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Authors: Susan Sizemore

Primal Cravings

BOOK: Primal Cravings
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PRIMAL CRAVINGS

AKA: G-String Theory

Susan Sizemore

* * * * * * *

This story takes place in the Vampire Primes timeline
at the same time as PRIMAL INSTINCTS

* * * * * * *

For Chris, Nic & Geri

* * * * * * *

Primal Cravings

Copyright 2012 Susan Sizemore

Editor: Marguerite Krause

Cover Art: Kim Killion, Hot Damn Design

Author’s Note

Dear Readers,

If you have read my Vampire Primes book
Primal Instincts
, you will have been introduced to Jake Piper, Dee McCoy, and the assignment these members of the Dark Angels are given to stop something bad happening in Wyoming. Well, when I sat down to write
Primal Cravings
the story went and changed on me. I’ve pretty much learned to do what the muse tells me. So, while the story is still about Jake and Dee saving the world while falling in love with each other, Wyoming has gone missing as the setting. I apologize to Wyoming. And I hope you enjoy this novel.

Chapter One

“Take physics, for example. Physicists are just now getting around to the notion of string theory and multiple universes. They’re beginning to theorize that what occurs in one universe might have effects in another. We witches have been working on that idea forever. Where do you think the Craft philosophy of ‘As above, so below’ comes from? The scientists have added a cool term to the lexicon, though, referring to each separate universe as a brane.”

“Like in membrane?” the teenager on the other end of the phone conversation asked.

Dee McCoy was leaning against a kitchen counter in a Los Angeles safe house having a long-distance phone conversation with her apprentice, a teenage girl in a private school in upstate New York. It had been a long night for the Dark Angels commando group, and was just a little after dawn now. Other equally sleep-deprived Dark Angels were lined up for coffee, tea, and blood, and to fill their breakfast plates. She was sipping from a coffee mug while conducting this morning’s lesson with Saffron, who was three hours later in the time stream.

This was an unusual way of teaching magic, but theirs was an unusual lifestyle. Both she and Saffron Strahan were associated with a multi-species world-protecting supernatural commando group. Witches and apprentices were supposed to be alone together in a secret, spell-warded place and knowledge was passed down only from one member of the Lineage to another. Dee wasn’t above rule bending. Heck, her apprentice wasn’t officially of the Lineage, but since the kid was a mortal orphan of unknown parentage adopted by a vampire, she might be of the Lineage. The kid certainly had Talent.

“I told my chemistry teacher that magic is just science with attitude,” her apprentice said.

“Which landed you with detention, as I recall,” Dee reminded her. “Even if it is the truth.”

“I hate the way we have to keep everything quiet and sneaky.”

People of the supernatural persuasion had made the decision to dive deeply and completely underground some time in the seventeenth century, and for the most part that had worked out well. It now required more and more work to stay under as the growth of technology burned through all the old shadows and disguises.

“Them’s the rules, kid,” Dee said. “Nobody’s changed them yet.”

In fact, the Dark Angels were currently engaged in fighting an effort by some bad guys to out all the vampires, werefolk, weirdos, and witches with acts of attention-grabbing terrorism. Hence, the all-nighter they had just pulled fighting the underground fight in December in LA.

Dee hated the timing of it; she’d been hoping to be home for Winter Solstice.

And speaking of hating….

Yakov Piper, Jake to his friends if he had any which he didn’t, walked into the kitchen and looked around with his usual air of owning the world. Dee did her best not to sneer. He might notice and that would only encourage him. Jake was a vampire Prime, and there was nothing unusual about his being on the arrogant side. But Jake was so obnoxious in his utter belief he was the goddess’s gift to the universe—not that he gave any indication of believing in any deity—he made her want to puke. Not that he ever actually
said
he was the best and most wonderful male who had ever lived, but Dee picked up the vibe from him whenever he looked her way. Which wasn’t often, as he tried to ignore any mere mortals in his space.

