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About the author:
Yamila Abraham is a writer of paranormal and sci-fi romance.
What inspired you to write your book?
Here is a short sample from the book:
Michelle sat at an outdoor table at the coffee shop and kept her gaze fixed on the massive glass doors of the Woolworth building. It was tough to get a clear view with the foot traffic on the broad sidewalks. She kept focused and tried not to get discouraged. Maximon would be able to sense her even if they didn’t see each other. He’d know she was there and he’d come to her.
She tore a bit of cuticle from beside her thumbnail. Beside her leg were two large suitcases that had made her arms ache when she lugged them onto the train from LaGuardia. On top of the small round table was a purse that contained the remainder of her belongings as well as her meager life-savings. The trip was a gamble but her spirit form, the jaguar goddess Ixchel, was certain it would pay off.
She didn’t have the same confidence in her human form. She felt so out of place she couldn’t even lean back in her chair. The café looked like something out of a Hollywood set, and the flood of people passing her was making her head spin. How could a sidewalk be clogged with so many people?
Her heart was thumping under her cardigan. Running off to a titanic city with hardly any money was not something she did. She had to tell her parents a dozen lies so they wouldn’t worry. A made up job, a made up apartment, even a made up person who was going to pick her up at the airport. The truth was too outrageous to admit to anyone.
She came because of her spirit dreams—something so crazy even she wouldn’t trust them to be true, except they only happened when she took the form of a jaguar.
The need she felt had propelled her to such drastic actions. It seized her heart and body fiercely enough to make her desperate. She wanted to touch this beautiful man from her dream, and have him touch her in return. It was an ache that gave her tightness in her sex even as she sat there. She’d never known that kind of hunger before.
Maybe it had made her crazy. She wasn’t even sure if this was really where Maximon worked.
No. Don’t start second-guessing yourself. This has to be the right place. You saw the words over the door in your dream as clear as day. He’ll be here. Everything will be fine.
Would it though? There was still that little detail…but it wasn’t worth stressing over that now. One thing at a time…
She looked at the plastic Timex watch on her wrist. Two thirty. Max probably wouldn’t be leaving the building until five or six. Hopefully the café owner would let her nurse her $6 coffee until then.
At the table next to her was a sharply dressed woman tapping the screen of an expensive looking cell phone. One of her satiny shoes had to cost more than Michelle’s whole outfit. This was probably the type of woman Maximon wanted. Not some hayseed from Podunk New Mexico.
She bit her lower lip. You’re spirit-bonded. That crazy desire you’re feeling right now is the same thing he’s feeling.
Right? It hit them both at the same time, didn’t it? New doubts cropped up in her mind.
Then all her thoughts halted in an instant. The hair pricked up on the back of her neck, and her stomach grew tight. She turned to look behind her slowly—too slow. Like things had gone into slow motion in a movie.
Standing ten feet away was a man with shoulder-length ink black hair in a dark tailored suit. His irises were red and the pupils were like black blades going down the middle of them.
Michelle felt as though her heart had moved into her throat. She began to tremble, to quake right at her core. She’d never known this kind of terror before.
That’s not Maximon!
Michelle turned away and closed her eyes. She placed a hand on her chest and felt her heart thumping beneath it. Get it together. The sound of chair legs scraping the ground made her eyes dart up. The man was right in front of her now—taking the other seat at her small table.
Michelle gaped at him with her eyes wide. He had to be around ten years older than her, 33 or so, and in addition to his weird eyes he had skin that was almost white. Only the tiniest brush of coloration touched the round of his cheek and the well of his throat.
He was grinning at her.
It was a spirit memory that came like a whisper from her subconscious. Caquix? Who was Caquix again?
Damn! How could she get so rusty on her Books of B’alam? She was one of the goddesses in the actual text.
She lifted her nose and dredged up some false courage. “Mr. Caquix.”
He gave a shallow bow of his head. “Ixchel.”
No one had ever called her by her goddess name before. This is so surreal.
He gave the smile of someone about to devour her. “Welcome to New York.”
She squeezed her purse strap. “Thank you.”
“It’s wonderful to meet one of our kind, don’t you think? It’s been so long. I’d love to hear what this lifetime has been like for you.”
Michelle swallowed. Every instinct she had was screaming to get away from him.
“Do you have a hotel? I could drive you there.”
“I’m waiting for someone.”
His smile stayed the same, but his eyes grew narrower. “Maximon.”
She stared at him without nodding. It had to be obvious, but she didn’t dare offer one spec of information.
Caquix leaned back in the ornate metal chair. “He’s out of town, you know.”
“He won’t be back until Monday. Tell me—had you planned on staying with him?”
Her heart began to race once more. She opened her mouth to speak, but her throat went dry.
“I have a condominium in Columbus Square. You’re welcome to stay with me until he gets back.”
She looked at him with renewed terror. It was equal parts the terror of going with him, and the terror of not having a place to stay for the next three nights. She could take her jaguar form, sure—but what about her things? What about—
“You don’t have to be frightened. We’re practically family.”
Ice dripped down her vertebrae. She drew up enough spittle to form words. “I’ll be fine.”
“Who do you think you’re fooling?” He snatched her wrist.
Michelle gasped. She tried to jerk free, but the bastard was holding tight enough to hurt her.
“You’re coming with me.”
