Let's take a sneak peak at what you'll find in book two about Beltran.
WHO IS BELTRAN?
That is the question isn't it? Beltran is a shifter, a rare species in Eon. He keeps his secrets close while ensuring everyone else's are always within reach. Beltran is gifted with form, but also with his mind. He is clever and a brilliant strategist. His most enduring feelings are that of loneliness.
Strengths; Shifting, Mental capacity, experience
Weakness; If he told you, he'd have to kill you.
Beltran began to shrink, and it was less elegant than Rune imagined. At times, his nose was too large or his arms too long. His skin was ashen, and the permanent grimace suggested he was struggling. Perhaps he was simply too exhausted to do a neater job of the transition. But as he came to size, the mess in the room fell into context. The pool of blood that surrounded Beltran’s now human-sized frame was utterly horrifying. It coated his thighs and covered his hands past the wrist. Beltran was right. Rune would not have survived.
He pushed to his feet, a small groan escaping.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
He straightened slowly and held his dripping, bloody palms out to his sides in a halfhearted gesture. “Picture of health, my dear.” He took several jerky steps out of the red pool, stamping footprints on the wooden floor, wobbled, then sidestepped to catch his balance.
“Saints!” He leaned over, bracing his hands on his knees.
“Whoa, hold on!” Rune ran and pulled his arm over her shoulder. “I’ve got you.”
Beltran grumbled but allowed her to pull him up. “I’m getting blood all over you.”
“Yeah, well . . .” She shrugged. “Verida informed me that’s why my clothes were black—so the blood was easier to hide.”
“What a warm welcome.”
She tried to judge his balance before they moved forward. “Beltran, you don’t look so good.”
“Rune, love. Such cruel words for our first embrace.” He tossed her a weak smile. “Turns out this little soirée was rougher than anticipated.” His words were light, but pain radiated through his eyes—the pupils tiny pricks of black in an emerald sea. One knee buckled.
“Maybe you should sit back down.”
“I want to get out of these clothes.” Both legs buckled.
His full weight dropped on her shoulder, and she struggled to keep her own legs beneath her. “Nope,” she grunted, readjusting her stance. “Definitely nope. You’ll have to wait to change until you can wa—”
“Unless you want me to carry you.”
Beltran crinkled his nose. “I choose option A.” He allowed Rune to turn him around. “But it might take a while before I’m well enough to peel this shirt off.” His eyes cut to the side, and the corner of his mouth tilted up with a devilish smirk. “I could use some assistance, if—”
“Also a nope.”
“Ah.” He sighed as he hobbled. “Ever sassy, despite my near-death circumstances. I like it.”
“Oh, shut up and sit down.” Rune muscled him over to a spot against the wall that was clear of blood and lowered him. Her foot slid forward as she tried to balance while bent. “You’re heavy,” she grunted. “You know that?”
Once down, Beltran braced his palms and worked at leaning back. He stopped several times, wincing, before finally relaxing against the wall. He peered up at Rune. “Carried many men, have you?”
“Only one, and he’s twice your size. Yet somehow lighter. Explain that.”