Today we’ve got an exclusive excerpt from the wonderful, talented, brilliant Kacey Hammell from her release Dare.
By Kacey Hammell
Contemporary Erotic Romance
ISBN # 9781771301282
Available at Evernight Publishing
**An aRe Bestseller!!**
Legal secretary, Olivia Warner enjoys being single and, aside from her closest gal pals, usually keeps to herself. But the night of her thirty-fourth birthday, she and her friends spend a fun-filled evening at a local bar where her friends dare her to approach a man, and spend the night with him. Olivia’s not one to turn down a dare, especially from her old college pals. She only hopes the man in question is in for some good conversation, because that’s all she’ll give him.
Darren “Dare” Shalvis has given up on women. He’s tired of being chased for his money, good looks, and prowess in bed. He prefers to meet a woman who, for once, wants nothing more from him than mere conversation. If only the woman asking him to spend the night with her wasn’t his favorite legal secretary.
Accepting a dare has never been so tempting…
Excerpt © Kacey Hammell, 2012:
She gave a small laugh and lifted the glass for a drink.
Dare watched her lips as she drank. He wondered what they’d taste like. It was something he’d considered many times lately.
He was drawn to her, but unsure he’d ever act on it.
Her whole demeanor said ‘hands off.’ And he wasn’t sure he was ready for the challenge.
“Tell me about it.”
“I’ll cut right to the chase.” As he turned on the stool, their knees brushed. Neither moved.
He thought he saw her eyes lit up. Perhaps Ms. Warner wasn’t as immune as he thought.
“My friends brought me here tonight for my birthday.”
She smiled. “Thank you. The jury’s still out whether it’s happy or not. My friends decided that as a present they’d get me a man.” She blushed and reached for her drink.
“Go on.” Intriguing.
She set down her glass and continued, “They dared me. Dared me to find myself a man and spend the night with him.”
Women…who understood them? He’d only ever participated in dares when he was younger. He didn’t think anyone took them seriously anymore.
“And you need my help, how?” Dare’s heart rate accelerated. She wasn’t asking him to…
She stared up at him, her gaze steady. “I need you to spend the night with me.”
If he hadn’t heard it with his own ears, he wouldn’t have believed it. This night was the strangest he’d had in a long time. It was as if he’d been offered a million dollars on a silver platter.
Of course, he wanted to spend the night with her. He’d fantasized about it many times. He just wasn’t clear on what exactly she was asking. He didn’t want any misunderstandings. “Are you asking me to spend the night with you to…” Dare cleared his throat. “…be with you?”
“Oh! No, yes, I mean no. Dammit, I’ve screwed this up.”
“Relax.” He put a hand on her knee. “It’s okay. Let’s try this—do you want me to have sex with you?”
Olivia groaned. Dare love that sound, and heat filled his groin.
“No. Not to have sex. God, this is mortifying.” Olivia placed her hand over his where it still rested on her knee. “Just to spend the night together—a movie, hang out, whatever—until eight a.m., when the dare is over.”
Dare laughed. She talked so fast he could hardly keep up. He’d never seen her so animated before. He liked her flustered and breathless…a lot. He wondered if she looked and sounded like that during sex.
He couldn’t go that route. Not now.
“Okay, so let me get this straight. You want us to spend the night together—with no sex—until morning? All because of a dare? Why didn’t you just say no?”
“I can’t. In college, the five of us made a pact—in blood, for God’s sake—that we’d always be friends and never back down from a dare. Trust me, right now, I wish I’d never made it.”
He chuckled. “Yes, I can imagine how you feel.”
“I’m so tired after the day we had. This was the last thing I needed tonight.”
“Yeah, when I stopped by the office today you seemed a bit irritated.”
She sighed and ran her fingers over his hand. Dare was surprised how comfortable it felt to have their knees and hands touch. He didn’t think Olivia was even aware she caressed his hands…or wreaked havoc on his libido. If her innocent touches could send him into overdrive, he wondered what would happen if she put all she had into it.
