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Cherish McCloud tottered down the hotel's front steps on wobbly stilettos, and grabbed the handrail as her head swam. Damn! What in blazes had Jodi put in her homegrown herbal tea? She closed her eyes as her head swam and instantly the erotic dream that had plagued her for the last month replayed in her mind. She trembled as it took her over, her pulse racing as her Shadow Man angrily backed her against the wall. The instant his powerful body pressed against hers, a surge of lust rushed through her. She arched against his tantalizing cock whimpering as her pussy flooded with cream.
His presence, scent, and dominant power seemed to unleash something forbidden in her, making her desperate for his possession. Her nipples beaded to tingling points and she dragged them against his broad chest while rocking her tingling mound against his erection, her clit instantly stiff.
He growled in reaction, and flipped up her skirt, drawing back one of his big hands to spank her.
Cherish whimpered as he landed a stinging blow on her panty clad bottom, making her pussy quiver. The spanking pushed her over the edge and she arched her ass out for his punishment as her body tightened. Then she exploded, coming with a cry of pleasure, clutching him. He vanished and she sagged against the railing, mortified as people walked past her. Her face heated as she wondered if they could tell she'd just come. Trying to write erotica was turning her into a sex maniac.
Stiffening her buckling knees, she tried to ignore the inappropriate sheen of moisture coating her inner thighs. Shit, now she was feeling him while she was awake. She took a deep breath of crisp midnight air, telling herself to get a grip. It was bad enough that she'd been dragged to the Sci-Fi Conference as a fake psychic. She was not going to give into fantasyland. Nor was she about to believe the family hype that she was descended from a gypsy queen. No, Jodi's noxious brew was responsible. Add that to the fact that she'd been e-dumped this morning, and it explained her aberration. She pulled her jean jacket closer around her closing out the mist rolling in off Lake Michigan.
She should have broken things off with Henry a week ago. There was no way he could compete with her phantom lover. Not wanting to hurt his feelings she had hesitated. Henry, the self-serving jerk, didn't have the same compunctions. The senator's son hadn't even had the grace to send his goodbye to her in a Hallmark card. She should have known that anyone who worked part time as a psychic and wrote erotica, wouldn't pass muster with his family. And Henry was such a momma's boy.
A side door to the Hyatt opened and a group of fake Wookie's poured out, pushing her down the stairs. Propelled forward, she stumbled down the path muttering a curse about inconsiderate jerks, and didn't even notice when they blundered into the bushes with unintelligible curses. Fog distorted the park into a mystical fairyland, and made her feel cocooned, as she walked forward trying to clear her head.
Her footsteps echoed hollowly on the damp concrete walk and her pulse sped up again, but this time not from lust. Prickles of unease penetrated her hazy brain. She could feel someone watching her. Looking around she saw no one, but given the fog she couldn't see much. Still, she couldn't shake the sensation of being watched, pursued. Instinctively, she stepped off that path away from the overhead lights. Maybe paranoia was another side affect of the tea. Jodi and her lethal brews had a lot to answer for. A crunch in the grass behind her set the fine hairs on nape on edge.
Spinning around, she saw a row of ET's step out of the fog. Relief surged through her, making her giddy. They were just more re-enactors. One of them wasn't even the right color, he was gold. She let out a relieved laugh. "Not very convincing, guys. Don't you know that ET was small and friendly, not tall and semi-menacing?"
They continued to glare at her and she sighed. Apparently, she'd bruised a few nerd egos. "Look, I know that we've ticked you off by getting the best room at the Hyatt for Second Sight, but why pick on me. Take it up with the management, why don't you?" She could feel their confusion, but they remained single-mindedly focused on her. She took a step back...they inched forward like a pack of wild dogs, ready...make that eager, to chase her.
* * *
The fog suited Lucian Masters mood as he stalked through the night. The chilling wind stung the cut on his lip and he pulled the collar of his leather jacket higher, a sense of impending danger sharpening his senses, his night vision. Why the hell had his estranged half-brother Ty found him tonight? As things stood they had the same goal; hunting Ariel's killers. The problem was that Ty counted him among that number. He didn't blame the kid; he knew he was guilty as sin.
Increased demonic activity accompanied the Sci-Fi Convention, maybe that was what was making his spidey senses go nuts, he thought with a wry twist of his lips. That, and being reminded of his guilt when his brother caught him at Eli's Cavern. But Ariel would be avenged, he'd see to it. Suddenly, the sounds of a scuffle in the distance snagged his attention.
