A WYLDE PARANORMAL LOVE
Beauty Loves the Beast
Release Date August 12, 2019
Available in print!
Avoidance had become my norm. After too many tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’d checked out—on everyone and everything—on life. Ex-navy SEAL. Totally broken man. I’d hit rock bottom so many times, I was sure I was about to fall straight to hell. It would be a welcome reprieve.
Then she found me. Beautiful, insane and more broken than I was. She needed my help. I needed her humanity.
How she found me was anyone’s guess. But she had. She needed rescuing. She needed a hero. I was none of those things.
But for the first time in many years, I wanted to be. I wanted to be her hero.
Becoming an undercover agent for the CIA had been my dream until everything went wrong—wildly wrong. Trapped in a cage with nothing to do but anticipate more torture from the ones I was supposed to trust, I had no choice but to escape—again. This time I’d succeed or die trying.
They’d turned me into a beast and it was time to show them exactly what I could do.
Finding the beautiful man who could help me end my pain was something I’d never expected—or wanted.
It was a complication for normal people. I wasn’t normal. I would never be normal.
Could two broken pieces make a whole? Could we truly disappear with the government hunting us down like animals?
He was Beauty and I was the Beast. Happily ever afters didn’t happen for people like us.
Or did they?
READ AN EXCERPT
A cage? A freaking cage? How had my life ended up in a cage?
Only four short months ago, I was a twenty-eight-year-old woman in my prime with an exciting—albeit dangerous—career ahead of me and a company car.
Now I was trapped in a four-by-four-foot cage in a highly classified lab.
Rattling the bars and realizing they were made out of some kind of electrified metal—I sat back and let the stinging in my hands abate. Taking stock of my life seemed pretty damned fruitless, but what else could I do, given the horrifying situation I was in?
Fine. I’d use my mind so I didn’t lose what was left of it.
Closing my eyes and searching for a serene place to escape to was an epic fail. Meditation had never been my friend. The sandy beach I pictured had sharks in the water. The pond I envisioned was full of alligators. And the peaceful meadow was full of emaciated and starving grizzly bears.
All I could summon up to focus on where I wouldn’t die a violent imaginary death was Scott. Scott, aka Hair Pants, the last guy I’d dated—or some loose definition of the word—before I’d ended up in hell. Whatever. Anything to take my mind off the torture I’d been through and the torture that was yet to come. Digging into my mortifying dating past was far less painful than trying to break out of my cramped prison—again.
So Hair Pants it is. Scott was a nice person—still is, I assumed. It was mean to focus on his flaws since God only knew I had quite a few of my own. But Scott’s flaw had been expertly concealed… by his pants.
Of course, I didn’t discover his alarming, furry secret until he’d disrobed in full light in my tiny government-issued apartment after a booze-filled night on the town. He was a civilian. I should have known better.
Now to be fair—to me—I had no clue that Scott was a man-scaper. I mean, his back was as smooth as a baby’s butt though he clearly trimmed his chest hair. A little weird, but acceptable. Admittedly, I plucked my eyebrows and got my bikini line waxed regularly. I wasn’t the girliest of girls, but I had some semblance of female vanity.
However, when Scott removed his jeans and tighty whities to reveal what I’d have to describe as full-on hair pants—covering every inch of the landscape all the way to his toes—I laughed so hard I almost choked. Guilt still plagued me on that one.
Occasionally, I played back the scene when I wanted to punish myself for something, but right now I was being punished enough as it was.
I had no clue why Hair Pants had popped into my thoughts. Scott couldn’t help being hairy, but I’d think a dude who clearly waxed his back and trimmed the chest rug might have had the foresight to de-hair his ass.
Suffice it to say that evening was the end of our very short relationship. My shocked laughter followed by an absurd amount of apologies mixed with choked-back hysterics killed the possibility of a happily ever after with Scott. However, the hairy irony didn’t escape me. I’d thought Scott was working an animal look, and here I sat in a freakin’ cage.
Actually, if I was being honest with myself—and why not—since I was probably going to die soon anyway,, I’d have to admit I’d never had a real relationship. I was too weird, and now I was completely broken.
Noticing the plate of what the guards thought passed as food in the corner of my cage, I swallowed hard and pushed back the ravenous hunger that had consumed me for a week. I’d only eaten the disgusting rations once, and the next thing I knew, I was in a cage sporting morehideous scars all over my body.
My dear friendsclearly had some fun implanting God only knew what inside me. Sabrina Wenbo and Don Jarred were scientists—mad government scientists—and I was their pet at the moment. I was also stupid and shortsighted, but hindsight is twenty-twenty.
