There was no denying his remarkable skill with a hockey stick, But it was his talents off the ice that caught Breena's eye. A Gypsy's Kiss is a stand-alone full-length hot and STEAMY Ice Hockey Paranormal Sports Romance full of secrets, lust, and suspense. This book is a spin off from The Bestselling Whisper Cape Trilogy. You do not need to read any of the Whisper Cape books first.
Breena Cassidy is cursed with what could be one of the worst supernatural abilities imaginable, she has never had the luxury of falling in love. Hell, she’s never even held a guy’s hand. At only twenty-two years old, she’s just about given up on the whole love thing. After all, when you can see twelve hours of someone’s future by a simple touch, and they, in turn, can see what you see, well… relationships are sort of out of the question. Her gigs performing psychic readings at parties, and the occasional one-on-one private appointment are just about Breena’s only connection with people. No matter how much she might wish otherwise.
Hawk Covington's hard body and skill have earned him a starting position on the Pioneer’s college hockey team. But it’s not his talent with a hockey stick that’s the most remarkable. His gorgeous two-colored eyes not only draw the attention of every female on campus, they also allow him to track people and objects. But when he suddenly finds himself stalked by a stranger, he seeks out the help of the rumored, “campus gypsy” for help.
Despite his vow to stay single and play as many college women as he can while the fun lasts, Hawk can’t ignore his attraction to the lovely and spirited Breena. And she can’t get the hunky star hockey player out of her mind once a single touch of his hand reveals something utterly strange. Surrounded by mystery, they realize that fate has brought them together for a reason, but can they stay alive long enough to recognize the depth of their feelings for one another
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Chapter One Breena
“Bad news and conflict,” I whispered, mostly to myself, not wanting to say the words too loudly, for fear the girl sitting across the table from me might hear them. I’d just placed the last tarot card of the spread on the table, a woman bound and blindfolded, standing among eight swords—the eighth card in the suit of swords. The card before that had been the eighth card in the suit of wands—reversed. Arrows of jealousy, quarrels, and domestic disputes. Things were not looking good. Damn. I glanced at Lea. Her eyes had been so filled with hope until a few seconds ago, but now that I’d given her the meaning behind the cards, her mouth dipped down slightly at the corners. Taking into consideration her question, which had been, “Will Brad and I get married this year?” I came to the conclusion that the answer was a big, fat, definite no. “I’m sorry, Lea. The cards are just not falling your way today.” She slouched her shoulders and lowered her head. Closing her eyes, long dark lashes splayed across the tops of her cheeks. Lea was a pretty girl. Her long, dark brown hair that she always wore back in a ponytail made her eyes seem wide and sultry. We weren’t super close friends, but recently, we’d been hanging out together, especially when she was in between boyfriends or when neither of us had anything better to do. I liked her, and she’d been in at least one of my classes for the past three years. Lea always spoke what was on her mind, which sometimes got her into trouble. She was always honest and told me exactly how she felt about things. I liked that about her. Not everyone did though. Leaning her elbow on the edge of the table, Lea placed her hand to her forehead and leaned into it. “I figured as much. Brad dumped me last night.” “Oh, no. I’m sorry. That blows.” Not the best way to start out a new semester. I didn’t have much else to say on the subject. My one and only experience in relationships had been brief, to say the least. I’d been out with several guys over the past couple of years, but no one ever stuck around once they realized I didn’t feel comfortable touching them. Hell, touching them was beyond the issue. I couldn’t even hold their hand. In truth, I’d endured a languishing loneliness most of my life, fearful that I would never have that connection with anyone—someone I could hold, or better yet, who could hold me. In fact, I yearned to have that touch. My parents had it. I’d received my abilities from my father, who also must have had the issue of never being able to touch anyone without seeing their future and revealing it back to them. Until he’d met my mother. I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d simply tolerated the visions or had learned to block them out. But I knew they had something special, right up until they’d died. They must have, otherwise, how would they have made me? I wanted to reach out and touch Lea’s hand now, just to give her some support. Although, I knew if I did, I’d see everything that would happen to her over the next twelve hours. Not to mention, she would see them as well, and that was something I just couldn’t let happen. There was no way I could ever divulge my abilities. Secrets were an objectionable provocation and a very necessary unpleasantness of life for me and those who were like me. Like me, meaning those with a “supernatural” ability. To me, my abilities were normal, but to the masses, I’d be considered weird, or worse yet, dangerous. As my uncle, Cael, once said, “People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” Though I’d never had the unfortunate experience of knowing firsthand