Hello Snippetters! A happy holiday weekend to those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving in the US this past Thursday.
This week's snippet comes from Jewel Cave, which is book 3 in my Circles romantic mystery suspense series.
Griff is a US Marshal and Dylan is the man who's kidnapped Griff's partner, Clint. Dylan has taken Clint to the Jewel Caves in the Black Hills and Griff is hot on Clint's trail...
Griff tried to work out the timeline. The motel checkout was eleven—Dylan wouldn’t stay longer. He’d never risk calling attention to himself and the fact he had a traveling companion who was there against his will.
Someone pounded on the bathroom door. Griff jumped and muttered, “What the hell? Never mind criminals, I’ll slip and kill myself in the shower.”
“Griff, get out here!” Jim shouted.
Griff turned the water off and grabbed a towel. “Hold on!” he called out. It took a few minutes for him to wipe excess water off and pull his jeans on. Flinging open the door, he asked, “What?”
“Your personal locator beacon went off,” Candice said. She stood behind Jim.
Griff was too shocked to say anything. He stood with water dripping off his hair, staring at them, eyebrows raised.
Jewel Cave is available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.
Read many other great snippets at Rainbow Snippets.
Don't miss out on my great big sale! This sale ends on Sunday November 29, 2020 so don't wait!
99c each only on Amazon!
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This is a little bit from my next release. Code Name Jack Rabbit is book 1 of The Vampire Guard, a spin-off of The Sleepless City series written with Anne Barwell.
Release day is January 12, 2021 and it's available for pre-order on Amazon. I'll put the links under the excerpt.
“Let me see if I have this straight.” Simon paced back and forth in the living room. “The Secret Service wasn’t the Secret Service, but some intelligence-gathering clandestine society, populated mostly by vampires, a few humans, and one or two werewolves, none of us have ever heard of before?”
Declan nodded. “Yes.” He shrugged. “Except we all in a way have since they sometimes work under the auspices of known organizations such as the Secret Service, Mossad, and MI-6 to name a few examples.”
“And apparently sometimes the Boggslake, Ohio, PD,” Forge added.
“Said organization, the….” Simon stopped and put his hands on his hips.
“Akhkharu Nasaru,” Blair said. “They said considering how all of us”—he made a circle with one hand indicating the lot of them—“work together, you and Ben could be trusted with some information about them. Besides, we need you two to help us cover the fact we more or less vanished for two days.”
“Vampire Guard.” Lucas held up the travel mug Ori had given him. “See, it’s on my mug. I have to admit these guys have branding down to an art.”
“As I was saying, this Vampire Guard is the reason the four of you were gone for nearly two days? They used a recording of a completely shifted vampire scream to knock Declan, Forge, and Blair out and you, Lucas, were hit in the back of the head. You came to on an airplane and saw a hologram of the Secret Service agent who isn’t really a Secret Service agent, but an operative in this Akh—” Simon threw his hands in the air. “Vampire Guard?”
Forge nodded. “That about sums it up.”
“How does a person who can’t be seen on film or in a mirror appear in a hologram?” Ben asked.
“Oh, it’s pretty cool,” Lucas said and looked around at the others. “Apparently they discovered it’s possible using certain equipment after someone’s cat kept hissing at a mirror that didn’t have a reflection, though a woman who was a vampire was in the room and in front of the mirror.” He stopped and pulled in a deep breath.
“They want us to go work for them,” Blair added. “It was intense at first, but after we were there for a bit and saw more of the facility, even these two”—he jerked his thumb in the general direction of Forge and Declan—“chilled out.”
Anne and I have a new group for The Sleepless City shared universe. We have an "I Am Writing" day every Sunday where we'll share WIP excerpts. We welcome other authors to post an excerpt from their WIPs as well.
AG Meiers has a new MM contemporary romance out: "Promise Me." And there's a giveaway!
A fortune shouldn’t get you killed. a Promise shouldn’t break your heart.
