Friday, October 02, 2009

Deception and Desire by Mina Carter

Deception & Desire
by Mina Carter

cover art by Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-211-1
Genre(s): Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, BDSM
Theme(s): Vampires
Length: Novella

Being a demon prince ain't all it's cracked up to be.
Caught between the human world and the demon one, Tiny, part-time bouncer at Moonlight & Magic, lives by his own rules. Mainly these rules revolve around keeping his head down and making sure none of his kind find out where he is... because Tiny's on the demons' most wanted list.
Not because he's done anything, but because of who he is. Prince Seren Di Lakai Telosa to be exact, heir apparent to the Demon throne. And a hunted man. If his father's men find him, he'll be dragged back to court to die of boredom. For the last three hundred years they've been grooming him to take over from dear old daddy. The only trouble is the stubborn old git could last at least another millennium.
So what's a Demon Prince to do? Get a job at Moonlight & Magic, of course, and keep his head down. Unfortunately Tiny was never good at avoiding trouble, and when delicate Vampiress Cassia storms into his life, Tiny finds himself tempted to break more than his personal rules... Demonkind and the undead don't mix well, or rather, they mix too well, with explosive results.


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Tiny scanned the queue waiting to get in and the passersby in the street. A cold night, it seemed all the colder for a demon-born like Tiny. Shuddering, he hunched into the turned-up collar of his thick jacket. His gaze swept the road. A rush of jealousy -- sharp and immediate -- rose as the vampires circled like sharks waiting for a meal. If any of them wore a coat, it was for effect rather than any need for warmth. They didn't feel the cold.
"Bastards," he muttered under his breath and wondered if he could crawl inside his jacket completely. Tiny hated being cold with a passion. But then, for any creature born and bred in the warmth of one of the seven hells, cold was pure torture. The fog put a layer of moisture in the air that coated everything, the dampness penetrating deep into Tiny's bones. He was never going to be warm again -- no doubt a punishment for running away from his duties.
Shivering again, he muttered another curse about the weather as a bunch of vamps having a little tête-à-tête on the corner opposite caught his attention. He ignored his discomfort as the little group whispering between themselves didn't break up as he'd expected. Tiny flicked a glance at Misty, who had calmed down the group she had approached. The line moved quickly now.
Feeling his gaze on her, she lifted her head, silent communication passing between the partners for a second before Tiny turned his attention back to the vamps. Misty would keep an eye on the line and call in backup if needed, whilst he dealt with the circling predators intent on picking off the weakest of the human herd.
He didn't move for a moment, just leaned against the wall, his eyes sharp and alert. Vamps were predictable creatures most of the time, but occasionally one would get a kick in their gallop and try to make a play for someone in the queue, a decision which ended with them having a little chat in a side alley with Tiny or one of his colleagues. There was a running book on how high they could get vamp blood and snot on the brickwork.
However vamps weren't normally pack animals and they didn't hunt together. This little group seemed to have missed that particular memo. Tiny's eyes narrowed as two of the group sauntered across the road and engaged a trio of young women in conversation. Human women, of course; they wouldn't bother with any of the paranormals in the line.
The third was slower to approach, piling on the vampire "glamour" as he did. The vampires moved in a slick routine, separating the women, who were easy marks. They herded the last girl toward an alley, the arm of her new "friend" wrapped around her shoulders. The tall demon sighed. Vampire charm was hypnotic and she was getting it full force, her head back against the vamp's shoulder as he gazed deep into her eyes.
"Great, just what I need tonight. A fucking synchronized vampire feeding squad." Pushing off from the wall, he rolled his shoulders, cracking his neck as he readied himself for action. There was going to be blood and snot on the walls again. Perhaps with three vamps to play with he'd beat Knuckles' record...
His lips compressed as yet another vamp moved to follow the others into the alley. What was this, an all you can eat until the meal drops dead buffet? He turned, angling his walk to intercept the new player as his heavy boots crunched over the road. Then he got a good look at the newcomer and his step faltered.
She was gorgeous. She was a vampire, but she was gorgeous.
Tiny's eyes widened in surprise as his brain tried to reconcile the two words in one sentence, even as his body reacted. She was average height... the perfect height to wrap into his arms, slide his hand into her hair and tilt her lips up...
Tiny snapped out of his reverie, his eyes narrowing as he clamped down on the reaction of his body to a fine piece of female ass and forced himself to study her.
She didn't seem the "type" to be a vampire was the first thing to hit him after the immediate "I want" reaction. Vampires, especially the ones who hovered around Moonlight & Magic, played up to the stereotype: pale skin, dark hair, dark clothing... Goths with attitude, or Lestat knock-offs.
This one could have been the poster-girl for the wholesome, all-American, girl next door type. Not blonde, but in the light cast by the street lights, he could see her hair wasn't the midnight black most vamps preferred, either. Instead, it contained a waterfall of autumn colors.
She had a tan, as well -- not at all the norm for a vamp. When even a small dose of direct UV turned you into crispy critter, tanning was a high risk option. Fake tan, unless his instincts were fooling him.
Were they? Was she something other than a vampire?
For the first time in a couple of hundred years Tiny found himself holding back. He'd always been a player, watching his back and ready for action of any sort -- although in the demon courts the more pleasurable kind always came with a price -- but this was the first time he'd doubted his instincts.
Face set, he watched the vamp chick head into the alleyway after the couple and tried to ignore the seductive sway of her hips. He noticed anyway; his body had completely different ideas about the matter, his cock already at half mast in his pants. Damn vampires, messing with a guy's head. He glared at a couple of humans who cut in front of him, then walked into the alley.
Whatever Tiny had expected from tonight, it wasn't for the problem to be solved before it became a problem. As he entered the alley, he expected to find the vampires fang-deep in the girl's throat -- or other appendage of choice. He expected to have to deal with them in short order whilst trying not to get the human killed. His hand was already reaching for one of the stakes along his ribcage when the woman's cool voice drifted on the night air to him.
"Okay, honey-bun, we can do this the easy way or the hard way... No, now that was just unpleasant, wasn't it? No need for language like that at all, especially in front of a lady... Oh really? How about we don't and say we did..."
Tiny had barely a second to react as the human was thrust into his arms with a "Here, hold this," before all hell broke loose.


  1. bookdragon36:05 AM

    Can we add Tiny to the staff at the Bar & Grille?