Transcend by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2017

“Pearls are for people who think they’re rich.” My mother grabbed the necklace in my right hand and, without a care, dropped the iridescent string of beauty onto my vanity, the clatter jarring in my quiet bedroom. She leaned across my back to pick up another necklace on my table and then promptly clasped the sparkling jeweled necklace around my throat. “Diamonds are for people who are rich.”

“Mother…” Air slipped past my lips in a heavy sigh. I touched the twinkling jewels with careful fingers, staring at my reflection with disdain. “There is something to be said for restraint. We don’t need to brandish our status all the time.”

“We do at this party,” she stated, her full lips thinning. Her brown eyes narrowed, crinkling around the edges with aged attractiveness, and her delicate shoulders shuddered ever so slightly. “You know what we saw. A show of power and wealth may be all that keeps those…beasts…at bay.”

My nostrils flared as the memories bombarded my already shattered grasp on reality. Men stripping down to their nakedness. Whirlwinds of white. Then wild animals where men once stood amongst the green, green forest floor.

My lips trembled in horror. “I don’t understand why you can’t tell father what we witnessed on our trip. We could leave New City if you did. We could be safe.”

Her small left hand flittered in the air in a wiping motion, dismissing my objection with aggravation—once again. “Quit asking this of me, Mina. You need to keep what we saw to yourself. Your father is friends with the whole disturbing lot. He would have us evaluated if we said the most powerful businessmen of this world turned into unthinkable creatures. And I bet those psychologists, who would do the evaluating, are on the beasts’ payroll—or are monsters themselves.”

I swallowed on a dry throat, my gulp audible in the waiting silence. My fingers dug into the silk cushion I sat on as I gazed into the mirror and held my mother’s severe—and frightened—regard.

I eventually nodded and asked what I feared the most, my voice barely heard in the quiet, “Do you think Father is one of them?”

She instantly shook her head, her blonde hair not moving in her tightly elegant bun. “No. I’ve never once seen anything like…that. For all his faults, that isn’t one of them.” Her hands clasped my shoulders in affection, and she bent to kiss the top of my own blonde head.

I released the breath I had been holding, my chest heaving in relief. I gripped her right hand until my knuckles turned white. “I don’t want to go tonight. Tell Father I’m sick again, and you need to stay home with me.”

She placed another gentle kiss on the top of my head but shook her own with determination as she straightened and released my shoulders. “We can’t. We’ve missed the last four business parties. Your father will become suspicious if we miss another one. Tonight, we go and do what we do best. Smile and be the perfect family.”

Unbidden, my lips twitched in humor.

One perfect eyebrow rose on my mother’s face.

It was a challenge. Her will against mine.

A slow smile etched itself on my refined features. “You win.”

Her brown eyes moved heavenward in silent exasperation, but she quickly clapped her hands at me. “Stand up. Let me see you.”

“I look perfect, Mother,” I muttered.

I stood anyway, facing her, and allowed her to do her pre-party evaluation of my person. With my height at over six feet, my mother’s face was eye level with my cleavage. As her eyes scrutinized my long blonde hair, the carefully applied makeup around my blue eyes, the black gown hugging my curvy figure, my fingers still twitched as I worried if I had forgotten anything.

Finally, she nodded once with approval. “Flawless.”

My fingers relaxed down by my sides.

Knock. Knock-knock.

Our attention swiveled to my door.

“Are my beautiful ladies ready yet?” Father called from the hallway, his voice tight with accusation. “No one is sick tonight?”

My mother glanced at me, that brow rising again.

She was right. Like always.

Father was already doubtful of our previous actions.

“Unlock,” I stated clearly, plastering on a smile.

My door clicked and the latch released.

When my father entered, Mother and I appeared the perfect picture of serenity and class. His formidable, tall form filled the doorway, his right hand on the doorknob as he held the door open. Father’s tight expression slowly cleared to reassured pleasure as he scanned our attire. He grinned with delight, his cheeks pinching. “You two look stunning this evening.” A brief flare of concern entered his gaze, meeting my stare head on. “Are you sure you’re okay to go out?”

I mentally cheered. That was real fatherly concern.

He finally bought my prior ‘illnesses.’

“I’m fine, Father. I feel splendid tonight.” I walked to his side, with confidence I didn’t feel, and slid my left arm into his right arm, linking us. With my heels on, we were eye-to-eye in height. “Shall we go? We’ll be late if Mother makes me change my necklace again.”

My mother sighed profoundly behind us—all pretended exasperation.

Father glanced down at the diamonds surrounding my neck. He snickered quietly, glancing back at his wife. “It’s a little much for a business party, don’t you think, dear?”

Mother shooed us out of my bedroom, strolling behind us, her tone clipped as she shut my door—too hard. “It’s beautiful. And I don’t want to hear another word about it, Samuel Kramer. Our daughter only has four years left until she’s twenty-five. We need to start thinking of a possible marriage match for her if she doesn’t find love soon.”

My head snapped back to her as Father continued leading me to the stairs. She had gone too far in the charade we were playing; she wasn’t as good at it as I was. Her nerves were making her babble.

Yes, I was already twenty-one years old.

By law, I had to marry by twenty-five.

But the businessmen at this party were monsters. They were not ideal in any way, and it wasn’t wise to put an idea like that into father’s head.

Mother knew it too, realizing her blunder too late as she cringed and quickly averted her eyes to her husband, waiting to see if he had been paying attention to her words. Half the time, he did not. They were no love match, married from a contract formed between their equally influential and wealthy parents. Nevertheless, they did have a fondness for one another—when it suited them.

Tonight, providence was not on our side.

Father’s gaze was thoughtful as he helped escort both my mother and me down our grand marble stairs. “Odette, I think I see the brilliance in the necklace now.” He turned, smirking in a flirtatious way at her. Attraction was never an issue between them. They had enough to fill our city townhome to the brink. It was stifling at times with my bedroom merely down the hall from theirs. “You and I do have one beautiful child together. The diamonds only enhance her charm.”

Oh, God.

If only I could fake an illness now and get away with it… Tonight would be a test of my best acting abilities if he started showing me off to all of his friends—more than he normally did. My parents were very proud of how I had turned out, both physically and mentally.

Father patted my hand over his forearm as our butler opened the front door for us to the twilight sky. “I think tonight will be great fun. I’m so glad you’re feeling better, sweetie.”

Nope. I couldn’t pull a fast faint on him.

I withheld my sigh of resignation and smiled, drawling, “Just don’t list all of my university achievements to the highest and wealthiest bidder. I hope for affection and respect in my future husband.” Most females were looking for the same so they wouldn’t be forced to marry a horrid male…and procreate.

We strolled down our walkway to our private train, our transport waiting in the pristine street. No dust or ash blew in our eyes, no considerable rubble or decaying corpses tripped our feet. New City was clean and immaculate while the world outside of our fair borders was still war-torn, no restored city quite as nice as ours. Corporations ruled our world now with the most powerful of them built in New City. Brilliant kings amongst a world full of peasants; our city was a shining beacon of hope for a structured future where lawlessness still ran rampant outside any city limits. Peasants now thirsted for law and peace when once before humans had argued vehemently about mundane political issues. The final war had opened their eyes to what greed, hate, and disorder could destroy. After the war, true anarchy and morbid devastation were still the current status quo to a majority of the world’s remaining population.

But those brilliant corporate kings…

They were monsters.

Freaks of nature of the terrifying sort.

Father released my arm as I started up the black iron stairs of our hovering transport, the clean blue energy glowing underneath on the road. My mother followed behind me with my father holding her hips to steady her way up the stairs.

Or to stare at her ass.

I knew what his earlier playful banter meant.

I’d need to wear earplugs tonight.

After I partied with monsters.

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Trigger by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2017

“Are you going to beg again?” Logan asked. His cheeks pinched as he grinned. This man who was checking my electronic bracelet to allow me entry to the compound knew full well my dilemma. He had to listen to me complain every time I marched outside for air, after an argument with my father. “You have less than two days before you’re screwed.”

My face scrunched up in irritation. “I have a different plan if my father says no this time.”

His silver hair gleamed in the fading light of the setting sun. “That would be?”

I shook my head ever so slowly. “It would probably be best if you didn’t know.”

“You’re not going to kill him, are you?” One bushy eyebrow rose.

“No.” My brown eyes rolled. “I do love the bastard.”

“Just don’t do anything illegal,” he rumbled. He patted my back as his scanner beeped in confirmation that I had access—of course, I did. I had lived on bases like this my entire life. His beefy right hand opened the door for me after he tapped in the code. “I worry about you, Poppy.”

I walked inside, mumbling, “Don’t. I’m a big girl now. I can handle myself.”

“Be careful! I mean it,” he hollered after me.

The door shushed, closing out the fallen world.

I shook my head and tightened my ball cap on my head as I went through the body scanner. The guards there waved as I went through, gifting me encouraging smiles. Even I knew it was sad how the military personnel here were more fatherly than my own parent was. But I would take matters into my own hands if it came down to it. Because Logan was right. Time was running out.

I had turned into a selfish bitch the last few years.

It didn’t bother me any. If I wanted my freedom, I had to be ruthless.

My father no longer had access to my hard-earned money. Not that I had much, but I had saved to do what I must if he said no tonight. I would not be stuck here forever.


* * *


My rump was almost numb by the time my father walked into our quarters. I had been sitting in wait at the dining room table for just this moment. His red uniform, decorated with medals, shone in the bright kitchen overhead lighting. My father may be a pain most of the time, but he knew how to intimidate in his finery. All of his subordinates were scared of him.

I used to be too.

Now I was just pissed.

“Hello, Father,” I stated with false cheer. “How was your day?”

He opened the fridge and ducked to peer inside it, the inside light showing the wrinkles on his forehead. “I know that tone, darling dearest.” His brown eyes flicked in my direction as he pulled a bottle of water from the depths of the cooling unit. He kicked the door closed with ease and turned to face me. His throat worked as he took a long drink from the bottle, staring over the edge at me.

He grinned full of mirth. “What is it that you want this time?”

I tilted my head and cracked my neck. “Who says I want anything?”

“Pretty much every time you’re waiting for me after work, you want something.”

My red brows furrowed. “Really?”

“Really.” His black shoes clicked on the tiling as he walked toward me. His strong hand pulled out the chair next to me, taking a seat. Eyes identical to my own stared into my soul. “I can guess what it’s about this time.”

I stayed silent.

