11/17/12

A.J Meyers Excerpt of Something Witchy

Excerpt: Something Witchy



They had a name for someone like me, someone who falls in love with their kidnapper—besides idiot, that is—but I was still too messed up from my nightmare to remember what it was.  I wasn’t going to fall in love with Nathan, though.  I was going to wait and watch, and the first opportunity I got, I was going to run like hell. 
Yeah, keep telling yourself that, babe, a traitorous voice whispered in my ear. 
Vampires and smartass ghosts.  My life was a real nightmare come true.  I suddenly wished for that ghost tank thing the Ghostbusters toted around.  The idea of vacuuming Snake into an ectoplasmic Dirt Devil was almost enough to make me smile. 
“This is a nice car,” I said, looking around at my kidnapper’s mode of transportation as a way to distract myself.  “Who’d you say you stole it from?  Batman?”
It was sleek enough to be the frigging Batmobile.  It was jet black and purred like a well-fed cat.  The inside was as black as the outside, the only break in the color scheme being the yellow Ashton Martin logo stitched into the headrests, and so spotless you would have thought he had driven it straight off the assembly line that morning.  Every electronic gadget known to man that would fit in a car was there to be played with.  I found myself itching to try the stereo to see what the sound system in a car that nice would be like.   
“No, I didn’t steal it from Batman,” Nathan said, laughing softly.  “Like I told your friend back there, it’s just a car.  It’s a pretty toy, that’s all.  I have a weakness for beautiful things.”
His voice changed at the end of his explanation, became deeper, more intimate, and I found myself blushing for no reason whatsoever.  I needed to get a grip.  I was an abductee, not this guy’s girlfriend.  Besides, he had said he had a weakness for beautiful things.  If that was the case, he should have kidnapped Kim instead.  She would have been more his speed.  Though, knowing Kim, she probably would have crushed his scrotum and been drinking lattes at the Coffee Bean by now, not panicked, fainted, and crawled back into his car like a complete chicken-shit because he yelled at her. 
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?” I asked moodily, staring out the window again.  “No, wait, let me guess.  We’re off to your creepy vampire lair where you will store me safely away in the dungeon until I’m gray and wrinkly from either loss of blood or old age?”
To my surprise, he threw back his head and laughed.  I guess you can imagine how happy that made me.  When he glanced at me and realized I was trying to glare a hole through his thick skull, he finally pulled himself together.
  “I don’t intimidate you at all, do I?” he asked, looking torn between amusement and surprise that I wasn’t shaking in my boots. 
I arched an eyebrow when he flipped on his blinker and pulled into a gravel parking lot that looked like it had been hit by a meteor shower.  He could have lost his whole car in one of the craters rimmed in gravel that made up the lot.
 “Hardly,” I told him grumpily.  I glanced at him from the corner of my eye to see his reaction.  Another smile.  What a surprise.
“Hmm…” he murmured, giving me a playful look.  “Then maybe I’m starting to make you nervous?”
“Sorry to bust your bubble, Dracula, but it would take a lot more than some fangs to make me nervous.”
“That’s not exactly what I meant.”
He reached over to brush a curl from my cheek, and I felt that delicious chill slip down my spine again. Wishing I wasn’t a blusher, I did my damnedest to meet his gaze.  God, if only that heat in his eyes meant something…  I was usually morally opposed to having sex in a car, but for him I might have reconsidered my position.
Have I mentioned that I am totally messed up?
“I think I do make you nervous,” he said softly, reaching for my hand and twining our fingers together.
“You really shouldn’t think,” I told him.  “You’re obviously not used to the strain.”
Giving him a sickly sweet smile, I pulled my hand away before I could start to hyperventilate from the electric tingles racing up my arm.  That was it.  I was going to have to institute a strict No Touch policy—as soon as I remembered how to talk again.  I didn’t think my poor heart could take the beating it was getting every time he touched me.  Rather than press the issue, Nathan gave me a mysterious little smile and made a show of placing his hand back on the steering wheel.
When I decided there was something else in the universe worth looking at besides Nathan, I found myself staring through the windshield at the shabbiest looking diner in history.   And when I say shabby, I mean this place looked nasty.  The building was leaning to the side slightly like it had been the loser in a fight with an earthquake.  The paint that hadn’t peeled off the exterior looked like it might have once been an awful shade of gray that would have set off the duct tape over the broken window panes to perfection.  The stench from the overflowing dumpster I could see off to the side of the building was enough to make me queasy—and I hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet.
There was a battered old sign hanging over the door that had probably been painted before the west was won.  I peered at it, trying to make out the name of the dump where I was expected to have dinner.
