Boy meets girl. Then things get hot…
Sally the succubus sucks at her job, no pun intended. Being a former secretary with no love life to speak of doesn’t exactly give her much experience in the “hot seductress” department. So when her Master says she’s not meeting her monthly soul-corrupting quota, he does what any loving boss would do—he sends her to Elysian, a reform school for the “wicked at heart.” Determined to prove she’s not terrible at her job, Sally sets out to become the best succubus she can be. And with her long-time crush Hector, the Underworld’s most infamous incubus, as her teacher, Sally’s even more eager to prove her mettle.
Too bad no one told her that people have been mysteriously disappearing from Elysian, only to show up as mutilated corpses a few days later. Then she might not have been so eager to go, man candy or not.
When the killer targets Sally, it’s up to Hector and her to put a stop to the evil force once and for all. But doing so may cost them their hearts—and their souls.
Fast, fun, and flirty, Carnal is a steamy paranormal romance that’s sure to leave you aching for more.
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Series: Her Dark Desires
Genre: Erotic romance/paranormal romance/romantic suspense
Age: 18+ for language and frequent sexy scenes
Number in series: 1 of 3
Length: full-length novel
BEING A SUCCUBUS, YOU see a lot of weird shit. People have needs, after all. Fetishes. But this one took the cake.
“Um-kay,” I said, observing the brown, furry costume. “Let me get this straight: you want me to dress up as a dog and take it in the back door while you howl or something?”
Norman stomped his foot. “No! I didn’t say you were a dog! You’re going to be a Level 15 nomad warrior princess, and I’m going to be the rugged Level 30 Hunter who saves your village from the orc attack!”
I stared at him. “And… I’m repaying you with hot sex?”
“Not just any sex,” Norman said, rubbing his grubby fingers together. Cheeto cheese flaked off his fingertips onto the already grimy floor. His tiny apartment looked as if it had never seen a vacuum or furniture polish. “It’s the sacred mating ritual of the Nomad clans. And you have to use the language of the Northern Dragonlord Nomads.”
I raised my brows. “So I’m a princess, I can swing a sword, and I have a pet dragon? I’m down with that.”
Norman sneered at me. “Are you making fun of me? I developed this game! It’s up for game of the year, I’ll have you—”
“Sorry, sorry! It’s just, um, different, that’s all. I’ve never, uh, had to be a sword-wielding, dragon-taming warrior princess slut.”
He laughed but ended up snorting. With his pudgy face and upturned nose, I almost expected him to oink too. “Unbelievable. I can’t believe this is really happening. My dream come true! I could never get my past girlfriends to play along.”
“No shit?” I said with a little laugh.
“So,” he said, running his tongue along his fat lips. “Shall I help you change?”
It took some serious willpower not to gag on the fumes wafting out of his mouth. Had he brushed his teeth this week?
“Um, would you, er, like that?” I reluctantly asked.
He reached down his pants and rubbed his crotch, getting a dreamy-eyed look on his face. “I’ve never seen a naked woman in person before. All I’ve had are pictures and Angelina.”
Norman rolled his eyes. “No, Jolie is in the corner. I only have her on Wednesday nights, and only if I defeat the Dungeon Master. Angelina takes care of me every other time.”
I looked where he was pointing. A collection of obviously worn sock puppet dolls, complete with huge tits, sat in the corner. I didn’t want to think about where the stains came from.
I nodded, as if I wasn’t grossed out. “I see.”
“So can you really shape-shift?” Norman asked. “My dungeon-raid buddy, Danny, told me Vixens are really werewolves.”
“Succubi, to be exact,” I said. “And yes, we can, um, shape-shift.” I mumbled that last part, pretending to be acutely interested in the cherry soda on his cluttered desk.
Norman’s face lit up with glee. “I’m in Heaven! I get such a boner whenever I see Lilith that I end up nearly tearing Angelina apart just trying to get rid of it.”
“Wait, who’s Lilith?”
