Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rayne's Thunder Date Night and Giveaway

One of the best things about writing romance is that you can create amazing romantically infused interactions between the characters. The build up to me is far more important than the actual act of getting together. I love those sultry looks, the build up of desire, the need to touch, the electricity that comes from contact, the 'does he or doesn't he like me' anticipation. It's one of the reasons why I started writing the Dating a Werewolf Series with the romantic serials of Rayne's Thunder, Rhyme's Reason, and River's Fire. I mean ten guys, or girls in River's case, all vying for the attention of a potential mate and pulling out all the stops to win the object of their affection is intoxicating. It's the chase.

The challenge, though in taking on a series like this, is coming up with variety. There is only one picnic in the park or a date that ends with the couple dancing in the rain. Readers don't want to read the same experience with different people it suspends the escape the writer has created for reader and takes away from the overall experience. It's why the kisses must be different from one guy to the next or the touches and scents need to have different stimulating impact on characters.

So in the next installment in Rayne's Thunder (Part Four) The Mating Game six men are required to create six different dating experiences. I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised with some of the interactions and delighted with the ideas the men came up with but I can already see I'm going to need new ideas for future installments so here is the question.

What would be your dream date? Leave it in the comments below. I'll giveaway an audiobook from one of my already published titles here to one lucky poster (winner's choice). Winner must be over 18. I'll choose one winner for the comments below 8/30/15 


Check out this highly rated serial on Amazon.

Rayne's Thunder (Part One) Master Chef
Rayne's Thunder (Part Two) The Veterinarian
Rayne's Thunder (Part Three) The Politician and the Witches

Thanks for reading. Have a great day.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Get to know some of the Book Boyfriends from different series by paranormal author Jami Brumfield, raffle giveaway and scavenger hunt



If you're here for the book boyfriend scavenger hunt you came to the right place. A good book usually has one of two components that knock your socks off; a great plot or great characters and the really awesome books usually have both. I try hard to create stories that have both of these components and are fast paced reads that blend in mystery, suspense, and romance. I'd like to introduce you to some of the book boyfriends I've created in different series.

Storm Carter from the Rayne's Thunder romantic serial.

When this guy is in the room the temperature rises. He's the man that is astute, observant, loyal, and watches over those he loves like a guard dog... er wolf. Not only does he set fire to the pages of the story but he's also honest and tells it like it is. This quality can hurt him as he is competing against nine other men to win the heart and hand of Rayne.

Here is an sneak peek excerpt from Rayne's Thunder (Part Four) The Mating Games which will be coming out in a few weeks.

The next arrival took me by Storm, literally, he was my Storm. His long, dark hair was tied back in a ponytail at the nape of his neck. His familiar scent beckoned me and I found myself lost in the turmoil of emotions that came with the irritatingly observant, hard headed ass who always managed to keep me on my toes. For some peculiar reason I cared what he thought of me. Dislike, tainted with trust and interest was not a healthy concoction but every time he turned those soul searing eyes on me I lost all control of my senses, logic flew out the window, and my body responded to his with a dance of desire that burned me from the core to my skin. They say there is a fine line between love and hate and I experienced that every time I was around this man. My mind screamed danger and my body yelled, ‘come closer’. It was the kind of relationship that never lasted but I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘what if it could’ and I supposed that was why he was here. He walked up the steps and offered me a cup of coffee and in that moment I realized he wasn’t there to compete he was there to take care of me like he did with the rest of the family. Evidence of this was clear when he handed Chloe, River, and Rhyme their own drinks. The man was infuriating.

I turned toward him. “Does that mean you’re not competing in the games?”

Storm sipped his drink, “I don’t play games.” 

His green eyes watched me over the brim of the cup. I wanted to scream, ‘No!’ to asked him ‘why?’ but I refused to stoop to his level. Instead I turned away. I didn’t expect the next chain of events to happen. He whipped me around and pulled me into his strong arms. “I don’t play games, but for you, I’m willing to let that rule slide.”

“Meaning what, exactly?” For some reason I needed to hear the words. I needed to know he felt an inkling of what I was starting to feel for him. I wasn’t about to put myself out there to get burned if he didn’t feel remotely the same.

“Are you ready for a real relationship with real responsibilities?”

“Are you ready to stop treating me like a child?”

“Perhaps.” He grinned.

“Then perhaps I am, we’ll have to see, if you’re still standing at the end of the Games.”


“I’ll only be standing at the end of the games if you show me you’re a worthy mate.” He caressed my cheek and I felt my legs go weak. How someone could be so strong and yet gentle was beyond me. “For now, I choose to compete.” His words made my heart skip a beat before he released me. 


Rayne's Thunder (Part One) Master Chef
Rayne's Thunder (Part Two) The Veterinarian
Rayne's Thunder (Part Three) The Politician and the Witches

Another great book boyfriend is Fang aka Levi in the PBI Case Files. This were-bear takes sacrifice to a whole new level. He's also more primal than human which can help on the battlefield, it makes him a superb secret agent, but a failure in social situations, especially where his mate is concerned. He's a strong alpha that isn't afraid to take what he wants, handle situations with a firm hand, but shows the utmost respect for the ones he loves. He's not good with words but his Viking God good looks and solid, muscular physique helps to soften the blow. 

In the PBI Case Files he makes mistakes and learns to pay for those. He puts in the time and will hopefully win over the heart of the woman he loves. In Outbreak, the second adventure of this series he saved Francesca's life by binding his life force with hers which began the mating process between them. The problem was, he made this decision while she was comatose, literally dying. There was no way she was going to make it through the night and he wasn't going to lose her so he bound their life forces together forever attaching him to her even if she refused him and moved on to another man.

