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Out Now! Beast Denied by Faye Avalon (@faye_avalon) #paranormal #PNR #shifters

Beast DeniedBook Blurb:

To embrace the future, they must defy the past.

Beasts of Bodmin Moor, Book 2

Naomi Flynn never intends to mate or marry. Either one would leave her open to the manipulation she’s sworn never to endure again. Besides, no panther male will want her once they know the truth behind what happened a decade ago.

She’s happy to burn up the sheets in a buddy-with-benefits arrangement, until a craving for a three-way sexual adventure thrusts her right back into the arms of the man she can’t afford to remember.

Tynan Galloway doesn’t intend to stand by and watch the woman he wants throw herself at every male with a pulse except him. Ten years ago, a brutal assault robbed him of his destiny as a protector of the pack, but damned if Naomi is going to be another casualty of his fate.

In the heat of a fantasy come true, Naomi’s resolve to keep her emotional distance weakens. But when Tynan discovers she’s in potential danger, he dares her to deny he’s the only man who can protect her. Never expecting she’ll go to extremes to prove him wrong…

Product Warnings

A hot panther shifter with something to prove, a heroine with a secret to keep, and a threesome arrangement which brings out the teeth and claws.

*Top Pick* Night Owl Reviews

“captivating paranormal romance…fast paced…sizzling chemistry…spine tingling tension.”

https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Reviews/Evampire-reviews-Beast-Denied-by-Faye-Avalon

 

Buy Links:

Samhain: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5747/beast-denied

Amazon: http://myBook.to/BeastDenied

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beast-denied-faye-avalon/1122833125?ean=9781619233034

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-beastdenied-1955321-340.html?referrer=6bdb1f9160564c0525b41f36e51861a0

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/beast-denied

 

Excerpt:

Pushing through the jittery discomfort, Naomi moved until her back was to the men. She reached around to unhook her bra, then held the unfastened cups close to her chest. Turning back, with the men’s gazes focused on her still-covered breasts, she let the straps fall away. There was a sense of power, Naomi thought, in holding a man enthralled, or in this case, men. While it might have been better easing herself into this particular game more gradually, there was sometimes a lot to be said for simply plunging in at the deep end.

Reminding herself this was her choice, her fantasy, she let her hand fall away, and the bra fell to the floor.

Malcolm groaned, his prick bobbing again. Derek had barely moved, but his throat contracted as he swallowed.

Twisting around again, Naomi hooked her fingers into the sides of the wispy black panties and began to lower them down over her hips, the cool brush of air on her bared backside sending shivers along her sensitive flesh.

“Fuck. Get over here before I come just by looking at you.”

Malcolm, Naomi thought. The more gregarious of the two. Derek was far more intense, quietly watching her as the three of them had chatted in the bar, and now while she performed her striptease.

When she turned back, Derek was on his knees at the end of the bed. His eyes gleamed dangerously, and he grabbed her wrist, yanking her onto the mattress. She tumbled facedown, the breath knocked out of her.

Hands trailed over her naked flesh, sliding up her thighs, cupping her rear, stroking her back. Roughly, she was tossed onto her back, and she looked up into Derek’s menacing gaze. His cock pressed against her leg, while Malcolm cupped her pussy.

Oh shit. What was she doing? She didn’t know these men. Had no idea what sort of people they were apart from the fact they were down from London on business and, like her, were looking for a good time.

She was such an idiot. She needed her damned head examined.

Her strength was greater than that of human women, but when she tried to scramble up, Derek pressed her back with ease. “You’re not going anywhere until we get what you’ve been promising all evening.”

Malcolm laughed and pressed his finger inside her. “She’s up for it,” he said on another laugh. “Just likes to make it more exciting, don’t you, babe?”

He pushed deeper, making her flinch. “Like that, don’t you?”

“No. This was a mistake. I—”

Derek shoved Malcolm aside, then scrambled between Naomi’s legs, pushing them apart with his knees. She tried again to get up, but he pressed a hand to her shoulder, weighing her down. “Give me a damn condom.”

Malcolm tossed him the foil packet, and, keeping his gaze on hers, Derek ripped it open. His feral look pushed fresh fear into her stomach, and with every ounce of strength she possessed, she tried to scramble up. She couldn’t budge him.

Derek released his hold on her shoulder to slide on the rubber, but before she could take the chance to escape, Malcolm pinned down her arms.

Panic clutched at her throat, nausea churning her stomach. Oh God. This was so not how she’d thought it would be.

With his face a snarling mask of determination and sickening lust, Derek yanked up her hips.

“I… I’ve changed my mind.”

Her throat was so tight, she could barely enunciate, and it was evident he hadn’t heard her when he grabbed his cock and leaned over her.

“I said, no!” With sheer will, she directed every fiber of strength into her arms. Energy pulsed along her muscles, firing the nerve endings, and she sucked air into her tight lungs. Releasing her breath, she shoved upward, and Malcolm toppled back. Naomi had a glimpse of the shock lighting his face before she pushed at Derek’s shoulders. When he recoiled, she took advantage of the surprise factor and scrambled off the bed.

She almost made it to the bathroom, intent on getting her dress and hightailing it out of there, but Derek caught her around the waist.

Naomi lashed out, shoving her foot against his chest with such force that Derek went hurling into the air and across the room. He landed awkwardly against the walnut bureau, blood oozing from his cheek.

While Malcolm stood motionless by the bed, watching openmouthed, Derek wiped a hand across his face. He stared at the blood-smeared hand and staggered dazedly to his feet. Naomi didn’t hang around. She grabbed her dress from the bathroom and hurried into it. Snatching up her bag, she beat a hasty retreat.

She dashed out into the empty hallway and, with her dress half-zipped, fled down the hotel stairs. The lights in the reception area were dimmed for the night, but she focused on the revolving door ahead of her. When she pushed at it, nothing happened. She gave it another shove before realizing they were probably locked for security reasons. Glancing in the direction of the reception desk, she saw a young man hurrying toward her.

“Is everything okay?” His pale eyes were full of concern. “Can I help you with something?”

“Just let me out of here,” she said. “Please.”

He hesitated, and Naomi considered summoning that superhuman strength she’d found upstairs to get the doors open.

“What the hell’s going on?”

Her mind buzzed, her body still trembled, but through the mayhem of it all, she recognized the voice from behind her. She took a moment to center herself, to find a degree of balance, which bordered on impossible as memories slammed into her.

Tynan Galloway.

Naomi had spent the past decade well over a hundred miles away from him, and during the months she’d been back in Bodmin had managed to largely avoid him. Now he decided to show up at the lowest point in her existence. Well, not the lowest, but she wasn’t going there right then, and certainly not with him looming beside her.

She turned, her hands trembling around the strap of her bag, and met his piercing emerald gaze. It had haunted her for so long, the devastating hue of it. But now, facing it again, her heart trembled.

“I just need to leave.” She swallowed before addressing the young porter. “Can you please open the door?”

