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Blood Ties (Book 3 of The Blood Bond Series)

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Adam Payne has wanted his mate since the day he knew what they were. After his father waited hundreds of years for his, the young CEO of Payne Media Management can't seem to wait for his. Will it turn bad for him when he makes a mistake that could cost him his love forever?

Romance / Erotica
R.K. Knightly
4.0 1 review
Age Rating:

1. NYU

1. NYU

“Okay, ladies and gentlemen, until next time. Please be safe. This is the city, so I hope you all brought your preferred form of protection for your commute home.”

Quinn fondled the pepper spray in her thick winter coat and thanked the Lord God above for the new slip-free boots she’d gotten for Christmas. The old ones were still serviceable enough, but they’d lost some of the tread over the past three years. It had been time to get new ones. New York in the winter was icy and cold, and even the slush had a tendency to freeze up overnight.

It had been a late night rehearsing for the Spring weekend festival at NYU, and they’d been trying to get a dance routine down, which Quinn had a hand in choreographing. She’d taken years of ballet and tap, along with vocal coaching and acting lessons. She wanted to be cast as a lead on Broadway someday, and she was damned if she wasn’t going to give it her all to get there.

Checking her cell phone before putting it away in her crossbody purse and slinging it over her neck, she zipped up her coat to her chin, adding on a faux fur-lined hood and ear muffs. She’d originally been raised in the South, though she didn’t have much of an accent to speak of. Only when she got loud or very agitated did her Virginia drawl come out, and she had a tendency to remain calm in tense situations. Her mama hadn’t raised a wuss, and the farm she’d lived on had kept her in shape, even if the constant dance lessons hadn’t.

Living in New York after being raised in the country was as different as night and day. Even after three years going to school there, she still had a hard time getting to sleep the first month back at school. A few months in the peaceful quiet of the country could do that to you, and going from getting up when the cock crowed after a night of silence to sticking in earplugs so you didn’t have the constant shouting or car horns keeping you up was something she had get used to. Since she was three and a half years into her university experience and wanted to stay in New York after she graduated to look for a job, she was just going to have to start finding a place that would sell her an MP3 or CD called “Sounds of The City” so she could fall asleep to it all summer long. After this upcoming break in June, she might not head back to the farm for some time, and she’d already had a few offers from other women her age about getting a place together so they could afford rent.

If she had to share a room with one of the other girls to try to make a name for herself on Broadway one day, it would be a small price to pay.

“Hey, Quinn! Wait up!”

Fuck, she thought. I’ll bet Ella wants to share a cab or Uber with me home.

Ella Kasagian had an annoying name to go along with her irritating personality. She was constantly chipper and high-energy, but suffered from the assumption that everyone wanted to be around a person like that 24/7. Quinn was better off by herself, and she hated the fact that Ella had somehow become attached to her. Like a limpet.

“Hey, Ells. I was actually going to walk home tonight. It’s only fifteen blocks, and I wanted to stop off at Marcus’ place on the way,” she lied easily. “I may stay over there, but I think Nina needs a lift.” Nina also needed all the goodwill she could garner. Out of all the women that went to many of her classes with her, she was by far the poorest—but also the nicest. Nina had grown up with very little, winning a full scholarship to NYU after years of struggling. She was a year older and had taken a year off after high school so she could get a full-time job to pay for her books and room and board.

If I can’t make it big in this town. I hope Nina will.

It was very possible that she would, too. She was one of the more talented dancers and singers, and there was always a need for choreographers and extras behind the scenes. For the Spring Festival, each class had to direct their own short play, musical, or revue. Theirs was going to be a remake of an old Stephen Sondheim musical, Into the Woods, but made contemporary. They had picked that since there were a lot of parts to play, and Quinn was happy to have the role of The Baker’s Wife. It had been her favorite part when reading through the script the first time she got it. It had a few solos, some funny bits, and she generally felt for the character and her plight. It was something that she could understand and hold dear to her, not being able to have a child.

Although Quinn had a mother and a father, she didn’t really know who her biological parents were. Her adopted parents, the Swains, had fostered her from a newborn, finally adopting her and two younger brothers who now worked on the farm. Jeremy was 20, only a year younger than Quinn, and Kevin was 18 and would be graduating high school a later after his sister got back after the end of semester. Growing up, they had fought like true siblings, even if they didn’t share a common strand of DNA. While Quinn had long, coppery-red hair, Jeremy and Kevin had a chestnut brown, and the older Swains themselves were both blond. A more unique hodgepodge you couldn’t have found anywhere, unless you went to another foster parents’ house.

Though the Swains hadn’t given their genes to their adopted children, they still treated them all like their own flesh and blood, and none of the siblings lacked in love or care. They might not have grown up rich in things, but what they lacked in property was always made up for in something that couldn’t be monetized.

Quinn was able to leave the presence of Ella behind as she went off to see if Nina wanted to share an Uber with her, and she was able to get out of the old gothic-style building they used to practice in. It was one of many that NYU owned and used for a variety of things, but it was so far from the actual university that only the theater geeks enjoyed the trek over to the upper east side from downtown.

That being said, she made sure that she was covered from head to toe and relatively warm before making sure her purse was hidden beneath her thick coat. The only thing she could get to if needed was her bottle of pepper spray, which she clutched in her un-mittened right hand in her deep coat pocket. It was also an ingrained habit that she kept her eyes down and averted from strangers. The city was an endless well of odd people with even odder behaviors, and at this time of night, there was no telling who you could meet on the way to the corner store or on your way home from class or work. It was always busy, truly living up to the tagline of, the city that never sleeps.

