A Lover's Mercy

A Lover's Mercy

by Fiona Zedde

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Overview

Mai Redstone prowls Atlanta as its hero, Mercy, trying to save people from themselves and each other. With her newly discovered, stronger powers, she acts as if she’s invincible. To those who know her though, she’s as delicate as a cobra lily.

Xóchitl is the complete opposite. Violence comes naturally to her. Hard-hearted and thick-skinned, the softest thing about her is her love for Mai. As part of an elite law-enforcement team in the secret Meta community, Xóchitl hunts and punishes anyone who dares to break their rules.

But when Mai is in danger from her own powerful family, Xóchitl’s soft underbelly is exposed. How can she protect Mai when she can’t even tell allies from enemies? For the first time in her life, Xóchitl feels as threatened as the vulnerable humans Mai protects.

Xóchitl is used to being the strongest one in the room, but when she suddenly isn’t, will she allow herself to surrender to her lover’s mercy?

A gripping, sexy, lesbian superhero novel that will leave your heart pounding at its powerful conclusion. This sequel to The Power of Mercy can also be read as a standalone story.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783963242069
Publisher: Ylva Verlag E.Kfr.
Publication date: 04/03/2019
Series: Superheroine Collection , #5
Pages: 198
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.45(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"I want you to meet my family," Mai says in the quiet of our bedroom.

Her dark-gold eyes are cautious, a pink-tinged lower lip caught between her teeth. The warm weight of her, draped over mine, feels almost too light.

She's nervous.

Because I'm not a complete ass, I bite back my automatic refusal. "Why? Do you want me to kill them, too?"

It's a bit of a sore spot between us that I murdered her uncle a few months ago.

A wince tics across her beautiful face, and she turns away to give me the curled C of her back. But it's only to reach for the water on the bedside table. She drinks and looks over her shoulder at me with her soul in her eyes. The thick cloud of hair around her face, an angel's corona, bounces with her movements and exhales the scent of rose-infused shea butter.

"Sometimes you can be cruel." Her look tells me she doesn't know whether or not she thinks that's a good thing.

"I know."

Mai returns the water glass to the table and settles herself next to me instead of on top as we both prefer. Iridescent scales ripple across her throat, a brief loss of control of her newly realized powers. Seconds later, the scales disappear into her skin like they were never there.

So beautiful.

I caress the line of skin, following its softness under the open collar of the pale yellow sleep shirt she wears.

My love is a chameleon and shape-shifter, who can change her body into whatever she pleases. She can give herself claws that shred, a long tail to pick up a glass from the countertop, a rippled tongue to fuck me until I scream.

Barely three months ago, Mai's long-dormant Meta powers came bursting to the surface. It was only then that her power-rich family started to pay more attention to her.

Mai sees through them. It's obvious why they're suddenly interested in her being a real part of the family, but knowing their motives doesn't make her want her family any less.

Although she's strong, they make her think she's weak.

Her back is delicate as steel under my hands. I trace its curve through the soft cotton of her shirt. "They don't deserve you and you know it. If you ever change your mind about me killing your mommy dearest, or any of them, I am completely at your service. One trained enforcer assassin to do whatever you want." My voice drops to a low purr. "Whenever you want." She can take that however she likes.

Rising up from her pillow, Mai squirms, delicious and conflicted. She's so sweet I could just drink her all up.

"No, thank you. I told you, I don't want them dead." A frown marks her forehead. With a hand hooked around the back of my neck and tangled in the ends of my short hair, she drags my mouth to hers. "You're so horrible," she says against my lips.

I know she doesn't mean it as foreplay but Christ, the way she says, it makes me ache.

"All this sweet talk will get you nowhere with me." Smiling and leaning close, I unbutton her sleep shirt, just to make sure she knows what direction my thoughts are heading. "I'm not going to your mother's house with you so you can just give that up right now." My hands drift down her clenching belly to the mound between her thighs. I grip her gently, teasing the delicate flesh. "And I'd dearly love for you to give this up, too."

A soft whine of protest leaves her lovely throat. "Stop trying to distract me." Her whine turns into a low moan from the movement of my fingers. "God, that feels so good ..."

My mouth presses into hers and smothers her gasp. I play between her legs, distracting her from how much I love this sensuous mouth of hers. Kissing is a soft thing, not meant for people like me. With Mai, it's a guilty pleasure I can't get enough of.

Her lips are absolutely perfect. A more luscious shape, texture, or flavor has never existed, at least not as far as I'm concerned. When in my arms, she always smells of desire, the thick and salty aroma rising from between her legs like smoke from home fires. Even when she's angry with me.

But her lips ... They call to me like the softness denied to me over the years of my life. Hard training with the enforcers left me merciless. When Mai's cousin killed my only sister, Ixchel, just a baby and mine to protect, I lost my mind for a few years and did things I should be ashamed of. And until very recently, all I had was my job as an enforcer and the games I played to get revenge on the monster who took her away from me.

Now though, I have Mai. And her incredible lips.

