Can Love Trump a Vampire's Blood-lust? The Answer Might Surprise You.

“The human demanded entry into a house filled with vampires, one of which is new and untested around temptation....Next time I’ll just let him in and grab some popcorn for the show.”


Magic In Disguise
Agents of A.S.S.E.T. Book 3
Sample Chapter 2
(Unedited)

Sage stormed into her apartment. Her palm burned with the seed’s fiery hunger for magic, it mingled with her anger using it as kindling. Her eyes landed on the source of her rage, and for a moment she entertained unleashing everything she had on Zack. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t slap you.”
Zack matched the scorching glare, blowing a teasing kiss in the air back at her. “Because if you did, you’d probably kill me. And what would become of Junior?”
A door opened in the hallway. Sage held her breath. Matt was there, no doubt, listening to them argue like the new parents Zack had pretended they were. Not far from the truth in reality. Only most newborns weren’t prone to killing people with their temper tantrums. Tension had been building between them for days. They’d all been trapped together, bound by the inability to interact with society, magical or not, and it wasn’t just Sage feeling the cabin fever. She kept her distance. Matt needed time to come around. He’d had no choice. Zack turning him had been a last resort to, keep him alive. In the days that followed, Matt had told Sage he forgave her, but a lingering sense of uncertainty still hung in the air. She waited, letting Matt decide whether or not he’d emerge from the darkness of the hallway.
“That got your attention.” Zack held no such reverence for her roommate’s mental state. He smirked as if his words had summoned the beast to punctuate the arrogant point of their conversation. “What would become of poor Matt if I wasn’t there to help him keep his cool?”
That man knew every damn button to press to get under her skin. She held her tongue, and turned to see Matt casually stepping, into the living room. His hair wet and shaggy around his face. Fresh from a shower, he wore a towel around his waist and another like a cloak across his shoulders.
“Everything okay, Sage?”
“I could ask you the same.” Sage wanted to give him a great big hug. He looked more himself, in that moment than he had for the past week. A good sign for sure. Only the otherworldly icy blue eyes gave him away as a vampire. It took all her strength to force herself to stand still.
Matt stiffened suddenly. His nostrils flared as if smelling something of interest. “Josh was outside, wasn’t he?”
“Yes.” She perked up with a renewed sense of hope. Not only did he look better, his voice remained calm despite the stressful nature of the subject. Seeing him like that, was worth the constant pain she felt as the seed continued to make its hungry demands for their power. She clenched her fist trying to shut it out and focused on Matt. His wonderful progress. He’d be able to see his boyfriend soon. That was definitely something to celebrate. “Josh is going to give you a call so you guys can talk.”
Matt returned the smile. His fangs poked out from his lips, more evidence of his new predatory nature. “I’m glad. I miss him.” His words came slowly, his tone pleasant, and free of the strain she had heard from him all week long. Sage beamed with pride, absolutely impressed with this new level of control he’d mastered.
“Baby steps,” Zack cautioned. Could he not see how good Matt was doing?
“Shut it fang boy.” Sage turned on him, seed burning in her palm, souring her mood, losing her own battle for control. She could appreciate a little of what Matt was going through.
“Why loose your venom on me?” Zack quipped with a stolen movie quote.
“Because you mock our pain.” She answered in kind.
“Life is pain. Anyone who says differently…”
“Is selling something. I know.” Annoying as Zack was, he did speak her language, geek. Employed with tact, it had a disarming effect on her. Zack had failed that part miserably. “You’re not going to win me over with movie quotes.”
“Even when they are so on point?”
“You have no power over me.” She clenched her fist tight and shoved it in her pocket, hoping that might dampen the pain.
Zack eyed her movements with suspicion. “Come now. My ability to match every situation with pop culture quotes is impressive, right?” He’d crossed the line this time. What made it worse was the fact he didn’t even realize how badly he’d messed up.
“This hasn’t been easy for any of us,” Sage shot back at him. “And Josh has no basis of comparison. You didn’t have to be a dick to him.”
“What did you do to Josh?” Matt growled, turning his otherworldly eyes on Zack.
“The human demanded entry into a house filled with vampires, one of which is new and untested around temptation.” Zack matched his accuser’s angry glare. “Pardon me for utilizing a little tough love to keep all parties safely at arm’s length. Next time I’ll just let him in and grab some popcorn for the show.”
“I can handle Josh.” All of the calm evaporated from Matt’s tone, souring, turning even the simplest of phrases, sinister. “Just watch.”
