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A Vampire's Unlikely Alliance (Demon's Witch Series Book 3)
 


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A Vampire's Unlikely Alliance (Demon's Witch Series Book 3)


  Table of Contents

  Excerpt

  Praise for Tena Stetler

  A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance

  Copyright

  Dedications

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  If you enjoyed

  An Angel’s Unintentional Entanglement

  Chapter One

  A word about the author…

  Thank you for purchasing this publication of The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

  Also available from The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

  The sun slid behind the mountains,

  setting the azure sky ablaze in hues of red, orange, yellow, and pink. Then red shifted to purple and dusk faded to darkness as he jogged toward the trails. She stood leaning against the rock where he had started his run last night. He’d tried to convince himself to stay away, but in the end, the urge was too strong.

  In a whisper of movement, he was at her side with his hand on the rock just above her shoulder. “Waiting for someone? Brandy, is it?” The scent of warm, perfumed female skin wafted over him as he leaned into her.

  “It took you long enough, Mr. Talltree.” Her full lips formed a slight pout as she lifted her chin and tilted her face up to meet his. “Nice to see you again.”

  There was no hesitation or apprehension in her lovely features as he moved closer, placing his other hand next to her left shoulder, effectively pinning her against the rock. He wanted to wrap his arms around her lithe, warm body and brush his lips over her sexy pout. But he thought better of it, not wanting to scare her off…not yet.

  “Yes, it is.” He let his gaze wander leisurely up and down her luscious body. “Didn’t your mother warn you about the dangers of stalking a stranger at night in the park alone?”

  Praise for Tena Stetler

  “It is hard because now I have fallen for these characters [in A WARLOCK’S SECRETS] too. I got wrapped up in the story so much that I forgot I was trying to take mental notes.”

  ~Lisa H.

  ~*~

  “I totally enjoyed [A DEMON’S WITCH]…fun paranormal romance, with enough sizzle and suspense to keep those pages turning, rooting for that Happily Ever After.”

  ~Author Katie O’Sullivan

  ~*~

  “What a nice surprise to discover a well-written paranormal romance with a touch of fantasy. [A WITCH’S JOURNEY is] a story of witchcraft, dark secrets and second chances. This author nicely blended her two main characters with magic and romance to make it a fun read!”

  ~Books & Benches

  ~*~

  “I had a lot fun reading this unique paranormal story [A WITCHES HOLIDAY WEDDING].”

  ~Reviewer Ashia, Reading Alley

  A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance

  by

  Tena Stetler

  Demon’s Witch Series, Book 3

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

  A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance

  COPYRIGHT © 2017 by Tena Stetler

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

  Contact Information: [email protected]

  Cover Art by Kristian Norris

  The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

  PO Box 708

  Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

  Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com

  Publishing History

  First Black Rose Edition, 2017

  Print ISBN 978-1-5092-1772-4

  Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-1773-1

  Demon’s Witch Series, Book 3

  Published in the United States of America

  Dedications

  To my family and friends for all their support.

  ~*~

  To my husband

  who brainstorms and proofs my books with me.

  ~*~

  To my fantastic editor Lill

  and my publishing house, The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

  You’re absolutely the best!

  ~*~

  And to my fellow authors at The Wild Rose,

  who are always ready to lend a hand.

  What a team!

  ~*~

  To my wonderful readers—

  Thank you so much!

  Chapter One

  Don’t Loiter on Trails After Dark

  Perched on a boulder, hidden behind scraggly branches of scrub oak, Stefan sniffed the air appreciatively. In Glacier National Park, a few yards off the popular Avalanche Lake hiking trail, he watched and waited as the last stragglers made their way down the trail.

  The dusky purple sky faded—his favorite time of day, when the deserted trails were his except for an occasional wolf, bear, or bat. His nightly routine of running the trails around Going-to-the-Sun Road at top speed exhausted his body and reduced his bloodlust. This enhanced his ability to work among humans with little discomfort for him or danger to them.

  The blood he’d appropriated from St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena sated his thirst for now. But the supply was dwindling, and finding a new source was at the top of his to-do list. Was leaving the Vampire Council my best option? The blood supply was always fresh, but my duties sucked. Playing politics wasn’t his strong suit, but orders to terminate the loser went against even his moral compass.

  Jumping down from the boulder, he landed silently on the balls of his feet and took off at a dead run, too fast for the human eye to detect. Tonight, his run covered several trails as the full moon rose over the mountain tops. Croaking frogs settled at the edge of a pristine mountain lake while an owl screeched overhead, winging its way through the night sky. This tranquil existence was very different from his previous life. Nevertheless, the premonitions that kept him alive as an assassin made him feel that things were about to change.

