Because revenge is a dish made sweeter by a little Christmas cheer...
Nine months ago, Darby's in-laws stole the most important thing in the world to her -- her unborn baby. Whether it means destroying her mother-in-law or taking down Gareth, the husband who helped betray her, Darby vows to get her baby back.
Gareth has spent the past nine months in a containment unit, held prisoner by the very people who claimed to love him. As the snow begins to fall, he makes his move, only to find the wife he'd feared lost to him forever blocking his path.
Darby and Gareth quickly discover that there's no passion quite like that of two soul mates reunited. And now they'll risk everything to reclaim their lives -- for the chance to wake up on Christmas morning together, as a family.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Decking the Hollisters by Anna J. Evans
Gareth reached down to flip the slight form over, but he or she was already on the move, rolling across the floor faster than he'd seen anything human move in a long time. But he or she--probably she, since the masked figure couldn't be more than five foot two or three--was definitely human. He could hear the telltale beating of her heart, so much faster than the rhythm of any of his relatives.
Too bad, he wouldn't have minded tearing the heart out of one or two of those traitors, those people who had insisted they were they only ones who should matter to him even as they systematically destroyed everything that gave his life meaning.
"Stop, I don't want to hurt you," he said as the human rolled into a crouched position and turned her gun to face him. She and the weapon she held wavered unsteadily and Gareth wondered if she would pass out before or after she ruined his plan by shooting up the inside of the home, drawing his family's attention to what had been his prison for the past nine months.
"Gareth." The word was filled with more pain than he could have imagined a two-syllable word capable of holding.
Those two syllables were all it took for him to realize who was beneath the mask.
"Darby, god, Darby, I can't believe you're here, I can't--"
His words ended in a strangled gasp as she ripped off her mask and fired her weapon at the center of his chest. Aiming for his heart, if he wasn't mistaken. The pain was excruciating. His limbs froze and he hit the floor with nothing to break his fall. Gareth struggled to hold onto consciousness, to shift into his Talamhrian form before his wife managed to kill him. Not that he could blame her for the impulse, but it would really suck if Hayden had to grow up without two parents who loved her, not when a little explanation could go so far in righting the wrongs between them.
Or so he had prayed every day while he was held prisoner by his own family, clinging to his love for Darby and their daughter, to his dreams for their future. The women in his life were the only thing that helped him survive days of torture and nights of heartbreaking loneliness.
"Don't you dare, you son of a bitch," Darby hissed as he began to shift, and then she was firing again.
A part of Gareth thought to be grateful that she'd put a silencer on the weapon even as the rest of him concentrated on achieving the swiftest shift of his life. Becoming a blurred mass of arms and legs was the only way he was going to avoid becoming a lump of burned half-alien flesh. His wife had her weaknesses, but being a bum shot sure as hell wasn't one of them.
"Darby, stop it, let me explain," he said, leaping to the ceiling and digging his five inch claws into the plaster, a feat which allowed him to scuttle, lightning fast, across the ceiling and down the wall behind Darby before she could get a clear shot.
"I don't want your explanations, I want you dead."