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Authors: Jackie Sexton

Bad storm

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Bad StormBad Moon [4]Jackie SextonJackie Sexton (2014)

Bailey's back in Deston Beach, where she learns about her fate as part of the pack. Now that she's attached to Trent in supernatural ways, how can he continue to push her away? And can she get on with her normal life when she's tangled up in a deadly plot that involves vampires, nymphs, and werewolves?

This 43,000+ word novel contains steamy sex between amazing adult characters (18+). Not for the faint of heart! The fourth and final installment in the Bad Moon series.

Bad StormJackie Sexton All Rights Reserved ©2013 Jackie Sexton. First Printing: 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the priorwritten permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotationsembodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted bycopyright law. Author’s Note: All characters that engage in adult situations in this storyare 18 years of age and older. Bad StormJackie Sexton 

Table of Contents

1 Chapter 1

2 Chapter 2

3 Chapter 3

4 Chapter 4

5 Chapter 5

6 Chapter 6

7 Chapter 7

8 Chapter 8

9 Chapter 9

10 Chapter 10

11 Chapter 11

12 Epilogue

13 Thanks for Reading!

 Chapter One 

“Bailey, we’re here.”

A soft, warm touch prodded my shoulder, and I opened my eyes to findmy face was pressed up against the van window, daylight burning through mytired eyes. It took a minute for me to adjust, and then I saw the familiarwhite beach house with a pink trim.

“Trent,” I said, feeling his presence inside. I didn’t knowhow I knew, but I did, like the heat of him was radiating from the front cornerof the house where his room was.

Nick was sitting next to me where Sierra had been.

“Bailey, I wanted to bring you to Trent because I know youboth really want to see each other, but I have to warn you. Lola might be home,and if she is…well, I’m going to have to take you back to your apartment—”

“She isn’t home,” Brandon interjected from the front seat.They must have switched places while I was sleeping.

“Where’s Sierra?” I asked, undoing my seatbelt with nervousexcitement.

“We dropped her off at your apartment. We brought Martinwith us since he’s already aware of things…but not Sierra.”

“So you didn’t tell her anything?” I said, confused. How didthey get her to call me? How did they get away without telling her anything?

“He wiped her memory,” Martin said in a hushed voice. Icould sense a small tremor of fear in it.

“You what?” My eyes grew wide. “Nick, how could you?”

He looked away from me, his lips falling into a terse,straight line. “I’m not doing my job if everyone knows about the pack.”

“The pa—” but I was cut off by a strong pull to myheart, and I suddenly saw a flash of Trent, pale and lying in his bed, his eyeshalf-opened.

“Whatever, we’ll talk about this later,” I said, moving toget out of the van. Nick didn’t say anything, he just lifted his body off thebackseat and followed Martin out of van onto the pale, aggregate driveway.

I took in a deep breath of the humid, salty beach air andfollowed them inside.

The house was darker and quieter than usual. All the blindswere drawn, and the familiar drone of the television was missing. I had thisstrange, pulling sensation inside me that made me aware of two presences in thehouse—one hotter and the other sweeter, softer.

But I didn’t have time to wonder about it. I rushed over toTrent’s room and pushed the door open, my heart stopping in my chest as Icaught sight of his pale face, exactly as I had seen him in my mind’s eye.There was a huge gash across the side of his face, dark red and in the processof clotting. There were bruises and slashes all along his arms. He gave me aslight smile.

“Hey,” he said. “I would’ve opened the door but, well. I’mfeeling a little under the weather.”

I ran over to him and wrapped my arms around his shoulders,fighting the tears as I pressed my face against the side of his head. I felthis hand reach up around my shoulder, patting me gingerly.

“Hey,” he said, “it’s okay, I’m okay.”

“Sorry to interrupt,” a gruff, southern voice said behindus. I turned to see Trent’s landlord, Dr. McAlister, with an orange pill bottleand a cup of water. “But I just picked up Trent’s prescription. Ms. Bailey,” hesaid politely, nodding in my direction.

“Hi Dr. McAlister,” I replied, unable to pull myself awayfrom Trent.

