Read Eden's Charms Online

Authors: Jaclyn Tracey

Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #vampires, #werewolves, #spicy

Eden's Charms (6 page)

The other man appeared miserable like an ogre, a scowl shrouded his face. His eyes were uniquely puzzling. One large green eye, the color of jade fought for dominance with his big brown buck-like eye. He didn’t look at people, he glared at them. He stood a few inches smaller than pretty boy, but he weighed more. Ethan figured Superman would have flown the coup if he’d come up against this guy. There Ethan stood, in shock and awe of the threesome wondering if he could survive the kryptonite this trio packed. His ego was big enough to take on the situation. His IQ, however, wasn’t his strongest point tonight. Case and point, Trixie. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye trying to think of a brilliant way to ditch her. About ten feet from his
vision
, Ethan stopped and faced Trixie. “Would you eh—ah?” He placed his finger in Trixie’s face asking without words to hold up for just a second. He shoved the dinners into her calloused hands, turned about face and glided on air toward his dream girl.

****

Savanah rolled her eyes over every inch of the man the moment she realized his intentions were to devour her even before they’d been introduced. An instant recognition crippled her. Her gut gave off that queasy
I’m going to explode any moment urge
and her legs went weak.
Jet lag
, she thought. It had to be all the different aromas and no sleep getting to her. Then why did she want only the man in front of her for dinner? She had trouble removing her eyes from him. Hell, at this point a surgeon couldn’t have done the trick. But as he stared back, she realized he did the same to her. Her tongue prepped her lips for whatever happened. His light peridot eyes had to have been snitched from London Tower. Then an epiphany slammed her. “Holy mother of God, he’s the guy from the airport. And who’s the bimbo with him?”
Why do I even care who he’s with? Because he’s mine.

Wide-eyed with a hint of a grin, Savanah waited.

Before Ethan knew what he was doing he was inches from Savanah’s face.

“Hey, Pippy,” was all he said before he covered her lips with his.

His hands, by design, found her cheeks, his thumbs brushed her petal-soft skin. He kept his eyes closed. Since his attack and being turned, he’d vowed to never trust another woman and until today he hadn’t closed his eyes when he kissed one. Savanah’s lips moved with his. His pants tightened all over again. He pulled away from her as he opened his eyes and watched her looking at him full of wonder, especially when she went limp in his arms.

The two bodyguards approached as Savanah came around.

“What the hell?” Savanah asked, the words lackadaisically toppling off her tongue.

“I just ah—had to. Do you always pass out when you’re kissed?”

“Only when it’s by strange pilchards.”

Trixie tapped Ethan’s shoulder twice before he responded. Savanah stood, steadied herself and stepped back and away from the scorned woman.

“Who’s she?” Trixie squawked. “I’m not into threesomes.”

Ethan glanced at her breasts one last time and sighed. “Me either. Look Trixie, my plans changed tonight. I’m sorry. Dinner’s on me.”

“Yes it is!” Trixie spit at him, then spun on her three-inch stilettos and stomped out of the restaurant. In Ethan’s next breath he met bodyguard number one—Julian.

Before Ethan could introduce himself, he hit the wall so hard his cosmopolitan blew out better than then a whale could spew water.

Julian ducked, and in a low growl barked, “You have no business marking our woman. I could kill you for such an act. This is the only warning you’ll ever receive from me. Attempt to touch her again and I’ll show you the true meaning of death warmed over. Do we have an accord?”

After catching his breath, Ethan ripped out, “An accord? What are you…some outcast pirate? I kissed her
Shrek
, I didn’t piss on her like she’s some fire hydrant, marking my territory. I only wanted to meet her and get rid of the other one. I just—”

Julian tightened his grip, and held Ethan easily with one hand pinned to the wall, his feet dangling. Teeth clenched, the veins in his neck ready to explode he ordered, “You just leave her alone, boy.”

Ethan didn’t budge. Not that he could.

Savanah tapped Julian’s shoulder. “This might very well be why I’ve had no action in my bed,” she whispered. “You’re so damned overprotective. I just flashed everyone in the vicinity to keep things status quo, well everything except our pin-up boy!”

“Mouth, Missy.” Julian dropped Ethan.

Ethan ended up flat on his ass looking up at Goliath the second bodyguard.

“Who do you think you are and what the hell was that display?” The giant glowered ready to squash Ethan like an ant.

