This post was all set to be the shortest one in the history of blogging. I planned on simply revealing the title for the much-anticipated Love Always, Kate novella and that was it.
However, for fun, I decided to also throw in an excerpt!! It's a short one, but I still hope you like it.
Okay, so back to the title. The Love Always, Kate novella will be called "Eight Days." As the title suggests, this novella runs through the events in Damian's life that happened in the eight days Kate was in the medicated coma. And it's all from Damian's POV.
And the excerpt? Well, here it is!
Kate’s file is under my heels. I lower my legs and pick it up, opening the flimsy cover. The fucking thing is so thick, a lump rises in my throat at the weight of it. Last time I’d only flipped through it to find out who she was; this time, I’ll read every damn word.
I start in the back of the file, where she’d gone in for what her doctors thought was mono. I don’t care that I don’t understand half the shit I read; it still hurts like hell to read everything she’s been through.
The further into the file I venture, the more I realize that being with Kate is incredibly stupid. She’s sick, and at any second I could lose her. I know that the deeper I go with her, the harder it will be to walk away. And I should walk away.
I’m not good for her, and she’s not good for me.
She deserves better. Someone stronger than me, who won’t fall apart when shit gets real. That’s my MO. Even tonight, if the news is bad, I don’t think I can handle it. I’m a fucked-up mess.
Half way through, I shut the file and push it as far from me as possible. The thing almost falls off the desk.
“I’m done. I can’t do this,” I mutter, digging my phone out of my back pocket. I need to cut the ties with Kate before I’m too attached.
I dial the number to the one girl who understands me, the one who’s good at numbing my mind. She picks right up like she always does. Tonight, I need her as much as she usually needs me.
And there you have it folks! I'm working hard for a December 2014 release date on this.
As promised, when "The Spirit" hit 20 reviews on Amazon, I'm posting chapter one of book #2, "The Body" due out later this fall! Enjoy!!
The town square was deserted. Football Friday night had a tendency to do that to Villisca, tonight especially, being the first round of playoffs.
I adjusted my scarf and peered over at Lucas behind the wheel. He grinned, his glowing green eyes shining back at me.
Windows to the soul, indeed.
Turning his attention to the park in the middle of town, he slammed on the brakes. I threw my hands out in front of me, using the dashboard to block my lurch.
“Lucas!” I cried out.
He didn’t answer.
My gaze teetered to him, my voice low, confused. “Lucas?”
Eyes still locked on something outside the Jeep, he shook his head. “Uh, nothing. Never mind.
“No,” I said, grabbing his hand. No way he’d stop the car for “uh, nothing.” I knew him better than that. “What did you see?"
Lucas looked at me, grazing the tip of his tongue over his lip. Surely he couldn’t be considering hanging onto this lie.
“What is it?” I repeated.
“I thought I saw—”
“No. Something else.”
I studied him for a second, worried. “What color was the aura?”
Please say it’s not that.
He hesitated, his eyes shifting out the window again.
My stomach dropped. Sometimes, I hated being right.
“Black,” he answered. “Look, Carrie, since August, since what happened, I’ve been a little on edge. I thought I saw the glow, but I didn’t. It’s gone.”
“Black? Is that a—”
“A Soulless One. Cambion. Half-demon, yes.”
“It wasn’t one, though.” Slight irritation crept into his tone. “Cambions have bodies. They don’t disappear into thin air. I’m just being paranoid."
I laughed, releasing my sudden tight grip on him and choosing to ignore his moment of impatience. “Being paranoid is my thing. You need to stick to your thing.”
Lucas smiled, his lone dimple sinking into his cheek. “And what is my thing?”
“Um … being hot and sexy?” I asked because I didn’t think he’d agree with me.
He snickered, the sound making my heart twirl inside my chest. “Right. The dead guy as the epitome of sexiness? I doubt it."
“Dead boyfriends are all the rage in Europe,” I teased. “Everyone has one.”
