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Alpha Rising
"Durgin has a remarkable gift for inventing unusual characters doing incredible things."


Demon Touch

Demon Touch

September '11
Nocturne Bite e-novella
A prequel to the new Demon Blade series
(pending new author edition)

Ever since the night Alex Donally found the demon blade in his hand—and in his thoughts—he has been driven to fight evil.

When he meets Deb Marchand, he is compelled to protect her from her violent ex—and aroused by the visions of passionate encounters they both experience when they touch. The blade is showing them what they can have—if Deb can risk giving her trust and heart to a vigilante…

Chapter 1

Sharp dark eyes, sharp jaw, black leather and habitual stubble, definite bad-boy attitude.

Deb had seen him in AutoStock before.  She knew that face; she knew that confident walk.  She knew how hard she had to pretend she hadn't noticed him at all.

Even though his visits to the modest little business had grown more frequent as Ohio bike-riding weather waxed along with spring, it was still difficult to keep her gaze from following him around the store. It didn’t help that he sometimes hesitated and seemed as though he might make conversation—although in the end he always moved on.  With confidence.  With that free-striding walk.

Except today.  Today he pushed through the door like anyone else: with a hesitation at the stiff resistance of it, moving without the pent-up energy that so often slipped through the very cracks of him.  He must have seen the momentary drop of her jaw; he gave her a rueful grin from behind the black eye, the split brow, and the artfully bruised face, even less shaved than usual.  "That bad, huh?"

Surprise, and surprise again.  That he'd responded with humor.  That he'd noticed her at all, after so many absent nods.  Maybe that's why she warmed to him in spite of herself—in spite of the bruises, the sharp jaw, and the sharp look in his eye.

"You should see the other guy?" she suggested, and then immediately regretted.

But he only gave a short laugh.  "Yeah," he said.  "You should see the other guys."

Guys.  Plural.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

Run away, that's what.

But he'd already disappeared into the back of the store, returning shortly with a trickle battery charger tucked under his arm.  Judging by the awkward way he handled it, she knew his torso—lean and fit beneath that black leather jacket—had fared no better than his face.  He blew out a breath, every bit as rueful as the earlier smile, and swiped the heel of his hand across his brow in a gesture weary and resigned.

"I'm sorry," she said without thinking, flushing as he dug for his wallet.  Just take his money, foolish woman.  "I just looks like a tough day."

He made a noise she couldn't quite interpret—but his words were perfectly clear, and his tone flat—not the engaging response from a few moments earlier.  "Nothing I didn't deserve."

She couldn't help it.  She straightened, throwing her shoulders back.  "No one deserves to get beat up."

He said simply, "I started it."

Of course you did.