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Piloting Fury Part 56: Brand New KDG Read

It’s Friday, which means  it’s once again time for more Fury. If you remember, in the last instalment, Captain Evander and the Dubrovnik showed up at Pandora Base just in time to help evacuate. All that remains before Fury’s intrepid crew is the bonding between the ship, Mac and Manning, and Manning might just be getting cold feet. Or is he? If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Piloting Fury Part 56: The Heart of SNT1

We were not alone and yet it felt as though we were. Stanislavsky remained onboard with Fallon, who still needed to be monitored, and Rab would not leave Fallon. It came as a big surprise to me, that the two had somehow bonded so. I could hardly think of two people less companionable. The human cargo bay had been isolated so that no one within could feel what would be going on without, and we would not sense the presence of those within either.

Manning held my hand and guided me back into the elevator that led away from the lower cargo bay. I had expected us to go up to the bridge, but instead Fury surprised me by stopping at a place somewhere in between.

“Where are we,” I asked.

“I have taken you to my heart,” Fury responded. “It is the place to which I should have taken you in the beginning, but I was afraid.”

“I would have never denied you, Fury. If I had taken you to my heart you’d have known that. But I guess I was afraid too.”

“And you are afraid now,” he commented, “as am I.”

“Yes,” I forced a weak laugh. “Can’t you tell?”

“Well that makes three of us then,” Manning said. The words were barely out of his mouth when the elevator door slid silently open. I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t what was there. We stepped out onto a platform that hung above nothingness, and in the center of that deep shaft of emptiness was a bright spiral that appeared to be the same quicksilver substance with which Stanislavsky had injected Fallon. It coiled and danced and rose and fell like a restless ocean.

I gasped and all but fell back against Manning in the wave of vertigo that nearly overwhelmed me. He pulled me close with a gasp of his own and leaned heavily against the closed elevator door, his breath coming in desperate gasps.

“You’ve not been here?” I managed, fighting to keep my stomach in its proper place.

“No.” He spoke between barely parted lips, swallowing hard, his eyes pinched shut tightly.

“Do not be afraid,” Fury said. “You are safe here, both of you are, because you are both my heart.”

“I thought Manning would have been here when you bonded,” I managed, still battling my racing pulse, in spite of Fury’s promise.

“Richard Manning has not been to this place, Diana Mac, for I could not properly bond with him when he was untrained and unprepared to do his part.”

“I’m no more trained than he was,” I said.

“But you are.” It was Manning who responded. “It’s in your DNA. Plus you’ve lived onboard an SNT. You learned way more than you know.”

Fury waited in comforting silence, enfolding us in his presence until we could both stand and focus without dizziness or nausea, then he moved back enough that we could take in the panorama and the space that was far greater that what could have been contained in such a small cargo ship.

 

 

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour,” Fury quoted William Blake, a quote my father had used so often when he tried to describe to me the connection between an SNT and a compliment.

“What you see is what I have grown into, what I have become during my short life, “ he said, with what sounded like a sigh. “It is what I would now revert to if my purpose for being were suddenly no more. In such a state I would remain dormant until such time as I was needed again. I think I might remain such even for eternity if there was no further need for me, and if nothing destroyed my essence as happened to my brothers and sisters. Though,” he added, “I do not know if their essence was such as mine, since they were not conceived as I was.

“I did not know this when Richard Manning and I met or perhaps I would have reverted to such a state. I am glad for my ignorance, for I would have never known the pleasure of his company, nor the delight of being united, at long last, with my compliment. I have learned a great deal in my short life, and until I learned of Apocalypse, I have had no one like me with which to share it.”

“Why did you never share this with me,” Manning said, his voice tetchy from secrets kept.

“What would have been gained by my sharing?” Fury responded. “Besides I was … uncomfortable in the sharing, for I was so aware of my otherness, and I did not want to frighten you by making that otherness even more evident.” Then he added quickly, “You must understand I am, in my essence, a humanoid male, as are you, and I do not always share my inner workings with ease.”

“So what do we do,” I asked, fearing the response in spite of Fury’s promise that we were safe in his heart. Was anyone’s heart really a safe place for anyone else?

“You must penetrate me.” He spoke the words as though he were almost as uncertain as I was.