“That’ll be the day,” he said, taking one last glimpse out the window before inching the Jeep forward.
Lucas and I sat on the bleachers, me wrapped up inside my new bubble coat, shivering from the cold. My boyfriend wasn’t much help, and by the look on his face, my discomfort was killing him—well, figuratively.
“I can go grab a blanket from home and be back in five seconds flat,” he said, giving me a onceover.
“Being warm defeats the purpose of an outside football game in November, doesn’t it?” I grinned. “At least around here.”
He wasn’t smiling. “Say the word, and I’m gone. It’ll be like I never left.”
“Sit back and enjoy the game, will you? I’m fine.”
Lucas glared at me. I glared back harder until I started giggling. Finally, the corner of his lips tugged upward, and he relaxed. Threading my gloved fingers through his bare ones, I pulled him to my side. I loved having him close. If only he could feel me like I felt him.
He shook his head. “I’ll only make you colder.”
I yanked again. “I don’t care. I want you here,” I said, emphasizing my point by patting my hip.
In the last few months, I’d gotten used to the chills he sent through me. Those tiny tingles that spread goose bumps over my skin were the same ones that made my heart fly high. Under the glow of the stadium, his eyes glistened like two emeralds. I watched as he pushed his hand through his dark hair, the short locks falling over each other. Man, he was gorgeous.
The roar of the crowd brought me out of my reverie. Lucas and I jumped to our feet—okay, I jumped, Lucas eventually stood up—with everyone else, cheering. Villisca’s defense ran off the field after a blocked field goal. Being a life-long football fan, close games always fired me up. I shot Mike a thumbs-up as he led his offense out from the sidelines. He couldn’t see me, but later when he asked, I wouldn’t have to lie.
I glanced at the scoreboard. Two minutes left in the third quarter: Villisca up by six. Captain Mike Carson needed to make some magic happen to win by three TD’s—his personal goal for this game
I shivered again. Lucas’s eyes cut to me, two sets of dark lashes kissing each other. He frowned and opened his mouth to say something.
I pressed my index finger to his lips. “Nope. Not a word.”
Sitting back down on the bleachers, I noted a group of girls snickering by the fence line below us. They nodded at Lucas, and couple of them flashed him a seductive grin and waggled their fingers at him.
Seriously? I’m sitting right here!
I sighed and scooted a little closer to him.
Maybe I should sit on his lap…
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Lucas asked.
I leaned my head on his shoulder. “More staring."
He kissed my head. “Why does it bother you so much? You know I don’t care if they think—what did you say earlier? I’m hot and sexy?” He chuckled at the look I shot him. “All that matters is what you think … which is?”
He knew. Oh, he so knew.
“I think that they should be wildly jealous of me. I have the perfect boyfriend.”
“Eh, perfect might be pushing it. Extraordinary.”
I rolled my eyes. Why did he always have to bring that up?
“Really though, why does it bother you?” Lucas asked, sweeping two fingers down my cheek. I hoped the girls were watching. “Are you jealous?”
I made a face at him. “Maybe a little.”
“I’m yours. And because I don’t have a heart to offer, you can have my soul.”
“Easy to say when you don’t know where it is,” I teased.
I snuggled up to him. “What happened with Megan this week? Any news on the search?”
Megan was the witch that worked with me at my grandma’s antique store all summer. Though, I didn’t know she was a witch until a few months ago. Now, she was at college in Iowa City and training with her witch-aunts in her spare time.
Lucas took a quick survey of the field. “Megan’s tried a tracking spell, a memory potion, several charms—nothin’. If only I could remember something—anything—it would help.”
I grimaced. “Uh, you’re letting a witch-in-training give you potions?”
“Care,” he said, hugging me to him, “she can’t hurt me. Besides, she’s getting pretty good.
The officials blew their whistles, indicating the end of the third quarter. I clapped along with the crowd. Mike said he loved hearing when the fans were enthusiastic.
