Bad Girls Drink Blood
by S.L. Choi
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: May 17th 2022
@Archaeolibrary, @XpressoTours, @sl_choi,
Part sun fae, part blood fae, all abomination.
There is only one hybrid fae in existence, and that dishonor goes to Lane Callaghan.
After a life spent dodging slurs, threats, and assassination attempts, Lane gave her past the one finger salute and ditched her former fae home for good. The detective agency she and her sisters run on the edge of Las Vegas continues to limp along, with Lane doing more debt collecting and intimidating than investigating, but anything to pay the bills. Between working for low-lifes to bring down even lower-lifes, eating cheesy poofs by the bucket, and flirting with the criminally attractive bartender where she conducts business, life is good.
That ends when a routine job goes sideways, leaving Lane with a sack full of stolen sun shards—the source of sun fae power. Without the shards, the sun fae face giving up their magic completely, or risk death if they use their power. Considering they would rather see her dead, good riddance, as far as Lane’s concerned—except her father and adopted sister are sun fae. Lane must choose—return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her, or let them burn.
Better luck next time, hybrid.
Fury roared through me. My ears burned and scalp tingled.
“What the hell is that?”
I spun with a snarl. My fangs elongated instantly, painfully.
Teddy’s tall, lean frame bent over my shoulder as he read the napkin. My body thrummed with the surge of unspent adrenaline and possibly the intimate proximity. I flexed my fingers, curled them, flexed again.
“It’s nothing.” I snatched the napkin and jammed it into my jacket pocket. I’d deal with how exactly that woman knew I was a hybrid later. That was a secret for me and my sisters, and I aimed to keep it that way.
There was only one hybrid, and I was the unlucky genetic winner. It wasn’t for lack of fae mixing, that was something they did often and copiously, but offspring were always of one race. It kept their magic powerful, and if fae worshiped anything, it was power. My existence wasn’t an exalted position.
“It’s nothing,” I stressed, my gaze steady on his. I meant business.
“Okay, okay.” He tipped his forehead toward my face. “You should holster those things before you hurt someone besides yourself.”
Crap, not again. All at once my lip became a persistent throb, reminding me of the pain from my fangs punching out. I dragged a finger along the edge of my mouth. It came away sticky, warm, and wet. When startled, I had zero control of the things. It was embarrassing.
Teddy tucked a clean napkin into my palm and pulled me close to whisper, “You shouldn’t be wasting blood when you refuse to drink it.”
His hot breath warmed my neck and tickled my ear. The heady mixture of woods, earth, and vanilla—Teddy’s distinct scent—filled my nostrils, made me dizzy. Something melted and puddled in my core. My gaze fastened on the way my dark red hair danced with his bourbon-brown strands. The way they both brushed against the hard line of muscle leading from his neck to his shoulder.
That delicious scent shouldn’t be so strong. My olfactory sense was the same as any other fae, unless I’d smelled their blood. Then again, with the amount of brawls Teddy broke up in this joint, he was bound to have bled at some point.
I stepped away and scowled in a desperate attempt to hide my reaction. “And you should mind your own business.” What was wrong with me lately? I’d known the guy for years, but recently Teddy seemed more flirt than friend. I felt disgustingly girly when he got near.
“Whatever you say, sweet fangs.” He chucked a knuckle under my chin, letting it linger long enough to turn the gesture from playful to intimate.
I rubbed my chin on my shoulder. This was Teddy. He couldn’t possibly be flirting. He’d known me since I roared into Interlands at fifteen with way more balls and bravado than sense. More importantly, I wasn’t his type—empty headed and easy.
He swaggered toward the end of the bar, and some mysterious magnetic force pulled my appreciative gaze to the way he filled out his denim. My view disappeared as he stepped behind the counter. When I looked up, Teddy watched me with a knowing grin. I bared my fangs. He laughed.
I growled under my breath and turned to leave as he circled the bar and headed for the spot across the counter from me.
“Why take these jobs, Lane? They’re bad. You’re so much more than this.”
Teddy’s earnest words stopped me, and I looked back. His bottomless black gaze gripped mine.
My chest tightened. Teddy didn’t know how misplaced his faith in me was. I grabbed a freshly filled tumbler full of amber liquid from the bar.
“Hey!” The owner of the drink turned, opened his mouth to say more, and laid eyes on me. I raised my brows in a dare. The guy wisely spun to face the bar and tapped the counter, ordering a new drink for himself.
“Because I’m really, really good at it. Besides, haven’t you heard?” I slammed my confiscated drink. The taste of gasoline chasing cinnamon scorched a path down my throat. My nostrils burned and eyes watered. I shoved down the sensation and flashed a smile filled with a whole lot of fang. “I’m a bad girl.”
S.L. Choi is an urban fantasy author with a deep love for humor, fast-paced action, and hit-you-in-the-heart feels. She grew up imagining goblins living in the rocks outside her bedroom window, while fairies flew through the flowers. Now she puts those stories to paper. When not writing, she is either photographing the beautiful New England area, hiking, gaming with her equally nerdy husband, or attending to the small furry overlords who rule them both. Author links: https://twitter.com/sl_choi https://slchoi.com/ https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSLChoi https://www.tiktok.com/@slchoi_author https://www.instagram.com/slchoi_author/ https://www.bookbub.com/authors/s-l-choi https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21751903.S_L_Choi