Blade to the Keep
The Hunter Corporation Motherhouse in London sat in one of those upscale neighborhoods where Rowan felt seriously outclassed by everyone else’s boots and coats and the like.
Sleek luxury cars glided in and out of traffic silently, pausing to disgorge chic, elegant people.
Normally she didn’t care about that sort of thing.
Quite often what was fashionable made it harder to get at her weapons or made it harder to kick someone in the face.
But being in Mayfair made her think about a certain well-bred British Vampire and miss him more than she wanted to. She bet Clive had lived here or in Belgravia when he was based in London.
At her side, the Hunter Corp.’s escort. As in the person they’d decided to toss to the wolves to bring Rowan to the meeting of the full hunter council.
He’d shown up at her door all spit-shined and innocent. Like a virgin sacrifice.
He tried not to look her in the eye, and every time she moved too quickly he shrank back.
“What’d you do, anyway?”
He started, nearly stumbling. “Pardon?”
“What’d you do? To merit having to be my keeper, that is.”
“Oh, no, ma’am, it’s not a … read more ->
There All Along
Loyal led the escort up the wide expanse of Highway, up the ramp and the steep roadway. To Silver Cliffs.
To Verity Coleman.
He had a shell in his pocket. One he’d leave for her on the morning they pushed on to the next garrison. He knew the pink insides would delight her. Knew the swirling shape and smooth
surface would bring a smile to her lips.
Escorting a transport to Silver Cliffs was his job. The same as he escorted to other garrisons up and down the Highway. But she drew him there. Like a magnet. He found himself rushing through his last day any time Silver Cliffs was next on the list.
He was a lawman. He didn’t just take official traffic to the garrisons; he brought law and order. He brought the hammer down when necessary. He was the face of a government that could be
beneficent, or brutal.
Every day he had to be hard. He was a hard man. Had seen a lot. Had done worse. He was a killer when he had to be. Solved disputes along the Highway when they pulled into town. Sometimes
that included putting men down for crimes that put … read more ->
“So Levi tells me you’re a tattoo artist.”
Jonah Warner was beyond hot. He was on-fire sexy. Like panties on fire. Raven looked him over, imagining him naked. Imagining him over her, under her, whatever. Just naked and doing something sexy with her would do just fine.
He had a voice like smoke. Like caramel and other things made with heavy cream and possibly deep fried. He was whatever things that were a thousand calories that you ordered anyway because you had to consume them.
“I do okay.”
He looked her over with slow perusal. As if he was wondering what she looked like naked too. Which was absolutely fine with her.
One corner of his mouth lifted and she licked her lips, imagining his taste.
“You do more than okay.” He held a hand out. “I’m Jonah Warner. Levi’s brother. I know we’ve seen each other in passing at various events but I don’t think we’ve formally met. I’d have remembered.”
She took the hand and he slid a thumb over her wrist as he shook it.
He made her all tingly in the absolute best way. She wanted a bite of this man. Maybe … read more ->
She heard the music as she ascended the stairs and knew he’d be working. Her heart sped as she hastened her pace. Watching Gregori Ivanov work was a sensual treat. He tended to fall deeply into his work. The building could fall down around him and he wouldn’t notice.There was something incredibly sexy about that. His intensity was a little overwhelming, but in the best sort of way.Once she got to his floor, she didn’t bother ringing the bell—Gary Clark, Jr. was playing so loud Gregori wouldn’t have heard it anyway.She let herself into the front entry of the massive space Gregori occupied. Three stories of windows washed the place in light. He took up a corner of the old building in Pioneer Square. Depending on where you stood, you could see Puget Sound or the redbrick buildings lining First Avenue.She dropped the envelopes and the box she’d been delivering on the counter and wandered into his studio, leaning against one of his worktables to watch him.Pale winter sun gleamed against his bare back. Ink trailed along his spine, over lean muscle. Lines of poetry, mainly in Cyrillic, wrapped around his forearms. Barbed wire marked his ribs, interspersed … read more ->
She double-checked the address before heading inside the building in downtown Portland. Allie had been missing for twenty-four hours now. Each minute that passed, the chances of finding her alive were lower and lower.
The contact at Clan Owen had sent out a call for help. They were feverishly working on several fronts on these disappearances and something else the witch she’d spoken to had only hinted at, but sounded pretty bad. He’d been sorry not to have been able to rush down and assist on the case, but he’d done what he could, which was to hook her up with Others who could help.
Which had worked out because she’d followed a few leads of her own—a blue SUV that had been sighted at the apartment complex with Washington plates had also been seen at two rest stops on I-5 heading north, and when Michelle had gone to them she’d found that same mage energy signature she’d caught at Allie’s apartment.
Michelle was on the right track, but the track itself was pretty narrow and faint and she was terrified of fucking up and missing something.
