Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Teaser: Darker by A.K. Nevermore @AkNevermore @RABTBookTours @changelingpress

Maw of Mayhem MC, Book 2

Paranormal, Motorcycle Club Romance

Date Published: March 15, 2024

So much for sanctuary. Kit Parson doesn’t feel any safer than she was before she first stepped into the Maw of Mayhem, and things are going from bad to worse. Something big is definitely going down in the paranormal community… and inside Kit. Now that her inner beast has awoken, all it wants is out. The only thing Kit wants is Grim, but he’s got issues of his own.

Fingered for a crime he didn’t commit and injured by the witch’s spell, his cat Darke has control of their form. He doesn’t play well with others, and tensions with the crew are at an all-time high.

With the witches’ elite assassins on their trail, can Darke and the crew put aside their differences to keep Kit safe and get back to the MC? And as the clock ticks toward the vote with Grim’s reputation in shambles, will there be an MC to go back to?


Shades of the past tore through the consciousness Darke shared with his man, threatening to swallow Grim whole. He fought against their poisoned bite, but the witch’s spell had weakened the big cat’s skin-brother and freed the memories from their fetters. They lashed at Grim with inky black tentacles of torment. His agonized screams rose within the crescendoing squall, raging through their split psyche. A growl welled in Darke’s chest, ruff bristling at their assault.

-- Mine! -- he snarled, lunging into the fray. Sharp claws and teeth rent the shadowed memories of the bad time from his man, scattering them back into the depths of their mind. Grim was his. Him. A self separate, yet one. His skin-brother. Darke nuzzled him close, tongue rasping over Grim’s flickering light.

-- heal --

Kit… his man whimpered, curling into a ball. His light dimmed, giving up control of their form to the big cat.

-- ours -- Darke rumbled, shifting their body and sending Grim what strength he could. Fur sprouted, limbs cracking and reforming. Two legs became four, and a tawny gray mountain lion lay sprawled on the bed where the others had lain his man to recover.

Within, his skin-brother’s light strengthened, its low glow holding steady.

Darke ran a paw over his face, licking at his pad. He sneezed at the scent of old blood, the room thick with the patina of its tang and the decaying musk of the undead. A low growl rumbled in his chest, his pupils dilating to take in the room’s blend of muted color.

Heavy furniture dominated the space, its angles stark amidst the gloom. Tendrils of scent threaded through the room, age and linseed seeping from the wood to twine with the rest of the civilized rot assaulting his nose. He pushed off the bed, padding across the thick carpet. His shadow grayed the fingers of scant moonlight streaming in from long, amber-tinted windows.

Darke paused, his lip curling over his canines, disdainfully eyeing the city spread out below him before turning his face to the bulbous moon.

Had Grim’s female changed and released her animal?

Clay’s cat had promised Darke a mate. Teased him with her scent, captured within the weft of the afghan on Grim’s bed. The desperate longing it evoked proved the connection. The tip of Darke’s tail twitched. He’d trusted it would be so. Waited for so long. Too long. Kit’s scent matched the afghan’s. That meant the beast within her was his.

Darke chuffed his frustration. Sensing his mate without being able to claim her was torture. He paced the breadth of the room, eyes narrowed at the heavy oaken door leading out. Beyond it, faint voices pricked at his ears. Part of his skin-brother’s pride was near. His crew. Darke growled at the snippets of the MC’s inner cats’ near-unintelligible murmuring punctuating the two-legged babble. That he could understand the crew’s stupid yapping better than his own brethren’s yowls irked.

A pang of loneliness shot through Darke’s chest. He missed Clay. When his father’s inner lion had spoken, his deep rumble was clarion. The lynxes out there? Yowls and hissing. Darke could pick out maybe one hard-won word in six, and they couldn’t understand him at all. It had been the same with his littermates, Grapple and Shiv, leaving Darke to rely on instinct when forced to interact.

It got him into trouble. Lynxes were shady and the two-leggers lied. Said things they didn’t mean, then hurt you. Clay had been different, but he was dead while his murderer walked free.


Darke shivered, ears flicking back, remembering the bad time. The man who called himself their uncle needed to die, and Grapple and Shiv with him.

Darke’s temper spiked, his tail swishing. Keenly feeling the loss locked within his mind again, in this stinking place of undead. His skin-brother shared his sorrow at their father’s murder, but not Darke’s isolation.

And now Grim had left him, too.

Darke shouldered through another door into a smaller room lined with tile. It smelled faintly of excrement and strongly of fabricated pine, the water in the bowl stale and chemical-laced. Darke shook droplets from his maw and chuffed his distaste, returning to the window.

Soft footfalls approached from the beyond the oaken door.

Darke slunk into the deep shadow of an armoire as the heavy slab canted open, then closed. Kit limped to the center of the room, favoring a leg. Her arm was splinted, the opposite hand bandaged in gauze. A ruddy stain marred its whiteness. She wrapped her damaged limbs around herself with a low sob, the scent of fresh blood perfuming the air as she moved. Darke’s nostrils flared at that thread of wrongness twining within the delicate tendrils of citrus, cinnamon, and female musk.

His mate was presenting as wounded prey.

Darke bit back the growl building in his chest, fury pounding through his temples. His claws extended and retracted from the carpet’s thick pile. Healthy, she’d be a tempting prize for any predator. Injured… He was going to kill --

No. Darke’s ears flattened against his skull. His man would think before spilling blood.

But Grim thought too much.

Kit scanned the room, then dashed a hand across her face, stumbling to the bed. Her feet froze at its foot, head snapping toward the bathroom, then away. Another low sob eked from her throat, and Darke’s ruff stood on end. He would destroy them. Destroy them all. Starting with those who had failed to protect --

-- Hey! Boy Vengeance! You really just gonna let her think her think he’s gone? --

Darke jumped, fur bristling at the syrupy censure. He backed deeper into the shadows, eyes wide and pulse pounding.

-- Aww. Here puss, puss, puss… I don’t bite --

His lip curled over a canine, and a female’s mocking laughter flitted through his mind as clearly as the gravelly chuckle of Clay’s beast had. Darke’s heart leaped, his ears pricking forward, saliva pooling in his maw.

He could understand her.

The beast inside Kit, his promised mate -- when she spoke, her words were clear, and she wanted to play.


About the Author

AK Nevermore enjoys operating heavy machinery, freebases coffee, and gives up sarcasm for Lent every year. A Jane-of-all-trades, she’s a certified chef, restores antiques, and dabbles in beekeeping when she’s not reading voraciously or running down the dream in her beat-up camo Chucks. Unable to ignore the voices in her head, and unwilling to become medicated, she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy full time. AK pays the bills writing a copious amount of copy, along with a column on SFF. She belongs to the Authors Guild, is an RWA chapter board member, volunteers for far too many committees, teaches creative writing, and on the rare occasion, sleeps.

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