Hart’s Betrayal

Episode 1 of 500 Words experiment.

  • Genre: Paranormal Romance/Scifi 
  • Word Count: 513
  • Content Warning: language
  • Series: Moon Shadow Saga, Book 6; able to be read as a stand alone

In 2115, werewolves are more believable than an ancient family dedicated to hunting them…until murder comes to town.

Joshua Hart, one of ten Lycan Detectives in the world, has a literal license to kill. When murder comes to Adler Springs, Detective Hart is assigned the case. His only job is to find the culprit and bring them to justice. His assigned Pack Liaison, Elijah Bennett, however, has a different agenda–keep the detective away from the pack at all costs.

On the surface, it’s an open and shut case with the bite mark to prove it. But nothing is ever that simple, not the case and certainly not Josh’s true motives for being there. What should have been an easy assignment threatens to expose the dark world that has molded Joshua Hart into the killer he’s become.

In the search for the killer, more than one truth comes out, including the undeniable attraction burning between the detective and the liaison. Neither can afford the fallout from the relationship, but they can’t fight it either. No matter what they do, they find themselves drawn back together.

Can the budding connection survive the horror of Josh’s past? Or will the truth of his identity be an unforgivable betrayal?

“An oil disaster has been averted by Water demons in coordination with the North Western Coven—”

“The Coalition of Supernaturals and the United Federation of Humans have signed the latest treaty regarding—”

I flipped the channel from the national news, unwilling to hear so much as another syllable about the damned CoS. The godforsaken organization had been founded fifty years ago, after hundreds of Shadow Demons lost to time had spilled back into a reality that had moved on without them. Now, all supernaturals were out and proud…and threatening the status quo. Humans were no longer the apex predators, but who knew how long it would take for them to figure that out.

“In local news, a Lycanthrope from the Klamath has saved a child from drowning.”

“Atlas, turn off the news,” I growled out. The AI immediately plunged the room into silence. I unclenched my teeth before I could grind them all the way down. “Atlas, play playlist Delta.” There was a bing registering the latest command, then music filled the space. The nearly too loud song had an edge to it that reflected how I felt perfectly. I rolled my shoulders and tried to let go of the sudden tension that had taken hold of me.

Some days it really was too much. How humans could glorify monsters like vampires and demons was beyond me and there were times that their idolization of Lycans bordered on hero worship. I recalled stories from the early days, when regular mortals had flocked to the creatures with the sole goal of becoming one of them. A snicker escaped me as I also remembered the panic that had ensued when the desperate supplicants had realized that being bitten wasn’t a guarantee of turning. Sure, some of them had gotten their wish, but so many others had died horrific deaths before they even had a chance to see their first full moon. That had certainly curbed the tide of supplicants.

A small beep in my ear signaled an incoming call. I pressed a finger into the heel of my left palm just under my thumb to accept it.

“Hart speaking.”

“Good, you’re awake.” The female voice was harsh and demanding.

“Good morning to you too, mother,” I said as I made a throwing gesture at the wall with the same hand I’d used to answered the call and converting it to video.

“Don’t patronize me, Joshua.”

The woman who stared back at me had dark hair, not unlike mine. But where mine was cropped close at the sides and only a little longer up top, hers was long, pulled into a severe bun. Our hair was where the similarity ended. Sharp cheek bones and hollow cheeks framed a long, straight nose that looked like it could put an eye out. Her brown eyes were cold and calculating, as they had been my entire life. It was hard to imagine anyone ever considering the prickly woman beautiful. Now in her late fifties, she looked older than she was—a natural toll of our family business.

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