His concerned gaze slid over her short black dress as, she imagined, did Tynan’s. “Are you sure everything’s all right, miss?”

“Everything’s fine. I just—”

“Brandy,” Tynan said to the porter. “Double, I think.”

Before Naomi could object, the young man nodded and slipped away. Tynan took her arm and headed for a nearby chair. She tried to shake him off. She’d had quite enough of being manhandled for one bloody evening.

“I don’t want brandy. I just want to leave. I’ve had a crappy night.”

Still with his hand on her arm, he swung her half around so her back was to him. “Is that why your dress is unzipped?”

She took the inference. “It’s none of your business.”

“If you’re sleeping with a sleazebag who throws you out in the middle of the night before letting you get dressed, I’m making it my business.”

He zipped her dress, then plunked her down on the chair and pulled another one close so he could sit facing her. His knees bumped hers.

The contact shot a wave of longing through her. “All I want is to get out of here. And what are you doing skulking around hotel lobbies in the middle of the night? Doesn’t high-tech hacking keep you busy enough?”

“Yeah.” He frowned, effectively ignoring her barbed comment. “But there’s always room for more excitement.”

Seeing as she’d had more than enough excitement for one night, Naomi found it hard to agree.

The porter came back with brandy, hovering over her like a mother hen while she dutifully sipped at it. At Tynan’s nod, he moved away back to the reception desk and left them alone in the dimly lit hall.

“Want to tell me about it?”

She peered at him through narrowed eyes. “No.”

Tynan kept a steady focus on her, almost as if he could see right down to her very soul. She remembered that look. She hated it.

“Did he hurt you?”

He asked the question so quietly, so gently, her eyes filled and she turned away. She was coming down, all that adrenaline leveling out and leaving her raw, exposed. She’d felt that way once before with Tynan, a long time ago. She hated that too.

 

Copyright © 2016 Faye Avalon
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Author Bio:

Faye Avalon enjoys writing sexy stories about strong men and the savvy women who rock their world. She has taken a roundabout journey toward her writing career, working as cabin crew, detouring into property development, public relations and education, before finally finding her passion: writing spicy romantic fiction.

Faye lives with her super-ace husband and one beloved, ridiculously spoiled dog. They regularly expand their family by boarding puppies destined to become guide dogs. Between writing, reading, running around after manic puppies and grabbing some quality time with her husband, Faye enjoys a challenging yoga session or a night at the movies.

Links:

Website:  www.fayeavalon.com

Blog: www.fayeavalon.wordpress.com

Twitter: @faye_avalon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/faye.avalon.1

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/fayeavalon1/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/fayeavalon/

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Out Now! Cupid by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985 @evernightpub) #holiday #christmas #erotica #romance #shifter #paranormal #pnr

CupidBlurb:

As a postman by day, and one of Santa’s reindeer on a single very special night, Cassius Cupid eats, sleeps, and breathes deliveries. He doesn’t mind, but sometimes wishes that someone would send him something more exciting than bills and junk mail.

One cold January morning, Cassius gets his wish. A young woman arrives with a parcel. Turns out it’s for his housemate – but Cassius doesn’t care. All he’s interested in is Carina – the beautiful female courier.

Has Cupid finally met his match?

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/cupid/

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27255784-cupid

*****

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Excerpt:

Cassius Cupid woke with a start, and then sat bolt upright in his bed. Shit, I’m going to be late! was his first thought.

Milliseconds later his brain switched on, and he remembered. He was on holiday. Flopping back onto the warm mattress and pillows with a contented sigh, he smiled. No work for fourteen whole days—it was going to be utter bliss. He stretched, relishing the feeling it created in his sleep-softened muscles. Ahhh…this is the life.

He knew he wouldn’t go back to sleep—hell, it was eight o’clock, which was practically the middle of the day for someone in his profession—so Cassius fell to thinking about how he was going to spend his day, not to mention the several others in front of him. God knew he deserved to relax and have some fun. He’d just emerged from the busiest part of his year, and he was more than ready to do some chilling out.

He enjoyed his job as a postman—he really did—but the Christmas period was a total killer. He idly wondered how many cards and presents he’d delivered over the past few weeks. It didn’t bear thinking about. Once you factored in the festive period itself, the weird few days between Christmas and New Year, and then the flurry of mail that got sent when everyone went back to work properly at the beginning of January, he’d racked up some serious deliveries. And that was before you even thought about his other job—which was for just one day a year, but was arguably more important than the other 364 put together.

Cassius—or Cupid, as he was known to his boss and colleagues in his second, but most important job—was not only a regular postman for the Royal Mail, but also a reindeer. For a single day of the year, Cassius had the supernatural power to transform into one of Santa’s faithful steeds and help pull that famous magical sleigh, delivering presents to excited children the world over.

Therefore, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Cassius really did eat, sleep and breathe deliveries, but not for the next fourteen days. All he planned to do was watch some TV, read some books, maybe go out hiking, meet some friends… basically anything that wasn’t delivering something to someone. Hey, he might even receive something through the post himself—preferably not the usual crap; bills and junk mail. He didn’t hold out much hope.

He lounged in bed for another ten minutes before realising he was lying there just for the sake of it. Being on holiday didn’t have to equal staying in bed all day—and certainly not for someone as active as him. He reached over to his bedside table, grabbed his glasses and put them on. Throwing off his thick duvet, he walked to his bedroom window and peeked out through the curtains, immediately glad of the effective central heating he and his housemate had forked out to have installed the previous year.

The outside world was covered in a thick layer of snow, and Cassius was mightily glad that he wasn’t out delivering letters and parcels. The stuff was treacherous enough without having to carry a heavy bag up and down driveways, paths, and pavements — most of which either hadn’t been cleared, or had been cleared badly, leaving incredibly slippery patches of ground for an unsuspecting postie to come across. God knows he’d gone down enough times, but, much to his relief, nobody had ever seen him do it. He’d always been relatively unharmed—excerpt for his pride, of course—and had been able to scramble back to his feet and carry on.

The eerie silence outside was broken by the rumble of an engine, and Cassius turned his head to look up the street—he lived in a cul-de-sac, so he knew that’s where the vehicle would come from—and watched as a delivery van made its way slowly and carefully down the road. He hoped the driver was sensible enough to try and steer over the thickest parts of the snow—the more people went over and over the same patches, packing it down, the more the road surface resembled an ice rink. And since the cul-de-sac was on a slight hill, it was easy enough to get stuck. He’d seen it so many times—even going outside one time last winter to suggest the driver go down to the bottom of the road, turn around and try reversing up the hill—an almost foolproof plan for vans with rear-wheel drive. He’d gotten a big thumbs-up for that suggestion as the driver finally got to the junction where the road became flat, and went on his merry way.

As the van drew closer to his house, he saw that the driver was a woman. That would explain her cautious driving—he’d never admit it to one of his drinking buddies, but women were far superior when it came to driving in adverse weather conditions. He even thought he’d seen some survey containing statistics that proved it.

