Wing Slayer Hunters Series, Book 4.5 (A Novella)
Jennifer Lyon Books (April 10, 2012)
Wing Slayer Hunter, Ram Virtos, must find his soul mirror witch and convince her to mate with him before his Thunderbird tattoo kills him. But while that witch might be able to save Ram’s life, it is the mysterious Ginny Stone who inflames his passion.
Ginny has been deeply fascinated by Ram for months, but dared not act on it or she’d be torn from her mortal life on earth and thrust into her dreaded destiny as a half-breed angel. But when her beloved brother’s soul is at stake, she must do the one thing she both fears and desires…
Take Ram to her bed.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from Forbidden Magic by Jennifer Lyon Copyright © 2012 by Jennifer Apodaca. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Jennifer Apodaca.
Ramsey Virtos needed one thing.
Before the thinnest thread of his famed self control snapped. If that happened, the monster he kept locked down inside of him would break free.
That creature would butcher any witch it could find to harvest the power in her blood. Then Ram would become the one thing he fought against on the streets every damned night of his life—a soulless rogue.
That was his mission, the one that had him turning away without a word from the concerned faces of Wing Slayer Hunter Kieran DeMicca and his mate, the fertility witch, Roxy.
Screw their concern. They had known for a week, a fucking week!
Known that the cause of the new energy winging through him as if he’d had an electrical cord shoved up his ass was not from a supersized weapon as he’d believed.
It was from his soul mirror, the one witch who could break the curse riding him, making him crave the blood of witches. He had inadvertently crossed paths with his soul mirror and somehow activated the live-wire feeling hounding him.
Oh but it got better. This witch who held the fate of his soul in her hands?
She’d run rather than mate with him. Well, if she was expecting him to come after her, she was doomed to disappointment.
Ram did not chase witches. Ever.
He shot down the stairs from the second floor condos at inhuman speed. He ignored the warehouse on his right that served as the Wing Slayer Hunters’ headquarters. Instead, he headed into the nightclub next door, Axel of Evil.
Shit, he cursed, the door hitting him in the ass as his gaze traveled to every table, every dark corner. The club was already closed. Empty.
Except for one woman. Her scent cut through the fading stink of sweat, stale perfume, and lingering sex like a spring rain. Clean, sweet, tantalizing—and familiar.
She was moving around the club beneath the harsh house lights, checking on everything, and probably waiting for her brother, Wing Slayer Hunter Eli Stone, to pick her up. She’d taken off the black and red apron the wait staff wore, leaving her in her street clothes.
Hot lust drove blood right to Ram’s groin.
Oh hell no. He wasn’t letting her see him like this, wired to fuck or kill. This was the part of him he tried to shield her from. He cared about her opinion, didn’t want her to see his dark side. Ginny was his weakness. His mate, he wouldn’t even recognize. But Ginny was the one thing he wanted but would never have as anything more than a friend.
She was too young at twenty-three, too innocent and way too good for him—while he was thirty six, and a highly trained killing machine who kept his emotions on ice. Ram had gone into the Navy, then the SEALs, only to retire and vanish into a branch of the armed forces so black, so secret, only those who served and a handful of civilians knew they existed. Ram had spent a decade in hellholes all over the world, rooting out evils few could imagine and stay sane.
He didn’t have any business around something as sweet and real as the woman across the room from him. He swore silently, admitting a truth to himself. His internal clock had known damn well the club was closed.
It was Ginny he had come for. Seeking her out was becoming a habit. Goddamn, he was getting good at torturing himself.
Enough of that bullshit. He turned to leave.
He came to a halt, gripped by the sound of his name on her tongue.
“Hey, I didn’t see you there,” she continued. “I put a beer on ice for you in case you stopped by.”
He turned around, saw her walk to one of the two bars, slip behind the black acrylic countertop, and reach below to pull a bottle out. Unable to resist, he watched her graceful movements. He never tired of watching her. Damn he was bordering on sick-ass stalker syndrome.
Tell her no, dickhead. Leave. Don’t get any closer to her or you won’t be able to resist touching her.
But he didn’t move, just continued watching, caught in the web of Ginny. He thought back on the past few months when he would often stop by after closing, just to hang with her for a few minutes. Hear her laugh, inhale her scent.
Friends his ass.
He didn’t stare at his friends, imagining them naked and willingly putting themselves at his sexual mercy. He wanted Ginny submitting to him as he drove her to heights she’d never imagined.
Her exclamation pierced his thoughts and instead of doing the right thing, the smart thing, and leaving, he walked over to the bar. “What’s wrong?” When she didn’t answer, he rounded the bar and got one hell of an eyeful. From her high-heeled boots, slim jeans that showed off her wickedly long legs, and flat belly, to her breasts barely hidden in a black t-shirt. He lifted his gaze to her face.
