Something dead this way comes…
That Old Black Magic, Book 1
For ten long years Griffin Trudeau has managed to keep his paws off Jemma Finnegan, best friend and leading star of his kinkiest fantasies. As her appointed cat familiar, indulging those fantasies with the delectable witch is strictly forbidden. But when Jemma shows up at his door with seduction in mind, control goes right out the window.
Too late he realizes making love to Jemma is the trigger that launches a zombie apocalypse.
Jemma’s been dealt a double whammy: she’s just discovered she’s a witch. And Griff has been hiding whiskers and a tail. Oh, and if her life wasn’t crazy enough, a dead voodoo queen needs her blood to raise a legion of zombies.
There’s one plan that might work to increase Jemma’s powers so she can put an end to the looming holocaust. A sexy threesome with Griff and Logan Scott, a werewolf familiar with a history of rubbing Griff’s fur the wrong way. A cat and a wolf playing nice, much less sharing? It’ll take a miracle.
Warning: A witch, tiger and wolf doing naughty things. A dead voodoo queen doing evil things. And zombies doing zombie things. Get your shovels ready.
Griffin Trudeau didn’t know it, but he was about to have his bones jumped.
Bumping her car door shut with her rear end, Jemma Finnegan resituated her corset top, strategically plumping her cleavage to maximum overload. Satisfied her best assets were properly displayed, she strolled toward the log home nestled in the thick stand of white pines. The butterflies that’d taken up residence in her belly for the past hour started doing a drunken version of the Macarena. Sure, she’d taken this walk hundreds of times, but never with the end goal of seducing her best friend.
Hell, one of them had to get the ball rolling. If she left it to Griff to act on their mutual attraction, her vagina would shrivel up.
The windows flanking the front door were cracked an inch, allowing the spicy aroma of oregano and thyme to waft outside and taunt her nostrils. Okay, maybe she’d wait until after gobbling a bowl of Griff’s world-class spaghetti before tackling him into bed.
She gave a warning rap on the door and stepped inside the foyer. Normally she’d kick off her shoes and enjoy walking around barefoot, but the sexy high heels she’d splurged on gave her a much-needed boost of confidence. Not to mention they made her short legs appear longer. Hell, she needed to use all the ammunition at her disposal to get Griff panting after her.
“Lucy, I’m home.” Following the faint strains of Bob Seger playing on the radio, she trekked into the kitchen and found Griff hunkered in front of the étagère. The overhead track lighting accentuated the natural highlights in his sable strands, making her fingers itch to run through his hair. Apparently oblivious of the effect he had on her, he continued inspecting the various labels before reaching for a bottle of red wine. His broad shoulders shifted enticingly beneath his forest-green polo shirt and she dragged in a deep breath, willing the delicious scent of Griff’s cooking to beat her libido into submission.
“Hey, Jem? I don’t have Chianti. Will you lower your lofty standards this once and drink merlot instead?” He swung his head in her direction. The expression that crossed his face made the contortionist dance it’d taken to squeeze into her skintight jeans and the corset top totally worth it.
Smothering her grin of triumph, she rounded the kitchen island, her black patent stiletto heels clicking on the wooden floor planks. She stopped in front of him and leaned down, planting her breasts squarely in his face. “Would you like me to get that?”
He didn’t immediately answer. His focus, however, remained glued to her cleavage.
Ground control, we have contact. “Griff…the wine?”
Snapping out of his trance, he passed her the bottle. She repaid his mute obedience with a smacking kiss on his forehead, an action she’d indulged in more times than she could count. This time the gesture had the hidden benefit of awarding him a bird’s-eye view down her corset. His loud gulp music to her ears, she pivoted and strode to the center island, making sure she put plenty of sashay in her booty. She couldn’t say for sure, but she swore a whimper trickled from Griff.