Attorney Rafe Stanton knows making promises is a dangerous thing. Over and over he has failed to keep people under his protection safe. For years he watched his younger cousin Noah lose his battle with drugs and alcohol, which eventually led to a deadly car accident. When he finds out about Noah’s secret marriage to Logan Tate, Rafe has one last chance for redemption.
Inheriting a fortune should be a blessing, but for Logan life never works out that way. He’s learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true—and if they do, well, there is usually a hefty price tag attached. All he really wants is a quiet life, but that isn’t in the cards when his apartment gets broken into and a pretentious lawyer from Boston arrives thinking he can call the shots.
The two men don’t see eye-to-eye about the inheritance, but with Noah’s powerful family coming after Logan, they find themselves reluctantly on the same side. A gunman, greedy in-laws, and meddling friends are not enough trouble; soon they also need to deal with the explosive chemistry between them.
But Rafe made a promise to the past and Logan doesn’t trust easily, so a future together seems out of reach.
AG is giving away a Kindle Fire7 with this tour:
“From the little we know about Logan Tate—it doesn’t sound like he has the means to hold out against Noah’s family.”
“They’ll come after him hard. This could get ugly. That’s why I’m saying take a look at him and decide how you want to play this.”
Rafe knew his friend was right. “A stripper. Oh, damn, Noah. You couldn’t find anything else to piss off your parents.”
“It’s textbook.” Kane chuckled. “Whatever you decide; I’ve got your back.”
“Thanks, Kane. I’ll keep you in the loop.”
“Sounds good. Drive safe.”
North of Burlington traffic finally eased up. After all the rain, it was finally a sunny day—only a few clouds chased across blue skies. Rafe pulled out his sunglasses and tried to relax. It was quite telling that he wasn’t surprised to learn that Noah’s husband was shady and a modern-day fortune hunter. Ever since Rafe had seen the marriage certificate, he’d been speculating and had been expecting the worst. Based on the initial information the PI had dug up, he had been spot on.
A series of very likely scenarios went through his head. Noah had no people skills—everybody was his friend, and anyone who supplied drugs or alcohol immediately made it on the top of the list. It was easy to take advantage of his cousin, and he’d probably been high as a kite when he signed the certificate. Rafe tried to think back fourteen months but came up with a blank. Noah hadn’t been around much and Rafe hadn’t gone looking for him. The few times they had met, Noah had been doing better—wrong, very wrong. A wave of guilt washed over him with all the sadness of Noah’s death. He’d talked to his therapist about the five stages of grief, but somehow Rafe just felt an overwhelming clusterfuck of emotions. Regret—harrowing regret—waving through it as the only constant.
“Goddamn, Noah, I hope he’s not too awful, so I can at least keep my last promise to you,” Rafe said into the silence of his car. “I know I let you down with everything else.”
Resolutely, Rafe tried to push back all pictures of a skimpily dressed stripper with sly eyes pushing a pen into Noah’s hand while rubbing his groin and whispering obscenities into his ear. He was almost glad when his phone rang again hoping for a distraction, but then he flinched when he saw the name. Fuck. It was tempting not to pick up, but that would be a shit move. Quickly, he accepted the call.
“Hey stranger. I know you said you’d be busy, but I thought I check in. Do you have a few minutes?”
“Yes. I’m in the car driving to a client. Sorry, I didn’t call you back this weekend.”
“Don’t worry about it. You told me about your cousin. So very sad. Of course, you need some time with your family. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”
Walter Schuller was exactly the type of guy Rafe should be considering for something more serious. A little older. Settled into a successful life as a well-known psychiatrist with a few books under his belt. Smart. Cultured. Liberal. He and Rafe had a ton of things in common and they were compatible in bed. They had met at a charity event in Boston last summer, and since then they’d hooked up occasionally. Rafe knew Walter was interested in being more than casual, but so far Rafe had pushed back. “I’m doing okay. I’m Noah’s probate executor. It’s the last I can do for him now.”
“Sure, I understand, but just make sure that you don’t use your work as shield against your emotions. We humans are social creatures. We need other people around us, and I don’t want you to fall back on your old coping mechanism.”
