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Excerpt: Holding the Link (Prophecy Book Two)



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you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents
are either the product of the author's imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any similarity between actual persons living and dead is
purely coincidental. Any use of locales, establishments, or events are
used fictitiously.
Copyright © 2013 Hope Welsh
Cover Art © 2013 ninjaMel Designs
ISBN 978-1-890785-90-1 E-book
ISBN 978-1-890785-91-8 Print Edition

Chapter One

Cole stood at the single window in his living room, staring out
into the night. The streets were still busy with cars, despite the
late hour. All in a hurry to be somewhere, he was sure, but for now,
they were stuck on the roads, following like ants in a trail as they
mindlessly headed wherever. He hated the city.

Streaks of light filled the night sky with the threat of the
promised storm. It fit his mood perfectly. He turned away from the
depressing view and paced around his lonely apartment, a scowl
darkening his face as he drove his hands into his pockets, fists
clenched. He had yet to figure out why Lana insisted on keeping her
apartment instead of moving in with him.

While he realized they’d only known each other a short time—a
little more than a month—they were meant for each other. She was the
mother of his unborn son. What is she waiting for? What was it going
to take for her to believe that he wasn’t going anywhere? This was the
first night they’d actually spent apart. He didn’t like it one little

This new feeling of loneliness unsettled him and wasn’t something
he was accustomed to. As a shifter, he’d always been fine with nothing
he was accustomed to. As a shifter, he’d always been fine with nothing
but his own company. It wasn’t as if he had a lot in common with the
majority of people. But Lana was different—she understood him—and he
understood her. Or thought he had. Until tonight.

A deadline.

A deadline on a website she could just as easily have worked on
here at his place. He’d already set her up a computer system in the
home office he never used. And, of course, he’d have been glad to stay
at her place if she really wanted to work from her own desk in her own

He had to admit her place was quite a bit cheerier. His living room
sported nothing but an old gray couch, a second-hand coffee table and
a big-screen television on the wall. The television almost brought a
grin. Lana hadn’t been able to resist teasing him about his ‘man cave’

The almost-grin faded before it could fully form. He wondered if
there was something going on with her that he didn’t know about. She’d
seemed a bit distant for the last few days and that thought terrified
the living hell out of him. He’d sensed that something was bothering
her, though she hadn’t said anything.

There was no way he could even imagine being without her now—even
when she did things like this that infuriated him. She and their
unborn child had become his life. She’d already agreed to marry him—
though he wasn’t sure he’d actually have accepted a refusal. They were
meant to be together and they both knew it.

A big part of him was damn tempted to get dressed and go to her
place. It was barely eleven—he doubted she’d be sleeping yet. That was
one of the things they had in common: they were both night owls.
It was one of only a hundred ways they were so well matched.
He looked down at the phone sitting on the coffee table with
another glare and picked it up. He punched in the speed-dial for her

Lana sat at her desk looking outside. She’d put her desk here in
front of the window because it made her monotonous computer work more
enjoyable when she could look out and see the real world out there.

The streaks of lightning in the sky were becoming more frequent,
though she couldn’t hear the thunder yet—the storm was still a ways
off. She rubbed her arms against a slight chill and wondered why she
had been so darn determined to be home alone tonight. It seemed
strange not to be either at Cole’s place, or at him being at hers.
She sighed. Part of her was terrified at how quickly he’d become so
important to her. They’d come together so fast—a matter of days. Who
in the world developed any kind of lasting relationship when they’d
only known each other a short time before becoming so close? A big
part of her wondered if they’d grown so close because of the
circumstance of their meeting. She’d heard someone in her apartment—
rather her dead mother had warned her someone was inside—and Cole had
literally come riding to the rescue. They’d barely been apart since.

A month.

For almost a solid month, they’d been with each other. Self-employed,
her career allowed her to work anywhere, and he hadn’t had
any cases in his detective business. She still believed he was waiting
to be sure the danger that had brought them together was over. She’d
had the same thought herself, though there was nothing she could put
her finger on to make her think it might not be. There hadn’t been
more dreams or incidents that would make her unsure—but something
didn’t seem finished. It was a vague, persistent feeling that she
simply could not shake.