“Penetrate you?” Manning said. His grip on my hand had become tight enough to be almost painful. “What exactly does that mean?”

“It means that you must enter my heart, become a part of it, as I become a part of the two of you. Richard Manning, with Diana Mac’s bonding, I will now at last be able to bond fully with you as well and the two of you with each other. I do not believe that even Victor Keen is aware of this fact. It is something I have known at my core since Diana Mac first stepped onboard, though I do not know why.”

“It might have been nice for me to know that.” Manning said.

“Yes, it might have been,” Fury replied.

“But how do we do that,” I asked, “penetrate you, I mean.”

“Here is my heart,” he replied. “All that separates you from it is the catwalk, which is only there for your psychological reassurance.”

“You mean we have to jump?” Manning said, “into … that?”

That is my heart, Richard Manning. It is the same heart that has nurtured you and protected you from the beginning, and until this moment, you have not found it loathsome.”

“It isn’t loathsome. Damn it, Fury, don’t be so defensive. You said don’t be afraid, well I am, goddamn it! I’m sorry, but I am. I mean I’m about to throw myself into the core of an SNT, not just any SNT, but SNT 1. I’m scared shitless.”

To see Manning so vulnerable frightened me almost as much as what Fury was asking of us. My two men loved each other as much as they loved me, and I knew this, but here we all were paralyzed by fear. I couldn’t bear their fear and my own, so I took a deep breath – as deep as I could manage when I was on the verge of hyperventilation. Then, I took a mincing step forward, and the rail that kept us separated from the abyss vanished. Suddenly the tiny catwalk was all that separated us from the core of SNT1. All that separated us from Fury’s heart. I took another step forward and pulled Manning with me. He resisted, struggling to breathe.

“Richard Manning, you must breathe deeply or you will lose consciousness,” Fury said.

“Please, Manning,” I managed around my own effort to breathe. “Please.”

He pulled back slightly one last time, and cursed under his breath, then he moved forward, enfolded me into a crushing embrace, and we stepped together into the abyss that was Fury’s heart.

 

 

Piloting Fury Part 55: Brand New KDG Read

It’s Friday, which means  it’s Fury day after a week’s hiatus. It’s still little more than controlled chaos at Grace Manor but hopefully things will get better soon.  If you remember, in the last instalment, Mac had to come to grips with the fact that some members of the family are not among her favorite people. This week an old friend shows up to help out. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

Piloting Fury Part 55: Unexpected Help

 

“Not gonna happen,” Manning said, grabbing my hand and pulling me back to his side so fast that joints popped.

 

“I am inclined to agree with Richard Manning,” Fury said.

 

“Then you better use that big fucking brain of yours to figure out another plan,” Rab said.

 

I gently extricated myself from Manning’s grip. “Fury, can you keep a lock on me onboard the Apocalypse?”

 

1Not Bro 1 Come, 1 Not Bro 1 Go. Be Safe.

 

“That’ll help, if Apocalypse can manage it,” Stanislavsky said.

 

“No!” Manning repeated more fervently. “No. I don’t want you anywhere near that monster and we need you. We need you here.”

 

“The choice is not yours to make,” I said. “Fury, can you keep a lock on me just in case things go south?”

 

“I can, but I would reiterate Richard Manning’s sentiments. We need you here.”

 

“And I need to be here. But if I don’t do this, none of us may survive.”

 

Manning cursed profusely and when he turned to leave the room, I grabbed him and pulled him back with the same enthusiasm he’d used on me. “Don’t you dare walk out. I need you. I need both of you like I’ve never needed you before if we’re going to make this work.”

 

He pulled me into his arm and all but buried me in his embrace. “Jesus, Mac. Please don’t.”

 

“I have to and you’d do the same if the tables were turned. You know you would. It’s the only hope we have of putting an end to all this for good.”

 

The words were barely out of my mouth when Fury spoke. “We have company.”

 

“There’s only one man who would use that channel, and only in a dire emergency.” Manning opened the channel, and Captain Harker’s image filled the screen.

 

“This is Captain Evander Harker onboard the CF Dubrovnik. It grieves me to say that the Dubrovnik got the last distress call from the Svalbard. Damn fine ship. Damn fine crew.” His gaze came to rest on Ina. “I’m sorry for your loss, First Mate Stanislavsky.”