There had been six of us—bright-eyed and bushy-tailed brand new CIA recruits. We were clearly interchangeable. I was the only one left alive as far as I knew. The others were gone and I assumed dead. Lucky them.
Methodically pushing the food into the cracks and crevices in the filthy floor beneath my cage was the only power I had at the moment. I would not be drugged again and the first chance I had to make a break for it, I would. The guards—who were walking clichés dressed completely in black—would force-feed me if they knew what I’d been doing.
Wenbo and Jarred had enhanced me to the point they now feared me. I feared myself. I was a monster—a beast. However, as barbaric as I’d become, I had no plans to live out what was left of my life in a cage. I was a fighter. I’d always been a fighter. They’d made me an abomination and a killer. Now it was their turn to reap what they’d sown.
Today was the day I’d take my life back…
Or die trying.
The blood in my veins felt like fire and the sound as my bones cracked and reformed was sickening. My vision grew sharper and my sense of smell was so keen, I could scent the soap or lack thereof on the two guards with tranquilizer guns aimed at me.
They’d gotten cocky and I’d gotten smarter. It was unusual that only two guards would be on me. Normally it was four. Sadly, the scientistshadn’t come for the party. Whatever. I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. I was out of my cage. It would be far easier to destroy only two.
“Not as feisty today, are ya?” The main guard laughed as he carefully placed the large syringe he’d just pulled from my shifted body onto the tray.
My skin was now shiny black fur and my eyes were slits of yellow gold. Paws with razor-sharp claws had replaced my hands and the teeth in my mouth were positively obscene. I resembled a black panther—a deformed, part-human black panther.
The monster was ready to show the enemy exactly what she could do. Today would either be the last day of my miserable life or the beginning of my freedom.
As the poison made its way through my system, I lurched forward onto all fours. It would be better to die. Something like me should not exist—should never exist. But if I died, they would keep destroying others.
“Are the cameras on?” the second one inquired as he glanced over at me in disgust.
“No,” the first confirmed with a sadistic grin. “Thought you might want to get back at it for making you piss your pants the other day.”
“Fuck you and thank you,” the second one grunted as he traded his tranq gun for a Taser wand.
The tranq gun I could handle. As long as I was fast enough to turn and take it in my shoulder, I could rip it out before the sedative went to work. My claws would tear into my arm, but it was a better alternative than being knocked out cold. The Taser? More of a problem.
Rolling into a ball and cowering on the floor was the beginning of my plan to make sure death paid a visit to the icy-cold lab that I’d called home for far too long. I just hoped it wouldn’t be mine. My demise would come by my own hand soon enough. I still had some business to take care of.
“It’s no fun if it doesn’t fight back,” the guard with the Taser complained as he warily approached.
“Sure it is,” the main bastard grumbled and kicked my spine. “As long as we don’t kill it, no one will be the wiser.”
I could smell their fear and their psychotic excitement. Now what I wanted to smell was their blood. Giving them the confidence to get sloppy was going to hurt like hell, but pain had become my norm. No pain. No gain.
“Start on low. Make it last,” the main guard snarled as he kicked me in the head. “It hasn’t eaten in a while. It’s weak.”
“This is gonna be good,” the second said as he pressed the Taser against my back.
The volt of electricity shot through my frame and my grotesque body flailed and contorted. A hiss of agony escaped through my teeth, but I lay still and took it. I could last through at least three shots—four if they kept the power on low or medium.
“Don’t draw blood,” the main asshole advised. “It’ll still be bleeding when it shifts back to human.”
“This abomination is nothuman,” the second sneered as he slammed the wand against my neck and electrocuted me again. “I don’t get paid enough to deal with shit like this. You hear me, monster? If you ever try to make me look like a fool again, I’ll kill you. Say it was a fucking accident.”
One more. My body could take one more. I eyed their positions. They stood side by side and grinned at each other. The lack of reaction on my part made them bold. My heart thundered in my chest and I asked a God I wasn’t sure existed for forgiveness for what I was about to do.
The third time was the charm—for me, not them.
Their end was bloody and it was fast. As my claws raked their shocked and surprised faces, I knocked the weapons from their hands. The metal instruments of death shattered the bottles of poison lined up on the metal counters on the far side of the room. The glass exploded and the shards glittered in the harsh fluorescent light of the room.
Their screams of pain echoed through the chilly lab, and I growled deep in my throat as I pinned the bloody pieces of shit to the floor. None of what was happening would ever be caught on camera. No. My horrifying captors had made sure no one would witness the beating they’d planned on giving me—hence, no one would ever have the displeasure of viewing their deaths.
