Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Paula Calloway
Word Count :7415
Publication Date :2013-05-12
Series : Cafe Nowhere#0
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-0738-4
A woman on a hunt encounters twin seduction.
Afraid for her life, Julie seeks out the one thing that can end her nightmares, but her hunt for a dream handler brings her face-to-face with her living, breathing night terror.
Summoned by something unknown, twin guardians Matt and Zane, find themselves confronted by a vampiric fallen angel and a challenge unlike anything else ever faced.
While uncertain which twin is trouble and which is dangerous, Julie knows she’s definitely in for double, and the guys have no intention of disappointing her.
“We’re not in my spirit room anymore, that’s for sure. Get on your feet.” Anna looked around. “And other than somehow suddenly in some forest somewhere, I have no idea where we are.”
Julie eyed the surrounding shadows.
A deep male voice whispered, “I know.”
She sprang to her feet. “Who was that?” Uneasy, she moved closer to her only protection. “Anna…”
“Julie, I don’t like the feel of this at all. When I tell you to, run and don’t look back. No matter what. Go. Now!”
“Yes, run, little one.”
The male whisper spurred her into action. Sprinting as fast her legs could carry her, Julie ran, dodging branches that grabbed her hair and brambles that snagged her tank top.
A terrified feminine scream filled the air.
Sliding to a stop, she turned and faced the way she came, her breathing ragged. Silence blanketed the forest. Her chest tight, she swallowed. Please answer… “Anna?”
“You don’t listen very well, do you?”
The dark voice came from everywhere and nowhere at the same time, dancing shivers up and down her spine. Her heart skipped a beat and then threatened to stop. Something tickled her ear. Spinning, she grabbed at it and found herself staring at a lone leaf in her hand. “W-where are you? Wh-where’s Anna? Why did she scream? What did you do to her?” Her thudding heart pounded in her chest with a determination to break free. Panic slithered through her very being, claiming her, devouring her soul.
“Close. Very close, little one.”
The sinister whisper slid across her veins, turned her blood into ice, and seized her heart. Julie swallowed hard. “Go away. You’re not real. We’re in Anna’s house. I’m delusional, and it’s the incense’s fault.” Tears stung her eyes and threatened to fall. “This isn’t real,” she whispered. “It isn’t real. I have to wake up.”
“Oh, sweet little human. First, you wish to know where I am, then deny my existence. You asked for a guide, did you not?”
The voice sounded close. Too close. Julie spun, desperate and fearful to catch a glimpse of the owner. The man emerging from the shadows stole her breath, and his very presence forced her to step back until halted by a tree trunk. While tall and muscular with pale skin and perfect features might be considered handsome by some, his mere existence declared evil very real. And very lethal. Long black hair fluttered in the breeze, and dark eyes glittered with fury.
He bowed and then straightened. “I am Xavier. Give yourself to me and death will be gentle—unlike your companion’s.” A slow grin promised otherwise.
“Oh hell no.” Julie took off at a dead run. “When I asked for a guide, I didn’t mean you. You’re a mistake…”
“No, I’m a vampire,” Xavier snapped back. “And I am gaining ground, my little appetizer. You can’t outrun me.”
“Don’t remind me, and I’m not food.” She put fear’s speed to use.
“At least not yet, my sweet.”
When his grasping hand closed onto empty air no more than mere inches above her shoulder, Julie squealed and frantically searched her soundings for the nearest diversion or shield because time just ran out. Five feet in front of her appeared a dark-haired man poised with a glittering silver sword ready to take off her head.
She opened her mouth. The sudden force of the shoulder planted in her stomach had half the impact of the forest floor when her back slammed into it, but a large hand cradled the back of her head. A hard body pinned her down. Her breath taken, she opened her eyes, her lungs frozen. A new face loomed too close.
“Breathe,” he commanded.
Compelled to obey his warm voice, Julie sucked in a deep breath. “That hurt.”
“It was better than the alternative, sweetheart, as that sword swinging overhead doesn’t usually miss. Name’s Zane.”
“Zane, roll left twice.”
The barked order drew her attention. The hand cupping her head pulled her face against his warm throat as muscled male legs wrapped hers and powerful arms gathered her upper body tight against his. Securely tucked within his hold, she felt him roll twice and then release his grip on her. She looked back up at the mesmerizing, fair-haired male again pinning her down.
Zane smiled. “Matt’s in a stomping mood.”
The ground thumped beside her shoulder. Julie turned her head and gawked at the boot heel inches from her nose. The dark-haired fighting warrior ducked a fist and shifted stances.
“Stop playing around, Zane. Get her up and clear. I can’t hold him alone, and I can’t hit him.”
“On it, Matt.”
Tucked against the man as he rolled again, her suddenly serious, fair-haired rescuer untangled their limbs and brought her to her feet with him. Glued to the spot, Julie stared.
“Wait here.” Drawing his sword, Zane stepped into the battle. “Want a hand, brother, or would you prefer a sword?”
“Took you long enough.” Matt ducked and swung but missed. “Were you flirting again?”
Zane parried and rolled. “Not yet.”
“If you turn and wink, I’ll let him have your head.”
“Are you serious?”
Matt sidestepped. “No, but it sounded good at the time.”