Published as… Urban Fantasy
Jamie Wyman’s Excerpt
Marius winced as he pulled himself up onto the bed. Winded, he lay there on his back, gasping to catch his breath.
I sat on the edge of the mattress and just watched him while the tug-of-war raged in my head. Marius had been a friend. He’d helped me out of a jam on more than one occasion and even saved my life a time or two. He’d also bugged out on me during a fight when things had looked dire. Though he used magic to conceal his horns and goat’s legs, it was another example of how Marius could never buck his nature. By birth, he was a satyr—a hedonistic, selfish creature—and by trade, or necessity, he was a liar and a thief. I’d known him for a very long time. Long enough to understand that what I saw could be an illusion. The other edge of that particular sword, however, was that watching him writhe in pain yanked at my heart.
Flynn didn’t know the real Marius, the one beneath the glamour. I’d seen that person once. The pitiable bastard had lived for centuries under a curse that rendered him impotent, unable to feel the slightest of pleasures. In time, what should have been a jovial soul atrophied and grew sour. I’d seen Marius’s truth—naked and pathetic—and no amount of anger could exorcise my sympathy for him. I’d been a prisoner once, too. I still wanted him to be free.
And now he was in my bed, a broken and bloody mess.
When his rattling breaths calmed, he rolled onto his side. His shirt stretched, the tears widening over four evenly spaced gashes. The wounds spread from his back and around his ribs. Similar marks could be seen on one of his calves.
I thought of the many versions of Marius I’d known over the years, the layers of masks he hid behind. When we’d met, he had been a lecherous playboy type, his suits always pressed and shoes shined. He’d also been an ally. A warrior with a gleaming saber, eyes aglow with magic. A con artist with sticky fingers. I’d seen through all of it once. I’d seen him naked, metaphorically—a tortured, withered, malnourished soul. Well, okay, I’d seen him physically naked, too, but I hadn’t exactly wanted to at the time.
But he resembled his truest self as he lay there on my bed. Holding his stomach, eyes clenched tight with pain, he once again tried to moisten his lips.
“Didn’t know. Where to go,” he said, his voice dry as sandpaper.
I sighed and said nothing. In the small bathroom attached to my bedroom, I filled a glass with water and soaked a washcloth. I had no intention of playing Florence Nightingale to the bastard, but he was visibly dehydrated. And he was getting blood on my sheets.
When I returned, he was still, breathing in a reedy but steady rhythm. My tuxedo tomcat, Linux, had come out from his den beneath the bed to curl up against Marius’s feet and administer purr therapy. The cat looked up at me with his golden stare, as if to say, I’ve got this.
I left the glass and washcloth on the bedside table where Marius would see them.
Music began to blare from the next room, an electronic bass beat that called to my blood. Outside of that door were people who gave a damn about me, people who didn’t think about how they could use me. Some of them, like Flynn and Karma, knew about the other world I navigated—a place of magic, mythical creatures and all-too-real gods. The rest of them remained blissfully ignorant.
I closed my eyes and made a promise to myself: for the next few hours, that other world would cease to exist, even if I had to drown it in a flood of whiskey and red velvet cake. For one night, I’d be normal.
About the Book
On her 30th birthday, Catherine Sharp has a lot to celebrate: a great IT job in Las Vegas, a growing mastery of technomancy, and a deity or two on speed dial. She’s barely had a chance to blow out her candles when she finds a half-dead body on her doorstep.
For centuries, the satyr has lied, cheated and swindled the upper crust of several pantheons in service to Eris, the Greek goddess of Discord. However, he has angered his mistress and found himself vulnerable. With bloodthirsty gods and monsters after him, Marius runs to the only person he hopes he can trust: Cat.
Despite his previous betrayal, Cat still harbors a soft spot for Marius. Helping her means taking on demons and deities, but telling him to fend for himself leaves Cat wrestling with feelings she’d rather not think about. The birthday girl has a choice to make, and it isn’t a simple one. She must weigh the sins of his checkered past against their strange chemistry. Matters of the heart clash with the politics of divinity and family business. Everything hinges on the answer to one question: can she trust him?
“Wild Card” (Book One) & Unveiled (Book Two)
About the Author
After a misspent adulthood pursuing a Music Education degree, Jamie Wyman fostered several interests before discovering that being an author means never having to get out of pajamas. (However, she can eat/spin fire, tell you a lot about auditioning to be a Blue Man, and read/write in Circular Gallifreyan.)
Jamie also works as an editor. In addition to freelance work, she works with sci-fi/fantasy publisher Dragon Moon Press.
As an author, Jamie’s favorite playgrounds are urban fantasy, horror and creepy carnival settings. You can find novels, novellas, short stories and flash fiction by Jamie in a variety of places. Start looking here. Jamie also writes articles for Cracked.com.
When she’s not traipsing about with her imaginary friends, she lives in Phoenix with two hobbits and two cats. She is proud to say she has a deeply disturbed following at her blog. Send chai.