Cupid-EvernightPublishing-Jayaheer2015-banner1

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 140 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

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Out Now! – First Beast by Faye Avalon @faye_avalon #PNR #romance #erotica

First BeastBook Blurb:

To protect his pack, he must guard his heart.

Lost on Bodmin Moor, twelve-year-old Talia Summers was cold, hurt and terrified, before being saved by a black panther that materialized out of the night.

Years later, Talia returns to the moor in search of that magnificent beast, but instead finds a man leading a clan of shape shifters. Yet the connection she remembers is strangely absent. She despairs of ever finding it again—until a stranger steps into her shower.

Back to claim his rightful place, Caleb McLeod’s fierce attraction to his half-brother’s female is tempered by the fact she’s a human. Worse, a journalist. He’ll not have his people’s survival threatened by a human female who continually pushes the boundaries of pack rules.

His solution? Mate with her. Control her. And if his brother doesn’t like it, they’ll simply have to share. For now.

But suspicion and lies threaten the growing bond between Talia and Caleb, and the past has a way of catching up. A way of destroying the bridge built between two worlds…between two hearts.

Beasts of Bodmin Moor, Book 1

Product Warnings

A red-hot panther shifter with an over-the-top possessive streak, a human reporter trying desperately to retain her independence, and enough sexual heat to set fire to the moors of Cornwall.

Buy Links:

Samhain Publishing:  https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5660/first-beast

Amazon:  http://myBook.to/FirstBeast

Nook: http://bit.ly/1PUTE0u

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1O0TGhG

 

Excerpt:

Since she’d deliberately gotten home early, Talia headed straight to the kitchen to put lasagna in the oven. She intended to make the evening special, to make up for some of the tension between her and Joshua.

Since the day was hot, unbearably so, she headed to the shower.

She’d expected Josh to be home, but wasn’t overly worried. He’d likely taken himself off to the moor and hadn’t yet gotten her text asking him to join her.

Thinking it might bring them closer if he’d shared that part of himself, Talia had once asked him to shift in front of her, but he’d steadfastly refused. It was his time, he’d said. Something he couldn’t share with anyone, even her.

Many times when she woke in the night he would be gone. On his return, he’d often wake her and they would make love. Lately, he’d come home with a restless energy. She’d feel him slide into bed, turn over and slip into a troubled sleep.

Maybe it was all part of being a shapeshifter. Something to do with the phases of the moon.

She stripped off her work clothes, put the shower on cool, and stepped beneath the spray. Closing her eyes, she enjoyed the feel of the water against her skin and let the tension of the day slide off her shoulders.

Over the spray of water, she heard the click of the back door. Joshua was home. She didn’t call out. He’d hear the shower soon enough, and by the time he reached the bathroom he would have stripped out of his clothes.

How was it that all their problems seemed to fall away when they had sex? Here, they were compatible. Here, they saw eye to eye.

So why did she still crave something that possibly didn’t even exist?

Unbidden, her thoughts slipped back to that night she’d gotten lost on the moor. Why in heaven was she thinking about it so often these days? It was as if something called to her, made her more aware of her longing for what she’d experienced back then. Josh had been a young panther, he’d told her, running solo for the first time. Most of his kind didn’t experience shifting until they reached puberty, and they had to run with more experienced members until they learned the secrets and challenges of the moor.

She’d been so desperate to learn more, to talk to him about that night and how much it had meant to her, but he was always circumspect. Probably because shifters weren’t supposed to talk about their experiences on the moor, especially not with humans.

Pushing the thoughts away, she continued to soap herself, anticipating the moment the bathroom door would open and Joshua would stand there in all his glory and ready to play. With her free hand, she reached out and rubbed at the steamy shower screen, giving herself a clear window through which she would be able to see him. She could hear his footsteps—weird how attuned she was becoming to sound, scent and vision. It was almost as if her own senses had sharpened since she’d mated with a shifter. Perhaps that was a side effect? She’d have to check it out with Joshua. That was, if he’d be willing to discuss it.

The footsteps seemed to wander from room to room, and she speculated as to what particular game Joshua was playing. Had he thought of yet another inventive way to string out the anticipation? To make her wait for him so that she was so hot by the time he reached her that she’d be desperate to jump him?

She’d be damned if she’d call out to him, because that was probably one of his intentions. Instead, she kept her mouth shut and determined to play whatever game they were in the middle of. She unhooked the shower attachment, and held it ready at chest level, so that when he opened the door to the shower cubicle, she’d be in the perfect position to blast him.

She bit down on her bottom lip. Denied the warmth of the shower water, she shivered from both the cool air on her flesh and the thought of what was to come. Knowing Josh, he’d be pissed when she drenched him, but a pissed and aroused Joshua was often a joy to behold.

The footsteps grew louder and seconds later, the slow squeak of the door signaled his arrival. Since her peephole had steamed up again, she couldn’t see him, but smiled as the dark shadow approached the cubicle door. She hummed softly, sashayed a little, so that he’d think she was unaware of his presence and was simply enjoying her shower.

The shadow remained outside the door, perfectly still and strangely menacing. Something niggled, seeming a little off. Did Josh seem taller, broader? She mentally nudged it away as a trick of the light, and possibly her own arousal. But goose-bumps lifted the tiny hairs on her arms and she gripped the showerhead tighter.

Without warning, the cubicle door swung open and Talia had the breath knocked out of her momentarily as the cold snap of air whooshed into the small space. Narrowing her eyes, she raised the showerhead and let the spray hit Josh full in the face.

“What the hell?”

The deep curse that echoed around the bathroom and the strong hand that clasped her wrist belonged not to her husband, but some brute of a man who towered over her while she stood naked and trembling.

“Who…what do you think you’re d-doing?”

With his free hand, he wiped his drenched face. “My question exactly, sweetheart.”

His deep green eyes glared at her, his grip tightening around her wrist so that she dropped the showerhead to the floor. In the process, it sprayed them both with water, soaking his dark gray T-shirt and jeans. It earned her another dark curse.

She tried to scream, but nothing came out. So she did the next best thing. She fought. Kicking, hitting out with her free hand, and meeting nothing but rock-solid muscle.

“Get out!” She lashed out once more, tugging furiously at his grip on her and trying in vain to get free of him. Her breath backed up in her lungs, all her muscles tight and trembling. “Let go of me!”

He wiped his face again, the lower part of it sporting dark stubble. Talia let her gaze skim over him, trying to memorize his features for when she had to give a description to the police. God. He was built like a truck. His neck alone would rival the span of her waist, while his chest rippled and heaved beneath the soaked shirt.

Suddenly aware of her nakedness, she ceased her perusal. “If you don’t let go of me, I’ll scream. So help me, I’ll scream loud enough to wake the dead.”

He only grinned at that, yet there was little humor in it. Feral, she thought dazedly. He reminded her of a determined predator…

Bloody hell. Was he a shifter? A member of a visiting pack? It seemed to happen pretty frequently, but from what she knew, they didn’t engage in breaking and entering.

