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Steal the Moon

By:Lexi Blake


Chapter One





It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to ditch one bodyguard, much less two. The task is made infinitely harder when said bodyguards are also werewolves. They don’t tend to fall for the whole pointing one way as you run the other way “made you look” ruse. Even if you manage to arrange a small diversion, say a minor pixie invasion, once they handle the problem, they’re right on your ass again. A werewolf bodyguard will track you through a crowded club, across an enormous mall, and they’ll follow you into the ladies room if you take too long.

If, and I give this just as an example, you manage to dodge them long enough to catch a bus, at least one of those suckers will race after you. When you get off the bus you thought was your ticket to freedom, you get to face a wolf who’s had to hang on for dear life more than twenty city blocks. He’s breathed in enough exhaust fumes to make him one truly angry puppy, and you can kiss any goodwill you previously earned bye-bye.

When saddled with two men dedicated to curtailing your fun and freedom, you have to get creative. They don’t understand your need for alone time. Your privacy is not their concern.

Unfortunately, I really needed a little privacy.

I grinned at Zack Owens. Zack was my main tormentor, er, bodyguard. His brother, Lee, preferred to take whichever duty allowed him to prowl around in search of a threat. He claimed to have attention deficit disorder and an extreme dislike for staying put. Zack had drawn the short straw and got to be my main baby-sitter. From his constant taciturn expression, I don’t think he liked his job much. He looked at me across the table we were sitting at in Ether, my boyfriend’s nightclub, and got that “shit, what are you up to” look.

“Zoey, I swear to god, I have exactly one hour left on my shift.” Zack pointed an accusatory finger at me. I’d seen that well-manicured finger turn into a really dangerous claw on more than one occasion. “If you try to run off somewhere, I’ll lock you up for a week. I’ll write a report that will terrify Quinn and Donovan so much they’ll put another two guards on you.”

“That’s mean.” He wasn’t above doing just that. He would write a gleeful fiction, and the truth was it would probably be believed without question. I crossed my arms defensively. “And should you really be talking to your employer that way?”

Zack rolled his chocolate brown eyes. “You’re not my employer, Zoey. You’re my trial. You’re my tribulation. You’re my fucking headache at least eight hours a day. Your husband is my master. Your boyfriend is my boss. For some reason, they don’t want you dead, although I swear to god after that trick you pulled with the bus, I just might be the one who does you in.”

Maybe it was a little more than an example, but I stand by the attempt. Zack was more tenacious than I could have dreamed.

I’d met young Zack the previous year in Las Vegas when Danny, Dev, and I attended a vampire convention. It had been awful and wonderful. I died and met Hell’s big boss. That part had been crappy. The wonderful part had been finally sorting out my relationships. I’m that insane woman who’s madly in love with two men. I’m that insanely lucky woman who gets to keep them both. After Vegas, the boys decided to try alternative lifestyles. Given the boys in question were an earthbound faery prince and a vampire king, alternative is fitting.

I married Daniel Donovan through a sacred ceremony that ties a vampire to his companion. I’m his nightly meal, his best friend, and his true love, though lately I was replaced in the best friend role by my boyfriend, the other tip to our triangle.

Devinshea Quinn is the second in line for the Daoine Sidhe throne, not that he would last long on it. He’s mortal, a fact his people couldn’t accept. He left his home to make his way in the human world after he got sick of his mother’s manipulations. His twin brother was the heir, and I’d already promised his family a good thrashing if I ever had the chance to meet them.

Dev met me on a blind date, found he had an appetite for my personal brand of destruction, and our little triangle was formed. It was hard at first. There’d been jealousy and guilty tears and lots of heavy objects tossed about, but in the end, we settled into our happy ménage à trois. At least the boys seemed happy. I was fine with everything except their adamantly united front concerning the bodyguards.

“But Zack, it’s my birthday.” I was twenty-seven years old, but if I kept taking Daniel’s blood, I would be forever twenty-six. My husband is way better than Botox.