He rubbed at the wrinkles in his forehead absently as he leaned back, getting comfortable. “We’ve had this discussion a hundred times. I won’t sign off on you entering the Corporate Army.”

I kept my expression serene, not showing any of the frustration racing inside my head.“But you would sign off on me marrying a stranger? A stranger who is in your army?”

His voice was as calm as my façade. “He isn’t a stranger. I know him well. He’s a good man for you to marry. And it’s a good thing he works for the Liberated Army. You know that.” He swallowed another large drink of his water, and then he sighed. “Does it help that he’s a good-looking man?”

“I don’t care what he looks like.” Though I was surprised my father had taken the time to make sure the man he chose for me was ‘good looking.’ I hadn’t expected that. “And I don’t care what the laws are. I don’t want to marry a stranger. The only way for me to stay single is to join the Corporate Army. You know that.”

This time, he stayed silent.

I jumped on his hesitancy. “Father, you’ve trained me well. You know I’ll make the cut. I’ll pass, and I’ll have my freedom.”

He instantly shook his head. “Working for the Corporations is not freedom.”

My temperature started to rise, staining my cheeks pink. “And neither is an arranged marriage.”

“I know that, Poppy!” He jerked to stand and grabbed his water with a hard hand. “But I would rather have you marry someone I know is a good man than to have you be a slave to the Corporations. Don’t you understand that? They killed your mother. Or have you forgotten that little detail?”

“No. I haven’t forgotten.” I ducked my face and leaned my elbows on the table. I stared at my clasped hands. Ever so slowly, I shook my head, my voice quiet. “I don’t want to marry a stranger. I can’t. I won’t. And I only have a day and a half left before I’m too old to join the Corporate Army.”

“And there’s only a few weeks left before you must say ‘I do.’ By law. I’ve waited as long as I could. But you’re almost twenty-five now. You didn’t pick anyone to marry, so I made the hard choice for you.”

No, I was making the hard choice.

I continued to gaze at my clasped hands. “I wish you would reconsider.”

“I can’t. I won’t, as you said.” He turned and walked back into the kitchen. “I have a meeting I’m getting ready for, so don’t disturb me. I’ll be working until later tonight.”

“Father?” I glanced up, pleading with my eyes. “Please…”

He shook his head one last time. “No.” His eyes scanned my face, softening a minor degree. “Your fiancé will be here tomorrow. You’ll be able to meet him then. I promise you that I’ve picked the best I can. I do believe you’ll like him.”

My eyes widened to the extreme. “Tomorrow?”

He nodded. “Yes, I thought it would be best for you two to have a few days together before…” He trailed off and sighed. “Well, you’ll get to meet him soon enough.”

I could only gawk at my father.

“He truly is handsome.” He winked as he exited into his office.

Fuck. Me.

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Chosen One by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #2 – Copyright 2017

I blinked at the security woman who confronted me, all the men – kindly – letting the lady go first.  The blood practically drained from my face when the woman motioned to a damn metal detector I was going to have to go through. And since I had a small arsenal on me it wasn’t a great time to have the Kings and Elders around.

Bitch asked gruffly, “Is there a problem, ma’am?” She glanced behind me, surveying who I was with – for the third time – before her hard gaze came back to me, her own protective nature coming to the fore. She gestured to a side door. “I can take you in there and search you myself, if you prefer?”

My lips thinned, feeling a little dizzy, but I shook my head quickly. “That won’t be necessary.” I licked my lips. “I do have a few weapons on me, though, for my own protection. I would hate to lose them.”

She grunted, crossing her muscled Shifter arms. “We have a section set aside for any weapons confiscated.” She grinned. “They’ll be taken to the police, and you’re more than welcome to try to retrieve them there.”

I shifted my boot the barest bit, barely grazing her toe, and opened a bit of my power, just a tiny sliver. I floated in the cosmos, connecting with her, grabbing her tether, and bringing to my lips swiftly. I whispered, “Agree with me.” 

I cut the connection instantly, and then stated clearly, “I would prefer to have them back at the end of the night. I’m sure there’s a safe somewhere you can put them in, right?”

She smiled, and it was instantly friendly. “Actually, yes, we do. I would be happy to do that for you.”

“Thank you.” I moved to the table next to the metal detector, and unzipped my purse, still completely mortified as everyone watched silently. But I swiftly removed my gun, popping the clip out, asking the woman, “Do you have a bag I can put my stuff in?”

“Yes.” She nodded once, smiling at me and taking off her own bag crisscrossed over her shoulders. “Will this work?”

“Perfect,” I mumbled.

I counted the silver bullets I let drop into my open palm, barely flinching, wanting to make sure I got the right amount back, before putting them back into the clip and tossing the gun and clip in the bag. Next, I pulled out the beautiful, silver wicked blade I had inside at the bottom of my purse, dropping it inside as it gleamed under the horrendous yellow light. The next silver knife was at the bottom of my purse, a smaller blade, but no less deadly. I unzipped a hidden compartment, and pulled out the small diamond blade I had and the diamond bladed knuckles, dropping those into the bag. I reached behind me, pulling out a gun from the back of my jeans I had stolen here in the first three months, not real interested in those bullets since they weren’t silver, but I pulled the clip on it, putting both of those in the bag. I patted my jacket, realizing I had both knives in the inside pockets, also not silver, but I took those out and dropped them in absently. I lifted my right boot onto the table, lifting my jeans a bit, pulling out the other gun I had stolen, taking off that holster. Up came my other leg next and I removed that knife.  I zipped my purse up and slung it over shoulder. I mumbled into the dead silence, “That should be it.” And I tried to walk through the metal detector.

It beep. Loudly.

My chest heaved, and I instantly walked backward, and turned to face the guard, who was still smiling at me. I tapped my lips lightly with my finger, trying to remember what else I had on me. I ran a hand over my left arm, but I didn’t have a knife there. Even felt under my breasts, but there was no weapon I may have placed there. My brows puckered, staring at Smiling Bitch, and then I snapped my fingers. “I know.”

I kicked my right boot up on the table, clunked the back of it perfectly, and the silver knife tipped with a diamond sprung out from the toe of the boot. Gritting my teeth, I gripped the silver with one hand, and finagled the latch inside the boot to release the knife. I dropped that one in the bag, wiping the sweat that had beaded on my forehead off with the back of my hand, then kicked my left boot up on the table, hitting that latch right, and proceeded to pull it out. During that process, I remembered the bullet I had thrown in my purse that had stopped me here in the past. I held up a finger, then unzipped my purse, rifling through it until I found the little bugger, still blood stained and all. I kept my hand around it as I dumped it in the bag. At the last minute, I took out my keys, setting them on the table.

Blessedly, I walked through the metal detector without it beeping.

Grabbing my keys off the table, I plunked them in my purse. My attention honed on the guard. “I’m sure you’ll want to take all of that to the safe now, and make sure no one touches or looks at it, and then, you’ll find our box as soon as the match it done, and bring it all to me, right?”

She nodded once, zipping the bag. “Yes, ma’am. That sounds like a splendid idea.”

“Right,” I muttered, brushing my hair out of my face, watching her walk away with my goods, my items, until I couldn’t see her anymore. Then, I slowly turned to the group still standing mute. I smiled ever so sweetly at the Kings, looking at none others. I asked bluntly, “So…how hard is it going to be to convince the four of you now that I have no ill intentions toward your Prodigies?”

To add Chosen One (book 6) to your TBR list, click HERE.

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To purchase King Cave (book 2), click HERE.

To purchase King Hall (book 1), click HERE.


Chosen One by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2016

I squealed as I stared into striking navy blue eyes.  Black – black! – fucking curls dangling in sexy disarray around his face.  A very recognizable, gorgeous as hell face.  Another damn face I had known in 2035, appearing almost identical really, to the man I had eaten breakfast with.

“Elder Merrick,” I squealed, squirming away from him as quickly as I could, even as he froze, the blanket hardly hanging over his bare hips. His enormous chest was muscled, stomach ripped, with a smattering of sexy black hair across his pecs. His massive biceps froze over his head as he stretched.  I slapped a hand over my mouth to cut the squeal off, falling, then thumping down onto the floor next the bed, stating hurriedly, “I thought your hair was blue!  I thought it was fucking blue in the club!  Maybe green.”  I panted, heartbeat racing, going to my hands and knees, quickly crawling on the standard beige carpeting, my eyes darting, searching for my clothes.

Slow words from the bed.  “Blue or green?”  He didn’t question that I knew who he was, which was a no-brainer to anyone who paid attention to previous Rulers, especially ones who led fucking vicious wars.  “Why would…,” he trailed off. The sheet rustled, and it moved in my peripheral as I crawled quickly to the end of the bed, grabbing the first shirt I found, not caring that it was not mine. I threw it over my head in a hurry, feeling his power, his Shifter power probing, testing me, the sandpaper feel rubbing over me roughly before disappearing.  The shirt was damn enormous on me, but when I stood, seeing him sitting frozen on the bed, face carefully blank, eyes hooded, at least, I was covered when he stated very carefully, “I can’t feel your power.”

My lips thinned as cold, navy eyes intricately began scanning my face.  “I really did think your hair was blue or green.”

He flicked an absent finger, but the movement was jerky.  “I know you’re not lying.”  He waited a few beats, staring hard.  “Your hair’s black.”

I inhaled heavily, glancing around the room for my stuff.  “It’s spelled.”  I picked up my pants from the floor, my own movements choppy.  “I’m Elemental,” I waved a shaky hand at him, quickly looking away when I saw his eyes flare in aggression, “And you, are so obviously not.”  I ran a shaky hand over my face, then bent picking up my panties and bra, trembling a bit, wondering if I was going to die right now from this man…fuck, the man who had tasted and felt so fucking good from what I could remember of the previous evening.

Silence was precarious for a few beats before he practically bellowed, “Fucking hell!”  He tossed the blanket off himself, and I quickly averted my gaze, but it only landed on a red streak on the white sheet.  Probably where we had landed last night after our bout. I saw from the corner of my eye his own gaze landing, and freezing, there.

I sucked in a harsh breath, and quickly bent, trying my best to ignore the fact that Elder Merrick – Elder-fucking-Merrick! – had taken my damn virginity, the evidence clearly visible. I grabbed my shirt and purse.  “Shower,” I mumbled hastily, glancing around the room for a bathroom, knowing I needed to get his scent off me since I didn’t remember him using a condom, a Shifters sexual fluids leaving their animals – their own – scent behind.  “I need to take a shower.”

