Excerpt: Sex & The Immortal Bad Boy

Excerpt: Sex & The Immortal Bad Boy

Book 4: Immortally Sexy

Something easing up Paige’s bare leg toward her nighshirt. Something cold. Something evil. Something definitely not human.¬†

She opened her hand, ready to flare up a fireball as she felt it creep its way along her thigh. The touch was so faint, so light, that she would never have noticed it if she weren’t already so freaked out.

It inched up her belly, along her ribs to her throat, until the whole front of her body was covered with a flittering itch, like a scratchy blanket, pressing against her, like it was trying to get through her skin.

She forced herself to wait, to lie still, certain she had only one chance to take it out. No movement until she knew where to hit it. Let it think she hadn’t noticed it.

But God, she wanted to twitch, to scratch, to kick the creepy feeling off her. Because that’s what it felt like. Nothing more substantial than a feeling. But a really, really bad one.

Her neck tickled and she felt it creep around her throat, encircling her like a necklace.

Or a garrote.

Oh, lovely thought.

Then suddenly, instantly, the itch turned to heat, then weight and then flesh.

A human body. On top of hers. Fingers, crushing her throat.

Her eyes snapped open and she found herself looking at the face of a man, a man with the blackest eyes she’d ever seen.

Anger flashed over his face, his hands on her neck softened to a caress, she summoned up a blue fireball and slammed it into his side.

He cursed and jerked to the right. She shoved him against the wall with a fireball to the chest, then scrambled to her feet.

He was on his feet as fast as she was, his black duster swirling about his calves as he whirled to face her. She hurled another fireball at his face, wincing at the flash of pain in her leg. He ducked and the fireball slammed into the wall behind him, leaving a charred black hole through to the kitchen. Then he was on her, his body slamming into hers.

She plunged a fireball into his back as he tackled her onto the bed, and the charred smell of burned leather drifted up to her nose.

He pinned her to the bed with his knees, slammed her palms together and crushed them between his hands so she couldn’t pull them apart.

So she couldn’t shoot a fireball.

Damn. Disarmed just like that.

Then again, he couldn’t choke her while his hands were occupied with hers.

Impasse.

For a moment, neither of them moved. They simply stared at each other, both of them breathing heavily. Paige could make out the lines of his face in the shadowed light. His hair was dark, tousled and thick, and there was a scar on the left side of his jaw that ran down his neck and disappeared under the collar of his black leather jacket. There was the faint twinkle of something next to the edge of his dark tee shirt. A gold chain, maybe? His shoulders were so wide he positively loomed over her, and she could feel darkness vibrating off him, saturating the air around him.

He was dangerous. Deadly. And…she inhaled and caught a whiff of his scent. It was smoky and dark. Like a campfire. Like woods. Like man. She breathed deeper, drinking his essence into her. She’d never smelled anything like him before. He smelled…right. Like a bone deep, soul shattering right.

He leaned closer, his dark eyes searching hers with a desperation that startled her, his grip on her hands still so tight she knew she had no chance of breaking free. He was straddling her pelvis, and he was such a solid, immovable weight across her hips that she knew she’d never get him off.

If he were going to kill her, he’d have to let go, and then she’d act.

So, she didn’t fight.

She simply waited for him to make the next move.

But then he dropped his head and he pressed his face to her throat and sniffed, his breath a warm tickle on her skin. His hair brushed across her cheek, a fragile caress that coaxed the tiniest sigh from her.

He froze for a split second, then eased himself back ever so slowly, watching her closely as he settled his weight back on her hips and brought her hands back down to her chest, so his hand rested between her breasts. Not quite touching them, but close. So close. His jaw worked…in frustration? “You’re not her.”

“Her who?”

“Becca Gibbs.”

Paige frowned. “You came here to kill Becca?”

His grip tightened on her hands, the tendons in his neck tightening. “Where is she?”

“Far, far, away in a place you’ll never find. Lucky for you.” Paige tested his grip on her hands, tugging slightly.

His fingers squeezed hard, immobilizing her, but not hurting her. Just reminding her how strong he was. Then he leaned forward, hovering over her like a big tower of manliness. “I have to find her. Tonight.” He ground the words out, each syllable precise and loaded with threat that wasn’t reflected in the bleakness of his eyes, eyes that were now violet.

Paige stared into those eyes, into those depths of pain and suddenly realized they weren’t the eyes of a killer. He wasn’t going to kill her. Not now. Not ever. Whatever evil she’d felt before he’d taken his human form was simply gone. No doubt, he was dangerous, but not to her. She relaxed instantly, her body melting under his weight. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you to say please?”

