Exclusive Excerpt from Mastering the Flames
by S.J. Himes
Angel paused, looking out over the crowd. Simeon bent down and spoke in his ear, the music drowning out their quiet words. Isaac put his hands in his jacket pockets and tried to look perfectly normal. A hint of alcohol hit his nose as a server walked by with a tray of drinks, and his stomach clenched. He breathed out, letting his eyes blur, and he kept his breathing slow and steady until his stomach settled. He blinked after a minute or so, and scowled at Angel, who was glaring at him with arms crossed while Eroch was pretending to be interested in the recessed lighting overhead.
“I’m fine,”he blurted out, regretting how defensive he sounded, but it was too late. He sounded anything but fine, even to his own ears, but he refused to be sent home like a child or an invalid.
“You look like you’re gonna puke,”Angel declared, doubting just how fine he was, and Isaac huffed out a breath in annoyance. His brother was a second away from dragging him out of the club. The potential embarrassment from that possibility just aggravated him and made the defensiveness increase.
“I will if you keep harping on me about this,”Isaac snapped back, and went to stride past Angel. A hand grabbed his elbow, and he jerked to a halt, swearing. “Dammit, Angie.”
Angel narrowed his eyes and Isaac got hot under his collar but held himself back from saying anything. Simeon made himself scarce, and Eroch gave a quiet chirp. Angel was biting back something angry, but all he said was “Don’t leave without telling me, and don’t go anywhere alone. We’re looking for signs of magic being cast inside the club. A vampire can’t get taken without magic or being overpowered, so look for signs of a struggle or spells used to incapacitate.”
“I got it the first time you explained this in the limo,”Isaac said, and jerked himself out of Angel’s grip. “I can handle this, so let me.”
He didn’t wait for a reply and walked away from his brother.