Two by Two by Gina Wynn
A match made in...outer space.
When things at Absolution, the bar on space station The Salvation, take a turn for the strange, witch Penelope Hardacre is thrust into the wacky world of matchmaking. Without the meddling of bar owner Geraldine’s alternate personality, Gerald, it should have all been so easy. But, weres with weres, vamps with vamps, fairies with fairies… Penny’s ordered to pair them all without choice. Is she willing to compromise all of her morals to maintain her safety from Gerald, and what should she do with her best friend Vincent—the kind of fanged best friend who makes her feel safe and loved...and jealous? On The Salvation, two by two won’t be quite what Noah had in mind.
“How far do you think they’re sending us? What if we’re on a one-way trip to nowhere?”
“Huh? Who knows? We’re certainly not in England, anymore, Esmerelda. But don’t think about that, now. We’re thinking about your next job.” Vincent dismissed the change in her train of thought with an airy wave of his hand. “So, anyway, as I was saying. You’ve got lots of people on this floating hunk of junk, and none of them are together. Or even practising the horizontal lambada. They need an intervention.”
“An intervention?” Dragging her mind from their future, she stopped in the corridor and faced him. “What has that got to do with good sex?”
“Well, duh.” He brushed the pad of his thumb over her lips. “People is people, babe. When there are two, there is sex.” He leant his head to one side as if considering something. “Two, three, four even. One can work in a pinch, but definitely, two is the best start.”
“I’m glad to see you’ve got the mechanics down after all these years, Vincent. I must be starting to rub off on you, after all.” She nodded as she spoke, and patted his butt. “If there’s anything else you think you might need help with, you know where to find me.”
He drew his brows together. “I’m not in need of your services because I’m not in the habit of paying for my pleasure. But feel free to rub off on me anytime.” His pupils dilated as he spoke, and his gaze intensified.
She shook her head. “That mind thing still doesn’t work on me, you know. ‘Look deep into my eyes…’” she monotoned.
“Whatever. I could have you in my bed if I wanted to.”
Fighting against herself, she started to walk away, but maybe added a tiny extra roll of her hips to crank things up to a low-level sashay. He just didn’t know when to give up. Although she wasn’t sure she wanted him to, and she allowed herself an inner preen in the glow of his flirting but no peeping to see where his gaze landed as she exited stage left.
Suddenly right beside her, Vincent took her arm and brought her against his chest. “It’s just that now isn’t the right time for us, kitten.” He’d lowered his voice as he stroked her hair, and she pouted a little at his attempt to soothe her while she calmed her wild heartbeat from his use of vampire-speed.
“It never is, and it never will be.” Her dramatic sigh of frustration covered her reluctance to step out of his casual embrace. “But before I go, what’s your big idea for my career break, then?”
A grin drew his lips across his face.
“Oh God, Vincent. You look like a cross between a freaky clown and someone with their face slashed open when you do that. Stop it right now.” A shudder worked through her as she spoke.
“Fine. I won’t smile.” He huffed out a breath as his mouth formed a comedy pucker instead. “But, my thought is this: if you want to be a sex therapist”—he flicked lint from his sleeve, as if the idea disinterested him completely—“you need failing but willing couples, so you’re going to need to start at the beginning. In fact—” He stopped and tapped his chin. “What you really need is failing but willing and attractive couples. You know—for your marketing brochure. For when you get far enough to put the sex classes to use.”
“My marketing brochure? Vincent, wha—”
“Yes, yes. I’m getting to that. Patience, young warted one. What you need, is a….” He stood motionless as though about to announce the winner of the talent contest.
From a magical land of castles and kings (Okay, it’s England), Gina doesn’t feel as old as she looks, owns three children (aged 2, 5 and 7) who can’t be tamed, and writes in spare – usually stolen – time. She sometimes bakes—not always with quite the desired results, and has found the only solution to keeping the characters in her head quiet is to placate them with lots of other lovely books and worlds.