Zack shook his head and softened slightly. Despite his rough talk, I knew he had a certain fondness for me. It had been my friendliness that convinced him vampire kind wasn’t all bad. “I know it is, Zoey. Mr. Quinn has been running himself ragged trying to get your present. He’s taking it seriously.”

It didn’t surprise me that Dev was making a big deal out of the occasion. He’s the kind of man who enjoys the mundane rituals of everyday life. Dev is more than happy to follow convention because it gives him a sense of belonging. We might be an odd family, but we’re his family. “How about Danny?”

Zack’s face finally broke into a small smile. “I think he went to the comic book store yesterday.”

And that sounded like my Danny. Danny is the one who swoops in and saves me from all the evils of the world. I need saving more often than I liked to admit. Danny is the guy who can sweep me off my feet when he wants to. I mean that literally because he can fly. He’s also the guy who would buy my birthday present at a comic book store.

“So you aren’t patrolling my dad’s house during the party tonight?” I glanced around the club looking for tonight’s desperate plot to walk in the room. I had a meeting that I didn’t need prying werewolf ears to listen in on. It wasn’t really the listening part that bothered me. It was Zack’s propensity for tattling that made me insane. He just loved to file reports on me.

“Lee and I have the night off. The big guy can handle one little party.”

I waved as Sarah Day and her husband, Felix, entered the club. Sarah’s electric blue hair made her stand out in the crowd, but one really couldn’t help but look at Felix, too. His serene masculine beauty turned many a head as the couple made their way to the bar area. Felix looked like he might have been painted by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Radiance just rolled off him. It’s possible he’d been the actual inspiration for that bit of art. Felix Day is a fallen angel. He’d found himself deeply in love with his former charge, Sarah, and decided to experience life on the Earth plane.

“Hey!” Sarah greeted me with a big hug.

“Hello, little cousin,” Felix said, smiling indulgently. “I understand it’s your birthday. Congratulations.”

“Thanks, Felix.” I noticed my distraction for the evening had just walked through Ether’s double doors. It was time to get rid of my bodyguard. “Zack, Sarah and I want Cosmos.”

“I’ll have the bartender bring you some,” Zack said, getting ready to motion a waitress over.

I shook my head and made a sour face. “It’s Tom tonight. Tom always puts too much Triple Sec in. It tastes too orangey.”

Sarah picked up my cues. “That’s right. His Cosmos are awful.”

“Zack’s are like heaven,” I told Sarah and then we both turned on the werewolf with feminine sighs and big doe eyes.

“I’m not a bartender anymore,” Zack groused.

“With talent like yours, Zack, you’ll always be my bartender.” Before Zack signed on for the hazardous duty of protecting me, he’d been a bartender in one of Dev’s clubs. He was a genius when it came to vodka. I still manage to talk him into making me drinks from time to time.

Zack sighed. “Fine, but only because it’s your birthday. I’m going to teach Tom how to make them. But Zoey, if you aren’t sitting here when I get back, I’m writing that report. You have no idea how creative I can get. I lie awake at night thinking of all the ways you could be killed.”

Sarah slapped the table as he walked away. “He’s very unfriendly. You should talk to Dev about that.”

She didn’t mention talking to Daniel. Dev was the one who might be moved by tears and feminine cajoling. Daniel was that rock someone shoved against a hard place. Unfortunately, unlike many things I could talk Devinshea into, he was in complete agreement with Danny on this one. It was getting harder and harder to get my way. The longer we all lived together, the more they realized to survive me they had to stand together. It was a lesson I wish they’d never learned.

“Won’t work,” I replied. “The boys love Zack and Lee. They never let me do anything.”

“Until Daniel hunts down Lucas Halfer, I doubt you’re going to get anywhere on that front,” Felix pointed out.

Lucas Halfer was the dumbass demon who’d gotten the jump on me six months ago and managed to pretty much kill me. He’d also killed Dev, but we’d been surrounded by vampires, and their blood brought us back. I’d gotten Halfer tossed out of Hell, and apparently he was holding a grudge.

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