I’ve been scrolling through my current Works in Progress, to see what I might be able to share with you. The Chosen is book 1 in a new “universe” series, where each book will focus on a new couple, in the same world.
On the first good date in a long time, River’s night is rocked by an upheaval of mass proportions. What begins as a suspected earthquake is revealed as the world tearing open, allowing access to a whole new world.
As the rift between paranormal and human worlds fall, River is outed as a werewolf and thrust into chaos. When a demon-like creature, Vanos, begins appearing everywhere, his inner wolf recognises the threat immediately.
But what can he do when the world has gone to Hell?
Laughter bubbled out of him before he could hold it back. He couldn’t help it, though. Brendan was so funny and, at the moment, River couldn’t take his eyes off him.
For their third date, everything was going so well. It was the first time in forever that he’d really connected with a date, since his God awful break up a year ago.
“I’m serious!” Brendan protested, with a grin. “It really happened. The guy was all prepped and ready to go, but the minute he started talking about how much trouble he’d get in if his mother found out–” He stopped and laughed a little. “That was the night over.”
River smiled and linked his arm through Brendan’s as they walked away from the restaurant, wondering if now was the best time to suggest they go back to his place or whether he should wait to see if Brendan would ask him first. It was always this part that made him feel so awkward.
He turned to stare into that handsome face that had captivated him all night, only getting so far as to open his mouth before a bolt of lightning, out of nowhere, made them pause.
Brendan smiled in that disappointed way that said he didn’t want it to rain either. “Should we make a run for the car or duck into a doorway?” he asked, peeking up through his eyelashes in a tempting, seductive look.
For a split second, he wondered if that request suggested what he thought it did. Namely that they should duck into a doorway to make out, until the rain stopped. It was an appealing thought, but he wasn’t sure whether to just run for the car, like he suggested, to get home quicker or to make the most of the weather.
Before he could reply, the ground trembled and River was thrown into Brendan’s chest with such force that they both fell against the wall. A moan escaped him and he was about to vocalise his complaint when screams began somewhere nearby.
“What the fuck is that?” Brendan asked, pushing him away so that he could walk into the centre of the road and look around.
River wasn’t so quick to follow. A shiver raced down his spine, making him hunch in on himself in concern. He had a feeling something awful was coming and, when he sniffed, a horrible mixture of sulphur and burning flesh overwhelmed his senses. Pushing off from the wall, he reached for Brendan and opened his mouth to warn him.
Then another rumbled split the road and one crack turned into a road-length chasm that burned bright red. The stench intensified, until River had to drag the bottom of his t-shirt up to his nose, to block the smell.
“Brendan!” He shouted, to be heard over the screams resonating all around. Something seriously dangerous was coming, but he didn’t understand what. “Shit!” He swore as he got halfway towards his date, only to find the chasm blocked his way. Brendan was just out of his reach and heading into the thick of the darkness that spread over the street.
Everything about this was unnatural, but River couldn’t do anything from where he stood. His head was starting to spin with the smell of the sulphur and his heart was racing. Two distinct signs that he was about to suffer.
A whoosh made him turn, his eyes popping open at the sight of thick leathery wings that descended to the ground, two feet from where Brendan stood.
“No! Don’t touch him!” River shouted, backing away a few steps and taking a deep breath. Once he was ready, he slowly released the breath and took a run at the chasm. Just before he reached the break, he jumped and realised, halfway across the six foot break, that he wasn’t going to make it.
Closing his eyes, River did the one thing he didn’t want to do; he let his natural instincts take hold. Extending his arm, it transformed from human flesh into thick hair and long claws; his entire arm became twice the length to grasp at the jagged edge of the chasm.
The pain was unbearable; bones broke and twisted inside of him, but River clenched his teeth against the agony and kept his eyes closed. His organs reshaped and readjusted to the transformation, moving into something foreign and inhuman.
With a tentative hold, his claws dug in and was able to climb up onto the broken pavement. He crawled towards Brendan, who lay on the ground with a blank expression on his face and a hideous demon standing over him. Wings spread out for six feet, encasing Brendan’s lifeless body in darkness.
“Get off him!” River screamed, but his words came out as a deep growl.
The transformation had taken most of his strength, but as long as he could crawl, he’d keep going. Within a few more desperate minutes, his claws digging into the asphalt until it cracked around each point of contact, River finally reached Brendan’s body and dragged himself to his feet.
He grabbed the beast’s right wing and pulled until it cracked and the being howled in pain. A distorted human face turned to snarl at him, but River was far from caring. His own face finished the transformation until he was nothing more than the werewolf of his ancestry, baring his long teeth at the demon.
“Mine!” he growled, pulling the wing one more time until it cracked in a second spot, indicating a break somewhere. Swiping at the demonic face, he left three long scratches across the human cheek which finally convinced the being to retreat.
Backing away in a disorientated stumble, the winged beast took flight and flew away, leaving River alone with his date. The transformation back to human happened in an instant, without the pain and breaking bones of the reverse method. Leaving him kneeling over Brendan, who lay staring at the darkening sky with unseeing eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered, brushing his dark hair back from his now dull blue eyes. “You were…the first guy in…forever,” he confessed, as he began to cry. The first guy he’d ever dated in a whole year, that hadn’t frightened him or turned him off within the first hour.
The first guy who had made him happy.