He broke from his frozen state, and his massively built frame bent. He started jamming his legs down into his own black pants, jabbing a finger behind me, his voice gruff.  “Behind you.”

I inhaled shakily, and turned to hurry into the bathroom, dropping his shirt outside the door once I had privacy.  Quickly, but thoroughly, I used the hotel products, nothing of his personal items, to scrub my skin thoroughly in a scalding hot shower.  My head hurt even worse, and the clothes I put on smelled of alcohol and smoke. But finger combing through my hair, I tried to calm myself, putting my purse over my shoulder, and stepped back into the room barefoot, only needing to grab my socks and boots, so I could get the hell out of here before he changed his mind, and decided to kill me, since he so obviously wasn’t for mixed-faction relations, his reaction more than telling.

He was sitting on the edge of the bed, still only wearing his black wool expensive pants, elbows on his knees, running his hands through his spiral black curls, but cool, navy blue eyes peered up, trapping me.  He inhaled heavily, staring for a few beats, again his eyes running over my face in an unhurried assessment.  Tilting his head to the desk, he stated quietly, his voice a cool, deep rumble, “I wrote my number down for you.  If you find yourself pregnant, call me immediately.”

Biting my lip, I nodded, moving to the desk and putting the paper into my purse before grabbing my socks and shoes off the floor.  He stood, holding a stopping hand out to me before peeking outside his bedroom door.  He watched through the crack, motioning for me to come over.  I stood next to him, waiting, hearing someone moving around out there, and absurdly, and completely inappropriately, through my shock and dazed state, I felt a tiny fire kindle low in my gut as warmth radiated off his body. I stared at his tense, muscled frame while he peered out the door, his pants hanging sexily on his lean hips, his rippled abs flexing the barest bit as he pivoted silently, watching whoever it was outside the door move about. The thin black line of hair starting at his navel, disappeared down into the depths of his pants, my thoughts reminding just how damn enormous he had been inside me.

Inhaling sharply, I physically shook my head against the quiet onslaught of unfathomable sexual tension building inside me.  With a soothing breath in, I glanced way the hell up when I didn’t hear anyone out there anymore.  My lips instantly thinned, seeing him staring down at me silently, his lids hooding his gaze. I realized too late he had gone completely still…and he could probably smell me, my arousal…for him.

Gradually, a black brow quirked.

But he blessedly didn’t say anything, and after another moment, he opened the door wide for me.

I ducked under his arm – his bulging bicep – and glanced slowly about the room, a living room, listening closely, trying to ignore the heat probing my back.  A quick assessment told me whoever had been out here, the friend he was sharing the suite with, was in what was probably a bedroom across the living room. I moved on silently trained feet, moving quickly through the room, but I paused when the noise got louder from the other room. I instantly twisted in a flurry, swiftly placing my back to a dividing wall between the front door and small kitchen area, able to hide my smaller frame when I heard the door start to crack open.

Elder Merrick’s eyes quickly averted from me, where he leaned casually against his doorframe, arms crossed, even as he crossed one ankle over another.

“Oh, you’re up!”  And…I recognized that voice now that I knew the association.  It was Elder Jacobs.  Christ, could it get any damn worse?  “Good, I was worried I was going to have to wake you.  Check-outs in a half hour.”  Which meant it was 10:00.  “And if you’re wondering, since you disappeared last night…after I asked you to stay…all four seemed to be getting along well.  I think the Kings’ mandates they spend the weekends together is paying off.”

I kept my breathing shallow, not making a sound, realizing instantly he was talking about the Prodigies, and that Elder Jacobs had been spying on them last night.

“That’s an improvement,” Elder Merrick stated, his voice still gravelly, speaking calmly. If I hadn’t been so drunk last night, and he hadn’t been so drunk last night, slurring as he had been, I probably would have recognized his voice immediately.

I heard a thumping sound, like Elder Jacobs was tapping his doorframe, his voice slightly clipped.  “Which, you would have seen for yourself, if you would have stayed.”

Elder Merrick grunted.  “You got me drunk.”

“Which I thought would keep you around to help me watch them, but instead, you disappeared.”  A pause.  “Your overnight guest is gone, isn’t she?”

My lips thinned, and I saw Elder Merrick’s eyes narrow a bit.  “You were spying on me, too?”

“No.”  A bored, but slightly humored tone.  “Once I came back after seeing they were doing fine together…well, it’s not like these walls are made of steel.”  A pause.  “Christ, she had a pair of lungs on her.”  As my cheeks flamed bright pink, he mumbled, “I guess I should be grateful it wasn’t fucking animal sounds this time.  I remember a particularly…lovely…woman, a cougar Shifter, that you were with that one time-”

He cut him off.  “I don’t need the reminder, thank you.”  Black brows rose.  “Unless you want me to recap when you were with that one water Elemental a few years back.”

Instant.  “That’s not necessary.”  His tone was disgusted.  “Fuck, I didn’t need that aide-mémoire.  It’s like it’s scarred permanently in my mind, anyway.”  He made a huffing shaking sound, and Elder Merrick’s lips twitched.  “At any rate, like I said, check-outs in a half hour.”  It sounded like his door started to close, but it stopped abruptly, and sounding annoyed, he asked, “How much is torn up?  It’s my credit card on this room.”

I had to remind myself to breathe shallowly as I recalled Queen Ruckler’s speech about Shifter-on-Shifter sex, and the dominance war that occurred between powerful Shifters.

Elder Merrick cleared his throat, and then shrugged a negligent shoulder.  “The room’s fine.”

Baffled words.  “A weak one, huh?  You don’t normally go after those.”  Another silence as my eyes closed, his voice turning utterly amused.  “Don’t tell me she was a bird or a rabbit?”

“Fuck off, Jacobs,” Elder Merrick muttered, running a hand through his hair, making a shooing motion at him and lifting off his doorframe.  “Go do whatever you have to, so we can get out of here.”

Jacobs laughed outright.  “Well, I’ll know by what we eat tonight.”

Elder Merick’s middle finger flew as he grabbed the door handle.

More chuckling ensued, but I heard the door close, his mirth somewhat blocked.

Inhaling heavily, I tried not to freeze when navy eyes flashed directly on mine, his gaze dazing.

I averted my eyes, and silently moved the last few feet, unlocking the door just as quietly and slipping outside.

To add Chosen One (book 6) to your TBR list, click HERE.

To purchase Chosen Fool (book 5), click HERE.

To purchase Chosen Thief (book 4), click HERE.

To purchase King Tomb (book 3), click HERE.

To purchase King Cave (book 2), click HERE.

To purchase King Hall (book 1), click HERE.


Gargoyle by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2015

A drunken woman grabbed ahold of my cock.

My claws twitched to rip her offensive hand from her arm, but thankfully, my dick was made of stone—no cock snapped off. Her human, delicate fingers gripped hard as she leaned over the edge of the clock tower, staring down at my city, Woodland Creek. I was tempted to move, to break free of my perched façade, and scare the woman enough to fall to her death.

Fucking humans were a nuisance.

Her blonde hair whipped around her face, never giving me a clear view. I rolled my eyes and held still, letting her have her drunken fun. If I was going to kill a human, I enjoyed seeing the fear in their eyes as death stalked them. The night breeze was her saving grace.

My brother, Finn, perched next to me, tilted his hideous stone head in my direction. He lifted an arched brow behind the human’s back. He would have no problem killing her.

The air misted in front of my frozen lips, a huffed negative. I preferred to take care of my own business, even if Finn was overly protective.

“Hello, Woodland Creek!” the human shouted, her words slurring. She lifted the beer she held, waggling it to and fro into the night air. The liquid sloshed over the edges, but she didn’t appear to notice. Her grip tightened on my cock as she leaned farther over the edge. “You are a beautiful town!”

A fine mist formed in front of Finn’s lips, a constant puffing. My brother was laughing his ass off. Though he quickly tilted his head forward, returning to his pose when the human leaned back and released my dick.

She turned her attention to the left, her hair still whipping in her face. Her shoulders stiffened slightly, and she mumbled, “Huh…what’s that?”

I held perfectly still, unable to look.

But I froze even further when she turned and walked a dangerous path on the edge of the tower. I watched her feet stumble over each other as she passed my sister, Mandy, on the other side of me.

“Woo…woo…shit!” she screamed as she tumbled over the edge. Her arms fluttered about her, blonde hair flying like a tornado touching down, right before gravity took hold. The beer can and her body disappeared from sight.

My other brother, Mike, grunted softly on the other side of Finn. His tone was utterly humored. “I wish her beer hadn’t fallen with her.”

I sighed heavily, her scream finally cutting off. “That took a while.”

On the other side of Mandy, my mother grumbled, “Ridiculous humans.” Her wings unfurled and then snapped back tight against her frozen pose. “Well, that’s one less to worry about.”

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Blood Tree: Silver Edition by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2015

His head dipped down, and his warm lips landed on my vulnerable neck. “We’re not alike. Not by a long shot.”

I flinched at that first touch, but his heated palms brushed my cheeks in a gentle petting, very soft for such a ruthless man, calming my nerves. His lips played at my neck, brushing and caressing until my body relaxed into the touch. My head tilted to the side, allowing him further access to my neck. His wicked lips stroked endlessly, his hands lowering to palm the swells of my breasts.

A soft moan escaped as my back arched off the bed into his touch.

He nipped my collarbone with his teeth before his moist tongue glided over the hurt. He growled a soft demand. “Quit being a coward and put your hands on me.”

I groaned as I unfisted the covers I was squeezing. With hesitant actions, I lifted my arms and ran my fingers across his back. His muscles contracted under my light touch, power and man positioned over me while I was at my most vulnerable.

And he never took advantage of it.

Each brush of his hips against mine, every brush of his fingers against my most intimate flesh, the way his lips willed my body to move closer to his warmth, was all geared toward making my body susceptible for his invasion to come. I moaned as his hand landed between my thighs, his fingers sinfully talented as they played with my clit. I pressed my hands against his back and slid them down to his backside.

“Fuck, your ass is still perfect.”

He chuckled quietly, lifting his head from my right breast. He flicked his tongue over my nipple, and I jerked against the touch. “I remember you saying something about it.”

“Shut up.” I groaned and yanked on his shoulders. “You’re in a hurry. Do you remember that?”

