Buy Hawk's Revenge
"The fascinating world that the author has created draws the reader in and keeps their full attention until the very end with captivating characters and interesting elements. Once again, I was completely spellbound by the Lone Pine Pride and I can’t wait to find out what happens next." -5 Stars, Literary Addicts. FULL REVIEW.
"[Adrian] has a lovely tortured broodiness to him that I liked and was drawn to, his battle with his conflicted feelings for Rachel was an engaging read..." -Book Loving Pixies. FULL REVIEW.
"The investment that the author has put into the series has rendered an interesting assortment of compelling characters and a lasting storyline that weaves throughout the series." -Reviews by Ruckie. FULL REVIEW.
"HAWK'S REVENGE is well worth a read for fans of paranormal romance. Just don't get clawed." -Fresh Fiction. FULL REVIEW.
"As usual from Ms Andrews, Hawk's Revenge was really well written with great dialogue. A tortured hero and a heroine who is full of gumption will always tick my boxes and a happy ending makes for a satisfying read." -Just Talking Books. FULL REVIEW.
Hawk's Revenge Copyright © 2015 Vivi Andrews All rights reserved.
They say you can’t keep a good man down, but the truth is with enough horse tranquilizers, you can drop just about anyone.
Adrian drifted up through the layered fog of his consciousness, the sensation oddly familiar, mirroring the memory of his wings catching air current above air current to lift him higher into the sky. The distant memory.
Panic wanted to arise, but the fog wouldn’t allow it. The pharmaceutical cocktail they’d been feeding him was thorough, dulling everything. His senses. His thoughts. His ability to shift. But not his will to fight. That still burned, an angry ember in his gut, fueling this latest push toward consciousness.
He became aware of his body in a hazy, detached way. Muscles heavy and aching. Head throbbing. How long since he’d moved his arms and legs? He didn’t want to think about how badly his muscles must have atrophied by now.
His throat was so raw and dry it felt like it had been lined with sandpaper and his eyes stung and burned from a dozen needle pricks. An endless source of fascination for the bastards, his eyes. Gauze and surgical tape bound the top half of his face—either in a half-assed effort to bandage the latest wounds to his corneas or an attempt to blind him, hooding him like the raptor he became, as if that would make him more docile.
He’d often overheard them talking—when they didn’t realize they were in range of his hawk-fine hearing—complaining about how troublesome he was, debating how to deal with the difficult subject. Messing with their experiments was one of his few sources of pleasure and he took a fierce satisfaction in being as disruptive as possible, refusing to be cowed.
The rough fabric padding the restraints at his wrists itched, chafing the skin. Instinctively, he tried to call to the hawk, but the dense, syrupy fog blocked his other half from rising.
It was a mistake, he knew. The block. The doctors had argued for hours about whose fault it was. One of the drugs they’d given him was designed to force a shift so they could observe the process—but it had been designed for felines, and avian shifters were a different breed entirely.
His body had rejected the shift, violently, and at the time he’d been viciously satisfied. Served the bastards right if they broke their own toy because they were too busy shooting him full of shit with side effects they didn’t fully understand.
But now—however many months later—the vindictive satisfaction had faded and he felt the loss of his feathers like a missing limb, a piece of his soul that had been hacked away with pharmacological amputation.
The door slid open with a pneumatic whisper. Soft footsteps. A whiff of delicate, feminine perfume.
“Hello, Hawk. Waking up again, love?”
He jerked, twitching against his restraints.
There it was. The voice. That same voice that always whispered in his dreams. Soft and ladylike, with that genteel southern lilt.
The voice of his betrayer.
It sounded different now. Edged with cruelty. Or maybe that was just the sound of his illusions being stripped away.
He wanted to snarl at her not to call him love, but his tongue was sluggish and uncooperative.
Anger sharpened his thoughts, rushing him up through the last few layers of drug-induced morass until he could open his eyes. The gauze was thin and the light in the room harsh and bright enough to let him see the outline of a woman leaning over his bed. His memory eagerly filled in the details he couldn’t see—the curve of her cheek, the chocolate brown curls and bright, save-me-protect-me-trust-me clarity in her rich brown eyes.
She wasn’t meeting his gaze now. He hadn’t had a good look at her in months—or what he assumed was months. Not since his capture. She was always just outside the edges of his vision, weaving in and out of the drug-induced fever dreams with her silky southern accent and soft touches that could turn excruciating in a heartbeat. And the laughter, always the laughter.
