Tuesday, 22 December 2015

#newrelease #outnow Dan's Desires Book 5 of the Desires series

I am so delighted to have the release of the 5th novel in the Desires series
 
A hot erotic series based around a sexclub where all your sexual fantasies can come alive, from BDSM to a weekend away enjoying one another, the choice is yours.
 
Only in Dan's Desires you finally get to read Dan's version of the four previous books while struggling with his own emotions.
 
Step into a world of a young man who turns from a boy into a man
 
Dan's Desires

Tagline

Lost and shattered, on the verge of losing everything, can Dan be happy again?
 



Blurb

Dan, a devious, hot, sincere young man, preys on women like a vulture. He takes up escorting before entering a world of sexual fantasy in a club called Desires, being paid to have sex. He loves being a naughty boy without conviction, even having sex with the boss, using any means to have his wicked way.

Then he meets a new client, Stacie Clifford. He needs to drop the boy act and become a man, yet remember the club’s emotional contract. He makes it his responsibility to protect Stacie from Angel the boss of the club. He’s in love.

He has almost everything: a wife, son and a baby on the way, ownership of Desires, yet something is missing from his life, Sapphire his daughter. Unable to move on, feeling destroyed, his marriage is uneasy. Day after day he fights his heartache, wanting to be happy and be Dan, the man he once was. Will Dan ever be complete again? What will it take to get him there?


Erotic Excerpt

He managed to pick the lock and get into the room. There was not much light as she had drawn the curtains. His eyes adjusted to the low light and he could make her out on the sofa. Wearing his full ninja-banana costume, he made his way over to her. He could hardly see who she was as she wore dark glasses hiding her identity. Who he was about to have his dick sucked off by, he had no idea, but hell it sounded hot. Dan saw a smile spark across her face looking thrilled, he had made it.

When he got closer he could make out she had short brown hair and a curvy build with mangoes for boobs. She was wearing a shirt with the buttons half way undone, showing off her large cleavage. He liked tits, so he would prefer her to get those out and fuck them, but no a deal was a deal and his cock was already straining inside his pants.

He made his way over to her. She stood up for him and he saw all her hot curves. Without a word spoken, he sat on the couch and she dropped to her knees between his legs.

She reached inside the yellow trousers and pulled out his long, thick, throbbing dick and gobbled it instantly into her mouth. She took his head as far as it would go, hitting the back of her throat. Dan grumbled. The woman released his cock with a loud pop, and then dived on it once again. Dan could feel her mouth filling with saliva, lapping and sucking. She released and groaned. “Mmmmm,” she mumbled. His eyes shut tight loving the tease she was putting on him.

She slid her hand up and down the long girth, pumping him, using her saliva to lubricate him. Then she plunged back down on him, her tongue flicked over the tip into his slick opening. The woman dipped her tongue in his pre-cum.
 
 Amazon UK
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Festive treat!

Desires out now only £0.99 or $1.49

Monday, 14 December 2015

Festive Erotic Fun! 'Free your Imagination' Desires series

Wow It's almost the season to be Jolly so what way to share some festive fun by slashing the prices of the Desires series. 
 
Yes you can download the series for cheaper, so what you waiting for allow me to lure you in and have the time of your life!
 
Adventure if you dare into Desires a sexclub, where all your fantasies come alive. 
 
'Free your Imagination'

Lets throw in some seduction!
 
 

Let's feed your arousal!
 
 
 
 
Desires

Desires—a place where fantasies are made flesh and dreams become real. From BDSM to being a dog, Desires can provide it with bells on, if that’s your kink.


Stacie Clifford’s only desire is to regain her sexual confidence after her recent escape from an abusive marriage. She joins Desires looking for re-education in the joys of her body. There is only one condition; her contract states emotional attraction between tutor and student is forbidden. Stacie is fine with that; her heart is so battered she has no desire to give it to anyone else.



Then she meets her instructor, Dan. Instantly attracted, at first Stacie thinks it will help to make her sexually comfortable with him. But when she realises she is falling in love, she can’t tear herself away, contract or no. Stacie knows that, no matter how kind and caring Dan appears, he’s just doing his job. Can Stacie overcome her own Desires and walk away?


Touching Angel’s Desires blurb


Angel’s life was one, big, long, dream come true. Young, beautiful, sexy, and in charge of Desires—the best sex club in the country. An entire staff of delicious men and delectable women was at her beck and call, ready to indulge her every carnal whim.


When vulnerable abuse survivor Stacie Clifford tentatively approached Desires for help getting her sexual confidence back, Angel had no qualms about assigning her secret favourite Dan McVeigh as her tutor. Gentle and sweet, Dan was just what Stacie needed.


Angel hadn’t realized just how powerful her suppressed feelings for Dan were until she noticed Dan and Stacie were getting on a little too well. Despite Dan’s insistence that all was strictly professional, maybe it was time to persuade Stacie that Desires was not for her. Just how


No one touched Angel’s Desires.

 
Desires Secrets


Two and a half years after her first visit to Desires, Stacie Clifford’s life has done a 180. Settled and happy with her beloved Dan, baby Ryan has completed their lives.


When Dan suggests revisiting Desires for some sexy couple time away, Stacie is unaccountably cautious until she finds that Angel will not be there. She didn’t know why, but she always had a gut feeling that Angel was not to be trusted. With Angel out of the way, she and Dan, together with their good friends Jason and Chrissie, proceed to indulge in the many and varied delights of Desires. Stacie even decides to explore some of her own secret fantasies.


But events soon take a dramatic turn, threatening to shatter Stacie’s new, happy life. What secrets lurk inside the walls of Desires?


Embracing Desires


Dan and Stacie are preparing for the biggest day of their lives and everything is perfect. Stacie has her Hen night; Dan his stag night – both in Desires. Angel is being the wonderful host, but all is not what it seems. Five days before the wedding Dan and Stacie find themselves, devastated and destroyed, and on the brink of separation. Stacie feels that her life is falling apart. She cannot breathe or think because of the agony of losing Dan, the man she thought she could trust and spend the rest of her life with. Her world has been shattered. But Dan wants her back. Stacie longs to embrace what is important in her life. When she finds out the truth of what happened will it be too late to save the biggest embrace of all?

 Coming soon Dan's Desires
 

Dan, a devious, hot, sincere young man, preys on women like a vulture. He takes up escorting before entering a world of sexual fantasy in a club called Desires, being paid to have sex. He loves being a naughty boy without conviction, even having sex with the boss, using any means to have his wicked way.


Then he meets a new client, Stacie Clifford. He needs to drop the boy act and become a man, yet remember the club’s emotional contract. He makes it his responsibility to protect Stacie from Angel the boss of the club. He’s in love.
He has almost everything: a wife, son and a baby on the way, ownership of Desires, yet something is missing from his life, Sapphire his daughter. Unable to move on, feeling destroyed, his marriage is uneasy. Day after day he fights his heartache, wanting to be happy and be Dan, the man he once was. Will Dan ever be complete again? What will it take to get him there?
 

