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The Fates haven’t been kind to Zephyr, God of the West Wind. After interfering in a Hero’s Journey, they’ve cursed him. Yeah, he probably deserved it. But come on, does he really have to spend his daylight hours trapped in a woman’s body? And did they have to take away his power over the West Wind, too?
As if his life isn’t complicated enough, a Muse – a supernatural tabloid journalist – appears on his doorstep. So what if she’s irresistible, whip smart and probably the only female on the planet who doesn’t find him charming, he has dangerous secrets that he’ll do anything to protect.
Kalliope is a Muse on a mission: Find her wayward brother, Niko, and bring him home. By leaving her island sanctuary, she’s broken the “rules”, but she’ll risk banishment to save him from yet another ill-fated scheme. She’ll even accept help from Zephyr, the immortal world’s most undeniably gorgeous and notorious rake.
Warning: Adult language ahead!
“Gods, I hate mortals right now.” Zephyr leaned against the pool table and lined up his shot. As soon as he bent over, several men at the adjacent bar elbowed each other out of the way to watch him.
Cursed female garments. The V-necked top dipped down, exposing his ample cleavage. As a male, he’d never had to worry about flashing boobs before. Scowling, he shifted direction. Better angle to sink the ball. The men could stare at his ass instead.
“Well, your tits do look hot in that top.” Langston chuckled. “I know I’m enjoying watching you squirm.”
The bastard would think it was funny.
“Just shoot me.” He was God of the West Wind. Not a female. Not an object of male desire. Yet, the Fates had damned him, ensuring his feminine form reeked of sex appeal. Bitches.
“What? And miss all the jokes at your expense. I don’t think so, buddy. Hey, there are worst things than being cursed by the Fates.”
“Oh really, name one,” he spat out.
“Well, let’s see.” Langston tapped his fingers against his lips, then shrugged. “You know what? You’re right. I can’t think of anything worse.” After a deep belly laugh, Langston patted Zephyr’s womanly hand. “Come on. Lighten up. It won’t last forever.”
Zephyr tightened his grip on the pool cue, ready to whack his friend. He shifted his elbow and re-adjusted his aim. Hitting the guy wouldn’t solve his problem. Langston hadn’t created the situation. Zephyr had done that all by himself.
How did women stand it? All the male ogling. He let out a slow sigh. That was the point of the punishment, wasn’t it? To learn a lesson.
Zephyr knocked the cue ball, banking the shot. And missed. He sucked at pool now without his wind powers. The Fates had taken those, too. “How many more minutes until sundown?”
“A minute sooner since the last time you asked me.” Langston switched places with him. “Three ball in the side pocket.” The ball glided into the named destination with a triumphant thud.
Irritated, he crossed his arms over his chest, shifting his ample breasts. A greasy mortal sidled up to him. One venomous glare and the man slunk to the bar.
“Four ball, side pocket.” Langston scored again.
“Stop calling the shots, it’s annoying me.”
“Fine, Miss Pissy Pants. I know how much you hate to lose. Why are we here, if you don’t like the atmosphere?”
“So the Fates know I’m learning my lesson.” Zephyr leaned against the wall. The mortal men around him collectively watched him move. They all saw a tall blonde with stunning cleavage and sexy curves.
He wanted to smack them all in the head. In ancient times, he would have been well within his rights to punish them for their impudence by removing their eyes. He released a soft sigh. No. Those days were over. Blinding mortals would not help his case with the Fates. Not to mention, he wasn’t a bloodthirsty elemental god anymore.
“How on earth could the Fates know that?” Another ball thunked into the side pocket. At this rate the game would be over in a few minutes. “Surely, they have better things to do.”
“One of them is here. It seems I’m their new favorite project.”
“Where?” Langston swiveled around, ruining his aim. The ball missed. Finally.
“Are you blind? How many ladies knit in a bar?” Zephyr pushed away from the wall, cue stick pointed to a table in the corner.
Clotho, the Fate who spun the thread of life, sat hunched over a pile of yarn. She appeared to be working out a tangle. The knotted jumble had all her attention. So much so she failed to notice when a knitting needle rolled off the table and onto the wooden beer-stained floor. Even to a goddess’s ears, the actual clink would have been muffled by the angry rock music blended with the blare of the TV over the bar.
