Authors: Karen Y. Bynum
Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul?
The last thing eighteen-year-old Breena Cross needs in her life is more complications. It’s all she can do to balance studying, working, trying to keep her foster-sister safe and drooling over the new guy at work. But things go from complicated to crazy when a fit of rage ignites the dark magic inside her and she finds herself fending off the supernatural underworld.
Myles, Breena’s drool-worthy coworker and vampire convict, is carrying a load of secrets–one of which is that he’s fang-over-lip in love with Breena and in danger of violating the terms of his sentence.
Orin is a soul-hungry assassin sent to kill Breena. However, he takes one look into her eyes and sees his own lost humanity. For once thinking of someone other than himself, he chooses not to end her life, even though it means risking his own.
Despite a convict and an assassin fighting over her, all Breena wants is custody of her sister. But to do this, she will need help from both Myles and Orin. And if Breena doesn’t learn to control the darkness within, she could lose her sister…forever.
WARNING: Contains strong language and some graphic content.
She caught his look. Oh God, she’d been staring. Her mouth was practically watering. The heat forming in her cheeks brought her back to reality. And the way he watched her nearly brought her to her knees. Looking into those pale-green eyes with the golden rim made her weak, left her breathless. He couldn’t be more than eighteen or nineteen but there was a knowing look in his eyes that made her want to find out what, exactly, he knew.
She took a step toward him and the knowing look turned darker, hotter. There was something raw about it. Something ravenous, and so powerful she could barely keep herself from being consumed.
He tilted his head slightly in her direction, and it seemed almost as if he was…listening to her. As if he were trying to puzzle her out by catching the subtle beat and hum of her body.
It finally dawned on her that they’d been standing there a good while in complete silence. She managed to shake herself out of her lust-filled stupor long enough to recover something vaguely resembling her manners. “Ah, about the other night… Thanks.”
Witch Way to Turn
Karen Y. Bynum
Witch Way to Turn
Copyright © 2012, Karen Y. Bynum
Edited by Danielle Fine
Book design by Lyrical Press, Inc.
Cover Art by Renee Rocco
First Lyrical Press, Inc. electronic publication: August, 2012
Lyrical Press, Incorporated
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This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
Published in the United States of America by Lyrical Press, Incorporated
For my husband, who makes my world a brighter place…
First, I’d like to thank God for giving me the desire and passion to write. I’m so happy to have found what it is I want to be when I grow up.
A huge thank you to everyone at Lyrical Press, Inc. for taking a chance on me and giving my characters the gift of publication. To my amazing editor, Danielle Fine, for believing in me, always pushing me outside of my comfort zone and encouraging me the entire way. To my publisher, Renee Rocco, for creating a beautiful cover that I adore and patiently answering all my questions. To my fellow Lyrical Press authors for their support and shout outs in the social media world, y’all rock.
To my wonderful beta-readers: Becca, Bethany, Judith, Kellie and Tina. Thank you so much for reading draft after draft after draft. Your feedback and belief has been invaluable to me, and I truly can’t say thank you enough.
To my lovely readers, I would be nowhere without you. Thank you for taking a chance on a debut author.
To my dear friends in the Chesapeake Romance Writers’ group, your encouragement and constant support, no matter what stage I’m going through, has been a blessing and I am thankful for each and every one of you.
To my coworkers at city hall, thank you for supporting me, asking me questions about my stories and being so generous in spreading the word about my writing.
To my faithful Twitter followers who are interested in what I have to say, and encourage and entertain me daily, thank you.
To my Romance Critters group for their critiques and vast working knowledge of the industry, I have learned so much from you.
To my parents and grandparents, family and dear friends, you have my gratitude and respect. Your support and encouragement has meant the world to me, and I hope to continue to make you proud. I love you.