 

 

Stanislavsky only nodded her thanks, and my heart ached as I recalled the crew of the Svalbard and how hard they worked to save the infected indentureds. For her it had to be like losing family.

 

Harker turned his attention back to the rest of us. “Manning.” He offered a nod, and as I came to Manning’s side, a broad smile split his face. “Diana, it’s good to see you.”

 

“And you, sir,” I said, surprised by the emotion that tightened my throat.

 

His gaze settled back on Manning. “I’ve burned my bridges, stolen a ship and made fugitives of my crew — those I didn’t jettison in cryo-pods that is. So if you don’t need my help, I’m going to be very cross.”

 

“Not to mention in a shitload of trouble,” Manning said.

 

“You got that right.”

 

“Harker, the Dubrovnik is like New Vaticana Christmas and Galactic New year all rolled into one,” Manning said. “Pandora Base most definitely has need of an orca class ship. I’ll patch you through to Central Control. They’ll be very glad to hear from you.”

 

“So the fucking cavalry has arrived after all,” Rab said. “We just might get out of this with our asses still attached. How the hell did he know?”

 

“Apocalypse did not block the distress call. That is the only explanation,” Fury said.

 

Bro 3 call help came the response.

 

“Bloody hell! Who’da believed it?” Rab said, scratching his grizzled chin. “The Apocalypse is a sneaky little bastard, isn’t he?”

 

Orca Class Bastard came the reply.

 

“Apparently a sneaky little bastard with a sense of humor,” Manning observed.

 

“Clearly the connection is strong enough, and Abriad Fallon is unaware enough that Apocalypse’ consciousness is bleeding through. How much will he’ll be able to exert might be what sways the battle,” Fury said.

 

“Not the only thing that’ll sway the battle,” Stanislavsky said her gaze locked on me, but she spoke to Fury and Manning. “You need to bond. There’s not much time, and if you’re really going to be the bate, McAllister, then that bond will be essential in more ways than any of us can foresee.”

 

 

 

Piloting Fury Part 43: Brand New KDG Read

It’s Friday, which means it’s Fury time again. Today’s episode finds Rab and Gerando invited to a dangerous celebration by Gerando’s old man. If you’re enjoying Fury, please spread the word and pass the link to a friend. I love to share my stories with as many people as possible. I’m offering a new episode of Fury every Friday.

 

 

“Win the bet and Fury’s yours. Lose the bet and your ass is mine.” It seemed like a no-brainer — Rick Manning’s slightly inebriated offer. If he’d been sober, he’d have remembered indentured pilot, Diana “Mac” McAllister never lost a bet. All her life she’s dreamed of buying back her freedom and owning her own starship, and when Fury’s ne’er-do-well, irritating as hell captain all but hands Fury to her on a silver platter she figures she can’t lose. She figured wrong. That’s how the best pilot in the galaxy finds herself the indentured 1st mate of a crew that, thanks to her, has doubled in size. Too late, she finds out Fury is way more than a cargo ship. Fury is a ship with a history – a dangerous history, and one that Mac’s been a part of for a lot longer than she thinks. And Rick Manning is not above cheating at poker to get her right at the center of it all, exactly where he needs her to be.

 

 

Piloting Fury Part 43: A Dangerous Celebration

“You making any headway?” Rab said. He was pacing, just pacing. Fucking hell, what else could he do while the kid was trying to make contact with the damn ship?

Gerando shook his head without looking up. “Just the rudimentary niceties. The old man’s got lots of blocks and firewalls and gags in place to keep Apocalypse from talking. Fuck! Apocalypse! What kind of name is that for an SNT?”

“I doubt your old man cares much the ship’s feelings.”

They’d both had a shower and changed clothes. Rab figured Fallon senior might be suspicious at what the kid had been up to if he couldn’t be arsed to wash off the blood. Besides that, he didn’t care to see junior get the shit beat out of him again.

“You sure he’s even in there? Your … brother, I mean?”

“Oh he’s there all right. I can feel him. He’s just unable to communicate, other than through experiences that cause him great pain, and in that case, I really don’t know how the old man can’t feel it too. But then I’ve thought for a long time that he isn’t really humanoid.”

