Excerpt: Chapter One
I stood on the porch of Dr. Aiden Joss’s luxurious home irate as hell. Someone
was supposed to meet me at the airport in Philadelphia. I ended up having to take a
cab because all of the rentals were booked from the only airport about twenty-five
miles from the small town of McCormick, Pennsylvania. The taxi driver must have
mistaken me for an oil baron with the fare he charged. He ended up having to leave
me at the front gate because the intercom was busted. Thankfully, being a human
hybrid had its advantages. After tossing my duffle over the ten-foot wall, I followed
by leaping over. Some security.
The downpour turned my black, wavy hair into thick tresses snaking down my
neck and upper back. Sadly, my duffle bag was just as pitiful as I looked, since it
wasn’t waterproof. I’d exercised more care when picking out my purse and laptop
The front door opened. A tall, bulky man who looked like he missed his calling
as an NFL linebacker stood against the golden glow of the interior. His face was
criminal-hard, though something in his dark eyes said otherwise. He wore a white
shirt and jeans with a brace around his left knee. He blinked.
“Oh, boy.” He hurried to unlock the storm door and let me inside. “You must
be Ms. Alexa York.”
I struggled getting past him with my wet duffle, carry-on and my drenched
clothes clinging to my cold body. “I am. I take it the phones don’t work around here.”
He took my stuff and set it aside. “The power has been flickering all night.
They just got the lights back on about three minutes ago. The phone is Internet, so
when the power goes out, everything goes out.”
I unzipped my sodden jacket. “I get it. No phone, no phone calls. Which is why
I was stuck at the airport.”
He sighed. “Again, my apologies, ma’am. With so much going on, I only had a
chance to worry about one thing at a time.”
I glanced at him before answering. So much going on? The house was quiet
and not a soul in sight. What could’ve possibly had him too busy to pick me up when
he knew I was coming? Heck, I was here to be his replacement while he was on the
mend. If he didn’t want me here, forgetting me at the airport or not sending a car to
pick me up worked in his favor.
He offered his hand to me. “My name’s Sammy. I’m Dr. Joss’s med tech and
“Med tech?” I looked him up and down. “But I thought you were his—”
He chuckled. “I’m really his assistant. I’m only his bodyguard when I have to
be. And given the kind of world that lies beyond those gates, I find myself playing the
latter more often.”
I closed my eyes and sighed. “I’m sorry if I sounded a little crotchety, but—”
Sammy waved a large hand. “No need to apologize. I’d be a lot more than
pissed had I been in your shoes. Speaking of which, let me show you to your room so
you can get some dry clothes on.”
Snorting, I glanced at the puddle forming around my duffle. “Dry clothes, huh.
That would be nice.”
“No worries, Ms. York. I’ll find you something.”
“It’s Alexa, by the way.” Those close to me called me Lex. We weren’t there
My room was upstairs on the second floor along with five other bedrooms.
Every piece of furniture was stained pine and sitting against light blue walls.
Thankfully, I had my own private bathroom. When I looked out the bathroom
window, light was coming from the woods somewhere behind the trees where it
I sure hoped Dane had told me everything I needed to know about this so-called
mission. I would hate to learn something the hard—painful—way. Though that would
never be his intention, I also knew his idea of what information was important to
know was different from mine.
Had it not been for Wesley Dane, a full-blooded werewolf friend of my family,
I wouldn’t be here to play bodyguard for one of his closest friends. It wasn’t the
thousand dollars a day, tax-free money for my services that had brought me here. I
needed the distraction more than anything.
“So, how much do you know about me?” After snuggling into a thick, warm
robe I found hanging on a hook, I dried off my hair with a towel and opened the
Sammy was still there, though keeping his distance by waiting in the hall. I
thought it was weird, but whatever, seeing as this was more his house than mine.
“Enough,” he replied. “You’re half-werewolf, which is extremely rare. You’re also
married, which means either your husband, who’s a full-blood, or Dane is going to
tear Dr. Joss apart if anything bad
happens to you. Although, that sort of defeats the purpose of you being the
doctor’s bodyguard.” He half-smiled.
“Are you expecting me to be torn apart?”
“No.” He chuckled. “But I expect you’ll be put through the wringer.”