Summer sin the anthology.., p.1
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       Summer Sin (The Anthology Novella Series Book 2), p.1

           Darlene Kuncytes
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Summer Sin (The Anthology Novella Series Book 2)


  Table of Contents

  Summer Sin

  Books by Darlene Kuncytes

  About the Author

  A Note from the Author

  Copyright

  Victoria Remington stormed through the door to her superior’s office like a force of nature, her green eyes practically glowing with her fury.

  “Just what in the bloody hell, Malcolm?” she spat out, her features tight with anger.

  Malcolm Benet glanced up from the file that he was holding and forced a smile to his lips. He had known this was coming as surely as he had known that the sun would rise this morning, but still…he wasn’t looking forward to it.

  He watched silently as the fiery blonde stormed over to his desk and glared down at him in nothing less than murderous rage. Her body practically vibrated from it.

  At five feet nine inches tall, Victoria was absolutely all woman. Her golden hair hung in thick, voluminous waves to the small of her back and her body was toned, yet curvy in all the right places. Her emerald eyes sparkled in a face that was nothing less than stunning perfection. Both angelic and devilish in a way that took one’s breath away the moment her gaze landed on you. It was stunning.

  The mixture of Fey and Were that was her ancestry complimented the other to supermodel status. She was absolutely breathtaking – yet could be lethal.

  “Whatever do you mean?” he asked as innocently as possible once he regained his composure, which only served to piss her off all the more. He had to admit that there was a very small part of him that thoroughly enjoyed it when she was angry. It was really something to see.

  “Damn it, Malcolm!” she seethed, those incredible eyes of hers spitting fire. “You’re making me take a forced leave of absence? Really?”

  Malcolm held up his hands in an effort to calm her, but knew instantly that it was useless. Victoria was one of the best hunters that he had and one of the main reasons for that was her stubbornness. Not to mention her fearlessness. The woman was a force to be reckoned with and he knew that he was about to face her wrath. And…it wasn’t going to be pretty.

  “Just calm down, Tori.” He cautioned, but she was having none of it.

  She paced around his office like a caged animal ready to pounce, throwing him a dirty look from time to time that would have sent most men running.

  “Calm down?” she spat out finally, shaking her head viciously as she did and causing her golden hair to fly around her face. “I don’t need a damn leave of absence! Just what in the holy hell is wrong with you?”

  Malcolm couldn’t help but notice that she flinched slightly as she yelled at him and knew that her ribs were still tender from her last mission. He had come much too close to losing her, and now…

  “Victoria,” he replied as evenly as possible, standing and stopping her with a gentle hand to her arm. She turned and met his eyes, her green depths shining brightly. “You almost died,” he reminded her softly.

  “It’s not the first time,” she countered, her lips turning up in a stubborn sneer.

  Malcolm led her over to a chair and motioned for her to sit. He knew going in that this was going to be a battle. Ever since Victoria’s parents had been slaughtered by a band of blood-thirsty demons, she had made it her sole mission in life to exterminate as many of the loathsome creatures as she could. She was smart, tenacious, and deadly; so requiring her to lay low and take some time off was definitely not going to be easy. But with what Malcolm had found out…there was absolutely no other choice. If he wanted to keep her safe, he had to stand firm on this. He could not give in.

  “It’s not a request, Victoria,” he said with much more conviction as he walked around his desk and sat back down. He took a deep breath before letting it out in a long sigh. “I’ve arranged for you to spend a month at the beach. Sun, sand…surf.” He shoved a folder towards her and forced a grin to his lips. “Consider it a much overdue summer vacation,” he chuckled sadly. “God knows you deserve it.” He eyed her critically for a moment. “Not to mention the fact that maybe being away from all of this shit for a while will actually bring a smile to your face. I’d really like to see that.”

  Victoria looked down at the folder as if it were a snake about to strike, and scowled. “I don’t need a freaking vacation!” she insisted, her full lips turning down at the corners even further. “Yes, I had a close call, but Christ, Malcolm, its part of the job. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.”