“It was the day from hell. I just wanted to meet the girls for a few drinks, then head home to soak the day away.”
Dare grit his teeth and tried not to think of Olivia in a bathtub—water floating around her body, relaxed, languid. The image could send him over the edge.
“Well, you’re in luck. I’m your man for the night.”
Olivia smiled and her eyes danced. “Thank you. I really appreciate it. The last thing I wanted to do was have to pick up some random guy. I’m so glad you were here.”
Pleased he could help her, Dare grinned. He realized he wanted to anything to put that carefree smile on her face.
“So.” He took a sip of his beer. “What do you want to do?”
She scowled. “Well, we could go back to my place. I have a spare room that you can crash in if you want.”
Surprised, Dare took in her flushed face. “Are you sure?”
She nodded. “Yeah. We don’t exactly have to stay up all night. It’s still spending the night together, right?”
He chuckled. “Yeah, in a manner of speaking. Your friends weren’t specific.”
A smug smile crossed Olivia’s face. “No they weren’t. Which is a testament to how much they thought this through. I would have made a list of do’s and don’ts.”
They both laughed. Olivia had a naughty streak and he liked it. Liked it—and her—very much. A night with Olivia Warner wasn’t what he’d expected.
Sure, he’d thought of her in his bed often, writhing and moaning with passion, but he never thought fantasy would become a reality. He couldn’t let the opportunity go.
His buddies didn’t call him Dare for no reason. He could never resist a challenge.
He placed both hands on her shoulders, drew her gaze from her glass, and put his cards on the table.
“What if we have an agreement?”
She frowned. “What do you mean?”
“For us to spend the night together, we should have some ground rules.”
“I will spend the night with you. More than eager to do so, except one thing.”
“What’s that?” she whispered. He barely heard her but saw her lips move.
He wanted to taste them, desperately.
“I don’t want to sleep in any spare room.”
“You don’t?” She gawked at him.
Her expression was comical but Dare didn’t feel like laughing.
“No. I want to spend the night in your room.” Dare had her full attention. She stared at him, eyes wide. “In your bed.”
Readers can learn more about Kacey’s books/contact her via …
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Happy Six Sunday again. This is from my YA, East Willow.
Mother wasn’t there. But Riel was.
His worried eyes glowed vampiric, but his fangs didn’t show. He appeared to be shouting at me. I heard nothing but blood rushing through my veins.
I tried to calm my breaths, knowing it wouldn’t be long before I passed out.
Last night I got to meet two of the three men whose music helped me write this story – and all my others – Taylor & Zac Hanson.
I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been a gigantic Hanson fan since I was 11 years old. I’ve finally seen them live twice and can’t believe I got to meet them! Seriously, it totally made this bipolar author’s year
And to celebrate, here’s a pic of me & Zac – my favourite. Not only does he have the most brilliant voice, he’s easy on the eyes too (be warned, I look disgusting in this pic and Princess Leia is mad, but Zac’s all that matters lol).
This week’s six is a smutty little excerpt from a WIP I’ve been working on more for men than women to read.
Let me know what you think.
Now, as he stood behind his desk, obvious erection pushing against the zipper of his pants, she couldn’t believe how excited she was. Panties soaking wet, thighs clenching and heart racing, she forced her eyes back to his and waited for him to speak.
“Hands on the desk, ass up, eyes down.”
His order sent pleasure shooting straight to her clit, which throbbed.
On baited breath, she waited as he walked around her, closing and locking the door to his secluded office. She bit her bottom lip as he ran his hands over the curve of her ass, slipping his hands between her thighs quickly before he pushed her skirt up over her hips.
Don’t forget to visit the SSS site
Happy Labor Day Americans!
Happy Monday to the rest of us in the world
For the blog hop I’ve decided to share a little snippet from my debut novel Elora’s Match. I’ve been writing a little Elora recently and I absolutely love this woman.
So as a special treat, here’s the second chapter… In its entirety! That means, if you’re sneaky like me, you can read the first chapter on my site PLUS the second. For free!
