Manuscript Thursday: Alpha Enchanted (Haven City Series #8) Mysterious Shifter is Mysterious (and sexy).

I've been restructuring this book before I edit it. Turns out, I needed to add a few extra scenes to fill in the middle. Fun fun. But it's getting there. Slowly.

I'm a little bit nervous about Quinn. I hope he's not too weird. Maybe he's not weird at all and I'm just being a dork. That's probably it.

Also, this:

And this for inspiration:

Finally the sneak peek! Tyler and Quinn meet for the first time in an unusual fashion. This is unedited and subject to change. Enjoy!

Tyler wasn’t certain who got him on the dance floor to begin with, but he moved to the music, sweat beading on his brow and under his black T-shirt. His tatted up arms were in full view, and he scooted up to a few girls who happily let him join. They were all fingers, and probably straight. Just looking for some fun in a safe place. And, since he was a guy, they probably assumed he was gay and open to be groped.
Fuck, he didn’t mind, and the constant pound and buzz of the music and the throb of bodies helped him forget everything.
Almost everything.
At one point, in the sea of club clothes and limbs, he swore he caught a glimpse of that silvery blond hair again and a hint of that man’s unique musk before it faded. A few minutes later, hands crept up his hips, over his jeans. Strong masculine hands, and he let them.
It was just dancing. Fuck, if he was high he might grind into the man’s cock just for kicks. As it was, Tyler swayed and leaned back, his head light and his pulse quick.
Lips brushed his ear, and he caught that scent again – now so familiar he swore he’d know it anywhere. “I’ve always wandered what an alpha smelled like.”
Tyler tensed, but he didn’t turn. Why the fuck should he care if someone knew what he was? That just meant it was a fellow shifter, even if he had no clue what this fellow shifter was, or why he smelled so much like magic. Or why the hell in a place like Haven City he’d never run across a wolf.
“Lucky you,” Tyler said the strange shifter laughed gently.
His chest, solid and hot, brushed Tyler’s back and sent a shock through his system.
When the song changed those hands slipped away, and by the time Tyler turned, the man was gone.
What the fuck?
Still, none of Tyler’s business, and he told himself that knot in his gut was aimed at all the other stupid shit in his life and not some vague disappointment.
When Tyler finally stumbled out of the club at two a.m., the sidewalk outside The Pit was empty. A few cars were parked along the street, and the stench of the river rose up to greet him. It rushed on the opposite side of the road, down a slight grass embankment that’d been built to make it look pretty and not deadly. He didn’t have a car to drive home, nor was he going to call a cab. That’s some shit Ken would do because he could throw around money like it was nothing.
Tyler wasn’t so lucky – never had been and probably never would be.
Still, ever since he got out of the Flats and moved to Chinatown, his business improved. However, a lot of his new clients were shifters from the Chinese gangs – at least that’s what he guessed since they mostly wanted tats of their shifter statues. Still, money was money. It’s not like he was one to complain about it.
But that meant he’d have to walk the twenty blocks home in the cold spring air. He shrugged on his jacket and popped the collar against the breeze. His sweat dried to his skin as he moved purposefully down the road. A few blocks from The Pit he heard the telltale sound of a fist slamming into flesh quickly followed by a pained grunt and a huff.
“Fucking faggot, coming on to me,” a man spat. “Maybe I’ll throw you into the river and see how you like that.”
“Go ahead,” a familiar voice said, bright and husky.
Tyler’s chest clenched as he rounded the corner into the alley where the sounds originated.
The blond shifter sat scrunched against the cinderblock wall, his face swollen and his chest bruised. His hair hung over his eyes, ragged and stained with blood.
Three men stood over him, all human. They looked younger than Tyler himself, probably college students at one of the local universities from the style of their clothes – slightly baggy jeans and polo shirts. At least, that’s what Tyler thought dumb shit college assholes dressed like.
He cracked his knuckles and bared his teeth.
The blond noticed Tyler first, and the three idiots turned toward him as one unit. The guy who stood in front of the shifter wore a spotless Yankee’s baseball cap, the other two had their brown hair slicked back in the exact same way. They looked at Tyler like they’d gotten an extra present on their birthday.
“Maybe I’ll throw you in the river,” Tyler growled and stepped toward them.
The one with bloody knuckles was taller than the other two, and he stepped up to meet Tyler like he stood a damn chance in a fight. Well, he didn’t know Tyler was a wolf.
He was taller than Tyler too, probably a good six foot three and meaty. Tyler’s strength was leaner, and he was just slightly shorter than six-foot by about half an inch. Still, he met the asshole’s gaze and showed the tips of his fangs.
“Leave it alone. This queer wanted us to fuck him so we decided to fuck him up. Got a problem with that?”
Tyler didn’t feel like answering with words. And if Ken had to bail him out of jail – again he’d claim he was doing the public a favor. Tyler reached forward, grabbed the asshole by the hair and slammed his face into his knee. The snap of bone and teeth rang through the air, and the heavy odor of human blood filled the alley.
The guy stumbled back, hands to his busted face as he whimpered something unintelligible.
His friends tried to scurry away, but Tyler caught them both by the back of their necks. The first one got a fist to his face, and the second one got a knee to the gut before Tyler slammed their heads together with a satisfying crack. They tumbled into a writhing pile.
“Is that your car, assholes?” Tyler asked and pointed at the black Audi pulled partially onto the curb.
The leader groaned, and Tyler glanced at the blond shifter.
His eyes were wide, and he nodded as he struggled to his feet.
Tyler thought so – it looked like some spoiled shit’s car. He yanked the switch blade from his pocket and glanced at the building next to him. None of these places, mostly restaurants and a few bars, had outdoor cameras. Good. It made vandalism a hell of a lot easier.
He went to work quickly – first with the tires – he slashed all four of them – then he carved ‘asshole bigot’ into the hood. Not his best work, but it’d have to do.
Finally, he rinsed his hands in the river, gross but better than dragging those idiot’s blood all the way back to his place.
No sirens blared down the street, so those bastards hadn’t called the cops – yet. Didn’t mean they wouldn’t, and Tyler wasn’t going to be around when they arrived.
His body buzzed, and his heart raced. His cheeks burned in the crisp air like it was the middle of summer. If the blond wasn’t here, he might’ve tossed those assholes into the river and been done with it.
But that was pretty much murder, and he didn’t want to go to prison.
The blond held his side and shivered in the breeze from the river.
Tyler frowned and yanked off his jacket. He handed it to the guy he’d just saved, which didn’t sound right in his head, so he didn’t dwell on it. “You got someone you can call?”
“Not really,” the blond said and put the jacket on. He was about an inch taller than Tyler, and the jacket came up short on his wrists. He smiled ruefully. “Maybe I’ll take a swim in the river, alpha. What do you think?”
Really? Tyler balled his hands into fists, grabbed the blond’s hand, and gripped it tightly. “Yeah, that’s not happening. I didn’t just rescue your ass so you could drown yourself.”

