Courting the Darkness
A Mature Adult Paranormal Romance. It is the first of a new series.
She's wanted by everyone . . .
All she wanted was to be left alone, or at least that's what Desiree Dupuis thought she wanted. She was born a very powerful witch. It figures the one back-fired spell she cast would make her a very wanted woman. Drake, the Vampire King, wanted her for her magic. Jason Hargrove, the witch hunter, wanted to see her burn. Caleb Jenkins, the shape-shifter, wanted to possess her. Mica Sinclair, the Rogue Vampire . . .Well . . . Mica wanted her heart.
Danger and adventure awaits . . .
Desiree had no trouble finding danger, suspense, lies, deceit, and most of all romance . . . But could she find love?
She's found love, but the risk may be too great, the cost too dear . . .
After being tugged in four different directions, all Desiree wanted to do was to Court the Darkness.
They arrived in Sevierville, Tennessee just as the sun set. A blanket of snow freshly coated everything. Caleb pulled the Express Van into the parking lot of a local department store and grocery, cutting the engine. He was hungry and ready to get out of the vehicle.
Turning around in the driver’s seat, he gazed at Desiree sleeping soundly on the back seat. Mica slept in the back of the van on the cot. He should let them sleep, but he knew Desiree would be hungry too. “Wake up, we’re here.”
“We’re here?” Desiree groaned, lifting her head. “Where is here?”
Mica sat up. “We’re in the mountains of Tennessee.”
Desiree sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and looking around. Twilight gave the snow an eerie glow. “So what now?” She threw the question out to whoever would answer.
Caleb smiled at her worried expression. “We’re going to stock up on some camping supplies, and food.”
She looked out the window at all the snow. “We’re going to camp in the snow?”
Mica looked out of the window too. “No, we’re camping inside the Forbidden Caverns. They’re closed this time of year, so we should be safe from discovery. The temperature in there is a constant fifty-eight degrees, so you won’t freeze.”
“Oh.” She looked down at her rumpled clothes, and then back out of the window at the snow again. “I’m not really dressed for camping. In fact, I’ve never actually camped before in my life.”
Mica smiled at her expression. “There’s a first time for everything.”
She sighed heavily. “It beats the alternative.”
Caleb tilted his head. “What alternative?”
“Roasting on a stake at the inquisition center.” She shuddered. “This will be a blast in comparison.”
Caleb chuckled softly. “It won’t be so bad. We’ll stop off at a truck stop and get a hot meal and a shower before we head to the caverns.”
“A hot shower,” she replied wistfully. “I can’t wait. If only I had some clean clothes to change into.”
Mica nodded. “New clothes suitable for the outdoors are on the list of supplies”
“Well what are we waiting for?” She was suddenly in a hurry. The prospect of a hot shower and clean clothes were too much to resist.
Mica chuckled softly at her change in attitude. “We’re waiting on you to get out of the car.”
* * *
With the shopping complete, the van loaded down with supplies, Mica drove to a truck stop and parked. “You two go and get a table. I’ll join you shortly.”
She cocked her head to the side, staring at him curiously. “Where do you go?”
“Not far.” He shrugged, grinning slyly. “I look for a willing donor, and when I find one, I’m all set.”
Her eyes rounded. “How do you find someone willing to volunteer for that?”
“They don’t know they’re volunteering. In fact, they have no memory of the encounter at all.”
Placing her hands on her hips, she narrowed her eyes at that statement. “I don’t believe that.” She locked eyes with him in a challenge. “If I had an encounter with you, I know I’d remember it.”
He grinned flirtatiously. “Do you want to put that to the test?”
Caleb ran in-between them. “No---no---no---no---no.” His heart raced, putting his hands up between them to keep them apart. “This is a crowded parking lot.” He looked frantically around to see if anyone observed them. “You both are attracting too much attention. If our plan is to work, we can’t attract attention.”
Mica laughed. “I don’t think its other people’s attention you’re worried about, buddy.”
Caleb glared at him, snatching Desiree’s arm to steer her toward the truck stop. She yanked her arm away, irritated with both. “Wait a minute. What is it with you two?”
Things were not going the way Caleb wanted them to at all. “Nothing, come on.” He reached for her arm again, and she ducked out of the way.
She frowned, anger edging her voice. “I don’t believe you.” She crossed her arms over her chest defiantly. “This rivalry between you two has got to stop. We are all stuck out here together. I can’t have you two at each other’s throats.”
Caleb rolled his eyes impatiently. “We’re not fighting.”
She glared at him in disbelief, and then she looked over at Mica. He threw up his hands, smiling. She shook her head in exasperation. “Please---please---please, try to get along with each other.” She abruptly turned and walked into the truck stop on her own.
