“Have a seat Mr. Dragen.” The officer motioned to the chair. There was a slight irritation to his tone. Officer Paul had dealt with me on numerous occasions.
With a resigned sigh I plopped down. Paul whipped out the handcuffs and locked my wrist to the chair, which only made me smirk, amused at the flimsy piece of metal they thought could hold me down.
“I will be back.” He tugged on the metal making sure it was secure.
“Yeah. I think I know the dance by now.”
Officer Paul gave me a bemused huff and turned, leaving me in the small confines of the waiting room. It reeked of human smells, bad coffee, and the hint of cleaning products. The scent of the police station was something I was used to. I should be. I had already been here twice this week. For the month, I was hitting about eight visits, so far. Sadly that was not a record for me.
It was frustrating. I could easily out run the sheriff. Actually, I could out do him in anything, but Cole was adamant about us not using our abilities in public. Standing out or bringing any more attention to ourselves was something he embed daily into our brains. Except I was never one to listen.
I had difficulty with staying out of trouble. It was my entire personality to stir up people and trouble. Only Cooper was close to my number of arrests and that was because he was usually with me when I was causing a disturbance. West got in his far share, but that fucker had the knack to charm a nun out of her britches. His arrests ended with a slap on the wrist and a verbal warning most of the time. Lorcan was too sneaky to get caught. If I cared, I could have probably gotten away, too. I just didn’t. It was sick, but I kinda enjoyed pissing Sheriff Weiss off. Especially because he could never find anything to really hold me on. I wasn’t stupid.
Sliding down further to get comfortable, the hard plastic chair creaked as I shifted in my seat. These seats were too fucking tiny for me. I pulled a book out of my back pocket. The cops liked to leave me here to sit for a long time, and I had learned early on to bring something to read when I went out.
Most of my arrests were connected with Mike’s Bar and some asshole thinking he didn’t have to pay up what he lost a game of pool. My so-called age had some thinking they didn’t have to play by the rules with me. They didn’t like some “young punk kid” taking their money. All of us in my club appeared young to the human world. It hadn’t taken long for us to earn respect of most of the bike gangs around. But there was always one or two who thought he could take us. It never got old showing the pricks how wrong they were.
Tonight’s arrest was one of those times. The guy was in intensive care, and I was handcuffed to a chair in the police station. I already knew there would be no charges made against me. That was not how the biker world worked. Our common enemy was the cops. We dealt with each other on our terms.
In less than an hour I would be let go. I just had to be patient and wait it out.
I flipped to the dog-eared page and started reading. Even as I let my mind escape into my book, my body was aware of every single thing in the room: every person, every noise, every smell. My instincts were always on, ready to act. Nothing in here was a threat . . . not to me.
Then that all changed.
I smelled her before she entered. An assault of smoldering fire, cinnamon, and the soft scent of earth went up my nose, intoxicating my brain. It was like rich soil and olives being baked in the sun—what you’d imagine Italy or Greece to smell like. My head spun as I took another breath. It felt like a tsunami of tequila was poured into my head and chest. Tequila was known as the fight or fuck drink. I wanted to do both.
My gaze lifted, peering under my hood, seeing what Otherworld threat had just walked in.
Even if this girl wasn’t Fae she was danger from head to toe. My dick responded immediately, going rock hard. Her back was to me as she put her money into the coffee machine, her firm ass taunting me. My eyes locked onto her, running over every inch of her body. Her long black hair hung to her waist and was striped with flaming red streaks. She was tall and a little more athletic then I normally liked. But her body seemed to be demanding for me to put my hands on it and to explore every inch.
Shaking my head, I looked away trying to break the spell the girl had on me. The endorphins she was putting off struck every nerve in my body. I wanted her bad. This never happened to me before. At least not this potent. I pulled down my hoodie further, blocking the bulge that was building up in my pants.
During our time here, we had run into lots of Fae. Most were Dark Fae. We tended to leave each other alone and go our own way, but I could feel this one was different. I couldn’t get a sense of Light or Dark from her. That was not a good thing. There was only one kind of Fae that I knew who were both, and there were no more of those alive.
