Gateway 1 The Gateway Trilogy Book 1 by Dariel Raye Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Every predator has a weakness.
When an ancient being, the last of his kind, meets a fiery woman sought by evil, neither one of them is prepared for the consequences.
Gateway is a shape-shifting demon hunter who finds, protects, and prepares the Chosen - human females with the ability to redeem or destroy demons. For centuries, he has followed the rules…
Complete genetic imprint
No personal attachments…
Until he meets his newest charge – curvy, fiery, headstrong, and angry with the world. Following the rules while fending-off demons is going to take everything he has and then some.
*Please Note - "Gateway" contains explicit love scenes, profanity, and violence. Must be 18+ Part of this story was previously published in the "A Darker Shade of Evil" anthology under the title, "The Devil Upstairs."
Honestly, I just didn’t care about the symbols anymore. I even stopped worrying about the fact that no one else no seemed to see them besides me. After a few more minutes in his arms, I wasn’t thinking about much of anything besides Gateway and the way he felt against me. I had come here to lose myself and that’s exactly what I planned to do…all night in fact, if the opportunity presented itself.
I slid my arms over his shoulders and clasped my fingers behind his neck. His hands were heavenly, applying just the right amount of pressure in just the right places as he moved me effortlessly and skillfully on the dance floor. Our bodies melding together, those dark eyes boring into me until my gaze shifted from sheer intimidation. This was one hunk of man I was holding, but something was definitely...different about him.
Taking a deep breath, I swallowed and gazed into those dark eyes. That rugged face could have been plucked right out of my most frequent fantasy. With so many questions, I still wasn’t sure exactly what to ask next, but I decided to move forward with the obvious, “You say you own the place, but I haven’t seen you here before.” I watched him intently again, hoping for more information this time.
Gateway just smiled, a maddening curve of his perfectly shaped, delectably full lips. Well, it wasn’t really a question, I told myself, excusing his lack of response.
“I haven’t owned the club for long, but I have seen you before. What brings you here tonight?” Yeah, now that was a real question, only it was coming from him.
“Let’s just say I needed an escape, Mr. Gateway.”
“Katrina. My friends call me Kat.” It had finally dawned on me to introduce myself.
“I know. Nice to meet you, Kat. I’m sure we’ll be fast friends very soon.”
I stopped moving and everyone else seemed to disappear, leaving the two of us in a premature yet intimate embrace. “How do you know my name already?” I didn’t bother to balk at his arrogance since he would have had to be blind to miss the fact that I was almost drooling over him. In fact, I was seriously tempted to do something else I had never done before.
His smile evaporated, eyes smoldering.
I could have sworn I saw fire in those depths.
He gave me the strangest answer, “I have my ways, but I only use them when I’m in need.”
Before I could start trying to wrap my mind around that, Gateway tilted his head to the side, tiny lines between his brows as he leaned forward and kissed the top of my ear.
A thrill went through me and I nearly lost it on the dance floor. My ears had always been extremely sensitive— erogenous zones for sure. I shivered, his gesture zinging straight to my core like firecrackers bursting into the black, wide-open sky.
The resident butterflies were set in motion, all aflutter and I didn’t even have the presence of mind to wonder how the hell he knew about my ears. Same way he knew about my name, maybe?
As if the tender, unexpected kiss wasn’t enough, he whispered to me, “Can you honestly be so unaware of your power?”
I was so busy swooning over his warm breath tickling the fine, microscopic hair follicles in my “fuck me now” earlobes that I nearly missed what he said...nearly.
“Power?” What power? I couldn’t even keep a job.
Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. A counseling psychologist, classically trained vocalist, and pianist, she plays over 11 musical instruments, and naturally incorporates behavioral psychology into her characters. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). She is also a mom, art tinkerer, and Netflix and Amazon Prime paranormal TV series binger.