You mean fucking around? The words were on Rafe’s lips. Lately, he’d been regretting that he’d shared his challenge to maintain a meaningful relationship with Walter—really to scare him off. It had completely backfired. It seemed like Walter was now on a mission to save Rafe from himself. He tried to ignore Walter’s slightly patronizing tone, because it was high time he made an effort to find something slightly more serious than an endless string of anonymous sexual encounters he used for stress relief. And Walter had been the first guy who had stuck around longer than one or two dinners. He had the patience of a saint.
“I appreciate your concern,” Rafe said.
He’d never told Walter about his complicated relationship with Noah, so there was no way he could understand how important this trip was; still somehow, the man managed a flawless response. “I completely understand. Taking care of somebody’s legacy is important. You’re doing the right thing, but if you need a break, I have tickets to a Celtics game in two weeks. The weekend before Thanksgiving. If you feel like it, I’d love it if you came with me. You could stay the night. Let me take care of you for a change.”
Rafe pushed his sunglasses up on his head to rub his eyes. Walter was fucking perfect, and Rafe was a total ass for not making more of an effort.
“I’d love that. Text me the details and I’ll be there.”
“Awesome. I won’t keep you, but I can’t wait to see you that weekend.”
Rafe let out a sigh. “Fuck my life,” he mumbled to himself. Why was this so freaking difficult for him? Letting another guy in. Walter had been nothing but kind and dependable and still, Rafe kept him at arm’s length. Despite his best efforts to focus on Walter and all the solid reasons why he should be making it more official, after a few miles his mind slipped right back to Noah and his secret marriage.
Eighteen years ago, AG Meiers came to the United States for adventure, but stayed for love. Currently, she lives in New England with her husband and two awesome kids--balancing work, friends and family, and writing.
When she has some free time, her favorite thing to do is travel and visit new places. Her past trips have already brought her to a variety of countries on four continents. She never passes up an opportunity to experience different cultures, diverse people, and amazing locations.
Even though she has been dreaming up stories all her life, she has only recently started to write them down and share them with the world. As a writer, she loves to to put her characters through a lot of challenges, conflict, and heartbreak before she allows them to find their happy-ever-after.
Author Website: https://www.agmeiers.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/ag.meiers.1
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18515319.A_G_Meiers
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/AG-Meiers/e/B07MCHQH5B
This week's snippet is from my BDSM romance/supernatural thriller, For the Long Run.
Jay managed to shove his hips up enough to press into Eric’s body, making Eric groan. He stuttered out, “Give it to me, Jay,” before biting down on Jay’s shoulder. His other hand moved down and grasped Jay’s cock, squeezing but not stroking. He didn’t have to stroke.
Crying out, Jay felt his body seize, and his breath caught as his orgasm devoured him. Body clenching around Eric, Jay felt hot semen spurt into him as he wrung Eric’s climax out of him.
Eventually, Jay had the vague sensation of being moved around, but his body was too consumed in its pleasure for his mind to really process much beyond the warmth of his dick and the sensations coming at him from what seemed every nerve. Eric manhandling him into whatever position he wanted wasn’t a concern to Jay right then; in fact, it added to his pleasure, being so defenseless, exposed, and cared for by this man.
For the Long Run is available on Amazon and is in Kindle Unlimited.
Read lots of wonderful snippets in the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group.
I'll be taking over the M/M Banter Facebook group this Sunday, November 22 at 1pm EST US. I'll be discussing all things books, have some games, and of course, giveaways!
I hope to see you there.
Today I'm feeling a little spicy so I thought I'd post a snippet from one of my spicy books!
Edge Jump features Brett Rocha, a retired pro-hockey player, and his love interest is, Rylan Hennessy, a young man who is an ice dancer.
“Yeah, to say the least.” Brett stood up and stepped close to Rylan, putting one of his big, warm hands on Rylan’s shoulder. The heat from Brett’s body surrounded Rylan making his heart pound and breath catch in his throat. “If you’re curious about any of it, just ask me.” He slid his hand down to rest on Rylan’s chest just below his collarbone.