about that, I believed him, considering some of the things he’d been through protecting our secrets. But that’s a story for another time. My abilities were always evolving and changing; all of ours were. Some gifts I’ve had since I was small, like seeing twelve hours into someone’s future whenever my skin comes into contact with theirs. My ability to see into the future had always been a major pain to me. As a small child, I wore gloves most of the time. It’s not so bad seeing snippets of what will happen in someone’s life. If only I didn’t transfer that image back to them in the process. That’s what used to get me into big trouble when I was a child. A little girl, seeing grownups doing grown-up things, private grown-up things if you get my meaning, wasn't exactly a good thing according to my grandmother … well, my adopted grandmother. Some whacked-out maniac had murdered my parents when I was just five years old. Grams, Siana Sheridan, took me in since I had no other living relatives. Her son, Cael, whom I’d always thought of as my uncle because he was so much older than me, had been my dad's best friend. Cael had been single at the time, and very busy protecting our secret society known as The Sectorium. He wasn’t in any position to take care of a young girl. So, his mother did. I took up fortune-telling last year, shortly after I developed a new and enhanced ability to see into someone’s future without touching them; instead, just by touching something that they had touched. The extra income came in handy. Aside from getting some extra cash, once they handed me the money, I saw everything I needed to see. Another good reason for charging twenty bucks. The good thing about this new ability was that I could turn it off and on whenever I wanted to. I still had the problem with touching someone skin to skin, but I made sure never to do that. I always wore long sleeves. Even in the summer months, my arms were covered with sheer, lightweight material. If anyone asked, I’d tell him or her that I sunburned very easily, or sometimes, I’d make up some outlandish tale about a skin disease. I was homeschooled most of my life, but Grams had agreed to let me try real school one year. I’d been twelve and extremely annoyed with all the questions about why I wore gloves and long sleeves all the time. Just to shut her up, I’d told one girl who was so insistent I tell her why, that I was born part vampire and my skin was so sensitive to the sun that it would blister if directly exposed. That one had been fun until she told her mother, and her mother told the teacher, and well, you can guess the outcome of that. Most people who came to me for readings figured it was just a fun thing to do, something I made up, or a joke. But the money helped supplement some of the finer things in life, like books and clothes; clothes that weren’t in the budget from the money Grams sent every month. I was a book nerd on top of everything else, something most likely derived from my years of spending so much time alone as a child. I loved reading, and whenever I had time in between my studies, I’d read romance novels, mostly paranormal romance. You’d be surprised how many paranormal books come close to real life. People just don’t know about it yet. I glanced up at Lea. Tears had begun to run down her flushed cheeks. “Listen, Lea, these cards don’t mean squat, really,” I lied, sort of. The cards didn’t always tell the exact truth, but for some reason, this time they did. I knew when she’d handed me the twenty-dollar bill at the beginning of the session that a wedding wasn’t in the cards for her. At least not this year. “You and Brad might get back together,” I added after touching the card she’d picked up and placed back down on the table. When I’d brushed my fingers over it, I’d had a vision of Lea and Brad talking later that day. “Weddings take a lot of planning you know, and well, if you two don’t get married this year, maybe you will next year.” She shook her head. “No. I won’t be marrying Brad. I saw him kissing someone else. At first, he tried to convince me that he didn’t do it on purpose. He said the girl kissed him, and before he realized what was happening, he was kissing her back. He said it didn’t mean anything. I stormed off and wouldn’t talk to him. Last night, he told me he didn’t want to marry me anymore. Can you believe that? Him not wanting to marry me? He’s the one who cheated. It should have been me dumping him. Last night, stupid, soft-hearted me was about to forgive him, but I didn’t get the chance to take him back or kick him to the curb because he broke up with me first.” I felt bad for her, but I knew she’d find someone else soon. She was pretty, and guys were always hanging around her, trying to get to know her. I should be so lucky. I almost offered to give back her twenty dollars, but then hey, a girl needs her extracurricular activities and money to support them. The tears poured from her eyes as she stood and ran out of the room. I got up to chase after her, to try and console her some more, though I wasn’t sure how. When I reached the dark bedroom door, I smacked right into a wall of a guy just entering. His hands gripped my arms to help keep me from toppling backwards. “Sorry, are you okay?” he asked. I looked up into pools of peridot and smoke—the guy’s left eye was green and the right one was grey. A beautiful face housed those eyes, and I had trouble finding my voice. His full lips turned up in a half-smile, and I almost wanted to run my finger over them to see if they were as soft as they looked. I would never have had that