At the start of the fourth, East Union ran the ball—or tried to. Villisca’s defense blocked like they’d studied from their opponents offensive playbook. Clearly, Mike’s hard work analyzing film with the team was paying off. I’d hardly seen him outside of class.
I sat back down, leaning against Lucas who had remained seated, frowning. I couldn’t figure out why, but I braved the next question anyway. “Has Susan been replaced yet?” I asked, my voice cracking a little.
Despite what Megan and Lucas said, I had a hand in the town necromancer’s death. We all did. Granted, the escaped demons of Lot 310 did the pushing, but if it weren’t for us, Villisca would still have a necromancer to direct the ever-present influx of spirits. Now, Vanessa Miller, Megan’s mom, and Lucas had to deal with them all.
Lucas sighed, and I couldn’t help wonder what filtered through his mind. “No. Not yet. It’s strange, though. According to Megan, a replacement necromancer coming to town doesn’t usually take this long.”
I swallowed the guilt-induced lump in my throat. “Why is it, then?"
“Could be any reason. The chosen one isn’t in town yet. Or not of age. Or is still being trained.”
“Yeah, you lost me.”
Lucas scanned over the crowd before answering. “Necros need training, like witches. They have the abilities they need, but somehow those abilities have to surface.”
“A Necro gets some sort of supernatural calling though, right?”
Lucas shrugged. “Supposed to.”
“What happens when someone gets the call?”
When he didn’t answer, I lifted my eyes to him. He seemed lost in thought, his lips forming a hard line.
I nudged him. “Hey.”
“Yes?” he said as if he hadn’t heard my question.
“What happens when someone gets the call to be a necromancer?” I repeated.
“I don’t know. I guess it might be different for everyone.”
All of a sudden, the East Union fans exploded into cheers. Great. Just great. The opposing team scored with a forty-one yard option pitch out. I slumped against Lucas’s wool coat. A long, white cloud billowed out of my mouth.
“Blanket option is still available,” Lucas reminded me.
“Still ignoring you,” I said, eyeing him and taking the last sip of hot chocolate he’d bought at halftime. I set the empty Styrofoam cup on the floor, then accidently kicked it under the bleachers. Oops.
I watched Mike run out with the kick return team. Again, I shot him a thumbs-up that he wouldn’t see. Why he asked me to do it was beyond me, but I always did.
With the score tied up, I cheered along with the cheerleaders.
“LET’S GO BLUE JAYS, LET’S GO!”
On the fourth round of cheers, with a lot of prodding from me, Lucas reluctantly stood up. He offered me a small grin, as if he hadn’t just been spacing off again. What he had or hadn’t seen earlier in the park was probably still on his mind.
We were here to cheer on Mike, and I wasn’t about to let Mr. Distracted stop me.
I squinted until I found Mike on the thirty-one yard line. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have Lucas’s eyesight! The intensity of close games always made me a little nervous for him.
For good measure, I did another thumbs-up.
After a short huddle, the offense broke and set up for the next play, which gained only two yards. I bit my nails over my gloves and bounced on the balls of my feet.
Lucas grabbed my wrist. “Stop it. Mike will pull it out, Care. He always does.”
Oh, so now he’s paying attention?
“Yeah, I hope so. He said some college scouts would be here. He needs this.”
Team captains, Mike and Logan, lined up the players again—the same I-formation Coach was so fond of. Mike moved to the left end, opposite his usual position. Our quarterback, Logan, took the snap and handed the ball off to Brandon. Mike circled back and took the hand-off in a reverse. Then he ran behind Brandon and moved quickly to the middle where the defense had left a gaping hole.
I bit down on the top of my gloves enough to feel it on my fingers. Sometimes I wished I didn’t know so much about the game and the dangers it could pose. My dad’s football career had ended at the University of Texas after a serious knee injury took him out. To this day, it gives him trouble.
The defensive tackle broke free of Villisca’s guard and took off toward Mike. From his position, there was no way Mike could see him coming. Nor would he see the other defensive lineman push through the stronghold of his teammates.