“She’s the henchwoman you have to defeat in the last level of the Ice Palace. She’s so fucking hot! Her tits are the size of—”
“Okay, okay, I get it,” I said, deciding to cut him off. Something told me I’d be here all night if he got chatty about his games. “So, shall I put on some music and get this party started?”
“Oh! I like music!”
You’d think the way he was clapping his hands together, I was his mother, and I’d just told him we could go to the candy shop. Then again, this experience probably was going to be like a candy shop for a guy like Norman.
“All right, then,” I said, spinning around and trying to locate a free outlet to plug in my portable stereo. “I’ll just plug this in, and we’ll—SHIT!” Something caught my six-inch stilettos and sent me flying into his entertainment center. My lip lit up with pain, and I banged my head on the wood on the way down. The warm tang of blood in my mouth alerted me that I had either busted out a tooth or split my lip. “Son of a—”
“Are you okay? Oh.”
I looked up. Norman’s eyes were glued to my rear, which was still stuck up in the air.
And very bare.
Who needed to wear panties when they were just going to get ripped off? Victoria’s Secret was expensive to replace, not to mention I’d lost a lot of favorites from my lingerie collection that way.
Norman’s mouth formed an “O” shape, and his hand worked inside his pants with growing fervor.
I sighed. Screw the stereo. I was getting out of here ASAP.
Straightening, I composed myself with a smile and yanked my shirt off, leaving me standing in my bra. “Why don’t we get right to the point? I don’t want to waste any more of your-”
“Can I play with them?” Norman was staring straight at my breasts. His request was whispered, as if he were asking to hold the Holy Grail and not my boobs.
Gritting my teeth, I said, “Yeah. Sure.”
“Can you make them, you know, bigger? Yours aren’t very big.”
My smile hitched. Now he was in bitchslap territory. “Of course,” I drawled with fake enthusiasm. “Whatever you’d like, sir. You’re the one paying for my hour.”
I closed my eyes and tried to picture my boobs growing bigger. Nerves made my stomach flop. Come on, Sally. You’ve got this shape-shifting thing down. The tiger incident was just one time. That man didn’t really want to have kids anyway, right? My skin tingled as my body took another form, feeling ticklish rather than unpleasant.
“Ugh! What the hell is that?”
My eyes flashed open. I looked down. My breasts had apparently merged into one giant uni-boob. “Um,” I said, feeling my heart rate notch up, “just give me a moment. I’ll fix it.”
Ignoring Norman’s commentary as best I could, I closed my eyes and refocused my shape-shifting efforts.
Norman burst out laughing.
“What now?” I growled, opening my eyes. My boobs were back to normal. Well, sort of. There were two of them anyway, only one was a heck of a lot bigger than the other.
Norman fell to the ground and rolled around, clutching his gut and farting between laughs. “You’re horrible! A succubus who isn’t sexy? I never would have thought of it!”
“Shut up!” I snapped then held my tongue. If Elias had heard I was mouthing off to a client, I’d be toast for sure. But if I came back without absorbing any energy, he’d know something had gone wrong anyway.
Damn. It. All.
Closing my eyes, I concentrated one last time. This time, Norman went silent. I peeked a look at my breasts. They were equally sized, impressive double D’s large enough to make a porn star jealous.
I sighed with relief. That was cl—
Norman pounced on me, knocking me to the ground. He buried his face in my boobs, squeezing them hard.
“Ouch!” I snapped. “That hurts!”
“They’re so soft!” he squealed, licking them and leaving behind a long trail of drool. “I want to bite your nipple.”
“No, no, no!” I said, smacking his mouth away. At his hurt look, I ran a hand through my long black hair and said, “Look, I’m sorry. But rule number one of handling a woman is to be gentle. I know Angelina and Jolie can take a lot of abuse, but they’re made out of cloth, so they don’t care how you treat them.”
Norman nodded, eyes glued to my humongous breasts. “Gentle. I can be very gentle…” The last few words were muffled as he smothered himself in my boobs.
