Jordan Summers Crimson (Dead World, Book 3)

ISBN 13: 9780765359162

Crimson (Dead World, Book 3)

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9780765359162: Crimson (Dead World, Book 3)
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On the run from their enemies, hunted by the law they once dedicated their lives to, werewolves Morgan Hunter and Gina “Red” Santiago have no choice -- they must enter the outlaw territories in order to disappear completely from society. With only themselves to trust, they must somehow navigate this “No Man’s Land” full of outlawed Others and dangerous nomadic tribes.

Losing themselves in this arid wasteland would be easy, but Morgan and Red know that the only way they can regain their life together is by turning the tables on the man who is hunting them -- destroying his plans to rule the united territories once and for all.

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About the Author:

Jordan Summers has twenty-nine published books to her credit and has sold over 120,000 ebooks. She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers Inc., and Novelist Inc. You can find out more about her work at jordansummers.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

chapter one
Red Santiago crawled out of the dark tunnel straight into the jaws of hell. Something growled near her ear and the hair on the back of her neck rose. She swal­lowed hard, then chanced a glance over her shoulder. She saw Morgan Hunter and Demery Wilson frozen in place. They were staring at something behind her. Red  followed their gaze and her heart stammered in her chest. She had never seen so many carnivores. Something primal rose in­side her as the mixed pack of canids closed in around them, their jaws snapping in anticipation of an easy meal.
Morgan began to peel his clothes off. His movements  were deceptively unhurried. Demery’s dark eyes took on a red glow and his fangs lengthened. Out of habit, Red reached for her laser pistol.
Before she could pull the weapon, Morgan shook his head. “We don’t want to give away our position.”
They’d removed their identi-chips so satellites  couldn’t track them, then they’d slipped across the boundary fence that di­vided the republics from no-man’s-land. They’d done all this to remain undetected. And they’d succeeded so far. One shot from a laser pistol would change that.
Red cursed under her breath at her carelessness. She knew how the International Police Tactical Team operated and what guidelines they followed. As an officer with IPTT, it had been her job to enforce those rules.
But there  were no rules  here. Her tactical team training was useless. The sound of canid paws scrambling over the sand grated on her already frazzled nerves, leaving her edgy. Red flexed her hands, easing them away from the pistol. Why didn’t they just attack already?
Morgan was naked now, poised for the pack’s next move.
The largest canid, a coyote hybrid, stilled, sensing the change in its prey. Something in its bloodline had given it added size and darker coloring from the rest. Saliva dripped from its powerful jaws. It yipped, which in turn spurred the whole pack on. They all started baying. Starvation overrode the alpha’s naturally cautious nature as it broke away from the pack to attack.
Morgan shifted, his scream fracturing into a pained howl. His amber eyes gave off a predatory gold glow as talons sprouted from his fingertips and his canines lengthened. Blood painted the sand crimson as his bones broke and mus­cles reshaped. His hair thickened, along with the skin on his chest and abdomen, which now formed a protective cover­ing for his vital organs. Standing on two legs, Morgan was more wolf than man.
He was already moving by the time Red glanced around to judge the distance of the pack closing in behind them. He’d targeted the alpha male, his challenge for supremacy clear.
Demery hissed a warning to a few of the coyotes, wolves, and wild dogs that’d gotten too close. He swiped at them, his movements graceful and swift, but they remained out of reach.
Morgan tackled the alpha, his teeth going for the coyote’s ruff. They tumbled upon contact, end over end. The hybrid was quicker. It leapt to its feet. Teeth bared, its head snapped back. Powerful jaws found Morgan’s arm and bit down— hard. Blood welled in the canid’s mouth as it shook its head, attempting to tear off bits of flesh. Morgan cried out, then slammed the heel of his palm down on the animal’s muzzle, trying to break its grip. Red could tell that despite the pain he had to be in, Morgan was trying not to hurt the starving canid.
The coyote released its hold, licking the blood and bits of flesh from its teeth as it did so. The hackles on its back rose higher and its tail stiffened as the alpha prepared for a sec­ond attack.
Pain seared Red’s hands as claws shot out of her fi nger­tips, ejecting her short nails in the process. It couldn’t have hurt more had she been playing with razor blades. She screamed, drawing the alpha hybrid’s attention away from Morgan. He lunged, rolling the animal beneath him.
He placed his forearm over the alpha’s throat. The other hand held the coyote’s body to the ground. Morgan sunk his teeth into the animal’s neck. It stopped struggling. He held the coyote and growled, until its tail tucked between its legs. The hybrid exposed its abdomen and whimpered in defeat. Morgan slowly let the animal up. The coyote dropped its head and slunk away. The excited yipping stopped. The silence made the hair on Red’s arms stand on end. Was it over?