Rylan licked his lips and swallowed hard. “I will. Do you like the dildo?”
“I’d be the guy with the flogger,” Brett said.
Rylan might have had another question or two, but it was suddenly impossible for him to formulate the words. Images of what he and Brett could—maybe would—do someday flooded Rylan’s head and cock.
You can read more snippets at the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group.
Edge Jump is available from JMS Books, Amazon and other fine book sellers.
Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus have a new sci fi/space opera book out, Virasana Empire: Dr. Laurent Book 1: "The PV-3 Mutagen."
As a history scholar and courier for the secretive Circle of Thales, Rene Laurent is a man of many talents - none of them lending themselves much to a life of adventure.
But when a chance meeting with a young, idealistic Belligra priest drags him into a wild quest to keep a dangerous mutagen off the streets of Floor, his curiosity gets the better of him. Between monsters both human and man-made, he realises that maybe fieldwork is more of his game than he had ever thought possible...
Written by Rainbow-Award-winning authors Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, 'The PV-3 Mutagen' is a colourful non-romance sci-fi adventure set in the wildly diverse 'Virasana Empire', and the first novel of the 'Doctor Laurent' series.
Warnings: Not a romance. Harsh setting, but hopeful.
Chapter 1 – Info Brokers
There were five of them. At least, five that Rene was aware of.
He had spotted the three following him when he took the escalator to the bottom floor of the mall. He had originally planned to take the tube train to Cherry Hills, but instead he turned into the access tunnel that led up to the street, trying to shake them off. Judging by the two who were now cutting him off just ahead, that had been a bad idea. The tunnel they were in was sufficiently removed from the cheap glitz of the mall to be only dimly lit, and the only other person here was a woman pushing a shopping cart, purposefully hurrying away from the developing confrontation.
A quick look around showed Rene there weren't any convenient emergency doors he could slip through, either. He was in trouble.
At least, they didn't seem to be professional mercenaries, just some gangers, though they moved with too much purpose to be out simply to mug him. And no ganger deserving of their colours would mug a scruffy street rat like him, anyway. To them, he had to look like he didn't have anything worth the trouble, as much a carefully crafted facade as laziness – he liked his comfortable rags a lot, thank you very much. So what did these particular thugs want from him?
And more importantly, how to get rid of them?
He was well aware that he didn't stand a chance against them in a fight. Combat skills were at the bottom of the list of things he was interested in. Also, the mall was too cheap to have any sort of camera surveillance. It didn't even have security guards though Rene doubted any would have come running if they had existed. He wasn't a valued customer, and as long as the gangers didn't make too much of a mess, no one would care.
The best course of action seemed to be to play the helpless victim and let them rough him up a little. It wasn't like they would manage to inflict any lasting damage, anyway.
He had come to that conclusion when one of the thugs, whom Rene mentally labelled their 'leader', shoved him against the wall.
Rene turned to face them, clutching the stack of folders he was carrying to his chest protectively, trying to present a credible picture of being scared. The other thugs had formed a semicircle around him and their boss. Judging by the nasty grins of his ambushers, it wasn't very hard to fool them.
“Gimme that,” the leader snarled and grabbed the folders.
They held the weekly update on the topside situation in this sector of Floor. Nothing too important, and certainly not irreplaceable. Rene had picked them up a few minutes ago at the office of the info broker the Circle of Thales was currently employing. He congratulated himself on not yet having picked up the datacrystal with the off-planet reports from the Beetle Shack under Cherry Hills. He had planned to do that on the way back down before having a lunch of lava beetle while he was there.
He let go of the folders with a strangled whine and cowered.
“Hank's Beehive is off-limits,” the leader sneered, “didn't you get the memo? He is about to shut down.”
So that was what this was all about. The info broker Rene had just visited had been in a turf war with another info broker two malls down the street for a while, but apparently, things were heating up. Not something he cared to get involved in even though Hank was a decent guy. Well, make that a decent guy for Floor.
“Can't have that idiot handing out charity, can we? Not the Floorian thing to do, eh?” The leader clearly wasn't expecting an answer as he rammed his fist into Rene's stomach.