 
 
 
What's going to be in your stocking filler?
 
 


Monday, 7 December 2015

Audio Book Tour for Till Death by Becky McGraw

Header - Audio Till Death copy

Till Death - Audio CoverTill Death: Deep Six Security Series Book 1


WLK synopsis

Dave Logan, the owner of Deep Six Security, is stunned when Dallas FBI head, Susan Whitmore, darkens his doorstep accusing him of being the cause of her losing her job, and demanding he hire her. Even as his brain says no way, the Barracuda is a woman nobody can work with, his white-knight complex forces him to offer her a job as his very overqualified temporary secretary.
A wealthy couple who ordered a designer baby which wasn't delivered contacts Dave for help. To get answers for them, Dave has to get inside an overly-fortified fertility clinic going undercover with Susan as his temporary wife. The situation inside is worse than they imagined, and soon their pretend 'til death do us part could become very real unless the two alpha personalities learn to work together to stay alive.
©2014 Becky McGraw (P)2015 Becky McGraw

AUDIBLE US
Audible UK




Listen to an excerpt here:
DEEP SIX SECURITY SERIES by Becky McGraw:Till Death
Twisted Honor
Hell Bent
Coming in December - HELL BENT (#3, Deep Six Security)


WLK Author Bio
Becky McGraw
A Jill of many trades, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Becky McGraw has been an optician, a beautician, a legal secretary, a real estate broker, web designer, graphic artist, and romance writer. She knows just enough to make her dangerous, and her humor-laced contemporary western cowboy, and military, police procedural romantic suspense novels varied and interesting. Becky resides in Florida with her husband of thirty-three years and her dog Abby.  She is a member of the Romance Writers of America Published Authors Network.
You can contact Becky McGraw here:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/beckymcgrawbooks
Website: http://www.beckymcgraw.com
Twitter: @beckymcgrawbook
Email: beckymcgrawbooks@gmail.com

presented by WLKBookPromotions.com

Friday, 20 November 2015

Author Spotlight: Dilys J. Carnie with 'Her Passionate Protector'

I am so delighted to have stopping by today Dilys J. Carnie a wonderful friend with her latest #new #release sharing a hot, excerpt.


Her Passionate Protector

By

Dilys J Carnie

Blurb

Her Passionate Protector by Dilys J. Carnie

 An innocent woman and a millionaire. Two totally different people from completely different worlds, but when they collide, sparks ignite.

When Lucy James meets Alex Magner, the owner of a company her cleaning business has just picked up a contract for, her quiet life flies out the window. Although she wants to keep the man at arm’s length, she can’t deny the smoldering heat that burns every time Alex comes near her.

Alex is confused by this independent yet vulnerable woman, and he can’t get her off his mind. She’s not interested in anything beyond a business relationship, but Alex is a determined man, and he can be very convincing.

However, they have a bumpy ride ahead. Lucy’s inner struggle with the demons of her past threatens to destroy any chance of a future with Alex. Then her ex-husband returns, determined to hurt her, and Alex fights for her life, and their chance at love. Can they survive the turbulent road to happiness?

This book is a re-issue

Content Warning: contains adult language and explicit sex

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance

 
Excerpt

 
"It's going to be okay." Alex leaned forward and kissed her forehead.

"Is it really? You don't know Pete like I do. He won't give up, and he won't let me go."

Tears filled Lucy's eyes. Alex moved to catch them with his thumb before they spilled over, but she moved away, put the cat back into his arms, and continued packing her bag.

"There's a basket in the cupboard next to the kitchen." She spoke over her shoulder.

A few minutes later, she was finished. Alex picked up her case in one hand and carried Jack in his basket in the other.

As they went out the door, he waited while she turned and looked into the room. "This was my first real home, somewhere that wasn't tainted with violence. I have to put an end to this. Once and for all, I have to stop running and face what is coming."

Alex squeezed her arm, and she looked up at him. Her eyes were full of trust and he only hoped he could protect her enough. It wasn't just the physical aspect, he could deal with that, it was the turmoil within her that he was worried about.

"You won't have to do it on your own. This will be the end of the line for him," he assured her.

* * * *

As Alex drove into an exclusive part of Chester, Lucy wasn't at all surprised to find where he lived. His building contained high-class apartments costing millions of pounds rather than thousands, and she had driven past them many times. Alex stopped at the gates, typed in a number on the pad, and the gates opened.

Jack was starting to get restless in his basket, although they had only been traveling for about twenty minutes. Everything was surreal. Her face throbbed despite the aspirin she had taken.

While she slept, Alex had reported the incident to the police. Tomorrow, she would have to go make a statement. It was like reliving the nightmare of four years ago. Now there she was again trying to cling onto life. Oh God, I don't know if I have the strength anymore to do this. Will he ever let me go? In her own mind she was conversing with old demons and losing a battle she thought she had already won.

"We're here." Alex parked the car, got out, and opened the back door. He retrieved the basket that held her beloved cat and came around to her side where she stood waiting.

The late evening was still warm and the stars glistened in the sky. The air was sweet, some kind of rose, she thought as she breathed in deeply.

"I'll take you up and then come back down for the rest of your things."

She nodded, and when he took her arm in a gentle hand, she looked up at him and smiled. His eyes narrowed and he gently squeezed her elbow. The slight breeze blew his hair back from his brow. He was so handsome, gorgeous in fact, a knight in shining amour.

Smiling to herself, her thoughts went back to when she was living in the children's home and how she always believed her knight would ride in on his white horse and save her. Why did Alex want to do all these things for her? Still, deep in the pit of her stomach, she had that little bit of mistrust although she knew it was foolish. Alex was totally different from Pete. But could it be that her judgment was at fault? Could she have misjudged again?

As they walked to the entrance, Alex let go of her to type in his security number. As she waited, she could see the CCTV cameras, and she knew from the electric gates they had just come through and the guard sitting at the desk that the apartments were well secured.

"Good evening, Mr. Magner."

"Evening, Sam. This is Miss James. She's going to be staying with me for a while."

"Nice to meet you, Miss James." He tipped his hat.

Lucy just nodded. She was kind of gobsmacked. She hadn't really thought about how much money Alex had, but it looked like he wasn't short of a few pennies.

As they went up in the lift, Jack was meowing disapprovingly at being kept in the basket and Lucy murmured softly to him. Alex didn't speak at all, and she wondered if coming there was one big mistake she was going to regret. The doors opened and they got out as Simon and Nic came out of the other lift.

