Taken, Book 4
Paranormal Women's Fiction
Date Published: August 11, 2023
Trudi wasn’t looking for a romantic partner when she stumbled on Nick in the park, but the sweet man sure seems out of place in Eerie. He also seems drawn to her. He might be the death of her, but he could also be her soulmate if she’s willing to open her heart.
There’s just the tiny matter of her deathly stare.
Nick knows the moment he meets Trudi that he’s met his match. The beautiful gorgon haunts his dreams and he can’t get enough of her kiss. When she agrees to help him research his past and unravel his family tree, he knows he can’t let her go.
As long as she doesn’t kill him…
“This has got to be the place.” Nick stopped at the edge of the town. Eerie, Ohio. He stared at the sign and everything within him screamed to get the hell out of there. He wasn’t much of a paranormal. He was supposed to be the grandson of a gorgon, but honestly, he wasn’t even sure. He’d come to Eerie in search of answers. His life didn’t feel like his own and his family didn’t seem to want him around. Like he wasn’t one of them. His father kept dropping hints that he needed to find out where he’d come from, and now it was time to do that.
Shit. No one wanted a man who might or might not be a gorgon around. He wasn’t seen as a trickster. He was the most serious person he knew. He sucked at jokes, sucked at relaxing and was a disaster with relationships. He didn’t know how to give over control.
He looked up at the sign again.
The best little town around.
Best little town. Ha! Maybe the place to find anything that didn’t make sense. According to legend, the town was home to every paranormal creature known to exist. Probably had a few the humans didn’t know about, either.
If he was going to learn about his family and figure out who he was, then he had to cross over. Had to go to the town hall and look up the records. He’d have to face his past. He was the bastard son of a pair of humans, so he’d been told. To be honest, the people he referred to as his parents were actually his adoptive parents. The real ones were still a bit of mystery to him.
His mother might or might not have been a human. His father was equally an enigma. He might have been a gorgon, but he might not have been if Dino wasn’t his true father. If Nick wanted to unravel the mess, he’d have to go to Eerie.
He had no choice.
He forced himself forward because he needed those answers.
He drove into town and a shiver ran the length of his spine. He’d heard stories about Eerie. If one didn’t have a drop of paranormal blood, then one wasn’t going to get into town. He’d made it, so he must’ve had something within him that allowed him passage. Was he really a gorgon? Hell if he knew.
The only thing he knew about gorgons was what he read in books, scrolls and on the Internet. The information freaked him out. Turning people to stone? Who wanted to do that? But it made sense as to why he couldn’t seem to keep a relationship. His girlfriends claimed he was hard to love. He hadn’t really turned anyone to stone, though.
Supposedly, he might even be immortal. But if that was the case, he didn’t buy it. If he was a gorgon, then why didn’t he have snakes for hair? No, he had unruly curls that spent more time out of control than in. He didn’t have scaly skin, either. He had freckles, but those couldn’t count. His skin wasn’t golden, either. He did have a mark on his back -- he’d been told the mark looked like a pair of wings – but he didn’t have an abnormally long tongue, like the statues did.
According to the rumors, his mother was possibly Stheno, a monster and the most dangerous of the gorgons, but if she was the fabled gorgon, was his father a gorgon, too? Dino was, but none of the stories made sense.
If he’d had any idea, then he’d feel better about himself, instead of being a walking disaster. One rumor claimed his parentage might have even been from someone in the underworld. He did have a mark on his chest that resembled a shield, but he had no idea what the shield might represent. Some claimed he had sea creature within him. His grandfather might have been a basilisk.
Anything was possible. He drove through town and felt oddly at home. Like he’d always belonged here. Maybe he did.
He parked in a spot in the center of town, where the road ringed the park. Children played on the equipment and caregivers sat on the benches. Unlike the rest of the world, here he saw faeries, trolls, giants, witches and even a couple elves.
What a remarkable place. No one had to hide what they were. No insults were hurled. No laughing and pointing.
“I could belong here. I could.” Nick left the car and wandered around the park, drinking in the images and view. He’d never seen such lush plants and bright flowers. The laughter of children rang out in the air, calming him. Where had Eerie been all his life?
He’d been stuck in the human world when he could’ve been somewhere more welcoming.
“Excuse me? Can you tell me where the café is?” A woman slid her gaze over him as she stepped into his path. “Aren’t you delicious?”
He stopped short and stared at her. “I’m sorry. What?”
“Where is the café?” She grinned. “You’re quite handsome. Got a girlfriend?”
“Aren’t you forward?” He cleared his throat. “I don’t know where the café is. I’m new to town.”
“Are you?” Her eyes lit up. “Well, maybe we can investigate town together. We’re both new.”
“Uh…” He didn’t like this. He hated confrontation and being pushed. Then again, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be with this woman. He didn’t even know her name.
“There you are.” Another woman rushed up to him. Snakes curled on her head like a messy permanent, and she wore dark glasses. The slight green of her skin caught the light and shimmered. The tight tank top barely contained her curves. “Honey, I told you to stay close. But you never listen. Excuse us.”
Stay close? Huh? The women were so pushy in this town.
The snake woman threaded her arms around his biceps. “We should go. See you around, Lucy.”
“Sorry.” He allowed the new woman to drag him away. “Who are you?”
“Me?” She tugged him to the other end of the park, away from the playground. “I’m saving your ass.”
About the Author
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.
When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.
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Publisher on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @changelingpress