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Demon Unleashed (Stealth Guardians #7)

Demon Unleashed (Stealth Guardians #7)

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Lara Adrian, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Midnight Breed series "Get ready for a wild ride! The Stealth Guardians are the only thing standing between humanity and a demonic race determined to rule the world. For fast-paced, high-stakes paranormal romance, be sure to add Tina Folsom to your must-read list!"

Zoltan, the ruler of the Demons of Fear, makes a final attempt at destroying the Stealth Guardians once and for all. This time, he will stop at nothing, and—in disguise— he seduces Enya, the Stealth Guardian female he’s been lusting after for a long time. However, to his shock, he must realize that even a demon as powerful as Zoltan can be brought to his knees by a woman.

But can there be a future for a love between two mortal enemies?

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About the Book

Excerpt

1

Enya drew from the straw and savored the feeling of the refreshing cocktail cooling her heated body, until the glass was empty but for the ice cubes that hadn’t had a chance to melt. She’d needed this. Lately, life at the compound she shared with her fellow Stealth Guardians wasn’t the same. All five males were now bonded to their respective mates, and physical affection was being displayed everywhere and at all hours. It was positively sickening—particularly since she had nobody.

Not that she wanted anybody. She did fine on her own. Perfectly fine. She didn’t want a mate, didn’t want to be shackled to an overbearing man who would probably curtail her freedom under the guise of wanting to protect her. Bullshit! No way was she going to tie herself to anybody. Sure, she occasionally had an itch to scratch, but that was what one-night stands were for. And bars such as the one she was currently visiting. The bartender, Drew, knew her, though she’d never divulged more than her first name and her preferred drink—a Pimm’s with ginger ale.

“How about another one?”

The question didn’t come from Drew behind the bar, but from somebody who’d taken a seat on one of the barstools close to her. Enya turned her head a few inches to the right and scrutinized the man. It took her only ten seconds to assess him. By the looks of it, the guy spent way too much time on his physical appearance. His hair was sleek, his clothes Euro-trash fashionable, his fingernails better manicured than her own. And judging by the glassy look in his eyes, he was inebriated. Most likely, he wouldn’t even be able to get it up. And she was in no mood to coax a wilting cock into action.

“I’ll get my own, thanks,” she said, and turned her head back to the bartender. “Drew?” She pointed to her glass, and he nodded.

“Hey, come on, lady,” the pretty boy continued. He motioned to the other customers sitting at the tables. “It’s not like there’s anybody else here who’s even remotely in your league.”

She cast him a sideways look. “If that’s meant to be a compliment, you’re not doing it right.”

“Huh?”

Enya glanced at Drew, who was busy mixing her drink.
“Come on, you know what kind of bar this is. No woman comes in here to drink by herself.” He gestured to her outfit. “Particularly not in that kind of getup.”

Enya felt annoyance crawl up her spine. She knew she was wearing provocative clothing: a black bustier, a short leather skirt of the same color, and high heels. Her leather jacket hung on a hook underneath the bar. “Maybe I’m waiting for someone.”

“You’ve found him.” Pretty boy grinned and made a welcoming gesture with his arms.

“Trust me, you look nothing like him.” The kind of man she was looking for tonight was somebody a little less polished, a little more rugged, and way less civilized. She was in the mood for wild sex and not the tepid action this half-drunk would provide.

From the corner of her eye, she saw Drew reach for her empty glass and at the same time set the new drink in front of her. She turned back to him, a thank you already on her lips, when the guy next to her put his hand on her forearm. She whirled her face to him, ready to slap him. She didn’t get the chance.

“Take your hand off my girlfriend’s arm, or I’ll break your wrist.” The deep, menacing voice coming from behind her sent a tantalizing shiver down her spine, and fear into the drunk’s eyes. As if burned, he withdrew his hand.

“Maybe you should leave,” her rescuer added.

The drunk fumbled for something in his pocket—his wallet, as it turned out—and tossed a few bills on the bar. Even faster, he jumped off the barstool and hurried toward the door. Slowly, Enya started to turn toward the man whose voice had sent that delicious sensation through her body. If a voice could make her come, it was this one. But she didn’t want to get her hopes up. She’d heard many a radio DJ’s voice and imagined him to be a hot hunk, only to be disappointed when she saw a picture.

“Thank you, though it wasn’t necessary. I could have handled him myself,” she said automatically when she was fully turned toward him—and stared at his chest. She had to tilt her head back to see his face, because her rescuer didn’t only have a deep voice, he was also much taller than she’d expected.

“I’m sure you could have.”

