|Posted by Sandi Bischoff on October 6, 2016 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
From the edge of the clearing a dark figure lurked among the shadows. Weaving between the trees, the uninvited guest tried to get as close as he could to the soft music and candle lit tent behind the grand blue Victorian mansion. Muffled conversation and laughter drifted in his direction on the crisp February breeze.
Something inside him ached to be a part of it. To slip inside the tent and watch the celebration up close and personal. He’d never known true happiness. Never witnessed the purest form of love these people were now basking in. What he wouldn’t give to feel it for himself, just once.
Yeah, sure, and pigs will one day sprout wings and fly away.
A vibration in his back pocket stopped him in his tracks. Drakkar pulled his cellphone out glancing at the screen. Narrowing his eyes at the caller’s name, he debated about answering it. What was the worst that could happen? With any luck ignoring her would have him thrown out on the street in no time. In fact that was the lesser of two evils.
Swiping his thumb across the screen he closed his eyes readying for the rant that was about to come. All it took was a split second. His mother’s shriek made his ears bleed.
“Drakkar! Where the hell have you been? I’ve been trying to call you for hours.” Absinthe’s voice was hard and cold. It resembled nothing a mother worried about her only son’s whereabouts would sound like.
“I was in class. What do you want?” He snarled back at her. It was all a lie but she had no clue. Absinthe only cared about herself.
“That’s no way to address me, Drakaar. You forget I can have your pathetic existence squashed at any moment.” She threatened.
“So you keep reminding me.” It was getting to the point where he wished she would make good on her threat. At least then he could be free of her. Counting to ten he relaxed slightly. “Was there something you needed?” Mommy Dearest.
“Much better.” She purred making his skin crawl. “I need you to come directly home after school gets out. Something has come up.”
Oh for the love of…
Drakaar strained his neck to see two people sneaking out of the tent. The wolf and his bride made a quick check of their surroundings before disappearing through glass French doors. His sensitive hearing caught the sweet sound of her voice just as she whispered her love to him. With a growl the wolf kicked the door shut. The silhouette of the groom carrying his bride across the room vanished around a corner inside the house. The reflected glow from Drake’s eyes dimmed against the bark of the tree he hid behind.
“Drakaar?” Absinthe’s voice broke his concentration.
Gritting his teeth, he shrugged off the invisible hand he knew she would have placed on his shoulder. “What?”
“I said I need you home. Are you well? You don’t sound like yourself.”
He wasn’t fooled by the concern in her voice. Absinthe could care less if something was bothering him. The only reason she might even give it a second thought was if the issue interfered with her plans. Gods forbid he might be feeling, worrying or even needing something. If it didn’t concern her, his mother didn’t want to be bothered.
Glancing back toward the large white tent, Drakkar noticed people starting to leave. He shrunk back into the brush allowing the branches to swallow him. “Fine. I’ll be there.”
“Excellent. Do try to not be late.” And then the Poison Princess was gone.
“Thanks for small favors.” He whispered.
There was no point in telling her he cut out early to spy on the wedding. It would only piss her off and that was something he could do without. Ever since Bonatelli reared his ugly head, his mother did a complete one eighty on him. He used to actually believe Absinthe loved him. Now, he caught her looking at him with disgust. Even when she spoke to him it was infused with venom half of the time.
Yet, as he sat in the weeds watching the way her enemies interacted and spoke to each other, it was evident what he endured was not normal. Bonatelli and his cohorts did not seem to be the monsters Absinthe painted them to be. He actually treated everyone he met with a loving respect, especially his very pregnant wife. There was no mistaking what he saw between Jared and his soon to be Queen, unconditional -I’d die to protect you- love.
When had Absinthe ever treated him that way? The answer -never.
Drakkar slipped his phone in the side pocket of the backpack resting beside him before swinging it over his shoulder. A slight tingle on the back of his neck hinted sunrise was coming soon. If he sat here wishing on fairytales much longer, his mother’s wrath would be the least of his problems.
He was just about to turn and leave when the scent of strawberries hit him. Inhaling deeply, Drakkar looked toward the tent. A couple emerged accompanied by a black haired girl roughly his age. The scent grew stronger when the girl’s toffee colored eyes gazed in his direction. He couldn’t move. Just one look from her and he was paralyzed.
