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Authors: Austina Love

Tags: #Paranormal, #Romance, #Shapeshifter, #Ghost

Renegades

BOOK: Renegades
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Even a shifter must cover her tracks when a determined enemy calls in reinforcement. Shye’s secret is out. But how do you catch a shadow?

Shye pushes her limits too far and is cornered by a man she’s never seen in town. His sudden arrival feels suspicious and it doesn’t take her long to discover who hired him. Paid to catch Shye in the act, Pike Draven is shocked when he sees her shift into her shadow before robbing the local bank. He realizes the task of proving her guilt is remote. While tracking the elusive raven-haired beauty, Pike does a shift of his own.

Trip Viper has been hunting the man responsible for his brother’s death. When Pike rolls into town he prepares to make his move. Pike’s increasing interest in Shye gives Trip more than one reason to see the man dead. But he wants to protect the woman he loves from getting caught in a firefight.

Taken captive by a wanted man, Shye struggles with her feelings when he casts doubt on Trip’s integrity. Will she believe the right man before it’s too late? When fate takes a hard turn for the worse, can she leave her peaceful life behind to become a renegade?

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Renegades

Copyright © 2013 Austina Love

ISBN: 978-1-77111-421-9

Cover art by Martine Jardin

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by Devine Destinies

An imprint of eXtasy Books

Look for us online at:

www.devine destinies com

Renegades

Sweet Hitchhiker 2

By

Austina Love

For my beloved Austin whose spirit lights my way.

With respect to my Native American ancestors most of whom I have never met. While writing this book I heard the drums of my past and experienced a reawakening in my soul. Though I do not resemble them in appearance, their spirit is in my blood. Visions I saw can only be attributed to my connection to those who walked before me.

Everything I describe regarding Native Americans in this book came from my imagination and visions from my mind.

A special thank you to my readers. My wish is that you feel the story and become swept away by the mystical aura I felt when writing it.

To Jay, thank you for everything.

Chapter One

She studied his face—his enthralled expression—as loving fingers toyed with the new necklace given to her by the ghost dancer. The awestruck feeling never grew old anytime she recalled her supernatural experiences and visions with the spirit that had bestowed upon her a rare gift.

“The feathers look cool.” Trip’s gaze drifted over her face in open fascination then moved lower to her neckpiece. “What is the significance of the black and white feathers you have attached to your beaded necklace?” His soulful dark eyes looked straight into hers. “You promised me the truth…”

“Yes, I did.” Shye stood between his outstretched legs as he sat sideways on his Harley. They’d parked on the edge of a small South Dakota town—a place she’d called home most of her life. Strong yet gentle hands rested at her waist. With a yielding smile, she traced the lines of his ruggedly handsome face with one hand while running the other through his long black hair. “I hold the black feather to shift into my shadow and the white one to return to my human form.”


Nagi
…the ghost dancer, has given you this power?”


Nagi
Howiwacipi
…Shadow the ghost dancer, yes she came to me in a vision on the highway. It was quite terrifying actually but when she’d gone, the feathers were in my hands. I went to an esteemed chief of our people for guidance. He knew the story and explained the vision.”

“Incredible.” He gave a slow shake of his head. “I’ve heard many tales during my visits with the Native American people, but never met anyone directly touched by their spirit world.”

“My father prayed the night I told him about Carter’s trickery. I had an amazing experience during his prayer. I saw myself with him and that’s when I first heard the name coming from the trees. He told me what they meant and that I was chosen. It was Chief Blackwater who had filled in the blanks.”

Shye glanced nervously at the bank then back at Trip. “Carter has stepped up his watch. I haven’t seen one teller leave the bank yet and it’s past noon. They always go across the street for lunch but not today.”

“Yeah. He was fairly pissed off when the Sherriff refused to bring you in.” He brushed a messed lock of hair from her face. “I don’t want to lose you after just finding you.”

“You had fair warning to bow out. I told you I’m on a mission,” she said teasingly, adding a playful wink.

“Something tells me that we are running a parallel course.”

“Oh?” She arched one brow. “Am I going to learn more about the mysterious Trip Viper now?”

“Hm…” He leaned his forehead against hers. “If I tell you my secrets you might lose interest. I sense you’re a woman who loves a challenge.”

“Sharp man.”

“What’s your plan for today’s run?”

“Not getting caught,” she replied with a laugh. “You’ll be right here? I need my fast getaway driver who’s as hot as his bike.”

An easy smile swept over his face, the smile she already loved so much. His eyes carried a hint of concern yet the way he looked at her made her feel like the most desirable creature on earth. Even his worry failed to hide the open adoration he had for her. When he gazed at her this way flutters filled her stomach.

“I’ll be as fast as you need me to be, then slow and easy when you’re in my arms later tonight.”

Oh god…
She placed one hand over her heart. “I best get this job done because I’m definitely looking forward to
later
.” Brushing a soft kiss over his sensual lips, she pulled back slowly. “See you in a few minutes.”

He grabbed her hand before she slipped away. “Hey, babe…be careful.”