So there she was going through the revolving doors of the Pacific Werewolf … read more ->
Damien clapped his buddy Adrian on the back. “Thanks for the invite.”
Adrian Brown tipped his chin. “Glad you were in town to come. Least I could do after you’ve been in the studio with me so much.”
Adrian had needed a drummer. Damien was a drummer. End of story. Plus it had been awesome to work with someone he respected as much as he did Adrian and his sister Erin.
He’d been in a band with his brothers since they were nineteen, twenty and twenty-two. They’d made a lot of music together, they knew each other well, worked magic most of the time. But it did something good for his soul to work with other people.
He’d met Adrian several years ago and they’d clicked. Hell, they even shared a manager and a record label.
Plus, he liked Bainbridge with its small-town appeal though it was just across the water from Seattle.
Tonight was Adrian’s engagement party. He was set to marry the lovely Gillian in one month, something else Damien would be back for.
“Come through. I’m looking for Gillian and I’ll bet you she’s in the kitchen trying to dislodge Jules or Mary.”
The gorgeous … read more ->
Lost in You
What he needed to do was take a ride. He’d been dealing with his father, the move, getting all the stuff in place for the shop, and none of it was fun. Joe was tired of everything. He took a glance over to where Buck had sacked out, his face near his bowl should anyone try to take it. The dog snuffled his annoyance when Joe bent to stroke over his head but groaned a little when he got his ears scratched.
“I’ll be back in a while. Don’t sleep too much.”
Buck opened one eye and then closed it again on a sigh. The sound of Joe’s keys would have sent his normally high-energy dog jumping. But he’d been playing with the dog next door while Joe had been painting earlier and had taken several runs with Joe to the shop and out to his parents’ place and clearly had had enough.
Joe got that. He wished he could lie near his bowl with a bottle of beer and sack out for hours too.
Joe snorted as he stood, looking out his kitchen window over Main Street. He’d finally finished unpacking the last boxes earlier that morning, … read more ->
Burning flesh created a smell unlike any other he’d ever experienced. Sickeningly sweet while at the same time sticky with death and pain. It was a stench he’d hoped to never come across and yet, over the last months, he’d gagged on it more than once.
The house burned, casting orangey yellow all across the street. Over the cars parked by people who’d simply wanted to slump inside their homes and relax until they had to return to work the following day.
The red of the fire truck would delight children any other time. But the fire made that shiny cheery red into something more sinister. Grime coated the faces of the firefighters who’d been working to put the fire out. But it didn’t hide the resolution that there was nothing else they could do to save those three who’d been caught inside and unable to escape.
“They had to have used an accelerant of some type.” Lark, who still favored the side she hadn’t been shot on, looked on, standing next to him. Her sister, Helena also watched.
This was supposed to be a visit to share information and new spells. And now they’d have to attend … read more ->
In case anyone ever doubted it, getting up at four in the morning was all sorts of things. Jules Lamprey had been doing it for years so it wasn’t so much a matter of holy crap, it’s early anymore.
What she did like, she thought as she locked her front door and headed to her car, was the way the world held so much anticipation. No dawn yet. But it wasn’t the middle of the night anymore either. The promise of a new day was just beginning to manifest itself.
She liked that she pretty much had the road to herself as she made the short trip to Tart. Oh sure, in a while there’d be people waking up to get that first ferry to Seattle, but for now, it felt as if the entire world was all hers.
And for a brief, thrilling moment after she’d parked her car and walked up the block, she stood and looked at her shop.
Tart, in all its glory. Shiny red and chrome with black-and-white tiles on the floor. The place she’d been given so unexpectedly had become her heart. The place she always knew existed because she’d made it so.
Hers. … read more ->
Ben paused just inside the front door, listening to the sound of his son’s laughter. He smiled, moving toward it, coming around a corner and catching sight of Erin snuggled up with Alexander as she read him a story.
His entire life was right there and it filled with him joy.
“Daddy!” Alexander looked up and clapped his hands before blowing Ben a kiss. “Daddy’s home,” he told Erin seriously. The kid had his mother stamped all over him. His mannerisms and the way he moved were totally a Brown thing. In fact when Alexander was with her brothers, his uncles, it was startling to see the resemblance.
Two pairs of eyes looked up at Ben. Erin’s smile was deep, her dimples showing at each corner of that luscious mouth.
“He is, monkey. I think he needs some smooches and some hugs. Let’s go give him some.”
“Yes!” Alexander scooted down from the couch and ran over, straight up into Ben’s embrace, covering his face with slobbery kisses. “Hi, Daddy!”
“Hey there, baby.” Ben hugged his son as he picked him up. “Did you have a good day today?” He headed to the couch to sit next to Erin with … read more ->
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