Here’s an excerpt from my latest paranormal romance novella, Shifting Ice.
Since I had a few minutes to kill, I sat down and called my baby brother Matt.
Or as I liked to call him, Mayhem. Him and Chris, Chaos, are thirteen year old twin terrors and they didn’t have school the rest of the week for some sort of teacher break.
Matt didn’t answer so I called Chris and chatted with him, eating my food when it came as he chattered on.
I missed a few things because the phone fuzzed out for a few seconds, but I got the gist. He was going to a Chess tournament soon and couldn’t stop talking about some sort of Gerawhatchamacallit opening.
I packed up the rest of my food after he hung up, and stepped out the door with tea in one hand and my bag in the other when my phone rang. I claimed one of the tables on the outdoor patio and fumbled through my purse, pulling out my cell as it rang its Facetime tone.
I scowled and set the phone down to rearrange my bag and drink into one hand. If he was going to be a territory-invading pain in the ass, he could damn well wait.
“Hello, Caesius,” I said in the smoky tone that’d made him shiver the first time we met as I took off for home.
Hey, whatever advantage I could get.
“Ah, what fresh, cool breeze is this?” Caesius said, eyes sweeping over me.
His voice is a thick, warm growl, fitting for a wolf.
“You’re a vision. I’m going to have to check my blood pressure. Please tell me that at least took a while to do. It’s not fair to other women for you to be that beautiful if it didn’t take some severe effort.”
Oh, gimme a break.
Caesius is a man’s-man meets corporate head-honcho type. His skin’s darker than his brother’s, so black it has midnight blue highlights. His dark burgundy hair’s as long as mine and straight, like fine strands of silk, and was pulled back in a low ponytail today.
And did I mention the body?
If you like lean swimmers’ builds, you go cat or cobra. If you want solid, muscled, Titan rejects, you look at wolves and grizzlies. And Caesius does his species justice. He’s a foot taller than me, with a back you could show a movie on, arms rife with muscles, and a solid, square face.
His eyes are the worst though. They’re spectacular even for a turgsta. The right is dark purple, the left, vivid copper.
Drastically different eyes are a mark of beauty among turgstas, but I’ve always thought the closer ones look better, probably due to me growing up in a society where your eyes are supposed to match, but his were just too pretty.
He was wearing a light grey suit that set his skin glowing and a lavender top with a tie that matched his right eye hue for sparkling hue.
One word came to mind. Yum.
Just because I wanted to slit his throat (or other more delicate body parts) didn’t mean I couldn’t appreciate the view.
“Thank you, Caesius,” I said.
Let the political do-si-doing begin.
“And you, as always, look impeccable. Those colors do wonders on you. I’m assuming you just finished speaking to my cousin?”
Why hadn’t she called me?
“Always straight to business, Ty. Can’t we sit and chat? We haven’t spoken in weeks. I read the article you wrote for your journal on the correlation between amount of laws and population density.” He raised his fingers to his lips and kissed them. “Beautiful work. I was positively enthralled.”
He read my law journal article? Shit, he’d been keeping tabs on me.
“Caesius, I’m blushing. But you’re a thousand miles away. I don’t see us sitting down for a chat unless you know how to teleport.”
He chuckled, not missing a beat. “Okay, face to face wouldn’t work, but could you stop marching? I’m getting motion sickness.”
I stopped with a nod to him. “Sylvia hasn’t called me yet. I’m assuming you two are still in negotiations.”
“Ah, there’s the problem. These people seem to be near your territory. I want free reign to search it.”
I held back a surprised look. That was shockingly straightforward for Caesius.
When my family moved from California, I took the unclaimed territory around Nashville as my own, but since I was the only lion out here, I was vulnerable.
Everyone knew that, and knew to ask for entry far in advance unless they wanted to try sneaking in, and getting the hell out before I noticed them.
Because if I found someone in my territory, I had every right to kill first and ask questions later.
My stomach went cold. What was he up to?
“That’s not going to happen, Caesius. I’ll search it.”
“Yes, but you aren’t very motivated, and if one of ours goes missing en route, oops, right?”
The ice spread up to my chest; he was definitely up to something.
“They’re all kids to me. It doesn’t matter what they’ll turn into when they grow up.”
“You have a soft spot for children. I’d forgotten.”
“I doubt that.” My voice went down a few degrees and I turned up my milkmaid smile.
I would not give him the satisfaction of knowing he was making me uneasy.
He chuckled. “Well, maybe not.”
The phone moved and I caught a blur of a what looked like a generic hotel room before the picture stopped, settling on…
The blood drained from my face and smacked my toes. My heart seized with panic before going into calm, black and white mode.
Sitting in a black armchair with his wrists cuffed in front of him was the Mayhem of my favorite double act.
If you liked the excerpt, check out Shifting Ice.