The thought that this man might be a shifter terrified her. She knew of their strength, of their power. Of their primal charm and charisma…which had to explain the sudden resurgence of arousal that powered through her trembling body.

“Go ahead and scream. There’s nobody around to hear you.”

He was right, of course, and she shivered with alarm. Most of their neighbors were at work, and the house itself was on the edge of the moor, its strategic position giving the pack’s leader both status and tactical strength.

She raised her chin and made herself stare him straight in the eye. “You don’t scare me.”

Another feral grin. “Is that so?” He glanced insolently down at her breasts and the hard, pebbled nipples that rose to attention. “But it sure looks like I do something to you, sweetheart.”

She gasped, and he abruptly released his hold on her and stepped back. Since he was still blocking her exit from the cubicle, Talia couldn’t reach the towel she’d placed on the railing outside without brushing her body against him. She crossed one arm to cover her breasts, then reached down to palm her hand over her center.

When he glanced to where her hands were purposefully placed, she suffered the punch of his assessing gaze and felt more naked than ever.

“If you leave now, I won’t report you,” she stated, thankful that her voice had regained some of its authority. “Just go.”

In answer, he raised his arm over his head and grabbed the back of his sodden shirt. Effortlessly, he shrugged it off and dropped it to the floor.

Eyeing his chest, Talia swallowed. She’d thought Joshua’s chest was ripped, but this man’s was something else. Scars scored the wide expanse of hard, solid muscle, crisscrossing as if someone had planned to create a specific pattern there. But they did little to mar the sheer masculine perfection of his upper body. Down the right side of his torso, a deeper, angrier-looking scar traveled from his ribcage to disappear beneath his jeans.

So lost in her heady examination, she didn’t realize he’d moved closer to her.

She jerked back, flattening herself against the cubicle wall. “Don’t you dare touch me.”

He spared her a glance. “Just undertaking some damage control. If my jeans get any wetter, I’ll need to ditch them, then there’ll be two of us naked in this shower.” He reached around her to turn off the faucet. “From your overreaction so far, I’m not sure you’d be too happy about that.”

“My overreaction?” The absolute nerve of the jerk. “You’ve barged in here, threatened me—”

“Wasn’t aware I’d done anything to you.”

She half expected him to add yet, but he strolled across to the railing and picked up the towel she’d placed there. He tossed it to her, making her almost giddy with relief. If he was going to let her dry herself, surely his intentions weren’t quite as dishonorable as she’d feared.

She wrapped the towel tightly around herself, keeping her gaze firmly on him. He went over to the rack and selected another towel with which he proceeded to dry himself.

Her fears shot into orbit again when he positioned himself in front of the bathroom door, effectively barring her escape the way he had in the cubicle. Gingerly, she stepped out. If she could at least get access to the bathroom cabinet, she might be able to select something to use as a weapon.

“What’s your name?”

The question took her by surprise and she jerked her chin toward him. “I should be asking you that. So I know who to report when I make my statement to the police.”

Perhaps in retrospect, she shouldn’t antagonize him, but the nerve of the man. Breaking into her home, terrorizing her, demanding to know her name as if she were the intruder.

He laughed. “And just how many arrests has old Bill Tucker made recently?”

“You know him?”

“Since I was a kid. And if we’re talking arrests, maybe I should be the one pressing charges.”

“I don’t know what you mean. Now will you please stand aside and let me out of this bathroom?”

He threw the damp towel onto a nearby chair. “You’re not going anywhere, sweetheart. At least not until you answer my question.”

Since he’d planted his feet and crossed his arms over his massive chest, Talia swallowed down fresh tension. “What…what question?”

“Just what the hell are you doing in my house?”

Author Bio:

Faye Avalon enjoys writing sexy stories about strong men and the savvy women who rock their world. She has taken a roundabout journey toward her writing career, working as cabin crew, detouring into property development, public relations and education, before finally finding her passion: writing spicy romantic fiction.

Faye lives with her super-ace husband and one beloved, ridiculously spoiled dog. They regularly expand their family by boarding puppies destined to become guide dogs. Between writing, reading, running around after manic puppies and grabbing some quality time with her husband, Faye enjoys a challenging yoga session or a night at the movies.

Visit her at www.fayeavalon.com or on Twitter and Facebook.

Links:

Website:  http://www.fayeavalon.com

Blog: http://www.fayeavalon.wordpress.com

Twitter: @faye_avalon

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/faye.avalon.1

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/fayeavalon1/

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Another Visit to Vegas & a New WIP

S6302679I’m taking you back to Vegas today. Not that you weren’t expecting it, right? I take you there every chance I get. I thought I’d take you there on a warm summer evening, and not to one of the better parts of town, but to someplace a lot more dangerous. My new Work In Progress, Buried Pleasures, follows the adventures of Samantha Black, a woman with a talent everyone is after. Samantha is not in Vegas for the glitz and the glam. Sam has come to get her friend, Evie Holt, out of a very bad situation, a task that could very well get her killed or worse. Enjoy the beginning of this paranormal romance!

Buried Pleasures

He was the biggest damn dog Sam had ever seen, and she’d nearly jumped out of her skin when he slipped out of the growing evening gloom and rubbed up against her hip nudging the remains of her peanut butter sandwich with a cold nose. ‘Hey you! That’s my lunch.’ And her breakfast too, she thought. In fact it would be her last meal until she made enough in tips tonight to buy something else. The dog plopped down on his enormous haunches in front of her, effectively blocking further progress unless she wanted to wrestle him out of the way, which she figured was a losing proposition. He offered a small whine, and what she could have sworn was a smile. Then he licked his chops with an enormous pink tongue, the large golden eyes locked on her sandwich. If this hadn’t been Las Vegas, if she’d been in the wilds of Wyoming of Montana, she would have sworn the beast was a wolf instead of a dog, and that he was about to call out the rest of his pack to help him bring down dinner that involved a whole lot more than a partially eaten peanut butter sandwich. Though she figured said dinner would be a bit on the under-fed side at the moment. But the dog made no threatening moves. She’d seen him before, seen him dozing in the sun next to a homeless man who often settled in the shade near the storm tunnel.

Come to think of it though, it was the man who’d always drawn her attention rather than the dog. He was big enough and looked dangerous, big enough to be a woodsman with a wolf dog. But though it was more than his size that always drew her eye when she walked past the entrances to the tunnel, it wasn’t anything she could really put her finger on. She never looked directly at him, because for some really stupid reason, to do so felt dangerous. Besides, she always felt like he was watching her. Though he never was. If anything he seemed to be watching everything, like he was taking it all in. And she was a part of what he took in. Somehow just being in the man’s vicinity made her feel, well exposed – not like he was a stalking her, but like he knew her, like he could see her secrets. Like he could see everybody’s secrets. She shivered. This whole nasty situation with Darian Fox and Evie had left her suspicious and feeling as though there were threats around every corner. But then there were, weren’t there? Why couldn’t she make Evie see that?

