Today, we have my fellow Evernight author, Bethany-Kris who's brought a yummy excerpt from her newly released novel, A Love Unfinished.
Over two decades ago, an attack on The Clan of Cobalt left families of dragons in ruins; now, with the clans able to start rebuilding their lives, history is beginning to rewrite, one dragon and one mate at a time…
Dani Heartview spent a year running from the past she can’t forget and it’s about to catch up in the form of Holden Levy. When he suddenly disappeared, she was devastated, but now he’s back. Even if she can’t deny their connection, the man who returned is vastly different from the one who left.
With Holden’s secrets uncovered, the Alpha dragon inside the man is demanding for its mate to be claimed, but there’s danger lurking close by. Still, his abandonment is a monster she can’t shake. Can she forgive to restart their life, and if she does, can Dani handle exactly what it means to be a dragon’s mate?
Clans of Fire, Book One
“Get away from me,” I hissed. “You have no right to be here.”
Emotion broke through on his handsome features, marring it with sadness as my eyes blurred with unshed tears. “Please, Dani…”
“Stop saying my name.” My voice was rising to an unhealthy octave. My heart was pounding at a too fast pace. Why would he be here? He had to have known I wouldn’t want him here. “Stop sharing my fucking air. For God sakes, get out of my space, Holden.”
Holden didn’t even glance back at his friend. “Shut up, Duran.” There was a timber in his tone, something else I didn’t recognize from the man standing before me. I felt wetness drip down my cheeks. “Oh, Dani, please don’t cry…I didn’t come here to make you cry, baby.”
Baby? “Who in the hel—”
“Dani!” Jade was out of the kitchen and rushing over to my side. She barely noted the men or my heartbroken expression. That, or she mistook it for the pain of the coffee spill. “Did you get burned?”
“I’m fine.” Those words were the biggest lie I’d ever spoken.
“She’s not,” Holden replied quietly. “Could you get a cool cloth and the first aid kit, if you have one?”
“I’m fine,” I repeated. “Jade, could you handle these guys, please?”
“Holden, I swear to God if you don’t walk out of this place right now and never look back, I will…” I couldn’t finish my sentence because there wasn’t anything I didn’t already feel for him. Hate. Love. Desire. Disgust. I felt all of that. With him being so close, it only served to make me more confused. Defeated, air rushed from my lungs, in a harsh exhale. “Leave, right now.”
Jade appeared lost. “Um…okay, I’m going to grab the first aid. You’re going to stay here and sit down.”
Duran smiled at Jade when no one responded. “Thanks, sweetheart.”
Holden hadn’t taken his eyes off me. When he moved forward, I backed up. “Don’t come any closer. I don’t want you near me.”
Agony pulled Holden’s full lips into a frown. “Let me explain.”
“I told you this wouldn’t be the best place to approach her,” Duran said. “We should have waited.”
“We don’t have that kind of time.”
“Why haven’t you left?” I asked, feeling a seething rage beginning to take over my initial shock and pain. “Have I not made it clear enough yet that you’re not welcomed?”
“You made it clear.” Holden’s gaze flickered up to the ceiling, a tick showing in his strong jaw. “But it’s not that simple. One minute, Dani. That’s all I’m asking for. After all we were, don’t you owe me that?”
“Owe you?” My hands trembled. The sudden burst of fury and courage that swept over me was all consuming. I stepped up to him and slammed my fist into his chest. Holden barely flinched and the action hurt me a great deal more than it must have him, but emotional pain registered in his eyes. “I owe you. Are you fucking insane? You left me, Holden. Left me in Tennessee with nothing. Not a goddamned explanation, not a goodbye…nothing!”
I hit him in the chest again, disbelief coursing through me. “How could you ever say that I owe you after everything you did to me? I waited for months. I called your phone every day. I texted, emailed, and left messages until your inbox was full. You could have been dead if not for that stupid note. I defended you when it was clear you didn’t want me anymore … Once, Holden. All you had to do was answer me back just once! You up and walked away from me, from our home, and our life without a single care in the world. And you have the audacity to say that I owe you anything?”
“Do not…” he growled, face suddenly mere inches from mine, “…say that I just walked away from you, Dani. I never would have walked away from you like that had I been given the choice. Ever.”
His response only served to fuel my rage. “Well, excuse me for living. What would you call me waking up to an empty house, with a note on the counter, and no you to be seen again, exactly?”
Anger clouded his face. “What did that note say, Dani?”
“Holden, calm down.” Duran was up off the bench, a hand on his friend’s shuddering arm. Rippling tension flowed between the men, but my former lover and fiancé didn’t register the one person attempting to help the situation. No, his focus was solely on me. “Come on, we’ll do this another time.”
“You won’t do it ever again,” I spat hatefully.
“Yes, I will. I have to. I can’t be me without you.” That confession struck me like a knife in the chest, the blade twisting painfully. Holden breathed deeply, the fight suddenly gone from his body as quickly as it came. “I will always come back for you. I lo—”
“No, you don’t. You never did. If you had, this…” I said with a wave at us, “…wouldn’t have happened.”
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to two young sons, two cats, and two dogs. With her children under her feet, animals at her side, and spouse calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something…when she can find the time.