Mica watched her leave. The smile never left his face. He nudged Caleb with his elbow to draw his attention away from Desiree. “She’s smarter than you give her credit for.”
He glared over at his friend. “When we started out on this trip, you said you didn’t want anything to do with the witch.”
He flashed him a smile. “I’ve changed my mind.”
Caleb smiled back slyly. “We’ll just have to make this a friendly competition.”
“All right, a friendly competition.” Mica nodded. “But Desiree can’t know anything about it, or she won’t speak to either of us. In the end, it will be all her decision.”
“Her decision.” Caleb nodded. “I agree. I would wish you luck my friend, but I want all the luck for myself.”
Mica laughed, slapping him on the back. “We’re keeping this friendly. I’ll return shortly, no cheating.”
Caleb grinned. “All’s fair.”
“Agreed.” Mica took off.
Caleb walked into the truck stop, grinning hugely; he sat down across from her at the table. Looking up, she eyed him suspiciously. “What are you grinning about?”
“Who me?” His eyes opened innocently wide. “I just have an overall cheerful disposition.” Reaching across the table, he tried to take her hand.
“Right,” she remarked suspiciously, pulling her hand back. “What were you two talking about for so long out there?”
Grinning cockily, he shrugged. “We were just making up like you suggested.”
“Good.” She glared at him a few seconds longer, and then she picked up the menu. She stared unseeingly at the print. “A good friend is hard to find. I didn’t want to mess things up between you two.”
“We’re all good.” Caleb picked up his menu.
* * *
Mica joined them as they finished eating. “What did I miss?” he directed his question to Desiree as he sat down next to her.
She smiled up at him. “Not a thing.”
He looked at Caleb levelly. “Good.” Caleb shrugged, smirking back.
She looked between the two, narrowing her eyes in speculation. “Caleb said you two made up.”
Mica smiled. “We did.”
She glanced between the two of them again in speculation, blowing out a breath. “Good, now that that’s all settled, I ‘m ready for a hot shower and clean clothes.”
Caleb chuckled. “That’s something I think we can all agree with.”
* * *
Filing into the truck stop, Mica paid for the showers, and they were each awarded a key.
Desiree opened the door to her bathroom, smiling in anticipation. Stripping out of her clothes, she threw them in the trash, the clothes soiled beyond salvation. She turned the water on and got it good and hot. Stepping under the streaming water, she luxuriated in the feel of the hot water kneading her sore muscles, taking her time, washing away all the grime from that prison. After awhile she felt like herself again.
She brushed and blow-dried her hair and applied a little makeup. The swelling had finally gone down from her lips. She put on her new clothes, feeling fresh, improving her attitude immensely. She felt lucky to be alive. That was a narrow escape.
She walked down the hall smiling to herself. Rounding the corner, she found Mica and Caleb pacing the floor. She laughed. “What’s wrong?”
“We thought you might have got nabbed again it took you so long,” Caleb complained.
“I’m sorry I worried you.” She smiled, closing her eyes briefly in memory. “The shower felt so good I didn’t want to get out. I didn’t know we were in that big of a hurry.”
“We’re not. I just think Caleb’s tired. He’s been up all day and it’s late.”
“I’m ready to go now. Next time I’ll try not to take so long.”
Caleb sighed. “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I guess I am tired. Let’s go.”
The saga continues . . .
Courting the Darkness Saga:
Book two of the Courting the Darkness Saga
Sherry Lambert is a little tired of her mundane “normal” life. Other than being a witch, nothing remotely exciting ever happens to her. That is until she receives a phone call from Desiree. Suddenly she’s sucked into a lifestyle she’s never known full of excitement and danger.
Drake Bouvier is king. He has reigned as king for the last three hundred years. No one tells him no and remains healthy. Handsome, arrogant, and ruthless, he is a vampire accustomed to taking what he wants—he wants Sherry.
From the moment their eyes meet there is an attraction. Sherry’s excited to meet the hot new guy at her friend’s door until she finds out he’s a vampire. She is looking for a little excitement, but this is a little more than she bargained for. Her friend Desiree’s warning to stay away from Drake only fuels her curiosity, drawing her in despite her best intentions.
From the moment he catches her scent he knows her for who she is—his life mate. He isn’t letting anyone stand in his way, especially Desiree.
Danger and excitement comes from every corner: witch hunters, shape shifters, enemy clans, and an old prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Can Sherry resist the temptations of the flesh and promise of excitement to just walk away? Will he even let her? Will they even survive the next couple of days? — Dangerous
World Castle Publishing, LLC