Shadow State, now available from All Romance eBooks and Smashwords for only 99¢. Should be up on Amazon and B&N this week. And with a nifty new cover, too. How do you like it?
“Christoph is due this afternoon,” Gerard said while they walked along the corridor towards the hospital’s main exit. “If you wish to still consult him.”
“If an opportunity arises,” she whispered back, “you need to take it. I’d prefer to discuss this directly with him, as well, but we may not have such luxury.”
Since Scientific Inquiries brought Erik in, she’d considered various avenues of escape for the wounded wölfe. After two days of torture at the hands of so-called scientists interested merely in discovering his secrets, she understood how much of a blessing it might be to end his life.
Images that would never leave her mind now overwhelmed it. Electricity, starvation, beatings with rods and fists, they tried it all. They took so much blood it was a miracle he remained conscious. They bound him to a metal chair and didn’t let him sleep. Bright lights blazed day and night, and the same song played incessantly, meant to drive him insane.
Elsa smashed all her Chopin recordings.
No longer recognizable as a human, the poor man hadn’t allowed the change to his wölfe, either.
She was partly the reason for that, she and Gerard. Erik wasn’t stupid; even through his delirium he knew what his change would cost the Clan. Seeing them with the other scientists confirmed his worse fears.
The Nazis knew of their species.
This morning, when she took another vial of blood, he’d begged her to kill him. With four other scientists and two SS interrogators watching, all she could do was murmur that they would get him out.
Erik had laughed, a harsh, broken sound that made her skin crawl and the hair on the back of her neck stand straight.
“I’ve lost my mate,” he’d said low enough for only her, with her enhanced wölfe senses, to hear. “I’ve endangered us all by changing before witnesses. I’m bound like a rabid beast. Tested like the anomaly they think I am. Kill me.”
Now, Karl Strasser, Head of the Department of Scientific Inquiries—Special Interests Division, wanted the results of Erik’s blood work. Gerard was on his way to meet with Strasser. Initially, Elsa wanted to see Erik again, but didn’t wish to draw the suspicion of her colleagues. Instead, she decided to go home to await Christoph’s arrival. She didn’t envy her father.
Their relationship confused her. Well, no, she knew what she felt for him. A new tone snaked through his letters, one she knew wasn’t present when her father handled the Pack’s correspondence.
Elsa stopped midstride and shuddered at the very thought.
Finally meeting Christoph had her stomach aflutter, and she wiped damp hands on her skirt. No, she knew how she felt for the Alpha. Whether the feelings in his letters would transfer when they met face-to-face, she didn’t know. Instinct permeated her being, a powerful thing.
But is it enough?
“Insufferable man,” Gerard continued. “Pompous ass who thinks he’s a scientist. At least he’s more interested in Erik than those children you helped.”
“Greta told me this morning he’s brought in more SS,” Elsa whispered. “Now that they’re the de facto army, you must be careful.”
“I won’t tell him what I really think,” her father promised. “But I reserve the right to do so.”
Elsa chuckled, and squeezed his hand. “Don’t be long.”
He looked down at her for several moments, eyes glinting. “I shall be the very soul of scientific savvy.”
“It’s not your scientific savvy I’m worried about,” she kissed his cheek in farewell. “It’s your temper.”
With another light chuckle, she proceeded down the hallway, tracking Gerard’s scent until he moved deep into the office wing.