Thunder Road (Rain Chaser #1)@Sierra Dean

Chapter One

Contrary to popular opinion, you can cheat Death.

She just doesn’t like it very much.

At the moment I wasn’t concerned about Manea or the grisly fate that awaited me if one of her goons caught up to me, however. I was too busy trying to keep all four of my Mustang’s wheels on the blacktop. Otherwise I’d be driving my way off a cliff and right into the goddess’s cold embrace.

No thank you.

When Manea finally came for me, I’d be damn sure it was the ending befitting someone of my status, and not some freak accident on a rain-slicked highway.

If anyone could drive in the rain, it was a cleric of Seth, the storm god. He would laugh over my grave if hydroplaning was what wiped me off the face of the earth.

I eased up on the brakes as my car skimmed weightlessly over the smooth surface of the highway. To my left was a sheer rock face that would crush the car like an aluminum can against a frat boy’s forehead. On the right was a drop so treacherous even the guardrail seemed to lean away from it.

Rock, meet hard place.

Hard place, meet Tallulah.

Story of my damned life.

I angled the car towards the rock wall slightly and took a breath through my nostrils. Behind me, three sets of headlights were edging closer, and it was only a matter of time before I didn’t have a choice of which direction to go. My pursuers would decide for me.

Three…

“Hang tight, Fen.” I jostled the buckle I’d fastened to the pet carrier in the passenger seat. A small pip of acknowledgment—or censure—came through the holes. The sassy little mongrel was getting smart with me. Some familiar he was.

Two…

Gritting my teeth so hard my jaw hurt, I flipped on the radio.

Chanting echoed over the building guitar line.

Thunder.

I grinned and felt a warm calm wash over of me as Brian Johnson’s high-pitched growl sounded through the Mustang’s speakers. The bass vibrated the seat beneath me, and as the chorus hit—

One.

I slammed my foot onto the gas the moment the curve of the road opened up.

Thunderstruck.

Damn right.

My wheels spun on the wet surface, sending up a rooster tail of mist in my wake. As soon as rubber found purchase a loud squeal threatened to deafen me and almost drowned out AC/DC, which wasn’t an easy feat. But as the Mustang shot forward at full speed I knew, for the first time all night, there was a chance I was going to get out of this alive.

“Thank Seth.”

Fenrir, who couldn’t resist getting the last word, chirruped noisily beside me.

“Calm your tits, furball. I’ve got this.”

One of the pursuit vehicles wasn’t prepared for my evasive maneuvers. He hit a patch of water and spun out of control, barreling straight into the rocks. Flame erupted from the shell of his car, blocking out my view of the other two pursuers.

Had they been human they might have stopped to see if he was okay. But Manea didn’t fool around with the living. Her clerics were all among the undead, with the notable exception of His Supreme Dickheadedness Prescott McMahon. A man so abhorrent only the goddess of death would spend time with him.

I gripped the steering wheel like it was the last life preserver on the Titanic and kept my foot pressed to the floor. There was a reason I drove a car that could go zero to sixty in fifteen seconds flat, and it involved an awful lot of running for my life.

You might think a lifetime commitment to serve a god would make you popular or at least offer a modicum of respect along with the title. You’d be wrong.

Human clerics were like walking complaint boxes for the gods they served. When things went well, folks said their prayers and sent their payments, thanking the gods directly. When things went wrong, though, the anger and frustration came right to me.

Tallulah Corentine, earthbound bitch to the god of the storm.

Thanks a heap, destiny.

The car sailed smoothly around another corner, like it had grown wings and could fly me right off this blasted highway. No such luck. If I went flying, a long date with gravity would greet me shortly thereafter.

I could only evade my pursuers for so long, and I certainly couldn’t count on all of them being such poor drivers. Sure, they were undead, but their reflexes worked just fine. If I wanted to make it out of this alive, I’d need to either get off the mountain