Here's a sneak peek at the first chapter in Enchanted!
London wasn’t looking for Mr. Right. Not even Mr. Right Now. No, she searched for someone much more special than that. More unique. She searched for someone with that special Touch. The Touch she craved. The Touch she would die without.
Most humans cursed with this particular addiction died lonely, miserable deaths. But London wasn’t most humans. She wouldn’t go out that way.
For six weeks she’d scrounged for every lead. Hit up favors from every underworld scum, fey or otherwise. Promised some disgusting favors to others, if they could point her in the right direction.
Six weeks of total agony. The need… the longing… twisted within her, becoming more and more unbearable with each breath. Finding a Sidhe wasn’t an option. It meant her life and her sanity.
But finding this special someone was only the first problem. The second… well, that’s what the gun was for.
So when she spotted tall, dark, and Sidhe slipping out of the curtain of Glamour that disguised the entrance to a fey-only club, London trailed him. She knew how to tail a suspect, not that this fellow taxed her skill set. He glanced up from his smartphone just often enough to navigate.
To the uninitiated, this particular Sidhe could pass for human. A really sexy human male. The kind of sexy that made you stare. The kind of drop dead gorgeous Hollywood would pay millions for, but could only achieve after hours in a make-up chair and with careful camera angles and creative lighting. There was simply no such thing as an unattractive Sidhe. Heck, there was no such thing as a kind-of good-looking Sidhe. They were all— every last cursed one of them— too damned sexy for anyone’s good.
So that was one reason London hadn’t a single doubt that her prey was Sidhe.
The rugby jersey, the jeans, the trainers, none of it fooled her for a second. He moved with the fluid grace of a dancer, covering ground easily on those long, sexy legs of his. London spoiled herself, admiring his gorgeous bum as she followed. Those jeans fit him wicked perfectly.
The enjoyment lasted only a few blocks, where he passed from the sparsely populated industrial area to a street lined with shops. The Sidhe ducked into the music store. London paused outside, watching him through the window as he flipped through CDs. She smiled to herself. That should occupy him just long enough.
Within five minutes, she parked her car along the Sidhe’s route. London squeezed the steering wheel, but her hands still trembled. Every second telescoped with impatient agony as she glared at the empty street. Where is he? What if he doesn’t come back this way? The earthborns, the young and inexperienced Sidhe, didn’t often stray from the club. There was no telling how long she’d have to wait for another opportunity. “Come on, now,” she murmured. “You’ve jerked me around long enough.”
The Sidhe turned the corner two blocks down, heading her way. London stared at him, transfixed by the perfection of his body and the promise of his magic, both lethal obsessions. Snapping herself out of her daze, she accused him, “You did this to me.” Maybe not this guy in particular, but one of his kind. They didn’t care, these Sidhe. None of them cared. Just like Rico, who cursed her so she’d work for him. Just like the dark-eyed Sidhe whose name she didn’t even know, but who’d sent her and the other hapless humans he controlled off on a doomed temple raid, to slaughter or be slaughtered. They just didn’t care. None of these Sidhe cared.
They’d meant to enslave her with this curse. Time for them to pay the price. Time for her to take control again.
The Sidhe carried a small shopping bag, his attention focused on the CD case in his hand, reading as he walked.
London slipped unnoticed from her vehicle and circled around the rear bumper, out of his line of sight. As she peeked over the car, her hand slipped into her blazer pocket. She’d have to time it just right. When the Sidhe passed the front bumper, London moved.
Not every private investigator was trained in hand-to-hand combat. In truth, London hadn’t done much herself until she’d begun to specialize in parahuman cases, those involving former humans who’d become either vamps or weres. Even now, she’d still be considered a novice. But what skills she did possess, coupled with the element of surprise and the determination of her addiction, inspired her body to flow almost without her conscious effort.
As she strolled past the Sidhe, he glanced up and flashed a smile so brilliant that she couldn’t help but blush as she smiled back. Certainly, the Sidhe never expected her to catch his wrist as she ‘brushed’ against him. The click of the handcuff snapping into place caught his attention, too late though. London spun in behind him, jerking back the wrist she’d snared and grabbing his other arm before he could fathom what she meant to do. Just after she locked the second cuff into place, London kicked him in the back of the knee, forcing him to kneel before her.
“What the bloody hell are you playing at?” the Sidhe yelled over his shoulder, struggling against the bonds.
With a handful of his incredibly silky hair, she arched his head back. The muzzle of her gun pressed to his temple. “This is the part where you come with me,” she said, her voice low and direct.
“Are you insane?”
Certainly a rhetorical question, but she snapped, “If I am, it’s all your fault, Sidhe!” She released his hair to reach over and open the door. “Now get in!”
He closed his eyes. Winced hard.
London bent close to his ear and whispered, “You’re not teleporting anywhere with those silver handcuffs you’re wearing.”
He twisted around, maybe trying to look at her, maybe attempting to wiggle away from her. It didn’t matter. He managed to plant one foot on the ground in his struggle and London used the moment when he was off balance to shove him, with all her weight behind him, right into the backseat. He dove in head first. When he rolled back up to a sitting position she had the seatbelt ready. With the gun jammed in the hollow of his throat, forcing him to lean back, she reached across and belted the restraint into place. She backed out of the car and slammed the door. Snatching him from the street hadn’t even taken a full minute.
London hopped into the driver’s seat, diagonal from the Sidhe. The gun she tucked into the pocket on the door, where she could retrieve it quickly. She sped off. The only evidence that he’d ever even been there was the CDs, scattered and abandoned on the ground.
Read the full story in Enchanted - Touched #3