Check out this excerpt from PBI Case Files as Fang tries to explain to Francesca (Frankie) about what happened the night she almost died.

Fang didn’t hesitate, he was a bit of a brute when it came to her. He took her arm in his hand and pulled her toward him forcibly. “We need to talk.” His hands and voice were harsher than he intended as he pulled the despondent Frankie down the hall.

Once again she was being man handled by the overbearing, were-bear. One part of her wanted his attention, she couldn’t fight off the chemical attraction but the intelligent part of her knew better. Being drug away was the wake-up call she needed. Frankie dug her heels into the ground, but it did little good since the floors were grey concrete. “Let go of me!” She hissed, and when she started fighting back, he tossed her over his shoulder with minimal effort. When she started slamming her fists into his solid back, he spanked her. That made her pause for a moment as she processed his actions. “Did you just...spank me?”

He slipped into an abandoned office, dropped her unceremoniously on the couch, and then locked the door so they wouldn’t be disturbed. He was so angry, she could feel the boiling heat radiating off his body. His glare cut her to the bone as he tried to put his emotions in check. She didn’t like seeing him this way, something in her subconscious warned her he was dangerous when he was upset.

The warning voice in her head did little to calm her, instead, she saw red. He kept pushing and he’d pushed too far this time. She stood up, “how dare you?” Her fist aimed for his face, but he stopped her first punch and managed to stop her second as well.

“You may be well trained, Francesca, but I trained you.” The bitterness in his voice cut her open like a fish gutted and forced her to settle down. She’d never heard him speak to her with such anger, and knowing what he was, she knew better than to poke the bear more than necessary. The saying you catch more bears with honey rang true to her in that moment.

His voice and words softened when he saw fear in her green eyes. “Please, Frankie, I just want to talk.” He released her fisted hands.

“I don’t want to talk to you.” She crossed her arms over her chest and took a step back. They were alone and he was too close for comfort. “You really need to take a socializing class. Your actions are inexcusable.”

He offered a shy, mischievous grin, “Social etiquette has never been a strong point for me.”

“Ya, think?”

“Why do you hate me so much?” He gave her a sincere, hurtful look, one that almost shook her to the core.

“I…I don’t hate you. I just hate the things you do sometimes.” The sadness in his eyes made her attitude soften. For some reason, despite her annoyance at the man, she took pity on him.

“My mother told me that hate is probably one of the worst words a person can use to describe something.” 

“Your mother is right.” Frankie unfolded her arms. “Maybe I should say I dislike the things you do, but I really don’t appreciate being thrown over your shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and I won’t tolerate being spanked. I’m in my mid-twenties, not a child.”

“Asking for a new partner without trying to work things out with your current partner is slightly childish.”

“You heard that? It’s not polite to eavesdrop.” She balked.

He shrugged, “I’m not polite, according to you.” He mumbled the last part.

He moved forward a few steps so he was invading her personal space. She took a step back, and he clamped his hand around her forearms and pulled her back toward him. “Please don’t do that.”

“What? Let me go, Fang.”

“Not until I tell you what happened to you in the hospital.”

Frankie’s eyes grew wide, “okay, what happened?” It was the secret she’d been trying to uncover since she woke up. She didn’t know why, but she needed to know what they did to her.

“First you need to understand why. You were going to die, and I couldn’t let that happen to you. I don’t know if you realize this, but there is chemistry between us.”

Frankie laughed, “uh no, there isn’t.”

He tilted his head and looked deep into her eyes, like he was examining her soul. “Do I need to kiss you again to prove it?”

“Keep those lips away from me.”

He moved closer, his lips inches from hers. “Why do you deny yourself the pleasures I can show you?”

“I don’t know how else I can make it any clearer. I’m. Not. Interested.” She did it, she dared to poke the bear’s chest.

“When you stop lying to me, and perhaps to yourself, things will be a lot better between us. Even now, your heart speeds up as my lips inch closer to yours. Your green eyes grow dark with desire. You moisten your lips in anticipation and your scent is honey mixed with musk. The words you speak do not match your body’s response.”

“You’re also describing fear.” Frankie pointed out.

His face fell and he dropped his grip on her arms. “I don’t wish to make you afraid me.” He took a step back and Frankie felt guilt over her words. He was so literal and blunt, and he put her on the defense. It was hard to believe that her words could cut him, but they did.

“I’m sorry, Fang. I’m not afraid of you.”

His brown eyes lit up with hope. “Good, because what I need to tell you could change everything between us.”

“Okay?” her voice was guarded.

“You were about to die.”

“I know.” The mutated strain of the Ebola virus had caused complete organ failure, the only way to survive was to eat human organs to replace those that had shut down and she was not going to do that. The memory made her shudder.

“And it was my fault.”

“No, it wasn’t.” Not entirely his fault. The brute was constantly arguing with her about her safety in the field, and he was too preoccupied with his anger that he hadn’t put the child infected with the virus in the car before laying into her with his words. The girl was hungry and started gnawing on Frankie’s hand. She clamped down so tightly that the only way to get her to release was to kill her. 
Frankie closed her eyes against the memory of Fang breaking the girl’s neck. She’d never seen someone die in front of her like that, and she was still a bit traumatized by the tragedy. Fang had been suspended for a week while they investigated his actions, and he was returned to duty once they determined he was protecting his team in the line of duty. It didn’t make the picture of the girl’s death any easier.