Yanking open the middle drawer, she pulled out the corkscrew. Sounds of him shuffling around and the melodic clinking of stemware competed with the raspy strains of Seger crooning about “Night Moves” and the roiling bubbles building in the pasta pan. The familiar backdrop of the noises surrounding her were both comforting and arousing, adding to the heady buzz of sexual tension that hung thick in the air. Swiveling, she caught the spastic twitch in Griff’s jaw and knew he felt the brewing chemistry too. Biting the inside of her cheek in an effort to stifle her smile, she worked the pointed end of the corkscrew into the foil cap topping the wine bottle. “So how did everything go at the store today?”
“Your dad was his typical slave-driver self.” Beneath the mock sarcasm, genuine affection laced Griff’s tone. He and her dad were not only boss and employee, but good buddies. A fact she was eternally grateful for. If things did progress beyond friends-with-benefits between her and Griff, she didn’t need to worry about her parents not supporting the relationship. Crap, who was she kidding? They’d be so overjoyed they’d probably throw a party.
“Dad’s lucky to have you. No one runs that place like you do.” Or looks as hot in a tool belt. For that reason alone she made sure to stop in at Finnegan Hardware at least three days a week. Something her cousins loved to tease her about unmercifully, the brats. Chewing her lip, she smoothed a hand over the waist of her top. She noticed Griff’s unblinking fascination as he visually tracked the path her fingers took. Tingles skipped across her skin. “You haven’t commented on my outfit.”
His gaze immediately veered to her boobs again before shooting away. “You look…different.” The gravel in his voice betrayed him and he cleared his throat. “Maybe I shouldn’t have made spaghetti. I’d hate for you to accidentally splatter sauce on your white top.”
Hoo boy. Could he have given her a better lead in? “Hmm, should I take it off then?” Conjuring her inner mischievous vixen, she reached for her top’s uppermost eyehook. The glasses slipped from Griff’s hold and clunked onto the kitchen counter, miraculously without breaking.
“Jesus, Jemma. Don’t joke around like that.”
“Who says I’m joking?” She ran a fingertip along the girly ruffles edging the top of the corset.
As if hypnotized, Griff watched the progress of her finger. He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing. The timer on the stove dinged, making him jump. Looking suspiciously relieved by the interruption, he dashed to the boiling stockpot and slid it from the burner. Water sloshed over the rim of the pot, and he jerked his hand back with a sharp curse.
She rushed to his side, trying not to wipe out on the water splashed on the floor, and gaped at the angry red burn spreading near his knuckles. “Oh no.”
“Don’t give me that shit, Mr. Macho.” Snagging him by the belt loop, she towed him toward the sink. She cranked the faucet to the coldest setting and dunked his hand beneath the spray. The icy water stung like a million sharp needles pricking her, but she ignored the discomfort. “Do you have any first-aid cream?”
“Jemma, I’m fine.”
“Stubborn is more like it.” She pointed to the lineup of barstools fronting the island. “Sit.” Leaving him to follow her orders in grumpy compliance, she turned off the faucet and hurried to the master bathroom. She sidestepped a towel and gym socks that’d somehow missed the hamper. Men. A little scrounging in the medicine cabinet coughed up a tube of ointment. She returned to the kitchen and perched on the barstool beside Griff. Uncapping the tube, she dabbed a fat dollop of the cream onto the vivid red splotch on his hand, trying to keep her touch light and gentle. “This is a change of pace. Usually it’s you coming to my rescue. I swear I’ve lost count of how often you’ve saved me from near disaster.” Most of those times he’d mysteriously shown up without her even needing to call him. It was almost like he possessed a sixth sense where she was concerned.
Shaking off the fanciful thought, she chuckled. “Remember when I got stuck in the doggy door at my parents’ house? Man, that was embarrassing. Teach me to misplace the keys.”
Dead silence greeted her observation. She glanced up and caught Griff staring at her mouth. Unmistakable desire simmered in his chocolate-brown eyes. A dizzying rush of excitement flooded her bloodstream. It’s now or never. Go bold or go home. She leaned forward and his hand clenched beneath hers. Heart thumping, she stroked toward the crook of his elbow, her fingernails feathering over the dusting of sun-kissed hairs that sprinkled his forearm.