He grunted, peering down at my mediocre sized chest. Though the way his eyes flared on them, I knew he liked what he was seeing. He bent his head and kissed each of my breasts again before lifting back over my body. “Yes, I do remember that.” His knees pressed my legs apart, and he glanced once out the window before he settled his remarkable cock at the entrance to my core. “I also remember how it felt to be inside you, even if you were unskilled. You thoroughly pissed me off when you ended up Light.”

My hips pressed up against his, urging him on. “So this won’t be too much of a hardship?”

“Sex with a Light?” His lips twitched. “As much of a hardship as it’ll be for you.”

His hips slammed forward, and his cock slid deep inside me, filling me like a dream.

“Oh, fuck,” I shouted. My head tipped back and my jaw dropped open.

He hissed between his teeth, “You should have thanked me for the offer. Not argued.”

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Chosen Fool by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #2 – Copyright 2015

When we were a decent distance from them, Brann broke the quiet tension between us, whispering, “It must have been a real emergency for you to resort to asking me for help.”

I chuckled at his truth. “Being cornered by them does constitute an emergency.”

He snickered right along with me, steering us in the direction of a booth with homemade scarves. We ducked under the hanging silk, cotton, and cashmere into the small tent so that we were somewhat hidden by the hanging colorful bits and pieces. He spoke with soft humor. “We had been doing so well at ignoring each other, too.”

With a sardonic curve of my lips, I glanced up at him. He stood close by my side in the hidden alcove. I allowed myself the moment to stall and stare at his features as the merchant stepped outside her tent to help a customer. I hadn’t permitted myself this luxury in so long.

Deep amber eyes roamed my face just as gradually. Like my own, his gaze wasn’t as heated as before. Too much had happened, too much had changed us.

Air slowly rushed past my lips and I whispered softly, “Friends it is.”

A black, thin eyebrow lifted. “Friends is enough.” His lips twitched. “Besides, I believe you have your hands full.”

I rolled my eyes. “That I do.”

He placed his hands in his pockets. “So … we can stop avoiding each other now.”

“Thank God,” I gushed, grinning from ear to ear. “It was a little awkward.”

“We should have talked sooner.” And his gaze was that of a Prodigy’s.

I nodded swiftly. “No more of this shit.”

“Agreed.” His lips curved up on one side. His mouth opened, but he slammed it shut.

Our attention snapped to the front of the tent.

We instantly took a step back from each other.

Elder Merrick had slipped through the hanging scarves. Silent.

His eyes narrowed on Brann.

The Elder jerked a thumb over his shoulder, toward the exit.

Brann groaned, “We were just—”

“Now, Mr Johnson,” Elder Merrick growled, a bit of wolf in his tone.

It was an alpha’s command.

Brann ground his teeth together but nodded respectfully. He peered directly at me, stating coolly, “Maybe we can have a beer sometime. Just hang out.” As friends.

I nodded. “I like that idea.”

He actually shoved Elder Merrick’s shoulder as he passed by him, not appreciating the direct order to leave.

The Elder didn’t notice the angry blow. The more experienced Shifter didn’t even glance back at him. His navy, complex eyes stared directly into mine. He said not a word, but his silent regard was enough. Intimidating and gorgeous, he managed to get his point across without opening his lush mouth.

His stare stated: Stay the fuck away from the Prodigy Shifter.

I nibbled on my bottom lip and feigned dry humor that I wasn’t feeling. “Our conversations are so stimulating, don’t you think?”

Without one syllable spoken, he turned and slipped outside the tent.

I waved my purse where he used to stand, pretending he was still there. “It’s always a pleasure, Elder Merrick.” I whacked the air once for good measure.

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Chosen Fool by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2015

Reaching blindly with a groan, I smacked where I heard a phone ringing. The room was pitch-black so I fumbled with the receiver until I had it to my ear. “What?”

My ear was attacked with pronounced breathing over the line.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

“Look, you perverted heavy-breathing-mother-fucker, it’s not even light out. Save your goddamn pranks for the waking hours.”

A feminine throat cleared, before a prim voice asked, “With whom am I speaking with?”

I was too tired for this shit—finally remembering what room I was in. “Look, if Leric gave you his number, you can fuck off. He’s not interested. He’s busy with his hand on my ass.”

“Sprite, who the hell are you talking to?” Leric grumbled against my head, his voice gravelly with sleep, our positions somewhat changed since I was damn near lying on top of him.

And his hand was actually on my ass.

The woman’s voice remained clipped as she specified leisurely, “Leric, the man I just heard in the background, the one with his hand on your ass—and also my son—I would very much like to speak with him.”

My head shot off Leric’s bare chest, a tiny squeak emitting from my throat as I stared wide-eyed at him. I rambled into the receiver, “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Damon. Here’s Leric, your son, the man…uh, here he is.” I thrust the phone against the pillow, growling quietly at the sleepy eyes staring up at me, “Don’t you dare tell her my name.” That wasn’t a great first impression.

Leric blinked, and I really hoped he heard me in his drowsy state. I lifted the phone, and he raised a hand – not the one on my ass – to take it. He yawned wide, flashing white teeth at me before placing it to his ear, mumbling tiredly, “Hello, Mom.”

My head thumped back on his chest as I heard her instantly grilling him.

I wasn’t able to hear her exact words, but the tone was universal for ‘pissed off mother’.

“No, I’d rather not say her name right now. You woke us, so if she did say that, it was because she thought you were prank calling. Besides, did you say anything when she answered?” A long pause, then a heavy sigh. “Yes, I know her first and last name.” Another pause. “No, she’s not drunk. Neither am I.” Pause. “Yes, I’ve known her for longer than a night.” Pause. “They’re blue, Mom.” Pause. “Yes, she’s on birth control.” Pause. “Yes, she’s a spirit.” Pause. “I honestly have no clue.” Wasn’t going to ask. “Really, I don’t know.” Pause. “That’s probably not a great idea… Seriously, no… Mom? Mom?”

He set the phone aside, his eyes enormous in an expression I had never seen on him before – mortified horror. “Shit.”

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Cold Mark by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #3 – Copyright 2015

“He’s out there,” Jax whispered, his attention cast on the steel door.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

I stayed firmly encased in my best friend’s arms. “Who?”

“Stiller.” Jax gulped, the sound audible. “I can feel him. The meds are wearing off.”

A government agent bustled by so fast, my hair rustled in the resulting breeze. “Maybe…that’s a good thing?”

His head shake was so slight, I barely perceived it. “No. He’s furious.”

“Like, ‘he’s going to yell at you’ furious? Or, ‘he wants to rip off someone’s head’ furious?”

“It’s undeniably the latter of the two.”

As one unit—still embraced—we took cautious steps backward into the bustling bunker.

If Stiller was in a killing frenzy, then the Plumas would be even more so.

I nibbled on my bottom lip…until my eyebrows rose in time to my startling thoughts. I peered up into my best friend’s eyes, the grey still transfixed on the door. “You knew he would come.” Stiller was Jax’s other half of a Vaq pair. He would have been able to find him anywhere with their link.

His gaze flicked down to me, then back to supposed “barrier” that was beginning to bow. “I did.” His shoulders shrugged. “Though, I had hoped to be back on Triaz by now.”

“That’s why you didn’t cut the transmission of the hov-craft’s whereabouts?”

He hummed deep in his throat. “It would have been a fruitless endeavor. Even if I had known how to do it.”

My words were my final decision. “You brought war here.”

“No. Technically, the President did that. His greed did so.”

Bang. Bang. Bang.

My lips pinched, with my continual regard on his eyes. “And your choice to follow orders.”

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Chosen Thief by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #3 – Copyright 2015

Exquisiteness walked into the room, adorably locking the door as she always did when alone in a room with me. It was one of the many traits I found sweetly innocent about her, as if she thought a simple lock could hold back someone who really wanted in. The second was her smile, which she was now gifting me as she turned. She was dressed in slightly finer apparel than she normally wore: a long black dress formed to fit her small stature. On my own tiny frame I was wearing black leather pants with layered tank tops and a slim-fitting, black leather jacket — all made to hide the weapons I always wore — whereas she wore white pearls as her accessories.

“We don’t have much time before my family gets back from their,” her hands fluttered about sweetly, “mission, or whatever they’re on, but I need to tell you a few things.” Her features suddenly turned apprehensive. “About me. I haven’t…” She paused, taking a deep breath, and began wringing her hands.

Which I didn’t have time for.

Nor was I really of the mindset to deal with any added surprises to my evening.

“Isa…” I shook my head slowly, standing from the chair the butler — who the fuck still had butlers? — had led me to. “About tonight.” Inhale, slow exhale. “I’m not the woman to out yourself with.” Control, focus on control. “First, there’s no way in hell your family is going to be okay with us being together. By all accounts of what you’ve said about your mother, she’s pretty hardcore, and I’m sure she would rather string me up from a tree than let her daughter be with someone of a different faction — an illegal action, need I remind you — let alone with someone of the same sex. You’ve always told me how she goes on and on about you finding love with the perfect man, which I am obviously not.”

Isa was already shaking her head quickly, her black and red hair flying about her cheeks.

But I continued, knowing this wasn’t going to be easy. “Besides all that, one day you’ll meet the perfect woman, possibly your mate, and then you’ll tell your mother you prefer women. When you’re older, not seventeen years old. When you aren’t so afraid to be yourself.” I held her beautiful green-eyed gaze steadily. “But I’m not that woman for you.” I would never be.

Isa’s jaw set, her mocha skin beginning to flush. “Caro, what the hell are you talking about?” She waved her hands at the fine, upscale living room we were standing in. “Why are you having cold feet right now? We talked about this!” Her nostrils flared, clearly agitated. “And why are you bringing up my age, especially when that’s never mattered between us.” She waved a finger up and down my frame. “You’re only twenty, so don’t act high and mighty.”

“Exactly, Isa. We’re still young and just learning who we are.” We weren’t officially adults until the age of twenty-two. That seemed like a damn laughing-stock to me, since I couldn’t remember the last time I felt young, but it worked for what I needed to do. So I used it. “I’m not the woman you need for this.”

“You don’t understand. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” She took two steps toward me. I countered, keeping distance between us, which she didn’t miss, her spring green eyes focusing on my feet for a moment. “Caro…” Her voice was swiftly cautious. “Why are you backing away from me?”

I focused on nothing. The girl I had let myself fall in love with was a Vampire, having gone through her Awakening a few days ago, so she could scent my emotions. For this to go as planned — for her to move on with her life — she couldn’t know the truth.