“Just Mac would be fine,” he said, and I realized that thehot presence I had felt before was radiating off of his body. He placed thepill bottle and cup on the nightstand before turning to leave.

“We’ll be in the living room,” Brandon said, giving Nick alook.

“Good to see you’re okay,” Nick said before closing the doorand leaving us alone.

“Please don’t be mad,” Trent murmured softly. I couldn’thelp but laugh. I was so filled with hurt and confusion and fear, and that wasthe best he could do. But it worked—I wasn’t mad.

“I should be, but I’m not. Honestly, I was just reallyworried.” He moved over on the bed, and I sat down beside him. It was seamless,the way we spoke with just our bodies. It always had been. But I couldn’tignore the strange magnetism between us— it was stronger than the bond wehad before.

“I was too,” he said, frowning. I could see a peak of angeron his face. “I swear if I ever get my hands on that fucking Aamir guy—”

“Hey,” I said, taking his hand into mine and squeezing it.The heat that pulsed between us caused me to gasp.

“What the hell is that?” I said, looking down to our handsfor an explanation. But they just looked like our hands, my small fingerscurled over his larger ones.

“I’m sure someone has told you by now,” he said, a slightblush coming to his pallid cheeks as he looked away.

“Trent…what’s going on…everyone keeps saying youimprintedme, and then I saw that image, and Brandon can speak to me in my mind…”

“Yeah…I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. But that’s why I wastrying my hardest not to talk to you after we hooked up,” he said, his grayeyes finally boring into mine. I shivered under their gaze, but didn’t lookaway. They were filled with the truth—something I needed to know nomatter how hard of a pill it was to swallow.

“I was fighting it. But it took me over. That’s why I had toleave that night, to transform. The urge to imprint was so strong and…I’msorry,” he said, his voice hoarse.

“What does that mean, exactly?” I said, my mouth going dry.I had a vague idea of what he meant, but it didn’t quite click with me. Hewasn’t a baby bird looking for his mother for the first time.

“It means…dammit Bailey, it means exactly what it feelslike. It means that even when we’re hundreds of miles apart, I can see you getthe energy sucked out from your body, and you know that I’ve been in a nastybrawl. It means that you can sense me, and everyone in my pack. It means thatsometimes, we can even communicate with our thoughts…it means that…for the restof our lives.”

I closed my eyes and tried to understand what he was sayingto me. I took slow, steadying breaths.

‘Like I said, I’msorry.’

My eyes snapped open. “You didn’t say that aloud, did you?”

He shook his head. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have entered yourthoughts without your permission, it’s a pretty important rule. But, you’repart of the pack now. This is what we can do.”

“What pack?” I asked, my hands slightly shaking.

“Brandon, Mac, Allison…” he said, referring to Lola’s sisterand his fourth roommate. “And Lola.”

“Wait,what?” I couldfeel my head spinning. “Lola’s a werewolf also? And Dr. McAlister, I meanMac, and Allison…?”

He nodded, his expression grim. “And you’ll be able to sensethem, and communicate with them. Not in the same way, but still…you’re bound tothem, even if you don’t want to be.”

“How does this happen?” I said. “What about Lola, didn’t youimprint her?”

He shook his head and was quiet for a minute. I had struck anerve. “I wasn’t ready to imprint…like I said, it was an accident.”

“But why?” I asked, squeezing his hand and feelingdesperate. “How does something like this happen, Trent? You can’t just tell meit was an accident. There was still a reason.”

“Because I love you, okay? Is that what you wanted me tosay?” he snapped. Then he shook his head and cast down his fierce eyes inshame. “I’m sorry, it’s just…I didn’t want this to happen. And as soon as wehooked up…dammit Bailey, we shouldn’t have done that.”

I felt my heart sink at his words. I pulled my hand away.“I’m sorry. I’ll leave you alone. I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” Isaid quietly, getting up to my feet and turning to leave.

I felt his hand grip my wrist. I turned to look at him, andhe pulled my wrist with a fierce determination in his eyes, causing me to fallover onto him, my face only inches away from his. He closed the gap between us,kissing me passionately, his free hand moving to my neck to hold me in place.

