Knights of Black Swan, #9
by Victoria Danann
Date of Publication: 04/07/16
Publisher: 7th House, Imprint of Andromeda LLC
Cover Artist: Victoria Danann
Genre: Paranormal Romance
For five years, Glendennon Catch had knocked around the globe as a floater, filling in wherever a team of vampire hunters was down a member. He’d buried six good knights and watched the life take its toll on countless others. He’d drunk his share of whiskey and bedded so many women he would hate to hear the count, but he’d never gotten over his first love. And, if he had a chance for a do-over, he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t have chosen Rosie Storm over The Order.
Elora Rose Storm had spent five years nursing a heavy heart, while on a cross-dimensional mission to make the world a better place, especially wherever she found human/animal hybrids being mistreated. She’d seen horrors, righted wrongs where she could, and matured into a powerful witch/demon with altruistic leanings.
After all that time, unbeknownst to each other, both were headed home. To Jefferson Unit
There was a soft knock on the open door.
Glen turned to see Rosie standing there, looking unbelievably beautiful and uncertain. He pinned Monq with a look that should have caused him to explode into millions of tiny bits. “You. Did. Not,” he said slowly and distinctly, each word dripping with outrage.
“I did,” Monq said casually as he rose from his chair. Looking at Rosie, he said, “Come in, my dear. We’re having sea bass with pasta primavera and Alfredo sauce.”
He gestured toward the table, but Rosie didn’t move. She looked at Glen and said, “I saw you a few nights ago. In the Hub. You walked right by, but I guess you didn’t see me.”
Glen’s dark eyes flashed as he sneered. “I saw you.”
“Oh,” she said in a quiet voice. She searched his face and couldn’t find anything of the boy who had loved her. In addition to the physical changes, he had a hard edge that broadcasted bitterness.
Monq decided he’d better establish himself as an arbiter or things were going to deteriorate quickly. “I understand you two used to know each other.”
Glen smirked and looked away, shaking his head. “No. Not really. I thought I knew her. Turned out not.”
Rosie was beginning to understand the depth of the hurt she’d delivered to her first love. She’d been too selfish, too immature, and too shortsighted to grasp the consequences of her rash behavior. Now that she’d come face to face with the results, it looked like it was far too late to do anything about it. The damage wasn’t just done. It had clearly reinfected itself again and again and festered past the point of repair.
She stood there staring at Glen, wondering if an apology would help or make things worse. Looking at the way he was clenching his jaw, she decided things couldn’t get any worse.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
Glen’s gaze jerked up to her eyes. He could see she was sincere and, if anything, it made him hate her more. At least it made him angrier.
“Oh, good. Dinner is here,” Monq exclaimed cheerfully.
All the while dinner was being set out Glen and Rosie continued to look at each other, but nothing changed. He was resolute in his rage. She was genuine in her contrition.
When the waiter was gone, Monq persuaded them to sit down at the table set for three.
“I don’t know how you see this playing out, old man.” said Glen to Monq.
“There’s no reason to be disrespectful to Mr. Monq,” Rosie chastised.
“Dr. Monq.” Monq corrected.
Clearly Glen didn’t like being chastised about manners, especially by Rosie. “I don’t know how you see this playing out, Dr. Monq, but no good can come from it.”
By that time Rosie was beginning to feel a little less sorry. “Oh? And why is that?” she asked.
“Because, wunderkind, you can’t change the past with a couple of words like ‘sorry’.”
“I know that, Glen. But apologizing is a start.”
“Really?” He bit out the word. “A start toward what?”
“It’s a start toward forgiveness and maybe, eventually, being friends again.”
He startled both Monq and Rosie by laughing out loud. “FRIENDS!?! Friends don’t give each other ultimatums and then disppear. FOR YEARS!”
Rosie sighed. “You’re right. That was dumb. And thoughtless. And if I could take it back…”
“Well, you can’t.” Glen fumed as he shoved a huge forkful of pasta into his mouth.
“Rosie, why don’t you tell us what you’ve been doing since you last saw Glen.”
“I’m not particularly interested in what she’s been doing,” Glen said, looking anywhere but at Rosie.
“Well,” she said to Monq, “I can tell you what he’s been doing. He’s been mastering the art of being an ass. You’ve changed, Glen.”
“I…” Monq started.
Glen cut him off. “You know what your problem is, Elora Rose? You haven’t changed. You’re still the same self-involved brat who thinks all she needs to do is prance back in here… Oh, look at me, I’m practically royalty. Black Swan’s precious little princess is sorry she made a mess.”
“You’re making this harder than it needs to be.”
“Yeah? And who gets to decide that? You? You get to decide everything, don’t you?”
“I made a mistake, Glen. A big one. But what you’ve made is a gigantic fucking mess of yourself.”
“You don’t know anything about me, little girl.”
Rosie stood up and threw her napkin down. “I know you’re the one releasing the hogs of war.”
Glen sat back and crossed his arms then gave her a smile that broke her and tugged at her heart strings at the same time. “That’s dogs of war,” he said with a smugness that made her want to smush his smarmy face.
“Forget what I said about being sorry. All I really want from you is to stay away from me.” As punctuation, on the way out of the room, she grabbed a pillow from Monq’s settee and threw it at Glen, who simply caught it and laughed.
“Fine by me.”
“Loser. Do you even have any friends?” She said it as a parting shot, but decided to add one last thing on her way out the door. “AND I DON’T PRANCE!”
That last question about having friends had hit a nerve with Glen. His taunting laughter melted into a seething anger that had him breathing hard.
“Bitch,” he fired back, but she was gone.
Monq said, “Well, that went better than I expected.”
Glen stood, glowering at Monq, then raised his dinner plate to shoulder height.
Monq managed to say, “Please! Not the fireplace again!”
Glen huffed. “How’s this?” He raised one bent leg and broke the plate over his own thigh.
As he stormed out of the room Monq said, “Dinner at seven tomorrow night. Don’t be late.”
Glen gave him the finger without turning around.
Monq sighed and looked at the broken plate and ruined food on the new carpet. He was thinking he was glad he’d opted for Alfredo sauce instead of marinara.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eleven romances. Victoria's Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW. Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.
Her paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on "imaginary" creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners. **Usually.
Victoria lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.
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