The punch drove the air out of his lungs and hurt like a bitch. Or rather, it hurt for the few seconds it took his body to repair the damage. Rene crumpled to the ground in a heap. If he looked sufficiently hurt, they would hopefully leave him alone quickly. And not search him. If they tried to take his phone, he would have to do something, though he admittedly had no idea what.
“You understand me, little shit? You stay away from now on!”
“Hey! Stop that!”
A voice ringing out loud and clear in the narrow tunnel rudely interrupted the leader's little speech.
Rene glanced up through his long hair hanging in his face and did a double-take. The tunnel leading back towards the mall was almost filled out by a tall figure in heavy, plate armour, wielding both a broadsword and a fucking tower shield so large he could completely hide behind it. The symbol on his surcoat and shield was unmistakable – Temple Belligra, the Fist of the Church. It was about the last faction Rene wanted to have get involved in this minor scuffle.
Priests were infamous for poking their noses where they didn't belong. Luckily, they were rare on Floor. Yes, they had a few Verata, but they mostly remained inside their Fort Phosphoros Monastery. The occasional Jansahar only paid attention to the local flock who worshipped at the small shrines they kept all over the planet. Both groups were easy enough to evade for someone who didn't need supernaturally talented people scanning them and finding out they were an unregistered psion.
But seriously, a Belligra? There were no faithful in need of protection here on Floor, mostly because there were no faithful here. Floor prided itself with being the most secular planet of the empire, and it was a reputation hard-won.
But apparently, this particular Belligra was set on rescuing him.
We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.
Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.
An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.
An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.
Author Website: http://www.brackhaus.com/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/people/Osiris-Brackhaus/100011014541510
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/brackhaus
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brackhaus/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427435.Osiris_Brackhaus
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Brackhaus/e/B00IVTRO2E
Like many others in the United States I'm celebrating the election of our next President and even more I'm celebrating our next Vice-President!
My snippet this week isn't historical fiction, but it does have a storyline representing a small part of LBGTQ+ history. This is from A Barlow Lens. While investigating a cold case two men have to face prejudices that many gay men face even today. Plus it has one of my most favorite covers. Wyatt's first husband, Jack, died several years prior.
“Wyatt,” Kevin replied, voice tight. His gaze slid almost at once to Val, who’d turned away from the telescopes, taken a few steps toward them, and froze.
“This is Kevin Fells,” Wyatt said, turning far enough to look at Val. “Vladimir Mihalic, my fiancé.”
Val stepped forward, held out his hand, and shot Wyatt a curious look. Clearly he caught the fact Wyatt introduced him as Vladimir not Val. He smiled at Kevin.
Kevin looked Val up and down, shrugged, and walked to the bar. He snatched a glass from the table and a bottle of whiskey from the bar. He poured more than a shot’s worth into the glass and downed it, then poured another one. Wyatt resisted the urge to shake his head. Kevin had already smelled of booze when he came in, and his eyes were bloodshot.
“So, my brother is barely cold in his grave and you get yourself a brand new boy toy.” Kevin’s voice was so cold Wyatt had to make a conscious effort not to shudder.
The smile slid off Val’s face. His arm dropped to his side. It took Wyatt a few seconds to recover and react. Closing the distance between them fast enough that Kevin wouldn’t have time to back away, Wyatt grabbed Kevin by one arm and pulled them together. He used a hard enough grip and jerked down with enough pressure Kevin gasped.
“You never even came to Jack’s funeral, and I’ll wager you don’t even know where his grave is,” Wyatt said in a low voice. “Don’t talk to me like I’m the one who did anything wrong. I’m the person who took care of him right to the end.”
Read more snippets at the Rainbow Snippet Facebook group.
A Barlow Lens is $1.99 until Nov 10, 2020 and is available on Amazon US, Amazon UK and in Kindle Unlimited.
M.D. Grimm has a new MMF sci fi romance out, Saga of the Bold People Book 2: "Legacy." And there's a giveaway!
What does a former assassin do when he’s not out there… well… assassinating? Saving his species from extinction, of course.
