When the devil wants a deal, there’s no bowing out gracefully.
Hades’ Carnival, Book 2
At twenty-nine, Hollywood scream queen Kellsie Morris is acutely aware the clock is ticking on her career. Luckily, the one big role she needs to pad her retirement fund has just come through—the story of an immortal, shape-shifting warrior trapped in a carnival run by the Devil’s minions.
When Kellsie arrives on set, she can’t resist climbing aboard an amazingly realistic carousel bear—and finds herself flung into a world where the horror is real. As real as the heat radiating off the half-naked hunk in her arms.
Marko has waited an eternity for the chance to free his goddess, the Lady of the Beasts, and his fellow warriors from an ancient curse. But once he lays eyes on Kellsie, he knows to the bottom of his soul that his purpose is to protect her life.
But in this hellish game, it’s the Devil’s move. And there’s no predicting when and where the final, brutal stroke will fall—and which lover will pay the ultimate price.
Strong hands rested on her shoulders and she jerked away, heart pounding heavily in her chest. Where was she and who the hell was this?
She blinked hard but couldn’t see much beyond a large male shape. A quick inventory of her body assured her she wasn’t hurt and she was fully clothed, which was a very good sign.
“Who the hell are you?” Maybe it wasn’t smart to antagonize this unknown man, but Kellsie didn’t care. She needed to find out what was going on. Her last memory was of riding the carousel, of it going way too fast. Spinning. Spinning. Spinning.
She swallowed hard. It was making her sick simply thinking about it.
“I’m Marko.” His voice was little more than a dark rumble that sent a shiver racing down her spine. And it wasn’t due to fear.
Now that was totally stupid. How could she physically react to a man she didn’t know and couldn’t even see. “That doesn’t tell me much.”
He shifted slightly and she scooted away, her back coming to rest against a cool surface. She put out her hand and touched it. Hard with sharp edges.
Now that the shock of waking was wearing off, she was noticing other things as well. The ground was hard beneath her butt. The air was cool and fresh. As if on cue, an owl hooted. She was in a damn cave in the woods.
“How did I get here? And where is here?” Damn it, she needed answers and she needed them now.
“Don’t be afraid.” Again his sorcerer’s voice wrapped around her. She wanted to crawl closer to the source, which was a totally stupid idea given the situation, so she went on the offensive.
“Is this someone’s idea of a joke? Did the crew put you up to this?” Had they slipped something into her food or drink to make her pass out? If they thought to frighten her with this little prank they were sorely mistaken. All those years of working gruesome movie sets had made her immune. Heck, if that hadn’t done the trick, then living in L.A. all these years certainly would have. She knew how to defend herself if it came to that.
Not that she thought it would. After all, she was supposed to star in the lead role of this movie. They needed her hale and hearty.
Marko stilled. At first she didn’t think he was going to say anything, answer any of her questions. The silence spun out, making her nervous. This guy was good. She mentally slapped her hand against her forehead. Of course he was good. He was most likely an actor on the movie. One she hadn’t met yet.
Her butt cheeks were going numb from sitting on the hard ground so she shifted position. She shivered again, this time with the cold. Her damp clothing wasn’t much help against the night air drifting in through the opening of the cave. She could see it easily now that her eyes had adjusted to the lack of light.
She frowned. This situation reminded her of something. What was it? It took her a moment to pinpoint it. It reminded her of the nightmare she’d had while she was traveling here, the one of her being lost in a cave. That cave had been hot. This one was the exact opposite.
“You are cold.” His observation of the obvious made her angry, as did his lack of communication.
“No shit, Sherlock. How do you figure that? I’m being dragged around the woods in the middle of the night in damp clothes. If I get sick and end up missing some days of shooting you guys are going to pay for this little prank.”
He moved so fast he was little more than a blur, and Kellsie suddenly found herself ensconced in his lap with his arms around her. She clutched at his forearm for balance and swallowed hard. It was huge and hard.
Nerves jittered in her stomach. She was okay. She was fine. He wasn’t going to hurt her, or at least she certainly hoped not. He’d had plenty of time to do so if that was his plan.
He nuzzled the side of her neck, his hair-roughened jaw lightly abrading her skin. She bit her bottom lip to keep from moaning aloud as heat flashed through her body, driving back the cold.
What the heck was wrong with her? She should not be physically responding to a total stranger, at least not sexually. Defending herself was okay, but sensual touching was definitely out of the question.
“I’m sorry you are cold. Let me warm you.”
It was the most she’d gotten out of him so far and she could have told him she was no longer cold. If anything she was starting to sweat again. If she kept up this cycle of freezing and sweating she ran the risk of succumbing to hypothermia. She had no idea how far they were from the movie set or how cold it was going to get near the mountains at night. They couldn’t have gone too far. It wouldn’t make sense to drag her too far from the comfort of the trailers.
Marko tugged her closer. She reached out a hand to steady herself and met bare skin. He wasn’t wearing a shirt.