Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend: Afterglow, Book 2

BOOK: Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend: Afterglow, Book 2
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Dedication

To all those fascinated by the thought of what our future may hold…my thanks. I am one of you and I too spend more time than I should wondering what lies ahead for the human race…

May it be as much fun for our heirs as it is for my characters…

Prologue

Desire ripped through her, a fiery chill that took the breath from her lungs and had her gasping with the force of it.

Lust, sharp and clawing at her guts, a fierce and hungry need to taste this man, to have the tang of him on her tongue, the scent of him in her nose and the feel of him beneath her.

She watched as he walked through the darkness to his car, long legs eating up the pavement with an easy stride. He was tall, very tall. She liked that, knowing his height made him just a little bit more special than he already was. At least to her.

She envisioned tearing off his shirt and touching his body—running her hands over his smooth skin, tracing his muscles, maybe teasing his nipples with her nails and her mouth. Was he sensitive there? Would he quiver or moan at such a caress?

Would he respond in kind? Would he reach for her breasts even as she fondled him, and would his hands be firm, knowing where to touch, how to arouse? She knew they would be. This was a man born with knowledge enough to stimulate a woman to insanity.

She pulled deeper into the shadows, tucked into the black impenetrable angles of a building, hidden from sight. Her wings trembled as she let the hotly erotic images spill out into her mind, all brought on by the mere sight of him.

He’d slowed his pace, glancing around. It was almost as if he was aware of her gaze. Perhaps, on some level, he was. He had a talent that she’d yet to identify. She knew what he
wasn’t
, not what he was.

The tiny blue spot on his earlobe marked him as an AG—she’d seen it the first time she’d watched him. He was a human with mutated DNA, known now as an Afterglow—homage to the astronomical event that created them. But he wasn’t a vampire or a fairy. Perhaps a shape shifter, but he’d never seemed to need any of the associated trappings. Ditto werewolf. He liked animals, but didn’t change into one at the full moon.

She knew all this with certainty. She’d filed away her observations, watching when the opportunity presented itself. And her fascination with this man had grown along with her desire to possess him.

To have him naked and aroused on top of her, or to ride him as he bucked and thrust into her. She wanted to hold his cock, to stroke it until he sobbed with pleasure, to suck it, bring him to the very brink—and then impale herself on it, sending them both spinning into an orgasmic vortex.

The images made her realize she was wet and aching. With caution, she turned slightly away from the man and slipped her hand beneath her full black skirt. Finding the right place, damp and slick, she rubbed—careful to ensure that her movements were silent, her panting breaths no more than a whisper lost in the night.

He was in his car now, starting the engine. Her personal motor was already running, purring along, increasing in intensity with the touch of her own hand. She closed her eyes as he drove away, past the spot where she stood, body shaking, rising to the edge of an orgasm.

It would be him, she knew. It would be him, his mouth, his tongue on her, his hands digging into her buttocks as he made her come. His hair against her thighs. He’d fuck her with those beautiful lips tight against her pussy, then after she’d exploded the first time, he’d fuck her once more. This time with his cock, thrusting deep and fast, and forcing her to that magnificent peak over and over again.

She could see it, feel it, experience it in her mind. He’d groan, his face contorted as he stared at their bodies.

Her thighs shook as she let the climax free and bit back a cry of completion. Her fingers were soaked, her mind a blank—and then it was gone. A tiny slice of time that was pure pleasure and just for her.

Sated, she leaned into the cold concrete wall and withdrew her hand. A smile curved her lips. This was how it would be with him. Incredible, erotic and satisfying.

Even more so when he lay next to her and she could lick the sweat from his skin. Nibble her way down his chest and back up—and then climb onto his body and rip into the firm muscle revealing the flesh and blood beneath.

Oh yes. That would be the best moment of all. The moment when the awareness of his fate would dawn in those lovely eyes of his.

It was a moment she knew would come.

When she would, perhaps, hold his still beating heart in her hand, the hot blood flowing copiously between her fingers as she raised it to her lips.

Or would she just take his essence, steal what it was that made him special? Use it as she had used others, and just discard the empty vessel that had housed it? She didn’t know yet. But the anticipation tore through her like a lightning bolt from hell and made her want to shriek with impatience.

The slender figure dressed in black staggered and raised a hand to her head. She was dizzy, disoriented, her body lax, her skirt mussed.

What the fuck?

The little Fae lifted a hand to her forehead and grimaced. She should’ve had something to eat instead of skipping dinner and agreeing to meet her friends at the bar an hour early. And she’d sure as shit better go easy on the Moonbeam Martinis.

Her wings felt raw, as if they’d been manhandled. She winced and looked around, realizing she was less than a block from her destination. Something unsettling gnawed at her brain, something directly related to her uncomfortably damp panties.

Jesus H. This was frickin’ absurd, and the girls would give her hell if she was late, since Jen had promised mega-office-gossip along with the first round of drinks.

Straightening, she stepped out of the shadows and headed for her night of fun. With a stern reminder to herself to watch her sugar levels in the future and eat something before going out, she walked rapidly down the street, without realizing she’d just lost a short period of time.

Or that, for those brief moments, her mind had not belonged to her.

Chapter One

Cheney Fisher was tired.

He hadn’t slept very well, he’d woken up too early and had a rougher-than-usual commute to his desk at the precinct, thanks to a unicorn that had managed to nail itself to a tree and block the road.

He sighed and pulled a little of his magic around him, creating the illusion of normalcy and tightening the bags he knew were sagging beneath his eyes. He’d let it wane during the day, but right now he didn’t need any questions from his eagle-eyed peers in the detective pool. Especially his partner, Buck Shand.

Although since Buck had found himself a real, honest-to-God woman and they’d established themselves as a couple, Buck’s attention to such details had slid considerably. He had worse bags under his eyes than Cheney did.

