Hi guys, we have C.M. Torrens stopping by today with her upcoming release The Alpha’s Weave, we have a brilliant guest post from C.M. and a great excerpt so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
The Alpha’s Weave
After years of abuse in his old shifter pack, Dante found a new life with Alpha Victor. He would do anything for Victor. Anything but stay away from Jesse, the half-blood stray. But when Victor names Dante his heir, he has no choice but to accept the duties given to him even if it means relinquishing the possibility of love. He owes his life and sanity to Victor, and that’s a debt Dante can never fully repay.
But Dante should have known the good life couldn’t last. His former alpha, Caster, is not a male who lets anything of value slip through his grasp. When rumors fly of Caster’s return, Dante knows the man will stop at nothing to possess him and his talent once again. When Jesse is kidnapped and Victor falls victim to an untimely death, his worst fears are realized. His old alpha has finally returned to reclaim him. Dante must use his fears and nightmares to save Jesse and his pack, even if it means sacrificing himself.
Fear for the Monsters
by C.M. Torrens
Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. I remember when I was a pre-teen, telling scary stories in the dark laundry room to my sister and her friends. One time I was scared half to death myself when one of our moms busted into the room to ask what we were doing. I think I jumped a foot that evening.
And when I was in my teens I made up another story and scared my friends into a minor panic when I told them about some witch that killed people where we were partying. I literally watched a social experiment in action while they whipped themselves into hearing things in the dark that weren’t there, and adding to a story I had created just that night
As an adult, I began to think, what if the creatures of the night weren’t all bad? What if they had a reason for being angry and staying hidden? But that can be scary too. Not for the humans but for the dark creature, that can’t help but be exactly what they are. There is a grim sort of sadness in that sort of fear. The monsters aren’t monsters for me anymore and fewer things scare me. It’s the sadness instead that draws me, the mystery, the sheer stubbornness to survive the worst that life can throw at you. A fear for the monsters that roam the imagination.
The Alpha’s Weave is that sort of book. A grim tour of the worst and the sheer will to triumph over the fears that haunt a young man. How people are shaped by those around.
Dante is the young alpha born shifter that takes lead in this series. His world is grim and violent, but there are glimmers of hope, love and family; all the things that make life worth living no matter how bad things get.
WIND BLEW the overshirt off Dante’s shoulder, exposing old scars down his back and arms. The summer heat radiated off the pavement, and he kept the shirt on despite the heat. A twist of nerves hit his gut, and he pulled the collar up to cover the scars. Several passersby turned to stare, and he bit back a snarl. He loathed the looks, especially from a bunch of humans.
Dante cringed as bodies pressed around him along the busy street. His shopping bags jostled under the assault of pushing people. Ripe human musk and the bitter tang of exhaust added to his growing headache. He pressed his hand to his temple, trying to will the pain away.
A flash of red caught his attention, and Dante looked up from his shopping bags. An uneasy smile tugged the corners of his mouth at the sight of Jesse across the street. Ash-brown hair fell across his face as he fidgeted with the red ball cap in his hands. Half his face fell in shadow, hiding hazel eyes.
Jesse was a half-breed. A stray. Forbidden, beautiful, and everything Dante wanted and couldn’t allow himself to have.
Jesse smiled back, and Dante slipped through the crowd. Squat buildings lined the city street of Boulder’s downtown area as he scanned the intersection. Darting around traffic, he followed Jesse around the corner and into an alley.
The ripe scent of urine and stale alcohol clung to the surrounding brick. Spray paint covered the walls behind him, framing Jesse’s lean build in graffiti.
“Hey,” Dante said. “I haven’t seen you in… weeks.”
“Something came up.”
Dante hesitated, peering through the shadows to get a better look at him. Jesse kicked at an old pop can, and the rattle echoed off the walls. Despite his long hair, Dante could make out the fresh bruises on his deeply tanned face. His left eye was almost swollen shut.
“What happened to you?” Dante asked.
Dante frowned. “I can see that.”
He moved closer, smelling the air around him. Jesse didn’t move, staring at the ground. His light musk lacked the sour odor of drugs. He didn’t smell like he’d been using. He smelled like blood.
Worry clenched at him. Dante moved with speed and snatched Jesse up by the jacket. With extra care he pulled the thin windbreaker open. Dark blood stained Jesse’s shirt in long thin streaks.
“What happened to you?” Dante asked.
Dante looked up at him. Jesse’s eyes were creased with worry and pain. Frowning, Dante kissed his forehead. His hands twitched, resisting the urge to stroke Jesse’s swollen cheek.
“I’m okay, Dante. It was just a fight.”
Jesse pulled his gaze away and glanced around before moving them farther behind the dumpster.
“All right. Take off that shirt. The jacket too.”
“I’ve been waiting for you to ask me to strip for a while now,” Jesse said with a grin.
Dante smirked, then pulled the long-sleeve shirt off his back and handed it to Jesse. Jesse unzipped his jacket and shed the bloodstained clothes. Dante winced, his eyes falling on the deep purple marks across Jesse’s ribs and back.
Dante rearranged his groceries and new clothes into one bag and shoved the rags into an empty one. He reached out to touch the bruises. “Who did this?”
He ran his fingertips over soft, faded purple skin. The firm contours of Jesse’s chest marked with vicious bruises enhanced Dante’s worry. They had clearly healed from something much worse. He hated seeing things like this.
Jesse shook his head and pulled away. “I’m fine. I just need somewhere to stay. Just for a day or two.”
“Are you in trouble?”
Jesse shook his head again, staring down at the ground. “No. Just a little brawl. Dante, please, don’t ask. I can handle things.”
“Jesse, I can help. Just tell me—”
Jesse broke away from him, throwing on Dante’s dark flannel shirt as he dodged out of reach. “I’m fine!”