“We all knew you weren’t ready for field work, but we needed you because of…”

Just being near him made her emotions go haywire. She needed to get away, and didn’t want to hear it anymore. “Look, Fang, I get it. You all injected me with some sort of paranormal healing serum. 
What I really want to know is if it’s going to fade.”

“The strength?” Fang tried to catch up to her questioning. Changing gears mid conversation wasn’t always easy.

Frankie nodded. “And the enhanced senses.”

“No, you’ll always have those things no matter what you do.”

Frankie took a deep breath, “I’ve thought a lot about this and assuming that is what you all did to me I’m… okay with it.”

“You are?”

She didn’t know it then but there was far more to it. “Well, kind of, as long as I know what is happening to me and understand all the things connected to it. I mean it makes me a stronger agent. I just hate being kept in the dark with people I’m supposed to trust keeping secrets from me. Are there any nasty side effects?”

Oh boy there were nasty side effects. 


The Beginning (PBI Case Files adventure 1)
Outbreak (PBI Case Files adventure 2)
Lost Plane (PBI Case Files adventure 3)
Justice Driven (PBI Case Files adventure 4)
Remote Paranoia (PBI Case Files adventure 5)

Joshua Parker from the Magical Secrets Series is not an in your face kind of book boyfriend, he is the scholarly man whose loyalty and compassion to his family and friends wins you over slowly. He's the kind of guy that grows on you and sticks with you for the long haul which is sexy in itself but his devotion to the ones he loves and willingness to do whatever it takes to keep them safe makes him a slow burning superstar. 

In the Magical Secrets Series, he and his sister hunt antiques for their shop and determine if the antiques are imbued with magic or not and lock the dangerous ones away from the public because they refused to see others suffer at the hands of magic like they did when they lost their parents. 

Here is an excerpt from Genie's Treasure, the first adventure of this series.

He ran his fingers over the surface, something he’d done a hundred times before. Rubbing the surface didn’t conjure the Jinn, contrary to popular myth. They’d tried that multiple times, out of curiosity. He opened the lamp and peered inside. This time as he ran his calloused hands over the metal his fingers caught on a tiny latch hidden in the dark recesses of a tiny crevice, he could’ve sworn the latch hadn’t been there before. It was so tiny it could’ve been easily overlooked, his eyes never caught it.

His voice caught in his throat as he snapped the latch down and felt a prick against his finger. He pulled back his hand and saw a bead of blood forming on his finger. “What the hell?”

He dropped the lamp when a woman with cinnamon colored skin, dark hair and, brown, soulful eyes appeared in front of him. “How may I serve you, master?” Her voice had a slight Persian accent. She barely looked his direction as she spoke, careful not to look him in the eyes.

Surprise had him scrambling over the back of the luxurious cream colored chair. “Who? What? Where? Am I losing my mind?”

“I am the Jinn Amani, I come from Persia, and no you’re not losing your mind. You have three wishes. Please tell me what is your greatest desire?”

Joshua stared at Amani for a moment, and then he burst out laughing. “Did Josie set you up to this?”

Amani shook her head, “I know no, Josie.”

Joshua took his glasses off and rubbed his green eyes pressing hard at the bridge of his nose to push down the building tension. His brain tried to focus on the logic of the situation but there was none. Perhaps he was dreaming, that made the most sense. He fell asleep while Josie went to take a shower. “I’m dreaming.” He smiled as he slipped out from behind the chair. “So now I just need to figure out how to wake up.”

“You are not dreaming,” Amani stated.

“You would say that.” He walked over to the lamp he had previously tossed across the room and picked up it. “It’s not physically possible for a woman to fit inside this tiny lamp.” For emphasis he looked in the tiny lantern bottom.

“I’m not in the lamp, master, I’m in an alternate dimension. I’m just linked to the lamp and when it’s triggered I appear to grant you three wishes.”

“Impossible.” But even as he said the word he knew it was not impossible. He’d seen amazing things in the world of magic. Seeing an elusive genie, however, was not something that happened every day.

“Do you not see me?”

“I do.” He grudgingly agreed.

“Did I not appear when you triggered the lamp?”

“I guess.”

“So how is this impossible?”

He rubbed his hands over his trimmed goatee. “And you’re going to grant me three wishes?”

“Yes, master.”

“And if I don’t use them?” He knew better than to use magic, even wishes.

“I won’t leave until you make your wishes.”

An idea occurred to him. “How about I wish you to be free?”



Zachariah in the Demon Ascension Series is not only sexy, kind, and angelic (yep, he's a warrior nephilim) but he's funny and a bit of a diamond in the rough. Underneath his tough guy exterior that insists on doing the right things no matter the consequences he is a softy. Check out this fun little teaser that shows his empathy and understanding along with his sense of humor from Father Made Me Do It.




Having fun reading these little excerpts and getting to know the book boyfriends from my different series? I hope so, they are all lovable in their own way. If you're looking for the secret word for the raffle here it is... FLIRTY. Want to get to know a few more? Scroll down further to meet the royals from the Shifter Love Tales Series and the Mystery Springs Series. 


Giovanni Mancuso from The Witch's Vampire, the first in the Mystery Springs Series is the vampire prince of the small Colorado Town and he knows how to get what he wants without sacrificing those he cares about. Gio, is damaged from an experience he had as a human, an experience that cost him his soulmate. When he is gifted a connection to his soulmate from Thanatos he grabs hold tightly (almost obsessively) and has to learn to let his mate live her life despite his need to shelter and protect her. 