I edged deeper back into my hood, bringing up my book to cover my face. To outsiders my body appeared relaxed and calm. I was anything but. My muscles constricted, ready to strike.
She glanced over her shoulder towards me. Yeah, she was aware of me, too. There were not any Fae around this area we didn’t already know about. Was she just passing through?
She turned, her eyes drifting over to me. The air in my lungs halted.
Holy shit. She had two different colored eyes.
It took everything I had not to react. I clamped down tighter on my book, feeling my claws pricking at the surface. There was no way . . . no fucking way.
Was this girl a Dae? She had the traits—the two-toned hair and eyes. If so, she was both Light and Dark.
She seemed naively unaware of her surroundings. It was almost like she was clueless of the danger constantly after her kind. There was no way a Dae would just be out walking around, free or unguarded. But I could smell no protection spell on her. Did she not know what she was?
No. I had to be wrong. It was well known, even to us stuck on earth, there were no more Daes alive. All had been found and killed.
The girl grabbed her coffee and a magazine, and then sat in a row of chairs perpendicular from me. Her gaze quickly found its way back to me. She was trying to be sly, looking like she was reading her magazine, but I could feel her eyes burning into me.
Deep-seated hate and anger burned up my esophagus like acid. The desire to leap over and rip her into shreds consumed me. The beast inside was telling me I was not wrong. This thing was a Dae. My beast part growled, licking its lips to taste her blood. What she was stood for everything I despised. Every time she looked over at me, my instinct was to attack her. The killer in me was locking on its prey.
I shifted in my seat to break the link between the beast and its target. The girl jumped up defensively, her coffee splashing over the rim of the cup onto the floor.
So the Dae wasn’t as dense as I thought. She could sense the threat. But she wasn’t that smart. If she was truly wise she would be running for her life.
She mumbled something to the onlookers and kneeled down to clean up the spill on the floor. Her skin was like ivory, and I could see the slight embarrassed blush on her cheeks. A few freckles were also sprinkled over her nose. The flash of me handcuffing her, bending her over an officer’s desk, my cock slamming deep into her, raced into my head. My dick twitched in longing. I hastily shut that fantasy down.
Fury at my own traitorous thoughts heated my body. It itched to act and to get out of this room before I possibly did two violent acts to this girl. There was only one thing I would actually let myself do.
She sat back down, readjusting herself with the magazine in one hand and what was left of her coffee in the other. It took only a few seconds before she was sneaking glances at me again.
Getting women to notice me was never my problem. If anything it sometimes became a nuisance. But I liked to fuck, and they liked to fuck me. This one watched me with the same female interest, but there was also something more in her attentive eyes.
There was a defensiveness and irritation, but what got me was the curiosity I saw. It was like she knew I was somehow different but didn’t understand why. Could she not know about Fae? Could she be that ignorant?
“Look up,” I heard her mumble to herself. No one else would have ever heard her, but I wasn’t like everyone else.
I wanted to be disgusted by her voice, by her demand. It only made me want to do what she asked.
Hell fuckin’ no. My head automatically shook slightly in response. I could feel the heat of modification flood her body, flushing her cheeks. Then it swiftly changed to anger and gradually hurt.
Her emotions were blatant and open, like a human. She could not possibly have grown up in the Fae world. Hiding what you felt was something you learned from birth. You gave nothing away. Emotions were a weakness, and we would use them against you. One thing Fae knew how to do was hide secrets and feelings.
This girl was a walking diary.
Officer Paul strode into the room and headed for me. Relief showered down on me. I needed to get away from this girl before I did anything I’d regret.
“Okay, you’re free to go, Mr. Dragen. You know the drill. Sign the forms and you can leave.” Paul unlatched the cuff around my wrist.
I saw the girl’s eyes widen as she watched me get un-cuffed. Her fear spiked, the sound of her pulse thumped in my ears. She had no idea of true terror: the fact my teeth wanted to tear into her flesh to revenge for what her kind did.