There, against his perfect lips, I felt it—every bitof love, possession, fear, everything he had ever felt for me. It was hard andround, with a soft candy center. It burst through his touch and inside of me,consuming me and taking me as its prisoner. There, in his arms, I melted. Thetears burst forth, unable to be contained any longer.

“Well isn’t this cute,” a vicious voice hissed behind us. Ipulled away quickly, and turned around to see Lola, her arms crossed over herchest as she eyed the both of us. Boy, did she look pissed.

And that’s when I realized it. Staring into her green eyes,I felt a strong pull of familiarity.

“You’re the one,” I said, my voice wavering with anger.“You’re the one that attacked him.”

“Very good, tramp,” she spat.

“Lola,” Trent warned. I could feel the tension mounting inthe room, nervous and tight.

“What? She is one. Although I guess I should be welcomingher since she’s a part of the family now.” Her voice was cruel, laced with apoisonous bite.

“Listen Lola, I get it. What I did was really fucked up, butyou didn’t have to attack Trent,” I said, balling my fists up at my side, eventhough I knew she could kill me in a matter of seconds.

She took a few steps towards me, a wicked, humorless smileon her pink lips. “It takes two to tango, sweet heart.”

“Stay away from her,” Trent growled. But she just movedcloser. I had a feeling anything Trent said would make it worse.

“How does it feel, stealing someone’s fiancé? Does it feelgood?” she pressed a finger to my chest, her eyes level with mine. “Justremember, once a cheater, always a cheater. Don’t think you’re so special thathe’d never do it to you,” she said before turning on her heel and slamming thedoor behind her.

“Don’t listen to her,” Trent said, but I could hear the hurtin his voice. She had struck a nerve.

I turned around to see he was looking down into his openpalms, his gaze blank, as though he wasn’t seeing anything.

“I’m sorry,” I said, the guilt bubbling in my heart as Ifelt something hot shame fill me.

“It’s not your fault,” he said solemnly. “It was mine. Ikissed you first, and I would say I don’t regret it but—”

“But you do,” I finished for him, casting my eyes to mysneakers as I fought back the tears.

“Bailey, you don’t understand. You shouldn’t be with someonelike me, you deserve someone better, someone who won’t hurt you—”

“Like Aamir?” I snapped sourly, feeling awful as soon as hisname left my lips. It wasn’t fair for me to bring him up in front of him, andyet, I still couldn’t help but feel bitter about his possessive nature when hedidn’t even want to have me in the most uncomplicated sense of the word.

“That guy is no good for you.” His voice turned low anddeadly. “I saw what happen to you, and I swear if I ever get my hands on him,he’ll regret the day he was born.”

“That wasn’t even his fault,” I pointed out, folding my armsover my chest. “He didn’t do that, the nymph girl did.”

“Bailey, there’s a lot you don’t understand about those people.They’re dangerous, that ‘nymph girl,’” he said, giving the word a nastyemphasis, “could’ve killed you.”

“Well, she wanted to because you imprinted on me,” I pointedout.

“Exactly. Even if Aamir likes you, the rest of his freakycult doesn’t.”

“What are you talking about?” I snapped. “A minute ago youlove me, and now you’re insulting me. I don’t know what to believe with you.”

“I do love you,” he said, a fierceness in his gaze. “That’swhy I want to protect you. From that freak…and from me too.”

“Well, what if I don’t want to be protected?” I said, theforce between us drawing me nearer to him. It was like the angrier I got, thecloser I wanted to be to him. No, not wanted. Needed.

I needed him.

‘Hot damn, this isinsane.’

“Well that’s too bad,” he said, his fists balling up intothe sheets. “Dammit Bailey, stop getting closer to me, I can’t resist you.”

I sat down on the bed, and leaned my head towards his,pausing just before his lips.

“Then don’t.”

I pressed my lips to his and the world was gone.

  

Something was off with me and Sierra knew it. But thanks towhatever strange magic Nick had performed on her, she didn’t know quite why.She didn’t remember me running off with Aamir, just the tour ending. Justenough for me being back home with her to make sense.

