Here it is the teaser of Past the Witching hour (Paranormal Personnel Saga #2) chapter one. The provisional release date is set up for the 30th of November. I'll be looking for a few beta readers once I get it back from the editor, so if anyone is interested please get in touch.
First of all, Nathaniel La Caz was never yours; Second of all... he’s still an arse.
”Would you like more wine?”
I lifted my sleepy eyes and blinked twice, seeing elf in front of me who was pointing at the half empty bottle of white wine. I pasted a lazy smile on my face and nodded, realising that he was talking to me. This date was far from perfect and I was trying not to fall asleep. I’d stopped counting how many glasses of wine I had since we sat down.
”Go on, you’re being terribly generous today,” I giggled. My head was spinning and I had hiccupped heightening of my embarrassment. I knew I drank way too much as the alcohol stirred the magic that sustained inside me for days. I needed to get rid of it fast, otherwise I was going to lose control.
You are missing his touch.
”You’re funny,” he said, beaming. I smiled back and took a generous sip of the wine, ignoring the voice in my head. Loony was a nice guy after all. My friend Nicky had set me up on a blind date with him. I needed to remember to punch her for that once I sobered up.
Central London, on a Saturday night, was buzzing with people. It was hard to get a table in the restaurant, which only opened last week, but Loony sorted everything out with no problem at all. He told me later that he knew the manager and I pulled out an impressed face. Despite not paying much attention to what he was saying, I also learned that he had an investment portfolio in Scotland, he was excellent with spells, and I found out that he twisted his ankle fifty times in the past year whilst playing tennis. He was going on and on about dull and uninteresting stuff, so I acquainted myself with the bottle of wine on the table. We both knew that this wasn’t going to go anywhere. I certainly gave him that impression, but for some reason he wasn’t getting a hint.
”Earth to Julia, is anyone there?”
Oh shit - he was talking to me, God, woman, focus!
”Pardon me, I missed what you said,” I mumbled, once again putting a smile on my face. We were done with dinner, now I just had to get through the dessert and coffee. I met his clear blue eyes, nodding again. He looked like a typical elf, although his eye color was more intense, delicious, and vibrant blue. His baby blond hair was cut short. I had to give him points - he was handsome with an obviously toned chest, muscular arms, and a scent that could seduce a troll. He pressed his palms together and smiled, revealing an incredibly white, perfect set of teeth.
”I asked you what sort of music do you prefer to listen to?”
”To be honest, I’m not that into music; I hardly listen to anything,” I responded.
”Oh, well, that’s too bad, but I’m sure that I can con–”
I couldn’t concentrate on what he was saying; to be truthful, I couldn’t care less. I had been exactly thirty-one days since my vampire ended our relationship and I was doing everything possible to get back to normality. I worked for Paranormal Personnel, a recruitment firm for paranormal creatures that lived amongst humans in central London. A few months ago I managed to win the contract with the La Caz Corporation and that how I met Nathaniel La Caz: half vampire, half human, who apparently couldn’t stay away from me. Since then, my life went downhill.
First of all, Nathaniel La Caz was never yours; Second of all... he is still an arse.
Yep, my subconscious constantly reminded me that I was still single. The vampire was out of my life and there was nothing that I could do about that. I fought as much as I could with those unsettled emotions, but I was losing the battle; the memories of our time together were slowly driving me up the walls. We dated briefly, the closeness only caused problems and things blew up when we couldn’t stay away from each other. We were prefect for each other and, yet, he couldn’t give me an exclusive relationship
A loud cracking sound startled me and I snapped back to reality, realising that the wine glass that I was holding had exploded in my hand. My palm was bleeding, the sharp edges digging into my flesh. The red liquid dripped to my wrist and shooting pain ran down my arm. I was lucky that the bits of glass didn’t get to my face; at least my protection charm was working well. I moaned and stood up, taking deep pulls of air into my lungs.
”Oh my, Julia, are you all right?’ Lonny asked, staring at me in shock, his pupils dilated at seeing blood dripping on the table. I shouldn’t drink when I couldn’t control magic as my unbalanced power could do more damage than good. I glanced around, finding that everyone in the restaurant was staring at me while I was trying to hold my balance and not scream. Humans didn’t know about the magic; all paranormal creatures co-existed and we kept to ourselves. Through centuries we adapted and, so far, no one complained.
