This isn’t your grandmother’s pub crawl…
It’s not even your crazy uncle’s kinda scene. Unless your uncle happens to be a glitter-spewing unicorn shifter, a ghost-spying vampire, a pole-dancing werewolf, or a Neolithic entrepreneur. No? Well then, you’re in for a treat! But be forewarned, even the supernatural folk can’t hold their liquor all the time. And when their kind don’t mind their Ps and Qs, things get… interesting.
Stop in for a drink at 13 fantasy watering holes brought to you by authors:
A Sneak Peek from my short: The Infamous Cherry Bomb Incident
Note: Even though the short starts on a rather somber note, I swear it’s a sassy story and it ends very satisfactorily for our heroine. You just have to order the anthology to see for yourself I didn’t lie 😉
The sun comes out from the thick blanket of puffy, white clouds, and I can’t help but smile. My work day was hell, but I can still appreciate the small pleasures in life.
I coast through the Magnolia neighborhood, basking in the sight of the Seattle skyline bathed in golden rays. As the busy road winds up the hill, and my beat-up Volkswagen trudges toward the small cottage around the bend, my shoulders relax one inch at a time. The scent of barbecues wafts inside my car, giving me ideas for dinner. I’m almost home, where my handsome werewolf is.
Luke hasn’t texted me the entire day. We usually keep in touch with brief calls and spicy texts, and I could’ve used some naughtiness to make the working hours bearable today. I’m not worried, though. He has been having a rough month at his job and was probably busy. Plus, the last time he went silent, I came home to find him cooking in the nude. Good times.
I’m not the only one salivating at the idea of seeing my beau. My own wolf joyously barks in my mind, anticipating the midnight run with Luke’s black wolf. At least once a week, Luke and I let our wolves loose in Discovery Park. There is a secluded area at the center of the sprawling acres of forests and trails where our animals can frolic and chase each other to their hearts’ desire.
A smile stretches my cheek. It’s the first real smile of the day after I spent hours faking a cheerfulness I didn’t feel for my boss and his pompous clients. If it weren’t for the fact that Luke and I are saving for a down payment on the cottage, I would’ve said sayonara to Mr. Reeds & Associates several months ago. Who knew lawyering for a bunch of privileged jerks wasn’t my cup of tea? At the moment, I’d do literally anything else rather than represent clients who complain if I serve them Perrier instead of San Pellegrino. But our landlord is selling the property, and Luke and I love the place. It has the white picket fence, the cute backyard, and the spare room which could become a nursery when the right time comes…
The next song on the radio is a tune Luke and I love to sing along to. I belt out the lyrics as I drive the last mile home. By the time I park in our drive, I’m deliriously happy.
Luke’s motorbike isn’t in its usual spot. He has probably run out for some errands. An idea strikes me. This time, I’ll surprise him instead. There’s that little, black lace piece I bought a few days ago… Tonight, I’ll parade my sexy self for Luke.
I can’t wait to see the look in his eyes when he enters our bedroom and sees me.
Full of enthusiasm, I cross our little house, heading straight for the bedroom at the end of the hallway. I strip my work clothes as I go, feeling the daily grime lift one item at a time. Nothing matters as I envision my unforgettable night with my perfect man. I only hope Luke doesn’t make me wait too long.
By the time I open the closet, I’m completely naked and ready to kiss him unconscious the moment he enters the room. My hand reaches the top shelf where I hid the new lingerie behind a box. I freeze, my fingers brushing the smooth cardboard surface as my eyes stare ahead, seeing without seeing. Part of my brain is trying to tell me something. I blink once. Twice.
There’s something wrong with the picture in front of me, but I don’t understand what it is.
From some deep recess of my mind comes the answer eluding me. The closet is empty. Not all of it. Just Luke’s side.
Until this morning, a row of hangers kept Luke’s prized shirts wrinkle-free. Now, they are all gone, including the expensive wooden hangers he bought at Nordstrom’s. No more Italian leather shoes neatly stacked on the floor underneath his suit jackets either.
I automatically reach for my cell phone only to remember it’s still in my purse by the door. As I trace my way back across the hallway, I notice all the details that escaped me a moment ago. All of Luke’s possessions have disappeared. His vintage radio. The collection of bubblehead superheroes. The board games…
My heart skips several beats. There’s an explanation for all of this. I know there is. Shaking, I pick up my purse from the corner behind the door and fish inside for the phone. As I look around, I call Luke. It goes to voicemail.
I don’t let myself think. I call again. And again. And again.
I leave a text. Where r u? Nothing happens.
Then I use messenger because the green dot tells me he’s online. He doesn’t read it and doesn’t reply.
Finally, I switch to WhatsApp. A moment later I hit send, the app shows me he just read my desperate question. I wait for him to answer something, anything. The seconds tick away slowly. A minute becomes five, then ten, then half an hour.
I slide to the floor…
I swear. It truly gets better for Lorena 🙂