Going Under – Meet Molly

Molly Ryan is the heroine in GOING UNDER and as I wrote her, I often pictured her as a Carrie Underwood type

She’s grown up knowing she was a witch and trained in how to use her gifts, but she’s an outsider in many ways when she loses just about everything and ends up with Clan Owen. She and Gage have attraction right away, but each of them has a lot of baggage and more than enough to manage with their job in trying to prevent an all out civil war between humans and Others. But with each layer she reveals, Gage finds himself more and more fascinated. I loved their back and forth. He makes assumptions about her and each time she proves him wrong and he sees her strength and spine, his ability to resist her weakens…

Copyright 2013, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing in mass market paper and digital formats – February 5

“This needs to be reported to the police.” She sat up straight and took a deep breath.

“We don’t involve human police in clan matters.”

“Yes, well, they know about us now.”

“They don’t care, Molly. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth of it.”

She shook her head. “You misunderstand. I don’t care about that part. I’m not surprised. But they’re trying to remove our status as citizens just one state over. We will report this officially or I will myself. We are citizens and we will expect the same service from the government as anyone else.

“Why? So they can ignore us and we can waste our time reporting it? You’re overestimating how much humans care about our lives, Molly.”

She narrowed her gaze and he saw fire there. So much that it sent a thrill through him. “Listen here, I am many things, including in over my head. But I am not stupid. Or naïve. We need to report because we are citizens. We can’t let them allow us to feel otherwise or in fact, to legislate otherwise. It’s not that I want a lollipop and a teddy bear from them because I’ve been frightened. It’s that I am a fully vested citizen of this country and I will be treated as such. Anything else is wholly unacceptable. We need to stop acting as if it is.” One brow rose as she took him to school.

“Underneath the subtle but feminine perfume and the pretty clothes you’ve got the heart of a predator.” He smiled.

“I’m not going to allow anyone to make me feel inferior. If a human received a death threat, they’d go to the cops. Why should I do anything different?” She held a hand in his direction. “Let me see it.”

“No. It’s ugly. Hateful and ugly and you don’t need to see it. I’ll handle it with the police.”

“Here’s another fact about me, I don’t like to be handled or managed. I may be new to the death threat game, but I’m not going to pass out because I’m fragile. Let me see it. I’m the one making the police report, I have to know what it says.”

Stubborn. Damn, he liked it.

He handed it over and she scanned it. He’d have been lying if he denied being impressed with how she took another person threatening to disembowel her and let crows eat her guts. She read it calmly, though he caught the way she’d paled, and made notes before looking back to him.

“Tell me why you feel this isn’t credible. I’m not arguing, I just need to know your process.”

“Partly it’s the energy of the message. Hate, yes. If the sender saw you on the street he or she might yell at you, might picket outside a building you were in, but there’s no intent.”

Her eyes widened and she leaned closer. “You know this how?”

“It’s part of my gift. It’s not infallible, it’s a gut feeling and it needs to be backed up by other evidence. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, especially when it’s a letter or over the Internet. But when it pings my magick, it’s usually because it’s got a lot of intent. We have a checklist of things we use. This particular threat is one we’ve received a few times already. Pretty much word for word. It’s almost like an Internet meme. He’s hateful, but not serious.”

“That’s incredible. What an amazing gift you have. And of course it’s a gut feeling, that’s where your magick lives.” Her eyes looked so damned blue. The expression of wonder she wore made her even more beautiful.

He was struck by the sudden and intense desire to haul her close and kiss her senseless.

He shoved that desire far away and decided to stick with amused and flattered. Far less likely to get slapped that way.

“I never really thought I’d have call to use it. It’s not something we had to deal with before. Death threats and the like, I mean.”

She sighed and folded the paper into her file. “I’ll take this to the police with me.” She stood and he caught the scent of her magick, just a brief breath of it. Enough to bring the hair on his arms to stand at the electricity of it.

He followed, standing too close, but not moving. “We’ll call them and have them come out. Let’s get you to the studio first. Faine and I are switching places today and probably tomorrow.”
“Is he all right?” She cocked her head, looking up at him.

“You’re a very public face on Owen. You’re a high-profile target for a lot of attention. Meriel came by with Dominic to discuss this issue. Lark and I feel you’d be better with one of us. Faine is great and damned good at his job.” He took her hand and squeezed it briefly. “But I’m better. I have magick, he doesn’t.” Though certainly one couldn’t underestimate the power of shifting into a giant wolf with razor sharp teeth and claws.

“I’m sure you have better things to do with your time than babysit me.”

“No, not really. This meeting later with Warden is huge for us. It’s important I be there anyway. And in the wake of the piece in the Times today, it’s important you continue to represent us in the media. So my being there is important too.”

“That’s a lot of important, right there.” She said it low, with a teasing smile on her lips and the air between them thickened.

He stepped back. “It is.”

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