The last several years have been an eye-opening mixture of sadness and appreciation. Until recently, I had three large house dogs, a broad head Black Lab (girl), a Dobie/Coonhound (boy), and a Rottie mix (girl). Both of my girls died of complications from Hip Dysplasia. My boy, Jackson, the Dobie/Coonhound died at 14 of post-surgery complications following the removal of a cancerous growth. Now, I know this is sad and all, but bear with me - there's a silver lining. About two years after Jackson passed, I’d finally mourned the loss of all three of them enough to get a girl, a German Shepherd/Pitt Bull (Staffordshire Terrier brand), and she is a handful.
I hear people say all the time that they don't want any more pets because it hurts so much when we lose them, but think about that for a minute - suppose we said we didn't want to love people anymore because it hurts so much to lose them! I have always loved and admired animals, and they've always been an integral part of my life, so I can't imagine living without them. They add so much to our lives, particularly when we pay attention to them. I believe that’s one reason I enjoy writing shifters so much. So, all that said, let's talk about some things we can learn from dogs (translated, silver lining).
1. Enjoy the little things. Any pet lover knows how happy our dogs get when they realize they're going for a ride, or to the park, or just for a walk or run. Unlike us, they don't take the little fun things of life for granted.
2. Enjoy your meals like you'll never get more. I love watching them eat and enjoy their food. They're content and appreciative, and Jackson always comes and finds me after he eats just so he can kiss my hand. I love that! His way of saying "thank you."
3. Happiness is the standard. Unless there's an immediate reason not to be, they're joyous about living. They don't worry about something that hasn't even happened yet. They make the most of every living moment instead of killing time with negativity.
4. Giving without expecting reciprocation. They show affection in every way they can, even attempting to groom us without expecting anything in return.
5. Protect the ones you love. I've seen dogs protecting homeless people who can barely feed them, yet the dogs are willing to give their lives without a thought. I've seen them live with constant neglect and mistreatment by selfish, hateful owners, yet they sacrifice for these people and love them anyway.
6. Trust. Trust is really hard. It means a willingness to risk your heart. Dogs do it all the time. They trust us to make the best decisions for their lives, feed and care for them, and even when we make bad decisions and detrimental mistakes, they don't judge (at least I've never heard one sayanything. LOL). Jackson is not friendly, so when we went to the vet and the tech took his temp (you know, at the back end), I wrapped my arms around him and turned his face towards me. He looked into my eyes when he realized what she was doing, but didn't say a word. It was as if he was saying "If you say this is okay, I guess I won't turn around and take her head off." Now, that's trust!
7. They follow protocol. They know who's in charge, and they seldom challenge that. To them, being in charge doesn't mean you're the most important or most educated and certainly not the richest, and it doesn't even mean you're the one who feedsthem. It means you're the one they love the most, for whatever reason. I like to think they see our souls, or at least our auras and our hearts.
8. They're honest. Dogs are guileless and straightforward.
9. They don't complain about their condition. No matter what's ailing them, they let you know about it if you're an attentive pet owner, then they leave it to you to take care of. They don't whine and complain and say "why me?" They accept and make the most of their situation, whatever it is. I admire that. I'm not there yet - nowhere near it. LOL
10.Last, but certainly not least...It's not all about them; It's all about you.As mothers, we get a taste of that, but we're the ones giving the unconditional love in that instance. In fact, I think dogs and mothers are the only sources of unconditional love in the human realm, and not all mothers are even capable of this amazing gift. It's still one of a dog's most admirable traits, if not themost endearing. You are the center of their universe, because of that they forgive you for anything, and it's that unconditional love that allows them to wrap their paws around our hearts forever :-)
Make the most of every day with your pets so you don't have to regret anything.Take them for rides with the windows rolled down as far as they safely can be, go love on them and find all their "happy" spots - you know, the ones that make them shake their back legs and roll their eyes back in ecstasy. LOL When I get teary about the wonderful pets I’ve lost, it's those things that give me comfort. They most definitely deserve all the love we can give them.
I'd love to hear about your pets, and feel free to share pics with me on Facebook