Her stomach growled. The dog whined and licked his chops, and she was brought back to the present moment. Frankly she found the dog’s company the most pleasant she’d experienced since her reluctant arrival in Vegas. Christ! Had it really been two months ago? ‘Time flies when you’re having fun,’ she growled under her breath. She reached out and scratched the animal’s ruff feeling strangely comforted by the feel of thick fir. She wondered how he handled the heat in July and August. It hadn’t entered her mind that he could practically bite her whole arm of in lieu of the peanut butter sandwich if he chose too, though he seemed fairly well mannered at the moment. He’d never shown any inclination to be friendly to her, or any interest in her at all when she’d walked by here before, but then again, she’d not been eating a peanut butter sandwich before. Golden eyes shifted from the sandwich to her face and back. He whined again and offered her an open-mouthed yawn sporting teeth like daggers, then his tongue lolled out the side of his mouth in a relaxed, but attentive pant, and he inched closer, eyes still locked on the sandwich.

She sighed and her stomach growled again. ‘God I’m so gullible! But only with animals,’ she added as he inched his way closer. ‘People, I know better than to trust. Especially in Vegas.’ The dog cocked his head, as though he understood every word, and he very well might, she thought. ‘Well, I suppose I could stand to lose another few pounds.’ She tore a corner off the sandwich, and stuffed it in her mouth savoring the last of her very scant meal. Then, as the dog inched forward again, she handed him the rest of the sandwich. He took it from her almost daintily before it disappeared down his gullet in a single gulp. He offered another whine and a little woof of a bark. ‘Sorry Bud. There isn’t anymore,’ she said, stroking an enormous soft ear. ‘But if tips are good tonight, I’ll bring you a Big Mac tomorrow. How would that be?’

‘Leave off the special sauce if you do. It makes him fart, and I have to sleep with the mutt.’

With a little yelp of her own, she turned to find the dog’s master towering over her. She stepped back, in danger of falling on the dog, who gave an indignant woof, which she wasn’t sure was from her nearly landing on him or from his owner’s lack of discretion in discussing his digestion. Either way if the man hadn’t caught her by the arm with a large hand she would have flattened the poor pooch.

The man was big and rugged like the dog, she thought, as he slid an arm around her waist and pulled her away from the beast, swiftly enough that she realized with a start that he didn’t trust the dog with her. For a second she tensed and her skin prickled. But it wasn’t the dog she feared at all. She trusted him almost instantly and she knew the feeling was mutual, peanut butter or not. She wasn’t keen on being touched by people she knew well, let alone strangers, and this man made her knees weak from a distance, let alone up close and personal. Before she could panic, she was engulfed in the scent of juniper and wood smoke and dry desert heat. Perhaps it was the desire to sniff again that relaxed her, that made her forget that she could be in real danger, but before she had time to really consider her safety, he settled her onto her feet and stepped back. ‘Excuse me. I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just that Gus isn’t usually great with people.’ The dog scooted forward and sniffed her fingers with a cool nose, then looked up at the man as though he wondered what the hell the problem was.

‘It’s fine. I’m all right,’ she managed without sounding too disconcerted. ‘I just wasn’t expecting company for lunch.’P1010641

The man offered her a smile that made her stomach bottom and, for a tiny moment, made her feel like there was nothing solid beneath her feet. Then everything righted itself and settled around her again. ‘And Gus wasn’t expecting to be invited to lunch with such charming company,’ he said. ‘The mutt’s a bit of a mooch.’

The man wore faded fatigues –patched and threadbare in a couple of places – along with heavy-duty biker boots that were scuffed and well worn. But the clothes didn’t hang on him like clothes often did on the homeless people who sheltered here. He filled them out. In fact he filled them out way too nicely for a man with whom regular meals were not guaranteed.

‘I’m just glad he was happy with peanut butter and didn’t find it necessary to have a bit more protein with his meal.’ She wriggled her fingers, and the man chuckled, and held her gaze with startling eyes that were winter storm grey and not clouded by drugs – not that she would know much about that sort of thing. His hair was dark and mussed and the stubble on his face made him look tragic and romantic, if more than a little bit dangerous. She forced herself not to look away. ‘I’m sorry. I don’t have anything else.’ She flushed in a wave of embarrassment. ‘Believe me, I really don’t.’ She suddenly found herself fighting back tears and lowered her gaze. He had no idea, she thought. There wasn’t even any change left in the bottom of her bag. She’d rounded up all of that and the few pennies she found down behind the cushions of the couch to buy a loaf of bread and the peanut butter. Even if he decided to steal her bag, fat lot of good it would do him. Even the phone was a worthless pay as you go job with barely enough time on it to call 911 in an emergency. Truth was he could easily take from her whatever he wanted. He could even take her if he wanted, and there would be nothing she could do, certainly no one would miss her. She should have been scared, she supposed, after all she knew very well that the storm tunnels could be dangerous places, but she was just too damn tired to care. She could feel his gaze move over her. It made her feel giddy and flushed and … strangely naked, but not like he was leering, more like he could … well just like he could see things.

‘I know,’ he said softly. ‘I know what you have.’ He curled a finger beneath her chin and lifted her head so their eyes met again, and the prickle of her skin returned, but this time she felt as though she were suddenly bathed in champagne bubbles, suddenly falling into the storm blizzard depths of his eyes, suddenly unable to catch enough breath. ‘I have something for you, though.’ He stepped back, sliding his hand down her arm to curl his fingers around her wrist. Then just before the strength of his grip, the power it transmitted could panic her, he took her hand and folded something into her palm. Then he whispered against her ear, ‘Gus’ll be looking forward to his Big Mac.’

She blinked and caught her breath. Did he say that, or did she just imagine it. But he had already turned, given a soft whistle, and the dog followed him into the maw of the tunnel. She watched them for as long as her eyes could see shape and movement before the blackness swallowed them up. Then she looked down in her clenched fist and opened her fingers. There was just enough light left in the evening sky that she could make out the words Buried Pleasures engraved on both sides of a poker chip. How the hell did a homeless man get a poker chip from a place like that, she wondered. She turned it over in her hand a couple of times squinting in the low light, but it seemed genuine enough. Then she shrugged, dropped it in her bag and headed for the casino, picking up her pace so she wouldn’t be late for her shift. It was a helluva walk from her apartment to the 6 Spot, and she always tried to make it before it got too dark. Not only was it a long walk, but it took her through areas that were not the safest places for a stroll. On top of that, she was in danger of being late, thanks to her encounter with Gus and his owner. She’d made enough money busking yesterday to pay the rent, but not enough to put gas in the car.

She didn’t feel good about the busking. Vegas was way too small. It would be too easy for her to draw attention, and she especially didn’t want to draw Darian Fox’s attention again. On the other hand, she didn’t feel good about joining the homeless man and his dog in the tunnels if she got kicked out of her apartment either. If the city were bigger, another day, maybe two of busking and she’d have made enough money to give her at least a bit of a cushion, but she couldn’t risk it. Word got round, even when she downplayed her abilities, which she always did. Not for the first time she resented the hell out of Evie’s little rich girl naiveté, and not for the first time she wondered why she didn’t just call Evie’s father and let him come and sort her out. How the hell did she get mixed up in this mess to begin with? But she was expendable, right? She was a nobody, not an heiress wanting to thumb her nose at daddy by trying out life on the wild side.