Drake’s gums began to throb painfully. He covered his mouth just as his fangs began to descend in his mouth and ducked deeper into the brush. The way his body reacted to the human confused him. He’d been around his mother’s human servants all of his life and he never had the urge to claim any of them. He did feed from them on occasion but this was different. Something inside him wanted her as his.
“I have to get out of here.”
He glanced back in her direction in time to see her slip on a patch of ice in the driveway. It was all he could do to hold himself back from running to her side and helping her. The tall human male next to her reached out to keep her from falling. Drake growled taking a few steps forward stopping before he exposed his hiding place. He watched her smile her thanks at the man and duck inside the car waiting for them. Once all three humans were safely inside, the limousine pulled away driving right past him and out to the main road.
Drakkar fell back against a tree. What the hell just happened to me?
The cell phone in his bag started vibrating again. There was only one person it could be. Drake pulled it out and looked at the screen. Absinthe’s name glared back at him. “Leave me the fuck alone!” he snarled hurling the phone across the property.
Maybe that wasn’t the brightest thing he had ever done but it felt good to be rid of her if only for the moment. He’d come back tomorrow and retrieve it. Not like anyone would be out during the day here anyway.
Voices in the tent behind him gradually grew silent alerting him to the fact he was finally alone. The tingle in the back of his neck grew stronger. His reaction to the female cost him dearly. It was possible he wouldn’t make it home before sunrise now. Rather than pick his way back down the hill to where his ride was hidden, Drake opted for the quick leave vanishing into the morning fog.
#vampire #shifter #magic #Camelot
#paranormal #fantasy #newadult #youngadult #comingsoon
|Posted by Sandi Bischoff on March 22, 2013 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
Beyond the Sun
By ~ Sandra Bischoff
Genre ~ ParanormalRomance
Fifteen years ago, Jared Bonatelli had it all. The youngest son of one of the founding families in the Conservatorship of The Dark Order he lived a life you only thought existed in novels and nightmares. He had just graduated from Oxford University and became engaged to his childhood sweetheart when he lost it all in one violent act. The very next day he found himself shipped off to New Orleans with only the money in his pocket and whatever he could fit in one suitcase. Since that night, he has suffered reliving his fiancé’s murder repeatedly in his dreams. It isn’t until he finds himself summoned back to New York for an emergency meeting of the Conservatorship that the comfortable world he lives in begins to crumble around him.
Alexandra Toscano has been searching for the one assignment that could catapult her journalistic career. When her editor Gene O’Hanlon drops a manila folder in her lap, Alex is immediately skeptical. At first glance, the information he hands her seems like a publicity piece that is until she comes across an article he wrote some fifteen years ago about Vampires murdering a young woman in Central Park. She isready to laugh it off as a work of fiction until he points out he was an eye witness to the whole thing. But that wasn’t all. The girl’s boyfriend was amember of a prominent Italian family who vanished the very next day.
Now as Alex begins to dig deeper into Jared’s life, she begins to question her own past. Could the answer she seeks befound in the glowing eyes of the one person she is sworn to expose? Or will they both find themselves torn apart by a world Beyond the Sun?
I can currently be found at: http://sandibischoff.webs.com
Andon Twitter as @SandiBischoff
|Posted by Sandi Bischoff on October 28, 2010 at 4:23 PM||comments (0)|
I always thought I had a story in me. I don’t know what makes me think I can make it in the writing business, I just have to try. I mean, I’m no different than anyone else on the New York Times best seller list. They all had to start somewhere. Most of them sat exactly where I currently am today, querying left and right waiting for that invitation.
After all, I write online all the time and friends go out of their way to tell me how talented I am. “You should write a book” they say. To which I now reply “been there, done that.” Only problem is I don’t have any takers. The Agents and Publishers I submit my queries and samples to kindly send back the “Thanks but we don’t think this is the right fit for us at this time. We wish you luck in your writing career.” Blah blah blah… Rejection after rejection, little by little they chip away at your confidence and soul until you are an empty shell, still writing.
But for whom?
Obviously I’ll write for me, for the pure enjoyment of creating new worlds and characters who are there simply for me. But is there really a market out there for my stuff? Will anyone ever take that chance on me?
If I don’t try I’ll never know.
