Read the STEAMY excerpt from A Twist of Wyrd
Book #1 in The Ways of Wyrd Series
by Author PJ Friel @authorpjfriel
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"Sometimes you need a monster to save you from the dark".
We walked in uncomfortable silence. He carried the bag containing our food, which irritated the heck out of me. He’d snatched it up off the table when I’d reached for it, like I was too delicate and weak to carry a darn takeout bag.
I reminded myself that he’d said he was “old-fashioned.” He was probably just being nice. Not sure why he cared. We’d just agreed to use the heck out of each other, not build a lifelong friendship. I guess I’d just have to feed him some rope and hope he didn’t hang himself with it.
As we strolled down the sidewalk, he rested his free hand on the small of my back. The first brush of his fingertips made my stomach flutter and my nipples tighten. I couldn’t help fantasizing about his hand drifting lower, squeezing my butt and pulling me against him.
The spell broke as he used his touch to guide me, tugging me left and nudging me right. Once he even pulled on my shirt to slow me down. I clenched my jaw so tightly my teeth ached.
Dodging pedestrians was a way of life. I’d been doing it for years. I didn’t need someone steering me like a shopping cart. He controlled my movements, manipulated my direction like he knew better than I did where and how fast I should walk. I’d had enough of that from Frank and Eugenia Ullman. I didn’t need it from some guy I barely knew.
His thumb slipped under the bottom of my shirt and traced a circle. Twin bolts of desire raced down the backs of my thighs, and my brain short-circuited until we came to the next red light.
He swung his arm out in front of me to keep me from crossing. I gave him a disgruntled look, but either he didn’t see it or he ignored it. When the light turned green, he made the colossal mistake of offering me his hand to help me off the curb.
I lost my ever-loving mind.
“Are you kidding me right now? I can step down off a curb without breaking my neck, Dad. I’m not five.”
Trygg arched a brow at me. “Really? You’re acting like it.”
His husky laugh followed me the remaining twenty feet to my office. Calmly unlocking the door was hard when what I really wanted to do was kick it down. Eventually, I succeeded, then slammed it shut behind me. A moment later Trygg sauntered in.
“Are you done with your snit?” He walked into my office and tossed the takeout bag on my desk, wicked lips curled in a grin.
“If my lo mein spilled, I’m going to be so angry.” I poked him in the chest.
“I’ll buy you some more.” He leaned into my poke, his face inches from mine.
God, he smelled delicious. Spicy and earthy and all male.
“I don’t need you to buy me anything. If I want lo mein, I’ll buy it myself. And newsflash! I can even feed myself, too. No bib required.”
A vision of him feeding me flitted across my mind and I stomped my foot rather than give in to the electricity sparking down my spine.
“Oh, yeah? Well, what if I want to buy you lo mein? What if it makes me deliriously happy to buy you a whole trough full of lo mein?”
“Why would it make you happy to—”
“If I do buy you a trough full of lo mein are you going to throw it at my head to show me what a big strong girl you are?” He squeezed my biceps and winked at me.
I swallowed hard. “Not a bad idea.”
“Or maybe you could just take the goddamn lo mein and appreciate the fact that I cared you might be hungry.”
I stared into his eyes, panting, as his fingers slid up to my shoulders. “Are you finished?”
“Not even close.”
His hands cupped my face and I moaned. “We’re not actually talking about lo mein, are we?”
“We never were.”
My lips twitched. “Just don’t expect me to eat General Tso’s.”
“General Tso isn’t getting anywhere near you.” Trygg growled and dragged me against him, his gaze a heavy-lidded smolder. “You’ll eat only what I feed you, woman.”
“Keep telling yourself that.” I gripped his biceps, my short nails digging into his skin.
A hand gripped the hair at the back of my head. The other moved to my butt and pulled me against his rock-hard cock. His head lowered and he took my mouth like it was his due.
My reaction was immediate, without thought. Every part of my body strained towards him. My arms wrapped around his neck, nipples peaked against his chest, toes lifting me so I could press my mouth harder against his.
The kiss in the parking garage had been hot, exploratory. It spoke of a man who was confident in his skills and considerate of his lovers. That man gave more than he received. His partner’s pleasure was paramount to his own.
The difference between that Trygg and this one was both terrifying and thrilling.
This Trygg wanted to own me, wanted to bend me to his will, make me beg for all the things he would have given me freely before. All I had to do now was the impossible...let him take the reins.
For a moment I considered it, allowed my senses to be overwhelmed by his taste, his touch, the way he smelled. I’d never given a man control of my body before. Previous lovers hadn’t ever dared try and I certainly hadn’t expected a power play from Trygg. He was the old-fashioned gentleman who carried me into a dark parking garage and kissed me just long enough to leave me wanting more.
The man devouring my mouth was no gentleman. After the way he’d laid everything out in the restaurant, I wasn’t sure why I expected him to be, but I was thankful he wasn’t.
If Trygg was tempting before, now he was irresistible, but for an entirely different reason. Before, he’d made me feel safe. There had been a light in his eyes offering me sanctuary, a place to hide from the darkness that drained my courage every time the sun set. That Trygg would have let me curl into his arms for the rest of my days, never forcing me to reveal the corruption eating away at my soul.
