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Back to Lakeland with a Shameless Selfie from Elemental Fire

 

 

While this is not the greatest selfie, the view behind me is exquisite. That alone should help you understand why I love the Lake District so much. With spring in the air it’s getting close to fell-walking time and I’m anxious to get back to the high fells for some great views. That’s the thing about Lakeland, when I’m not there I’m either thinking about being there or writing about other people being there. When I am there, I’m in heaven. The fact that my novella, In Training, which is now available for pre order as a part of the British Bad Boys Box Set that will be coming out in May, is also set in the Lake District is definitely keeping me focused on my favourite place on the planet. That being the case, I thought I’d take you there today for a little underground action with a very hot demon in a shameless selfie from Elemental Fire, Book Three of the Lakeland Witches series. Hang on to your hats, it’s about to get hot.

 

Elemental Fire Blurb:

Book Three of the Lakeland Witches trilogy (Click here for: Book One | Book Two)

Obsessed with revenge, KENNET LUCIAN makes a deal with a demon, a deal he comes to regret when he meets TARA STONE, head of the Elemental Coven, and a powerful witch with a desire for revenge at least as great as his. Even though the attraction between the two is magnetic and the lust combustive, Kennet must betray her to accomplish his goal, which is ultimately her goal as well; to put a final end to the demon, Deacon’s, reign of terror. But can Tara trust the man who has wormed his way into her heart and the heart of the Elemental Coven? Can she trust LUCIA, the demon with whom Kennet is allied, a demon with her own agenda. The path to Deacon’s destruction is far from clear, and the price that must be paid to be free of him forever may be too high, even for Tara Stone.

 

 

Terms of Possession – Elemental Fire Excerpt:

Kennet ignored the pain, and it was strangely easy to do being as close to death as he was. There was little left to lose. It took all of his concentration to form the spell in his head. It might not even work, but at this stage it was all he had — that and the burning fire of helpless rage that kept him safe from his losses, kept him at arm’s length from the grief until he could make contact or until he died. Whichever came first.

With a last push, his whole body tingled, and pain shot up his spine. Surely this was death. But consciousness remained in his broken flesh. He had managed to partition himself off from the pain and the drugs. This was too important. This was his only hope. Hope was a word that tasted bitter in his mouth. He meant revenge, didn’t he? Surely there was no hope left. It had gone out of the world with Patrice and Annie. One last push, one last sting of pain, and he was there in the cave. He was naked, but he felt neither the cold nor the stones that should have been cutting his feet. Back in the hospital, would they think him only dreaming, or would he have slipped into a coma for his efforts? Made no difference.

The descent began gradually, then steepened until he had to lean back to keep from falling, but he imagined that was only necessary because he was still thinking in physical terms. Physical terms. If he were to survive this, he would be thinking in terms of physical pain once he returned to his body and probably more pain than he had ever experienced before. And the physical, well that was really nothing compared to the rest of it. He kept moving downward forever, it seemed, but he knew time passed differently in the Dream World, if that’s where he was at. It certainly wasn’t the Ether.

He saw the glow of her long before he reached the bottom of the shaft, and he wondered what guise she would take. The light danced like fire on the walls of the cave and was refracted off faceted crystals, like the inside of a geode, he thought. But he barely had time to think before he saw her, and he was relieved that she had taken human form. There were other forms she could have taken, other forms that he might not have found so easy to look upon. She stood with her back to him, and even so, he felt her presence through every cell of his body, both cold and hot, expansive and contractive, not pain as he knew it, but a force that made him feel like his own weight was suddenly collapsing in on itself like a dying star, too much to bear. Too much to bear.

And then she turned to face him and he knew he wouldn’t survive. How could he possibly survive her? She eyed him for a long time, way too long for comfort, and even naked as he was, he felt exposed, as though she had peeled back his flesh and looked into the very heart of him, the very soul of him that now felt dark and fractured like an empty river bed. He couldn’t look at her face. He desperately wanted to, for some unexplainable reason, but he couldn’t lift his eyes from her beautiful feet, Botticelli toes, he thought. Such a stupid thing to think at a time like this. Aphrodite on a half shell she wasn’t. The dry heat of fire should have burned him to a cinder where he knelt. And he was kneeling, though he couldn’t remember when he’d taken the position of obeisance.

She moved around him in a tight circle, so close that he was certain the heat of her would burn the skin from his body, so bright that after images of her danced behind his eyes when he closed them, and he had to close them. She ran a hand along the top of his shoulders to the nape of his neck and stood behind him, so close the he could feel her breath warm and sweet against his ear. It was sweeter than anything life had ever offered him, her breath, her touch. And he was suddenly, embarrassingly erect.

She moved to stand in front of him. He would have tried to cover himself, but the weight of his arms was terrible. He could tell she was looking down on him, and the feeling of arousal suddenly intensified, flashed bright and settled low in his chest into a tight knot of fear. And yet he wanted, deeply, irrationally, needed her to touch him.

Then, she did the unthinkable. She curled a finger under his chin and lifted his head until he knew if he opened his eyes he would die from looking into her face.

When she spoke, it was as though he were glass shattering, falling into tiny pieces in the ecstasy of her voice. ‘We have met before, Kennet Birch. You had not grown so tall then. Adolescence is unpredictable, I’m told.’ Her hand closed around his chin to a nearly painful grip. ‘Look at me, Kennet Birch. If you have come this far, then you will look me in the eye and tell me why you are here.’

Painfully aware of his vulnerability and his hard-on, he opened his eyes slowly and looked up at her. For a split second it was as though he were looking into the mid-day sun, but before he could shade his eyes, the light of her softened, dimmed, cooled. And the face he looked upon was achingly beautiful, young, slender, pale, with lips full and pink. Her hair hung in long golden ringlets around her shoulders and down over the robe she wore, which appeared like flames leaping to touch and caress her.

He groaned out loud as everything in him turned molten in the roil of fear and rage and helplessness all wrapped up in almost unbearable lust.

She relaxed her grip on his chin, and offered him a smile that made all of his nerve endings sing with its beauty. ‘I’ve not worn human form in quite some time, but if my form is to be the last you see before you pass beyond the land of the living, then I shall offer something that won’t send you thence with terror in your heart. That would be terribly unkind of me, would it not, Kennet Birch?’

‘Thank you … my lady.’

She laughed as though she had just heard the best joke ever. ‘Your lady, I am not, Kennet Birch. Nor is my ego so delicate that whatever you call me shall matter one way or another. I will ask you again. Why have you come?’

She turned and walked away from him, and for a second he felt as though the light had gone out of the world. As his gaze followed her, he realized that they were no longer in the depths of a cave but in a garden in high summer. He could smell the roses and the lavender. He could hear the insects buzzing. ‘You know why I’m here.’ The stab of pain nearly doubled him over at the reminder of his loss.

