Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
The Hated Finn
Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Thirty-Nine
Out of the Cage: A cage of the mind can manifest in unusual ways.
Viktor Minsky spent months recovering after having been captured and tortured for information about his friend. While he still bears the scars, he's proud that no matter how they'd beaten and starved him, he'd never caved. After Viktor joins a group of vampires and shifters to free captured shifters, he's charged with tracking down several of the vendors that deliver supplies to the facility. When Viktor stops at the ostrich farm that supplied the meat to the scientists, he meets the owner, Finn O'Riley. Not only is Viktor shocked to discover the man is a shifter, but the scent of Finn's blood causes his mouth to water. He suspects the shifter is his beloved, the other half of his soul, but Finn's response to his appearance bluntly proves that he wants nothing to do with him. Can Viktor learn if Finn's hostility is caused because he's in league with the scientists, or is it caused by something else entirely?
Excerpt - The Hated Finn
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Finn rarely received visitors. Frowning, he quickly cleaned his knife. He set it aside, then scraped the last bits of meat into the vacuum bag and inserted the open end into the machine. As he sealed the meat into the bag, he watched the vehicle’s progress up his driveway.
By the time the navy-blue SUV reached the gravel parking area in front of his home, Finn had rolled the hare skins and tucked them into a plastic bag. He’d take them to his shed to clean and tan later. He placed the rabbits’ hearts and livers on a tray in the hopes of getting rid of his unknown guest swiftly. His stomach was growling.
As Finn watched a tall, broad-shouldered stranger slide from behind the wheel of the vehicle, he felt something else stir. At the sight of the black-haired, bronze-skinned male, his blood heated. The man appeared to look around the place, then he started directly toward him.
Finn’s mouth grew dry upon watching the big male’s hip-rolling gait, his confident swagger almost as sexy as the way the man’s slate-gray jeans hugged his thighs. The way the guy’s black polo shirt stretched across his well-defined pectorals caused his heart to thud in his chest. While he’d never been into bikers, even the man’s black biker boots seemed sexy on the guy.
“Good afternoon,” the man called when he was still around twenty paces away. “Are you Finnegan O’Riley?”
It was just close enough for Finn to make out his deep blue eyes. “Damn,” Finn mumbled. Clearing his throat as he jerked a nod, he responded, “It’s Finn, actually. And you are?”
Just then, the wind changed direction ever-so-slightly. The visitor’s scent wafted across his senses. A heady, earthy tone teased his nostrils…along with something else.
Finn’s nostril’s flared as realization hit. Shock flooded his system.
After all this time…
The man stopping on the other side of the metal counter, extending his large hand, his wrist covered in a black, leather wristband, drew Finn out of his shocked stupor. “I’m—” the man started, but before the stranger could complete his sentence, probably a response to his earlier question, Finn growled low in his throat, silencing him. His eyes narrowed, and he sneered at the male.
“You’re not welcome here, vampire,” Finn snarled. It didn’t matter how nice the rest of him smelled. This man was a paranormal…someone he wanted nothing to do with. “Leave now.”
* * * *
When Viktor had been driving his SUV down the driveway to O’Riley’s Ostrich Farm, he’d been amazed at the beautiful area. Spotting the bare-chested, jeans-clad man at what looked like a fish-cleaning station, he’d just about swallowed his tongue. Stepping out of his SUV, the smell of ostrich and feces assaulted his senses, but underneath that…damn, there’d been something wonderful.
Something musky, masculine, and metallic.
According to the paperwork Viktor had been given, the ostrich farm was owned by Finn O’Riley. The man ran a successful business, but didn’t have any employees. That meant the heady metallic smell was coming from the sexy man at the fish-station and was most likely Finn.
Viktor had wanted to hate the man on sight. One of the men who’d tortured him was named Finn. The scent confused the shit out of him.
The man’s words registered right about the same time as the meaning of Viktor’s reaction to Finn’s scent hit him like a ton of bricks.
Holy fucking shit! This man is most likely my beloved.
“I said leave, vampire!”
And he knows what I am.
“You’re a paranormal,” Viktor responded, rearing back as if struck. He blinked twice, then inhaled the man’s scent again. He couldn’t think of him as Finn. Finnegan, then. That’d be okay, right? “A shifter?”
“That’s right,” Finnegan growled, his eyes narrowed. “A shifter. Now how about you respect my wishes and leave?” His lip curled up as he added, “Of course, ostriches are omnivores. I could grind you up like I do this rabbit and feed you to them. How’d that suit you?”
Viktor’s eyes widened. “Gods,” he grumbled. “You’re a shifter, and you work for them? Why?” He fought his urge to lunge around the cleaning station, grab the man, put him over his knee, and spank him. “You hate your own kind so much?”