Shadows of Men (The Watchers Book 1)

Free Shadows of Men (The Watchers Book 1) by M. Lee Holmes

Book: Shadows of Men (The Watchers Book 1) by M. Lee Holmes Read Free Book Online
Authors: M. Lee Holmes
stood tall as it listened to his panicked breathing.  Its mouth was gaped open in a low growl and he could see its teeth, sharp and glistening in the early morning light.  Drool dripped from the corners of its jaw in a bloodthirsty rage.  The shadow beast stepped closer and its paws dug deep into the ground beneath it.  Even from his distance, Terryn could see the claws that protruded from its feet.  They were as long as his fingers and as sharp as blades. 
    The giant cat put its head low to the ground as it stared at him, then let out a furious growl that rang in Terryn’s ears and threatened to deafen him. 
    Without doing so on purpose, Terryn released the arrow he held so tightly strung in the bow and watched it sail through the air towards the massive beast, hoping it would strike the cat and kill it.  It landed a few feet away from the beast’s paw and Terryn felt his body go numb.
    The cat roared in fury and leapt forward.  Its paws pounded into the ground beneath as it charged towards him.  He screamed, though he was vaguely aware of doing so, turned and began to run when he found himself face to face with Rhada.  She held her bow up and let the arrow fly through the air with ease.  Her eyes never met his but stayed focused on the beast running towards them.
    Terryn watched as her arrow struck the cat in the shoulder.  It stopped running and let out a howl of pain.  Then, as though infuriated by her arrow, the beast leapt forward again and raced towards her.  She pulled another shaft from her quiver and loosed with a speed that Terryn could not comprehend.  This time, the arrow struck the beast in its side and it fell to the ground with such force, Terryn thought he could feel the dirt beneath his feet shake.
    Rhada leapt forward and unsheathed her sword.  She ran full pace towards the cat as it jumped to its feet once more.  It roared in rage and swatted at her but she ducked and rolled away from it, landing on her feet and turning once again to face it.
    The cat jumped and Terryn let out a frightened cry as the beast landed on top of her, knocking her off her feet. 
    Rhada cried out in surprise as her sword flew from her hands and sailed through the air.  The cat opened its mouth and brought its teeth down to her neck but Rhada was quick.  She grabbed the dagger that was strapped to her thigh and buried the blade deep into the cat’s flesh.  It roared and fell away from her, allowing her to get to her feet once more and before Terryn knew what was happening, Rhada had her sword back in hand and she turned just in time to thrust it through the cat’s neck as it jumped at her again.
    The giant cat roared and fell, landing at Rhada’s feet.  Its body jerked violently as the blood spewed from the gaping hole in its throat.  It let out a low, guttural moan then all at once fell silent and still.
      Rhada breathed heavily as she stood over the dead creature then looked to Terryn as though seeing him for the first time.
    “No offense intended, but yours is a face I do not like seeing this early in the morning.”  She said through exasperated breaths.
    Terryn was trying to control the shaking in his hands as he replied; “no offense taken.” 
    “What are you doing out here?”  She asked as she bent down to pull her blade free from the beast’s corpse.
    “The King and Queen sent me to find you.  It is urgent.”  Terryn watched as her cold eyes met his.  They were gray and lifeless and he hated when she looked at him.  He felt as though she could see right through him, right down to his soul.  Her long black hair had been pulled back in a braid and the pale skin of her face was smeared with the black blood of the shadow beast.
    She walked over to him and handed her sword over.  He took it reluctantly, knowing that his shaky hands would have a hard time carrying the heavy steel.
    “Have this cleaned.”  She said and he looked down to see the blood of the beast dripping from the

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