Series: Shadow Mountain (Sequel to Fated)
Author: Indra Vaughn
Publishers: Dreamspinner Press
Releasing: June of 2015
Length: 266 Pages
Categories: Paranormal, Murder Mystery
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Blurb: The capture of the Tattoo Murderer has demanded a heavy price. Doctor Tobias Darwin is dead, Lieutenant Hart is back in Riverside licking his substantial wounds, and he needs to gather his courage and tell Isaac he made a mistake. Isaac will forgive him—he knows that—but he can’t promise Isaac an easy life. Being a cop comes with its own risks, after all.
When they finally reach the same wavelength, their idyllic reprieve is cut tragically short. Hart doesn’t know yet that Isaac is terminally ill, that he will take off to find the Phoenix to heal him as a last resort. This time, it will be Hart who pays the price.
In the meantime, a new killer roams the streets of Riverside. He kidnaps, tortures, and kills gay men in horrific ways, and he has the newly healed Isaac in his sights. Hart’s time is running out on every level.
Excerpt: “How’s your shoulder?” Hart asked.
“Not bad. I get a twinge every now and again, but it’s healing up nicely. How about you? I guess spending the night is out of the question, huh,” he asked, running his fingers lightly over Hart’s aching side.
“Unless you want to sleep beside a drug-induced snorer, probably yes,” Hart said. “I don’t think I can even stand up long enough to shower.” Isaac had a smear of paint on his cheek, and Hart wiped at it with his thumb but ended up spreading it around more. He grinned and took Isaac’s face between his palms. “Did you have time to think?”
Isaac touched Hart’s shirt, pressing his fingertips lightly against the center of his breastbone. “Like I could stop.”
Hart put his hand over Isaac’s. It trembled. “So you ready to have a go at this, then?”
Isaac laughed and ducked his head. “You know how happy it makes me to hear you ask me that?” he said, voice low. He put his arms around Hart’s shoulders and drew him carefully near, pressing his nose against Hart’s neck. “So fucking ready,”he mumbled, kissing the soft skin above Hart’s clavicle lightly.
Hart drew back a little, just enough so he could kiss Isaac on the mouth. Outside the night chirped with the last of the cicadas, and he thought how strange it was to stand in his dimly lit garage, which smelled of spilled oil and turpentine, feeling happier than he could ever remember.
The kiss deepened and Isaac gently squeezed Hart’s shoulders. He made a hoarse noise when Hart gathered up his T-shirt at the small of his back and palmed his skin, but as soon as Hart needed to take a deep breath, his aching body protested unkindly.
Reluctantly Hart let Isaac go. “You have no idea how badly I wish I was up for this now.”
Isaac rested his fingertips against Hart’s sternum. “Can I see?”
Hart took a small step back, but Isaac didn’t allow the contact between them to break. “I don’t—it’s not pretty.”
“I don’t expect it to be. I’ve got a wild imagination.”
Hart breathed carefully, then held his hands out palms up as if to say “go ahead.” With a touch so gentle he could hardly feel it, Isaac lifted his shirt, then ran light fingers around the puncture wounds on his side.
“That’s not so bad,” he said, and then his eyes narrowed. “Where’s the stab wound?”
Hart turned around and Isaac lifted the shirt, slowly higher and higher, until the scars were bared. He didn’t say anything for the longest time, but Hart could feel him swish his thumb back and forth over his left shoulder blade. Isaac turned him around again, eyes shimmering.
“We’ve got matching scars now,”Isaac said, trying to make light, but his bottom lip quivered. “Oh, love.”
His eyes were so sad Hart thought he’d break in half. He reached out and cupped Isaac’s face, so he could pull him close and rest their cheeks together.
“I’m all right now, angel. I’m all right. I wish I could show you how much—”
“You go rest,” Isaac said, gently rubbing his hands over Hart’s arms and kissing him lightly one more time. “Like you said, we’re in no hurry. I’ll come see you tomorrow. I’m glad I can say that now. I’m so happy you’re back.” He smiled bashfully, and Hart watched him go through the open garage door.
Across the street where Isaac lived with his mom until he returned to school, one of the upstairs curtains moved. One of the three nosy brothers? Hart turned around and grinned. He had a box full of unsolved murders and his body felt like it was a hundred years old, but he couldn’t remember ever feeling this light.
It was well after midnight when Hart fell into bed, limbs lax and mind swimming from a painkiller. He imagined he could still feel Isaac’s mouth on his like a promise of more to come. The thought made his dick swell and Hart stuffed a hand down his boxers to tug at his balls, just to feel that sweet ache. His body felt too boneless and weak with fatigue to really do much about his growing arousal, but it didn’t matter. The heat in his blood was enough.
In honor of the upcoming release of Fragmented, Indra Vaughn is offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an e-copy of Fated, Book One in the Shadow Mountain series. To enter for a chance to win, just click on the Rafflecopter widget.
FATED: Two towns flank the looming Shadow Mountain. A dark myth of the Predator drifts through the dense trees, a tale Police Lieutenant Hart never paid much attention to. When one unresolved death follows another—some people dying without discernible cause while others are clearly, and often brutally, murdered—he can’t ignore it any longer. Truth may lie in myth, but this one is spread to deceive everyone. The Predator exists, but he’s not entirely human. Hart will have to find the connection between the mysterious figure and victims with only one thing in common: a faint tattoo on the backs of their necks, a mark left when someone healed their incurable diseases.
Isaac Lasko has been in love with Hart since he moved in across the street seven years ago. He’s been helping Hart renovate his home, and their friendship grows more intense with the years, but Isaac can’t help wishing for a deeper bond. When he finally breaks through the lieutenant’s armor, the mystery surrounding the Predator threatens them both. Help will come, but at a price.