The man devouring my mouth now offered no such asylum and he gave no quarter, not even to his allies. If I handed myself over to this Trygg, he wouldn’t allow me to hide anymore. He would rip down my walls and leave me bare, force me to fight my demons.
Fight or die.
The thought thrilled me.
But what if I became the very thing I fought against?
Trygg might end up the one lying broken on the battlefield if that happened, and frankly, I was certain it would. Fear wasn’t the only thing I felt when the sun’s rays disappeared over the horizon. There was a tiny, rotten, whispering part of me that reveled in the dying of the light each day. My despised Svartalf heritage.
This had to stay just sex. For his safety even more so than my own.
Besides, I’d ruined any true chance of ever having something meaningful with Trygg and I’d done it in this very office. I had ripped something out of him that he never would have shared with someone like me. There was no sense in trying to pretend that I hadn’t seen the chinks in his armor. He’d never trust me again, and with good reason.
We were combatants now, and it was time for me to start acting like it.
I reached back and swiped everything off my desk.
He pulled his mouth off mine, breathing hard. “There went your lo mein.”
“I’ll buy more.” I shoved him and his butt hit the edge of my desk. “Take off your clothes.”
He pulled out his wallet with steady hands and removed a condom. His calmness infuriated me. I clenched my own hands to stop the shaking. Allowing him to see how much he affected me would be a mistake. His gaze met mine and there was a question in his eyes as he handed the foil package to me.
Are you sure you want this?
Speech was beyond me. I unbuckled his belt and opened his pants.
“Touch me,” he whispered, hips thrust forward.
I shook my head and dragged his pants down his thighs. “You haven’t earned it.”
Ever helpful, Trygg slipped off his shoes and socks and let me finish removing his trousers. I tossed them on the chair and dove for the hem of his shirt. This wouldn’t work unless he was naked, vulnerable, under my hands, and at the mercy of my mouth. I shivered at the thought of tasting his skin.
His shirt joined his pants and I ran my hands over the black boxer briefs that clung to his muscular thighs and thick cock. He grabbed my hips and dragged me forward, pressing me tightly between his spread legs and against that hard ridge. A whimper tore from my throat and I thrust against him.
“How do I earn it?”
My teeth sinking into his bottom lip was my only answer, and the only thing that kept me from telling him he already had and then begging him to toss me on the desk and pound into me. Begging was what other people did.
Weak people, not me. Never me.
He tugged loose from my mouth and nibbled up my neck. Hot breath caressed my ear. “I want to see you.”
He started to raise my shirt, but I grabbed his hands. The thought of his mouth on my breasts made me ache, but the light was too bright in my office, even with the blinds drawn. I couldn’t bear for him to see the scars on my stomach, didn’t want to answer questions or see the desire in his eyes turn to pity.
Plus, if his searing-hot mouth closed around me, I was screwed...in every sense of the word. I needed to control this. With a shove, I sent Trygg sprawling backwards onto my desk. He let out an oof and a husky laugh. His abs tightened as he drew up and rested on his elbows, his green eyes roaming over my body like a caress. I returned the favor with my lips, delighting when he groaned loudly.
“God, your mouth…” He ran a hand through my hair, cupping my head, but not rushing me towards his throbbing, cloth-covered cock, even though I knew he wanted to.
His skin tasted like every decadent dessert I denied myself. Today, I gorged on him, licking and sucking down his stomach until finally, I could rub my lips against his hard cock. I wanted him in my mouth, was desperate to taste him on my tongue.
“Lift your hips,” I rasped as I latched onto the waistband of his boxer briefs.
He caught my wrists. “I want to see you first. Please.”
“I said, lift your hips.” My need got the better of me.
For a moment, I thought he’d refuse. His brows drew together and his gaze battled mine. Finally, he released my wrists and trailed a finger along my jaw. “Okay, baby. Whatever you need.”
I swallowed hard against the lump of emotion his gentle tone caused and focused on dragging his underwear off his hips and down his muscular thighs. He gripped his cock, palm sliding against the rigid length while he watched me.
I slapped his hand away. “Mine,” I said, replacing his grip with my own hand and mouth.
“Fuck!” He arched up off the desk and the head of his cock brushed the back of my throat.
I pulled back and stroked him as I licked the underside of his shaft. Pre-cum beaded on the tip and I swiped it off with one long lick.
“You taste so good.” I stroked his cock faster and licked into the slit, hungry for more of him.
“If you keep doing that, I’m not going to last.” He fisted his hand in my hair and pulled me up. “I need inside you, Bryn.”
My clit throbbed. “Yes.”
Releasing him, I unbuttoned my jeans and yanked them and my thong over my hips as I flipped off my shoes. I left my shirt on and hoped that he wouldn’t push the issue. There was a sound of foil ripping and then Trygg rolled the condom over his cock.
“I’m gonna ride you so hard.” I crawled up onto the desk and straddled him.
