Excerpt from CRUSH (INSATIABLE: BOOK THREE)-Available Now!
A new excerpt from my forthcoming paranormal erotic thriller Crush (Insatiable: Book Three):
Though the temperature in the office was comfortable, as always when she was in her former employer’s company Aurélle felt a chill that permeated her flesh like the reverse of a low-grade fever. Every few moments as she sat opposite the club owner a shiver rocked her body to her core. And beneath that chill, in a place more instinct than physical, she felt something worse. She had a sense of something slithering in dark, damp spaces. Something that always watched and waited. Something hungry. Always hungry.
“It’s so nice to see you again, Aurélle,” Amarante said in her French-tinted Rwandan accent. “I suppose it would be too much to hope that you are here because you wish to renew your contract and dance for me again.”
Through yet another shudder Aurélle forced a return smile. “It’s nice to see you too, Amarante. I’m not dancing anymore, though. I’m happy being married, and I have a child to think about.”
“Ah yes; the child that is not yours but is yours.”
Aurélle didn’t know how Amarante knew about Kia, or how much she knew about her. But that her stepdaughter occupied the African’s thoughts at all made her nauseous with dread. She didn’t want Amarante anywhere near Kia—not even in the woman’s thoughts.
“I came to ask you a question,” Aurélle said. “Maybe a few questions.”
Amarante nodded, once. “We are spiritual sisters, Aurélle. If I can assist you then I am happy to do so.”
We aren’t totally sisters, Aurélle thought. There are parts of you that I want nothing to do with.
As if she’d heard Aurélle’s thought Amarante waved her hand dismissively and settled back in her high-backed leather chair. She crossed her legs and folded her hands on her lap. “Ask your question.”
“When I was in middle school there was an incident,” Aurélle began. “My family threw a big party for my sister for her sixteenth birthday, and relatives from all over came down to celebrate with us. One was an older cousin, a guy I’d had a silly crush on. I played up to him—you know, flirted with him—but I wasn’t serious.” (Author’s Note: From Golden (Insatiable: Book Two))
“Young girls instinctively know how to set a spark to kindling,” Amarante said, “though they have no idea yet how to control a fire.”
“That was me all right. But I felt something about him. I mean, I sensed something in him that wasn’t him, if that makes sense. Does it make sense?”
“Make it make sense to me.”
“Okay, well, there was something inside my cousin. Something evil. I could feel it. And that’s why he tried to…we were alone in the woods on my grandfather’s property and he tried to attack me. And when he got close to me—when he was trying to get to me—I could see its eyes in his eyes—the thing that wasn’t really him that wanted to rape me. That thing had red eyes.”
“What was inside my cousin, Amarante? What has red eyes like that? Do you know?”
Amarante’s emerald eyes locked on her like the crosshairs of a sniper rifle. Aurélle wanted to turn away from that terrible gaze, but made herself stare back. She told herself that she had no reason to be afraid of Amarante because she was as powerful as the African, in her own way.
“Do you attend church?” Amarante asked.
“I take my daughter to different churches so that when she’s old enough she can choose her own faith.”
“What about you? What is your faith, Aurélle?”
“Does it matter?”
“Only in how I explain what I am about to say to you so that I can state it in terms most acceptable to your point of reference; the things you were taught.”
“I believe in the teachings of the Christ.”
Now Amarante’s smile broadened and seemed more genuine. “That is an escapist’s response. You need not be evasive with me, sister; I pass no judgment, nor do I concern myself with the judgment of the ignorant. Believing in his teachings is not the same thing as being a Christian, at least not in the traditional sense. Do you agree?”
“My father and grandfather taught me the way of things.”
“Which is why, I surmise, you have no use for man’s church.”
“Can you tell me about the things with red eyes or not?”
“If what you tell me is correct—and because you tell me this I believe it is so—then your cousin was possessed.”
“An actual demon?”
“Yes sister, an actual demon. They are real. But I think you already knew that, because you and I, we are alike. We see things that others cannot.”
“I wasn’t sure…” And I’m not like you, Aurélle thought.
“They are real, Aurélle. They are here, and more are coming. Now I have a question for you, sister.”
“Who saw a demon, you or the child?”