Motorcycles, Magick & Mayhem!
If you have not yet indulged in the Magickal Universe of Audra Hart’s multi-author paranormal series, TULSA IMMORTALS, you are missing out! As of the time of writing this post, there are six exciting installments in this series by three talented authors – Audra Hart, AM Halford, & Elaine Barris.
The first book in the series, CAJUN QUEEN AND THE JOKER is your ticket to ride with the Twin Ravens MC and it’s FREE! http://getbook.at/CajunQueen
Keep reading for a sneak peek into the most recent release in the series.
TULSA IMMORTALS Book 4 – DARKHEART’S SALVATION by Audra Hart.
Join this sexy band of Immortal enforcers who strive to protect the human realm and have a bit of fun along the way. Once you’ve tasted the naughty delights to be found riding along with the Tulsa Immortals, you will find other titles in the series FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited. Check out all of our titles on our Amazon author page: http://author.to/TulsaImmortals
Sneak peek into DARKHEART’S SALVATION by Audra Hart
Copyright (c) Audra Hart
The ancient magick rises and falls with the deep thrum of the ceremonial drums and the back and forth cadence of the singer’s voices. Primordial power lovingly coaxes Blackheart’s powerful body to submit to the spirit’s urging. The shifter’s performance of this dance is intended to honor Abaꞌ Binniꞌliꞌ and please the Beloved, or holy people, of the One Dwelling Above. Giving over his warrior’s strength and inner creature’s will to honor those who fought and died before him to protect their charges – The People.
Strong muscles flex and strain gracefully, as sinew and bone urge his powerful body through the nearly impossible maneuvers, performing the complicated dance flawlessly. Easily re-enacting the battle between his ancient guardian ancestors and rogue vampires who had once attacked a small Chickasaw village in Alabama, Silas Darkheart thrills in every movement, and loses himself in the magick of the dance.
Mundanes attending today’s Grass Dance Society Festival only see the expected Stomp Dance, which is rich in Chickasaw history and significance. But those touched by magick see the true dance the shifter is performing. A spirit imbued re-enactment of a long-ago battle. A vital battle waged centuries ago to maintain the balance between good and evil, while protecting the secrets of the supernatural world. Over the centuries bloodlines have crossed and now many magickally blessed individuals can see the secrets hidden in the blood of those like Darkheart, descendants of the original Red Earth Guardians.
The magick of the drums, song, and dance draw the shifter deeper into the throes of the dance magick. Darkheart, the willing vessel, assumes the shapes of his forefathers, each in turn. Dire wolf, cave bear, hunting owl, soaring eagle, vigilant hawk, sabretooth cat, and finally, the majestic catamount – the dancer’s own beast form. Each represented guardian is bedecked in full battle regalia, with their spirit animal shining through brilliantly. The combination of all the guardian spirits into the body of one descendent is a truly awe inspiring sight, even to the mundanes who cannot see the whole truth on display.
During a ceremonial dance, Darkheart is rarely aware of the gaze of the enthralled watchers, but on this day, during this particular performance, he is starkly aware of one set of eyes on him. The regard of this one very special mortal sees through the glamour, past the image of the Stomp Dance to see the true dance taking place. This one human female’s captivated gaze causes Darkheart to push himself to make certain every single move is exact. Each step, lunge, strike, blow, slash of vicious claw or talon, and snap of beastly jaws become a precise and perfect re-enactment of the long-ago battle. This dance is performed to honor his fallen ancestors and offer the sacrifice of devotion to the secret gods of their kind. But in this moment, his performance has a second, and equally important goal, to impress his potential mate. To ensnare her interest and to demonstrate his worthiness. To enable the beginnings of an eternal bond between their souls.
The tenuous beginnings of this mystical connection increase with each graceful movement, causing the female to lose track of her surroundings and step closer to the dance. Drawn inexplicably to the “man” at the center of the dance, Tina accidentally bumps into a woman watching the scene unfold. Muttering a quiet apology, she steps forward, never taking her eyes from the man performing in the center of the dancers. A man, an absolute stranger whom she is suddenly desperate to draw nearer, to … to know… to cherish.
Clutching desperately at the tote-bag in her hands, in a vain struggle to remain grounded in her reality, Tina silently begs the dancer to look her way. To see her, truly see her. The drums and magick laden voices fall silent, the dance ends abruptly and the warrior slowly turns his regal head until their gazes meet.
