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Magic, New Mexico #48
Zolon Warriors Book 4
BY TIANNA XANDER
The Zolon warriors are back in another humorous and sexy tale! Meet Charly’s sister in this thrilling continuation in the Zolon Warriors Magic New Mexico Series.
She was purrfectly content until he came into her life.
Tabitha Campbell has lived most of her life as a cat. For the last few years, she’s been posing as her long-lost sister’s pet. She is perfectly content being her sister’s protector and avoiding having to deal with the headaches of being a human. Life was going well until he showed up and ruined everything.
He was having the time of his life, tomcatting around until she came into his life.
Deno Brewerigeron, formerly of the faraway planet Zolon, has always been the happy-go-lucky twin. He was certain he would always be a raider since he loves women—all kinds of women—he refused to think about settling down with just one and evolving into a shapeshifting warrior until he met her.
Tabitha is at her wit’s end. Her identity has been revealed, and she has a sexy alien shapeshifter from outer space who is trying to convince her that being normal is highly overrated. What’s a girl to do when life suddenly no longer makes sense?
Deno took the seat next to Tabitha and heaved an inward sigh. He hadn’t thought of the close quarters when he’d asked to watch the movie with her. His main focus had been to spend time with her, get to know her. Not once had his thoughts wandered over to the small sofa where they would sit so close, their legs and arms touching while they watched the movie.
Knowing Clyde the way he did, the old matchmaker probably had this in mind when he gave Tabby the movies to watch. Clyde knew how small Deno’s quarters were. He’d only been there two nights before, trying to get him to see the error of his ways.
“Which one would you like me to put in the DVD player first?” Luckily, they’d decided to upgrade—or perhaps it was downgrade—the viewers in their quarters to play the disks. It hadn’t taken long to become accustomed to the form of entertainment. Watching movies or TV shows was much better than sitting in one’s small cabin with nothing to do but read or sleep.
Still, this exercise would be a difficult one. How could he manage to sit next to her for the next two hours or more without touching her?
“I’m not sure what’s in these cases, but… Gramps said we’d enjoy them.” She held them up. “Pick a card, any card.” Her smile was a bit shaky as she met his gaze.
Was she also thinking of their kiss on the mess deck? Did she want him to kiss her again, as much as he wanted to kiss her? Goddess, he hoped so.
“Hmm…” He stared at the three cases she held for a moment before taking the one from the middle and standing. “I guess this one will have to do.” He grinned down at her. “I don’t know how Clyde keeps them all straight. He always seems to know which movies he’s handing out, even though none of them have titles on the cases. A few of the series disks he has have been marked only with their viewing order. One, two, three, etcetera. And I think that’s more for us than for him.”
Deno opened the case and slid the disk into the DVD player. He set the case on the low table in front of the couch next to where she’d set the others and then joined her on the loveseat.
The music began, and he closed his eyes. If it was what he thought it was, he was in for a long two and a half hours. Not only was it an action movie, but it was a love story, with sex scenes and a tearful goodbye that would make Tabby cry even if she only had half a heart.
Deno knew full well that Tabby’s heart was large. It had to be. She’d given up any pretense of a personal life to find her long-lost sister. If things didn’t go well, he might search Clyde out and, as his sister-in-law Birgit put it, give the meddling man a piece of his mind.
Halfway through the movie, Deno decided he might adopt the cunning matchmaker himself.
Tabby sat next to him, her hand clutching his as though it was her lifeline as the characters fought their way out of another harrowing situation.
Her wide eyes, still glistening from the last heart-wrenching scene, watched the viewer as the two main characters fought for their lives yet again. Her fingers squeezed his as the characters ran from one building to the next, while a group of government agents attempted to capture them.
“How can you watch this and not react?” She glanced over at him then down at their clasped hands. She jerked her hand from his grip. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to—”
“It’s fine.” He tried to keep the disappointment from his voice. He’d liked holding her hand. Should he tell her that or keep that bit of information to himself?
What the hell? Why not?
“To tell the truth, I liked it.” He paused the movie so she wouldn’t miss more of it than she already had.
“You did?” She stared up at him through her wide but beautiful violet eyes. A few tears still glistened on her lower lashes, and it was all he could do to keep from kissing them away.
“I did.” He smiled down at her. “It was as though you trusted me, and I hadn’t been such an ass to you.”
“You know…” She paused for a moment, her expression thoughtful. She chewed on her bottom lip for a moment before she cleared her throat. “Maybe we should start over. I mean really start over.” She turned in her seat, her body facing his as she looked deep into his eyes.
“I thought we had.”
“Well… I guess we did but not totally. I think we should act as though that scene in the past never happened. We should do our best not to talk about it or even think about it. How can we work past it if it keeps popping up between us?”
“I can do that.” He wanted to forget he’d ever said those horrible things to her. The question was, could she forget it, and would she ever truly forgive him for saying those terrible things?
“Can you?” She tilted her head. “BecauseI’d bet cash moneyI don’t have that you were just thinking about it.”
“You’d win, too.” He gave her a sheepish grin. “Let me rephrase that then. I would love to try to forget it, andI hope you’ll understand if I find it difficult to forget that I was an insulting, insufferable jerk when we first met.” Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath. He needed to clear the air between them. “Do you think you can ever forgive me?”
“I already have.” She rested her free hand on his cheek, her gaze troubled. “But can you forgive yourself? Because it sounds like you’re punishing yourself a lot more than I ever could have.”
Deno blinked, her question taking him by surprise. Could he forgive himself? “If you can, I can certainly try.”
“Then it’s settled.” Tabby held his gaze with a smile and slid her hand over his. “I hope you don’t mind, but I kind of like it when you hold my hand. It makes me feel warm inside.”
“Me, too.” He smiled back, gently pulling his hand from hers. His heart swelled when he realized they finally had a chance to make things work out between them. “I think we might like this better though.” He slid the hand she’d been holding around her shoulders and drew her close. Using his free hand, he resumed playing the movie, set the remote in his lap, and then laced their fingers together.
“I do like this better.” She met his gaze, her cheeks becoming shade of pink.
Leaning forward, he pressed a light kiss in the center of her forehead and almost groaned when she returned her attention to the movie, lightly resting her head on his shoulder.
Even his body agreed their new position was much better. A slow burn began in his gut then moved slowly through his body before it settled in his groin. He wanted Tabitha Campbell more and more with every moment he spent in her presence.
Tianna is an award-winning, multi-published author of romantic fiction, writing in many different genres including mainstream, erotica, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and romantic suspense. She is proud to say her vampire romance, The Endowed, received the best of ARE award for 2009. Every day, she strives to better understand the craft as she gains experience writing in new genres.
She loves hearing from her readers so don’t be afraid to chat her up on Facebook. She can be reached through Twitter as @TiannaXander, Instagram and her Facebook page as TiannaXander.
She currently lives in a small town in Michigan with her husband, two children, Chocolate LabWalker mix, two cats and two occasionally terrorized and hairy bunnies named Jax and Jazz.
Links to Tianna’s website, blog, books, etc.
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