But he didn’t need to see her to know she’d still be just as heart-stopping as ever. The backstabbing bitch.
“How are you feeling, darling?” A caress drifted across his forehead and he jerked, avoiding her touch as much as the restraints would allow. She heaved a sigh, the melodramatic sound striking him as out of character—but what did he really know about her? He’d thought he’d known her, thought she could be his mate, the one he’d do anything for and she for him, and then she’d jabbed a needle full of sedative into his shoulder and stood by while her bosses at the Organization collected his body for testing.
Good work, Dr. Russell.
He’d been paralyzed, all but unconscious, his system shutting down one sense at a time, but those words had been clear as a bell. Matter-of-fact. Just another day at the office. Good work, Dr. Russell. Adrian couldn’t cling to the hope that she’d been coerced, forced to betray him, not with those words playing on repeat in his brain.
And not with the way she spoke to him during her visits over the last few months. She was an Organization power player, he now knew, higher up than he could have imagined. All those months when she’d been helping shifters escape from Organization cells, funneling them to Adrian on the outside so he could whisk them away to safety, all those years had been a lie, designed to lure him in.
He could almost admire her perseverance, if he didn’t despise her with every fiber of his being.
Her outline drifted out of his line of sight, returning a moment later. “You must be thirsty.”
A straw pressed against his lips. Probably another serum. Another poison corrupting his body so they could observe the effects, but his throat was jagged with thirst and he knew from experience they would only force a tube down his throat if he resisted.
Adrian sucked greedily, the relief of the liquid worth the risk. When he was confident he could get the words out, he spat out the straw and grated out the one question that mattered: “The date?”
He needed to know how long he’d been out of it this time, helpless and senseless as they used his body as their personal science experiment. How many months he’d be adding to the prison sentence he was constructing for the angel-faced doctor for the day he got out of this hell hole. Because he would get out. And she would pay for every second.
He’d tried to do the math, tried to add it up. It was hard to string the lucid moments together and he couldn’t be sure, but he thought they’d had him for two months. Maybe three. Hell, for all he knew it had been three years—his only source of information was what he managed to overhear from the doctors. No one ever told him shit. He wasn’t a person, after all, just another animal.
“September twenty-ninth,” she answered, and he flinched.
Jesus. Six months. Six months of his life gone.
If she could be believed. He didn’t know why he bothered to ask her. He knew from bitter experience Dr. Russell wasn’t exactly reliable with the truthfulness. He’d learned that lesson all too well. Six months in captivity could really drive home a point. If it was six.
“You’re being transferred,” that genteel southern lilt continued. “I’m afraid you aren’t going to enjoy your new habitat. The C Blocks are…something of a hostile environment. But I can help you, if you’ll let me.” A fingernail traced the side of his neck and he swallowed back his revulsion. “We have reason to believe you were part of a conspiracy to remove shifters from our facilities. Obviously you couldn’t have done this alone. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain if you tell me who your contact on the inside was.”
The drugs were messing with his brain. What the hell kind of game was she playing? She was his accomplice on the inside. She didn’t need to make a show of asking him—
Unless she was still working to free them. Still maintaining her cover so she could get more shifters out. He wanted to believe it. Wanted with an ache in his gut to believe she’d only betrayed him so she could continue to do their work. Someone could be listening to them now. Perhaps someone was forcing her to interrogate him. His Rachel could still be innocent. Still be his. She wasn’t this creature.
The idea was too seductive to be trusted.
But on the off chance that she was the woman he wanted her to be, he played along. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I think you do.” The words were silky, awash with sensuality. “I can make it good for you if you cooperate, love.” Her hand slithered down his pecs, over his stomach and toward his waistband. “All you have to do is talk to me and I can make sure you feel so good. You won’t get another offer like that.”
“I’ll take the torture, if it’s all the same to you.” He’d been trained to withstand it. He’d die before compromising the safety of the shifters he’d relocated in the last three years.
“Shame.” She released another dramatic sigh. He saw her shadow move, heard her adjusting the machines at his bedside. “I suppose the C Blocks it is. You will be a challenge,” she purred. “And I do like a challenge.”
The words started to blur and bleed into another as the familiar fog of the drugs surrounded him.
“Sleep well, my hawk. When you wake up…well. You’ll probably wish you hadn’t.”
And when I get free, you’ll wish I hadn’t…
It was the thought he clung to as the world washed away.