Authors: Jaclyn Tracey
Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #vampires, #werewolves, #spicy
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Jacqueline Kearney
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Contact Information: [email protected]
Cover Art by
Rae Monet, Inc. Design
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
PO Box 708
Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708
Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com
First Black Rose Edition, 2014
Print ISBN 978-1-62830-192-2
Digital ISBN 978-1-62830-193-9
Published in the United States of America
To the one man who shared the vow
“’Til death do we part,”
please stop singing the last line of
the Meatloaf song, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,”
After twenty seven years you still share my soul,
invade my thoughts and make me smile for no reason.
To my Editor, Callie Lynn—
once in a blue moon you meet someone
who’s changed your life~
for once I’m not talking werewolves, but someone
who gives of herself asking for nothing in return.
You are that person, and I am forever grateful we met.
“Harder,” Savanah St. James grunted as she eyed her
handsome partner’s lean, well-defined muscular body.
Hungry, she licked her lips. His complexion reminded Savanah of a model who’d been airbrushed to perfection; not one freckle, pimple or wrinkle to be seen by the naked eye. It wasn’t fair. Currently, she had at least one of each. His blond, unruly curls sprang out from under his baseball cap and framed his kissable face. The black T-shirt with the logo
stretched paper-thin across his broad chest. And his shoulders made her want to run her fingers in circles around his nipples to see if they weren’t the only thing to pop up!
“Harder? Are you sure?” he asked.
Savanah glanced down at his knuckles, white from pressure. “Yes, please—give it your best shot!”
“I think I hear a song in there somewhere. Nothing’s happening. The old tool’s just too big.” His grin hinted of roguery.
Savanah rolled her eyes up every delicious inch of the man.
Music to her ears. Her mind digressed to her last encounter with the opposite sex, and she scanned her pinky finger. Yes, too big would be a welcome change.
“You can make it fit. It
too.” She cringed. Was that desperation in her voice? Savanah gripped and wiggled the solid mass back and forth to no avail. Her reflection in his black-rimmed aviator shades screamed diva, and even though nothing else was going as it should, she smiled. Hopefully, she wouldn’t be the only one to notice. Her eyebrows did a little dance catching her partner’s attention.
Mr. Ray Ban gave a smug smirk. He suggested, “
You’re too rough. Why the hurry? We’ve got all night.”
All night wouldn’t cut it. She wanted eternity. “Me? I can’t believe this. We’re so close. Wait, hold this.” Savanah winked, placed the rod in his grasp, got up and left the man hanging. She returned waving a bottle of massage oil in the air.
He snatched the bottle and read it. “A woman after my own heart.”
Indeed I am and that’s not all.
She gave him a playful grin. “If this doesn’t work, you’re on your own. I wish you’d take off your shades. I’d love to be able to see your eyes. I’d like it even better if I knew your name.”
“Isn’t this more intriguing though? Leaves some mystery… Don’t you agree?”
Savanah watched with eager enthusiasm as his soft, sensuous lips puckered and he blew her a kiss. Oh, the areas she wanted those lips to travel! “You could say that. Hey, you’re in. Oh, it’s snug.”
“So…Savanah, do you do this often?”
“Nowhere near as often as I’d like.”
After an incredible, long, strenuous night, Savanah stirred when the bed shifted.
“Savanah? Wake up. For the love of magic, what were you conjuring up last night? No—never mind. I heard enough. I didn’t know you had company, or I’d have gone to a flick.”
Savanah opened her baby blues to find her best friend and business partner, who just so happened to be her uncle on the side of her bed, his legs crossed, eyeing her. For some reason he had a mischievous smile on his face. The smile suited him. Shame she rarely saw it. He’d pulled his long reddish-brown hair into a braid today, away from his face, which showed the rugged contours of his cheeks and chin. His deep maroon dress shirt, green cargo pants and a pair of tasseled loafers with no socks, told Savanah either he’d gotten up way too early or she’d slept way too late…again.
“Jules?” Scratching her head she prattled, “I was alone all night.”
“No—I heard a man’s voice.”
“Oh no! Don’t tell me I had an out-of-body soul date. God, I didn’t even get his name. This seriously hot blond and I were putting together a baby’s bassinette, and we couldn’t get the thing together. None of the pegs, legs, whatever they were, would fit together. Square peg—round hole syndrome! I’m rather confident you’ve been down that road.” She slapped his arm and gave up a toothy grin. “I won’t tell you what I used to get it to work.”
“Savvy, you were screaming something about getting some lubricant while you charged through the flat last night into the bathroom and then back to your
“I really ran and got the oil?”
Julian nodded. “Been a while since that bed’s got some action…other than you, alone.”
“Ewh! Absolutely uncalled for!” Savanah slapped his arm again. Harder. She countered, “Who’s calling the kettle black? It’s your own fault you have no lady keeping you company, Mister overbearing, egotistical, anal, compulsive werewolf who has more hair on his feet than I do my legs.” Savanah pulled at a few strands on his foot.