thought before. Especially since it was a definite no-no. What was I thinking? I could never touch him. Never. It wasn’t every day that a gorgeous guy held on to me though. In fact, it had never happened before. And because it was happening now, it was almost as if I’d been struck stupid by the dumb-dumb fairy; all I could do was stare into his eyes, licking my lips as I did. “Um … are you all right?” he inquired again. I nodded. Finding my voice, I managed a squeaky, “Yes.” I wanted to stay and find out who this guy was, but I needed to go after Lea. “Excuse me, I have to go,” I said, turning to run after her. “Wait. Are you the girl who reads cards?” I stopped in my tracks and turned back to him. “Yes,” I said, glancing back down the dark hallway just as Lea turned the corner. I briefly wondered if she would leave or stay at the party a little longer so I could talk to her again. My inner guardian angels tugged and pulled, torn between consoling Lea and staying to talk to Mister Green and Grey Eyes. The eyes won. “I do read, for a fee,” I added. Though I probably would have read his cards for free just to find out more about him. “Do you have time for a reading now?” “Sure. That’s why I’m here.” That last part had sounded better in my head. I had no idea why I’d added the sarcasm. Giving the empty hallway another glance, and hoping I’d catch up with Lea in a little while or maybe tomorrow, I led him back over to the small, square table I had set up with my cards. I’d spread out a small, black tablecloth, bunching it up a little in the middle around a glass globe I’d found on the Internet for effect. After all, it was October 31st, and this was a Halloween party. The globe went well with the fortune-teller ruse and the outfit I’d decided to wear, too—a low-cut black bustier over a puffy-sleeved blouse. It gave me a bit more cleavage than I actually possessed and went very well with the long purple and green flowing skirt. Coins dangled from the scarf I’d fashioned around my waist, and I wore a matching scarf on my head, covering most of my dark hair. I looked the part I’d been hired to play, and that made the sorority ladies very happy. The sorority had contracted me for their Halloween party as an attraction. Bookings like these helped pay for some of those extras that I needed, and it also helped bring in new customers. This guy was my fourth new client this evening. I usually set up my table in a little office that no one ever used, attached to the recreation room of my apartment building. I’d made a deal with the manager that I’d give her free readings if she let me use the space. I enjoyed living off campus, a luxury set up by my Grams. I sat and gestured for him to sit across from me. “It’s twenty dollars.” “Your name is Breana?” he asked, pronouncing the end like Anna. “No, it’s Breena, just one a.” I smiled, trying not to show the annoyance of having my name mispronounced. “Sorry, Breena. My name’s Hawk,” he said and reached into his pocket to pull out a twenty-dollar bill. “Hawk?” He shrugged his shoulders. Tilting his head to the side, he gave me a sexy half-grin. No explanation, just the cocky smirk as he handed the money to me. I clasped the bill between my thumb and forefinger and braced myself for the vision … nothing happened. I shot my eyes to his in shocked dismay. He caught my stunned expression and frowned. I crunched the twenty dollars in my fist, hoping that would spark a vision, but I still got nothing. Why hadn’t I seen his future? Something was wrong. Placing the money in my pocket, I studied his features. His eyes, each a different color, made it difficult to choose his Significator card. I decided to go with his curly, dark locks and combined his two-colored eyes into hazel as my guide. I picked the King of Swords and placed it in the center of the table between us. “The King of Swords represents you. The fact that you have dark hair and well, eyes of two different colors …” I explained with a bit of chagrin as his eyes stared at me with a mixture of amusement and was that … intrigue? “… I had to go with hazel,” I breathed out the rest of the sentence, feeling a bit vulnerable. I had no idea what was up with this guy. After taking the money from his hand, I hadn’t seen a single mental image of him, or anything else for that matter. His eyes were so beautifully unusual and captivating; I had trouble concentrating on what came next. Luckily, the next step wasn’t anything too difficult as I swiftly gathered up the deck of cards and began to shuffle them. I cut the deck after the shuffle and repeated the process three times. I did this slowly so I could take more time to think about why I hadn’t seen a vision. He sat quietly and watched me. “What question did you want to ask me?” He flashed me a delicious smile. “A few are running through my mind right now, but they can wait.” I smiled and fingered a lose strand of my hair behind my ear. For some reason, he made me nervous. “I need to know if someone is following me.” “Huh?” That wasn’t a question I’d been expecting, nor one I’d ever been asked before. Usually, guys wanted to know about classes, grades, or sports. Occasionally, they wanted to know about a particular chick they were interested in, but it was mostly about sports. And the way this guy’s strong physique exclaimed hard workouts and intense training, I truly expected a question about some athletic activity he was going to be starring in. I was definitely up for watching and cheering. “I think my life is in a state of, let me say, energy flux right now. I need to know why.” “I’m sorry. I