Tina blinks in disbelief, gone are the regalia of mythical battle beasts, replaced by a handsome man in his mid to late twenties, wearing a traditional Chickasaw ribbon shirt, worn jeans and old engineer boots. The sight of those incongruous biker boots make her lips curl up in a half smile.
Dragging her eyes back up, she takes in his deep brown hair, shorn on the sides but long on top and down the back. The silky mass is woven into a long, thick braid, sparingly adorned with feathers and other magickal fetishes of his ancient guardian ancestors. The powerful muscles of his fit body are apparent beneath the sweat soaked fabric of the bright, ribbon adorned shirt. Tina is enthralled by the quiet air of power, nobility, and sense of purpose which radiates from this man.
When their gazes finally meet, his slate blue eyes flash to a brilliant preternatural amber, causing Tina to gasp her shock and horrified dismay. This unwanted revelation of this man’s true nature fills her with shock and dread. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter that this was the man whose performance had called to her very soul and filled her with some inexplicable joy. Now all that matters, is the fact that this man is something she has learned to fear.
“Other!” she whispers fearfully into the din of the gathering. The human female looks around wildly, while drowning in her private terror. Her wide, fear filled eyes are no longer shining with admiration and excitement. No, she is now frantically seeking an escape from this unknown preternatural being. In her fear choked reality, he is just like those nightmare beings she has been fleeing for two years.
Casting another glance at the warrior to determine what type of threat he might pose, she gasps when the massive black catamount spirit who hides beneath his human façade seems to preen and strut for her approval and admiration. Even though she can feel the beast’s desire to please her, the black catamount shifter terrifies the mundane woman.
Wordlessly, she violently shakes her head no, and blindly takes three steps back before turning to run headlong through the crowd. Oh, my God! Oh, my God! The mantra repeats on an endless loop inside her head as the woman flees blindly from the shifter, hoping against hope to evade the paranormal being, and escape… again. Using all her hard-learned skill at evasion, she ducks, slithers and slinks through the throng of humanity surging toward the dancers. Going against the flow in a crowd makes one stand out, but Tina doesn’t have a choice. She must get away!
“Please Lord, help me,” she utters her breathless prayer as she blasts through the massive livestock expo facility’s south door into the brisk winter Oklahoma afternoon. Thankfully, the sun is shining brightly. The unexpected sunny bonanza bringing many people out to enjoy the beautiful day at the Native dance exposition. Fortunately, most are intent on making their way to the expo center and the activities within, and have not stopped to gawk at the patently terrified woman fleeing from the massive red building.
Sprinting for the parking lot, with her car keys in her hand, she ducks under a low hanging tree branch which snags the blond wig from her head. “Dammit!” she curses vehemently without stopping to retrieve the wig. Tina wonders if the need for a temporary distraction, which had compelled her to visit this native dance exhibition, will lead to her permanent enslavement to her mobster husband turned flesh-eating Ghoul.
“Stupid! Stupid!” she mutters under her breath as she darts between parked vehicles without her usual caution and awareness. Risking a quick glance over her shoulder, she doesn’t see anyone following her, but some ancient survival instinct is screaming at her that she is being followed… that somehow, she has fallen into a trap. Without questioning the innate knowing that has kept her alive for two years, Tina pours on a bit more speed as she continues to weave between cars and fellow exhibition attendees who are streaming to and from the Expo building.
A quick glance up at a street-light bearing a sign tells her that she’s in the correct parking lot. The terrified woman abruptly turns to the left when she sees the tall, stark and leafless native pecan tree, heavily burdened with the parasitic mistletoe, which she had marked in her mind as a landmark to guide her back to her parked car. A relieved sigh escapes her lips at the sight, causing her legs to quiver as though they are about to turn to jelly. She stops beside a worn-out looking farm truck to allow her racing heartbeat and breathing to calm as she looks around again for pursuers.
Hanging onto the bed of the truck for support, she forces the panic back and begins to again think rationally. Well, as rationally as a woman on the run from supernatural killers can be at a time like this. But she is lucid enough to realize that blind panic will get her caught. She needs to be smart and get away fast without giving away too much. After nearly two years on the run, she is unwilling to lead them to her car, her only means of escape. The rundown looking clunker also carries her few worldly possessions, including weapons, and her pitiful stash of cash, and therefore must be protected.