Nic grabbed hold of Lucy by the arms and looked at her face. "What the hell has he done to you?" She put her arms around her and hugged her. "The bastard! I could kill him with my own hands! I thought he was in prison?"

"It seems they let him out early for good behavior." Lucy laughed at the idiocy of those words, but it was an eerie noise which sounded strange even to her own ears.









 

 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

V.L. Locey 'Clean Sweep'

cleansweep

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Clean Sweep SERIES – Venom Series AUTHOR – V.L. Locey GENRE – Erotic Hockey Romance PUBLICATION DATE – Sept.26, 2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 155 pages/57,500 PUBLISHER – Gone Writing Publishing COVER ARTIST – Reverie Design

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Clean Sweep - New Cover
Fiery, flame-haired Jane Bratkowski is catapulted from a small college town to Philadelphia to become head coach of a new women’s hockey team, The Venom. It’s a life-changing opportunity, a dream come true until – in a cruel twist of fate that could turn into a nightmare – she comes face to face with her ex-husband Tore Ahlberg, the Wildcats' head of European Scouting.
Suddenly, Jane’s faced with more challenges than she bargained for: Will she let him distract her -- and derail her big chance to coach pro hockey? Can she build a team of relatively inexperienced, irrepressible young women into champions? Can she and Tore triumph over the gut-wrenching tragedy that ripped them apart -- or will the shocking truth of their passionate past threaten to destroy them once again?

BUY & TBR LINKS


EXCERPT

It was on the tip of my tongue to ask him how, or why, he remembered so much from our years of wedded bliss. Instead, I marched into the bathroom, Pomeranians in hand, then shut the door on him, his tie, and those damned recollections of a time best left in the past. 
I washed my face then set to work on detangling. I accomplished this with snarling expletives aimed at long dead ancestors. The boys were restless. I laid down my hairbrush then snuck over to the door. I couldn`t hear my ex on the other side. I cracked the door just enough to peer through. Tore was standing at the sliding glass door. He still cut a fine figure from the back even though he was now in his early fifties. Wide shoulders, lean waist, long legs. The sun made his straw-colored blonde hair look like spun gold. It was time to stop, Jane. I had thought to ask him to walk the dogs but after that Rumpelstiltskin moment, perhaps a brisk walk would do me good. I closed the door quietly. Ten minutes later I stepped out, face freshly scrubbed, hair beaten into submission, and dogs in dire need. 
"I have to get dressed," I told Tore when he turned from the city to look at me. 
"You want me to leave?" I nodded. "We were married, Jane. Unless you have done some alterations, there is nothing I have not seen before." 
I felt a slight flush rushing up behind the freckles on my cheeks. "There have been no alterations. Go wait on the patio. I mean it, Tore. Don`t give me that stupid look. Go." 
"Stupid look? I have a stupid look?" he asked, a definite twinkle in his eye. A sharp comment was resting on my tongue. I swallowed it back to be nice. It was only seven am. Even ex-husbands deserve a small kindness from time to time.

AUTHOR BIO

Author Photo - VL Locey
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS


GIVEAWAY PRIZES

$20.00 Amazon Gift Card

This Event has been Organized & Hosted by: 33c16-mini2bbutton

Monday, 2 November 2015

Guest Author Shannon O' Conner 'Red Waves'

Todays the spotlight is on Shannon O' Connor with her heated, totally hot cover 'Red Waves' sharing an excerpt.  
 
 
RED WAVES 

 

Blurb--

Audrey Brown is an intelligent Registered Nurse living in Surf City, USA, who puts

her career ahead of her love life. That is until pro-surfer, Chad Slater, gets wheeled into her emergency room and shakes down her formidable walls. But can her sex life go from zero to 69 with an ex-husband seeking revenge for her sending him to prison?

Chad has just the right mix of sexual charisma and determination to make all of Audrey’s dreams come true. This upbeat story includes humorous undertones with nail-biting suspense and enough sexual heat to make you stay up all night reading. Readers' romantic partners will find benefits, too!

 




Teaser

“Baby, this is our night and you’re mine to heal. I’ll pick up the pieces of your shattered heart and put it back together. A piece of you I’ll keep for myself and replace it with a piece of me. I love you.” I kiss her quivering lips.

Excerpt-

 

A twenty-nine year old surfer from the competition was pulled out of the water. They are bringing him in for precaution. His pulse ox was low at the beach. ETA in ten minutes,” the clerk says, throwing the words over her shoulder like it’s old news.
I stand frozen. My heart wants to leap out of my chest. Am I still standing? I can’t feel my legs or feet.
“No, it can’t be him,” I whisper under my breath.
Him who?” The clerk feigns interest, but keeps typing on her keyboard.
I guess I suck at whispering. “Umm…is it Chad Slater?”
“I wrote his name down. Let me see. Yes, his name is Chad Slater. Is he someone special, dear?”
“You could say that.”
Hasn’t she heard of him? He’s one of the most desirable bachelors in America. This isn’t happening to me. It’s hard enough for me to focus on my job when the damn firemen and paramedics make their visits. How am I going to deal with Chad as my patient? This is too much.
I stumble to the room assigned for the tanned god. I’ve got to connect the new disposable blood pressure cuff and push a button waking the monitors from their slumber. I can’t control my hands from shaking and it takes a few attempts to spread the sheet out over the gurney. Get it together, Aud. You’re shaking like a leaf. Shit. I probably look like hell with barely any makeup on.
“Are you the nurse taking Mr. Slater here?” The medic states as he looks down at his clipboard.
What? It’s been ten minutes already?
I’m giddy. “Yes…yes I am.” The words stammer out of my mouth.
They wheel him in. I assess his hair, amazed that it still glistens with ocean water. He has a blanket over his body. Why do the paramedics always cover people up like it’s winter? It’s a sweltering summer day in Cali, guys.
My gaze scans up and down this famous man’s body. Even under the cover, his muscles are hard and tight.
The medic runs through Chad’s vitals and gives me a rundown of what they gave him in the ambulance.
 