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Chosen Thief by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #2 – Copyright 2015

I opened my mouth to comment, but jumped when a beast of a lion raced into the kitchen before sitting proudly, chest puffed out and his chocolate mane rustling about his head while he roared at us, clearly pissed. Breath caught in my chest as I stared, frozen, with wide-eyes at the impressive beast. I watched as his head turned to the way he had come from before lifting and growling at us. Then he raced through the kitchen out the other entrance. Only moments later, my heart nowhere near slowed, I blinked as I watched a black-haired, mocha-skinned toddler race through the first entrance, his arms raised high and fingers bent like claws as he roared, a decent imitation of the lion’s. He ran as fast as his little legs would take him through the kitchen, disappearing out the same door the lion had. Then a thirty-something, harried Mage woman raced in after him, coming to a stop in the center of the room, her eyes darting all about.

“What. The. Hell,” Sin murmured quietly.

I nodded slowly in agreement, my jaw hanging open. “It’s a circus castle with lions and midgets. I wonder if they’ve got those really tasty funnel cakes, too?”

“Powdered sugar or strawberries on top?”

“Powdered sugar, of course.”

“Did you misplace something, Bindi?” King Zeller drawled slowly to the Mage woman, ignoring us.

She half sighed, half growled, muttering a few curses under her breath, then stated, “Queen Ruckler, your son is antagonizing Clyde again.” She threw her arms wide, scowling at the Queen. “I thought you talked to him about that. You know Clyde will retaliate — probably in my room again — and I’m sure as hell not cleaning up that mess.”

“Calm down, Bindi,” Queen Ruckler stated, appearing all types of amused. “I’ll have another talk with Erik, and King Zeller with talk with Clyde before he leaves you any surprises.” She pointed out the entrance the lion — apparently, Clyde — and the boy — apparently, Queen Ruckler’s son, Erik — had gone through. “They went that way.”

Bindi sighed heavily, still appearing frazzled, then she turned and raced through the kitchen and out the door.

Turning back gradually in my chair, I shook off that little scene to ask King Zeller, “Why would you talk to a Shifter and not Queen Ruckler?”

King Zeller’s lips curved. “That wasn’t a Shifter. Clyde is my Vizoac.”

I didn’t blink, struck dumb. “And you’re letting Queen Ruckler’s son around him?”

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Chosen Thief by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2015

“I’m not a big fan of someone touching me when I don’t invite it,” I stated simply, before I jerked open the door, unknowing where I was going. But I didn’t care as long as it was away from them.

The door slammed in my face before I could step one foot out.

Baring my teeth at it, I opened it again, taking a quick —

It slammed again, stubbing my socked toes.

I grunted, lifting one foot, then the other, rubbing them. Then grabbed the iron coat rack as I opened the door again, shoving the end of it out the opening before it slammed again. It caught in the door, leaving it open a crack. I darted under the long rod, shoving with all my strength, even putting a foot up on the doorframe, giving it all I had. I knew it was Queen Cooper pulling this. “Fucking Mage bullshit.”

“Pearl, what metaphor did you use before?” King Zeller murmured softly as they all watched me work endlessly at the door.

Awed words. “Trapped mini-tiger.”

A masculine grunt. “It fits.”

They let me do this for about five minutes, mutely watching me tire myself out. Growling quietly and knowing I needed to preserve my energy, I stood up straight and yanked the coat rack back inside the room, letting it thump to the ground. I turned to them, crossing my arms over the camisole top I had worn to bed who knows how long ago, since I had no clue how long I had been unconscious. I stared mutinously at King Collins, drumming my fingers on my arm in irritation.

I could have sworn his lips twitched, but he only jerked his head, blue hair falling back from his face to stare me straight on. “Are you done now?”

Not by a long shot.

King Zeller started snickering as he watched me, then he held up a quick hand when King Collins shot him a glare. “I’m only thinking payback’s a bitch.” He spread his arms wide. “How many times did you find Aria’s…antics…entertaining?”

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Cold Mark by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #2 – Copyright 2014

I had made friends with a bug. My, how my life had altered since I had escaped the west of Triaz. Though, to be specific, I wasn’t entirely sure that it was a bug. As long as I looked past the fact that it was as long as I was tall, had razor sharp teeth, had twenty beady eyes, had twelve long legs with webbed feet, and had black scales that were as soft as feathers…well, it still reminded me of a bug that I had once seen in a picture book of Earth. If my memory was correct, I believe the author had called it: Spider.

But I called my new bug friend: Charlie.

He didn’t speak back, of course, but he did watch the entrance to the sewer I now resided in.

I had officially gone from being a lab rat living in grandeur, to a street rat living in hiding.

It was still better than being played with by my Vaq.

Plus, I had Charlie.

I glanced in his – Charlie was definitely a he – direction. Charlie’s hind end was facing my way. Not exactly the prettiest of sites, but he was still keeping his many eyes on the alleyways outside of our alcove. The damp, rank air had first been stifling when I had found this hiding spot a week ago, but now, it was a sad circumstance that I no longer smelled the putrid air that was my new home.

When I had first met Charlie, I had been frightened. Scared silly. It had become apparent that I had trespassed on his property, his home. But when I had thrown a piece of meat, one I had stolen from a vendor’s cart, in defense, he had stopped advancing on me. Taken my offering. Ever since then, as long as I brought him ‘treats’ every night, he allowed me to sleep here.

Though, it would be much better if the meat didn’t give him gas.

Now, that I could still smell.

I pulled my stained cloak around me tighter as I got comfortable on the molded hay that lay over the mud floor. My hands shook with zapping needle-like pain, as they had been for the past two weeks. Ever since I had crossed the border from the west to the east. My Vaq had stopped taking chase at that point, and the pull to be near them had turned into a magnetic agony that my brain was only gradually numbing itself to. I fisted my hands, and shoved them under my cheek for a makeshift pillow. The sun was setting, so the Mian would soon be awake and traveling the streets of the city, Vlymun.

I had made it to the capital of the east. My scouting missions for the past week – while the Mian slept during the day – had finally turned fruitful. I knew where to find Jax.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I would see my best friend again.

Closing my eyes, I whispered, “Good night, Charlie.”

He made a noise that sounded much like a grunt. Communication done.

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King Tomb by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #7 – Copyright 2014

Ezra scowled, then he turned, his shoulder brushing mine as he faced Antonio. “Enough with the Mage shit. What’s happening?”

Antonio sighed heavily, sending me a cross expression before peering back to Ezra. “You and my daughter are about to take a trip. Since I can’t follow to watch over you two, it’s a trip that I do not approve of.” He waggled glowing fingers in the air. “It’s not in my blood to do so.”

I cocked my head. “Your blood?”

Antonio now appeared sullen as hell, his nostrils flared. “I’m not yet powerful enough to see into your future of where you’re going, by touching you.” That was all. With a scowl.

“Uh…” I rubbed my lips together. “Why would you have to touch me to see my future? You’ve been able to see it without touching me before.”

He snorted, then he mumbled a curse under his breath. “I just can’t. Not yet. Give me a few years, and I’ll be able to then. It’s all about age now. Or the time.”

I blinked. “I don’t understand.”

He sighed heavily, waving an aggravated arm through the air, toward the trees. “Never mind. There’s no time to explain. Your visitor is here.”

My attention swiftly honed to the trees.

Ezra muttered quietly, “There’s no…” His head cocked. “Wait, someone is there now.”

The six of us stood silent as a Shifter man, smelling heavily of wolf, stepped out of the tree line. He wore a hooded black cloak almost identical to our other guest’s minutes ago, though he held two more black cloaks over one of his forearms. He appeared mid-thirty in Com years, handsome as sin, with roughish black hair that fell in messy clumps to his cheekbones. His eyes were golden, shining dimly to light his way through the dark. The oddest part about his appearance was the bow he had over one shoulder, along with a lot of silver arrows in a leather tube, their spikes sticking up next to his head and gleaming a lethal invitation.

He stopped three feet away from our group, his eyes directly on Ezra and me.

Elder Merrick instantly took a step forward, assessing the Shifter. “What’s your name?”

The man smirked, making him appear even more dashing. “The name’s Tipkin.”

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Cold Mark by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2014

The kitchen was normal, except for the severed arm in the sink. I held both of my hands over my mouth, and tried not to gag. “Please tell me that is not what Mian eat.” I hadn’t read anywhere that they were cannibals, but I was learning that our books on them were missing lots of information. “And please tell me that you have something other than that to fill my belly.”

Malik snorted and strolled to the colossal steel refrigerator unit. “That is for one of our pets.” He opened the fridge and gestured for me to peruse the contents. “Unless of course, you’d like to share with Blaze instead of having what we eat.”

I rushed to the fridge and firmly kept my eyes away from the gore…and didn’t think about what kind of pet Blaze was. My gaze raked over all of the bizarre items on the shelves. I picked up one container that appeared like chicken. “How often does a Mian eat, anyway?” I popped the lid and sniffed the meat. Nope. I put it back in a hurry, pushing it to the far back where it belonged, and kept rifling through the goods.

Malik leaned a hip against the counter next to me. “Mian eat once a week. It is all we need.” He shrugged. “Unless a female is pregnant. She’ll eat three times a week then.”

I tilted my head, and glanced up and down his muscular frame. I grunted. “No wonder. It’s not like you have many calories to burn.”

His thin black brows lifted. “Meaning?”

“Nothing,” I muttered, then bent and searched the lower shelves. I lifted a blue container absently. “Is this safe for me to eat?” It had smelled all right, and it appeared like ground beef.


“Okay…” I straightened and shut the fridge door. “Where’s the pantry?”

He pointed to our left. “There.”

I hit the motherload of sane food in the dry goods section. Happy as a butterfly on a sunny day, I walked out of the pantry holding dry pasta and tomato sauce. I grinned in pure delight. “Spaghetti with meat sauce. Yum.”

Still leaning against the counter, Malik crossed his arms and watched as I searched for pots and pans. “We do have a cook who can prepare that for you.”

“Nah. I can do it myself.” And make sure none of the blood from the severed arm made its way into my spaghetti sauce. “Have you eaten this week? Do you want me to make you some?”

His reply wasn’t immediate. He eyed my actions as I filled a pot with water. Eventually, he shrugged a shoulder. “I could eat.”

I did a small dance in front of the stove as I clicked the burners on. “Lunch for two coming up!”

My stomach growled in agreement.

I made a lot. I was going to eat!