‘Having nothing to lose has made you bold, Kennet Birch. Though I am not surprised. As I recall, you were already so as a youth.’ She waved a slender hand. ‘Yes I know about the death of your wife and your sister. And though I’m sorry for your loss, it has nothing to do with me. It is long since I have interfered in affairs of the flesh.’

‘It has everything to do with you!’ Pushing himself to his feet, with an effort that was gargantuan, he came to her side. ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’

She raised a golden eyebrow and turned to face him. ‘I am not your friend, Kennet Birch, and even if I were, I hardly see how an alliance with you would help my cause.’

‘Of course you see. Together we can defeat him.’

She absently plucked a blood-red rose from a bush that climbed tenaciously on a stone wall, sniffed it and studied it as though she had never seen anything like it. ‘I fail to see how you could possibly be of help.’

‘I could give you flesh.’ The words were out before he could stop them, and his heart nearly exploded from his chest as she crushed the rose, raised an arm in a flourish that was almost like a flash of lightening, and they were once again back in the cave.

She stood close to him, so close that he could feel her breath coming fast and furious against his face. Her eyes were fire, her presence made him feel as though every fiber of himself were being shredded and being unmade even as he breathed. ‘You are beyond brazen, Kennet Birch, to offer such a thing, as if I would want to walk among humans again, as if I would want to take up residence in their weakness and need.’

‘But you do,’ he found the courage to whisper, not even loud enough for her to hear, and yet she heard. He was certain she heard the very movement of his blood in his veins. ‘You do want to take up residence in our weakness and our need. That’s what you’ve always wanted, isn’t it? And that’s the only way you’ll ever be on equal footing with him.’

She studied him for what might have been ages, and he felt as though the pressure of her scrutiny would crush him.

‘I have never worn man flesh.’ She nodded down to his penis.

He blushed and surged and blushed again. His heart raced. ‘Does it make a difference?’

She shrugged, still studying his cock as though she’d never seen one before. ‘Not really. Flesh is flesh.’ On a whim, she reached out and stroked his erection, and he gasped as the touch of her shivered up his spine and blossomed bright inside his head.

She continued to touch him, but her eyes were now locked on his face, and he tried desperately not to thrust against her. ‘I am only touching your cock, Kennet Birch, and it is all you can do to keep from spilling your seed at my feet.’

‘That is the most sensitive part,’ he breathed. ‘Of a man, I mean.’

She moved closer and ran a splayed hand up over his ribs. And he did spill his seed with a desperate gasp as though he
could never get enough oxygen again. And he was embarrassed and terrified and angry, and it was as though the whole range of emotions exploded in his head in an instant. Then she leaned in and brushed her lips against his, and for a split second the world flashed before his eyes more vivid, more perfect, more complete than he had ever seen it before. He knew things, he saw things, he felt things, things beyond him. And he would have dropped again to his knees, but he couldn’t, not held in her gaze as he was.

‘I have barely touched you and you are overwhelmed, Kennet Birch. Do you really think you can survive my possession of you?’

He forced himself to hold her gaze, trembling suddenly as though he were in the grips of some powerful illness. All of him ached, and he knew the real world was bleeding through. There was very little time. ‘I won’t survive if you don’t possess me. My coming to you has guaranteed that.’ He wrapped his arms around himself as the shakes became more violent. ‘You said it yourself, I have nothing to lose.’

‘And why would I want a sick and broken male body?’ She asked. Her eyes blazed in the dance of firelight that always seemed so close to her.

‘If you possess me, you can heal me,’ he said. ‘And anyway, if you possess me and I die, well it really doesn’t matter at this point.’

For an eternal moment she studied him. She studied him until he looked away. His head was fuzzy, his body ached even in the dream world. He couldn’t hold much longer.

She lifted his chin once again so that he met her gaze, and the shakes stopped. The pain went away. He felt his head clear.

‘If I do what you ask of me, even though you live, your life is forfeit. You know this?’

‘I know,’ he breathed. ‘It doesn’t matter.

‘You say that now in your hour of need. But when that passes, when you are whole and stronger and healthier than you have ever dreamed possible, when your heart heals and you learn to love again, you won’t be so anxious to let go of what is rightfully mine when the time comes.’

He suddenly felt more pain than he knew existed in the whole world, and none of it was physical. He inhaled breath that felt like shards of stone. ‘I’ll never know love again. I’ll never know life again, so there’s really nothing you can take from me that isn’t already long gone.’

Her gaze softened, and somehow he found that infinitely comforting. Then she moved closer and kissed him, slowly, languidly, as though they had all the time in the world, and his cock was hard again. She stepped back from him. One shrug and the robe of fire fell away, and the glow of her body flashed bright, then dimmed and steadied until he could see details, erect nipples atop high breasts, rounded hips, a golden splash of curls at the juncture of her thighs. ‘I am not like him,’ she said softly. ‘It gives me no pleasure to make those who dwell in the flesh my puppets. You will be, how is it you put it these days, you will be in the driver’s seat.’ She took him into her arms and kissed him hard, and when he feared he would disgrace himself again with his cock pressed up tight against the top of her belly, she pulled away. ‘However,’ she said. ‘If I grant your request, then I will possess you. All of you. You will belong to me, your life will mine.’ She gaze was painfully bright. ‘And if you earnestly wish to be rid of Deacon, then you will do as I say for as long as it takes us to accomplish our task, and it will take time. I know him. You don’t. I’m his equal. You’re not. And one more very important thing, Kennet Birch.’ She stroked his hair gently and whispered against his lips. ‘Never, never forget how badly I can hurt you if you defy me.’ Then she guided his hand down over her pubic curls. ‘If my terms are not acceptable to you, then you must return to your body and face your fate.’

 

 

Reviews:

“…this book combined action, threats, a demon, sexy connections and a coven of witches who are as engaging and entertaining as they are amusing. The pairings are super-hot and sexy, with detail and sensuality that brings a tingle to the reader, as well as feeds the general love and affection that all members of the coven display to one another.” The Jeep Diva

“I had been waiting since last year in suspense for the third and last in the trilogy and jeeze was it worth the wait! A dramatic, heart pounding, fast paced ending with a twist.” Midnight Boudoir

“You know, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this sex-charged coven but I liked the way everything turned out. The entire series has been nicely plotted and wonderfully naughty. Tara and company work hard and they play hard. If sometimes the work and play meld together into one heaving, moaning mass, well, lucky them.” Reading the Paranormal

 

eBook:
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Print:
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Release Day for the Complete Lakeland Witches Box Set!

lakeland-witch-boxset-new-res

 

YAY! Today’s the day I’ve waited for a long while! Today is the official release day for the Lakeland Witches Box Set, and it’s delightful to see all my witches and their stories together in one yummy set. If you’re looking for a nice autumn binge-read, something perfect for the crisp evenings with mulled wine in front of a crackling fire, this is it!

