when in the hands of a skilled Master.
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Cutting the bitch was what my wolf wanted to do, and I couldn’t honestly say that I wasn’t on board with that plan, but I was smart enough to know that I couldn’t take on eight werewolves on my own. I would have to find their hideout and come back with my pack. Bringing Phoenix and his clan to watch my back in case any of my wolves were really on Jessica’s side was a smart thing to do, so I would let them come, too, not that I would really get a choice in the matter; I doubted he would stay behind even if I begged him to.
A loud clatter had my head whipping around to look behind me again. An aluminum trash can lay on its side, its contents spilling into the street. A tabby cat peeked around the edge of the torn trash bag and I exhaled in relief. I was a sad case, indeed. I laughed at myself. I was not used to being the monster.
“I aim to change that, Mena.”
I rolled my eyes at my wolf. “You just be you and let me be me and we’ll get along just fine.”
Soft laughter filled my head and I had to smile. I had to admit that I liked her, regardless of how much trouble she was causing me with Phoenix. At least we had come to a compromise. I didn’t know how well said compromise was going to work out, or even if it would at all, but I was willing to try. Everyone deserved a shot at happiness, even with as insane as our case may be.
As I turned my head back around to continue on my journey, I ran smack-dab into the hard chest of a man. He was in shadow, so I couldn’t see his face. Stumbling back, I attempted to get my balance, but his arms closed tightly around my body, jerking me to him and trapping my arms down at my sides so I couldn’t move.
Struggling against his solid hold on me, I opened my mouth to let out a scream, but he twisted me around and clamped a hand over my mouth so fast that I didn’t know what was happening until I was being pulled backward, away from the security of the streetlights that lined the suburban road.
I raised my knee up then brought my foot down hard on the toe of his shoe. He let out a muffled grunt, but continued to drag me into the shadows.
This had to be one of the werewolves. The strength alone told me that. They had to have been watching my house, just waiting for me to leave. This bastard was going to kill me if I didn’t do something.
My wolf stirred under my skin. She wanted out and it was the first time since I’d been bitten that I agreed with that plan. With only a little more than human strength and quick reflexes, it wasn’t possible for me to handle a grown male werewolf on my own.
My final option, before letting my wolf free, was try to at least injure him. I hoped that would be enough to make him loosen his grip on me enough so I could run. If he gave chase, I would have to concede and let my wolf take over.
Gripping the dagger tighter in my palm, I rotated my wrist and drove the blade into his side as hard as I could. An ear-piercing ululation erupted from his throat and he let go of me. I didn’t wait or look back. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, adrenaline and my wolf giving me the speed and strength to push my muscles past what a human would be able to endure.
“Mena… Mena!” I heard the cry behind me, but my mind wasn’t registering anything except panic and the need to get as far away from my attacker as possible. “Mena—wait! It’s me…” A strangled groan had me slowing. “…it’s… it’s Phoenix. I—I’m so sorry, Mena.”
I froze, not wanting to look back at the man, terrified that what he’d spoken was true. If it was—if I turned and saw those ice-blue eyes staring back at me, it would destroy any trust I had ever had in him.
“Please, Mena, I never meant to hurt you. I was only trying to scare you so you would realize what a stupid stunt going off on your own to find the killers was. What were you thinking?”
The blood rushed through my veins at an impossible speed, and fury washed over me in waves as I stood there trying to decide whether to walk away or allow my wolf to rip Phoenix’s head off. She was all for the second option.
I heard him cough, and then groan in agony. I imagined he was pulling the dagger out of whatever organ I had been lucky enough to hit. There was a lot of heavy, ragged breathing and two more guttural-sounding coughs. It appeared as though I had hit a lung. Too bad it wasn’t his heart! I wasn’t sure stabbing him in the heart with a silver blade would kill him, but I would have put money on a bet that it would have been a hell of a lot more painful.
I turned my head to glare at him, but the hatred I had expected to feel wasn’t there. He had fallen to his knees, and his head was bent, his eyes focused on the bright red stain spreading across his new shirt.
Shaking my head, I looked up to the sky and asked, “Why me?” After receiving no answer, I sighed and began the one-hundred-meter walk back to Phoenix.
Emma Banciu dreams about her novels taking on a life of their own. Thanks to a centuries old Gypsy curse, they tend to do just that. Writing with pen and paper she brings things to life, and hell hath no fury like an antagonist scorned. Now she’s on the run from Kyrin, an evil demon warlord who surfaced from one of her first manuscripts. And the only way to get rid of him is to destroy the manuscript.
