Fire Mates 2: Passion Defrosted Excerpt

FIRE MATES 2: Passion Defrosted

(Excerpt PG-13)

“Slow the hell down, Frosty!” Charlotte De Glace pleaded with her familiar. The midnight-black lynx prowled along the sidewalk, tugging on her leash. She paused, crouched down, and wiggled her butt, preparing to pounce on the fat, gray squirrel sorting through an over-flowing trash can near the newsstand.

“Frosty, no, don’t.” Charlie tightened her grip on the leash.

The large feline ignored her and growled low in her throat, her furry ear tufts fluttering in the breeze.

“Frosty leading you, or you leading her?” Freddy Davis yelled from behind the counter of the newspaper kiosk. Magazines, newspapers, and flyers surrounded him on shelves.

He lifted a bag of bacon-flavored cat treats and shook it.

Frosty took off for the kiosk, dragging Charlie behind her. The feline rose up on her hind legs, placed her large furry paws on the counter, and nudged Freddy’s hand. Freddy laughed and opened up the bag, grabbed a handful of treats, and tossed them onto the ground. Frosty lowered herself down and started eating.

Charlie took the reprieve to lean a hip against the countertop and catch her breath. “Sometimes,” she panted, “I think it would be better to just let her go. Run my errands and then meet her at the car.”

Freddy chuckled. “Want a morning paper? It’s hot off the presses.” He nudged a tall stack toward her.

Charlie scanned the front page. Same ole, same ole, just a different day and time. “I’ve got mine back at home waiting to be read after walkies and the coffee run.” She pulled her attention away from the headlines to check on Frosty’s progress. The big cat was still munching on the bacon bits.

From the periphery of her vision, something bright flashed toward her. She lifted her gaze to take in a cloud of neon-pink fur, electric-blue leggings, and blindingly white platform boots toddling toward her, rose-pink and leaf-green afro waving in the breeze.

“Charlieeeee! Hiiii!” Emerald Moran waved at her. Her pointed, neon-purple talons glittered in the early morning sunlight. At the end of his leash, Emie’s small Dachshund, dressed in a garish green cheetah-print sweater, matching booties, and a beanie with a ruby red Mohawk barked his own greeting.

Charlie groaned. She didn’t have the energy to deal with Emie and Clark this morning.

“Charlie you should really read the morning paper. Page eight.” Fred thrust a newspaper at her.

Charlie glimpsed at Freddy’s anxious expression. A knot formed in her stomach. She accepted the paper and flipped to the indicated page.

The gossip headline glared up at her.

 

Has the Ice Dragon Bachelor Found his Winter Rose?

 

Charlie scanned the columns. Five full-color photos of her and Sean at the Winter Carnival a week ago stared up at her. A small paragraph beneath them caught her eye.

 

“Sexy ice dragon bachelor and co-owner of the adult paradise, Dragon’s Maw, or DM for those in the know, has been spotted feeding our very own ice witch extraordinaire, Charlotte De Glace, some hot and seductive, cayenne-powdered, chocolate-dipped strawberries. A little heat for the icy-hot duo? After his brother found happiness with ex-bound human, Sky Lily, we can only hope this charmer has found his winter rose! Back off ladies, this dragon looks smitten!”

 

—Emerald Moran reporting from Smokey Island Winter Carnival.

 

“Like it?” Emie cooed over Charlie’s shoulder. “I wasn’t too keen on the ‘winter rose’ bit, or the ‘icy-hot’ phrase, but I’d already used ice several times, so I had to get creative. My editor didn’t care. He loved the story. Like the pictures? I can get you duplicates. Sean certainly loved them; wanted a whole set when I showed him the layout for approval.”

Charlie shut her eyes and counted to ten. Emie wasn’t a bad person. As a love witch, she just wanted to see everyone happy and in a relationship.

Except that Charlie and Sean weren’t in a relationship. They’d agreed on that. What the hell had happened?

“I was over the moon when I spotted the two of you. Kris wasn’t sure you guys were an item. Plus I wanted to scoop Mr. Acid.” She pulled a face. “He’d make it sound so smutty.” Emerald squeezed Charlie’s shoulder. “I’m so happy for you! You deserve love. Everyone does, right Freddy?”

Freddy mumbled something Charlie didn’t catch. She’d latched onto Emie’s words about showing Sean the pictures. He knew. He’d approved the article! And he hadn’t even called to warn her that their “relationship” was all over the gossip columns? The relationship that wasn’t supposed to be a relationship?

-End of Excerpt-

© Selena Illyria

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