The blond limped behind him, but Tyler didn’t slow. He walked at a brisk pace. They both needed to get the fuck out of there before the cops showed up and before this weird shifter took a nosedive into the Columbia.
Plus, Tyler’s heartbeat hadn’t slowed. His body flooded with adrenaline accompanied by a whole new emotion he wasn’t familiar with. It warmed the hand that held the blond’s, and his head ached for something to bring him down. Relax him. Because if he didn’t find it, he wasn’t sure what he’d do.
He freed the cigarette he kept behind his ear and lit it one-handed.
“You smoke?” he asked.
The blond shook his head. “Can I try it?”
Tyler handed him the cigarette and watched the blond wrap his gentle lips around the butt and suck in. He didn’t inhale properly and coughed immediately afterwards, his eyes watering madly.
Tyler took the cigarette back and stared at this strange shifter’s eyes. They were the same color as green glass with flecks of gold at the center. Not yellow or orange like some shifters, but pure gold.
“That’s terrible,” the blond said and laughed nonetheless.
“Well you don’t have to do it,” Tyler grumbled and continued their trek.
Tyler rarely took anyone home, not even the girls he fucked. He’d crash at the chick’s place, just because it was easier to leave in the morning than kick someone else out. But this – what was he doing?
And even as he thought about it, he couldn’t stop doing it. What other option did he have? Leave this helpless bastard by the side of the road and let him jump into the river? Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen even if Tyler couldn’t figure out why he felt that way.
He wasn’t Ken. He didn’t do altruistic bullshit for the warm and fuzzies. Fuck. He could barely help himself; how could he help another person?
“Aren’t you cold?” the blond asked after a another mile or two. They walked next to the street that ran parallel to the river, and the bridge that crossed into Chinatown stood about a block ahead.
“No,” Tyler said, though he felt the goose bumps trailing up his arms and over the back of his neck.
“Liar,” the blond said softly and pressed his shoulder into Tyler’s bare arm. The heat from his body soaked into Tyler’s through the jacket.


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