Authors: Lacey Thorn
Tags: #Awakening Pride
Unleashing the Beast
By Lacey Thorn
Gems of Romantic Fiction
Unleashing the Beast
Copyright © 2015, Lacey Thorn
Edited by Michele Paulin and Liza Green
Cover Art by Les Byerley
Published by Resplendence Publishing, LLC
1093 A1A Beach Blvd, #146
St. Augustine, FL 32080
Electronic format ISBN:
Warning: All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Electronic Release: November 2015
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and occurrences are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places or occurrences, is purely coincidental.
Unleashing the Beast by Lacey Thorn
A Caged Beast...
Captured, tortured and left at death’s door, an injection managed to save Finn’s life and opened up a whole new world. He’s no longer merely human. There’s a beast buried inside him just waiting to emerge. Finn can’t remember what happened with the hunters, but the beast will never forget.
A Mate’s Love...
Laura’s mate is dead. She found him tortured and bleeding out, already knocking at death’s door. She couldn’t save him, and it nearly killed her to leave him behind. She kissed his lips, offering comfort and love even as he left her. Now, only one thing matters. Killing every hunter she can find.
Memories have been surfacing for Finn. The blood, the pain, and the soft kiss of a woman meant to be his. He remembers her tears despite the fact she left him to die. He vows to find her. Neither of them is ready for the inferno that ignites when they finally come face to face. With one touch, she unleashes the beast, and nothing will ever be the same.
The first book in this series came to me in a dream. I closed my eyes and there they all were. Tah, Abby, the Professor, Reno and Logan. Then the others appeared and the series continued to grow. Now, with book seven, I have a huge cast of characters, and I love every one of them. I hope you do, too. There are many more stories to come!
All my love,
Finn knew the moment the dream sucked him in but was incapable of stopping it. They’d been coming fast and furious lately, so much so he was leery of closing his eyes even for a catnap.
He wasn’t himself in the dream. It was eerie the way he could see himself chained to the wall, see his body being beaten and abused. He watched it all as he prowled the room as the animal he knew was locked inside him.
“Had enough yet?” the leader growled at the Finn on the wall.
“That all you’ve got?” he asked, spitting blood onto the floor at the man’s feet.
“You’ve got balls for a human,” the man jeered. “Too bad, you chose the wrong side. Men who make their beds with animals die with them.”
Finn knew they were hunters. According to his brother, Murphy, Finn had been captured, tortured and almost killed last year. His friend, Zane, had shown him photos of the carnage they’d walked into to rescue Finn. The hunters weren’t dead in his dreams, though. They were very much alive and eager to make him scream.
Here, Finn was splayed like a bug on the wall, while men took turns using fists and knives to search for answers he wasn’t giving. The way they openly spoke made it clear they didn’t plan on him living. They’d almost succeeded.
“We’ll just let you rest for a bit. Give you time to reconsider that ‘I don’t know’ you keep muttering,” one of the men sneered as he cleaned his hands on a cloth.
“Not muttering. You heard me loud and clear. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He stared at the Finn hanging on the wall, naked under the blood coating his skin. Had this really happened? Was it his memory coming back?
“We found the transponder on you.”
A reminder. Always, the reminder of what Finn had taken. He’d asked Murphy about it and felt guilt for his actions prior to being captured.
“I told you. I found it outside of Santa Fe. I knew what it was, thought it might come in handy. I didn’t know it was already activated.”
“You tell lies, Finnion Dockery.”
The Finn on the wall grinned despite two busted and bleeding lips and the swelling on his face.
“No need to be calling me Finnion. It’s just so formal. And we’re past that now.”
“Funny how that brogue slips in and out of your voice,” the man sneered.
“You just bring the Irish out o’ me,” Finn finally answered.
“Well, then, we’ll have to see if we can get more than blarney from you.” The man turned to one of the other goons. “Go get the cables out of the truck. It’s time we stopped playing with Mr. Dockery.”
The dream changed then. He became a boy, running to keep up with his brothers as they headed home. He wanted to grab the boy, hug him and tell him not to be afraid, but he was helpless to do anything but relive the moment. He begged to wake up, not wanting to see his mother’s lifeless body or the evidence of what she’d endured. Finn didn’t want to see the look on his brother’s face when their father and older two brothers turned on Murphy, blaming him for her death.
Faces swirled. Scenery changed. He was on the wall again, only this time it was his father beating him, his brothers jeering and taunting.
“You helped him, didn’t you, boy?” his father yelled, spittle flying from his mouth. “Helped him put your mum in an early grave. For what? Your brother’s an animal. He should be put down like one.”
The dream changed again. He saw Murphy as a boy, watching him with sad eyes while their father and brothers beat him. He knew this was a memory. It was a day he’d never forget. When Finn had tried to intervene, they’d broken his leg. Still, he’d struggled and fought, trying to protect his brother who’d refused to protect himself. He’d almost lost Murphy that day. In some ways, maybe he had. Heaven knew neither of them had been the same again.