Her body was rockin’ hot, but her face was a mix of elegance and mystery that made him want to study her. Learn the gentle shape of her jaw, the hollows of her cheeks, the curve of her cheekbones, and trace the sweep of her winged brows. Then he wanted to coax the story of her shifting eye color and the incredible radiance he sometimes spotted when looking at her, from her full lips.
The sudden metallic scent of her blood caught his attention. He dropped his gaze to her hand holding the beer. She’d caught her index finger on the bottle opener. Reaching out, Ram eased the cold bottle from her hand. Then he grabbed a bar towel and wrapped her bleeding finger.
She lifted her hazel eyes to his.
His guts clenched; his blood heated. Renewed tension snapped and sizzled in him. Her scent clouded his mind. It wasn’t witch blood, but the scent troubled him simply because he didn’t like the idea of her injured.
She tried to tug her hand from his. “My finger will heal in a second. Go ahead and drink your beer. Tell me about your night.”
While keeping hold of her injured finger, he caught her free hand in his so he held both her hands. “A second to heal?” While her brother was a Wing Slayer Hunter, Ginny should be mortal. Only men were Wing Slayer Hunters, plus Eli and Ginny had different fathers.
But looking at the light and shadows dancing in her hazel eyes reaffirmed his belief that she wasn’t mortal. Especially since he’d seen her wrapped up in an aura of light when she thought she was alone. Not that it mattered to him, but once again his curiosity had him wondering…
What was she?
“I meant to stop bleeding,” she said with a soft laugh. “Not heal.”
Shit, her laugh rolled down his spine and right to his cock. He stood so close to her, he could feel her breath caress his face. Need clawed at him. He dropped his gaze to her mouth.
She pulled her uncut hand from his grip and put it over his holding her towel-wrapped finger. “I can feel the tension in you. Bad night?”
She was deftly changing the subject. He dragged his gaze up to her face. Saw the concern as she focused on him was real, not just a diversion. Her smaller hand stroked his, the sensation of her touch ripping right through his will. “Yeah.”
“Want to talk about it?”
How many times had he talked to her? Or listened while she told him of her night? Shit, he was treading on dangerous territory here. He’d been able to cope before. Sure, he’d wanted to touch her, pull her to him and kiss her, but he’d kept his self control front and center.
Tonight was different.
Tonight control hadn’t walked into the club with him.
He should step back. Get some distance. He had to end this farce of a friendship right now before he did something they would both regret.
Bluntly, he said, “You can’t give me what I want, Ginny. We both know it.”
Her eyes widened, making her look so damned young. So…out of his reach. Then she curled her fingers around his hand. “Sex.”
A tiny zip of electricity sparked where she touched him. His brain cataloged it automatically, while his body zeroed in on her touch. Her word.
His guts churned with the raw truth. “We can’t do this friend thing anymore.”
She closed her eyes, her hand clutching his tighter. “You’re breaking up as friends with me. Dumping me.”
The pain in her voice made him furious at himself. He should never have started this lie of friendship with her. Leaning closer, he said, “You think I can’t scent the arousal on you, little one? If we spend another hour together, alone, I’m going to be buried so deep in you, I’ll be imprinted on your soul.”
Her breath quickened, and her eyes dilated as he watched. Ram knew he was lost. She wanted him.
Tell her, asshole. Tell her that you found out tonight your soul mirror, the witch with the other half of your soul, is out there somewhere. Ginny is not a woman to jump into bed with a man when another woman owns half his soul. Damn it, Ram sucked in a breath to do it.
But Ginny spoke first. “Sex is complicated for me. But if we’re really ending this, let’s do it with a kiss.” Her gaze shifted to his mouth. “I’ve always wanted to kiss you.” Then she rose up on her toes, so close he felt her breath on his lips.
His muscles went rigid as his blood powered through and swelled his cock to painful. He jerked his gaze to her mouth.
Her full lips were softly parted like an invitation.
Stand down! He told himself.
“Too dangerous,” he all but growled at her.
Ginny ignored him, leaned forward, and pressed her mouth to his. Her lips were warm and sweet. Her fingers dug into his arm. Hot spikes of lust pounded in him. Need, desire and…shit. He yanked back.
Ginny sank down to her heels, a flush riding her cheekbones. “That kiss was dangerous?”
Ram’s ears were buzzing; his balls ached but he stared at her with growing suspicion. He’d guessed Ginny wasn’t very experienced. But the mix of confusion and curiosity in her voice, along with her statement that sex was complicated for her, confirmed it.
And his natural dominance, his need exploded. If they were ending their relationship on a kiss, it’d damn well be an unforgettable one.
