This is it—release day for Sirens and Scales!
How about a few more exclamation points?!!!!!!!!!!
Today only Sirens and Scales still 99 cents but the price is set to increase anytime tomorrow. If you haven’t preordered, now is you last change to pick up this incredible limited edition box set of 20+ Dragon and Mermaid novels including the WORLD premiere of my brand new book DRAGONMOUNT at this incredible introductory price.
If you are one of the lucky ones who preordered, check you eReader, because Sirens and Scales is probably already in your hot little hands!
Enjoy, guys! I really hope you love DRAGONMOUNT, and don’t forget to check out the other great authors in the set.
If you still need a little coaxing, here is the first chapter of DRAGONMOUNT to get you in the mood…
Things can’t get any worse than being snatched by a dragon, until Anna is dropped into a bloodthirsty battle for the Draconic crown.
A trip to New Zealand was supposed to be a fun distraction for Anna after yet another painful breakup. Instead, she’s snatched and flown away by a mythical beast bent on making her his queen. Anna’s rare blood type makes her the only viable mate in the islands, and with scores of dragons looking for her, escape isn’t likely.
Joe is the youngest and smallest dragon in the competition to become king. Now that he’s found Anna, all he needs to overthrow the current corrupt monarch is to bring her back to Dragonmount. He’s injured and unable to fly, though, and each passing second increases the risk of discovery.
If the current king finds Anna, he will use her to secure his throne and slaughter her to celebrate his victory. Anna is Joe’s to protect, and he will not allow the king to defile her or his people ever again— even if it means challenging a dragon five times his size.
If you love the feels you get from Jennifer L. Armentrout and the shape-shifting goodness of Talon, you’ll roar for DRAGONMOUNT.
Anna dragged her fingertips along the glass, taking in the rolling, green valley spread out beyond the rooftops outside her hotel room window. The snow-capped mountains in the distance called to her, promising views she’d been dreaming of since she first saw hobbits and elves on the movie screen.
New Zealand. She could hardly believe it.
She drew in a deep breath. When she first started planning this vacation with Andrew, it was a pipe dream— the mutual coup de gras of their bucket lists. It was supposed to be their honeymoon.
Until a honeymoon was no longer needed.
The television cut to a commercial for toothpaste as her sister walked through the room reading a pamphlet.
“It says here that those mountains you’re staring at are called Aoraki.” She pointed to the text. “The original settlers believed that the sons of the sky god got their canoe stuck on a reef. They froze to death and became the mountains.” She smiled. “That’s kind of creepy. Right up your alley.”
Anna pressed her forehead to the glass, allowing the pane to cool her skin as she watched people wander the streets below.
“Right now these Maori people are celebrating some sort of ancient fertility festival called the Seventeen Year.” Sybil snorted. “Fertility, huh? Sounds like my kind of party.”
Of course it was. Anything her sister could relate to sex was a good time.
The television commercial cut to a news anchor. She picked up a stack of papers and tapped them twice on the desktop.
“Breaking news from North Island,” the woman announced. “Sources investigating the recent rash of murders report that the bodies of at least two more women were found in the Wellington area this morning. Local law enforcement asks all New Zealand, especially women, to take extra precautions while traveling at night. More on this story, and the women behind these growing statistics tonight at eleven.”
Sybil changed the channel. “Well, that’s a cheery way to start our vacation.”
Anna’s gaze drew back to the window. Below, two guys in long, dark coats shoved a girl against the brick building across the street. Anna straightened, and her lips parted as one of the men held the girl against the wall. She didn’t seem to struggle. They just stared at each other.
Or maybe they were talking. She couldn’t tell from this distance.
She glanced at the television screen, then back to the window. The people on the street walked by the threesome like this was nothing out of the ordinary.
Anna released the breath she’d been holding. The police said to be cautious, not paranoid.
The air around the group below seemed to blur, and the guy holding the girl suddenly had a bunch of Freddy Krueger-like knives in his hand.
The warmth drained from Anna’s face.
“Hey!” She banged on the glass.
“What?” Sybil ran to the window.
