Ember is live!

Jdsamuels25_ebook Ember cover

Ebook is live!

https://amzn.to/2pnr96t

Excerpt:

Chapter 1:

I hadn’t been happy in a while, and all I could do was sit there, thinking of my next move in the bathroom while I broke down. My life had amounted to nothing. My recent relationship came to an end. Before it was said and done, he tore my heart out and left me to pick up the pieces. He managed to convince me that we just needed time apart; next thing I knew, his stuff was gone, and I was alone once again. Tonight, my ex had the balls to walk into the bar, and he wasn’t alone either; he brought in here his newest fling. I snapped back to reality and began my pre-work ritual; I donned my Rockie’s Blood uniform, name tag and all. I wanted to just run away, somewhere nobody knew my name. It still weighed on my mind that I could be so easily replaced. My old coven threw me out since the dark witches took over and killed my mom for my book. My life had been thrown into shit, which is why I’m hiding and taking this job in the first place. Let’s just say that my life was never dull. In fact, it’d been pretty stop and go without a break for me to unwind and relax from.

 

I’d been there for maybe close to a year, and despite the fact I majored in conjuration and potions, I still struggled to keep a roof over my head. Rockie’s Blood was a Tavern for all kinds of creatures. Some of the regular vamps there preferred fine china to random necks. I assumed they kept the biting thing for their lovers instead of their prey. Werewolves could order raw meat to satiate their four-legged friends appetite, and there was even a menu for witches to order food–actual burgers, fries, steak, you name it and we got it. Rockie’s was also a popular place for high level baddies like vampires,  werewolves, and even some witch covens. Working there could be a drag at times, especially when table 75 ordered blood and complained it wasn’t as hot as it could be.

I adjusted my shirt, making my boobs pop for extra tips. I needed the extra money, after all. I took a deep breath in the bathroom. I redid my makeup since it ran down my face because my dumbass forgot waterproof makeup. All I wanted to do was drink alcohol till I passed out and eat awful tv dinners, while crying to cheesy romance movies. I didn’t want to go back and see it, or him. I put on a brave face anyway, since I was a kick ass witch. I was also done with letting someone win. Not to mention he knew I worked there, so he deliberately came just to shove his flings in my face. Like I cared about anything but hiding. He was a loser, nothing more, and I had more important things to be concerned with like staying hidden to care right now. I wish I didn’t, but it still twinged when I looked back on what we had. 

My ex, Derrick, was sexy for sure–soulful blue eyes, dark blonde hair, and tattoos. Like, my god, everything I thought I ever wanted in someone. We got along for the most part, and he was a vampire which meant he could take my blood and power, which was addicting. Very addicting when mixed with love and sex. I was on a high while I was with him, and there was nothing that could stop it. He was a vampire warrior, and I loved the uniform. Now he was kissing and smiling, and hugging someone else, someone ugly though. A vampire groupie, judging by the marks on her slender neck.

The tears came faster, threatening to fall all over. So much for redoing my makeup. It was hard seeing him smile at someone else and holding them like they would break at any moment. My facade tore to shreds again. Me, with my bad habit of letting everything get to me like I usually do.  Luckily, he wasn’t in my area to watch, and I didn’t have to ask him if he needed a thing of hay for his pig or his new chew toy. Not even the most powerful spells could help with this heartbreak. I didn’t feel like cursing her and ruining my rep. Not even poisoning her drink would make me happy. I was a good witch. Hell, if I was that bad, I might as well show up to the witch’s doorstep. 

I fought through the agony threatening to consume me. It was the worst, and my eyes turned red from all the crying. Not sleeping didn’t help. I also felt sick. Like, it was awful. Someone kill me, please. Witches hurt me? Anything?  No? Can someone save me from this torment?

I did the grown-up thing and pushed it all down, far away to the back of my mind. I thought about the good memories of me serving blood to a few nice vamps. Helping creatures in the cold, anything to get my mind to not hurt in the first place. I couldn’t afford to have another breakdown at work. The last thing I wanted was to explain why I was crying over table threes blood when it had nothing to do with work.  And these customers never bothered me anyway. I ignored their attitudes for the most part.

I just had to get through this shift and I was free to drink oodles of wine and pass out while binge watching sappy romance movies with tv dinners up the ass. No cooking for me. I couldn’t cook. The microwave was my best friend.

