Personal trainer and witch extraordinaire Scarlet Nelson goes to the famous Crypt casino with her buddies Ari and Sam for a Halloween party and a good time. Entanglements are the last thing on her mind.
Pack Alpha and head of security, Grant Anderson has been waiting months to get Scarlet right where he wants her—in his bed and properly mated.
Things are never as easy they seem, though. When a guilty business partner and gaggle of zombies show up, Scarlet and Grant get a crash course in cooperation and acceptance.
This is an erotic short story that has been previously published.
Scarlet paused at the entry to the casino with her friends, Ari and Sam. Excitement made her head buzz. She needed a night of R and R, and a Halloween party was just the thing.
“Here’s the plan.” Sam stopped just inside the doorway. “We’re all here to have a good time. We flirt, we drink, and we dance until our feet are numb.”
“My feet are already numb,” Ari muttered and leaned back against the wall.
“Yeah, well you’re the dumb witch that wore the cheap shoes with toothpick heels.” She thickened her Southern accent on purpose, looking forward to needling Ari. “So don’t be asking us for a pity party.”
Sam, ever the peacemaker, raised her hands. “Easy ladies, let’s not—”
“Cheap? Do you know how many massages I had to give to buy these shoes?” Ari lifted her chin. “They’re Jimmy Choos. My Goddess, have you no respect for a good designer?”
Well, bless her little ole heart. Expensive, were they? She repressed the chuckle that bubbled up. There were things to do and drinks to be had.
“No, I have respect for a good margarita.” Scarlet winked. “So I’m going to head to the bar and grab one.”
Turning to do just that, she paused when Sam spoke.
“Hey, I’m going to go check us in and get the keys to our room.” Sam opened her purse and took out her wallet. “And don’t look so nervous. This is supposed to be fun, remember? I’ll be right back.”
The last was directed at Ari. The original worrywart. Scarlet rolled her eyes and followed the din to the party.
Charmed and amused, she slid through the crowd and didn’t even notice when her friends didn’t follow. The cavernous atrium of the casino had been transformed to a scene right out of Carnival or Mardi Gras for the Halloween party. Booths lined the walls like shops, offering wares from clothing to ice cream. Pausing at one specializing in masks, she made a quick choice and dug the few dollars out of her pocket. She took it from the clerk and she pulled the elastic around her head. After settling the eyeholes in place, she turned the counter mirror and admired the mask. It was designed to appear as a wolf, creamy white dressed up with glitter around the eyes. Feathers took the place of ears and she grinned at her reflection.
Turning back to the crowd, she wondered if she should look for Ari and Sam in the throng, but shrugged when they were nowhere to be seen. Instead she took in the layout. A raised stage stood in the center courtyard where a live band played. Other performers wandered through the crowd—jugglers, mimes, she even spied a fire breather in the distance. The casino’s restaurants were all open, and she considered heading over to the buffet, but decided to indulge tonight. She found a funnel cake vendor and sighed when the fried dough hit her taste buds. She’d work it off tomorrow. It was Halloween, after all, and a witch deserved some enjoyments.
Her senses flared as she wandered, studying the crowd. One of the biggest casinos in the valley catering to locals, Crypt also had the distinction of being the first choice for the Vegas otherworld. She saw other witches, vampires, werewolves and the occasional fae. The vampires seemed to be taking particular pleasure in arriving as themselves. She snorted. Talk about no costume necessary. Thankfully, the wolves were not so brazen. She didn’t think the unsuspecting humans in the crowd were quite ready to “oh and ah” over a wolf pack.
She grimaced when she caught a hint of one wolf in particular and looked around, hoping to spot him first and run the other direction. The casino’s security head and the Las Vegas pack’s Alpha, Grant Anderson, was nothing if not persistent, and she wasn’t up to resisting tonight. Work had been a bitch all week, and she was too tempted to lean against his strength for a few hours. The problem was you just never knew when a werewolf was going to go all possessive and territorial on you after sex. She was not in the mate market, thank you very much. So no sex with the sexy, almost irresistible Grant. She had enough hassle in her life already.