“Do you see that?” Anna pointed down.
Anna returned her gaze to the people outside. The second guy tugged the first down the street. There was nothing in knife-guy’s hand.
The girl stumbled away from the wall, shaking her head as if she couldn’t focus. She watched the two men disappear around the corner before heading in the opposite direction.
“What are we looking at?” Sybil stood on her toes to see better.
Anna turned from the glass. “Nothing, I guess. Sorry.” She really needed to stop watching horror movies.
Her sister grabbed her shoulders and squeezed. “We need to work out some of this tension. How about we go out and get a drink?”
Anna puffed out a laugh. “It’s going to take a lot more than a drink.”
“Then let’s call this a good start. Believe me, Sis, once this vacation is over, you’ll be a new person. I swear it.”
Was there something wrong with her old person? Anna didn’t think so.
Well, not her old-old person. Growing up, she’d been ready for anything. She and Andrew were going to take on the world together.
Until she caught him in bed with someone else.
The little firecracker inside her had extinguished that night, and she hadn’t found a way to rekindle the spark. Anna closed her eyes and swallowed the painful ball building in her throat. She was here to forget— to erase the bad and come home as a clean slate, ready to start over again. This started by proving to herself that her life no longer revolved around one guy.
In the distance, a large black bird soared toward the mountains. It circled as if it flew for the pure pleasure of feeling the wind in its feathers. That’s what she needed, the confidence to spread her wings and glide toward the horizon.
Her heart stirred, yearning to break out of these walls and see the sights she’d been dreaming of. “I can’t wait for the tour tomorrow.”
Sybil tugged her arm. “We’re not waiting for tomorrow. We can start seeing New Zealand tonight.”
“Tonight? We just got off a plane.”
“What better time to get this vacation started?” Her sister kicked off her loafers and slipped on a pair of black heels: her idea of dressing up.
When Anna refused to change out of her sneakers, Sybil drew her out the door. “One drink, that’s all I ask. It will do wonders for you, I swear.”
Anna crossed her arms and stepped into the elevator. Sometimes it was easier to give in. One drink, and then hopefully she could coax her sister back up to bed so they could get some sleep. She refused to screw up the first day of their Lord of the Rings tour with a hangover.
The doors opened into the lobby. Men and women crowded the area around the hotel bar, shouting orders to the bartenders. So much for a quick drink.
Sybil barely glanced in their direction. She tugged Anna through the vestibule and out the main entrance.
“Wait. Where are we going?”
“Like I said, to get a drink.”
“Is there something wrong with the hotel bar?”
Sybil hailed a taxi. “Yes, it’s packed with tourists. I want to meet some New Zealanders.”
Anna dug her heels into the sidewalk as a cab pulled up to the curb. “There is a serial killer on the loose, and you want to go bar hopping?”
“Oh, come on. They didn’t say not to go out. They said to be cautious. We’re not walking.” She pointed to the taxi. “Door to door service. We’ll be fine.” Sybil was inside the cab before Anna could argue. “Don’t make me drag you into this car.”
Anna closed her eyes to calm herself before she slipped onto the seat beside her. “One drink. Promise.”
Her sister made a spectacle of rolling her eyes.
“Where too?” the driver asked.
Sybil leaned up and handed a pamphlet to him. She pointed to a handwritten note on the top of the page. “Do you know where this is?”
He snorted. “Kinda off the beaten path for a couple of Sheilas.”
Sybil flopped back in her seat. “Sounds perfect.”
Off the beaten path? Was she out of her mind?
Anna leaned closer as the cab pulled from the sidewalk. “This is crazy. We are in a foreign country with—”
“Not a care in the world.” She tapped Anna’s knee. “Relax. Trust me. We’re going to see where real New Zealanders hang out.”
Great. Just great.
She stared out the window as they left the city behind. The approaching dusk left a deepening haze over the hillside as clean, undisturbed green stretched out as far as the eye could see. Anna gaped, losing herself in undefiled nature.
She hated to admit it, but those rolling fields reached inside and mended part of the hole torn in her heart. She couldn’t imagine living somewhere with so much incredibly beautiful nothing.