So here I sit countless hours out of the day staring at my laptop. Clothes wait to be laundered, dishes pile up forgotten in the sink and the dog hair tumbleweeds slowly drift aimlessly across the hardwood floor. All while I sit here and put heart and soul into a story that is as important to me as my family. In fact I think of each character as a member of my family. Too bad they only exist in my head or trapped in a computer and thumb drive waiting for their moment to shine. For when they finally find their way to paper my hope is that they will join someone else’s family. Maybe then they won’t feel so alone, because that’s what they are right now, alone.
Until that one special person finally takes a chance on me. I know they are out there. I just have to find them.
|Posted by Sandi Bischoff on September 14, 2010 at 1:09 PM||comments (0)|
“Explain to me again why I have to do this?”
Zephyr rolled his eyes heavenward. “What part of protecting the heir to the throne didn’t you get the first time? There are many out there who want him dead. You, Gods forbid, are his first in command. It’s your job.”
Lance tested the weight of the blade in his hand and frowned. This was definitely not his choiceof weapon, never had been. He preferred to do things a little more hands on, fangs to throat to be exact. Ah, to feel the snapping of bone and cartilage while his victim’s blood floods his mouth. There’s nothing quite like it.
“I just don’t see the need for it. I’m a shifter. The wolf in me can handle anything. Swordplay is just not my style.” He stabbed the tip of his moonlit blade into the grassbefore him. He had his powers that should be enough. It was before.
Zephyr growled but didn’t lower his own blade. Instead he advanced slicing the air only a fraction of an inch from Lance’s nose. “There may be a time when the wolf fails to appear. What will you do? With no other skills Jared is left unprotected. Should he fend for himself then?”
Lance jumped back into a crouch, his lip curling into a snarl exposing a long set of fangs. “Jared has nothing to worry about.”
“Then put your money where your mouth is.” Zephyr pulled Lance’s blade free and tossed it to him. “Attack me.”
Catching the sword in one hand, Lance rose and began to circle around his opponent. He was never one to shy away from a challenge, especially when his ability to protect his charge was questioned. His eyes narrowed as he weighed Zephyr for a weakness. Unfortunately for him the man didn’t seem to have one. The power this vampire possessed was beyond his understanding. He never met another like him and that alone spoke volumes in their world.
“You’re not going to let this go are you?”
Zephyr chuckled. “Consider me like a dog with a bone. Now try and take it away, pup.”
“What is wrong with all of you? I’m a wolf not a dog!” A menacing growl rumbled in Lance’s throat and he advanced swinging. The clash and clang of steel rang in the darkness from the vigorous onslaught as he tried to drive Zephyr back. The only problem with that was while he put everything he had into each and every thrust, the vampire wasn’t even breaking a sweat. At one point he blinked because the bastard had the nerve to actually yawn!
“Boring you am I?”Lance huffed with his next swing and lost his balance. The momentum caused him to miss his target completely and stumble past him. If that wasn’t humiliating enough, Zephyr brought the broadside of his sword down across his backside smacking him just hard enough that he landed face first in the lawn. Spitting out his mouthful of grass he lay there for a few moments in disbelief that he couldn’t place one good strike, not one. What the hell was wrong with him?
“I can answer that for you, you know.” Zephyr placed his sword on his shoulder as he watched Lance collect himself.
“Would you quit reading my thoughts? It’s friggin irritating as hell!” He pushed himself up and grabbed his own blade before stomping off toward the patio. “Besides, you cheat.” He dropped onto a lounge chair and wiped the sweat from his brow with a towel before downing a whole bottle of water. When he was done he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand before sighing.
“I never cheat. It’s your skill that’s lacking. Your father must be turning in his grave.” He sat on the wall across from Lance and shook his head. “I can’t believe you are of his blood. Lancelot would be devastated.”
“Hey, leave the sperm donor out of this. It’s not like he was around to train me or anything.” Leaning back on the lounge he stared at the stars above them. “Just because he fathered me doesn’t mean I have his ability.”
“Well that’s obvious.” Zephyr scoffed at him. “But that’s why I’m here, Lance. I want to make you the same indestructible being he was. Jared deserves no less.”
Lance glared at him. “You don’t think I know that? Hell, why don’t you just do it then?”
Zephyr shook his head. “Because it’s not my destiny, it’s yours. I’m only here to make sure things fall as they were meant to be.”
“Well that just sucks!”
“You could say that.” Zephyr slapped his hands on his knees and grinned. “But not as much as the next few hours are going to suck for you. Get your hairy ass of that chair you have work to do.”
