Blade Dance, the fourth book in D.L. McDermott’s fast-paced and sexy paranormal romance series, revolves around schoolteacher Ann Phillips and Finn MacUmhaill, the dangerous and charismatic Fae crime lord who she finds herself turning to for help when one of her students goes missing.
Their unlikely relationship heats up on their journey to finding the missing boy and discovering if fate intentionally drew them together.
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“Ann Phillips,” he said. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“School business,” she said, wearing a prim expression that he recognized from their last encounter. That expression wouldn’t last long. Ann Phillips wasn’t naturally prim, no matter how hard she tried to seem that way. She was vibrantly alive, and her arrival felt like a refreshing breeze after all of his troubles with Miach and the Fianna and, now, this nameless Druid. Her nose scrunched beguilingly when she was angry, and he almost hoped he could make her so, wanted to see her eyes light up the way they did when she was riled.
“If this is about my nephew’s truancy, Miss Phillips,” he said, recalling the purpose of her last visit, “you’ve come to the wrong place. He’s living with his mother in South Boston.” Little Garrett was actually Finn’s grandson, but he didn’t expect Ann Phillips to understand that a man who barely looked thirty could be thousands of years old. She wasn’t a local, and she hadn’t been admitted to the secret that Charlestown’s Irish kept from the world: the presence of the Fae in their midst.
“It’s not about Garrett,” she said. He remembered now how much he liked her voice. It was husky and mellow, like honey wine. “But it is school business.”
“You teach second grade,” he said. He’d taken the time to find out all about her, in the hope that in better days, he might renew their acquaintance. “Don’t you think it’s a little late for school business?”
It was full dark, in fact. The lights around the monument had come on, and they burnished her red hair gold. She was wearing it piled high on her head, and it looked like a fiery halo. He imagined she was aiming for a chaste, schoolmarm’s appearance, but he found everything about her, from her silk blouse to her pencil skirt to her tall leather boots, sexy as hell.
“I didn’t have an easy time finding you,” she said. “It was still daylight when I arrived at your former address.” She cocked her head to indicate the scaffolding behind her. “But your contractors weren’t exactly forthcoming about your whereabouts.”
They wouldn’t be. He used locals. Workmen who knew what he was, what the Fae were owed for protecting the Irish in Charlestown these last two hundred years. “How did you find me, then?”
“I went to your place of business,” she said.
The bar. He didn’t like to think of her at the bar. It was where he conducted his business, but his business was theft and robbery and extortion. “That’s no place for a schoolteacher.”
“Evidently your bartender agreed. He wouldn’t serve me.”
She eyed the beer in his hand.
He remembered the day she had come to his house and drunk whiskey in his parlor. He’d liked that about her.
“I can repair the deficiency, if you’d like to come in.”
She hesitated on the doorstep. “Dozens of people know where I am,” she said. “I texted friends this address.”
“Really? What house number did you give them?”
She fixed him with a baleful stare. “There is no house number. I gave them the GPS coordinates.”
Ah, the modern age. “Then I suppose you’re perfectly safe,” he said, standing aside to let her pass. He hoped she was nothing of the sort, at least when it came to his bed.
He tugged her toward the bed and then surprised her by grasping her arm and turning her around. “Don’t think,” he said. “Just feel.” He bent her over the foot of the bed, his grip firm and insistent. She felt the cool velvet of the quilt beneath her cheek and closed her eyes. He pushed her skirt up to bunch around her hips and nudged her legs open with his knees.
Her heart raced. She felt that same excitement stealing over her. The kind that never ended well. She pushed herself up off the quilt, but Finn placed a hand on her back and said, “Don’t fight what you feel.”
His fingers pushed her panties aside and found her, swollen and slick. She groaned, arched her back, and spread her legs wider. Something powerful rose up in her. In the past she had been terrified of it, but Finn made her feel safe. She allowed herself to let go.
She shifted her weight, hooked her ankle around his, rolled her body forward, and threw him onto the bed. Before he could roll away she was on him, straddling his hips and clawing at the last button on his jeans. It tore free and shot across the room to land with a clank on the floor.
“That’s right,” said Finn, encouragingly. “You don’t need to suppress anything with me, Ann. You don’t have to be meek and soft-spoken. You don’t have to hide your strength.”
She didn’t. She yanked at his jeans and then shoved the denim down to his knees. His member was long and straight and resting heavily against his belly. She hesitated before touching it. He took her hand in his and wrapped her fingers around the length, guided her exploration. The feel of him, thick and hot in her palm, was intoxicating.
It gratified her when he groaned-the thought that he liked this, too-and she flicked the head of his member with her thumb to make him do it again. She wanted that inside her. She wanted to ride him. She wanted to move freely on top of him, to moan and cry and scream without inhibition.
Something beside her knee buzzed and clanked. Then did it again. She didn’t care.
But Finn did. He groaned, and this time it wasn’t a sexy groan. “My cell,” he said. “I left it on in case Iobáth called.”
Her first instinct was to dash the damned thing out of his hands. To make it stop ringing. To finish what they’d started. But Iobáth was the one searching for Davin.
And this, sadly, was the part she was good at: denying herself. She climbed off him. Without the warmth of his body, Ann could feel the chill of the room. She pulled the quilt up around her shoulders and burrowed into its softness.
Finn sat up, planted a kiss on her forehead, and answered his phone.
In the quiet she could hear her heart, still beating fast from Finn’s touch, and the other Fae’s voice through the phone.
“There is no trace of the boy. I tracked him from his home to the end of the block and then he disappeared.”
“Not possible,” said Finn. “Druids can’t pass.”
“Nevertheless, the trail ends abruptly.”
Ann could see the frustration plain on Finn’s face. “There has to be a way to find him. Garrett may be able to scry the Druid, if we can find something of his. Ask Sean if the Druid made any sketches of the tattoos for him.”
“I photographed them,” said Ann. “With my phone, after the nurse refused to do anything. For the report I never sent to social services.”
Finn smiled and looked at her. “Clever woman.” The praise warmed her more than the quilt. “Ann has photos,” he said into the phone. “Call Garrett and tell him to meet us at the house. Then call Patrick and tell him to assemble the Fianna.”
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