A big welcome today to Lexi Ander as part of her blog tour with Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions for Releasing Chaos from Less Than Three Press.
Thank you for having me on the blog today! Releasing Chaos is the last book in the Sumeria’s Sons series. For the final sendoff, I have put together a series of flash fiction pieces that happen near the end of Dragon’s Eye or in between Dragon’s Eye and Releasing Chaos. These are little on-the-side scenes that don’t have an impact on the plot arc of Sumeria’s Sons so you won’t encounter any spoilers for the final book. This takes place before the end of Dragon’s Eye, during the God Mithra’s announcement. Enjoy!
Coming Home Part Two
Justus ran into the house, the screen door slamming behind him. The hallway that led back to the bedrooms was packed with people. Those outside Stan’s room craned their necks to get a look inside. The group was a mixture of warriors and Magi and Justus was getting ready to bite some legs if they didn’t move out of his way.
The sharp hand clap made them jump and look around guiltily. “All right, people,” Christy said behind Justus. “I’m sure you have other things to do. I’ll let you know when Randy is up for visitors.”
Justus stood along the wall as the onlookers dispersed then darted into the room. Gregori, Stan, and Bixx were helping Randy into the bed. Stan removed the drab, stained clothing Randy wore while Gregori examined his body for injuries. All the while, Stan grumbled about Randy being a stubborn ass. Bixx’s expression was hard to read unlike Gregori’s. Everything the Magi Sami felt was reflected in his expression and the tears shimmered in his eyes as he clucked over Randy.
“I’m fine,” Randy groused but he wasn’t moving away from their touch.
Gregori frowned. “You’re lucky you are two thirds god, otherwise you wouldn’t be alive.” He ran his hands over Randy’s chest, not touching the skin but Justus sense Gregori’s magic.
Moving around the bed, Justus took Randy’s hand. On the opposite side of Randy, Gregori glanced at Justus, a soft knowing smile drew his lips up.
“Is he going to be okay?” he asked. Randy’s big hand was thin, the skin stretched tightly over the joints of his fingers.
Gregori’s smile slipped. “His body will take time to heal. That is something my magic can’t touch. He’ll need to rest and eat to help restore his body but he doesn’t have any external injuries.”
Justus glanced to Randy’s face. Everything below his nose was covered by his unkempt beard. His nose was prominent and hawklike, making Randy’s eyes look hollow. Even though Randy gently squeezed Justus’s hand, he didn’t open his eyes.
“Should I go get Ereshkigal?” Justus asked, a plan forming to make sure Randy got better. “He was her guest and she’s responsible for this.”
“No!” several people said at once. Fear showed on Gregori’s face. Christie stood in the door with a bowl of steaming water. Stan’s hard gaze trained on Justus and Bixx’s wasn’t any different.
“Why not?” he argued. Uncle Tristan said they should always take responsibility for their actions.
“Justus.” Randy’s voice sounded dry, weak. “This is my fault. I knew this probably would happen but it’s nothing I can’t recover from.”
Christie cleared her throat, gaining Justus’s attention. “Gregory said Randy needs to eat. Why don’t you go to the kitchen and reheat last night’s potato stew while we get Randy bathed and shaved.”
Justus didn’t want to leave Randy’s side and his wolf gave a low whine.
“I promise we won’t be long.” Christie’s smile was soft and coaxing.
The idea of gathering food and providing for Randy convinced his wolf they should do as Christie asked. She placed the bowl of water on the night stand and followed Justus to the door.
“I’ll call you when he’s ready to eat.” She didn’t let go of his shoulder until he was in the hallway.
In the months that he’d come to know his birth mother, his initial wariness turned to like. He enjoyed her cuddles and how she tosseled his hair. He really liked how she treated Dawn and Neoma, like they too belonged to her. Especially Dawn. Mary Jane, Neoma’s birth mother, often helped Christie, but Dawnie’s mother never came to the ranch. No one said she didn’t want Dawn but they didn’t have to. He and Neoma knew, reminding Dawn she would always have them… and Christie who loved on Dawn every chance she got. That fact alone made Justus love Christie, just a little bit.