Here is an excerpt from The Witch's Vampire showcasing Gio.

He’d built quite a reputation to make sure terror kept the people in line. It also helped that he hailed from royalty. The Mancuso vampires were powerful and very few challenged that power. Those that did faced the wrath of the council which had solid treaties in place with the humans, werewolves, witches, Amazons, fairies, elves, skin walkers, Jinn and Mancuso vampires for decades. It was an important part of their world and helped them keep their supernatural identities hidden from the humans. This kept all supernatural and human beings safe.
One person who didn't feel apprehension around him was his consort and he loved that she wasn't afraid of his company. Her loyalty was unmatched and her devotion was that of a protective mother cub. She slithered up to his side, her strawberry and cream scent had been a constant comfort to him ever since he claimed her as his consort. She was technically a child of a human and fairy union. Something frowned upon in Mystery. Mixing supernaturals with humans was expressly forbidden. However, Marissa was the product of a rape. A dark fairy attacked her human mother. The attending elf physician at the hospital the night of the attack and the werewolf detective who was brought in to investigate recognized the situation for what it was. Jacob, the elf, kept a close eye on Marissa’s mother and when her pregnancy proved their suspicions she was brought into the supernatural world for protection. Marissa’s mother died in childbirth, a common, unfortunate side effect to breeding with supernaturals.
There had been rare cases where the human mother survives, but it wasn’t pleasant or advisable. Wendy, Marissa's mother, knew the risk and begged Gregor, Gio's father to take her in if she didn't make it.
Wendy's case wasn't rare and the inevitable happened. Marissa was taken into the Mancuso family and raised with the expectation that she would someday become a member of the vampire clan-an honor typically bestowed upon only a few every generation. When she turned eighteen she became the rare exception and refused the offer - she wanted to live as a human. Knowing Marissa intimately, and now loving her as a sister, Gio suspected she wanted to have a human child before she was changed.  
Gregor sentenced Marissa to death. She'd be in the underworld right now, but Gio spoke for her and requested her as his consort. Now she stood at his side, loyal to the end. She was his friendly companion, fed him when he was hungry, and protected him from humans during the day. In return he kept her young, strong, healthy and safe from other predators without changing her DNA by making her a vampire. Over time they’d grown to be best of friends. That was twenty years ago and neither one of them looked a day over 25.
“Are you hungry, Gio?” she purred as she ran her fingers down his arm. She was always willing and so remarkably giving but he wasn’t in the mood at the moment.
He shrugged her hand off his arm and continued to watch the dance floor. Someone caught his attention and he wasn’t sure what to make of the girl with long black hair as dark as night. “Not now, Marissa. Perhaps you’d like to go dance.” He suggested.
“I’d love to dance. Come with me.” She urged by pulling his hand toward her.
“In a minute. Go start without me and I’ll join you later.” He didn’t need to look at her to know she was sulking as she sauntered away. He could smell the hurt and knew she would be a great temptation on the dance floor. Hurt and pain fed so many supernatural. 
“Jeremiah, go with her to keep her company.” He instructed his second in command who eased out of the shadows without a word and followed Marissa down the stairs. Happy his consort was safe he refocused on the captivating girl. He was drawn to her but had no earthly idea why. She was far from his type.
He’d never seen her before, but there was something familiar about her. Something that took his breath away, if he needed to breath, which he didn’t, other than to make humans think he was one of them. It was an automatic response he did to blend in and in that moment he realized his automatic response had failed him. He’d stopped breathing as he watched the slender but curvy petite girl weave within the crowd. She called to him like a beacon on a foggy night in a storm-tossed ocean. It was the oddest feeling. 
She had a drink in her hand, but was barely touching it, almost like she ordered it for show and had no intentions of finishing it. He found himself thankful that was the case. He'd seen so many lost souls travel further down the rabbit hole with mind altering substances liked alcohol and narcotics. It was a hazard of the job, lifestyle, and unfortunately, the dark world he lived in.

  









The final book boyfriend I'd like to introduce you to is Malick Pendragon from To Love a Dragon, book one of the Shifter Love Tales.

Malick is a dragon shifter prince. He's tough, a guy's guy, and completely uninterested in finding a mate. He is the guy that seems like he'll perpetually be single. When he met his mate (a detective who is a witch) he let her walk out of his bar and his life without a second thought... until he found her poisoned and on the verge of dying... then his desire for her blossomed. It's super sexy being the one woman that can tame a playboy and this player meets his match in this stand alone romance.

Here's a taste of Malick in To Love a Dragon:

Malick couldn’t believe he’d found his mate. The other half of his soul, his gift from the gods, in an impetuous witch cop. One who suspected him of murder. He’d been searching for her for so long he’d given up on the idea of finding her, and then she strolled into his bar and sauntered right up to him. Her scent was the first clue. Peppermint and vanilla. So sweet and icy, it matched her personality to perfection.
            The scent of her arousal when he touched her was his second clue. He took every opportunity in that first meeting to touch and smell her. With every touch he gave her he put his own scent on her, which made him feel strong and protective. He wasn’t thrilled his mate was a Wiccan cop, but he’d make it work, somehow. Now that he found her, he’d claim her and keep her at his side.
            His third clue was the telepathic connection he felt between them. It was that connection that alerted him to the danger she faced outside. It was because of that link that he was able to save her from the scorpion shifter that waited outside. Unfortunately, he hadn’t reached her before she was stung with his venom and now he was in charge of nursing her back to health.
            He called a witch doctor to help extract the poison. All they could do now was wait. It was up to her. He was doing all he could to coax her out of the poison induced sleep. She’d get better. She had to get better. Dragon shifters only had one mate. She was it for him. He needed to make her accept him and claim her. There was little that would get in the way of that happening.
His phone continued to vibrate beside him, another sign that his mate showed up at the worst possible time. Joanna’s murder wasn’t the first and definitely not the last in a series of murders the hunters were committing. The shifters had to usurp the human authorities at this point. The survival of their race depended on it.