“Haven,” I muttered, arching one eyebrow.  “They should have added an E and made it Heaven.  That’s probably where the people who eat here end up.  We’re not going to eat here, are we?”
“Don’t let the outside fool you,” Nathan said, already getting out of the car.  “The food here is actually pretty good.  Besides, it’s the only place I can get dinner…unless you’re rethinking offering yourself up as a snack.”
Yeah, because that was going to happen.  If he was waiting on me to offer myself up as dinner, he was in for one hell of a long wait.
“Sure,” I agreed sarcastically, batting my eyelashes.  “Let me find the rat poison and get a good dose of it in my system and I’m all yours!”
Rather than get offended, Nathan laughed again before jogging around the car to open my door.  He held out his hand to me, and I gave it a wary look before getting out on my own.  Call me crazy, but, considering my change in attitude toward mobile intercourse, I thought it might be best to avoid contact with him as much as possible.
Nathan thought otherwise.
The car door had barely closed behind me when I found myself pressed back against it once again.  With the sexiest smile in history, he planted his hands on either side of my shoulders and leaned in closer, then closer still.  My heartbeat sped up like a freight train, and my skin started up that damn tingling again as he leaned down to breathe his next words in my ear.
“Are you sure I don’t make you nervous, Ember?” he asked, making the mutant butterflies that had taken up permanent residence in my stomach wake up and go wild.
“Don’t flatter yourself, dead boy.”  My voice came out all breathy, rather than the hard tone I had been trying for, totally irritating me.
“Hmmm,” he murmured, leaning closer and pressing me against the door at my back, his voice only a breath against my skin as his nose skimmed my jaw.  He filled the space around me with his scent, his body, his mere presence blocking out everything and everyone else.  “You know, I think you might be lying to me.  Your heart is beating like a hummingbird’s wings and you seem to be having a little trouble catching your breath.”
“Um…you kidnapped me,” I told him, trying to remember why I didn’t want him molesting me in a dark parking lot in the middle of nowhere—with a very convenient crater only a foot away where he could hide my body.  I wouldn’t be found for months.  As rank as the air around me was, they probably wouldn’t even notice the smell.  “Maybe I’m afraid.  Ever think of that?”
“You know you’re not really afraid of me, Ember,” he whispered, letting his nose trail down the side of my neck.
“Yes, I am,” I murmured.  In more ways than one, I finished silently.  I didn’t want to be attracted to him, but I couldn’t seem to stop feeling that electricity between us that was potent enough to make my hair stand on end.
He pressed a soft kiss in the hollow below my ear, his lips as soft and silky as I had imagined they would be, and I thought maybe I had died and gone to heaven.  I gasped, trying and failing to come up with a coherent train of thought as he pressed me even closer to the metal behind me, fusing our bodies together from chest to ankle.
Bad idea! my more practical side screamed. This is a very bad idea!
 “Ah, you want to play hard to get, is that it?” he breathed against my ear, his lips barely brushing my earlobe, a butterfly caress that made my blood sing in my veins and my pulse pound.  “That’s fine with me.  I have to warn you, though; I don’t play games I can’t win.”
Vocal ice water.
Playing games, huh?  I was sure that was something he was very good at.  As beautiful as he was, he probably never had any shortage of playmates, either.  He was probably one of those assholes who thought women were put on earth for the sole benefit of being his favorite form of entertainment.  Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t going to work for me.  I didn’t want him to use me to amuse himself so he could toss me when he got bored.  I had more self-respect than that.
Didn’t I?
“Don’t bother,” I told him, pushing him away.  He looked surprised, at first, but then his eyes became totally unreadable.  “I don’t know what game you’re playing, Nathan, but you’re going to have to find someone else to play it with.  I’m not interested in…whatever this is.”
“Aren’t you?” he asked, his tone as cold as ice. 
“No, I’m not,” I snapped.
And at that moment, I meant it, damn it, because he'd dragged me from my home against my will and I had absolutely no idea what he planned to do with me, except maybe add me to his Slushie dungeon.  Then, just to entertain himself, he thought it was okay to play head games with me.  Well, he thought wrong. 
He flinched, and I know he read my mind because he scanned my face long and hard, and I stared back with all the disgust for him that I could muster.  Eventually, his eyes hardened. 
“Suit yourself,” he said, shrugging like it didn’t make any difference to him one way or another.  Tilting his head, he gave me a once-over that made me feel half an inch tall.  “I doubt you could have held my attention for long, anyway.  You’re a bit too…frigid for my tastes.”
I felt like he had punched me.  In the chest.  As hard as he could.  Tears of humiliation welled up in my eyes before I could stop them, and I felt a desperate need to get away from him before I embarrassed myself—more than I already had, that is.  With no other route of escape available to me, I turned and ran toward the only form of shelter I had. 