Lots of great sex did that to a guy.

Or so he’d heard. He could have sex anytime he wanted it, but in spite of the charm he radiated, he chose not to fuck around. If others imagined him with a different babe every night, that was their problem. He wasn’t a sharing kind of guy about his personal life.

And even though everyone recognized the tiny dot on his earlobe that marked him as an AG, he’d told very few people what he actually
was
.

As a matter of fact, even he wasn’t sure what he was. But he’d found the one word that seemed to cover his skills. He thought of himself as an
illusionist
.

Not for him the fairy wings, the vampire fangs or the shape-shifting abilities. Those creatures of legend were now plentiful thanks to Afterglow. There were nightclubs and fashions designed for fairies, diet blood substitutes for vampires trying to drop a few pounds, and various drop-off points for werewolves about to shed their clothes and get furry.

Embarrassed, naked, middle-aged men trying to hide their paunch after a night howling at the moon in their lupine forms—well, accommodations had to be made. It was all part and parcel of his world, and he pretty much took it for granted like the rest of Earth’s inhabitants.

The mutations were accepted and variations were logged, filed and entered into the databases of scientific institutions around the world. But science aside, there were still humans at the core of these creatures, humans with their own foibles, issues and personalities. Thus pixies could be as nice or as annoying as their intrinsic natures, fairies needed to learn how to use their wings if they wanted to flutter—it didn’t always come naturally—and elves were green. Not chartreuse, or emerald, just flat-out green. They weren’t always happy about it, either, but it was what it was.

Vampires bought the latest designs in sunglasses and were into hats big-time. Even when not dentally challenged, they were sun-sensitive. They dealt with it, as did everyone, by adapting—the species as a whole was pretty well-adjusted, realized Cheney as he strolled into the precinct and nodded at a couple of guys from the night shift who were logging out.

One still had pointy ears—he’d probably spent the night picking up street gossip down in Woodville where fairies and elves hung out in bars with inventive names like “The Green Glade” or “Mushroom Dell”.

The blands, folks who didn’t have any special mutations, took it all in stride. After all, when your kid becomes something magical, you couldn’t
not
love them just because you had both feet firmly on the ground and didn’t shift into anything other than an overbearing parent demanding they brush their fangs before they go to bed.

“Hey, dude. How’s it hangin’?” Buck offered his customary morning salute.

“Bigger, longer and harder ’n yours, dude.”

Having dispensed with the daily pissing contest, Cheney sat behind his desk, frowning at the paperwork that seemed to magically appear overnight. “What the hell’s all this crap? I thought we took care of the basilisk killer stuff.”

“We did.” Buck leaned a hip on a bare spot and looked down at the folders. “This is the latest from the DMD.”

Cheney grimaced. “Ah. Them.” The Department of Metaphysical Developments kept track of human DNA mutations and alerted the authorities to any new wrinkles in the growing complexity of the human crossbreeds. They accomplished this mammoth task in the most boring way possible, so it was with a great deal of sarcasm that he posed a question to his partner. “Anything interesting?” He scanned the pages idly.

“Check page four.” Buck’s voice was quiet. “Something there I can’t say I’m thrilled about.”

“Shit.” Cheney found it immediately. “A ghoul?”

“Yep.”

“Not much on it. Just a note that they’ve identified the ghoul gene. Someplace in Europe, apparently, but not here yet.”

“Good thing too,” said Buck. “From what Lian told me, ghouls aren’t the nicest of beings. They’ll eat you as soon as look at you.”

Cheney shrugged. “They’ll adjust, I guess. Or get wiped out.” He closed the folder and leaned back in his chair. “Anything else new I should know about?”

“Routine stuff. I guess you heard about the unicorn stuck in the tree.”

“Yep. Got hung up in the traffic mess.”

“There were a couple of domestic disturbances last night. The usual things. Some werewolf forgot himself and pissed on a neighbor’s lawn, leaving brown spots. A fairy said she was assaulted, but it turned out to be some tourist who’d never seen one before and wanted to know if her wings were real.”

“Christ. Are there still places where there aren’t any AGs?”

“Apparently. This guy was from out of town. Waaaaay out of town.” Buck chuckled. “Sounded like he was right off the farm. A bland with no real exposure to much of anything but cow shit.”

Cheney grinned. “If it wasn’t for the stink, I’d almost envy him.”

“Some days, I would too.”

The two men were silent for a moment or two, then Buck leaned a little closer. “It’s bugging you, isn’t it?”

They’d been partners long enough for Cheney to know exactly what Buck was talking about. “Yep. Bugging the shit out of me if you want the truth.”

Two lines appeared between Buck’s eyebrows as he stared at his friend. “Don’t let it get to you. We took a serial killer down. The Pleasure Pets can go screw their customers without worrying they’ll end up as mincemeat. Business is up, everyone’s back to fucking their brains out, coming like gangbusters and life is good.”

“I know, but still.” He ran his hand through his hair. “I can’t get rid of it, Buck. That knowledge. The idea that there’s someone out there who is trying to control AGs. Make them do things they don’t want to do. Turn them into killers.” He paused. “And there’s something else.”

“What?”

“Call me crazy, but I’ve had the strangest feeling since we closed that case. The feeling I’m being
watched
.”

Buck lifted one eyebrow. “By someone other than the usual gaggle of women, I’m assuming?”

Cheney snorted. “Fuck you.”

“No thanks. I’ve got a headache.”

“Seriously, Buck.” He rested his arms on his desk. “It’s nothing I can put a finger on. Nobody I see more than once or a car that looks familiar. Just an itch on the back of my neck now and again.” He looked up. “You know what I’m talking about?”

BOOK: Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend: Afterglow, Book 2
6.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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