Malick was trying to help. He had men out around town delving into the murders and turning up rocks that may be hiding the hunters. So far they had no luck. But it had been only two days since Charity had approached them and the dead bodies were piling up faster than they could cover them up. 


Which one do you find the most interesting? 

If you came to this site from the scavenger hunt the word is above on this page. If you are a subscriber to this blog or found this outside of the scavenger hunt click on the raffle link below to get your entries into this great giveaway.  


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sneak Peek of Remote Paranoia (PBI Case Files # 5)

Sneak peek of Remote Paranoia (PBI Case Files #5) it's a murder investigation that involves the Gods, supernatural beings, the Fates and humans. For those of you that have read, Justice Driven, the fourth episode in the PBI Case Files you're aware of the drugs the Amazons, including Sarah, pumped into Devon's body leaving him a neutered vampire. A deserted, defenseless vampire. One minute he was on top of the world, on his first date with Sarah and the next she betrayed him and left him while she fled with the Amazons. In the fifth case file, the team is still reeling from the betrayal. Devon is back to his brooding self, Jasmine is trying to knock him out of his stupor, Frankie continues to defend her sister and Fang supports Frankie because he is still focused on winning his mate ~ who has been spending a lot of time with Tucker. Nothing like a little personal drama to spice up a mystery right?

In Remote Paranoia the team is called in to investigate a pair of suspicious deaths of Order agents. The Order, in this world, is a group of aliens and supernatural beings that are called to serve the Fates by keeping specific points in time and people on the right track to their destiny. This particular cell of Order agents had recently retired.

Below is a sneak peek of Remote Paranoia... Check it out and get your copy on Amazon.

