Ravages Of Spirit RETRIBUTION



Ravages of Sprit


Bent on revenge, cougar-shifter Finn underestimates his foe. The lives of his loved ones are in peril as an insidious game of cat-and-mouse ensues in which Finn is no longer certain he is the cat.


Hiding from her tragic past, Tessa lives alone in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. When she witnesses a cougar fall from a cliff, she rushes to the site only to find a naked man in its place. Unable to leave an unconscious and injured man alone in the woods, she brings him back to her cabin, not eager to believe the truth of his shifting abilities but unable to ignore what she has seen. As Finn recovers, he has no choice but to reveal his own dark past. His mission of vengeance soon plunges the pair into peril as Finn faces off against a killer more cunning than anticipated. A dangerous game of cat-and-mouse ensues in which Finn is no longer certain he is the cat.


Deep in the quiet of the Great Smoky Mountain, cougar-shifter Finn finds solace in the healing touch of his human lover, Tessa. However, past injustices weigh heavily on him and he is compelled to hunt down the men who wronged him.

Aided by Tessa and fellow pride members, Finn faces a formidable foe. Embracing his feral nature might ensure victory but it could also destroy his humanity.


Injured after a fall, cougar-shifter Finn is rescued by Tessa, a woman living alone in the Great Smoky Mountains. He recovers under her tender care and soon finds no choice but to reveal his dark past and current plans to her. His mission of vengeance plunges the pair into peril as Finn faces off against a killer more cunning that he had anticipated. A dangerous game of cat-and-mouse ensues in which Finn is no longer certain he is the cat.

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At first Finn was aware of only pain. It raged through his body but he could not move not even to open his eyes. Before he could panic, awareness slipped away from him once more.

When next he was conscious, the pain was stronger. He struggled to open his eyes. He thought he saw a blue eye, then blonde hair, a flash of a pert nose and a high cheekbone, but he could not keep his eyes open. Certain he had seen a woman he once more descended into nothingness.

The next thing he was aware of was a low moaning noise. A moment later, he realized where the sound was coming from him. His nostrils flared at the distinct scent of an animal. A dog, he reasoned as his mind slowly cleared, and it was close. Adrenaline surged through him and his eyes snapped open. A large dog was by his side, panting, its long pink tongue spilling over its massive teeth. Finn tried to move back, wanting to place more distance between himself and the dog despite the animal’s apparent docile manner.

He groaned loudly at the pain his attempted movement caused. Agony tore through his head and he instinctually lifted his hand to it only to find his hand was stuck. Keeping his keen hearing focused on the dog, Finn shifted his eyes to his left hand, immediately spotting the rope that bound him to a wooden headboard. About to pull forcefully enough to attempt to free himself, a woman’s voice speaking sharply startled him.

“Goober! Come!”

The dog immediately moved to the woman’s side and Finn stared at her, trying to ascertain why he was in her cabin, tied to a bed. She was petite and blonde, with fine features and blue eyes. He was certain she was whom he had seen as he drifted between awareness and unconsciousness. Her eyes darted nervously to a wall and then back to him. She cleared her throat and appeared scared to speak with him. As more of his brain fog lifted, Finn recalled seeing her and the dog earlier, while he was in cat-form, and a surge of panic crashed into him. He struggled to keep his features passive and waited to see what she would say.

“Um … you’re awake,” she squeaked out, her voice barely audible.

Finn did not respond to her obvious statement, now certain she knew he was a shifter. It was in the rigidity of her stance, the fear in her eyes and in how frightened she was of him when he was

injured and bound to the bed. She cleared her throat again as her eyes darted nervously about the room.

“You … uh … You must be thirsty.”

Before Finn could think to respond, the woman turned and left the room, dragging the large dog out with her. Finn looked around the small space. There was no television, radio, computer or phone in sight. He could see no photos, no personal items, nothing to give him a clue as to what kind of a woman he was dealing with. Armed only with the knowledge she had restrained him while he was unconscious, he regarded her cautiously when she returned. She slowly drew near him, moving stiffly. He could detect her rapid heartbeat and could smell her nervous sweat. She was petrified of him. The knowledge relaxed him somewhat as she held the water glass to his lips with trembling hands.

He drank and quickly swallowed. The cool water slid smoothly down his dry throat but assailed his empty stomach. He sputtered and almost choked but wrestled to keep the much-needed liquid down. He swallowed a second mouthful that his stomach fought with less intensity and then a third. He then pulled his head back knowing not to push his body despite his raging thirst.

The woman placed the glass on the small bedside table and then smiled feebly at him.

“I’m Tessa.”

“Finn,” he rasped and then struggled to keep from wincing. It hurt his head to speak but he found the sound of his voice more painful. He sounded weak. Finn’s eyes flicked to his bound hand and Tessa nodded to him.