Enya barely heard his reply, her eyes drinking in the man’s features. Hunk didn’t exactly describe him. No, he was more than that. He was Jason Momoa, Cary Grant, and Jensen Ackles rolled into one. One perfect male specimen with olive skin, brown eyes, dark hair, and a goatee surrounding his full lips, behind which white teeth gleamed invitingly. His shoulders were broad, and the business suit he wore couldn’t disguise his muscular build. The top button of his shirt was open, hinting at the dark hair on his broad chest.

Enya swallowed, suddenly parched.

“Well, he’s gone now. Enjoy your drink.” He motioned to her glass and took a seat a few places farther down the long wooden bar, leaving three empty barstools between them. Stunned, she watched the bartender approach him. Quickly, she glanced at her rescuer’s fingers. No wedding ring. So why had he not taken the seat next to hers after so gallantly rescuing her?

“What’s your poison?” Drew asked.

“Scotch, neat, please.”

“Coming right up.”

As Drew turned to pull an expensive bottle off one of the upper shelves, Enya called out to him, “Drew, put the scotch on my tab.”

Drew looked over his shoulder. “You sure?”

“Chivalry should be rewarded.” She turned back to the stranger, who now looked at her, a hesitant smile on his face.

“I only did what any guy would have done. No need to buy me a drink, ma’am.”

At the formal salutation, she cringed. She didn’t want to be called ma’am. It sounded like she was a shriveled-up spinster. “My name’s Enya.”

She hopped off her barstool and took a seat on the empty place next to him. He appeared surprised.

“Eric, Eric Vaughn,” he said. “I had the impression earlier that you weren’t looking for company. Please don’t feel obligated to talk to me just because I made that ass leave.”

Drew slid her glass in front of her and placed a scotch in front of Eric. “Cheers.”

Eric nodded.

“Don’t worry, I never do anything I don’t want to do,” Enya replied. “But if you’d rather enjoy your drink by yourself, I’ll move back to my original seat.”

He lifted his glass. “Please don’t. I would enjoy a good conversation tonight that doesn’t involve investment strategies or risk assessment.”

“Stockbroker?”

He shook his head. “Investment manager. Private equity. Boring as hell.”

Enya took her glass and clinked it to his. “Then how about we don’t talk about investments tonight?”

“That’s a great idea.” Eric took a sip from his scotch.

“I have lots of great ideas.” One of them was to rip Eric’s clothes off and jump his bones. But, of course, she couldn’t do this right here. Instead, she let her gaze linger on his hands and imagined what they would feel like on her skin. Was he the kind of guy who talked dirty during sex? With a voice like his, he wouldn’t have to do much else to bring her to an earth-shattering orgasm.

“Enya?”

She ripped her gaze from his hands. “Yes?”

“I asked if you live in Baltimore or whether you’re just here for business.”

“I live here.” She tried to make her response sound smooth, when in reality she was flustered and behaving like a ditsy blonde. A ditsy blonde who’d unexpectedly been handed the keys to a Maserati. And she wouldn’t return this car before she’d taken it for a spin.

2

Zoltan looked at Enya’s plump lips while she replied to his question, imagining what they would feel like around his cock. But he had to be careful and play his cards right. If he came on too strong, she would most likely reject him like she’d done with the previous guy who’d made a move on her. The slightly inebriated man had looked well off and handsome enough, but he hadn’t read Enya right. She wanted to be in charge of picking whom to go home with tonight. She had to feel that it was her choice, and hers alone.

He would play along, because a woman like Enya needed a challenge. Besides, if he was too insistent, she would probably smell a rat. He couldn’t afford for his plan to go up in smoke, because she became suspicious of him. But if she believed that she held the reins, then he had a chance to lure her into his net. Patience was what he needed now, even though his cock was already throbbing with the need to thrust into her and make her his.

“I live here too,” he said casually. “Walking distance, actually, but I don’t go out much. It’s my first time at this bar. Seems like a decent enough place.” He shrugged. “Apart from the occasional nitwit who thinks just because a woman is on her own, she’s fair game.”

Enya took a sip from her cocktail. “Can’t avoid those. But I’ve learned to deal with them.”

He chuckled. “How? With a kick in the balls?”

“Something like that.” Enya winked at him, and her blue eyes seemed to sparkle with mischief.

“Sorry I got in the way. It’s a reflex. I grew up with a younger sister and had to play the protective older brother for so long that I guess it’s ingrained now.” Of course, that was a total lie. He had no siblings, and growing up in the Underworld, a place where only meanness, brutality, and reprehensible deeds were rewarded, had meant looking out for only himself. His childhood hadn’t exactly been a walk in the park. Survival of the fittest had been the motto. Still was.