I stood, keeping my head deep underneath my hood. I was enjoying her fear and playing with her. The girl’s gaze moved up my body, and her hands balled tightly in her lap. I almost stumbled as her fear shifted into another emotion. Endorphins filled the room and pulsated with desire and need. My beast part responded, but not in the way I thought. It wanted her back. I usually didn’t care when a woman noticed my arousal. She was different. She was a Dae. She should only disgust me. I would never let this abomination know she got me so hard it hurt to walk or even breathe.
As I walked by her, I tilted my head just enough so she could see my mouth. This Dae would know fear.
I knew that with a certain smile, I could have a woman begging me to fuck her; with another kind of smile I could make most people back off and stay clear of me. But with this smile I could make the most hard-ass prick pee themselves in fear. Without knowing truly why, they could sense their life was about to end.
This is what I wanted this girl to know. If I ever saw her again outside of these four walls, she was dead.
By the way she froze when I walked by, my message had been conveyed.
Just the way I like it.
That was my only thought when I saw the Dark Fae follow her into the shipyard. My legs had never moved so fast. My body wanted to change—the Dark Dweller in me screaming to get out and protect what was mine. No, not yet.
Cole and Cooper were going up through the rafters. Literally to get a drop on them. I was the distraction. Phookas were not dumb, but they were greedy and quick to act. I would have to use that to my advantage. I slipped up to the cargo door, peering in.
Both men resembled, even in human form, a mountain goat. Phookas could change into several shapes: a dog, rabbit, and sometimes a small horse. But, they usually had a dominant form. It wasn’t hard to figure out which one was theirs.
“Move it.” The taller, bigger one behind Ember pressed a gun firmly against her head. Her face was strong and definite. This girl was one of the most stubborn pains in the ass I’d ever met. My lip tugged up in a grin. Even defeated Brycin would not go down willingly.
The metal of the gun reflected the little light being let in from the top windows as he jabbed it again into the back of her head. A growl started to vibrate in my chest. I squeezed my eyes shut. Damn that fucking woman. She was gonna make me do something really stupid just because I couldn’t keep my shit together. With a deep breath I stepped into the doorway. It took everything I had to not lose it right there and tear those two Fae into pieces. I had not spent this long keeping her alive for her to be snatched away now.
Seeing her again, this close up, was my own personal hell. Fuck was still the only word I thought, but it held a much different meaning. I had watched her for over four weeks, keeping most of the Fae that hunted her away, but I never got too close. If I did she would take off. Through our blood bond she could feel when I got near.
The second, smaller Phooka asshole pulled out iron cuffs from his pocket and was about to put them around her wrists.
“I don’t think you want to do that.” I leaned casually on the door jamb. I could take these two down in a matter of seconds. The only thing that stopped me was the gun. The bullets were Fae made, coated in iron. She would die. Suppressing another growl, I crossed my arms over my chest.
“And my night only continues to get better and better,” I heard her say as she sighed with annoyance. Here I was trying to save her ass. You’d think she’d be a little more grateful. But no, not Brycin.
I scoffed. “Now is this how you treat your savior? Your liberator, your rescuer, the redeemer?”
“Oh, hell. Are you and your ego done preening?” she sassed back. I loved provoking her. She gets all puffed up. But I was a sick motherfucker—I liked getting her all riled up. Actually, I enjoyed it even more when she riled me. Those were the times I wanted to put my cock deep into her and never let it see the light of day again.
“Knight-in-shining armor then?” I offered up.
“Please. Goat-boy here is more likely going to be my knight-in-shining armor than you.” She pointed to the guy holding the handcuffs. She was dirty, her hair ratty and limp. She had cuts and bruises everywhere visible and dried blood around the edges of the holes in her clothes. She looked like hell. And all I wanted to do was lay her on that concrete and fuck her till we were both scraped up, bruised, and bleeding.
I shut away the images. Those were only gonna get me to act rashly. I had to concentrate.
“Ouch,” I responded. I kept my focus on her, but I could see Cole and Cooper moving above the two Phookas’ heads. “Now you’re just trying to be mean.”
“You haven’t seen me even get close to being nasty.” She crossed her arms. This was foreplay for me.
