Authors: Diane Saxon
Tags: #paranormal erotic romance
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Published by The Hartwood Publishing Group, LLC,
Hartwood Publishing, Phoenix, Arizona
Copyright © 2015 by Diane Saxon
Digital Release: June 2015
Cover Artist: James Caldwell
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination, or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales, or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Sweet, shy librarian Ginny has a problem. Whenever passion strikes, so do the weeping, wailing voices in her head. Being half banshee, she’s already run screaming from the underworld and her female relatives, believing love will find a way with patience and faith on planet Earth.
The trouble is, humans just aren’t man enough, and every time Ginny shows interest in a male, she makes him bleed. It’s going to take more than just a simple human being to get past Ginny’s defenses.
Matthew, “The Dane,” fullback for the New York Chameleons, knows the moment he meets the little fireball that she’s his mate. For two hundred years he and his dragon have waited for a female capable of setting their world on fire. Problem is, he doesn’t seem to be able to stop her from going up in flames long enough to prove he’s more than man enough for her screaming banshee.
Will Matt ever be able to convince Ginny she’s his mate? And will Ginny get Matt alone long enough to let him appreciate her pyrotechnics?
To Jennifer Hassani. From the moment we first met, you have inspired and motivated me, pushing me to strive harder. I will be forever grateful for the day you encouraged me to delve into the paranormal and for your great suggestion of a banshee and dragon shifter pairing.
And as always, to my daughters, Laura and Meghan, and my husband, Andy.
Fate and coincidence often play a part in my writing life, and as luck would have it, a short time after I decided to write Banshee Seduction, I was introduced to a sports agent, Jon Kirtland. Jon very kindly spent time with me talking through the game-play scenes and reading through those scenes for accuracy—even enlisting his friend Adam Walton. I thank you both for your help, and if there are any mistakes in the manuscript, they are mine.
Also, thank you to Mandy Harte, whose small incident with her ID card left us crying with laughter and inspired a scene in the library.
Margaret Palmer. For critiquing every manuscript I ever write. Thank you.
“Come on, Ginny. You know you want to.”
“Nope. I really don’t.” She really didn’t—she couldn’t think of anything worse than going to a nightclub. One filled with celebrities and wannabes who clamored for attention and a chance to make a name for themselves, if only they could hook up with the right person.
“But it’s such a great opportunity for you. You can meet guys.”
Guys. So far, there wasn’t a single guy who’d survived a meeting with her unscathed.
She might be her best friend, but Veronica was an ever-loving pain in the ass. Didn’t she know by now, Ginny just wanted a quiet life?
“No.” In a brave move, she held up an authoritative hand. “I don’t want to meet guys.” She hated to be around men. They made her nervous, and to contemplate crowds of men filled her with a sick dread. She’d always lived with spirits of faeries, and the only experiences she’d had with the opposite sex since she’d lived in the Earth realm had been disastrous.
Veronica slumped her slender six-feet-two frame into the armchair opposite Ginny’s old oak desk and crossed her arms over her skinny model chest. Ginny wondered if it had been a wise idea to bring a comfortable chair into the county library’s back office. She’d thought it would be nice to curl up with a good book once in a while, but Roni seemed to have taken it as a personal invitation to make herself at home.
Roni poked out her perfect, plump bottom lip. Her flawless red eyebrows dipped, and Ginny knew she was in trouble. Roni in a snit was a nightmare, and she invariably got her own way.
“We’re going to have fun.” Roni sulked.
“But I hate crowds.” She heard the whine in her own voice and knew Veronica would take advantage of her weakness.
The woman’s eyes glowed with enthusiasm. “We’ll look after you. There’ll be seven of us.”
“Oh, goodness.” Ginny flopped forward, smacked her head into her hands, and rested them on her desk. She pulled in quick, sharp pants of breath. “Seven. Why does it have to be the number seven? This has to be prophetic.” She slapped one hand on the desk in front of her while she cradled her forehead with the other.
“Doubtful. Possibly pathetic. You’re going to hyperventilate again, and I can hear your voices in my head. Stop it!”
The sharp smack on the back of her hand brought her head up in one swift move. Her best friend towered over her, not in the least perturbed by the howling voices and the faint glow of icy thunderstorm Ginny knew would be evident in her normally placid eyes.
Ginny pushed aside the hundred supportively screeching women in her head and treated Roni to the coolest stare she could muster. “I don’t understand why you have to flash across the room like that. Why can’t you walk over like a normal human being?”
“Because I’m not human.” Offense curled the other woman’s scarlet lips and brought a smile to Ginny’s.
Veronica, the only being unaffected by Ginny’s powers, slid her perfect butt onto the desk and crossed one elegant long leg over the other. Her lustrous red hair fell over her shoulder as she leaned across and patted Ginny’s hand in apology for the slap. Unfortunately, Ginny knew what would come next—the wheedling. Could she possibly resist the wheedling?
“This is such a great opportunity. The entire New York Chameleons team is going to be there.” Roni smiled, baring her bright white teeth, her voice cajoling. “You so rarely get to meet real men. I can introduce you to some of them.”
The lump in Ginny’s throat became even harder to swallow, threatening to choke her as the heat rose in her body. She flung herself upright in her chair and dragged in cooling breaths, which instead of calming her, seemed to fan the internal flame higher.
“I can’t. I can’t. What if I…?”