The patient’s pulse ox level has stabilized after being on oxygen by mask.
Automatically, I use my left hand to jot my signature on the paperwork, so I can get started with Mr. Slater. It’s exciting to have him in front of me. My feelings carry me over to him like I’m caught in a strong riptide. I can’t fight against the force.
The medics carefully slide Chad onto the clean gurney and pull up the side rails. Chad moves his right arm up and rests it on the rail. He keeps his eyes shut tight. He may be too exhausted to open them.
My thoughts wander to what his body would feel like against mine. In my mind, we’ve become exhausted during movie-style sex. However, those glorious thoughts are disturbed by my damn ex-husband’s verbal abuse that rings in my head like a terrible song, “You can’t even satisfy me.” It was one of his favorites.
Why flashbacks today? This hasn’t happened in years. My physical pain may have healed, but mental pain can last a lifetime. Worst timing ever.
I close my eyes and quickly meditate to send my ex-abuser out of my head.
Once his voice has vanished, I get to work sliding the blood pressure cuff over Chad’s toned bicep. I smooth the Velcro together to secure it and hit the monitor button to spark the machine into action. Next,
 
I place the lead stickers over his chest. I hover above his pecs. I can’t help myself as I inhale his scent deeply. He smells like the ocean. I have a favorite candle called tropical waters, and his smell is identical. I set my gaze to enjoy the features of his face. His jaw and forehead are rugged, while his perfectly arched eyebrows and plump heart-shaped mouth remind me of his mother’s, but he’s still all man.
I have to lean over him to hookup the monitor leads. He has the sexiest six-pack rising up and down along with his chest muscles. They move in time with his relaxed breathing. He looks like the actor who played in that movie, The Legend of Hercules, but not as beefy. The actor had to pump up, big time, to play a mythical Greek god. Chad wouldn’t have to do a thing to play the part in my dreams.
Softly, I speak against his ear. I’m careful not to fully disturb his much needed rest. Wish I could kiss and suck on his earlobe right now, but the doctor will charge in any second. Bad language and now I want to molest a patient. What’s wrong with me? Am I trying to get fired?
Chad opens up his baby blues as I move back from his ear. I smile and try to blow out nerves growing inside me.
His eyes widen and brows perk up. He stares into my eyes. Does he recognize me? It’s been so long.
“Anela,” he gasps.
Does he think my name is Anela?
“Audrey. My name is Audrey,” I repeat.
I wonder if that’s his girlfriend’s name. Maybe he wants me to call her for him. It must be the blonde girl. Sucks. He’s taken.
The doctor’s deep voice bellows as he fires into the small exam room. “Mr. Slater, my name is Dr. Simmons. How are you feeling?”

 

BUY LINKS:

SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/576253
CREATESPACE: 
https://www.createspace.com/5731346
BARNES & NOBLE: 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-waves-shann…/1122344210…
AMAZON: 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0158TEKXA


Bio

Shannon has been in health care since she was a teenager. She has always had the desire to help people. Since she began reading, a few years ago, the ever growing popular genre of erotic romance, it has helped enhance that portion of her marriage. In turn, she wanted to write novels that may help others as well. She lives in Huntington Beach, California with her husband, four sons, and an array of family pets. Her career as a nurse has attributed to the person she is today. She hopes to be an inspiration to others to never give up. There’s always time to accomplish whatever your heart desires. 



 
 
Thank you for stopping by!
 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Author Spotlight Sascha Illyvich with 'Slow Burn'

Welcome  Sascha  Illyvich stopping by on my blog with his latest release 'Slow Burn'



Paranormal Erotic Romance.  Spy Thriller.


Former spy Derrick falls for the sexy spitfire he’s bound to protect, even as terrorists scheme to take her from him - and destroy his way of life.

Description:
Tempting secrets of an angel
Seductive mysteries of the beast

Derrick, a former spy, has been asked to protect the sultry Sonja, a death metal singer whose magical voice grabs him by the balls and won’t let go. He’ll protect her, all right…with every part of his body tight against hers.

Sonja uses her voice to purge her fans of their darkness, their hate and hopelessness. But evil forces want to use her magic for their own ends. All she wants, at this point, is safety for herself and her band. When Derrick and Sonja team up,

Sonja does her best to resist the lure of safety he represents, until a radical league that wants her dead propels her into his arms. Will his help be enough? Or will she lose her heart to him, only to be killed in the process of saving the world?




Slow Burn

A Sexy Spy Thriller

by

Sascha Illyvich

Copyright 2015 Sascha Illyvich

1st paperback edition ISBN-10: 1-62827-993-1

1st paperback edition ISBN-13: 978-1-62827-993-1

 

1st Kindle ebook edition ISBN-10: 1-62827-994-X

1st Kindle ebook edition ISBN-13: 978-1-62827-994-8

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of this author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

Published by Ardent Books, an imprint of Assent Publishing


Chapter One

 

The shitty light show didn’t bother his eyes; he was otherworldly. The extra effort of the band onstage was lost on both him and and the other patrons slowly filling in to see the main act.

He’d been in worse places with even crappier light. Such was the life of a spy, especially one who could move between worlds like Derrick. The term spook didn’t just hold true for his human side; it was reinforced exponentially for him as a shifter.

Tonight he wasn’t here to think of the past.

Stale cigarette smoke and sweat hung in the air, irritating Derrick’s puma senses. After thirty minutes, the opening band managed to move the crowd into some semblance of frenzy, if the tiny mosh pit could be called that.

Too bad no one gave a shit about the poorly expressed political message in the band’s lyrics.

Derrick stood in the back with the bartender, Rob, a leather-clad human that dwarfed most people. Rob’s auburn curls emphasized the scariness of his face; black eyes sunk deep into a skull that might have made Derrick afraid if he were simply human.

Pumas didn’t fear mankind. A two-hundred-pound solid mass of muscle that could easily leap eighteen feet need not fear anyone, especially when it could tear out the throat of its victims with ease.

Scanning the crowd, Derrick swirled his drink around and took a sip. The Manhattan slid down his throat before he set the glass on the bar and another quickly sailed his way.

Derrick reached for his wallet while thunderous kick drums, booming bass guitar, and fast riffs from the band onstage assaulted his ears.

Rob’s voice didn’t change despite the loudness in the club. “No charge. You’ll want to sip this one slowly, though, Derrick. In fact, keep your eyes on the stage.”

Nodding, Derrick turned to face the stage, grateful for his enhanced hearing. He could actually hear Rob’s words over the riffs played by the newest band in the death metal scene.

The band Ark-KaotiK jammed loud and fast onstage, causing a melee of noise while the crowd erupted into a mosh pit that would have made the Devil himself proud. For thirty minutes, they cranked out chords, kicked off melodies, and warmed up.

Derrick sipped his drink and kept an eye on the crowd. Many of the concertgoers were human, though he noticed a few wolves and bears had made their way in. As a former spy, he’d learned to watch the crowd for signs of violence, ignoring most of their behavior as harmless. Metal music listeners tended to get a little raucous, especially since this was one of the largest bands making the death metal circuit.

After a few more minutes of jamming, his target would appear onstage.

Ark-KaotiK sported a drummer on a par with the greatest of technical death metal drummers. Their guitarist played complex riffs and melodic rhythms like nobody else. Their bass player proved capable of bringing out a thunderous low end.

Sonja, their legendary lead singer, made them the most amazing death metal band around.

Stories circulated in the paranormal community about a witch with the voice of a goddess and the power to influence crowds. At a time in the country when waves of violent uprisings by angry mobs fed up with class inequality were becoming the norm, the youth remained neglected. Many of the displaced youth did what they did best: went to metal shows, got drunk, and took out their aggression on willing and sometimes unwilling participants.

