Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Jessica’s word addiction has led her to become a member of the St. Louis Writers Guild. Unable to cure her of this ailment she has recently released a science fiction novella, the first in a trilogy, By the Stars, through European Geeks Publishing. Before finding her current publisher she released, Tale of Two Bookends, an erotic paranormal romance with Cobblestone Publishing LLC and My Family Is Different, a children’s picture book about religious diversity and acceptance with THG Stardragon Publishing. Her stories have been featured in numerous publications as genre hopping seems to be her thing. Maybe tomorrow she’ll write a book on quantum physics.
You can follow Jessica on the following social media sites:
Savaunt is a male siren who wishes to lure Lena into his snare. He desires her to produce him a son and make a proper meal once she has fulfilled her purpose. But his plans are halted when he falls in love with her. Will he be able to tell her the truth of his origins and find a way for them to be together?
Excerpt: (Start of Chapter 1)
IT’D been a bad day. Lena had already gotten yelled at three times by irate customers for giving them what they ordered instead of what they thought they’d ordered. And I’m only halfway through my shift. She sighed as another customer rattled off her order while texting on her phone.
Despite her promotion to manager, she remained unfulfilled. Standing behind a counter pouring drinks for people who barely acknowledged her existence wasn’t what she dreamed to be doing for the rest of her life, but she smiled at everyone and did her best to enjoy her work nonetheless.
Lena’s co-worker and best friend Keri leaned in and whispered, “I’m fantasizing about driving her off a cliff right now,” making her laugh—as she always seemed to manage to do.
Lena sighed and moved on to the next person in line. Just another self-involved businesswoman who made her wonder if things would ever change as she prepared a nonfat latte with no whipped cream. Her mind wandered as she prepared the drink, but from the corner of her eye she found herself struck by the enticing sight of the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen enter her shop. His black suit hugged his masculine shape as if it were made for him. Instead of the usual clean-cut jerk with an ear or eyes glued to a cell phone, he stood confused. She leaned back behind the coffee machines to stare at him as she worked. Her eyes traced his perfectly trimmed beard for a moment.
“Lena.” Keri nudged her as the cup in her hand started to spill over.
“Crap.” She tensed as the heat of the drink burned her skin. She set it down and grabbed a towel, dabbing her hand. She moved to wipe down the counter but knocked the cup and spilled more as she tried not to look foolish.
Keri helped her to clean the mess as she handed off the drink.
Lena smiled. “Thanks. I need a break.”
“I know.” Keri’s sarcastic look told Lena her friend meant a break from more than
Another customer ordered and Keri took over the transaction. While she rang up the customer, she glanced at Lena. “You okay?”
Again Lena’s gaze rested on the mysterious man who sat in the café without anything to engage him. She had no idea why. There’d been enough trouble in her life. But watching him made her smile, and she imagined he wished to laugh at the people around him, which drew her in even more.
“What?” She met Keri’s dark blue eyes. “Sorry. It’s been a weird week.”
“It’s Chris again, isn’t it?”
Guiltily, she shrugged. She’d never been one to take crap from a man, but Chris knew how to get to her.
“I’m going to have to stage an intervention soon. He’s no good for you.”
“I know. I know.” Lena hugged herself.
As soon as the counter cleared, another line formed. Lena did her best to smile and make sure everyone was served with care. Her mind drifted and the coffee fumes began to mess with her head as she thought about Chris. She hated herself for liking him.
Once again she’d answered her phone when he’d called the night before, despite swearing to avoid him. He only ever contacted her late at night. No matter how much she liked him—loved to gaze into his bright blue eyes and to hear him quote poets she’d never heard of—she knew he’d never be her boyfriend. He only cared to get her to his place so he could get some.
A weight sank onto her chest, until she looked up and gasped at the sea-green eyes of the man who’d caught her interest before joining the line. He smiled directly at her with a charm she’d never seen. She forgot what she’d been thinking of and had trouble focusing on anything but him. Unable to escape his gaze, she batted her eyelashes. Flirting with customers was always fun and it added to the tip jar.