“I have a surprise for you.” Sybil nudged her shoulder. “We’re not taking the movie site tour tomorrow.”
Anna spun toward her. “We’re not?”
“Nope. I changed our date to Monday.”
“Because tomorrow morning, you and your favorite sister are taking the plunge off Kawarau Bridge.”
Anna nearly choked. “What?”
“Yup. It’s all set up. They’re picking us up at our hotel at 8:30.”
“Are you out of your mind? I told you I was not bungee jumping.”
“Yes you are. It’s already bought and paid for. No refunds, no excuses.”
No excuses? Anna had a great big gaping excuse. Even back home in the US she aired on the cautious side. She really didn’t have a choice.
Eight years ago she woke up after being in a car accident and found out she had a rare blood type. The hospital had to have plasma flown in from another state. The delay almost killed her. Ever since, she’d been warned about taking it easy and cautioned against foreign travel, but here she was, vacationing in New Zealand with a serial killer on the loose and a nutty sister who wanted them to plummet to their deaths tied to the ends of rubber bands.
“There is no way I’m jumping off a bridge.”
Sybil snickered as the cab pulled to a stop. “We’ll see.”
Her sister paid the cabbie as Anna stepped onto worn, colorful cobblestones. The black sconces encircling the weathered rock buildings and the matching streetlamps flared on simultaneously. Anna jumped as one of them blew out.
“Surprise!” Sybil said.
Anna looked up and down the deserted street. “Surprise what?”
“Don’t you recognize it? This is the street they modeled Bree after.”
Anna looked again. “It is?”
“Yup. I found it on Wikipedia under little-known Lord of the Rings sites.” She narrowed her eyes. “One of these places is supposed to look just like the Prancing Pony inside.”
Anna took in all of the gnarled, wooden signs. She could barely read the names on some of them. At the far end of the street, four men in long coats entered a bar with a carved rooster hanging above the door. She shuddered, remembering the guys outside her hotel room window. Those long, dark coats must be a Kiwi thing.
Sybil grabbed Anna’s wrist and tugged her along the bumpy, colorful walkway toward a gnarled, wood-planked door with a wide, black hinge. “This place looks as good as any to start.”
Anna pulled out of her grip. “To start? I agreed to one drink.”
Sybil held her chest, feigning hurt. “Of course we’ll only have one drink.” She pulled Anna through the door and whispered, “Per bar” under her breath.
Anna sighed. With Sybil, there was always a loophole.
Inside, the tavern looked nothing like the Prancing Pony. It looked more like the bar in that old TV show Cheers that her father watched on Netflix. A circular bar stood in the center of the room. Its white-tiled surface clashed with the wooden paneling. Flickering candles on cherrywood tables nestled against the wall cast a yellowish glow throughout the room. Inside the serving-circle, a dark-skinned man placed a glass into a huge wooden fixture hanging over the bar.
“Welcome, ladies. Please, have a seat.” He gestured across the nearly empty bar and the mostly open tables. So much for meeting the locals.
Anna had to admit the tavern had its charm, though. The hotel bar had all the appeal of a meat market, while this place oozed culture.
An old man wearing what looked like multi-colored, patchwork ceremonial robes sat alone at the table closest to the door. That was definitely not something you saw frequenting the bars on Delaware Avenue back home. His long shirt matched the colorful weavings hanging from the walls like he was a part of the decor.
Combine him with the dead animal heads mounted above the entrance, and Anna felt as if she’d stepped back in time. If she could just get them to consider trashing the plasma television screen, the place would be the perfect retreat.
She and Sybil settled on stools at the bar and ordered drinks. From the opposite side of the serving circle, a very light-skinned platinum-blond guy flashed a smile. His eyes mirrored the overhead lighting, making everything about him seem paler, as if he were dusted in white powder. Anna quickly looked away. She settled her eyes on the Malibu Bay Breeze the barkeep handed her, forcing her gaze to remain there so she didn’t stare.
“Is it always so quiet here?” Sybil asked the bartender.