S6304352She heaved a sigh and picked up her pace again. She was just feeling sorry for herself. She was just tired. Evie was her friend, and she knew damn well that if the shoe were on the other foot and she were the one acting like an idiot with Darian Fox, Evie would move heaven and hell to get her out of a bad situation.

She picked up her pace yet again, telling herself dryly that she would be able to take up competitive race walking if she went a few more days with no gas money. That would beat the hell out of her job as a cocktail waitress. True, it was a shit job, but right now beggars couldn’t be choosers. While she could make good money busking, even maybe find a job at a piano bar someplace, she knew that wasn’t safe, but she had to have some money if she were going to survive until she could get Evie away from that bastard, Fox. And that meant stuffing herself into the tiny spandex excuse for a uniform and letting the half-drunk partiers at the Black Jack tables ogle her while she delivered their watered-down drinks because, what were friends for, right?

 

Demon Interrupted Holiday Marathon

Demon Interrupted CoverThe Holiday Season is the season for TV and film marathons. Who doesn’t like to sit in front of the telly with a bowl of popcorn, their fave drink and totally veg out over blissful hours of  telly favourites? The holidays are also the time when we love to curl up with a good read. With that in mind, I thought it was an excellent time for a marathon reading of my paranormal erotic novella, Demon Interrupted, which I wrote and ran as a serial on my blog over six months earlier this year. BUT at that time, I could only manage an episode every three weeks, so I thought it would be fun to make it more easily accessible.

For those of you who don’t know, Demon Interrupted is a Lakeland Witches spin-off story set in the fabulous landscape of the Lake District with the witches of the Elemental Coven. With the completion of Elemental Fire, I left my witches with so many stories untold, and they left me with so many mysteries I wanted to know the answer to that I felt compelled to return.

Starting today, for the next nine days I’ll be running a sizzling, chilling instalment of Demon Interrupted for your reading pleasure.  Today I’d like to share with you chapter 1 and 2 of Demon Interrupted.  I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Thanks for joining for this Work in Progress.  And if you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s sexy adventures, check out the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!


  Perchance to Dream

Chapter 1

In a room full of people Ferris could remain totally unnoticed. It was almost as though he were invisible. He heard things that way, saw things that others missed. Fiori suspected that was part of his magic. However, at the moment, he was completely and totally the centre of her attention as his warm, wet tongue teased its way down and around the pucker peaks and the rapid rise and fall of her breasts. One splayed hand cupped and fondled her tight pubic curls while the other worried open his fly. What he was doing to her body was also a part of his magic and way more of a surprise, considering the man’s unassuming nature, than his ability to blend in.

She writhed beneath him totally naked, just as she had been when he entered her room, gently easing her out of a bad dream, back into the Waking World, and into his arms. She didn’t know where he’d been before he came to her. The man seldom slept — and him not even a ghost. He might have adjourned to the library after the rest of the house had entered the Dream World, or perhaps he had been in Skye’s bed sharing pleasure with her and Alice. He was generous with his affections. But then he’d hardly fit in at Elemental Cottage if he were otherwise.

How he had known she was having the dream again? How had he known about the dream at all? And yet he did, and she was glad that he came to her. ‘Sh! sh. It’s only a dream, Fiori,’ he whispered. ‘Only a dream.’ He’d brought her a glass of water from the bathroom and had returned with a soft white towel. While she drank as though she had just traversed the desert, he gently wiped the perspiration from her face and her shoulders. Then he took the glass away and moved the soft terrycloth knap in slow lazy circles down her back and her ribs as she slid into his arms, laying her head against his shoulder.

‘Do you want me to stay with you?’ he asked.

She only nodded, tightening her arms around his neck.

His black shirt was open and untucked and his nipples hardened as she slid her arms inside and up his back.

Lakeland Witches 1 BTR‘Do you want me to make love to you?’ He asked it as simply as a parent would ask a child if she would like a bedtime story. He asked it because he knew in a house where sex magic was practiced, healing came in the form of passion, and she nodded again because she knew that too.  His cock was already hard, but then she had noticed that it often was. In those times when he allowed attention to be drawn to himself, in those times when he made his presence known he neither attempted to hide his erection nor did he attempt to flaunt it. It was the ease and the comfort of which he wore his own masculinity that made him seem like a much larger man than he really was. In spite of his chameleon nature, he was not shy by any means, and his stamina and his finesse made him a welcome edition to the beds of all of the Elemental witches and their consorts.

Impatient for the feel of him freed, she shoved at his trousers, the scrape of the zipper seeming unusually loud in the quiet room. He ran his hand down to aid her as she worried his cock free. He was neither large nor small. Even his cock was nothing unusual to draw attention to itself, and yet there was no one at Elemental Cottage who didn’t relish the thought of Ferris between their legs, of Ferris shifting and grinding as though his unassuming penis had a secret magic all its own once properly sheathed in an appreciative pussy or mouth or arsehole.

His breath caught with a grunt as she fisted the length of him and she could almost feel the ripples of lust rising up the vertebrae of his spine. For a second he wrapped his hand around hers and shifted his hips. Then he pulled her fingers free, kissing each one of them, running his tongue in ticklish strokes over the tips, making her hips rock against the mattress. ‘I’m going to taste you now. I can already smell how good you’ll be.’ With a wriggle of his arse and a shove with his feet he shed his trousers as he crawled down between her thighs, nudging her open with the smoothly shaven wedge of his jaw, clearing the way with nose and lips, teeth and tongue. The humidity of his breath blew across her clit, which rose up in anticipation.

‘There,’ he said, his fingers parting her as agiley and exactingly as if he were a pianist and she were his instrument. For an age he studied her, fingered her, arranged her as though there were only one way, the best way to approach her dark, heavy folds, and he would not partake until he knew exactly what would bring all of her focus, all of her energy, all of her arousal to the very centre of his attention. ‘And now –’ his words were little more than a rush of breath ‘–I’ll give you what you need.’ He took her with his whole mouth, hunched over her like a lion at his prey, the muscles of his shoulders flexed tight, dusted and gilded in moonlight. And she felt the bloom of her arousal like a bud swelling, bursting, opening. Then the bloom became an explosion rising up from someplace suspended above the base of her spine. He held her hips, held her steady with strength his body belied as she bucked against his mouth, as she convulsed, as the moon moved in and out amid the undulation of slate clouds.

In the hazy vision of heat he seemed larger than himself, much larger than himself as though his arousal, their arousal together had released something broader of shoulder, deeper of chest, darker of memory and, as the moon disappeared, the power of him rose like a shadow thick and all-consuming and, somehow, other than himself. The hair on the back of her neck rose. Gooseflesh prickled over her breasts, even as she rocked out her orgasm against his mouth.

