Saturday, December 1, 2012

Baby, it's cold inside

First off, I want to apologize that I won't be posting the next installment of Damian's Sacrifice this week.  Real life decided it was bored and wanted to spice things up a little in our relationship.  But don't worry, come hell or high water, or the frozen Arctic tundra that is my house right now, I will have it up next week.

So, our central air unit decided to crap out on us this past week.  The thermostat worked, the condenser fan was running, but not a single breath of warm air got pushed through the vents.  As a result, I woke up to a house that was 60 degrees.  The first HVAC repair guy came out, and gave us a quote of $1500 to fix it.  Um.... how about HELL NO!  The second guy did much better with about a $400 fix.  The only problem is the parts won't be here until next week.  Which means I'll be spending the weekend cuddling with the husband to stay warm.  Well ok, THAT part is the silver lining in all this crap ;)

See you guys next week.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Damian's Sacrifice #11

*using my best voice-over impression* Please be advised the following contains explicit material not meant for an audience under 18.


Cara was caught in a whirlpool of desire, her lips fused to his as their tongues collided over and over again.  His muscled arms holding her firmly against his hips, her body was infused with the heat of his raw power, setting her blood on fire.  If she didn’t have him soon, she would explode.

Lowered to the bed, the soft cushion pressed against her back, the smooth cotton brushing against her skin.  As Damian released her, her legs fell to the mussed sheets.  He pulled away, bracing himself on his hands and knees.  She sucked in a breath as she looked into his eyes.  They were literally glowing, like he’d been lit up from within, bathing her in rays of warmth.  It didn’t spark her fear, only fueled her hunger for him.

“Stop me now, Cara, if you don’t want this.”  The deep rasp of his voice had her heart pounding.

Their gazes locked, she lifted her upper body to his, joining their mouths once again.  Her fingers drifted along the rigid muscles of his back, savoring each defined line.  As she slipped her hand under his shirt, he shuddered and groaned.  She raked her fingernails across his lower back and gently tugged the shirt up his body, separating their lips only long enough to raise the obstructive fabric over his head and toss it to the floor.

She followed his lead as he urged her back against the bed, his leg wedging in between hers, pinning her.  The delicate touch of his lips brushed her ear, flooding her with heat, the stark contrast of his gentle caress and iron-hard body heightening the pleasure.  He nuzzled her neck, kissing and licking a trail to her collarbone.  The sharp points of his fangs nipped her shoulder, the sweet sting forcing a moan past her lips.

His hands roamed her body, fingers lightly grazing her breasts through her tank top as they travelled down her stomach to the sliver of skin peeking out at her waist.  He traced the curve of her hip, easing the shirt over her breasts in no hurry.  Impatient, she shifted her body and pulled the top completely off, sending it to join his on the carpet.   As Cara moved to unhook her bra, Damian’s hand locked around her wrist, stopping her.

He leaned down, his mouth right beside her ear.  “Allow me.  I’m very good with my hands.”  The whisper of words sent a bolt of lightning straight to her core.

His hand slid to her back, fingers working the clasp free.  In the next breath, the bra was gone, her breasts bared to him.  The cool rush of air peaked her nipples.  A soft growl rumbled in his throat as he stared down at her.

Damian inched closer, wetting his lips as his mouth hovered above her breasts.  “Just like I imagined.  Perfect.”  His warm breath fanned across her sensitive skin.

Cara’s heart thundering, she watched as he dipped his head, his tongue gliding over her nipple.  Desire pooled between her thighs as he drew the taut peak into the warmth of his mouth.  Her fingers curled into his hair and she arched against him, desperate for more.

Moving to the opposite side, he gave it the same lavish treatment while rolling her other nipple between his forefinger and thumb.  A whimper escaped as her hips lifted to his, her core aching to feel him inside.

Wet kisses showered her stomach, moving lower as her pajama shorts and panties were stripped off.  He nudged her thighs apart to accommodate his wide frame and nestled his body between her legs.

“I need a taste.”  His deep voice distorted by passion, the glow in his eyes brightened.

Brushing her slick folds, his tongue swept up her delicate flesh in one long stroke.  He nuzzled tighter, growling low, the vibration a tantalizing sensation against her clit.  A thick finger sank deep, driving in and out in a slow rhythm.  His tongue quickened the assault on her most sensitive spot, the combination a perfect storm that drove her need for him to the brink.  Her lower belly clenched as she tightened around him, and he backed off.  She cried out, dangling on the edge of orgasm.

“Easy, beautiful.  Not yet.  I want to be in you when you come.”

The lust pouring from his eyes washed over her, soaking into her skin.  That rich brown stare would haunt her dreams every night until the day she died.

“Please, Damian.  I...need you.”  Cara panted.

