An Excerpt from Gulietta

Gulietta

(#eroticromance #darkfantasy, #mfm)

guliettasmallOne explosive encounter with an immortal shapeshifter finds seductive Gulietta embracing her powerful, magical destiny…and so much more…

Kansas City-raised Gulietta. Fathered by a far more magical species than human – the identity of whom her mother never shared. Sexual needs and desires not fully understood. Secrets abound.

Gulietta’s uneasy reality is tossed onto its head when a handsome stranger enters her life and whisks her away. Games played, lives and freedoms hang in the balance. This ain’t Kansas City, and Gulietta isn’t Dorothy, but she may be the hope for the future of the Sabine females in Antius’s court. Will she also be the savior of the immortal shapeshifter, Quintus–apparently the one man who has the ability to satisfy her in so many ways? Or is he the only one? The biggest prize in this game may be love…once all the secrets are finally revealed…

EXCERPT

Kansas City, Six Months Before

 Quintus watched her from the darkening shadows of a damp, garbage-infested alley, having only just arrived in Kansas City on orders from Antius. To approach the woman too quickly would send her running like a doe sighting the hunter who tracked it. He glanced up at the black sky. No, the moon would drive her to him. He slowed the breaths in his huge body, and his cock surged as he watched her pass slowly along the dark, wet pavement.

“She’s beautiful,” the man standing next to him murmured.

“She won’t be happy when she discovers what Antius has planned for her. You should go to her apartment and wait there. I will bring her along when she is more…agreeable.”

Within moments the other man had shifted to wolf form and loped off, swallowed by the darkness. Quintus turned back to watch Gulietta as she made her way along the deserted street.

She was not what he’d expected for the daughter of a Sabine woman and a powerful, lusty satyr. Although, as far as Quintus knew, she was not aware of her heritage and perhaps that was the reason for her easy grace. She didn’t look the predator. She looked human. Thus, his purpose for being there—to make her aware of her ancient lineage. To return her to her proper place at the side of her father, Antius.

She was…striking. A fitting mate for a man of Roman blood. She walked with purpose, her strides measured yet graceful, shoulders back, forcing her firm, young breasts up. Temptingly full. Lean hips, strong flanks. Perfect proportions. Not as tall as some of the women of Antius’s court. Many of them were almost Amazonian in their lusty proportions. Strong, fierce women.

Not this wench. She intrigued him. More dangerous than the others. Her sexual energy, a gift from her sire, undulated, crackling the night air, surrounding her, beckoning lovers to her side. No problem for this female to assuage her sexual hunger.

Man after man passed her, giving her hungry looks that she scorned. She could take her pick of the lot. Humans unable to resist her. Quintus could tell she had not yet peaked. He had chosen the time with care. The only way to bring a female like her to heel was to take her at her most vulnerable moment.

She rode the edge carefully. Quintus had never seen such self-control in a Sabine of the satyr court. They usually submitted to their instincts quickly and effortlessly. This one fought the natural order.

She staggered and clutched at the hard edge of the brick building, hunched over in pain. Her knees started to buckle, but she didn’t drop. It was the satyr blood—it had to be what kept her on her feet. Most of the women of his acquaintance would have shed their clothes long before this, flat on their backs, legs spread, welcoming man after man to quench the lust.

He smelled the earthy cinnamon scent of her and dragged the smell deeply into his lungs, filling his lungs with her aroma.

Another man passed by. Quintus saw her clench her fist. She fought valiantly against her sexual nature. He was impressed by her control. But he knew that eventually she would have no choice. She would give in to the lust. The need for that connection only fucking would provide. Straightening her shoulders, she staggered forward. Two steps and another attack claimed her. Her natural-born instincts would win out.

Quintus heard the soft groan. The breathless siren’s call spun through him. Her need was desperate. Twenty feet more and she would reach where he stood in the shadows. And the full moon would drive her passion. It would be her most vulnerable moment. And then he would take her. Binding her to him in the most elemental way of their immortal kind. Only then would he take her back to Antius. The old satyr would not cheat him of the prize. Not this time.

His cock pulled hard, demanding surcease. His muscles knotted as he readied himself to pounce. A deep growl rolled from his throat. Fangs bared, he gathered strength, calling from his animal core. There would be time for explanations later.

