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Authors: Maryjanice Davidson

Derik's Bane

BOOK: Derik's Bane
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Table of Contents
Praise for MaryJanice Davidson’s
Wyndham Werewolf Tales
Secrets Volume 6
“This is by far the sexiest and most romantic story in this collection, and alone is worth the cover price . . . Davidson also manages to do what I thought was impossible: weave an honest-to-goodness love story in a scant fifty pages. And the sex? Wow. My grade: A.”

All About Romance
“An arousing triumph.”—Harriet Klausner
“Erotica at its best.”—
Affaire de Coeur
“Get set for some high-powered sex and romance that will have you howling at the moon for Mr. Gorgeous, too! Ms. Davidson created a memorable story in ‘Love’s Prisoner’ that I know I won’t forget. Very creative and it sure gets your juices flowing in the right direction!”
—Suzanne Coleburn,
The Belles and Beaux of Romance
Secrets Volume 8
“Four stars!”—
Romantic Times Book Club
“Here is a sequel that many MaryJanice Davidson fans have anticipated. First introduced in ‘Love’s Prisoner’ (
Secrets Volume 6
), the Wyndham werewolves ignited a spark in many hearts, and the result is this phenomenal story.”—
Romance Reviews Today
Praise for
“Delightful, wicked fun!”—Christine Feehan
“Chick lit meets vampire action in this creative, sophisticated, sexy, and wonderfully witty book.”
—Catherine Spangler
“What can you say about a vampire whose loyalty can be bought by designer shoes? Can we say, outrageous? . . . A hilarious book.”—
The Best Reviews

Undead and Unwed
is an irreverently hilarious, superbly entertaining novel of love, lust, and designer shoes. Betsy Taylor is an unrepentant fiend—about shoes. She is shallow, vain, and immensely entertaining. Her journey from life to death, or the undead, is so amusing I found myself laughing out loud while reading. Between her human friends, vampire allies, and her undead enemies, her first week as the newly undead is never boring . . . A reading experience that will leave you laughing and ‘dying’ for more from the talented pen of MaryJanice Davidson.”

Romance Reviews Today
“A hilarious book.”—
Paranormal Romance
“This book is fantastic. These vampires are different from any that I’ve read about . . . The lead characters are strong and independent, the action fast and furious . . . This is one of the most erotic books that I’ve read in years.”—
Escape to Romance
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4V 3B2, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0745, Auckland, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Sensation edition / January 2005
Copyright © 2005 by MaryJanice Davidson Alongi.
Excerpt from
Undead and Unappreciated
2005 by MaryJanice Davidson Alongi.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-04354-7
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY SENSATION and the “B” design
are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

For Giselle McKenzie, who has been waiting for this book for years. And for my husband, who hasn’t.
Thanks as always to my family, who willingly shares me with the computer, and my husband, who shares the computer with me, not so willingly. Thanks also to the fans of
Love’s Prisoner
Jared’s Wolf
, who write me every week asking for Derik’s story. Here it is.
“What, were you raised by wolves?”
Sara Gunn, R.N., Ph.D., Sorceress
“Uh . . .”
Derik Gardner, amateur cook, werewolf, Wyndham affiliation
Sara and Derik
THE MAN HAD SHORT BROWN HAIR, NEATLY trimmed. His eyes were that mold-colored shade between gray and brown, a color everyone has seen at one time or another in the back of their fridge. His skin was the color of cheap milk chocolate, and his height was supremely average.
He was dressed in a suit several shades lighter than his skin tone, a white button-down shirt, and a gray tie with brown stripes. He had a plain gold wedding band on the third finger of his left hand, although he wasn’t married. He wore black wire-rimmed glasses, although his eyesight was 20/20, and his shoes had never been shined. He looked like an accountant.
He wasn’t an accountant.
The man gazed through the glass at DOE, JANE, born seventy-two minutes ago. DOE, JANE was a sweetly chubby infant with a wild shock of dark red hair. DOE, JANE was apparently born surprised, because her hair stood straight up from her skull, and her small reddish brows arched above her blue, blue eyes. She opened her small, wet mouth and let out a yell the man who wasn’t an accountant could hear even through the glass.
“Well?” the nurse asked. She was a floater, here at the hospital—so thought those in charge of such things—because of understaffing. In truth, her presence at the delivery of DOE, JANE had been foretold six centuries ago. As had the violent death of DOE, JANE’s father just minutes before the child crowned. As had, of course, DOE, JANE herself. “Is it . . . are they right? Is that—?”
“She who will redeem us, and our king,” the man replied, “yes. She is Morgan Le Fay, among us again, and this time she will do what she could not before. This time . . .” The man smiled, showing a great many white teeth. Too many, it seemed, for his average, unassuming mouth. “This time, ours will be done.”
The nurse smiled back. By contrast, her smile wasn’t frightening in the least—she had the grin of a beauty contestant. But her eyes were dead.
They watched DOE, JANE through the glass for a long time.
MICHAEL WYNDHAM STEPPED OUT OF HIS BEDROOM, walked down the hall, and saw his best friend, Derik Gardner, on the main floor headed for the front door. He grabbed the banister and vaulted, dropped fifteen feet, and landed with a solid thud he felt all the way through his knees. “Hey, Derik!” he called cheerfully. “Wait a sec!”
From his bedroom he heard his wife mutter, “I
when he does that . . . gives me a flippin’ heart attack every time,” and couldn’t help grinning. Wyndham Manor had been his home all his life, and the only time he walked up or down those stairs was when he was carrying his daughter, Lara. He didn’t know how ordinary humans could stand walking around in their fragile little shells. He’d tried to talk to his wife about this on a few occasions, but her eyes always went flinty, and her gun hand flexed, and the phrase “hairy fascist bastard” came up, and things got awkward. Werewolves were tough, incredibly tough, but compared to Homo sapiens, who wasn’t?
It was a ridiculously perfect day outside, and he couldn’t blame Derik for wanting to head out as quickly as possible. Still, there was something troubling his old friend, and Michael was determined to get to the bottom of it.
“Hold up,” Michael said, reaching for Derik’s shoulder. “I want to—”
“I don’t care what you want,” Derik replied without turning. He grabbed Michael’s hand and flung it away, so sharply Michael lost his balance for a second. “I’m going out.”
Michael tried to laugh it off, ignoring the way the hairs on the back of his neck tried to stand up. “Touch-ee! Hey, I just want to—”
“I’m going
!” Derik moved, cat-quick, and then Michael was flying through the air with the greatest of ease, only to slam into the door to the coat closet hard enough to splinter it down the middle.
Michael lay on his back a moment like a stunned beetle. Then he flipped to his feet, ignoring the slashing pain down his back. “My friend,” he said, “you are so right. Except you’re going out on the tip of my boot, pardon me while I kick your ass.” This in a tone of mild banter, but Michael was crossing the room in swift strides, barely noticing that his friend Moira, who had just come in from the kitchen, squeaked and jumped out of the way.
BOOK: Derik's Bane
7.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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