There was still the voice in her head that told her this
relationship had happened too fast, too. Lana had always been one to
listen to her own subconscious. Something wasn’t right—she just didn’t
know what.

She glanced down at the computer monitor on her laptop. It was
barely eleven, and she was more than a little surprised that he hadn’t
called her since she’d insisted she needed to get a job done. It was
true—she did have a website due, but she could have easily done it at
his place. Or he could have come home with her.

Cole was not happy that she wouldn’t move in with him. She just
wasn’t ready. It was too damn fast. What if he realized he’d made a
mistake later? What if he later realized that only the danger they’d
faced together had brought them together or that there was really no
substance beyond that? How could they not have become close quickly
substance beyond that? How could they not have become close quickly
when they’d fought an ancient evil shapeshifter together?

When the sound of You’re the One That I Want filled the living
room, she couldn’t help but smile. Cole had, of course, put it on
there himself. She picked up the phone on the third ring. “Hi,” she
said softly.

“Whacha doin’? Did I wake you?” Cole asked.

Lana almost sighed. Just his voice, with that barely there Southern
drawl, was enough to make her heart beat a little faster. Every once
in a while, the Georgia in him came out.

She flicked the button to save the very little work she’d
accomplished over the last two hours and swiveled in her chair away
from the computer. She tugged on a curl that hung over her shoulder.
“No, I was awake. Just working,” she lied. She wasn’t working—she was
moping, but she didn’t want to admit that.

“Guess you don’t want me to come over?”

Lana didn’t answer immediately. The thing was—she did want him to
come. “Do you want to?” she finally said.

“Now, that’s a silly question if I ever heard one.” His voice was
laced with humor and just a touch of exasperation.

She had to chuckle at that, and her heart lifted. “Then come,” she
said simply.

“Be there in twenty,” Cole replied quickly, his voice pleased.
“I’ll be waiting,” Lana said and disconnected the call.

Okay, so she was a wimp. She couldn’t seem even to spend one night
away from him. What did that say about her? But then, she reminded
herself, he’d called her, hadn’t he?

When the phone rang again, she frowned. The caller came up as
‘Blocked’, which made her nervous. Her hand shook as she pushed the
button to accept the call. “Yes?” Calls this time of night were never
‘good’ news.

There was a long silence. Lana was just about to hang up, thinking
it was a wrong number, despite the prickle of unease that sent a chill
up her spine, when she heard a distorted, mechanical voice. “You’re

Lana instinctively looked at her window, then the door. “Who is
this?” she demanded, her tone stiff. “What do you want?”

“You’ll find out soon enough, bitch. You’re dead,” the voice

Before she could comment, the call ended. She stared at the phone
for a long moment, panic filling her. She clasped the phone so tightly
that her knuckles turned white. Quickly, she raced around the
apartment and checked the door and all the windows—they were all
locked. She was safe. Cole would be here in just a few minutes. She
wondered if she should tell him. It might have just been a crank call.
The world was filled with sickos that delighted in causing fear.

She’d almost convinced herself that that was what it was when the
phone rang again. ‘Blocked’ was once more the caller’s ID. “Leave me
alone!” she all but yelled when she answered.

“Do you think a locked door or window will keep you safe?”
The voice was the same. It sounded like he must be close, though.
How else would he know she’d just checked all the doors and windows?
For the first time, she wished she owned a gun. It hadn’t occurred to
her to get one, but now she seriously considered it. Or maybe a huge
dog. “Who are you?”

“Your death.”

If she hadn’t been so terrified, she’d have rolled her eyes at that
statement. She felt her skin grow cold as goose flesh covered her
arms. “Go to hell,” she said, disconnecting the call. She wasn’t going
to answer it again. There was no way either she or Cole could trace
the calls—and the cops hadn’t believed her about her mother. She
didn’t think the police would believe her this time, either.
She decided she wasn’t going to tell Cole. He’d overreact and
either want her to move in with him, or he’d insist on staying with
her. Not that she minded that, but she didn’t want it to be out of his
sense of protectiveness. He had an innate protective nature that
sometimes annoyed her, but it humbled her, too.
There was absolutely no doubt in her mind he’d give up his life to
protect her. She wasn’t going to let that happen.

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