Loony swirled around the table to help me stand.
”Sorry Loony, would you give me a hand to the loo?” I asked. The waiter passed me a napkin as Loony took me by the elbow. He was over six foot two and obviously knew how to handle drunken elf. I was going to burn something if I stayed here. I didn’t give a lying fuck that I had become the centre of attention; I was too drunk to focus on anything but keeping myself under control.
I couldn’t even walk straight; Lonny was doing his best to maneuver me to the toilet.
”Do you want me to stay with you?” he asked, panic plain in his voice, though he was doing well to cover it.
”No ... I’m good, ta”
I’m not sure how, but I got to the loo without losing my balance. Lucky for me the toilet was empty. I glanced at the mirror and caught my reflection - I looked worst than I expected. My mascara was smudged, my cheeks were bright red, and my lips were swollen.
It’s all your fucking fault, La Caz!’
I clenched my teeth and washed my face, trying to ignore the thoughts about the ex-boyfriend. He already ruined my good mood, and my evening, but he wasn’t going to ruin my life. We shouldn’t have even gotten together because everyone knew that relationships between vampires and elves would never work. I wanted to show ‘those’ people (including my father) that they were wrong. In the end, though, I realised that they were right.
I took care of my bleeding hand, which still hurt, and left the bathroom. Loony was waiting for me outside, looking slightly pale and pacing up and down.
”Julia! Are you sure you’re alright?”
”Let me see - I’m great with healing spells,” he suggested, staring at the large cut.
Oh yeah... you mentioned that throughout dinner, like, twenty times!’
In normal circumstances, I would have just told him that this wasn’t a good idea, but, right now, I was out of line, lost, and unsure what was happening to me.
He whispered something really fast and moved his hand; the cut disappeared within a blink of an eye.
”Good, now you can take me home?” I asked, yawning. I don’t remember much from what happened later on. Loony probably helped me to get to his car and took me home. I must have dozed off for a few minutes in the front seat because I woke up outside my flat.
”Julia, I had a really great time. Should I walk with you?”
Me too, although I haven’t listened to you at all. The wine was good though!
“Nah, I’m fine. Say hi to Nicky from me.”
That was that. . I didn’t acknowledge the fact that he paid for the meal, or that he patched up my cut with his magic. I just left him without saying a proper goodbye, without a kiss. I walked through my door and took of my heels, without turning back. I had a pulsing headache and needed my bed; I didn’t even have the energy to get rid of my clothes. As soon as my head touched the pillow, I was out.
The next day I opened my eyes and moaned, covering my face with a pillow; my head felt as it was about to explode. The bright morning light was like newly discovered disaster. I groaned, trying to find my cell phone to check the time, but it wasn’t in its usual spot. I tried to gather my thoughts about the previous night, and then moaned again, remembering that I behaved like a fool. Suddenly I recalled how I treated my date. Loony was probably a very nice guy and, as it turned out, I was his worst date in history. I stood, feeling lightheaded and nauseous. I stumbled over my high heels and cursed, massaging my toe. After doing my business in the bathroom, I looked around; my apartment looked like a shit tip. On a positive note, I looked even worst.
“I’m never drinking again,” I muttered to myself and found my phone on the floor by the door. I had a few miss calls from mum. It was just after twelve and I had to get to my parents for dinner.
It had been a month since we had a fire in the agency; we all got a week off while Rufus, my boss, tried to find a new building so the business wouldn’t lose more money. Our director wasn’t particularly happy with what’s been happening in London, but Rufus knew what he was doing. He found a new office quickly enough and we all moved a few streets over, our work life resuming like normal. Everyone who’d ever worked for us had to be registered again, because all the files burned. It was a hell of a job but being busy helped me to take my mind off other distractions. Thankfully, after our break up, Nathaniel didn’t pull out the contract; the relationship between Paranormal Personnel and La Caz Corporation remained unaffected. It wasn’t easy getting back into a routine, in an environment where my ex’s name was on everyone’s lips.