When the mist descends on the high fells of the English Lake District, danger lurks. Demons, witches, ghosts and more gravitate to the powerful Elemental Coven – some as friends and allies, some as deadly enemies. The battle in the mist is a battle for power and love and lust, but most of all, for Tara Stone and the Lakeland Witches, it’s a battle for survival.

At last the entire Lakeland Witches Saga is available in a box set. One giant chilling, sizzling, dark and lusty binge read just in time for a Halloween Treat.

 

Sex is magic for the Elemental Coven — powerful magic. But will it be enough to defeat the hate-driven demon determined to destroy them with the very magic of their own lust?

 

Body Temperature and Rising Book: 1 of the Lakeland Witches Series

 

American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON, and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

 

DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and lakeland-witch-boxsetwill stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.

 

Riding the Ether: Book 2 of the Lakeland Witches Series

 

Cassandra Larkin keeps her ravenous and dangerous sexual appetite secret until she seduces Anderson in the mysterious void of the Ether.  Anderson is the sexy, insatiable ghost who can give her exactly what she needs.

But sex is dangerous in a place like the Ether…

 

When the treacherous demon, Deacon, discovers the truth about the origin of Cassandra’s powerful lust, he plots to use her sex magic for revenge on Tara Stone and the Elemental Coven, who practice their own brand of sex magic.

Cassandra must embrace the lust and sexuality she fears and learn to use its power. Will she stand with Anderson, Tara, and the Elemental Coven against Deacon’s wrath or suffer the loss of friendship, magic and love?

 

Elemental Fire: Book 3 of the Lakeland Witches Series

 

Obsessed with revenge, KENNET LUCIAN makes a deal with a demon, a deal he comes to regret when he meets TARA STONE, head of the Elemental Coven, and a powerful witch with a desire for revenge at least as great as his. Even though the attraction between the two is magnetic and the lust combustive, Kennet must betray her to accomplish his goal, which is ultimately her goal as well; to put a final end to the demon, Deacon’s, reign of terror. But can Tara trust the man who has wormed his way into her heart and the heart of the Elemental Coven? Can she trust LUCIA, the demon with whom Kennet is allied, a demon with her own agenda. The path to Deacon’s destruction is far from clear, and the price that must be paid to be free of him forever may be too high, even for Tara Stone.

 

Demon Interrupted: Book 4 of the Lakeland Witches Seriescastlerigg_stone_circle1

 

What secrets does a man have that would cause him to chooses to live under a spell that magically erased his past? When that spell is broken Ferris Ryder must choose to remember all that he was, all that he has done and all that drove him to willingly forget. If he chooses not to remember, the consequences will be dire for himself and the Elemental Coven, who are now his family.

 

Is the mysterious Elaine, who both fears and desires Ferris, a ghost with a past all her own, or merely a figment of his fevered dreams as he struggles against time to remember the past he fears or destroy the very people for whom he chose to forget.

 

 Buy the Lakeland Witches Box Set Here:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Amazon DE

 

 

 

Shameless Selfie Sunday on the Fells

img_6093You might have noticed I spend a lot of time in the Lake District — every chance I get, in fact. And while you’re reading this, I’m on my way back from another exciting walking holiday in Lakeland. Since the new Lakeland Witches Box set just went up for preorder, I thought a Lakeland selfie might be just the ticket. Tara Stone, the leader of the Elemental Coven, always walks the fells when she needs to think. Honestly, I can’t imagine a more glorious place to clear your head. Based on this Shameless Selfie from the Lansdale Pikes, wouldn’t you agree?

BUT sometimes Tara gets more than she expects from her Lakeland walks. WAY more. Enjoy this little totally shameless excerpt from the third book in the Lakeland Series, Elemental Fire.

 

 

Elemental Fire Blurb:

Obsessed with revenge, KENNET LUCIAN makes a deal with a demon, a deal he comes to regret when he meets TARA STONE, head of the Elemental Coven, and a powerful witch with a desire for revenge at least as great as his. Even though the attraction between the two is magnetic and the lust combustive, Kennet must betray her to accomplish his goal, which is ultimately her goal as well; to put a final end to the demon, Deacon’s, reign of terror. But can Tara trust the man who has wormed his way into her heart and the heart of the Elemental Coven? Can she trust LUCIA, the demon with whom Kennet is allied, a demon with her own agenda. The path to Deacon’s destruction is far from clear, and the price that must be paid to be free of him forever may be too high, even for Tara Stone.

 

Excerpt: Encounter on the Fells:

 

She picked up the pace as she began her ascent, feeling the sweat break under her arms and low on her back. Then she picked up the pace again. Exhaustion was what she wanted, what she needed. She concentrated on her footing, navigating the loose rock of the ascent around Netting Haws, and that was a good thing. Right now, she’d do anything to keep her mind off Anderson’s loss and off the dream she couldn’t get rid of, even with Deacon in captivity.

By the time she reached the ridge between Maiden Moor and High Spy and followed it on to High Spy, she was hungry. She found a place on the moss just below the summit looking out over the broad, hulking shoulders of Dale Head and Hindscarth, separated from her by the deep abyss where Newlands Beck drained into the Newlands Valley far below. There she settled down, ate Fiori’s cookies, drank some water and lay back to look at the night sky. She hadn’t intended to fall asleep.

This time the dream was warm and sexy, and she found herself in a deep cave. She felt safe and comfortable. No one lakeland-witches-3-efcould touch her here. This was her domain. Caves were always her safe place, and they so often elicited a Pavlovian effect on her body. Caves were the place of powerful dream magic. Caves were the place where she always felt sexy by association. And even now, even in the Dream World, she felt deeply aroused, more so than she had since Anderson had been lost to her.

She undid her blouse and slid her hand inside to caress her breasts. It felt like for ever since she’d had a good fuck, and Goddess, she ached for her loss. As one hand tugged at her burgeoning nipples, the other worried open the fly of her walking trousers and slid down onto her mons. She’d left Elemental Cottage in a hurry, so there was no underwear to contend with. She stroked her soft curls for a few minutes, teasing, anticipating, her hips shifting and undulating against the ground. Then, when she could take it no longer, she slid two fingers deep into the gape of her pussy, wriggling and manoeuvring to where she was hottest and wettest. Just one stroke of her clit and she came in shudders and jerks. She hadn’t realised she’d been that desperate for relief. But she had been distracted lately.

It was then she noticed the exquisite woman with long golden hair sitting so close that her knees practically touched Tara’s ribs. It came as no surprise to her, though surely it should have, but then this was a dream, wasn’t it? The woman’s robe pooled around her and ebbed and flowed like fire.

