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Hunter and Hunted

The Shifter Chronicles 4

by M.D. Grimm

(Beginnings Book Four)

Orphan Hunter Landon craves a family who will love him unconditionally. When he’s adopted by the Knights, an organization dedicated to destroying shifters, Hunter is grateful, but their ideology never sits right. Finally, on a rite of passage during which he’s supposed to kill his first shifter, Hunter discovers the truth: he meets Glenn Lightfoot, a deer shifter, and asks a lot of questions.

Glenn hates the Knights and worries about the safety of his herd with one in their midst. After all, the Knights have hurt his family before. On the other hand, this is his chance to convert an enemy, and instinct tells him Hunter won’t betray him.

When Hunter sees the Knights for the monsters they are, he knows he must leave the herd and protect Glenn. But Glenn is determined not to lose the man he has come to love and respect to the Knights’ cruel campaign.

Second Edition with updated and revised text.

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, InstaLove / Love at First Sight, Interracial Relationship
Word Count: 41820
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Excerpt:

Two days later he was following the same trail but hadn’t spotted any other deer. While still finding the park peaceful and beautiful, his frustration mounted. Hunter had encountered a couple of bobcats and a cougar, but they left him alone. He’d almost hoped they were shifters, but their eyes had shown him the truth. He half wished a predator shifter would attack him, and then if he managed to kill the beast, it would be in self-defense. But he’d had no such luck.

Hunter was deep in the forest, trails nonexistent, and constantly yanked spider webs out of his face. Scowling, Hunter dropped his bag, leaned the rifle against a tree, and took a small sip from his canteen. There was nothing but silence all around him. It was near dawn, the time when deer were most active. The air was cold and stagnant, heavy on his lungs, and he wanted to sleep, to simply curl up and forget about everything.

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Hearing movement behind him, Hunter swung around and knelt, grabbing the rifle. A buck walked into view. Hunter’s hands trembled as he lifted the rifle even with his face. His heart raced and his palms became sweaty. If this was a shifter—could he do it?

The buck was sniffing the ground, his ears twitching from side to side. Hunter watched silently, controlling his breathing. He didn’t know how, but he could tell the deer was young. There was nothing very remarkable about his looks or stature; he appeared to be a normal white-tail deer, sleek and long-limbed. What if this wasn’t a shifter? The deer’s nose wiggled before his great head snapped up.

Hunter froze.

Eyes of a deep, powerful green stared right at him. Eyes that revealed an intelligence that knew he was there, that he had a rifle, and that he was aiming to shoot.

A shifter.

Hunter shuddered out a breath and lifted the rifle to his eye once more. It was now or never. Here was his chance to prove to his family that he was loyal. That he loved them. The buck simply stood there, staring in apparent fright. Hunter vaguely noticed the deer was flapping his tail, showing the white underneath, perhaps alerting the rest of his herd.

Hunter didn’t hear or see any other deer. His entire focus was on this one that he could easily shoot. Yet he continued to hesitate, arguing with himself. Then Hunter’s mind was pulled inward, and he had just enough time to think not now before images in his mind moved swiftly past. He saw the buck run off. He saw himself giving chase. The images blurred, completely incomprehensible, before they abruptly slowed, showing the deer once more. Then the deer shifted into a very attractive, slender, naked man, with the same deep green eyes. His skin was golden while his hair was tawny and charmingly curly, falling in front of those large and powerful eyes. He was more rangy than skinny, and a sprinkle of hair covered his chest and made a path down to his groin, where more of that tawny, curly hair lay. His penis was relaxed in the vision, but that didn’t take away from the powerful image seared into Hunter’s mind, and it didn’t stop his own body from reacting to the shifter’s beauty.

Then the images blurred again, and slowed down, once again focused on the deer shifter. The shifter stood very close to him, his eyes nearly shut, his mouth tilted up as if expecting a kiss….

Hunter slammed back into himself, into the present. The images took less than a second, but it was enough to make him drop his rifle. It fell with a thud, and the deer shifter turned and sprinted away, just like in his vision. Shaky and sweaty, Hunter hesitated only two seconds before grabbing his bag and leaving his rifle. He ran after the deer, his blood rushing in his ears and his mind confused, curiosity bursting.

He rarely had visions so far into the future. The ones only a few minutes in the future depicted events that were inevitable; they would happen. But the ones that were hours, days, or even, once, a week in the future were only possible futures. They had just as much chance of not happening. The blurry images meant some time would go by before those visions had any chance of coming to pass, and he couldn’t predict when.

Why did the shifter change in front of him? Why did the shifter try to kiss him? And why didn’t he push the shifter away?

He would only get answers if he followed the deer shifter. He ran faster, tripping now and then, but never giving up the hunt.

COLLAPSE

Make sure to check out the others in the series! For more details, visit www.mdgrimmwrites.com.

Psychic Moon (1) * Celtic Warrior and Wolf Spirit (1.5)

Love is a Whirlwind (2)

Blind Devotion (3) * Ghosts of Halloween Past (3.5)

Hunter and Hunted (4)

Healing Minds (5) * Healing Minds (5.5)

Master's Blood (6)

Hunted Guardian (7)

The Serpent and the Angel (8)

Predator and Prey (9)

Shifting Moon (10)

Feather and Scroll (11)

Kindred Truths (12)

Wisdom's Allegiance (13)

Red Sun (14 - Available January 2022)

About the Author

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!). After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier. Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.