A red haze began to spill from his eyes. Michelle’s breath caught in her throat. She felt paralyzed, and the dark eyes at the center of the haze were pulling her in like a vortex.
Growling. She heard growling past Caquix’s hypnotic thrall.
He turned to look over his shoulder, breaking the dark magic’s hold. Michelle gasped for breath. She managed to yank her hand free, but was still too addled to wrench herself to her feet.
The growling was coming from behind him. On the sidewalk was a jaguar a third larger than what she was when she took the form. Its teeth were bared with a crinkling of its regal nose. Its spotted shoulders were bulging with muscles and its clawed paws looked as big as Michelle’s palms. The beast’s eyes were fixed on Caquix.
“Damn it!” He edged back his chair to stand.
Michelle soothed her wrist while continuing to catch her breath. Dozens of people were walking by them on the sidewalk and still more were dining in the outside area of the café. Not a single person looked at the giant wild cat even though his roars were loud enough to vibrate in her chest.
“Don’t you dare—repulsive beast!” Caquix backed from it with fury etched in his pale face. “If you destroy this mortal life I’ll avenge it in the spirit world!”
The jaguar leapt for him with spittle flying from its bared teeth. Caquix jumped while his feet simultaneously shrunk upwards. He transformed into a massive black bird whose wing beats swept Michelle’s hair around her face. The cat swiped a paw-full of feathers, but the great bird escaped with a shrieking caw.
Michelle swallowed down the lump that had built in her throat. The evil pall in the air dissipated, taking with it the oppressive feeling of dread in her middle.
No one around her noticed the man turning into a bird or the jaguar leaping after it. However, once Caquix was high in the air, a couple at the table next to her pointed and made comments about a ‘huge bird’. A few other heads turned up when they pointed. This made Michelle tense. She thought humans weren’t able to see any B’alam magic. Apparently they can see us once we can be rationally explained.
The jaguar transformed into a tall man in a slick black suit with a sheen to it. He captured the entirety of Michelle’s focus at once, because she knew he was the reason for the yearning inside her. She looked into a set of eyes that were as yellow as the ones she saw in the mirror. They captivated her a moment, delaying her appreciation of the strong chin and high chiseled cheekbones around them. The handsome face was framed with black wisps of hair that made a sultry trail over his forehead.
“Maximon,” she said with barely any breath.
“Ixchel.” He drew a breath that made his large shoulders lift and fall. The sigh made her cringe with doubt. Wasn’t he happy to see her? Wasn’t he feeling the same gush of heat and need that was churning through her insides?
“I’m glad you came.” His eyes lowered as though looking at her were difficult. “I couldn’t go find you. I’ve been extremely busy—especially lately. I just…” Finally he met her eyes again. “Did he hurt you?”
She placed her hand over her wrist. “No. That was Caquix…right?”
He looked toward the sky. “Was it? I don’t really know. I’ve never seen a demon in a human form before.” His eyes moved back to her. “Well, anyway, he should know better than to go after you again.” He extended his hand.
Michelle rose from her seat. When she took Maximon’s hand there was a scintillating shock of chemistry that almost made her lose her bearing. The longing seized her, making her middle feel like it caved in. She wanted their mouths and bodies to connect so desperately. Her nipples perked into hard buds, fortunately hidden beneath her sweater. It became hard for her wobbling legs to support her.
She saw Maximon’s lips part and his eyes glimmer.
He feels it too.
He closed his eyes and shuddered. Then he drew another long breath and wrest his hand from hers.
Maximon turned to a man Michelle hadn’t noticed before. He was tall and thick with a full beard and a grey suit that looked less expensive than Maximon’s.
“Dom, this woman…what do you see when you look at her?”
The man tipped up his chin. “Sir?”
“This woman. This one standing here right next to me. Tell me exactly what you see when you look at her and don’t lie. It’s important.”
Michelle curled her trembling hands close to her body. She saw Dom wet his lips and then look her over.
“Yes, sir. Uh, well, she’s attractive. She’s got dark blonde hair going to the middle of her back that looks natural. A good figure. Looks in her early twenties. A really pretty face, without even much make-up it looks like. Clothes…um…probably need a little work, but she’s got a girl next door quality to her I guess you could say.”
Max nodded at him. “Then you see the same thing I see.” He turned to her. “I wasn’t sure. I can’t trust my own eyes with this spirit-bonding. It’s like some vicious type of mind-control. It’s turned me insane.”
She swallowed. “Me too.”
He walked to Dom. “Take her to my condo. Just leave her there. She’s moving in with me.”
The man looked confused. “Oh. Ms. Jerrica…she’s not coming around anymore?”
“I broke up with her last week.” He scowled. “Ever since this—whatever it is started happening.”
Dom’s brow rose. Michelle felt like a dark cloud of grief had descended on her.
He thinks it’s a curse.
He turned to her sharply. “You are moving in with me, right?”
She managed a quick nod.
“Dom will take you to my place. I have to go back to work. I’ll see you this evening.” He headed for the crosswalk. There was a stagger in his step that he quickly recovered from. He paused a moment, but didn’t look back. “Make sure she gets something to eat.”
Dom moved forward to gather up her bags. “Alright then Ms…?”
Her eyes stayed fixed on Maximon as he tore free from the thread of connection that had entwined her heart when they touched.
“Nacan.” Tears built behind her eyes. “Michelle Nacan.”