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Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10) The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories

Charly steps away from me. I frown. I don’t want her going anywhere.

Chronic frustration that downshifted quickly into an anxiety load that never left him.Fear. Unacknowledged, well buried, and poisonous.

The Proposal (The Proposition #2)

Against the dark backdrop of his blindness, everything went white, rage taking over when it had no place to go. And the effect was to give him far greater power than his muscles and bones already had: Even as Payne’s fingernails bit into his forearm and she struggled in the manner of a death throe, nothing registered.He wanted to kill. And he was going to—As with Payne’s defense, whoever was yelling his name didn’t matter to him. He was locked on this path of murder, all sense of what was happening lost to the—

Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander #4)

Someone else came and started yanking at him as that name-hollering thing got louder.Beneath him, Payne was submitting, the fight slowly leaving her body, that eternal stillness exactly what the rage in him wanted. A little longer was all it would take. A little more pressure. A little—

A loud, repetitive noise sounded right in front of his face. Over and over and over again, like a bass drum, the beats perfectly spaced. The only thing that changed was the volume.

Or maybe it was gradually cutting through his fury.I hug her back. "Yes I did. But thank you."

Es hugs me next, her tall body dwarfing me. She was a tall man once upon a time, and makes an even taller woman, given social stereotypes. But she is all woman, and one of my best friends in the world. Being transgender in a binary world can't be easy, and every day I admire the courage it takes for her to just be herself. Maybe that's why we became best friends almost instantly the day I started working here, because in our own way, we each feel this disconnect to the life we were born into. I have tears in my eyes when I look up at her. "You should have warned me," I chide."Neva'!" she says, a twinkle in her brown eyes as she flips her blond hair out of her face.

Night's Kiss (Children of The Night #1)

Shari hands me a slice of cake. "Eat up. The customers can wait."As if on cue, someone from the bar raises his voice, complaining about the service. "What’s taking so damn long? What are you all doing back there, twiddling your thumbs?"

Shari's face hardens as she storms out to give that customer a piece of her mind. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize we were married in a past life."It's a line she uses a lot. Sometimes it works, shifting the mood into happy. When it doesn't, the customer is kicked out, blacklisted from the best diner in Portland. Their loss.

This time it works. The customer apologizes, Shari is gracious, and all is well in the world of The Roxy.I love it here. It's my family. My second home. I've lived alone with my mother my whole life. My father died when I was a toddler and we have no other relatives. Death, disease, life... has stolen them all. It's only here, at The Roxy, that I have any real family to call my own, outside of my mother.

I finish my cake and check in to see which tables I have. I'm ready.The night is long, but fun. We have our regulars, the guy who almost never speaks, wears the same thing every day, but always leaves a nice tip and is kind to us all, the drag queen who likes to flirt with our cook, those coming off their shifts at other bars, who are too sober and properly dressed to be out drinking all night... I greet them by name, serve them what they love most, sass them just enough to make them feel like family, like this is their place too, because it is.

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