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King Tomb by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #6 – Copyright 2014

Slipping past the tent flap, I tugged on my bag as it caught on the fabric, then dashed to the second flap, the entrance to his bedroom, slipping past it and keeping a tight grip on my bag’s handle as it caught again. Marijuana smoke filled my senses as I shook my head, attempting to dislodge my bag by bearing down with my hind legs and pulling, while loud spellbinding music drifted in my ears. Huffing, I shook my head hard and fell on my tail as my bag came free…and my bag flew back, thumping into my chest and almost knocking me over. I seriously hoped Ezra hadn’t seen any of that. Hastily, I peered to the side, unable to hear a damn thing over the music, or scent anything over the drug’s cloying scent, searching for him.

And froze.

I wasn’t exactly sure where to look first because…he wasn’t alone.

There was a Vampire woman lying on his bed. From my lowered position all I could see was her lily white thigh wrapped around Ezra’s waist where he was lying over her, the champagne silk chiffon riding up almost to her hip. Her hand was running down his side, starting to burrow between their bodies and obviously heading for his crotch, while her curly, red and black hair was thrown back on his pillow. Her mouth opened on a sigh with his face at her neck, even as he grabbed her hands and held them next to her head in obvious dominance.

An odd sound came from deep inside my chest, and belatedly I realized it was sorrow taking voice, my chest oddly constricting in an agonizing hurt, which I couldn’t believe I was feeling for a man I didn’t truly know, my husband.

And two things happened at once.

Apparently, Ezra must have heard me, his eyes flashing open in my direction and instantly glowing green. Right when my wolf overrode any humanity I had, comprehending possessiveness on a completely different level.



My bag was instantly dropped, and I lunged at the bed, teeth bared, aiming directly where my husband’s mouth laid on the woman’s throat, needing to make her bleed for trying to steal what was mine, make her dead.



Flying through the air, almost at my destination, I yelped, my attention swinging from my target’s throat as my husband blurred, growling, and caught me by the throat. A cry echoed through the air, my soulful howl of distress and discomfort, as he hurled me violently onto the ground next to the bed, my head falling back and smashing viciously onto the rug, which wasn’t so soft with the velocity of his pitch…and I couldn’t see anything but darkness as I slipped into unconsciousness.

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Obsidian Liquor by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #2 – Copyright 2014

Okay, so there are mornings in everyone’s lives that we wish we could reason through what the fuck we had been thinking the night before.

Or, more precisely, remember the majority of the night before.


Where the fuck am I?

How did I get here?

What the hell had I done?

Most importantly, who had witnessed it?

Well…this was my morning like that.

The sun was bright against my closed eyelids, and I moaned as I lay on my rolling stomach. My head hurt like no other. Honestly, it did not even feel like my head. It just felt like a constant ball on top of my neck that pulsed with never ending pain.

I grabbed my forehead and groaned.

Then, I heard it.

Another groan. But a lot more fucking deep and masculine…right next to me.

My eyes shot open, and I blinked repeatedly through the blinding sunlight. Brown, utterly blood shot eyes, were blinking open at me. Time slowed, and flat out paused, as we stared at one another, our noses almost touching.

We both shouted.

I scooted back as fast as I could, jumping to my feet, screaming as Daniil rolled off the bed, bellowing and standing to his feet while he stared at me wide-eyed, both of us holding our heads. His gaze darted down my body just as I was doing to his.

I saw that he was fucking naked. I screamed louder and glanced down at my own body.

Shit! I was butt ass naked too.

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Obsidian Liquor by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2014

“Artur will be your escort while you interview the group you were spying on.” Daniil bent, and I froze like a skittish deer as he placed his mouth against my ear, my damp hair being pressed against my head. “If I ever catch you spying on any of my children, you will never write another article. Because you won’t have hands to do it with.”

I started trembling at the blatant honesty in his tone as he leaned back and smiled charmingly. Right before he angled his body differently, and with reflexes I sure as hell did not have, he slipped his hand down my camisole right into my bra. My eyes widened as he grabbed the tape recorder and pulled in out just as swiftly as he had stuck his hand down my top.

My reflex came naturally to any man that would have done that.

I smacked him across his face. I was smart enough to realize that was a really bad move, and stumbled back just as quickly, slamming against the bleachers.

Silence extended as he slowly straightened, his gaze wandering over me, his expression one of disdain as he rubbed his cheek. He did not even need to say anything. His look said it all. I was not his type. Never would be. I was beneath him.

My eyes narrowed. But I did not say anything. I had just poked the shark with…not even a sharp stick…more like, a twig. It was just enough to irritate him and make him notice me. I sure as hell did not want to be his dinner.

Then, he opened his big fat mouth. “You shouldn’t hide something like this in an area so small. It’s too noticeable.” He twirled the tape recorder between his fingers, his lips twitching as he started to turn to walk away.

My eyes narrowed even further and I crossed my arms over my B-cups, more than a little self-conscious. “I’m sure you know plenty about small things, old man. I hear with age appendages tend to shrivel.” I let my lips twitch as his had. “Like prunes.”

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King Tomb by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #5 – Copyright 2014

I watched as the scenery blurred by, pure country, as our speed increased to over a hundred miles per hour, advancing to our destination quickly. I was rocked again, like a roller coaster, as the wind blew our sphere straight up into the night sky and over the metal fencing with wicked round barbwire.

Oomph,” I exhaled sharply as all of us, not just me, almost fell to our knees.

Ezra’s arm was instantly wrapped around my waist from behind even as he placed a quick bracing hand on the bottom of the sphere, keeping us from falling completely. He barked over his shoulder, “What the fuck? Are you trying to injure us?”

“It was needed,” Elder Jacobs said softly, staring at the distancing ground where the wind was pushing us from, his arms aimed low. “You’d better brace yourself for the landing.”

“You’re a damn Elder,” Ezra shouted over the howling wind. “Where the hell is your control-” He abruptly cut off as we started to descend…or fall from the sky, more like.

I screamed as our bodies literally lifted from the bottom of the sphere, floating a bit as I stared at the swiftly approaching ground, the dead grass most definitely not enough to cushion our fall.

“Shit!” Ezra shouted, his arm tightening painfully around my stomach. His chest was pressed against my back as he stared over my shoulder at the ground. He was able to thrust his legs down and touch the sphere, jerking hard to twist us roughly. Now his back was to the approaching ground while we stared up into the overcast night through the shimmering gold. It didn’t help my fear, not at all, and I shouted again at the free falling weightlessness. But I still heard Ezra mutter near my ear, “Fuck, this is gonna hurt.”

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King Tomb by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #4 – Copyright 2014

King Zeller’s lush lips lifted, and I saw the briefest flash of fang. “What a pair we are.”

I snorted, walking to my bed and flopping down on it, staring up at the ceiling. “We don’t trust each other. We have no reason to. Not only did we meet only a week ago by me trespassing into King Shadow, but also into your home.” I chuckled quietly, the action a smidge easier, if still sounding unused. “It wasn’t exactly the prime setting for starting our dysfunctional family.”

“Family,” King Zeller murmured softly, still sounding shell-shocked. “I never would have guessed that was what I was mind raped for.” He stood for a few moments by our child’s crib, then moved so he was standing where my knees hung over the bed.

I lifted my eyebrows, staring up at him. “Remember what I said before you entered.” My eyes went back to the ceiling, so I didn’t see temptation staring me in the face. “I may have had a temporary moment of insanity by starting that earlier,” I paused, then stated begrudgingly, “which was fucking hot as hell, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to travel down the same path we did before. We’re both changed. We are able to love our child, but when it comes to others…” I sighed, not bothering to finish.

He did it for me. “When it comes to others, love inevitably brings pain in the end, which we both suffered immensely.”

I pointed at him. “Exactly.” Placing my hands under my head, I did glance at him where he stood, like a huge helping of all things brutal and wild, flickering the flame of attraction and arousal low in my gut. I scowled, not appreciating where my thoughts continued taking me. “Maybe you could wear a sack over your head or something.”

His nostrils flared, and he blinked before he crossed his arms, making the fabric pull, his muscles showing plainly thanks to the golden sparks giving a contrasting shadow and light effect to his body as a purely carnal grin etched his features. “I can help you with that itch.” His gaze roamed my features, sliding down my body. “Because I have to tell you, now that I know why I was mind raped, I’ll shortly be in the right place to have sex.” He saw how my lips thinned even if I tried to hide it, the man appearing not to miss much, his eyes lifting from my mouth. Slowly, he bent until his hands were on either side of my shoulders, staring down at me. “And as you stated before about loyalty, the same has always held true for me. I am extremely loyal to those I care about, and fidelity in a committed relationship I have always respected in others.”

His head cocked at he watched me. “I hold no respect for those that cheat on their spouse, and I believe they should be held accountable for their actions…and not nicely.” He bent slowly, speaking softly, blunt and honest. “So, with that said, when I want sex…and believe me, I will…I will be coming to my wife for it, even if I don’t particularly like or trust her.”

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King Tomb by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #3 – Copyright 2014

Sex was a weapon, I knew, having sent plenty of Mysticals – beautiful individuals – on missions where sexual relations were used to gain information.  And I wanted information.  His knowledge and agreement to help me gain the choice of my past back.

And…he was my husband.

Plan firmly in place, I gently – and probably a bit too cautiously – leaned forward, placing my mouth a scant inch from his, whispering, “Do you like what you see?”

Lazily, his eyes lifted to mine, and he spoke softly, “That would most definitely be a yes.”  His lips curled, our breaths intermingling.  “I did the first night we met.  You were unconscious for a half hour, so I was able to look my fill then.”


His smile lifted further, sinfully, as his gaze ran over whatever I was expressing on my features, which was probably a bit of shock.  His head cocked, lifting his chin with the motion, bringing our lips closer together, almost brushing, for the barest moment.  “And Queen Ruckler, when you’re trying to seduce a man for information, it’s best to know fully who you’re seducing.”  He lifted one hand, and hooked a finger in the neck of my shirt, pulling so it gaped further, but he didn’t peer down to see what he had revealed.  “If you really want to put up the effort to attempt this, I would suggest you try lace or silk or even a corset instead of the kiddy undergarments.”  His words were meant to be cruel…but I could still scent he was slightly turned on, a dead giveaway he didn’t mind the lingerie so much.

His scent enveloped me, and sadly, it actually turned me on the barest bit, heat radiating off him, so I attempted to keep my focus steady.  “I do want that information.”  I lifted my hands slowly, giving him plenty of time to see them coming from his peripheral and placed them on his knees, brushing aside his robe to gently, and slowly, knead up his thighs, his muscles rock solid and heated under my ministrations, so much so, I almost stopped….but I didn’t since I couldn’t back down now.  “I know I can convince you just how much.”

