Whispers of Darkness (The Deadwood Hunter Series Book 2)

By: Rachel M Raithby

Acknowledgements





A huge thank you...



To my family and friends for sticking by me through another book, for all your kind words and support when I published the first.



A special thank you to my mum for all your help, for being my biggest fan and getting that first edit done as quickly as possible.



To all my followers on FB and Twitter, and the amazing women who’ve helped me promote my books and cheered me on. We Indies really would be stuck without the blogs you run and I will be forever grateful.



To every reader that took a chance on LEXIA, for all your FB posts and reviews, without you my dream wouldn’t have come true.



Also thank you to Indie Designz for another amazing book cover and to my editor, Raighne, for working on my book with two baby twins in your arms and every comment you write telling me your favourite lines; they really do keep me going throughout that final edit!



And finally, to my husband, Richard, without you I wouldn’t be able to stay at home and look after our beautiful children and write the stories that crowd my head.





Prologue




Lincoln knew the second his parents died. He may have only been 6 years old but he knew; the blow to his gut, the unmistakable tear to his heart was all the proof he’d needed.

He’d been stalking his friend Caden through the tall long grass that had grown up during summer; it had turned golden with autumn providing great cover for his friend to hide in. His sandy fur, dappled with dark spots couldn’t be seen but Lincoln had always been a predator, he’d been born with the natural instincts of his panther and now he used those instincts, taking in his surroundings: the slightly bent grass, the air currents, and then he pounced.

Caden never spotted his friend’s dark small body as it sailed through the air. They’d crashed together, rolling around in a mass of fur and sparkling light, an eruption of laughter as two best friends revelled in the joys of their game. That had been the moment he’d felt it.

At first Lincoln thought he’d been shot; he’d gasped for breath clutching at his chest. Looking down he’d expected to see dark red blood spilling from his body but there had been nothing there. Caden had run for help as he’d watched his friend crying out and gasping, but before anyone reached him the pain subsided and Lincoln knew as a dull empty ache filled his heart that he’d never see his parents again, never listen to his mother’s soothing voice as she read him stories or sit star struck as his father told him about the battles and fights he’d had against the Hunters.

In that moment Lincoln Turner had grown up. His path had been forever changed and he vowed to never hide from his heritage; he would spend the rest of his life hunting down those who killed the innocent. He’d live only for his revenge, for the kill and the rush from his beast. He’d become a lone predator, his heart closed off from the world.

But what Lincoln didn’t know was that one day in his quest for revenge, he’d meet a girl who should have been his enemy and she’d fill that dull empty ache in his heart. She’d become his new path, his new destiny...





Chapter 1




“Linc!” Caden called as he ran to him, pausing whilst he passed the girl bloodied and unconscious on the ground.

His hands clasped together and pressed down on his chest, one, two, three, four, five, he counted with each press. The young blond girl sniffled next to him and he glanced at her quickly, seeing the torn shirt she held was now soaked through with Lincoln’s blood.

“Get my bag, inside there’s thick gauze and bandages, you need to stop that bleeding,” he said.

She looked up at him and glanced around, her eyes wide with fear. “O-okay,” she stuttered, clambering to her feet.

One, two, three, four, five, Come on Linc! Tilting his head back he breathed air into his lungs and carried on his frantic compressions on Lincoln’s chest.

Caden’s heart boomed in his ears, blood pulsing through his head as the seconds ticked by and still his friend lay dead.

One, two, three, four, five...

“Lincoln, come on Linc, breathe god damn it, breathe!”

Lincoln breathed in a small breath and his heart beat sluggishly beneath Caden’s clasped hands.

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