A Whisker of Fire
Series: Beyond Elementals' Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon, Audible
Release Date: January 25, 2020
Though Sebastian is a werewolf and Iona’s an Ifrit—a being of fire—she is drawn to his eyes which flash silver only for her. But as soon as she can, she’s getting out of San Francisco before the city’s Elemental Phoenix notices her presence.
Bas isn’t privy to all his pack’s secrets, but he’s sure Iona is being followed. Whatever it is, it’s targeting the woman whose moonlight-and-secrets eyes sear his blood. Right about the time of Challenge—the Phoenix’s ongoing fight to protect humanity—the creature attacks. Iona must risk everything and expose her true form.
“There are too many fire paranormals here for my taste,” Fenley said. “I need to talk to Phoenix. Come. You will meet him.” He rose and motioned toward the door, gesturing for Iona to go first.
She shook her head. “Oh. Hell. No. I am not meeting the Elemental. I am not interested in him, his Challenge, or anything to do with him. I’m here to finish school and that’s it. I’ll leave when I’m done. I have no interest in hanging out with a thousand-year-old winged man who fights a Demonos to save the human race. Count me out.”
Fenley’s thick eyebrows drew together until they were almost one thing. His face hardened, his lips thinning. She would have sworn he snorted fire out of his nostrils. Her cousins did that trick sometimes. It was gross.
“No Elementals,” Iona continued. “I will handle the Lampad on my own. I won’t meet any would-be Ifrits, either. I have enough of them back home. Nope. You can leave me out of whatever is going on with this Rachel.”
She turned to leave but Sebastian put a hand on her arm.
“Please don’t go.” He raised his head, sniffing the air. In the distance a wolf howled. “It’s not safe,” he continued. “The wolves say the Lampad is searching the city, trying to pick up your trail.”
“Why?” She glanced at the wolf leaders who were conferring in low tones. Heat shimmered in her peripheral vision, flames dancing over her fingertips in an orange-red glow. Sebastian took a step back, his gaze on her hands.
She turned toward Brienne, who took several steps toward her but stopped short before reaching her.
“Your fire,” Brienne began, and Iona willed the flames out. They all breathed a collective sigh of relief, and Iona understood in that moment they had been scared.
“It’s not safe for you,” boomed Fenley. “If you do not know why it is after you, then you are in danger. You should stay here, under our protection.”
Iona sputtered. “Here? With the wolves?” She glanced at Sebastian who still stood motionless. “Thanks, but you have dealings with Phoenix. I don’t aim to be anywhere near your friend.”
Fenley made a motion that was neither assent nor disagreement. “Phoenix may be my friend, if anyone can call the fire Elemental by that name. But he has been here and gone, so if it is him you fear, you need not worry. He won’t be visiting the wolves again anytime soon.”
Iona cocked her head at Fenley before turning her attention to Sebastian. “Why would you help me? There is nothing in this for you.”
“We have learned that we shouldn’t piss off the fire Elemental,” he replied, his gaze sliding away from hers. “There are too many fire beings in our city and if the Lampad is after you, we can’t let you come to any harm. Not until we understand more. He might be unhappy if we let another Ifrit suffer.”
“You don’t know which side I’m on,” she said. She was an Ifrit. Some walked in darkness, but not all.
“That’s right.” Fenley’s tone was grim. “We don’t. That’s the other reason.”