Authors: Jessica McBrayer
Tags: #hell hounds, #jinni, #demons, #san francisco, #Paranormal Romance, #vampires, #romance, #Jessica McBrayer
Other Books by Jessica McBrayer
Murder of Crows
San Francisco Vampire Series
Sucking in San Francisco
Hell Hounds are for Suckers
Suckers go to Hell
Suckers Bite Back
Little Suckers Bite Too
Suckers Lost and Found
Sucking in San Francisco
Hell Hounds are for Suckers
Suckers Go To Hell
Murder of Crows
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used facetiously. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or to events or locations, is entirely coincidental.
Cover art by Marik Berghs copyrighted © 2014.
Copyright © 2014 by Jessica McBrayer
ISBN 13: 978-0-9899530-3-0
Published by Mess of Geckos Publishing
810 Seaview Drive, El Cerrito, CA 94530
Always for you
New Orleans, LA
My fury should be sated by now. Lily has lost Sebastian and Aidan both. But from my reports she still has that djinn doing her bidding and Sebastian is as doe-eyed over her as ever. My little plan to break them up months ago almost worked. But no matter, I have a new plan. The incompetent fool who botched it up didn’t live long to regret it.
“Witch! How much longer until you get me what I want?” I demand. The blond woman in front of me with one blue eye and one green eye looks at me, barely contained. I don’t trust her but I have arranged for her sister’s security and safety. She will cooperate. We both know who I am keeping her safe from as long as the witch cooperates.
“Your Majesty,” she sneers, resentfully. “It takes time to find a djinn’s true name. I have been searching.” She flips her long hair behind her shoulder. The itchy-witchy bitch. You would think being one of the most powerful witches in the United States, she would be more concerned for her sister’s safety. She needs to come to heel. The sister, no magick in that one – a complete dud.
“You’d better try harder. I have some hungry vamps that would be ever grateful to drain your sister. I could turn her instead. I wonder which you would rather.”
She starts to chant under her breath.
“No casting. I have very loyal followers who will kill her on my death. In fact you can guarantee my less loyal followers will kill her. No one to stop them like there is now. She is beautiful and smells delicious,” I say.
“If you touch a hair on her head I will kill you and every vamp in here. You haven’t seen what I am truly capable of.” She is even more attractive in her anger. I am tempted to take her as a lover. It would be fun to tame that arrogance. Perhaps when she is no longer useful we will use her and her sister.
“Rest easy, Celia, she is safe for now. Being treated very well. I want something. She is to remain intact, shall we say, until I get it.” I let my lip curl up.
“I will keep you abreast of my progress,” she says, hating me but helpless, oh the pleasure. Revenge and diversion.
“You may leave,” I say dismissing her with a little wave. Her hatred is almost charming. It’s a shame I will have to kill her when this is done. I will break her and then take her.
In the meantime, I will sit back and let my game play out.
Aidan, that beautiful Djinn at my beck and call can watch while I make Lily curse the day she was born. And this time I’ll make sure she is bespelled correctly. He will beg me for any crumb of attention. And if he’s not a bore… we’ll see.
My best friend is having a baby with her ever-after. I am excited and honestly, very depressed and a little jealous. I will never be able to have a child. I am vampire. So is she, but she’s married a Demon and there is some kind of mojo magick that happens when that occurs that allows them to procreate.
I’m not just blue because of the baby. Hannah, my bestie, also has Diel, her Demon. I have given up on two beautiful, caring men. Now I have no one. No one to care for or care about me. I’m a mess inside. I know and have no idea of how to clean it up. The only thing I have left in the world is my family and my work.
I work at San Francisco’s Suicide Hotline taking calls from desperate people in the middle of the night. It makes me feel good to help others. It helps assuage the guilt I have from having to feed off them.
I am sitting at work now, waiting for the little red light to blink, telling me someone is on the other end of the line.
“Suicide Prevention, this is Lilith, how may help you tonight?”