Would she fight him? Or would the need be too fierce? Would she spread her thighs for him without a battle? Did she cry out when she climaxed? Would the juices of her quim taste of honeyed mead, sweet enough to quench his millennia of thirst?

The night reeked of danger, cutting through the scent of her. Could she smell it as well? Did her mother’s warrior blood flow hot and heavy through her veins? Or was she too far gone to be able to detect the danger, her drive now only to appease the lust burning her up?

How soft would the female petals between her legs be? How tightly would her cunt grip him? By the gods, her strength crackled through the air. The need to mate her ruined his mind. Quintus studied the light and shadow of the street.

His preternatural awareness heightened, honed in and caught the scent of immortal attack. But who?

And then he saw what he had missed. A portion of the mist solidified into form.

“Fuck.”

As soon as he formed, the man rushed at Gulietta, shoving her to the pavement. One who would usurp his right to her. Quintus shifted to his wolf form and leaped at the attacker, fangs bared, a growling rage erupting from his throat as he fastened his teeth onto the thick wrist of the satyr.

The satyr howled and struggled to free himself. These lesser satyrs were by no means fighters. The woman was no victim. She curled her fingers and scratched at her attacker’s face, causing him to yelp even louder with pain. Tracks of blood decorated his dark skin.

Quintus used his large furry body to shove him off Gulietta and onto his back. A human corner of his brain warned him not to kill the fool beneath him. Too many questions if his kind where discovered on human soil. Quintus shifted back to human form.

“Leave now, Titus, before I forget Antius’s law and kill you right here. You will not claim what does not belong to you.”

“Damn you, Quintus. You can’t have it all. She doesn’t have a speck of Roman blood.”

“She is not for you. Try it again and the next time you will die and your satyr’s horns will hold a place of honor on my mantel. Now get out.”

He cautiously lifted off the blood-streaked satyr.

“One of these days, Roman, you will pay.” He flung the words at Quintus.

“She’s Antius’s daughter. Do you really think he’d let her mate with you? All you want is the power you think she has or will have. I am here to safeguard her from the likes of you.”

“She doesn’t even know what she is. How can she begin to use her power? She doesn’t even look like one of us.”

“Leave, Titus. Now.”

“This is not the last of this, Quintus.” And then he was gone, a trail of mist rising into the sky and vanishing.

Quintus whirled around only to find that Gulietta was no longer where Titus had dropped her to the ground. Already one block farther along, she was on her hands and knees in front of a man. Her hands at his belt.

Quintus raced down the street, ripped her away from the stranger, and shoved her back into the dark alley. He turned and growled at the man, baring his fangs. It was enough. The man spun around and ran down the street.

Quintus turned back to face Gulietta.

“You don’t need him. I’ll give you what you need.”

Her arms were wrapped around her waist as she tried to hold back the pain. When she looked up at him, her eyes blazed with blue-violet fire. Her teeth clenched tight, her lush, red lips drawn back in a grimace. He understood the war waged behind that look.

The lust was upon her. He saw it in the lines of her body as they softened and yet the sexual aura intensified, the look of the siren predator in every line. Her fingers slowly unfurled to shove her jeans down over her hips. He gripped her hand and felt the red-hot heat of her skin that almost singed him. The glow of sex, ruby silk flesh, the scent of hot cinnamon, spicy and enticing permeated the air as she revealed her sex.

“Then take me, damn you. I can’t stand the pain any longer.”

Quintus shoved her back into the alley as he released his cock from the confinement of his pants. It bobbed thick and tall. Larger than most men’s. But Gulietta was not most women. She would take him. Again and again and again.

She was a satyress and was meant for him.

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Universal link for other bookstores (B&N, KOBO, etc.) : http://books2read.com/gulietta
Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E0U0DIY
Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678748

Excerpt from Run To Ground

Run To Ground

(#darkfantasy, #MM, #shapeshifter, #werewolves, #eroticromance, #secondchance)
In the savage and ancient breed of mythic wuv, two men fight for their clan, their lives, and to reclaim the passion one threw away…

Tallin Undine was once human, but is now a wuv-beast, a creature of the Zhalazti clan, ruled by the moon, and made through moon-madness and savagery. With his human family slaughtered, Tallin continually struggles to hold on to some bit of his humanity. After being scarred by a former lover, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now, his clan chief has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission is to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief. Yet there’s one problem—Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again, who savagely mated him so long ago, then left him to pick up the pieces of his life.