Who would’ve thought she’d get her yarn snarled? Zephyr hoped it was only a sock she was knitting and not some poor mortal’s fate all in a bunch. He returned his attention to the pool table, ignoring Langston’s knowing smirk. The shit expected him to miss again. After taking careful aim, he pulled back his arm, ready to strike the ball.
“Hey, sweet cheeks, how about you let me buy you a drink?” A callused hand groped the curve of his ass.
Zephyr straightened, temper barely in check. Bad idea to knuckle bust the drunken fool in front a Fate. “How about you remove your hand and I won’t break it.”
“I’ve seen the way you’ve been eyeing me.” The man slurred the last part. Alcoholic vapors rose off him like a toxic perfume. It seemed early for the man to be so drunk already. His friends stood behind him. The tension in the room ratcheted a notch higher as the jackals waited to see how the shit would play out.
Idiots. “You’re mistaken. Now take a hike.” Zephyr skirted around the mortal. His skin tingled. With sundown minutes away, the change would be on him. The last thing he needed was the entire room witnessing his transformation from female to male.
“I don’t think so, honey.” The mortal lunged toward Zephyr, grabbing his arms.
“Bring her over here, Josh!” one of the fools yelled.
Langston moved to intercept, only to be blocked by Josh’s friends.
Zephyr all but rolled his eyes. Pathetic. With whirlwind speed, he twisted Josh’s arm, then shoved the man into his cronies. They collapsed like bowling pins into a mishmash of arms and legs.
“Well, that was fun,” Langston said, offering him the pool stick. His eyes widened. “Look out!”
Glass shattered. Sharp pain stabbed Zephyr’s skull. He dropped to his knees, clutching the back of his head. Who the fuck had hit him? Warm blood seeped through his fingers.
Langston punched the nearest mortal, and the bar erupted into a melee.
Power rippled over Zephyr’s skin.
Sundown. He ducked under the pool table, his head throbbing from the effort. Golden light bathed his skin as his female façade melted away. From his vantage point, feet danced and shuffled. Punches flew, followed by colorful swears. Beer bottles clanked to the ground. A body slammed onto the table above him.
Gods be thanked. With all the mayhem, no one would have noticed his sudden gender change. He rolled out from under the table, happy to be in his own body again. He glanced over at Clotho. She gave him a finger wave, then blinked out of sight.
Zeus’ balls. He’d worry about what she’d seen later.
A fist headed toward his face. He blocked it, then gripped his attacker’s hand. Josh, the asshole who started the brawl, whimpered, “Don’t hurt me.”
“I should bust your head, dumbass.” With a swift blow, Zephyr knocked the fool mortal unconscious.
Langston zoomed by. “Thanks for joining me. I thought I’d have to defeat them all by my lonesome.”
“What? You can’t handle a bunch of drunken humans?” Zephyr clouted another man’s skull, taking him down. All the idiots would have headaches when they awoke, but none would be permanently damaged.
“Please. You know I could.” Langston manhandled the last mortal standing to the ground.
The bartender came over. “Thanks. I’ve called 911.”
“That’s our cue to leave then,” said Zephyr as he slipped the bartender a wad of cash. “For the damages.”
“Excuse me?” A low, sultry voice tugged at Zephyr like the moon’s tide. He turned.
All speech left him at the sight of the resplendent woman standing before them. Long ringlets of copper hair framed her delicate face. Pale eyes, like blue sea-glass, stared at him. His gaze automatically fixed on her luscious pink lips . . .
“I’m looking for Zephyr. I was told he was here.”
And he wanted to do whatever she asked of him. He blinked a few times, shaking off the spell the stranger had woven over him. What was it with this woman? The tone of her whiskey smooth voice enthralled him. He couldn’t tell what kind of goddess she was. Not without more close, personal contact. “I’m him. How can I—”
Her fist smashed into his jaw. Pain, along with a million jolts of electricity raced to his groin. Damn, that felt good.
“Where’s Niko? You son of a bitch!”