Dante took a step back, putting a little space between them. He reached into his pocket for his wallet. “If you don’t want me to fix it, here’s some money to get a room for a couple of days. You call me if you need me.” He pulled out a few bills and handed them to Jesse.
Jesse stared at the money as he crushed the red cap back on his head. He sighed and took the bills and the bag of clothes from Dante’s hands. “I’ll pay you back.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“I wouldn’t want you to ever think I’d take advantage of you.”
“I don’t think you take advantage of me,” Dante said, frowning. “Why do you say that?”
Jesse shook his head. “No reason. Things are just… a little complicated right now.” He looked like he wanted to say more, but the words never left his lips.
“What’s wrong? You can talk to me, you know.”
A tight smile flickered across Jesse’s lips. “It’s just been a long week, that’s all. I gotta go.”
“Call me,” Dante said.
Dante watched as Jesse’s gaze lingered on the visible scars on his bare arms.
“Yeah. I’ll call in a few days.” Jesse opened his mouth as if to say something, then changed his mind. “Be careful, okay?”
Dante moved in front of him as he started to leave. “Jess—”
Jesse stroked Dante’s cheek with his warm hand. “I’m fine. I’ll call you soon.”
Dante sighed and let him go. He made a mental note to try to call Jesse before bed.
He rounded the corner and made his way down the street toward the parking lot a few blocks away.
Tristan and Kip stood together outside the liquor store a few shops down in the shopping center. Tristan fumbled with the bags in his arms, red hair whipping around his face. He cursed and juggled one of the ripped bags to keep from dropping it. Their youngest pack brother, Kip, looked bored and unhelpful as he leaned against the outside of the store.
Frowning, Dante walked up beside Kip. The youth currently stood eye to eye with him, but Dante suspected Kip still had some growing left to do.
“Are we done yet?” Kip complained, rolling his blue eyes at Dante.
Tristan shot him a dark look. “Done? What have you done? You watched me shop, that’s what you did.”
“Look at you, lazy,” Dante huffed and smacked Kip across the back of the head. Taking some of the groceries from Tristan’s overburdened hands, he shoved them at Kip. “Make yourself useful.”
Kip cringed, his face twisting in silent annoyance as he arranged the bags on his arm.
They didn’t look much like brothers. The word “brother” took on a different meaning in a pack. Tristan’s bright red hair and freckles looked nothing like Dante’s own dark complexion, or Kip’s pale blond hair and blue eyes against pink skin. Only some of the pack was related by blood. No, the three of them weren’t blood brothers, but brothers nonetheless.
“What happened to your shirt?” Tristan asked.
Dante ran his hands over his bare arm and shoulders as he led the way to the Suburban parked down the busy street. At least the tank top covered the worst of the scars on his chest and back.
He frowned at Tristan. “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
Dante led the way, eager to get out of sight. The pressing eyes made him uneasy as he walked the crowded streets.
“Oh, Dante, we have got to check that shop out,” Kip said, pointing a few doors down to an adult toy store.
Dante’s lips twitched a smirk. “What? You run out of palm lotion?”
Tristan laughed and made an obscene gesture. “Probably tired of wrist action and wants to get himself something inflatable.”
“Eh, fuck you both. I’m curious.”
Dante laughed and watched as Kip walked into the store without looking back. Dante glanced at Tristan, who shrugged, and they both followed him in.
The dim store had an assortment of frilly things and costumes hanging off to the right, with novelty items to the left. Books and DVDs were scattered about on various shelves. Kip stood off to the left with a strange look on his face, staring at a shelf full of items.
“Jeez, they sell cocks here that would put a horse to shame,” Kip said.
Dante grinned and peeked over Kip’s shoulder. “Yeah, makes yours look downright microscopic. I’m sure they sell magnifying glasses and tweezers here, little brother.”
Kip flipped him off.
Tristan chuckled, his voice echoing in the small shop. Dante looked behind him to see Tristan pull out a small plastic toy. The two-inch-tall windup prick had little legs under the balls and bounced around happily across the shelf.
“Oh, I’m getting this.” Tristan laughed, directing the little prick away from the line of toys. “Every time Brice starts acting like a prick, I’ll wind this bastard up. Got a marker? I want to put his name on it.”
Dante laughed. “I think I’ll watch from a safe distance.”
Kip nodded his agreement. “Oh yeah, and before-and-after pictures so we can remember how Tristan’s face was arranged before Brice gave him a face-lift. Dude, you are seriously asking for hurt if you go taunting Brice.”
Tristan sighed. “Yeah, but it was a nice dream. Too bad Nicky isn’t here. He’d do it.”
The door to the shop opened, and Brice stepped in. Their pack brother stood tall and intimidating at the door. His angry brown eyes stood out against his ebony skin. Heavy brows accented the dark glint in his eyes.
“What the fuck are you three doing? Jerking off? Do it on your own time. We got shit to do.”
Tristan picked up the toy prick and wound it up again. The toy dick fell over and began thrusting itself at the line of windup pricks. Dante looked from Kip to Tristan and burst into laughter. Kip doubled over, holding his ribs as the toys fell over and started thrusting at the others on the shelf. Tristan was trying so hard not to laugh his whole head turned red. Laughter burst from him and filled the store.
“What the hell is wrong with you three?” Brice said.
Dante cleared his throat, struggling against laughter as he avoided looking at the little shelf of tiny toy pricks.
“Nothing’s wrong,” he said, shoving Kip toward the door. “A joke. Had to be there.”
Brice glared at them, and Dante urged Tristan and Kip outside.
C.M. Torrens is a writer and author. She lives is the mid-west with her family, two beautiful children and two furry canines that like to pretend they’re humans too.