‘You feel better now, do you not, my darling Tara?’ she asked. Her voice made Tara feel like she was melting into warm, delicious nothingness and seeping into the cave floor.

Tara nodded and moaned softly, for some reason unable to speak, for some reason just wanting to remain in the presence of this woman, whoever she was. It brushed her consciousness fleetingly that maybe she should be concerned about the strange woman in her dreams, but the thought passed quickly, and she lay quietly next to her.

‘Good,’ the woman said, stroking Tara’s hair away from her forehead. ‘I need you to feel better. All of us need you to feel better. We have work to do, and we cannot do it when you are mourning your losses.’ She nodded. ‘Yes, of course I know about your Anderson. And I know that you do not fuck the living. Such a foolish girl you are to deny yourself the very pleasure you so willingly offer the dead. Elemental Cottage is not a nunnery, my darling.’

She leaned down low and kissed Tara on the mouth. Her breath smelled like the fells in high summer. Then she tisk- tisked and gently stroked Tara’s pubic curls. ‘You need more than you can manage with your hand, my sweet girl, no matter how gifted you are in the arts of pleasure. You practise sex magic, surely you know this?’ She brushed slender fingers up Tara’s belly and over the mounds of her breasts. Tara arched up into her heated caresses. ‘Shall I bring you just what you need to make you feel better? Would you like that, my dear?’

Tara could only whimper and nod.

Once again she brushed Tara’s lips with hers, adding the slightest flick of her tongue, and for an instant the kiss felt predatory, devouring. Or had Tara only imagined it? ‘Do not worry, my love,’ the woman said as she pulled away. ‘I shall send you just what you need. Wait here, and rest a little.’ Then she disappeared leaving Tara to writhe and moan on the floor of the cave.

From far away someone shook her arm, someone called to her in distressed tones, trying to bring her back to the Waking World. But she didn’t want to go back. It was safe and warm and happy here. There was nothing but sadness in the Waking World. She just wanted to sleep here in the cave and wait for whoever the beautiful woman would bring to her.

But the shaking and jostling continued. She slapped the hand away, but it kept coming back to shake her. She was just ready to tell whoever it was to bugger off, when she opened her eyes and looked up to see the outline of a man leaning over her. Even in the darkness, the energy emanating from him was magnetic. Everything inside her tightened with anticipation, and Goddess, she wanted him. Surely she was still dreaming.

‘Are you all right?’ His voice vibrated through her chest and his touch felt electric, full of magic. ‘I thought you were dead, then I heard you moaning. I guess you were dreaming. I was worried and then …’

They both realised at the same time that her shirt was open and so were her trousers, and one hand still rested on her mons. She could feel the man’s gaze taking in the situation, and he twigged. ‘Oh shit, I’m sorry. I didn’t realise. I thought you were –’

‘I was! Dreaming, I mean.’ She quickly jerked her hand out of her trousers and tugged her open blouse across her bare breasts. ‘I was dreaming, and she said she’d send someone and …’ She blinked hard and looked around at the night sky. She couldn’t have been asleep long, but everything felt unreal, different. Was she still dreaming? Dreams could be so powerful at times, so confusing. She reached up to touch his face and felt a surge of magic – some new, some old. Some very old. Had she enfleshed a ghost because of her horny dream? When she walked at night, ghosts did sometimes follow her onto the fells in hopes that she would enflesh them and allow them to experience for a little while the pleasures afforded the living. And any other time she would happily oblige. But when she walked at night, she always sent them away. This was her place, her alone time. No one was welcome to disturb her here, and most ghosts knew that. Had she been that out of it? Was she that desperate for a fuck that her unconscious had broken her own rules?’

The man sat back on his haunches and looked down at her. In the darkness she could only make out his silhouette dominated by broad shoulders, but it was enough to make her own arousal spike. Certainly if she had enfleshed him, she couldn’t leave him in the state he was now, no doubt, in because of her.

He gave a little gasp of surprise when she off-balanced him, pulled him down to her and kissed him. ‘You shouldn’t have come here,’ she managed before she drew him into another kiss.

‘I might say the same about you,’ he replied.

Cheeky ghost, she thought, but she kissed him again. This time he returned the favour. And the power surge she felt went clear from her mouth down to the base of her spine and back again. His eyes fluttered, he gasped against her mouth, clearly feeling what she felt, and there was no disguising the press of his heavy erection against the fly of his walking trousers.

‘What the hell was that?’ She gasped, not entirely sure she wasn’t going to come just from their last kiss.

He pulled back from her with a start, one hand against his lips and the other resting low on his belly. ‘If you do that again, I can’t guarantee what will … If you do that again.’

For a tightly stretched second, they froze in each other’s gaze. Then she forced words up through her throat, struggling to breathe through her arousal. ‘I can’t … I need …’

‘Me too,’ he whispered. She couldn’t see the colour of his eyes in the darkness, but his gaze was baking hot against her.

Focus. Damn it, she needed to be able to focus, to think. She forced a deep breath and then they were both speaking at the same time.

‘I’m sorry … I didn’t … I wouldn’t …’

‘I don’t know what just happened,’ he gasped.

‘Me neither,’ she managed.

Then they were on each other. He yanked the clasp from her hair and clawed it free from the ponytail. She curled her fingers in the front of his shirt and pulled him on top of her, down between her open legs, lifting her hips, wrapping her ankles around his waist and thrusting up to meet him. The sounds coming from his throat were deep-chested, wild, and she wasn’t sure where his grunts and growls left off and hers began as he thrust and ground against her, shoving her arse into the soft moss with his efforts.

lakeland-witch-boxset-pre‘I need to get to you,’ he gasped, pulling away from her, tugging and fumbling at her trousers until they were down over her hips.

She toed one of her boots off and kicked it aside, and he lifted her leg free of the trousers while she pulled open his fly and slid her hand into his boxers until she could wrap her fingers around his heavy cock.

He gasped and pushed them away. ‘Don’t do that. I’ll come in your hand and I don’t want to come there.’ He trapped both her wrists above her head with a large hand while he nuzzled his way into her shirt and battled with his trousers until his butt was bare. Then he released her hands and kissed his way down her belly, shoving her legs further apart as he went, lowering his face, biting the inside of her left thigh just below the swell of her pussy. She yelped and drenched herself. He fingered her open and ran his tongue up from her perineum all the way to her clit and bit again. And she came, bellowing her orgasm into the cool night air.

‘I want you in me, I want you in me,’ she gasped, even before she could breathe again, even before the waves inside her had dissipated.

