The Lunam Deception
(The Lunam Series #2)
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Kalysia has lived her life according to others – a fate she will not pass on to her child. When a conspiracy to bring down the pack threatens to uncover her darkest secrets; Kalysia must fight to protect the truth about the man she wants, at the expense of the man she was fated to love.
Jase has fought his entire life. For his honor, his freedom, and his family. Nothing in his past could’ve prepare him for her. Kalyisa is everything he never knew he always wanted. Is he willing to risk his life, her honor, and Dillan’s pride to win her heart?
There are over three hundred breweries at this year’s craft brew fest. Each brewery has at least three beers on tap—that’s nine hundred beers that I won’t be tasting.
Dillan was up and out of our hotel room before eight this morning. He was invited to the brewer’s breakfast, where a bunch of men sit around talking about hops like it’s cool.
I walk to the expo around noon; it’s already packed. I maneuver my belly through the crowd to our booth. The line for samples is long.
“Hey, Rusty,” I call through the wall of people. “Where’s Dillan?”
Rusty looks up from the women so obviously flirting with him. “He’s sniffing around the Black Diamond Brewery table. Wait here, he’ll be back soon.”
I move past the group and join Rusty on the other side of the table. “Should I help?”
“Do you know anything about the beer?”
“Just sit over there.” He points to a chair in the corner.
Rusty fields questions like a pro and handles the crowd fairly well for a little while. As more people arrive, he can’t pour beer fast enough.
“Okay, you’re up.” He waves me over. “You pour and I’ll serve.”
I turn to the taps and grab a cup. “What do I do?”
He gives me a quick rundown of what is what.
“Just keep pouring until I tell you to stop. I want at least fifteen or twenty of each lined up on this table.” He points to the table in front of the taps.
After fifteen minutes, I decide pouring sucks. I can’t get the foam right. I tilt too much. The cups are lined up with uneven pours. I quickly realize nobody cares. They’re all tipsy and enamored by my brother.
“Is this swill any good?” A familiar voice says, and my heart stops.
“Well I’m biased, sir. But I’m also pretty confident.” Rusty takes a cup from the table. “Try this, you’ll never drink Shasta again.”
I peek over my shoulder and see Jase’s uncle Joe sipping our beer wearing a Shasta Brewing hat.
“Quit pretending you don’t love Howlin’ Ale.” Lucky walks up behind Joe.
I spin back around and pour another cup. Maybe he won’t recognize me. I’m bigger than I was the last time he saw me.
“I’ve never had it from a tap,” Joe says. “Just them bottles we used to get from your driver.”
“Really?” Rusty asks. “Which driver is that?”
Oh shit. Oh shit.
“Hey, babe. I think that cup is full.” Dillan suddenly appears beside me.
I look at the beer flowing out of the tap and all over the table. “Oh shit!” I step back and drop the cup, splashing beer all over my pants and shoes.
Dillan looks at me like I’m crazy. “Are you okay? Do you want to sit down?” He motions to the chair. I don’t move. If I turn around, Joe will see my face.
“Looks like someone’s been sampling the beer,” Joe jokes.
Dillan looks over my head and smiles. He’s back in sales mode. “Not this one, she’s seven months pregnant.”
“Well, congratulations,” Joe says.
“Thank you,” Dillan replies. He nudges me to turn and be polite. I don’t move.
“We’ve taken up enough of their time,” Lucky says. I detect a hint of anxiety in his tone. He figured it out.
“Okay, okay,” Joe says reluctantly. He thanks Rusty, and I hear him ask Lucky where the bathroom is. Right before their voices fade into the crowd, he says his name: “Make sure you let Jase know Howlin’ Ale is here. He’s a big fan.”
“Yeah sure, Joe,” Lucky pacifies him. He has no intention on telling Jase I’m here. Not if he’s smart.
“Why the hell are you even back here?” Dillan ushers me to the empty chair. He looks at the mess I made. “Rusty, you should’ve called Drake or me to help.”
When Rusty doesn’t answer, I look past Dillan to my brother. He’s serving a beer to the last person on Earth I ever thought I’d see at this table.
“Rusty, clean that up, I’ll take over.” Dillan walks to the table and hands Jase another cup. “If you like the amber, you’ll love the red.”
Jase’s eyes flit to mine as he takes the cup. “Thanks.”
What is he doing here? Why would he intentionally put himself in danger?
“Sis, what the fuck?” Rusty whispers as he mops the floor. “Should I do something?”
I shake my head no. We can’t cause any suspicion. As far as Dillan is concerned, Jase is just another festival goer.
“What do you think?” Dillan asks.
Jase sets the cup down. “I think I’m in love.” He smiles at me, and I gasp.
Rusty steps in front of me and coughs. “It’s dusty in here.”
When Dillan turns to look at Rusty, Jase winks at me. I don’t know if I want to kill him or kiss him. The intensity of the moment finally catches up to me, and I begin to laugh. Rusty starts laughing too, but it’s more of a manic, what-are-you-laughing-at kind of laugh.
“You guys are weird,” Dillan addresses me and my brother then turns back to Jase. “Sorry, she’s a little hormonal, and he’s a little…”
“Homo,” Rusty yells.
Jase laughs, and so does Dillan. For a brief second, the worst moment of my life doesn’t seem so bad. Until it is.
“There you are, Jase.” I look up at the sound of Joe’s voice and see Lucky chasing after him.
“Joe, let’s check out Black Bear,” Lucky suggests. “We’ve already been to this one.” He tries to turn Joe away, but it’s too late.
“Kali! How the hell are ya?” Joe yells. I turn slowly and brace as a wave of fear washes over our booth. “Oh hell, girl, you’re about ready to pop!” He laughs. “Who’s the lucky fella?”
“That’d be me.” Dillan moves between us, blocking me from view. “How exactly do you know Kalysia?” He annunciates my name.
Lucky, Rusty, Jase, Joe, and I all start talking at the same time. Dillan only hears Joe.
“She broke down last winter, and Jase found her stranded on the highway. He brought her back to my motel for the night. She’s a fine girl. You’re a lucky man.” Joe holds his hand out to Dillan.
Dillan shakes it as he turns to look back at me. “And which one of you found her on the road?”
Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers.
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