“Threat or promise?”
“That is a pro—.”
“What the shit is going on?” The man behind her finally spoke. Ember jumped, looking like she almost forgot he was there. The ugly asshole with the gun was getting angry and edgy. “Who the hell are you?”
“Someone your mommy told you not to mess with.” I was looking forward to this. Most Dark Fae have gotten used to us being gone from the Otherworld. They were getting lazy, sloppy, and arrogant. But our name still caused so much fear, it got me giddy. I wanted him to fully see me. Know who he was dealing with. I stepped out from the shadows. A small gasp came from Ember. She gulped. I could hear her heartbeat from where I stood. The blood in her veins rushed frantically around. Good to know I could still affect her.
“This is our take. Get lost.” The Phooka was trying to play the tough guy. I could smell fear start to rise from his pores. This was too much fun.
“I don’t think so. You have something belonging to me, and I’d like it back now.”
Ember stiffened at my words, her face going hard. Anger flared through her. It was all directed at me. I knew Lorcan had gotten to her—had told her that I was actually using her so I could turn around and trade her to the Unseelie King. There wasn’t anything about that statement that wasn’t true. I had been. My family came first . . . that’s what I was telling myself anyway.
Somewhere along the way Brycin got under my skin. To be honest, it was way before I gave her my blood. What a stupid fuckin’ move that was on my part. Yeah, she got under my skin, but I could have walked away. Now I was finding that difficult. My blood flowed through her, calling to me. I had had my fair share of seducing and being seduced by Sirens, Succubi, Demons, Tree and Water Fairies, and even a few humans, which were all very memorable times. But nothing compared to the pull I felt with this one. It was like she wrapped my dick in a spell and, with no problem, could lead me anywhere. I craved her. I felt listless and off when she was gone. This only pissed me off. Made me resent her.
I don’t need anyone.
“Sorry, we found her first. She’s worth a big reward and we’re gonna be the ones to cash in.” The Fae behind her pointed the gun at me. Iron didn’t affect me, but Fae-made bullets did. Not that I would let him know that.
“You really think that’s going to stop me?” I nodded toward the gun. Even if they shot me, nothing would stop me from getting to her.
“It would hurt like hell and slow you down enough.”
“No more than a pinprick.” I smirked.
Okay, we’re in position, Cole said through our Link.
I kept my eyes zeroed in on the two Dark Fae. If either even adjusted a hair, I would know about it. I saw Ember’s gaze go briefly up to the rafters then quickly drop back down acting like she didn’t see a thing. Good girl.
I then let my body shift. My clothes ripped from my body. I enjoyed this, watching the true fear grow in people’s faces when they realized what I really was. I had a few piss their pants. Always enjoyable.
“Holy shit! You’re a Dark Dweller,” the main Phooka exclaimed, wiggling the gun in my direction. “The Queen led us to believe you were all dead.”
“Sorry to disappoint.” It was getting harder for me to talk as my body continued to change. My spine arched up, the daggers popping out of my skin. The spikes were poison-tipped. One touch and you’d be praying for death.
The Phookas were getting panicky. Not a good thing with them. I knew my eyes must have flashed red because the Phooka with the gun started to shake. The gun went off, the bullet hit several inches from my feet. Now they’re just pissin’ me off. Cole and Cooper jumped, changing form mid-drop. Right as they landed on the men, Ember dropped to her knees, getting out of the line of fire and out of the Dark Fae’s grip. She crawled away from the fighting men. She looked up at the door and took off for it. She was going to try and get away from them . . . and from me.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed her escape. The Phooka with the gun pointed it at her retreating frame, his finger squeezing the trigger. Rage burned through me. I growled and tore across the room. I hit him just before he shot, the bullet going into the wall beside her. I wanted this asshole dead. Bones crunched as I knocked into him. The Phookas dropped their human form. Growing their own lethal spiky horns. Their goat forms were large and tough. We were larger, tougher, faster, and much more deadly.
Go get her. We got this, Cole said in my head. They didn’t need me. They barely needed both of them. This was child’s play for us. Still I craved to kill them. It was painful to turn away, but I had to get Brycin before she got too far.