So, what can you get out of this? Not only can you visit the websites of my other awesome author friends listed below, you can win… Well you’ll have to get to the end of the post to find out what
After a morning of wandering around the house, getting used to the surroundings again, I needed air. Walking through the woods that surrounded the house I inhaled deeply. The fresh scent of pine, moist dirt and running water filled my nose. Being surrounded by nature was relaxing. Birds chirped in the distance and animals scurried away as they heard me coming.
Only a few steps in, I found the large eucalypt I’d been looking for. My parents planted it here for me. So I would always have a piece of Australia with me at this house. In Perth, eucalypts grew everywhere. The expansive bush land behind our house was a virtual eucalypt forest. With a push of energy to my legs, I jumped and flew to the top branches of the sixty metre high tree. Nestling against the trunk I closed my eyes and listened to the leaves rustling in the light breeze.
In complete peace, I watched the sun set on the horizon. Beautiful shades of orange, pink and yellow danced through the wispy clouds that surrounded the city. Though nothing compare to the beauty of home, this came pretty close.
The air temperature cooled quickly once the sun disappeared. Around me owls hooted, other birds fluttered and rodents ran from tree to tree. Leaning forward, I looked at the ground preparing to return to the house when my phone rang in my pocket. It was Caleb.
I flipped it open, Caleb’s voice came loud. “Where are you?”
“Where am I exactly? Sitting on top of a tree in my back yard.”
“Smartass,” he grumbled. “Feel like some company?”
“I’ll be there in a sec,” I quipped and hung up.
Looking down, I stepped off the branch and fell sixty metres, landing on the ground without a sound. I really loved being me. Running at intense speed, I made it to Caleb’s car within seconds, startling him as I did so.
“You should have known I was going to approach that way.” I laughed.
“I did but I’d forgotten how fast you were.” He shook his head exiting the vehicle.
“Well, get used to it because as long as there are no humans around, I use my abilities constantly.”
“Great,” he mumbled.
“Speaking of abilities,” I said thoughtfully.
Caleb looked at me anxiously. “What?”
“I could do with a good workout.” I grinned and grabbed his wrist.
Caleb grumbled as I led him through the house. Stepping down the stairs to the basement, I opened the thick steel door leading to the room and shuddered as a cold draft breezed over my skin.
The basement was half the size of the house. One wall was lined with mirrors, much like a dance studio. The opposite wall was reinforced steel backed up with iron on top of concrete. It’d been warded with magic so it was able to sustain the power of our abilities. The first time my parents trained me was in this basement. I shot a bolt of electric energy into the wall, astounded that it held up, absorbing the energy as though nothing hit it.
The very far wall hid an expansive library, filled with journals of ancestors and reference books. I used to spend hours upon hours in there reading, finding out as much information as I could on the supernatural beings that existed in the world. Exercise mats, exercise and weights machines filled the large room. Though I didn’t physically need to work out, I found exercise therapeutic.
“It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper workout,” Caleb commented leaning against one of the weights benches.
“I’ll try to take it easy on you,” I teased, giving him a small shove.
Eyeing me off suspiciously he started stretching his arms and legs out. “That just fills me with confidence,” he retorted sarcastically. Backing away with a grin, he waved me forward.
Those were the last words spoken for many minutes as I took out my recent frustrations of settling down out on my best friend.
Dodging several punches with ease, I threw a fist forward and grazed Caleb’s cheek. He jumped to the side kicking his leg toward my stomach. Moving too fast for him to keep track, I darted to the left and landed a heavy blow to his stomach. He crumbled to the ground, winded while I tried to hide a laugh.
“You’re getting slow in your old age, Cal,” I remarked.
Forcing himself to his feet, he winced. “I’m only a year older than you.”
“Still.” I shrugged, wagging a finger at him. “Imagine if that was full force.”
“I’d be dead right now,” he groaned leaning over a bench.
“Exactly,” I said with a stern expression. “It’s a sign you need to train more. If someone attacked you, you’d be gone in seconds.”
Caleb stood up straight, stretching himself out before he picked up a water bottle.