“Don’t apologize.” She put her hand on his forearm, and even through the suit jacket and the shirt beneath, he could feel her warm touch. “It’s a good reflex to have.”

To his disappointment, Enya quickly removed her hand from his arm, but the mere fact that she’d touched him gave him hope that he was on the right track.

“And you? Any siblings?”

“Three younger brothers.”

“Guess that means you had nobody to look out for you. No wonder you’re a tough cookie.”

She laughed softly, and the sound trickled down his spine like a sensual caress. Yes, she would make the perfect sex slave—once, he’d annihilated her race.

“What makes you think that I’m tough?” she asked.

He’d seen her fight, seen her make mincemeat out of his demons. He knew she was a ferocious warrior, a woman tough as nails. But, of course, he couldn’t reveal what he knew about her. “You strike me as tough. You know, the way you talked to that guy, with such a calm and determined voice, I could sense that you’re strong. Guess that drunk imbecile didn’t see that, or he would have never tried to come on to you.”

“So why interfere when you thought I was tough enough to deal with him myself?” Her eyes scrutinized him.

“As I said, it’s a reflex. And when a man puts his hands on a woman uninvited, I see red.”

“Mmm.” She dropped her lashes a little, suddenly looking like a shy doe. “I guess I’m not used to a man fighting my battles for me. I’m sorry if I was ungrateful.”
She lifted her eyes to meet his. “I’ll make it up to you.”

At the obvious offer, Zoltan swallowed away the lust that bubbled up.

Down, boy! Let’s not surrender too easily. Remember, she wants a challenge.

He lifted his glass. “You’ve already bought me a drink. But I guess I won’t say no to a second one if you insist. Though I have to warn you: the more I drink, the less civilized I get.” As if he needed any alcohol to unleash his true self.

Enya raised her eyebrows while she waved to the bartender for another round. “I’m curious to see what it looks like when you’re less civilized.”

“Are you trying to get me drunk?”

“Not drunk. What would be the point of that? But maybe another drink will loosen you up a bit.”

He leaned toward her and lowered his voice. “You don’t know what you’re unleashing.”

Before Enya could say anything else, the bartender placed their drinks in front of them. “I’m closing out your tab, Enya. Anything else for tonight?”

Enya directed her gaze to the bartender. “No, thanks, Drew. I’ve got everything I need.” She looked back at Zoltan.

He recognized that look. She wanted him, and she was waiting for him to make the suggestion to go somewhere else, somewhere more private. It was his turn now, but he would play it his way, forcing Enya to make the first move.

“A shame it’s closing time,” Zoltan said, and took a big gulp from his second drink. “I had a really nice time talking to you. Would you… I mean, perhaps we could… Would you give me your phone number so I can call you sometime?”

Surprise flashed in Enya’s eyes, just like he’d expected. For a few seconds, she remained silent, then she leaned closer. “How about you give me your number instead?”

Now it was his turn to be surprised. Was she not going to ask him to spend the night with her? Fine, if that was how she wanted to play it, he had no choice but to play along. He pulled a card from his inside jacket pocket and handed it to her. “That’s my cell.” In fact, it was the cell phone number he used only for his dealings in the human world, a burner he would get rid of the moment he believed it compromised. None of his demons had this number. Nobody could trace it.

Enya took the card, looked at it, then pulled out her phone and typed the number in. “Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you.”

It was his cue. “Thanks for the drinks.” He stood up. “Can I call you a taxi?”

“No, thank you. It’s not far.” She smiled.

“Well, then, have a good night.”

“Same to you,” she replied, and turned to the bartender to settle her bill.

Zoltan walked to the door and exited. Outside, he took a deep breath. Maybe he’d played it wrong. Maybe she was pissed because he hadn’t responded to her innuendoes. Maybe she thought he was too arrogant, too aloof. Fuck!

His phone rang. “What now?” he grumbled to himself as he started walking in the direction of his condo building. He pulled the phone from his pocket and stared at the display. Unknown caller, it said. He pressed answer. “This is Eric.”

“Hi, it’s Enya.”

The words made him rock to a halt. “Enya.”

“Yes, remember? We just met and you gave me your phone number.”

He chuckled. “I have a vague memory of a beautiful blonde in a bar who wouldn’t give me her number.”

“That’s just because that blonde doesn’t like to wait for a guy to call her.”

