Home > Hisses and Honey (The Venom Trilogy #3)

Hisses and Honey (The Venom Trilogy #3)
Author: Shannon Mayer

CHAPTER 1

A vampire mob boss and a reluctant Drakaina—a.k.a. a siren who can shift into a two-story snake—walk into a bar in downtown Seattle followed by said Drakaina’s very human ex-husband as he begs on his knees for forgiveness. Unfortunately it was not a silly opening to a joke but my actual life. Burnt cookies coating my mouth couldn’t have been more unpleasant.

“Alena, please take me back, please, please, please.” Roger clutched at my right hand, seeing as my left was firmly caught up in Remo’s tight grip.

Remo raised a single eyebrow, and a corner of his lips turned up, showing off a glint of one fang. When the light caught his eyes right, the violet color that rimmed his dark iris all but glowed. I rather liked the look of him, from those strange eyes of his, to his lovely mouth, to his hand on mine, and right on down to . . . well, to other parts that I fantasized about far more than I would ever admit.

“You want me to do something about him?” Remo flicked his eyes in Roger’s direction. A sigh slid out of me as I shook my head. Remo dealing with Roger would likely mean more than Roger being picked up and tossed back out the door. And as much as I disliked my ex-husband and all he’d put me through, I didn’t want Remo to hurt him.

“No, I’ll deal with him.” I let go of Remo’s hand and turned to face Roger, who still clung to my other hand. He stared up at me from down on his knees, clammy fingers squeezing mine over and over. I couldn’t help but be surprised he’d even touch me. The last time we’d had dealings, he’d been terrified that I was going to give him the Aegrus virus, and that was a pretty valid reason not to want to so much as brush up against me, never mind cling to me.

The Aegrus virus was currently sweeping the world and wiping out humans left, right, and center despite the various governments and health officials doing all they could to slow it. Seeing as it originated from the Super Duper community—of which I was now a part—Roger should have been staying away from me. Which made me wonder just what he was up to.

I tried to untangle my hand from his without hurting him. Not such an easy task as it would seem now that I was a Drakaina. “Aren’t you afraid you’re going to get sick, Roger?”

“No, I want to get sick; I want you to get me sick.” He smiled up at me, his eyes wild, like he’d been drinking heavily. But I didn’t smell anything on his breath. I tried to reel back, but he clung to me like a burnt piece of stubborn banana-nut muffin clinging to the bottom of a baking tin.

“What? Are you out of your mind?” I pushed his hand off mine finally and took several steps back. I might not have carried any lasting warm feelings for the man who’d cheated on me and left me to die on my own, who’d tried to take everything from me, including my home, my bakery, and my inheritance. But that didn’t mean I wanted him to die.

Okay, I had wanted to kill him myself, but still, I didn’t really want him to die. Really, honest, I hadn’t fallen that far from my mother’s teachings.

He scrabbled across the rough floor of the bar on his hands and knees, drawing attention from all quarters. Hickory sticks, this was not how I’d thought the night was going to go when Remo asked me out for a date. A nice night out, with a . . . well, “nice” wasn’t the word I’d use for Remo, because “a nice night out with a gorgeous vampire mob boss” aren’t really the kind of words that go together. I shook my head, knowing Roger better now that we were no longer married. A narcissist through and through. His real colors had truly shown when my life and our marriage had been on the line.

I put my hands on my hips and stared down at him. “Roger, what are you planning this time?”

“I just want to be with you.” He smiled up at me, but the smile didn’t reach his eyes. I frowned and pointed one finger at him.

“We are divorced, dingle nuts.” He jerked as if I’d slapped him, but I kept talking as if I hadn’t seen him move. “I don’t want to be with you, and why you think you being sick would mean there’s any chance I would is beyond ridiculous! The only thing that getting sick would give you besides death is being turned . . .” Understanding hit me like a rack of pans falling from the top shelf and landing on my bare toes. My jaw dropped, and I had to catch myself to keep it from unhinging with the shock. Something that was entirely possible, considering what I was.

“You think that if you get sick, you can be turned into a Super Duper, don’t you? You think that you can convince Merlin to make you like me?” I spit out the words as I took another step back.

Roger smiled and held a hand out to me. “Come on, baby. We’ve been through so much. I just want to be with you. Come on, cough on me.”

I glared down at him. “You mean you want my money and inheritance. What, did Barbie put you up to this?” Barbie being the woman he’d cheated on me with. The woman he’d been about to give all my money because apparently she was good in bed. Or whatever his reasoning was in regards to her talents. I didn’t care.

“Barbie and I broke up,” he said. “I realized that I’d always loved you. She was just a phase. I’d just needed to sow some wild oats.”

I snorted and put my hands on my hips. I raised my voice so the onlookers that were drawing close would hear me. “You mean a phase that lasted our entire marriage? You don’t sow oats when you are married, Roger. You are out of your mind if you think I’d ever even consider going back to you. It’s not happening. Rog.”

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