“Not usually. People have been staying in after dusk the past few days. We were full at happy hour.”
Sybil frowned. “I guess we’ll have to come back earlier tomorrow.”
Sybil had to notice that this wasn’t the Prancing Pony. Absorbing culture was fine and all, but she’d had her first taste of New Zealand on the car ride over here. She wanted to see more, not spend her time drinking.
The bartender walked to the other side of the counter and spoke to the blond guy. After a moment, they both turned toward Anna. She nearly choked on her drink before she looked away.
Her cheeks heated. The blond must have mentioned that she’d been staring at him. With skin that pale, he must have people stare at him all the time, and here she was, the gawking American, jumping on the bandwagon.
Anna stared at her drink again, trying to not look like she was aware the two men were still chatting.
About her? No, of course not.
But what if they were?
Sybil was always so much better at this kind of stuff than she was. She made meeting people look easy, while Anna always managed to make a fool of herself. If they’d stayed at the hotel bar, like she’d wanted, she could’ve just caught the next elevator to her room and hid from all this awkwardness.
She leaned toward her sister. “This obviously isn’t the right place. Maybe we should go.”
“Come on, Sis. There’s more to sightseeing than movie locations. There’s a lot about the local culture I’d like to sample, too.” She spun her stool toward a table of three guys near the door and sipped her drink through the thin, red stirring straw. Her lips turned up in a wry grin.
Anna’s eyes widened. “You came all the way to New Zealand to get laid?”
“Well, not only to get laid. But it’s on my to-do list.”
“What’s wrong with the guys in New Jersey?”
Sybil shrugged. “I might run into them again. I hate that. This will be more fun. No strings attached.” She smacked Anna playfully. “Not to mention New Zealand accents. Yum.”
Anna shook her head. “You’re crazy.”
“Me? And it’s not crazy to sit home every Saturday night?”
Hanging out at home was a perfectly respectable thing to do on the weekend. Anna worked her tail off studying all week. She needed to decompress and relax on her days off. She and her sister obviously had very different definitions of unwinding.
Besides, she wasn’t ready to get out there and date again. Andrew had been her world since middle school. She didn’t know how to be with anyone else.
Sybil would never understand that. Her sister’s plan was to play the field and be married to her cushy corner executive office for the rest of her life. There was nothing wrong with that, for her. Anna wanted the best of both worlds— a family and a job. She wasn’t going to find that hooking up with a guy she was never going to see again.
“I don’t understand how you can even think of sleeping with a guy you’ve just met.” Anna sipped her drink and set it back on the bar.
“Believe me. It’s a heck of a lot easier than getting tied down in a relationship. Guys get crazy when they hang around too long. They get all protective and…” The word cheat hung on the edge of her lips before she copped out by sipping her drink.
Anna crumpled her napkin and threw in on the bar. “I don’t know, I think I still want what Mom and Dad had— the love of my life, job, and two point five kids?”
“Yeah, my dog.” Anna watched the condensation drip down her glass. “Is it so wrong to want a guy that will do almost anything for me?”
“You’re dreaming, little sister. He doesn’t exist. I gave up looking for him years ago.”
But Dad existed. Could it be true that their generation hadn’t spawned any great guys?
The bartender adjusted the volume on the television.
A news reporter brushed back a lock of her dark hair and brought a microphone to her lips. “So there you have it. This small village, the third in as many nights, now lays in shock after this morning’s gruesome discovery. The identities of the women have not been made public yet, but NZN News has learned that two of the victims lived here in Wellington, and the third was a Norwegian tourist. Neighboring towns have called for a seven o’clock curfew tonight, as all of New Zealand prays for an end to this senseless killing spree.”
“They were disemboweled.” One of the guys at the table said. “I saw it on the internet. This bloke is a sadist or something.”
The bartender changed the channel. “I hope they catch him soon.”
“There be no one to catch,” The old guy in the colorful garb mumbled. “They look for a man. They need to turn their eyes to the sky. They seek what they are not prepared to find.”