Supposedly, Sonja could control all of that with her voice.

The tension in the crowd had risen to an all-time high. The previous band managed to pull out charisma at the last moment and rile up the crowd, jumbling listener emotions, serving as a reminder to many of the patrons of class warfare issues and capitalist pig ideas. Combined with alcohol, drug use, the aforementioned tension levels created a powder keg of violence. Already, two fights had been broken up between two were-beings. That couldn’t be allowed to continue. Humans would get hurt, a body count would be established, and everything that had been done by those in the shifter community to improve the perception of humans would be torn asunder.

Derrick chose to keep his distance from the crowd. Rob had asked him to watch the lead singer, tail her, keep her safe. Hanging back gave him the best vantage point; he could see who came in while he watched the stage.

“I really appreciate you coming out to watch her. I’d apologize about the music but—”

Derrick held a hand up. “It’s no problem. I’m a fan. Besides, you did me a favor, so thanks.”

Rob arched a brow. “I did?”

“Let’s just leave it at I needed to get out of the house.” Derrick smiled.

His routine hangout was the cigar club on the other side of town. Pumas were notorious loners. In his normal crowd, he hung out alone or included himself in conversation as he saw fit.

Except among his few friends, Derrick affiliated himself as a diehard metal head. If a show came to his part of town and even one of the bands was someone he listened to, he showed up. The large crowds allowed him to get out and mix his aggression with theirs. If he didn’t, he became irritable and that tended to turn off any women who might otherwise share his bed.

He had no misconceptions about sex. At his age, he could still have any woman he wanted, but commitment scared him. He shunned the idea after his last few relationships. Nicole turned out to be psycho. Mahalia couldn’t deal with him being a shifter. Margaret worried for his safety when he admitted to being a spy, and she hated the lies he had to tell her.

Most of them wanted commitment.

Even though he was out of the spy game, he still had reservations from his past that kept him from seeking a lifelong partner.

Except for the dry spell he’d been in, Derrick had a pretty decent sexual career, but his heart was empty and he desperately craved companionship.

Tonight, he wanted none of that. Tonight would be for the music, the drinking, and keeping the peace. And, oh yeah, protecting his target.

The lights went down.

The band left the stage.

Another drink slid across the bar.

Without looking, Derrick extended his hand and caught the glass before bringing it to his lips. Cool liquor slid down his throat and sent tingles racing through him.

Screaming voices erupted from the PA and mixed with loud thunderclaps followed by rain. A mist appeared from the darkness, illuminated by purple and blue lights just above the stage. The crowd quieted down just enough to let the aural buildup occur. Then the rain stopped.

A thundercloud outside shook the walls of the bar and boomed against the brick and mortar. A few hushed gasps immerged from random places in the audience.

The sound of shattering glass pulled Derrick’s attention center stage.

On the stage, he noticed what appeared to be glass shards reassembling themselves.

He scratched his head and did a double take.

Yup, the glass was indeed reassembling itself into the wine bottle it had once been.

Then it floated offstage while band members took their places, instruments in hand.

The small lead singer dispersed the smoke with a wave of her hand.

At the same time, the lights kicked on, the band started playing, and the lead singer emitted the most beautiful growls through the mic.

His heart thundered in his chest, blood pooled south. Derrick did another double take. He couldn’t quite wrap his head around the now-angry screams coming from the woman onstage.

She belted, grunted, made the disjointed music make sense.

Metal had a way of being both darkly angry and intensely beautiful if the singer’s voice and lyrics could captivate the listener.

Worse yet, she’d captured the attention of his dick. Hands angrily gripped the microphone. Dark, waist-length hair swirled around and fell at her sides, blanketing her face; Derrick saw plump lips ripe for kissing. Her ample chest rose and fell with each breath she took.

She moved with grace. Power spilled off her in time with the music.

The audience followed her every move.

The mosh pit opened up; bodies slammed hard into one another.

Then, as if they weren’t a death metal band at all, their music changed tones, became melodic. Her singing matched the music, and all the weight of the aggressive pit seemed to lift off the humans and into the air.

The pit slowed down.

Derrick watched the woman who now sang with an angel’s voice in absolute amazement.

Slowly, he slid off the barstool and made his way toward her, only to be stopped by Rob’s hand on his arm.

He looked over his shoulder and almost growled back at Rob.

The bartender shook his head. “Something’s wrong. She’s calling to all the shifters to come closer, to let go of their animalistic violence fetish. You go to her now, she’ll own you. Shake it off.”

Derrick must have looked puzzled because Rob scowled. “I’ll introduce you after the show. Trust me.”

He shook his head and found Rob staring back at him. “Thanks.” Derrick took his place back on the stool. He’d wait, but that melodic voice carrying such pain and sorrow had already woven a spell on him. The glint in her silver-blue eyes caught his gaze and helped push sensual lust into her death-laced lyrics.

Something resonated deep in his bones, but he didn’t quite understand why. Never had he felt a power like hers.

The overwhelming need to wrap his arms around her and hold her startled him.

The band went into the second song—a nonstop blast-beat number with rhythmic guitars that created the perfect scene of darkness and despair while Sonja continued singing. Sumptuous, clean vocals nearly forced him off the stool again.

Rob clapped his hand on Derrick’s shoulder and applied a bit more pressure. Derrick didn’t look back, but he gripped the bar until his knuckles ached.

She sang and took the audience on an auditory journey of a troubled teen struggling into adulthood who ultimately took his own life.

As hard as he was, Derrick found himself wanting to comfort Sonja now.

Lights flashed in sync with the rapid-fire drum kicks and created a strobe light effect.

Derrick leaned forward while still holding his drink. Lights onstage gave Sonja a more dramatic appearance. Corpse paint covered her round face; eye shadow set her eyes deeper in her skull than they really were; blood-red hair looked like the darkest tar. A charcoal sweater clung to full breasts and showed off a flat tummy meant for licking. Black leather hugged luscious hips. Derrick couldn’t pull his eyes away from her sultry swagger.

A third song morphed into a fourth, and an hour later, the band retired for the night after playing one encore. Sonja thanked the crowd and tossed the microphone onto the stage.

Derrick noted the mood in the bar as it slowly emptied out. People, moods, everything seemed lighter.

The air of danger and despair had fallen prey to sadness, acceptance, and finally relief.

His body still thrummed with sexual need.

Derrick finished another Manhattan and turned to pay the bartender.

“No need.” Rob shook his head. Auburn curls spilled down the sides of his face. Black paint around his eyes made them appear to be sunken deeper into his skull. “Give them a few minutes to clear out and I’ll take you backstage to meet Sonja. She’s…waiting for you.”

