Here is an exciting excerpt from Biting Oz by Mary Hughes which is available on Kindle! Get ready for a steamy vampire book romance!
In the theater. Junior is late and rushing to get to the pit, but is blocked by a sea of Munchkins.
A stampede of girls playing horse galloped into me, knocking me off my feet again. I fell, trampled under their small hooves. Terrific. My obituary would now read, “Gunter Marie ‘Junior’ Stieg, pit musician and sausage queen, pounded flat by a herd of size-three Mary Janes.” I braced myself for death, or at least a bad bruising.
Big, warm hands slid under my arms, drew me to my feet.
“Here now,” said a musical baritone. “I’ll take care of this, babi. You sit here, out of the way.”
The hands assisted me to a plush seat. I sank in. Mmm, comfy. The city sure had gone all out remodeling the theater…babi?
I blinked. A pair of shoulders wider than a freeway waded out into the sea of kids. The leather-jacketed shoulders belonged to a man, black-haired, tall and strong-looking—but even Gulliver fell to a raging river of Lilliputians. I called out a warning too late. Kids grabbed the man’s hands, his jacket, and climbed him like a tree. He was swarmed, overwhelmed, swallowed up by the horde of prepubescent terrors. I covered my eyes.
“Sit now, younglings. All in a row, that’s it. Sit quietly until it’s your turn to have makeup.”
He had a lovely accent. I uncovered my eyes. Somehow he’d freed himself from the swarm of kids and was calmly shepherding them into the first two rows of seats, adjusting a tie here or hat there as they filed neatly by.
Holy Dr. Spock. There was a handy man to have if I ever wanted kids.
I smacked myself discreetly between the eyes. No children, at least not right now. First, make a good impression on the director of this show, turn the show into a smash hit, and go to New York.
Which meant getting into that pit before the overture started. Maybe I still could. I jumped to my feet, snatched up my Manhasset stand and corpse sax, shouldered my instrument bag and trotted down the rapidly clearing aisle.
And nearly slammed into a six-kid pileup.
The adults doing Munchkin makeup had stopped the kids from filing into the third row of seats in order to fix one Munchkin’s smears. I screeched to a stop on my toes, off-balance. My bag slipped, dropped off my shoulder, jerked me into stumbling. I nearly dropped the sax, did drop my stand, tangled feet with it and had to wrench myself backward to keep from falling.
Except the sax didn’t hear about the change in plans. Momentum carried it in my original direction, popping it from of my grip.
To my horror, the tenor case pitched straight at the kids.
The man turned instantly, as if preternaturally aware of the danger. But he was behind the kids. He’d have to hurdle like Jesse Owens to get between the deadly sax and those small bodies.
Palming the wall, he levered against it to kick up and over Munchkin heads, clearing them with incredible grace and ease, landing on my side.
On the way he snatched my tenor. Midair.
I set down my instrument bag and blew out my tension. “Wow. Thanks. I…”
Straightening to his full height of six-OMG, he faced me, emanating strength and energy. Powerful chest muscles pushed into the jacket’s gap right in front of my nose.
I gaped, realized I was starting to drool and looked up.
Sondheim shoot me. His face was all dark, dangerous planes. His eyes were twin sapphire flames that hit me in the gut. My breath punched out and none came to replace it. Bad news for a wind player.
He turned to set the sax down. I started breathing again.
A tapping caught my ear, the conductor ready to start. I needed to get into that pit now.
Half a dozen kids and two makeup adults were still in my way.
I’d have crawled over the seats myself but my joints weren’t as limber as the kids’…unless I used my black Lara Croft braid as a rope. I was desperate enough to consider it.
The man, turning back, saw my predicament. He lifted my instrument bag and music stand over kids with the same strength and grace as when he’d snatched the tenor. Then he turned to me.
And swept me up into his arms.
An instant of shock, of male heat and rock-hard muscle. A carved face right next to mine, masculine lips beautifully defined—abruptly I was set on my feet beside the pit. The sax landed next to me with a thump.
“There.” His accent was jagged, as if he were as rattled as me. “There’s your instrument.” He bounded to the back of the theater and was gone.