Eva LeNoir come on down!!!!
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Stone Cold (Book 2 of The Underdogs of the Arena Series)
Heated one night sessions between the sheets, the handsome yet arrogant Jared Stones spends his days training Ellen Banks. When a blast from the past appears, unannounced and more importantly uninvited, all hell breaks loose.
Sister to the Alpha of her pack, Sloane Pierce is convinced by long time friend, Ellen that her presence is required. Every one of her primal instincts warns of that outcome, deadly at best. Unable to say no, she is dragged by a wild and forceful fate that has other ideas. Is destiny on their side or will history repeat itself like all the other times…
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Standing in the comfortable setting of Rhonda’s interview room, I could not help but pace the large area as I checked my watch every ten seconds. Why, you ask? Simple, really. The naïve girl in me thought it would be a great idea to invite my three male Alphas to Desiree Holt’s blog. As the minutes passed, I quickly came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, this was not one of my brightest ideas. I mean, Nash, with his elegant speech and manners would have been perfect for the role. As Lord of the Vampires, he certainly has the experience and allure to speak about himself in a way that conveys class. Thinking about Stones, I had to admit his cold demeanor had improved since he and Sloan finally reunited but would he be open enough to speak about himself without growling or snarling? Biting my bottom lip, my thoughts drifted to Kyle and I immediately realized that I was in big, big trouble. With his shaggy mane of brownish blond hair and his hazel eyes full of mischief, he would be the one to cause all of my present worries. Crap, crap, crap. A loud bang had me jumping and turning toward the doors as all of my fears came crashing full force. Oh yes, it was going to be a catastrophe. My only hope was that Desiree would eventually forgive me for the material damage to her beautiful living room.
“Get off me, mutt! What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Oh crap. Stones was not a happy camper.
“You tripped me, you douche, and don’t bother denying it. “ Kyle had Stones in a headlock but not for long. Nash, always the calm and collected one, strode in behind and with one fluent movement grabbed on to Kyle’s neck and pulled him off Stones, making him crash against the nearby wall. Seemingly bored with the two males, he walked up to me with a grace only vampires could pull off. I blinked, Nash gave me his panty-dropping grin as he raised my hand to his mouth and gently laid a kiss on my knuckles.
“My dear Eva, it was an honor to receive your summons. Although, what could have possibly possessed you to extend the invitation to those two clowns?” Nodding in the direction of the glaring shifters, he released my hand and escorted me to one of the high-backed chairs set up in a semi-circle around a cherry wood coffee table.
“Thank you, Nash. Always the gentleman, I see.” I could not help by warily cast my gaze to Stones and Kyle who attempted to ignore each other although I knew perfectly well that each one kept the other in their peripheral vision. With narrowed eyes, I silently ordered them to take a seat and be good pups. Much to my surprise, they obeyed but I should have known it would not last very long.
Clearing my throat, making sure I had their full attention, I ran my tongue over my suddenly dry lips praying to the gods of good behavior that things would run smoothly and no one would get hurt. I told you I was naïve.
“Okay, so, I’m supposed to help the readers know a little about you. Your personalities, your hopes and dreams and of course your…uhm…” Looking around at my alphas I tried to read their reactions knowing that Kyle hated the idea that his sister Sloane was romantically involved with his ex-best friend, Stones. “…females.” Kyle growled, Stones smirked and Nash simply rolled his eyes. Crap.
“Nash, let me start with you…” At this I heard Kyle’s sexy graveled voice, here we go again…
“Why does the vampire get to start?”
“Shut up and let Eva do her job!”
“Boys, get a hold of yourselves. It is only natural to start with me. Please, Eva, continue.” Of course, at Nash’s words the two shifters broke out in a loud guffaw, clearly amused.
“Okay, enough. Jeez, I’m choosing him because, after all, he was the focus of Bloodweight which was the first book in the series. Now, be good boys and listen and learn.”
Stupid, stupid Eva. I should have left out that last sentence knowing full well that being condescending with my alphas was never a good idea. Kyle rose to his feet, practically beating his chest; a cross between a gorilla and a Neanderthal. Stones shook his head as he pulled Kyle’s shirt down causing the shifter to park his butt on the chair. Almost as a reflex action, Kyle slapped Stones in the back of his head, ducking before Stones could retaliate.
With a resigned sigh, I began Nash’s interview. There was no way I was playing mommy to these males, after all, I have my own children to whip into shape.
“Okay, so Nash Stanford. How would you describe your life as the Sire of the East Coast and owner of the Underdogs Arena?”