Stalking up her body, his mouth captured hers as he entered her, and they both groaned.  The pressure of his hard length filling her cranked her desire even higher, fast approaching the verge of release.

He cradled the back of her neck as he rocked his hips, moving in long, deliberate strokes.  She clung to his massive forearms, arching to meet each thrust, craving every inch he had to offer.  His pace increased, strumming every nerve inside her.  As he pounded into her, she held on for dear life. 

The silken caresses pushed her over the limit, rocketing her to climax.  Her muscles gripped him, fluttering around his sex, as the orgasm rolled through her.

His body stiffened and he shouted out his release.  Warm jets flooded her as he thrust forward, stilling when the last of his orgasm spilled into her.

She met his gaze, the adoration in it making her heart stutter.  Cheeks heating as she returned the sentiment, he smiled down at her.

Damian eased out of her and collapsed to the bed.  Sorrow carved a hole in her heart at their separation.  The pang of emptiness was short lived as his arm wrapped around as pulled her into an embrace, spooning her.  Wonderful heat settling against her back, she couldn’t hold back the content sigh. 

Gentle kisses spread along her shoulder as he rolled her to face him.  His lips met hers with a sweet softness, her body melting into a puddle under him.  It was pure heaven.

He lifted away, solemn brown eyes staring back at her.  “Stay with me, Cara.”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Damian's Sacrifice #10


Damian was a grade-A, choice cut asshole.  He should have dazed Cara back at the studio and then watched over her from the shadows until any danger had passed. 

In secret. 

He should not have told her anything about him or his people.  But as he’d stared into her powder blue eyes, his desire for her had won out.  Now, Cara was suffering for it.  He could smell the sadness coming off of her as she’d walked into her bedroom.

Selfish bastard.

The sound of running water stirred a different guilt in him, images of her flashing through his mind.  Naked and dripping wet, body soft and flush from the steam.  Hands running over her body, suds trailing down her breasts to the apex of her thighs.  Head tilting under the spray as her long waves cling to her back, eyes closed, lips slightly parted.  Drawing her tight against him, skin to skin, his arm wrapping around her waist.  Sliding his tongue along her bottom lip before plunging inside, claiming her mouth.

Mine.

His throbbing cock, pressing against his zipper, tore him from the sinful fantasy.  He looked at the front of his jeans, shame and disgust filling his heart.  Cara had just gone through a day of hell, her world never to be the same.  She needed his comfort, not his hard dick.

A knock on the door had him palming his SIG, easing his way over to glance through the peephole.  Holding a pizza box, a boy wearing a Carini’s Pizza t-shirt and a big ass grin waited on the other side.  The delivery boy.

Damian swung his head to Cara’s bedroom door as he heard the water cut off.  She was naked back there.  He bit back a growl.  No other male would get inside the apartment while she was undressed.

He ripped his wallet from his back pocket and snatched a twenty from the billfold.  Flinging the door open, he shoved the money into the guy’s hand, jerked the box away from him, and slammed the door in his face.

Smooth.  Real smooth, D.   Well, it was better than beating the guy’s face in, which is exactly what he would have done if he’d seen Cara naked.

Damian turned to the kitchen as Cara’s bedroom door opened.  He sucked in a breath, frozen in place, his eyes absorbing her image.  She was wearing a light blue tank top and matching striped shorts, revealing a lot of skin.  Bruised skin.  All over her shoulders and thighs.  He struggled to maintain control, clamping down on his rage so his eyes wouldn’t shift to flame and scare the crap out of her.  Again.  Holding the pizza box in a death grip, he forced his feet to carry him into the kitchen.

“I guess that was the delivery boy knocking on the door?  How much did you give him, so I can pay you back?”  She headed for her purse, but he threw up a hand to stop her.

“Don’t worry about it.  My treat.”  He flashed a smile as he placed the box on the table.

“You know, it is okay to let the woman pay sometimes.  You don’t have to take care of me.”

Damian grunted.  Every bone in his body disagreed.  It would be my honor to care for you, always.

Strange how quickly and easily his heart laid claim to her.  But he could not voice it—would not.  He was to become a Guardian, and in the process gain the thousand year life span his mixed blood had denied him.  Tying himself to a human was out of the question.

“What can I say?  I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy.  Have a seat, and I’ll get us some plates.”

As he rifled through the cabinets behind him for the dishes, a male voice invaded his ears, simultaneously punching him in the gut.

“Hey, it’s me.  I’ve got big news, but I can’t tell you over the phone.  Can I see you tomorrow?  Call me back.  I love you Care Bear.”  A loud beep followed the message.

He whirled around, a pang of jealousy stabbing his heart.  Someone else loved his Cara.  Even had a cute nickname for her.  His gaze flew to hers, and his heart stopped beating, the anger disintegrating in an instant.  Tears streamed down her cheeks, panic set into her features.

