cover Fangs ’n’ Foxes -
 
a short novel by Mardi Ballou from Ellora’s Cave

Here’s the prologue and a second excerpt. Enjoy!

              Prologue

From time immemorial, vampires and garlic didn’t mix. So, of course, there could be no vampires in Trenton, New Jersey, where the scent of garlic is second only to oxygen in the air. But then there arose a newer, tougher breed of vampire—a vampire who not only could tolerate garlic but learned to love the fragrant, multi-layered bulb. As fate and Darwin might have it, not one but two distinct subspecies of vampire evolved. Alas, their tolerance to garlic did not extend to each other . . .

"Wanda, get your friggin’ ass on down here now," a harsh voice bellowed, interrupting Wanda "The Wise" Muller’s careful writing. She bit her lip. Determined as she was to write the full chronicles of the Trenton vampires, working for a demanding boss made it difficult to snatch the time she needed. But the tone in Darnell DeLouis’s voice alerted her that he meant business. With a sigh she saved her file, put the computer to sleep, and hurried off to see what he wanted.

Despite all her efforts, she had a long way to go to get him trained right. She’d probably have given up on him already if she didn’t know, sure as she knew her own name, that Darnell cloaked his finer self under the thick armor required of vampire leaders. Not to mention, Darnell was hot—movie star tall, dark and gorgeous. No surprise that the ladies lined up at his door. Lucky Wanda was immune to his charms.
 
Lucky also, she had good friends in high places. Soon, it would be time to join forces with them and get Darnell to evolve and commit his considerable powers to their mission.
 
But first things first. Assuming her haughtiest don’t-mess-with-me look, she made her way to Darnell’s office.


              And here’s a second excerpt:

Darnell had experienced many strange things, but none stranger than being treated by this dentist, LaLilia. If he didn’t know better, he’d suspect someone’d slipped some crazy weed or drug in his last feed. Or maybe he was on one of them TV reality shows.

Wanda the Wise was always straight with him. She’d set him up with this LaLilia Guitry chick, said she was a for real dentist. But here Darnell had been bracing himself for one of them nasty shots and the drilling and the squirting and all that other shit dentists did.

Not only did LaLilia outfox every fox in town, but this chick bent over him and kissed him. Closest he’d ever been to coming from just a kiss since he became a man. And damn all if his tooth didn’t stop hurting! How’d she do that?

Then she began to pull away from him like what she did was nothing, the way she stuck her tongue in his mouth and got up close and intimate with all his teeth, ’specially the bugger that was killing him all night. And now here he was with a hard-on that could shatter concrete. Shoot, she wasn’t going nowhere... Not and leave him like this. You’d think a chick who could fix teeth like that would have the friggin’ sensitivity or whatever to know what she started.

Hell, the pain of the damn cavity was nothing compared to the blue balls he’d have if she didn’t bring herself right on over to where she would do him the most good.

"Hey, baby," he said, clutching on to her like a life preserver. "I like your bedside manner. Let’s see some more of it." He shifted uncomfortably. "This ain’t a bed, but, hell, we’re talkin’ emergency here."

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