When he was too young to fully control his inner-beast, Emmanuel Grimshaw claimed—and maimed—a man he loved. After fleeing his clan, he’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace Emmanuel thought he’d found with a human companion vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s inner-beast rises and he reclaims Tallin, binding him once again.
Now, Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without Tallin at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

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EXCERPT

Tallin turned away from the place they’d chosen to consummate the werevaria claiming. He forced his animal down. A large paw-like hand settled upon his shoulder, the claws digging into his human flesh. He turned to gaze up at Emmanuel’s man-beast visage.

“You want something that is not our nature,” he said in a deep throaty voice. His red-hued eyes glittered. “I need your help. I need your…commitment.”

Tallin felt the possession of the claws on his shoulder, drawing his blood. The warm crimson liquid that spilled down his shoulder.

“It shouldn’t be this difficult,” Tallin said, “but something is different between us–something has changed. You and I…” He couldn’t help but be truthful, though he would prefer to remain silent and follow orders as he was bred to do. Emmanuel’s grip tightened, but so quickly he transformed back to human form and his claws no longer dug into Tallin’s shoulder. His human grip seemed just as firm.

“Tell me,” Emmanuel said in his human tone.

“It all comes so easily to you,” Tallin said. “Watching you change is breathtaking, almost rapturous, waiting for your beast to emerge. But it’s not so much a beast–wolfish alone–it’s that blend of otherwordly creature that mesmerizes me. When I transform there is no sophistication, no purity to the shift. We are so different.”

“You’re of my line’s blood. You were made by a Grimshaw.”

“I know all that. The blood we share forced my allegiance to your family. That’s why…when you left I–”

“Do you think what I do here is because I fault you on your allegiance to Hirmes?”

Tallin shook his head. It was so much more complicated than that. “It’s not that. You and I–it was more. And now…” How did he come up with the right words? “You say you want to change and make us more civilized so that we can abide among humans. With Hirmes it was different. With you I want monogamy. It’s important in a way it never was before. I know it’s not possible, especially concerning the direness of the situation. And they’re in a position to force your hand in this.”

Emmanuel seemed to consider. “You realize without their loyalty there’s little chance I can succeed in my challenge. I need them at my back. Just as I need you at my side.”

“I know that.” Tallin was being a fool. He had no proper claim. He wasn’t even blood-born. He was rikochetji. These petty human jealousies had to stop or he could cost Emmanuel his life and the clan’s leadership position. “I’m a fool. It’s of no consequence.”

He was a mongrel and mongrels had no standing. They took the scraps that were offered and licked the hand that offered the choicest pieces of reward, even if it was followed by a kick to the ribs. Such had been the way with the Zhalazti and the riko. Such would be the way with Emmanuel.

He tipped his head to the side baring his bloodied throat. “Your will, Alpha. I’m yours to command.”

Emmanuel seemed to study him for long moments, his eyes went to the puncture marks on Tallin’s neck. “We are not a civilized race at heart, are we?” he said as he trailed his fingers through the blood, then brought them to his lips and painted them red. He leaned forward and kissed Tallin. The primal taste of Tallin’s blood melded them together. He pulled back. “You are not a mongrel in my eyes. You are my equal. Because I seek to be chief makes you no less.” He gripped Tallin’s head. “I have always loved you. I need their loyalty, their allegiance. The history of our kind leaves me no choice. But, Tallin, know this–you are mine in a way none of the rest can ever be. You are my mate. I left because of the depth of my emotions and my inability to deal with such strong passions. The beast would not rest when you were near. I couldn’t control it.”

He stroked the scarred side of Tallin’s face. “My lack of control almost killed you. I’m back to save our clan from a brute. I can’t allow my personal human feelings to sway what I must do to secure my pack. You brought me here; you knew what it would take to secure their commitment. We all make sacrifices for the well being of the clan. Tell me you didn’t accept our fate when you came for me.”

