More Than a Fantasy

Free More Than a Fantasy by Bernadette Gardner

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Authors: Bernadette Gardner
farmhouse and grabbed the flashlight and first aid kit she kept there. Not that a band-aid would do much good if someone was shot, but it was the best she had.
    She pivoted back out the door and ran once more along the access road and up the slope toward the dense trees. Instinctively she headed toward the ridge where her property ended. Above it there were several blinds in the woods. That’s where the hunters normally hung out, drinking and cussing until some poor creature wandered close enough for them to wound it. She cursed as she ran. This was the last thing she needed tonight.
    Alli squeezed the long, hard shaft of the flashlight a little tighter when she heard the sound. The low moan ended in a growl that sounded faintly inhuman. She had never been shot, but she imagined the pain could make a person sound more like an animal.
    Nevertheless, she raised the flashlight like a club as she crossed the board bridge that spanned the creek. The grasses were thick here, and the wind had picked up, making them rustle. The sound was no longer soothing.
    Alli stopped and listened to the night to get her bearings. Something moved to her left. The half groan-half growl came again and rooted her to the spot. Her heart slammed into her ribs, and the sweat that trickled between her breasts went ice cold in an instant. Someone was coming through the reeds next to the creek.
    The voice in her head that governed the self-preservation instinct had been silent for a long time. Mute when she needed it most, her subconscious had been nothing more than an impassive bystander while her ex-husband took out his every frustration on her. Three years of marriage had passed and it hadn’t made a sound. When it had finally woken up, it rallied her into such a frenzy that she’d nearly killed him. She’d hit him so hard and so many times that he didn’t get up. But as much as he deserved it, she still regretted letting the voice in her head have so much power.
    It was that reason that made her ignore it now.
    Of course that might be the wise thing to do. Go back home, call Ben—he was always on duty at midnight—and tell him what was going on in her woods. But someone was hurt. Drunk stupid bastard or not, she couldn’t let someone bleed to death while she ran like a wimp and cowered in the bedroom closet.
    “Who’s there?” She squinted into the dense growth ahead of her. “Are you hurt?”
    Alli raised the flashlight high just as a figure stumbled out of the reeds. She fought the urge to scream.
    He was over six feet tall, black as midnight and nearly naked. Blood poured across his well-muscled chest, and he let out another of those low, inhuman moans as he advanced on Alli, one clawed hand outstretched. His lips were drawn back against sharp white teeth and his feral eyes blazed a luminous green. He hissed at her once then fell at her feet.
    You can find HUNTER’S MOON at


About the Author
    As the alter ego of multi-published author Jennifer Colgan, Bernadette Gardner considers herself the darker reflection of a mild-mannered paranormal romance author.
    To learn more about Bernadette’s books visit her website:
    Jennifer’s website:
    or her Two Voices blog:

    Also by Bernadette Gardner
    Hunter’s Moon
    Hunter’s Mate
    Rogue Theta
    Rogue Heart
    Going Deep
    Icarus Rising
    Icarus Unbound
    Seven Days in Sydney
    Taming a Rogue

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