I transformed back into my human form. In either form I could feel her. I knew exactly where she was.
At a full run I dove through the window. The shards of glass tore into my bare ass—stinging like hell. Glass rained down on us. I used my body as a shield as I landed firmly on her. She immediately started thrashing and grinding against me trying to get free. My dick was suddenly awake and wanting.
“Stop fighting me.” She needed to stop right now, before I ripped those tattered jeans off her and made her really thrash.
She stopped. Her stunning, two different colored eyes fastened on mine. I didn’t care that she could feel me stiff against her. It made her heart flutter faster. That only made me want to fuck her more.
She started wrestling against me again. “Let me go.”
“Get off of me.”
“Nope, not that one either.” No. I was perfectly happy here.
“Do you have her, Eli?” Cooper yelled from inside the building.
Damn. Guess fun time was over now. “Yeah.”
Cooper came out. I ignored the smirk and shake of his head. “Yep, I’d say you definitely do.”
He had accused me many times since she had come into my life that she unhinged me. Half of our clan left with that same notion, following Lorcan. I couldn’t deny that she affected me. I wanted her, but I could not have her. I could never have her. I was the succeeding Alpha in our Clan. I would do my duty in the end. I always knew it would end like that. She was a Dae. Everything I despised. Because of what she was and my past, I should have killed her the moment I met her.
“Get. Off. Of. Me. Now!” She snarled at me, a flicker of desire under her words.
This only made things harder. Literally. I stood, pulling her up with me. Her gaze drifted down to my cock and widened and then quickly shot to the side. I smirked.
“And you’re observant.” I needed to stop. I was Second in Command. I would not let this little Dae get the best of me. I had a job to do. I grabbed her arm and pulled her around the corner where our black Cadillac Escalade Hybrid sat. “Now get in.”
“Are you kidding me?” She jerked against my grip. “You think I’m going to get into the car? I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“It is not a choice.” I didn’t have a choice either. I had to trade her. She would become the Unseelie King’s problem and no longer mine.
Reading from FIRE IN THE DARKNESS, Chapter 3
Stacey: Okay I’ll set up the scene. Ember you’ve been on the run for four weeks and have been hunted by Dark and Light Fae that the Queen has sent after you. Along with staying away from them, you have been trying to dodge Eli and the Dark Dwellers. Eli is harder to evade since he can feel you through the blood bond. He tracks you down as you are being captured by dark Fae and saves you from–
Ember: (Cutting off Stacey) Should I swoon now or later. Maybe he’ll be the one to swoon after I kick him in the balls.
Eli: Funny, little girl. Even escorted, you probably wouldn’t know where to find them.
Ember: Not yours. Need glasses for those.
Stacey: All right! Can we get back to the script?
Ember: But, why wouldn’t I run be running from him? It’s not like he has my well-being in mind.
Eli: I have something in mind that would be good for your being.
Stacey: (Interrupting Eli) Ember you are scared and alone. You’ve been on your own for a month and because of the blood you can never get too far. As much as you despise him, you want to stop being alone. To constantly be on the run and hunted.
Eli: And let’s just be honest, Brycin, you want me between the sheets more than you pretend to hate me.
(Before Ember can respond, Stacey steps in)
Stacey: So, fade in. The scene starts as the Dark Dwellers are taking you back to their compound where they find Gabby waiting for them.
Gabby: About time I come into this story.
(Stacey shoots a look at Gabby)
Stacey: Jared will you start with the first line? Let’s see if we can get through a scene today, in under three hours.
Jared: Yeah . . . okay . . . “Oh man, she is gonna kick your ass. Jared’s head popped over the seat next to my head with a snicker.”
Stacey: (Begins to rub head) Jared, remember what I told you last time? You don’t have to read the direction. Just the lines.
Cooper: (Cuffs the back of Jared’s head) Doofus!
Jared: I forgot! (Hits Cooper back.)
Stacey: Cooper, it’s your line now.
Cooper: “And then she’ll kick your ass when she gets done with mine.” Though let me say, she would never be able to kick my ass.