“When did you last use your abilities?” I asked playing with the electricity spikes between my fingers.
“Last time I saw you.”
“It’s no wonder I can barely sense you then.”
“What do you mean?”
“Back home I’d be able to sense you from miles away. Now there’s barely a tingle in my senses when you’re right next to me.”
“It’s that weak?”
I nodded. “You know what Mum and Dad used to say. The less you use your abilities, the weaker you become.”
Mentioning my parents so casually caused my chest to tighten. Pushing the sadness away, I placed my hands on my hips. “So, round two?” I asked with a taunting smile.
He groaned but stood up, stepping to our sparring area.
“Do you want me to heal you first?”
Stepping toward him, I focussed my energy to my hands, a familiar warmth spreading through my body. Running my hands over his chest and stomach, my mind tingled once I’d found the injuries he had. A golden light shimmered between the two of us and Caleb’s eyes widened as the healing sensation spread through him.
“Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve felt that,” he commented with a smile.
“How you feeling now?”
“Better than when I first got here.”
Of course he did, I’d healed every small muscle strain and ache he had.
Our fight training lasted a further half hour before Caleb had had enough. The sheen of sweat over his body told me he’d done little, or no, exercising without me around. He followed me up the basement stairs panting.
“That was an embarrassing display, Caleb,” I said seriously. “I’ve never seen someone so unfit.”
“Unlike you, I don’t have time to exercise constantly,” he retorted grumpily.
“There’s always time for exercise,” I told him. “We only need four hours sleep a night.”
Settling in the living area, Caleb flopped on the couch and I stepped into the kitchen. I peered at him through the serving hatch. “Why did you stop using your abilities?”
“I haven’t needed to,” he said with a shrug. “Most people don’t seek out trouble like you do.”
I frowned. “Ouch. I’m not that bad.”
He shot me a pointed look.
“Ok I am. But it’s fun for me.”
“So much fun,” he retorted sarcastically.
“There is no better feeling than beating the life out of someone who wants to hurt you. Besides, sometimes you have to use force to get the answers you want.”
Caleb joined me in the kitchen, leaning over the breakfast bar while I grabbed a drink from the fridge.
“You’re not going to find out what happened.”
Caleb’s expression was softer and more empathetic when I looked at him. He had always disapproved of me putting myself directly in the line of danger, but I think he understood why I did it. His expression was similar to the one he gave when I told him I was leaving home. Heartbroken.
“Please don’t look at me that way.”
“I just want you to stay put for a while. I’ve missed having you around.”
“I’ve missed you too. You understand why I had to do it right?”
“I do.” He sighed. “But it’s been forty years, Elora. If you were going to find out something don’t you think you would have by now?”
Slamming my drink on the bench, I spilt liquid everywhere. “I can’t just give up Caleb,” I growled.
“I know. I don’t want to upset you, it’s just hard seeing you like this. You’re so volatile and closed off. It’s not good for you.”
My jaws clenched as I cleaned up the spilled liquid.
Caleb flinched as I used my abilities to clean the mess. “Just settle down for a while.”
That did it. My mood changed from bad to worse.
“Like you have? Settle down with a human. What happens when they start asking questions like why we don’t age normally, or ever get sick? It won’t last Cal.” Before I knew it I was yelling. “We have no future with humans. The relationship can last five years, max. I don’t understand why you waste your time on a pathetic, inferior life form.”
The muscles in Caleb’s jaw throbbed before he yelled at me. “I’d rather be with a human than turn into a sadistic creature like you.”
Frozen in shock, I stared at him. Barely resisting the urge to throw him across the room, I forced myself to turn away.
“Really nice. At least the truth fina…”
Everything around me turned white, my ability to speak vanished. After a few seconds the white light dimmed and everything around me was black.
Looking around, I now stood in the woods that surrounded my house. A dark figure emerged from the shadows before me. A tall, muscular man stepped into the light that shone from the left.