Trygg rubbed the head of his cock against my clit and I shuddered. A teasing grin curled his lips as he slid his cock back and forth through my wet folds. My hips jerked, chasing the slick glide of him against that sensitive bundle of nerves. Then I felt him line up with my opening and his hands grabbed my hips. He yanked me down as he thrust up.
I lost my mind.
Screaming, I bucked against him, met his powerful thrust and ground against him. I had never been so full or felt so whole. Behind me, his feet pulled up on the desk, giving him the leverage to pound into me. And holy mother did he pound me. Skin slapped against skin and our moans filled the room.
“Harder. Oh, god. Give it to me harder.”
I spread my legs as far as the desk would allow then collapsed forward on my elbows. My lips pressed against his chest in open-mouth kisses and my teeth closed over a nipple, biting hard enough to earn a slap on the butt.
“Kiss me while I fuck you. I wanna swallow your screams when you come.”
I swiped my tongue over the nipple, soothing the sting, then fastened my mouth onto his. As his cock slid in and out of my pussy, my tongue made love to his mouth. Breath and spit mingled with whimpers and groans.
I tried to keep him from owning my body. Proof that I’d failed was my shirt and bra hitting the floor via my own hand. I needed all of him touching all of me. As long as I pressed against him, he wouldn’t see the scars on my belly.
“Oh, yes, baby,” he praised me. “You feel so good. Those sweet nipples rubbing against my chest and that tight pussy gripping me.”
All I could do was nod as every thrust carried me higher and every word pulled me deeper under his spell. “Trygg.” His name left my lips on a whimper.
“I’ve got you.” He wrapped his arms tightly around me, locking me to him as he hammered into me faster. Then he asked for the impossible. “Let go.”
I shook my head, tried to pull away, take back the control I’d given him when I’d stripped naked. He cupped my face, forced me to look into his eyes. That light I thought I’d stolen was back in his gaze.
“I’m right here, Bryn,” he whispered, trying to pull my lips down to his even as I locked my elbows against him, more afraid of his kiss than exposing my scars. “Stay with me, sweetheart.”
Need coiled tight in my belly and when he traced his thumb over my lip, I gave into it. I dropped against him again and poured everything I had into the kiss that shattered me. My pussy tightened and then throbbed around him. Stars danced across the back of my tightly closed eyelids, little pinpoints of light against the darkness. I poured my screams into his mouth and he swallowed them, just like he’d promised.
His hips thrust up once, twice, then locked as he pulsed inside me. “So beautiful. So goddamn beautiful,” he panted against my mouth.
I buried my face against his neck. His pulse throbbed against my cheek in time with my own heartbeat. Was it sweat or my tears that wet his skin? I wasn’t sure. All I knew was that I’d been a fool to believe that I could allow this man inside my body and walk away unscathed.
Just as I’d feared, I was screwed. In every sense of the word.
They say a person's wyrd - their destiny - is carved into Yggdrasil’s branches long before they are born. The Norns have a plan for everyone and mere mortals aren’t meant to stray.
But three hundred years after Odin's gates between the Nine Worlds malfunctioned, Outlanders left behind on Midgard have forgotten their wyrd and have integrated into society so thoroughly that few humans are even aware of their existence.
PI Bryn Ullman spends her days using her unique gift of retrocognition to assist the local police force in solving otherwise impossible crimes. Her nights are spent alone in hiding, very literally, from the shadows themselves and from those who want her to fulfil her birthright.
Trygg Mackenzie, berserker in hiding from Odin and the eternal servitude that he owes, buries his secrets behind the calm facade of a security professional, working for the mob. But he’s just one stressor away from losing it all to the monster inside him.
When a murder investigation thrusts Bryn into his life, Trygg is more than willing to risk exposure and even his life in order to protect the courageous beauty who sets his blood on fire, but the one thing she values the most - the truth - might be more than he’s willing to offer.
As mob secrets and unknown factions threaten their work and their lives, will giving in to their passion be their undoing or their salvation?
On the path of fate and destiny, it'll take A Twist of Wyrd to save them both.
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@Jo_Isalovebooks Promotions Presents #ExcerptReveal for A Twist of Wyrd by @pj_friel
Living in a small village was peaceful–for the bedraggled Mr. and Mrs. Friel, parents of eight children. For their daughter PJ, the village of Gnadenhutten was a study in boredom. Her only excitement was found in skulking around the old graveyard at midnight with her friends and badgering the librarians at the local library. When told she wasn’t allowed to read adult romance (at the age of twelve), PJ decided to use the mail-order library instead.
Sirena the Sea Siren sailed into her life (courtesy of Fern Michaels) and a respect for bold, gutsy women was born.
When PJ isn’t terrorizing the highways of Ohio in her red, mid-life crisis, sports car or crunching numbers in Excel spreadsheets, she’s writing about sword-wielding, ass-kicking, wilful, sometimes wanton women and the men who are strong enough to love them.
Her hobbies include reading and creating artwork that reflects the juxtaposition of sensuality and strength in women.
She is currently single and lives with her son, who thinks he’s the boss of her.