Friday, September 30, 2016

Exclusive Excerpt: Emergency Cupid

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
An excerpt from Emergency Cupid
by R.L. Naquin
(a Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle Worlds/Mt. Olympus Employment Agency crossover story coming to Amazon on October 13th!)

Chapter 1

Love was in the air. Literally. And it was a gods-awful mess.
Somebody—no telling who—had acquired or concocted a love bomb and set it off in the middle of Dallas, Texas. Spells like that were usually scams off the Internet, and they rarely worked. Or they worked too well, like this one.
The head office detected the higher-than-average number of bad matches being made in the area and sent a manager to check on the situation. The manager’s report sent the entire office into a tizzy.
So, there I was, the Cupid department’s number one Cupid. My record for making love matches exceeded Devon Yorkshire’s record by thirty-five percent. Devon was the number two Cupid. Not to toot my own flugelhorn, but sending me to fix this problem was an obvious choice.
The affected area was a nine city-block area—a three-by-three section. Right in the center, where the loose magic was thickest, sat Station 58, a firehouse filled with heroic and extremely fit men and women who saved lives every day.
So much potential for matches, both good and bad. If I could clean up the stray magic and disconnect the bad matches the love bomb had caused, I could potentially make an unprecedented number of matches in record-breaking time.
There had to be a gold watch or a trophy or something for that, right? Maybe a party in my honor?
As I moved down the sidewalk—invisible since I was wearing my Cupid wings—love magic floated around me in the form of small, fluffy feathers. Each time I came close to one, I flipped the switch on my handheld Magic-Vac 5000 and sucked it into the attached bag.
At the first corner, I came across a couple wrapped in an embrace and leaning against a blue Volkswagen. The two were oblivious of anything but each other, and their hands wandered each other’s bodies in a way that was highly inappropriate for the middle of the street.
The woman’s hand snaked into the man’s hair as they explored each other’s lips. “Oh, Gary,” the woman murmured.
“Steve.” He nibbled her ear. “My name is Steve.”
As a certified Cupid with a high success rate of instigating true love, I was appalled. This was unnatural. This was a travesty.
I stepped off the curb and drew closer to them. Magical feathers clung to the back of Steve’s neck and poked out of his companion’s dark hair. I fired up the Magic-Vac and ran it over both of them until they were free of fluff. While I was at it, I went ahead and took care of the white dog hair on the man’s pant legs.
“You’re welcome,” I said. I wasn’t concerned about them hearing me. With the wings on, I was as silent as I was invisible. They felt nothing, either, as I ran a hand down first his arm, then hers, removing the self-made match and any residual magic.
They both came up for air and blinked at each other.
Steve stepped back, hands in the air. “I am so sorry, miss. I have no idea what happened.”
The woman’s expression was confused, and her face turned pink. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I don’t know either. Steve, you said?”
He nodded. “Yeah.”

“Megan.” She gave him a shy smile. “I think…I think I’m late for work.” She climbed into her VW and drove around the corner, leaving Steve standing in the street rubbing the back of his neck. After a moment, he crossed the street and strode past a storefront under heavy renovations, then ducked into a pet shop.
Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

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