Hi everyone, SA Welsh here. Khan is the focus of my new release, Guarding His Mark, so I thought you guys would like to get to know him a little better by reading this snippet set before Guarding His Mark, when Robert first brought Khan home after rescuing him as a teenager…
Khan gains a little brother.
Khan sat in the car as they continued to drive and mentally repeated to himself everything that Robert had told him about his family. After three weeks on his own with Robert, Khan was deemed safe enough to take home to meet the others.
The city was strange, there were so many noises and smells and far too many people. The air and ground were barely ever still because of all the humans traipsing around. There was no green anywhere, at least not like his old home where he could walk for days without coming into contact with a human.
When they turned into a street with road works, Robert quickly jabbed a button on the sound system and soft, rhythmic sound waves soothed the harsh vibrations from the machinery outside.
Khan curled his lips just slightly. He knew Robert couldn’t hear anything, which made it mean even more to him. He still remembered the panic attacks that plagued him after Robert had rescued him where he’d struggled to breathe. Robert had simply sat next to him, let Khan breathe in his scent, while reminding him that people who hurt him couldn’t get to him, that he was safe.
After the first week, Khan had actually started to believe him.
As Robert slowed, Khan assessed their destination. It was a small, mud-brown house with two windows on the ground and first floor and another couple in the roof, aged white painted window frames and a fence that was starting to flake and show the dark color underneath. The door was big and painted shiny black.
Robert pulled up into the too-short driveway and parked.
“Remember the house rules?”
Khan didn’t bother hiding his eye-roll. “Yes, no eating, no biting and no challenging the other predatory shifters.”
“And why are there those rules?” Robert pressed in an amused tone.
Khan’s humor died as his throat tightened. “Because we’re family and it doesn’t matter whether we shift or not or are dominant or submissive, home is a safe place to be ourselves,” he recited.
He’d thought it was corny, but now he was here, Khan couldn’t help but hope it was true. Having heard so much about Scott, Jazz and the others, he felt like he knew them. He wanted the family Robert offered him.
The door opened before he was ready to face the people he sensed on the other side. But instead of any of the other teenagers, he was met with a little, speeding child who ran right out of the house and into his legs, wrapping his arms around Khan’s knees.
“Jazz! I told you to wait,” Robert chided.
“No, I have another brother, you said so. I wanted to meet him,” the boy enough could be none other than Jazz replied, not letting go.
At a loss, Khan gingerly reached down to pat the boy on the shoulder. Jazz pulled back to grin up at him and Khan spotted the stuffed toy in his hand. It was a snake like him, a king cobra.
“Come see your room, we painted it just like your old home so you can sleep. Scott looked it up and said you sleepy in between rocks and stuff.” Jazz grabbed his hand in a firm grip and proceeded to pull him into the house.
Obediently following, he allowed Jazz to bring him to a room split downtown the middle, one side painted like a castle and the other a floor to ceiling mural of rocks and grass, varieties he knew only grew in his homeland. The sight of the intricacy blended greens, yellows and Browns was instantly calming.
“Do you like it?” Jazz asked excitedly.
Khan could only nod, not having the words to express how much.
A few days later he was in the living room with Scott and Merlin when front door burst open and Aleksi stormed in, growling like a cat who’d gotten caught outside in a thunderstorm. Khan’s instincts roared and he ran over to Jazz who followed Aleksi in and started checking him over for injuries as the six year old leaned into Khan’s arms, sniffling in misery. “What’s happened?”
“His stupid teacher made him cry. I picked him up after school and he stank of tears. He said Mr. Colke took his snake off him, along with the tiger and dragon and smacked his hand and yelled at him when Jazz told him that they were his brothers.”
Eyes shifting to snake in fury, he felt the familiar sting of his fangs descending and venom pumping into them ready to strike.
“What?” Scott voice was deadly level and screamed danger while Merlin only watched in the background, smoke trailing from his nostrils.
“The bastard still has Jazz’s animals,” Aleksi growled, pacing angry.
Khan turned to his new shifter brothers. “Let’s hunt.”
As they filed out, they heard Scott shout after them. “Remember the first two house rules!”
If you liked this snippet, come check out Khan’s story of when he’s all grown up and finally meets his match in a man who might get them both killed before Khan can guard his mark.
Beware the bite of a king.
Khan is a king cobra shifter with a serious mistrust of anyone outside his brothers at SPSI—and he has good reason for it. As a teenager, he was subjected to the whims and experiments of a mad scientist. Since becoming part of a real family, he’s thrived in his job as a close protection specialist.
One night, he meets a pretty human who interests him on a level he hasn’t experienced before, but old fears and revelations force him to put distance between them. Unable to stay away, however, Khan creates the persona of a courier to deliver the venom Casey needs and find out exactly what the human will do.
Dr. Casey Jameson is working toward a deadline. He needs snake-shifter venom to continue his research and create a cure to save someone he loves. When he goes in search of a donor, he meets Khan, but he’s confronted with the irresistible roughness of Khan and ends up taking the shifter home. However, when Khan finds out who and what he is, Khan leaves him high and dry.
The appearance of Roan, a courier, in his life is perfect timing, but Casey may get more than he bargains for and will soon have to think carefully about who he can trust if he wants to live long enough to complete his work.
When an old lover and boss becomes a real threat to Casey’s safety, Khan must come clean and keep Casey safe before they both lose something precious.
About SA Welsh
I’m SA Welsh and I write because I love letting the characters and stories in my head come to life in a book. I can’t function in the morning without a cup of tea and when I’m not writing, I’m reading or out walking my beautiful dogs (and cats) in the rare Welsh sunshine. If you want to chat or see what I’m writing at the moment, drop me a line on my facebook page or website at www.sawelsh.com