And many thanks for helping me out this week with this guest blog. I’m back from RWA, but still recuperating and fighting a cold so I appreciate you visiting with me. Don’t forget today is the last day of the Freedom Blog Hop also!
Without further ado, here’s Xakara!
Thank you for having me today, Caridad. I’m excited about my new release DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT. It’s the second in my PsiCorps Chronicles and expands the relationships within our core group, while revealing more of the world as a whole.
DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT picks up some six months GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST, with U.S. Marshal Mackenzie Matthews coming to grips with his feelings for the fellow Psis in his care. The loss of Mackenzie’s cousin and last family member six years ago left him alone in the world. His decision to take on his cousin’s psychic Triad in tribute to her, has given a semblance of belonging, but it is only after being given lead on Torrin’s protection detail, that Mackenzie finds a true family. Just before Independence Day, Mackenzie is left to face his fear of losing it all by refusing to risk the move forward to have it all.
DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT
U.S. Marshal Mackenzie Matthews has spent the last six months on the most important witness protection assignment of his career–protecting PsiCorps’ own. The four agents under his care in the program have always had his admiration, but now, under such close quarters, they’ve earned his affections as well. Bonds formed after a dramatic showdown on Christmas Eve, and the concerted efforts in its wake to build a sense of normalcy around his pregnant charge, has Mackenzie the happiest he’s been in years and the most frightened.
To push for more not only questions his integrity as the lead marshal on the case, but it threatens the surrogate family that has engulfed him in a sense of home. Mackenzie is the only one that can see the danger in every step he takes–so he stands in place. He soon learns that he’s the only one not willing to move forward. In a whirlwind of revelation as the country celebrates the stars and stripes, Mackenzie is faced with what it means to truly be free. He’ll learn that sometimes no amount of caution can save you from what’s meant to be. Sometimes, no matter how deeply you bury secret desires in the darkness, it takes but a single kiss to reveal it all by the dawn’s early light.
WARNING – Over 17 only! Contains: Psychic Vampire seduction, all male ménage, M/F oral fixation and bloodless biting to spare.
Mackenzie shook his head. “Why today? I mean, why did this come up now and not three months ago? What’s changed?”
The men fell silent. Riley looked at him. “I’m guessing it’s on their minds because we all thought you were going to sleep with Quintus last night. We had a huge discussion when he came to bed. I went to sleep before everyone else, so they probably had the initial discussion about our relationship then too. But that’s all pure—if accurate—speculation on my part.”
His skin flushed. He looked at Quintus and his heart sped up. “A huge discussion, really?” His gaze found Riley. “What’s huge in this context?”
“Only a couple of hours, it was pretty late.” Her expression changed. “I’m sorry, it must be odd being the only wizard in a house full of incubi who think they can freely talk about your sex life to your face over breakfast.”
A house full of incubi—said as if it included her as well. He’d been told to never refer to her as anything but an incubus, or, if he couldn’t relate to the gender-neutral inclinations incubus had picked up over the generations, as a succubus. He’d also been told to never ask her why. “Riley, I’m not the hippest, most slang-savvy person, so perhaps there are connotations I simply can’t see and have never learned. Why don’t you like being referred to as a vampire?”
The other men froze, Kincaid and Quintus went so far as to extend their abilities and shield Mackenzie. Before he could panic, Riley shrugged.
“It’s always depended on who was doing the referring. It’s what Torrin has always called me. And Quintus uses it in briefings and all the case paperwork because it’s accurate and immediately gives perspective. Sometime the perspective isn’t always good. When people know that there was violence as well as sex that sparked your abilities, some of them judge. It’s the same in knowing there was fear and sex for the djinn or pain and sex for the shifters. They look at you and you can tell by the way they say vampire, djinn or shifter that they’re trying to figure out if you were the victim or the perpetrator.