Ethan tried to figure out who or what the hell the man was. He wasn’t a shifter, but he wasn’t a vamp either, even though his aura screamed otherworldly in an understated, kick-ass tone. He’d been around the Maestro long enough to realize the vibrations the vamp gave off were unequalled to this spine tingling experience. “What are you? Her sentinel?” Ethan pointed to Savanah.

André raised his voice. “I am the very reason you hid under your covers as a child.”

Blankly, Ethan offered, “I’m sorry, Sir. I meant no harm to your sister.”

“Sister?” Savanah burst out laughing.

André continued to stare him down. Savanah watched in silence. Julian gave her father the gentleman’s nod of acknowledgement, a gesture that reeked of arrogance and liters of testosterone.

“You have learned well from the master, André.” Julian gave a roll of his hand from his chest—an upright bow.

Savanah gasped. “You two are so full of yourselves. I can’t stand it. How has Mum put up with you both?”

“Your mum loves me to bits and pieces, little girl,” André answered.

Julian added his two cents, “And I’d love nothing more than to see you actually end up in those bits and pieces.” Julian’s smirk held the slightest bit of truth to it. Yes, the two men were close, but there were days.

“Watch it, Grimmy,” André snapped.

Julian laughed a hearty burble then switched personalities easier than Cybil. “So, Mister…You never answered us.”

Mouth open and about to answer, Ethan noticed the hostess approach. Her belly ring dangled from under her shirt like a fishing lure, trying to catch someone’s attention. Well it did, but he wasn’t interested. His interests lay solely on the woman in the white silk suit.

The hostess rattled off a spiel with more accuracy than an auctioneer that their table would be ready soon and dinner was on the house because of the mishap at the front door with someone coming in and vomiting all over and starting such a ruckus. She vanished just as quickly, her ponytail bobbing side to side.

Once again the center of attention, Ethan offered, “Sorry, but if I didn’t get body-slammed…”

Savanah rested her eyes on Ethan. “You going to tell us a name or do we play twenty questions?”

“I’ll play more than twenty questions with you!” He raised his brows in a playful gesture toward her.

André grabbed him by the shirt collar and hoisted him once again off his feet.

“Oh, Christ! Not again. My name is Ed.” Ethan offered.

“Liar,” Savanah accused. Lies. She could smell one better than a cadaver dog could sniff out a zombie at the bottom of the lake. Her mother had the same gift, as well. Walking, talking lie detectors.

Ethan looked at her as if she had two heads.

“What?” she asked innocently.

“Lightning actually does strike twice, hey Pippy. How’d you know?”

“What does he mean calling you Pippy?” Vehemence saturated André’s voice.

“He’s the guy that ran me over at the airport.”

“I didn’t run you over, and you still have nine other perfectly pink tootsies.” Ethan gestured toward her feet.

Savanah’s smile spread across her face when she realized he’d noticed her toenails. She choked down the immediate gratification when she rethought her values and decided she might be just the slightest bit shallow.
It isn’t all about me, is it?

She smiled again.
Yes, by the Gods, it is.

Dismissing the ridiculous grin plastered on his niece’s cheeks with a slight tap to the back of her head, Julian said, “Your name. Now!”

“Ethan Kitt.”

The hostess returned. “Should I have another seat set for four?”

Simultaneously André and Julian answered, “No.”

Savanah pouted. “No?”

Ethan didn’t look any better. “Why can’t I join you?”

“We don’t trust you. We don’t know you, and we don’t like you.” André rested his hand atop Ethan’s shoulder, and nudged him toward the door. “Young man, you should be running out of here with your tail between your legs. Might I suggest that you never come near our family again, because if you do there are no guarantees I’ll save you from him.” André shot his thumb over his shoulder toward Julian.

Ethan gave a half-court bow to Savanah. He turned to exit, but stopped short, and turned back to her. “I’m sorry. I mean that. You are no doubt, the most gorgeous creature to walk the earth and your lips…Ummm!” Ethan closed his eyes briefly then placed his index finger under her chin. “I got the awkward part of the relationship over with Pip…the anxiety over the first kiss. It’s all downhill from here. You even look great with pig-tails. Oh, you know my name, but I don’t know yours.”

With a seductive sway to her hips, she pulled her shoulders back, which accentuated her natural gifts, and Savanah stepped in closer to him. Very gently she tussled his hair. “Leaves a little mystery behind the whole ordeal, don’t you agree?”

“Yes, Ma’am, it does.” Ethan winked at her then straightened his posture, squared his shoulders, turned briskly on his heels and left the restaurant. “I feel like I’ve had this conversation with you once. I know that sounds like a line but, I’ll find your name before nightfall, Rapunzel,” he yelled back.

