Masquerade

Ever since Japer lost his family, he’s been hunting those responsible.

Grace is summoned home to find the creatures who murdered Jasper’s family. One night she bumps into a man that saves her from being mugged. Grace’s heart softens toward this gallant stranger, and they spend a glorious evening together making love. Not expecting to see him again, she discovers Jasper, her knight, has been training as a vampire hunter.

Jasper wants to protect Grace from the evil fiends he’s hunting. She pleads with him not to continue on his hunting forays for fear she will lose him.

Together, they must face the darkness that awaits them in Boston’s underbelly before the monsters decide to hunt them.



Excerpt from "Carrion Comfort"

We drove to my house in silence. She stared out the window at the changing scenery while I navigated the streets of Boston. Even though my hunt hadn’t uncovered any scavengers, I never suspected I’d come across a woman in distress. A gorgeous one at that. I tried to keep my eyes trained on the road, but my gaze slipped to her. How the curve of her breast rested against her arm. How the fabric stretched tight across her chest. Shapely legs have to be encased in those jeans. I bet her ass is perfectly rounded, too. She’s a short little thing, but I sense there’s a spitfire bottled up inside of her.

My grip tightened on the steering wheel while I waited at a light. Only two more and we would be at the house. My palms were sweaty. The hilt of my new knife stabbed into my kidneys. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her breasts rising and falling evenly. She would be a good fuck. I shook my head. It’s been too long since I’ve had a woman writhing underneath me. Already I could feel my dick deep inside her pussy. She’d breathe my name and call out for me to bang her some more. Get a grip.

A horn blared next to us. I jerked the wheel to the right, getting back over into my lane. What the fuck am I doing? I swung a right and then turned into my driveway. I shut off the car and opened her door. She gave me a half smile, got out, and followed me to the door. Where is the fucking key? I dug around my pockets. The warmth of her body blazed against my back. A sweet perfume smelling of oranges and mangoes clung to her. I inhaled the intoxicating aroma and found my other key ring. I jabbed the key into the lock, and turned it. The door stuck in the jam, so I pushed it open and let her walk by me. The fragrance trailed behind her, inviting me to pull her close. I gripped the doorknob hard and regained my composer.

After a moment, I turned the kitchen light on and opened the fridge to pull out a beer. I glanced over. She was examining my mother’s collection of decorative plates on the wall. I felt my neck flush, wondering what she must think about the gaudy relics. An inch of cobwebs and who knows what else clung to the porcelain dishes. I’d been telling myself I’d take them down, but I never got around to it.

“Do you want a beer?”

She gave me a half smile. It looked so much better on her than the look of terror I had met her with. I grabbed the other, popped the top, and handed the longneck to her. Her lips met the top of the bottle, submerged the head, and knocked it back as if she’d been doing it for years. She met my eyes after a few long sips and then stopped.

“What?” she asked innocently. Her tongue wrapped around the lip of the bottle, catching the remaining drops of beer. Mary, Mother of God. Come and use that on me, baby. My cock shifted. There was something about this damsel in distress that I couldn’t put my finger on.

“Ah shit!” I stripped off my jacket and threw it on the chair by the door. Her eyes widened and she pointed. I glanced down. Fuck. What does she think now?

“What the hell is that?”

She gripped the beer bottle harder. I raised my hand up slowly and pulled the knife from my belt. “It’s for hunting. Nothing else.”

“Hunting? Where are the fucking deer in Boston Common? Are you working with that whack job who tried to attack me earlier? Is your plan to drag me back here, fuck me, and then dump my body in a shallow grave up the coast somewhere?”

I stepped forward, trying to show her I meant no harm. She didn’t understand. No one would. How could I tell her what I was hunting? I dropped the knife to the counter. She didn’t wait and flung the beer bottle at me. I ducked as it whizzed by my shoulder and clipped my ear. An explosion of glass and beer splattered against my kitchen cabinets. She tried to run past me, but I caught her. She struggled in my arms. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

“Get the fuck off me.”

I let her go and stepped away from the door. “Go. No one is stopping you, but you were the one who said you needed a place to stay. And I saved your life. Look. I get how this seems. Devilishly handsome guy saves gorgeous damsel in distress from horrific villain in the middle of the night and then brings her back to his stylish, yet overly outdated pad, and said damsel now thinks her savior wants to drag her into bed and get laid. I swear it’s not.”

Her eyes lit up first before a smile twitched on her lips. She sighed and ran a hand through her golden locks. “I’m sorry. It’s been a messed up night all around. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.”

“Hey, I understand. I don’t normally find a beautiful woman in the middle of the Boston Common. Friends?” I extended my hand. She took it. Her flesh was warm and smooth. I pictured pulling her into my arms and feeling the contours of her body against mine. What if—no.

“Friends. My name is . . .” she paused. I thought I saw something flash across her face. A wave of cold washed over me. I shook it off. The night was getting to me. That and I needed another beer. “ . . . Grace.”

“Jasper.” When she pulled her hand away, I was left craving her touch once more. “Come on. I’ll show you the guest room so you can get some sleep.”

She nodded. There was something different about her. Her energy had retreated inward, withdrawing from me. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I flicked the light on in what had been my parents’ room. I never had a need to use it. Hell, it’d been forever since there had been anyone else in the house. Awkward silence formed between us. I fought back a yawn, which finally won.

“Well . . . ahh . . . bathroom is down the hall on the left. I’m downstairs. Help yourself to whatever you want.”

She shrugged. “Thanks.”

I nodded and headed into the finished basement I called a room. I stripped off my clothes and ran the water for the shower. I had tomorrow off, so I could sleep in and then meet Tobias later in the night. The thought of him bringing in help didn’t sit well with me. We didn’t need an outsider interfering on the hunt. Granted, it was going slow, but eventually I would find the culprits. Water poured over me, washing away the grime and sweat of the day. My hunt hadn’t gone the way I planned. Something was happening among the scavengers. Most of the nests I searched were vacant. I normally got one a night, three if I was lucky. Tobias and I, we could obliterate a nest of eight or nine.

I shut the water off and then wrapped a towel around my waist. Sleep weighed on my body. I toweled off quickly and pulled on my boxers. I lay in bed and stared at the ceiling. The floorboards creaked upstairs. I reminded myself Grace was up there. It was odd to have another person in the house. It didn’t feel quite so lonely. The bed springs groaned, and then all was silent. I glanced at the gold band on my left hand. I’d never taken it off. I ran my fingers over the chain around my neck and found Jane’s ring there. It was a piece of her close to my heart. I sighed. One day you’ll be avenged. Hot tears gathered, but I ignored them and shut my eyes. Once I did, sleep overwhelmed me.

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