Lance stared at him for a few moments before croaking, “Hours?”
“Yes. Hours.” Zephyr stood picked up his blade and headed back out onto the lawn. When he turned to face Lance he wore an evil smile and crooked his finger. “Let’s go, I don’t have all night.”
Groaning he pushed himself up and trudged out to meet his torture. “With any luck the sun will come up over those trees and roast your pale ass.” He lifted his blade and readied himself for his next lesson.
“Ha! You couldn’t be so lucky!” With barely another warning Zephyr when on the attack and Lance did everything in his power to protect himself. After the first few seconds he knew… it was going to be a long night.
* * *
She sat on the edge of the open stone window, her feet curled underneath her, staring out past the great moat and green fields below. Her soft leather shoes had been discarded long ago and now sat forgotten on the cold stone floor beneath her.The window offered hardly any protection from the cold moist air that now blew through the portal whipping the strawberry blonde strands about her face that escaped her braid. Absently she brushed it back trying to tuck it behind her ear never looking away from the muted grey horizon before her, searching.
The early morning dew had begun to collect on the fields giving it an eerie glow, one that could only be described as of the Fae. It was that vision that had her coming here in the early hours before the rest of the castle awoke to be about their day. It was in these stolen minutes that she found her solace. At this hour there was no one questioning where she had been, no one berating her for her unladylike behaviors. Here she was totally alone.
Elizabeth hugged her knees and the hem of her sleeping tunic inched up baring her toes to the cool air. Gooseflesh erupted up the length of her arm and she pulled the blanket draped across her shoulders a little tighter in response still unwilling to leave her perch. Her emerald eyes sparkled as the moisture in the air collected on her lashes making them heavy. A yawn threatened but she fought it off not wanting to break the spell playing out before her. Only a few moments more…
Nay! Not yet! They can’t have found me. I only need another moment or two.
A soft knock onthe door caused her to stiffen. “M’lady please, the King found your solar empty and has his men scouring the castle for you.”
Lady Elizabeth blinked and the magic of the morn was lost. It didn’t surprise her. Every day she searched the horizon for something but it always seemed beyond her reach. Her shoulders sagged and a sigh escaped her lips before climbing down from the ledge. When her feet met the floor she shivered and quickly slipped them inside the cold leather of her shoes and made haste toward the door. Pulling it open she glanced in either direction before dragging her startled maid inside and closing it silently. She held her finger to her lips urging the girl into silence only moments before footsteps sounded in the passageway.
Elizabeth stood with her ear against the wooden surface listening to the deep voice on the other side. “She has to be here somewhere. Find her and return her to Arthur. I shall take to the allure whilst the rest of you search indoors.”
Sir Bors was the first to speak, “Aye Galahad we’ll have her safe and sound in no time.” The rest of the men chimed in with their approval and began to disassemble each going off to search their own area.
Leaning against the door she closed her eyes and let out the breath she was holding. Why did having a moment to oneself entail so much havoc? After a few seconds she lifted her gaze to meet that of her maid and cringed at the frown she received. Not only was she in trouble she had dragged the poor girl down with her. “Beatrix, I’m sorry. I never meant…” Her words died on her lips when she realized there was no way she could make this right. Their only option was to return to her solar and await her punishment for disobeying the order to stay within its walls.
“M’lady, if I may?” Bea’s frown softened and Elizabeth nodded slowly waiting for her friend to chastise her. “The King only looks out for your welfare. He wouldn’t want any harm to befall his foster child. Mayhap if you just explain…”
“NAY! I cannot tell him or anyone else why I sneak away. They would consider me mad.” She began nibbling her bottom lip and wringing her hands. Her green eyes plead for tolerance. “No one would understand. The Fae or something within the forest calls to me. I hear it in my dreams yet when I try to look from here, it eludes me.”
“I think you need more rest, M’lady.” Bea moved closer and lay a gentle hand on her arm. “Let us get you back to your chamber. It would be better if we arrived there first,don’t you think?”
Again she nodded and allowed her maid to lead her into the passageway. They hadn’t made it more than a few steps before they met Sir Galahad. He leaned casually against the wall arms folded across his chest. Elizabeth inclined her chin with a raised brow in silent challenge, waiting. His piercing blue eyes seemed to assess her in the dim light and just when she thought he would scold her for leading them on a wild goose chase he offered her his arm. “Lady Elizabeth, I do believe you are late for breaking your fast. Allow me to escort you back to your chamber so you may dress appropriately before we attend the King.”
