Huntsmen by Michelle Osgood
Published April 13th 2017
Months after saving Jamie and Deanna from crywolf, Kiara and her brother Cole have moved into the city. While clubbing one night, Kiara is stunned to see her ex, Taryn, onstage. But before she can react, Jamie notices a distinctive tattoo in the crowd: an axe rumored to be the mark of the Huntsmen, a group of werewolf-tracking humans. The girls need to leave immediately—and since Taryn is also a werewolf, they need to take her with them.
The Huntsmen are more than a myth, and they’re scouring the city for lone wolves just like Taryn. Until the General North American Assembly of Werewolves lends a plan of action, Kiara’s small pack is on lockdown in a friend’s apartment, where she and Taryn must face the differences that drove them apart. Furthermore, the longer the group waits, the more it seems the Huntsmen haven’t been acting entirely on their own.
* * *
She couldn’t imagine a future without a pack… could she?
* * *
* * *
“You can’t come back here.”
Confronted by an upheld palm, Kiara halted at the stairs that led backstage.
“This area is for performers only.” The Latina woman’s face was set in bored lines; her yellow shirt identified her as one of the club’s staff. Clearly it was not the first time she’d turned someone away that night.
“Look, I’m meeting—”
“Hun, I don’t care if you’re meeting Evan Rachel Wood herself. Performer’s only.” The woman enunciated the last part without managing to pull her attention from the room behind Kiara.
The prickling behind Kiara’s eyes mounted and was echoed in the flesh of her gums.
“Maria, hey.” Ryn pushed back the black curtain. “Come on, let her through.”
“Tar—” Reluctance was heavy in the woman’s voice. “You know I’m not supposed to.”
“I won’t tell if you won’t, ‘kay? This is my girlfriend. We won’t cause any trouble. Promise.” Ryn held out her hand past Maria.
Kiara placed her hand in Ryn’s and plastered a smile across her face. “I’ll be good.” She added a flutter of her eyelashes and coaxed a blush to her cheeks. Ryn’s skin was hot under her palm. Touching Ryn had always felt like touching the sun.
“You’d better be,” Maria warned as she stepped aside and let Kiara through.
“Thank you.” Ryn winked at Maria, and Kiara heard the woman’s heartbeat accelerate in response. With a valiant effort, Kiara swallowed her huff of annoyance.
The back of the stage was dimly lit. Ryn kept Kiara’s hand in hers as she led the way, deftly avoiding the few other performers who loitered about, waiting for their turns on stage.
“We have to go,” Kiara repeated. She spoke more loudly now that they were away from everyone else.
“I heard you the first time.”
“Then what are we doing?” Kiara’s fingers curled perfectly around Ryn’s. She wanted to yank her hand free. She wanted to kiss the spot where they fit so well together.
“I have to get my bag.”
Ten years. Surely ten years was long enough for feelings to fade, for the memory of what they had been to dull. She shouldn’t feel the bright hurt, the greedy hunger, as though it had been yesterday.
In the back of her head a siren screamed, a warning that she didn’t have time for this. Kiara’s grip on Ryn’s hand tightened involuntarily.
“I’m not leaving it. There’s five thousand dollars’ worth of equipment in there.”
“Ryn, you heard me. The Huntsmen are here.”
“Maybe.” They reached a set of lockers, and Ryn wriggled her fingers free of Kiara’s. “Aren’t you the one who told me they’re a myth? Do you really think they’d show up in Vancouver? At a drag king show?” But even as she spoke she opened the locker door and pulled free a large duffle bag.
“Werewolves are supposed to be myths, too.”
“And yet,” Ryn conceded. She slung the bag over her shoulder. “My bike is out front.”
* * *
About the Author
Michelle Osgood writes queer, feminist romance from her tiny apartment in Vancouver, BC. She loves stories in all media, especially those created by Shonda Rhimes, and dreams of one day owning a wine cellar to rival Olivia Pope’s. She is active in Vancouver’s poly and LGBTQ communities, never turns down a debate about pop culture, and is trying to learn how to cook. Her first novel, The Better to Kiss You With, was published by Interlude Press in 2016.
Huntsmen is available from Interlude Press on April 13, 2017. Connect with author Michelle Osgood at michelleosgood.com; on Twitter @OsgoodMichelle and on Facebook at facebook.com/osgoodmichelle.
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