A Shadowfae novella
Previously published in the HEX APPEAL anthology
Free at major retailers

Sexy con-artist Lena Falco isn't a witch, not technically. She uses her cache of stolen magic tricks to seduce and bedazzle her marks. When she's hired by a demon to steal a cursed magical amulet from a monstrous tower in Hell, it must be her lucky day.

The prize? A single wish—whatever she wants.

The catch? There's competition: Ethan Benford, swordsman and enchanter, arrogant, maddeningly sexy and the only incorruptible man in town.

Lena's been burnt before by Ethan's easy charm, and she vows he'll meet his match this time. But is ultimate power worth betraying the only man who truly believes in her?

Cover art by Ida Jansson

Read on for a snippet...

The blond vampire lounging against the mirrors had been ogling me for the past five minutes, the way a shark cruises for tasty meat. Designer jeans, diamond earstuds, dark eyes sunken with hunger. A perfect mark.

I tossed him a flirty smile, twisting a purple-dyed curl around my finger. Dark music throbbed in my blood, the raw metal of guitars and drums. Around me, dancers writhed, a snakepit of slick rainbow limbs, glowing fairy wings, the scarlet flash of vampire eyes. The sultry air coated my skin, dusted with fairy wing-glitter and thick with the scents of sweat and sex. Unseelie Court at midnight, the hottest, coolest, most dangerous nightclub in town.

Glamours clashed and sparked, electric, the glass-spun veil of magic that hid the supernatural from ordinary human eyes. I fingered the woven wire pendant around my neck. It was warm to the touch, spells pulsing. Thanks to my pendant, I could see through glamour, and unlike most of the club's clientele, my vampboy admirer was just what he appeared—hungry, horny and impatient.

I touched up my cherry-cola lipstick and stalked over, sparkling a little spellsweet seduction into my scent.
I'm not a bloodwhore, understand. If I had a card, it'd say Lena Falco, troublemaker for hire, caster of petty hexes and spells, no job too crappy. But I'd just spent my last twenty on a couple of stiff drinks—so sue me, I'd had a shitty day—and I had rent and protection to pay. When business is slow, you gotta broaden your skill set. The bloodsucking mobsters who run this town aren't known for their patience. And neither am I.

I tossed my hair over my shoulder, letting it shimmer under glittersmoked lights, and my mark's gaze drilled me crimson every step of the way. Handsome brute, too, blond curls and dark lashes, muscles shining in sweat under his frayed shirt.

Good for me. Bad for him. A less confident guy will assume I'm conning him and ask how much, but the hot ones think it's perfectly reasonable when a violet-haired vixen in a shiny blue corset and black leather hot pants makes a pass.

This guy? Mr. Tall-blond-and-screw-me-now? Easy mark.

I stopped a foot away, cocking my hip to show off my fishnet-clad legs. The mirrors reflected us both, vamp and human—I know, boring but true—and I made sure I gave him my sultriest smile. "Looking for something tasty?"

"Found it." The vamp grinned, fangs glinting. His cheeks glowed with feverthirst. When vampires don't feed, the virus slowly eats into their brains, and they get manic and greedy. This guy looked like he'd abstained a few days past his manners' expiry date.

"Then come get it." I traced a finger along his sweat-slick collarbone, and he wrapped my hair around his fist and pulled me in tight. His lips burned my throat, eager fangs already stinging hot. His heartbeat echoed in my blood. He pressed his tongue over my vein, making a soft spot to bite. Eww. This so better be worth it...

Check out the full novella -- currently FREE -- at these links:

Site and text copyright (c) 2010 Erica Hayes