My heart raced and my head tingled with a sense of Power. He was Different and as strong as me. The man tilted his head to the right slightly stepping toward me. He watched and I kept completely still. The light shone over his face and I really saw him. Dark brown hair pushed back off his face, curling behind his ears. A few stray strands fell over his golden skin. Full pink lips were stretched into a smirk, his right cheek dimpled as he looked to the left, into the dim sunlight. His eyes shimmered in the light. Teal eyes. I’d never seen anything more beautiful in my life.
Aiming his head down slightly, he looked at me through his lashes and reached one hand forward. My entire body hummed with energy, the small of my back tingling in anticipation as he spoke.
“Elora.” His velvety smooth voice rang in my ears like the sweetest music in existence.
He disappeared and Caleb was before me again. His mental voice calling me, hands gripping either side of my face.
“What happened? Are you ok? Elora?” his panicked voice repeated the questions again before I could answer.
“I’m fine.” Pulling my face away from his hands a sigh escaped my lips. “That was the most intense vision I’ve ever had.”
My head still tingled; power was running through my veins setting my core on fire.
“What was it?”
I shook my head to clear my thoughts. “It was so real. Most of my visions are vague, but this…” Kadin’s face appeared in my mind’s eye again. So beautiful. So perfect. So Different. “It was Kadin, the guy I met at the club last night.”
“Did anything happen?”
I shook my head. “He just said my name then disappeared.”
Caleb made a small ‘hmph’ sound then smiled. “Maybe he’s your match.”
There were stories, prophecies of sorts, regarding the two strongest members of the Difference. When they met, their abilities would combine and be perfectly in sync. Creating an indestructible force that even the ruling demon Elders and Lucifer would have to bow down to, they would be the rulers of the Underworld.
Caleb and I had always teased each other about being one half of the ‘match’ but we’d never taken it seriously. Nobody did.
“You’re so ridiculous,” I scoffed.
A moment of silence followed.
“I’m sorry about…” Caleb started but I cut him off.
“Forget it. Let’s not mention it again.” We both knew what he said was true. I had changed. I was sadistic but that was part of the reason I moved here. Spending years being hunted and attacked would turn the sweetest person into a horrible one. Being around Caleb and having some stability once more would hopefully ease the hostility I constantly felt.
Caleb’s shoulders hunched over and he breathed a sigh of relief. His face relaxed and he gave me a thankful smile. “Layke’s cooking dinner at our place, you interested in coming?”
“Sure.” I smiled.
“Great.” He looked at his sweat-covered clothing. “Mind if I use your shower? I’ve got a change of clothes in the car.”
I screwed up my nose. “Please do, you stink.”
Caleb gave me a small punch, spinning on his heels, trotting to the front door. “You should smell yourself.”
After quick showers, Caleb drove as I sat in the passenger seat of his car. My mind wandered back to my earlier vision of Kadin. I’d been having visions and precognitive dreams since I was twelve. But none of them felt so real, there was always a vague feeling to them, like a dream. When I saw Kadin I could feel him. His energy was humming in the back of my mind, his scent filled my nose. There was no way that was an ordinary vision. I just had no idea what it was or what it meant.
Arriving at Caleb and Layke’s house, I was greeted with a big hug from Layke. I smiled and bared it purely because she had good intentions. Jordan was joining us for dinner, something which didn’t impress me one bit. When he tried hugging me I swerved out of the way. One hug was enough for the night.
“You could have warned me he’d be here,” I snapped mentally at my friend.
“Then you wouldn’t have come.” He replied with a shrug. That was true.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” Layke said with a big smile. “Come on, dinner’s ready.”
Following Layke in, leaving the small entry that led to a large tastefully decorated living room. The blue, cream and green colour scheme suited the large home. Photographs lined the walls, of Layke’s family as well as Caleb’s. I paused when I saw a photo of our two families together, taken when we were children. Next to it was my favourite photo of Caleb and myself, taken on his 16th birthday, just before my parents disappeared. Layke smiled at me.
“You’ll find there’s a lot of photos of you around here.”