“Not that I care, but I acknowledge it and I know that’s the reason hinted at in my file. But really, by itself, it’s just a word and one I think is accurate. All of the terms are. Our legends of vampires, shifters, incubus, djinn, wizards, witches, fae, all of it, they were all powerful Psis who were misunderstood in their time period. Or if you listen to the conspiracy theories, they were all real and we’re their offspring with humankind, either way it wouldn’t change what we are. I’m a vampire by genes or legend, I don’t deny it. I used to like it and went by it at the academy.” She looked at Torrin. “I still like hearing it in the right circumstances, said with just the right emphasis and background sounds.”
Mackenzie shuddered as energy rippled between the two of them and caressed everyone at the table. When she turned back to him her eyes held the first faint signs of a trance glow.
She sighed, a warm, chocolate sound. “Ajay and I use it of course, it’s all he’s ever known himself to be and I don’t want to curb that.” She reached up and smoothed his hair back into place. Mackenzie realized he’d given in to the nervous gesture and run his hands over the short, neat locks.
“What else did my file say?” She put her hands in her lap.
“The part I’m authorized to read just says that PsiCorps did not find you right away when you came online.
The neural network didn’t pick you up. Odd and ironic that it’s capable of overlooking some of us when that’s the entire reason they call getting your abilities coming online, but there you are.”
A smile broke free. “Did it actually have that little aside in my file in parenthesis, or are you personally frustrated with the current update proceedings for the neural network?”
“I just think if we’re going to spend billions of dollars to invade the public’s privacy, we could at least be more than ninety-two percent accurate about it. Pregnancy tests are ninety-nine percent accurate and they only cost five dollars.” He waved his words away.
“But never mind my politics.” He took a deep breath. “What happened?”
“Other vampires found me first. And no, they aren’t why I don’t use the word often; that happened the first time we had an exchange with the Langley campus. It’s happened since on missions and such. Most people say it and it…”
Her face changed, and Mackenzie was hard and ready so fast it brought pain as well as arousal. “It means something primal and dark, something dangerous and succulent and covered in sex. When you use a word for yourself, others use it often around you and when they do, they provoke the power in that word. The power that they give that word.” She draped herself over him, inhaling his scent. “They ask you to do things, things they don’t even have words for, but the images, mmm, the images and scents, they don’t need words. The way someone’s pulse will race, beating against their neck or thigh, as if trying to reach out to you. The instant, salty-sweet scent of women and men all wet and hard and ready in the darkness for things they deny wanting in the daylight. You can taste it, heavy and waiting on your tongue and every time you roll it around in your mouth. They shudder like they can feel you lick along the rush of longing for things best forgotten, but always remembered. And the submission, Mackenzie, the sheer submission and surrender that comes forth from it all and what that does to someone like me.”
She pressed her forehead to his shoulder. “I don’t call myself a vampire to the general populous, so that I don’t hear them say it in turn and call to what’s beneath it. In contrast to PsiCorps‟ belief that I dislike it, I, in fact, like it entirely too much for it to be safe for recreational use.” She leaned in and kissed his neck. He jumped. She laughed. “Tell me, Mac, why hasn’t a single bright, young mind at Quantico even hinted at figuring that out? It’s an interesting oversight, don’t you think? Now, let’s talk of something else, something important. In my file, does it still tell you not ask me about being a vampire?”
He laughed in reply, a breathless, wanton sound, that he reined in. “It does, but I know you didn’t put it there, because it also says not to tell you that there’s a no-asking policy in your file. How did you know? It’s in the hardcopy, not the digital file.”
“Ajay told me. He tells me everything.” She nuzzled him. “Right now, so would you most likely. Why did you ask me?”
“I’m going to turn and kiss you any second.”
“Undoubtedly.” She licked his pulse. “Why did you ask me?”
Mackenzie tried to stall but couldn’t remember how. “To see if I could get away with it. Because if what you said was true, you wouldn’t be upset.”
“I’m not upset.”
For the first time in the months of being together, of growing closer, he wasn’t entirely sure about that, and that was the allure. It finally clicked why everyone danced so close to the edge, stepping in time to her mercurial nature. The heightened awareness had his heart in this throat, and his body flooded his system with an adrenaline equivalent somewhere between coming in public and petting a tiger.
Thank you, Xakara for your wonderful guest blog!