Virtue: A Knight World Novel (Fireborn Wolves Book 2), page 1
Fireborn Wolves Book 2
Knight Games Reading Order
Excerpt: Vengeance, Fireborn Wolves Book 3
About the Author
Virtue: Fireborn Wolves Book 2
Copyright © 2016, 2017 Carpe Luna Publishing
Published by Carpe Luna, Ltd., PO Box 5932, Bloomington, IL 61701
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the author or publisher.
FIRST EDITION: January 2017
Cover art by Steven Novak
Fireborn Wolves Book 2
Can love’s promise bloom in the shadow of a dragon’s curse?
Jason Flynn loves women. For years he’s indulged his wolf’s vice for sex—his wealth, status, and Hollywood good looks ensuring an endless supply of females to meet his need. But after an ex-lover, dragon fae princess Nickelova, threatens to use his habit to strike out against the pack, Jason realizes his regular routine has become a liability.
Selene Andrews is an acolyte to Preotka Artemis, Fireborn pack’s high priestess. Adopted as a homeless teen, her only desire is to serve the pack as Artemis’s successor. To advance, she must prove her mastery of the ritual magic required of a werewolf priestess.
When Jason’s attempt to quit his vice cold turkey goes awry, Artemis assigns Selene to break Nickelova’s curse and help Jason overcome his addiction. As a celibate acolyte, Selene has plenty to teach Jason about virtue. But is she prepared for what Jason can teach her about her deepest desires?
Knight Games Reading Order
Knight Games Series
The Ghost and The Graveyard, Book 1
Kick the Candle, Book 2
Queen of the Hill, Book 3
Mother May I, Book 4
Logan, Book 5
Fireborn Wolves Series
(Continues the story but can also stand alone)
Vice, Book 1
Virtue, Book 2
Vengeance, Book 3!
“Jason. Jason! Wake up.”
Pale fingers shook Jason’s shoulder, their perfect French manicure digging into the skin under his Fireborn pack tattoo. He rolled onto his back, passing beneath a curtain of silky blond hair that brushed his cheek from above. The hair cascaded from a perfectly shaped head attached to a perfectly shaped body, with perfectly shaped lips that parted slightly when he opened his eyes. Sarah. Her fair skin seemed to glow in the dim light, making her look as sweet as an angel. But he knew better than to judge this book by its cover. The nail marks down his back proved otherwise. Angel in the daylight, devil between the sheets.
“Mmmm. Haven’t you had enough, darling?” he drawled. “Are you going for some kind of a record?” He grabbed her thigh and tried to pull her on top of him. She smiled but slapped his hand away.
“Seriously, you need to get dressed and leave. My cousin is in town. We’re meeting for drinks.” She bounced from the bed and swept her bra from the floor in one lithe movement, her Fireborn tattoo flashing in the mirror above the dresser.
Jason glanced at his watch; it was only 10:30 p.m. The night had barely begun. “I could join you.” He grinned wryly.
She slipped her silky underwear over her hips as her expression tightened. “Are you kidding me?”
“What? Your cousin isn’t interested in meeting pack royalty?”
“No, I’m not interested in becoming the latest pack gossip.”
“How long have we known each other, Sarah?” Jason propped his head up, eyes tightening in feigned concentration.
“And we… date regularly.”
“We bang regularly. In private. With no other expectations.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with doing something other than bang. We could take our relationship to the next level.”
“Don’t, Jason. Don’t make this something it’s not.” She shook her head and pulled a flowing apricot dress over her head. “We have an arrangement, not a relationship.”
Jason swung his legs over the side of the bed and retrieved his custom-tailored dress shirt from the back of her desk chair. “I’ve never treated you like an arrangement.”
She snorted. “You call me every Thursday. We have sex and then you leave. I know the women of Tuesday and Friday personally, Jason. They are two of my closest friends.”
Horrified, he pulled on his Armani slacks with more gusto than necessary. “Are you saying you compare notes about me with your girlfriends?”
She shrugged. “It is what it is.”
He stepped in close, tipping his head and giving her a wolfish grin. “You seemed to enjoy our arrangement well enough tonight.” As he approached her, his inner wolf woke up and paced inside him, ready for action. She shifted playfully at first, but the moment her wolf recognized his, her body sagged in submission. He caught the base of her lovely head in one hand and slipped the other under the skirt of her dress.
“What exactly do you talk about with Tuesday and Friday?”
“I talk about… I…” He brushed the strip of fabric over her sex, reveling in the wet heat he found there. His mouth hovered over hers. “I talk about how impossible you are to quit,” she said in a voice as brittle as dried bones. “How I’ll never be able to find a mate because I’ll always be Thursday.”
