Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shift Work 2: Shift Change by Hannah Beckham

Shift Work 2: Shift Change
by Hannah Beckham

Cover art by Reneé George
ISBN: 978-1-60521-177-0
Genre(s): Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Theme(s): Ménage, Shapeshifters
Series: Shift Work
Length: Novella


With a unique chameleon-like ability, Trinity Staten's problems are more than skin deep. She has daddy issues. Her biological father, Jessia, would like nothing more than to see her dead, and her two lovers -- the fathers of her unborn child -- are letting their insecurities put a rift in their Triune threesome. All Trinity wants is to forget she's not human, keep the three of them safe, and get some nookie every now and then. Is that too much to ask?
When her lover Newton Price, telepath and all around hunka-hunka, disappears, Trinity is certain he's walked out on her. To make matters worse, Merlin Davitch, her other lover and best friend -- a tantalizing combination of geek and good looks -- is acting secretive and withdrawn. The power of the Triune should bring them all together, but Trinity has never felt more alone.
Circumstances are not what they seem. And when Trinity is forced into a showdown with Jessia it could bring a permanent end to all her issues.

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Over the past two months, Trinity Staten had become more than paranoid, but not without good reason. Demons were trying to kill her. Okay, so they weren't really demons. Not of the Heaven and Hell type, anyhow. Apparently evolution has a sense of humor, or something along those lines.
Finding out recently her own genetics fell off a branch of the evolutionary family tree that wasn't quite human had done nothing to change Trinity's mind that most of the others, as Newton called them, were better off dead and six feet under.
Of course, it did explain a lot. She was stronger than most people, faster, a quicker healer. And there was the small fact that her skin turned funny colors when she was stressed, got excited, angry, lustful… actually it was easier to list the things that didn't make her shift.
For this one moment in time, she didn't feel stressed, but she felt very horny, which was a stressor all its own. Though she was nearly ninety-nine percent sure it had nothing to do with the incubus ju-ju pheromones secreting through her sweat glands, that one percent doubt made her feel like a freak.
Either way, it had been too long. Sixty days too long, and today was D-day, or O-day, if things worked out in Trinity's favor. She strolled out of the bathroom, clad in nothing but a green towel and her birthday suit (which happened to be taking on the coloring of the walls and furniture). The television blared with an episode of Tough Love, a program where seven desperate women took advice from a male matchmaker named Steve on how to meet the love of their lives.
Insanely, it was a program both Merlin Davitch and Newton Price could agree on. Which, in the grand scheme of things, wasn't a bad thing, considering there was little Merl and Newt did agree on. Especially where Trinity was concerned.
Trinity rolled her eyes. If they wanted a desperate woman, here she stood. And the loves of her life were sitting like couch potatoes watching a reality show instead of noticing.
Steeling her will, she took a deep cleansing breath and pinched the inside of her wrist. The small pain cleared her head, but her skin continued to shimmer from one pattern and color to the next.
So much for behavior therapy. All the techniques her psychiatrist had given her to use were pretty much hit and miss in the "actually working" department. Nonetheless, she was determined to have some hot sweaty monkey love tonight if it killed her. Or she could kill them… whichever came first.
Trinity walked to the side of the couch and stared at her lovers. Though lately she could scarcely call them that. She smiled at Merlin, then stifled a chuckle. He was wearing a black T-shirt with the slogan "Welcome to the Dork Side." A shirt that fit him so well, in more ways than just the dork part. A month ago, the T-shirt would have fit loosely across the chest and shoulders, but he'd been working out since the demon attacks had started. Which meant his lean, wiry muscles were getting slightly more bulky.
In other words -- more hot. Trinity felt the scorch all the way to her toes. His brown hair, loose and slightly curly, framed his green eyes spectacularly, and the thickening of his jaw line from the extra weight added to the va-va-voom factor.
Newton had always been "filled out" in the muscle department. Dark, thick black hair, and perfectly sensuous amber eyes, Newt fit the bill for anyone's idea of a wet dream. Trinity got the distinct impression he'd been a soldier of some kind in a past life. Even if he didn't like guns, he could definitely handle his own in a fight. He'd chopped a demon's head off to save her life with a move that would have made Conan the Barbarian jealous.
She watched Newton nod his agreement when Steve from Tough Love told one of the women to "suck it up and get over herself." Trinity narrowed her eyes. Was Newt subliminally trying to send her a message? She rolled her eyes again.
"Whatever," she mumbled as she stepped around Merl's legs and sidled herself between the two men. She hadn't needed to say it out loud; Newton could read her mind, literally. His telepathic powers included being able to not only read minds, but also project his own thoughts into the heads of the people around him. It had been very disconcerting the first time he'd done it to Trinity.
Since they'd all moved to the new super-secret hide out (a dilapidated ranch house outside the city), Trinity had made Newt promise to stay out of her thoughts. She suspected he didn't always follow the rules.
She missed both their quirky and unique senses of humor, but their lives had drastically changed. Trinity had given up her job as a file clerk, Merl resigned his position as chair for the science department at the university and given up a hella lump sum of grant money, and Newton, perhaps he'd given up the most -- life without the complication of Trinity Staten.
Today, she hoped to gain something back, for all of them.
"Soo…" she said to anyone who would listen. "You guys want to fool around?"
"Huh?" Merl grunted. Newton remained silent.
"Come on. It's been two months, and according to Dr. Gray, I should be fine." She amended her statement. "The baby will be fine."
Besides, if she didn't get some good old-fashioned passion and soon, she was fairly certain she would die. Okay, maybe death was over-stretching it a bit, but she hadn't even been allowed to masturbate. According to the experts -- aka Dr. Myron Gray of Caledon -- the first two months of a Triune pregnancy could be delicate. It seemed the little bundle of cells needed ample time to properly implant into the womb before anything down there could be safely jarred.
Trinity desperately needed to be jarred. "Look, fellas. I'm not a china shop, but even if I were, I really think it's time to let in the bulls."
"I don't know, Trini. You sure it's a good idea?" Merl asked. She glanced at the swelling in his jeans. He might have been over-thinking the situation, but she knew where his body stood on the issue.
She stared at Newt, who hadn't taken his eyes off the television. "What about you?" Please. Trinity allowed her unarticulated emotions to bubble to the surface.
Finally, he turned his gaze upon her. Raw, naked passion scored his expression. She watched his Adam's apple bob with a hard swallow.
His amber eyes, full of lust, focused in tight on Trinity. It was her turn to swallow.

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