But before the tingle of uncertainty and the edge of fear could take hold, the moon reappeared and unassuming Ferris gave her clit on last hard tug with his lips and then rose over her, positioning himself, easing her open with his knees and his hips.

‘I need you in me,’ she said, her voice nearly lost in her struggle for oxygen.

Lakeland Witches 2 RTE‘A need which I share,’ came his urgent reply. It took no more than the tucking of his hips and a single thrust and he was in deep. She was slick and ready for him, gripping him as though she hadn’t just come, as though she were desperate for him to take her. With arms much stronger than they looked, he lifted her legs around his hips and positioned himself so that with each thrust he raked her clit, and she could almost swear that in the stark relief of moonlight and shadow his eyes were onyx black and yet bright, so bright. Even in the glow of a nearly full moon, he road her in the light of an after image that made no sense, and she was reminded that not even Ferris understood his own magic. The closer they both came to orgasm the larger and heavier the after image grew. And the larger the after image, the harder they strained for release. When orgasm broke over them, so did the shadow, consuming them for the briefest of moments and then receding behind their own efforts to recover themselves taking with it Fiori’s urge to speak of it, to question it.

‘Shall I stay with you?’ Ferris asked when they had both calmed enough to speak.

‘If you don’t mind, I’d like that.’

‘There’ll be no more dreams tonight.’ He eased his penis free and sought out the towel again as he slid down under the duvet next to her. ‘But it will perhaps ease your journey back into sleep if you’re not alone.’

‘I don’t need to sleep, you know?’ she said as he settled her into the crook of his arm, her head resting against his chest.

‘And yet even with the nightmare, you still choose to visit the Dream World regularly.’

‘I can’t help it.’ She said. ‘I guess I haven’t been dead long enough to not feel the need. Skye says she no longer misses it, but I still do. I still find the long hours until morning … lonely.’

‘The dreams’ll pass, Fiori, and you’ll heal.’ He shifted to kiss the top of her head. ‘Everyone understands what you did, what you did for Tara, for the whole coven. There was no other choice. You know this.’

‘My head knows it. My heart still has trouble with it. What about you, Ferris? You said you don’t dream.’ She spoke as much to change the subject as because she was truly curious about the man in her bed. ‘Are you incapable of dreaming, or do you simply choose not to?’

‘When I made my pact with Lucia, my ability to visit the Dream World was taken from me.’

‘And now that she’s released you?’

‘After so long in her service, I suppose it’s habit no longer to seek out my dreamscape.’

Fiori felt an involuntary shudder as he spoke, and she pulled him closer. ‘But you’re free now. You’re free to remember all that you were before, and yet you haven’t.’

‘No. I have not.’

For a long moment the silence was filled by only their breathing. Then she raised on her elbow and looked down at him. ‘Don’t you want to know?’

He met her gaze in the darkness and, for an instant, the obsidian shine of his eyes made her feel as though she were falling into them. ‘I made a pact with a demon, Fiori. That our agreement left me to care for and watch over one such as our Cassandra, I shall never regret. But that in our agreement, the demon felt it necessary for me to live in the moment with no memories of my past other than the magic I needed to protect the succubus, I would prefer not to know.’ He shrugged as though anticipating her next question. ‘Lucia has made it clear.  All I have to do is want to know my past and it shall come back to me. But it’s my experience that some things are better left where they’re buried. Now sleep, my darling. I know you don’t need it, but it is your habit. I shall be with you when you wake.’ He pulled her back into his arms and stroked her hair.

Lakeland Witches 3 EFFor a long moment she lay listening to the slow even beat of his heart, suddenly reminded that though he had not the muscle nor the height of Anderson or Tim or Kennet, from the moment he entered her room, from the moment he rescued her from the Dream World, he seemed to dwarf them all. Her heart skipped a beat as she remembered the strange after image that formed around him just before their release. Surely it was just a play of light and shadow in the waxing moon. Surely she was just a little raw around the edges from dreaming about once again being forced to take the life of her beloved high priestess. Everyone was still struggling to recover from Deacon’s final assault. It would take some time to find their feet as a coven family again. But one thing was certain; though Ferris had only been with them for a short time, he had become an asset she could no longer imagine the coven being without.

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Chat with a Demon

Chapter Two 

For a long time Ferris held Fiori settled against his chest. She had fallen almost immediately back into a relaxed sleep. There was no rapid eye movement, so she wasn’t dreaming, but then she wouldn’t be. He knew a little bit of magic that made certain of that. He’d used it occasionally on Cassandra when she was younger and her dreams were particularly bad. He didn’t know how he knew it. He didn’t know how he knew anything really. Not for the first time since Deacon had been defeated he found himself wondering why he didn’t want to know, why it didn’t bother him to live in the present and remain oblivious to a past that gave him gooseflesh whenever he considered unlocking the guarded doors and letting the memories flood back into his mind. He had always assumed that the magic he knew was a gift from Lucia, sent only to help him protect Cassandra. But now he wasn’t so sure. Lucia, like most demons, wasn’t so big on giving gifts as she was exploiting the gifts people already had.

BTR FINAL IMAGEThe moon shown brightly through Fiori’s window and, as though she somehow knew it in her sleep, she pulled away from him and turned so that her lovely face was bathed in it. He contemplated staying there with her in the moonlight, in the delicious scent of their lovemaking. He even contemplated settling into sleep with her, but so many things could happen when one allowed oneself the vulnerable pleasure of sleep. For most of Cassandra’s young life Lucia, a lust demon, and one who knew well the most disturbing journeys of the human soul, had kept him in the safe silence of the dreamless dark. For the longest time he’d thought it was her way of making sure he did as he was told, but Lucia knew too much not to know that he would have never done anything to put Cassandra at risk. She was too precious to him. Perhaps, in the beginning, even that sense of Cassandra’s value had been forced upon him by Lucia, but he hadn’t known the young succubus long before he could have done none other but love her and protect her.

He was not Cassandra’s father, nor was she ever his charge, though he had fervently begged Lucia to allow him to care for her rather than for her to be taken to the orphanage where her grandmother discovered her some time later. He was the caretaker of Cassandra’s estate and nothing more. Lucia often reminded him of that fact, and yet they had both known that his role was something more.

He didn’t know how long he had existed before Cassandra came into his life. He sometimes had the sense that he was very old, and at other times he felt as though he was born the first day he held the infant Cassandra in his arms. He now had the key to discover his truth, so why did he still choose to keep the door firmly locked?

Carefully, he slid out from under the duvet and made sure Fiori was well tucked in, even knowing as he did that no harm from the cold would come to her, not really. She hadn’t drawn breath in almost two years now. Strange, he thought, as he pushed into his clothes, his eyes still locked on the sleeping ghost, who still maintained her physicality so that she could endure, even relish, the torture of the Dream World. Strange that one who was dead should seem so much more alive than he. In truth it was as though he were the ghost that haunted the halls of Elemental Cottage when everyone else rested. And in all honesty, his flesh had only begun to matter to him as more than a vessel to serve Cassandra since his arrival at Elemental Cottage. Flesh, at Elemental Cottage, was a grounding in which powerful magic took place. He rested his hand against his cock through his trousers and felt it stretch to his touch. Imagine his surprise when he found, upon his arrival, that his own flesh once again had desires, that food and drink and sex and flesh against flesh burst, ne fairly exploded, into his perpetual present, and his life became three dimensional for the fist time in his memory.

