Djinn Lover (Magical Lovers Book 1)By: Michelle Howard
This is for my kids who have made room in their hearts to share my time and attention with the vast world of writing. Thank you for being so sweet about hours I spend locked away or when I go day after day on my laptop. I hope that you each have a love story greater than any I could ever imagine.
The noise and lights of the reserved ball room hit her first. Carolyn stepped around the splendor and wealth represented tonight, maneuvering amongst designer clad women and their equally impressive male counterparts. She hated events like this. The large crowds, milling voices and the fear that someone would stand up and yell, ‘Fraud!’
This wasn’t just any crowd either. This was the upper echelon of the immortal world. A powerhouse of who’s who. She’d already spotted the Leo of a local cat shifter pride, the Alpha of the Northeast wolves and a table with the Prime of a dragon shifter clan laughing with two Fae women. To the wealthy humans here, having such high level paranormals present was icing on the cake.
Carolyn didn’t belong here. She belonged at home in her quaint little house working her happy little job minding her business. Unfortunately the charity featured tonight was her business, since she was an active participant on the committee. Carolyn sighed as she spotted the coordinator of the Children’s Hope Foundation making her way towards her.
Macy Miller might look like a poodle with her big brassy blonde hair and her perky smile but she had the personality of a bulldog. Tenacious and growly. The growl evident in the first words she spoke to Carolyn.
Carolyn snuck a peek at her simple leather watch. “Nope. I’m actually on time.”
Macy’s large chest heaved under the red silk of the low cut sheath she wore. Macy fit. Despite the hair, the dramatic clothing, the lips outlined in red. She simply fit and it had everything to do with the fact that her father, chairman of the board for some fancy company had money to spare for his darling. His only child for that matter.
“Well, let’s get you set up. The award’s in the back and I took the liberty of writing a few words for you to say to the guest.”
Carolyn rolled her eyes at the irony of Macy writing a few words for her, considering Carolyn was a writer. Children’s fiction, granted, but nevertheless one would expect Carolyn could write her own speech. But she couldn’t and she didn’t. So she was grateful for Macy’s pre-emptive thinking.
They made their way through the crowd toward the back of the grand ballroom. Huge chrome and glass chandeliers overhead added the right lighting, lending a dim golden glow to the space. Silverware tinkled in the background with the low chatter of voices and false laughter.
Wait staff walked around with trays piled high with champagne, some carried appetizers that she wouldn’t dare eat on her shaky stomach and others passed around rich desserts covered in whipped icing and drizzled in sauce. Round tables were elegantly graced with silver table cloths and black accent colors.
His colors. The honoree and guest for tonight’s event. Silver and black. Even the fancy program she’d been given at the door mirrored the color scheme. Dramatic flair for a man who warranted it. Every guest here, human and paranormal, was present for one reason and one reason only. To get a glimpse at the highly publicized but reclusive billionaire who’d provided the funding for the new wing at the Children’s Hope House.
Carolyn had mixed feelings about the man purported to be the only djinn in existence. Feelings that led to hot sex dreams, which left her flushed and aching in the pale dawn. His face was often splashed across the cover of business magazines she only bought to read the articles featuring him. Entertainment blogs did photo spreads on him with random pictures taken from his rare jaunts out and about the city. Her favorite happened to be one of Kale Serano standing on the deck of his fabulous estate wearing nothing more than a pair of dark denim jeans while speaking on a cell phone. Sleek chest muscles had been on display, not a single inch of his body distorted by the telephoto lens used to capture the picture.
“I can’t believe everyone invited actually showed. Three hundred guests.”
Macy’s trilling voice as she waved around the room sent a bolt of fear through Carolyn. Fear she’d managed to contain up until now. Rubbing her damp palms down the sides of her simple black gown, she asked, “How long is this speech you wrote me?”
Because if it was more than a few words, Carolyn was sure she’d hurl on the stage, adding a whole new meaning to special event.
“Don’t worry. I know you too well and there is no speech. Four sentences at the most. Sweet, thankful and to the point. Then you hand him the plaque, make nice and walk off the stage while he says a few words.”