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Friday, September 10, 2010


TGIF, Moonlightees! I hope everyone has had a great week. Do any of you have any special plans for the weekend? Nothing much here and I'm rather excited about having nothing to do. So, a couple of weeks ago I explained that I was neck deep in edits. I thought I'd share an excerpt from what I just finished editing, Where the Road to Hell Begins, Part One - Pandora's Box. Yeah, I know I need to work on the title, but that's the working title. I plan to have it sent off at the latest on Monday. *fingers crossed* Writing the synopsis is next and that always stumps me. I have trouble condensing 95K words into 2-5 pages. No easy feat! Okay, so I'll shut up and give you the excerpt. Tell me what you Dislike? Suggestions? Comments? I'm all ears. ;-)

WARNING: Some content may not be suitable for all readers. Please read with discretion.


Instead of a 'hello', she received a gruff, "Nix."

"Hey, sexy," Mads said, forcing cheerfulness into her tone. She leaned her elbows on the rail of the balcony and chewed on the inside of her mouth.

"Mads?" She thought he sat up.

"Yeah." At times like this, she wished she smoked. Had some nasty addiction to turn to for comfort.

"What's wrong?" He definitely sat up this time, the rustling of covers and the squeaking of bedsprings loud through their connection.

"Nothing." Everything!

"Mads…" He whispered furiously, the sound of a door opening and clicking closed coming through on his end loud and clear. "You didn't call me at two A.M. to tell me nothing was wrong."

Madison expelled a long shaky breath. "I think we made a mistake tonight."

Concern tensed his voice, "What'd you do?"

"Oh, nothing much, just released a genie from its crystal prison." And used Pandora's Box to bust him out. Oh and let's not forget how dirty she felt now with the magic still thrumming through her so hard she couldn't sleep.

He whistled low. "That sounds diabolical."

She laughed. Nix could lighten any situation. "He had to be trapped for a good reason, right?"

"Depends." On what? "Where are you, Mads?"

"Mexico." She looked out on the Mexican city. Poverty stark in every direction. "You?"

"South Beach, Miami," the sound of his voice drooled enough she didn't have to see his expression. "The news said a level six earthquake struck Chihuahua, Mexico today."

Yeah, that earthquake was little ole' me channeling the awesome power of the box.

"South Beach, huh?"

"Yeah, beautiful beaches."

Skirt chasing Nix would be in his element there. Jealousy made more vibrant by Pandora's magic hit her hard, had her hoping her phone call interrupted something naughty before it happened. "I guess there aren't any hot babes there."

"None as smoking hot as you."

"Flirt." But the corners of her mouth turned up at his compliment.

"Guilty." On his end came the honking of horns and the revving of engines. "Tell me exactly where in Mexico you are and I'll be on the next flight."


"You need me or you wouldn't have called," his voice turned a shade darker. Agitation maybe, but it was hard to tell without seeing his expression.

"I don't need you here." She pinched the bridge of her nose. She shouldn't have called Nix. No need for him worry along with her.

"What do you need?"

Loaded question.

"I don't know." She tapped her fingernails on the rail. "Someone to tell me we made the right decision."

"Okay." A long pause screamed between them. "Why'd Amos break out this…this crystal genie?"

"He didn't. I did." Sirens blared in the background, fitting for their conversation and probably his reaction. "With the power from Pandora's Box."

A sharp intake of breath. "You think that was safe?"

"Most likely not." Definitely not. "We didn't have a choice. Amos couldn't break the crystal. Only the box could."

"Uh huh." She could picture him rubbing his eyes, deep in thought over her disturbing news. "Why did you break this crystal genie out?"

"Amos's idea."

"You do everything he tells you to do?"

"Pretty much. He's always right on these supernatural things." She jerked toward the door as a hard bang rattled the lamp beside the bed. "Hold on…" She peeked around the door from the balcony. Amos lay on his side, facing her, sleeping peacefully. A quick glance about the room didn't expose anything lurking in the shadows. Silence too loud pulsed in her ears, her breathing growing ragged as she moved across the room and looked out the window.

"Mads?" Nix's voice expressed his alarm. "Mads! ?"

"Sorry," she whispered, stepping quickly through the hotel room and back out onto the balcony. She yanked hard on the sliding glass door, but the irritating thing kept sticking. "I thought I heard something."

"Next time keep me at your freaking ear."

Madison laughed. "What would you have me do, Nix, hand the phone to my attacker so you can talk him to death?"

"Not amused, Mads."

He would be if he realized how protected she'd become from supernatural entities. They all scrambled to get away from her and Amos. She bet the Birminghams never had that reaction.

"Phoenix…are you coming back to bed?" Madison went brittle still at the sound of the faint female voice coming through the receiver.

The fumbling noise led her to think he covered the mouth piece of his cell phone. "Business call," he whispered furiously.

"Oh, God…." She squinted her eyes shut and rubbed her forehead. She should have asked if he was alone. "I'm interrupting. I'm…." She gulped, but couldn't bring herself to utter the word 'sorry'. It'd be a lie if she said it.

