Next week, the short-story sequel to the Witch and the Wolf serial will be released. Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter:

Cross smoothed his jeans one more time and took a deep breath. He clenched his shaking hand into a fist and hammered at the door of the Silver Café. No one came so he had to knock again. He waited in the early morning light, but there was no movement in the diner.
“Shit,” he cursed loudly. He knew Magda Silver was in there. Her car was out back already and he had seen her leave her house at 5:20 a.m. She was probably in the back and couldn’t hear his knocking. He walked around to the back entrance and tried knocking again. Still no answer.
There was no way he could just go home now. His best friend, Ozzy, had helped him psyche himself up to even come this morning. He had tried asking Magda on seven different occasions before, only to find his throat too dry to talk. Ozzy had even driven with him to the block just before the diner. This was very unlike Cross. He wasn’t afraid of anything, especially not now that he had his beautiful fae-witch mate at his side.
Thinking of Rory gave him the courage to try once more. Cross went to the only window in the diner’s kitchen. It was high up so he had to climb on the dumpster and lean himself as far out as he could. He maneuvered himself into place and then rapped at the window four times before he fell down. He quickly ran to the back door and knocked hard.
The door flew open. There was flour on Magda’s hands and she looked very annoyed. “Cross?! What are you doing here at this hour? Is something wrong?”
Cross shook his head and ran a hand through his dark black hair. “Not at all. I was wondering if I could have a word with you?”
Magda gave him a shrewd look but stepped aside to let him inside. They walked over to the counter so she could continue making biscuits for the breakfast crowd. “What can I do for you this morning, dear?”
“I wanted to ask your permission to marry your daughter.” Cross said it all at once with no pauses between his words.
Madge slowly pulled the dough apart and put it onto a sheet to bake. “You want to marry my daughter?”
He nodded. “Yes. I know we haven’t been together that long, but there’s no one else for me. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Rory and I know she feels the same way about me.”
Magda nodded. “You two have been dating for, oh…is it eleven months now?”
Cross shrugged. “I guess. Sounds about right.”
Magda only made a noise and kept dropping dough onto a second sheet. Cross was starting to get impatient. He much preferred being annoyed to his earlier nerves. Anger he could work with. Even if Magda said no, he would still ask Rory. He didn’t want it to come to that, but he couldn’t tell what Magda was going to do. She had never been a fan of her daughter dating a werewolf. Cross had risked his life to rescue Rory from her crazy half-sister, but Magda could care less.
She had been against their relationship from the start. Most of Rory’s coven sisters were weary of the relationship, but none were openly contemptuous like Magda. It seemed like nothing he did was good enough for her. That’s why he’d needed the pep talk from Ozzy before coming over. He never would have even asked, but he knew it was important to Rory.
“Well?” he prompted the old witch.
She looked up and arched an eyebrow at him. “Why in the world would I bless the union of my daughter and a were-creature?”
Cross’ wolf came awake at the question. The animal did not appreciate being called a creature. “I don’t know. Because I love her and I treat her right?”
“Do you?” Magda nodded. “But how will you treat her once you’re married? I’ve heard tales of weres just abandoning their pregnant mates once they find out the baby is a girl.”
“I would never do that! Some packs cling to barbaric ways, but you know my father would never allow that of the Moon Brothers.”
“Where will you live?”
“She would be welcome at the compound after we were officially mated. You’ve refused to come to my place, but it’s pretty nice.”
“So says the werewolf.”
“Rory is there all the time and your entire coven came over last year at the winter solstice.”
“My coven doesn’t have the most discerning tastes. What does your father have to say about this proposed union?”
“I haven’t asked him yet. I wanted to ask you first.”
“Hm. What do you think he’ll say?”
Cross’ wolf was at the end of its chain. The urge to growl was so strong he was sweating. “He’ll say ‘great.’ No wolf will keep another from its true mate.”
“How are you sure Rory is your true mate?”
He threw his hands in the air. “If you want to say no, just say no! I’m not going to jump through hoops when you don’t like me to begin with. I’m only here because I know Rory would want me to ask you.”
“No need to get loud.” Magda put the pans in the oven and wiped off her hands.
Cross pulled the ring out of his pocket. “I’m going to ask her no matter what. If after everything we’ve been through you still want to say no, that’s up to you. I’ll never be able to convince you.”
Magda held up her hand. “I never said no. Do you think I’ll so easily agree to give up my only child?”

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