He smiled gently as she took his arm. Then taken completely by surprise she felt him lean down to whisper in her ear, “I’ll not impart your secret. We all deserve a little adventure in our lives. No harm was done anyway.” He straightened and gifted her with a wink before leading their small party to her room allowing her maid to follow silently behind them, smiling.
|Posted by Sandi Bischoff on September 8, 2010 at 10:06 PM||comments (1)|
The soft hiss of steel on steel wasbarely audible as she stood over his sleeping form. She had crossed the gleaming blades of hertwin short swords resting the tip of each on either side of his neck on thepillow beneath him. It would be so easyfor her to free herself of his existence. Ian had never made her life easy, complicated and aggravating maybe, buteasy never. That just wasn’t his style.
He inhaled deeply and she found her resentment for the fact he still lived rising. Why couldn’t it have been he that perished instead of her family that night? He was, after all, the one who betrayed them. But no, instead he showed his true colors and joined forces with the demonic war lord who sought to enslave her entire village. Not even the Dark Order had arrived in time to save them. Regardless of his many protests to the contrary, Echelon always knew Ian had intercepted the messenger to the King, killing him.
Unfortunately, that was almost four hundred years ago.
Her lip curled into a sneer. Yes, and that point being? There was no amount of time that could ever pass to make her forgive him. What he had done was unforgivable. He had betrayed her trust, something she did not give lightly.
She inched the blades closer to his skin, just skimming the surface. The evil smile on her lips didn’t even reach the black pools of pure malice that were her eyes. To end his life now would be the answer to ridding herself of eternal misery, and all it would take was…
She was pulled from the fantasy of his death by the deep melodic timber of his voice. Echelon cursed inwardly at her distraction as her seething gaze met the vibrant green of his own. Gritting her teeth, she finally let the cold steel touch his skin to bite through his flesh.
“Don’t call me that.”
“What? Lana? It’s what I’ve always called you. Why should I stop now?”
“NO! You lost the right of that familiarity a long time ago Ian!”
He sighed. “You’re still mad aren’tyou? Come on Lana it’s been three hundred years already.”
“I said,” she let the blades cut a hair deeper and blood began to seep onto the pillow. “Don’t call me that! The naive girl who held that name died a long time ago at your hands. And for the record, it was three hundred years forty two days eleven hours thirty three minutes and ten seconds…make that eleven seconds.”
“Technical much? Being angry at me isn’t going to change what happened.”
“Maybe not but it is enough to fuel the fact I still want to bleed you dry. If it weren’t for you, my family would still be here.”
Ian’s eyes flashed angrily as he wrapped his long fingers around her wrists. “You don’t think I lost anything that night do you? For your information Lana, I lost everything. I lost my life, my child, my freedom…I lost you.”
“THAT was your own doing, Ian. Had you not delivered us into Beladon’s hands…” Tears welled upin her eyes as she thought of all that would be different. “You’re the one who decided to dance with thedevil that night, not I. Yet we all paid the price for it, didn’t we?”
His eyes softened a bit while mumbling, “Some more than others.” Ian freed her hands and dematerialized before her eyes.
Echelon let out an earth shattering scream just before slicing the bedding to shreds. “You Son of a BITCH! Get back here you coward!” She stabbed the pillow where his head had been only moments before delighting in the blizzard of down that erupted. Feathers coated the bed and stuck in her hair as she continued to mutilate the pillow. If only it had been his blood instead.
Moments later while slicing down the center of the mattress, she felt the familiar tingle in the nape of her neck alerting her to the fact he had returned. She spun on him training one sword on the hollow of his neck while the other was held ready at her side in case heattacked. Echelon swallowed with difficulty against the lump in her throat. She wanted to believe it was from the pain he caused her. However she would only be lying to herself if she did. She hadn’t seen him in centuries and looking at him now, Echelon knew he still held some sort of power over her. She hated him for that.