“I...I can’t see my...brother tomorrow.  Not so soon after...Connor can’t know what happened.”  She collapsed into her chair, hands covering her face as her body quaked with sobs.

Damian’s heart shattered.  He could make it right, give her back a normal life.  She deserved to be happy, to live a life free of guilt, unburdened with hiding her pain.  He had it in his power to take it all away, with just a touch to her face.  But something deep inside wouldn’t let him daze her against her will.  So he’d have to convince her it was the right thing to do.

He eased over to her, gently resting a hand on her shoulder as he stroked her hair with the other.  Before he could speak a word, she bolted to the kitchen sink, splashing water on her face.

“I’m sorry.  I know you don’t want to be here babysitting a blubbering idiot.  I’ll be fine.  I just need a second, that’s all.”  Her voice shook under the strain.

He approached slowly, afraid she would flee again.  His hands gripped her arms, turning her to face him, but she didn’t meet his eyes.  “Cara, please don’t pull away from me.  You don’t have to deal with this by yourself.  Let me help you, please.  I need to take care of you.”

She remained silent, unmoving in his arms.  But she wasn’t running away either.

“There’s still time to fix this.  I can daze you, take this horrible day from your memory.  I can watch you from a distance and keep you safe.  You have no idea how much it’s gonna kill me to do it, but every part of me screams out to make you happy.”

Her gaze lifted, not a trace of fear or doubt lingering in the pools of blue staring back at him.  “If you think removing yourself from my life will make me happy, you’re wrong.”  She wrapped her arms around his neck, lifting to her toes as her mouth hovered just millimeters away.  “What I need is you.”

The air around them shifted as the heat of her desire plowed over him in waves.  Her soft lips brushed a tender kiss to his, her tongue lightly teasing him to open for her.  The thin thread of his resolve snapped and his hands gripped her waist, crushing her against him.  He deepened the kiss, taking control as his tongue danced with hers, the taste of her burning him from the inside out.

His hands trailed down the curve of her hips to cup her ass.  She lifted her legs, encircling around him as she rubbed against his cock.  The friction through their clothes was a delicious torture, pushing him to the precipice of losing himself.

Cara moaned against his mouth, and he surrendered the last shred of control.  He was powerless as his legs carried them to her bedroom.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tag, I'm It

A really great author friend of mine, C.A. Szarek, was tagged with this questionnaire about works-in-progress, and she was kind enough to tag me with it, too.  If I knew any other authors, I'd continue the chain.  But, since she's the only one I know, I'm returning the tag for her.  Check out the link to her blog.  I know I can't WAIT for the book she's referencing.  LEARGAN!!!
C.A. Szarek

On to my own WIP...

What is your working title of your book?
Brutal Embrace
 
Where did the idea come from for the book?
One night, as I was sitting on the couch, I had vision of a woman waking up from a nightmare.  The scene was so vivid, I felt compelled to write it down, even though I've never really tried writing a story before.  I asked questions as I wrote, and the scene became a chapter, and the chapter several pages.

What genre does your book fall under?
Paranormal romance with a hint of sci-fi.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Brutal would be Joe Manganiello with longer hair.
Tess is a little more difficult.  She has a sweetness to her beauty, kinda like Katherine Heigl, only not as tall.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Brutal, the leader of the Guardian Order, battles against his ancient enemy and time as he prepares the only human dreamer in existence, Tess Donavan, for her new life.
 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Here's hoping I have an answer to that question soon.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Considering, I'm still writing it, I have been working on it for almost a year.  Being new at this, I'm still honing my word-crafting skills.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can't really compare it to any one book in the genre.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I am a huge fan of J.R. Ward and Pamela Palmer.  Laurann Dohner is also on that list.  But my writer bestie, Chrissy has helped me find the courage to actually keep writing.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Hot alpha males with fangs and special powers (no, they aren't vamps or wolves) protecting the human realm from an unspeakable evil hell bent on dominating all dimensions. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Damian's Sacrifice #9


Tears threatened to spill down her cheeks the second her ass hit the driver’s seat of her car.  Familiar was supposed to feel safe, comforting.  But Brian had been both. Dangerous lie that turned out to be.  Reaching into her purse for a tissue she fiercely fought against needing, her hand brushed against the small velvet box that started this whole mess.  What was she going to do with the damn necklace now?  She sure as hell wasn’t keeping it, but she couldn’t give it back to Brian either.

What a fucking nightmare.

Cara’s gaze slid to Damian.  He stood by the passenger side of his car, door open wide as he motioned for her to come with him.  He even gave her a slight bow.  She didn’t try to fight the curve of her lips as she got out.

“I can drive you home, if you want.  I’ll handle getting your car there so you won’t have to worry about that.”