Derrick didn’t understand but nodded anyway. The nervous underlying tones in Rob’s voice made him wary. He gripped the glass, spun it around on the bar, and slid it toward Rob.

With typical bartender flair, Rob caught it, tossed the ice, and set the glass in the dishwasher.

A bottle of water flew past a patron and ended up in Derrick’s hand.

“I am still amazed at your speed.” Rob laughed.

His ears rang but he could still hear Rob with precision. Derrick popped the top off. “You’ve got speed yourself and you’re not even a shifter.”

Rob snorted. “I’m something, that’s for sure.”

Derrick laughed. “Indeed.”

He turned back to the empty stage and watched roadies carry equipment away. His mind wandered back to the singer, how her prowess on stage controlled the crowd with exactness, getting them to move just as she directed them.

Many singers were charismatic, but not like Sonja.

A few minutes passed and the stage emptied. Rob reached out and grabbed Derrick’s shoulder. “Come on. You want a proper introduction, right?”

Derrick nodded. Heavy sexual energy consumed him, making him fear he’d say the wrong damn thing. He made a mental note to keep his mouth shut and let Sonja do the talking—if she had the voice for it.

Besides, he wasn’t supposed to let her know he was watching her. As far as she would know, he was just an old friend of Rob's from school.

Rob escorted Derrick past the bar and down a long dark hallway. Fans ran on high and sent an obvious chill through the bartender. The leather he wore proved no match for the warmth of puma fur.

“Here’s her room. Remember, she shouldn’t know I hired you to protect her. Nor does she need to know about the note threatening her life. The guys typically head into the hidden cellar here for a shower.”

“Right, we’re just old friends from school. Took some of the same classes and I’m in town visiting.”

Rob nodded. “Right.”

Derrick rubbed his chin. “You said something went wrong when she sang and began pulling shifters toward the stage. What did you mean?”

“You’ll see in a moment.” Rob pushed the door open.

Behind the wooden slab that passed for a door, dimmed lights illuminated the area. Derrick made out the leather couch and the sounds of muffled cries. He rushed in and scanned the area.

Senses on high alert, Derrick spotted the tiny woman with her head buried in her arms on the couch. She curled up in a tight ball against the corner, sobbing…and clad in only hip-hugging panties and a bra that pushed luscious curves upward.

Alabaster skin glistened with sweat against the black leather couch. Her hair hid her face and muffled her sobs. Derrick sighed but caught a whiff of something.

Heavy, dark.

Lonely.

“Sonja?” Rob stepped in and knelt at her side. He reached out but didn’t quite touch her. “Come here, Derrick. If I’m right…” Rob didn’t finish his statement.

Derrick stepped inside and scratched his head.

Rob met Derrick’s gaze dead on. “Now, please.”

The urgency in Rob’s voice matched his concerned expression. Sonja’s sobs continued to tear at his heart. He wanted to know who made her cry and why. Then he wanted to pummel them. Vengeance filled him instantly.

Rob’s voice floated through the rage and managed to ground Derrick back to reality. “Calm down, Derrick. It’s not what you think. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and touch her. Please.”

Derrick knelt, ran a hand through his hair, and sighed, letting all the worry slip away from his mind. He found that calm place in the forest where the puma inside loved running free, and went there. Luscious smells confronted his sensitive nose. Colors sharpened. Then he returned to reality. Rob moved beside Sonja. His eyes filled with despair. “Touch her, please.”

Derrick didn’t miss the pain in Rob’s voice. What is going on here?

He reached for Sonja, touched a hand along her thigh. Smooth, soft skin met his.

Her thigh twitched and she stiffened against his hand.

Derrick started to withdraw but met Rob’s gaze.

“Not yet.”

Derrick nodded. Sexual energy along with something else crackled between them and sent a shudder through his body.

Sonja must have felt it, too, because she shifted and straightened. Her eyes widened.

Derrick slid his leather trench coat off and used it to cover her.

She sniffled and lifted her head to meet his gaze. “Thank you.”

Intense silver-blue eyes stared back at him with such force they threatened to knock him back. He struggled to hold his ground, remaining unsure of whether to remove his hand.

She answered that question by cupping his hand with hers and offering a weak smile. “You’re tranquil,” she whispered.

Derrick nodded and smiled weakly. “Sometimes. What’s going on?”

Sonja shifted again, rolled her head back and forth. She swept a hand through her red hair and brushed it over her shoulders. “I’m…empathic, and in this crowd there was so much hatred. It’s overwhelming. I picked up on it instantly and it inundated me.”

Blinking, Derrick looked at Rob. “It’s like she was thrust in the middle of the mosh pit before it started?”

Before Rob could answer, Sonja nodded. “You’re a shifter. Your feelings are heavier than most. Let me just touch you back.” She leaned forward and the jacket slid down her body, exposing a black bra.

Her hand caressed his cheek, then slid down his neck and stopped at his heart. She pressed the palm of her hand against him and closed her eyes.

It hit him then, the pressure of all he kept buried inside. Swamped with that weight, he staggered forward, reached out for the couch, and found the warmth of Sonja’s body wrapped around his.

Her sweet voice echoed in his ear. “You’re…missing something.”

Inside, Derrick’s mind went on high alert. She’d hit a trigger but his training kept him from showing any emotion other than what he wanted her to see.

Rob coughed.

Derrick looked to see Rob standing, Sonja glaring at him. Her brows furrowed, lips pursed together in a thin line. “Brother, please.”

Derrick stiffened and narrowed his eyes at Rob. “Brother? You didn’t tell me that, Rob.”

Rob sighed and nodded. “Yes, I did. Night before last.”

Derrick frowned.

Sonya wrapped her arms around Derrick’s waist and pulled him into softness that complimented each hard bit of his body.

He felt right sitting awkwardly in Sonja’s lap, but had to ask about the tears. He wasn’t a total cad, though his body’s reaction certainly made itself known. “So the tears were a reaction to the crowd?”

She nodded and spoke in a whisper, “The crowd in this genre of music is so lonely, so angry, so displaced. Add in a few shifters and it becomes burdensome when mixed with all the normal pent-up aggression metal heads carry around. Sadly—or not, some say—I absorb that burden in the music, with my voice.”

His heart felt heavier.

Her hand pressed harder against his chest.

Derrick felt a weight lift off his shoulders. “It’s not—”

Two slender fingers pressed against his lips. Eyelashes batted enticingly at him.

Derrick groaned. He wanted to stretch her out on the couch and spread her legs apart while exploring her with his tongue and lips. Her scent, sweat mixed with heady heat, wafted past his nose. Yet he couldn’t make another move.

She was a goddess. His nerves felt unsteady, his body was on fire.

Sonja adjusted herself on the couch, pressing herself deeper between his spread thighs.