He positioned himself and pushed into her deep and hard and they both growled like angry wolves. She grabbed his

arse cheeks in an effort to pull him still deeper into her. He dug into the moss with his feet, shoved up onto his knees and lifted her until her shoulders rested in the moss and her hips were in the air, knees pressing upward against her breasts. Then he rolled with her and pulled her on top of him. With one trembling hand he shoved her blouse off her shoulders and her breasts bounced freely into his cupping fingers. With the other hand he expertly found her clit and, resting the flat of his palm on her mound, he stroked and rubbed with the pad of his thumb.

One wave of orgasm collapsed in on the next, like the waves breaking against the cliffs at St Bee’s Head. Then both of his hands settled to her hips and he thrust up, nearly bucking her off in his efforts to penetrate still deeper. His grip on her hips was bruising, and she slammed against him harder and harder with each thrust, emotions surged – emotions that she didn’t want to feel, emotions that she did want to feel, emotions that she had wanted to feel from the time she was a little girl. And somewhere in the midst of their thrusting and pushing, she realised that not all of the emotions were hers. But she couldn’t think, she couldn’t concentrate on anything but the in and out, push and shove, like a mantra, like a spell being woven in rhythm, in repetition, in sync. And then they both came, screaming and raging and rolling in the moss until he was once again on top of her, his weight feeling like the weight of the world, and yet at the same time feeling like a blanket protecting her from the depths of her own pain. How could this be? How could she ever experience anything like this with some strange horny ghost on the fells?

She found herself with a million questions, and yet by the time she caught her breath, she was fast asleep. To her total surprise, he had crossed the dream threshold and they were chasing the dream together.

 

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Beginnings: Chapter 1 of Alonso Darlington’s Story: Landscapes

I’m doing a shameless selfie today. No, you’re eyes have not deceived you. There is no picture of me in soggy walking clothes or me with a gorgeous Scottish landscape behind me. I’m shamelessly promoting britboysonboys cover imageone of my own stories — well one of my own characters, actually — Alonso Darlington. I’m promoting Alonso or several reasons. First, he’s a fascinating character and I love to write about him. Second his novella, Landscapes, is a part of the Brit Boys: On Boys Book Bundle, which is now being promoted in conjunction with the new Brit Boys release, Brit Boys with Toys. And finally, Alonso Darlington has a staring role in my online serial, In The Flesh. The bloke gets around. Thought you might enjoy a little sneak peek of his story, from Landscapes.

 

Brit Boys: On Boys Bundle blurb:

From east to west and north to south, these British boys are having a blast in and out of the bedroom with the men of their dreams. They’re topping and bottoming from London to Cardiff, living out fantasies in the wildest fells and hooking up while serving HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

With passion and lust the name of the game, nothing is off limits. Throw in honed muscles, high-strength testosterone and an accent to die for and there is nothing they can’t do and no one they can’t get in this world or another.

Don’t miss Brit Boys: On Boys—a smokin’ hot box set, containing 147,000 words/440 pages of unforgettable M/M erotic romance from eight popular British authors.

 

Landscapes Blurb:

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

 

Chapter 1 Back on British Soil

It wasn’t that Reese Chambers made my cock hard – though he did. It wasn’t that he was beautiful in a rugged, leather and stone sort of way – though he was. It was that Reese Chambers moved me in ways I had not been moved in a very long time, in ways that I, who never lacked just the right words to express myself, found my vocabulary inadequate to the task. Talia would call it an obsession, and maybe it was; from my first sight of him mantling his sketchpad like a bird of prey over a fresh kill, alone in the midst of the crowded pub, I could think of nothing else. It was my first night back on British soil. It is said that you can never go back home, and it had been a very long time for me. But the need to come home was in my blood like fever these past years, as were so many needs that never left me, but only sharpened with the passing of time.

Next to me, Talia droned on about suitable residences in Cumbria, about the leasing of a car and the Brit Boys: With Toysmaking of necessary renovations. The Twa Dogs was busy for a Monday night with tourist season past, but being invisible was sometimes easier in a crowd. As Talia talked business in softly accented English, the men at the bar gave her admiring glances. Along with the permeating waft of warm bodies and fermented barley, I smelled the subtle spice of curiosity and the yeasty bread scent of simmering lust from men who knew the woman they admired was out of their league. Besides being excellent at her job, Talia was good for keeping attention off me. But there was little less than a lightning bolt that would have taken my attention off Reese Chambers.

He sat at a table near the exit, sketching in an open pad, his pint gone wanting as he lost himself in his work. I admire people of focus; people whose work is also their calling. They seem to exist on a different plane from the rest of us, and no one or nothing outside can touch them. I very much wanted to touch Reese, to draw his attention away, to hear his voice, to perhaps solicit a smile from him, to know that for a moment his attention was on me. But I’m a cautious man, and time is always on my side. The anticipation of knowing Reese Chambers in itself was to be savoured, not unlike just that right amount of intoxication, when warmth and relaxation take one to the boarders of euphoria, but no further.

‘There are three places that might be suitable.’ I returned my attention to Talia. ‘One in the Borrowdale Valley and two near Ullswater. But perhaps you should consider going back to High View, after all it is your –’

‘Find out who he is.’ I nodded in Reese’s direction. Before Talia could protest, I continued. ‘I have a roof over my head, and I’ve fed. There’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.’

Talia’s cheekbones flushed with the rush of blood, and heaven knew how beautiful she was in such a state, porcelain pale skin, midnight blue eyes and hair, which was so close to black that no one but I would have noticed all of the other colours in her silken tresses. She knew what it was I asked of her, and she knew the delicate line she tread on the rare occasion when I did ask. A tremor passed up her long, straight spine, and a bloom of tiny goose bumps textured her bare arms. It would not be painless, what I asked, and I knew she feared it as much as she longed for it. I could hear the thud thud of her pulse in the thin, silken skin of her throat as she swallowed the sudden dryness of fear. ‘What do you want to know?’

I leaned forward to rake the tip of my thumb against the pulse point in her temple. ‘Everything, Talia. I want to know all of it. And when you know, come directly to me. I don’t care what time it is when you return.’

Only her eyelids fluttered her acknowledgment, for an anxious moment shuttering the brilliance of her eyes before she drank back her Merlot and excused herself to the ladies to freshen up.

