Author Erin Richards 

Adventure into the darkness . . . and let the sparks fly!

 
  • Romance
  • Young Adult
stealing twilight

Seducing Darkness

Psychic Justice Book 4

Release Date:  February 1, 2018

 

Avoiding him should be easy with her strict dating rules.

Mind reader and Psychic Guild lawyer, Marisa Meadows, adheres to her Guild Girl Code by not dating Guardians. But she’s drawn to Guild Guardian Ric McAllister’s handsome charm ... especially when their psychic minds dangerously connect. It’s not easy to keep Ric at arm’s length when she needs his help to eliminate the evil tormenting her.

 One madman. One Guardian. And the fight for the woman who tempts them both.

After Ric has a deadly clairvoyant vision of Marisa burning down a house, he's determined to prove her innocence. Yet his visions are seldom wrong, and as the clues pile up, Marisa’s guilt escalates. Every moment in her presence is pure temptation, and Ric fears it won’t be long before he surrenders to her darkness. Soon it’s hard to tell whether their greatest threat is from the darkness seducing them, a sinister mastermind playing games, or the passion leading them toward destruction

Excerpt

 

Chapter One

 

A very drought intolerant rain slashed the windows as the plane decelerated on the runway at San Jose International Airport.

“Are you kidding me?” Marisa Meadows muttered at the splattered window. I may not be the wicked witch—or wicked psychic—of the west, but I seriously melt in rain. It’s the reason I live in San Diego and why I refuse to own an umbrella. Since when did wet stuff fall from the sky in San Jose in October anyway?

Since when did coming home to San Jose irritate her so much? And she used the term “home” loosely.

Marisa plucked the sleeve of her thin pullover sweater and grimaced. Maybe the rain promised to erase the sense of evil riding her back for the last few months, or the sense something had set up residence in her body. An alien lifeform otherwise known as her alter ego—Evil Eddie.

Rain, sunshine, or evil, San Jose promised a respite from the senseless malevolence while she stepped in as assistant counsel at depositions for her law firm’s top client and also caught up with her best friend, Lily Falbrooke. Marisa had not spent nearly enough time consoling Lily after her father’s recent death and the entire upheaval of Lily’s life from San Diego to San Jose.

The sensation of eyes trailing her as she disembarked the plane and walked into the terminal sent ants scampering up her spine. What the what is wrong with me? As a telepath, she read minds. She wasn’t an empath who sensed emotions and feelings. Was she gaining a shift in her psychic makeup, or did she possess awakening abilities? No. No way in a frozen hell.

Telepathy already topped the list of her undesirable traits from the men she dated. Once she discovered he’d never get past the fact that she was a self-dependent lawyer and made a crapton more money than he did, she kicked him to the curb. No matter what men said, they hated it when their wives or girlfriends surpassed them in the dollar department. At least that particular trait encompassed the bottom-feeding men still living in the 1950s she seemed to attract. Thank the psychic gods for her ability to read minds, both a blessing and an epic curse as a rare psychic with the ability to drill past blocked minds… when her curiosity killed the cat. If she had to feel their emotions and read them, she may as well join a convent and strap on a chastity belt.

Ignoring the external and internal cacophony galloping through her head, Marisa stepped out of the way of the horde of people pouring off the plane near a support beam. Careful not to touch anything, she fished hand sanitizer from her purse and rubbed a hefty dollop between her fingers and under her nails to kill the plane cooties. As she finagled the sanitizer back into her purse, the strap slipped off her arm. The overstuffed purse thunked onto the tile floor and a nudge from behind jostled her funny bone against the beam. Oww.

“Watch it,” she growled out, hating airports and reckless people who invaded her personal bubble. She wheeled around in time to spy a midheight, slender man disappear into the crowd with her purse under his arm. “Hey!” she screamed. “He stole my purse!” Frantic, she grabbed her briefcase to give chase, and stumbled in her high heels, slamming her shoulder into the beam. “Son of a cursed psychic.”