“You have to learn to control yourself, Ginny. Really, you’ve lived here how long?”
Grateful for the distraction, Ginny rolled her eyes and thought. “Just over ten years.”
“And you’re how old in human years?”
They’d been through this before, many times; it was really nothing to be ashamed of. “Thirty-four.”
“Thirty-four and you’ve never had a relationship.”
Roni held up an imposing hand, and Ginny felt her protest dry up.
“No, you did not, Ginny. You had an asshole who ran away at the first challenge.”
Amusement loosened her tongue. “I think blood streaming from his ears and nose may have had something to do with it.”
“Pah.” Veronica leaned back, flipped her hair over her shoulder, and grinned, her long white incisors lengthening at the talk of blood. “He just wasn’t man enough for you.”
“Ya think?” Ginny rested her head on the high back of the computer chair and stared at her friend. “Perhaps it’s because he was only a man.” The thought had occurred to her more frequently of late.
“Well. You have a point. Being banshee is not exactly an open invitation for people to make friends with you. Humans are a little tetchy about death that way.”
“The Irish don’t seem to mind us; they’re not afraid.”
“Ginny, you’re a harbinger of doom. You tell people when their nearest and dearest are about to drop dead. The Irish are very superstitious people. They probably only pretend they’re not afraid. Or perhaps they’re just really relieved it’s not them you’re about to kill.”
Offended, Ginny reared back to stare at her best friend, her only friend. “We don’t kill people, Roni. We just let them know when someone close is about to die, and we lament their death by singing.”
“That’s most likely the thing that kills them.”
“I’m good at singing.”
“What? What the hell does that mean?”
“Well, I have to tell you I’m not keen on a faerie spirit celebrating my death by singing about it.”
“And we weren’t talking about me celebrating your death. Although I’m not saying it couldn’t be arranged.”
Roni’s dark frown warned her she’d probably gone too far. “Maybe you need to meet someone who isn’t all the way human.”
“I don’t think there’s anyone out there.”
“Well, there’s us, Ginny. If we met accidentally and recognized we were different, then there have to be others out there. There must be some place where beings like us congregate. We just have to find them.”
“Simple as that.”
“Yeah. Yeah, it is.” Roni sat upright and waggled a long, slender finger at her. “If I thought there was no one out there for me, I would have to seriously consider going back to the underworld.”
Ginny shuddered. “I’d rather live alone in the fiery pits of Hell for eternity than go back and listen to the caterwauling all day long. You’re lucky, you never had twelve sisters to contend with. My head buzzed and my heart beat too fast and the flames… Flames become so tiresome. Every time you have a new outfit and someone decides to shriek, pfft—cinders. Worse still, I can apply the perfect nail polish, only to have it evaporate at the slightest fireball. I can tell you, Roni, you would not want to live with their drama all day long. It’s…wearying.”
That was the least of it. As harbingers of doom, they were spiritually connected, their emotions pooled together. If one of them started to lament, the entire community of banshees joined in, hysteria rising.
She hadn’t fit into their dominion, and since she’d absconded to the human realm, she’d ceased to be drawn into their passionate frenzy. Calm reigned, except when her own emotions were affected, and the spiritual support she’d stepped away from insisted on participating. Although diluted on Earth, the powerful surge of energy was sufficient to make a man bleed.
Veronica sighed and unraveled her mile-long legs, pushing herself off the desk to stand at the side of it. “No, you’re right, it doesn’t suit everyone. I was sick of all the bloodletting and indiscriminate sex in the underworld—they drained me. Made me quite faint.” She stroked an elegant finger across her porcelain cheek and gave a weak smile. “I became so pale. Why they have to drink from me, I don’t know. Give me a rare steak any day, and I’m happy.” Her flawless red lips stretched in a beatific smile before she flicked her hair back over her shoulder and sauntered to the door.
“However, we are never going to meet our perfect mates unless we make an effort. Tonight. I’ll pick you up at ten. Make sure you eat well first. You know what you’re like when you get hungry.” She opened the door, stepped outside the office, and then peeped back in. Her golden-brown eyes sparkled with mischief, and she gave a conspiratorial wink. “Oh, Ginny. Dress to kill, sweetie.”
She wasn’t at all sure how it happened, but somehow, her best friend had managed to get an agreement out of her without her realizing, and before she could retract it, Roni was gone. It was no use trying to contact her. If she didn’t want to be found, she could disappear without a trace. Easier to be half vampire than half banshee. At least Roni could poof at will, but Ginny didn’t have that luxury. She was ruled by her emotions. Apart from anything else, being a vampire got you the whole great body deal.
Ginny sneaked up the back stairwell to her apartment above the library, where she stared in the full-length bedroom mirror at her own small body. All boobs and backside. She turned to the side. At least she had a flat stomach, but honestly, if she didn’t have the large round ass to balance out her chest, she’d probably fall flat on her face. She turned again to study her own reflection. At least she had one. Roni didn’t.
She pushed her long, straight, silver-white hair back from her face and considered putting it up in a neat bun like she did for work. Then she thought better of the idea, as Roni would probably wrench it from her head. Same with her glasses. She didn’t need them. They were plain glass, but they made her look more like the head librarian she was. Not that she was seen much in the public section of the library anymore since she got her promotion. She spent most of her time in the back office on the computer doing administrative work. Except for Saturdays.