I sucked in a mouthful of cold air and held it. It always put me on edge when Mike got tackled. So far, he’d always jumped back up, ready to start the next play.
But this time was different.
The two East Union players collided with Mike from both sides. Next to me, I felt Lucas’s body go rigid. He’d seen it clearly, and his posture scared me. I stared at him, eyes wide with fear.
“Lucas, what happened?”
He didn’t reply, his eyes focused on the field.
Oh, God! He’s not even pretending to breathe!
“Lucas, talk to me. What’s going on?”
Without waiting for an answer, I followed his gaze back onto the field. The East Union players were already on their feet, high-fiving each other for reading the play and for the subsequent tackle. Mike still didn’t move.
Coach Morrison rushed out and knelt beside his team captain. Then he signaled the ambulance. Red and blue lights lit up the stadium. A quiet hush fell over the crowd. No one moved.
“Lucas,” I whispered, clutching his coat.
Quickly, I searched the crowd until I found Mike’s parents and little sister, Mandy. She sat on her mom’s lap while her dad made his way down the bleachers. He crossed the track and ran to his son’s side.
“No,” Lucas mumbled, his pupils expanding over green irises.
My mouth went dry. I’d heard that tone in Lucas’s voice before, and I didn’t like it.
After a while, heads lifted upward toward the sky as the sound of blades slashed through the air. I covered my mouth, following the helicopter as it landed on the football field.
I jerked on Lucas’s arm, forcing him to face at me. “Just tell me. Please.”
Lucas’s hand grazed over my cheek.
Is Mike breathing?
“Barely,” Lucas murmured.
“You asked if he was still breathing, and I said—”
I shook my head. “No, I didn’t ask that.”
Lucas pulled his hand away from my skin and examined it, concerned. “You didn’t say anything?”
His lips twitched as he studied me for a moment. Cautiously, he placed his palm back on my face.
What’s he doing?
I turned back to the field and gasped. What I saw, I shouldn’t have seen. I was only human with no supernatural abilities.
Silver mist, clear as the Caribbean, began to rise out of Mike’s body.
**This is New Adult. Recommended readers 17+**
The box under my bed taunts me. I ignore it. This year, I won’t succumb to its cries on this day
“Fuck this shit.” I roll off my bed and search the dresser for my keys. Not there.
Where the hell did I put them?
I yank the door open and round the corner into the bathroom. Nothing but the usual.
Out in the living room, I throw the cushions off the sofa and check the chair and the coffee table. A handful of loose change, a couple of empty condom wrappers, three McDonald’s French fries, and a ten-dollar bill which I pocket. No keys.
I stomp into the kitchen and grab Dylan’s motorcycle keys from the drawer. Dude never misplaces anything. Predictable bastard.
Apparently he heard me because when I get back to the living room, he’s standing there.
I glance at him on my way past. “Borrowing your motorcycle.”
“What are you doing, Damian?”
Turning around, I dangle the keys in front his face. “Borrowing. Your. Motorcycle.” I repeat it slowly, enunciating every word so maybe he gets it the second time.
“Last day of finals is tomorrow.” My roommate is annoyed. “Look, bro, it’s been four years since Ka—”
Suddenly, I have Dylan pinned to the wall, my hand around his throat. I squeeze hard enough to make him understand. “You’re my best friend, man, but I don’t need your psycho-babble bullshit again. Not today.”
Dylan sighs and nods as best he can.
I take a step back, letting go of him. He rubs his neck, and I feel a small pang of guilt. Dude means well.
“I can’t deal with this right now.” I flip the keys into my palm and walk out the door.
I love the sound of Dylan’s motorcycle when I rev it up. The noise drowns out everything, especially the shit in my head. Her memory hasn’t faded, not even a little.
Speeding down the street, I don’t think. The route is on autopilot in my brain.
I park in my usual spot and stuff the keys in my pocket. It’s Tuesday night, so the parking lot is almost empty. Good thing, too, because tonight, I want to be alone.
