Change

paino_change-2CHANGE (age 15 and up readers)

Part Three of The Shape Shifter Series

Tiamhaidh stood like a rock next to Marie, surrounded by at least sixty shape shifters. Sofia could feel the hatred radiating from them and she was ashamed. Is this how things were nowadays? Where were the hospitable hellos and their manners? Shouldn’t they at least hear them out before judging them? She glanced around but couldn’t see one single friendly face anywhere. What had happened that her old pack had totally turned their backs on her? You happened, her conscience reminded her bitterly. Everywhere she looked she met icy stares and angry faces, and not a single one of them were ready to back away.

Excerpt:

Tiamhaidh stood like a rock next to Marie, surrounded by at least sixty shape shifters. Sofia could feel the hatred radiating from them and she was ashamed. Is this how things were nowadays? Where were the hospitable hellos and their manners? Shouldn’t they at least hear them out before judging them? Tiamhaidh was part of the pack and Marie was his promised one ‒ no one could deny that ‒ so they shouldn’t be treated like enemies.

Sofia leaped out of the car and had to use her elbows to get to Marie and Tiamhaidh. No one moved and gave way, so she didn’t spare the hits when her elbow met their bodies, but even her rough punches didn’t make the crowd move. She saw Gavin behind Tiamhaidh. His teeth were revealed, but the look in his eyes was hopeless. He knew as well as she did that they were way outnumbered and it was only a matter of time before the silent hatred changed into action. Erag was gone, which was no surprise, as he was probably stoking the bonfire somewhere nearby and rubbing his hands in satisfaction, Sofia thought bitterly. But what surprised her the most was that she couldn’t see one single friendly face anywhere. What had happened that her old pack had totally turned their backs on her? You happened, her conscience reminded her bitterly, but she quickly smothered the voice. She glanced round and snapped angrily, “Dé th’ann? Is this how you welcome your guests?”

The pack grunted quietly, but no one spoke to her. She felt the pack tighten and she was filled with disbelief and rage. She could hear them inside her head and she wanted to puke. She had brought her child here. Not to judge but to heal. And she had honestly believed that at least some of them wanted to help her. Sure, she had known some might hate her and her child. But this hatred was different. They wanted to destroy Marie because they thought she was some kind of freak and didn’t deserve to live. Their actions resembled an unfair trial, and what shocked her the most was the unity. If some of them were curious about Marie or disagreed with this weird harassment, they hid it pretty well, as she felt no hesitation among them. Just pure cold hatred.

She tried to evaluate the situation, but Marie’s fate seemed hopeless. Everywhere she looked she met icy stares and angry faces, and not a single one of them was ready to back away. On the contrary, they stood, shoulder to shoulder, ready to fight for the slightest reason. She squeezed her fists closed and bared her teeth. No one reacted and she growled. They growled back. Their eyes were burning and she could smell adrenaline from them. Not good. Fine. If they wanted to fight she would fight. Straightening her back, she let them see the fire inside her and that there was no question about how far she was willing to go. If anyone so much as moved towards Marie, she would rip their throat open without a second thought.

Anger flashed in her eyes and her body commanded her to shift, but she couldn’t. For some reason, most of the shape shifters had chosen to meet Marie in their human form, and that was her pack’s advantage. If she changed now the others would, too, and that would be the end of Marie and David. No way could they survive an attack of angry wolves. She let her gaze fall on each of the surrounding faces in turn and tried to force them to back away. Nothing happened. Their eyes remained on her and her pack. She clenched her jaw. She could probably take ten or fifteen down and Tiamhaidh over twenty. But that was about it. Someone had to cover for David, and that someone would probably be Daniel. Gavin couldn’t deal with more than five, so they had no chance of winning. Right now she really missed Adam and his dirty way of fighting.

She knew she should talk to them. Convince them that they were no threat to them. But she was so tired. And besides, they didn’t look as if they were ready to listen. They wanted blood. Her blood and her family’s blood. Shoot! This had been their last hope and, come to think of it, it now seemed ridiculous. These shape shifters couldn’t help them. And even if they could, she was sure they wouldn’t. They had come to see Marie, the freak human. And yes, they had also come to see David. A man who had stolen one of their females. How stupid was that. David hadn’t done anything wrong. She had chosen him. She had fallen in love with him first and the bottom line was he had never stolen anything from anyone. He was innocent and so was Marie. That didn’t matter, though. They had already judged them. Had she chosen the wrong path? Maybe, but she stood behind her decisions, and now her child was going to pay for it.

“You’re not welcome here!” someone yelled from the crowd. “You’re a traitor!”

“Who said that?” Sofia yelled back, but no one answered.

Anger grew in her mind and she felt the power gathering in her. All right then. They had obviously made their choice and fight it would be. She knew she had only one shot, but she would use it well. She wouldn’t let them hurt Marie and David. This was her fight and she would take full responsibility for her choices. She had chosen a human over an immortal one, and she would never regret that. So maybe this was the time to find out how strong her powers really were. Everyone seemed to think she was special and that she had more powers than any of them. Everyone except herself. So maybe they would all discover something new today.

She cleared her mind. She thought about the water she had just seen. She opened her mind to the powers and prepared herself. She would make these low-minded creatures regret the day they were born. They would crawl at her feet and beg for her forgiveness, and if ‒ and that was a really big if ‒ she decided to let them go, she would exile them from this valley. They would have to face the real world. And who would laugh then? They would have to open their eyes and learn to live among the people they despised so much. Yes, they were stronger than humans, but without the pack they would just be strangers who were scared and lonely in a strange world. Soon they would know what real power was and they would tremble before her. She felt the power tingling in her fingers and she smiled cruelly.

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About jenniferloiske

Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a pre-school teacher by profession but she stayed at home when her youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. She is a workaholic Teen/Young Adult author, who loves dark fantasy, teen movies, chips and candies and warm sunny days. She’s also very keen on charity work and a big part of her royalties goes to the charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals. As a huge fan of dark novels Jennifer's bookshelf is full of books from L.J. Smith, Alyson Noel, Stephanie Meyer, Chloe Neill, Michelle Rowen, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amanda Hocking and Lauren Kate. She’s also a huge fan of music from Evanescence, Linkin Park, Within Temptation, OneRepublic and Disturbed. But her hunger for music is endless and depend on what mood she’s in or what kind of book she’s working on. She can be pretty much an omnivore when it comes to music.
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