Dee knew a lot of vampires and was very fond of most of them. But they were Clan and Family boys, respectful of mortals and especially of mortal women. Jake might be sponsored by a vampire Family, but he hadn’t started his life as a member of Family Piper. He’d been born and raised a Tribe Prime and as far as she could tell he still thought of himself as one, despite having crossed over to the light side. And Tribe Boys were not nice people.

“Dee? Are you there?” Saffie’s voice sounded in her ear. The kid gave an exaggerated sigh. “You’re glaring at Jake, aren’t you?”

“I’m not. How can you tell?”

“You radiate whenever you’re around Jake Piper. What’s he doing to piss you off?”

“We’re all having breakfast,” she answered carefully, aware that the room was full of people. Too aware of Piper’s dark presence. She really did try to keep her animosity under wraps for the sake of the Crew. “Radiate what?” she asked.

“I’m not psychic,” the girl answered. “But I’m not stupid. Maybe you should just try ignoring him.”

“That’s exactly what I’m doing.”

“Yeah, but you ignore him so blatantly.”

Maybe she did. “Don’t you need to get to class or something?” she asked Saffie. “I need to get to the bacon if I want any before Ted shows up.”

Ted was a werebear, a big, hairy guy who loved anything smoky flavored. Never try to get between him and smoked salmon. He was almost as bad about bacon.

“I hear you. You want to get away from Jake and you’re using Ted as an excuse.”

Dee smiled. “Right. Hang up now, Saffron.”

“Say hi to everyone for me. Even Jake.”

“No,” Dee answered, but not until she knew Saffie was no longer on the line. She slipped her cell phone into the side pocket of her jeans and turned to look out the window over the kitchen sink just as Piper squeezed past her. She managed not to move as his hand accidently brushed across her back, even if she really yearned to turn around and slap him. As paranoid as she was about the Prime, she couldn’t blame him for everything.

* * *

The last thing Jake wanted was to go anywhere near the red-haired witch, but there was no avoiding it. Everyone else would notice. He wanted to touch her hair, but that was impossible.

He didn’t mean for his hand to brush across the small of her back when he had to go behind her in the crowd. The touch drew no response from her, but fire raced from his fingertips through every nerve-ending in his body. This lightning strike left him white blind with need. He’d spent a lifetime hiding any sign of weakness and the experience kept him going now.

He wanted blood, or at least rare meat, but he dutifully piled eggs and bacon onto a plate and found an empty seat at the kitchen table where he could eat quickly. He wasn’t scheduled for a feeding until later in the day, and he would never show weakness or craving around the Crew. They watched him all the time, not all of them friendly and well-meaning. Not all of them thought he would go bad, but some of them were sure he would.

He was lucky to have his back firmly to the witch, though he was aware of her whether he could see her or not. She hadn’t a clue about his hunger, his thirst, centered on her. He wanted to close his eyes and breathe in her heat.

He glanced at the person seated next to him and commented, “You are the living definition of wolfing a meal.”

The werewolf stopped shoveling in eggs and toast long enough to grin at Jake. “Funny.”

Not really.

The words were the faintest whisper from the witch, not even meant for Jake’s ears, though he heard her loud and clear.

She was only a female. Her words did not matter. But she was the main reason he sometimes missed being a Tribe Prime. What he would do to her, with her, if—

“Good times,” he murmured. He took a sip of coffee.

Caffeine was a new addiction, something he’d learned to appreciate since joining the Dark Angels. Would coffee give the witch’s blood an added kick?

He managed to get his mind off the witch when Jerame walked into the kitchen. Everyone looked at Jerame, as they always did. He was—beautiful. If, indeed, he was a he. There was something more masculine than feminine in the way the tall, graceful being moved and spoke. Which he did now, to the witch, leaning close to speak privately.

Jake rose to his feet without thinking.

“—been putting this off.”

“Ah, my beautiful
nephelim
, I know,” she said.