A shiver ran down Anna’s spine. The tavern was oddly reminiscent of an old horror flick, and this weathered, creepy guy was the trope old codger that knew the truth, but no one believed him until they were running for their lives. If he was about to say that all of New Zealand was haunted by ancient bloodthirsty spirits, she was so out of there.
The guy at the table turned in his seat. “What are you talking about, pop, some Maori legend?”
The old man’s eyes darkened. “Is no legend. We in a Seventeen Year. They should not be looking for a man.”
The table of guys laughed. “So what are they looking for, a dragon? I think you’ve had a few too many.”
“Every seventeen years the dragons fly. They search New Zealand for mates. This,” he pointed to the television, “be the work of a gray dragon, the worst of them all.”
“Yeah, and Aoraki and his brothers got stranded on a reef and became the mountains.” One of the guys laughed into his beer.
Anna took in the old man’s colorful attire, remembering the brochure Sybil read to her. It seemed crazy that people still believed that kind of folklore.
The elder remained stoic. “How do you know they did not become the mountains, if you were not there?”
Anna bit back her smile. The ominous cloud in the room had lifted as the table of guys snickered. It was sad they made fun of the old man, though. He couldn’t help what he’d been brought up to believe, no matter how ridiculous.
The bartender leaned across the counter toward her. “The bloke on the flipside would like to buy you a drink.”
Anna cringed. The guy she’d been staring at? She glanced around the barkeep. Blondie smiled at her.
“Umm, no thanks. Tell him no offense, I’m just passing through. I’m not going to be here that long.”
Sybil elbowed her. “What’s wrong with you?”
“He’s not my type.”
“What, he doesn’t have a pulse?”
Someone settled beside her, and Anna tensed. She turned her head slowly until her gaze met eerie, light blue eyes and even lighter skin.
Pale-guy smiled. “Hello, I’m sorry. I heard you turn down my drink. You’re not from around here, I suppose?” The New Zealand accent dripped from his pale lips. The package didn’t seem to fit together.
“Um, no. We’re from New Jersey.”
He tilted his head. “In England?”
“No. New Jersey as in the United States.”
His eyes widened. “Oh, that makes sense. You didn’t look or sound English. Anyway, in these parts, it’s customary for a man to buy a woman a drink to say hello. I was only being courteous. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
Sybil left her chair and sat on the other side of Pale-Guy. She scribbled something on a napkin.
Anna shifted her weight. “In America, a guy buys a girl a drink if he’s trying to pick her up.”
“Pick her up?”
“As in a date.”
His eyes widened, showing more of the creepy glass-like pupils, which maybe, now that she looked closer, were eerily beautiful.
“That would be a bit presumptuous of me, wouldn’t it?” he asked. “I don’t even know your name.”
Sybil held up the napkin she’d been toiling over. It read:
Platinum blond babies are beautiful
Anna laughed. Well, no, it came out more like an embarrassing snort, but Blondie didn’t seem to notice, thank goodness.
She offered him her hand. “My name is Anna.”
Instead of shaking, the guy flipped her palm down and kissed her knuckles. Who in God’s name was this guy?
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Anna of the great continent of America. My name is Joesephutus.”
She shuffled her feet, trying to ward off the odd tingle in her toes. “Wow, that’s quite a name. Do you mind if I just call you Joe?”
His smiled seeped into her. “Only if you allow me to buy you that drink.”
Sybil gave a thumbs up over his head, and then returned to her place beside Anna.
Yeah, little sister Anna getting picked up in a bar would make Sybil’s day. Anna would never hear the end of it.
As she gazed into Joe’s haunting, crystal eyes, though, she couldn’t help but want to know more about this interesting man. She’d gone from being completely freaked out about his appearance, to enthralled.
Too bad 11,000 miles was too far for a long distance relationship. She needed to nip this in the bud before it went any further. “I’m sorry, but I’m really not interested.” An ache welled in her belly. She bit her lower lip to keep from retracting her words as Joe lowered his eyes.
His lips thinned. “No problem. Enjoy your time in New Zealand.” He bowed his head and returned to his seat.