So it was impossible for me to explain to her why thingsbetween Trent and I were so irrevocably weird.

“Just go over there and say hi,” she said. “Talk to himenough, and I’m sure he’ll dump Lola,” she said as she searched the fridge forsomething to eat. I took a sip of my coffee and stared at my bright yellowscrambled eggs, still trying to will myself to eat them.

“Um…yeah. That would be less complicated if they didn’t livetogether,” I said.

She came over to the table with a Red Bull and a piece ofbuttered toast. “Ew,” I laughed, “you’re so weird.”

“I have to do groceries, so sue me,” she grinned, poppingopen the tab of her energy drink. It made a strange hissing noise, and a sweetand sour smell filled the air.

“You can have my food, you know you don’t need to ask,” Ilaughed, wrinkling my nose.

“You know I don’t care. It all comes out the other endanyway.” she winked before throwing back the Red Bull.

“You should be a nutritionist,” I teased.

“You should talk. You haven’t even touched your breakfast,and that’s the most important meal of the day,” she said with a playful grin.

“Yeah well, I’ve had a hard time eating since Lolaconfronted us. I mean, it was totally within her right to do so too, I was theother woman,” I grimaced, remembering with a sickening jolt how things had gonein Trent’s room.

“It’s always one way or the other with you. Either you can’teat, or you clean out the fridge. Personally, I prefer the latter because thenwe get to go out and buy tons of ‘replacement’ ice cream.”

“Sierra, c’mon, I’m seriously depressed,” I said, unable tofight the small smile. She was probably the funniest person I knew, so it washard for me to stay in a bad mood when she was around.

“Okay, okay. I know you want to wallow. Let’s go see a reallysad movie, like one of those romantic ones that end badly. We can bring our owntissues and sneak in pre-made popcorn in Ziploc baggies.”

“I don’t know,” I sighed. As much fun as that would soundnormally, I didn’t think I had it in me to go out that night. What if we raninto someone we knew? Then I would have to have an awkward conversation where Ilied about how I was doing well. That was always weird.

“Or we could stay in and watch a movie,” Sierra offered, asif she read my mind. I kind of wished she could. I felt a small pang of guiltas I remembered how I couldn’t share the majority of what was going on withher.

“Okay,” I said, and she reached across the table, her palmfacing upwards. I put my hand into hers, and she squeezed it before getting upfrom the table, her toast in one hand and the empty can in the other.

“It’ll be awesome. I’m going to my mom’s house for a bit,but I’ll see you tonight?”

“Yeah.” I lifted the fork to my mouth and forcing myself totake a bite. She gobbled down her own food like a total slob and tossed her canto the recycling bin, turning away before she could see it hitting the floor.For some reason, her absent-mindedness was suddenly endearing. The littlethings that might usually make me roll my eyes comforted me. Sierra was someoneI could rely on, even when everything else around me was changing.

“Catch you later, and try not to mope so hard,” Sierrateased, ruffling my hair as she passed by me on my way out.

Even though she didn’t have the slightest idea about whatwas really going on with me, she had a point. Feeling shitty about my lifewasn’t doing anything for me. I forced half of the scrambled eggs down mythroat and finished my coffee before it got cold.

I was running a list of all the things I could get done thatday (clean the bathroom, fix up my resume, call my old boss at the coffee shopto see if they had a summer opening), when my phone went off in my room.

The caller I.D. Said Nick, and my heart dropped. Anything hehad to tell me couldn’t be good.

“Hello?” I said wearily.

“Bailey, it’s me, Nick.”

“I know Nick,” I sighed. Nick was so weird about things liketechnology—it was like he didn’t much care for it. He could look at thecaller I.D. everyday of his life and could still forget that we all have it.

“I think we should get together and talk a few things over.”

“Okay,” I said, trying not to let the trepidation comethrough the phone.

‘This is good. This iswhat you need right? A good talk with the demon-in-chief.’

“Where should we meet?” I said.

“Well, I would invite you over…but emotions are high overhere. Why don’t I meet you at your place?”