Gabby: You wanna bet?
Cooper: I’ve been able to take you on since the moment we left the womb.
Stacey: (Holds up hands) Enough! Let’s not start this again. No bickering or talking besides the lines. Please, can we just stick to the script here?
Ember: “Who is she? Another girlfriend or something?” Yeah, that is just what Eli needs . . . another girl to inflate that ever growing, enormous, ego even more.
Eli: Starten’ to sound jealous over there, Brycin. You want a go? You only have to be this high (holds hand up to chest) to ride this ride.
Ember: And it will probably also leave me feeling nauseated, dizzy, and wishing I hadn’t.
Eli: (Winks cheekily at her) You say that like it’s a bad thing.
Stacey: Guys . . . come on! You do this to me every time. Just read the lines. (Rubs her face with frustration)
Cooper: “No, worse, she’s my twin.”
Eli: “And she doesn’t like being left out of things—I mean really doesn’t like it.”
Gabby: “I can’t believe you guys. You are such sexist assholes. Leave the helpless, fragile girl at home?” That’s funny. You were trying to be funny here, right? Me? Fragile?
Stacey: (Sighs heavily) Yes, Gabby, I was being facetious. Please Eli, continue. If that is at all possible.
Eli: “Gabbs, there is nothing helpless or fragile about you.” Or sweet, nice, pleasant, considerate . .
Gabby: You really are one to talk! A true gentlemen.
Stacey: Excuse me? (Points to a girl in the corner) You. Yes, you. You are the assistant on this set, right?
Girl: Y-y-yes. (Looks up from gossips magazine, startled)
Stacey: Could you possible track down food services and ask if they have a bottle of tequila . . . or maybe wine? Hell, I’ll take cooking sherry or rubbing alcohol at this point.
Girl: O-kay . . . (Gets up and leaves room)
Stacey: All righty—back to the scene. The scene we’ve only gotten a few lines into. Gabby, please began.
Gabby: “That’s right. Remember just ’cause you’ve grown into the size of a Sasquatch doesn’t mean I can’t kick your ass.” See this is what I am talking about! This story was so droll before I came in. All blah, blah, I-love-you, no I-hate-you crap. It’s got some spunk now.
(Stacey lays her head on the table)
Cole: Guys come on. I am about to go find food services for that bottle of cooking sherry.
Cooper: “Sorry, Gabbs. It all happened so fast, I forgot.”
Gabby: “That’s for forgetting to contact me.” Oh, I get to hit him. Cool! “And that’s for me missing out on the fun.” I hit him twice . . . nice! “So this is the infamous páiste gréine?” For those of you (coughs out the name Ember) that don’t know Gaelic that means basically “bastard child.” You get it right? Because—“
Ember: (Cutting Gabby off) Yes, Gabby, I get it. You are SO witty.
(Gabby and Ember glare at each other)
Stacey: Seriously? (Speaks to no one in particular) What did I do to deserve this? Every time . . . every time! Can’t they just read the freakin’ lines??
Owen: Are the voices talking to you again, Ms. Brown?
(Stacey looks up and scowls at Owen)
Stacey: Yeah, funny enough . . . they never shut up or do what I want them to do.
Cooper: Eli, you’d better continue with the script before you drive another one to a funny farm.
Ember: Hey! I resent that . . . though completely agree.
Eli: One of my many, many talents. (Glowers from most of the females in the room have him turning to the script) “Gabby!”
Ember: “I’m assuming she didn’t say something flattering?” Gee, flattery coming out of Gabby’s mouth. Would that even be a question?
Stacey: You are being sarcastic here, Ember. But remember, this is the first time you have ever met her. You have yet to get to know her personality.
Ember: Lucky me.
Gabby: “The bitseach is smarter than she looks.” That is not saying very much, though.
Ember: You know what, Gabby? (She pushes her chair back)
Stacey: That’s it! (She stands up) I don’t drink enough for this crap! (Leaves room in search of nearest bar.)
Cole: Wait! We didn’t even get to my lines yet? What the hell?
Eli: Hmmm . . . I wonder if it was something we said.