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This is an excerpt from my upcoming October release from Cobblestone Press, Scent of Cin. The beginning of this short story was posted for Excerpt Monday back in April. That posting garnered a request which lead to my contract for the story. The previous unedited excerpt started at the beginning in the heroine's point of view (POV). The following is the following scene in the hero's POV:
* Warning: *
* Explicit language and adult content. Please read no further if you are not of legal age. *
As the son of a demon, he’d seen all types. No one compared to Cinnamon Murphy, even disheveled, on the floor, and newly brought back to life. He admired her spirit, but her body wouldn’t be able to support any escape plans as of yet. She wouldn’t have made it past his lapdogs, much less him, even in her top form.
He admired that form, her quirky charm, and the lush spice of her body. He moved around the table and reached down to her. When she ignored his hand, he straightened away from her.
“Who are you?”
Her voice was rusty and gravelly from the healing cut to her neck, and his erection swelled even more from the husky sound of pure sex. But his anger returned, anger at the audacity of his Queen. His rage at his inability to save the woman detective had crippled him until he remembered the wooden box hidden in his library. Seething regret crushed him, making him desperate. Desperate enough to perform the risky, long forgotten ritual of life sharing. Desperate enough to risk both their corporeal selves if the ritual imploded, reversing itself. Who knew the price to their souls?
“What did you do to me?” she rasped.
Averting his eyes, he had to look away before he pounced on her. He didn’t have the time for his attraction. He couldn’t hunger for her vulnerable nakedness as she began to turn pink with life. In sharp counterpoints to her full head of auburn hair and deep brown eyes, her dusky areolas beckoned. Riveted, he couldn’t keep his gaze away. As he watched, her nipples pebbled despite the oppressive heat made sweltering by the use of his own power during the ritual.
For years he’d missed the intensity of desire. Now was not the time to enjoy the carnal delights of flesh. He wanted to lick every last freckle on her skin, and she had quite a number of them. Everywhere. But, enough of this. Time slid away while every second compounded his desperation. “I’m afraid this is my fault.”
“Bastard!” She tried to move again, no doubt to kick him in the balls. After watching her for weeks, he knew she’d put up a fight if she could. He well understood her usual bag of tricks. To save a life, she’d pull any dirty maneuver. He admired that.
“Settle down, Cin. I would never harm you, but my enemy’s lackeys followed me to our meeting. They killed you simply for being near me.”
“Only friends call me Cin.”
Her eyes flickered with wariness, but he could see she believed him. Otherwise, she would have pounced when he’d reminded her she had been killed. He was sure of it.
“I am your friend,” he said.
“Okay, friend. What’s your name?” she asked, her lip curled in a dubious expression as if she didn’t believe he’d tell her.
He meant to give his name. He wanted to offer her that power over him, but he found it more difficult than he’d thought. Possession of a true name compelled a demon to obey, but he trusted Cin not to use his unwisely.
At his hesitation, she smiled without warmth. “You may call me Murphy, like all my clients. I take it you need help with Hellions?”
She didn’t ask again about her death, or her rescue from becoming Shade.
“Yes. I need your help to find my son.”
Her eyebrows shot up, and he chuckled, struck with black humor. Demons didn’t safeguard their spawn, but he was no demon. He’d managed to shock the notoriously worldly, calculating, ruthless gumshoe, Cinnamon Murphy. He didn’t wait for her response. “In exchange for bringing you back from the dead.”
He paused, and she went pale as death. His heart stuttered with panic that he’d made a mistake in the scrollwork—never his strongest ability—maybe gotten the ritual wrong, and she would slip through his fingers. But she recovered, dispelling her visible shock as if it were vapor.
He continued. “I’d like you to find where the Demon Queen has hidden my son.”
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