He stopped. Pulled back. “You feel like I’m keeping you from finding a mate?”
“What male would mate with a woman who is at the Fireborn prince’s beck and call? Even if he didn’t have to submit to you, I would. I couldn’t say no, even if I wanted to.”
“I’ve never forced you to do anything.” He wasn’t the alpha after all. He had no metaphysical power over her.
“No. I knew what I was getting into the first time I said yes. Don’t pretend you don’t realize the effect you have on women. It’s okay. I’ve come to accept this relationship for what it is. Sometimes… I think of it as a service to our pack.”
“A service to our pack?” Jason cried, pulling away from her. “A service to our pack!”
“You have a vice. I get it. I don’t even want to know what would happen if your wolf wasn’t fed regularly. I understand my place in the pack—I’m a willing participant.”
“So this is charity
She spread her hands, looking frustrated and confused. “How would you characterize our relationship?”
He wedged his foot into the shoe and set his jaw. “Just two people taking solace from an unforgiving world in the safety of each other’s arms.”
Lips parting, she made a noise deep in her throat like she was going to say something, then turned toward the mirror to reapply her lipstick. Her hand trembled slightly. “I know what I am to you,” she said toward the mirror. “And it’s cruel of you to tease me with the idea it could be something more.”
“Maybe it’s time we moved things forward.” He shrugged. “Look, this doesn’t have to be an arrangement. We can bring it into the light. Go with me to my sister’s wedding. I need a date.”
She paused, her eyebrows pinching together. “Like be your public date at your sister’s royal wedding?”
Swaggering toward her, he flashed his most endearing smile. “Come on, Sarah. It will be fun.”
“People will see us. They’ll think we’re a legitimate couple.”
“So what? Let’s become a legitimate couple then. Like I said, maybe it’s time to move things forward.”
A whisper of a smile curved her tightly pressed lips. “Okay…”
Jason clapped his manicured hands together. “Yes!”
She held up one finger, her eyes darting away from him. “I will go to the wedding with you, act as your girlfriend, even look the other way when you inevitably attempt to bed someone else. I know you can’t help it.”
“On one condition.”
“What’s that, darling?”
“Say my last name.”
“What’s my last name, Jason? We’ve been screwing every Thursday for two years. Do you know my last name?”
“Of course I do.” He bent down to straighten his sock, searching his brain for answers. It was something with a T. Tennison. No, no. Timmerman. No, that wasn’t it. Lumberjack. He was picturing a lumberjack. “Timber. Sarah Timber.”
She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Hawthorn.”
“There it is! I knew it was a tree.” He spread his hands.
Touching his cheek gently, she said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“I can see you’re going through something, and I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for. But I’m not it.” She pressed her lips against his, then backed away and opened her bedroom door. He shrugged into his suit jacket, skimmed his keys off her dresser, and left without another word.
The Bugatti Jason drove was capable of 260 mph, but he crept along the winding drive that led to the gatehouse of his high-rise condominium at a glacier’s pace. His mind was distracted with the evening’s conversation and with a nagging ache that had begun at the base of his skull.
“A service to our pack,” he repeated grimly. He rubbed the back of his neck. “I need a drink.”
An Audi behind him honked impatiently. He waved his arm out the window, motioning for the driver to pass. As the car pulled around, he glimpsed the gray-blue hair of Mrs. Bloomburg. Great. Passed by an octogenarian. Her upturned middle finger goaded him from her window, her engine revving as she left him in her dust. And wasn’t that just the icing on the cake to an otherwise disaster of an evening?
The road ended at a gatehouse where a slender redhead asked for his resident card. He held it out to her, then, noticing her tiny waist and pert breasts, snatched it away before she could snag it. She giggled flirtatiously. Game on.
“You must be new here”—he glanced at her badge—“Teresa.” Jason smiled in a practiced way, the type of smile an actor might use to convey attraction.
“No… But I usually work days.” Her gaze traveled over his car and his suit before settling on his face. She sighed deeply.
Yes, rich and good-looking, darling. He handed her the card again, making sure to brush her fingers with his own, his touch lingering just long enough for her to notice. “Really? Well, I knew there must be some explanation. I never forget a beautiful woman.”
He gloried at the slight reddening of her cheeks. An easy blush. He could have some fun with this one.
“Thank you.” She handed his card back, her fingers grazing his unnecessarily in the process. “All clear.” The barrier lifted.
“What time do you get off?” He managed to load the words get off with sexual energy.
“Four in the morning.”
“Want to come up for an early morning drink? I’m in the penthouse.”
