Title: Daemon Uprising
Author: Mariah Ankenman
Genre: Paranormal Romance
The world of the supernatural is real and living among us, a fact Tabitha Culver knows all too well.
Ten years ago, evil supernatural creatures she never thought existed attacked Tabitha. Now, she works for the Supernatural Council to defend humanity against the malevolent forces unknowingly hunting them. A new darkness has risen up in the form of Kakodaemons.
Tabitha, a by-the-books straight arrow is teamed up with the Euadaemon Kiernan, a bend-the-rules, sexy bad boy. With Tabitha and Kiernan the sparks fly, sometimes literally! To take down the bad guys, they have to put their differences aside and work together. However, a dark secret and sizzling attraction could prove to be distractions they can’t afford. Tabitha must learn to trust her partner, and her heart, in order to eliminate this new threat to humanity.
“I’m not used to having to blend in,” she replied grumpily.
Her usual missions involved stalking and executing. Find the Kako, kill the Kako. None of this undercover stuff. Hiding was easy; she hid a lot of things in her life, from a lot of people. This pretending stuff did not come as easy. Sure, she pulled it off earlier when she flirted with Hal, but mostly because she was so ticked off at Kiernan she wanted to prove a point. And look what that got her. All wound up and confused. She still felt the taste of him on her lips.
“I know, but you have to relax.” Kiernan gave her a surprisingly sincere smile. “Just try to pretend you don’t hate my guts.”
“I don’t hate you, Kiernan.”
“But you don’t like me,” he countered.
True. She didn’t like Kiernan. He annoyed her, frustrated her, and turned her body and brain into complete mush with just one look. She did not like Kiernan, but she felt something for him.
“It doesn’t matter how I feel about you.”
“It does to me.”
The tenor of his voice and the staid look in his gaze said he spoke the truth. He actually cared what she thought of him. What a surprise. He was a Daemon who had lived for hundreds of years. Why did he care what one little human thought of him? If it took her the rest of her life, she would never understand this man.
She tried to think of what to say that didn’t involve
I don’t hate you, in fact most days I just want to rip off every scrap of clothing you have on and have my wicked way with you until your damn irritating mouth can’t do anything, but scream my name in pleasure. Only two outcomes to that statement, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to deal with either of them. She was saved from having to say anything when his gaze darted past her and narrowed.
She knew better than to turn around and look, but it still took every ounce of control not to.
“Last table on the right. By the exit door. Clever boys.”
She agreed. Easy access to escape with a human whose soul was ripe for the picking. Kiernan danced them closer to the edge of the dance floor, turning her in a spin so she could catch a glimpse of the brothers.
A mass of bodies gyrated in the dimness surrounding her, but she managed to get a glimpse of the brothers. They sat in chairs, so she had no idea of their height. Dark hair slicked back with a generous amount of gel on both brothers. Both had on black suits and dark collared shirts with the top few buttons left undone. One wore a diamond stud in his left ear while the other sported a gold chain around his neck. She felt like someone should tell them if they wanted to blend in with human society, they should realize the nineteen eighties were over.
“So what’s the plan?”
Keeping the brothers in her peripheral vision, she faced Kiernan again. “We need to get them outside.”
“Agreed,” he said, wrapping his arms around her waist once more and continuing their dance cover. “How?”
“Hell no.” A growl accompanied his words.
She sighed impatiently. She knew he wouldn’t like the idea. Well, too damn bad. They had a job to do and she may be human, but she wasn’t helpless. I am a freaking Enforcer, for cripes sake. “We have to get them outside somehow.”
“You are not taking on those two alone. It’s too dangerous. They’re too strong.”
“I’m not an idiot, Kiernan. Nor am I suicidal. I know I can’t take them by myself.” She moved closer so their bodies barely touched. She stretched onto her toes—even in heels Kiernan towered over her—and whispered in his ear, “You go out back and wait. I go over, get the boys’ attention, and lure them outside. It won’t be hard to do, since I’m sure that’s what they had planned tonight anyway.”
Kiernan nodded. From their position by the door, it appeared the brothers were in for a quick soul suck in the alley.
“When we get outside, you ambush them. Take one out as quick as you can, and then help me with the other.”
Not a great plan—hell, not even a good plan—but the only one they had right now. They couldn’t wait for reinforcements because there were no more reinforcements. If they let this opportunity to catch the brothers go, they would have to deal with the blood of whomever the Kakos killed tonight on their hands. From the look on his face, Kiernan hated the thought of using her as bait. She didn’t much care for it either, but no other option presented itself.
“I don’t like it,” he grumbled, confirming her theory.
“Neither do I, but right now it’s all we’ve got.”
Jaw clenched tight, he pulled her closer so their bodies were flush. She felt the hard muscle of his chest pressed against her own. Her heart started a rapid beat, from the anticipation of the upcoming attack or the nearness of Kiernan, she didn’t know. Most likely both. His gaze locked on her, dark, serious.
“Give me five minutes to get into position, and then you bring them out. Wait five minutes.”
“I mean it. Don’t do anything stupid like try to take them out yourself.”
She rolled her eyes. Kiernan’s hand left her back and came up to stroke her cheek in a caring gesture that caught her off guard.
“They’re Daemons, Kakos, and you’re tough, but you are still human. Racine will have my head if I let anything happen to you.”
“You’d never let anything happen to me, Kiernan.” The words left her mouth before she could stop them.
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