Morgan stood and made eye contact with each animal. In turn they ducked their heads and kept their gazes averted. A few tried to challenge him, but all it took was a rumbling growl from Morgan to bring them into line.
“That’s more like it,” Demery said. “Way to go, wolfman.”
Blood smeared his skin. Morgan could smell its coppery tang. The aroma filled his nostrils and stimulated his senses, nearly making him drunk with desire. His mouth watered for a taste. He knew it would be hot, sweet, and sticky. Morgan licked a blood drop from his bottom lip and his gut clenched. What was happening to him?
He knew without looking that his eyes  were glowing. They did anytime the wolf came out to play. But would they still be gold or had they started turning red—thanks to the vampire blood Raphael Vega had given him. Morgan had al­most been killed that night in Nuria, fighting his cousin Kane for the alpha position. If Raphael hadn’t come to his aid, Morgan had no doubt he  would’ve died. But living came with a cost. One Morgan wasn’t sure he could pay.
He’d lived so many years with his wolf. Through war, pain, and triumph. The feral nature of the beast was as natural to him as breathing. Morgan didn’t know what he’d do if it went away. The wolf was what kept him bound to Gina, his little Red. If he lost that tie, then everything they’d sacrificed, everything they’d worked to protect would be for naught.
The thought that he might lose himself to the blood puls­ing through his veins scared him more than he cared to ad­mit. Without his wolf, who was he? There  were no easy answers. Morgan would have to settle with knowing that for now he was still a wolf and Gina was still his mate. And he’d fight to his last breath to keep it that way.
He threw his head back and howled. The heart-pounding sound  wasn’t animal and not quite human either. When he finished, the pack scattered into the darkness and his gaze fell upon Gina. Morgan’s nostrils fl ared and his cock began to rise.
“Come  here.” His guttural voice raked the air, scoring the night.
Gina’s knees visibly quivered. She glanced over her shoul­der at Demery.
“I’ll be waiting for you three dunes over. Make it fast,” the vamp said, grinning with more fang than usual. Demery hadn’t fought, but he appeared to be worked up thanks to the blood dripping down Morgan’s arm.
A growl rumbled out of Morgan’s chest. A warning and a promise, letting the vamp know he would fight to keep Gina and his blood. Demery’s dreadlocks shook as he laughed. Morgan watched the vamp go and didn’t stop until he’d dis­appeared over a dune.
“I said come here,” he repeated. This time his words weren’t nearly as garbled. Morgan’s ironclad control was gradually slipping back into place.
Gina hesitated, then slowly approached. Morgan’s gaze sharpened as he circled her, demanding her submission. He stuck his nose in her long, black hair and inhaled deeply. Under the dust and sand, he smelled warm, musky woman. His cock jumped at her quick intake of breath.
“Mine,” he said, sounding more like himself. “Now take your clothes off before I rip them from you.”
Gina’s fingers trembled as she unbuttoned her shirt. She wasn’t scared. Morgan would’ve smelled it had she been. No, fear wasn’t fueling her reaction to him. It was anticipa­tion. Gina wanted him, almost as badly as he wanted her.
She pulled at the last two buttons and they popped off, dropping onto the ground to be swallowed by the sand. They’d barely had a chance to share a kiss much less do anything else, since Demery had been with them hiding out in the re­mains of Kane’s house for the past week.
But he  wasn’t here now.
The tension thrumming between them created heat waves, electrifying their nerves, while ratcheting their need. Mor­gan’s breathing deepened and his muscles quivered. He was afraid to touch her for fear he’d ravish her.
Gina’s gaze locked on his mouth and she licked her lips, her hunger palpable.
Morgan shuddered. “Take off the rest,” he rumbled when she hesitated.
The air rushed out of his lungs as Morgan’s world nar­rowed to those luscious hard peaks hidden beneath a wisp of synth-material. One taste and he knew he’d be lost. He inhaled, catching the sweet scent of moisture gathering be­tween her thighs as she seductively shucked her shirt and slipped her boots and pants off.
He hadn’t bothered to shift entirely back into his other form. Morgan remained perched somewhere in between the animal and the man. He tongued his long, sharp canines in anticipation. Morgan couldn’t wait to taste the delectable treat in front of him. By the way she was looking at him, Gina couldn’t wait either.
“Get on all fours.” He gently raked her with his claws. Gooseflesh rose on Gina’s skin. Morgan needed this con­nection, this bond. It was what kept him alive when Roark Montgomery had him wrongly imprisoned and later tried to kill him. It was why he willingly crossed into lawless no-man’s-land. And why he fought so hard to clear their names. “Please, Gina,” he begged, laying his heart bare.
Morgan waited for her to drop, his breath...

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