Evil vibes washed goose flesh across her arms, and the fleeing man earned her darkest glare as she lurched forward. Strong arms embraced her from behind, preventing her faceplant into a spiky palm probably weeping at the near miss to suck the blood from her face.

“Miss, are you all right?”

Without facing the source of the velvety baritone behind her, she said, “A man in a black windbreaker with thinning blond hair just filched my purse.” She pointed in the direction the thief had taken down the concourse, still able to spy his distinctive pale hair among the throng of people.

The man propped her against the beam, dumped his shoulder bag beside her carry-on, and weaved down the concourse after the thief, leaving her admiring his tall, well-toned body encased in a navy pinstripe suit and his flawlessly layered deep-brown hair.

Marisa’s mind refused to shut down and the random thoughts of passing people filtered in, creating an incomprehensible jumble. Telepathy had both pros and cons.

“Ma’am, do you need assistance?” An airport police officer approached, his mind going all caveman. He assessed her long, board-straight hair he wanted tickling his abdomen while her raspberry lips encircled his dick and he pinched the nipples of her “melons” into bullets.

Can’t get a real job on the streets, rent-a-mall-cop? Trolling the airport for a blow-up doll? Marisa waggled her head, a catlike smile curving her lips. “Officer Radisson.” She nodded at his name tag and covered her nose from the cheap cologne he marinated in. “Some jackass assaulted me and ran off with my purse.” She flicked her hand in the direction the thief and his pursuer traveled. “Drag your mind out of the gutter and do your job,” she murmured just loud enough for him to catch a word or two. Like I said, pros and cons.

Red-faced, Officer Radisson unhooked his radio off his shoulder, took her information, and radioed for backup. He licked his lips, his attention riveted on her boobs, AKA melons. “Miss Meadows, I’ll stay with you until we’ve apprehended the thief. Do you want me to escort you to airport security?” Man, I’d love to get me a piece of her ass. His internal monologue killed the clutter in her head.

And I’d love to shove a stick up your ass and turn you into a lollipop. Marisa shrugged back her shoulders, her intangible claws poking out of her fingertips. When she opened her mouth to rip him a new one, she spied her savior jogging toward them, her black purse clenched against his heavenly flat abs accentuated under his designer dress shirt.

Panting, he halted in front of her, a wide smile stretching his full, sensuous lips into the broad-shouldered, slender model territory of high cheekbones and honey-tan skin, sporting a light dusting of beard and mustache. A tiny network of crow’s feet fanned the corners of his piercing pale-green eyes. Strong and meticulous fingers gave testament to white-collar work, which seemed apt for his expensive suit fitting him to a divine T.

Marisa slurped up the metaphysical drool of desire cruising down her chin. His bare ring finger booted him squarely into her playpen. Kittens and puppies could rain down upon San Jose if it produced specimens of the male species like her knight in shining Armani armor. Although he appeared ten years older than her twenty-nine, much older than the twits she dated, she’d do him in a nanosecond. Time to dump the boys and date up in the real-man pool. To top off his growing list of attributes, his mind was so blank, permanent ink refused to stick, his walls so thick her mental crowbar was powerless to penetrate them. Unable to remember the last time she’d met a man with impenetrable walls, Marisa almost dripped into a puddle of bliss. Having her purse stolen was so worth it. Maybe he carried an umbrella too.

“You’re my savior. My purse carries my entire life.” The moment she touched her leather bag, more evil vibes jumped ship and skulked up her arm. Voices elevated, joining a dim melody playing in her mind, both trying to deafen her. Dizzy, her knees weakened and stars flirted with her vision. Her fingers lost their hold on her purse and she listed forward into her handsome savior’s outstretched arms. The voices faded into the strange melody and darkness ate the flickering stars.