I took little notice of her leave, but like a child left alone with the candy jar he couldn’t reach, I sat teasertemplate_BBoBKDtaking the object of my lust into my hungry senses, watching the muscles of his arms move beneath fine bronze skin as he sketched, watching the rapid rise and fall of his chest, as though what he sketched excited him, as though he were breathless from his engagement with it. His hair, unkempt and in need of a cut, was the colour of newly-forged bronze and the rapid shudder of his pulse against his throat made my lips tingle with the need to be pressed there where the life force flowed so close to the surface, there with his excitement, there with his passion. I licked my lips tasting the copper salt of my own sweat, and opened my mouth just slightly, just enough to take in the scent of him — the heat of his body, the cinnamon bite of his intense focus, and my cock shuddered heavily against my trousers. For a brief moment the sound of my own blood rushing through my body drown out the dart game behind me, the low drone of a football match on the big screen TV, the clink of glasses, the shuffle of feet. I heard only the rising of my blood and the scratching of his pencil against the rough-textured paper. For a moment, I sensed his own lust, harnessed tightly and focused through a needle’s eye on his creation and, God, I wanted that focus on me.

Before Talia returned, I stood to leave, and as I brushed passed him I smelled damp earth and verdant growth, I smelled a spark freshly kindled, and at the back of my throat I could taste his essence, as though passion itself had been distilled from the lusting creative force of the human soul. I inhaled once, then again, then I left the pub, having no idea just how powerful my lust for Reese Chambers really was, nor the sequence of events it would set off.

 

It was nearing dawn when Talia returned to our accommodations smelling of sex, as I knew she would if In The Flesh 2 12006311_1476805985954344_6570546160088833292_nshe were to obtain for me what I wanted. By then my blood burned in my veins, and my body felt too close to me, as though the flesh that I dwelt in suddenly conspired to crush me with its demands. And though I knew that Reese Chambers could not have refused her even if she had come to him as a toothless, foul-smelling hag, I hated her that he had poured himself into her body while I had been left with only my fantasies kindling my lust to an inferno.

Though my need was such that my flesh was fevered and my cock an insistent throb, until she returned, I held myself contained within skin that felt too thin. When she saw the state that I was in, she pulled the heavy drapes with an efficient tug, then with a nod of her head, motioned me to follow her down into the basement room that had been prepared for me. When she turned to me at the foot of the bed, before she could opened her kiss-bruised lips to speak, I took her mouth, starving for the first taste of him, the taste of his saliva, the taste of his blood, mixed with hers. She’d bitten him; he’d bitten her back. He was rough, and he liked to be treated rough, but he kept that to himself. He was embarrassed by it. His lips were slightly chapped from so much time in the sun and wind, and they’d slid against hers, suckling and stroking and pressing until her mouth opened to his. With ravenous laps of my tongue, I tasted him in her mouth, and she held back the moan of response, so I could hear the echoes of his groans, heavy with need he’d not satisfied in awhile, and I felt kinship in my own unsatisfied needs. Images of him flashed through my head. Christ, his eyes were green, dark green like the evergreen forests of the north, and he kept them open when he kissed her, taking her in with his eyes.

I shoved aside the silk of her low bodice exposing her breasts, breasts that his hands had cupped. My nipples peeked to sharp aching points at the feel of his calloused thumbs raking, pressing and releasing. I breathed in his scent on her breasts, burying my face in her cleavage, licking the taste of salty, slightly picante maleness, sniffing and tasting until I could stand it no more. In one violent jerk, I tore the dress all the way down and shoved it off her shoulders, away from the flesh he had licked and kissed and mounted. I cried out at the feel of him, weight on one elbow, knee spreading her thighs, fingers opening her heaviness, anxious to penetrate, anxious to relieve his need. And then, with Talia free of clothing, Reese Chambers’ essence filled the room. Talia’s panties were still wet with his semen mixed with her humid desire, and I tore them from her and forced her onto her stomach, onto her hands and knees, so that it was not her face I saw, but his that I imagined. With hands on her hips, I raised her bottom in the air and spread her still swollen, still slippery folds with fingers made awkward by my arousal, letting the scent of his hot bread and honey release intoxicate me. Then I buried my face in her snatch and, as I ate his lust from her, I knew him.

He was Cumbrian born and bred, and his accent was the soft lilting sound of the fells. He was a landscaper and a gardener by trade. His hands held the magic of the earth and his mind conceived ideas for beautiful outdoor spaces; those he liked best were patterned after Renaissance and medieval gardens. He was homesick and heartsick. He’d gone to Surrey to work with his father because the money was good. But his father had died recently and he had returned home to Cumbria. He didn’t care if he had to work in a pub or muck stables. He wanted to be home. He missed the people and he missed the fells. He missed the simpler, more honest rhythms of life. He was shy, even a bit reclusive. He read voraciously and widely, he liked astronomy and he was afraid of snakes, though it embarrassed him to admit it. He hadn’t had sex in a long time, and found it better to have a wank session than a meaningless encounter. The facts of him, the details of his life raced at me in a flood I consumed ravenously with each lap of my tongue.

As I ate Talia I felt the shape of his face, the curve of his chin, the rise and fall of his chest as he had done the same. I felt the soft tuft of bronze curls nestled between the hard rise of his pecs and the courser, deeper curls that caressed his testicles and his cock when it was at rest, but it hadn’t been at rest. How many times had he taken her? He was thick enough to fill her and the friction of him inside was delicious and maddening. The shape of him – I wanted to caress the shape of him, with my hands, with my mouth, and the taking of his essence from Talia was an act of ripping away something that should have been mine. As I bruised her arse with kneading fingers and, as I licked the last of his release from her, she managed a breathless moan. ‘Take the rest. God, Alonso, take the rest, and release me.’

I could hold back no longer. I rose on my knees behind him, and now it was truly him I saw as clearly as if Talia had brought him to me physically. With one hand wrestling at my fly, the other fondled his tender opening, careful as he lay there beneath me, legs parted, bottom exposed. In my mind’s eye, I would be gentle. He had not been with a man before. That I would be his first excited far more than just my cock. In my mind’s eye, I would make it good for him. I would make love to him as not even Talia could do. But in reality I was once removed, ripping vicariously the love I wanted from a succubus, and I was unable to do so graciously or without malice. When my cock was free, I took her ruthlessly, the sound of her closely entwined pain and pleasure far away. And once I had penetrated her depths, I took the rest of what I wanted, a connection, a connection that I could hold on to. I ripped it from her as surely as if I had ripped her skin from her flesh, fisting her hair and yanking her head back, bruising her hips, biting her shoulders.

And when I had savaged her for having him, and yet blessed her that she had done such for me, when I In the Flesh 11880534_1463650103936599_545702979581425574_nhad ripped a release from her, then I felt him rising up, erect and needing to come, I felt him penetrating, deep and hard, varying his pace, torturing himself, torturing me as he had tortured her, as my own balls ached under their weight. The muscles of his buttocks clenched and released with each thrust and the look on his face as he came was pain and pleasure and vulnerability, and then distance. I took Talia cruelly, as she knew I would, punishing her for the betrayal that I had forced upon her even as every thrust, every bite, every bruising of her delicate skin, skin that smelled of his sweat, of his breath, of his semen, brought the reality of Reese Chambers, his pain, his dreams, his passion into me, deep into me. As she fucked him, I fucked her, by the very act, taking back from her what she had taken from him, every detail of who he was, alive with each thrust, with each bite, with each bruise that I dealt her.

