its benefits. Speaking of shifting, you should probably do it again soon. The more practice the better, and the less painful it will be. Plus your body craves the transformation.”
“There was something freeing about running as a tiger. Obviously I can’t transition here,” she said, motioning to the room.
“No, I suppose not. But you could practice partial shifts.”
“Partial shifts,” she repeated slowly. “What’s that? I mean, I know what it is, I’ve seen shifters do just their hands or their eyes, but do you think I’m ready for that? I’ve only shifted once in my entire life.”
Callum shrugged. “Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s a good way to appease your animal half on nights like tonight where we can’t get out.”
“How do I do it?” she asked, curious.
“It’s not hard really. Why don’t we start with something easy like your eyes?”
“Okay,” she said.
She did as he said.
“Good. Now think about your tiger’s eyes. How sharp and crisp everything is when you look through them.”
Sophie did as he asked, remembering the way her vision had enhanced the other day when she’d been a tiger. Her face went numb and she inhaled a deep breath, recognizing the odd tingles zipping through her face as a sign of her change.
“Did I do it?” she asked opening her eyes.
The room looked different, not because it was but because she had indeed done it. Her vision and hearing had always been impeccable in her human form, but now as a cat it was even better. Leaning forward, she smiled. She could even hear the rhythmic thrum of Callum’s heart beating.
She lifted her fingers to her face. Fur had spread across her cheekbones and her nose was flatter than it should be. Her ears were fuzzy and pointed too, but her vision was what she cared about. She’d done it. Maybe not as well as some of the others who could do just their eyes, but she’d take the small win that she had.
“You did good,” Callum said as she met his gaze. A wide grin was on his face and he was closer than she thought he was. She swallowed as her eyes dipped down to his full lips, then looked away.
She shook her head and let out a breath as her face tingled again, returning to normal.
“That was pretty cool,” she said with a giggle.
“I thought you might like it.”
“How often can I do that? How long until I can do just my eyes?” she asked.
“You can do it as often as you like. The more you do it, the better control you’ll have,” he said.
“So you can do just your eyes?” Sophie asked.
Callum closed his eyes, opening them a few seconds later. The stormy grey was gone, replaced by an onyx color. Before she could stop herself, she reached out and touched his face by his temples. He stayed where he was, letting her move her fingers down his cheek before she let her hand drop back to her lap.
He shut his eyes again and reopened them, allowing them to return to their natural color. “The key is to transition the animal parts of you that will be most effective depending on what the situation calls for. My eyesight isn’t very different as a bear, so I probably wouldn’t change it regardless of the situation. But say we were in a fight, I’d focus on my hands.” He flexed his fist and Sophie watched as hair sprouted out and his hand grew, doubling in size as it became a giant paw. “A good hit with my paw will knock anyone out.”
Sophie reached out and trailed her fingers over his furry paw. It was soft to the touch, but she had no doubt that it could do a lot of damage if Callum wanted it to.
He curled his paw inward, gently clasping her palm as if they were holding hands. She licked her lips, surprised by the tenderness of it.
His bones snapped and realigned. The bear paw was gone, replaced by a human hand. Callum’s thumb rubbed tiny circles onto the back of her hand, causing her to swallow. It felt nice – better than nice. Heat raced through her, awakening parts of her body she’d never thought any man would ever touch.
Callum shook his head and released her hand, turning back to the TV.
She let out a breath, wondering what in the world had just happened as she stared at the screen. The news was still on and they’d moved onto another story that she had no interest in.
Meet The Author…
Bethany Shaw lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Writing has always been her passion and she loves sharing her stories with readers.
When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family. They enjoy bike rides, bowling, and board games.
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