Julian raised one eyebrow toward her, baring a different grin worthy of backing up a step or two. “You make me sound like the boy next door or Donald Trump. Get up, woman. We have to get the museum ready for our treasures and get an agreement written up between the UK and Egypt before we can ship our things here.”
She mumbled through a yawn, “Ten minutes tops.”
“Translated into Savanah standard time, one hour. I’ll walk to the bakery and get you a scone and some Earl Grey. Lemon glaze or raspberry?”
“Lemon. You’re the best. Love you more.” Eyes closed again, Savanah flopped backward onto her bed. “That dream-date was so real, Jules. I feel I’ve known him all my life. We really connected. Wish I’d seen his face. Body was a scorcher.” Savanah licked her index finger and tapped her rump as she made a “Szzzzz” sound.
Julian chuckled. “Sounds like you’re more like your mother and your aunt than you know.”
“And maybe I’m just a dreamer.”
“A beautiful dreamer, Savanah. But now we need to make our dreams a reality. Get your lazy bum out of bed. It’s eleven; the day’s going fast. You and I sure as hell aren’t getting any younger.”
“Sweet of you to mention that. Oh, don’t forget a lot of sugar,” she yelled as he left.
Out of bed and in the living room of their tiny five-room flat, she looked around at all the boxes of artifacts she’d collected over the years and no matter how many times she perused the items it amazed her that she had some of the most sought after antiquities in the world at her fingertips. Treasure hunter extraordinaire and superb preternatural archeologist!
“Soon people will know the name Savanah St. James and never forget it.” With a quick pirouette, her reflection caught her attention in the mirror. Mid spin she stopped and fluffed her skewered, thick jet-black curls. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, laugh at me today and I’ll hang you from the banister and watch you fall.” Without further ado she headed to the shower.
One hour later, she and Julian were sardined into the tube—destination—Trafalgar Square Station. No more than a hop, skip and jump from the station stood, The National Gallery, where world treasures graced every wall. As she dangled from a handrail hook with a complete stranger, Savanah felt certain she resembled a slab of meat in an oven. The underground sweltered. The place acted more like a slow cooker than fast, easy transportation. The air conditioning systems were off…again. She wondered why she even took the time to do her hair. The curls were rising faster than the flaky little doughboy getting kneaded by a set of strong hands.
Savanah knew all too well the inside workings of the I-PEON’s, International Preternatural On-sight Neutralizers. The legalized, murdering scoundrels believed turning off the air coolants would smoke out anything non-human because rogue vampires tended to attract flies if left out in the heat too long and shape-shifters looked like rabid St. Bernard’s, drooling buckets of thick mucus. Updates needed to be made on their Intel because not all vamps turned into beef jerky in the sun and not all lycans looked like they needed distemper shots. Her family was death-defying proof.
Savanah chatted endlessly to the older gent and told all the details of her life’s work. “—the exhibit is a first. It showcases artifacts and an actual mummified vampire. You must really come see her. She’s beastly, but she’s my baby,” she suggested, her enthusiasm piqued as she widened her stance and braced for the train to stop.
The older gent, in return, patted her shoulder before he exited. “Dear child!” He shook his head. “You need to find a husband and have children instead of chasing demons. Chase the little monsters. You’re much too pretty to waste your youth on the dead.”
Savanah watched the doors close, she on one side and he on the other, two very different worlds apart.
Other side of the pond, Boston, Massachusetts
Raven St. James eyed Filenes’s basement from every angle—chaos in the making. Her enthusiasm hit a new high. She’d gone with one mission and one mission only—to conquer and rack up the national debt in the process. She scanned over the mountains of unfolded clothing, the shoes strewn across the floors with no mate to be found, perfumes clouding the isles like fog in the moors of England, women sneezing and red-eyed because of it, and busy little fingers franticly tapping out tunes on cash-registers to the sound of money, and she realized she’d done just that. She’d conquered the store. The only thing missing was a song from the early 70’s sung by an acid-rock era band rambling on about money
blasting through the airways. It would have been a welcome change in place of that all too cute little
She’d heard the little track one too many times and had ill-fated feelings for the holiday tune, thinking a nice bloody venison steak would hit the spot. She licked her lips and groaned at the same time.
If only I could kill you all over again Jasper Black.
The damned curse you bestowed upon me will be the death of me, or someone else if I don’t get some nourishment soon
One hundred years later and Raven still loathed the two dead monsters that had turned her. The other ghoul, Xavier Sinclair. Not only did he turn her, but he’d raped her. It couldn’t get hot enough in Hell for him.
Her dents poked through. Against the odds, she jammed her fingers into her mouth and pressed hard on her fangs, praying they didn’t hang over lips. Nothing worse than looking like a desperate vamp, although—it would clear the isles and give her some much needed elbow room!
Her sister-in-law, Serina St. James, she’d lost between the racks of clothing. Not much taller than said racks, Raven seemed to lose Serina every time they ventured out. Raven suggested she wear a cowbell when they shopped. Serina in return, suggested something to do with turning her into a fat cow. And the fact that Serina could, worried her.