In San Halos, vampires and fae are on the brink of war.
But Alexis Rayne couldn’t care less.
All she cares about is using her succubus abilities to earn a paycheck. And a damned good one, at that.
The only problem is, Alexis’s recent heartbreak is getting in the way of her hitwoman skills. When she screws up, it’s on her to tie up loose ends behind her boss’s back.
Meanwhile, that same boss offers her the highest paying job yet. But… this job is going to get Alexis involved with the vampire mafia. And if there’s one way to ignite an impending war, it’s by pissing off the vamps.
Will Alexis take this impossible mission? If so, it could change everything... Or, it could get her killed.
Born to be Wicked, the first book in the Demon Employment series, combines cool magic, unapologetic ass-kicking, and a whole lot of attitude.
“He’s getting away,” comes Jamieson’s rugged voice in my ear.
His English accent is sexy, but that doesn’t make us friends.
I press the little speaker in my ear and nod as if he can see me. He can’t, but I don’t give a shit. Right now, all I care about is my $50,000 mark leaving the party.
This job is huge. I can’t mess it up. Besides, this evening gown wasn’t easy to get. If I don’t finish the job, threatening the store clerk’s life will have all been for nothing.
My mark’s name is Adam Shaw—a young billionaire who inherited daddy’s company and now makes his dollars off the backs of others. It’s my job to know about my mark, and even more so when it comes to a guy like Adam. Everyone knows him, which is why the payout is so damn big. To prepare for this, I’ve spent months researching everything I can about the guy, so I’ll be damned if he slips through my fingers because of some unforeseen situation.
“Don’t fuck this up, Alexis.”
I’m about to tell Jamieson to shut that rotten hole in his face, but he’s my boss. He can treat me however he wants if it means I get to pay my bills for another few months.
Adam Shaw exits the hall through the main entrance, his posture as stiff as a piece of plywood. He moves around like he owns the place… which, technically, he does. Still. It makes him look like a jackass. His hair, a clean shave on either side, is a yellow blond that almost looks transparent under the overhead lights. The top of his hair is combed back and gelled with something so organic millennials would probably line up for hours to get a good sniff of it.
“Have a great night, Mr. Shaw,” says one of the guards at the front.
Adam smirks back at him—an attractive smile that he’s totally practiced a thousand times in front of his overpriced mirrors. He wraps his black-sleeved arm around the stunning woman standing next to him.
She’s the problem… she’s getting in the way. The plan was to seduce Adam myself and take him home, but everyone knows that Adam Shaw’s a playboy. I knew there was a possibility that another girl would get to him before I did.
While I rarely lose sleep if innocent feebles get in the way—that’s lingo for nonmagical people and admittedly derogatory—I do my best to avoid hurting anyone who isn’t involved.
This girl isn’t involved, and I don’t want to hurt her, but I need to get the job done. Adam’s closest bodyguard, Mo Thompson, left for a trip to the Bahamas two hours ago. The man replacing him is on the men’s restroom floor, knocked out from the tranquilizer I injected in his neck.
Didn’t see that coming, did ya tough guy?
Adam Shaw turns around, likely wondering where his trusted protector is, but it’s obvious getting laid is more important than trying to figure out his bodyguard’s whereabouts. That’s Adam’s downfall—he thinks he’s untouchable with his guards, his security system, and his money.
What he doesn’t know is that while he was celebrating his recent business achievement here, I hacked into his home’s security system and deactivated everything.
Placing my glass of chardonnay down on one of the server’s trays, I rush through tall marble columns and down a narrow passageway that leads to the side exit of the building.
This is my job.
I’m good at it.
Not only did I pull up blueprints for all of Adam Shaw’s house, I also studied this conference center’s entire architectural structure before doing my hair this evening.
My heels tick as I run, so I tear them off midway, my feet slapping against the cold floor. From a distance, I hear the sound of a car’s beep, which is the exact sound made by the one and only sky blue Bugatti Chiron Adam owns.
Everyone knows it’s his; no one else in the city drives a car that expensive.
That means he’s about to get in.
Bolting around the side of the building, I charge straight toward his car. His engine rumbles and his headlights turn on, looking like two prison spotlights in the dark.
I need to move faster.
Running as fast as I can, I lunge at his front hood. The surprise is enough for him to slam on his brakes, causing his shiny black tires to squeal across the pavement. My body smashes hard against his perfectly waxed hood, and in a less-than-graceful posture, I roll up his windshield, over his roof, and straight into the air.
I knew what I was getting into, but that doesn’t make the impact any less unpleasant.
My arm snaps and my left shoulder dislocates, but that’s not what bothers me—I cringe at the sight of the tear in my dress that looks irreparable.
Son of a bitch.
Behind his car, I now lie flat on my back, his exhaust fumes polluting my lungs.
Around me, dozens of people gasp like a flock of seagulls circling a loaf of bread. One old man limps toward me in a hurry, the few strands of hair on his head holding on for dear life as he runs through an evening breeze.
“Oh my goodness… Are you all right, miss?”
Typically, I wouldn’t have made such a drastic move to get my mark. My job is to remain as discreet as possible, and getting hit by Adam’s car is enough to lead the police to believe I had a motive to take him out.
But I spent months preparing for tonight, and I’ll be damned if some little Barbie doll keeps me from earning my $50,000 paycheck. Jobs like these don’t come around too often, and with how I’ve been managing my money lately, well… I could use the extra cash.