"Bite me, you pack of Star Trek rejects." An outraged female voice rang out.
He stopped. A damsel in distress, or a trap? He felt the air cooling, a sign of evil; didn't much matter as he was in the mood for a fight. He stepped off the path, striding toward the disturbance, and froze. The sight of a fierce woman squaring off against a hunting pack of Verdant Pathway Demons stopped him in his tracks. He recognized the packs gold gilded leader on sight, Galen the Merciless, he personally thought he was a chicken shit. The Verdant were holding back, cautious, as if afraid to bruise her. Interesting. The bounty on her must be worth a bundle.
His fascinated gaze lingered on the woman. She had long hair, a tantalizing mixed tawny shade of brown, red, and gold; you could never get that from a bottle. Her eyes were an unusual amber color and tip tilted like a cats, giving her an exotic appearance. She was dressed like she'd been out on the town, in an elegant red dress with a jean jacket thrown over it because she was cold. Had she been out on a date? The thought pissed him off for some reason but he didn't feel another presence. The dress clung to her full figure, highlighting the generous curves he for some insane reason longed to touch. His body throbbed, all his blood surging to his suddenly rock hard cock. Shit, he usually had more control than this. But his urge to dispatch the Verdant, throw the siren down on the ground, and plunge himself into her heat was undeniable.
Get your head back in the game, stupid, he muttered, as the fog dissipated around the woman, seeming to recede by her very force of being. He watched her flow into a karate stance, while scent wrapped around him, something feminine and hauntingly familiar.
Her fighting spirit was unquestionable, but she was sorely outmatched. Her high kick caught the first demon to lunge for her sharply in the chest. He watched, in stunned disbelief, as it crumbled like a wet paper sack and vanished. He instantly reassessed the situation. A mere mortal wouldn't have the force to take out a demon. So, what did that make her?
She smirked. "Oh, like that's gonna scare me, you reenacting weirdoes."
Lucian barely had time to smile at her feisty reaction before they circled her again, but this time a bit more warily. The first to attack were expendable, but they wouldn't give up until they took her down. "This way, assholes," he said, conversationally, drawing the pack's attention. They were all symbiotically linked. It was their greatest weakness as underworld mercenaries. Lucian was hotly aware of the enchanting woman's relieved gaze on him, her eyes big as saucers. Her amber eyes seemed to see right into his missing soul. Damn.
The Verdant's gold gilded leader shot at him, taking advantage of his divided focus. Lucian sidestepped the power blast mocking him. "Don't you idiots know that you can't kill me that way?" Maybe not, but they could sure as hell slow him down.
He braced himself as the enraged demons launched themselves at him en masse. His uppercut knocked the first to reach him into the air, propelling the demon back so that he flattened the ones behind him like bowling pins. The sheer physical action was gratifying.
Galen, bit out a furious command.
Lucian drew his dagger from the sheath beneath his coat and launched it at him. It caught the leader square in his chest, and Galen exploded into smoke. It would take the bastard a moment to rematerialize. Lucian's dagger flipped back to his hand moonlight glinting off its blade. He caught it in a firm grip just as the woman started screaming. He slipped it into its sheath as the demons stood muttering darkly for a moment. Without their leader they were unsure.
Lucian moved to grab the woman's hand but suddenly, the atmosphere around them started to waver, the fog turning to ice pellets that pelted them as an artic chill blasted through the clearing. The Verdant suddenly fell to their knees abandoning the attack, and Lucian swore, as his feet froze to the ground and Lucian's blood turned to ice.
Son of a bitch, the rotten bastard was still alive after all. He watched with narrowed eyes as a bolt hole opened, rage shooting through him when Zere appeared. His long white hair blew behind him; his muscular body draped in his royal robes. His mocking grin raked over Lucian for a moment and then he turned a curious glance on the woman.
"Come to me," Zere demanded, as he held out his hand.
Lucian cursed as the woman shivered beside him, her body heat warming him. No wonder the Verdant had been handling her with kid gloves. Zere wanted her. If she complied, she'd never return from Zere's frozen underworld realm. Concentrating, using up what was left of his powers, Lucian grabbed her arm and instantly teleported them to his lair. It was warded against the demon. They came to rest upstairs in his velvet-draped bedroom. The daylight blocking drapes were drawn back to show the lake, he loved the water. Freudian slip, he thought with a self-deprecating twist of his lips. Nobody would hear her even if she screamed the house down.
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