His chuckle was deep and soft.  “You have no idea who you’re playing with, Queen Ruckler.”  He spread his legs more than they already were, blatantly showing me he wasn’t one to back down, either, my hands sliding further up his hard thighs, the soft material of his jeans no real barrier to knowing his body intimately.  “And you also need to work on your timing for attempting such carnal intrigues.”

My eyebrows puckered, and I couldn’t help but ask, “My timing?”

His tongue peeked out to wet his bottom lip slowly, and I know I stared, but since he was also staring at my mouth, I didn’t stop myself.  Another sensuous smile etched his features, and if I wasn’t mistaken it wasn’t as cold as before, a bit of real feeling was in the curve of his lips.  His thick lashes hid his gaze, and he stated softly, “Yes, your timing.”  He lifted his head, so again, our lips were a mere breath apart, the barest bit of green lifting to stare me in the eyes under his lids.  “Our child’s been awake for the past minute.”  He paused as I stilled, dumbfounded I had missed that.  Slowly, he slanted his head the barest bit, causing our noses to literally brush, sending a jolt of electricity through me and fanning the flame that was already lit to flare brighter, causing my grip on his thighs to tighten.

His lids lifted, unflinching green stared me straight on as he closed the distance between us, pressing our mouths together.  Not kissing me, only keeping our lips in contact.  But that didn’t really matter because it still sent my hormones into overdrive.  My breaths came in hard pants and my heartbeat galloped against my chest.  My saving grace was he reacted the same way, even if his voice was steady as his wide soft, warm lips brushed back and forth against mine while he whispered, “You also need to work on not being distracted by your target.”

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King Tomb by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #2 – Copyright 2014

I still managed to bare my teeth at him as Antonio and Elder Zeller both started cursing, dropping to their knees to help me.  I whispered in King Zeller’s direction where he stared down at me with his arms crossed, “I know my reason for being damned…but what’s yours?”  I loved that I saw him flinch.  Even if I couldn’t really move, I could still hurt him.

“Your pain must be soul deep for all the drugs you have.”  My lips puckered in fake sympathy.  “Ah, poor King Zeller.  He has all the beauty, power, and prestige he could ever need to charm anyone, but instead, he sits alone in his room, getting stoned to block out the agony in his mind.”  His nostrils flared and his jaw clenched, and I didn’t need to be a Vampire to know I had broken through his shell, and he was pissed.  “What ever did poor King Zeller do…what ghosts of the past haunt him?”

I paused, gaging him.  “Sin?”

No reaction, which I hadn’t expected one.




The barest flinch…and my grin was purely malicious, about to be a huge bitch.  “If you’re still upset about losing your mate, it may be time to get over it.”  His file had stated his mate had died years ago, and compared to his age…wait…no reaction on his part.  “Oh…not your mate.”  Again, my lips curled cruelly when every muscle in his body appeared to go taunt, the corner of my lips sharply tilted up at the edges.  “Interesting.”  My chuckle was purely vindictively, really no humor found.  “The supposed badass King Zeller mopes in his bedroom, drowning his sorrows in drugs, all over…pathetic, useless love.”  My icy glare met his.  “Now, King Zeller,” asshole, “did you really beat me?”  My words were a hundred times worse – and in public – than what he had done.

Antonio and Elder Zeller had gone mute some time ago, even if Antonio was still working on me while Elder Zeller gripped one of my ankles, sending me serenity, taking away my pain.  But I wasn’t paying them a bit of interest, my attention wholly focused on the furious Vampire standing over me like the devil’s own.

Silently, rigidly, he deliberately began lowering until he was squatting, staring down directly into my face, his eyes glowing a smidge he was so angry.  “Nicely played, even if you’re incorrect.”

“Easy target.”  My lips lifted when he stared daggers.

His head cocked, and he lifted his hand slowly, still glowering, and ran a single finger gently across my cheek.  “I believe having you here at camp will be,” he hummed quietly, pulling his finger back, “interesting.”

My lips were pinched, hating that I hadn’t been strong enough right now to jerk away from his touch, and it was slowly dawning on me that I was still half naked lying on this floor.  “I want my clothes.”  An afterthought.  “And my phone and weapons.”

A single eyebrow raised, elbows on his bent knees.  If I wasn’t feeling the peace his dad was giving me, I would have been pissed when his eyes flittered down my body, pausing at all of my private bits.  “You’re a Shifter…,” he murmured quietly, talking to himself as he continued his perusal.  “Why would this bother you?”

My eyes snapped to Antonio.  “Give me your shirt.”

“Just a sec, Lil.  I’m almost done.”  Antonio didn’t even glance at me.

And fucking King Zeller was still staring at my body, doing it on purpose, obviously trying to figure my reasoning out.

“There,” Antonio muttered, taking his hands away.

So did Elder Zeller.

I wasn’t quick enough, the lingering pain, disturbing my effectiveness to work the ice water back into my veins.  Embarrassment flooded my system being viewed as I was in a heady tide.  “Shirt,” I stated harshly, feeling my cheeks flood with color.  “Now, Antonio.”

King Zeller’s nostrils were flared, and he had an elbow crooked on his knee, his hand over his mouth as he started down at me.  Bizarrely, even though he was definitely scenting, and seeing, my emotions, he made not one comment as Antonio stripped his shirt off and gently pulled it over my head, dressing me, the material covering me to mid-thigh.  Instead, King Zeller stood, stating, “I’ll get Queen Ruckler’s things.”

Elder Zeller stared at his son.  “After that, you and I are going to talk.”

King Zeller snorted, turning his back to his dad, moving toward the opened tent flap.  “Are we?  Somehow, Elder Zeller, I doubt that.”  I knew that tone well.  He didn’t like his dad much.

Damned, meet damned.

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King Tomb by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2014

I stood.

And promptly fell back onto the couch.

“Ugh.” I rubbed my head, seeing him leaning heavily against his dresser, arms crossed with an eyebrow raised. “Are you sure that was only weed in those blunts?”

His head cocked. “I never said it was only weed.”

I…actually…chuckled. He was right. I had only assumed.

My laughter was gravelly from disuse, but that was what it was. “Huh.” I stared at where the tiny bits of the blunts remained. “They actually helped.” I had essentially found…humor…and I didn’t mind it so much. He was watching me awfully hard; probably worried I was going to puke all over the place, but I pointed a decently straight finger at him. “You never told me your name.”

He was quiet for a long moment, and then said, “No. I didn’t.”

I waved a wobbly hand. “Well, that’s not fair.” Yep, I was stoned and drunk. On the plus side, I wasn’t seeing two of him. He was a bit blurry, but there was only one man staring at me.

Gradually, his lips lifted into a very small smile; and like my chuckle, it looked like he hadn’t done it in a while. “Fascinating logic.” He shrugged when I stared this time. “You never told me your real name.” A quiet hum, his head tilted. “I believe you said ‘some people call me’, not ‘my name is’, even if you hadn’t used a nickname.”

I blinked. “You’re a quick one, aren’t you?” I waggled my finger at him. “Damn quick.”

His gaze roved over my face. “Can you even stand?”

My lips pinched. “Of course, I can.”

He lifted an eyebrow, his eyes still as dead as mine, but intense in their assessment.

Challenge given.

Rolling my shoulders, I placed a hand on the arm of the couch and pushed until I was standing. I blinked, staying on my feet this time, but I muttered, “Well, shit.”

His head cocked. “What?”

I pointed to the left, then the right, about an inch apart. “There are two of you now.”

Again, his lips slowly lifted into that lonely, tiny smile. “May I ask you something?”

I swayed, placing a bracing hand back on the couch. “You may ask.” Answering was optional.

He rubbed his chin, staring at me with that tortured gaze. “What put that look in your eyes?”

My gaze narrowed. “This is why I don’t make friends.” They wanted to share and shit. “I could ask you the same thing, but I’m not, so why go and ruin the mood?”

When he only stayed silent, watching, waiting for my answer, my nostrils flared in irritation…but…I enjoyed the fact I actually felt irritation – only irritation, not anger or agony – enough to placate him since he had given me the gateway to it through his drugs.

I sat on the arm of the couch, sighing heavily, and told the truth. “What you see in my eyes is simply life staring you in the face.”

He went mute, gazing at me with an unreadable expression.

I lifted my eyebrows at his silent countenance. “You asked. I answered.” I shrugged, staring at him pointedly. “And please, take notice how I’m not asking in kind. I’m not into group hugs and crying sessions.”

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King Cave by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #5 – Copyright 2013

I didn’t understand his ‘gift’ completely. Nor did I understand him. But there was one thing I had to know. After holding his gaze, which was empty of any emotion, I whispered, “Why?”

Lips that were already pinched thinned further. The other occupants at the table quieted, their eyes never far from me right now, even though they pretended otherwise. Antonio blinked, and when his gaze met mine again, it held sorrow and guilt and, maybe, hope. “Because I must.”


I snorted sarcastically, pissed off, and peered back to my plate. I lifted the knife, twirling it in my fingers and watching golden sparks of light catch on the fairly sharp blade as it rotated faster through my fingers. My gaze flicked to him. “You’re lucky I love you.” My eyes went back to the blade. “Because of that, I didn’t tell him what I know.”

My gaze returned to him while everyone around the table went still. “You would be a few days dead right now if I hadn’t protected your worthless ass.” My anger was red-hot, but I kept it leashed. Barely. I stopped twirling the blade, pointing it at him. “I probably won’t ever understand you, Antonio, but what I do know is that you fucking owe me.”

No one moved around us as Antonio and I held each other’s gaze.

Jerkily, he nodded once, his eyes lowering. “I’m sorry, Lil.”

I snorted, my own gaze falling to my own plate, and stabbed into my macaroni again. “Not fucking good enough.” I shook my head, chomping into my grub. “Not anywhere close.”

“Honey, I’m not sure what the hell this is about, and I realize you’re going through a tragedy right now, but you can’t threaten an Elder,” King Kincaid murmured quietly into the silence. A pause, then, “At least, not in public, anyway.”

My grin was feral as I peeked up at him down the table. “I didn’t.”

King Fergus slowly wiped his mouth with a napkin and set it down carefully. “She’s correct. She stated she saved his worthless ass.”