“Sounds good,” I said, wincing as I imagined Lola’s nastyface. At least with all the distance between us, I couldn’t feel heranger. “When do you want to comeover?”

“Now would be good.”

“Alright, see you soon.”

“Yes, see you soon.”

“God, he’s so awkward,” I mumbled to myself, getting to myfeet to take my dishes to the sink. I fixed my hair and put on some deodorant,but didn’t even have time to change out of my PJs before I heard him knockingat the door.

“Jesus.” I opened the door to see Nick, his dreads pulledback in a rubber band and his pants neatly pressed. Even his dark skin lookedmagnificent, as if he were incredibly well rested. I envied him for a moment,sure I looked a mess in my pink pajama pants and with dark circles under myeyes.

“Come on in,” I said, stepping back and moving behind thedoor.

“Thanks.” He scanned the apartment. He had never been therebefore, so I wondered briefly what he thought about our place. There was a pile by the couch where I shamelesslydumped anything Sierra left laying about, praying for the day she’d pick it up.But I was sure I’d have to pick it up and put it in the room for her, like Ihad done time and time again.

Other than that, the apartment was fairly clean. Most of ourdecor was older, but we lovingly called it vintage since the best we couldafford came from Goodwill. There were prints of birds and landscapes in woodenframes on the wall, and even an old Spice Girls poster we found at a garagesale.

“This is a fun place you got,” Nick said, his voicepleasant, but his blank expression didn’t change.

“Um, thanks. Want anything to drink?”

“No thank you. Can we go out to the porch?” he asked,nodding towards the sliding door in the kitchen that lead outside.

“Yeah, sure,” I said. It was hot out, but I wasn’t about tofight him on it. We had pretty good shade out there and a fan, so I figured Icould just grin and bear it.

Outside was as hot as I had predicted, so I turned on thefan and sat in the plastic chair, pulling it back towards the apartment so thatI sat under the shade of the eaves. Down below I could see our neighbor walkingacross the green lawn from the pool back to his place. She looked up and waved.I smiled and waved back.

“So, what’s up?” He looked out at the lawn and seemedhesitant to speak. “Don’t worry, it’s hard for anyone to hear us up here. Imean, unless my neighbor decides to go out on her porch.” I said, nodding overto her balcony.

He nodded in understanding. “Bailey…so much has gone on inthe last few days, and I’m sorry you got caught up in it all.”

I shrugged, avoiding his eyes. It was true, but I didn’twant to lead on to how affected I was by it all. “I mean, it’s not like youcould control anything.”

He sighed. “But I should have been more aware of yourtensions with Trent. If I were, I could have prevented what happened.”

I knew he was talking about the imprinting. I wonderedsuddenly if he actually could have stopped it. “Are you…I mean, can you sensethings like the rest of the pack?”

“No,” he shook his head. “That would be convenient, butthat’s a bond that’s exclusive to shifter packs. I have to rely on my ownintuition, and it failed me.”

“Oh,” I said, letting the information sink in. A bird flewpast us and landed in a nearby tree, dropping a twig into a nest. “Still, Idon’t blame you. You’re not in charge of me, and it was partly my fault too.”

“It’s true. But I need you to understand that now you are myresponsibility. Your bond with Trent makes you a part of the pack, in a way.And I need to protect any human that’s involved with any one of them.”

“Is there a way for me to…I don’t know,notbe a part of it?” I asked, my voice small. I didn’t want Trentto know what I was feeling. After I left yesterday, confused and filled withall kinds of conflicting emotions, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of whatwas going on with me Trent could perceive. So far I didn’t have any morevisions concerning him, but he was actually a werewolf. Maybe his senses werekeener.

Maybe he knew what I was saying to Nick at that very moment.

“No,” Nick sighed. He was so stoic, watching the bird as itarranged the small twig. I wondered briefly about his life, his story.

“You could ignore it if you want to, but the bond willalways be there. Every time you’re near him, you’ll feel it. Every time he’shurt, or you’re in danger, you’ll know.”

