He named her Beauty and swore to keep her safe, but who will save her from his passionate embrace?
Torque is a warrior mage hardened by centuries of battle and death. When he finds the one woman who makes him want to live, he must not only battle the Death Stalkers for her safety, but her own loss of memory in order to stake his claim. But will Beauty be his salvation, or will the sensuous witch teach him a lesson or two on what it truly means to be strong?
Beauty has no memory of who she is, nor what she can do with her powers. Yet she won't back down, nor allow her brave warrior to go off to fight their battles alone. Strong, determined, and confident, she takes on not only the Immortal World, but also one very handsome, dominate warrior mage to win her place by his side.
General Release Date: 12th July 2013
Torque examined the bustling immortal marketplace with distaste. The Midpass was deep underground, situated in an enormous cavern far beneath where humans would think to look. Glowing spells filled the place with the semblance of a summer day’s bright light. Trees grew, and some of the immortals who called this place home had gardens bursting with fresh vegetables and fruits rare above ground. All in all, the entrance to Midpass looked like a gypsy caravan and a circus all rolled into one. Litter filled the corners and nooks of the packed dirt roadway. Vendors of all shapes and sizes—and races—hawked wares that were illegal in most realms, including this one.
Why did the Immortal Council allow such latitude? He’d spotted at least a dozen banned substances, mostly poisons any decent witch fresh out of the top ten Mage Schools could conjure, true, but still prohibited from the safe territories carved out by the Council.
Two feet away, across a low table covered in a purple and silver cloth, a young red-haired witch gave him an even look from where she was obviously dealing in tricky spells and illegal tonics. Her rickety three-legged round table was set up next to a more traditional and more solid wand maker’s tent. She d cocked her head to the side, as if to dare him to say a word, and grinned slyly when he didn’t.
What could he say? He was here for a meeting, not to enforce Council laws. The battle with the Death Stalkers, the lowlifes of the Immortal World and his biggest pain in the ass, continued. Tonight his meeting was so secret, the highest members of the Council had refused to meet anywhere but in a completely neutral location. As if the Council’s chambers weren’t safe enough.
The thought was disturbing.
Torque shrugged away his misgivings, and kept walking, scanning the crowded market streets as he went in search of Jaxon, a vampire he’d told to rendezvous with him prior to the scheduled meeting. He needed to pin down the rugged fighter concerning his investigating into the buzz of Death Stalker activity in human clubs. The night-time events weren’t all he needed to talk to Jaxon about, though. He’d heard other rumours as well. Insinuations concerning Jaxon’s extracurricular activities that Torque hoped simply weren’t true.
The playboy vamp never set his sights on any particular woman over another, yet tales whispered he’d begun stalking a human coffee shop girl for much more than a sip and run. Some even said the ill-tempered bastard was drinking coffee and mooning over the girl.
Of that, he wasn’t so sure. He’d never witnessed Jaxon take anything seriously, especially not women. Torque couldn’t remember ever seeing the guy do more than entertain humans as potential donors and some fun in the sack. If he didn’t know better, Torque would almost think Jaxon needed sex as much as he did. Sex powered Torque’s magic. Jaxon was a vampire, not a member of the magic folk.
An elder, bent at the waist and walking with a noticeable limp, abruptly stumbled into him, drawing Torque’s attention back where it needed to be. He hauled the old man up by the back of his cloak. One shake and Torque’s wallet and keys fell out and into his outstretched hand.
Blurry blue eyes peered up at him anxiously. The old craggy face was, grooved already with lines of his age, deepening with a nervous smile. "Aye there, sonny, no offense meant, 'eh?"
Torque scowled at the guy’s garlic breath and shook his hair out of his eyes as an excuse to move away from him. "None taken, but next time I take a hand."
The old guy paled but must have had trusted Torque meant it. He suddenly straightened his rounded posture and walked off in a much faster and more even pace in the opposite direction.
Scowl hardening, Torque simply put his wallet back in his leather trench coat and pocketed his keys. Everyone needed a place, he supposed. The Midpass Market teemed with immortals, many of them enemies outside of the 'fight free zone.' The Midpass was an in-between safety zone for immortals—all except the Death Stalkers could enter. Spells held the death dealers at bay, spells even Torque would have trouble unravelling. They didn’t stop sympathisers from entrance though, and many took precautions walking into some of the more poorly lit districts. The alleyway he turned down looked worse than ever, Torque mused, stepping around a group of laughing younglings all smoking fragrant weed and kicking at the garbage littering the packed earthen street.
The small hubs or neighbourhoods of immortals who called this place home had lived here for decades. The Immortal Council had sanctified the area centuries before. The Council was still responsible for guarding the communities. Some said with an iron fist. He didn’t believe such reports. After all, the Council didn’t patrol the streets as often as they should. No Death Stalker could step foot within the space they’d carved out, but any other immortal could and did without fear of harassment merely being who they were.
"Watch it, bloodsucker."
Well, almost everyone. Torque turned his head in time to spot Jaxon over the milling crowd. The male stood at least six-four, nearly as tall as Torque. And the guy loved it. He used his size, and his vampire skills, to intimidate anyone he could. Right now, he looked to be using them on some of the wolf pack. Vampires still caused issues going anywhere other immortals gathered.
Dark-haired with startlingly blue eyes, the bloodsucker in question lifted his lip arrogantly to reveal the length of his fangs to the young wolf pup who’d just insulted him. An elder Lykae, one Torque knew well, stepped over to stand by the younger man, another Lykae in tow, if the sandy brown hair, brown eyes and lean, rangy muscled physique meant anything. Most members of the pack shared those signature looks, but not all. Torque in fact had some of the wolf blood running through his veins, not much but some. Yet he was black-haired and grey-eyed.
"Two seconds and you’re causing shit?" Torque murmured, coming up next to Jaxon.
Jaxon whipped his head around and gave him the ‘what the fuck’ look he was famous for. Torque resisted the urge to grin at him. Jaxon must have sensed it though because he crossed his arms over his chest and levelled him with a black look.
"Hey, I was talking to you, bloodsucker."
Most vampires would go ape shit on stuff like that. Torque gave Jaxon credit, he didn’t rise to the bait. Instead, he turned back to face the Lykae, popped a grin, and tipped his head at the young wolf, then ignored him again to say to Torque, "I dunno, it must be my glowing personality, or something."
"Or something," Torque muttered, nodding to the wolves. "We’re here on council business, Alex." He turned to look over at the angry younger man, trying to place a name. Many of the Lykae served the council when they were of age to leave their pack. "Warren, isn’t it?"
The kid nodded after only a second of hesitation. Alex didn’t. The wolf was known for two things—protecting his clan, and his coldblooded methods for doing so. He was the most intense, most controlled wolf Torque had ever met.
Billi Jean was born in California but didn't stay put for long. She's lived in New York, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts and Vermont. She's lived in and worked from ranches to beach-side coffee shops to the woods in western Massachusetts. Now living and working in China, she continues to write for Totally Bound Publishing.
Billi Jean has been writing since high school when she couldn't wait for Robert Jordon to write his Wheel of Time series faster. As an adult, she still finds herself drawn to fantasy-adventure stories, but with an erotic romance flair. Her books are extremely hot, with a focus on strong characters that are shoved into fast-paced adventures. Her unique style of incredible journeys infused with hot passion leave her fans hoping for more.