PAY THE FERRYMAN by Tracy Cooper-Posey
The Stonebrood Saga Book 3.1
Vampire Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Novella
By reader demand, the story of how Nick and Damien met.
Three years after the events of Sabrina’s Clan, Nicholas Sherwood’s friends and loved ones gather for Christmas in the Scottish Highlands. Sabrina and Riley meet a stranger identical to Damien, forcing Nick to examine his past.
Don’t miss out on this short bonus story, part of the paranormal romance thriller Stonebrood Saga series reviewers call edgy, vividly captivating, delightfully wicked and erotic.
This book is part of The Stonebrood Saga series.
1.0: Carson’s Night
2.0: Beauty’s Beasts
2.1: Harvest of Holidays*
3.0: Sabrina’s Clan
3.1: Pay the Ferryman*
3.5: Hearts of Stone (Series Boxed Set)
A Vampire Gargoyle Urban Fantasy Romance
[*A Stony Stories tale: Short stories featuring the characters and situations from the Stonebrood Saga]
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EXCERPT FROM PAY THE FERRYMAN
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2016
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Aviemore, Scottish Highlands, Present Day.
By four that afternoon, all four men had run out of inventive ways to distract two small girls and were growing more desparate by the minute. Nick vaguely wished Riley and Sabrina would return from their Christmas shopping early. That would resolve the issue almost immediately. He didn’t let the thought fully form because even in his own mind, the wish sounded like whining.
The idea of an eight-hundred year old vampire asking for help from two humans was utterly ridiculous.
Except that Damien, who was far, far older than Nick, looked just as stressed and anxious when Chloe’s constant requests for her mother turned into a temper tantrum, then a flood of tears that didn’t seem to want to taper off, even when Nick picked her up and laid her against his shoulder, where she always liked to cuddle.
When Riley, Damien, Chloe and he had arrived at the big old Victorian house on the outskirts of Aviemore three days ago, Brandy and Chloe had adored each other instantly. Brandy, the elder, had taken Chloe under her wing, leading the smaller girl around by the hand, introducing her to the mysteries of the old house, the rambling garden out the back and the glen beyond that.
By the end of the first day, Chloe had already begun to imitate Brandy’s thick Scottish accent and words, asking for a bosie instead of a cuddle and calling her shoes gutties.
It had left the six adults with nothing more complicated to do than catch up on the details of their lives which hadn’t been shared over the Internet in the last three years. It had been a very pleasant three days free of work concerns, for Nyanther, Jake and Sabrina had arranged for their handful of corporations to run with minimal supervision for the week leading up to Christmas and into the new year.
This morning, Riley and Sabrina had announced they were heading into Inverness, the nearest big shopping centre, armed with a long shopping list and a packed lunch.
Riley kissed Nick’s cheek. “You’ll be fine with the girls. Make sure Chloe goes down for a nap this afternoon. She’s still get over that cold.”
“We’ll be fine,” Damien had assured her, as he pulled her over into his lap.
“Brandy is great with Chloe, anyway,” Jake said.
Sabrina looked at Riley and Nick got the impression she was trying to not smile. “That’s great. So you four experts will have them fed, bathed and ready for bed when we get back, hmm?” She kissed Ny and Jake, then nudged Riley’s arm and picked up her bag and pulled out car keys.
Neither woman had laughed until until they reached the car, but all four men left sitting at the breakfast table with Chloe and Brandy between them were vampires, with extended hearing.
Neither little girl reacted, however. Chloe calmly ate her toast from both ends, licking the jam off her fingers in between bites, while Brandy pushed the book that was her first grade vacation reading across to Ny for help.
Nick had figured the day would end as calmly as it had begun, except that after lunch, when he went looking for the girls to put Chloe down for a nap, neither of them were to be found.
“They wouldn’t be out in the forrest, would they?” Damien asked nervously.
“Brandy knows not to go beyond the stream,” Jake said. “If they were outside, we would be able to see them from this window.” He peered out, a deep frown between his brows.
They started searching through the house. It was a large house. In Victorian times it had belonged to a peer of the realm, as a weekend lodge for hunting and off-season socializing. Even so, a house had defined limits and even two small girls couldn’t hide in it forever.
By three that afternoon, though, all four men were dusty and frustrated. They met in the big front room by the lace curtains, to compare notes. That was when Brandy and Chloe walked into the room, hand in hand. Chloe was crying.
“She wants her mummy,” Brandy said.
Nick swept Chloe up in his arms, as Ny and Jake fussed over Brandy.
Things had gone downhill from there. Nothing seemed to soothe Chloe. She fretted and fussed and cried in between.
Damien held his hand against her forehead. “She’s a little warmer than she should be. That’s probably not helping.”
“Tylenol?” Nick suggested.
Damien frowned. “Riley doesn’t like using it unless she really has to. Let’s wait and see.”
That was when Nick started to wish, in the darkest corners of his mind, that Riley and Sabrina would hurry up and get back home.