Enter JG1988, her long-time online friend. He knows nothing of the curse nor the magick Emma possesses. His only wish is to finally meet her in person and take their relationship to the next level. He reveals a surprise of his own when he shows up at Emma’s door as international recording artist Jake Griffin.
Destroying the manuscript will not only get rid of Kyrin, but also end her relationship with Jake. But keeping secrets from him may end up doing just that. In order to survive they’ll resort to love, lies, and a little Gypsy magick.
Jake lead her into the adjoining room where a baby grand piano sat in the corner.
Turning the piano bench sideways, he sat back and motioned for her to sit in front of him. His arms slid alongside her shoulders as he reached out for the ivory bars, and he tightened his legs against her outer thighs. The heat radiating off him surrounded Emma like a blanket of safety. She snuggled up against his chest as his fingers tickled the keys.
Succumbing to the enchanting melody, her eyes fell closed. His chest pressed against her back, rising and falling as he sang out the verses he wrote just for her, simply titled, Emma’s Song. The words took her breath away how he spoke so lovingly of her through song. Each refrain more passion filled than the one before, pouring his heart out with each note. The emotions welling up inside confused her, as she let herself become entranced by his baritone voice. Fear and happiness pooled in her eyes, releasing in tears that slid over her cheeks.
They met for the first time tonight in person yet it felt like they had known each other all their lives. Their electronic relationship manifesting into something real and tangible excited her, but also scared her to death.
The keys stopped dancing, and the room held a silence marred only by the heaving of Jake’s breath. Reopening her eyes, Emma turned her head toward him. His fingertips pressed against her jaw line, guiding her head as he leaned in. Their lips met with a cautious tenderness. She swung her body around on the seat, raising her hands to encompass his neck. He pulled her closer, parting her lips as he swept his tongue over hers. An innate ache pulsed through her, taking over her self-control. His very touch tingled every nerve along the way.
She slipped her fingers through the back of his wavy hair, massaging his head in rhythm with their exploratory kisses. His breathing grew heavier, as he cradled her in his arms. A startling mixture of sharp chords rang out through the air as her back landed against the keys.
Soft laughter danced through their kiss as Jake picked her up by the hips off the bench and placed her on top of the baby grand. Her chest heaved in succession with the thumping of her heart. He stared at her with such intent she’d never seen. His intense eyes hypnotized her, holding her gaze.
“I’ve pictured this a thousand times, but nothing compares to the actual taste of your lips,” he whispered as he laid her back, brushing the chestnut locks of hair from her face. Lush lips caressed her neck, kissing the delicate skin down the plunging neckline of her dress.
Words made no sense. They circulated in her head, jumbled by the emotions coursing through her. Her body ached for him to take her completely as his hands caressed the length of her body, exploring every inch of her, memorizing every curve.
She dreamed about this moment. He wanted her as much as she wanted him. Her head screamed no, she’d only hurt him. But her heart shouted louder as she let her fingers ride up the length of his forearms, pressing against the hard muscle.
“As breathtaking as you look sprawled across my piano, I have a better idea,” he whispered.
Pulling her to him, he slid her off the piano. She wrapped her arms and legs around him as he carried her to the sofa, laying her beneath him.Carefully, he slid the silken dress above her hips, exposing her stomach where he decorated her skin with the warmth of his tongue and lips. A shiver climbed her spine releasing itself in a vocal aching of want and need.
In celebration of ELUDING ILLUSIONS release, I’m going to give away a digital copy of VEXED, my other recently released novel. Click below to get entered!
Vodou stole her life. A gay ghost stole her boots. And the man who stole her heart stole her memories. Kena plans to get it all back.
Ex-cop Kena’s life is filled with regret, beer, and Cheetos. That is, until her ghostly roomie sends her dumpster diving, leading her to a sexy stranger named Luc and a fate she’d rather not remember. As Kena’s memories resurface, so do her feelings for Luc, the man she’s secretly been in love with for the last thousand years. And he needs her for more than a stroll down memory lane.
Vodou spirits, known as Loa, have been trapped in human form, and are trying to make their way back to the spirit world. But Luc’s brother is possessed by a vengeance demon conjured at the hands of NOLA’s crime syndicate kingpin. Saving him means damning herself to a spirit prison in a loveless, arranged union with the very man she’s supposed to rescue. But not helping Luc’s brother sentences him to death, leaving New Orleans in the hands of black magick, and losing Luc forever.
Wren Michaels hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet, and carried her away below the Mason-Dixon line where she promptly lost all tolerance for snow and cold. They decided they’d make beautiful babies together and they got it right on the first try. Now Wren lives happily ever after in the real world and in the worlds of her making, where she creates book boyfriends for the masses to crave.