...Nathan, and Marcus *happy sigh* Publication info:
Preorder: 22nd September
Early Download: 6th October
General Release: 3rd November
General Release: 3rd November
And an excerpt just for y'all! (unedited of course)
The New Mexico sun beat down on Marcus Criswell as he led his guards in a fighting exercise. He’d been teaching them Krav Maga, having been trained himself since his return from South America years back.
Beside him, his mate, Nathan Grant, executed every move perfectly. Marcus let him take over for a few minutes just because Nathan was a study in martial arts perfection, better at Karv Maga than Marcus would ever be. Nathan was lithe and limber, and he still had the body of gymnast. His long, red hair fell into a braid down past the back of his knees. He looked like some kind of supernatural fairy-slash-assassin mix. Marcus wanted him, always.
Nathan whirled around, and his hair flew out like a whip.
“Put a couple of weights on the end of that braid of yours, and it’d make a deadly weapon,” Marcus thought to his mate.
Nathan executed a deadly series of strikes and kicks. Marcus should have done the same, but he had to watch his mate. Marcus was entranced, as he often was, by the sheer masculine beauty of Nathan’s fighting form.
“You’d have been killed already,” Nathan scolded, while shouting orders to the troops, “Pair off for groundwork and grappling!”
“Are you going to grapple with me?” Marcus teased.
Nathan shot him an arch look. “Love, I will take your ass down in a heartbeat.”
The guards were too busy pairing off and getting into position to pay attention to anything else. Marcus leered at Nathan and whispered, “I’ll hold you to that in about two hours.”
Nathan winked at him before they resumed instructing the troops.
Rather than train together, Marcus and Nathan sought out a guard each to work with. Marcus chose Athena, one of the newer members. She was tall and leanly muscled, and very quick with her strikes. “Don’t hold back because I’m the Alpha Anax. That won’t impress me at all.”
“Yes sir,” Athena replied, bobbing her head. She narrowed her eyes right after she gave him a blinding smile. Had Marcus not been watching for tells, he wouldn’t have expected the kick, or some type of offensive strike. Athena was every bit as quick with her grappling and groundwork as she was with her punches, and Marcus had to work to keep from being pinned or hurt.
In return for her honest attempts, Marcus only held back a little. He would have done some serious damage otherwise. Athena would have some bruises, but it would have been an insult to her had he refrained from making contact at all.
“Thank you, sir,” Athena said an hour later, panting as she bowed to him.
“You did very well, Athena. Your aunt is going to want to coddle you for those bruises and scraps, though.” Marcus grinned as Athena groaned and straightened up.
“Oh, gods, she so will! Aunt Shania wants to baby me still, and I’m twenty-five!” Athena bounced on her toes and gave Marcus another brilliant smile. “She’ll probably make me some honey and pecan ice cream, though, so score!” She pumped a fist in the air then turned and ran off toward the rust colored-main building.
“She’s going to be fun to have in our troop,” Keegan said, shaking his head. “Smart, sarcastic, and deadly. We could use more like Athena.”
“Keep on and I might get jealous,” Olin muttered, nudging Keegan’s side. “Well, if you swung that way. As is, I gotta agree. Athena was arm-wrestling some of the other guards last night, and she might be lean, but she was kicking ass. She’s a good one. Come on, Keeg. I want you to take apart the surveillance system in the eastern quadrant, then—“
“I know, I know,” Keegan huffed. “Put it back together again. I swear, Olin, I can probably do it with my eyes closed.”
Olin cupped Keegan’s elbow. “Yeah, well probably doesn’t cut it. Once you can, then we can move to the equipment in the western quadrant. Dana’s got the guards, you and me are going to work on the electricals.”
Marcus chuckled, listening to Keegan grumbling and arguing with Olin as they walked away. Olin had been a wise addition to their pack. All of the surveillance and alarms were top notch now, as was the security on the computers and everything else that needed to be secure. Olin was a technical genius.
There’d been several new editions to Marcus’ home pack over the past years. The compound was going to be insufficient to house them all soon.
Which brought to mind one of the bigger problems he and Nathan had been wrestling with—what to do about overcrowding in their pack.