She wasn’t kidding. Half of the framed photographs in the living areas were of me, either with Caleb or my parents. Layke led me to the cosy dining room, just off to the right, where I took a seat, slightly annoyed when Jordan sat next to me.
She served out a ridiculously elegant salad with dressings, croutons, cheese and all sorts of vegetables. She’d obviously gone to a lot of effort. On each of our plates there was a small square of lasagne and we chose from the other foods on the table, including pasta salad, rice salad, steamed vegetables and some strange savoury pudding.
“This is all so fantastic Layke, you shouldn’t have gone to the trouble.” I was being 100% genuine. I appreciated good food and Layke was a fantastic cook.
“I keep telling her she should be a chef, but she won’t listen,” Caleb commented.
“I’m the opposite, I hate cooking,” I said
“Really?” Layke asked with surprise. “I love it, trying out different recipes, making up my own, it’s a wonder I don’t weigh 400 pounds!” She followed with a hearty laugh.
The remainder of dinner was spent with my mouth full of food. The less I said, the less trouble I’d start.
Now I was stuck watching a supernatural thriller about vampires. Layke assumed I’d enjoy watching it because most women did. The movie was about vampires and was so incredibly inaccurate I had to hold in my laughter. While Jordan and Layke appeared to be really enjoying the film, Caleb and I were visibly bored.
“This is ridiculous,” I mentally projected to Caleb.
“Of course it is, but you know humans.”
“Not as well as you,” I taunted him.
“Thank you for being patient tonight.”
“Only for you Cal, but don’t expect it every time, I’m ready to lose my cool right now.”
This entire mental conversation went without either of us looking away from the television screen. While I could converse with every other Different being I’d met, Caleb could only converse with me. But that fact didn’t bother him one bit.
“This is ridiculous,” Jordan suddenly exclaimed.
“What?” Caleb asked.
“This movie is ridiculous! As if a vampire would go around hunting strong people like that, they’d go for the easy kill.”
“Vampires prefer strong humans, the stronger the person the stronger the blood. It sustains them for longer,” I stated in a condescending tone.
“Careful,” Caleb’s mental voice warned me. I couldn’t be so factual around humans. I kept forgetting that.
“They’d go for the easy kill and exert less energy,” Jordan argued.
“Are we really going to argue about vampires?”
“They’re not even real Jordan, let it go, it’s a movie,” Layke piped up, obviously irritated that we had interrupted the movie.
Jordan looked unhappy but settled back to watch the rest of the movie. I had to admit, I was impressed Jordan didn’t back down when challenged.
When the movie finished, I mentally groaned to Caleb, “finally.”
“Sorry, Layke loves supernatural movies.”
“Well, next time she wants to watch one, don’t invite me.”
Caleb smirked at my last remark before he stood up. “Would anyone like a drink?”
The temptation of a drink was something I couldn’t resist. “I’m in.”
“Of course.” I smiled at my friend.
Walking into the bar room with Caleb, I was still amused by the movie I just had to endure. “So, Layke really likes that kind of crap?”
“A lot.” He chuckled. “She has a degree in mythological and supernatural studies and has written several papers on the study of myths and legends. Maybe that’s why I was so drawn to her.
I scoffed. “Myths and legends. If only she knew how much of it was real.”
“How much of what is real?” Jordan’s voice interrupted us.
“Nothing,” I replied curtly, irritated by his interruption.
“Did anyone else think that movie was terrible?”
“I hate those sorts of movies, they’re just ridiculous,” I told him.
“You don’t believe in supernatural beings?”
“On the contrary, I just don’t believe they’re portrayed properly in film or books.”
“Care to expand on that,” Layke challenged me as she entered the room.
“There’s a lot of inaccuracies, I’ll leave it at that.” I didn’t particularly want to discuss which supernatural beings were real and fake with a couple of humans.
Apparently Jordan had other ideas.
“Since we’re on the subject,” he said. “What’s your favourite supernatural being?” He aimed the question at Layke.
Expecting her answer to be vampire and, sure enough, I was right. With an amused smirk I glanced at Caleb, who wore the same expression.