And when I had used her up, taking from her every memory, every nuance of Reece Chambers, when she collapsed beneath me with a sob, I felt the brush of my own guilt, my own shame, as I always did when I used her so. I spoke gently to her, thanking her, calming her as I bathed her and gently cleaned the aftermath of me from her body. Then I lifted her in my arms and took her to her room. She was weakened from the experience, as she always was, and when she nuzzled in against my chest, I opened the small incision above my left nipple, and when the blood beaded up, I pulled her close so that she could feed and heal. I stroked her hair and watched, imagining that it were him feeding from me, and feeling myself hardening again at the thought.

When she was sated and sleeping peacefully, I watched her for a moment. She would need all of her strength in the days to come, for she would be my conduit. She would be my connection to Reese Chambers. I knew that above ground it was now full daylight, and I could now sleep with the essence of him against my flesh, in my flesh. And tomorrow, we would begin plans to move back to High View, where I would most definitely have need of a landscaper.

 

In The Flesh Part 6: Free Story in Progress. Enjoy!

Happy Friday Everyone! Time for more chills and thrills with part 6 of my dark paranormal story, In The Flesh.  psyche_et_lamour_327x567

In the Flesh is a dark and sexy story that has had several incarnations in its shorter form, but never quite worked because it needed space to grow. I couldn’t think of a better place for it to grow. In the Flesh is a blend of paranormal erotica and almost, but not quite … okay, quite possibly … horror. What I’m sharing with you, this version, is an expanding work in progress. You get it just shortly after I write it, and as far as what happens next, well … we’ll see. 

Happy Reading! 

 

 

 

 

To read the story in its entirety up to this point, follow these links to  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 & Part 4 Part 5.

 

Part 6

If I had been lost in the garden trying to get to the kitchen door of Chapel House, I was even more so trying to get away. rose images
In my panic, there was no being quiet and, with each snapping of twig and rustling of undergrowth, I was certain someone was following me, certain I could hear footsteps right behind me. I had been attacked under the sculpture of the angel. Christ, had it been Michael after me all along? Though my own breathing sounded like a rush of wind, and the hammer of my pulse thrummed like thunder, still I was certain I heard the breath of another just behind me. Frantically I glanced over my shoulder, seeing nothing but the sway of the brambles and overgrown lilacs I’d just shoved my way through. Too late, I turned my attention back to the path. My foot caught on the upturned edge of a paving stone disturbed by an ancient hawthorn root that resembled a thick serpent shoving it’s way up from the depths. I did a belly flop, an outstretched bramble scratching my cheek as I went down. For an instant the world went black, flashes of colour exploded behind my eyelids, and then my vision returned. I would have screamed as the sudden scent of roses overwhelmed me, but there was no breath left for it, and stunned as I was, I couldn’t quite remember how to move. It was that same sense of paralysis I’d experienced in nightmares when I needed desperately to run away, to flee some horrible danger, and yet my body refused to respond.

Though my body refused to respond to the need to run, parts of it responded perfectly to the touch down my spine, the kneading caress of my bottom, the heat of muscle and sinew and heavy maleness stretched out alongside me, an insinuating knee between my legs making room for further exploration of fingers I could feel on bare skin in spite of knowing full well that I was still completely clothed. Another hand curled in my hair, pushing the tangle aside to expose my nape and the back of my neck, to clear a path for lips and teeth and tongue. I think I might have said ‘please don’t,’ but then I might have simply said ‘please.’ Wherever I was, it was not in my head. But I was most definitely in my body, nipples aching, hips shifting, oblivious to the hard rock of the path bruising ribs and belly, responding only to the fingers that had found me embarrassingly wet and needy. A little voice somewhere so far off that I could barely hear it kept whispering that I should fight back, that I should run away, but it was hard to listen to that voice when I felt like my whole body would burst into flame with longing for more of whatever it was, whoever it was teasing me so exquisitely. It was hard to listen to that small voice inside myself when something outside me whispered louder, whispered words I didn’t understand at first, all the while nibbling my ear lobe and trailing kisses down along my shoulder now somehow exposed. I must have gotten lost in the voice. I don’t know how long. It could have been a second, it could have been an eternity, but my next conscious thought was that I had been maneuvered onto my hands and knees, bottom raised, legs open, that my jeans and panties were down around my thighs and a body much larger than my own, mantled me, warm, naked, smelling of male lust, dark and heavy and primordial-thick as the fecund vegetation around me. No matter how good my imagination, I was certain the weight of an erection rubbing low against my spine was real, becoming more real with each passing moment as it slid up the cleft of my buttocks, seeking me out like a stag in rut.

“No one can give you what I can, Susan.’ This time I understood every word, felt the shape of warm lips against2015-06-24 12.43.56 my ear. ‘I can show you such ecstasy, such beauty. I can show you the meaning of the universe and everything in it. I know your longings, your dreams, the depth of your heart, and I want you. To be wanted, to be possessed by a god. Is that not everyone’s deepest desire? And yet you, my beauty, you want more than that, don’t you? You want to possess god. Just like Lucifer before you, you want what god has. You want me to open myself to you, to pour my wisdom into you, my creative force as surely as I pour my lust into you.’ The hands had become insistent, groping breasts and belly, fingering me open, touching every part of me in ways even I didn’t know I wanted to be touched. The voice, the whisper, became so intimate that I could feel it inside my head, inside the blood pounding at my temples. ‘And then you want to take the mind of god and translate it, write it down with your gift of words and share it with the rest of humanity. Oh, I know you, my darling, and I know your deepest longing. You are the object of my lust, Susan, and the object of my love. I want no other. I desire only to make you my lover, and in doing so I will give you the mind of god.’

“But you’re not god.” The words erupted from my parched throat feeling as though I had vomited them from the depths just as the scent of roses gave way to burning garbage, and I gasped for air, shoving and clawing at the pavement against the weight on top of me. A gust of wind whipped my hair around in my face as I managed to pull myself into a sitting position. Suddenly free from the heaviness of the masculine body that had not really been there, at least not in the flesh, I fumbled my jeans up over my arse, embarrassed, angry and frustrated, but mostly just really, really scared. The flash of a knife was my only warning before Annie was on top of me, shoving me back down onto the jagged paving stones.