“I’d hate to be confused for a groupie.” He went for humor, letting his natural sarcasm come through.

She chuckled. “I haven’t any groupies.”

Derrick arched a brow. He wouldn’t point out the obvious to her yet, figuring she’d heard it all the time. Instead, he went for subtle. “You’re a beautiful death metal singer. Surely you have groupies.”

“Nope.” She shook her head and leaned against the couch, pushing her breasts into his chest. “None. I mean there are boys and girls who have a silly attraction to me, but it’s not returned.”

“Good to know.” He couldn’t keep the growl from his voice.

“Ahem.” Rob coughed again. “I should leave you two alone.” He glared hard at Derrick. “Be nice to my sister. She’s rather special, puma.”

The unmentioned threat hung in the air. Not that it mattered, Derrick was hired to do a job, not to fraternize with the severely attractive client. He smiled. “I understand.”

Rob glowered and backed out of the room, shutting the door.

Sonja slid one leg from beneath her, giving Derrick a view of very creamy skin and shapely thigh. She tilted her head slightly. “He’s very protective. I’m sorry.”

He shrugged again. “I would be, too. You’re an attractive woman, and I may be a shifter but I’m still a man. I was…”

“Dying to meet me?” Her eyes twinkled with something that looked like lust.

He shrugged and grinned. “Yeah. Sort of.”

“How do you know my brother?”

“Friends from school.” Derrick leaned back while not breaking the physical contact.

A brow quirked. “I see. Funny, he never mentioned you.”

“Yeah, we lost touch after graduation. I had a thing overseas. Real hush-hush.” Half-truth.

Sonja stretched her other leg out from beneath her and shifted in her seat, giving Derrick a fabulous view of her contours.

Instantly, he wondered why she was practically nude after the show. “Are you that hot and sweaty up there on stage?”

She rolled her shoulders and shook out her hands. “A little, yes. But the problem I have is that not only do I pick up the feelings, they mold to my clothing. Especially with the previous band pushing a message of hatred, I picked up a lot of negative rage. When I came back here, I stripped off the clothes.”

He licked his lips. “So your underwear doesn’t pick things up? I’m very much enjoying the physical contact.”

She smirked. “All clothing I wear picks up some semblance of emotion, it’s part of my nature. But I’m not a slut. And that clothing is hot. I mean, we wear all black.”

He chuckled. “I’d never think that of you. I can only imagine what it’s like to be in the limelight and need the break. And I’ll mention again, I’m certainly enjoying the view.”

Sonja flipped her hair off to one side, showing the pale curve of her neck. “I figured you would. I sort of sought you out.” A light blush crept up her cheeks.

“Oh?” He cocked a brow. If she knew his purpose, she hadn’t let on yet. “Why?”

She leaned forward, giving him an even better view of ample cleavage. “I don’t know. You felt…safe.” She closed her eyes, puckered her lips, and made a popping sound before returning her focus on him.

“Honey, I’m anything but.” He let his voice drop, watching her expression slowly change.

The deep-blue shade of her eyes intensified, the silver irises appeared to swirl. Energy poured out from her so fast that it slammed into Derrick like a freight train.

Memories, screams, visceral images all bombarded him. The instant message his mind received had only one thing: bleak blackness so heavy, so dark it made the winter night sky look like the middle of a sunny summer day.

He slid off the couch, stumbled back. Hands at his sides, he tried to brace himself for the next wave but it hit him too fast. Nausea settled in his stomach and all of those Manhattans he’d drunk earlier threatened to come up, bringing bile with them.

The sensation dizzied him, brought him to his knees.

All the agony he kept buried and all the trepidation the puma had about killing—even though nature said otherwise—made him howl out. He opened his eyes and saw the sight of himself being forced to burn a village because some government jackass was breathing orders to eliminate the warlords of that village by whatever means necessary down his neck.

That meant force. A lot of force because the villagers had been trained in guerilla warfare and wouldn’t hesitate to shoot the foreign shifter menace.

Derrick had no idea what was waiting for him or his brother once they arrived.

Max hadn’t slept any more soundly than Derrick since their return, and Derrick left that mission in the past with all the other ghosts that haunted him.

Or at least he thought he’d buried the dead. He opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out. Not even a puma cry.

Just then, soft arms surrounded him and forced him back to reality. Sonja held him to her, whispering sweet words while the energy pulled back from him. “I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. Relax, please. Calm down, babe. Let me help you.” Her hand caressed the small of his back, ran up his spine. Fingers crept on his neck, teasing little hairs to attention along with other things.

He shook with a fear so dark it threatened to pull him over the edge into a bottomless abyss. Behind tightly closed eyes, he saw his puma standing at the edge of that cliff, overlooking the canyon while the hordes of victims he’d mindlessly executed with the click of a button slowly slipped away.

Derrick shook his head.

Sweet sounds of feminine laughter fluttered over his ears like the day’s fresh breeze.

The puma shook its muzzle, and Derrick saw creamy flesh eager for tasting.

He lifted his head, met her heated gaze, and pressed his lips to hers. Unthinking, his mind went on autopilot and led his body into hers. The energy around them charged with a different heat, one filled with promises of lust and darker, sensual fun.

Just the briefest of touches against her lips threatened to steal his control. Was this her magic or the pure attraction the two obviously shared?

Hands gripped his shoulders, nails dug into his flesh.

Derrick caught her arms, caressed them. Felt waning strength in them and vowed to support her if she felt even an ounce of the heat between them that he did.

Soft, full lips kissed him, parted for his tongue, curled upward in a smile when he swept his tongue over her bottom lip. Fingers tangled in his hair, in hers, too, caressing her while he ate at her mouth, then pulled back, met her fierce stare, saw the power in those eyes.

Knew she’d play with his beast.

The puma in him wagged its tail.

The second round was all Sonja, all control, all feminine power. Her arms wrapped around his neck, fingers locked behind his head while she moved him how she wanted him. Her body pressed into his, making the kiss a full-on affair, rather than the chaste kiss he’d given her earlier.

Then she pulled back and he swore he heard a growl that didn’t come from him.

Low, the sound vibrated and made him even more eager to taste her. But he remembered her earlier, trembling and afraid in the corner of the couch, curled up in a ball. So he did the sweet thing, shut his libido down, and took his cue from the rational thinking part of his brain that still had some blood flow.

When he kissed her, her perfect mouth kissed back, then pulled away. She kissed his nose, then moved to kiss his forehead. Desire still danced in her eyes all while a sweeter side of this woman emerged—something Derrick had never expected, not after seeing her onstage.

Then she leaned in again, smiled into the deepening kiss. Her mouth continued to work with his, while her tongue licked his lower lip.