Soft and tender and loving. They welcome mine with a sigh, parting and tilting up to receive me. The top and bottom lips mirror each other, identical. I've stared at them and visually measured enough to be convinced of this. There's a small dimple just below them. Mai denies it exists, but it's true. When she's tired, it's there. When she just barely stops herself from confessing how much she loves me, it appears. A telltale sign of her feelings. I press my lips briefly to it.

"Stop playing with me." She gasps and moves impatiently against the bed.

My tongue flicks a line from her top to bottom lip, almost a dry stroke. Her breath hitches. Impatient fingers grab the edge of the oversized T-shirt I wear to bed and pull it off me, briefly interrupting our kiss.

"Hm. That's better." Mai strokes my naked back and lower, pulling me closer and demanding more. Her long body maneuvers its way under me, and she grips my short hair in a fist, intoxicatingly ready for a long night enclosed in the warmth of our bedroom with me.

My body melts. The breath trips in my throat.

It's incredible that this is the very same bed I trapped her against when I broke into her apartment a few months ago, intending to warn her from investigating the murders I committed. Now, this is the place where she welcomes me. Makes love to me. Challenges me to be better.

I'm nothing special. Powerful, yes, but Mai doesn't care about that. Without my power, I'm just an ordinary woman. Short, black curls in a pixie cut that shows off my pointed ears, a usefully slender body, and eyes that deceive. But she wants me just the same.

With my breathing not quite so steady, I pull back from her lips, but only a little. "What about the dinner with your family?" I ask. A shallow probe at her slick entrance provokes a moan, and I laugh softly, the wickedness she likes in me coming out to play. "Don't you want to talk more about it?" A little deeper and she cries out, digging her fingers into my back.

"Xóchitl, are — are you trying to drive me out of my m-mind?"

"Never. I want you sane and with me for a very long time to come." But I move my fingers inside her again, kissing her incredible lips, savoring the pleasure that her pleasure brings me.

The sound of her passion rings through the room, loud and heady, and I feel her beginning to fumble between my thighs, but I pull her hand away and trap it above her head. That's not what I want right now.

"I need more. Xóchitl, please ..." How she begs me. The way she calls my name. Doesn't try to shorten it to something her American tongue is already used to. This is an aphrodisiac in itself.

"More of what, Mai?" My fingers tease her shallowly.

"Just fuck me already!"

Her profanity makes me laugh. Chuckling into the thickness of her hair, I gladly give her what she wants. The liquid drive of my fingers inside her wanting center wrings a cry from us both.

A low sound bursts out into the room. Her telephone.

Beneath me, Mai stiffens. Her eyes fly open and she moans for an entirely different reason. "No, no, no ..." But her hips keep moving, thrusting up to greedily take everything I give her. That moment of self-indulgence doesn't last long. Growling in frustration, she pushes my hands away from between her thighs then dives across the bed to grab the cell phone.

"Mercy," she answers with barely a tremor in her voice.

Fighting back a curse, I roll onto my back and drop a hand over my eyes. Now that we're not kissing, I become aware of just how turned on I am. My thighs are soaked and the most urgent of tingles vibrate in my belly. If we'd kept going for any longer, my orgasm would've snuck up on me. Nothing I'd complain about, obviously.

But damn human cops.

"I hope I wasn't interrupting anything," a male voice says through the phone. It's not loud but my hearing easily catches everything he's saying.

"You actually are," I mutter, making no effort to keep my voice down.

The imbecile doesn't hear me. Mai gives me a shushing glance to which I only reply with a widening of my thighs to show her how desperately aroused I am. She bites her lip and turns away.

"Don't worry about it," she says into the phone. "What can I do for you?"

"I know you haven't heard from us in a while, but this current situation requires your particular skills." The idiot on the other end of the line sounds satisfied with himself. Like he's doling out compliments to someone starved for them. Maybe he is.

"Tell me more." She climbs out of the bed, already in superhero mode.

While I vaguely entertain the thought of taking care of my own orgasm while she's on the phone, the whole sad story comes pouring out. Apparently, there's a hostage situation. A group of criminals broke into a politician's house and have his entire family prisoner. Husband, kids, dog, everything. This politician is unexpectedly away at some sort of impromptu meeting, which is a happy coincidence for him.

The criminals have lots of guns and demands only the politician can fulfill. Some strange kind of political blackmail. Do those humans think they can actually get away with this?

The cop finishes up by asking, "Can you help?"

"Of course." Mai doesn't hesitate. "Where is all this happening?"

He quickly gives her the address and gets her agreement to be there in return before he ends the call.

"Why do I get the feeling I'm about to get left high and wet?" I watch as she shrugs off what little clothes she has on.

Already in mid-change, her soft skin transforming into hard, burgundy leather — a true transformation this time instead of the mere illusions she was capable in the past — Mai turns to frown at me. "We're not done talking about this."

"Talking about what? You abandoning your girlfriend's very urgent sexual needs to go play with a bunch of humans in uniform?"

A balled-up shirt narrowly misses my face. But only because I catch it mid-air.

"No — dinner with my family. Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about."

"Well, darling, your sweet lips made me forget everything but the way you taste. Can you blame me?"