“First, I would like to thank you all for stopping by and for those who enjoyed my story with my beautiful and swe…I mean…strong female Ellen, I greatly appreciate it.”
“Dude, were you about to say ‘sweet’?” Kyle’s heart-stopping grin flashed across his rugged face as his eyes sparkled with interest. Stones snorted and shook his head.
“I can’t wait to see her kick your ass for that one. Damn, this should be good.” As Ellen’s trainer, Stones would probably be rooting for her to take the other male down. Hard.
“No. She will do no such thing because she will never… and I mean never…hear about the almost slip-up.” Nash narrowed his eyes on both males but to no avail. The cat was so going to be out of the bag and bouncing all around the arena.
“Ahem…please continue, Nash.” I needed to get this moving along or we would be here all night.
“Yes, of course. I apologize, Eva. Now, where was I before these two goons rudely interrupted me? Oh, yes…my life.” Crossing his long legs at the knees, Nash rested his elbows on the armrests, interlacing his fingers as his knuckles brushed against his chin.
“You see, my arena is my baby, my creation. I wanted to keep an eye on all the creatures of the night…and day.” Nash darted a glance at the shifters before he continued.
“So, I figured, what better way to keep the peace than to bring money into the equation? That is when the concept of betting came to mind. The underground fights generate millions a year and quite often, my fighters…those I have contracted…are the best. “ Stones cleared his throat causing Nash to roll his eyes once again.
“I think you’re forgetting something, leech.”
“Yes, Stones, I was getting to that part. Patience, male. It’s a virtue you should strive to acquire.” Giving Nash the bird, it would seem that Stones had chosen to bite his tongue.
“Of course, the last championship fight, an underdog…” Bringing his voice to whisper, Nash leaned in and grinned. “…but do not ever call Ellen that, she thinks it’s demeaning.”
“Oh please, that crazy bitch thinks puppies and kittens are demean…” And then all hell broke loose.
Before I could clamp my hand over Kyle’s mouth, Nash stood in a roar, throwing his chair against the nearest wall and attacked Kyle. Stones, grinning like a Cheshire, sat back and enjoyed the show.
With his forearm against Kyle’s throat and his fangs gleaming menacingly in the light, Nash leaned into Kyle and growled.
“You disrespect my mate, you die. I thought I made myself perfectly clear the last time, mutt.” Before Nash had the time to strike, Kyle simultaneously rose his knee to the male’s groin and head-butted him forcefully enough to weaken Nash’s hold. It was just enough to free himself.
Both in a crouching, ready to leap and destroy, position, they circled each other as though they were in the arena.
“You take things way too personally, vampire. You should relax or you’ll get an ulcer.” Again with the big mouth, Kyle was incorrigible.
“The only thing I’ll get is your severed head to hang in my office.” Oh crap.
Stones still sat relaxed in his chair, trying hard not to laugh at the show.
“Ellen is going to be pissed she missed this.”
Biting my lip, I decided it was best to wrap up the interview and shoo them off to their respective homes. This was a mistake, I should have known better. Picking up a wooden chair, I strode to the middle of the invisible spot they were circling and planted it with a loud thunk before standing on top and whistling as loud as I could.
“ENOUGH!” The males froze as their heads snapped up in my direction.
“This was a mistake. You all need to leave separately and go back to your respective females. This interview is over, you have ruined everything.” The males glared at each other but made no move to leave.
“He started it.” Oh god.
“Fuck that, he’s the one who attacked me for no reason.”
“ENOUGH! Go. Home. Now!” Was all I said.
“Hmph. Fine.” Both males narrowed their eyes on each other but made no move to attack as they walked out of the studio. As the stress left my shoulders, I began to relax a bit and stepped down from my high perch. Turning, I saw Stones still sitting with his long, thick legs spread out and a grin plastered to his face.
“What are you still doing here?” I asked, confused.
“Well, I do believe it’s my turn.” Stones’ thick black hair was its usual disheveled self as his bright blue eyes cried out mischief.
“No, the interview is over. This was definitely a very bad idea.” I sighed, disappointed in my males.
“The way I see it, I was a good boy. I get to sell Stone Cold. After all, mine and Sloane’s story is by far the best. I mean, seriously…the desk scene? Fucking hot.”
What the hell. I figured he was right, now that the others were long gone, I could at least get this done. All the while, I hoped Rhonda would not kill my males and disown me for the damages.
Eva, thank you for that. I certainly hope you got the mess all cleaned up 😉
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