Book Preview: Feral by Laxmi Hariharan

Feral by Laxmi Hariharan cover

This is a preview of USA Today Best-Selling author Laxmi Hariharan’s book, Feral which is available from Amazon!

Synopsis: He was her destination. She just didn’t know it. When Maya leaves Luke to go in search of her real family, nothing prepares her for the secrets she uncovers about herself.

Chemistry – a simple ’emotion’ that two people get when they share a special connection. It is not necessarily sexual. It’s the impulse that makes you think ‘I need to see this person again’ – that feeling of ‘we click.’

Well, going by that explanation, I do want to see Jai again. And again. And we do have a connection. I feel it, but does he? Only one way to find out. Ask him. Even as I’m thinking that, Jai takes his place on stage. The yellow light from the bulb shines through the thin white of his shirt, stroking the planes of his chest muscles. The way he stands, half at ease, half to attention. The angle of his body awkward, almost belligerent. A throwback to my younger days, forever caught between wanting to stay and wanting to leave. I want to hug him right then and tell him he’s going to be just fine. There’s a smattering of applause which I join. Then, silence.

Jai pulls out a tablet from his pocket. I run my eyes over his face and, as if sensing my gaze, he looks up and his eyes lock onto mine. Something instantaneous passes between us. This time, I am not mistaken. Then he smiles and I loose the breath I’d not been aware I was holding. He holds up his hand in a half wave and I raise mine in answer. Still holding my gaze, he begins to speak.

I remember
the stillness of morning,
a raft of ducks,
the silence of floodwater
and how
you kissed me.
The kettle
pours steam.

Pause. He looks down at his device, as if refreshing his memory, then, looks past me, looks to another part of the audience.

I learned that
once-shared space
becomes sticky in meaning,
is not so easily
separated back out into
what was Yours; what is Mine.

His voice washes over me, over the room, sweeping away the noise. Hushing the conversation. A glass crashes at the bar, no one reacts. Riveted. I am. We all are. By his voice. His words. The unsaid emotions between the words. The stuff you can’t hear, don’t want to hear … he’s saying it all.

And for once they’re listening and hearing him.
The humans around me, they’re opening their hearts, their souls. He’s pushing through those carefully built defences, the discipline they insist on caging themselves in.

Sometimes, my reflection
slides away from me so fast
I feel my muscles tighten,
but a brace is a hold is a nest is
a safer space.

Pause. A girl ahead of me stands up, blows him a kiss. But he’s locked in his own world, in that silent communication between him and us. He’s pouring his emotions into that channel and all we can do is lap it up. He looks around, looks down at the audience.

You are the only person I wish
I had never met. I suspect if you knew
you might have more respect for me now
than you did then.

Silence. And he takes a deep breath, smiles a little, and puts away his device. “That’s it from me.” He half bows, to applause. Then, a “More” and another “More” and another.
“You sure?” He asks, now standing straight, shoulders erect, back arched with pride. He knows he has them. He has me. I see what he is now, so clearly. He’s so like me. We feel the same. It’s as if I’d put my finger out and touched my reflection only to find it was him. My hands freeze half way through the clapping, drop to my sides, limp. I know I’ve found something, something of importance, something I’ve been looking for all my life. My gut knows it; my heart knows it. My mind refuses to accept. So I just sit there, unable to feel my arms and legs anymore, as if I were being suspended through space. Yet I hear that honey over gravel voice as he continues—

So strike a fracture through this
glass this view this thing that shimmers
like doubt between us, break it apart
with your hands.

Tears prick my eyes, threatening to spill over. There’s a churning in my gut, and bile rises to my throat. I jump out of my chair so fast it turns upside down, crashing onto the man standing behind me, but I don’t stop.
Epiphany – an experience of sudden and striking realization. An insight, a clarifying thought. A complex combination of experience, memory, knowledge, predisposition and context
Enough! I slap my hands over my ears, trying to drown out that rational voice inside, the one that constantly, constantly tries to make sense of what I am doing.

Laxmi Hariharan is a USA Today bestselling author of intuitive paranormal romance and urban fantasy. To get a copy of FERAL and two more of her best novellas sign up to her list here >

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