With a nod, she eased her hand from his and headed toward the bank. Mike Carter had been poking his head outside every half hour, no doubt watching for any suspicious activity.
Surely he’s seen the strange happenings on his security cameras. I bet he’s racking his brain trying to figure out how his teller, La and even he showed up on video hauling sacks of money from his bank.

She tried to appear casual while loitering in the main square. Typically the small town was bustling this time of day.
Maybe the intense heat kept everyone inside for the afternoon.
Glancing up at the sky with one hand shielding her eyes, she could practically see heat waves radiating in the air. The thought occurred to her that Carter had tightened the reins on his employees in light of recent events. Nobody had been in or out of the bank except customers. Tellers hadn’t taken their lunch nor had La been seen outside of Gage’s office.

If nobody comes out, then how can I steal their shadow and continue draining Carter’s funds?
Surely he’s having a hell of a time explaining the missing money especially since he couldn’t release the videotapes without incriminating himself. She wondered how Gage had handled losing his entire savings account to his secretary.

A slamming door caught her attention, followed by heavy footsteps. Shye leaned against the cool brick of an adjacent building, hugging the shadows while listening in and secretly watching.

“I didn’t do it!” La’s voice pierced the thick humid air from the porch of Gage’s office.

“Then where is my money?” Gage growled while looking around anxiously. Clearly he didn’t want to make a scene but that was La, always on display and telling the world everything she knew.

“I don’t know, Gage. It’s not my job to manage your bank accounts.”

“You’re lucky I don’t press charges. It’s not your job to do anything anymore…you’re fired!”

Shye couldn’t withhold a smile.
Ha ha…finally! Strike one!

La lowered her voice and glowered at him. “You can’t press charges on me…I know all about your involvement with Mike Carter. And if you fire me, I just might start talking.”

Though she had spoken in a low growl, Shye still heard her. Whatever evidence La had on the two men hadn’t been anywhere on her computer. But it was significant because a horrific look of shock traversed Gage’s face. Clearly he hadn’t expected La to fight back.

“Nobody’s going to believe a trashy big mouth like you,” Gage snarled, gripping her arm.

“Sure you want to take that chance? After all, I wasn’t the only one seen on camera making a hefty withdrawal. At least mine looked legit. Mike was taped hauling cash straight from the vault. And what about Jill? She was also caught on video taking money.”

“We are still sorting that madness. Someone has found a way to tamper with security cameras and we have a pretty good idea who’s behind it. But as for you transferring all my money into your account then withdrawing it, that’s clear-cut. I want the money back.”

La stood her ground and huffed, “I told you, I didn’t take it and don’t have your dirty money. If you don’t back off, I’m going to start screaming bloody murder in two seconds.” She gave her hair a haughty flip then added, “And if you think I didn’t back up the evidence on a disc and leave it in a safe place, think again. If anything happens to me your crooked deeds go public.”

He appeared ready to blow with clenched fists and a red face. “Fine,” Gage snapped with another shifty look around, clearly very stressed. “Get your ass back inside. This isn’t over yet. Keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you.” The tone in his voice was unmistakable. If La failed to comply, she’d find herself in serious trouble.

Obviously the woman’s knowledge about Gage’s dealings with Carter had placed her in a precarious situation.
Wow, Carter has everyone in the palm of his hand.
So La isn’t as daft as she looks,
Shye thought.
She cleverly backed up whatever she’d found, hid it away and cleared her computer. Too bad we aren’t friends…not even close.

At this point the secrets La knew could possibly put Carter behind bars and pave the way for Shye to take back what he stole from her family. Yet that didn’t seem likely. If La had wanted out, she’d have walked away when Gage fired her. Her determination to stay and fight clearly indicated she wanted to remain in the game whatever the stakes. La’s lust for the handsome lawyer would become her undoing—an event Shye hoped to witness for the wench’s part in the hijacking of her family’s farm.

Once Gage and La had gone back inside, Shye made her way toward the bank. Her daily heists were getting harder to pull off. Now that people knew something was going on, everyone would be on guard. She didn’t know how much longer she could continue using the shadows of others to get inside the vault.

I may just have to go in as my shadow and pray the cameras can’t pick up my presence. If I hug the walls maybe, just maybe I can get in and out undetected.

With no employees leaving the bank, she’d either have to abandon her mission or take the risk as she was running out of time.
You must release the shadow before the sun sets or you will disappear with it and roam in the land of darkness forever.
Chief Blackwater’s words forced their way into her racing mind.

The thought of roaming in darkness forever didn’t hold much appeal. She needed to shift and shift again before sunset in order to strike again and stay in this world. She’d never been one to back down. The war had already begun. She decided winning one battle at a time was worth the risk in order to take back what had been stolen from her.

Crouching behind a dumpster beside the bank, she gently held with one hand the black feather dangling from her neck while staring at her shadow on the pavement.
Nagi…I am ready.

A rush of cold air flowed over her, the one part of shifting she found most uncomfortable, as if the chill of the other world literally permeated her bones. This was how she knew she’d shifted successfully. As
Shadow
her body felt cold—ice cold. She wondered if all spirits were cold because they had no human blood to warm them. Either way, she was now
Shadow
and had a job to do before the sun went down.

BOOK: Renegades
13.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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