Soul Debt: Paid in Full by Megan Slayer
Number in Series: 1
Word Count: 12K
Page Count: 40
Genres: Erotic Romance, Novella, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal
Themes: Gay, Dark Desire
Ever danced with the Devil? I have.
You know how people make deals with God? I made one with the Devil. For what, you ask? A boyfriend. Little did I know, the Devil would not only take me up on the deal, but make it worth both our whiles — just not in the way I’d imagined. Turns out, nothing in my world is what it seemed.
Changeling Press: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2000
copyright Megan Slayer 2013
I didn’t have to wonder long. When I woke up, my back ached. I rolled my shoulders and climbed out of bed. Slamming my body into the wall the night before might have had something to do with the overall crappiness I felt and the dull thud in my back. Or maybe it was the reminder that I’d done something so stupid even I didn’t believe I’d done it.
I raked my fingers through my hair, then stopped short. When I touched my scalp, I had a bump. Had I hit my head during the hallway interlude and forgotten? I didn’t think so. The spot didn’t hurt like a goose egg to the noggin might, but I had to be sure. I ran into the bathroom. Adam and Alex had left the room in disarray, so before I could look at my reflection, I had to pick up the damp towels and my wrinkled clothes. Normally I’m a neat freak. A place for everything and everything in its place. Except after last night, nothing seemed in order. I tossed the clothes into the hamper and hung the towels over the railing then checked my head in the mirror. I needed to shave. I don’t mind a little scruff, but too much and I look like I stepped out of an old western movie.
I crinkled my nose and looked at the bump. I expected just a lump under my skin. When I pulled my hair aside, my jaw slackened and I teetered on my feet. My skin was black. Not like a bruise dark, but black. Whatever I’d done, I’d given myself one hell of a wallop. I was smoothing my hair back into place when I noticed the other lump. A twin of the first one. I tipped my head. Two black bumps on my head.
No wonder the Devil had said love wouldn’t come the way I wanted. I looked like him! I had devil horns. Okay, so they were small, but they’d get bigger, right? Fuck. I touched the bumps once again. They didn’t seem to hurt, and my hair covered them enough if I raked it forward. I fiddled with my hair. I looked ridiculous, but maybe that would be enough to keep the rest of the world from seeing my twin issues.
Behind me my alarm beeped. Double shit. My shift at the bookstore started at ten. We could wear hats while working, so I grabbed a ball cap. I wouldn’t look like myself, but I didn’t care. No one needed to see the dreaded horns.
I finished getting dressed and sprinted down the block to the bookstore. I loved living a city block from work. Hell, everything I wanted to do was within walking distance. Great for the physique, but shitty for the wallet. I ducked in the back door and swiped my ID card through the reader.
One of the problems I’d hoped not to run into. “Heya, Caroline.” I liked her, but she liked me a little more than she should’ve. I’m gay, and she’s not going to change that fact, but I’m sure she wants to.
“Nice hat.” She toyed with the bill. “Didn’t know you followed football.”
“I watch some.” I’d bought the hat for a costume to impress a hot guy at a Halloween party, and the whole thing had backfired. I spent the night talking about how much I loved the San Francisco Giants. That would’ve been fine, except my hat was for the New York Giants. Yeah, not so good.
“Antonio’s filling in for Gina. Something about an interview for the doctorate program.” Caroline shrugged. “Like she’s doctoral material.”
“I don’t know,” I said and grabbed a box of books to shelve. “She knows art history better than anyone. If she’s happy, let her be.”
“You would take her side.” Caroline flounced away from me, her too-tight skirt bunching around her ample hips. If I were straight, I might have gone for her, but I’m not.
I checked the spines of the books. Romance. Great. I didn’t mind reading romance, but when the man of your dreams doesn’t know you exist, well, romance is a non-entity. I peeked over the shelves and sighed. Antonio. The man oozes sex. Nice muscles, black hair dusting his collar, always wearing button-down shirts and those tailored trousers. It’s like he works for a clothing store, but hangs out at the bookstore. I’d love to be half as classy as he looks. Even his old-school glasses, thick black frames with the little silver decoration on the hinge, look sexy on him.
“You’re staring again,” Caroline whispered.
Of all the people I worked with, Antonio was the one I wanted to get with. Yes, the guy was hot, but he didn’t act like he knew it. Maybe that’s what drew me to him — his confidence. He glanced over his shoulder and caught me staring. Instead of looking away or frowning, he grinned.
My heart melted. I’d been fucked by a dirty demon the night before, but seeing Antonio smile made me feel better.
I went back to shelving books and focused on the job. I couldn’t gawk at Antonio all day. The hours flew by. I broke down the cardboard box and heaved it into the recycle bin.
I didn’t have to turn around to know who spoke. “Antonio.”