“Won’t you be sleeping?”
“Not if you come up.”
She smiled sheepishly, her eyes darting to the corner of the small hut she was working in. “Maybe.”
Way to play it coy, Teresa.
“There’s someone behind you,” she said, gesturing with her head.
Jason looked in his rearview mirror to see Mr. Anderson raising his hands in frustration. “Hmm. We wouldn’t want Mr. Anderson to dislodge the stick from his ass.” She gave a breathy laugh. “Have a nice night.” He tipped his head in her general direction and continued to the parking lot. A short ride alone on the elevator and he arrived on the twenty-fifth floor of the Bachman Building, the best piece of real estate available in Carlton City.
A woman he’d met in New York decorated it for him during their torrid affair. She’d insisted on it, tired as she was of staring at his bare white walls. The affair didn’t last but the décor did, and it was good enough to earn her a feature in Architectural Digest, a consolation prize, he supposed, for his failure to commit.
She’d called it minimalist but welcoming: black stone, white oak floors, gray walls. There was an oatmeal-colored sofa that cost as much as a small village. He rarely sat on it.
He crossed to the fridge, the appliance perfectly masked to appear an extension of the cabinets, and hung his head inside. There was nothing worth eating, but he fished a half-full bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the shelf and pulled out the cork. “Dinner is served.” He retrieved a wineglass from the small bar in his great room. Narrow-bowled, for white wines. He wasn’t a barbarian.
Shedding his suit jacket, he took a seat at the designer table off his kitchen and flipped open his laptop. A few hours of work would clear his head. Sure enough, one of his scouts had a start-up he thought was worthy of Jason’s attention—a tech company called Spackles with a patent for LED paint. It went on white but could change colors when connected to a power source. Jason clicked the link for background and financials.
Another e-mail popped up, this one from Ryker Vandoren, an owner whose small business Jason had funded only a few months ago. Jason hadn’t had high hopes for the project. It was a small occult shop in the vampire district, a niche market for sure and not in line with his usual investment profile. But Ryker had proved persuasive, supernaturally so, and before Jason could think too much about the opportunity, he’d already written the check.
He clicked on the e-mail.
Per our agreement, I’ve transferred to your account 10 percent of my first month’s profits. See attached.
Attached was a transaction confirmation in the six-figure range. Jason blinked, then logged into his account to double-check the amount. His eyebrows shot up. Perhaps Ryker’s shop was a good investment after all.
His phone vibrated on the table. Laina.
“Rehearsal is tomorrow, Friday, seven o’clock. It will take several hours, so make sure you move your, um, appointment to earlier in the day.”
“Why hello, sister. It’s good to speak with you. Of course I will attend your wedding rehearsal. I wouldn’t miss it.”
“Seriously, Jason. I’m not trying to be crass here, but I don’t want your vice getting in the way this we
“I can go a day without having sex, Laina. I won’t explode or anything. I did it when I was staying with Monty. Almost two weeks in a row actually.”
There was a long pause on the other end of the line.
“Are you still there?” Jason asked.
“Yeah. I know you can do it, but maybe this weekend isn’t the time to try. I need you sharp.”
“Why? I’m not the one getting married.”
She sighed. “No, but… I need you vigilant in case something happens. Silas was going to talk to you about this.”
“Spill it.” His older brother, Silas, wasn’t exactly chatty these days. If he had something to talk to Jason about, it was most certainly bad news.
“He put the word out about Alex and Nickelova to Soleil and the other celestial fae at Maison des Étoilles.”
Maison des Étoilles or Mansion of the Stars was a bordello owned and run by celestial fae—supernatural beings that drew their powers from heavenly bodies. The madam, Soleil, was an ex-girlfriend of Silas’s. True to her name, Soleil’s anchor of power was the sun, a boon for Silas as her presence could delay his need to shift. They’d broken up recently, but the two had remained friends, which was helpful to Jason’s detective brother because the bordello tended to serve the underbelly of the city. The girls knew things, and lucky for Silas, were willing to talk.
“That’s old news, sister. He asked her for help months ago. Last I heard, there’d been no sign of Nickelova or of Alex since you ripped through his abdomen,” Jason said.
“There wasn’t. Until now.”
“What’s happened?” He pushed his laptop away to make room for his elbows, using one hand to massage the base of his aching skull. He’d had enough of the anxiety roller coaster but there was no getting off of this ride, not until Alex and Nickelova were dead.
GENEVIEVE JACK SERIES:
Other author's books:
- The Ghost and the GraveyardKick the CandleLoganThe Ghost and The GraveyardWindy City DragonThe Dragon of New Orleans
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