Jack Bloodfist: Freelancer Cover Reveal
By James Jakins
Jack Bloodfist: Fixer released in October of 2015. And now, more than three years later, the sequel is finally coming.
Today I am going to share a short excerpt from the new book as well as reveal the brand new cover.
Let’s start with that cover, shall we?
The talented Pen Astridge is the force behind that cover, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Now, how about that excerpt I promised?
Jack Bloodfist: Freelancer
I hurriedly checked my gun, an old .38 revolver my father had given me, and made sure I had a few speed loaders in my pocket before rushing out of the room into the clubhouse proper.
The bullets were silver, if you were worried. Kirk had told me once that I should invest in silver. Luckily, I hadn’t had to. One of the perks of the job was that he supplied it.
I rushed through the kitchen and into the main room of the lodge. Several people were milling about, enjoying a nightcap, staring out the large window into the snow covered forest outside, or just sitting by the fireplace.
They all seemed so comfortable. Just spending a few days at the lodge.
None of them failed to notice me barreling into the room waving a gun around.
“Jack?” someone asked.
I answered the man with a glare that I hoped conveyed the situation.
Mike’s wife, Cecilia, asked the important question. “Should we be worried?”
I tried to put on a calm, nonchalant exterior. “I think it would be a great idea if all of you made your way upstairs. Lock your doors behind you.”
I stood in the middle of the room as they all filed upstairs. I was impressed with the lack of a mad dash and trampled bodies. I guess living with a werewolf helps with the mindless fear.
When I heard the last lock click I turned my full attention to the basement door. It was a wooden panel that perfectly blended into the wall. You wouldn’t know it was there without someone pointing it out.
I really hated it down there. I considered that at least this time I would be able to go down there with the lights on. Not that that really made it better. I’d still have to deal with Officer Mike.
I froze in a sudden panic. What if Mike wasn’t the only wolf loose? I’d reacted so quickly. I hadn’t even checked the rest of the monitors.
I felt like I might throw up.
Before I could convince myself to make any sort of move, the panel clicked and the door swung open.
I know I probably don’t need to tell you this, but werewolves are scary as fuck.
I was frozen in place as the massive, fur covered, claw tipped, hand—God, I’d never realized before that they were actually hands, not paws—slowly came through the opening. It was followed by a second, then the large snout. It snuffled loudly as the black, intelligent eyes swept the room.
Watching them on a screen is one thing, but when one of those bastards steps from around a corner and stares you down, you better hope your stomach is empty or your pants are gonna be full.
His fur was caked in the gore and viscera that comes with every change. And the smell, holy shit, the smell.
His muzzle curled back to reveal the row of overly-white, sharp teeth. Claws dug furrows in the hardwood as he approached.
“Uh,” I said, bravely.
Mike replied with a deep, chest vibrating growl.
Here’s the crazy thing: I liked it. God help me, I liked it. The rush. The knowledge that I might die. It had been months since I’d felt anything like that.
I took a deep breath and slowly leveled my .38. I tried not to move too quickly. I didn’t want to startle him.
His eyes, reflecting red from the fire, darted to my hand and he roared as he pushed himself off the ground toward me.
I now knew what a werewolf sounded like and I didn’t like it anymore.
I roared back as I rolled out of the way.
The wood floor where I’d been standing splintered at the impact of the wolf’s heavy frame.
I spun toward him, gun raised, and froze.
He stood on his back legs, front legs dangling at his side like misshapen arms, and glared down at me.
I swallowed and forced myself to squeeze the trigger. “Sorry, Mike,” I said as the sound of gunfire mixed with Mike’s angry cry of pain.
The beast that was Mike lumbered forward, blood pouring from his side, and swiped at me with a clawed strike. I managed to dodge the first swipe but was caught by the backhand.
My feet left the floor and my back connected, painfully, with the rough wood of the expensively rustic wall.
My gun slipped from my hands as I bounced off and my face hit the floor.
Now, despite what some might say, there are some real advantages to having an orcish heritage. I apologize if this offends your pride in your species, I’m sure there are perks to being whatever you are, but you probably don’t have the inborn survival and battle instincts that we orcs enjoy.
I also have the added advantage of owning a magic axe, so, that’s pretty cool.
With one arm I pushed myself up and away as the wolf’s claws dug into the wood where my head had been, and with my other hand I pulled Ukufa—my magic axe—from the custom holster I wore on my back.
