Primal Call

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Authors: Susan Sizemore
maybe her world wasn’t so lacking in adventure after all. She took the shotgun back into the house. She’d cleaned and locked the gun away before she remembered.
    “James!”
    He’d hung up while she went about her business, and she couldn’t blame him for that. She called back, but got no answer. So she sent him a long and, she hoped, entertaining, email explaining about Mike Finn, the horse, the donkey that loved it, the llama, her gun-toting hero sister, her aunt seeing vampires, and all the other incidents of what had to be the longest, strangest day of her life to date.
    By the time she’d finished and sent this missive the wind had picked up and dark clouds were moving in. She took her stuff off the porch. As lighting began to flash, Thena unplugged her computers and other electronics because she didn’t trust surge protectors. With the Weather Channel playing on television, she settled down for the evening.
     
    ###
     
    “There are tornado warnings up that way,” the clerk behind the rental car counter said as she handed James back his driver’s license.
    The license listed his real name, and he was tickling the edges of the young woman’s thoughts to obscure her memory of him once he’d walked away. The small jet Clan Shagal rented to local immortals was already on its way back to the private airport outside Los Angeles.
    “I’ll be okay,” James said.
    “It’s the car I’m worried about.” She handed him the keys anyway.
    James headed out into the rain. It was a small airport, with a small car rental agency. The choice of vehicles was small as well. He’d picked the only SUV available. He was soaked through by the time he got into the driver’s seat. He set the vehicle’s GPS just in case, but Athena’s presence pulled on his soul. He knew he’d find her without any help from technology and despite any wild weather trying to keep him from her.
    He was blinded by wind-driven rain the moment he pulled out of the parking lot. The windshield wipers hardly helped at all. Rain ran across the road he turned onto. He already knew it was going to get worse the farther he drove into the storm. He didn’t care.
    He’d waited long enough—too long. They would be together tonight.
     
    ###
     
    Thena paced, her arms tightly, protectively, crossed over her body. It wasn’t normal for her to pace, but she had to move or scream. Her nerves were on fire.
    Something was coming.
    Something dangerous. Something life-changing.
    She didn’t think it was anything so mundanely deadly as a tornado.
    She had the terrifying urge to run out into the storm and run down the road toward it.
    Outside the lightning flashed, thunder rolled, wind roared and rattled, rain lashed the windows and walls of her house. The electricity had been out for over an hour. There was a generator that could be fired up if she wanted lights, but the lightning-torn darkness suited her.
    She hadn’t heard from James, but he was calling to her. Somewhere in the distance he was calling to her.
    Her thoughts called back.
    “Which is completely ridiculous and stupid,” she told herself. She made her feet stop pacing, but stomped her foot in a childish gesture. She was not a person given to childish gestures and was thoroughly annoyed with her own behavior.
    She carefully sat down on the couch. She forced her body to be still, her mind to go blank. Except, it wouldn’t go blank. Images raced through her head. Headlights? Wheels eating miles of dangerous road? Miles and miles and miles racing and racing and racing by never fast enough.
    Hunger and heat and absolute possession coming toward her. Coming for her.
    It scared the hell out of her.
    Thena’s breath came out in a deep, hungry groan. She rubbed her temples, pressed the heels of her hands against her eyes. Her head pounded. Her heart pounded. Her insides pulsed with heat and hunger.
    At first she didn’t realize the loud pounding shaking through all her senses came from outside

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