“I love the romantic notions that come along with being a vampire. Living in the shadows, being eternally young and beautiful. The fact that they can blend into humanity so well fascinates me.” Typical human fantasy. “You have to agree with me Elora, isn’t that what every woman wants?”
No, I wanted to snap back at her. “I wouldn’t want to be stuck in this body eternally. Having to watch all your loved ones die and not being able to do anything about it is not something I would want to endure.”
“I’d change everyone I loved as well.” She added with a sigh. Her eyes were getting that glazed over appearance that women got when they dreamt of something. “Imagine living with the ones you love forever, never getting sick, never dying.”
“It doesn’t work that way,” I said before I felt my throat clamp shut.
Swallowing hard, I tried to ignore my emotions. My first boyfriend, Darius, was a vampire. Thinking of him stirred sadness and guilt within me.
We first met at the memorial service for my parents. He’d been friends with them for many years, being an ex colleague of Dad’s. When I first met him I was immediately taken in by his physical appearance. Shoulder length black hair always pulled back, crystal blue eyes with the telltale red vampire’s ring around the iris. Tears fell down my face while he gave his condolences and comforted me. I’d never felt so comfortable with anybody before, or since.
He was a little over fourteen hundred years old when we met. Everybody he knew and loved as a human had died long ago. Even his sister, who was turned with him, had deceased. He was eternally twenty-eight. While he loved everything about being a vampire, the speed, strength, even the blood lust he had always resented he’d never get the one thing he wanted the most. Fatherhood. He longed for children, refusing to settle down until he met the right woman. When he thought he had, she turned out to be a vampire; his maker.
“Elora’s never liked the thought of being a vampire, I have to agree with her,” Caleb said quietly, dragging me out of my memories.
“You Australians are weird.” She scoffed.
Pain radiated through my chest as I glared at Layke.
“I love the succubus,” Jordan remarked, leaning back in his chair. “Having sex to survive, that’s just heaven.”
“A typical male response.” Layke shook her head at him. “You know they’re supposedly horrible looking winged creatures that just shape shift into a female human form.”
That was another lie. While succubi had the ability to shape shift, the majority of them were human that had been tricked into selling their souls to the Underworld. The original succubi, the winged demons, weren’t on Earth’s plains any longer. They all resided in the Underworld along with the ‘good’ demons that hunted rogues on Earth.
Caleb weighed in on the conversation. “I’ve always liked Banshees.”
Banshees, or reapers as we called them, were terrifying creatures while working their way. Socially, they were fantastic beings. A typical friendly humanoid with jet black eyes.
“What about you Elora? You must have a favourite being?” Layke asked eagerly.
“I’ll tell you what my least favourite supernatural being is,” I suggested and Layke nodded eagerly. “Imps, I hate imps,” I sneered.
My first encounter with an imp was at the young age of twelve. He was shorter than me, a miniature humanoid with a sickly green tinge to his skin and horrible red eyes that took up the entire socket. He taunted me for a few moments, as a typical imp would, expecting me to run away crying because of the horrible, mean creature he was. Most children would have. Not me. I blasted him with electric energy watching him dissipate before my eyes. The disgusting little creature hadn’t expected me to be Different.
“Pointless little shits,” I grumbled. Words couldn’t express how much I hated imps.
“I’ve never even heard of an imp,” Jordan commented.
“You’re lucky,” Caleb remarked. “They’re a waste of space.”
“Thank God they’re not real,” Layke added with a light sigh.
If only she knew.
While Jordan and Caleb helped themselves to drinks, Layke and I remained standing against the bar.
“How about you tell us something about you?” Layke asked me. “I’m sure you know all about me, but I know nothing about you. Caleb is very secretive when it comes to you.”
That was my cue to leave. I wasn’t sharing intimate details of my life with a couple of humans. “I’m actually really tired,” I said quickly. “Take me home Cal?”
He smiled and nodded quickly, seeing my want to avoid ‘a getting to know you session’.
“Don’t leave, it’s still early,” Layke demanded.