After a few silent inhales and slow exhales to calm her tortured breathing and mind, Tina looks around again at the parking lot. Seeing no one even remotely suspicious looking, she starts to wonder if she simply overreacted to a trick of lighting. Perhaps she didn’t really see that dancer’s eyes shift colors, or the otherworldly image of a massive black cat? But some inner instinct dismisses that notion instantly and she shakes her head. “I know what I saw,” she whispers quietly. “That was a beast masquerading as a man.”
Silas Darkheart can feel the threads of the brand-new mating connection forming and strengthening as he performs the ceremonial dance. There is no doubt that the unfamiliar human female is feeling the mystical mating pull just a strongly as he. He can sense her need, her longing for a meaningful connection with someone who will cherish her always. But more importantly, at least in the mind of the protective warrior, he can also feel her underlying fear. A bone deep terror that tells him that his mate is being hunted.
A surge of fury and deeply ingrained protective impulse, so strong it causes Silas to misstep, courses through his being. The need to see the unknown female safe makes the shifter want to end the dance immediately to go secure his mate. But some primal instinct assures the anxious male that acting brashly would surely send the skittish woman scampering away from the crowd and possibly right out of his life. That is not a risk he is willing to take… ever.
Finally! The last beat of the ceremonial drums fall silent and the intricate movements of the dance cease so that he can seek out the face of the one intended to make him whole and shine light into the darkest recesses of his heart for all his days. The inner beast clamors impatiently to look upon their female, and the man feels his blood heat in response to the proximity of their fated mate. Silas Darkheart knows the moment their eyes meet, she recognizes their connection, welcomes it… even hungers for it just as he does. But her all-encompassing terror, which he had already tasted through their tenuous link, swiftly replaces the mien of awed attraction and rightness of the mating pull expressed on her lovely face. Her deep fear contorts her pretty features into a haunted mask of wary prey. The dainty little woman tears her eyes from him and begins to look around wildly, like wounded quarry cornered with the full knowledge of their imminent demise.
Silas’ preternatural hearing picks up the whispered word that falls from her lush, rose colored lips like a foul curse; “Other!” Her panicked gaze falls on Silas once again. He despises her fear and wants to rush to her side to reassure her. His cocky inner beast chooses that moment to rise to the fore to show off his prowess and beauty to woo their mate. Sadly, their mate’s reaction to the beast’s preternatural display is anything but favorable – she’s utterly terrified. Obviously, the tiny beauty has no intention of waiting around for an introduction to man and beast, because she turns to flee madly through the crowd assembled in the Expo center.
Without a word to his fellow performers, or event coordinators, Silas strides out of the performance area and snatches up his leather cut to don quickly over the traditional ribbon shirt of his Chickasaw heritage. Without a single wasted motion, he grabs his duffel and charges effortlessly through the throng of oblivious humans, who instinctually give the predator a wide berth when he’s on the hunt. Using his heightened senses, he locks onto his fleeing female and gives chase to the frightened woman.
A vicious snarl erupts from his lips when he feels his fellow enforcer’s hand grab his bicep to get his attention. Silas is very fond of the foul mouthed, grouchy little vampire, but he cannot allow anyone or anything to distract him from protecting his mate. So, he ignores the tiny Immortal and continues after the fleeing human female.
“What the hell, Darkheart?” a sultry female voice demands somewhat impatiently.
Silas doesn’t even bother to look down at his tiny friend, sister in arms, and fellow MC member. “My mate,” he grinds out as though that explains it all, and in a way, it does. But he knows Tara won’t back off without more information. “I saw my mate and she just ran away from me like the devil himself was chasing her.”
He casts his gaze around the crowded arena looking for any threats to his woman. “I sense some unfamiliar paranorms, but I have no idea whether she’s running from them or the mate bond.” Admitting that his fated might be running from him grates on his pride, but he won’t let his ego get in the way of keeping his mate safe. His fellow enforcer needs to know what he knows… as little as it is.
Tara simply chuckles wryly and easily falls into step beside him. “You boys are droppin’ like flies.” Silas’ lip curls a bit at the wry amusement in her voice, but he can’t disagree with her assessment. The members of the Twin Ravens MC, a band of Immortal Enforcers tasked with protecting this region of the mortal realm, do seem to be suddenly falling at a rapid rate to the mating thrall.
