From her first encounter with John Greywolf, Charlotte Boyer finds herself so enthralled by the passion he ignites in her that it unnerves her almost as much as his ability to pass unnoticed by security cameras and undeterred by locked doors—his shadow walk. Is it at all possible that two men with supernatural powers walk the reservation? Or has she been seduced by the ‘skin walker’—part human, part puma, who rapes and savagely kills?
Length: Long Novella
Word Count: 32,259
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Rating: Erotica. Contains violence, graphic sex, and explicit language.
Available formats: : PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, 2004
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
There was no word in the English language strong enough, in Special Agent, Charlotte Boyer’s, mind to adequately describe the carnage. She thought she’d prepared herself. She supposed, if it had been even a little more typical of the murders she’d studied at Quantico, she would’ve been braced for it. There was nothing ‘typical’ or even to be expected about this and her stomach heaved. She turned away from the scene, taking several deep breaths, fighting for her dignity.
Concentrating, at first, on a pretense of professionalism, she searched the ground with her gaze, as if looking for clues. Finally, to her relief, her training kicked in and her mind, in truth, slowly focused on the search for clues.
The soil was too rocky to yield up anything as conclusive, or useful, as footprints. There were drag marks, however, much of the way. The victim, sixteen-year-old Chastity Owl, appeared to have been sneaking back into her bedroom window, or maybe out of it, when she was attacked. She’d been dragged for several hundred yards into the desert and finished off almost within sight of her own home.
No one had heard her scream, even though the field they’d found her in bordered a fairly sizable neighborhood.
“Looks like a puma,” one of the men muttered. Turning, Charlie saw that it was the reservation police chief, George Brown, who’d spoken.
“Like the other two?” she asked.
He glanced at her. “It looks the same as the other two attacks.” He studied her a long moment, his eyes narrowing. “I’m curious to know why they would’ve sent a field investigator out to look at an animal attack.”
Charlie merely stared at him, trying to decide how much, or how little, to say. It was a Federal Reservation, but the reservation police had jurisdiction. She’d been invited, not very graciously, as a consultant because her boss had asked if she could drive out and have look.
She’d been sent because of the anonymous phone call the bureau had received. The caller had disguised his voice, had refused to leave a name, but he’d insisted the attacks weren’t animal attacks at all, but murder.
Maybe it had just been someone from the reservation that was afraid his daughter might be next on the menu?
She frowned. “Weren’t the other two attacks on the Utah side of the reservation?”
Brown gave her a look. “Don’t give me that ‘across state lines’ crap. That only applies if there’s a crime. No human did this.”
Charlie thought quickly. “What’s the typical range of a puma? I mean, they’re territorial, aren’t they? Would one hunt this far?”
“Not typically. If they drove him off, though, he’d mark new territory.”
Charlie nodded and, without offering up any explanation for her presence, returned her attention to examining the scene.
The girl was unidentifiable. If not for the fact that there had been a clear drag path from the girl’s home to the sight where they found the body--if not for the fact that it was a small community and anyone who went missing was immediately noticed--
Her face was gone, nothing more than a bloody mess of ragged flesh. She’d been ripped open from neck to groin, her entrails spilled out all over the ground. Swallowing the bile that rose in her throat, Charlie examined the girl’s body, mentally tallying parts. As far as she could see, nothing was missing.
Wild animals attacked when hungry, or when threatened. It was a rare animal that merely attacked for sport. It was possible, of course, that something had spooked the animal off before it had had a chance to feed, or that it had eaten. The body was so damaged it was impossible to be certain if anything was missing until there’d been an autopsy--but it looked as if the animal had done nothing more than ripped her to shreds.
There was no reason that she could see that the animal might have felt threatened by the girl, unless it had been sniffing around the garbage and she’d happened up on it.
It had gone for her throat. Again, only a medical examination would tell for certain, but she suspected nobody had heard the girl scream because the animal had ripped her vocal chords first thing.
Again, that seemed fairly typical of an animal. Most predators went for the quick kill, but the drag marks seemed to indicate that the girl had struggled at least part of the way. She’d lost her shoes, one in the yard of her home, the other on the road below.
The one thing about the scene that really unnerved her though--which absolutely no one had commented on--was the fact that the girl looked almost as if she’d been posed.