Naughty Karma

Karmic Consultants 7


Vivi Andrews


For everyone who fell in love with the Karmic Consultants and anticipated Karma’s turn at a happy ending. Thank you for taking these adventures with me.

Chapter One

Tempest in a Tea-Length Dress

The shop door crashed open and slammed against the far wall, shuddering on its hinges. Prometheus caught it with a mental hand when it would have ricocheted off the wall to retaliate against the woman who’d struck it. He froze the door in place before it could wreak vengeance on that pretty— livid—face. Cracks probably spidered through the frosted glass from the force of her entry, but he didn’t bother to take his eyes off the woman on his threshold long enough to check.

Karma Cox. Owner and benevolent dictator of Karmic Consultants, paranormal problem solvers. A magical Mussolini in heels.

She was here.

“You bastard.”

And she was pissed.

Fully aware it would only enrage her more, Prometheus smiled with undisguised anticipation. Do I have your attention now, sweetheart? “Yes?”

A few weeks ago, he’d been convinced he’d irreparably fucked up his chances—the drunken demon summoning might have been taking their little feud a smidge too far—but this morning he’d woken up with a feeling. An eerie, storm-brewing, category five hurricane about-to-hit feeling.

Prometheus didn’t run from storms. He was the crazy bastard standing in the middle of the tempest, daring the universe to do its worst. And Karma was one hell of a hurricane.

She was regal, statuesque for a woman with a healthy dose of Asian genes in her family tree, but it wasn’t her height that made her commanding. Delicious power pulsed off her, all the more forceful for her anger. Prometheus could taste her barely bridled strength on the air between them—the rich, seductive decadence of dark liquid chocolate with the spicy slap of a cayenne kick.

Every jet-black hair was in place, but there was still something wild and unhinged about her, despite the flawless manicure and the meticulous perfection of her makeup. A hunter-green sheath hugged her from collarbone to knees, exquisitely sexy in spite of the lack of plunging cleavage or thigh revealing slits. All dressed up…

“How was the wedding?”

That snapped her out of her rage-filled silence. Tawny skin flushed vivid scarlet. “How was the wedding?” she repeated, each word gaining intensity until he could physically feel them striking his skin. “You ass.” She stalked into the heart of his shop, the rap of her heels sharp on the hardwood floor. “I was willing to overlook the medallions you’d sold all over town, causing all manner of magical havoc.”

“Overlook? If no one was causing supernatural problems, you wouldn’t have any to solve. I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to your business. I should get a commission.”

She didn’t appear to hear him. Her smoky, sex-kitten voice rasped over his words, gaining volume. “I chose not to respond to the pranks around Samhain and Beltane, and I ignored what I suspect was a curse of some variety designed to prevent me from being able to keep a receptionist for longer than a week.”

“I lifted that curse weeks ago.” Immediately after he’d semi-accidentally summoned a demon to harass her. It seemed the least he could do.

She went on as if he hadn’t spoken, though her hands clenched, rewarding him for the comment. “I refused to sink to your level, decided not to engage, but this? Siccing a demon on my brother’s wedding. A demon.”

“You have an exorcist on staff.”

“You sent a demon to stop my brother’s wedding!” she shrieked in an admirable impression of a banshee.

“It was a minor demon. And it wasn’t tasked with stopping the wedding. Just disrupting it a little.”

“A little? You almost killed my wedding planner!”

“Are you always this concerned with things that almost happen? I almost rescue orphans from burning buildings on a regular basis. Then I remember I don’t particularly give a shit about orphans.”

“You want things that actually happened? He actually possessed the wedding planner’s car and crashed it. He stalked her for three weeks. He kidnapped her!”

“What’s a little kidnapping among friends?”

“We are not friends. You’re—” She broke off, reduced to sputtering her rage.

“Dashing? Magnetic? Unscrupulous?”

If she could have lit him on fire with her eyes, he would have been a smoldering pile of ash. “There are no words vile enough to describe you.”

“You realize all of this could have been avoided if you’d let me hire you in the first place.”

“My people don’t work for ethical black holes.”

“Ethics.” He flicked his fingers dismissively. “Rules we make for ourselves are easily changed, bent or broken. Survival of the fittest is the truest law. Unbreakable.”

“I’m not going to debate morality with you.”

“What are you going to do? Punish me?” He smiled wolfishly. “That could be fun. I have been a bad, bad boy.”

She glared at him, sparks all but shooting from her eyes, hands on hips, her anger radiating a fierce heat. She’d missed her calling as a dominatrix. Give that woman a whip.

“You’ve gone too far this time,” she hissed. “You wanted war? Well, you’d better brace your ass because war is exactly what you’re going to get.”

Bring it on. Prometheus barely stopped himself from issuing the challenge. It was hard to remember when looking into her fiery brown eyes that going toe-to-toe with Karma wasn’t his end game. Step One had been to make it so the ice queen couldn’t ignore him—mission accomplished there.

Step Two might be trickier. Cooperation had never been his strong suit, but he needed hers. “As it happens, I don’t want war. I want your help.”

“You’ve done an excellent job of making sure I couldn’t care less what you want.”

“Not even if it comes with a truce? No more pranks, no more curses. I’ll be on my best behavior.” For all that’s worth. “Helping me is a small price to pay for peace of mind.”

“No.” She pivoted toward the open door, revealing the plunge of the backless dress. He lost his smile. She was bare to the small of her back, the soft curve of her spine vulnerable, exposed, lickable, but Prometheus had more pressing concerns than the itch to tease every inch of her silky skin.

He reached out a mental hand and slammed the door shut. “We aren’t done here.” Power thrummed in his voice. Life or death had always sounded foolishly dramatic, but when it was his death, that changed things substantially. He didn’t bother playing nice—not that he ever did.

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