I stumbled through the dingy front doors and took in my surroundings through tear filled eyes that made the world look all blurry and soft.  Haven was a lot better looking on the inside than the outside, the worn tables polished and clean, the chairs upholstered in bright colors.  They definitely weren’t doing booming business, though.  The only person I saw was a gaunt old man who looked up in surprise from behind the register as I bolted through the doors like my ass was on fire.  But the only thing I cared about was the sign painted in curly black script that read ‘Restrooms’. 
I ran into the women’s bathroom and locked the door behind me.  It was only then that I let the tears fall.  Sliding down the door, I crossed my arms over my chest and clamped my mouth shut tight so the sobs fighting their way up from deep inside wouldn’t escape as I tried to figure out why Nathan’s words had hurt so much.
Because you know they were true, a sad little voice said in the back of my mind, and the truth hurts.
Even after the tears had run their course, I continued to sit there and stare at the faded roses on the wallpaper across from me.  I had never willingly hidden from anyone or anything, but I couldn’t bring myself to stand up and walk back out that door knowing I was about as important to the vampire waiting on me as a piece of trash.
I don’t know how long I sat there before a soft knock at the door reminded me that I was hiding in a public bathroom.  I had just opened my mouth to tell whoever was on the other side that I would be right out when the one voice I could have happily gone the rest of my life without hearing again drifted through the wood separating us.
“Ember, are you all right?” Nathan asked softly, tapping on the door again.
“I’m fine,” I said woodenly, his voice giving me the push I needed to stop acting like a child.  Standing up, I threw the door open to find him looking about as miserable as I felt.
“Are you ready to go?” I asked, pushing past him to get out of the bathroom. 
He caught my arm and turned me back to face him, and I focused my eyes on his chest and kept them there.  Even when he tilted my chin up so I would have to look at him, I still refused to meet his gaze.
“God, I can’t do this,” he said softly, more to himself than to me, I think.  “I’m so sorry, Ember.  I didn’t mean to—”
“Didn’t mean to what?” I snapped, knocking his hand away.  “Didn’t mean to kidnap me?  Didn’t mean to play with me?  Didn’t mean to make the poor, pathetic loser cry?  What is it that you didn’t mean to do, Nathan?”
He flinched back from me like I was throwing silver bullets in his face instead of words.  The sadness in his eyes might have made me feel sorry for him, but I didn’t have enough pity to spare for him.  No, I was saving that all for myself.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he said, his voice still soft.  “I never wanted to hurt you.”
“You didn’t, so I don’t guess you need to apologize,” I lied, keeping my expression neutral and my voice cold.  He had hurt me, but I’d be damned if I told him that.  Instead, I decided to let him know he was no more important to me than I was to him.  “I would have to care about you for you to hurt me, Nathan, and I don’t.  You’re just the guy who kidnapped me.  So, why don’t you get on with that so you can dump me off somewhere and leave me alone?”
I pulled my arm free and he didn’t try to stop me.  Without another word, I turned around and walked away.  The old man I’d noticed on my way in caught my eye on my way out, and I immediately bristled when I saw his sympathetic expression.  I didn’t want his pity.  And I damn sure didn’t want Nathan’s.  All I wanted was to go home and cry on my bestie’s shoulder.
“Prince Charming, my ass,” I muttered as I marched back to the car.  “Bloodsucking toad is more like it.  I have absolutely no taste in guys.  None at all.”
I jerked the passenger side door open with enough force to warp the hinges and had already thrown myself into my seat in a fit of temper when I realized two very important things. 
Nathan hadn’t followed me out.  Stupid vampire probably thought I was too scared of him to try anything—proving he didn’t know me at all.
If he had, the genius never would have left his keys in the ignition.
And if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have stolen his car.


Remember this is the LAST day of the giveaway. It ends tonight. Winner will be posted in the AM tomorrow!

8 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the book. Couldn't put it down! Read in two nights and now I am very tired lol.

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  2. Gosh, I love the banter of these characters, a game of cat and mouse, between Ember and Nathan. You don't find interesting twists in a lot of YA books and this one is full of them- LOVE IT. I haven't finished this one yet and I can already tell that I can't wait til December for book 2. Now off to finish reading my copy.

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  3. LOL, LOVE the humor and Ember's personality! Can't wait to get my hands on this book, I wont be able to put it down!!!! :D

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  4. I finished this book in one sitting and loved it! It was very easy to identify with all of these characters. Can't wait for the next book!!

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  5. This book was good even though I don't read this type of book

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