Surprise flashed over his face. “You want me to say please?”

“You invaded my bedroom, scared the daylights out of me, disarmed me, tossed me on the bed, jumped on top of me, and tempted me with your most delicious scent, all without an invite. Not that I minded, of course. I like a man who takes charge and smells good while doing it.” She grinned at the confused expression on his face. “But I have to object to being bossed around. A little politeness would be nice.” She breathed deeply, basking in his scent. Strangely, now that she knew he wasn’t going to kill her, she actually felt even more…attracted to him. Was she a pathetic Rivka or what? Shouldn’t she like a man with death on his mind? “So, anyway, I think I deserve a little respect, quite frankly.”

He worked his jaw for a minute, and she thought maybe she saw the faintest quirk at the corner of his mouth. Finally, he said, “What’s your name?”

“Paige Darlington. You want my rank and serial number, too? My phone number? My birthstone? And you forgot to say please. You might have the broadest chest I’ve ever had looming over me in bed, but you still need to say please.”

One eyebrow went up. “Why are you in Becca’s bed?” He paused. “Please tell me.”

She grinned at the reluctance in his voice, as if he’d never said please in his life. “I think the more important question is why you’re here to kill Becca.” She shifted her hips slightly, and he sank more deeply onto her, crushing her into the mattress. It felt…snuggly. Yeah, that was it. It felt good to have the heat of his body up against hers.

Annoyance flashed in his eyes, and suddenly they went black again…but more than that, they were cold. Harsh. Empty.

The eyes of a killer after all.

Well, who knew?

She felt a shiver of excitement. “You’re one of those boys that doesn’t get brought home to meet the parents, aren’t you?”

“Call Becca. Tell her to come home.”

Paige snorted. “As if.” She wiggled her hips again to see if she could tempt him to press harder against her.

He did. “Stop.”

“No.” She wiggled again and he shifted so his legs were twisted around hers, completely immobilizing her, covering her with his body from hip to toe. He let out a barely audible groan as he settled down on her, and he closed his eyes for a split second before opening them back up and fastening those killer eyes onto her again. God, it felt good to have him doing the twisted pretzel thing with him. She’d felt so alone and… She froze, staring at their entwined hands. “Holy shit.”

He frowned. “What?”

“Your hands. Are they okay?”

He glanced down at his hands, which were still wrapped around hers. “What are you talking about?”

She stared at his face. “You’re not in pain? You’re not shriveling into a blackened pile of ash? Or exploding into dust?”

He shot her a look of annoyance. “Do I look like I am?”

“No, no you don’t. That’s the thing.” She tried to sit up, and he let her, still keeping her hands in his grip. She leaned forward and he didn’t back up, so her face bumped his. Skin to skin.

And nothing happened to him.

“Oh, God. I can touch you.” Her throat tightened up and she slumped forward, pressing her face into his neck, breathing in his scent, feeling the heat of his skin against her cheek, the bristles of his stubble against her forehead.

She felt his alarm, and he jerked back.

“No, no, don’t go. Let me do this for a second, please.” She was unable to keep the plea out of her voice, and she looked up at him. ” Please.”

He stilled, and for a minute she thought he was going to push her away. But then something changed in his face, something so subtle she wasn’t sure what it was, but she knew he was going to let her. Her heart tightened and she moved slowly, so as not to spook him, nuzzling into the crook of his neck. She closed her eyes and drank in his humanity, his touch, his nearness. She could feel his pulse against her skin. It was so slow, so steady, so controlled. I need this. I need to be touched. “I thought I’d never feel this again.”

He didn’t move away, but she could feel his rising tension as she breathed in his scent and his essence, basked in the roughness of his stubble against her cheek, until finally he spoke.

“Enough.” His voice was a low growl that made chills run down her spine.

Slowly, she lifted her face and looked up at him. He was staring down at her, the hard lines of his face drifted in shadow. His eyes were black, fathomless. Dark. Damned.

He wasn’t a killer.

He was damned.

How interesting.

She knew he’d reached his limit, so she collapsed back on the pillow, basking in the feel of his hands still holding hers together, imprinting the nuzzling moment in her memory forever so she would be able to recall it at will, in case she never got to touch anyone again… Don’t think like that, Paige. It’s just temporary . “So, you’re not from hell, because I’d know that.” She injected as much cheeriness into her voice as she could. “But you’re thoroughly tainted. Nothing redeemable left inside you, anywhere. That’s why I can touch you without hurting you. How’d you get that dark?”