  Malcolm sighed and rubbed his eyes tiredly. “Tori, please, don’t fight me on this. You’ve been with the agency for over seven years now, without a single break. You have absolutely no life other than this God-forsaken place. You need this time off. Again, it’s not a request – it’s a direct order. You leave first thing in the morning.” He glanced at her black leather pants and black t-shirt and a genuine smirk curved his lips for the first time in days. “You might want to do a little shopping before you go,” he suggested, his smile growing slightly as he realized that he might have just won this battle by the look on her face. “I don’t think black leather would be too comfortable in the sun.”

  Victoria stared at him silently, her mouth hanging open in stunned disbelief. Was he freaking serious? She took a deep breath, trying her hardest to calm her ragged nerves.

  She had known Malcolm since she was twenty years old. He had been one of the agents who had shown up after her parents had been butchered in their sleep by the cowards who crept in the shadows – all because her mother, a Fey, had fallen in love with a powerful Were leader. She felt a shiver run up her spine as those all too familiar memories invaded her senses. Coming home that night after a date only to find her parents ripped to shreds. The smell of blood and death in the air. The shock then fury at losing the two people in the world she loved most.

  Malcolm and his team of paranormal agents had shown up and taken care of everything from there. He had brought her back to their headquarters where she had walked around like a zombie for weeks, not knowing what was real and what wasn’t anymore.

  Finally, he began training her to become a demon hunter. And, the rest was history. She had excelled at it and found that this was what she was meant to do. Not lounge on the beach like some spring-breaker sipping Pina Coladas.

  Victoria narrowed her eyes as she clenched her teeth together, trying hard not to growl at him. “A month?” she breathed, her shoulders sagging slightly as the fight began to slip out of her. If it was anyone but Malcolm, she would never have even toyed with the idea of giving in. But, this man had been like a father to her. He had taken her under his wing and had taught her to be the self-sufficient, strong woman that she was today.

  So…if he was this adamant about her taking some time off, how could she even begin to fight it? She owed this man so much. “Crap,” she breathed out irritably, and saw his smile widen even more and wanted to just spit.

  Malcolm waited until he was certain that Victoria had left the compound before picking up his phone and punching in the numbers. The voice that answered the call was deep, husky, and obviously slightly pissed off at being disturbed. Malcolm rolled his eyes as the sounds of female laughter drifted across the line. Some things never changed.

  “Yeah?” The gruff sound only served to widen Malcolm’s smile. There wasn’t much that he enjoyed more than pissing his friend off.

  “Cam? You busy?” he asked as innocently as possible, although he knew damned good and well that Camden Stark was most likely occupied with one of his many admirers. The man was a damn female magnet, and had no qualms whatsoever in taking full advantage of it. His bed was never cold for long.

  “A bit,
Camden growled back into the phone, sounding thoroughly ticked off now and Malcolm fought hard to keep the laughter from slipping past his lips. Oh, this was rich!

  “How soon can you get here?” Malcolm asked finally, trying to hide the humor in his voice and not caring in the least that he had interrupted one of Cam’s little trysts. The gods knew that the man had enough of them. “It’s time that I collected my favor.”

  There was silence on the other end of the line for a long, agonizing moment before Camden spoke. “Give me ten minutes.” With that the line went dead. Malcolm set his phone down and rubbed a hand over his eyes. Things were actually falling nicely into place.

  Camden Stark strolled through the door of Malcolm’s office exactly ten minutes later. His six foot four-inch frame filling the doorway impressively as he sauntered in as if he hadn’t a care in the world, although the lines around his mouth belied his irritation at being disturbed.

  Malcolm stood and held out his hand to him, smiling broadly. It had been more than a few years since he had seen his friend, and damn if the Were didn’t look good. The last time that he had seen Camden he had been near death after their team had been ambushed by a group of rogue vampires working for the leader of the demon faction that had been a pain in Malcolm’s side for more years than he cared to remember. It had been a blood bath, and Malcolm had lost some good men.