“Do what you must, Alpha. I’ll support you.” Emmanuel was right. This had to play out, and in order for Emmanuel to show a strong front he needed the intimate ties that bonding with these werevaria would give him. One by one he would claim his pack, and at one level Tallin had to respect that commitment.

He felt his beast rear. There was only one way to properly support his alpha. Slowly the shift consumed him. He howled. Emmanuel shifted much more quickly. And then they turned to face the others. The low rumble resembled the roll of thunder across the sky, growing louder and louder.

Emmanuel surged forward, fangs bared as he confronted Valmont, the first who would submit and swear allegiance.

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077SQKKK2
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Gulietta – an excerpt

Blurb:

guliettasmallThe lovely and seductive Gulietta requires sex on an inhumanly frequent basis. It isn’t until the Roman immortal, Quintus, barrels into her life, revealing the identity of her father, that suddenly she’s dropped into a magical world populated with atyrs, fairies, and shapeshifters. It seems her “problem” is not rooted in human sexual dysfunction after all. Gulietta finally discovers who and what her father is–as well as what she is. And Quintus has made it clear he is the man who can provide exactly what she needs. That is, if her father’s game plan doesn’t get in the way…

 

EXCERPT:

Satyr’s Court, Reate, Italy

The wide braided red leather collars were a striking improvement over the boring black of her father’s court. The father of whom she’d only recently learned the identity.

Red marked the members of her newly-appointed attendants. Gulietta rose from the green vine-entangled cedar throne. She pulled a succulent purple grape from the wooden tray and popped it into her mouth. As she bit down, sweet juice flooded her mouth. Gulietta’s gaze drifted around the courtyard as she stepped off the dais. Dancing stopped. Flute music and drums ceased as all eyes turned to her. Who would have thought this was where she would end up? Who could have known that her curiosity about the big black door in the photograph would lead to her destiny? This was certainly not what she had envisioned for herself.

She brushed a hand down the curve of her naked hip. She pushed her long black hair over her shoulder. In this land, behind the black door, clothing was optional. An afterthought.

“Continue with the music,” she said as she strode across the garden, elves and fairies and lesser satyrs of the court making a path. Immediately the sound of music filled the courtyard once again. The fauns and nymphs began to dance, twirling and swaying to the light, cheerful music.

“Take care, Gulietta. You push me too far.”

The smile was wiped from her lush lips. Her horns tingled. A rack of antlers, feminine, yet deadly. She whirled around to face the tall Roman who shadowed her every move.

“Your duty is finished, Quintus. You have returned me to my supposedly rightful place. You have done your duty to my father. Why are you still here?”

Without warning he fastened his hand to her slender hips and yanked her toward him. Too close for her to drop forward and use her horns. She beat her hands against his iron-hard chest.

“Let me go. I’ve let you bully me as much as I’m going to.”

He shoved her backward until her back was against a stone wall. Only then did he remove one hand from her waist and fist it into her hair, effectively stilling her movements.

“Bullied you? I’ve protected you. I’ve guided you.” He leaned closer until his hot breath brushed across her ear. “I’ve claimed you. And now you belong to me, Sabine woman. Your father promised you to me if I brought you back safely.”
She struggled against him to no avail. That was the whole problem. Gulietta was a duty and nothing more. A means to an end for Quintus. More than a thousand years had passed since Sabine women had first been the coin of prosperity for Romulus, nothing but a way to populate Rome.

Gulietta beat her fists against Quintus’s chest, he arched her head to the side, exposing her neck, taut and bare. His mouth fastened onto her flesh, fangs scraping across and then piercing her skin. She felt the rush of hot connection as he quelled her anger, forcing her to submit.

His tongue licked across the aching wounds as she felt her resistance ebb away. And yet the blood rushed hotly through her veins. When he finally raised his head and forced her to look at him, his eyes burned like molten steel newly forged in fire. His expression dark and lusty. This man–no, this immortal Roman guardian–a servant to her father–dug deep into her heart. And she hated that she could not find the strength to resist him. She would give anything to not want him–to not need him–as badly as she did.

She felt the familiar pain, a tug of lust that shot straight down to her vulva. She throbbed with desire, a need that thus far she had been unable to deny. And that only Quintus could ease.

