Frozen in Time [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Koko Brown
eBook Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
eBook Description: Reese yearns for a life beyond the drudgery she's settled for. Loki, god of mischief, steps in to give her a hand. His solution? A Viking warlord, so laden with baggage he isn't good for anything, but battle and the bed. Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, menage (m/f/m), sexual slavery.
eBook Publisher: Loose Id, LLC, Published: 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2008
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41 Reader Ratings:
Merritt Island, FL
I'm a loser.
Reese lifted her hand and shook the green dice back and forth in her palm. The plastic cubes clicked softly as her gaze drifted to the storefront window and the darkening sky beyond. Her depression deepened.
What happened to the young dreamer who thirsted for adventure and fantasized of one day becoming a comic book artist?
She knew she couldn't fault anyone but herself. Born with a thin skin, she'd settled all her life. Even after graduating from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, she'd returned to her small hometown instead of following her dream. Well, not anymore!
"I'm leaving after this round, guys. The store closed over an hour ago. I'm beat." Reese braced herself for the expected outbursts. They weren't long in coming.
"Ah! Come on! One more hand," Allen implored louder than the others. "Then you can go home and get ready for your hot date."
Reese picked up a donut and hurled it at him--hitting him squarely in the forehead. "Just because I want a life away from this mortuary doesn't mean you have to be nasty. I thought you were my best friend."
Allen picked away the chocolate-flavored sprinkles as he spoke, "Look who's calling the kettle black? You're dying to get out of here."
"No offense, but I work my tail off here, then schlep around with you guys after hours playing role-playing games until all I want to do is go home and fall into bed."
"Save the pity speech for someone who cares," Allen drawled. "If our lives were any better, we wouldn't be here either. Now if you want to go ... go!"
"You're finally in the same section of the card catalog as I am, Peter Parker!" Reese shook the dice again, hoping this roll would be her last. She lowered her hand to release the pair, but Otis, her backroom stocker, grabbed her wrist.
"Wait! You should pray to Loki and ask him to keep his hands out of this. He's the ultimate God of Mischief, and this is an expedition into the wilds of Scandinavia."
Reese rolled her eyes heavenward. Otis took his role as Castle Keeper way too serious. Geesh, she really needed to get a life! "I'm not praying to Loki or any other phony deity--what the hell!" Reese braced herself as the counter suddenly pitched. The howling wind whipped the store's black awnings, the lights flickered, and her warrior figurine wobbled until it fell flat on its back.
"I think you've angered Loki," Otis whispered.
She released her grip on the countertop and did her best to ignore his superstitious mumbo jumbo, but deep down she had her doubts. Years of playing fantasy board games sometimes blurred the lines between reality and make-believe. Once her heroine was set back to rights, she released the dice onto the worn board.
"You rolled an eleven! You chopped that troll into a dozen pieces with your broadsword. Now you have no choice but to--" But Allen's gloating party was short-lived when she pushed back from the checkout counter.
"This is the end of the road for me."
"But you can't leave now; we need you!" Melanie, her assistant manager protested. "You're the highest-level fighter we have. Without you we won't have a chance against the Vikings. Plus, you're the quickest thinker out of the bunch of us."
"Reading a plethora of survival guides and twelve years as a Girl Scout tends to do that to you," Allen quipped. He ducked, barely missing the second donut Reese hurled at his head.
"Are you sure you're my best friend?"
He opened his mouth to answer, but Melanie's innocently worded question beat him to the punch.
"You were a Girl Scout?" she asked, her expression incredulous. Despite the fact she hadn't built a campfire since her sophomore year in high school, Reese still felt the sting of embarrassment.
"I was only in Girl Scouts for nine years," she corrected. "I quit right after I earned my 'Stick to the Point' fencing patch."
"I thought it was your 'Knee Deep in Horse--'" Allen interjected, but he wasn't able to finish because Reese hit him in the kisser with another donut. This time a powdered one.
"I quit after earning my fencing badge. Kids"--she stopped to clear her throat--"kids can be pretty cruel when they find out you spend your weekends learning how to prevent hypothermia and frostbite instead of scouting out boys in the local mall."
"I thought I was a dork," Melanie mumbled.
"I wasn't a dork." Reese bristled. "I was a tomboy who yearned for adventure." Too bad she didn't have that same spirit. If she did, her life wouldn't be in such a rut. Well, not anymore--she was getting out of here!
"Enough of rehashing my personal history. You guys are going to have to make do because I'm staying behind indefinitely." Amid their shouts of protest, she grabbed her green windbreaker and the canvas satchel she'd woven during a Camp Makowee Super Saturday and threw it over her shoulder. "Oh, and Melanie, good luck holding the fort down; tell Mr. Nembhard I quit."
Ignoring their protests, she threw her keys on the counter and then turned on her heel.
"What do you mean you quit?" Allen asked from behind her. She braced herself when he halted her with a hand on her shoulder. But his next words threw her for a loop. "About time, kiddo! Knowing you, you're always prepared for a rainy day, so I know you have enough socked away to see you through to next year. Call me when you get home. It's raining cats and dogs out there," he warned, drawing her attention to the sudden downturn in the weather.