  It was nearly midnight when he cut across the Sun Road to another trailhead, so intent on his goal that he nearly collided with an attractive young woman. He skidded to a stop, spraying gravel, rocks, and small twigs down the road in front of him. A pinecone dislodged and bounced along the road past her. Tall and slender, she had miles of fiery-red hair that hung down her back in a cascade of curls. Intense emerald eyes stared back at him as he attempted to regain his composure, not to mention balance. What the hell was she doing here at this time of night?

  “Whoa.” She stepped lightly to the side to avoid the flying
debris. “You really should watch where you’re going, especially at that speed.” Her voice scolded, but the smile on her lips teased. “Someone could get hurt.”

  Pretending to pant, he shrugged, holding his palms up in surrender. “Just trying to get my run in before work. Stefan Talltree, at your service.” He stepped closer, leaned over in an exaggerated bow, and caught her hand, brushing his lips over the palm and wrist, inhaling her sweet scent. AB negative with a pulse of adrenaline. Perfect. Her pulse beat a tattoo against his lips. He backed away.

  Her heart thundered as she drew her hand from his grasp. “The name’s Brandy. Pleased to meet you, Stefan.” Her smile reached up into her bright eyes as they swept over him with an appreciative glance, an experience he enjoyed.

  Her voice had a hint of Irish lilt to it. He liked that too.

  “Where do you work that requires you to report in at—” She glanced at her watch. “—midnight?”

  Nostrils flaring, he paused. Blood? Not hers. The sound of Brandy’s voice brought his attention back to her and the situation at hand. “Oh, shit, I’ve gotta go!” He sprinted off, leaving her standing alone.

  As he started down the trail, the tree branches swayed in the silvery moonlight, casting eerie shadows across the trail’s edge. The breeze brought with it the coppery scent of fresh blood mixed with sulfur. He turned for one last look at her as she wrinkled her nose before silently creeping into the wind, tracking the source of the stench.

  ****

  Gravel crunched beneath Stefan’s feet when he crossed the parking lot. Cody had driven his old beater of a pickup rather than his sleek black Corvette convertible. No hot date tonight, huh, old man?

  Stefan slid the key into the lock and yanked open the radio station door. He walked by the empty reception desk; a faint scent of flowery perfume wafted past him. Turning, he rushed down the dimly lit hallway to the second door on the left. The “On Air” light glowed red above the door. Stefan waved through the glass window to the control room.

  Cody flipped the mic off and motioned Stefan in. “Well, well, look what finally dragged himself to work.” Cody ran his hand over the stubble on his chin. “Come to think of it, I don’t remember you ever cutting it this close. Russ’s golden boy ain’t perfect,” Cody crowed, shaking his head in mock amazement.

  “Shut up. I’ve ten minutes before you’re off shift,” Stefan said, glaring as he closed the door. He took off his leather jacket, tossing it on the back of a chair located under the tiny window to the outside. Glancing around the small room, he finally located the play and traffic (commercial) lists hanging on a hook above the computer monitor suspended from the ceiling.

  He yanked the lists off the hook and reviewed all the commercials set to run during his shift. Stefan noted Cody had checked them all off and made sure they were in the correct time slots. Stefan’s expression softened, the corner of his mouth lifting in a half grin as he looked down at the older DJ. “Thanks, man. I owe you.”

  “Gee, now there’s something new. Hey, you get lost on the trails again?” Cody tugged his hand through his brown hair, which was graying at the temples. Then, turning back to the board, he checked the minutes left on the song and made sure another was in cue, though everything was computerized now. But old habits die hard, and dead air, whether from computer error or human mistake, was something to be avoided at all costs.

  “Maybe.” Stefan’s grin faded. He snatched the playlist off the counter and quirked a dark brow, staring down at Cody. “Does it matter?”

  Cody snorted and gave Stefan a sideways glance. “Or was it one of those groupies who are always hanging around at your remotes revving your engine?”

  Stefan narrowed his eyes. “You know I don’t mess with that kind. Not my type.”

  “Hell, then send them my way. That petite brunette last week at the Flathead County Fairgrounds was HOT!” Cody wiggled his bushy salt-and-pepper eyebrows, then grinned.

  “She probably has a boyfriend. You’ll be hiding out like last month after you met up with…who was it?” Stefan dropped the list of songs onto the counter. An eyebrow arched. He looked at Cody.

  “Sophie. How was I supposed to know she was married?” Cody’s hazel eyes twinkled with feigned innocence.

  “Uh, the gold band on her left hand is usually a dead giveaway.” He slapped Cody on the back and gave him a shove. “Now get out of here. I’m sure you have better things to do than shoot the shit with me.”

  Cody raised his hand in a sloppy salute, turned, and sauntered out the control room door. The latch clicked softly behind him. Stefan checked the playlist and commercials against the computer one final time, then grabbed his headphones. It was ten minutes before his first stop set, so he swung his leg over the chair and settled in. Leaning back in the chair, he allowed his thoughts drift to the woman on the trails and the foreboding feeling that crept through him before meeting her.