Ian stood before her in full armor black as night, the emblem of a golden dragon emblazoned on his chest. He was the epitome of authority and honor, too bad he didn’t know the meaning of the word. His hair, dark as a raven’s wing, fell loose to his shoulder and his piercing green eyes kept a close watch on the blade before him. To his credit, while he flexed his hands at his sides, Ian made no move to force her to his will. Even though Echelon knew he could. He had a grim smile plastered on his lips while he lifted the strong angle of his chinsilently daring her to take her shot.
|Posted by Sandi Bischoff on September 8, 2010 at 9:45 PM||comments (0)|
It was well after closing and the only sound to be heard was the gentle clink of glasses being restocked in the VIP section and the occasional murmur of whispered endearments between Fina and Eric. But Mikhail hardly heard any of it through the open door. His attention was monopolized by the photo card he lifted off the floor hours ago.
Sitting back in his leather chair, he idly swirled a glassof Cognac. The aroma from the slow moving liquid wafted up and engulfed his senses, relaxing him as he stared at the minute card. He had placed it in itscurrent location earlier and had all but forgotten it even existed, until now. Such a small insignificant thing yet it held at least one image of a face that had been plaguing his every thought since the object of his obsession stormed out of the club.
Lucky for both of them, the demon in him had kept his trap shut since then. Even that little bugger seemed perplexed by the whole situation. Or maybe the thing had developed a conscience and decided to take a breather for a while. Uh huh and he was to return to his former life and be the Czar he was meant to be. Not Bloody likely!
Mik took a sip of his drink before setting it down on the smoke glass top of his desk. Exchanging the snifter for his mouse, he moved it slightly to bring the laptop out of its slumber. He then slipped the card into the slot on the side of the computer and waited for the images to load while drumming his gloved fingers on the arm of his chair. Within moments the icon appeared and he began flipping through the multitude of images. Fortunately none of them exposed anything of importance, just general pictures of the staff, nothing really remarkable. It seemed hardly worth his time to destroy it.
He was about to just erase it when he came across the last picture. It was the one taken just before the camera was shattered on the dance floor. Mikhail clicked the mouse to enlarge a portion of the photo while lifting his glass once again. He sat staring at the angry blue eyes looking back at him. Moments after this photo had been taken that anger had been replaced by an almost tangible fear, but of what? What had her so scared? She had been quite fine and holding her own with him. He would never have pegged her as camera shy.
“Ms Avery, What has you so on guard?” He let his gloved fingers drift across the line of her frown on the screen. Something inside him splintered over the misery he had caused and for whatever had hurt her before him. That something made him want to take away the pain. For some God forsaken reason he wanted to see her smile rather than scowl at him, hear her laugh instead of cursing his very existence. He wanted… Did it really matter what he wanted?
A low whistle from the other side of the room pulled him from his thoughts. “My Brother…. You’ve got it bad.”
Mik took a deep breath before glaring at Jon over the top of his computer screen. He and the tiger had been through so much together that he was probably the only one who could speak as freely as he did. Well there was that and then there was the fact that since Jon became mated he was absolutely unbearable.
“And just what might I have so badly?” His left brow rose ashe smirked.
Jon flashed his Cheshire grin as he pushed off the door jamb he was leaning on. “Do I really have to spell it out for you, Alexei? You forget I’ve known you longer than anyone else here. I can see what no one else sees.” He rounded the desk and leaned back on the book shelf behind Mik’s chair to view the screen. “She really is something else, reminds me of Anastasia. Don’t you think?”
Mik frowned at his assessment. He hadn’t really thought about it but there was the same defiance reflected in her eyes that he had seen time after time in his sister. However, his sister would never have run from a simple photograph. “I don’t have any idea what you are speaking of. And need I repeat this again…” He turned narrowing his dark eyes on his friend. “Alexei isdead. He died in that basement almost a century ago.”
Jon rubbed his stubbled chin and carefully regarded Mik. “So you keep telling me, but I know he’s in there. And tonight he was out in full force. Didn’t you feel it? Didn’t you recognize the boy who wanted to protect what was his?”
Mik slammed the laptop shut and spun his chair to face Jon head on. “That boy saw his family slaughtered around him while he was helpless to move. He failed them when it came down to slaying the bastard who pulled the trigger. The only reason the first bullet didn’t kill him was the jewels his mother packed around his chest inside his shirt. They were so thick he couldn’t breathe, so thick they were the perfect armor to protect him. Only there was nothing to protect the Golden Prince from a bullet to the skull was there.” He snarled through gritted teeth.