Rab couldn’t say he disagreed.

“Abriad Fallon wishes to see you in his study again,” Apocalypse’s computer said.

Before either of them could question, Gerando made a mad rush to the can and Rab cringed at the sound of the poor kid puking again. “Your brother has got to find a better way to communicate with you.”

When Gerando immerged from the bathroom still a little green around the gills, they both stopped in their tracks at the sight of a glass of something just replicated. “To make you feel better, Bro.”

They both froze. “It’s not good, is it, what he wants from us?” Rab asked.

“Drink,” the computer commanded. “You will need to feel better.”

The kid obeyed, nearly gagging with his first effort to drink the stuff.

Need to feel better,” Rab managed. “Jesu and all the angels, I think we’re about to be fucked.”

“You must go now, Bro.”

“Thank you, Bro.” The kid placed a hand on the console and they stepped out into the silent company of the Berserkers.

This time when the door slid open for them to enter, they were surprised to see a small table laden with so much food, Rab wondered if the old fart had invited the whole damned crew for a fucking la-di-da cocktail party. Fallon greeted them with a smile too bright for that bastard’s face. “Come in, come it! Do have a seat.” He nodded to the table. “Something to eat? To drink? Honestly, where have my manners been? It was rude of me not to offer something before. I’m usually a better host than that.”

Rab doubted that very much, and after the things he had experienced so far onboard the Apocalypse, he wasn’t sure he would have trusted the food even if he was hungry, and he’d lost his appetite when the old man shanghaied them aboard.

But Fallon seemed oblivious to their lack of appetite and nibbled with on some foreign hoity toity gourmet shit Rab hand never seen, but he reckoned it probably cost more than he got paid in a whole year.

“Actually, I’ve laid this feast because we have yet more cause to celebrate.”

They didn’t ask, but the fucker told them anyway. “Acting science officer, Markov died a few minutes ago, but not without divulging some astounding and wonderful things.”

The kid went all green again, and hell Rab was feeling like he might puke himself. They both just stood there, like their feet were glued to the floor, but the old man didn’t seem to care.

“This,” he said, pulling a small silver vial out of the pocket of his jacket raising it so that it caught the firelight and sparkled like a New Luxorian diamond, “This is what the Svalbard, what Plague 1 is hiding.”

“Plague 1?” The words were out before Rab could stop them as he broke out in that nasty clammy sweat you always get before you heave your goddamned innards.

 

 

Fallon glanced at Rab and the boy like he’d forgot they were even there. “That was the Svalbard’s destination, believe it or not. And that’s not even the most astonishing part, gentlemen, oh no. Here’s the real reason to celebrate. You see Plague 1is where the Fury, along with Richard Manning and Diana McAllister all are even as we speak. And isn’t it wonderfully convenient that we are aboard the fastest, most advanced ship in the galaxy – other than the Fury, of course,” he said with a little shrug. “That means we can all be there to join the party in no time at all.” He leaned forward across the table his eyes bright like some goddamned wild animal. “Apparently, the good citizens of Plague 1 have developed an antidote for the SNT virus.” He shook the vile at them. “This antidote is not just for the early stages, but for any stage of the disease. Can you imagine?”

Rab gave a low whistle, and the kid swayed on his feet. Jesu Vaticanus, he looked like hell. The ship was really doing a number on him. Too goddamn bad it wasn’t doing the same to his motherfucking old man.

“My interrogators have learned from the Svalbard’s unfortunate acting science officer that we won’t even recognize Plague 1. It’s apparently been transformed to a mecca for runaway indentureds. Stunning, isn’t it?” He waved a hand wildly, “like one of those Edwardian spas in Old Terran England, you know where the people went to take the water.” How the hell would Rab know that? “It would appear that the Svaldbard’s intrepid crew were also in the business of transporting runaway indentureds. Shocking, isn’t it? Goodness, the captain and crew of that ship would have been in so much trouble if the Authority ever found out. Never mind. It seems that any indentured, no matter how badly infected, has but to show up on Plague 1, take the cure and begin a new life on a planet we all thought was dead. Why I was completely beside myself with excitement.”