“I tied you up. I’m sorry but I didn’t know what to expect when you woke up, considering …”

Her voice trailed off as she averted her eyes once more and any remaining doubt in his mind instantly vanished. She knew what he was.

“What happened?” He asked.

“You fell from the cliff. About twenty feet, I’d say. You were unconscious and injured so I brought you back here.”

He looked about the room again searching for a sign of a man this time. When he met her eyes again, he tilted his head questioningly.

“You live alone?”

She nodded even as he saw how uncomfortable she was with revealing the information to him. His eyes trailed down his aching right arm to his throbbing knee. Even under the blanket, he could see how swollen it was. She offered him more water and he gratefully accepted. Again replacing the glass, she nodded her head toward his knee.

“Your knee is badly injured, I’m afraid,” she stated with concern.

“Show me.”

His voice already sounded stronger and he took some solace in that even as he was beginning to realize just how badly injured he truly was. Tessa pulled back the blanket and then lifted a cloth to reveal his knee. Finn barely held back a gasp. The joint was more than twice the size it should be and grossly discoloured. A long jagged cut ran down the outside of his kneecap and was seeping fluid.

“It looks better than it did,” she stated quietly.

He looked to her incredulously. “This is better?”

She nodded.

He regarded the knee again, noting the edges of the bruising were already turning a bluish-brown.

“How long have I been here?” He questioned.

“Two days.”

He sighed. Two days lost to the hunt, plus however many more until he would be capable of walking again. Two days spent unconscious, a time in which anything could have happened to him. This woman had cared for him for two days, all the while petrified of him and this confounded Finn. His eyes moved to meet hers again.

“Why did you bring me here? You’re a woman living alone and you brought a stranger, a man, into your home.”

“An injured man,” she pointed out. “You needed help. I couldn’t have just left you out there.”

“Others would have,” he remarked bitterly.

“Well then good thing for you I’m not like them.”

He stared at her, unsure of how to respond. She cast her eyes down and then immediately moved them back to meet his again.

“Did someone hurt you?” She inquired.

When he continued merely staring at her, she shuffled her feet.

“Because I saw the scar … on your chest … and … I …”

She stopped stammering and her cheeks turned rosy. He was making her uncomfortable with his reticence when he should be thanking her for her help. Although he did not intend to confide in her, he nodded slowly.

“Yes. Not too long ago.”

It was as much information as he was willing to impart and he had not told her anything she did not already know. His scar was still a fresh dark pink keloid.

“It looks like a gunshot,” she remarked.

Finn nodded. Tessa was quiet as she waited to see if he would divulge any more information. When he remained silent, she dipped her head.

“Are you hungry? I made soup.”

He nodded again. “Yes.”

“Okay, I’ll get you some.”

She turned to leave the room and Finn spoke again. “Will you untie me?”

She turned back to him, her brow furrowed.

“Please?” He added hastily.

She scowled as she debated complying with his request.

“You do have a rifle, in case you feel threatened,” he reminded her. “But I don’t intend to hurt you.”

“I also have a hand gun,” she remarked flatly.

He smiled slightly. “Then you can protect yourself. I truly do not mean you any harm.”

She held his gaze a moment longer and then rounded the bed. As she drew nearer his left hand, Finn studied her intently. Her body language had softened as her fear of him had quelled. Her heart rate had slowed was only slightly and her features had loosened from the tight mask of apprehension she had worn when she first entered the room. She was roughly his age, early-thirties, he guessed, but possessed an air of a much older being. She deftly untied the rope.

“Thank you,” he said with a slight but appreciative smile.

She nodded in response and Finn saw something in her eyes he had not noticed before. They were eyes that spoke with profound sadness, perhaps desolation. He recognized that look. It was the reason he avoided mirrors. His eyes traced over her slim torso and rested on the top of a pale pink scar high on her chest that snaked out from beneath the edge of the thin sweater she wore. She immediately pulled the sweater down at her wrists and then pulled it tightly around her throat.

As Finn moved to sit up, her hands were immediately on his chest, pushing back against him.

“Stop! You can’t get up, you’re hurt!”

The agonizing increase in the pain he felt echoed her words. He slumped back and turned uneasy eyes on her.

“But I have to …”

His voice trailed off with his unwillingness to complete his sentence. He had to urinate. Badly.

“Hang on.” She replied with a nod.

She rushed from the room. When she returned a moment later with a plastic jug, he paled.

“You’re joking.”

She shook her head. “No, I’m not. You don’t have much of a choice.”

Reluctantly he took the jug from her and wiggled it under the blanket awkwardly with his left hand. He then turned pleading eyes on her.

“Can I please have some privacy?”

She smirked slightly before leaving the room and Finn realized he had not had much privacy the past two days. She had after all rescued a naked man. Knowing there was nothing he could do about how much Tessa had already seen Finn relieved himself.


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