By now it’s no secret that I am going to have 30 titles released from Rebel Ink Press the end of October. They are pieces not selling as well, BUT that doesn’t mean they can’t be revamped with some new editions. I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet. You may not ever see them again. So to that end I thought I’d highlight a few along the way so you can purchase them if you like. For this piece – it’s another that started out buried in an anthology then had a nice little run a couple years ago. It’s all about the darkness. And werewolves. And curses. And three HOT HOT HOT men who just happen to be creatures of the night. Oh and the damsel in distress, but then again, is she really?
She’s called by the darkness to a very special town. What’s the reason? Mmm… For this lovely woman only a tale of her recently deceased grandmother might be the key. Take a taste of…
Scarlet glared at the ringing phone and hissed. She managed to drop the wet bag of groceries onto the small hall table and grab the phone on the forth ring. “Scarlet Dumane.” A loud clap of thunder forced a screech to erupt from her mouth. “Shit! Hello?” Through the crackling of the phone lines she could swear she could hear someone breathing. “Hello?”
She was used to her share of innocuous threats given her profession as a crime reporter in the bowels of Chicago but there was something about his ominous tone that rattled her. “Excuse me you asshole? Who the fuck do you think you are?” Hang up. But she didn’t. Instead, she egged him on. “Who the hell are you, you freak?” If there was one thing she hated it was an asshole hiding behind phone or internet lines.
“You heard me. We don’t want your kind here.”
“My kind? Just what kind is that?”
Exhaling slowly, he dropped the level of his voice. “You heard me. If you don’t leave, you’ll be killed.”
“Is that a threat buddy, you cock…shit!” Realizing he’d hung up, she slammed down the receiver resisting the urge to rip the phone out of the wall. God knows she had no idea if her cell phone would work all the way out in the boondocks. Another sharp clap of thunder followed by a too close sizzle of lightening reminded her that she needed to get the rest of the groceries in before the raging storm hit. “Ah!”
Racing outside, Scarlet snagged the two bags of groceries just as the skies opened up. Scarlet dashed inside as the screen door slapped her in the ass and strolled toward the back. “Whew!” It was hot as hell in the house. Turning on the kitchen light, the dull fluorescent bulb accentuated the drab space. Her grandmother certainly hadn’t updated much in the place over the years. She set the bags down and moved back to grab the other one from the hall. It had been a long drive and she was exhausted.
Scarlet thought about the call and tried to put his ugly voice out of her mind. It was the Bayou country after all. In the few discussions she’d had with her grandmother over the last few years before her death, she had heard all about how suspicious the entire town was of strangers. Sighing, Scarlet eased her Ipod and travels speakers from her bag and cleared a space on the counter. As the soft strains of Kenny G floated into the room masking at least some of the raging storm, she willed her rattled nerves to calm down.
Opening a bottle of wine, she hummed softly as she put the groceries away thankful the electricity hadn’t been turned off. Her grandmother’s death hadn’t surprised anyone but she hadn’t anticipated being the one to deal with her grandmother’s estate. As she poured a hefty glass of wine, Scarlet knew why her family refused to have anything to do with her. Viola Dumane believed in the occult and voodoo, carrying her beliefs into the grave. Glancing around the perimeter of the stuffy space, Scarlet realized it was going to take her the entire four weeks of her leave of absence to deal with getting the house ready to sell. Thank God her boss had a wonderful soul.
Sighing, she put the rest of the groceries away and stood back gazing at her surrounding. Her grandmother had obviously thrown little away.
“Fuck!” Screeching, she gazed out the kitchen window as the trees swayed back and forth. The blackened sky was swirling with dense clouds and the rain pelted against the side of the house, pinging off the aluminum trim. Scarlet laughed softly, chastising her silly fears. Grabbing her wine, she moved back toward the front of the house. It was time to look around.
As the phone rang again, she shook her head. Should she not answer it? No, that wasn’t like her. She was tenacious and sometimes bulldozed into situations blindly. That was one reason she got the best and the worst of stories in a crime riddled town. Chuckling, she put on her sing-song voice as she answered the phone. “Hello.”
Heavy breathing was followed by a deep chuckle.
“Hey sexy. You want to come over here so we can perhaps take a tumble? I like my men all dark and dangerous.”
“Hmmm…be careful Scarlet Dumane because we know where you live.”