Anna nearly stepped off her chair to stop him. After all, it was only a drink, and he seemed nice. Shoot, why couldn’t she be more like Sybil and okay with things like this?
An elbow in the back returned her attention to her sister. “What’s wrong with you?” Sybil said. “He was cute.”
“I don’t know.” And she didn’t. Anna’s stomach continued to whirl. Her skin ached, as if tugging her toward the other side of the bar, nudging her back to where Joe slipped into his seat and cradled his drink between his palms.
He’d been sweet and didn’t come on too strong like the asses in bars back home. The poor guy was probably just shy, and she’d totally turned him down.
Sybil was right, what was wrong with her?
A cool breeze whipped in when someone opened the door. Anna was glad for the touch of chill as she turned toward her sister.
“Holy hell,” Sybil whispered, her gaze fused to the entrance.
A man walked, no— slid through the entrance, but not in a slimy-snake-like-way. It was more like gliding across the surface of a pond. He towered over everyone, well over six feet. Stopping in the center of the room, he placed his hand on his chest and bowed to the old man, who straightened, beaming.
The newcomer turned back to the bar, and Anna’s heart triple beat as his gaze brushed over her. His long, dark hair shifted slightly as he walked, coming close to falling over one eye, but not quite covering it. Anna had seen this man before, on the cover of hundreds of romance novels. He seemed painted; perfect, as if molded by an artist. She quivered, warming in all the most embarrassing places.
He smiled at Anna, before turning his attention to Sybil. As soon as his gaze left hers, a sweep of relief flooded Anna, as if she’d been held by something, but then let go.
Sybil blanched, her eyes wide as the stranger slipped his fingers over hers.
“Please forgive my forwardness.” He kissed the back of her hand, just like Joe had. “But you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” He leaned up, still holding her fingers. “You must allow me the honor of your company.”
His gaze darted over the bar, where Joe leaned back on his stool with a dumbfounded look on his face. The hot guy smiled before returning his attention to Anna’s sister.
Sybil blinked as if waking from a stupor. “Of course, please, sit.”
The man eased onto the seat beside them, his gaze never leaving Sybil’s. How was it that no matter where they were in the world, her sister managed to be a beacon for beefcake? It wasn’t fair. Well, not like Anna wanted to be eaten alive by a guy’s eyes, but damn, did her sister wear come and take me perfume or something?
“I’m Sybil. This is my sister, Anna.”
He lowered his head. “Miss Anna, a flower equally as lovely.”
Sure, but you went for the one that looked and dressed like a runway model. Hot guys never went for the plain ones. Not that she wanted him to leech onto her, but, you know.
“My name is Quenor.” He kissed Sybil’s knuckles again, this time hesitating as his lips touched her skin.
Sybil cleared her throat. “Quay-noor? You mean, like, Connor?”
His eyes bored into her like he hadn’t eaten in a month and she was a hot fudge sundae. “Connor sounds lovely with your accent.”
Wow, his own accent sang from his lips. Anna could listen to his voice forever. She had to tear her eyes away from him. Taking a deep breath, she placed her chilled glass to her temple to try to cool herself down. She definitely needed to get a grip.
“Can I get you something to drink?” the bartender asked Connor.
“Whatever the lovely Sybil is having is fine for me.”
Their gazes remained locked. Sybil seemed tongue-tied.
Icy fingers itched up Anna’s back. Something wasn’t quite right about this guy. There was hot, and then there was too hot. And then there was Connor. The attraction Anna felt when he looked at her, the attraction she still felt, even when he’d obviously chosen Sybil, bordered on hypnotic.
The bartender reached up and grasped a wineglass from the fixture hanging over the bar. As he pulled the cup down, the contraption tilted. Several of the glasses slipped from their housing and fell, shattering on the bar top.
Sybil cried out, and Anna gasped as a strong shove sent her stumbling off her seat. The bartender stood, gaping at the mess, while Joe’s right knee angled up on the bar, his other foot balanced on the stool that Anna had occupied. His left hand still held her from harm’s way, while his right held the fixture from falling at the same time. How had he gotten across the bar so quickly?