She’d expected him to say that she shouldn’t be driving right now, that she needed to take it easy and calm her nerves.  Being the youngest in the family, someone was always trying to tell her what was best for her.  As if she couldn’t possibly handle her own life, despite the fact that she lived alone and ran her own business.  But he didn’t lecture her, or try to boss her around.  Instead, he presented her with another option, one she was grateful he’d offered.

“Thank you.  I’d appreciate that.”  She eyed the respectable sedan as she passed by.  “So, you drive a badass motorcycle and a... Volvo?”

“It’s my grandmother’s.”  He said dryly as a smile curved his lips, ushering her into the seat, then closing her door.

After giving him the directions to her apartment, they pulled onto James Avenue.

“So what’s the deal with those other people who came through the portal?  Are they even people?”  She was already plummeting down the rabbit hole.  Might as well find out what was at the bottom of the damn thing.

“The less you know about them, the better.  The only reason I brought them up is because of what I had to do to that asshole.  Dazing, along with some other Arcturian abilities, can be detected by them.  If they searched his mind, they could find out about your connection to me.”

“How likely is that to happen?”

“Not very.  They don’t usually bother with dazed humans, but I’m not willing to risk leaving you unprotected.  Until the aura wears off, I will stay with you.  Luckily, since I didn’t mess with him that much, it should be gone by tonight.”

“I don’t really know what to say about all this.  It’s so hard to wrap my mind around.”  She dropped her gaze, staring at her lap.

Damian closed his hand around hers, gently raising it to his lips as he pressed a kiss to her palm. The contact shot a tingle through her, his warmth echoing inside her.

“I’m so sorry, Cara.  I brought all of this on you.”

“No, you didn’t.  Brian still would have come here to...”  She took a deep breath, shaking her head.  “You wouldn’t have been here to save me if we hadn’t bumped into each other last night.  I’m lucky to have you... looking out for me.”

She turned away, staring out the window, a blanket of silence descending upon them.  It was funny how life worked sometimes.  Destiny, fate, divine intervention.  Whichever one this situation was, Cara was exactly where she needed to be, the signs unmistakable. Their accidental meet, their instant attraction, the near miss with Brian.  Damian was meant to be in her life.  But, for how long?

As they pulled up to the apartment building, she directed him to her parking space.  She wasn’t going to need it for the rest of the day anyway.

He withdrew a gun from under his seat, tucking it in the waist of his jeans, under his shirt.  He handled it with the ease and confidence of someone who knew what they were doing.  While she’d never been comfortable around guns, she couldn’t argue with him carrying one.  It could wind up saving their lives.

His eyes met hers, the graveness in them giving her pause.

“When we get to your apartment, you stay right behind me.  If I tell you to run, you run.  You hear me?”

She fought the urge to roll her eyes.  “I hear you.  Look, I understand that you know more about what’s going on than I do.  And I trust you, so I’ll do what you say.  For now.  But, I wouldn’t get used too used to it, if I were you.”

He smirked.  “Let’s go.”

After checking the entire apartment, and finding nothing wrong, she let out a breath of relief.  At least something of her life was still normal.

She watched Damian as he set the gun on the table beside the couch.  He wasn’t as worried about an attack, but obviously still wanted it within reach.

“Those two guys with you last night, they’re Arcturians, aren’t they?”

“Yes.”  His jaw set in a hard line.

“Is it possible I’ve met other Arcturians, too?”

“Well, I guess it’s possible.  But unless you go out at night very often, I doubt it.”

“Why is that?”

“Arcturians are nocturnal.  They get a form of radiation sickness from sunlight, making them extremely sick after an hour or so of exposure.  Only a few hyrbrids like myself are able to stand being out during the day.”

Damn.  No wonder people thought vampires existed.  Fangs, check.  No sunlight, check.

“You guys don’t drink blood, do you?”  A laugh bubbled up as she struggled to keep a straight face.

“But of course we do.  I vant to sok your blod.”  He said, laughing through the spot-on Transylvanian accent.

Her stomach growled, reminding her that they had missed lunch.  “Since I am but a humble human, I need food.  How do you feel about getting a pizza delivered?”

“Pepperoni?”

“It’s not pizza without it.”  She went into the kitchen for the number, and called in their order.  A large should be enough. 

She caught her reflection off the microwave and her heart twisted.  Her hair grungy and disheveled, her face and neck bruised, she suddenly felt covered in filth.  The muck of a really bad day that only a steaming hot shower could fix.

Cara walked back into the living room, Damian turning from the window to meet her gaze.

“Would you mind watching out for the delivery guy?  I really need to get cleaned up.  They said it’d be about twenty minutes.”

“I don’t mind at all.  I’d planned on being the one to answer your door, anyway.  I meant what I said before.  I’m going to make sure you’re protected, Cara.”