Chapter Four

Frankie jabbed her heel down on Tucker’s foot causing him to stumble back in pain. She grabbed him and tossed the large man over her shoulder with ease. His body slammed against the blue mat so hard breath rushed out of his lungs. She knew she was taking her frustrations over Fang’s distance, and her sister’s betrayal, out on her friend. It was wrong. She left him on the mat and walked over to her duffel bag for some water. “Quit taking it easy on me, Tuck, or you’re going to get hurt,” she warned as she emptied her water bottle. Her mind traveled back in time as she replayed the last conversation she had with Devon about Sarah’s decision to join forces with the Amazons.
“It’s about intention? What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked, confusion and hurt swimming in his eyes.
Frankie shook her head and shrugged. “I don’t know, but I get the feeling that she was trying to help us.” At least I pray she was trying to protect us, otherwise her treachery made no sense.
“She betrayed us.” Devon’s words sounded choked and riddled with emotion. It was understandable. He was in love with her, he failed to protect her, and she left him for his enemy.
“I have a feeling she did what she had to in order to survive.”
Devon looked doubtful.
“Look, I know my sister, and she’d sacrifice her soul to protect those she cares about.” Frankie insisted.
“And I know humans. They’d sacrifice anything to survive. It’s the mortality factor.” His voice sounded cold and distant.
“Sure, no one wants to die, but I’m telling you, dumbass, she’s not a traitor.” She had a feeling she was protesting too much, but she really liked Devon for Sarah.
“I hope you’re right.” The fear on his face, and rigidness in his stance told her he wasn’t sold on the idea, but the look in his eyes relayed his hope.
Hope was a nasty demon that tricked people into believing things were going to get better. In that moment, even in this moment, Frankie prayed ‘Hope’ was actually on their side.
“Karma wants to see you both in her office.” Jasmine’s heavy oriental-accented voice broke into the memory and pulled Frankie out abruptly. She didn’t wait for a response, simply turned on her heel and left before they could ask why. Jasmine was never really a very forthcoming colleague.
Frankie offered Tucker a weak smile, tossed him a towel as she dried the sweat from her own body, and exited the training room. He followed closely behind. She could feel his breath on her neck and the warmth of his body in close proximity. Her mated, enhanced senses also scented his perspiration and eagerness to begin another case. He had pent up frustrations to deal with.
Frankie had no desire to do anything until they recovered Sarah, but they’d been off duty for over a month, and it was hard to believe Karma would keep them benched any longer. Devon was already out of play thanks to the poison the Amazons injected into his body. He was still a neutered vamp, and that was a handicap they couldn’t afford out in the field. Tucker had assumed Devon’s role on the team, and Persephone, by default, also joined them.
She sped up to avoid the scent of the man beside her. Tucker hurried his pace to match hers just as Fang turned the corner and joined the two. The tension between the two men was so thick it was difficult to breath. It was like cutting through a rough chunk of steak. Even if you did break through the tension, it wasn’t like you wanted to eat the meat. The two were both shifters, and they were greedy. Fang had good reason to be possessive of Frankie, but his good reason was riddled with betrayal which created distrust.
The memory of what Fang did to her was still raw, like an open wound that didn’t seem to heal over completely, and seeing him was like rubbing salt in the lesion.
Fang didn’t hesitate. He was a bit of a brute when it came to her. He took her arm in his hand and pulled her toward him forcibly. “We need to talk.” His hands and voice were harsher than he intended as he pulled the despondent Frankie down the hall.
Once again, she was being man-handled by the overbearing were-bear. One part of her wanted his attention. She couldn’t fight off the chemical attraction, but the intelligent side of her knew better. Being drug away was the wake-up call she needed. Frankie dug her heels into the ground, but it did little good since the floors were grey concrete. “Let go of me!” She hissed, and when she started fighting back, he tossed her over his shoulder with minimal effort. When she started slamming her fists into his solid back, he spanked her. That made her pause for a moment as she processed his actions. “Did you just...spank me?”
He slipped into an abandoned office, dropped her unceremoniously on the couch, and then locked the door so they wouldn’t be disturbed. He was so angry, she could feel the boiling heat radiating off his body. His glare cut her to the bone as he tried to put his emotions in check. She didn’t like seeing him this way. Something in her subconscious warned her he was dangerous when he was upset.
The warning voice in her head did little to calm her, instead, she saw red. He kept pushing and he’d pushed too far this time. She stood up. “How dare you!” Her fist aimed for his face, but he stopped her first punch and managed to stop her second as well.
“You may be well trained, Francesca, but I trained you.” The bitterness in his voice cut her open like a gutted fish and forced her to settle down. She’d never heard him speak to her with such anger, and knowing what he was, she knew better than to poke the bear more than necessary. The saying you can catch more bears with honey rang true to her in that moment.
His voice and words softened when he saw fear in her green eyes. “Please, Frankie, I just want to talk.” He released her fisted hands.
“I don’t want to talk to you.” She crossed her arms over her chest and took a step back. They were alone and he was too close for comfort. “You really need to take a socializing class. Your actions are inexcusable.”
He offered a shy, mischievous grin. “Social etiquette has never been a strong point for me.”
“Ya, think?”
“Why do you hate me so much?” He gave her a sincere, hurtful look, one that almost shook her to the core.
“I…I don’t hate you. I just hate the things you do sometimes.” The sadness in his eyes made her attitude soften. For some reason, despite her annoyance at the man, she took pity on him.
“My mother told me that hate is probably one of the worst words a person can use to describe something.”
“Your mother is right.” Frankie unfolded her arms. “Maybe I should say I dislike the things you do, but I really don’t appreciate being thrown over your shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and I won’t tolerate being spanked. I’m in my mid-twenties, not a child.”
“Asking for a new partner without trying to work things out with your current partner is slightly childish.”
“You heard that? It’s not polite to eavesdrop.” She balked.
He shrugged. “I’m not polite according to you.” He mumbled the last part.
He moved forward a few steps so he was invading her personal space. She took a step back, and he clamped his hand around her forearms and pulled her back toward him. “Please don’t do that.”
“What? Let me go, Fang!”
“Not until I tell you what happened to you in the hospital.”
Frankie’s eyes grew wide. “Okay, what happened?” It was the secret she’d been trying to uncover since she woke up. She didn’t know why, but she needed to know what they did to her.
“First you need to understand why. You were going to die, and I couldn’t let that happen to you. I don’t know if you realize this, but there is chemistry between us.”