Jake didn’t see her do it, but he knew when she stroked Jerame’s cheek. He turned to look at the pair, but so did everyone else, so his interest wasn’t obvious.

“You are all knowing and all wise,” Jerame said. He was still whispering.

“Yes. But I also marked your last treatment on my calendar.”

The witch hadn’t bothered with lowering her voice. She was one of the ones who believed none of the Dark Angels should have secrets from each other. Jake hated that most of the Crew also lived by this philosophy.

“I’ll get my kit, but you know what you have to do first.”

Jake’s heart raced at the wicked grin she turned on Jerame. She never smiled at him. That he craved a woman’s smile was a weakness he hated in himself.

“Take off my shirt?” Jerame asked.

“Say it, man!” Ted called. “You know you’re gonna have to say it!”

Everyone but Jake began to chant, “Say it, say it!” until Jerame held up his hands in surrender, and the room went quiet.

“Was Wisconsin really so bad, Bartleby?” Jerame intoned in a spot-on imitation of Alan Rickman in
Dogma
.

Applause and laughter followed, but dead silence fell again as the Dark Angels’ commander walked into the kitchen.

* * *

Tobias Strahan pointed first at Dee, then at Jake, and continued walking through the kitchen.

“I’ll get to work on your wings in a minute,” Dee told Jerame, and followed Tobias into the nearby breakfast nook. She didn’t say anything, and avoided even looking at the Tribe Prime, but she was already blaming Piper for whatever trouble they were in.

They weren’t so far away from the others that the Crew couldn’t listen, so maybe it wasn’t going to be a totally hideous reaming. Tobias preferred to do the serious chewing out in private. Dee touched her throat at the gruesome image of what being chewed out by a vampire could really mean.

Chapter Two

“Tell me about magic,” was the first thing Tobias said when the three of them were away from the rest of the Dark Angels.

“Are you going to yell at me about teaching your daughter magic?” Dee asked.

Tobias shook his head. “The kid has the goods, I wouldn’t want anyone but you to train her.”

Dee relaxed, but she was still puzzled. “Could you be more specific, then, boss?”

“Types of magic training, practices,” he said. “Tell me how you humans organize the stuff. I’ve got a feeling about it.”

There was no arguing with Tobias Strahan’s feelings. While his premonitions weren’t ever exactly dead-on accurate visions of events, they were dead-on accurate arrows pointing to all kinds of nastiness and trouble ahead.

“There are several different schools of magic,” Dee began.

“Hogwarts? Salem High?” Piper said.

Dee didn’t even turn a dirty look on him, though she was surprised to discover the Tribe Boy had a sense of humor—lame though it was.

“We use those jokes among ourselves, you know.” She spoke to the air, rather than look at the Prime. Too bad he was standing so close to her. She didn’t have to look at him to feel him there, all deep, dark, and aching. His aching was none of her business and she wasn’t going to ask even if there was a part of her who wanted to help everybody.

Deep breath. Concentrate on Tobias.

“The schools, types, if you will, of magic are called Grove, Town, Tower, and Cave. Each type of witch calls on the powers of the space they occupy. Except for Travelers, of which I am one. Travelers can use whatever they find wherever they are. We’re the multi-taskers of the Craft world.”

Dee didn’t particularly want to say any more, but Tobias continued to look at her, waiting. Her loyalty to him and the Crew overrode the secrecy of her training. It wasn’t forbidden to talk about this stuff, it was just strongly encouraged for witches to keep their mouths shut. It was still hard for her to go on.

“Do sorcerers and wizards fall into these—types?” Piper asked.

There was genuine curiosity in his voice, and the question helped Dee find the words for what Tobias wanted to know. “Tower and Cave witches use those fancy titles sometimes, but they’re just snobs. Witches are witches. Male witches are not called warlocks, by the way. We don’t know where that term came from. Anyway, Tower folk are very aloof and highfalutin’, and Cave witches use too much fire magic for their own good, if you get my drift.”

BOOK: Primal Cravings
11.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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