“No you can’t,” Zack insisted. “One whiff of his blood and you’d drain him dry.”
“Who said anything about blood?” Concern for Matt and Josh’s wellbeing worked like a charm, providing the distraction Sage needed to focus past her own physical discomfort.
“No one had to. It comes with the territory,” Zack replied.
“I can handle it,” Matt assured them. He sounded so confident she believed he could actually do it.
“Do I really have to do this?” Zack pressed his forehead into his hand. A sigh escaped his lips and Sage swore she heard, “you’ll be sorry,” floating in the air.
“No.” She clenched her fist in her pocket, driving her nails through the skin. Why did she always have to be the voice of reason when she was clearly the least qualified to do so? “Whatever stupid idea you’re cooking up. No!”
“You both are operating under the false assumption that Junior here, is his good old self. Let me burst that bubble before it explodes very messily in your face.” Zack’s eyes darkened, his fun loving Doctor Jekyll persona fading behind his inner Mr. Hyde. She’d only seen Zack let his beast out a few times and knew to be on guard. She kept her damaged hand clenched tightly in her pocket, sending the other to locate the folding knife at her belt. Just in case. “Matty here is only appearing so calm because of my careful training.”
“No one is training me.” Matt scoffed defiantly, proving he deserved the title Zack had so lovingly bestowed on him, Junior.
In a blink Zack appeared at the refrigerator door. Sage pulled her knife, holding it at the ready. When she realized she hadn’t been the intended target she relaxed, dropping her hand, and watched in confusion as Zack opened the fridge and rummage through the crisper drawers.
There was only one reason a vampire might need to use a refrigerator. She hadn’t seen any severed body parts the last time she reached in for coffee creamer, so what the hell was he after in there? The moment the thought wandered through her mind she realized there was another equally disgusting alternative. “Please tell me you’re not keeping” She stopped short when Zack stood holding a medical collection bag filled with blood. “For real? Come on. That’s where I keep food.”
“Exactly.” Zack’s eyebrow lifted, a silent challenge for her to continue that argument to its natural end.
“Can you at least keep your…” She struggled to force the words past chunks rising in her throat, “juice boxes… in the drawer… covered…or something out of sight?”
“What an excellent word.” Zack turned to Matt holding up the adult sized sippy. “Tell me you don’t want a… juice box.”
Matt’s nostrils flared. His jaw tightened as if he were struggling to fight against the tempting aroma. To his credit, Junior remained where he stood. His Adam’s apple bounced hard as he gulped, but the only move he made was a stiff shake of his head.
Sage couldn’t have been more proud, and doubly so for making Zack look like a melodramatic helicopter parent. Her roommate was made of tougher stuff. And now he’d proved it.
Zack moved a little closer to Matt, but remained firmly on the linoleum in the kitchen. He waved the blood bag in the air, level with Matt’s eyes. “2018. Excellent year. A positive, full bodied.” He sniffed the plastic casing like a fine vintage wine. “With a slight nutty finish.”
The corner of Matt’s lips twitched. He stood noticeably stiffer as if all the muscles in his body had been strung taut as a bow string. The struggle was more than real. No doubt about that. But Sage kept faith he’d be strong enough.
“I’ll give him credit.” Zack surprised her by praising Matt’s control. “He’s trying very hard. I myself couldn’t have stood there as long as he has with a…juice box… tempting me.”
Matt’s eyes had begun to darken, their gorgeous blue taking on the feral blackness that signaled the beast was coming. Zack wasn’t playing fair. But he still remained where he stood, fighting the good fight.
“See. He will be able to deal with Josh,” Sage replied confidently.
“You think so?” Zack cocked his head sideways, his eyebrows arched sharply as if to say challenge accepted.
Before she could backpedal, he slashed the bag with the nail on his pinkie finger. A gush of cold blood poured out like a morbid waterfall, painting her linoleum floor red.
Matt flew across the room, landing at Zack’s feet, before Sage could even let out an indignant shriek. All that control she had praised him for moments earlier had gone. The monster had replaced her roommate, it laid at Zack’s feet, lapping up the mess like a hungry dog.
“You were saying?” Zack smirked.

Ready for More?



Using the Weapon of Magical Destruction wasn't Sage's smartest idea, and now she's become the weapon she had been charged with protecting. 

Hunted by the shadow clans, and cut off from A.S.S.E.T., Sage is forced to go deep under cover, on a quest to collect the elements and people needed to invoke the Mother Goddess and destroy the WMD before it destroys everything she's ever loved.


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