Frankie laughed. “Uh, no, there isn’t.”
He tilted his head and looked deep into her eyes, like he was examining her soul. “Do I need to kiss you again to prove it?”
“Keep those lips away from me.”
He moved closer, his lips inches from hers. “Why do you deny yourself the pleasures I can show you?”
“I don’t know how else I can make it any clearer. I’m. Not. Interested.” She did it, she dared to poke the bear’s chest.
“When you stop lying to me, and perhaps to yourself, things will be a lot better between us. Even now, your heart speeds up as my lips inch closer to yours. Your green eyes grow dark with desire. You moisten your lips in anticipation and your scent is honey mixed with musk. The words you speak do not match your body’s response.”
“You’re also describing fear.” Frankie pointed out.
His face fell, and he dropped his grip on her arms. “I don’t wish to make you afraid me.” He took a step back, and Frankie felt guilt over her words. He was so literal and blunt, and he put her on the defense. It was hard to believe that her words could cut him, but they did.
“I’m sorry, Fang. I’m not afraid of you.”
His brown eyes lit up with hope. “Good, because what I need to tell you could change everything between us.”
“Okay?” Her voice was guarded.
“You were about to die.”
“I know.” The mutated strain of the Ebola virus had caused complete organ failure. The only way to survive was to eat human organs to replace those that had shut down, and she was not going to do that. The memory made her shudder.
“And it was my fault.”
“No, it wasn’t.” Not entirely his fault. The brute was constantly arguing with her about her safety in the field, and he was too preoccupied with his anger that he hadn’t put the child infected with the virus in the car before laying into her with his words. The girl was hungry and started gnawing on Frankie’s hand. She clamped down so tightly that the only way to get her to release the appendage was to kill her. Frankie closed her eyes against the memory of Fang breaking the girl’s neck. She’d never seen someone die in front of her like that, and she was still a bit traumatized by the tragedy. Fang had been suspended for a week while they investigated his actions, and he was returned to duty once they determined he was protecting his team in the line of duty. It didn’t make the picture of the girl’s death any easier.
“We all knew you weren’t ready for field work, but we needed you because of--
Just being near him made her emotions go haywire. She needed to get away, and didn’t want to hear it anymore. “Look, Fang, I get it. You all injected me with some sort of paranormal healing serum. What I really want to know is if it’s going to fade.”
“The strength?” Fang tried to catch up to her questioning. Changing gears mid-conversation wasn’t always easy.
Frankie nodded. “And the enhanced senses.”
“No, you’ll always have those things no matter what you do.”
Frankie took a deep breath. “I’ve thought a lot about this, and assuming that is what you all did to me, I’m… okay with it.”
“You are?”
She didn’t know it then, but there was far more to it. “Well, kind of, as long as I know what is happening to me and understand all the things connected to it. I mean, it makes me a stronger agent. I just hate being kept in the dark with people I’m supposed to trust keeping secrets from me. Are there any nasty side effects?”
Oh, boy, there were nasty side effects. She didn’t learn the whole truth from him. It was a banshee that revealed the curse he put on her. The bear didn’t even have the guts to tell her they were mated. She supposed that was what hurt the most about the whole situation. That, and the tiny fact that when she was near him they were hot for each other beyond belief. There was a thin line between love and hate, especially where mates were concerned.
Mentally, she knew what he did saved her life. He risked his own life to keep her breathing, and gave up any chance of ever finding a mate by bonding with her to save her from dying. Intellectually, she should try and make things work with him, but all the lies he told after the fact created muddy water under that bridge. She couldn’t trust her body near him. The only part of her that she did trust around him was her mind and the ability to make decisions for herself. Besides, who could make a lifelong commitment to a man they barely knew? A Neanderthal brute that had difficulty even having a simple conversation.
It made her guilty whenever she allowed those thoughts to mull around in her mind. He was raised more bear than human. Holding his childhood against him was immature, but it was yet another point against the man. The were-bear was not what she envisioned for her mate.
“Tucker, can we have a minute?” Fang stepped in front of Frankie halting her entrance Karma’s office.
Tucker’s warm, brown eyes gravitated to Frankie, and she nodded ‘okay’ before he entered the office leaving them alone in the hallway.
Fang took a step forward and Frankie stepped back. “This insistence on keeping us apart is killing me, Frankie.” His blue eyes pleaded with her for a little understanding.
She stepped back again, and felt the cool wall seep into her spine. “I need time, Fang. If there is any chance for us in the future, you need to give me space.”
He did the exact opposite with another step putting him closer to her than before. “I get what you’re saying, I do, but we’re partners, and we were becoming friends. Can’t we try and kindle that friendship?”
“We are friends,” she responded without thinking. Her body’s chemical reaction to the man was kicking in. Her desire to wrap her arms around his neck and kiss his lips was overwhelming her thought process. “But, I can’t give you more until I find my sister. Sarah has to be my priority right now.”
“You’ve got to know she’s mine, too. What’s important to you is important to me.”
Her eyes snapped fire. “And that’s why you altered my chemical makeup without consulting me first.”
He looked hopeless. “Are you never going to forgive me for saving your life?”
“Probably not.” And sadly, she knew it was probably the truth.
He slammed his fist into the wall beside her head. She didn’t flinch. She was used to his temper where she was involved. “Damn it, Francesca! I beg you to give us a chance.”
“I’m trying.”
“Are you two coming?” Jasmine opened the door and waited for them to enter, impatience written all over her face.
Saved by the dragon. Frankie ducked under Fang’s arms and entered the office. Fang was slow to follow, but he did. Jasmine, Tucker, Persephone DeLuca, Devon, Karma, and two strange women were already seated, waiting. No one looked pleased with the delay.
“Sorry.” Frankie apologized as she took a seat next to Devon. Fang grumbled what passed for an apology from the man.
“Thank you for joining us. I need your help on a new case.” Karma began. Our boss had two personas; the badass goddess that doled out punishment to equal the scales of karma, and the hipster chick that looked like a 60s throw-back when she was evaluating karmatic justice.
Lately her attire erred on the side of the badass biker chick, and today was not different. Her skin-tight leather body suit hugged her curves and would have made a supermodel jealous. Her long, blonde curls were tied back in a braid that fell to the small of her back, and her ‘one green and one blue’ eyes were lined in smoky kohl. The girl was out for justice, and it was bad, bad, bad.
“We already have a case,” Frankie was careful to point out. “I thought you told us finding Sarah was our priority?”
