Excerpt: The Graveyard Shift - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Darynda Jones comes a new story in her Charley Davidson series…

Guarding a precocious five-year-old who is half-human, half-god, and 100% destined to save the world is no easy feat.

Garrett Swopes was the ultimate skeptic until he met a certain hellion and her husband. They vanished after stopping a catastrophic event and left him, a mere mortal, in charge of protecting their gift to mankind. But when she disappears as well, he needs the help of another breed of hellion. One who can see past the veil of space and time. One who betrayed him.

She will get a truce in the deal, but she will never earn his forgiveness.

Marika Dubois’s son—a warrior in the coming war between heaven and hell—was foreseen long before his birth. But to create a child strong enough to endure the trials that lay ahead, she needed a descendant of powerful magics. She found that in Garrett Swopes and tricked him into fathering her son. A ploy he has never forgiven her for. But when he knocks on her door asking for her help, she sees the fierce attraction he tries to deny rise within him.

And Marika has to decide if she dares risk her heart a second time to help the only man she’s ever loved.

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The Graveyard Shift
By Darynda Jones

Excerpt: The Graveyard Shift

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Darynda Jones comes THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT — a new story in her Charley Davidson series coming this week!

Marika struggled to pull a sage green robe over her shoulders as she hurried to the door. Partly because someone was pounding on it at 3:00 a.m. Never a good sign. But mostly because whoever was pounding on it was doing so rather loudly, and she didn’t relish the thought of trying to get her rambunctious son back to sleep if the noise woke him. The thunderstorm had been bad enough. Now, this.

Whatever reason made some asshole bang on her door at this hour had better be a good one, or so help her…

She swung the door open and stopped short, stunned to find Garrett Swopes on the other side—the very man she’d just this week crossed off her Christmas card list. For good this time.

She felt faint as he towered over her. Damn him. Rain dripped down his face and accommodatingly molded a wet T-shirt to the hills and valleys of his muscles, accentuating each and every one.

It took some effort, but she finally tore her gaze off the imprints his abs made in the black material and forced her eyes back to his face, knowing what she would find there. Hardness. Revulsion. Hatred.

The scowl he wore would suggest he had yet to forgive her.

The scowl she wore would suggest she didn’t care.

“You’re late,” she said, refusing him entry despite the drenching effects of the rain.

How dare he be annoyed? She was the one who’d been startled awake by his knocking—correction, incessant pounding—at three in the morning. If anyone should be testy, it was certainly not the jackass standing before her.

Not that he was there to see her. He was never there to see her. But three in the morning? Really?

“Zaire is asleep,” she added, infusing her voice with as much coldness as she could muster on such short notice. “And you were supposed to pick him up last night.”

Surprise registered in his silvery eyes. The hard lines of his dark face softened for just a second before he recovered.

“You forgot?” she screeched, appalled. Then she remembered her sleeping son not thirty feet away, the door to his room slightly ajar, and forced herself to calm. Welding her teeth together, she glared right back at him. “You’re a real class act, Swopes. Forgetting your own son. Come back when you’re sober.”

He had to be drunk. Or at least well on his way. He would never visit the likes of Marika Dubois in the middle of the night otherwise. He detested her, after all, for several reasons.

First, she’d stalked him. There was really no other word for it. She’d needed a certain type of man from a certain type of bloodline, and he just happened to be that type.

Second, she’d tricked him into getting her pregnant.

And third, she didn’t tell him about said pregnancy. He found out when he ran into her and Zaire a mere month after she’d given birth. Being the seasoned actress that she was, the shock she felt rocket through her at their unexpected meeting danced in glorious Technicolor across her face.

Garrett knew. He knew Zaire was his son, and that she had no intention of ever telling him.

She had her reasons. She was trying to spare him a lifetime of guilt for being an absentee father, for one. But he didn’t want to hear it. He’d never trusted her after that. Probably never would. Yet he’d insisted on paying child support and being in Zaire’s life. A fact that surprised her to this day.

Still, now was not the time to go into it. She pushed the door to close it in his infuriatingly perfect face, but he easily stopped her with a hand on a panel and, God help her, she was almost glad he did. The more he stood there, the more she got to drink in the hills and valleys of his biceps. The expanse of his chest and width of his shoulders. The hard line of his jaw and full curves of his mouth.

She chided her hormones, well, the few she had left as she was quickly approaching the big three-oh, and she’d heard it was all downhill from there.

It clearly took a lot for Garrett to even stand there. His eyes glistened with animosity. He could hardly stomach the sight of her. Could hardly stand being in her presence. Not for the last few years anyway. He made no bones about it.

So, when he bit down and wrenched out the words he probably hated saying as much as she hated hearing—because who didn’t enjoy seething derision on occasion?—it shocked her to the very depth of her being.

“I need help,” he said from between clenched teeth.

“I couldn’t agree more, but I don’t know any good psychiatrists. Now, if you don’t mind…”

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