Wednesday. It comes around every week, just like dirty laundry, of which I have some that I should be stuffing in the washing machine. I’ll get around to it. Eventually. First, I want to share this week’s #1lineWed theme with you. Can you guess? Nope. It’s not laundry. 😉 It’s time to get my hands DIRTY and get to work. Warning: this is an unedited snippet from the next Penumbra Papers book, starring Sade, Sinjen, and apparently, that pesky dragon, Nikos.
“Look on the bright side,” Caleb quipped. “At least we found each other.” He probed the darkness with every sense available to him.
Sade snorted, the sound both inelegant and pithy. “I’m getting damn tired of this whole Fox and Mulder routine.” She shifted slightly. “Any clue about where we are?”
“Big help you are.”
“Hey, the last time you decided to fall through a portal, Roman fished you out. I’m a werewolf, Sade. I don’t have magic like the gargoyles or the fae. Maybe Ariel can find us.” He gave her a sidelong look. “Or Nikolas. Dragons can shift realms too.”
“Do not mention that…gawddamned critter’s name to me.” She fumed, wanting to pace out her frustration, but in the pitch black of whatever hell they’d landed in, doing so would not only be foolish but dangerous.
“Somebody will miss us eventually.”
“Oh really? We’re undercover, moron.”
“True, but we also have rigid check-in protocols. When we both miss the next one, the Bureau will come looking.”
“And they’ll find us how?” Sade clenched her fists, growling. “Portal, remember? We don’t even know which fuckin’ realm we’re in.”
A soft chuckle echoed around them, the sound rich, dark, decadent—like dark chocolate wrapped around a caramel truffle. And Sade recognized it immediately. She punched Caleb’s biceps and hissed, “I told you not to mention his gawddamned name!”
The air lit with dragon fire and a huge silver creature reared above them. Gold flecks glistened in coal-black walls hewn out of obsidian. They should have been burned crispy but dragon magic was weird like that. And Nikolas Constantine, Drakon of Clan Kholikikos, had dragon magic in spades. Not to mention he was a major pain in her ass. She inhaled deeply and pushed out a massive sigh.
“Oh, hi, Nikos,” Sade called with forced nonchalance in her voice. “Don’t mind us. We were just leaving.”
“And how do you plan to do that?” the dragon rumbled.
“Good question.” She muttered under her breath, not that it mattered. The damn magicks—especially the shifter types—had phenomenal hearing. Like being magic and mostly immortal didn’t give them enough of an advantage.
“And do you have the answer, Lady Sade?”
The damn dragon was just toying with her now. “Asshole.”
Caleb ducked his head where hit met the palm he’d raised. “He can hear you.”
“He’s in dragon form.”
“Sade, you do remember the old saying, right?” When she only tucked her chin in order to glower down her nose at him, Caleb continued. “Be kind to dragons, for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup.”
She snorted out a choked laugh. “Where the hell did you hear that?”
The tips of the werewolf’s ears reddened. “I read it in a book,” he mumbled.
Dragon fire flickered above their heads. “I like that quote,” Nikos said. “What kind of book?”
Continuing to mumble, his face flushed now, Caleb added, “A romance novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Del was reading it.”
Sade managed to ignore the rolling laughter sheathed in fire and slow blinked at Caleb. “You read a romance novel.” She spoke slowly, enunciating each word.
“No. I looked over Del’s shoulder and read a paragraph.”
Nikos lowered his head and his huge blue eyes glittered as he watched Sade. “When I eat you, Sade, it won’t be with ketchup.”
She punched him in the nose and the dragon jerked backwards, tripped over his tail and crashed to his rump. By the time he got his bearings, Sade stood feet apart, arms extended, Sig Sauer resting in the firing position in both hands. “You have a dirty mind, you stupid dragon.” She flicked the safety off. “The last time I checked, guns worked in this realm. I might not be able to kill your sorry ass, but I can sure mess you up at this range. Now cut that sexy shit out and get Caleb and I home.”
Nikos resembled a contented cat—if that cat was from Cheshire. “As you wish, Lady Sade.”
“Cut that shit out!”
I hope you enjoy and if you have any dirty words to share, please do so.