The begging didn’t move me. I’d begged for my own life far more eloquently than these two and it had fallen on deaf ears. Even though hatred consumed me, I felt sick and raw inside as I stared at the fear on the faces of the men who had kept me trapped and took pleasure in torturing me for months on end. I wasn’t born a killer. I was made one.
And sadly it was easy.
All too easy.
The room was dim. My head was pounding. My mouth felt like sandpaper.
Get a fucking grip. Panic gets you nowhere except six feet under. Dead is not on my agenda today.
Closing my eyes, I pushed aside the excruciating pain that racked my six-foot-four frame and focused my mind. My name… what the fuck was my name?
Carter. My name was Carter… isCarter.
Wait… was it? Yes. My name is Carter. Carter Wylde. Former Navy SEAL. Four tours in Afghanistan and many more that weren’t on any government record book. Hell, I was fairly sure I didn’t exist anymore, according to dear old Uncle Sam.
I was no longer in the game. I had enemies, but I’d been off the radar for several years now. As far as I knew, Sean was the only man from my old life who had a vague idea where I was and what I used to be. And that loyal son of a bitch would never give me up.
Was it day? Was it night? Fuck…
My body felt like it had been run over by a Mack truck. Opening my eyes took extreme effort. However, the frantic lavender-eyed woman was gorgeous enough for me to make the effort. She paced the room like a caged tiger—long limbs, wild dark blonde hair and a completely freaked-out demeanor.
What in the hell was going on?
“Ohthankfreakingod,” she choked out on a single breath, wringing her hands and peering at me with red-rimmed amethyst eyes. “You’re not dead.”
“Debatable. Do I know you?” I asked in a pained voice that sounded like I’d swallowed gravel.
She’d clearly been crying. Why?
“Umm, no,” she replied haltingly with shaking hands as she tidied the blankets that covered me. “Not really—not yet… I mean no. No, you don’t know me.”
“Where am I?” I asked, attempting to move my arms. They felt like they weighed a ton. What the fuck?
Had I been poisoned? Kidnapped? The woman smoothing the damp hair from my forehead didn’t seem remotely dangerous or the type to kidnap, but…
“Name?” I demanded roughly, narrowing my eyes while slowly and painfully moving myself to a seated position with Herculean effort. “Location?”
“What the hell? You sat up,” she pointed out, dumbfounded.
Raising my brow and taking in my surroundings, I gave her a curt nod. “Apparently,” I snapped. “Answer my questions before I decide to standup. I can promise you that won’t end well.”
During my time as a SEAL, I’d been shot, tortured and had gone for weeks without solid food. I was familiar with the side effects of those situations. What I was feeling now?
Well, it was fucked up.
“Is that where we are? Or your name?”
“Actually, both,” she said with a giggle that didn’t belong in this particular conversation. At all.
“How about this, Georgiafrom Georgia… you tell me what’s going on—all of it—and you’ll leave this room alive.”
“Is there another option?” she asked, wrinkling her nose and tilting her head.
Goddammit, she was stunning.
Inhaling in through my nose and breathing out through my mouth, I gave myself a second to reconsider suggesting she could get naked and crawl into the bed with me. Clearly, I’d lost a few necessary brain cells when I was beaten to a pulp… or run over by a truck… or poisoned… or God only knew what. At least I was in still in the state I’d chosen as my temporary home.
Home was a vague term. I hadn’t had a homein years and that worked for me just fine. Being tied to anything for longer than a month or two made me uneasy. Quite honestly, this situationwas making me uneasy. The woman running the show at the moment wasn’t working on all cylinders.
And why in the hell wasn’t I wary of Georgia from Georgia? I wasn’t in any position to be threatening anyone, even a small woman at this point. She could end me with a needle, a gun, or possibly just by leaving me here to die.
Not being in charge was not my idea of a good time. “You have three seconds,” I growled as she watched me like I was a science experiment gone awry.
“Okay,” she said, expelling a long sigh and gingerly sitting down on the edge of the bed.
For a bad guy—or girl—she smelled awfully good.
“I’m forming my dang thoughts,” she shot back, running her hands through her wild hair and rolling her eyes at me.
Unbelievable. She’d clearly done something to incapacitate me and was now acting the victim? If I could just stand, I could get my bearings and get the hell out of here. Since that seemed beyond the realm of possibilities at the moment, I’d have to listen to her story. However, the longer she paused, the less likely the truth would fall from her mouth… a mouth that was made for sin.
Damn it, I didn’t dothe enemy. Right now, Georgia from Georgia wasthe enemy until she proved otherwise.
“Now, this might sound a little weird, but…” she said while twisting her hair in her slim fingers.