“Quintus.” His name, an ache of longing. The smell of him. She leaned forward and licked at a nipple, tasting him, then suddenly drove her teeth into his flesh.

 

Now available at these ebook retail outlets:

Universal link for other bookstores (B&N, KOBO, etc.) : http://books2read.com/gulietta

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E0U0DIY

Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678748

Run To Ground – An Excerpt

A savage and passionate breed of mythic wuv. Two men—alpha and mate, fight for their clan, and their lives, and to reclaim the passion one threw away when he left. Loyalty might be earned, but could trust be regained? There are no half-measures in the world of the Zhalazti. One will rule; one will submit. A new pack will arise. It is the law of their species and all will obey. Submit or die.

Tallin Undine, human-made savage wolfish creature. He was once human, now wuv-beast—a creature ruled by the moon—made through moon-madness and savagery, his human family slaughtered. It is a continual struggle to hold on to some bit of his humanity. Scarred by his former lover, a Zhalazti Luminarian of noble and ancient heritage, during a rite of passage, who then abandoned him, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now the vaida, his Zhalazti clan chief, his accepted alpha, has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission—to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief against a Negraluna cursed usurper to the position. One problem – Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again. It was Emmanuel who mated him so long ago, and then left Tallin to pick up the pieces of what was left of his life. But Tallin has little choice.

Emmanuel Grimshaw, of the Zhalazti Natasia, a Luminarian, born of full-moon royal heritage, walked away from his clan, his mate, because of the savageness with which he claimed, and maimed, a man he loved, when he was too young to control his beast. He’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace he thought he’d found with his human companion, Niles, vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s beast within rises and in a savage mating, he reclaims Tallin—binding him, once again.

Zhalazti wuvs, like no other; a mysterious nomadic tribe—not the werewolf of loriRunToGround_medc myth. Descendants of a Sumarian god and his consort, who birthed the gods of the underworld, and evil demons. Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without the human stray, Tallin, at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

EXCERPT

All things were dead in the garden, curled up, brown, brittle. Except there was a certain beauty to it in the thin veneer of frost that covered everything. From wilted brittle vine to defeated rose. The crystalline sparkle made it seem as though one stood in a vastly different world than that of human.

Tallin had waited. Upon his arrival in Vienna he’d taken rooms at a hostelry on the outskirts, near a densely wooded area, allowing him freedom to run when his animal urged him to flee the confines of the city. Mostly it occurred in the twilight hours. But it was early morning now as he stood in the garden, behind the elm waiting for Emmanuel to emerge. Having watched him for the last three days, Tallin had discerned his routine.
A smoke in the morning in the garden, to the university for lectures until mid-afternoon. Home to fuck his pet and take tea, not leaving the house again until twilight, and then off to the opera or some social event. Home again at two or three in the morning to fuck his pet again, before turning in for a few hours of rest. Emmanuel rose early, his pet later, obviously exhausted by the long grueling schedule Emmanuel set for them each day. So this was the best time of day to catch him alone. Today Tallin would confront him and then he would know what his next move must be.

He pulled out his pocket watch, flipped it open to check the time, closed it and repocketed it. Any moment now and Emmanuel would step out into the briskness of the winter morn. Being Zhalazti, the chill would not affect him keenly as it did humans. Nor did it affect Tallin in quite the same way. In fact, their kind thrived in the colder climes.
He scented the smoke of the cigar before he actually saw Emmanuel emerge from the house. Dressed in dark trousers and a white shirt unbuttoned at the neck, black leather shoes polished to an unmarred shine. His shirt sleeves were rolled back to reveal his dark, densely pelted arms. He turned away from where Tallin stood at the corner of the garden and stared up at the lightening sky.

He took the cigar out of his mouth, released a line of smoke into the cold stillness. Still a fine fashion of a man as he stood astride. Broad shoulders stretching the white shirt to its limits, tapering to narrow hips, muscular buttocks and thighs—a measure of the beast that thrived in his Lunaria blood. This morning he looked…human. More so than he ever had back in France. He looked almost tamed, so refined. A gentleman. Perhaps even more charismatic and seductive than Tallin had ever seen him.