I walked out of the women’s restroom to get back to my job and save my sanity by throwing myself into work.

The restaurant was pretty nice, with black walls and a red ceiling with pictures of creatures on it. It was created to be a fun place to hang out and spend time with friends and family. There were even strategically placed televisions with various sports. The vinyl booths were nicer than the usual ones, and you could tell the owner spent more on them than the average restaurant.  I was determined to finish this shift today since it was all I had going for me, and all I had left was this job. After all, my life had been hell warmed over. And crispy with extra hot, spicy sauce. It was busy enough to help me keep my mind off of stuff. I just couldn’t look over at him.

 

There was a war going on between the Poison Apple Coven, who were bad witches. The Fire Dragons, who were my people, the good guys, got dragons to call. My mom was caught in the crossfire and killed by the leader of them–Ivy, one of the baddest witches out there. I still remembered how my mom’s green eyes always smiled up at me like we both shared a big secret, and she wore it while she cooked dinner in the witch apron I got her. Her long, red hair was tied back. She loved making stuff with me, and we would have fun, especially with the asshole that tried to use me. She was a witch who conjured up revenge spells. She loved getting even with the people who truly deserved it. She was a good witch who used her magic only when she was truly wronged. She had an amazing gift and was taken out too early. I wanted to cry again, but I didn’t want to do it at work. That was the last thing I needed. We sent a curse to his house and set it on fire, making it look like an accident. Best day ever doing revenge spells with my mom. 

The fire element was our best friend. It could burn down an entire village and stop even the most stubborn water spell. She was gone. No more Mom to tell me how men sometimes sucked and that I deserved better than someone who wouldn’t make time for me. That I would find the man of my dreams. He was coming for me and the reason why it didn’t work with anyone else. How soon I’d be cuddling up to the love of my life, and how the warmth of our bodies would feel good as we watched a favorite movie for the tenth time. Cuddling was the best feeling, and being held made my day. I was way less stressed and happier. Now I was just depressed and a wreck, relying on alcohol to take my feelings away.

It was hard facing loss like losing my mother and a break up on top, like everything had to happen at once. There were some days when I was fine, and days where I just gave in and sobbed. I picked up my pen and paper out of my apron and walked up to greet the guy sitting at the bar with his head down. I felt that way too, buddy. It’s been a long one for me. I feel your pain. People come here to talk with friends, meet up with dates, and even drink their time away–one cold glass at a time. 

I went up to him and said, “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?” In a friendly, cheery tone. It looked like he was already drinking based off the empty glasses on the table already there. I wondered where his server was, and if it was who I thought it was, I’d take over from there. This was my specialty. I loved dealing with drunks. 

He looked at me with his soulful, chocolate eyes. Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe, he was that attractive, and his hair was spiked too, like he had just gotten out of bed. He actually existed. Holy shit! The guy in my dreams. Fuck me. He is real, and I just can’t believe he is here in the flesh. All thoughts were thrown out the window, thanks to this stranger in front of me. There was a strong chemistry feeling there. I wanted to trip over my words and even bow to his feet. He was a sexy, mysterious guy. A bad boy edge about him. He had a chain on his pants and tattoos. Holy fuck, I’m going to just worship the ground he walked on. Definitely an upgrade and not a downgrade. My mind was blown; there were no words to describe how it felt, and I wanted him to kiss me. To get lost in his touch. In his smell, his scent. Him. To forget the world and just be in our own little one with everything else thrown out. Gone. Lost. Mine, because I can felt like he was. There was a reason why it never worked out with anyone else. He was the reason maybe it was meant to fail.

He smiled at me with the same expression and said, “I’ll have the strongest drink you have on tap. These ain’t shit. I need a drink that will make me black out drunk, since I want to forget everything. Girls are the worst. They will take you for everything you got and leave you for someone else. Someone uglier, like I meant nothing to her, and she wanted the Elite better. Like he is so much better than me. She was all I had, or thought I did. What was I thinking?” He rubbed his eyes, and they were red. Irritated. Probably from crying. Damn. I want to hit the girl who broke this angel’s heart. I would never give him up once I have him. He is sexy. I could eat a steak on him and do body shots and still want more.