He let go of her so suddenly that she didn’t even see him move. One minute, he was on top of her, his body wrapped heavily around hers, and the next he was on his feet at the foot of the bed, his hands gripping the footboard so hard that it was creaking. “Where’s Becca?”

She propped herself up on her elbows, her body screaming at the loss of human contact. I can’t let go yet. It wasn’t enough . “Touch me again.”

His face grew harder. “What?”

“Touch me. Anywhere.” She lifted her bare foot and pointed her toe at him, unable to keep the desperation out of her voice. “I’ll answer your questions only while you’re touching me. Please?”

He stared at her for a long moment, then he peeled one hand off the footboard and wrapped it around her foot.

The instant his fingers curved around the arch of her foot, she felt her body relax. “You know, sometimes you just don’t appreciate things until you lose them. Have you ever noticed that?”

“Where’s Becca?”

“Okay, so you have a one track mind. Got it.” She flexed her foot, felt the roughness of his hand on her skin. “She’s out of town. With her fianc√©. Who’s the leader of the Markku.” When he didn’t respond, she cocked her head at him. “You know, the Markku? The indestructible warriors that used to work for Satan before they broke free? So, really, between the two of them, you’re better off that she’s not here.”

His thumb slid over the ball of her foot. “When’s she due back?”

“A couple weeks.” Paige reached over to the bedside table and tossed her phone at him. He caught it easily with his free hand, not releasing her foot. Yeah, it was a caress, but she also suspected that she no longer owned her foot. He’d taken control of it…was he trying to manipulate her with a little footsie? He was damned, after all. Damned people would probably tend to be sneaky like that.

She propped herself up on her elbows to watch him more closely. “She’s on speed dial number two. Try it. She’s got her phone off. I can’t reach her, and trust me, if I could I would, even though she thinks I don’t need to. I’ve got some issues going on.”

He tightened his grip on her foot as he examined her phone, using his hand to make sure she didn’t go anywhere. As if. She hadn’t gotten her fix of human contact yet, and she wasn’t letting him bail until she was good and sated.

Assuming she ever would be…which was totally just wishful thinking. She’d never have enough, not now that she couldn’t have it.

He scrolled through the numbers, apparently found the one for Becca and hit Send and put the phone to his ear. After a moment, he frowned, and tossed the phone back at her.

She caught it and let it drop on the bed next to her “So, what’s your name?”

He wrapped his other hand around her foot and began to massage it, his fingers kneading softly.

“Oh, wow,” she groaned. “Do you have any idea how good that feels?” Of course he did. He was trying to work her over. Must. Stay. Focused.

His thumb dug into the arch of her foot. “Do you work for Satan, too?” His voice was casual, with a hint of sensual allure that made her belly curl.

She glanced at him and her lower body clenched at the blatant sexual need on his face…but there was a calculating look in his eye that instantly overruled her descent into a languid pool of sexual mush. She immediately yanked her foot out of his grasp and flared up a fireball. “You’re not that good at foot massage, buddy. It’ll take more than that to turn me into a simpering pile of female uselessness.”

His jaw flexed with irritation, and she flung the fireball at him and ordered it to stop right in front of his throat. To her surprise, it stopped exactly where she’d wanted it to, hovering like the kiss of death.

He shifted to the right, and it moved with him.

“Wow. That’s the first time it’s actually worked. Do you have any idea how many things I’ve burned up practicing that?” She jumped to her feet and bounded across the bed toward him, where he stood immobile with the fireball at his throat. “Tell me your name.”

“Jed Buchanan.” There was a grudging respect in his voice that made her grin.

“Jed, huh?” She set her chin on top of the fireball, so the tip of her nose pressed against his. Skin to skin. Sigh . “Well, Jed, why do you want to kill her? A little problem with Satan? Pissed off that she’s going to harvest you for hell when it’s your time? Because that’s definitely where you’re headed, you know.”

And just like that, his hands whipped out again and hauled her against him, trapping her hands between his corded thighs, palm to palm once again. The fireball hovered between them, nearly brushing against his throat.

“Damn, you’re good.” And well-muscled. And well…utterly tempting.

“Thank you.” He almost smiled. “Call off the fireball.”

“Or?”

He simply raised his brow, tightened his grip on her, immobilizing her against his solid body.

