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Sin & Chocolate (Demigod of San Francisco #1)
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Some people are ordained for greatness…
Those people usually have a lot of drama in their life. Drama I happily do without. I live in a forgotten corner of nowhere for a reason: there is safety in anonymity. I have enough problems just trying to get by.
But when Kieran, a sinfully sexy demigod at the pinnacle of power, crashes into my life, suddenly my whole world is turned upside down.
He’s harboring a deadly secret, one that could destroy all he holds dear. He thinks I’m the key to his salvation, and he wants me to help him claim vengeance.
He also wants me with a passion that burns my body from the inside out.
To ignore him is impossible, but to give in to my desires, even for a night, would thrust me into danger I might not survive.
Remember what I said about drama? Now I’m in it up to my eyeballs, and I’m not sure if I should run…or fight.
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I let my fingers trail across the beautiful designer handbags before glancing wistfully at the rows of shoe racks standing near the back wall. What I wouldn’t give for a few hundred bucks to spend frivolously on super-cute accessories.
I snorted softly, wandering around the shiny metal turnstile rack featuring the latest shipment of handbags dangling in messy clusters. What I wouldn’t give for a few hundred, period.
Wait. Is that…
My breath caught in my throat and my whole body went rigid. There, peeking out through the imprinted leather and strangely fashionable tassels, was none other than the Moby Dick of handbags!
I licked my lips nervously and pushed in closer, angling my body just so to keep any of the bargain-hunting trollops wandering around the spacious store from seeing what I’d found. With quick fingers, I pushed aside the lesser designer apparel and closed my greedy fingers on the unicorn in my midst.
Not just any Burberry. The buckle medium tote. In pink!
A season ago I’d eyed this bag in Nordstrom, wishing I had any means, whatsoever, to one day (when all of my many bills were paid and there was food in the pantry) afford such an extravagant lifestyle purchase.
I could just see it. I’d strut around the streets with the little beauty on my arm, swinging my shoulders in time with my bag. Maybe I’d swing my hips, too, if I could muster the body control. I’d keep my chin high and stride long, rather than scurrying around important people who demanded their space. Why? Because I’d be an important person. I’d be the person other people scurried from.
With shaking hands, I wrestled the supple leather strap from the hook, shoving the other (though still unaffordable) bags out of the way.
“Oh my God,” I whispered.
I, Alexis Price, was holding a Burberry buckle medium tote…in pink.
I eased the luxury item up my arm and onto my shoulder. Chest tight, I let myself imagine that other life: my peers nodding in greeting, non-magical people giving me my space, and a sharp new style that included not just this bag but shoes in my size with no holes.
“Is that a Burberry?” I heard in a breathy whisper behind me.
I clutched the strap of the handbag in a death grip and whirled around, ready to take on the enemy.
“Yeah,” I said, centering my weight.
A flat-faced woman with a hungry expression and wide nose narrowed her heavily made-up eyes.
Women in this store were vicious, and it was extremely rare for a Burberry to escape the first onslaught of interest on delivery day. These patrons were hellbent on getting first-tier fashion at reduced prices.
“Cute, isn’t it?” I said in a blasé tone. Summoning all my confidence, I settled the strap just a little more firmly onto my shoulder before walking around her. “I might just take it for a stroll. See if I like it.”
I started off at a speedy clip, using the sassy movement of my upper body to hopefully distract her from the tattered shoes painfully squeezing my feet. I wasn’t worried about my white top and slightly wrinkled khakis. They were clean and stain-free, and I doubted she’d know they were actually a uniform. In her eyes, I might just take home this fantastic handbag.
I could feel her stare digging into my back as I rounded a rack of clothing. A woman down the row had her hair done up in a ponytail tied with a familiar green bow that I knew read Proud to Be a Chester, a somewhat derogatory term for non-magical people. She glanced up before giving me the once-over, looking for signs that I might be different (a.k.a. magical). Wings, fangs, the ability to sprout fur and teeth…
I didn’t have any of those, sadly.
Those would give me status in the magical community. And status was one thing I’d never experienced. But I did have this fabulous handbag, for now, and a real bad attitude. We had to work with what we were given.
I matched her narrowed eyes with my own, silently letting her know I wasn’t to be trifled with. Fear was a strong deterrent to treating someone badly, even though she had nothing to fear when it came to me specifically.
A bad attitude and a bullshitter. There could be worse things.
My forceful gaze worked—her body stiffened and her head jerked away. But before she could completely go back to her perusal, she caught sight of the unicorn slung over my arm.
Hunger sparked in her muddy-brown peepers, and she swiveled her tanklike body to face me.
Fear did deter bad treatment, usually, but it wouldn’t keep the patrons in this store—a place cheaper than anywhere else because of the dual-society location—away from a Burberry.
Her gaze coated my body, taking in every inch. She paused on my shoes, then flicked to my tiny canvas sacklike…thing I used for a purse, draped across my cheap cotton shirt. Suddenly, I knew stainlessness wasn’t enough.