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King Cave by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #4 – Copyright 2013

Antonio smiled. It was of pure mischief. “I may have put a bug in their ear.”

Ezra scowled, taking a swill of his beer. “I swear to God, I’ll never have a fucking brat.”

“Amen,” I muttered, then gave Antonio a fed up glance. “For someone who just loves children, you sure know how to push others away from them.”

Cahal snorted, glancing to Antonio. “You love children?”

“Currently? One,” Antonio retorted in a clipped tone. “Lily.”

I rolled my eyes. “You love to torture me.” I set my bowl aside, done wolfing my sweet.

“That too.” He grinned as only a dad could.

Cahal blinked, then asked, “What did you tell the Kings?”

Antonio snickered, watching us. “They’ll be on babysitting duty.”

“Again,” Ezra grumbled, handing me his beer when I slammed the shot and started coughing. After taking a few swigs from it, I gave it back, pounding on my chest from the burn. Finishing most of his beer off, Ezra glared at Antonio over its edge. “Don’t you think we’ve had enough of that?”

They stared. At us. Oddly silent.

Antonio quickly cleared his throat. “No, I don’t.” Once more, Antonio cleared his throat, harder this time, cocking his head, staring at me with an expression I couldn’t quite read, but I knew he was trying to communicate something.

They still stared.

I yawned. “What?” I wiped my mouth, wondering if I had dried ice-cream on my chin.

“Jesus,” Ezra grumbled, setting the almost empty beer down and picking up his coffee, glaring with tired eyes at the other occupants of our table. “What the hell did we do now?”

Cahal reclined on his chair, crossing his arms lazily. “You have no clue?”

Ezra’s eyebrows puckered, obviously as lost as I was. “Would you care to enlighten us?”

Cahal’s gaze flicked back and forth between us. “No, I don’t believe so.”

“Then quit staring,” Ezra muttered, gesturing at everyone at the table with his coffee mug. “It’s rude.” Still they examined us, their heads cocking, except for Antonio’s, but he just appeared exasperated. “Why are you all sitting here?”

“Ah yes,” Antonio stated loudly. “We wanted to discuss your combat training.”

Ezra sipped his coffee with a raised eyebrow, then yawned. “She and I train together.”

I rested an elbow on the table, my cheek on my hand. My tired gaze met Ezra’s. “Or, at least, we did before we got here.”

Ezra grunted. “We should start again.”

I nodded, feeling sleepy and ready for a nap. “If we could find a place suitable.”

Antonio tapped the table with his beer. “I believe I was speaking.”

We both blinked at him.

“Are you two stoned?” Elder Jacobs asked, gesturing to the many empty plates and drinks. “You two ate enough for six people, appear as if you’re about to pass out, and not to mention…” He eyed us, before glancing to Antonio and Cahal. “Or are they always like this?”

Ezra stated dryly, “You’re the second person to ask us that within a half-hour, and the answer is still ‘no’.” His head cocked as our eyes met, and we chuckled, then he nodded to Elder Jacobs. “Though, yes, to the second question.”

With drowsy motions, we fist-bumped.

Antonio muttered under his breath something I was sure was uncomplimentary, then asked loudly, “I realize it’s hard for you two to stay focused, but could you try to pay attention to the adult for a moment?”

I glanced at Ezra. “We focus just fine, don’t you think?”

“Definitely.” Another sip of his coffee, his lids drooping lazily. “Except for school.”

I hummed, my eyes blinking slowly. “Or with the brats.”

He rested his head back. “Or the rules.” His eyes shut, a tiny smile playing on his lips.

My eyelids closed. “Unless they’re our own.”

Ezra grunted, sounding half purr.


Tranquil slumber, coaxing and exquisite, was starting to take me under when I heard a masculine voice, sounding incredulous, ask, “Did they just fall asleep?”

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King Cave by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #3 – Copyright 2013

They were watching us, their gazes much more penetrating, not ogling like the others.

I opened to mouth to ask Ezra if he knew who they were, but my question stalled in my throat as I sniffed the air and blinked in confusion. I smelled smoke. Cigarette smoke, in particular. Unfreezing, my gaze snapped to Ezra. He was lounging on his chair, boots still on the table with his coffee in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other as he inhaled a prolonged drag. My jaw dropped, and I sputtered, “What are you doing?”

His lips twitched, and he lowered his cigarette and dropped his head back to blow the smoke to the ceiling. “I’m smoking.”

Complete shock. “I can see that.” His lips quirked in a resulting grin as he watched me, his head tilted, obviously enjoying my stunned revelation. “When did you start doing that?”

He ashed on the cave floor and shrugged. “I only smoke every so often now, but I used to smoke these…and other things…on a normal basis before coming to King Hall.” Another shrug as he lifted the cigarette to his curling lips. “This past week, I took it back up.”

My gaze narrowed as I waved a hand in front of my face. “Just those or other things?”

He grunted, taking another drag. “Just these.”

Eyeing him a moment longer, I hummed in my throat and reclined on my chair. “You do realize you smoking right now is a little cliché?”

His deep chortle reverberated. “Maybe, but it’s no less enjoyable.” He tilted his head toward me, whispering, “You do know Mysticals don’t become physically addicted or get lung cancer, right?”

I snorted. “I’m not a complete idiot.” My eyes met his. “But I could use your,” my words were drier than dirt, “supreme knowledge on another issue.” One of his eyebrows quirked in silent question, so I slanted my head toward the left. “Five tables over. Do you know who the air Elemental and Shifter are?”

Lifting the cigarette and taking another drag, his head cocked, eyes searching where I had indicated. He stilled after a moment, then slowly ashed his cigarette, his eyes lingering on them. Blowing the smoke out of the corner of his mouth – away from me – he murmured, “I’ve seen their pictures before.” His gaze held in their direction, and I glanced that way, seeing both of them watching Ezra. The Shifter’s lips were even curled a bit. Eyes back on Ezra, I saw he was returning the gesture until he turned his attention to me. “The air Elemental is Elder Jacobs, the Shifter’s Elder Merrick.” When I stilled, he chuckled, relaxing further into his chair, taking another drag. “Yeah, they’re the other half of my dad and Antonio’s posse.”

My regard snapped around, scrutinizing them in a different light. No wonder they seemed…more. They were. They had fought alongside Antonio and Cahal. Not only had they experienced war firsthand, the four of them had led the entirety of the Mystical population through it.

The Shifter, Elder Merrick, took that moment to wink at me, lazily sitting back on his chair.

I blinked, a bit confused. What was that about?

It took a slow smile from him to realize he was hitting on me from tables away.

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King Cave by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #2 – Copyright 2013

Ezra lifted his own menu, his lips twitching as a waitress arrived.  “Just a sec.”  The waitress, who also tried to flirt with Antonio, took our orders, then sauntered away, her hips sashaying.  Snickering quietly at the woman’s antics, I glanced back up at Ezra for his reason.  He smirked as he resituated himself.  “Dad had issues with me borrowing,” his dad sniffed, “a car. Then after listening to him lecture, when I finally find one to borrow, he had issues with the vehicle itself.”

His dad’s nose rose.  “He picked a…,” he blinked, “what did you call that atrocity?”

“A P.O.S.”

His dad nodded.  “Well, he tried to get me to ride in a,” he said it like it was a type, “P.O.S.”

Antonio snorted, coughing quickly.

Cahal’s eyebrows slammed together even as Ezra and I kept stoically blank expressions, and he glared at Antonio.  “What?”

Antonio drummed his fingers on the table, drawling, “Do you even know what a P.O.S. is?”

Cahal’s expression didn’t change, but it was like I could see the wheels turning rapidly through his intelligent mind.  His gaze narrowed slightly.  A few beats later, he stated, “A piece of shit.”

“Good guess,” Antonio muttered, and then took his drink the waitress held out.  Only his drink, and no one else’s, just so she could sashay those hips again as she left.  Casually, Antonio asked, “So, what did you end up with?”

Cahal sniffed.  “A Jaguar.”

This time, I chuckled and couldn’t stop it.  “You guys are riding with us.”

“Why?” Cahal asked.  “You have a utility vehicle.”  It wasn’t a compliment.

Ezra sighed.  “Dad, there’s a reason why I dropped the car off blocks away and made us walk here.”  His thumb brushed back and forth over mine lazily.  “New and expensive cars normally have GPS systems to track them if they’re stolen.”

Cahal stared.  “How is it that you know which car is best to steal?  Or even how to steal one in the first place?”

Ezra’s lips twitched.  “I learned a few things when I left California.”

“When you went on your unscheduled tour of the world?”  Cahal’s jaw was clenched.

“Yes.”  Ezra cleared his throat, pointing vaguely.  “You’d better contact mom now.”

Cahal’s expression instantly changed to caution.

I blinked, understanding the genius of Ezra’s evasive tactic.

Antonio laughed outright.  “You didn’t tell her?”

Cahal mumbled, “You haven’t got a damn clue.”  He rubbed his forehead.  “The woman has a pair of lungs on her I normally enjoy…unless she’s upset.”  Then his eyes went distant, and I realized he and Vivian had telepathy as their mate gift.  The rest of our drinks arrived while he was communicating with her, but the waitress didn’t seem to notice his pained expression, staring at Antonio as she was.  A minute later, he blinked, then nodded to Ezra.  “She’s going to be,” Ezra’s cell rang in his pocket, “calling you.”

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To purchase King Hall (book 1), click HERE.

King Cave by Scarlett Dawn – Snippet #1 – Copyright 2013

My lips curved.  I had to ask.  “How fast were you going that you didn’t know you were being chased with sirens blaring?”

“I had the radio up too loud to hear them,” Ezra muttered.  Didn’t answer my question.

Vivian did.  “One hundred and sixty-three miles per hour.”

“Fuck yeah,” Jack mumbled quietly.  “That must have been sweet.”

Ezra’s lips twitched, and then he leaned forward, whispering air, “Not as sweet as the sixth car I wrecked.  Remind me later to tell you about that.”

Jack chuckled, lifting his chin once in confirmation.

I smacked Ezra’s stomach, muttering harshly, “That’s dangerous.”

His chest puffed, and he rumbled, “I breathe danger.”

“Oh, good God, he did not just say that,” Pearl muttered.

“He did,” I snorted.

Ezra chuckled deeply.  “I just like the adrenaline rush.”

I rolled my eyes.  Grandly.  “Never would have guessed.”

To purchase King Cave (book 2), click HERE.

To purchase King Hall (book 1), click HERE.