“So…will I see the little things?” I asked, folding my handsin my lap as I took deep breath.

“No, not unless he tells you. Mind reading is kind of atricky gift—you have to really be careful not to abuse it, because themind is a sacred, private space. And now you can communicate with the wholepack, so you really have to be judicious with when you use it.”

I imagined myself trying to live a life where I couldcommunicate mentally with Trent, where I could sense his hurt and danger,and I denied it.

“So I have no choice,” I said quietly. Nick turned to lookat me, and he gave me a sympathetic look.

“In a way, you don’t,” he said. “But I also know that Trentdoesn’t want you to have to be with him.”

“Yeah.” A hollow laugh escaping my lips. “Trust me, that’sno secret.”

“He wants to protect you from what he is.”

“Yeah, he also wants to protect me from guys in general,” Isighed. “Sorry, that’s not your problem, and that’s not why you came here.”

“Well,” Nick started, a small crease forming in his brow.“In a way, it sort of is. I wanted to talk to you about Fun Aim. Specificallyabout Aamir.”

“What do you know about him?” I could feel the warm locketpressing against my thigh through my flannel pants. I had slept with it forsome reason—it called to me in a weird way, and provided comfort. Even ifI wasn’t thinking about Aamir, it’s presence was calming, intoxicating even.

“I happen to know a lot about the Veisi. They’re a veryimportant family around these parts.”

“The…who?” I asked.

“That’s his last name,” Nick said, giving me a funny look.At least he didn’t laugh at me, because I totally deserved that. How close didI let myself get to this guy I hardly even knew?

“Oh, right,” I said, blushing.

“You see Bailey, Aamir’s part of a group called theNeo-Knights of Cyrus. And Aamir has some powers of his own, I guess you weremade aware of that. At least, that’s what Trent told me. It was hard to get theunbiased truth out of him.”

“Yeah, he’s an empath,” I rolled my eyes at the mention ofTrent. Of course he would be so stubborn. “And I know that the girl, Gita,she’s a nymph. That’s pretty much all I understand. I don’t even really knowwhat being a nymph entails. Except that she can really mess me up, obviously.”I cringed at the memory.

“Well, nymphs and empaths have a very special relationships.At least, in that cult they do.”

“Cult?” He read the shock on my face and raised a hand as ifto calm me.

“I just mean a marginal, religious sect. Although I’m sureTrent would refer to it in the derogatory sense,” he said with a small smile.“See, the Neo-Knights of Cyrus carry a tradition over from the Middle East, andtheir reigning leader is Aamir’s father, the High Priest Farzad Veiri. Likemany empaths, they see their role as protectors of the weak.”

“Like you?” I asked.

Nick’s face fell a little bit. “Not quiet. At least, theywouldn’t appreciate the comparison. You see, they exclusively protectinnocents. To them, people like myself and the pack…well, we’re impure. We’refilled with dark magic.”

“But that nymph girl performed dark magic, didn’t she? Shewanted to kill me!” I nearly yelled, and the bird in its nest fluttered away,cawing in fright.

“I would agree with you. But for them, dark magic is magicthat makes monsters—werewolves, vampires, faes, demons. Anything thatchanges a human.”

“But I don’t understand…they’re not corrupted by dark magic?Whatever they do is definitely not ‘normal’ human behavior.”

“Agreed, but it goes back to their mythology. The Veiri arejust one of a number of families, Persian and otherwise, who believe that thebirth of impurity came when the Akkadian god of plague, Erra, brought destructionand turmoil upon the world. He traveled to Babylon to defeat his ‘enemies,’ butin the process everything was thrown into chaos and the innocent were killedalong with the guilty. For the Neo-Knights, this is when evil embodied flesh,and non-human creatures like werewolves and demons roamed free as Erra’ssoldiers. Even when Erra’s reign ended, his evil lived on through them. Theybelieve that Cyrus the Great, the Persian king, brought with him great men,scholars and soldiers, that could fight these beasts. And when Alexander theGreat took over, the Greek nymphs followed, promising to help the Knights ofCyrus harness the power of nature if they would in turn use that magic to makethem human.”

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