Her arousal, along with the taste of fine brandy, filled his nostrils, surrounded him. Hardened him further. Quickly, he realized if he didn’t stop this train he’d either have her naked and owe her a new bra and panty set—not a problem—or just fuck it and shove the damn things aside while he ravished her.

Slowly the pressure on his mouth eased up. His mouth felt empty from the loss of contact.

She moved back and frowned.

Her expression confused him. “What? Was I too forward? I thought—”

She rose, shook, and wrapped her arms around her body. Turning, she headed back to the couch and curled up against the corner.

Derrick stood and stepped back. He didn’t know what had just happened, but he needed to get Rob. His client was going to be more difficult to watch if she couldn’t control her magic.

He never took his eyes off her as he backed into the door with a thud.

Sonja looked up with tears in her eyes. She sniffled, brushed strands of deep red hair away from her face, and mouthed, “Please stay.”

Something heavy coated the air and filled his lungs. The scent he couldn’t place was wet, humid. Then it became arid before disappearing completely. Odd, Derrick had never had that experience before. He shrugged, leaned back against the doorframe. Crossing his arms over his chest, he eyed her with wariness usually reserved for an opponent. “Are you sure? I can get Rob.”

“No!” She covered her mouth with her hand. The noise came out as a growl and made the puma inside Derrick take notice, almost as if it had found a mate in Sonja.

He didn’t understand her. The weight she carried pressed down on his shoulders with steadily increasing tension. Derrick had no intention of letting it best him. “What can I do?”

“Just…” Her voice shook with fear. “Hold me please.”

“Are you sure?” As he took a tentative step toward her, he prepared himself for another bout of energy to come flailing at him, but after that first step, none came. Then he took another. His body ached to come to her, to comfort her even though they’d barely met. Sex consumed his brain, definitely. His cock hardened painfully. He’d already sampled the sweetness of her lips, but the way her eyes opened wide with shock and anger, then fear, bothered him and did little to shut down his libido.

The puma wanted to claim her. It had been too long since he’d been with another. The human mind knew better.

Slowly, he stepped toward the couch and knelt before her. He reached for her, touched her, and felt tranquility wash over him like a warm blanket on a cool evening.

That was the best way he could describe it. “How did you do that?”

She lifted her head, spoke low, “I have to readjust to the larger crowds. It’s becoming tougher to control my emotional outpouring and what I take in. I told you, you’re calming.”

He laughed again, then met her stare. Realized she believed what she said. He sighed. “Fine. I’m calming. But if that’s the case, what’s going on?” When she didn’t reply, Derrick moved to the couch and wrapped his arms around her body. Somehow he knew she’d fit perfectly with the way he sat. “Like this?”

She scooted against him, pressed her perfectly round and panty-clad backside into his crotch. Her head rested on his shoulder. “Yeah, just like that.”

He looked up, then back at her. He caressed her hair, enjoying the feel of silky smooth strands fluttering through his fingers. Puma senses picked up her scent, lush and of the forest, wet moss and pine. Oak and earth undertones reminded him of the peace he used to find as a child playing with his sibling.

She shook against him.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s…not your fault.” The faint whisper of her voice indicated just how strained she’d been. “Okay. Just try to steady your mind. In the morning I can do it for you, but until then…” Her sentence drifted off. Her chest rose and fell above his forearms, indicating she’d drifted off to sleep.

It took a moment, but Derrick cleared his mind of all the day’s events. In a few breaths, he allowed his focus to center on Sonja’s steady breathing. He stretched his legs and wrapped himself around the sexy little death metal singer who took on the weight of the world and made it her own. Oh, and somehow found a liking by his puma.

Rob would have to explain more to him in the morning. For now, he wondered where the rest of the band mates were and why no one had bothered to check on her.

She was their front man after all.

Only a day ago, Rob had come to Derrick asking for protection for his sister. He paid a portion in cash and offered Derrick free drinks if he’d show up.

“You can’t go to the police with this? They’re better equipped—”

“No.” Rob cut him off. “They lack experience with this sort of thing. Plus, you’re not the only one the Anti-Shifter League has a grudge against. They’re not a fan of witches, and Sonja is one of the strongest out there. At least that we know of.”

“Her magic can’t keep her safe?”

“No.” Rob had shaken his head. “No one else’s can. She needs a bodyguard, a protector and champion who will support her.”

“Sounds like you’re trying to set us up.” Derrick crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair. He’d slid his sunglasses on, started to stand, but Rob put his hand out, grabbed him.

“She’s so very important. She’s lonely, and anything I do to bring this to her attention is simply going to make her worry more but be more reckless with her power. She’s…” His eyes pleaded.

Derrick couldn’t stand it. “The weak and underprivileged. There are others out there who can deal with terror threats like this. What do they want?”

“Control of her power. But I know you can keep her safe.”

Again, Derrick sighed. He had no idea how this man could put that much faith in someone he’d just met. Even as a spy, Derrick knew most people—most creatures—were liars. Not on purpose usually, but that’s just the condition of life.

“Please?”

How Rob found Derrick puzzled him. There were a few spooks still doing side jobs in between operations and whatnot, but Derrick was most certainly on the do-not-touch list.

He’d never discussed the secret agent stuff with anyone but Max. Then Rob showed up asking for a favor that sounded like something a former spy could do.

Being a spy had privileges, but after a while, it became difficult to tell who the real enemy was and what he truly fought for.

The second he had the chance to escape that nonsense and move to California, he took it.

And he ended up here, on a leather couch holding a beautiful woman, the lead singer of the most famous death metal band around.

She wasn’t just a witch, she was an empath, but how far did her powers extend?

Now that he’d seen her power firsthand, he understood why people would easily target her and try to use her. If she could knock him down by just lessening control over her thoughts and the crap she’d taken in, she could be a violent weapon. She was the one who calmed him down when the night terrors hit him full force.

She took those visions away much faster than the drinks and pills ever could.

Others could use her to do great damage to the world. He had to prevent that. That’s why Rob hired him.

He’d detected no threats in the crowd. No rogues, no black ops teams, no nut jobs nuttier than the usual religious freaks who protested and promoted a religious agenda safe from supposed persecution and damnation.

For the time being, she would be safe here.

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Sascha  Bio:
Sascha, who was proclaimed by the publishing industry as The Bad Boy of Romance, started writing sixteen years ago. His erotic romances have been listed under Night Owl Romance’s and Road to Romance’s Recommended read lists, and he’s been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio.  Recently, Torn to Pieces was a USA TODAY Recommended Read.
Sascha is a trained and experienced public speaker, and enjoys giving talks and teaching, particularly on aspects of romance, erotic romance, and writing.   He was the former host of The Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, and is fond of doing guest spots and interviews, on both traditional radio and podcasts.
Sascha writes for Assent Publishing, Red Sage, Secret Cravings Publishing, Sizzler Editions, Totally Bound, and Decadent Publishing.