Monday, August 25, 2014
IT'S HERE! My MMF menage, Jessalina's Pets, is now available from Siren. And at a 10% discount, too! One tough lady, two hawt guys, and a bargain price. How can you pass that up?
Rich, bored and looking for diversion, lynx shifter Jess impulsively buys a pair of "pets" at the local slave market. Fin and Deon figure playing pet for the rich kitty will be the cushiest gig they've ever had. All three are in for big surprises concerning each other, with love the biggest shock of all.
Back to the serial story next week. This week you get a book excerpt. You can check out the rest at www.bookstrand.com/jessalinas-pets
Jess grabbed a sword similar to the one she held and tossed it to him. He caught it expertly. The purported lover had fighting skills. She smiled thinly. They would not save him.
“Last chance,” she said to Deon. “Tell me what I saw out there. Tell me what you are, or I’ll slice him to ribbons.”
Deon set his mouth in a stubborn line. “You don’t have to tell her anything,” Fin said. “She won’t hurt me. I’m too pretty.”
“Don’t be so sure,” Jess said, and swung at his naked chest. She meant to deal him only a scratch. He brought up his sword and blocked her with unexpected skill. Jess smiled. “You’ve had training.”
“I have a checkered past.” He swung his weapon experimentally, and adjusted his grip. “We’re perfectly willing to share your bed, together or separately. Most women I know would jump at the chance. You don’t want to muck it up with all this baseless suspicion.”
“Hardly baseless.” They circled. “You’re a slave. All slaves try something eventually. It’s to be expected. And I’m not like any woman you know.”
“You’ve got me there,” Fin said. “I tell you what—I win, we fuck, and you stop asking questions about Deon there. Agreed?”
“I don’t make deals with pets.”
“Then defend yourself, Mistress.”
Fin lunged at her. He was better than his careless manner suggested, but not better than her. Jess realized that within minutes. She kept the knowledge from him by a series of clumsy parries and one wild swing that left her wide open. He didn’t take advantage of her offering, simply stepped back and allowed her to recover. Then he clipped the pale snow rose from her suit’s lapel with a deft flick of his wrist, and flashed a scoundrel’s grin at her.
Her feline urge to toy with her prey threatened to swamp her. Far too seldom did she find an opponent to test herself against. Her female peers recoiled, aghast, from the thought of combat, and the males got surly when she beat them. Fin’s skills presented opportunities for all sorts of new games, during a sword match and after.
Their blades clashed. They drew apart. Both were panting now. “You’re worth every cent I paid for you,” Jess told him.
“You haven’t even sampled my true skills.”
“Tell me what Deon is and we’ll rectify that.”
“It’s not my place to say.”
“Then you’ll just have to lose.” Jess leaned in and with one quick twist disarmed him. He made a startled yelp. She pressed the tip of her sword against his collar. Fin had the sense to stand still. “I’d hate to have to mark your flesh,” she said. “Now talk.”
The words had scarcely left her lips when she was seized from behind. With one hand Deon caught the wrist of her sword hand. The other pressed a razor edge against her throat. Even taken by surprise, she recognized it from its feel as one of the duocorn horns. The kind her female ancestors had used to dispatch their enemies.
“Really,” Deon growled beside her ear. “Did you think I’d just stand there like one of your useless society friends and let you hurt him? Not on my behalf.”
Jess remained predator-still while Fin took her sword. Stupid girl! she berated herself. Stupid, careless girl, to believe for even a second her defiant pet would be cowed just because she held a weapon. That jumped her brain to the blade at her throat. The clinical part of her wondered. A horn? All those weapons on the wall at his disposal, and he had gone for this?
Perhaps it was adrenaline that spurred her racing thoughts. All at once the pieces fell into place.
Fin tossed her sword into a corner. “No need for violence,” he said to Deon. “I’m sure we can come up with a solution that doesn’t involve blood on the floor.”
“I don’t see how,” Deon said, “now that I’ve threatened her life.”
“You had good reason, protecting your secret.” Jess spoke coolly, though beneath her silk blazer her heart pounded like a racing stallion’s hooves. “Don’t be frightened. I won’t betray you, or kill you. There are so few of you left.”
She felt his hard body jerk against hers. The horn at her throat slipped. She extended her claws and scored his forearm. Not deeply, but the surprise of it had the effect she desired. He yelled and let her go. Jess grabbed the horn and twisted away, out of reach. She backed to the weapons wall and faced them in a crouch, with the point of the horn aimed at Deon.
“This isn’t the first time you’ve used one of these, is it?” She brandished the horn. “Though not in this manner, I’m sure. It’s more of a gore for you, isn’t it?”
He glared at her so murderously she wondered if she ought to risk a reach for another sword. Fin hopped between them, his hands out. “All right, you caught us,” he said. “He’s my brother. Half brother. Quarter brother. Cousin. Something like that. He’s part silver fox. He doesn’t shift because his form comes out weird. All that bad blood in the line. He won’t—”
“Save it,” Jess snapped. “I know what he is.”