“I have this end.” Connor reached up, his long arms easily grabbing the other side of the fixture.
“Thanks,” the bartender said, helping them ease the wooden frame safely to the floor. His face contorted and reddened with the effort, while Joe and Connor lowered the fixture to the floor without difficulty.
Sybil held her hand to her chest, but her eyes remained glued to her new date.
Don’t worry, sis, no glasses hit me. No reason to check and make sure I’m all right or anything.
The barkeep grabbed a dustpan and saluted Joe and Connor with the sweeper brush. “Your drinks are on the house, mates.”
“Thank you, but that’s not necessary.” Joe turned to Anna, and his eyes widened. “You’re bleeding.”
She blinked in surprise. “What?”
He grabbed her hand, raising her red, glistening fingertip. “You’ve been cut.”
“It’s not that bad.”
His gaze centered on her fingertip. His brow furrowed as a red bead dripped down to her palm.
She trembled. “Umm, you can let me go of me, now.”
His gaze flicked to hers and held. Her pulse throbbed in her ears like she was underwater. The room spun, but dizziness didn’t overcome her. The beat of her heart seemed to slow while every inch of her yearned to lean closer and breath this beautiful stranger in.
Breathe him in? What in God’s name had gotten into her, and why was this guy still holding her wrist?
She tried to push him away, but slipped, smearing blood across his cheek. He hardened his grip, as another red droplet beaded on her fingertip.
Her gaze drew back to his light blue, crystalline eyes. She needed to scream, to slap him in the face, to run. She couldn’t move, though. Her breaths came shallow and raspy. Part of her longed to kiss away the crimson stain that tainted the edge of his pale lip.
The brightness of the blood against his milky skin caused flashes of Edward Cullen to run through her mind. The idea was ridiculous, of course. No one believed in vampires. That was almost as stupid as believing in fairies.
But he was fairy-like, now that she thought about it, with those icy blue eyes and white hair. He actually pulled off his albinism with an air of sex appeal. Well, not the dripping screw-me sexy like Connor, but there was definitely something about this guy who was still… fixating on her bloody cut like a deranged lunatic.
He blinked and released her.
She nearly stumbled, but grabbed the edge of her stool instead. “What is wrong with you?”
He blinked as if clearing his eyesight. “I-I don’t know.” He stared at her finger like it might bite him.
Okay, so, yes— this guy was cute, but he obviously had some serious issues.
She grabbed a napkin and wrapped her wound. “In case you were wondering, that is not the way to get an American girl’s attention.”
“I know, I-I’m sorry.” He rubbed his temples. “I-I didn’t mean to offend.”
Connor left Sybil’s side and grabbed Joe’s shoulder. “Joesephutus, are you all right?”
“Wait, you two know each other?” Anna asked.
The taller man whipped his face in her direction. His gaze focused on her with an intensity that made her want to cower in the corner. Connor leaned closer and drew in a deep breath. Was he… smelling her?
Joe became pale. Well, pale-er if that was even possible. He took a stilted breath before elbowing Connor’s considerably larger bulk out of the way and taking Anna’s uninjured hand. “Anna, I would really, really like to buy you that drink.”
His grip tightened. Not painful, but strange. Possessive. Every part of her screamed to tug her hand from his, but all she could do was stare into those glassy, light eyes.
Connor laughed, tapping Joe on the back. “I can’t believe it. You are one lucky little…”
The door to the bar flung open and slammed against the wall as it if had been kicked.
The cool breeze thickened the air.
Connor nudged Joe.
“I feel it,” Joe said.
Holding Sybil’s shoulder, Connor glanced at Anna, then Joe. “We need to get your little lass out of here.”
“I’m aware of that.” Joe turned to the barkeep. “Do you have a back exit?”
“Too late,” Connor whispered.
Joe grumbled under his breath, tightening his grip on Anna’s arm. He leaned close to her ear. “If you get the opportunity, run like your life depends on it.” He glanced at the door. “Because it does.”
There you have it! If you want to read more, click a link and pick up your copy of Sirens and Scales… Available to download NOW at most major ebook retailers.