by C. Shell
The Associates #1
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Until two weeks ago, that is all I was and all I ever wanted to be. My expectations in life didn’t soar higher than graduating college and finding a decent job that would help pay off my mounting student loans.
All of that went out the window when I received the invitation.
I've been selected to compete for the chance of a lifetime. If I win, not only will I fulfill the newly vacant spot as an Associate, but I will be leaving my family behind to go live and work alongside the four Rulers of our paranormal community. I will be trusted in helping them keep our kind safe and hidden from the humans and those among us that prefer to cause trouble and mayhem. Every society has hoodlums, our kind just happen to cause more destruction than most.
Being an Associate is an honor. The job is dangerous and will require me to go up against Fae, shifters, witches, and vampires that are much more powerful and stronger I could ever hope to be. I love kicking butt and casting spells, but even I have my limits.
On top of everything, I seem to have caught the attention of two of the Rulers. Only I could go from having no men in my life to having one too many. Neither man is used to hearing the word, “No”, and although my mind says the word often, my mouth and body keep saying, “Yes”. What is a witch to do?
Am I up for this new challenge? Yes.
Can I handle the danger? Yes.
Will my heart survive the journey? Maybe.
This is my screwed up story. This is my crazy life, and this is the just the beginning.
When you become an Associate, your life is no longer your own. You are basically the property of the Rulers. Not that the Rulers are bad or anything. In fact, I hear they are very nice. They have a reputation for being fair and the pay is well worth what you are required to do, but that does not mean I want to donate the rest of my life to them. If you ask me, the few perks aren’t nearly enough to make the job worth it.
The Rulers keep our lives hidden from humans by using connections with those in power, such as Senators, Police, Governors, and even a President or two. With the combination of these connections and magic used from several witch covens, our secrets have remained hidden and our lives told only through stories. Humans like to think of themselves as open minded, but there is no way they would be able to handle knowing that the things that go bump in the night are truly real and living right next door. Knowing that their perfectly painted white picket fence is useless to keep them safe would drive them to do crazy things.
Fawning over a vampire on TV is not the same thing as having one sinking his teeth into the soft flesh of your neck and drinking your life force right out of you. They can do that you know, Vampires that is. The good ones only take enough to give you a light buzz before wiping your memory of it the whole experience, but as with every race, there are a few bad apples in the bunch that get off on stalking their prey. They prefer to scare you, feeding off your emotions and adrenaline before they drain you dry. Playing with your food is frowned upon in our world as it is with humans. Not that humans are considered food to any of us, but vampires do require a snippet of their blood every so often to survive.
The Rulers have their hands full with our kind. We can all be rowdy and the older ones get bored and mischievous from time to time. Keeping a variety of paranormals living together in harmony is not an easy task. Just like humans, our kind can also be racist and bigoted. Some like to think that they are superior over others while a select few crave unlimited amounts of power. Those are the ones to worry about. This stupidity normally ends with them either dead or their faces pasted on a wanted list. The Rulers and Associates handle these big fish, the ones who have the potential to do massive damage.
My hands shake as my fingers scroll over the fancy penmanship on the letter. The script is beautifully hand-written in an elegant font that I am sure someone spent many hours and weeks to perfect. It’s a far cry from the chicken scratch I turn into my professors. The royal crest gleams at me from the corner of the paper. My thoughts run amuck as I absently stroke my thumb over the intricate sparkly green and gold emblem.
My evaluations begin tomorrow.I will be matched with the toughest fighters and most skilled within our school. I can only imagine the pain I will endure, the bruises I will accumulate, and the enemies I’m going to make. It’s going to be hell. I could always call “Uncle” and excuse myself as soon as it begins, but that is not my style. I’m a strong witch and know my craft well. I’m not weak and I sure as hell am not a quitter.
I have loved books and romance novels since I was in high school. The happy endings and endless possibilities are alluring and addictive. I currently reside in Texas and when I am not thinking up my next bad-boy character I am working in the community rescuing dogs while being a wife and mother to my wonderful family.
I invite you to ask question, keep up to date with my latest books and give me your feedback.