Reese frowned. "Just my luck," she mumbled, pulling out her mini umbrella. After promising Allen she would call him later, she walked to the front of the store. She stepped down onto the sidewalk, and for the first time in eighteen years, didn't lock up after herself. Instead she popped open the umbrella, but the moment it was locked into place, a strong gust of wind yanked it backward over its ribs--rendering it useless.
"Couldn't hold off until I got home, could you?" Reese mumbled angrily. She tossed it into the trash receptacle and pulled the collar of her jacket up. The bus stop was two blocks away. She was going to be soaked.
"Good evening, ma'am." Reese looked up at the bus driver. She tried returning his salutation, but her teeth were chattering too badly. "Sorry 'bout the hour wait. The other bus broke down a mile from here. Oddest thing, since it's a brand new bus."
"Yeah, the oddest thing..." She sniffed, swiping her fare card.
$0 ... Please Deposit Full Fare
"Can this day get any worse?" she grumbled as she fumbled through her bag and then her jeans. Piecing together only seventy-five cents, she looked at the driver imploringly.
"Sorry ma'am. Rules are rules."
"I'll pay the lady's fare." Reese looked up as a tall, thin man with flaming red hair walked toward the front of the bus. Dressed in a green leather tunic, with matching tights and short leather boots, he was obviously one of those theme actors who worked for Renaissance Times Dinner and Jousting. She thought she'd settled, but these guys had really settled.
Giving him a weak smile, she wiped at the water running down her nose. "I really appreciate it. I usually have the correct fare."
The man's eyes swung in her direction as he deposited the coins. "I'm sure," he uttered, his accent thick and guttural.
Feeling uneasy and strangely exposed under his pale green stare, she averted her eyes. The hairs on the back of her neck bristled at the sound of his low chuckle.
"If you give me your address, I can mail you the money back."
"Your offer is unnecessary. Take this ... as an act of charity."
* * * *
Great! TVLand has added old episodes of Mr. Ed to its late night lineup!
Not a fan of the TV classic, Reese groped for the remote. As her hand ran over the bed linen, she paused. Her down comforter felt like a scratchy wool blanket. Sitting up, she cried out when her butt scraped against solid rock. But then she froze when a puff of warm air grazed her cheek. Too frightened to move, she sent up several Hail Marys.
Reese scrambled to her feet. Feeling her way around the tight space, she stopped when the wall gave way to a bundle of packed sticks and a leather-draped opening. Hoping for a means of escape, she threw the covering aside.
"Dorothy ... we haven't landed in Oz ... it's landed on us," she whispered at the sight of frozen tundra before her and snowcapped mountains in the distance. As she stood there, the wind whipped around her, stinging her ears. Instinctively, she reached to shield herself from its assault, pulling the cape she wore close around her.
"Wait a minute, what happened to the Sailor Moon T-shirt I wore to bed?" Looking down, she felt the beginnings of a cold sweat. Her oversize T-shirt had been replaced with a heavy wool cape, a pair of skintight brown leather pants, fur boots with garters, and a fitted jerkin.
"Oh my, God! I've been kidnapped and dumped into a renaissance fair nightmare." She stumbled backward, remembering the guy on the bus. Tripping over her own two feet and the leather curtain, she ripped it from its moorings. As she steadied herself, wind whipped through the cave's interior and the predawn sun stole past her. Its fingers crept over the cave's walls, illuminating it, as well as a travel pack resting near a cold fire pit and the culprit who'd scared her shitless: a blue-black gelding chomping away on a pile of hay in the back corner.
"This can't be real." To test her conclusion, she reached down, grabbed a healthy portion of her forearm and twisted until the brown skin turned red.
"Fug!" In spite of the pain, she didn't wake up. "Allen, Melanie ... you guys can come out now. The jig is up." But no one emerged from the shadows of the cave. Uncertain of what to do next, she stood there for several moments before walking over to the fire pit. She picked up the sack and then rifled through its contents. She found nothing of use except a week's worth of rations. Disgruntled, she slung the bag aside and plopped down on the cold ground.
"W-w-who's there?" Reese scrambled to her feet. If she was facing death, she would do it standing up.
"Don't you know who I am?" The voice snickered.
"If I did, I wouldn't have to ask--"
"Watch your tone with me, mortal."
Reese grabbed onto the wall for sure footing as the floor rocked underneath her. "Okay! Who are you?"
"It's me ... Loki."
"Loki? If this is Otis ... you are so dead! You're lucky I'm no longer your employer or you wouldn't have a job tomorrow!"
A sinister chuckle filled the cave. Reese felt a shiver of fear run up her spine, not from the sound of the laughter, but from the fact that the laughter was unfamiliar.
"Your tenacity will serve you well on your journey."
"Journey? What kind of journey? I'm not going anywhere, buddy! I'm going home ... as soon as I find out how," she finished on a groan.
"But this journey is your only chance home."