At least, that’s what Leopold wants to do with every molecule in his body. But the task won’t be fast or easy, and he can’t do it alone. Enter Mastrodai—a mrrog prince who has absolutely no desire to rule, much to his father’s exasperation. He craves the ability to prove his worth as a mate and to somehow atone for his actions that led to Leopold’s torture at the hands of an enemy. Making humans official would be a good start.
But politics rule no matter what the species, and Mastrodai has to maneuver carefully and risk what he has built to give his mate what he deserves. And when he realizes both he and Leopold have deeper feelings for Alex, one of Mastrodai’s human slave women, he knows his future is out among the stars with his humans, not planet-bound with his kin.
Unfortunately, before they can set their plan into motion, Leopold receives a vision that sends him reeling and questioning everything he knows about himself. A vision he must investigate, back to where he began—Lex, the backwater planet where he spent his early years, and where he swore never to return.
About the Series:
Leopold is a human in an alien-dominated InterGalactic Community. He gained a reputation as the assassin Voidstriker, until his identity was revealed. He soon finds himself reassessing his life, his mission, and his own identity. Having spent his entire life driven by hate and fear, he soon finds himself motivated by hope and love. He decides on a new mission in life: freeing the human species. It will be a long, hard road, and one he can't walk alone.
Even as his allies grow in number, he will most depend on his mates--Mastrodai, the mrrog prince, and Alexandra, a fellow human, his best friend, and their lover. Along with Sasha, a young girl with extraordinary abilities. Leopold is no stranger to challenges but this might be his greatest trial yet.
M.D. is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:
The explosion thundered against my eardrums, cutting off my conversation with a large group of crop tenders. All of us flinched and I spun around as the boom thrummed through the air, and every mouth gaped, even mine, when the enormous fireball shot into the sky. Flaming debris rained down on the dry stalks, reaping chaos in seconds.
“Save what you can!” I said in Veruvian, the official intergalactic language. I ordered my bodyguards to split up and keep their eyes peeled. Then I sped toward the origin of the explosion, quickly outpacing Wekladai, my chief bodyguard. I lowered to all fours and raced into the danger zone, dodging and weaving around scalded metal and open flame. A growl sat contained in my chest, vibrating against my lungs. I bared my teeth, blood and death on my mind. Who would dare?
Who would dare?
Smoky hot air burned my nostrils and irritated my throat. I narrowed my eyes in deference to the discomfort, shrugging it off. I’d felt worse. The mrrog academy and my rite of passage had beaten weakness out of me. Not to mention my father’s lessons. I reached the epicenter to find that nothing but rubble and blackened ground remained of the supply building in that quadrant of the moon. I recognized a couple of corpses in the mess as I picked my way through.
My growl finally loosened, and I resisted panting to save my throat and nose. I would personally slice apart the culprit. It could only be sabotage. A competitor, perhaps, angered that I’d received the contract from the InterGalactic Council instead of them.
I straightened and stared in disbelief. Was my security so lax as to allow an enemy to saunter right in? I walked over to the top of a shallow rise to stare out at the acres of crops set in quadrant EC-1. The fire was out of control all around me, the smoke and heat flaming my rage deeper.
Wind rose up and blew away much of the smoke. Movement caught my eye, and I looked down the incline. I froze, staring at the creature standing not far away, next to an old, unused shack. A strange land cruiser sat right next to him. It was a male; of that I was certain. And… could he be… a human?
Yes, he was a human. And a thief. Familiar rejlfei hung from his shoulders and arms, the straps straining against the weight. Did he merely come to steal from me?
Hair as black as the void covered most of his pale face, and brilliant blue eyes reflected the distant sun’s light, reminding me of stars. He was tall for a human, with broad shoulders, and a lean body clothed in a black bodysuit. His face was sharply angled, and yet everything was well-placed, coming together in harmonious union. His expression was stony, and his posture spoke of confidence and strength. The aeunn in his hand never wavered as he kept it aimed at me.