First, Joker’s Jenniene came crashing back into his life right before Halloween, and Wrath met his mate on the same night. And then Agnar, a surly berserker bear shifter and brother in arms who chooses to operate independent of the MC, also recently found his mate, a blood-demon and warlock hybrid of some sort. And everyone at the MC is having a fine time tormenting our brother, Coyote – a Navaho shifter and quasi-medicine man, who has been chasing his own tail ever since meeting River Vann. Even the ever solid and reliable Tank, A Greek Árktos bear shifter and brother of the MC, seems to be obsessed with some human librarian who works for him.
Suddenly an almost giddy sensation fills Silas’ consciousness at the thought of finding his fated mate. The smirk that curves his lush lips turns into an honest smile when he finally looks down at his friend striding beside him through the crowd. “Yep. I think I’m down for the count.”
Tara chuckles. “You don’t really seem too broken up by the prospect.”
The duo dashes out of the same exit from which Tina had made her escape to subtly lift their noses to sniff, searching for the scent of prey – the stench of fear exuded by any being who knows they are being hunted by a dangerous predator. Following the tell-tale odor, they both see a blonde wig hanging from a low hanging branch.
“Your female is being hunted and she knows it,” Tara dryly states the obvious as Silas snatches the wig from the branch. The snarky vampire watches as the shifter inhales deeply of the scent embedded in the synthetic fibers of the long wheat colored tresses.
Silas fights the urge to close his eyes and savor the aroma of his female. A rich scent that reminds him of lilac and sunbaked cotton is heady and welcome, but the taint of pure terror causes the shifter’s hackles to rise and his inner beast to roar. The sure knowledge that someone, or something, has made his mate so fearful sparks bone deep fury in Silas, and solidifies his resolve to find and protect her.
“Mine,” he growls gutturally before tossing the wig to Tara so that the vampire enforcer can get her scent as well. “Let’s find her now!” Without a backward glance, he zeroes in on the scent trail left by his female, barely suppressing a growl when a human family blocks his way as they amble toward the Expo building.
“Damn straight,” Tara says after getting a whiff of the cloying fear clinging to the hairpiece. “I spotted a few Ghouls and a Stone-Cold that I didn’t know when I arrived to watch your performance. But they didn’t seem to be bothering anyone, so I didn’t track ‘em down to ask why they are in our territory.” Ire flares in the red tinged eyes of the vamp. “I fucked up, brother. I’m sorry.”
Silas looks back at his companion before darting past a parked van with blacked out windows. He can hear the regret in his friend’s voice, but he reacted the same. Following the scent of his female, the shifter continues to weave through parked vehicles. “No, you didn’t,” Silas assures his friend as he follows the scent trail of his female. “I scented out of towners too, and didn’t track any of them down. That’s not how we operate.” These kinds of events attract supes from all over the country, and the Twin Ravens MC doesn’t require newcomers to check in unless they plan to stick around a while. Shaking down every random paranorm who enters the Tulsa area would be a full-time job and an unnecessary waste of effort.
Their conversation stops when Silas halts beside an old farm truck. His mate’s scent is concentrated here, and he looks around hoping to catch sight of his quarry. “She’s close,” he mutters before dropping to his knees to look under the truck. “She stopped here.”
Rising to his feet, he sniffs again. A light breeze carries her sweet aroma, causing his inner beast to purr at the richness of her scent. “This way,” he growls before dashing between a pair of parked RV’s. Coming out on the other side, he roars his rage at the sight that greets him and gives over control to his animal side.
Three rows of parked cars over, a Stone-Cold is manhandling a terrified human female who is obviously trying to get away. The vamp is laughing wickedly as he roughly yanks her arms behind her to prevent her fending off her other assailant. Obviously, this is a vampire who enjoys the suffering of others.
An unknown Ghoul is snarling in the woman’s face before he draws back a meaty fist and punches her hard enough to send blood splatter from her nose and mouth raining down on her attackers and a ratty old car parked beneath a massive pecan tree. “No one leaves me! Not some little human cunt like you, not any one! Got it?” The Ghoul rages at the helpless female before landing another rapid-fire punch on her already battered face. He grabs her bloody chin and leans in to snarl; “I’ll see you dead before I set you free.”
The sight of the first punch had ripped the catamount from Silas’ human form on instinct. The massive three hundred pound black mountain lion leaps onto the top of a parked car, before effortlessly bounding across the expanse to land with a resounding thud on the roof of another car in the next row over. He roars his vengeance and leaps again.
Want more? DARKHEART’S SALVATION – http://getbook.at/Darkheart
Available to read FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Happy Reading & Season’s Greetings,
Audra Hart & the entire Tulsa Immortals gang