“Sorry, I’m just really tired,” I replied with a forced yawn. “I think I’m still jetlagged.”
The blonde sighed and placed her hands on her hips. “Ok. But you’re coming to my party right?”
I raised my eyebrows in question and Layke turned to Caleb with a frown.
“You didn’t tell her yet?” She turned back to me with a beaming smile. “I’m having a birthday party on Saturday. It’s a superhero costume party, but…” she raised her hand. “You don’t have to dress up.”
For that I was thankful. She seemed to know I wouldn’t appreciate dressing up as a fictional character. “Ok, I’m in.”
“Yay!” she beamed clasping her hands together in front of her. “Ok, I’ll let you leave now.”
With a smile, I endured another quick hug from her, saying a quick goodbye to Jordan.
I followed Caleb out of the house. Once at the car, he leaned against the bonnet giving me a known glance. Apparently he knew I had something to say. Settling in next to him, I enjoyed the cool night breeze for a moment. “Do you still see him?” I whispered. He and Caleb had been good friends. Darius helped Caleb cope when I left home. Even after he moved to the United States, I had to assume Caleb had contact with Darius.
“He was here until last week,” he replied with a solemn expression.
“Convenient,” I mumbled.
“You know he misses you.”
“If he really did, he’d be here to talk to me rather than hiding like a coward.”
“Forget I asked,” I snapped. My eyes and back of my throat burned with tears. But I refused to cry. “Just take me home.”
Opening the car door, I paused when I heard a laugh.
“What?” Caleb asked.
Holding up my hand to silence him, I listened. Trees to the left of the house rustled and another laugh sounded. I turned my head, looking at Caleb wide-eyed.
“Is that what I think it is?” he asked approaching me slowly.
“If you’re thinking it’s an imp, you may be right.”
A small body moved in the darkness, dashing from tree to tree before hiding in a bush. My hand tingled as I concentrate a small burst of energy, ready to release it. When it ran from the bush to another tree, cackling with laughter, I shot my hand in front of me sending energy toward the creature. An inhuman shriek sounded followed by a small thud. Flashing a triumphant grin at Caleb, I ran to the imp’s side with him following. The imp’s horrid red eyes glared up at me, its thin mouth skewed into a sneer. He held his hands up begging for mercy.
“Please.” His voice was like slime and had me cringing with every syllable. “I need to tell you…”
“What are the odds?” I asked Caleb with a quick laugh. “We discuss imps and one appears for me to play with.”
“Please.” His eyes looked at me pleading.
“She’s coming,” he said before doubling over again in pain.
“She who?” I bent over the imp, my physique towering over his in a threatening stance. Caleb laid a gentle hand on my shoulder no doubt to remind me of his presence.
“She is coming,” he repeated before a shrill cackle of a laugh erupted from his throat. “She is coming, she is coming.” He repeated over and over, doing a hobbled dance from side to side. If he wasn’t injured, he would be dancing around the tree in true imp style. Just to taunt me.
“You’re a pathetic waste of space,” I sneered before sending energy into its chest. The imp dissipated before me, his remains nothing but ash, which scattered in the breeze.
Caleb let out a loud sigh. “Did you really need to destroy him?”
I shot him a pointed look. “You prefer I leave him here for Layke or Jordan to find?”
“Point taken,” he mumbled. “Any clue who ‘she’ is?”
“Not the slightest.”
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Happy Sunday everyone. This six is from my debut urban fantasy release, Elora’s Match.
First, I took out a wooden box of keepsakes. My fingertips ran over the tiny roses engraved on the surface, emeralds in the centre of each flower. After opening it, a photograph of my parents and I was before me.
Taken, when I was fourteen, just a few weeks before their disappearance. My mother stood on my left, her long blonde hair framing her goddess-like face, deep brown eyes crinkled as she smiled. On my right, was my father, a very tall muscular man with light brown hair and blue eyes.
And last, Happy Father’s Day to my Dad. One of the best father’s that has ever existed and an incredibly selfless man.
I love you Daddy.