As the receiver went dead, a trickle of fear raced down her spine. It was one thing to have a mysterious caller but for him to know her name and to use the term “we” meant she was being watched. She swallowed hard and placed the phone back into the cradle. Gliding toward the front door, she closed the door, locked the deadbolt and turned around. What had she dropped into the middle of?
The morning dawned with hazy blue skies and a high humidity level. As Scarlet climbed out of bed she groaned unsure if it was the lumpy mattress that kept her awake or the thought of her mysterious caller. Either way, she was exhausted, grumpy and hungry. The lukewarm shower did her aching muscles little good. Digging through her suitcase she found the lightest weight cotton dress she owned and walked downstairs to find coffee.
Minutes later she walked out back and stood gazing across the grounds. The lovely garden somehow surprised her. Leaning against the doorframe she sipped her coffee and thought about how to pack up the house. First order of business was to go through the assorted boxes. The will left everything to her including the house if she wanted it but she had come to the borough with no other thoughts than selling. It was a shame as the Victorian style home was lovely but her work was very important. Her job was all she had.
The sharp knock on the front door dragged her out of her peaceful moment. She glided back into the kitchen and set her cup down hesitating. “Right. Like the boogeyman is gonna come and knock at your door.” Chuckling, she moved to the front and swung open the door, pushing the screen door out. The man standing on her porch couldn’t have surprised her any more. Standing well over six feet tall, his deep green eyes and shaggy long dark hair matched his rugged appearance and carved body perfectly. His smile seemed genuine and for a minute she envisioned the two of them lying naked on a down feather comforter. Inhaling the musky scent of him, her pussy quivered.
He nodded and blazed a trail down the length of her, settling on her breasts before gazing into her eyes. “I’m sorry to intrude. I’m Larken Myers. I used to take care of some household things for Viola and I heard that you were coming. I wanted to stop by and pay my condolences.”
“How did you know I was coming?”
“It’s a small town. We hear everything,” he breathed.
Dear God if the sound of his sensual voice enough didn’t turn her on. What was wrong with her? “Ah, I can imagine and after the greeting I received I wouldn’t put anything past the people here.”
Scarlet shook her head and held her hand out. “I’m Scarlet Dumas. I just received a couple of prank calls last night so you’re right, the townsfolk know I’m here.” There was something about the look on his face that troubled her. “Would you like to come in for some coffee? I’d love to have someone that knew my grandmother tell me a bit more about her. I didn’t get a chance to spend much time with her over the last few years.”
“I’d love that. Your grandmother was a special lady.” He trailed behind her into the kitchen.
“How’d you meet her?” Scarlet grabbed a second mug and filled it with coffee. “Cream or sugar? Not sure I know where the sugar is.”
“You knew her well, then.”
“Black and I loved to hear tales from her.”
“Voodoo and magic?” Scarlet pushed the cup in his direction.
“Many people down here believe in the old ways. There are many things that happen around us that can’t be explained.”
“Said like a true believer.”
Larken shrugged. “Said as one that comes from a family of believers.”
“What did she believe in mostly?”
“I’m not sure that you really want to hear.” Taking a sip of his coffee, he kept his eyes locked onto hers.
“I can see why she kept you around. You’re feisty and sexy as hell.” Slapping her hand over her mouth, Scarlet burst out laughing. “I’m sorry. I think my job has made me far too forward.”
Scarlet Dumane didn’t believe in the ways of voodoo and magic or in creatures of the night. When she was called to the Bayou to settle her grandmother’s estate, she was faced with the possibility that werewolves existed. Immediately she began receiving calls from the townsfolk that didn’t like her kind. As a mysterious stranger and former handyman of her grandmother’s appeared at her door, she was curious to find out more. Larken Myers was sexy, rough-hewn and instantly their combined chemistry indicated something more between them than just attraction.
Finding an ancient book telling a tall fairytale of wolves, mating and a mysterious red moon, Scarlet scoffed at the information, until the threats became real. Larken enlisted the help of his two best friends to protect the woman he adored and the secret life he shared with others deep in the woods. As the crimson hued full moon approached, the town was determined to hunt her down. Could the three wolves protect her or would their entire existence be wiped out?
I so hope you’ve enjoyed and remember – creatures of the night do exist and they will call to you…