Loud music assaults me as soon as I walk in. I don’t even look around to see who’s there. No need; everything I want is behind the counter.
“What’ll it be, Damian?” Max asks.
“Tequila. Straight up,” I say, pounding my fist twice on the wood.
“Sure thing, man.”
I don’t sit on a stool, and I don’t wait. On my way to a booth in the corner, I shoot a quick glance at the guys playing pool. I recognize a couple of them from school. For them, tonight is about relaxing. For me, it’s about forgetting.
I slide in, running my fingers through my hair. The way her hazel eyes still pierce me guts me to the core. They’ll always haunt me.
“Damian, my love, my final wish is for you to let me go.”
I can’t do it.
“Two tequila shots.”
I almost jump out of my seat at the sound, but when I stare at the waitress, I realize the voice didn’t belong to her. Of course she would never have said that. She hated me drinking.
I give the new girl a quick nod. She turns, and I down the first shot, watching the way her ass moves as she walks away.
Flipping the glass over, I send a wave to Max then knock back the other one. He usually cuts me off at eight, and tonight, that won’t take long. It won’t be enough to drown her out of my head, but it might be enough to make the images fuzzy.
“Are you happy, Damian?”
I squeeze my lids shut. What the fuck kind of question is that? A knife stabs me through the heart, and I want to vomit.
The sound of two more glasses hits the table in front of me, forcing my eyes open. My gaze darts to the nametag on the waitress’ t-shirt, just inches above her left nipple poking hard into the cotton. I lick my lips.
I guess she’ll do.
As I wait, my mind takes me back to that morning, and how she waited until sunrise to leave me. Maybe it was her way of reminding me.
“It’s amazing, isn’t it? No matter how dark it gets, the sun always rises and starts a new day. The darkness is forgotten.”
God, I miss her so much. Everything about her.
Cameron sets two more shots on the table, and I don’t look at her this time. I’m gonna need more alcohol for that.
I rub my face with my palms.
“I’ll always be with you.”
I jab my fists into the seat, pain racing through my knuckles. She fucking left me all alone! She’s gone and I’m here. It’s not fucking fair.
The sting of tears threatens, so I kill the shots, one right after the other. I slam the second glass on the table too hard, but I don’t care.
When Cameron comes back over, she sets two more in front of me and says, “Rough night?”
I huff and down the first one. “You could say that.”
Her bare thigh is so close to me. I can’t wait to feel it up later.
“Bring me two more, if you would,” I say.
She bites her lip. “Um, I don’t know. Max…”
“Just bring me the fucking shots. Max and I have an agreement.”
Cameron glances over her shoulder at the bartender. Getting the confirmation from Max, she swings around.
“I’ll be right back.”
I lean back, rubbing a finger over my lips, the alcohol finally kicking in.
“You have a whole life in front of you. Don’t waste it. Don’t dwell on the past.”
Cameron saunters over with a tray of my last four shots of the night. I stare at her thighs, already imagining what they taste like. I’m moving on, baby. Just like you told me to.
“Thanks,” I say as she sets them down. “When are you off?”
She hesitates. “Um, like, now. My boyfriend is picking me up.”
I down the last two and go up to pay my tab. My buzz was decent, but not enough. It’s never enough anymore.
“See ya, man.”
Stuffing my hands in my pockets, I take my time walking across the parking lot to Dylan’s motorcycle. I pull out the keys and rev the engine. Her face isn’t gone, but it’s barely recognizable now. Just how I need it.
Slowly, I back out and notice Cameron standing against the side of the bar, hugging her arms from the chill.
Stood up. Sweet.
I pull up next to her. “Need a lift?”
“Uh, no. Toby should be here any minute.”
Toby Stanton? Cameron might be an even better lay than I imagined.
“Toby should have been here by now.” I reach my hand to her. “Come on. I’ll take you home.”
She bites her lip again, and I hope to know what that feels like in about ten minutes.
