Saturday, December 13, 2008

Last Call: Virgin Daiquiri by Moira Rogers

Last Call: Virgin Daiquiri
by Moira Rogers

Cover art by Bryan Keller
ISBN (13): 978-1-60521-108-4
Genre(s): Paranormal, Daemonum
Theme(s): Magic and Mayhem, The Dark Side
Series: Last Call
Length: Novella


Caitlin Carlson, the only non-witch in the powerful Dumitrescu line, needs to lose her virginity, and fast. A family legend about a pure soul with prophetic visions has put her first in line for a good, old-fashioned sacrifice, and visiting Last Call seems like the perfect way to head off her one-way trip to the altar. Buy a drink, go upstairs, have sex. Simple.

Virgin Daiquiri: Looking for a first lover.

Being a demon isn't as easy as it used to be, especially with the dwindling number of corruptible souls in the 21st century. Luckily for Leofric, he's never been particularly concerned with corrupting enough innocents to earn a promotion off of the mortal plane. But when a virgin wanders into Last Call and stirs up competition among the younger demons, Leo finds himself tempted to rethink his stance on mixing a demon's business with a woman's pleasure.


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Caitlin Carlson swore when an overly enthusiastic dancer stepped off the floor and into her. Her vodka tonic splashed across the front of her blouse, plastering the thin fabric to her chest. “Terrific,” she mumbled. Oh, well. A see-through shirt might draw some attention when she ordered her next drink.
The plain font on the menu in her hand stared mockingly up at her. She could order from the special house menu, let everyone know what she wanted, but it didn’t guarantee anyone would be interested in taking her upstairs.
At least I’d get a free drink out of it, she thought grimly and climbed the steps leading to the central bar. She’d teased Ben once, telling him that a complimentary drink was a poor consolation prize if you’d come to the bar looking for a night of hot sex, but he’d just laughed. Probably because it almost never happens… please don’t happen now.
She waved to Bernie, the bartender, whose friendly smile melted into alarm as he caught sight of the menu in her hands. When she stepped up to the bar, he gave her a stern look. “You’d better be up here to chat, girl, because I know you didn’t wait until Ben was out of town to come into his bar and serve yourself up on a platter.”
Caitlin rolled her eyes and laid the menu on the bar. “Ben gets weird about it, but what’s the worst that could happen? We both know this place is warded to hell and back. It’s not like anyone’s going to hurt me.” She stopped talking when she realized she sounded like she was trying to convince herself. “Virgin daiquiri, please.”
“Caitlin, come on.” Bernie braced two large hands on the counter and leaned down until he was face to face with her. “Honey, this is not the place you go to lose your virginity unless you’re the kind of magical that could kill your partner. And you’re not.”
She leaned in, too. “I’m the prophesied daughter of the goddamned Dumitrescu family, Bernie. Whoever has sex with me first is going to piss off a whole line of dark witches. You think that couldn’t kill someone?”
“Ben’s going to be back in a week. Maybe less. And I thought you had another year before the big mystical planetary alignment or whatever.”
That had always been the theory, but a dream that hadn’t quite been a dream had told her differently. Even now her family was gathered somewhere, arguing over whether or not they should play it safe and wait out the year, or follow a more dangerous path that would leave her dead inside a month. Time was running out, and so were opportunities. She’d snuck past her family’s vigilant guardianship tonight with luck and her ability to see the future, but after tonight…
She met Bernie’s eyes. “You really want to argue with a psychic about how much time she’s got left?”
He hesitated just long enough for her to know she’d won. His gaze slid past her to the floor, and she imagined he was sizing up the men, wondering if any of them could be trusted with her. “Ben’s going to kill me,” he muttered as he reached up without looking and pulled down a clean glass. “He’s going to kick my ass up one side and down the other.”
“If he tries,” she said smoothly, “you send him to me, and I’ll remind him it could be worse. I could still qualify for black magic sacrifices.”
She pulled out a credit card and glanced around as he mixed the slushy drink. People were staring already; they always did when someone ordered from Bernie. She supposed they liked to speculate about what people wanted. What they needed.
If they might be able to give it to them.
Caitlin shivered and tugged at the hem of her skirt. It was too short, even for someone of her scant height, but she hadn’t wanted to look like a stereotypical virgin, even if she was one.
Damn Ben, anyway. If he hadn’t gone and found the love of his life, Caitlin could have eventually worked up the nerve to ask him to do the honors. But he had, and she couldn’t fault him for that. Only now she was stuck finding some stranger to… deflower her? Make her a woman?
She giggled and snorted, then took a deep breath. Three vodka tonics had perhaps been too many, but she’d needed them. She’d sip her daiquiri and wait until someone appropriate came along. She’d be choosy but not picky, and clear about the rules.
It would be fine.

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