Hello! It's only a few days before the release of DEMON ON JACKSON STREET, the fifth book in my Shifter Towers series. I've been sharing snippets from the story as part of Weekend Writing Warriors, but yesterday and today, I'm sharing the entire first chapter with you. If you missed the first part of chapter one, you can find it here. TW // There is bullying described in this chapter, as well as in other parts of the book.
Chapter One continued...
As he dumped the rest of the milk into the sewer, Chad took out a can of the soup broth and whipped it at the abandoned car across the street, smashing the last unbroken window.
“Bananas.” Dan grabbed the bunch. “Do you and your granny get freaky with these? You know, if you need a fuck buddy during your heat, you can always call one of us.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat and wiped my eyes to stop the tears threatening to fall. What I needed was for them to leave me alone. And I never wanted an alpha like any of them. Even if I ever did go into heat. I’d rather be by myself for the rest of my life.
Benji knocked the bananas out of his hand and stomped on them. My food was being ruined before my eyes, and I could do nothing to stop it from happening. I’d tried before and ended up with a black eye and various other bruises.
Chad dumped the bag of noodles and the last can of soup onto the sidewalk before kicking the packages onto the road. Then he tossed the empty bag away.
“Let’s go.” Benji nodded up the street. “He doesn’t have anything good so let’s see who else we can find.”
I never had anything good, but at no time had that ever stopped them from checking. Sometimes I got home safely with all my food, but, on nights like this, I wished for someone to protect me from them.
As soon as I was sure they’d left, I walked over to pick up the package of broken noodles and the dented can of chicken broth. Everything else was ruined. We’d have to make do again, but at least there was something salvageable left this time.
I stepped into the apartment building with tears streaming down my cheeks. Why did this always have to happen to me? I’d never done anything wrong in my entire life. I went to school and had done well throughout my childhood, and, when Mimi got sick, I gave up everything to take care of her, finding the first job I could to keep a steady flow of income. Then my hours kept getting cut, and my grandmother’s home care workers kept canceling. I was doing so much on my own yet continued to get further behind. And now I had Benji and his gang after me for no reason.
I leaned against the wall outside our one-bedroom apartment and tried to gain some composure before going inside. I couldn’t let my grandmother see me in this condition. She often called me her guardian angel for taking care of her. Though, she’d done the same for me, raising me from a baby. I had no idea what had happened to my parents. No matter how many times I asked, she refused to tell me. She said I had her and nothing else mattered. But I wouldn’t have her forever. She got worse every day, even with the medication. And in the future, when she finally succumbed to her illness, where would that leave me? Would I get my own guardian angel?
I shouldn’t think like that. I wiped away more tears. I had to focus on her right now and not be so selfish. I had to be thankful for all I did have.
As I stepped inside, my grandmother called for me. “Toby, is that you? Why are you so late?”
“It is me, Mimi.” I put the noodles and broth on the kitchen counter then took her medication from my jacket pocket. Thank goodness no one had gotten hold of that. “Just got out of work a little late. Are you okay? Are you hungry?”
“I’m okay. I was simply worried about you.” She smiled at me from her bed in the living room. “I’m glad you’re home now. Marlene was here a couple hours ago. She actually showed up for a change. But I am hungry. Could you make me some soup?”
“Sure, Mimi. Anything for you.”
I’d have to ration our food until I worked again, but as long as my grandmother got something to eat, I’d be okay. I didn’t know how much time I had left with her, but I wanted to keep her around as long as possible. She was the only family, the only friend I had.
Come back tomorrow to read a snippet from chapter two, as part of Weekend Writing Warriors, where you will be introduced to Jet!
DEMON ON JACKSON STREET
Shifter Towers book five
Once upon a time there was a demon who was the best at convincing people to sell their souls. That was me. Is me. And now I have a new assignment, one Father told me would be difficult. I didn’t know what “difficult” meant until I met the young man, someone who has barely anything. Collecting his soul should be easy, right? There are so many things I can give him. Except, he doesn’t believe he deserves a better life. I have to find something he desires before the assignment is given to my brother. Because Crow uses the most villainous means to obtain souls. Lines I don’t cross. And I don’t want to see Toby hurt. There has to be another way.
I’m not like them. I can’t shift into a predator to defend myself, or even into a small rodent to run and hide. The wolf shifters know that every time they rough me up and steal my food. I always wish for a guardian angel to protect me from them. Then one day Jet appears, looking nothing like the angel I’d imagined. But I don’t know if I should trust him. He makes me feel things no other alpha ever has. Dangerous things. Not good when I have to stay focused on my grandmother. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have her around.
RELEASES JANUARY 18!
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER:
NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!
If you missed any of the previous Shifter Towers stories, you can find them here:
The first book in the series,
BUNNY OMEGA ON THE RUN
is available in digital and print:
The second book in the series,
MINK OMEGA IN HIDING
is available in digital and print: