meeting the countess

Growling incoherently, the disfigured man plunged his hands into the writhing tangle of bats covering the velvet settee. His hand closed on a pale arm. As if unaware of the constant scratch of wings and claws, he heaved backwards in a smooth, forceful motion, and impossibly, a woman fell free onto the floor. The bats […]

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dragon fire

Razori stroked both thumbs down the snout of the red dragon whelp, recumbent across his thighs, with a surety that had me jealous. He’d always had a way with animals, including the human kind, and his touch had translated easily to the creature we’d found in the ruins. “What should we do with it?” My […]

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as the chips fall

The shoelace saved her. Cursing, Lovelace ducked down to retie her shoe, then fell forward onto her palms with a cry, as something whizzed through the air overhead and showered her with chipped stone from the wall in front of her. She scuttled sideways, eyes wide, chest heaving, mind whirring frantically to identify the threat. Someone […]

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wait it out

An expression of contentment tugged on the corners of Callon’s mouth, as he stared at the TV over Jaen’s shoulder. Growling, Jaen gave him a none-too-subtle jab in the ribs. “Here we are discussing Sirius’ skill with rib bones and ribboned muscle, and a damn hockey game turns out to be your lullaby. Wipe that […]

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mist

Mustard yellow flowers covered the hill, slowly devouring the few remnants of needle-straight grass that had survived the corrosive rain. Jahvor liked to chew the spiky blossoms, claiming some use as an aphrodisiac, but Eliedor, watching pulp drip from his teeth, seriously doubted its effectiveness. “What we doing here, boss,” he said, voice about as […]

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summoning

Plucking languidly at the fine, blue strands of her uncombed hair, Royal stared hard at the center of Callon’s forehead. Avoiding his gaze was nothing new. With measured slowness, Callon placed the grisly photos on the table, then leaned back in his chair. Jaen began to tap her foot impatiently, until Callon put a stilling […]

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collared

He binds my wrists with jute rope, his fingers leaving streaks of red, as he unknowingly paints with blood that is not my own. Pitch-dark eyes stare at my face, like a merchant appraising fruit soon to spoil. I bare my filed teeth, watch him flinch. He sees the wolf now, not a girl to […]

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caution

Shoulder to thigh in a shadowed doorway, Jaen and Callon watched a huddle of uniformed police officers walk down the brownstone’s stairs with faces more gray than the storm-dampened sky overhead. A lone woman stepped out onto the landing, presumably a plainclothes detective, and stared with hard eyes at the small crowd splayed along the […]

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regrets

Jaen eyed him from the devastation of threadbare sheets and shredded pillows with a mix of satisfaction and self-disgust. She plucked a feather from her spiky hair, then swung both legs off the lumpy mattress. An unselfconscious Amazon of slim muscle and scarred sun-touched skin, she stepped over the pile of their clothes and opened […]

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bait

“I don’t play nursemaid,” Callon said. His lip curled, as a memory drove a spike through his stomach. “Besides, isn’t that what she pays you for?” An irreverent smile formed. “Or do you simply like to sleep at her feet like a good dog.” Jaen snarled, the woman gone from her fierce green eyes. She […]

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