The skin along my chest and arms tingled as his soul began seeping into me. I sighed. It’d been a while since I’d had such a pure soul. Norman might be a creep, but he was harmless.
After a few more minutes of sucking on my boobs so hard I was sure to have bruises, I pried him off and said, “Why don’t we do your skit? You were really looking forward to that.”
I could only imagine the energy boost this guy would give me, if he made it that long. The sweeter the soul, the harsher first contact with a succubus or incubus was.
And Norman’s soul was ripe for the picking.
Norman stood and swayed. I steadied him as he reached for the costume. “Yeah,” he slurred, his eyes fluttering shut, “I’ll just, um, get that fer yeh…”
He fell face-first on the bed, knocking over the partially finished popcorn bowl and sending kernels flying everywhere.
I stood there, staring at my fast-asleep client. “Seriously?”
When it became clear he wasn’t waking up anytime soon, I threw my hands up in the air with an exasperated growl, grabbed my stuff, and left.
“What a bust,” I grumbled, shoulders drooping as I walked down the stairs and out the side door. The cool Kansas air helped rejuvenate me as I walked toward my little used Honda Civic.
I loved fall, because it meant I got to wear cute sweaters and jackets. Plus, the foliage was so pretty, being dyed colors of gold, red, and orange this time of year.
It being a Sunday, near midnight, there wasn’t a soul in sight. The sky was overcast, leaving the dim streetlamps as the only source of light, and the air was an odd mixture of garbage and dust.
I smiled. Smells like Athens, Kansas.
The sound of my heels striking concrete echoed off the buildings around me as I walked, the only sound breaking the comfortable silence, save for the city background noise. Even though Athens was located only ten miles outside of Kansas City, it was about a third of the size and subsequently tended to shut down around nine p.m. Or after church on a Sunday, usually around seven p.m.
The events—or lack thereof—from this week poured through my mind, fueling my agitation.
This was only the second client I’d had this week, and neither had resulted in sex. While succubi could pull energy through any means of contact, direct penetration was the best method for claiming the most soul the quickest.
I narrowed my eyes. This was also the second time this week I’d been told I wasn’t sexy. Actually, that was kind of a recurring theme with my feedback. I was taking strides to improve that, but nothing seemed to be working so far.
“Not sexy my ass,” I grumbled. “I can be sexy. I can be a freaking smoke machine!”
I’d turned the corner without looking where I was going and plowed into what appeared to be a garbage bag, sitting right in the middle of the sidewalk.
Luckily, I was able to reclaim my balance, and I whirled around to look for the offending object. “What the hell?”
I stopped. The bag was gone.
Confused, I looked around. Nope, still no bag.
“Wow,” a voice behind me said. “Did I luck out.”
Gasping, I turned to find a man at least six feet tall looking down on me with a hungry leer. But being cornered by a strange man in an abandoned alley wasn’t what worried me.
It was the fangs hanging over his bottom lip that sent my heart racing.
Frantically, I reached into my purse, groping for my key chain, which held my Silver Mist bottle. Instead of pepper spray, paranormals carried Silver Mist, which was basically fine silver particles that would burn the shit out of a were or vamp.
The vampire walked toward me, one slow, deliberate step at a time. With his scraggly hair, long, unkempt beard, and dirty clothes, he looked and smelled more like a bum than one of the aristocratic undead.
That didn’t make him any less dangerous. If anything, it made him twice as much of a threat.
“You’re pretty,” he said, that creepy grin inching up his face. “And you smell good. Like sex and cotton candy.”
Huh. Well, that was a new one. Since succubi were masters of attraction, our scents could also attract victims. Our bodies would take on the smell of our prey’s favorite smells. Curiously, it was vampires who smelled sex the most, regardless of whether they were male or female.
I swallowed hard, backing away at a steady clip and searching my peripheral vision for exits. The alley didn’t seem this long when I was walking down it a moment ago. And where was my damn spray?