  “You look well, my friend,” he chuckled, pulling Camden into a quick embrace. “Retirement agrees with you.”

  Cam moved across the office and settled his long frame into one of the leather chairs. “I have no complaints,” he laughed. “In fact, I’m enjoying it so much that I can’t help but wonder why, after all these years, you decide to piss me off by calling in a favor.”

  Malcolm burst out laughing as he walked over to the small bar in the corner of the office and quirked a brow at him. “Want a drink?” he asked.

  “Will I need one?” Camden countered brusquely, and Malcolm laughed again, shaking his head. Without responding, he poured a glass of the amber liquid into a tumbler and walked over, handing it to him.

  “Christ,” Cam groaned as he took the offered glass of scotch. “I freaking knew it! This is not going to be good at all.”

  Malcolm walked around his desk and sat down, giving him a sad smile. “In all seriousness, Cam,” he replied as he sighed raggedly, “I really need you on this one.”

  Camden downed his drink in one swallow and set the glass down, leaning forward in his seat and meeting his friend’s gaze steadily. “What do you need?”

  Malcolm opened a file and took out a picture, handing it over. “This is Victoria Remington. She’s one of the best hunters that I have.”

  “Remington,” Cam whispered, eyeing the picture closely.

  It was a candid shot of one of the most beautiful women Camden had ever seen. She was standing at the ready, her voluptuous body tense, her incredible green eyes narrowed in concentration as she waited for what looked to be fight training. Camden’s eyes snapped up and locked onto Malcolm’s. “You don’t mean…” he began, and Malcolm nodded.

  “Yeah, she’s Bryce’s daughter,” he replied softly. “And I’ve discovered that she now has a price on her head.” His jaw tensed as he watched Camden closely. “Barlow wants her dead.”

  Camden’s entire body went perfectly still as a muscle twitched in his cheek. Dimetri Barlow was a lower class demon who had spent centuries rising to power by killing off anyone who he felt posed a threat. He was smart and blood-thirsty…and he was the one who had ordered the ambush on Camden, Malcolm, and their team that had almost cost Cam his life. Not to mention that he had been the one who had killed Bryce Remington and his wife Arista…Victoria’s parents.

  “Shit,” Cam ground out, feeling as if he were going to be sick. “Why has he targeted her?” he asked, although he really didn’t need an answer. Dimetri Barlow merely enjoyed the kill.

  Camden had known Bryce Remington so many years ago. The powerful Alpha had taken the orphaned Were into his pack without question when Cam’s parents had been killed. And when he had reached the age of sixteen, Bryce had asked Cam to join up with Malcolm’s elite force of demon hunters. Cam had jumped at the chance. That had been so long ago. Victoria had been merely a toddler when Cam had left. Christ on a crutch! This was a complete cluster.

  “What do you need me to do?” he asked finally, that glint of determination in his eye.

  Malcolm gave him a sheepish half smile and cleared his throat. “I’ve…um…well, you see, I’ve forced her to take some time away from here,” he began, growing more and more uncomfortable as he spoke. “I’m sending her to a nice ocean getaway, and I need you to…well, to sort of keep an eye on her while she’s there. Make certain that she’s safe. You’ll have the house next to hers; but she can’t know that you’re there to protect her. She’s fiercely independent and I really don’t want to be on the receiving end of her anger if she knew I wanted her covered. No one is being told where she’s going so it really shouldn’t be that difficult. It’s just a precaution, really.”

  Camden sprang from the chair as if he’d been set on fire. “You want me to babysit?” He all but roared. “Jesus H, Malcolm! You can’t be serious!”

  “Calm down, Cam. You know how Barlow works better than anyone else. Well, anyone besides me that is, and I can’t very well go without her knowing that I’m there. She’d figure it out in a heartbeat. You retired long before she joined the force and she was so young when you left the pack that she won’t remember you. She’ll think you’re just another paranormal being enjoying some down time.” His eyes showed his sadness and worry. “Barlow wants her dead for killing his second in command and I need to know that she’s safe,” he said finally, his voice lowering. “She’s been through hell, Cam.”