“It is,” Karma began, “but since we have made no traction on the search in the last few weeks I need to allocate some resources to this new case. You, Fang, and Devon will join Tucker, DeLuca, and Jasmine on this one case.”
Devon was quick to point out, “I’m still unable to cause pain to another living being--”
“Which is why you’re the team leader.”
Devon and the other horsemen of the apocalypse, who happened to be vampires, were injected with a neutering serum by the very Amazons that brainwashed Sarah in their last case. Since the serum had proven to be irreversible he’d been placed on the bench indefinitely. For Karma to put him in the field said a lot about the severity of the case. It was the only reason Frankie decided to keep her mouth shut.
Tucker asked the question that was on everyone’s mind. “What is the case?”
Karma passed out file folders to everyone in the room. “We have a string of accidental deaths involving high powered supernatural officials.”
Devon looked quizzically at Karma. “Accidental deaths don’t generally fall under the purview of the PBI.”
“No, they don’t. But these are peculiar and demand a thorough investigation.”
Karma flipped on the big screen with her remote. Two faces appeared on the television. She shot the red laser to the first man. Dark hair, dark skin, hazel eyes, goatee, and dangerous stare. “Jerrell Jackson, an alpha wolf from Washington State. Parts of his body were discovered in the wood chipper on the compound.”
Fang ran a hand through his blond hair. “Are we sure this wasn’t murder?”
“It was labeled as an accidental death. He was drinking the night before, somehow fell asleep in the chipper, and when the crew came in the next morning and started the machine his body was shredded.”
“By the gods!” Fang rarely spoke in debriefs, but this obviously had an impact on him. “Horrible way to lose an alpha.”
“And so the local authorities concluded that falling into a wood chipper was an accidental death?” Devon shook his head.
“It happens,” Karma’s eyes flew to the redheaded stranger in the room, “unfortunately.” She took a deep breath and continued. “According to the report, Jerrell was drinking, he made the chipper his bed, and passed out, and when the workers came in the next morning and turned on the machine,” she swallowed hard, “…the rest is detailed in the report.” Even Karma looked sick as she gave what little details she could.
“Come on!” Frankie blurted out. “I mean, unbelievable.” She followed her statement of disbelief with one of astonishment when all eyes turned toward her.
“Frankie’s right. Seems a little impossible.” Devon backed his partner up.
Karma shrugged. “Freak accidents happen all the time, I myself have been responsible for a few of them when karmatic justice is delivered. Not chipper accidents, mind you.” She shuddered. “It’s a little too gruesome for my taste, but last year alone there were fourteen deaths by wood chippers across the country.”
“So death by freak accident.” DeLuca rolled her eyes. “Were there any witnesses?”
“Not any according to the report. A good friend of the deceased had been there, but when he left Jerrell was alive, and when he returned in the morning he was the one to start the machine. What makes this peculiar is the gruesomeness of the death ensured that the alpha wouldn’t survive.” Karma clicked the remote again and the next face appeared on the screen. “We know how to kill paranormal creatures, but the humans don’t. That leads me to believe these killings, if they turn out to be murders, are by a supernatural, or at the very least, preternatural with a lot of information.”
The agents cast glances at each other and the screen, but none spoke so Karma continued. “Frankie and Fang will go to Washington to investigate a little further.”
“Persephone and Tucker, I want you two to take a second look at the suspicious death of Libby Good. She is a witch that died by drowning in her bathtub.”
“Were there any defensive marks?” Persephone DeLuca raised a dark eyebrow.
“No, and there were no bruises on the body to indicate she was held down either.” Karma answered the next obvious question.
The group started flipping through the files again.
“What connects these two together?”
“They are part of the Order.” Jasmine supplied the answer. She looked at the two strangers in the room. “So are the two of you.”
“Very good, Jasmine.” Karma smiled warmly.
“That is why we believe one of us are next.” The small woman with shiny, red hair and twinkling blue eyes joined the conversation. Her voice held a soft Irish lilt.
The second woman with long black hair and olive skin nodded. “Usually, we wouldn’t be concerned with something like this. We’re very capable in handling our own affairs. The problem is this threat is taking down our best operatives.”
All eyes turned to the two women. The ginger woman offered a grin that didn’t touch her eyes. “We come to you asking for sanctuary. Our team was disbanded a month ago. Once we’ve been retired, we’re on our own. My name is Mackenna, but my friends call me Red. The dead on the screen were my friends, and at one time, teammates.”
“And I’m Olivia,” the dark-haired woman who carried a holstered sword between her shoulder blades added. These two women looked far more dangerous than they had first appeared. Frankie didn’t know what the Order was, but she had a feeling it wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
“Okay, I’ll bite. What’s the Order?” Frankie asked after a long silence stretched between them like an abandoned highway. Both gave her the creeps.
“The Order works for the Fates, my mother and aunts. Their job is to simply keep destiny on track for major players.” Karma began.
“Game changers. If someone whose path impacts large numbers of people, and the fate of nations is not on track, it is our job to help them back on the rails, so to speak.” Red offered.
“So you manipulate fate.” Frankie now understood why they were here. It was an odd form of nepotism.
“No one manipulates fate. It has already been decided. We just help it along.” Olivia’s tone was stern leaving no room for argument.
“And you think someone is trying to kill you all?” Devon asked.
“We’re a six person team, and two of us are dead within a month of leaving the Order. Supernaturals are hard to kill.” Red added, “Order members are far more difficult to terminate.”
“Libby was excited to go home and learn her heritage, not to mention she was a water witch. There is no way she could drown. Water was her friend.” Olivia’s tone sounded odd.
“Jerrell was in love, and he was the new alpha for Washington State. He had everything to fight for.” Red added.
“In love? With who?” DeLuca asked.
“Me.” Red answered. “He was happy.”
“Sometimes people are good at hiding how…” Tucker used a soothing voice, like a comforting hand on the shoulder as he began to question the witness.
Red rushed up on him, inches from his face, “I’m not a na├»ve civilian. I’ve lived centuries as a Nephilim. I know how people can hide feelings and thoughts. Don’t patronize me, boy.”
“Down, Red.” Karma commanded. “My agents are only trying to help. If you prefer, we can let you handle your own investigation.”
Red backed up, but the glare from her stone-cold eyes caused Frankie to shiver. She didn’t like this angel half breed, and would be happy when the case was over.
“I’d like Devon to run point, and Jasmine and Dev can stay here guarding Red and Olivia while you investigate the crime scenes. Then return here, and we’ll coordinate next steps.” Karma snapped the screen off and sat down at her desk, dismissing them.


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