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The Unexpected Gift (The Hunted)

The Unexpected Gift (The Hunted)

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The Unexpected Gift (The Hunted)

69 pages
57 minutes
Jun 3, 2014


When Michael "Coop" Cooper gave up his Gift, he was told it'd be forever. And he accepted it. Years later, the sacrifice doesn't seem so terrible: he’s learned to survive without it, he's gained the necessary intel to begin building a Gifted army, and he found the woman he intends to claim for his own.

In the middle of their recruitment process, his Gift comes back. Unexpectedly. But rather than celebrating the impossible, Coop's carefully laid plans are about to come to naught... unless he can find a way to survive and make it right.

Jun 3, 2014

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The Unexpected Gift (The Hunted) - Amanda Shofner

The Unexpected Gift

(The Hunted #1.5)

Amanda Shofner

Text copyright © 2014 Amanda Shofner. All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, live or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


Twenty-two hours, forty-three minutes, and nineteen seconds. Coop eyed the clock. Give or take a second or two. He’d been without Samara that long. She’d left yesterday to be with her grandma, tying all the ends that had loosened and frayed after she’d decided to devote her time to him.

Well, to the Gifted army they were creating. But it was essentially the same. He was central to her plans, as she was to his. Though it was fair to say his plans were a little different than hers.

One side of his mouth quirked up. For now.

He did another calculation. One week, three days, four hours, and twenty-four minutes until they were on the road together, alone, to recruit illusionists for their army. They’d planned the trip a couple weeks ago, and he’d seen it for the perfect opportunity it was. She wanted him, and he was close—so close—to breaking through her walls. The trip would give him the final push.

His eyes strayed back to the clock. He was itching to see her again. They’d spent so much time together in the past few months that being without her felt like the first days after his Gift had been removed. His mouth tipped up in a full smile. But nothing would be sweeter than seeing her grumpy morning face when she stomped into the room. Most likely pre-coffee.

He shouldn’t find amusement in her sleep-lidded eyes and sour looks, but he did.

Coop found there was little he didn’t like about Samara Benson.

They’d set up a temporary base in an abandoned school. The room they were meeting in must have once been a teachers’ lounge. Some of the furniture belonged in a different decade, but it was functional. And he’d never cared about fashion.

Coop let his feet thud to the ground and prowled to the coffeemaker, whose coughs and sputters told him it was nearly finished spitting out its pot. His eyes slid up to the clock. He still had a few minutes before Samara rolled in. His lips curled into a smile again.

God, he loved that woman. Morning grump and all.

Coop poured two cups—both black—and set one on the table for himself. He took the other and walked to the doorway, leaning against the frame. Waiting.

And just as he suspected, there she came, stomping through the hallway with a scowl. It was anything but intimidating. Coop would have called it cute if he’d been stupid enough to say something out loud. And while he’d certainly had his moments, he was smart enough not to mention this.

To her face, anyway.

When she was within arm’s length, he held out the cup and bit back a laugh as she took it without acknowledging him and slid into the chair next to his. They’d done this so often it’d become routine. Coop took his time walking to the table, partly to give Samara time to inhale some of the coffee and return to the land of the conscious, and partly to give himself the opportunity to appreciate her before they got down to business.

A lock of hair fell down her forehead as she hunched over her cup, and she blew it up with a frustrated sigh. He’d felt it before, her hair. A silky slide against his skin. As a rule, he touched her as much as possible.

She didn’t fully trust him—or anyone else after what her mother had done—but those small touches created holes in her walls.

Coop sauntered to his chair and sat down, propping his feet up. Samara lifted her eyebrow in reproach, but he ignored it, as he had many times before. People underestimated him when they thought he didn’t take anything seriously. And that was when they showed their true colors.

It’d served him well in the Northern Alliance Betterment Society’s compound. He couldn’t wait to make those Hunter bastards pay for everything they’d done to his people, to his family, to Samara.

That Samara’s father was the head of the Hunters was a minor inconvenience. One she refused to talk about. Coop was fine with giving her the space. But sooner or later, they’d have to discuss what she

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