“Help yourself to anything I’ve got.  I shouldn’t be too long.”

She laid out her pajamas on her bed, snagging a towel from the armoire in her room before going in her bathroom.  Staring once again at her reflection, the stress was taking its toll on her, dark circles under her eyes, face streaked with dried tears.  The shock of her ordeal was wearing off, leaving her cold and exhausted.  She was losing the battle to keep her composure, Damian being the only thing saving her from a complete meltdown.

Cranking the hot water up as high as she could stand it, Cara slid out of her clothes as steam filled the room.  Bruises littered her body.  And her soul.  Tears welled, but she squeezed her eyes shut to keep them from falling.

I will not cry.

I will not cry.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Damian's Sacrifice #8


God, his eyes.  They’d appeared to be engulfed in flames the second he’d caught sight of her after breaking through the door.  She could have rationalized his super strength—the door and frame now piles of junk—by a spike in adrenaline or something.  But those flaming eyes had no reasonable explanation.  At least, not a human one.

She met his now normal gaze, despair and resignation looming in those mocha depths.  Understanding dawned.  He meant to do to her what he’d done to Brian.  Not hurt her, but whatever was done to his mind to make him leave.  Her heart screamed in protest.  Cara needed to stall.

“Aren’t you going to answer me?”  Her voice creaked, still recovering from the damage Brian had caused.

“It would be better if I didn’t.  I’d just have to...”

“If you say ‘kill me’, I’ll have to kill you for being so clich√©.”  She smirked.

“That’s not what I was gonna say.”  The corner of his mouth lifted.  “Glad to see you still have a sense of humor after all this.”

“Stop avoiding my question, Damian.  I admit, I was more than a little freaked out when I first saw your eyes change, but I’m more in control now.  I know you’re not human, but I’m still standing here talking to you.  And, I think I deserve an answer.  What. Are. You?”

“Fair enough.  But you might want to sit down.”  He gestured to the chair in front of her.

She frowned, but followed his suggestion, grumbling as she dropped to the seat. “This better be because it’s gonna take a while.  And not because you think I’m a chick with delicate sensibilities or something.”

His lips curved as he sat in the other chair.  “It is a long story.  But, I have to admit that I do feel protective over you.”

Her stomach fluttered, her heart doing jumping jacks.  As much as she hated the Tarzan routine, a part of her relished the thought of him watching over her.  Great.  Now she was the clich√©.

Damian cleared his throat, settling his hands on the table, staring at the empty space before him, effectively avoiding her eyes.

“You’re right about me not being human.  At least, in part.  I’m a hybrid.  My mother was human, but my father wasn’t.  He was an Arcturian.”

“What is that?  An alien or something?”

“No.  Not in the way you’re thinking, anyway.  Millennia ago, my people came to this dimension through a portal.  Not spaceships.  The Arcturians inhabited a different plane of reality.”

Cara listened for The Twilight Zone’s theme music to start playing.  Or the voice-over from The Outer Limits.  There is nothing wrong with your television set.  Do not attempt to adjust the picture.  When the hell had science fiction become reality?

“I know.  It’s hard to accept.  And please don’t ask me to explain the whole alternate dimension thing.  I’m not a quantum physicist.”

“So, Arcturians and humans are... compatible?  I mean, you weren’t created in a test tube, or gestation chamber or whatever?”  Her cheeks warmed.

“Is that your way of asking if my father had sex with my mother?”

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to be rude.  But this whole thing is scary and fascinating at the same time.  My brain-to-mouth filter got switched off.”

He grinned, leaning back in the seat.  “Yes, we are compatible.  Crossbreeding was very common, in fact.”

“Was?”

“Arcturian DNA is very strong, but after many generations of mixing with humans, it can be rendered ineffectual, and we would eventually die out.”

“You don’t seem all that different from humans.”

“Well, there are a couple of physical traits I keep hidden most of the time.  You saw my eyes change earlier, but there’s something else.  Please, don’t be afraid.”  He smiled wide, giving a clear view of abnormally long canines.

Fangs.  He had a set of upper and lower ones.  It made him look like a vampire.  Or a werewolf.  Hell, maybe his people were the origination of those myths, considering they’ve been around for thousands of years.  Still, she wasn’t afraid of him.  She was... intrigued.

“Plus, I have certain Arcturian abilities.  Heightened senses.  Superior strength.  And... dazing.”

Something in her mind clicked.  “Dazing?  Is that what you did to Brian?”

“Yes.  I altered his memories of today.  I also placed a block on you, and anything related to you, in his mind.  I assumed you’ve known him a long time, and I can’t mess with stuff that deeply entrenched, so I could only block it.  Others of my species have that capability, but that’s a story for another day.”