“That wasn’t a kiss.” A small part of his brain sent up warning flares for him to abort. But the bigger part of his brain was too drenched in the feel and scent of Ginny to listen.
She stared back at him, her face was flushed, her eyes bright. “No?”
Even her voice had a new breathlessness he’d never heard. He wanted to hear it again. Committed to an insanely treacherous mission now, he moved with determination. He wrapped his hands around her waist.
She barely flinched, then relaxed into his grip on her.
Christ, she couldn’t turn him on more if she stripped herself naked and spread out on the bar. He could see, smell, and taste her innocence, and yet, in her eyes, he saw layers of knowledge and mystery. And trust in him. “No. That was a peck.” He lifted her and settled her on the counter that ran beneath the bar. “You want to know what it’s really like to be kissed by trouble? Think hard before you answer.”
She put her hands on his shoulders. “I want to know what it’s like to be kissed by you. Really kissed.”
The contact blazed through his t-shirt right to his skin. Oh hell yeah. Ram slid his hands down her hips. Full and round, he savored the feel. Then he drew his palms down the tops of her thighs.
She shivered. More heat colored her skin, making her eyes nearly shimmer in contrast. She caught a deep breath. Her breasts strained against her shirt. Her scent filled his nose and throat.
This was what Ram loved, learning the sensuality of a woman as he held himself in rigid control. It was so fucking hot to get a woman’s trust to follow his orders and unleash as much pleasure as she could take.
But with Ginny?
Ram fought hard for control. For her. He’d show her a kiss that would sear her dreams. Fuck the warning flares going off deep in the jungles of his mind.
He wrapped his hands around her knees and pressed her legs open.
Her fingers dug into his shoulders as she obeyed.
Ram stepped in. Tight. He gave her no escape. He wanted to fill her vision, fill her senses. “You’re going to kiss me again. A real kiss, Ginny.”
She tilted her head back, staring at him. “A dangerous kiss.”
“It’ll be wet, Ginny.” He leaned closer, until he knew she’d feel his words as well as hear them. “I’m going to take command of your mouth. All of it.”
Her eyes glazed. And her mouth, Christ. Her pink tongue darted out, sweeping over her lips then disappearing. “Exactly what I’ve dreamed of.”
Damn she was killing him. He lifted his hands, cupping her face. Then he brushed his lips over hers. Pure heat blazed through Ram. He gave her a second and then he angled her head back and touched his tongue to hers.
She tasted so damned good. So fresh and bright, like clean water in the desert. Ram flexed his thighs and fought to keep control of the kiss.
Of the wild blazing lust snapping between them. Sliding an arm around her waist, he pushed her back until she lay on his arm and he consumed her. Tasted all of Ginny, learned every little shiver.
Felt her nipples tighten and bud against his chest.
Then he felt her slide her tongue into his mouth, at first tentative, but growing bolder.
And bolder. She reached up, burying her fingers into his hair, throwing herself into the kiss.
Damn, he wanted to strip off her clothes and keep tasting her.
Soul mirror! The words screamed in his mind.
He ripped his mouth from hers, lifting her upright. “Shit.” He reached out, grabbed the beer she’d opened for him, and drained half of it in a couple swallows.
It did nothing to cool his raging desire for her.
He drained the rest of the beer. Set it down, then looked over at her sitting to his left.
She met his gaze. “That was a hell of a kiss. Is it always like that for you? Are you that good?” Wonder tinged her tone, while desire thickened her voice.
Tearing his gaze from her swollen lips, he answered. “No. Never like that.” He wouldn’t lie to her. And he wanted the truth in return. “You’re a virgin.”
With her hands braced on the counter where she sat, she closed her eyes, dropping her head. “Yes, and I need to stay that way.”
He froze beneath the sizzling, nearly uncontrollably possessive need to make her his. But she wasn’t his, would never be his. He forced out the words, “All the more reason for us to quit the charade. We can’t just be friends.”
She looked up at him. “I could have gone on as friends. But now…” she trailed off. Then she slid down to her feet and went to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water.
Ram noticed the cut on her finger was completely gone. Vanished. So not mortal.
She glanced at him and said, “That kiss changed everything.” Ginny opened the bottle, drank some, then lowered it and added, “This sucks. You’re the only real friend I have. Aside from my brother anyway.”
Goddamnit. He was a scum-sucking bastard. A total tool. Every cell in his body wanted to pull her into his arms, kiss away her sadness, bring her mind-bending pleasure.
He wanted to be the man she seemed to believe he was.
But he wasn’t. Never had been. Never would be.
Tell her. Make it clean and simple for her. He spit out the words that would end it now. “I found out tonight that I have a soul mirror.”