The world tilted, and Finn felt himself falling. This time, he was back in the man’s body, prone now, no longer on the wall. Pain racked him, and he knew he was dying. He felt a moment of regret then prepared to give in. Until he heard her voice. His vision was dim, fading, but he could make out blonde hair and green eyes, wet with tears.
“Why do I find you only to lose you? Why? Don’t leave me! Please, don’t leave me!”
She was sobbing, reaching for him. Her touch sent a jolt through him. He felt her hands on his belly and wanted to tell her it was too late, but he couldn’t. Death was right there, waiting for him with wide-open arms. Then she kissed him.
“I would have loved you,” she whispered then her lips met his, the kiss warm and soft, though chaste.
His vision dimmed as if he were watching not through his own eyes but through those of another, but he could see well enough to know she was walking away from him. Her head was down, shoulders slumped. He watched her leave him there as his gaze dimmed and faded to black. There was nothing until he gasped, lungs filling with oxygen as his heart beat just a little stronger.
* * * *
Murphy’s voice jarred Finn from the dream, bringing him awake with a jerk as his gaze flew around the car. Searching for her, always for her.
“Jesus! God! You scared the shit out of me. What the hell were you dreaming?” Murphy demanded.
“Don’t remember,” Finn lied, keeping his gaze focused out the window as he struggled to snap himself from the lingering intensity of the dream. Was it a dream? Or was it memories? Had he really met the woman who should be his mate? Had she really left him to die? So many fucking questions circled in his head now.
“Stop. Just fucking stop already with the lies,” Murphy snapped. “Did you forget how close we are? How connected we are? That shit inside you, making your heart race? Yeah, I feel that. You can try to shut me out all you want, but with something like that, when your guard’s not up, I’m there whether you want me to be or not.”
“Fuck,” Finn muttered, dropping his head into his hands. Murphy was right, and it galled him to know his brother sensed the emotional roller coaster tearing Finn apart. At least, he hadn’t touched Finn. Their connection at those times, when the link was wide open, allowed them to actually see the other’s memory. He didn’t want Murphy seeing what his dreams held.
“You’re not sleeping well. You’re moody. Everyone thinks it’s the beast slumbering inside you, but I know better. It’s not the beast. It’s something else, something that has you on edge. I’m worried for you, brother.”
Finn opened his mouth then shut it before he gave vent to the pithy response. Murphy deserved better. He always had. Better than the family they’d been born into. Better than the father who’d disowned him, who’d blamed him for their mother’s death and almost killed Murphy. He deserved so much better than the life he’d been given. Still, Finn couldn’t imagine his life without his brother, didn’t want to. They were as close as twins. Closer, actually, as Finn would know. He tried to shake that thought away, but the guilt coated him like a second skin. He told himself repeatedly there’d been no choice when it came to leaving Ireland with Murphy. His brother had needed him more than the twin Finn had left behind. He took a deep breath and blew it out. He didn’t need the guilt of that decision on his mind.
“Talk to me, Finn,” Murphy pleaded. “Tell me what’s going on inside you. You’re rubbing your head again. Headaches? Is that part of the problem?”
“Yes,” Finn admitted.
“You need to—”
“I’m not talking to Diane. She’s incredibly pregnant and ready to have the baby within the next four weeks. The Professor’s been busy working with that new shifter doctor who arrived after we left. And before you ask, no, I’m not talking to some fucking stranger. I’ll be fine.”
“You’re not fine. That’s the problem,” Murphy countered.
“I’m getting my memory back,” Finn admitted, hoping to keep his brother sated by giving him part of the truth. “Or at least, I think it’s memory. It’s all jumbled up.”
“The dreams?” Murphy questioned.
“So that’s why you haven’t been sleeping,” Murphy murmured. “Tell me about them. How long have you been having them? My guess would be since we hit Oklahoma.”
Finn jerked his head up, looking toward his brother.
“Easy,” Murphy replied as if Finn had asked how aloud instead of in his head. “The restlessness started there. It’s why I volunteered us when they needed someone to go check in on the Holloways. There’s something about Oklahoma that has you on edge. I don’t know what it is, so I’m guessing you haven’t pinned it down yet either.”
“No,” Finn admitted then changed the subject again. “I’m going to miss those bears.”
The Holloways were a group of brothers in Montana who were bear shifters. There weren’t very many of their species left, and while offering shelter to several members of the pride, they’d also opened their home to a mutual enemy. It still galled Finn to know a shifter would work with the hunters, a group of people dead set on ending all shifters for good. Men, women, children, the young or old. It didn’t matter to a hunter as long as blood spilled and a shifter’s life was ended.
“I’m glad Holt found some happiness there,” Finn said. “He deserves it.”
“That he does,” Murphy agreed. “I think he and Jaeda will be happy together.”