The vampire licked his lips, his eyes glowing fiery red. “Just a bite,” he moaned, hands making to grab me. “I’m so hungry. Mice and stray cats don’t have much blood to offer.”
My fight-or-flight instinct kicked into high throttle. Dropping the stereo, I wheeled about and took off at a dead sprint, running as fast as my heels could carry me. It was a miracle I didn’t sprain my ankle.
The sweet promise of a frequented intersection loomed a few feet away.
There was a whoosh behind me, trailed by the sound of flapping clothing overhead, right before the vampire landed in front of me, silent as death.
I drew up short, heart beating wildly inside my chest. If I tried going around him, he’d simply snatch me up before I could blink. Vampires had superior speed, outmatched only by demons and angels.
I didn’t dare turn around to glimpse the alley behind me, because I knew the minute I turned my back, I’d be dead. There wasn’t a prayer’s chance of outrunning him. And sure, I could try to shape-shift, but I was incompetent when I was calm. As a nervous wreck, I’d be drained before I could summon enough concentration to attempt a transformation.
I knew I was running out of time, and as I weighed my options, my hand shot into my purse. There! I seized the can, and I’d just hauled the capsule out of my bag when the vamp surged forward, grabbed my throat, and slammed me into the side of the building.
I would have screamed had all the air not been knocked from my lungs. Pain erupted at the back of my skull as my vision blotched for a few terrifying seconds, right before the vampire grazed my neck with the tips of his fangs.
“I can’t… wait… to taste you,” he moaned, giving my skin a long, slimy lick.
I squirmed, trying to pry myself loose or kick him at least, but his body weight had me completely immobilized.
So this was what true fear tasted like. Like a gray winter sky or a barren wasteland, stretching out before you right before the earth opened up and swallowed you whole, never to be seen again.
I closed my eyes, willing any succubus power I had in me to aid me in changing my body’s shape, but the tingling sensation wouldn’t come.
Help, I thought, reaching out with my mind to whatever would listen. It was crazy, but in my defense, I wasn’t thinking in my right mind, being on the verge of death.
The shadows seemed to intensify in the alley, and the vampire froze, the tips of his fangs just barely penetrating the skin of my neck. I felt it too, a magical presence of another paranormal creature.
Succubi—and paranormals in general—could sense one another’s presence. Call it ESP or whatever, but we had this sixth sense for the weird built in to our brains.
And my radar was going crazy with the amount of power rolling off this being.
Frost formed on the brick walls of the buildings flanking the alley, glistening in the moonlight. The air noticeably dropped in temperature as a looming shadow appeared. “Let her go,” a deep voice with an Australian accent demanded.
The vamp’s features wrinkled in confusion. With its taloned hand still clutching my throat, it wheeled its head about, twisting it at nearly a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree angle. “What are you? Your signature is… strange.”
I was so busy focusing on not passing out that I hadn’t paid much attention to reading what type of visitor we had. Focusing now, I picked up… I picked up…
My brows knitted. I couldn’t pinpoint what this thing was. It was as if when its signature started to coalesce into one thing, it began morphing into another just as quickly.
A low chuckle reverberated through the darkness. “You haven’t seen the strangest part yet, mate.”
The air vibrated with an odd hum that sank into the roots of my teeth and bones. The vampire went rigid, right before it abruptly dropped me and placed both hands on its head, squeezing. His teeth ground together, and blood began sweating out of his pores. Scarlet streams ran from his eyes, nose, mouth, and every other crevice. The humming intensified, and I covered my ears, feeling as if my brain were being scrambled.
The vamp opened his mouth in an ear-shattering scream, but his cry was cut short as he exploded into a pile of goo, his innards flying through the air and coating everything within sight, including me.
I startled as hot gunk coated my body. His heart landed few feet away, still beating a few measly pumps before sputtering out of life altogether.
I stared, open mouthed and wide eyed, as I tried to process what I’d just seen.
Footsteps slowly approached, and a gloved hand appeared in front of my face. “Are you all right? Did it hurt you?”
