- Publication Date: April 2, 2013
- Genre: Paranormal Romance
- Series: Winged Warriors
- ISBN: 162242929X
- ASIN: B00C6GLIMU
Zora James knows the pain of loss, the lick of flames, the passion of purpose. But she’s never known the heat of love. Yet when she meets Alastar, the sexy Ranger with a hero complex, Zora knows her life will never be the same. Alastar Adams knows the sting of rejection. But he’s never known the healing heat of love, the power of unexpected happiness. Yet when he meets Zora, the elegant law student with the soul of an angel, Alastar knows his life will never be the same. For Zora and Alastar, however, the hunt for love proves to be a creature of mists and shadows. For Alastar Adams is no mere man. In a world where fear often trumps trust, his secret just might tear them apart. Or perhaps it will be Zora’s divine fate that will doom them to hopelessness. Whoever said love at first sight means forever? Certainly not the demon assassin sent to destroy one by murdering the other.
“Maybe you guys should give the lady a little breathin’ room.” Like Moses parting the Red Sea, the double-wides turned. And stayed exactly where they were. Okay, so maybe not exactly like Moses, but it was a start.
The tallest man, Alastar guessed six foot seven, looked down at him, his brown eyes inscrutable. “Is there a reason why you’re interrupting a private conversation?”
“Well, umm, well, you see…” he said, stumbling over his words, trying to appear appropriately intimidated, relying on old memories of a scared sixth grader mumbling lunacy when Tiffany Richards had asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance.
That dance had been the last night of his “normal” life. Everything had changed by the time Alastar had returned home. “We’re different, son, and they’ll never accept us,” were the first words his father had spoken when Alastar found him sitting on their front steps, hands bruised and bloody, house locked and unwelcoming.
“I don’t think the lady is interested in the type of company you guys are offering. So why don’t you go back to the gym or the steroid clinic, and leave her alone.”
Okay, so maybe that was going way too far in the I’m-not-afraid-of-the-big-bad-wolf department. But in truth, he wasn’t. Not when he was the big bad wolf they should all fear.
To his amazement, the two burly men began to laugh. The shorter one, by a minuscule two inches, slapped a meaty hand on Alastar’s shoulder, wrapping him between huge paws and broad shoulders, spinning the stunned Ranger around.
“It looks like you got a knight here, Zora. An old-fashioned Sir Galahad in jeans.”
The taller guy got into the act, ruffling Alastar’s hair, making him look and feel like a limp-dicked dwarf in front of the damn gorgeous woman smiling up at him with luscious, kissable lips. Shit, if he’d known she was this hot up close, Alastar would’ve what? Gotten a haircut first? Tucked in his faded Snoop Dogg T-shirt? Worn something other than washed-out jeans and old Jordans?
“Yeah, any guy who’s dumb enough to talk smack to us, Jose, gotta have balls for brains.”
Okay, so the extra-big guy was Jose, the petite knockout was Zora, and the African American who was about to lose a finger, maybe an entire hand if he touched Alastar one more time, was…?
“All right, Darnell and Jose, you can give the nice man some breathing room.”
Darnell, Jose, and Zora. Alastar locked the names and faces away for future reference, especially Zora’s. No way would he be forgetting that woman anytime soon. If ever.
The men finally parted under a woman’s command instead of his own, the Moses analogy shot to hell.
Zora smiled at him, and damn, she had the most perfect set of teeth Alastar had ever seen. In fact, the more he looked at her, the more he was glad he’d risked life and limb to come to her rescue. And, yes, Alastar knew he hadn’t rescued a soul, but he was a Ranger and that should count for something, dammit.
“So I guess these guys aren’t bothering you and I’ve just made a complete ass of myself.” It wasn’t the first time. But for reasons Alastar was unwilling to explore, he didn’t want to come off as a jerk, or worse, a loser in Zora’s captivating brown eyes.
“Why did you think we were bothering Zora? Because we’re big?” Jose asked, eyebrows arching and eyes squinting.
“Because I’m black and my man here’s Mexican?”
Okay, no, because, yeah, he might be fair, but the last Alastar looked, he was also African American. And as far as stereotypes went, he lived that shit every day, and not simply because of the color of his skin. No, he’d fought the good fight, but it didn’t matter, at least not to the one person whose opinion of him mattered the most. Everyone else could just go to the Devil.
“Look,” he tried, searching for the calm, rational part of him that knew how to deescalate a situation, “I just thought the lady—Zora—was being harassed. A pretty woman in a bar like this, well, it isn’t the safest place to be at night.”
“So you’re a sexist.” Darnell viciously frowned at him, as if Alastar wore a T-shirt that read A woman’s place, the kitchen and my bed.
“What, no! Dammit, I just thought…fuck, you guys know what in the hell I’m talking about. If she were your sister, would you want her in a place like this, surrounded by two guys who look like they could bench-press the entire Oakland Raider’s special teams?”
Jose pointed to the bar. “Amigo, that’s my baby sister over there tending bar. Do you have a problem with her working here?”
Get the fuck out of here. The busty brunette with the fake boobs was Jose’s sister? Alastar turned, and for crying out loud, Dwayne was flirting with her, making a grab for one of those no-bounce tits. Alastar groaned and turned back around.
The large assholes were laughing. At him. Again. Bellyache and tears kind of laughs.
“Damn, you’re an easy one,” Darnell said. More laughter. “And that’s a nice shade of red on you, man, much deeper than the one you sported when you first strutted over here like a prized cock.”
Yeah, he had his prized cock. A fist right in the asshole’s big, fat mouth.