I've been busy. Line Edits for Black Velvet which has a November 2nd Release date. Finishing Demon's Begone, a book that has been languishing for a year. Now that I've got a free moment I have to decide what to work on next. I have three that are started and three that are in planning.
Here's a sample of the three that are in progress - Comment on which you like best and I'll move it to the top of the pile.
Finding A Keeper
Is she gone now, Dane? She sent to her keeper through the link forged through years of training, natural ability and a life long companionship, as soon as she heard the front door shut.
Yes, Saivya, she’s gone.
Saivya loved her Keeper, as all dragons did, but Dane’s habit of finding women irritated her. Dragon Keepers, like dragons, were to mate for life and Dane insisted on not seeking out a female Dragon Keeper. Typical male, afraid of commitment. She wanted hatchlings. Hatchlings that would bond with Dane and his mate’s children and damn it he wasn’t getting any younger.
You need to seek a female Dragon Keeper and stop bringing home these women you meet in singles bars.
Quiet Saiv, or I’ll find a Dragon Hunter to slay you.
She snorted. As if, Dane. You wouldn’t allow a scale on my lovely hide to be harmed by a hunter.
Maybe. Maybe not.
She could hear Dane moving around in the kitchen. Can I come in?
Yeah, just remember to put clothes on this time.
Saivya shimmered to human form and paused allowing herself a moment to adjust to this smaller form. She grabbed her silk robe off the hook by the door as she entered the comfortable house. She stopped at the freezer in the storage room, opened the door and pulled the turkey roast out of the door. She tossed it into the air and blew a carefully controlled stream of blue flame at it. The butcher paper and twine burned off under the heat. It was done by the time she caught it.
“Damn it Saiv!” Dane’s voice roared from the kitchen. “We have an oven.”
“Yes, but my way is so much quicker.” As she entered the kitchen, she placed the roast on the cutting board and reached for a knife. “This way we don’t have to wait an hour and a half to eat.”
Behind her Dane made a sound of agreement.
Saivya turned to look at her Keeper, for a human he was attractive she supposed. He compared favorably with the male models she’d seen in magazines and online. Dane was muscular without being bulky, a nice flat stomach with a nicely developed six-pack, and a firm ass. She liked his wheaten colored hair and brown eyes best. Eyes that at the moment were looking at her questioningly. She shrugged and refocused her attention on the roast.
“What?” His voice rumbled, filled with his frustration.
“Nothing. I was just wondering if you were considered attractive by human females.” She began slicing the roast into thin even strips. “So are you?”
“Never had any complaints about my looks.” He tapped her hip. “Scooch over, I need to get a pot to make the stuffing.”
Saivya stepped back to let him into the cabinet. “Well, then you shouldn’t have a problem finding a female Keeper.”
Unnamed at this point
She turned back to look at the man beside her. “That guy,” was the only explanation she offered.
She shook her head, “Worse. Ryan raise your glass, tonight is supposed to be my wedding night to that jerk and the woman he’s feeling up was my best friend and maid of honor.”
Ryan glanced over at the couple practically fucking each other in the bar then back at then her. “Want a little revenge?”
Her eyebrows shot up, but the idea really appealed to her and that vindictive slice his tires part of her she was desperately trying to suppress. “What did you have in mind?”
He gave her a mischievous grin and leaned closer. “Well, you could slap me.”
“And why would I do that?”
Ryan stood and pulled her up against him, molding her body to his. “Because I’m going to do this.”
His mouth crashed down on hers at her gasp his tongue plunged into her mouth possessing her. She tensed for a moment then relaxed molding herself tighter to him, her arms going around his neck as she surrendered. Her head reeled as she tasted the bourbon on his tongue and the wildness of him. His chest rumbled in a growl, the soft sound vibrating through her.
“Damn, Ryan! Get a room.”
Ryan broke the kiss, and Gypsy took a shuddering breath but didn’t release her hold of him. It was either hang onto the man or fall on her ass her legs were so wobbly. She opened her eyes to find him smirking at her.
“So, are you going to slap me?”
An hour and ten minutes later, Francisco pushed open the exterior door to the restaurant. Diana waited beside the host’s podium, arms crossed, her foot tapping angrily. “Forgive my tardiness.”
“I was about to leave.” Her eyes were not flashing, so he knew she wasn’t furious with him.
“And I would have understood.” He looked at the hostess, “Table for two, non-smoking.” He returned his attention to Diana. “The statement took longer than I expected.”
“If you’ll follow me.” The hostess gathered two menus and started through the restaurant, weaving between tables filled with diners, not waiting to see if they followed.
Seated, orders placed and drinks in front of them, he found himself the subject of Diana’s intense scrutiny.
“I am assuming you wish to know why the statement took longer.” A raised eyebrow and tilt of her head indicated that she did. “One of the gentlemen ended up with two broken bones in his right forearm.” He expected she might be offended at the violence and was unprepared for her reaction.
“I wish it had been his neck.” She mimed breaking something with her hands. “Not really. Thank you again for being outside and I apologize for chewing you out. I was just angry…”
“Dare I hope you held some small concern for my safety?” Her face flushed with color at his question.
The waiter placed their orders on the table and refilled their glasses in the silence that descended between them.
“Yes, a little.” She answered, lifting her glass when the waiter had moved away. “I’ve never seen you in the mall before, are you new to town?”
Francisco noticed the deliberate change of subject and allowed it. “No, I have lived in Mobile for many years now. I rarely come to the mall though.”
“That explains it.” She cut into her grilled chicken. “I’m here forty plus hours a week. What do you do for a living?”
“I am a liaison between D. C. and H. and the local government.”
“Ah, a lawyer.”
“I was once. Now I am a liaison.” He leaned forward, looked around the restaurant quickly then crooked a finger at her. She leaned forward, eyes searching. “That means I do less actual work but I am paid more.”
He smiled when Diana bit her lip trying to hold back her laughter then leaned back against her seat, her shoulders shaking with suppressed mirth.
She couldn’t stop herself. “Can I have your job?”
“I am afraid the position is not available. It also has some very specific job requirements that you do not meet.” He thought for a moment. “There is an assistant’s position open but I would prefer not to offer it to you.”
“Because you don’t know me?”
“D. C. and H. has a very strict no dating policy for executives concerning their assistants.” He placed his napkin beside the plate of half-eaten steak and pushed it back. “I find, Ms. Matthews that I very much wish to become better acquainted with you outside of the professional world.”