“Did you just say weird?” I asked.
Was I being punked? Was this some sort of fucked-up joke compliments of my former unit that I’d avoided like the plague since I’d been stateside?
She nodded and then jumped up and began to pace again. “Yep, weird.”
The room was small and her movement made me dizzy. There wasn’t much to the room—more like an afterthought—a bed, a dresser, a chair and a braided rug that had seen better days.
Was this her home? A motel? Shit, as my body began to regain strength, my mind became more muddled.
“Go on,” I said, not letting on that I was able to move my arms and legs with more ease now. I had no clue if my beautiful Georgia was working alone.
“Okay, so Sean told me to find you.”
“Bullshit,” I interrupted her. “Not possible. He doesn’t know where I am.”
Her pacing stopped, and I watched her search for her next lie. “True,” she agreed. “He didn’t know exactlywhere you were, but… umm…”
“Listen lady,” I snapped, quickly losing what little patience I possessed—which had never been much. “Get to the point. Now.”
“I picked you up in a bar because I’m a… well, I suppose the fastest way to explain it is I’m a government experiment. You weren’t hard to pick up at all. I figured you’d be… you know…”
“Clearly, I don’tknow,” I said, closing my eyes for a brief moment and shaking my head. Georgia from Georgia was missing a few screws. A government experiment?
“I thought you’d be old and ugly.”
“Because?” I asked, somehow finding this bizarre exchange amusing.
“I don’t know,” she replied with an annoyed shrug. “Sean said you were a deadly killer. I need a deadly killer and someone who can help me disappear. He didn’t mention you were hot and ripped and really freaking tall. Anyway, I don’t want to live on an exam table or in a cage for the rest of my life. So since it would take a nuclear explosion to kill my abnormal ass, I decided to escape. But escaping from the government when they’ve spent millions of dollars on you tends to be a bit difficult. Plus, I’m pretty sure I might have accidentally had to kill a few people on my way out. I didn’t want to, but… you know, they weren’t too keen on me busting out. Plus the Taser wand really hurt.”
“Are you right in the head?” I asked, trying to follow her ridiculous story. I did have to admit I enjoyed the hot and ripped part, but she was unkillable? Living in a cage? Accidentally had to kill people? The Taser hurt?If her goal was to confuse, she was succeeding.
“Well, no, probably not. But really, who is?” she asked.
“Fine point. Well made,” I said, sarcasm dripping from each word. “Please do go on, I’m sure this gets better.”
“It does,” she assured me, either ignoring my cynicism or letting it fly right over her insanely sexy head. “Well, umm… so after the shit show of my escape and a brief detour, as I said, I picked you up and then…”
She stopped, let her head fall back on her shoulders and stared at the ceiling.
“Clock is ticking,” I reminded her.
“This was a bad fucking idea,” she muttered, turning away and lightly banging her head against the wall. “Such a bad idea. Never should have listened to Sean and now I’m stuck with him. Bad, bad, bad idea.”
“Georgia,” I said harshly.
She paused her self-flagellation and glanced over in surprise, as if she was shocked I was still in the room with her. She was off her rocker, but unfortunately, I was attracted to trouble that looked like her. And she was clearly going to be a lot of trouble.
“What exactly is the bad fucking idea? And while you’re at it, explain why I can’t move my limbs.”
“Should I start at the very beginning?” Georgia asked.
“It’s a very good place to start,” I replied, trying to bite back the grin that was pulling at my lips.
Her delighted laugh filled the small, dingy room and she clasped her hands together in glee. “I didn’t take you for a Sound of Musicfan.”
“And why not?” I asked, pretending to be insulted.
What the hell was I doing? Playing von Trapp Family trivia with a lunatic who I secretly wanted to bed? Her laugh was like a breath of fresh air and for a moment I forgot all of the ugliness in my past. My gut said she was for real, and my gut had served me well, but far too many puzzle pieces were missing at the moment for me to break into Edelweiss.
And trust me, I could. Reciting that movie almost word for word had kept me sane during some of the most horrific moments of my existence.
“Back to the story, Georgia. Now,” I said, getting serious. I would not be seduced by a laugh. I was too far gone for normal.
“Right. The story… You’re not going to believe me.”
Series: A Wylde Paranormal Love Story, Book One
Publisher: Robyn Peterman
Publication Date: August 12, 2019
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Military Romance
Length: 160 pages
COMING SOON IN AUDIO
Handcuffs And Happily Ever Afters Series
Other Books In The Series:
Grim For The Reaper
Coming Winter 2020
Illusions Will Never Lie
Coming Spring 2020