“Mmm-hmm.” He heard a door closing and realized that Enya had just left the bar. She was only half a block behind him, but he didn’t turn around. “Any chance that blonde would like a nightcap?”

“I’ve had enough to drink. But there’s something else.”

The sound of footsteps came closer.

“Anything I can provide?”

“I think so.” Her words came from directly behind him.

Zoltan disconnected the call and shoved the phone into his pocket.

“It’s not polite to hang up on a woman,” Enya said from behind him.

“Nor is it polite to tease a man until he loses his cool.” Slowly, Zoltan pivoted to face Enya. She wore a leather jacket over her outfit now, but she’d left it open in the front. “I would have called you if you’d given me your number.”

Enya took a step closer, bringing her within a foot of him. She looked up at him, and it made him aware of how petite she was. “Why even ask for my number?”

“Because I didn’t want to presume that you would accept an invitation to my bed after just meeting me. I figured maybe I’d take you out for dinner first, wine and dine you, before I seduce you.”

“I’d rather skip the wining and dining.” She licked her lips, and the action sent a jolt of energy into his cock.

He put his arm around her waist and pulled her to him. “Aren’t you afraid of going home with a stranger? A stranger who might not be very civilized.” Because right now he felt anything but. Enya was a tease, and she’d brought out his animal instincts.

“Who says I want civilized?” She put her hand on his nape.

“A woman after my own heart.” He dipped his head to hers and captured her lips.

Ever since he’d first laid eyes on Enya, he’d known that the moment he had her in his bed, there would be fireworks. However, he hadn’t expected that simply feeling her lips pressed against his would turn his insides into molten lava and unleash a lust that he’d never felt for any other woman, human, demon, or otherwise.

Enya tasted of sin, of pure, unadulterated sin that an ordinary demon couldn’t match. But then, he wasn’t an ordinary demon. He was Zoltan, the Great One, the ruler of the Underworld. And what Enya promised with her kiss was unmistakable: a coupling without restraints, without limits, without taboos.

Her lips were soft yet demanding, her breath sweet and addictive, her tongue assertive and delicious. She made no secret of her desire, didn’t even attempt to play coy, didn’t pretend that this was the first time she’d picked up a stranger. No, for all he knew, she was a pro at this and it was a frequent occurrence for her, one she made no excuses for. She was a hot-blooded woman who knew what she needed. And tonight, she needed him, or at least his cock. And he was more than willing to oblige. But first things first.

Zoltan ripped his lips from hers and took a deep breath. It did nothing to calm his thundering heart or his throbbing erection.

“I live close by. Five minutes’ walk.”

She met his eyes. “How long if we run?”

He would have chuckled at her eagerness were he not just as keen on getting her into his bed. Without answering, he took her hand, and together, they started running. It still seemed like an eternity until they reached his condo building. He opened the door with his fob, then called for the elevator. Inside the cab, he stopped himself from touching Enya. If he did so before they reached his place, he would fuck her right here in the elevator, and it would be over too soon. No, he had to make it into his condo.

When the elevator finally stopped on his floor, he took Enya’s hand and almost dragged her with him. He unlocked his apartment door and ushered her inside, then shut the door behind him.

The under-the-cabinet lights in the open-plan kitchen were burning, shining into the small foyer that connected to it. Beyond the kitchen, and only separated by a bar, lay the living and dining room, which sported wall-to-ceiling windows affording a panoramic view over the city.

But Enya didn’t seem interested in the view. Instead, she pivoted to face him. Light shone onto her face and spotlighted her eyes, their blue now more saturated, more vibrant. He was drawn to them like a fly to honey. But it was Enya who made the first move. She snatched the lapels of his suit and pulled him to her, making him aware of her physical strength. Had a demon female grabbed him like that, he would have tossed her on her ass, because he decided when, where, and how. He was the one who took charge. To be confronted with a strong woman like Enya, a woman who wasn’t intimidated by him, was a refreshing change. So he let it happen and allowed her to take the reins.

About the Stealth Guardians series

Able to render themselves invisible, immortal Stealth Guardians have been protecting humans from the dark power of the Demons of Fear for centuries. The Guardians live in compounds, which are invisible to humans and demons alike, but danger is never far away. Only the Stealth Guardians stand between mankind and the demons' evil plans of ruling mankind. While protecting humans from the demons and their evil leader Zoltan, the Great One, they have to risk their own lives to fulfill their mission without the humans finding out who they are. But not everything goes according to plan. And even immortal guardians can fall in love.

Each book can be read as a standalone and always centers around a new couple finding love, but the series is more enjoyable when read in order.

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