About Best of Enemies
by Cassidy Ryan
When the bartender sees Simeon and Byron in his bar, he hopes they're not going to make trouble. The problem is that vampire Byron and sorcerer Simeon have trouble between them, going back a lot of years. They take their fight outside, where the passion between them flares, but they're not the only ones out hunting. What happens when these two agree to be the best of enemies?
Preston Butterman placed the shot of Jim Beam on the well-worn bar top.
Carios pulled it closer to him using a single, horny talon. “Thanks. I need this.” His voice was low, gravelly. He picked up the glass and threw the drink back in one swallow, thin lips pulling back in a hiss, revealing sharp, yellow teeth.
Preston resisted the urge to grimace. Fuckin’ demons. They might help pay the bills and keep him in business, but they were ugly bastards.
A draft blew across the bar, ruffling Preston’s thin, sandy colored hair. He turned, best host smile on his weathered face, but the smile froze on his lips, and it had nothing to do with the cool breeze.
“Aw, fuck.” His eyes immediately flew to the other side of the room, to the lone figure seated in the booth nearest the far wall. He looked back as the door closed behind a tall man in an ankle length coat of deep purple velvet and hair the color of jet hanging nearly to his waist. He was certainly more attractive than the creature sitting on the stool on the other side of the bar, but Preston would happily have taken a dozen demons, with their dry, scaly skin and constantly moving, snake-like tails, over the potential for chaos that had just walked through his door.
Carios looked over his shoulder with lazy, amber-colored eyes. “Problem?” He nudged the glass in Preston’s direction.
Preston was too preoccupied to notice. He watched with growing anxiety as the man made his way across the room, as if drawn like a magnet to the back booth. “I don’t fuckin’ need this in my place.” He reached under the bar, but his hand halted in its progress when the man threw him a sharp look and a quick negative shake of the head. Preston felt the blood drain from his face and slowly placed his hands on the bar where they could clearly be seen.
The man turned his head away again. His footsteps hadn’t faltered. Another dozen or so steps and he would be at the booth.
Carios tapped his glass on the bar impatiently. Preston reached for the bourbon bottle and poured the demon another shot, but he was distracted and only stopped when Carios barked a curse.
Preston apologized and wiped up the mess with a dirty-looking rag.
“What’s going on? You expecting trouble?” Carios threw back his drink in one again.
Preston continued to wipe the bar top long after the spilled bourbon had been cleaned up. “Shit, I hope not.” The words held the ring of a plea.