Rab just fucking bet he was. He knew goddamned well the danger Plague 1 was in and the rest of the galaxy too now that this information was in the hands of Abriad Fallon. With a start, Rab found himself wondering when his sympathies had shifted so completely when his freedom and his fucking life were in the hands of this shit stain of a humanoid. He reckoned the kid was likely having the same thoughts, that and trying to figure out how the hell he was going to get through the rest of their audience without puking on the old man’s shoes.

“You’re sure Diana McAllister is there?” The kid asked.

“Mmm. And the Fury. And of all people, Professor Victor Keen. Why I bet the old rascal was instrumental in both the antidote and the new Plague 1 Spa and Resort. Who knew he would end up being so useful to me.” Fallon took the vial from his pocket again and twirled it between his fingers, eyeballing it like it was a bloody New Luxorian diamond. “Who knows, perhaps it is her blood they’ve used on Plague 1 to formulate the antidote.” When they both just gauped at him, he chuckled all smug-like. “I didn’t just infect dear Diana with the virus purely for the pleasure of it, boy.” He glared at the kid. “Though I wager she would have preferred my … experiments to being given to you as a place to dip your cock.”

The kid’s blushed bright red and fuck, Rab was embarrassed for him. But they both kept their gobs shut. “If you’d been interested in anything other than your cock or becoming a goddamn pilot, you might have noticed that each time I waited a little longer to administer the antidote, and each time I gave her a higher and higher dose of the virus.”

“She nearly died every fucking time you did it!” The kid burst out.

“But you see, that was it. She didn’t. She didn’t die. After the third time I infected her, I never gave her the antidote. I gave her a placebo, and her body fought off the virus on its own. Extraordinary, don’t you think? But then she is the Fury’s compliment, isn’t she?”

That little tidbit of information was an eyeball popper to Rab.

“ And now,” Fallon looked lovingly down at the vial, “now I’ll be able to control all the sources of the antidote.”

There was a knock on the door and a man in an engineering uniform slipped into the room. “Sir, the Ares is prepped and ready.”

“Good, then we can begin.” He made a shooing motion with his hand and the man slipped out.

“Drink, I insist,” he poured each of them a glass of Outer Dalmatian fire wine from a crystal decanter and raised his glass in salute. They both managed little more than a sip and the kid asked. “I’m assuming you have a plan then, one that involves the Ares.”

“Oh yes. Your help will be essential in my plan. In fact I’ll be relying on you to make first contact with both Diana McAllister and the Fury. I think it won’t be nearly as difficult as we all feared it might.”

It was when Rab realized he couldn’t understand what Fallon was saying that he figured they were fucked. When the kid all but fell onto the sofa behind him, he was certain of it. From a long way off, Fallon was talking, and as he dropped into the nearest chair, the wineglass tumbling from his hand and shattering on the floor in a pool that looked like blood. He had just enough wits left to realize Fallon was no longer talking to them, but to two men who now stood over them in the Authority uniforms of the sick bay. He tried to protest, when they came to him and gave him a injection on the inside of his arm, but he was unable to move. He thought he heard Fallon order, “shackle them. Shackle them both.” After that he remembered nothing else.

 

 

An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

I’ve been thinking a lot about Alonso Darlington recently as he waltzes back into the
Medusa stories, never being far off the written page anyway. I never imagined when I wrote the story of how he and Reese Chambers became lovers that he would figure into so much more than a simple M/M romance novella. As it turned out, Alonso and Reese’s tale was only the beginning.

 

Before I understood who he really was, who he worked for and where his tale would lead me, I was invited for a strange visit to his home in the remote part of the Lakeland fells, where he warned me to hold on to my hat. The ride was about to get wild. That being said, I decided that under the circumstances it was time to share that encounter with you again.

 

 

 

1st Entry

 

I’ve debated long and hard about posting the details of my encounter with Alonso Darlington. But ultimately the need to share, the need to bring details of this encounter to light, has overcame my fear that readers might think I’m a nutcase and the even bigger fear of what Alonso’s response to my sharing might be.

 

When I wrote the strange erotic tale of Alonso Darlington and Reese Chambers as a story to be published in the Brit Boys: On Boys Book Bundle, I had no idea what a rabbit hole it would send me down. It was just an interesting sexy story, made more so by the location and the fact that Alonso Darlington was … is a vampire.

