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DU: Excerpt


The sudden hush in the busy little café should have been his first clue crap was about to fly.

Wrapped up in his thoughts, Reynner savored his dark roasted coffee hot enough to scrape a layer off his throat, when he became aware of the unnatural quiet. Looking up, he got an eyeful of a tall female sashaying toward him, not in the least surprised she’d found him. Again.

Lustrous black hair framed a face of sheer perfection—one that made gods and men whimper for her favor. A long fitted white dress with a slit up to her thigh hugged her curves and fell to her ankles. It was strange to see Inanna in clothes, when usually she preferred to wear as little as possible.

Oh, he understood the awed silence all too well since he’d once succumbed to that same sensual spell. Easing his grip on the mug, he set it aside, wishing he’d taken his coffee to go. A chair scraped on the linoleum opposite him. A moment later, her stiletto heel rode up his leather-clad leg to caress his thigh beneath the tablecloth.

Ignoring the Sumerian Goddess of Love and War didn’t work in the past, or now. He shoved her foot off him. In a measured move, he picked up a coin from the change on the table and spun it, so he wouldn’t be tempted to reach across and strangle her. “Get lost, Inanna. I’m busy.”

“Reynner…” She held out a hand in appeal, her topaz eyes luminescent with tears. “Don’t do this, please—”

He cut her an implacable stare. “Don’t do what? Ignore you? Or prefer other females?”

Her face darkened at his mention of the women. “Why would you want these weak, pathetic creatures?” Her tears vanished as fast as they appeared. “I’m powerful. I’ll make it good between us again.”

He leaned back in the wooden chair and ran his cold gaze slowly over her stunning face and lush body. More flighty promises, but no hint of an apology at what she’d done to him. The thought would never have entered her narcissistic mind. “I enjoy other women.”

“You lie.”

Reynner shrugged. Picking up the fallen coin, he worked it between his fingers. He just wanted coffee and a few minutes of quiet before he went back on the streets. Instead he got her.

It should have felt good torturing Inanna, but he got no enjoyment, just a prolonged headache that started over two millennia ago. How could he have known then that stopping at the Sumerian pantheon would so irrevocably change his life?

“You’ve become cold and unfeeling. One little mistake and you’re still making me pay.” Her sulky voice drew him back.

“One little mistake?” His tone made glaciers seem warm.

“It was just a teeny-tiny year—”

“A year?” His hands crashed on the table. The coin flew to disappear beneath a chair. “It was a fucking century in Hell!”