“So does that mean he’ll leave me alone from now on?”

“I wouldn’t have let him go otherwise, no matter how much you didn’t want to report him.  Think of it like very strong hypnosis.  Only there’s no special word to snap him out of it.  You will be safe from him forever.  I promise.”

 Her mind reeled.  Despite what he’d done, Brian had been a family friend for as long as she could remember.  Her brother’s best friend.  How could she even tell Connor about Brian’s behavior?  And how it had been taken care of?  Easy.  She never could.

“Are you going to daze me, too?”  Her voice barely a whisper, she held her breath awaiting his answer.

“Humans aren’t supposed to know about us.”

She shot to her feet, her heart on the verge of shattering.  She’d already lost one person from her life that day, and couldn’t stand to lose another.  “I don’t want to forget about you.  I can’t explain it—I don’t understand it—but you’re too important to me.  Please, don’t do it.”

As he rose to his full height, a lick of fear shot down her spine.  He would not harm her, but she would be helpless if he decided to go through with dazing her.  Tears welled in her eyes.

“How can you be so accepting after what just happened?  You should be kicking me out of your life for good.”  He dropped his gaze, shaking his head.

She closed the distance between them, lacing her fingers in his.  “You saved me today.  I won’t condemn you just because someone else I trusted betrayed me.  That’s not who I am.”

A flicker of emotion passed over his features, but it was gone too soon to place it.  He was good at hiding his feelings.

Cara inched closer, brushing her breasts against his chest as she lifted to her tiptoes, hand resting over his heart.  She touched her lips to his, lingering for just a moment before pulling away.  “Thank you.”

Her body ached to be nestled in his arms, kissing him, their passion melting them into one.  They both felt it.  The night they met, she’d been bombarded by it.  Just now, she’d sensed it, hovering at the brink, waiting to be unleashed.  But not here.  Not with the events of the day still surrounding her, smothering her.  She needed to get the hell out of the studio.  And she needed Damian to come with her.
Why did he have such a strong hold on her soul?

His warm eyes met hers, and he nodded once.  “Why don’t we get out of here?  I’d feel better if I can take you home and stay with you for a little while.  To make sure you’re protected.”

“I thought you said Brian wouldn’t bother me ever again.”

“He won’t.  But, there are other bad guys to worry about.”  He breathed a heavy sigh.  “The Arcturians weren’t the only species to come through that portal.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Damian's Sacrifice #7


Damian slid into the driver’s seat of his grandmother’s car, careful not to tip over the contents of the takeout bag on the seat beside him.  Starting the engine, he glanced at the radio’s clock and grinned.  11:50 a.m.  He was running a little early, since he’d gotten to Murphy’s right before the lunch crowd swarmed the place.

Anxiety and excitement warred inside his head.  The deep attraction he had for Cara was unnerving, but also undeniable.  He’d always kept his interaction with human women in the casual fling territory, planning on his eventual mate being an Arcturian.  Even so, he’d never had strong feelings for a female of either species.  Until now.  How could he be falling for a human?

What the hell was he worried about?  A mate?  He’d only spent a few hours with her.  And her company was enjoyable, so he wanted to see her again.  So what?  It wasn’t like he was proposing.  He was bringing her lunch.  A BLT on white toast, and pickles.  Not a fucking engagement ring.

He turned into the parking lot of her studio’s building two minutes after leaving the deli.  She hadn’t been kidding about the place being close by.

Spotting her car right away, he frowned at the car parked next to it.  A red Porsche.  Who the hell is that?  He pulled into the space next to it, grabbing their lunch as he got out.

When Damian walked by the open window of the flashy ticket magnet, a faint smell tingled in his nose.  A mix of testosterone, drugs, and rage.  His gut clenched as he dropped the food and rushed inside.  Something was very wrong with the owner of that car.

He entered the foyer, scanning the surroundings for signs of a struggle.  Nothing.  Just an empty hallway with a staircase at the other end.  And, a single metal door on the left side.  Must be Cara’s studio.

As he moved closer to her door, the sound of a muffled scream reached his ears, chilling his blood.  He lunged for the knob, but it wouldn’t turn.  Locked.  His mind raced, instincts surging forward.  Planting his left leg, Damian rammed his foot through the door, ripping it off the bottom hinge as it flew open, knocking the trim free of the wall.

A man hovering over Cara whipped his head toward the doorway, fury twisting his features.  As the guy shifted off, Damian caught a glimpse of her and his heart plummeted to his stomach.  Her face frozen in fear, bruises on her throat and cheeks stood out in stark contrast against her too pale skin.

His rage erupted, causing his eyes to shift into flame, and he let out a roar.  All higher thought left him.  That bastard was going to die.