A deep rumble came from Griff’s chest, almost resembling a purr. Encouraged by the sound, she inched closer and pressed her mouth against his. His shaky exhalation sailed across her lips, but he didn’t draw away. Taking that as a good sign, she increased the pressure a smidgeon, refusing to rush the moment. A first kiss should be savored…explored in infinitesimally delicious increments. They had all night to get around to the scorching, I-want-to-eat-you-up, tongue-wrestling part of the festivities.
She played the tip of her tongue against Griff’s lips. They were firm yet soft, splendidly kissable. Uttering a deep, hungry groan that seemed to emanate all the way from his toes, he hauled her off the stool and dragged her onto his lap. Her crotch bumped the massive erection tenting the fly of his jeans. Shock ricocheted through her. Good Lord, she’d been missing out on that all these years?
Okay, screw taking things slow. She rubbed along the delicious length of Griff’s shaft, undulating her hips in a rhythm that’d do a stripper proud. He rewarded her with a husky, tortured moan. A millisecond later his mouth crashed over hers and she automatically parted her lips. Taking her up on the invite, his tongue dipped inside, hot and seeking.
He kissed her like a death-row inmate scarfing down his last meal. Insistent fingers sifted through her hair, tilting her head, granting deeper access for his questing tongue. She returned its parrying thrust and earned another of those sexy purrs of his. The sound shimmered across her nerve endings, creating a decadent spiral of heat that coalesced into a tight, sweet ache between her thighs. She whimpered. Griff immediately jerked his head back, harsh breaths sawing from his lungs. Regret didn’t quite dampen the passion swirling in his darkened pupils.
“Christ, Jemma, I’m sorry.” His voice as unsteady as his hands, he clamped onto her hips and started to put her back on the barstool…away from that delicious erection.
Oh hell no. Hooking her legs around the rear of Griff’s stool, she wedged herself tight against his lap and slid her mouth along his bristly jaw. His drawn-out moan rushed past her ear, ruffling her hair. She reached his neck and nuzzled her nose into his warm skin, his yummilicious musky scent making her giddy. God, he smelled good enough to eat. Putting her theory to work, she nibbled the taut tendon that ran along the side of his neck.
“We shouldn’t be doing this.” His words came out in a desperate, agonized croak.
Cupping his face, she skimmed her lips over his in soft entreaty. She’d known he’d be reluctant to risk their ten-year friendship by getting physical. Good thing she wasn’t averse to bringing out the big guns. Scooting back, she unfastened the eyelets on the corset and tossed the garment aside.
Griff stared at her naked breasts, his expression a strange mix of misery and lust. “Jemma…”
“Touch me. Please. I need this. I need you.”
He gulped—hard—and loosened his grip on her hips. After a brief hesitation, his fingers quested upward and grazed her navel. Her belly quivered. His hands ghosted along her rib cage, taking forever to reach the under swells of her breasts. He traced their soft curvature with slow reverence, his thumbs coming to rest on her nipples. The barely there touch made her clit throb with a greedy ache. God, she needed his hands and mouth on every part of her. Now. “Griff—”
His hooded, sexy gaze lifted. He looked like a man on the edge. Like a man who was a breath away from ripping the rest of her clothes off and fucking her senseless. She wished he’d damn well get on with it.
“Jemma, I’m going to suck on your nipples until you’re begging me to make you come. So think you can be quiet for the next two seconds?”
Well, when he put it that way…
Kneading the weight of her breasts in both hands, he leaned down and flicked her nipple with his tongue, the wet friction causing her spine to arch. His teeth scraped her flesh, not painfully, just enough to create a pleasurable sting.
“You have sensitive nipples.” He didn’t phrase it as a question. Apparently her gasping moans were answer enough for him. He divided his attention between both breasts until their tips were rosy and swollen, glistening with his saliva. “Is your clit as sensitive?” The inquiry made her squirm in his lap. Griff lifted his head from her breasts, his expression carnal. “How about if we find out?”