Turning my face away from the crowd, I snap my broken bone back into place and pop my shoulder into its socket.
“I’m fine,” I mumble, refusing to show the man my face.
“Are… are you sure?” comes his old, quivering voice.
While I appreciate the kindness, I can’t be seen.
“I said I’m fine,” I hiss, and my succubus horns nearly tear out of my skull.
Adam jumps out of his car, his thick brows meeting over the narrow bridge of his nose. Instead of coming around back to check on me, he hurries to the front of his car and inspects for damage by delicately grazing his metallic baby.
Oh, how I’m going to enjoy tonight.
“What’s wrong with you?” he snaps, now storming around his vehicle.
He must have found a dent.
Maybe I should have left my broken arm, well, broken. Would that have stirred up even an ounce of remorse in him? Should I pretend to be hurt? Should I cry?
Alexis Rayne doesn’t cry.
In fact, I can’t even recall the last time I genuinely cried, which is saying a lot given that I’m over a thousand years old. I’m the epitome of a succubus—strong, dominant, and seductive.
He moves toward me, his features contorted so profoundly that I’m tempted to dig my claws around his hairline and pull back. Maybe a facelift will eradicate that hideous scowl of his.
Instead, I slap my hand on the trunk of his car and use it as support as I bring myself onto my feet. As I get up, I push a little harder than necessary on his car, causing his suspension to squeak. It pisses him off, which is what I was hoping for. I may be a powerful demon capable of snapping his neck like a twig, but watching him get all worked up is so much more enjoyable.
“What the fuck, lady?” he shouts.
My left eyelid flutters as I fight the urge to dig my claws into the metal of his car. As much as it would satisfy me, I’ll never reveal my true self in front of feebles. If anyone finds out I’m fae—or a demon, as many like to call me—I’ll be forced to get my identity changed once again, which is beyond exhausting.
Pushing my succubus self back inside, I stare him cold in the face.
“Are you okay, young lady?” someone asks.
“Did you see that?”
“How is she standing?”
“Are you okay?”
Impatient, I wave a hand at the crowd of people who remind me of crows around a dead carcass.
“Are you sure?”
“I said I’m—” but I cut myself short, feeling Red build up.
My new therapist tells me to call my anger Red. Apparently, that gives my anger a persona, which makes it easier for me to control. I’m also told I have a need to control things. When Red builds up, I risk being unable to suppress my demon self, and the last thing I need is for innocent bystanders to see me full-on succubus—sharp blue eyes, long platinum-white hair, black horns, and massive dragon-like wings.
If that ever gets out, I’ll be done for. Jamieson’s made it clear that he doesn’t work with shadow dwellers—a term given to nonfeebles (fae, vampires, witches). Some shadow dwellers hate the term because it insinuates we should remain in hiding, but heck, I kind of like it. It’s dark, mysterious, and sexy.
Jamieson doesn’t know what I am, and he can’t find out, either.
Inhaling a long slow breath, I calm my heart rate despite Adam Shaw’s hateful gaze. He’s shouting something, though I’m not listening. I don’t give a shit what he has to say. His thick lips flap up and down and his hands wave in front of my face.
That’s when I let it happen.
I smile at him, waiting for the tantrum to stop. Immediately, his big blue eyes soften and he stops talking, clears his throat, and tugs at his tuxedo’s collar.
“I… um,” he stammers. “I’m so sorry. How about I take you back to my place and get you all cleaned up? I’ll replace your dress. I’ll pay you. Whatever you want. You deserve the best treatment.”
He stares at my chest, my lips, and then my eyes again.
Smirking, I raise my chin and stare back.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” comes a woman’s shrill voice.
His date storms out of the car, slamming the door behind her, and marches straight toward me. Her dress, a silk red sheet held in place by two cordlike straps, accentuates her petite but curvy shape. The deep V-cut on her chest reveals two perfectly round, supple breasts that are most definitely natural.
Biting my lower lip, I take her all in.
“Who do you think you are?” she snaps, dropping her leather purse to the ground. She scowls, no doubt preparing to ream me out, but the moment she makes eye contact with me, her jaw snaps shut.
“I, um—” she mumbles.
Slowly, I scan her body with narrowed eyes, admiring the perfection in her curves. Beside her, Adam fidgets with his thumbs and clears his throat. Something tells me that if I don’t do this quickly, he might get aggressive and jump me.
It wouldn’t be the first time that happened. If I throw my Lure at a victim for too long, they can’t handle it and shit gets intense. I’d be lying if I said I minded it. At the end of the day, I’m more powerful than any feeble, so if having their way with me is what rings their bell, I’m willing.
You want me to devour you? I say in my mind.
I don’t make a habit of talking to my prey when they’re entranced, but in certain situations, it works wonders. They don’t hear me, per se—it’s more of a brainwashing technique than anything.
Tilting my head, I bite my nail. “I’m sorry about your car.”
“No, no,” Adam says quickly.
His date chimes in, her eyes never leaving my chest. “Oh, please. It’s no problem at all. Why don’t you, um, come with us? We’ll get you… cleaned up.”
This wasn’t the plan.
Adam’s the mark, not her. But I’m too far in, and if I plan to finish the job, I can’t stop now. Besides, I don’t want to stop now.
I’m too hungry.
I elevate my chin. “Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go.”