Under the Dark Moon Preview

My next book comes out Saturday!!! So, I thought I’d share the first scene with you as a little teaser and maybe you’ll go check out the book!

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Last Quarter

Jaylon couldn’t have asked for a better night to pull off his scam. His stolen power heightened his senses and the night air felt electric against his skin. He pushed more charm and persuasion into Nadine through his grip on her hand, and she stumbled beside him with a giggle. 

Jaylon unlinked his arm from Nadine’s and opened the gate into the backyard. The house that didn’t belong to him was a sunny yellow with white trim around the windows. He’d instructed the owners to vacate it that morning before meeting Nadine for coffee. The coffee, spiked with a small enchantment, loosened her up enough for the first phase of his plan. The coffee had turned into lunch, with another dose of the spell. Lunch became shopping with her new best friend and continued to dinner with drinks, and another helping of control seeped into her mind. And now she was here, and he couldn’t help but feel like everything was finally going right for him. 

“I love your garden,” Nadine said. She walked a little clumsily along the brick path and trailed her fingers through the tall flowers. “So colorful.”

Jaylon smirked and glanced around at the yard. “Thanks. It’s uh… my favorite pastime.” He pitched his voice higher and lilted the words in a sing-song way. “I’ve got a regular green thumb.” He breathed on his thumb and pretended to shine it on his shirt so she’d giggle. He’d been playing her like that all night. It was almost too easy. 

He walked past her and led her up onto the patio where a table and chairs waited for them; the shade a slight improvement in the stale heat of July. A bottle of wine and two glasses sat on a metal tray. 

Nadine picked up the bottle and examined the label. Insect buzzing filled the silence between them as she slowly read the words through her intoxicated state. 

“Know much about wine?” Jaylon asked once she’d twisted the bottle to see the back. He stood with one hip jutted out, his fingers laced in front of him. 

“No,” Nadine admitted with another giggle. She burped and her eyes widened as her cheeks flushed, but then she laughed again. “I just like to pretend. Maybe if I read enough labels, I’ll figure it out.” 

Jaylon smiled and slid the bottle from her hands. “I’ve discovered drinking the wine will tell you all you need to know.” 

He filled the glasses and motioned for her to sit. Nadine took a slow sip from her glass and made a noise of approval. 

“You’re right. That’s all I needed to know.” 

Jaylon smiled again and watched her. He didn’t pick up his own glass. She took another drink and wrinkled her nose. Sweat glistened on her forehead and she lifted her curtain of dark hair to fan her neck. 

“Something wrong?” He asked in mock concern. He fluttered his hands up to his face and pretended to be shocked. “Is the wine a little too… powerful for you?”  

“It was a little…” She put a hand up to her throat and grimaced. “Chalky.” The intoxicated glaze fell away from her eyes as her brain tried to put it together. “Like there was something…” she swayed in her seat and her eyes crossed. “Something in it…” 

“Speaking of power… We were talking about bloodlines earlier, weren’t we?”

“Huh?” Her lips wouldn’t cooperate and form her words, and she stared at him in confusion. 

“You know.” He smiled gently. “We were talking about how magical power is passed on through blood. And powerful parents are supposed to produce powerful children. But that’s not always the way it works, is it?” 

Jaylon reached forward to grab the glass before it fell to the ground. Her head lolled backwards, and she frowned in his direction. 

“What…” she mumbled something incoherent.

“Shh… don’t try to talk.” He dropped the flamboyant twang he’d adopted to lure her into a sense of security. “You’re not in danger. There’s just been a mistake. And I’m here to fix it.”

Her eyebrows wrinkled together, but then her eyes drooped closed and she slumped further into the chair. 

Jaylon sighed and emptied his glass of wine into the bushes. He scooped Nadine into his arms and carried her into the house to prepare for his next steps. A brain wipe to replace her memories of him and construct a fake past. And then the control enchantment to keep her nearby. Once he had that set up, the rest would fall into place. 

Even now, he soaked up her power to make himself physically stronger. She weighed nothing to him as he placed her in the guest bedroom. He couldn’t take much yet, not with the drugs in her system, but the little taste he got made him desperate for more. 

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Thank you for reading! You can check out the book on October 15th if you click here!

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