Shiela Stewart

Scary Good Love

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Surviving the Darkness
Book 8

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When death is on your trail, the only thing you can do is run.

Heading home to Jacob’s Cove after her abductor is released from jail, concert pianist Deborah Carmichael just wants to find some peace. What she finds is a town run by monsters, and a kind night club owner willing to help her get her self-confidence back. Problem is, he’s a shape shifter and his bar is frequented by demons.

Owner of the Demon’s Lair, Zachary Adams has had to deal with all sorts of evil. Hearing about Deborah’s horrifying ordeal, breaks his heart and he is determined to help her overcome it as best he can. But as the two grow closer, someone is lurking in the shadows. When Deborah is abducted again, Zach is willing to do anything to get her back.

Will he be able to save her before it’s too late?

 

Excerpt:

Deborah stood before the rag doll dummy with pursed lips. Zach had just explained to her that she should apply all her force when punching the dummy, yet she felt foolish doing so. Not to mention she worried that if she did, the poor thing would topple over or break.
“You can’t hurt it.”
“I know that,” she sighed, then balled her hand into a fist and jabbed it at the dummy’s belly. Zach snorted beside her.
“My grandmother can punch harder than that. Come on, Deborah, give it all you’ve got.”
Deepening her frown, she jabbed the dummy one more time, with a little more heat.
“If he had a voice he’d be laughing at you right now. Hit him, Deborah!”
Shooting Zach a heated glare, she balled her hand and plowed it into the dummy’s gut. It rocked, it teetered but it remained standing.
“See. Now kick it.”
“I will not.”
“Oh for pity sake, Deborah. It’s an inanimate object. It has no feelings. Kick it.”
He was beginning to piss her off. Lifting her right foot, she jutted it out at the dummy with enough force to have it rock back and forth several times before coming to a stop. “Happy?”
“Not particularly, no.” He walked behind the dummy and lifted one ragged arm. “Is that all you’ve got? Come on weakling, bring it on.”
Rolling her eyes, Deborah laughed. “Now you’re just being foolish.”
“Look at you, all frail and scrawny. Those arms are like tooth-picks. You can’t take me; you’re too weak.” Zach played the dummy while lowering his voice.
“Why do you want me to beat on this poor, defenseless object? We both know I can punch and kick.”
“Why did I get you to scream for two days?”
“Because you’re a sadist?”
One blond brow lifted. “I’ve never been called that before. No, it was to open you up, bring out the fighter in you. Now kick me, Deb and do it with meaning.”
“You never call me Deb.” She hauled off and planted her foot in the dummy’s leg. She was sure if Zach hadn’t been behind it, the thing would have toppled over.
“Because Deborah suites you better. The dummy called you Deb. Do that again, only this time with your left.” She did, but she didn’t have as much power in her left as she had in her right. “Good, now try the side kick I showed you and go for his mid chest.”
“This is all fine and good for a dummy, but there is no way I can do this to a human.” But she did as he asked and shifting to her left, raised her right leg and jammed it into the dummy’s chest.
“Yes you can and you will. Now go with the left.”
She repeated the move with her left, frowning at Zach. “No I can’t and I won’t. I can’t hurt someone.”
“Oh, so you would rather they hurt you. It’s your life or his— which one do you value more?”
“That’s a stupid question.”
“Answer it.”
"Mine,” she demanded with a determined expression.
“I don’t think you really mean that,” Zach taunted, flapping the dummy’s arms at her. “Say it with conviction.”
“Mine,” she repeated a little firmer, throwing her right fist out to the dummy’s abdomen.
“Still not good enough.”
“Mine,” she demanded and this time put everything she had into the kick. She gasped when both Zach and the dummy went flying. Zach came down hard on his back, dummy resting on top. “I am so sorry! Are you all right?” Rushing to his side, she pushed the dummy away, noticing how heavy it really was, and placed her hand on Zach’s face.
“Now, that was better.” Looking up at her, he smiled.
“Are you hurt?”
“Nothing I can’t manage.”
The air rushed from her lungs as he yanked her down on top of him and plastered his mouth over hers. She was too dazed to reject him, and by the time her mind cleared, her body was reacting with delight. His lips were so smooth, so gifted and as he took the kiss deeper she felt herself melting. His arms wound around her waist as his hands came to rest on his chest. She felt his heart beating against her palm and realized suddenly that hers was matching his. He rolled them until she was on her back and he on top. He braced one hand to her left keeping his weight from crushing her. His free hand strolled lazily along her side, over her arm until he reached her face. Then he did something so sweet, so sensual it made her body quiver. With only the tips of his fingers, he traced her face from chin to forehead and back as he turned the kiss from an urgent battle of lips to a slow melting of mouths. She felt herself floating and never wanted to come down. Then he released her mouth and rested his forehead on hers.
“Yep, that did the trip. I feel much better now.”
“Why did you stop?” she murmured. When her eyes opened she found them connecting with his. They were so blue, so…beautiful.
“How foolish of me.” His lips curving in a smile, he leaned back down and continued his seduction of her mouth.