Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Countdown to Netherworld IV: Animal Attraction, Excerpt 4

Someone else noted my approach. Tristan’s secretary Wendy moved from her boss’ desk, the massive one on stage right. Pretty, brunette, and perpetually in her twenties, she beelined to intercept me.

Dan spoke in my ear, though there was no one else around that could hear him. “Stay calm. She’s just doing what she’s been told to do.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I muttered. “It doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

Wendy met me and stood in my path. Her smile didn’t look forced for a change. “Good evening, Ms. Payson. Can I help you with something?”

I didn’t mince words. “Getting out of the way would be a nice start. I have to see Tristan.”

I had to give her points for professionalism. She must have been an executive assistant before she died, because her polite mien never altered. “I understand, but Mr. Keith has received huge news. Cliff Tattingail has dropped out of the race for the state legislature.”

That was enough to get me to pause. I heard Dan’s startled gasp behind me. ‘Big news’ was an understatement.

“Since when?” I asked, my voice betraying shock.

Wendy nodded, her excitement clear. “He announced it a couple of hours ago. He decided to run for Tristan’s old seat on the county commission instead.”

Dan snorted, having recovered from the initial surprise. “Tattingail knew he didn’t have a chance against Tristan and Emory Cooper. He’s been polling way behind the two of them.”

Wendy couldn’t hear Dan, of course. He stated the obvious anyway. 

I spoke conversationally as I angled to get around Wendy. “That makes the race a little more interesting, doesn’t it? The wingnuts will now back Cooper and make it a closer race.” I resumed my march to Tristan.

Wendy tried to get in front of me again. “Um, yes, so this isn’t exactly a good time—” 

I rounded on her so fast she nearly bumped noses with me. “Listen, sweetie. There is never going to be a good time for me and Tristan to talk, not when I’m wearing his sister like a permanent Halloween costume. But we have a bigger issue than his political aspirations – as in life and death matters.”

“A bit melodramatic,” came Dan’s opinion. “Watch your temper.”

I managed to keep my voice even as I took his words to heart and attempted to gain Wendy’s assistance. “I need to talk to Tristan about these shifter disappearances.”

Her professionally polite facade showed up again, replacing her friendly excitement. “Mr. Keith is aware of the matter. I told him that agent from the training academy stopped by—”

“Good. Then I won’t have to take up as much of his time.” I wheeled around and went for the dark haired man who may or may not have been ignoring me on the stage. I was only a few yards from the steps that led up to it.

Wendy’s voice bordered on desperation. “Ms. Payson, I really need to ask you to wait.”

I was still in control, but I decided I needed to make a point. When I turned to her again, I let go of the glamour masking my fangs and red eyes.

“Do you see any Blood Potion in my hand? No, you don’t. And there are a lot of warm, tasty bodies in this room right now. Stay out of my way.”

A deep, smooth voice rolled over us. “Hello, Brandilynn. Did you need to see me?”

I straightened and put the glamour back in place before turning around to face Tristan Keith, the owner of that voice.

Releasing Friday, January 29

Don't forget, the first book of the Netherworld series Drop Dead Sexy is available in ebook format for 99 cents until February 1 at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and All Romance


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