  Camden clenched his teeth so hard that he feared they would shatter as he glared at his friend, the vision of a beautiful little girl laughing and smiling flickering across his mind. Tori had been almost three when Cam left the pack and she had grown into an impossibly beautiful woman. He sighed tiredly as he realized that he owed at least that much to Bryce and Arista. After everything the couple had done for him, the very least he could do was to make sure their only child was kept safe.

  “When do I leave?” he asked sourly.

  Victoria practically snarled as she stared down at her suitcase in disgust, eyeing the bikini’s and shorts as if they were some vile creatures grinning back at her in mockery. She shuddered as the saleswoman’s high-pitched, whiney voice skittered across her brain.

  Oh, with your coloring and body, these are going to look absolutely fabulous on you, dear. Just fabulous! Why, you’ll have every man within fifty miles dropping down and swooning at your feet in the sand.

  Victoria grunted in distaste as she slammed the last case closed and snapped the locks with so much force that it was by no small miracle that the latches stayed on. That was the absolute last thing she wanted…or needed. If she was going to be forced to take this asinine vacation, well…she just wanted to be left the hell alone! Solitude was what she was looking for and nothing more.

  The ringing of the doorbell jerked her from her murderous musings and she pulled the suitcases from the bed with an angry yank. There was going to be no making the best of this situation at all, she thought with a scowl. She was just thoroughly pissed off and hating the world at the moment and nothing was going to change that.

  She opened the door to find one of her fellow hunters and friends standing there, a shit eating grin plastered across his face, making her want to spit nails.

  “Cripes, Simon,” she growled. “Malcom recruited you as my personal chauffer? Well, aren’t you the lucky one? What infraction have you committed now? Or did you just draw the short straw?”

  Simon burst out laughing and grabbed the suitcases from her hands. He was a blond, blue-eyed shifter that had the total surfer vibe going on. Tanned, muscled…he was the epitome of a California boy, and Victoria
thought it would make much more sense if he were the one going to the beach for a month instead of her.

  “Yep, Malcolm figured that you might decide to cause a stink and refuse to go at the last minute, so he sent the only person who could beat your sorry ass into submission to take you to the airport and make sure you got on the plane.”

  “Beat my ass,” she snorted with disgust, glaring at him now. “You got in one lucky shot, two freaking years ago and now you think you’re Mister Macho or some shit. Please! Submission my ass,” she grumbled.

  “Whatever,” he responded, chuckling good-naturedly as he grinned at her. “Are you ready to go, Fireball? We don’t want you missing your flight. Malcolm would have my ass on a platter.”

  Victoria grabbed her purse and stepped through the door, turning and locking it behind her as she did. “As ready as I’ll ever be, Hooper.”

  Simon grinned when she referred to him by the nickname she’d given him way back when she had first joined the team. He remembered her looking him up and down and finally saying that he looked like a buff version of the oceanographer in Jaws.

  Since then, they had formed a strong friendship that he cherished. So when Malcolm had asked him to keep her safe until she boarded the plane, he couldn’t have refused if he had wanted to. He wasn’t sure just what was going on with Victoria; he only knew that it had to be big if their leader was forcing her to disappear for a while.

  Simon ushered her to his SUV and opened the door. “You know, Fireball,” he remarked nonchalantly as he attempted to help her into the car, but the look on her face stopped him cold and he gave her a wink as he waited for her to jump in and close the door. “I can’t help but hope that you might just lighten up a bit after a little R&R. You know, I was thinking about it on the drive over here and in the seven years that I’ve known you, I’ve never once seen you so much as crack a smile.”

  Before she had the chance to respond, he bounded around the front of the car and hopped into the driver’s seat beside her. She glanced over at him and he could see the irritation in her expression, but he could also detect that underlying sadness that always seemed to hover over her. It was always there, lurking behind her eyes as if implanted there forever.

 
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