To my dearest husband, you are simply remarkable. When I saw you for the first time in eleventh grade, I remember thinking
there’s something about this boy. I’m gonna make him mine
. And you’ve been by my side ever since. You have been supportive through everything, not just writing. You made my world a brighter place to live in. When I was neck-deep in edits, you would bring me special treats from the grocery store…just because. And I’ll never forget when you surprised me with a bottle of champagne and we toasted my very first contract. You are truly the love of my life, and I thank God every day for you.
Breena Cross glanced at her watch.
Only two more hours until her shift at the pharmacy ended.
Jenny’ll be fine
, she reassured herself for the tenth time that day.
Breena bit her bottom lip and pushed the hand-truck, piled high with boxes, over to the shopping cart to be unloaded.
Why couldn’t life be as simple as stocking shelves? Open a box, take something out, put it away. But hell no. Her life swarmed with bad–a hornet’s nest of complications. Blowing out a breath, she sliced open the top of a cardboard box with a cutter and groped inside.
“Need a hand?” Myles came out of nowhere–a habit of his.
Breena jerked. “Shit.” The bottle of aspirin shot away from her but he plucked it out of the air before it had a chance to hit the concrete floor.
“Didn’t mean to scare you.”
“No worries.” With his lean muscular frame inches from her, fear was the farthest thing from her mind. She looked up at him, and his trademark lopsided grin made her want to swoon like an idiot. His silky black hair curled over his forehead and, despite the smooth line of his cheekbones, his steel-blue eyes made him seem older than twenty-one.
He offered her the pills. The intensity in his eyes held her, and she groped awkwardly for the bottle. “Thanks.” She smiled and, out of habit, tilted her head to flick her brown hair forward.
“Don’t hide them, Bree. I love your dimples.” Myles tucked the fallen strands behind her ear.
The tip of his finger grazed her earlobe, sending a quiver racing down her spine. Her face heated up faster than a Fourth of July picnic by the dam. He’d never touched her on purpose before and the gentleness of his caress left her empty of words.
He’d only worked at the pill-pharm a few weeks and already he’d begun to pull her out of her self-imposed solitary confinement. Despite being a loner himself, he always seemed to know when she needed someone and never failed to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes, she thought there was more between them than she understood. A weird connection.
The air practically sparked with electricity, and there was a strange, hot light in his eyes. Her heart raced and she prayed he didn’t notice her chest heaving.
He leaned forward until his body was a breath from her own.
She closed her eyes. Waited. Seconds ticked by.
Omigod, my eyes are still closed.
Quickly she opened them to find Myles gathering more bottles. Clearly, the moment had passed.
“How’s Jenny?” Myles asked, like it was business as usual in pharmacyland.
“Fine.” Realizing she was still clutching the aspirin bottles, she set them in the cart.
She felt him staring and hustled to stack another row in line with the others.
There was something about the way he looked at her. Like he
her. Like he’d always known her. It stripped her to the soul. Made her vulnerable. Still, she wanted to trust him. As she opened her mouth to ask how he was doing, her cell rang.
She froze. Her foster-sister was the only person who’d be calling her. Hands trembling, she yanked the cheap flip-phone from her back pocket, almost dropping it.
“Jenny, what’s wrong?” Breena clutched the phone to her ear so hard her knuckles turned white.
“Norma left early.”
“You alone?” She held her breath.
here,” Jenny whispered.
Breena’s stomach knotted. “It’s gonna be all right. My shift’s almost over. Stay in your room with the door locked until I get there. Okay?” She forced herself to sound calm and reassuring, despite the burning fear in her gut.
“Okey dokey.” Jenny’s voice lightened.
“See ya later, terminator.”
“After awhile, nail file.”
She slid her cell into the butt-pocket of her jeans and terror crawled up her spine. The scumbag might be on his way to Jenny’s room right now. A seven-year-old girl shouldn’t be in a house alone with a man who could drink his body weight in whisky. Norma, the foster-mom from hell, had done this before. Just not with Stan, the new boyfriend.
“Go. I can cover for you, Bree,” Myles said.
A wave of relief swept over her, tinged with guilt. “You just got this job. I can’t ask you to do that.” The words slipped out on autopilot but she knew she’d take off, either way.