Allowing herself to glance back at him as she prepared drinks, she noticed everyone else seemed to fade beside his enticing appearance. His beard gave him a sexy look. It was trimmed to perfection over his bronze skin, and his dark hair was pulled back in a loose bun. He could’ve stepped out of generations-past.
When Keri asked, “What can I get for you?” he held up his hand and continued to stare at Lena.
“Might I ask to be served by this beautiful young lady?”
Lena’s desire to speak to him increased at the sound of his smooth voice. Before Keri could insult him, she scooted her friend out of the way. “How can I help you?” she asked, daring to search his sea-tinted eyes.
“Ah yes.” He rested his hand on his mouth, which pulled her in even more. “This is my first time in the States, and I seem to be in trouble. I have no idea what to ask for. What do you suggest?”
A giggle escaped her and she covered her mouth, surprised at herself. She didn’t often drool over men. Then again, most men were not like the one before her. Working to control herself, she smiled. “I don’t know. Something about you tells me you’re not much of a coffee guy.”
“No.” He shook his head.
“I’m more of a hot chocolate girl myself, but I think you might like a simple green
“The lady has spoken.” His declaration held a melodious tone that made her breath slow. Something within longed to sink into him, to experience his warmth, and to never have to do anything else again. The sensation held her in a delicious awe.
Her thoughts were brought back to reality when Keri cleared her throat with a loud, obnoxious grumble. As Keri went to pour the drink, Lena pushed her aside. “I’ll get it.” She left Keri staring, obviously confused as she turned back to the man.
“What size do you need?”
“Whatever you think is best.” The sensuous look in his eyes held her attention.
“What’s your name?”
He sent her a questioning look. “Savaunt.”
“Savant?” Skepticism began to pull Lena from her stupor as she wrote his name on his cup.
“That’s my name, with a u.”
Of course it is. She found herself lost in the romance of his presence, despite wanting to shake her head at his explanation. His name alone drew her in, no correction necessary. Her heart gave a flutter as she poured the tea and allowed her gaze to drift over him. From his eyes to his lips, down his neck, to the broad shoulders that exuded strength, he stood steady, all man. For a moment, she forgot where she was.
When she raised her face to meet his gaze again, it spoke to her. She knew he’d been watching her the entire time she’d checked him out and her face grew hot with embarrassment. “That’ll be four seventy-five.”
He handed her a twenty from his pocket after she pushed the drink forward. When she reached out to give him his change, he caught her hand in his. “And what is your name?”
His accent was driving her crazy. She couldn’t place it. Not British or Spanish. He had a slight roll of the tongue, like Italian, or something Middle Eastern. Trying to remember her name, she gaped as goose bumps rushed up her arm and found her breasts. She slid the money into his rough hands and had a moment of fantasy, imagining how he could possess her with his strength. “Charlene, but everybody calls me Lena.”
This man is no joke. He awakened her in ways she’d never experienced. She didn’t often fantasize about her customers. Not like this—no matter how cute they were.
“Lena, a line’s forming,” Keri cut in. She turned to Savaunt. “Thank you, a bahbye.”
As the next customer stepped up, Savaunt moved over and watched Lena from between the coffee machines. “I don’t suppose you spend all your time here?”
Unable to control the wide grin taking over her face, she bit her lip and shook her head.
“Would it be too forward of me to—”
“Yes.” Keri shot him a warning look as she typed on the register. “But if you insist on harassing her, I can call the cops.”
“No,” Lena interjected. She scowled at Keri. Gathering all her powers of speech, she took a breath. “I have a break coming up soon. We can sit and talk in, say, half an hour or so?”
“I await it with all of my being.” He bowed and returned to his seat.
Unable to respond, she watched him as he blew on his tea before taking a sip.
“I await it with all of my being? Who talks like that?” Keri mocked him while Lena poured another drink.
The golden tone of his voice remained with her. “I’ve never met a man like that before.”
“No one has. Watch out for that guy.” She cocked her head.
“I did kind of fall all over myself. But look at him.”
Keri put her hands on her hips. “Kind of? Men named Savaunt-with-a-u, don’t show up in little joints like this, dressed like that.”
“He just did,” Lena teased.
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