Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked! Today I have the opportunity to spotlight multipublished author J. Annas Walker. Her newest release The Jewel of Darkness from Siren Publishing is out and she's offered an excerpt for you to enjoy.
Brandon Thorpe and Sabrina Rivers-Thorpe have enjoyed six months of wedded bliss, but Sabrina’s been keeping a secret. Her transformation into a vampire created a magical disturbance in the Underworld. Now, Death is coming for what’s his.
But is Death the only thing stalking Sabrina? Brandon and Hadrian, Sabrina’s father, bring in Delilah, a demon, to act as detective and magical keeper. But Sabrina’s bloodlines are unique, and magic responds to her in unpredictable ways. Has Brandon’s efforts to keep her safe just made her a bigger, more valuable target? Is she even a vampire at all?
To what depths will Sabrina have to go to satisfy Death’s demands? Can she do it using her own powers? Can Brandon find a way to keep the Underworld from claiming Sabrina for its own? Can they even survive, if he doesn’t? What if Death isn’t the only one looking to do her harm? In the darkness, can a single jewel save them all?
Sabrina turned her face up to the hot spray. It felt good to push the water through her long, black hair. When finished, she gave the knobs a firm twist and reached out for the towel. The soft pile of fluffy fabric drank up the droplets as she stepped out of the shower. She used it as a wrap, tucking the edge in at the front to hold it up over her breasts. A second towel found its way around her head, twisted about her hair.
She padded over to the sink. Steam fogged the mirror over the marble vanity, allowing her to see an outline but no details. She started to wipe the surface clear but thought better of it. Instead she grabbed her toothbrush and the paste.
A quick dip through the trickle of water left on in the sink wet the brush enough to use. The mint-flavored gel foamed quickly. Sabrina made sure to carefully work the bristles around her fangs.
She pulled the towel from her hair and dropped it on the floor. Tilting her head to the side, she placed her lips under the faucet to pull water into her mouth. She rinsed out the paste twice and turned off the tap.
Before she could stand up, a hand reached through the mirror, grabbing a fistful of her hair. Sabrina screamed and braced herself against the sink. The hand tried to drag her through the rippling, silvered surface of the mirror.
A low voice growled, “You will be mine.”
“No! Brandon, help me!” Sabrina screamed.
Two strong hands squeezed her shoulders and shook her hard. That was not right. He needed to pull her to safety, not shake her up and down.
“Sabrina! Sabrina, wake up! Come on honey, wake up,” he said.
Brandon’s voice broke through her terror. She opened her eyes to see the serious look he wore. Tears slid down the sides of her face. She glanced around the room to make sure of her surroundings.
“It was just a dream. You’re safe at home and with me,” he cooed gently.
He rolled to one side and took her with him, cuddling her like a frightened child. Kissing her forehead, he took an edge of the sheet and wiped away her tears. Strong arms encircled her like a cage, pressing the side of her head to his chest.
Sabrina listened for a heartbeat, but only silence filled the space. She sniffed back a sob and closed her eyes. Inhaling deeply, she took in his honey-amber scent and relaxed. The fear subsided as she found comfort in her husband’s embrace.
A knock on the door interrupted the peace Brandon brought her. From the weight of the rap, she knew it was her father. He joined them for breakfast most evenings. Tonight, he came early.
“Is everything okay? Those had better be screams of pleasure I heard,” Hadrian said through the closed door. There was a hint of jest to his tone, but Sabrina felt certain there was also a thinly veiled threat.
Before he chose to become a vampire, Hadrian ruled the known world as a Roman emperor. For him, old habits did not die hard. They never died at all.
“Yes, sir,” Brandon called back. He nuzzled Sabrina’s cheek and kissed her again. “Do you want to tell me about it?”
“It was so real. My scalp is still prickling from where the hand had my hair,” she replied.
“What were you doing this time?”
“Brushing my teeth. I leaned in to rinse, and someone grabbed me. I didn’t see anything but a wrist. The mirror steamed up. I screamed for you, and then, I woke up,” she answered, fighting back more tears.
She pulled herself free and sat up. In the dresser’s mirror, she saw pink streaks on her face. Her hair tumbled around her, covering her naked breasts.
Sabrina asked, “Will it ever end?” She spoke more to her mirror self but said the thought aloud.
Brandon sat up with her, placing one arm around her. The other hand rested on her nearest shoulder. He rested his forehead against the side of her head.
“You’ve been through a lot. It’s only been six months. Give it some time,” he whispered.
“Time,” she said. “I have plenty of that now, don’t I?”
She pushed him back on the bed and straddled him. His bare flesh felt good between her thighs. Lifting her arms to stretch, she brushed her hair back from her body, revealing her breasts. The feel of the thick, blue-black curls brushing her nipples caused them to tighten.
Brandon grinned, flashing his fangs. “Oh, if your father wasn’t waiting, what wouldn’t I like to do to you right now?” He traced his fingers along the tops of her thighs to her waist. Palming her hips, he pressed her against his hardening dick.
Hadrian’s gruff, impatient voice called back through the closed door, “Well, he is waiting, and he doesn’t want to know the answer to that question.”
Sabrina covered her mouth with both hands to suppress another giggle. If it had been possible, she might have blushed. She only met her father six months ago. Although married, she still became embarrassed at the thought of his hearing her and Brandon.
Brandon pulled her hands free. “Don’t hide those beautiful fangs. We’re at home and can do anything we want to with each other. There’s nothing shameful in a man wanting his wife.”
“You’re right, but I suppose we should get dressed. Let’s go eat,” she agreed.
She bounded out of bed, scooping up her robe off the floor as she did. She glanced back to find Brandon leaned against the headboard. Staring for a moment, she took in the sight and thought how lucky she was to have him.
His dark brown eyes looked at her appraisingly. A wide smile spread across his face. The tip of his tongue toyed with his fang points. Thickly corded arms folded behind his head made him seem casual and laid-back. Broad shoulders and a sculpted chest tapered down to washboard abs and a narrow waist. A sheet of white silk hid everything else.
Her nipples hardened into peaks just seeing him, knowing he belonged to her. She bit at her bottom lip and dropped the robe. She wanted to climb back onto the bed and stay there with him for the rest of the night.
The Jewel of Darkness
For J. Annas Walker:
I started my love affair with vampires as a kid by reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was the only vampire book our little local library branch had back then. Then, I discovered mail order books and fell in love with the tortured characters in Interview with a Vampire. In the mid 80’s, the most amazing thing happened! My family bought a VCR, and I was finally able to see movies! All the vampire flicks I could beg for flickered across the screen, making the love affair into a passionate, lifelong relationship. Today, I write fantasy and paranormal romance and never pass up a chance to pair up vampires with the less-than-usual characters. Witches and elves currently top my list. I love weaving vampires into legends and myths where none exist. It’s my private world of the erotic, weird, and wonderful, and I invite every reader to go along for the ride.
You can find her here:
Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)