Alrighty. I've been putting this off because I have a recorded one I wanted to share with you -- which is trapped in my computer, on it's way to Dell to be fixed. So instead, we're having to go old school with a written teaser. I give you: Nightshade:
I crossed the street on tho the next block. Shay fell in step, oblivious to my sudden wariness. I glanced over my shoulder. The men trailed behind us. I sniffed the air, but the pair of strangers walked downwind of me, making it impossible to know if they were human...or something else. I flexed my fingers as I worked through a map of the area around Edin in my mind's eye.
I tilted my head and listened; it was easy to pick up their gruff whipsers.
"We can't be sure without getting a look at his neck."
"You gonna ask him to roll back his collar to give you a peek?" the second man said. "He fits the description and he just came out of the warlock's club. Let's grab him and ask questions later."
"He's not alone."
"Are you afraid of a girl? Probably some tart our golden boy pulled off the dance floor. Just knock her down, snatch the kid, and we're out of here."
With a languid stretch I draped my arm around Shay and curled him toward me. A curious, flirtatious smile appeared on his lips. He glanced at my bursting cleavage again. A sudden low ache made me stumble, sending hot blood up my neck to scorch my cheeks. Then one of the men uttered a low, lewd sound, bringing me back to the street. I shook me head and dug warning nails into Shay's shoulder, trying as much to focus myself as distract him.
"There's trouble. Those guys are following us. [...] Get out of here. Now!"
He grinned before dashing around the corner. The rush of footsteps came from behind me. I whirled and spread my arms wide, obstructing their path.
"Out of the way," the first man said gruffly.
He raised a hand to shove me aside. I whipped my fist low, catching him with a sharp jab in the stomach. The air whooshed from his lungs and he doubled over in pain. Now that he was close, I caught his scent: not human. Searchers.
All the heat in my body gave way to an icy flood. I couldn't believe I'd let them get so close. My distraction could have cost me my life. Shay was even more dangerous than I'd imagined.
"They've got guardians watching the kid, Stu."
The first man recovered from my blow; his hand dipped into his long leather coat, and he moved into a crouch. His lips curled in disgust. "Let's see what you've got, fleabag."
Something glinted in this hand. I caught the twitch in his wrist just in time to dodge, and the dagger clanged along the sidewalk. I bared my teeth and leapt on him. His scream cut off as my jaws closed, crushing his windpipe. His blood poured into my mouth, molten copper. When I felt his heart stop beating, I raised my muzzle.
The other Searcher stared at me, his face contorted in horror...
Please note, this selection comes from an ARC, so it may differ in the final version. Also, any typos are (likely) mine. [...] indicates a removed passage, for the purpose of condensing.