Cameron sighs and takes my hand. “I live on campus—Frederiksen Court.”
I help her up behind me, her arms slipping around my waist. Smirking, I say, “Hang on.”
We peel out into traffic, the wind slamming against my face. Cameron nestles her head into my back and holds me tighter. She says something, but I can’t hear her.
On the way back to mine and Dylan’s apartment—off-campus—I take a shortcut. By now, I just need to get Cameron naked. Fuck everything else.
I park beside my BMW and shut off the engine.
“I said Frederiksen Court,” Cameron says, confused.
I climb off and get back on, facing her. “I said I’d take you home. This is where I live.”
“—is off fucking someone else and forgot about you.” My hands find her knees and begin sliding up her thighs. They feel as good as they look.
She frowns, but doesn’t say anything. I’m right, and she knows it.
Taking in every inch of her skin, I run my fingers up her inner thighs as what I said sinks in. To let it go deeper, I kiss her neck, sucking on the flesh. She’ll cave. They always do.
“He’s probably working out late at the gym,” she says, trying to convince herself.
“Yeah, probably not.” I switch sides, and she tilts her head, letting me continue. Down below, I move her panties to the side to massage her. She stiffens a little, gasping.
“Toby … he’s a … a National Champion boxer. He, uh.” She pauses, her breaths become shallow, just how I like it.
Yep. Toby Stanton. This is gonna be good.
She swallows. “He works out a lot.”
I grunt. “I bet he does.”
I know he does.
She nods. “He does.”
Her hips start to move against my fingers, and I crush my lips into hers. I’m not surprised that she returns the kiss with fervor. Toby only gets the feisty ones.
My fingers start slipping on her, and I can’t take it anymore. I’ve got to get my mouth on that.
When I let go, a disappointed gasp escapes her. I help her off the bike and lead her inside to my room. Thankfully, Dylan is already in bed. He hates when I bring girls home.
My shirt’s over my head before I have the door closed behind me. Kicking it, it slams closed. I don’t take the time to lock it.
Cameron fumbles with my belt; Fuck that shit. I pull her close, slide my hands under the waistband of her skirt, feeling every inch of the smooth skin. Walking her backwards to my bed, I lean into her until she sits and I can finish the job, tossing the black wad and her panties across the room.
With her sitting there, I undo my belt and jeans, stepping out of them. Toby is clearly out of her thoughts now. She moans in excitement. Now, to get the rest of her goddamn clothes off.
Gliding my palms up her thighs, I take a short detour between them.
“Oh, yes!” she cries out as I slip inside of her. I finger her until she’s on the verge of coming.
Pulling out, I chuckle, knowing it’s about to get a whole lot better real quick. She frowns, giving me puppy-dog eyes.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be back,” I whisper in her ear.
She throws her head back with a smile on her face.
I grab the bottom of her shirt and begin to lift it, but it won’t move past her chest. She’d pinned her nametag to her bra.
“Oh, Cameron,” I groan. I hate that I have to take the extra time to undo the damn thing.
“Sorry,” she says, panting. Music to my ears. “Here, let me get it.” She turns the top of her shirt inside out, unhooking the pin. “There. Oh, and this is my friend’s nametag. I forgot mine. My name is Katey.”
Someone just punched me in the stomach.
‘Don’t leave me, Katie. I’m gonna fuck up, but don’t leave me.’
“Get. The fuck. Out,” I breathe.
Her brows furrow. “Excuse me?”
“Get the fuck. Out of here.” I gather up her clothes and shove them in her chest, knocking her backwards a little. “Now.”
The pathetic look on her face doesn’t faze me. She means absolutely nothing to me.
I throw the door open and don’t look at her as she shuffles out undressed from the waist down. I don’t give a shit.
“How am I supposed to get home?”
“I don’t give a damn,” I say and slam the door in her face.
A stunned second later, she screams, “You’re a fucking asshole!” from the other side.
I collapse on the bed, my face buried in the blankets.
Yeah, Kate, I know. I know.
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