Monday, February 1, 2010
Duke, Tira and Nic's story has been contracted with Ellora's Cave and will be making its way to readers early this year. No date for release just yet or a cover but here's the blurb and a little piece of the story to tempt you...
Blurb: For eight years, Etruscan witch Tira Belludi has longed to give herself to the two shifter men who hold her heart. But visions of death and fears for her sanity have forced her to keep her distance.
Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati are brothers in everything but blood and partners who have each other’s backs. They share a home, a job and had planned to share their life with Tira between them.
Now danger and death stalk Nic and Duke. And Tira must make a choice—grab love while she has the chance or watch Nic die from afar and lose Duke forever.
Nic lay there, still as death, his skin gray. She couldn’t tell if he was breathing or what the doctor and Tam were doing to him.
She only saw the dried blood on his neck leading back to his ears.
“Duke,” Kyle barked.
As she froze, stunned and unable to think, a broad chest moved into her field of vision.
“Tira. Out. Now. You shouldn’t be in here.”
That voice brought tears to her eyes.
She lifted her gaze to find Duke’s dark brown eyes dazed and almost unfocused as he stared down at her.
Blessed Goddess, he was injured too. He had an angry bruise on the side of his face and dried blood at his ears. She was no doctor or nurse but she knew that was bad.
Fear swept through her like a deep chill, followed by sorrow. They could have died. And she wouldn’t want to live if anything happened to either of them.
“Tira, you shouldn’t be in here.”
Of course he wouldn’t want her in here. Duke had always protected Nic as best he could. And he still thought she was the root of all Nic’s problems.
She should leave. She had no healing skills at all so she’d be useless here.
But Duke looked like shit too. He needed to be lying down or sitting down. And though she knew he didn’t want her anywhere near him or Nic, she was the only one left to take care of him now. Since she couldn’t do anything for Nic. Which she didn’t want to even think about now.
“Fine. But you need to come with me,” she said. “You should be lying down.”
His half-assed sneer made her worry even more. “With you on top, sweetheart? Figures you’re finally offering yourself up on a platter and I’m not in the mood to take you up on it.”
She knew if he wasn’t so badly injured, that dig would hurt more than it did now. Instead, her heart stuttered at the weakness of his voice. “You’re not in any shape to take me up on it.”
When he opened his mouth to respond, she shook her head. “No. Shut up, Duke. Just…not now. Come with me.”
He stared down at her extended hand as if it might turn into a snake and bite him. It was a measure of just how bad he must feel that he didn’t argue when she put her arm around his waist and his arm around her shoulders and allowed her to help him out to the living room.
So many questions raged through her mind but she bit her tongue. Now wasn’t the time. He leaned so heavily on her, she thought he might pass out before they got to the large u-shaped sectional couch. They both released a sigh of relief when he sank onto the cushions. His head immediately settled back and his eyes closed.
For several seconds, she just stood there, trying not to think how close she’d come to losing him today. How badly Nic must be injured.
Her hand froze halfway to sinking into his beautiful black hair, the ends curling almost to his shoulders. Longer than the last time she’d seen him when they’d added another nail in the coffin of their tragic little story. The visions she’d drawn from one of the men who’d tried to kidnap Tam a few months ago had nearly made her mad. They’d been such a jumble of pain and despair and destruction that she still struggled to make any real sense of it...
She pulled back her hand before she touched him and hurried to the kitchen to find a bowl and fill it with hot water then headed for the bathroom to get towels so she could clean him off and tend to his injuries.
It only took her a few minutes but when she came back, she saw Duke staring at her. That intense dark gaze had always drawn her, even when he seemed to be looking right through her.
“Are you in pain?” she asked. “I’ll get some medicine from the doctor or Tam.”
He didn’t say anything, just continued to look at her for so long she started to worry he was in shock.
Finally, he shook his head. “He’s gonna be okay. Doc’ll make sure of it.”
Nic. He was talking about Nic and she wasn’t sure if he was trying to make her feel better, or himself.
The murmur of voices from the bedroom was muffled and she’d noticed on her way to the bathroom that they’d closed the door. Probably for the best. She didn’t know if she’d be able to function if she could see and hear what was going on in there.
Putting Nic out of her mind for the moment, she focused on Duke, curving her mouth in a cool smile.
“Why don’t you take the shirt off so I can see your injuries? We need to get you cleaned off.” The heavy stench of smoke from his clothing made her stomach roll. “Actually, why don’t you just strip everything off and you can wrap a towel around your waist.”
His mouth curled into his default expression of a sneer. “Why don’t you come over here and do it yourself, babe. You know you want to.”
Posted by Stephanie Julian at 8:31 AM