don’t understand.” Energy flux? Not many normal people would use a term such as energy flux, and I had to wonder if he’d come to me because he knew something about me. Or if, maybe, he had some ability of his own. “You don’t need to understand,” he shot back, his voice sounding a bit too curt. I gave him a don’t-be-rude look, and he rolled his eyes. “Sorry, look, I just need to know if someone is looking for me or following me, okay?” “I don’t know if the cards can tell you that, but I think we can get some sort of idea from the way they appear.” “Good.” He nodded his head and straightened his shoulders. His chest was broad and his arms were significantly larger than those of most of the guys around campus. I caught a glimpse of a tattoo peeking out from the sleeve of his shirt. It was hard to make out what it was, but it looked like the tip end of a wing or something. I wanted to see the rest of it and wondered just what it was. I placed the first card over his Significator. “This is the second card of swords. This is what covers you,” I explained. “It’s the influence card and sets the atmosphere for what comes next. The two of swords represents equipoise—balance—and suggests courage and friendship. Sometimes,” I lowered my eyes to avoid his, “it can indicate affection and intimacy.” As I placed the second card across the first, I explained its implication. The next seven cards were similar in meaning, giving me a clear indication that this guy was either very sensual in nature or had a very sexual background. I swallowed and placed the eighth card down and gasped silently. This card did not go with the others at all. My eyes caught his as he studied me, his eyebrows knitted together like he knew what I was thinking. “This is the tower card, it … is facing straight.” I swallowed. My body was tingling with heat, and I wished desperately for a cool breeze. Last thing I needed was Hawk seeing me sweat. I wiped my fingers under my eyes, feeling the moisture accumulating there. “Go on,” he coaxed. I bit my bottom lip and pointed at the card. I drew in a breath. “This card is predicting misery and distress. But it’s strange that it would appear so suddenly when all the other cards were so … intimate.” He sighed and rubbed his hand on his thigh. I couldn’t actually see that because of the table, but figured that was what he was doing as his arm moved back and forth. A nervous reaction I assumed. There were two more cards to go, and I prayed the next two would be good. I laid the ninth card down and immediately wished I could retract it. “It’s the moon card.” I looked up at his face. “And?” he asked, sounding a bit impatient. I didn’t blame him. I was stalling. I sighed. “The moon card in this position represents darkness, terror, and … occult forces.” He sat back. “I knew it. There’s one more card, right?” I nodded. “Go ahead. Turn it over.” I laid the last tarot card on the table; another freakin’ card of doom. For the second time, today, the eighth card of swords had come up, this time in reverse. Fatality. I needed to see a vision because a lot could happen in twelve hours, and for him, it could mean the difference between life and death. A thin shard of ice snaked down my spine, and on impulse, I took his hand in mine and turned it over so he would think I was reading his palm. It wasn’t something I normally did to strangers, but something told me I needed to know more about him. “Let me see if I can read your palm.” The brunt force of what I saw, or I should say didn’t see, almost knocked me out of my chair. Somehow, I managed to keep myself steady as an unusual titillating sensation vellicated up my arm. Hawk quickly tugged his hand away as if I had leprosy. “What’s wrong?” he asked, his face a mixture of confusion and fear. “I don’t know,” I admitted. I hadn’t seen the next twelve hours of his life flash before my eyes, so I knew he hadn’t seen it either. My secret remained safe, but I couldn’t see his future, and that worried me. Extremely. Not that I liked the cursed so-called gift, but it was my bread and butter these days. If I couldn’t see his future, did that mean I couldn’t see anyone else’s either? The way he’d yanked his hand away so fast made me wonder why. I was sure I hadn’t given any indication that I had any special ability to see into the future, and I felt a bit dejected by the quick separation. Maybe he thought I was being forward or something. That notion bothered me too because if he had thought that, and then pulled away, that meant he wasn’t interested in me. Not in the way I’d hoped. I stole a quick glance at the hot guy sitting across from me, not wanting to say the dreaded word death. As I did, my eyes caught a fleeting glimpse of darkness skating across the room behind him. A shadow fell over him—and only him—wrapping him in a shroud of grey. Since we were inside one of the guest rooms in the sorority house with just the glow of a few candles, a shadow seemed unlikely. I glanced around to see who or what was near to cast the darkness, but as I’d already known, the room was empty except for the two of us. When I looked back at his face, the darkness was gone. What the hell was that? “I can tell by the look on your face that something’s wrong,” he said, slowly reaching toward me again. This time, I yanked my hand off the table and quickly picked up the cards so he couldn’t touch me. I didn’t think I could handle another non-glimpse of his future when I surely should have seen it. But then I had to ask myself why he wanted to touch me again. The whole experience with this guy had me completely unraveled.