I slipped as I moved and landed hard on my ass, but I was facing Mike and that was good enough for the moment.
He lunged forward, mouth open and hungry. I moved Ukufa up in front of my face, just in time to catch the too many teeth of the werewolf on the wooden handle.
Mike dropped back down to all four and pushed against the weapon as I shoved it as far back into his mouth as I could. His jaws opened and closed uselessly against the wood of the weapon.
In the six months or so that I’d had Ukufa I hadn’t found anything that could hurt her. And, before you ask, yes, my axe is a girl. Get over it.
Mike narrowed his eyes before shooting one of his front legs up toward me. I rolled away, pulling Ukufa out of his mouth as I did so. I spun her around in my grip and punched the stiletto blade that rested opposite the axe head into the wolf’s temple.
It bounced off the thick skull and cut a long line in the beast’s fur. I moved with the momentum of the punch and pushed the blade in harder as I ran past him. The blade dug deeper as I found less bone to resist.
I pulled the blade out and dove forward just as five angry claws carved through the air behind me.
I landed, luckily enough, right next to my gun. I scooped it up as I rolled over, already sighting down the barrel. I’m not the best shot, but Mike was close enough that it didn’t really matter.
“Mike!” a woman’s voice.
Both Mike and I looked to the sound. He stood straight and spun toward her.
On the second floor of the clubhouse Cecilia Jensen stood on the landing, hand to chest, eyes wide in fear.
I sighed. I couldn’t kill him now. Not with his wife watching. That’s basically the king of dick moves. Probably for the best. I actually kind of liked Mike.
With him distracted I pushed myself to my feet and rushed toward the werewolf, gun out in front of me.
He spun back at the sound of my approach.
I wound up a pitch, Ukufa back behind my head. With a grunt of effort I threw her. The axe and stiletto blades reflected the firelight dully as they spun through the air before the axe head buried itself between the wolf’s eyes.
Mike reeled backward and grabbed clumsily at the weapon sticking out of his head.
I slid to a stop as close to the wolf as I could and placed my gun on the thigh of his right hind leg.
The cry of pain was louder than the gun. I was sure I’d hit bone, and I really hoped I’d missed any vital arteries. I dodged out of the way of his frantic counterattack and sidestepped to the other leg. Again I placed the barrel on his thigh and fired.
He snarled angrily as he collapsed to the ground and I quickly back stepped away from him. His front legs moved out, claws digging into the wood. He pulled himself—much faster than I was comfortable with—toward me.
His full attention was on me again. He’d completely forgotten about the woman crying on the second floor landing.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to surprise him with a close range shot again, so I took a valuable few seconds and aimed.
My first shot splintered the wood two feet to his right. The next was closer but still missed. I only had one shot left.
That bullet hit him in the left shoulder.
I darted in again as he howled in pain. I didn’t want to waste any more bullets if I could help it. In the back of my mind I was still considering that others may have gotten out. I’d need to deal with them, too.
I pulled Ukufa out of Mike’s skull and jumped back just in time to dodge the swing from his one good arm.
I knew that if the bullets hadn’t been silver the wounds would have healed already. The gash down his side from my axe was already closing up. But I figured some things would take longer to heal, even if they weren’t caused by silver.
I holstered my revolver and held Ukufa like a baseball bat. I didn’t have to wait too long for the pitch.
Mike pulled himself forward with his good arm then took another swipe at me. I swung back.
Cecilia screamed at the sight of her husband’s hand as it landed in the fireplace.
The smell of burning fur and meat filled the room instantly.
He howled and snarled in equal measure as his body writhed, still trying to reach me.
I pulled Ukufa back up again and with a snarl of my own I chopped through his neck until I hit the spine. He stopped snarling and began to whine. It was kind of pathetic.
Over the quiet whine I could hear the other guests stirring in their rooms. I was sure they’d heard the whole thing, but no one other than Cecilia had left their room to watch. Now, though, they all swarmed out of their silver lined fortresses to see what had happened.
I stood in the middle of the now blood soaked room, moaning werewolf at my feet, and looked up at them.
“Okay, anyone with silver bullets, please aim them at Officer Jensen. I’m going to go check downstairs. When I get back I’m going to need someone to help me carry him back to his room.”