‘I told you to get out!’ She screamed, jamming a knee in my ribs. I caught her wrist and rolled just in time to keep her from plunging the knife into my stomach. ‘Your stuff, I threw it over the fence. You should have taken it and left. I don’t want you here. I never wanted you here. Now you’ve ruined it all. I’ll kill you! I will. I need him, and he needs me. He’ll understand that once you’re dead.’ She tried again to bring the knife down, but this time a large hand grabbed hold of her arm and yanked her off, tossing her into a bed of overgrown geraniums as though she weighed nothing, all the while she screamed and raged and cursed me. The next thing I knew, Michael jerked me to my feet and flung me over his shoulder like I was a sack of grain. I screamed and did my best to squirm free making useless attempts to knee him in the stomach. “You lied to me! It’s you! It was you all along, you sonovabitch! It was you all along!” The air reeked of burning rubbish and my lungs burned like fire. The wind had risen to near gale force and I could do nothing but close my streaming eyes and hang on as Michael shoved through the rank vegetation, slammed open the wrought iron gate and shoved me into the passenger seat of the lorry. ‘Let me out,’ I managed around a hacking cough. ‘You lied to me! Let me out now!’ But instead, he belted me in the seat and locked the door.

‘It wasn’t me, goddammit! Now shut up and sit still until I can get us out of here or it’s it’ll be all over.’

2015-06-24 12.46.27               I didn’t argue further. I knew he was right. We needed to leave now. The wind rattled the truck as though it would turn it over, and for a terrifying moment I though it might. The air, even inside the cab was foul enough to make breathing secondary to not asphyxiating. Michael had pulled the collar of his t-shirt up over his mouth and nose, and I did the same with his jacket, stiff-legging the floorboard and bracing against the dash with the flat of my palm as Michael revved the engine and downshifted, shoving his way through a brutal headwind. He cursed, stomped hard on the gas pedal, and we sped toward the street. With a screech of tires on pavement and a quick swerve into traffic, the wind died completely away and the air cleared as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened. To everyone around us it was just a normal summer day.

“What about Annie? We can’t just leave her. He’ll kill her,” I said when I could speak again.

“He won’t kill her.” Michael kept both eyes on the road, but I didn’t miss the frequent glances in the rear-view mirror. “He’ll punish her by fucking her until she’s too weak to move, all the while telling her that she’s his only love, that his heart’s broken that she could be jealous, that she could think he’d want anyone else.”

I fought down panic at the thought. “She’s already weak. She’s just skin and bones, and she can hardly function now.”

“It won’t matter,” he replied. “ He knows just how close to the edge to take her. He’ll never kill her, and he’ll never let her die while she’s with him. Even when he replaces her with someone else, he never kills his lovers once he’s through with them. He doesn’t have to. He’s become their reason for living. Without his attentions, they’re all more than willing to sacrifice themselves to him. Look,” he said, glancing at me then back through the mirror, “right now there really is nothing you can do, and by going back you put yourself in danger. Don’t let her weakened condition fool you. She’d kill you in a heartbeat, and you’d be surprised just how strong her jealously, her lust for him will make her.”

“There has to be something we can do.”

“Not right now there isn’t. Not after what you’ve just been through, and not when both his attention and hers is fully on you. Now get some rest. You’re exhausted.”

Rest wasn’t my intention, forcing him to turn the truck right back around so I could go get my car and get the St Teresa BerniniEl-extasis-de-Santa-Teresa4hell out of Dodge until I could figure what to do was my intention. I sure as hell had no reason to trust him now. But I did rest. That’s exactly what I did. I slept the sleep of exhaustion, blissful and dreamless with no room for thoughts of what might have happened if things had played out uninterrupted by a crazy friend with a sharp knife and man who might be an angel, or could possibly be even worse than what he’d rescued me from. Christ, sleep was the safest place for me. None of those thoughts needed to be visited, especially not when everything in me felt like an open wound too tender to even touch.

 

When I woke up, I was in a large bed down between midnight blue sheets that smelled slightly woody. From the angle of the sun it was clear most of the day had passed without my knowledge, which suited me just fine under the circumstances. I was still in that state of blurred consciousness I often had when waking. I was no longer in the oblivion of the unconscious, but not fully aware of the goings on in the waking world either. There’s something to be said for not being fully aware. My unconscious struggled to pull me back down into the dark cushioning layers of sleep, and the part of myself that was conscious made a heroic effort to comply. Not wanting to wake up became an imperative, one that my body would have been completely willing to obey had I not noticed Michael standing on the balcony beyond open French doors, silhouetted in the mauve and melon tones of the setting sun. “You’re awake,” he said, turning to face me. I could tell he was fresh from the shower. He was naked to the waist, dark hair curling around his ears. The white gauze curtains billowed on a breeze around his body obscuring and revealing and obscuring again. Beyond him I could make out the hunched backs and rocky outcroppings of the fells thrust up against the horizon. I thought we were in the Lake District, but I wasn’t sure. What was it, an hour by car, forty-five minutes? How long had I slept? I had no memory of him bringing me into the house or putting me into bed. That I was still fully clothed eased my fears a little bit, but then whatever it was that had attacked me in the gardens at Chapel House hadn’t needed to remove my clothing to take his jollies, nor to make me want him. I shivered in spite of the thick duvet spread over me, keeping my eyes on Michael, whom I still didn’t trust whether he had undressed me or not.

For an instant, with the curtains obscuring his legs and groin, with his hand outreached to push them aside revealing the curve of bicep and the straight broad expanse of chest and shoulders he could have passed for the statue in the ruined garden. Suddenly I was wide awake. Panic rose up my spine. I bolted from the bed and was halfway to the door before he caught me by the arm and gently steered me back into the room, settling me into a large wing-backed chair in front of a stone fireplace with no more effort than if I’d been an errant child. “It’s alright. You’re safe.”

“Safe, am I? Safe?” In spite of my best efforts to calm down, my voice rose with each word.

“You didn’t dream, did you?” He asked, pushing a strand of hair away from my face with the curl of a finger.

I shook my head. “How did you know?”

He shrugged one well-muscled shoulder and offered me a self-deprecating smile. “You were exhausted, and I knew if I could get you to sleep, I could keep you from dreaming.”

“You? You got me to sleep? Jesus!’ I whispered. “How?”

“Just the power of suggestion. Nothing magical or anything.” He looked away, suddenly unable to meet my Graveyard angel 1gaze. “Not really anyway.”

With a flash of memory, I recalled my first encounter with the angel in the overgrown garden, the inviting hand, the look of longing. The encroaching evening went silent around me, or maybe the thought, the impossible thought forcing its way front and center in my mind had simply blocked out everything else, everything not relevant to the situation. It was a thought I really would have preferred not to have, but there it was filling my brain, refusing to go away. I braced my feet hard against the floor to keep my legs from shaking, took a deep breath and gave that thought substance. “You’re an angel, aren’t you?” And just like that, I slid deeper into the rabbit hole.

 
© 2017 K D Grace
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