“I know you’re there,” Emmanuel suddenly said. “You might as well come out of hiding. I can smell you. One does not mistake the scent of wuv blood—even if it is diluted blood.” He spun around to face exactly where Tallin stood. Tallin stepped out from behind the tree. Emmanuel’s eyes flashed, his focus going immediately to the eye patch and the scars on his face. Tallin didn’t flinch.

Emmanuel nodded. “I thought it was you. Why are you here, Tallin? I’m not returning. I’ve found some balance here. Some peace.”

“With your jijo? I take it he serves you well.”

Emmanuel’s eyes flashed angrily, a growl erupted from his throat. “Leave Niles out of this. He’s human and he’s fragile.

Tallin stepped more fully into the garden. “I know exactly how fragile humans are. I do recall something of their humanity.”

Emmanuel lifted the cigar to his lips and studied Tallin silently for a long time. The tip of the cigar glowed orange as he sucked. Tallin recalled Emmanuel’s special skill at sucking.

“You still have a fondness for cigars.”

Emmanuel released a cloud of smoke to meld with the frigid air. He set the cigar on the edge of the table he stood next to. “You should know. You were the one who stole the first box from Shiri. Have you lost your fondness for savoring fine things?”

“I have tempered somewhat.”

“I heard you have been named a captain in Hirmes’ war pack. You have come far in a short time. Few possessed ever—”

“Survive as long as I have?” Tallin said mildly. He should have died in the rite of passage but he hadn’t. He’d lived and thus gained some measure of respect. Of course, he’d not survived without cost.

“I wasn’t going to say that. We both know the reason humans are made wuv. It’s no secret,” Emmanuel said.

“Exactly. I was trained for it, wasn’t I? Treated little less than a slave—humans—jijos—were treated better than I was. But rikos are the expendable ones, aren’t they?”

“I helped you train, Tallin. I wanted you to survive, you know that.”

Tallin smiled bitterly. “What you did was give with one hand and take with the other. I never really knew where I stood with you until the hunt. Then we both knew, didn’t we?”
Emmanuel spun away. “Why are you here? Everything you speak of is in the past. It serves no purpose in bringing it up now.”

Tallin tamped down the beast and the memories. His wounded eye itched, the scars on his face throbbed with the memory. “Hirmes is dead, Emmanuel…”

Purchase on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077SQKKK2

An Excerpt from Run To Ground

Run To Ground

(#darkfantasy, #MM, #shapeshifter, #werewolves, #eroticromance, #secondchance #kindleunlimited)

Blurb:

RunToGround_medA savage and passionate breed of mythic wuv. Two men—alpha and mate, fight for their clan, and their lives, and to reclaim the passion one threw away when he left. Loyalty might be earned, but could trust be regained? There are no half-measures in the world of the Zhalazti. One will rule; one will submit. A new pack will arise. It is the law of their species and all will obey. Submit or die.

Tallin Undine, human-made savage wolfish creature. He was once human, now wuv-beast—a creature ruled by the moon—made through moon-madness and savagery, his human family slaughtered. It is a continual struggle to hold on to some bit of his humanity. Scarred by his former lover, a Zhalazti Luminarian of noble and ancient heritage, during a rite of passage, who then abandoned him, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now the vaida, his Zhalazti clan chief, his accepted alpha, has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission—to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief against a Negraluna cursed usurper to the position. One problem – Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again. It was Emmanuel who mated him so long ago, and then left Tallin to pick up the pieces of what was left of his life. But Tallin has little choice.

Emmanuel Grimshaw, of the Zhalazti Natasia, a Luminarian, born of full-moon royal heritage, walked away from his clan, his mate, because of the savageness with which he claimed, and maimed, a man he loved, when he was too young to control his beast. He’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace he thought he’d found with his human companion, Niles, vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s beast within rises and in a savage mating, he reclaims Tallin—binding him, once again.

Zhalazti wuvs, like no other; a mysterious nomadic tribe—not the werewolf of loric myth. Descendants of a Sumarian god and his consort, who birthed the gods of the underworld, and evil demons. Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without the human stray, Tallin, at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

EXCERPT:

All things were dead in the garden, curled up, brown, brittle. Except there was a certain beauty to it in the thin veneer of frost that covered everything. From wilted brittle vine to defeated rose. The crystalline sparkle made it seem as though one stood in a vastly different world than that of human.