Every one of nature’s laws compelled Savanah to follow the man out the door. She followed her feet right up until her father blocked her advances.

“Never chase a man, Peanut.” André advised, “Unless he’s stolen your heart. Then shoot the bastard once you catch him.”

“You’re such a romantic, Papa. What was I thinking?”

The hostess led them through a maze of tables and up one step to the back of the restaurant by the fireplace to a nice, cozy table. “This is your waitress, Edan.”

“Edan? Sinful name. A bottle of your finest Merlot? Please?” Julian’s grin for the tall waitress with blonde curly hair and large, almond-shaped green eyes had her covered in a light blush.

Savanah kept a curious eye on Julian.
He’s flirting.
Go Jules
! “Papa, do you believe that man? He kisses me—and why? Then he lies and then when all else fails he tries for a lame case of sincerity?”

“Peanut, the only truthful thing he said related to your beauty. And about that kiss—don’t tell me you didn’t feel anything.”

Savanah’s fingers traced her lips, her eyes closed and, in that instant, she realized life as she knew it was about to change.

“I second that,” Julian added. “I marked him. I’ll smell him a mile before he gets near us. In retrospect, I don’t ever remember being that naïve when I first turned.”

“Uncle, you’ve never let your guard down a day in your life. You’re always so well-reserved, it’s rather frightening. So incredibly—what’s that word you always call him, Papa?” Savanah turned away from her uncle, laughter so very close to the surface.

“Anal.” André answered giving his daughter the shifted brow.

“Good. It’s what I intended.” Julian gave a firm nod to André.

Savanah rolled her eyes. Here we go again, she thought. “No, it’s not good. One day you’ll snap,” She said as she reached into the basket and broke a breadstick in half, the crumbs landed in Julian’s lap. “Like this did.”

“Let’s just get Lucian, Serina and the newest member of our family, Elyza, safely tucked away first? I can worry about my lack of a love life after that.” Julian winked.

“She’s right, Jules. You need to take a day or two off and relax. And I believe this waitress may be just what the doctor ordered.”

“Papa, you’re embarrassing. You’re like some old biddy who’s lost the filter on her lips and blurts out whatever she thinks.” Savanah watched the waitress, Edan, uncork a bottle of wine, and pour a small amount into Julian’s glass. Edan never took her eyes from Julian’s as she handed him the glass. Her fingers lingered long after Julian’s hand reached the glass. Savanah watched the woman wet her plump, deep red lips, one hundred percent mesmerized by her over-zealous, egotistical,
would-lay-down-and-give-you-his-heart-if-you-needed-a-transplant,
uncle.

Oh, my God! Did you see that, Papa? Could she have been any bolder? Why not just throw herself in his lap?

That’s probably next on her to-do-list. Savvy, let him be. The same goes for our little shifter. He just did the same thing to you, except he threw himself at you and you caught him! Hook, line and lips.

Lips scrunched to one side of her face she agreed, “Point taken.”

“Thank you,” Julian said to the waitress, with a small nod. “Place a second bottle on ice and after your shift ends, we’ll share it.”

The waitress looked around and grinned. “Eleven, my shift is done,” she offered casually.

“I’ll see you then.” Julian reached for her hand and chastely placed a small kiss in the center of her palm.

“I have to get back to my tables. See you tonight.” The waitress hurried toward the kitchen where a few other women crowded the doorway. Small chatter and giggles erupted.

Savanah nudged Julian’s arm with a nod toward the kitchen. “Uncle, stop staring at her. Why didn’t you two let me take care of Mr. Kitt instead of manhandling the poor thing?”

“I can’t put my finger on it, but something about him seemed fallacious.” Julian put the glass to his lips and took one long sip. “Nice vintage. Savvy. I don’t trust him. I’ll guarantee you if he ever lays a finger on you, he’ll be missing it and a few other things come morning.”

About to clobber both her father and uncle for their Neanderthal logic, Savanah decided she needed air. “Would you two excuse me? I need to freshen up. To many pheromones in the air.” Savanah stood and headed for the restroom. Once inside, she dowsed cold water on her face to relieve at least one part of her anatomy. Everything else on her body felt worse than a car with no coolant in its radiator stuck in the midday sun. One steamy mess. Her breasts longed to be touched, and she now found a tickle between her thighs she couldn’t scratch in public—well, not without getting arrested for public indecency.
What the hell did he do to me?

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