Quinn had been lucky, and the only time she’d ever encountered trouble was once when she’d been nearly assaulted by a wino, but he was easily dealt with and had landed in a puddle of his own piss in the gutter after she pushed him off her when he got too close and his hands were on her.

Tonight was much like any other in the wintertime. Cold and windy with a fair amount of slush on the sidewalk, which is why it was so very important she wear non-slip shoes.

She’d gotten about two blocks away from the rehearsal space when she noticed someone following behind. It wasn’t all that odd, and the best thing for her to do was to make sure her grip on the cannister in her pocket was tight, her finger on the trigger if she needed to whip it out.

Once the footsteps faded away, she relaxed her hand, letting blood flow into the cold tips of her fingers. She didn’t hate the wintertime except for when the nor’easters came and shut everything down, up to and including much of the bus system. Then it was either a fight to the death with another commuter for a taxi, or walk to the subway, which usually smelled like piss and shit because of the homeless that made their abodes in the relatively warm underground.

Three blocks. Five. She was only two blocks away from her small apartment on 81st street when she heard footsteps again. It could have been someone walking their dog or a neighborhood tramp, but she clutched the can in her hand again until she knew her knuckles had turned white.

“Excuse me,” someone said as they passed closer on her right side. When they were a few feet ahead and had turned off to the right at the next block, she picked up her step, her feet aching after the long day.

“Should have fucking taken a goddamn Uber,” she muttered under her breath as she made the turn onto her street. She was halfway down the block on her wat to the little walk-up, and she was glad that the old woman who owned the place and lived below her was as deaf as a stone and had lived in the building for decades. The rent was therefore affordable, and the poor lady just cared that she paid on time. Her electricity and water bill were included, but she had to order cable and purchase a decent internet service. Had you asked Mrs. Genovese on the first floor if she had an email address, she probably would have responded with, well you live here, too! What in God’s name are you talking about?

Mrs. G was deaf and partially blind, so Quinn made sure the garbage was set out on the curb on garbage day so she didn’t forget every Friday. The woman was more likely to call her up to yell into the phone to ask what the date and time was than to remember to bring it out. She didn’t need a reminder of last time when it piled up and it started to attract rats.

The stairs were dusted with a fine layer of snow, and Quinn stuck her forefinger and middle finger around her keys to use them as a weapon if needed as she pulled them out of her pocket. They were kept under her pepper spray, and she was using the other mitten-covered hand to hold onto the banister to keep from slipping. When she finally got her key in the hole, she turned, not realizing that it was already open.

Huh. Mrs. G must have forgotten to lock it. Mrs. Genovese sometimes let one of the feral cats in to feed it, and occasionally would forget to lock it behind her. If she came home one day to find her laptop and everything else gone, it wouldn’t have surprised her one bit.

“Mrs. Genovese? Are you awake?” She never called the woman Mrs. G to her face. There was silence down the hall, and Quinn shook her head. “Deaf as a post, that woman.”

She proceeded to walk up to the second floor, skipping past the one step that creaked the most when she trod on it. She was ready for a hot soak in the tub and a glass of wine, and then she’d rest her weary eyes for the night.

Sticking her key into her apartment door, she was glad when the heat kicked on as soon as she set the thermostat to 75. She kept it low during the day to save on the gas and electric bill, because there was no use keeping it high when no one was there, and some of the heat from the bottom floor rose higher anyway.

Before getting undressed for the night, she checked her cell phone. She tried not to text her mother this late, but Lana Swain always worried about her daughter’s commute to and from school. She debated between sending her a text or not, deciding that she was probably asleep anyway since they both got up at dawn. Her mother silenced her cell phone before bed because of aggravating notifications, so she shot off a quick message to her before plugging the phone into the charger by the night table.

Quinn: Just got home. It was a long day. Love you.

She got undressed quickly and skipped into the bathroom, filling the tub only halfway with bubbles and water before stepping in and sitting down.

“Perfect.” She settled her head against the side of the tub and let the hot water unknot her aching muscles.

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Further Recommendations

Claudia Asbury: Book is a wonderful read just like all of her books. Give it a read you won’t be disappointed!

Chante: Loved it, short and sweet

Cinara: Me gusto mucho Y más el final. Estuvo muy gracioso y lindo el final.

Crystal Patzel: Other than some minor grammatical errors the story itself- going from past to present is fluid and captivating.

amalia3026: Its a fun quick read

Joanna Shenfield: Great story. Lots of drama. Lovely ending

Inoue: Me gusto toda la historia, se la recomiendo a todos en buenísima

tfhemmer5: Another home run on this one as well. Damn keep up with your best self. WONDERFUL just like you're other books. Everyone needs to read this trilogy of books. Nothing but the best.

More Recommendations

oromicristina: Aprecio la forma y el tono con el que se describen los encuentros sexuales de sus personajes. Muy erótica por cierto.

dontknowlove26: I can't believe I am so far in the series all ready there is no way it should be almost done 😞 Great read Thank You!

sonia: Omg like seriously that's crazy he's not dead but he's alive so sad tho at least they can be a family again I hope the 2 find their mates soon !!

sonia: Still loving the series will definitely tell others about this site and your wonderful books

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