Never one to back off a fight Jon pressed on into the open wound. “You were a child, Alexei. No one expected you to fight off an army. You and I trained well together,but I knew you were still too inexperienced to fend off that many and survive. Had we known what was happening, my family and I would have stopped it. You know that.”
Mik’s gloved fingers bit into the arms of his chair. “It was not your fight to win, Jon. Hell, your kind shouldn’t even have been anywhere near us!”
Jon grew quiet. “Very true. However, if we hadn’t, I’d most likely be dead with the rest of my family.”
“Or you’d be still living in that frozen tundra of Siberia.”
Jon chuckled at that. “And that was better than coming to America how? There I had to hunt and kill to survive. Here…” He spread his arms wide with a grin. “My only worry is how long I can keep my lovely wife in our bed before my cell rings. You know you have the uncanny ability to call at the most inopportune moment.”
A loud snort cut the air between them. “Life is not only about getting laid. You have a job here and regardless of everything else, you know I trust you more than all of them. Hell, I couldn’t even tell my own cousin I existed in this time and now my last blood relative is dead. But I get it… no more daytime calls unless it’s life and death.”
“It’s not just the calls, bro. You’ve been the most miserable guy I know since SHE left, again.” Jon let out a low growl. “I told her I’d kill her if she hurt you a second time. Let me make good on that promise.”
Mikhail shook his head as he rose and walked to the two way mirrors over looking the club below. “Hurting Giovanna would only cause a war. We both know the Gods would have your hide for it. Do you really think I’m prepared to lose you as well? My life is nothing but suffering, Jonathan. As a child, as a young man and now as a this Demon I’ve become, I am eternally cursed to suffer.”
Jon put a heavy hand on Mik’s shoulder and sighed. “Do you really believe that? Do you think they would have spared your life back then if you weren’t meant for something good?” He turned and opened the laptop revealing Sheridan once more. “Maybe what you’ve been waiting for is staring you right in the face and you are just too blinded by your own misery to see it. What if…. What if this woman is the one, Alexei? What if after all this time she is the one to set you free? Do you want to risk losing that?”
He looked back over his shoulder at the angry blue eyes set in a perfect porcelain face surrounded by a halo of silken blonde hair. “While I don’t believe there is to be a means to the end of my curse, I do believe that there is definitely something off with her.”
Jon watched him carefully. “Just as I said. You’ve got it bad.”
“You said that already. It’s getting a little old don’t you think?”
“I only speak the truth. Tell me you don’t feel the need to protect her or at least kill the one who has her running scared.” Jon folded his arms across his chest while he continued to prod Mik. “I can recognize the instinct. I happen to know it very well remember?”
“I am NOT a shifter, Jon. I don’t get those animal instincts you’re talking about. Whatever it is you think you see is just your overactive imagination.” He continued to stare at Sheridan’s face for what seemed like a lifetime. Though he protested against everything Jon was saying he couldn’t deny the fact, the reality, that he did feel something when he looked at her.Though what that was he couldn’t say.
“No. You’re not a shifter but you are a demon. And as a demon you do have certain animal traits. Of them I can plainly recognize the need to protect his mate… to the death if need be. Now couple that with whom you really are and you can see where I’m going with this.” Jon pushed away from the bookshelf and crossed the room to the door turning back at the last second to look once again at his friend. “Don’t make the mistake of closing yourself off to the possibility. We all deserve to find the one that completes us. Why should you be any different?”
Mik inclined his chin in Jon’s direction. “And just when did you become Oprah?”
“If you mean a middle aged, wealthy black woman… not since the last time I looked in the mirror. But if you’re talking about what I said,well, it took bearing my soul to finally see what was staring me in the face the whole time.”
“Fine for you. You have a soul or did you forget that.”
“Yes, I have a soul. Come on Alexei, just because you gave yours up to protect humans, you did not give up your heart as well. Protect your human. Slay whatever demons are after her but do not close yourself off to the possibility of love.”
Mikhail leaned on the desk in front of him as Jon left in silence. Could Jon be right? God he didn’t even want to explore the implications of that. Besides he and Sheridan couldn’t even be in the same room without fighting. He was a total ass toward her and deserved everything she gave him and more. It was completely unlike him to attack someone like he did. There was no excuse for it either.
Glancing back at the computer screen he let his fingers trace her features once again. “Well Ms. Avery, it seems you have found a most unlikely ally. I only hope when it is all over we are both still alive to savor the victory.”