Standing before me was no cowed human afraid of his own shadow. No. He was a predator, one made of grace and purpose and a formidable persistence. Why he was on my moon I couldn’t say, but he wasn’t leaving it. He wasn’t getting away.
I crouched slowly, not wanting to startle him. One good leap and I would be on him. Even as the human must have guessed my intent, because his eyes abruptly shot wide, the wind blew again, hurling his scent into my face. I took a deep breath. His aroma was dense and organic with metallic and synthetic undertones along with a masculine musk that caused me to salivate. It made me think of thunderous nights when electricity charged the air, where passion danced between lovers, a wild and furious battle of wills and the need to dominate. It was violent and edgy, tense and defiant. Alive. Real.
My vengeful rage morphed into a sharp, all-consuming need, and it nearly knocked me on my ass. The wind brought his scent to me once more, and one word repeated again and again in my mind.
My body responded in a way it hadn’t in years. Not since Nandeely. Every lover after her had been an itch to scratch. But this human? I had to possess him. I had to claim him now, before he got away. Before another dared touch him. Images of what I’d do once he was under my control caused my cock to slip out of its sheath. I growled at myself. It had been a long while since such control was beyond me. And I needed it now more than ever.
“Mastrodai! What did you find?”
I startled at Wekladai’s voice as he joined me on the hill. Only then did I realize that the human was on his land cruiser and speeding away, clearly determined to escape.
“Come!” I charged after the human with Wekladai on my heels. My hesitation and the human’s distracting scent had cost me. I snarled and leapt, landing right where the human had once stood. I raced after him but it was no use. I wouldn’t catch him. Despite my speed, his cruiser was just too damn fast. He tore up more crops on his reckless ride, and I took another deep breath, focusing on his vibrant aroma instead of the smoke and burnt metal. Unfortunately, he was soon out of sight but I couldn’t stop running.
“Contact Jauntai!” I snarled at Wekladai. He stopped and I continued on. I followed the human’s trail, easily distinguishing his fragrance amid the acrid burning of the crops. It was a warmth in my blood, a song in my head. I couldn’t analyze the effect he had on me, not yet. I was hunting, and I needed to focus.
The fire swept across the land far too rapidly for me to compete with. The trail was gone in an instant, his scent taken away, only smoke and heat in its place. I stood and growled, frustrated and angry at myself. Surprise had slowed my reactions and now my prey was gone. Prey that should not have found his way on my moon in the first place.
Unacceptable. All of it.
The obvious failure on all fronts burned my pride, and I dragged a hand over my hair. I turned around and huffed a deep breath at the wreckage. Duty first. Always duty first.
I will find you, human.
I hurried back, wary of becoming trapped by the flames. I resigned myself to an unpleasant call to my emperor. I met Wekladai on the way back, and from the look on his face, I rightly surmised the human had slipped through Jauntai’s fingers.
“Why did you hesitate?” Wekladai asked.
I growled. He wasn’t impressed. He was much older than me, about the age of my father, and had known me all my life. He used to be a compatriot with my father before I asked him to head my bodyguard team. He was the only one I allowed to be familiar with me. But right then I wanted to claw his face.
I turned away. “I must find him. Now. Immediately. Send probes. Look at the satellites and see if they caught anything. I want that blasted human!”
He blinked and tilted his head, ears straight and pointed forward. “Why do I sense more than anger in your urgency? Why do I smell your arousal?”
I spun around and gripped his throat, baring my teeth. He gripped my arm and bared his own, daring me to start something. Our claws slid out, and I was seconds away from brawling.
“Do not question me, Wekladai,” I said. “Not now. Not in this. Find. Him.”
Wekladai growled and covered his teeth. I let go and stalked back to the spot I’d first seen him. It didn’t take me long to find an aeunn that was clearly not one of mine. I carefully picked it up, trying not to handle it too much. I sniffed it. Oh, yes, that was him.
Why hadn’t he shot me? He wouldn’t have missed.
“Jauntai is looking over the recordings now.”
I nodded. Without a word, I walked away, holding the aeunn delicately.
M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).
After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.
Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.
Author Website: www.mdgrimmwrites.com
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