Friday, November 19, 2010

Just Semantics by Julia Talbot

Just Semantics

by Julia Talbot

Cover art: Bryan Keller

ISBN: 978-1-60521-555-6

Genre(s): Paranormal

Theme(s): Shapeshifters, Magic and Mayhem

Length: Hot Flash
Maura knows Dixon, the demon killer -- err, hunter -- is bad news the moment he walks into her shop looking for a flea remedy for his shapeshifting partner. Maura's sure men of action like Dix don't go for good girls like her.

Dix knows Maura is the one for him the moment he sets eyes on her. Now he's out to convince Maura he might just be the perfect mate for her.

But a demon hunter’s the last thing Maura needs, especially one as hot as Dix. Right?

Just Semantics

Julia Talbot

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2010 Julia Talbot

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

"Look, I can see that you're a demon killer, okay, but I can't sell you this herb without some sort of identification. I need to know you're of legal age. Pennyroyal can be exceptionally dangerous." Maura stood behind the counter of her magic shop and crossed her arms over her chest, trying to appear taller than her whopping five-three. Really, big men always... loomed. Especially if they were far too attractive men with dark hair and glorious green eyes. Not that she noticed such things. She was a business woman.

"Demon hunter." The man's teeth were grinding audibly. "I don't kill every one I come across. I've never had to show ID to buy pennyroyal before. My partner needs it."

"Ha. Killer, hunter; it's a matter of semantics. You've never tried to buy the oil from me before, I'm afraid."

Those green eyes flashed furiously at her, his big body tensing up. "Lady, I swear to --"

Maura held up a hand. "Please don't swear in my store. Bad things can happen, depending who you call on. There are too many avatars and such in here."

He blinked before glancing around, his shoulders pulling up around his ears. "Sorry."

"Yes, well. Mister..."

"My name is Dixon. You can call me Dix."

"Mr. Dixon. Why does your partner need it, exactly?"

"He has fleas."

Maura relaxed, smiling at him. "He." The man had a male partner. That made him much less intimidating. Though, eek on the fleas. That had to be murder in bed. "Well, a drop of pennyroyal on the skin will definitely help that. He should absolutely not ingest it. It's not an internal elixir." She started preparing an empty bottle for a dose of her pennyroyal flea remedy.

"Huh. Where can I put it that it won't get licked off?"

"You..." Maura blushed, her cheeks on fire. "Can't you control yourself long enough to let him get rid of the fleas? I can't imagine having, er, sexual relations with someone suffering from flea bites. Not only is it unsanitary, it's itchy. Honestly, men are so driven by their urges." Dead silence behind her made her peek at him over her shoulder. He simply stared at her, mouth open. Oh, dear. She'd offended him.

"Lady, I don't have sex with Bingo. He's a dog. Most of the time."

"Oh. Oh! I'm sorry, I assumed... Well." She fluttered, her hands wavering when she poured. "You said partner, and I thought you meant 'life' not 'hunting'."

"Well, that's what you get for assuming. Here's my ID." He slapped it down on the counter, and Maura picked it up, peering at it.

Dixon Elliot, age thirty-two, from Shreveport, Louisiana. His driver's license picture looked just like him, which wasn't fair. Those kinds of pictures should make a person look like a prison inmate or an escapee from the psych ward. Hers certainly did, what with the crazy hair and angry eyes. She'd had a hard time parking at the DMV that day.

"I'm sorry I called you Mr. Dixon, Mr. Elliot. Just one moment and I'll finish up your remedy." She handed back his ID and went to work, trying not to be so aware of him. It was a difficult task. He was back to looming and smoldering, like something out of one of those awful vampire movies.

Honestly, sexy vampires? Please. Everyone knew they were dead things that smelled like rotting flesh. There were some demons who were very attractive, but they all had an odor, whether rot or brimstone. Dixon Elliot smelled spicy and male. Elemental and hot, and maybe a little like wet dog, but that was okay. Maura liked dogs.

"I told you to call me Dix, huh?" He grinned, his white teeth flashing. He was simply too charismatic.

"You did. I don't know you, however, so I'll stick to formal. Here you are. That's thirty-seven-fifty."

Dix handed over two twenties, but when she reached for them he grabbed her hand. "You could get to know me."

"What?" Her pulse speeded up and Maura tried to ignore the way his touch made her skin tingle and her nipples harden. Gracious, she'd never had a man's touch send that sort of electricity through her.

"I hate being formal. We should get cozy. Coffee? Lunch? Dog walking?" He smiled again, which had suspicion creeping in.

"What do you want?" He had to want something else. She hoped it wasn't help hunting a demon. She wasn't good at that. Some of her friends had demon in them.

"What do you mean?" Dark brows pulled down into a frown, his face clouding up. "I can't just like you?"

"No." Maura yanked her hand back. "Demon killers --"


"Hunters like you are men of action. They're not interested in girls like me."

"Ah. Well, I got news for you. My partner thinks you're perfect for me."

"Your partner who's a dog and has fleas."

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