Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega #5)

Coming March 6, 2018

Here's a scene where Sage is enjoying some expensive grape juice surrounded by a few familiar faces and a new one.

“Asil, my old friend, if you are through being irritated with me, would you open the cupboard above the fridge and get the bottle you will find there. Then, if you will, pour all of those who wish it, but most especially me, a little? I was saving it, but I think this tale . . . I think I need a little strength to tell this tale. I would do it myself, but I would end up on the floor before I got to the fridge. ”

Asil folded his arms and stayed where he was. He and Sage had both lost the ready-to-defend-myself body posture they’d had when Anna woke up.

Sage heaved a sigh, opened the cabinet, and made a sound of approval as she pulled out a wine bottle.

“Merlot,” she said. “And a very good label. Yum.” She opened a cupboard and started to close it when she saw nothing but a plastic bag with cups in it.

“No,” said Wellesley. “That is what I have.”

She looked at him. “You want to drink good wine out of disposable cups? ”

He shrugged. “I tend to . . .”He paused, looked at Anna, and gave her a small smile before returning his attention to Sage. “I tended to break glass. The plastic is easier to clean up.”

She shook her head, found a corkscrew, and pulled the cork—bringing it to her nose. She breathed in—and a warm, fruity smell wafted through the room even as far as Anna’s love seat.

“Very yum,” Sage said. “Charles?”

“No,”he said.


Anna hesitated but shook her head. “Not just this moment.” Her stomach was unsettled. She assumed it was from the same thing that was making her head ache and her eyes burn—freeing Wellesley had taken a lot of energy.

“Asil? ”

Asil shook his head.

“That’s right,”she said, with a little bite in her tone. “You don’t participate in vice.”

Anna knew for a fact that Asil liked wine, but she didn’t think this conversation was about alcohol. It had the feel of one of those painful battles between lovers that continued past the point where either love or logic could put it right.

He tilted his head, and when he spoke, his voice was gentle and half-apologetic. “I assure you that I am a very bad Muslim. Wine is, for a werewolf, only grape juice—”

“Very expensive grape juice,” said Wellesley. “Also very good grape juice.”

“— though very expensive and good grape juice, I do not feel the need to consume it just now.”

“Okay,” Sage said casually, as if she hadn’t put more meaning into his rejection of the wine than it required. She filled two red plastic cups and brought them both to Wellesley. “You pick.”

“Did you poison one?” he asked with interest.

“You’re a werewolf,” she said dryly. “We don’t need to worry about poisons.”

“That’s not true,” Wellesley countered, taking one of the cups and sipping it with a happy sigh. “Our poisons are just different.”

“Alcohol is technically a poison,” Anna pointed out. “It kills brain cells—which is why humans, who don’t regenerate cells the way we do, get tipsy.”

Sage sipped her cup, raised her eyebrows, and nodded at Wellesley. “May all our poisons taste so good.” She tipped her cup toward Wellesley without stepping close enough to actually touch his. “To dead brain cells.”

He raised his cup. “To freedom,” he said, and as he did, his eyes flashed bright yellow.