 ~*~

 Awakening, Marisa found herself lying on a row of plastic airport seats, her head and shoulders nestled on the strong thighs of a stranger in navy pinstriped pants. Her bleary eyes cleared on the handsome stranger’s face from her dreams. Dream? No. Freaking reality.

“Oh. My. God.” Blocking the weird elevator music repeating in her ears, she struggled to sit up. “Did I pass out?” The snatch-and-run theft hit her memory. The security guard rushed over with an airport medic. “How long was I out?” She avoided the whispers and stares, focused on the blood-red flowers fluttering in a breeze, the cascading waterfall, and lush rainforest hills surrounding the field of flowers in her mind’s haven.

“Few moments,” Mr. Handsome said in a silky, suave voice. “Are you okay?”

“I… yes. The peanuts on the plane didn’t do much for my blood sugar.” What else caused her to conk out? She didn’t pass out… ever. What the hell?

He helped her sit up, and the medic handed her a bottle of water and chalky sugar tablets. Once assured she wasn’t going to die, the medic left and airport security took a report from the stranger. Feeling her blood sugar fluctuate, she wolfed down the tablets and a protein bar from her purse.

“The thief gave up, dropped the handbag, and took off. I lost him in the terminal.” Mr. Handsome waved the security man off.

“I can’t thank you enough.” Marisa gripped his arm, stared at her purse plunked on the floor near her foot. She feared touching it. “I owe you big time.”

His wide smile lit up gold flecks in his eyes. “It was my pleasure to help a beautiful damsel in distress.”

The heebie-jeebies began a slow creep over her skin, stemming from the “damsel in distress” bit. Jeez, she hated men who treated women beneath them, and the idiotic damsel line sat at the top of her shit list. Well, you were a stupid damsel in distress. That’ll teach you to wear high heels when traveling. “Well, I appreciate it, and for catching me when I fell. I should’ve just stayed in bed this morning.” Avoiding his strange allure, she straightened her sweater. With his hand on her elbow, he stood with her.

“I feel fine now, really.” She eased out of his uncomfortable grip.

He retrieved her bag. Hesitantly, she looped the strap over her shoulder. Nothing happened and she swallowed a prickle of panic.

Without another word, he snagged her briefcase and his own carry-on and said, “I’d like to escort you to your transport. By the way, my name’s Kenneth. My friends call me Kenny.”

“Am I a friend?” Marisa laughed, fighting an unnatural blush. She never blushed! Stupid blood sugar levels. She waited for a clearing in the crowd and stepped into the foot traffic.

“I’d like you to be.” He grinned, his magnetism sucking her in again. “Only if you want, of course.”

“Let’s cut to the chase. What kind of friend?” Shyness wasn’t a natural word in her personal dictionary.

He leaned toward her. “Whatever kind of friend you’d like.” He swept his hand forward. “I have a driver waiting who’ll take you wherever your heart desires. I know a great place if you’re available to get better acquainted.” He held up his hand and chuckled. “Totally public. Great steaks.”

Shaken six ways to Sunday, Marisa practically trotted toward the escalator. Glad to relinquish the task, she let Kenny carry her briefcase. Heck, he already believed her damsel in distress act. “Thank you, but I have a car waiting. I’m here on business and visiting a friend. I really must get going. Raincheck?” Lily had no clue Marisa planned to surprise her. Lily was way more important than dallying with potential husband material, even if he seriously sported a rare empty mind, which remained to be seen and tested. Otherwise, she could only offer a causal fling while in town.

“By all means, Marisa Mae Meadows. We will meet again.”

Marisa skipped a step. She hadn’t told him her name. Wait, she gave her name to the security guard. No. Not her middle name. Disorder set up a table at her emotional fair. Warily, she scrutinized his chiseled face and touchable, silky hair. Genuine affection and warmth darkened his eyes, offering something she hadn’t felt from a man in too many blue moons. Without a second thought, she whipped out her business card with her cell number scrawled on the back. 

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