As the man made it to his feet, Cara scurried behind a table in the corner.    He glanced to her, then back to Damian.  “Don’t worry, sweetheart.  I won’t let this asshole near you.”

What the fuck?  Was he insane on top of being drugged up?  “I’m not a danger to her.  I can’t say the same for you, though.”

Damian didn’t waste time.  He shot forward, ducking an uncoordinated punch, and nailed the guy right in balls, dropping him to his knees.  As he sat there whimpering, cradling his damaged goods, Damian gripped him by the throat and jerked him to his feet.  He slammed him against the wall, his hands like a vise pinning him a couple of inches off the floor.

As Cara’s attacker struggled for breath, she cried out, “Damian, stop!  You’re killing him!”

Shit.  What was he doing?  Killing a man right in front of her?  He may have no problem taking the life of his enemies, but she didn’t need that kind of stain on her conscience.  Besides, this guy wasn’t really an enemy, was he?  He was a drug-powered asshole who almost raped his female, but he wasn’t a Savrati drone.  He had to let the humans handle it.

 “Call the police while I hold him here.”  He looked at her when she didn’t move.  “What’s wrong?”

“I’m... worried about him.  He’s... an old friend.  I don’t know what got into Brian today, but it—this—isn’t like him.  At all.”  Concern mingled with the fear in her eyes.

Damn.  She didn’t want to involve the police.  He could hear the hesitation in her voice.  The guy was someone she knew and trusted.  An old friend.  But, he couldn’t just let him go.  Not after what he’d pulled.  That only left one option.  Dazing him, altering his memories.

“Do you trust me?” 

“What?”

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes.”

“Good.  Just sit tight over there and I’ll take care of it.”

Damian placed his left hand against Brian’s temple.  He focused his energy on reaching into his mind.  With the drugs in his system, it didn’t take long.  Since he wasn’t capable of erasing Cara from Brian’s memory, he sent a kind of mental block on anything related to her.  Leaving them with the same result.  He would never bother her again.  Never even think of her.  Too bad he didn’t have dazing skills like Vain.  He’d have made the motherfucker become a celibate monk living in Siberia. 

He dropped Brian to the floor.  The guy rushed out without a single word.

Damian took a step toward Cara, desperate to comfort her.

She stayed behind the table, eyes shimmering, arm outstretched in front of her.  “Just stay over there.  Please.”

His heart wrenched.

“I guess it would be better if I just go.  Cara, I’m so sorry.  I never meant to frighten you.”  He turned away, heading for the trashed door.

“Wait.  Don’t go.  I’m not... afraid.  I’m... confused.  In shock.”

Damian froze, unable to take a breath.

“You’re not... human.  What are you?”

He slammed his eyes shut, dropping his head.  Fuck.  He should daze her and go.  Never to see her again.  Humans weren’t supposed to know what they were.  Dazing was standard procedure in a situation like this.  Right now, he couldn’t give a shit about procedure.  But, she would be better off.  Besides, he wasn’t planning a future with her anyway.  Right?

Taking a deep breath, he faced her.

If he didn’t daze her now, he never would.

 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Damian Sacrifice #6


As Cara stopped in front of the studio, her gaze drifted to the tiny box settled against the passenger seat.  A diamond pendant.  As a birthday gift.  To a friend.  What the hell was Brian thinking?  Despite the fact that he wasn’t hurting for money, it was too much.  She needed to return it.

For the better part of a year now, her parents had been trying to set her up with Brian.  He was good-looking, had a successful career, and was already like family to them.  A good catch, they said.  But, she just wasn’t attracted to him.  They were close friends, nothing more.  And Brian had always said he felt the same way.  No way could she believe him now.

Cara wrenched the car door open and snatched the box off of the seat, slipping it into her purse.  While she didn’t want the thing, she couldn’t leave it in the car for someone to take.

She entered the building, her eyes resting on the sheet draped over an unfinished sculpture in the back of the room.  Not a commission, but her own personal piece.  Something she’d been working on for months, between clients.  A way to cleanse her creative palate. 

What the hell was she going to do about Brian?

She was jumping to conclusions.  Was it even a real diamond?  Or real gold?  Maybe it was a piece of costume jewelry meant as a joke or something.  Yeah.  That must be what it is.  And how’s life treating ya over there on the banks of the river Denial?

“Oh, shut up.”  Cara muttered to the empty room.  Great.  She was arguing out loud with herself.  Next stop, a padded room.

What she really needed was a distraction.

The phone rang, making her jump, and the paint-streaked sheet slipped to the floor.

What if it’s Brian?  Oh God, she wasn’t ready to deal with him.  Better to let the answering machine get it.

She grabbed a mug from the cabinet and poured a cup of coffee.  As she stirred the second spoonful of sugar, a deep voice sounded through the machine, echoing in her ears.