Kill the bitch! The green eyed monster surged through her system so fast she stumbled, managing to catch her fall against the banister. Stark evidence she didn't have Pandora closed as tightly as she wanted. She hoped she could eventually replace the air tight seal. Never, never did she want to tap into the diabolical power ever again.

Pain as sharp as a scalpel cut without anesthesia through her breastbone. How long would it take before she wrestled the power back under control?

"No…um…we're finish—erm…it's over…" It sounded like he pulled the phone away from his ear. "Shit! " she heard distinctly even though the word was muted. "Mads, I'm always here for you. Regardless…"

Regardless that he was screwing someone else silly?

Dear God…

"I shouldn't have called."

A threesome. A threesome would work. Madison bent over and tapped her forehead on the railing, but she knew it wouldn't eliminate Pandora's manic thoughts. A threesome was not an option. Not with any man.

"Don't you dare hang up on me!" She turned toward the door to the hotel room. "Tell me about your crystal genie."

A dark shadow walked toward her. Fear should have propelled her into fighting action—killkillkill…fightfightfight¬—but with Nikolas's unwanted protection she didn't figure it posed much of a threat. The figure stepped into a beam of moonlight.

Zennyo….her crystal genie.

"He's not mine." No one would ever own this crystal genie. The power she'd sensed coming from him in the cave was magnified in his direct presence. "I gotta go."

"Mads, don't hang up. Mads—"

Madison disconnected the call. Zennyo stepped into the doorway and braced his hands on the frame.

"How much of that did you hear?" she asked.

"All of it."

"Sorry." Sorry that he heard her, but not about any of the words she'd said.

"Why? I haven't decided if I should let you or Amos live either."

Madison swallowed. Nothing demonic would dare harm them, but Zennyo wasn't demonic or angelic. His moral system rested on a plane she didn't comprehend. Why, had Amos insisted they needed him?

"Comforting," she drawled. "A thank you isn't necessary for busting you out of that crystal crypt. Veiled threats say thank you so much better, don't ya' think?"

Zennyo stared at her, the wind ruffling his bangs and resettling them over his forehead. "I don't understand the translation of your words. I will assume you were being sarcastic."

She crossed her arms over her chest. "You think?"

"I could kill you without lifting a finger and still you speak to me this way?" He cocked his head to the side as if she were a curious bug he inspected. "Your brazenness amuses me."

He didn't look amused. Actually, he didn't look anything.

"You're hurt," he said.

"No." Amos had healed her palms before leaving the cave. Minor injuries like that he could take care of.

"I know your head is hurting."

Her head didn't hurt. It felt like it would combust at any moment and right now, she welcomed that end just to stop the pain. "A very different thing from being hurt. But, yes," she rubbed her temples, "opening the power of Pandora's Box to shatter your crystal home was more taxing than I expected."

"Yes." He stepped onto the balcony. "You're having trouble keeping the lid closed."

"How…do you know that?" She shook her head. "You reading my mind or something?"


"Yes?" She flinched when he took her left hand in his own, cocooning it between both of his. "To which part? Reading my mind? Or something?

"I read minds."

"Great." Warmth pulsed against her hand, but his eyes had begun to glow.

His forefinger circled the emblem of Pandora's Box. "I can turn it off, but your pain and worry were screeching too loud to tune out."


He looked at her and shrugged. "Think about closing and latching the lid."

"Okay." She closed her eyes and unbidden images of Nix and some unknown naked and sweaty floozy rose behind her lids….the floozy's legs anchored around Nix's hips, copulating to Queen's We Will Rock You staggered so hard through her mind's eye a gasp escaped her lips.

"No! No!" Zen said and her eyes snapped open. "Focus! Close and latch the lid."

"Okay…okay." The erotic images tried to rise again, but she tamped them down and called up the image of the box. She slammed the lid down with a mental shove and gave a dramatic flick of her wrist to latch it tight.

"Good," Zen said, sounding pleased by her success. "You learn fast. There may be hope for you yet."

Lucky her. She'd live to fight that battle with Nikolas after all…if Zen didn't change his mind and kill her.

"What'd you do?" She nodded toward her hand. "While you were holding my hand?"

"Trapped the power in one place so you could concentrate."



His eyes had returned to their normal silver, but he stared until she began to fidget.

"What?" Did she have something on her face? In her hair?

"You torment yourself with sexual images of Nix Birmingham. Why?"

"We're just friends."

A lone black eyebrow arched. "You see images of all your friends doing that?"

Thankfully, no. "You wouldn't understand."

"Indeed. You mortals have confused me for centuries." He turned, pushed the glass door open. "You should sleep, get some rest before morning."

"What about you?"

"Zennyo's don't need sleep. All we need is meditation to recharge."

She guessed he didn't need any meditation. He'd been meditating every day since his imprisonment. However long that had been.

If you wish to read a more graphic/violent scene from this book, please visit her:

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