Seducing The Succubus
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by Jennifer Barlowe
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Romance
Description: Case is a con man specializing in arcane artifacts -- his life a razor-edged gamble. When his most recent grift goes catastrophically wrong he decides to take his biggest chance yet, betting he can out-seduce a demonic seductress and win her onto his side. A centuries-old succubus, Samantaka has seen every kind of human arrogance and excess, and she doesn't expect to find anything new in this latest summoning. But life and magic are full of surprises, and they're both about to find that this demonic pact is more than either of them bargained for. TO MY READER: I really loved the idea of two characters who aren't what anyone would call altruistic, but who end up bringing out the best in each other against all the odds -- and creating plenty of heat along the way. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Barlowe is a transplant to Southern California. She likes good books, bad movies and cheap sushi. She lives with her husband who fortunately indulges all three of these vices.
eBook Publisher: Red Sage Publishing/Red Sage Presents, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: July 2010
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [132 KB]
Reading time: 82-115 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Nothing like dying on a rainy night. Case stood looking out the fifth-story window, watching rain strike the glass and slide down the pane. Outside, the city lights winked at each other through the downpour. Inside the darkened apartment, the only illumination was the sullen red glow of the hand-rolled cigarette between his lips.
He was standing close enough to the window that he could feel the cold coming off the glass, near enough to see his own shadowed reflection. He took a long drag off the cigarette, reminding himself to inhale and hold his breath before letting it out. He was not a regular smoker. His chest was already tight, his lungs aching and his throat raw from the sour herbs.
From somewhere outside a car alarm began to sound, whooping insistent and unheeded on the street below. Case turned away from the window. He drew a silver lighter from his shirt pocket, the shirt wrinkled from two days' continuous use, plus the couple of hours he'd slept in it. If he got out of this alive, he was going to burn it.
He flicked the lighter to life and raised it to the first of four candles on a narrow wood table. When they were all lit, he flipped the lighter closed and dropped it back in his breast pocket. In the fresh and flickering light, he took in the rest of the room. His sparse furniture was shoved to one side to make space for the night's work. The worn coffee table remained, serving as a makeshift altar, holding the candles and book. A wad of folded newspaper wedged under one leg kept it from wobbling.
On the other side of the table, the summoning circle was drawn from powdered herbs on the scarred wooden floor.
After another deep drag off the cigarette, Case opened the cover of the book. Like almost everything valuable that he owned, it was stolen. More accurately, its previous owner had made a distinctly disadvantageous bargain, resulting in the book changing hands. Those kinds of lopsided bargains were the bread and butter of Case's work.
The cover was leather, hand-tooled with a family crest--he didn't know whose. The first page was blank parchment so old Case could smell the dryness of it. He paused at the second page. Yergoth the Devourer. The drawing showed the head and hindquarters of a goat connected by a serpent's body. Summoning it required the amulet of Yergoth, currently under lock and key at the Metropolitan Museum. Too bad.
Case's latest bargain was what had him in trouble now. He'd gone too far and with the wrong people. Information was gold in his kind of work, and this time he'd come up short. He hadn't known the mark well enough, hadn't understood how wrong the deal could go. Now he knew, and now was a little too late. And so he stood in his apartment, looking for the only thing that might save him. Demonic protection.
It was something of an oxymoron, Case thought, inhaling more smoke. Two things that really didn't go together. Still, it was the only chance he had. He turned the page again. Mnemnon the Seeker. The drawing this time was only an inky smear, but it gave Case the shudders. There was something in the ink that made the image appear to shift if he looked at it too long, and he could hear a far-away noise, like insects' wings striking each other. In any case, Mnemnon would only come when payment was offered upfront, payment in the form of the caller's firstborn.
Case didn't have a firstborn, at least not one he'd been told about. That was too dark for him anyhow. Bilking some old sorcerer out of his magic beans was one thing, but the only life Case ever put on the line was his own.
He spared a glance toward the window. Outside the world was going on about its business. People slept, wept, lived their lives. Most were blissfully unaware of the world Case was a part of, the world of demons and dark magic, and bargains that could cost a man's soul.
And that made him turn to the third page. Samantaka. The succubus.