“Hi, Cara.  It’s Damian.  Um, we met last night...”

Not Brian.  Damian.  She all but slammed the cup down as she scrambled to answer the phone, spilling hot coffee all over her hands and the counter in the process.  But she’d worry about the mess and the second-degree burns later.  Right now, she was a teenage girl and the captain of the football team was calling her.  Well, perhaps he was more like the resident bad boy than the all-American quarterback.

She nestled the receiver between her shoulder and ear, her fingers fumbling over the buttons on the machine to turn it off.

“Hello?  Damian, are you still there?”  She could kick herself for the eagerness in her voice.

“Yes, I’m here.  Is everything okay?  You sound out of breath.”

He did have a knack for making her breathless.  The image of his dark eyes staring down at her after their kiss last night had her knees dangerously close to buckling.  Again.

“Um, I’m fine.  Just, uh, spilled a little coffee on myself.  I’m not the most coordinated person this early in the morning.”  A nervous laugh escaped before she could stifle it.

“You didn’t burn yourself, did you?” 

“No, it’s only a mess.  So, what has you calling my studio this morning?”

“No small talk at work, huh?  Okay then.  Meet me for lunch today.”

Was she dreaming?  Perhaps her hearing needed to be checked?  They’d only met last night and he was already asking her out on a second date.

Well, you were ready to pounce on his pelvis the moment he kissed you.  At least he is trying to follow good dating protocol.

“Cara?”

Say something you idiot.  Like ‘Why yes, Damian.  I would love to meet you for lunch.  Thank you ever so much for asking.’  Even a simple ‘okay’ would do the trick.

“Oh... I would love to, honestly.  But...”

“But?”

“I really need to work today.  It’s not for a client, but what I do for a kind of mental reset.  If I don’t do something just for fun in between, my art turns to crap.  I know that may sound silly—

“Not at all.  But you still gotta eat, don’t you?  How about I bring lunch to you and hang out for a little while?”

“I couldn’t ask you to do that.  You’d be bored to death sitting here while I work.”

“Then you seriously underestimate how appealing it would be to watch you move.”

 Her cheeks burned.  Why did he have to be so damn good at that?

“Cara, if you don’t want me to come by, it’s okay.  We can do lunch another time.”

“No, I do want you.  To come.  Over, I mean.  Come over.  Shit.”  She covered her eyes, shaking her head.  Someone should just kill her now.  There was no recovering from that one.  “Lunch would be nice.  Thanks.”

Damian laughed.  “I knew what you meant.  So, what are you craving today?”

“Actually, there’s a deli right down the street from here—Murphy’s.  They make a fantastic BLT.  And they have the best pickles.  You been there before?”

“No, but I think I know where it is.  On James Avenue, right?”

“That’s the place.”

“Then I’ll be there around noon, if that’s good for you.”

“Works for me.  But, I gotta warn you.  I’ll probably be a mess when you get here.”

“And that works for me.  See you soon, beautiful.”  The line clicked as he hung up.

She set the phone in its cradle, forcing her fingers to let go.  Butterflies were going to burst out of her stomach any second now.  Damian had called her, like he’d promised.  And, he was coming over.  She was going to see him again in just a few hours.

It took every ounce of strength she had to focus on her work, but she’d drive herself crazy if she just sat there in la-la land until Damian showed up.

At ten ‘til noon, a knock sounded at the door, signaling another swarm of butterflies to flutter around.  He was early.

Cara looked down at her herself, wincing.  Smudged shirt.  Paint wedged under her fingernails.  And she didn’t have to see her hair to know it was breaking free of the ponytail she’d put it in.  He is the perfect man if he doesn’t haul ass the other way when I open the door.

“Just a minute.  I wasn’t expecting you yet.”  She darted to the sink to freshen up.  After washing her hands, she pulled the scrunchie out of her hair, giving it a quick tousle to loosen the curls.

Cara rushed to the door, unable to contain her excitement.  As she threw it open, she stumbled back, the blood rushing from her head.

“Who were you expecting, Cara?  Obviously not me.”

“Brian, what are you doing here?”

“Are you gonna invite me in, or make me stand out in the hallway all day?”

“Sorry.  Come on in.  I was just cleaning up for lunch.”  She headed to the table in the corner of the room.  Right for her purse.

“So, did you open your birthday present yet?”  His tone was strange.  Distant.  So unlike him.

Cara sucked in a deep breath, her back to him as she searched for the small box.  “Yes, I did.  We need to talk about that.  I can’t accept the necklace.”

“You’re right.  We do need to talk.”

The click of the deadbolt made her turn around.  The air rushed from her lungs as he tackled her, his icy fingers squeezing her throat, his hips crushing her into the floor.

“And you aren’t leaving here until you see reason.  I will show you we belong together.”