Not arguing, Justus hurried to the kitchen. After he pulled the potato stew from the refrigerator, he set it to reheat on the stove. He sliced some homemade bread, trying not to squish it too much only to do so when he spread butter over the slices. He found one of the trays and set it on the table. He also found some cookies and the apple pastries that Uncle Tristan hid. All the while, he listened as the shower ran.
Mary Jane had been teaching them how to cook and he used what he remember to poach an egg to add protein to the potato stew. By the time the rest of the food had been added to the tray, Christie still hadn’t called for him. The shower had cut off some time ago and he’d heard Stan and Bixx cross the hall a couple of times so Justus went to check.
The door to Stan’s room was cracked and as he pushed it to open more he heard Christie talking. “Now, I know that you have been alive for some time, and we Lycans seem like children with how short our lives are compared to yours…”
Randy was propped up on a pile of pillows. The large white towel around his neck looked like an oversized bib. Cuttings from his beard littered the cloth and Christie was spreading shaving cream over his cheeks, chin, and neck. His hair was still wet and pulled back at the base of his neck. Though the absence of the crazy, bushy beard made him looked more sickly, his eyes were bright with awareness.
“But I’ll warn you now, if you pull another stunt like this, I will do my very best to make you regret it.” She carefully ran a razor down his cheek, removing the last layer of hair and shaving cream. “You left us hanging with nothing to tell the children, to tell Justus. Suddenly you weren’t there and Stan returned with an inadequate explanation.”
“I was the only one able to—”
“Don’t’ get me wrong. I understand the purpose but the way you went about it…” She made a rough noise as she cleaned the blade in the water. “It was a crappy thing to do. You are responsible to your Twin Flame, and at the very least, you should have spoken to him about your trip.”
“I am not finished. There is no excuse good enough to explain why you didn’t prepare Justus for your absence. He’s experienced so much loss here lately. His father died tragically, leaving them in Daniel’s care to be abused. He was fortunate that was discovered by Xenres Tristan and his consort, Ushna. Then suddenly his Uncle Tristan was gone and everyone believed him dead. At the same time, you went missing and Justus could sense your peril.” Randy opened his mouth then snapped it shut at Christie’s scathing look. “You might not share a binding bite with Justus for another ten years but you two are already bound together. He is more aware than you know. You weren’t here when he woke from nightmares calling your name.”
“I’m sorry,” Randy rasped.
“I’m not the one who needs your apology and reassurances. He needs to know you’re not going to disappear on him again.” Christie shaved away the last line and used a clean towel to wipe Randy’s face. “And if you do leave him again, I’ll track you down myself and tear you a new asshole before dragging you back home to my son.”
With quick, sure movements she gathered the towels and rose to her feet. Justus considered leaving so no one would know he’d overheard the conversation. He couldn’t take his eyes off Christie. She told him all the time she loved him, but he hadn’t quite believed her. His dad, Uncle Tristan, and Uncle Ushna even Stan, he knew they loved him and had fought for him in their own ways. But he’d had a hard time believing Christie because she’d given him up. Uncle Tristan said they would talk about why when he was older, but still.
He met Christie’s gaze and finally saw her love for him there. “Your Twin Flame is hungry. Is the food ready?”
“Yes,” he murmured before rushing across the room and wrapping his arms around Christie’s waist for a quick hug. Then he dashed off to get Randy’s tray.
Title: Releasing Chaos
Author: Lexi Ander
Series: Sumeria’s Sons #6
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Categories: Gay, Paranormal, Poly, Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 132,000 words
Cover Artist: Kirby Crow
Everything Tristan, Ushna, and Brian have fought for comes down to the moment they face Inanna and Marduk. Before then, Ushna must embrace his destiny and be transformed by Tiamat. But he returns with a fractured mind and will need the help of the new firebird or he’ll be lost to the insanity of a primordial God. If he’s lost, so is the balance Brian and Tristan sorely need.