Tallin had waited. Upon his arrival in Vienna he’d taken rooms at a hostelry on the outskirts, near a densely wooded area, allowing him freedom to run when his animal urged him to flee the confines of the city. Mostly it occurred in the twilight hours. But it was early morning now as he stood in the garden, behind the elm waiting for Emmanuel to emerge. Having watched him for the last three days, Tallin had discerned his routine.
A smoke in the morning in the garden, to the university for lectures until mid-afternoon. Home to fuck his pet and take tea, not leaving the house again until twilight, and then off to the opera or some social event. Home again at two or three in the morning to fuck his pet again, before turning in for a few hours of rest. Emmanuel rose early, his pet later, obviously exhausted by the long grueling schedule Emmanuel set for them each day. So this was the best time of day to catch him alone. Today Tallin would confront him and then he would know what his next move must be.

He pulled out his pocket watch, flipped it open to check the time, closed it and repocketed it. Any moment now and Emmanuel would step out into the briskness of the winter morn. Being Zhalazti, the chill would not affect him keenly as it did humans. Nor did it affect Tallin in quite the same way. In fact, their kind thrived in the colder climes.
He scented the smoke of the cigar before he actually saw Emmanuel emerge from the house. Dressed in dark trousers and a white shirt unbuttoned at the neck, black leather shoes polished to an unmarred shine. His shirt sleeves were rolled back to reveal his dark, densely pelted arms. He turned away from where Tallin stood at the corner of the garden and stared up at the lightening sky.

He took the cigar out of his mouth, released a line of smoke into the cold stillness. Still a fine fashion of a man as he stood astride. Broad shoulders stretching the white shirt to its limits, tapering to narrow hips, muscular buttocks and thighs—a measure of the beast that thrived in his Lunaria blood. This morning he looked…human. More so than he ever had back in France. He looked almost tamed, so refined. A gentleman. Perhaps even more charismatic and seductive than Tallin had ever seen him.

“I know you’re there,” Emmanuel suddenly said. “You might as well come out of hiding. I can smell you. One does not mistake the scent of wuv blood—even if it is diluted blood.” He spun around to face exactly where Tallin stood. Tallin stepped out from behind the tree. Emmanuel’s eyes flashed, his focus going immediately to the eye patch and the scars on his face. Tallin didn’t flinch.

Emmanuel nodded. “I thought it was you. Why are you here, Tallin? I’m not returning. I’ve found some balance here. Some peace.”

“With your jijo? I take it he serves you well.”

Emmanuel’s eyes flashed angrily, a growl erupted from his throat. “Leave Niles out of this. He’s human and he’s fragile.

Tallin stepped more fully into the garden. “I know exactly how fragile humans are. I do recall something of their humanity.”

Emmanuel lifted the cigar to his lips and studied Tallin silently for a long time. The tip of the cigar glowed orange as he sucked. Tallin recalled Emmanuel’s special skill at sucking.
“You still have a fondness for cigars.”

Emmanuel released a cloud of smoke to meld with the frigid air. He set the cigar on the edge of the table he stood next to. “You should know. You were the one who stole the first box from Shiri. Have you lost your fondness for savoring fine things?”

“I have tempered somewhat.”

“I heard you have been named a captain in Hirmes’ war pack. You have come far in a short time. Few possessed ever—”

“Survive as long as I have?” Tallin said mildly. He should have died in the rite of passage but he hadn’t. He’d lived and thus gained some measure of respect. Of course, he’d not survived without cost.

“I wasn’t going to say that. We both know the reason humans are made wuv. It’s no secret,” Emmanuel said.

“Exactly. I was trained for it, wasn’t I? Treated little less than a slave—humans—jijos—were treated better than I was. But rikos are the expendable ones, aren’t they?”

“I helped you train, Tallin. I wanted you to survive, you know that.”

Tallin smiled bitterly. “What you did was give with one hand and take with the other. I never really knew where I stood with you until the hunt. Then we both knew, didn’t we?”
Emmanuel spun away. “Why are you here? Everything you speak of is in the past. It serves no purpose in bringing it up now.”

Tallin tamped down the beast and the memories. His wounded eye itched, the scars on his face throbbed with the memory. “Hirmes is dead, Emmanuel…”

 

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