She was trapped, her only defenses rendered completely useless, and they both knew it. She couldn’t hurt him, even if she wanted to. Which she totally didn’t. She would be so happy to be trapped against the heat of his body for the rest of the millennium, assuming, of course, that she didn’t have this little inner wraith to deal with… Oh, idea alert.

He scowled. “What?”

She leaned her head to the side so she could see around the fireball. “How much do you cost?”

His scowl deepened. “What are you talking about?”

“You’re a hired assassin, right? That’s why you’re after Becca.” When he didn’t answer, she decided that was his big, strong, manly way of agreeing with her. “So, I’ll pay you more. Work for me.”

He was silent for a long moment.

“Hello? Earth to Jed? You with me?”

“What do you want to hire me for?”

The curiosity was evident in his voice, and she grinned and let the fireball go out. “Two things. Protect me from myself and touch me.”

His body stiffened. “What?”

She felt her cheeks heat up at his tone. “I’m not going to hire you as a male prostitute. Geez. I just meant touching. Casual touching. Arm around the shoulder. Friendly fist fights. Stuff like that. I mean, yeah, you’re totally hot and all, but merging with your black soul would send me over the edge for sure. It wouldn’t be worth it. You can handle that, right? Just some casual friend touching?”

His grip loosened slightly, and she responded by dimming the fireball and moving it to the side a bit, so he could actually lower his chin without singing his whiskers. “Protect you from yourself? What does that mean?”

“Ah, yes.” She sank more deeply against him, against the heat that was him. See? Non-sexual touching was enough….yeah, this was so non-sexual. Give it up, Paige. You so want him. She made herself pull back slightly and she cleared her throat. “See, I have these urges that are no good for me, and clearly, you’re strong enough to keep me from doing them, as evidenced by the fact that you’ve disarmed me twice tonight already. So, you touch me, and make sure I’m a good girl, and I’ll pay you twice what you’re getting to kill Becca. Deal?”

“Urges?” There was a light in his eyes that made her lower regions flare up in blatant disregard for her non-sexual touching plan.

She rolled her eyes, unable to smack him in the chest since her hands were still anchored between his thighs. “Oh, for hell’s sake. Urges to kill and maim and stuff like that. Why do you keep taking everything sexually?”

“Because you’re barely wearing anything and you’re pressing your body up against mine so tightly that I can feel every curve of your body.” His voice sounded a little harsh. “And your hands…have inched up.”

“Oh.” She suddenly realized her breasts were smashed against his chest, and the tee shirt she’d worn to bed was hiked up over her hips, tangled in his arms where they were wrapped around her. And her thumbs were rubbing against the inseam of his jeans, right where… oh . “I…hadn’t noticed.” Too caught up in the overwhelming sensation of being held by him to notice the details.

But she was noticing now. Hoo boy…

He looked down at her, his face so close to hers. “Are you Satan’s right hand?”

“No, I’m not. I no longer work for Satan in any form, though I’m considering hiring myself out as a contractor once I get my personal issues resolved.” She cocked her head. “Is that why you want to kill Becca? Because she works for Satan? Because if that’s it, then you should know that she quit.”

He suddenly looked so weary. So human. So…drained. “You’re sure?”

“Of course I am. I know these things.”

He sighed with visible frustration. “If I let you go, promise no fireballs?”

“Of course not. If you try to kill me, I’ll fireball you. What kind of an idiot do you think I am?”

This time his mouth definitely quirked in a brief smile. “Promise no fireballs unless I give you a reason to use them?”

She contemplated it for a moment, then nodded. “I’m in.”

He slowly loosened his grip and relaxed his thighs, and she eased her hands out from between his legs, settling back on her heels as he released her. Two steps to the right and his hand was on the bedroom door.

“You’re leaving?”

“Yeah.”

She jumped to her feet, feeling slightly panicky about the thought of losing the only living thing she could actually touch. “I’m serious about the offer to work for me.”

His eyes were unreadable. “I know.”

“So? Will you do it?” She held her breath as she waited for his answer.

She thought she saw a flash of regret in his eyes, then he shook his head. “No.”

“But-“

Then he poofed out of sight. Standing in her room one second, gone the next. What?

She vaulted off the bed and ran to the door, then felt a swirling prickle on her legs, and she looked down. Darkness surrounded her legs, and then it shot away from her and down the hall, disappearing under her front door. She stared after it, awareness dawning as she realized what he was.

Of what he could offer her.

So much more than she’d thought.

So, so, so much more.

She didn’t even bother getting dressed. She simply sprinted for the door.

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