Piper wanted nothing more than to escape the life she’d come to know, full of abuse and danger — certainly not love. When she drives to Eerie, she’s convinced she’ll get a fresh start. What she doesn’t expect is Diesel.
Diesel believes he’s not worthy of love, but when he looks at Piper, he wants more than to protect her. He wants to own her — body and soul. There’s just one problem. He’s a cyclops — dangerous, destructive and hated. He’s done things he knows are unforgivable.
Will the sweet runaway find the love she deserves in the monster she’s found? Or will the monster from her past catch up and ruin her chances at the future she craves?
Now available at Changeling Press
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 Megan Slayer
Just let me get there. Piper sped through the night, checking the rearview mirror every few seconds just in case he’d followed her. She’d tossed her phone a hundred miles ago, but her wad of cash wouldn’t hold out forever. He’d see she’d taken her life savings — a whopping thousand dollars — and run. She had to get to Eerie. Anything was better than where she’d come from.
Her life wouldn’t get much better in the new town, but she’d get away from John. He was a bully, and she’d been a fool to hook up with him.
She sped on, blowing past the posted speed limit sign and praying the cops hadn’t seen her. Then again, a night in jail would be better than being with John.
She tugged her sleeve down to hide her bruises. God. She was a smart person and strong, but she’d allowed him to put his hands on her. He’d convinced her she deserved the treatment.
Even alone in the car, she could hear his voice in her mind.
Never going to do better than me.
You don’t deserve anyone else.
You’re bringing me down to be with you, but no one wants you.
You’re a waste of a person.
You’re a piece of shit.
Her tears clogged in her throat. Her sex life hadn’t been his business before she’d met him and had gone to nothing once she’d become his punching bag. She’d only ever had three lovers before she met John.
He’d been her undoing. He’d convinced her to quit her studies and change her appearance, and he’d hurt her. What kind of man did that?
She spotted the village limit sign and gunned the engine.
Eerie was the place for paranormal creatures to belong — so she’d been told. She’d heard stories of having Faerie blood. Did she? She hoped so. If she truly did, she’d be able to pass the village limit into Eerie. If not, then she’d been lied to, and she’d have to find somewhere else to hide.
Right now, she had to focus on the sign. She sped forward and held her breath.
The second she passed the yellow line on the road, she expected to be in the middle of a field or bland road. Instead, she rolled down the quaint street filled with closed shops, a restaurant, and even a drive-in theater. The place was cute — in a dark and slightly scary fashion.
At least she was here. That rumor about Faerie blood must’ve been true.
She didn’t hit the accelerator and instead coasted along the main drag through the village.
The place sort of reminded her of photos she’d seen of the 1950s small towns with lots of little businesses, neon signs, wide sidewalks, and eclectic names on the buildings — Nan’s Nothings, Curiosity Closet, Hot Dogs Dog Wash, Witch’s Brew Coffee… She’d bet the place was pretty in the light of day.
But no one who wasn’t a paranormal creature would be able to see it.
She spotted a hotel on the city square and pulled into one of the parking spots. She’d tucked what was left of her hair into a baseball cap and wore thick gloves — anything to disguise her appearance. If John found her now, then she’d have to find another safe place and work out another disguise.
She tossed the gloves and hat onto the passenger seat, then grabbed her purse. For all she knew, she’d be turned away at the front desk. She didn’t exactly look like someone who could afford a night at the posh hotel.
Being new in town, she might stick out too much, too.
She braced herself and headed into the hotel. She had a backup plan in case she got tossed but hoped that wouldn’t happen.
A woman with flame-red hair and faint, actual wings stood behind the counter. “Welcome to Eerie. How can I help you?”
“I need a room for the night, please?” She signed, then rummaged through her purse for some money and her ID. “I mean, I’d like a room, please?”
“Sure.” The woman swept her gaze over Piper. “You’re not from around here. How’d you find us?”
“My great-grandmother married a Fae. I never met either one of them, but I’ve been told stories.” She produced her ID card and fisted the small wad of cash.
“Do you have a credit card?” The woman eyed Piper’s ID. “We prefer a card to hold the room — that and in the event you destroy the property.”
“I don’t have a credit card.” She’d left hers at the apartment and tossed her phone along the road, hoping it’d be smashed by a passing car. Besides, she hadn’t wanted John to find her, and the quickest way to track someone outside of their phone was their use of a credit card.
“Just a moment.” The woman spoke softly into a tiny mic clipped to her shiny blue blouse.
The longer Piper had to wait, the lower her heart sank. She truly doubted she’d ever get away from John, but the odds he’d find her here had to be just about nil. He could be persistent, and if he thought he’d been shafted, he’d be tenacious. Nothing about him surprised her any longer, either.
She put her money back into her purse and held onto her ID.
“Okay.” The woman nodded and produced a swipe card. “I’ll give you a room for the night.”
“Thank you.” She had no idea how happy she’d made Piper. A place to stay that wasn’t the lumpy front seat of the shit car she’d bought for five hundred dollars.
“Don’t thank me yet.” The redhead crooked her over-drawn eyebrow. “You’re a stranger in town.”
“I know.” Piper squirmed under her gaze. Jesus. She hated being nervous.
“And we don’t always take to strangers. You never know why they’re here,” the woman said. “So for now, you’ll have a handler.”
ABOUT MEGAN SLAYER
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.
When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.