Over the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing additional excerpts from the novella Hood & Fae, the first of my new urban fantasy series Daughters of Little Red Riding Hood. Hood & Fae is currently available in the fantasy bundle Faery Realms: Ten Magical Titles on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords or Google Play.
My sister stood framed dramatically in the archway to the kitchenette, and as she’d promised, she was not unarmed, nor was she alone. Granny’s body wasn’t anywhere to be seen, however. The prisoner Bryn held at gunpoint was a stark naked man.
Bryn still wore the conservative charcoal suit and cream blouse she wore for work. Her russet hair was yanked back into a French braid so severe it was like maximum-security lockdown for hair. The solitary shock of color on her face was her crimson lipstick.
The man wore only his nakedness, but, holy hamburger with a side of fries, he wore it well.
There was more to him than met the eye, however, and that’s saying something, considering how much of him was meeting my eye. I’d only been wearing the red jacket one day, but I had already seen into the souls of dozens of men and women on my long bus ride over, enough to know that most people’s true souls are grubby at best, fiendish at worst. His soul showed something greater, not less, than his muscles and dimples.
If he had the body of a lumberjack, he had the soul of a Paul Bunyan. His inner self had true strength of character, as if he were the most ripped, toned, muscled, amazing piece of male at the gym of virtues. Like a giant with the cut abs and bulging biceps of a bodybuilder…except, you know, not one of those gross ones on steroids, just a naturally gorgeous Hercules. It was a shining soul, illuminated. It was a princely soul, majestic. His soul showed a man for whom honor was not a term with an expired Best-By date.
There was a big ditch in front of me called Love and I tripped and squealed and fell right in, face first into the squish.
I know, I know. I never believed in Love At First Sight either. But when your first sight is soul deep with a Deep Soul, how can you not fall in love? I knew this was a guy who—if only he could love me—would never lie to me, never cheat on me, never betray me, never give up on me, never abandon me, never stop fighting for me.
“I caught this this creep exposing himself outside the back window,” Bryn sneered.
“Look, Lady, I told you, I’m not a pervert, I’m a Forest Ranger!”
“So you decided to show us all your timber?”
“What? No!” He cupped his hands, to hide any wood. (Thanks a lot, Bryn!) “Some asshat sucker-punched me and stole my uniform and my truck. I followed the truck here.”
“You must be Cormac!” I exclaimed.
Cormac tore his gaze away from Bryn for the first time. He nodded warily. “How did you know?”
“Tell Bryn your last name. Bryn, go down into the basement and look at the name on the uniform there. If it matches, you’ll know Cormac is the Real Deal.”
In so many ways.
“I’m not lowering this gun,” Bryn said.
“Lady, like I said, if you weren’t a girl, that baby-gun wouldn’t save you. You have seriously pissed me off.”
“Bring it on, pervert, if you want your ass handed to you.”
And what a fine ass it was too. I shook myself. Focus, Roxy. No, not on that.
“Bryn, just get his uniform and check his story.” I retrieved more ammo for my gun out of the false bottom of my picnic basket. “I’ll watch him.”
“You have a gun too?” Cormac demanded. “And you keep your ammo in a picnic basket? What is wrong with you people?”
WARNING: This novel is only appropriate for older teens and adults, because it contains #$%*&@ words. Spelled out for real, though. Even that one that starts with “F.” Yeah, it’s in there, in a couple places. Also, “dumbkof,” but that’s in another language, so it won’t bother you.