The Samhain Soldier


It’s all fun and games until a tracker demon comes for you…

Phinnius Winterbourne, a soldier in the Summer Court of the Sidhe, has inherited his maternal grandfather’s sword. But the Winter Court of the Sidhe now want it and him. Seeking help from his older brother seems like a good idea, until he runs into the witch. And the tracker demon sent to fetch him. Not a great day.

Kendra MacGillivray is preparing her altar for Samhain when she runs head-on into Phinnius and his problems. She doesn’t have time for the arrogant fool who has pissed off the Fae. When her healing spell clashes with that of the tracker demon, they end up in the Sidhe realm with no way home and a tracker demon familiar. Every witch needs one.

Trapped in the Fae realm, they must work together to keep the sword out of the Winter Court’s reach and get back home again before Samhain, when the veils close for the year. Nothing is as it seems and Phinn’s family secrets may break everything – him included. If they don’t protect the sword, they could lose more than a family heirloom—they could destroy the world. No pressure.

Kendra MacGillivray had met many cheeky men in her time, but the tall, dark-haired beauty with sapphire blue eyes took the cake. Or maybe it’s the big-ass sword rising over his right shoulder that’s doing it. Whatever it was, he wore arrogance like a new suit and seemed as fishy as Pier 59 in Seattle. He smelled like warm vanilla, the scent of Ponderosa pine bark baking in the sun, and she reminded herself men didn’t like women sniffing after them like bitches in heat.

And if they do, they aren’t worth it.

“You can call me Kendra. Now, off you go.”

The tall warrior gave her a sardonic smile through the sexy scruff on his cheeks, but bowed and made to move past her. However, he tensed up and lost his smile at the sound of something big moving through the underbrush behind her. All the hair stood up on the back of her neck as the fetid scents of rotting wine and old sex hit her nose. Swallowing against the gag reflex, she shifted sideways, presenting her back to neither the man nor whatever approached.

“Aw, hellfire.” Phinnius yanked the sword off his back with a metallic hiss and took on a battle stance.

“What the hell is that?”

Kendra fought bile back down her throat as she took in a creature resembling an organic version of the cat-like thing from the movie about robot aliens who shifted shape. A ridge of fins from each vertebra protruded along the back and tail, and oddly jointed limbs ended in long, sharp claws.

“Stay back, Mistress Kendra. This demon is here for me.”

“Oh, that’s comforting.” The demon’s glowing green eyes shifted from Phinnius, and it just had to lick its slavering jaws as its gaze settled on her.

“I promise I won’t let it hurt you.”

Kendra snorted and tried to settle her mind enough to gather the life energy around her. Magic wasn’t an alien forceit came from the living beings inhabiting the world. Ironically, this frightening creature held some of the same energy, but it appeared tangled or kinked, like an old garden hose. The energy didn’t flow properly.

What’s wrong with you? Kendra took a deep breath and built a ball of power, focusing her mind in the direction she’d cast it. The creature crouched, its hindquarters wiggling just like a cat about to pounce. Kendra waited for the right moment. The spell she had in mind wouldn’t harm the creature, but it would contain it and heal some of the conflicting energy paths.

Phinnius moved into her line of fire and she growled. “Get out of the way. I don’t want to hit you.”

“Hit me? With what? I’m the one with the sword. Just stay back and I’ll protect you.” He turned his back to her, watching the creature.

While she liked his looks, right now, she didn’t need him to be in the way when she threw her energy cast. Goddess only knew what a defensive spell like this would do to him. He wasn’t completely human and this energy was her own special recipe.

“I don’t need protecting, Mr. Winterbourne. I just need you stay to the side, okay?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“And you don’t know a damn thing about me, so please just get out of the way.”

Phinnius ignored her and she throttled her frustration as she stepped to his other side. The demon’s eyes tracked her movement and distracted it a moment. A gurgling growl rumbled from its throat as she brought her hands up into position. She cupped them as if holding a bowl, waiting for the next perfect moment.

Apparently, Phinnius waited for the same moment because he leapt at the creature with a yell, swinging his blade in a keening arch. The creature snarled and shifted to the side, lashing out with its tail. The spiked limb caught Phinnius in the side and threw him into a tree with a resounding thud.

Kendra swore and ducked as the demon swiped at her with one clawed hand. She threw herself into a roll and thanked her father for making her take self-defense training. One good thing for having a beat cop as a dad. Her shoulder slammed into a tree trunk, but otherwise she escaped without harm.

She looked for Phinnius and found him on his feet with the creature between them. Shit, how am I going to clobber this thing without hitting him? She’d either have to get the demon’s attention or move again. Her shoulder screamed a protest, but she gritted her teeth and crept through the trees.

also in this series

also connected