Tristan has vowed to care for his ex-Flame, Theo Sullivan, who is doomed to forget more and more with each use of his new ability. When not dealing with his stubborn ex, Tristan must free the warriors stolen by the government and devise a trap for Inanna.
And that’s only the start of the challenges, and everything that can still go wrong.
Find Sumeria’s Sons series on Goodreads
We Nameless had been running hard for many days. Something crawled under our ruff, beckoning us to go southeast. The part of us that was once human cowered in the back of our minds, pleading with us to stay in our dens, but we could not. The pull was strong, and we responded to the urgent need that seeped into our paws from the ground.
“Hurry,” The Earth Mother whispered to us.
Months ago, our alpha freed us from the vileness of our human side, locking away the corruption so we could teach our humans the lessons they had either forgotten or were never taught. We shared the joys of running on four paws, of being family, of supporting each other through the hunt. We gave them our love for the land, the sky, the water, and for each other. We showed them how to work together and yet still be individuals. For we were wolf. Hunter. Predator. Mother. Father. Family.
Now as they proclaimed their fear, we would teach them how to stand together, to use their instincts to discern right from wrong. The Earth Mother called us to the alpha’s aid. Though he made us Nameless, he had shown us mercy and set us free. He would forever be our alpha and we his tribe, his people.
As we loped, closing the distance between us and the one who needed us, the Earth Mother pushed healing through our paws, fortifying our energy and curbing our hunger. We stopped briefly alongside a stream to drink our fill before once again we hurried on. The urgency rode us as we ran across fields, through sleepy towns, over grassy plains, and entered foreign woods. We were close now and we hoped we would arrive in time.
As one, we threw our voices into the wind. “We come to stand by your side. To be your shield. To hunt with you and take down your prey. To protect our people. We come, our Alpha, we come.”
I didn’t know what disturbed me from a sound sleep, but an itch between my shoulders forced me from my room to prowl the dark house. For a couple of days now, I’d been sensing… I pushed out the back door, barely catching the screen before it slapped noisily against the frame, waking the whole house.
Before tragedy had taken Tristan away from us for half a year, he’d entrusted into my care the wolf forms of the traitors who’d attempted to murder him. Members of Tribe Uras collaborated with the rogue, Craig Stoiler, and invaded Tristan’s ranch. I would’ve had them killed for their treachery, but Tristan had another idea. He’d stripped the people of their human form, giving their wolf dominion. The demonstration of his power as the supreme alpha and prince of our people proved his lineage to the doubting members of the Council of Five, but there was an additional reason for his action. He’d given them a second chance, of sorts, and ordered some twenty-eight wolves to follow my commands as their handler.
Whatever type of transformation magic Tristan performed had a lasting effect. With the events that had transpired following his return, I didn’t have a chance to relay to him I could still feel those wolves. He’d tied them to me that fate-filled day, not that I was upset. What I sensed of them was harmless, a simple awareness nestled in the back of my mind, telling me their state of being and general welfare… until now.
The stars shone sharp and bright overhead, the sky a virtual blanket of diamonds. The sight still made my breath catch, especially after spending so many years in California cities, where the light was muted. My eyes were drawn to the northwest. The string attaching me to them pulled with their sense of urgency. They were coming. Perhaps it was time to tell Tristan about my relationship with them. Something caused the pack to leave their dens in the Canadian tundra. I wasn’t sure if this sense of urgency coming from them was a portent of good or evil. For Tristan’s sake, I hoped the banished members of Tribe Uras didn’t intend to attack him a second time. I’d grown quite fond of the playfulness of their wolves in the corner of my mind, and I’d hate to be the one who sent them on to their next reincarnation.
WIN SIGNED paperbacks of Sumeria’s Sons series, SIGNED paperbacks of Releasing Chaos, Dragon mugs and Dragon Goblets
About the Author
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.