And flesh, it was an anchor to a family that he thought he’d never have. Even when Cassandra had been his soul purpose, he had exerted no control over her and she had sought no closeness in castlerigg_Stone_Circle1their relationship. He thanked the goddess that at least Lucia hadn’t deemed it necessary for him to live with the open-wound that Cassandra’s constant peregrinations could so easily have left him. No, he had gone about his days in a grey haze of duty that bound him deeply and yet he felt with a distance that eased his empathy at the young succubus’s suffering, yet never lessened his loyalty to her, nor his desire to protect her. For that at least he had been grateful.

He slipped out the door and moved down the hall toward his own suite. Here at Elemental Cottage, he was welcomed for no other reason that the fact that he was here. Periodically he made trips into Surry to check on Cassandra’s estate there until a decision could be made as to the best use of the property. But it was always with a sense of anticipation and pleasure that he returned to the Lake District and to the warmth and camaraderie of Elemental Cottage.

When he reached his suite, he stood for a long moment in front of the closed door, then he turned and headed back down the long hallway past the rooms replete with sleepers traversing the Dream World, sleepers who had only a short while ago made love in honour of the waxing of the moon. The power of sex settled over the house like the moonlight did as he made his way to the staircase and down to the library. The fire was laid in the hearth, as it always was, and once it was lit, he perused the massive shelves for something, anything, that might ease his restlessness. He was looking through a section of old texts on alchemy when he became aware that he was no longer alone. The sudden warmth on his back made him feel as though he stood too close to the fire. In spite of the warmth his arms goose-fleshed and his stomach somersaulted.

‘I can assure you, Ferris, there is nothing upon these shelves that can compare to the paths of knowledge you refuse to traverse.’ In spite of the inviting contralto timbre of the voice, Ferris felt a tremor climb his spine.

Riding the Ether cover image Final - Copy - Copy‘And I can assure you, Lucia –’ he said without looking behind him ‘– the most hideous volumes on these shelves I would fear less to peruse, than those places of which you speak.’

The demon moved in so close to him that if the fire of her had been a physical flame, his back would have been a cinder. As she crowded him against the book-lined shelves, for a moment, he resisted, ignoring the futility of such an effort. For a moment. Then he relaxed and let her invade his inner space. It was only as she exploded into those inner realms that he realized in all the years of her presence, in all the years of her on the edges of his consciousness, she had never come fully into him before. The weight of her, though not physical, was terrible, and he stumbled backward feeling his way to the sofa, gasping for breath as though all of the oxygen had gone from the world, feeling his flesh burn beyond cinder even as everything remained as it was, and yet would never again be the same.

‘You gave me a choice,’ he gasped in a voice that would have been a scream if he could have managed more than a whisper. ‘And I made that choice.’

She pushed in even closer, as if that were possible, and behind his tightly clenched eyelids he saw both the beauty and the horror of her poised closer than his own breath. ‘I gave you a gift.’ Her voice roared like the winds on the high fells. ‘I gave you a gift and I expected you to open it, to look at it, to use it.’

‘I didn’t want it! I still don’t want it! I was happy as I was.’

‘You cannot lie to me, Ferris. You were not happy. You were nothing more than a tool for my use.’ It felt as though she leaned into him and whispered in his ear. ‘And you didn’t fight me when I made you the offer.’ He felt the weight of female curves against him, on top of him, pushing him down onto the sofa, and to his horror, he was aroused, even as he was terrified.

‘I’m fighting you now,’ he said, realising to his horror that the more he struggled the more aroused he became.

‘You may fight if you choose, but it will do you no good. Did you not think that I would reward you for a job well done?’ He felt an invisible hand move against the erection he could scarce believe was there. ‘Did you think that I would leave you with no comfort when your job was done?’

He cried out and arched against stroking and caressing. ‘Cassandra was her own reward. I asked nothing else of you.’

Her laughter climbed his spine like ticklish fingers. Hands ripped at his trousers, buttons popped from his shirt. ‘You don’t know what you asked of me, Ferris, and you don’t know what I demanded of you, or what I denied you. Do you not at least want the option to hate me for all that I took from you? Is that not properly yours to claim?’

He was shocked to discover that his trousers were around his knees and that it was his own hand stroking his cock while the other cupped the heavy weight of his balls. He was embarrassed to find her watching him from the winged back chair next to the hearth, clothed in the robe of fire in which he had always seen her.

‘Everyone here has fought demons, Ferris. Everyone here has suffered great loss. But for you it has all been vicarious, has it not? For you the battle for the Elemental Coven was no more personal than the loyalty you pledged to Cassandra. I have kept you safe, I have kept you distant from yourself for all these years for your own protection and for the protection of that which I hold dear. And now you choose to remain in the empty space I created for you because you think it is there that you will remain safe. I tell you now, Ferris, and I tell you honestly, there is no safety in this place you choose to remain, and if you do not move forward and claim the time that was taken from you, you will suffer for it, ne, not only will you suffer for it, but all those who care for you will suffer as well. And they do care for you, Ferris.’ She spoke with a broad sweep of her arm. ‘They all do.’

There was a loud thud and a woman’s startled gasp, and then there was bruising pain.

‘Ferris! Ferris are you alright?’ From his position face down on the floor, Ferris recognized Fiori’s voice. Opening his eyes, he became aware of her kneeling next to him, naked.

‘I’m fine! I’m fine.’ He pushed himself to a sitting position, then took the hand she offered as she pulled him to her feet. ‘I … fell out of bed?’

Fiori’s laugh was sleepy and warm as she tugged him back under the duvet. ‘You sure you weren’t Elemental Fire cover image finaldreaming, because you seemed to have been carrying on a conversation with someone.’ As he settled back into bed next to her, she straddled him, and with a shift of her hips mounted him, her grip on his erection a tight caress. ‘Something tells me it was a sexy dream.’

That he could be aroused after what had happened would have stunned him if his visitation had been from anyone other than Lucia. But she was a lust demon, and there was no denying her mark on his flesh. ‘No dreams,’ he lied, grinding his butt into the mattress and then arching up to bury his cock deeper in her body, cupping the weight of her full breasts in his hands. ‘Just being in bed with you, that’s all.’ Fortunately, as he moved a hand down to rest against her pubis and thumb her hard clit, she seemed to lose her train of thought, and her tight shifting against his penis eased his own mental processing and brought him back to the calm centre of the present in which he existed, though there was now no denying that he might not be allowed to stay there much longer.

Read the third instalment of Demon Interrupted, Enter the Shadow tomorrow!

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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