  Normally, the solitude of the radio station’s midnight shift soothed him. But tonight he was edgy. Pacing back and forth across the control room floor like a caged animal, desire stirred inside him, and he couldn’t escape the unwelcome craving for naked female flesh under him. Tired of the one-night stands, he wanted someone who mattered. He swore under his breath and muttered, “Never again.”

  Yet the need to find that redhead seemed all-consuming. Even though he knew instinctively it wasn’t safe for either of them…unless…Ruthlessly, he shut down the emotions swirling in his gut and turned back to the control panel. I’ve got a job to do. He shoved her out of his mind, adjusted his headphones, and turned on the mic.

  “Cody has left the building,” Stefan said in an amused voice. “I’ve quite a lineup for you tonight. Kick off your boots, sit back, and relax. Need to hear something? Give me a call. I’ll be here all night at Big Fish Radio.” His deep, smooth voice flowed out over the airwaves to his listening audience of night owls. With a flick of his finger, the “On Air” light went off, and his mind flipped back to the mystery woman.

  Avoiding the trails for a while seemed the best course of action. She’d be an unwanted complication in his world. He couldn’t be trusted and certainly not with a human female. If she was human, why didn’t she shy away tonight? Normally, a warm-blood’s subconscious knows I’m a danger to their very existence. Although he had to admit, since settling down in Whitefish, not many shied away from him anymore. The more interesting question is…what if she isn’t human? She’d make an intriguing diversion.

  Knowing he shouldn’t didn’t keep him from wanting to return to the trails and look for her.

  The blue flashing light on the wall signaled a phone call and yanked him out of his thoughts as he snatched the receiver. “The Big Fish, what’s your pleasure?”

  After a slight pause, a sultry female voice whispered through the phone. “Is this the tall, muscular hunk that prowls the trails of Glacier National Park after dark?”

  Waves of lust crashed through him without warning. He stood to relieve the hard, aching ridge forming under the zipper of his jeans. Staring out the tiny window into the darkness, he said, “Well, it depends on who’s asking.”

  “I guess you’ll have to come back to the trails to find out,” she purred and hung up.

  Standing at the counter, he stared at the receiver. “What the hell?” he said in the empty control room, slamming the receiver down onto its cradle. Rubbing the back of his neck, he rolled his shoulders to release the tension. How in the hell did she locate me this quick? Should I risk finding her?

  Dawn brought an orange glow to the horizon as Stefan’s shift ended. He walked out into the crisp morning air, unconsciously fingering the gold serpentine chain around his neck. His grandfather, a shaman, had conjured the chain to enable him to walk in sunlight unharmed. Still, he preferred the shadows and the anonymity they provided.

  He strolled the few blocks to the small log cabin he’d bought from Russ, the radio station manager. Wary at first, Russ was one of those overly friendly s
orts and decided Stefan needed a friend. When the previous overnight DJ moved to a bigger market for more money, Russ insisted Stefan’s deep, smooth voice made him ideal for the job. It was the perfect opportunity to blend in, and Stefan grew to enjoy it.

  Keys jangling from his finger, he unlocked the door to the log cabin and stepped inside. Though the sun was up, Stefan didn’t feel sleepy. As a vampire, he didn’t require much sleep. Usually after a shift he’d lie on the bed and relax, entering a meditative state. It rejuvenated his abilities and helped him work through problems that seemed unsolvable otherwise. That redheaded woman was going to be one of those problems. He could just tell. Still, he wanted to see her again, even knowing it could end in disaster, or worse, her death.

  Still edgy, he grabbed a pint of O positive from the freezer, noting again how low his supply was, and poured it into a large mug. His mouth watered at the memory of her AB negative spiced with adrenaline. He popped the blood in the microwave and heated it to a delicious 98.6 degrees. Lifting the mug to his lips, he took a sip and closed his eyes as the rich red liquid slid down his throat, satisfying his thirst.

  Mug in one hand, he picked up his guitar with the other and walked outside to sit on the shaded steps of the back porch. His fingers danced over the strings as he played the rhythm for his latest song. Music was the only thing that had comforted him while he learned to navigate the lifestyle of a newly turned, bloodthirsty vampire alone. Though it’d been years since he existed like that, the memory of his uncontrollable rage, the collage of terrified screams, gushing bright-red blood, mutilated bodies, and carnage still tormented him.

  ****

  The sun slid behind the mountains, setting the azure sky ablaze in hues of red, orange, yellow, and pink. Then red shifted to purple and dusk faded to darkness as he jogged toward the trails. She stood leaning against the rock where he had started his run last night. He’d tried to convince himself to stay away, but in the end, the urge was too strong.

  In a whisper of movement, he was at her side with his hand on the rock just above her shoulder. “Waiting for someone? Brandy, is it?” The scent of warm, perfumed female skin wafted over him as he leaned into her.

 
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