I stared at the hand for a second, remembering I wasn’t alone in the alley, and tentatively took it. A firm grip grasped my hand and hauled me up, where I swayed.
“Whoa now.” His deep voice chuckled. “I know I’m swoon worthy, but you don’t have to dish out flattery to thank me.”
The joke was nearly lost on me in my shock-ridden state. As I looked upon the face of my savior, my jaw slacked.
Tall, check. Dark eyes and hair, check. Handsome? Forget that. Go straight to hotter than hell.
He looked like a businessman, given the savvy attire he donned—a pinstripe suit and a black leather trench coat. My heart started beating faster for entirely different reasons, though the adrenaline shock would take a while to wear off. “Thank you,” I managed, stepping away and trying to compose myself.
“You’re very welcome,” he said with a dip of his head. “The name’s Damien. Glad I was able to be of service. When I heard your distress call, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it in time.”
“Yeah.” He pointed to his head. “Through here. You called out to me. I’d say I made good time, being fifty blocks away.”
“You were… How did you get here? And you could hear me from that far away?” Only master paranormals and the children they created had that kind of bond.
“I flew, love. How else?”
“Oh,” I said stupidly.
He never answered my question about the telepathy, and before I could answer, he said, “You know, it’s not every day I get to play the hero. I’d like to know the name of my maiden fair.”
I felt my cheeks heat, and I brushed back a strand of dark hair. “It’s Sally.”
“Sally… Does that come with a last name?”
I smiled impishly. “You might be handsome, and I might be grateful, but I’m not about to give out my last name so you can stalk me. I don’t know anything about you.” He could be a sociopath, for all I knew.
Damien laughed, big and hearty. “Right you are, sweet. Right you are indeed,” he added with a darker undertone that gave me pause.
It suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t know exactly what I was dealing with, and if I wasn’t careful, I could be about to find out the hard way. The lack of noise in the immediate area told me no one had heard vampy-boy explode, which meant no witnesses for whatever else the charming yet dark Damien might have in mind.
“Uh,” I said, starting to shuffle away. “Thank you again for saving my life. I should be getting back to my roommates. They’ll be worried sick. I’m so late, they might call the DPI to come look for me.”
The DPI—or Department of Paranormal Investigation—was made up of paranormals who upheld the laws of the supernatural community. They didn’t take any shit from anyone, human or sup alike, and I knew from the way Damien stiffened that he was aware of that as well. Plus, I wanted him to think people would miss me, despite the fact that I knew the apartment would be empty this time of night. Monique and Raoul would be out on jobs or clubbing and wouldn’t be back until dawn, when I saw them at Vixens for work—all things Damien didn’t need to know. To make sure I didn’t inadvertently broadcast my deception, I thought about anything else: the near-empty tank in my car, facing Elias tomorrow, my upcoming jobs (er, make that “job”).
If Damien detected the least bit of a slight, he didn’t show it as I casually backed away. “May I walk you to your car?”
“Um.” I retrieved my dropped can of Silver Mist, waggling it. “I’m fine now, but thanks for the offer.”
He stared at me for so long, I thought he hadn’t heard me. It was creepy, as if he was trying to decide something. A slow, charming smile warmed his face. Everything except for his eyes. Those remained as chilly as winter.
“Then I bid you farewell, Ms. Sally. Stay out of trouble, now.” With a low bow, he rose and shot into the air faster than I could blink, soaring out into the night.
I wasted no time. Scurrying to my car, I bent to retrieve my little stereo and hopped into the Honda Civic. As soon as I checked the backseat for unwanted passengers, I promptly locked my doors. Not that it would do any good against an angry paranormal with super strength, but still, it couldn’t hurt.
Even in the comfort of my car, I couldn’t stop shaking, not now that it was quiet and the terrifying events of earlier started leaking into my brain.
It’s okay now. You’re safe, I tried consoling myself.
Then why was I still so afraid?
Pulling myself together with a few deep breaths, I backed out of the space and sped off down the street, going fifteen over the limit the whole way home.
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