"Yes, I actually can." Fully changed, she is Mercy now. She wears skin-tight, dark red leather, complete with a mask only showing her intense and long-lashed eyes. It looks like she's been skiing in blood. The wet place between my thighs gives a hard and powerful throb.

All I want to do is wrestle her to bed and make love to her until she forgets she even got a phone call. Those cops of hers wouldn't see her for days. To hell with the stupid politician who can't keep his own family safe.

But I can't do that.

"See you right here when you get back," I murmur with an airy wave. The silk sheets shift under me as I adjust myself against the pillows, and a hint of moonlight pours through the window to fall like liquid silver over my naked breasts. Mai stares because she can't help herself. "Be safe while you're out there saving the world." I hide my smile when she tears her eyes away from me with visible effort.

"Right. Okay." A shiver runs through her body. Then she shakes her head, the tiniest of smiles shaping her mouth. "Why are you such a terrible person?"

"Because you wouldn't want me any other way?"

A sound of exasperation leaves her lips, then she is at the bedroom's wide window, sliding it open. "I'll be back before you fall asleep." She slips out into the night.

I take a breath. Then two.

With Mai gone, the apartment is quiet. Just the sounds of the various appliances carrying on with their business. The quiet hum of the central air conditioning. The fridge that never has enough food for her, let alone the two of us. The computer she left on after she finished grading papers for the night.

A few more breaths pass while I lay in bed, watching the empty window and listening to Mai's quiet steps along the side of the building, then up to the roof. She's gone to save the world while I lay here, saving nothing. My chance at making a change, at saving something precious, came and went with my sister, Ixchel. She died alone, in terror.

And I became ... this.

Usually, I allow introspection to pass me by, but there's something about this moment. It feels like nighttime crept into the room with me as Mai crept out, bringing with it its shadows that mirror mine.

I have too many secrets to count. They've accumulated like dirt under fingernails while grasping in desperation at a life lived on the surface of violence. That's why I like Mai Redstone so much. This foolish, beautiful creature with a family of vipers and a heart big enough for all of Atlanta to live in. She's as naked to me as a newborn sliding from their mother's bloodied crease, and that makes me cherish her even more. That's what makes me want to keep her safe.

And that's the only reason I can think of why I get up from the nest of comfortable silk sheets, get dressed, and follow the path she took out of the apartment and into the night. She's too important for me to lose her now.

CHAPTER 2

The politician lives in a nice part of town. Wide streets. A coffee shop on every corner. Dog groomers and mayonnaise shops all over the place. But that didn't stop the guys with guns from breaking in and demanding whatever it is that these types always seem to want. The police officer on the phone seemed to think it's more than that. Of course, he would know more about human motivations than me.

So would Mai, actually.

Following her is as easy as it's always been. She may be able to change her shape and camouflage her body to blend into the surroundings, but she's always visible to me now. Easily found.

The reason for it is part of my power, which is why the enforcers came knocking on my mother's door when I was a child. Each Meta sends out a particular kind of energy on the spectrum I'm able to see. Not only is my power strong, it's also one that few Metas can protect themselves against. Although Mai thinks I can read every mind I encounter, my power is not that. Not with other Metas who I can only sense but never read, unless I pull them into my heart and love them more than myself.

The way I love Mai.

All human minds, though, are completely transparent to me. Not necessarily their motives but their every thought is laid open for me to read and to see — if I'm interested enough to take a look. Living among humans and having that kind of ability would be agony if I weren't able to control it. But I can, and I do. Most times, I don't care enough what's going on in a human's mind to bother looking.

My thoughts about what I can and can't do slip away when Mai arrives at the house.

Oh. The humans have a lot of guns.

From high in a tall tree, I take in all the action in the twostory family home a few hundred yards away. I can see why the cops called Mai. This is what they'd call a lose-lose situation. Six humans with very large guns hold hostage the oversized cottage of a pair of four-year-old twins, a tiny beige dog, and a very pissed-off spouse.

The husband is big. He either lifts weights or injects growth hormones in his spare time. In an ideal situation (for him), he could've taken out one or two of those guys in the house by himself. But as it is, there are six men of various sizes. Not to mention if he so much as twitches any of those large muscles the wrong way, I have no doubt the hostage takers would happily mow down one of the girls to teach him a lesson.

Two of the armed men have their semi-automatic weapons trained on the wide-eyed children and obliviously playful dog while another set threatens the husband, demanding to know where his other half is. The conversation sounds like it's on its third or fourth go-round. One of the men is on the phone, apparently trying to reach the politician husband. No obvious police cars lurk in the area. The confrontation looks very private.

With barely any effort, I sweep their minds, slipping in to rifle through their thoughts.

Oh, so the cop was right. This isn't a matter of a simple smash and grab: They want the politician to withhold his vote on something that matters to a lot of people in the city but means more to the corporations paying them. Didn't they stop doing this kind of obvious intimidation in the thirties?

Where is the man's husband, anyway?

Not that I actually care about where he is. The only person I care about is just about to do something stupid. Or, in her mind, "heroic." She's already talked to the people in charge. There's some kind of plan in place.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "A Lover's Mercy"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Fiona Zedde.
Excerpted by permission of Ylva Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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