I looked over at my ex, now trying to kiss and hug his fling, and he was snuggling with that girl. Like tiny daggers in my heart, and they are gone now. Nothing is what. I no longer feel hurt. I feel nothing but pity since he is going to do the same to her that he did to me. Then again, I just saw someone better looking, and he was right in front of me, crying over a spilled relationship like me. I wanted to just comfort him and tell him she was a bitch for letting him go. She didn’t deserve someone as sexy as him.  I want to mend his broken heart and be the reason he smiles.

I smiled at him, and I know exactly what he needed, and thought maybe I should make a drink for myself to take the edge off. It can help after a long day and drinking on the job wasn’t frowned upon; plenty of people come to work drunk. It helped take the edge off and made people more bearable to serve. Less prone to hitting table three that argued their shit needed to be rawer and less well done. Just smile and listen since you are too drunk to care anyway. 

“Coming up, sir. I know exactly what you need after going through that myself. You are better off now,” I said. And I went back to make him a drink he would never forget. And to get a shot of my own so I could get through the shift without crying. He had just the right idea. Bars were notorious for getting over exes by drinking it away and picking up someone to share a bed with for the night. It was a quick fix but a slow process, which is why I was throwing myself into work.  

I made my way to the kitchen, passing by servers and creatures needing to use the bathroom. I went inside the double doors, which was busy with everyone making food so the creatures wouldn’t eat them.

The alcoholic drink area was next to the vampire blood display which had various blood types and species. The alcohol area was my favorite area where I served drinks to patrons who loved me for it. They knew my specialty too. There was even an area for ghoul food, too, with items like rotten brains alamode. Eww. Don’t get too close, the smell might just make you puke your dinner, or in my case, waste good lunch food. 

They had all kinds of alcoholic drinks at the bar and on the menu. Then there were the spelled ingredients that were used for specialty drinks. The ones I used to add special stuff to the drinks. Drinks for luck, love, money, to attract a mate, and for heartbreak. I was licensed to serve it. There were even some hexes for enemies too. I’d been paid pretty well to help out some of the rival packs in exchange for their help in the future. And even Rockie said to do it to protect his pack, to stop a war, and even to give a cheater what he deserved. Revenge. But my specialty was luck, love, healing, and attracting the good.

I poured a shot for myself with some absinthe and soother. Fuck feeling this shit. I needed a quick fix to take the edge off. And to serve the hot guy the best drink in his life, the one that will blow his mind. He deserved it since we all go through bullshit break ups to find the right one. 

I took out a nice glass, and then looked at all the various alcohols to choose the best ones. I knew the exact combo to heal him and mess him up to forget the tramp. I only wished I could pour myself one too. I grabbed the bottles and began to pour and mix: gin, vodka, absinthe, whisky, and a few herbs for healing and heartbreak like rose and honeysuckle, which would help him feel better. I knew it made me feel better. That and a hug from someone, but I didn’t want to push anything right now. Hell, a cuddle would have helped and would have comforted us both.

I mixed it all up and said, “Heart heal to love another and find the mate that you desire.” My eyes turned red, and I put my hand over the glass to spell it and give it an extra kick. A kick that would help him heal, and find the right person for him. It was me. I knew it was. Maybe we could heal each other’s heart.

I took the glass, and went back to the bar where he sat slumped over. Poor guy, but it gave me time to admire his sexy attire. He was in a black silk shirt and black leather pants. It screamed badass.  His arms were crossed as he looked ahead, so I put a napkin down and set his drink on it. He looked at it, then at me and smiled, “Thanks, I am not usually like this at all. I’m just going through a rough time right now. My day already got better by you serving me this awesome drink.” And he winked at me. Flirting. My heart jumped at it. He made my heart feel better and more healed than it used to be. I could finally stop feeling so much hurt, and the drink was working too. Healing me for another. Possibly this perfect stranger. 

The weird connection just hovered in the air, and it was a zing that made me want to jump him. I had to behave and he was drunk enough as it was. I couldn’t take advantage of that either.

I smiled right back and said, “I know the feeling since I have recently been going through a horrible time too. It’s her loss and she didn’t deserve you. My ex was like that too, and he didn’t even have the balls to tell me it to my face it was a break up.” I looked over at the table. He was gone. Good. I didn’t have to watch her get fooled like me.

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