“Yes, I need to order a Chicago style meat lovers with extra jalapenos. I’ll come pick up,” says a clipped British accent. Obviously he has the wrong number, but I can’t help flashing back to my call with Aidan that fateful night when we met. Instead of laughing over the call, my mood drops.
“Sir,” I whisper and then clear my throat. “You have the wrong number.” I pinch myself, hard. Forcing myself back under control instead of thinking of how it all has gone wrong this past year.
“Are you sure I have the wrong number?” the jovial voice is asking, juxtapositioned with my feelings.
“I’m sure, sir. It happens often. You transposed the last two numbers. This is the San Francisco Suicide Hotline.”
“Oh my goodness, I need a pizza but not that badly,” he says laughing at himself. I give a half laugh.
“It’s Lilith, sir.”
“I’m Ian. Are you all right?” I hear the concern in his voice. When had we switched places?
“Yes. No, but I will be. I’m sorry, Ian. Not what you expected when you called for a pizza is it?” I sniff.
“No, but I like coming to the aid of ladies in distress. It’s a British thing.”
I laugh a little louder this time. Irony cuts deep. Little could he know how a British accent had changed my life and left me in this low spot.
“There you are. You’re already feeling better aren’t you?” he asks.
“I better let you go so that I can keep the phone lines clear, Ian. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, love,” he says softly. I hang up quickly to stifle my sobs. If I were human there would be tears but since I’m vampire I only have burning eyes and make an awful retching noise. I try to get myself back together.
I smell Meredith before I see her, sauerkraut and sausage. I retch on top of the sobbing.
Meredith lays her chubby hand on my shoulder.
“Lily, what’s gotten into you? You’ve reversed the roles of client – professional. I guess it just happens sometimes. I think it would be for the best if you just packed up and went home. You haven’t been at the top of your game for a while now. Take some time off, think of it as a forced vacation, you know the kind where you don’t call us, we’ll call you,” she says as she smiles down sweetly. I know what she is really saying.
She is firing me.
I grab my purse and stumble out of the building. There is a heavy fog and mist to clear my senses a bit, enough that I stop crying. I can’t believe it. I don’t know where to go and I have no one to go to for comfort. I wander through the Haight district, where the hotline offices are located. It is one in the morning and I find a small club open. I step inside and find a seat at the bar. I order a dirty martini and hope someone really fucking drunk hits on me.
I can’t get drunk from drinking alcohol but I can from someone who has a high blood alcohol content. I am scoping out my victim now.
Candidate number one. A tall man looking like a piece of yummy chocolate. I hope he tastes as good as he looks. In fact, I think he is a famous football player. He has visited Sebastian’s club from time to time. The club is designed and named for me. Right this minute Mr. Linebacker is making a direct line for me and I am looking at him through hooded eyes, giving him every signal I can that I am available.
I can smell the alcohol on him before he gets to me. He is a big guy and can handle more than most. He will definitely give me my fix. He walks up to me and puts a hand on either side of me on the bar, effectively trapping me, or so he thinks. I chuckle and lick my lips.
“Aren’t you Sebastian’s babe? What are you doing out all by your lonesome, darlin’?” he asks breathing into my ear.
I throw my arms around his shoulders.
“I’m no one’s babe.”
“Wanna be mine for tonight, sugar?” he asks getting serious and down to business. I’m glad we don’t have to play any games. I’m desperate to ease the ache in me.
“Yes. Let’s get out of here. Come with me, Big Boy.” I smile back at him as I lead him towards the door. He grins like he hit the lottery. They usually do. Most women don’t come on so hard and fast.
He holds the door open for me and I slip out from under his arm. That isn’t what he wants so he tucks me into his side and gives the valet his ticket. While we wait for the luxury vehicle to pull up, he keeps his hands warm on my ass. I don’t care anymore. It’s contact. I haven’t had any affection in a long time.