 

This being the case, Imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from High View Manor to meet Alonso Darlington in person. I thought I had perhaps spent too much time in my own imagination. I even considered seeing my doctor. But when the first class plane ticket arrived to Manchester, I went. I maybe shouldn’t have, but since I had written Alonso’s story, it seemed that I should meet the man in person.

 

I arrived in Manchester with the sun setting in the West. The rabbit hole feel of my first encounter with the man became even more vivid when I was picked up at the airport in a black Land Rover with darkly tinted windows kitted out to compete with any limo I’d ever seen. The driver handed me a heavy winter parka and helped me into the back seat, where I found a basket containing freshly baked bread, cheese, meat, fruit, wine and bottled water. I drank the water, but was way too nervous to eat anything, and I certainly wasn’t going to meet Alonso Darlington tipsy from alcohol.

 

I couldn’t help but feel intimations of Anne Rice as the woman I know only as Talia led me through the renovated areas of High View manor house and out into the Cumbrian chill, down to the night garden Reese Chambers has been landscaping for Darlington. I knew better than to offer Talia a handshake. The woman’s a succubus and she’s a close friend to Darlington – his familiar, I believe is the term. I don’t’ know much about her, and frankly I was nervous enough without losing my wit or my virtue to a sexy succubus. Even her gaze felt way too intimate. The sooner I could get away from her, the better.

 

She led me as far as the stone steps descending into the garden, then nodded to where Alonso Darlington sat on the slate bench with his back to me. She offered me a smile that looked like she might be as likely to consider me dinner as Alonso might, then she left. For a second I stood taking in the sky awash with stars and the dark outlines of the fells all around, giving myself a chance to stop trembling. It didn’t help. It was a rare, clear night, and there was no wind, for which I was thankful because it was still damn cold that high in the Cumbrian fells. I was extremely glad for the coat the driver had given me and a bit amazed that it fit so well. I have broad shoulders, and getting a winter coat to fit is always an ordeal. With the heavy Northface jacket pulled tightly around me, I took a deep breath and descended the steps, just as Darlington stood and turned to greet me.

 

How can I explain the first time I saw him face to face? How is it possible that I wanted to freeze to the spot like the stone statuary around me, while at the same time, I wanted to rush down the steps, allow him to embrace me, and offer him my neck. How could anyone ever look at the man and think him ordinary? How could Reese Chambers have possibly resisted Alonso Darlington? I don’t remember the rest of the descent into the garden. The next thing I remembered was Darlington extending his hand to me.

 

‘Ms Grace, it’s a pleasure. Welcome to High View.’ His hand was large, and I took  it without question, feeling a little shiver at the unexpected warmth of his skin, wondering if he had fed recently, if that was the cause for the warmth that shouldn’t be there in the Cumbrian chill. That should have been a relief, but instead it served as a reminder that I was in the presence of an alpha predator, and while he loved Reese and Talia was his occasional lover, I might very well be nothing more than the midnight snack.

 

Of course he sensed my nerves. I mean really, I couldn’t hide them no matter how badly I wanted to. He leaned close to me and smiled wickedly. ‘Don’t worry. I won’t bite, unless of course you want me too.’

 

God, it’s embarrassing to say, but I might have given just the slightest bit of a yelp as I pulled my hand away, a bit quicker than I intended. Not a wise thing to do with a predator, I knew. But then I wasn’t at my best at that moment.

 

‘Thank you,’ I croaked. ‘I’ll keep that in mind.’ Then I blurted out. ‘Why did you invite me, Mr Darlington? I know you don’t take many visitors, especially not … like me.’

 

His laughter runs up my spine like the feel of soft fur on bare flesh. He nodded me to sit, then sat down next to me on the bench.  ‘Like you, Ms Grace? You mean a writer of erotic fiction? A blogger? A dreamer? A woman who lives most of her life in her head making up stories?’ He laughed again, and I shivered, but not from cold. ‘A woman who has a very … imaginative fantasy life?’

 

Before I could respond, he moved closer to me so quickly and with so little effort that, though I knew he’d done it, I didn’t know how. I only knew that it was definitely not a movement an ordinary person might make. Strangely, I was torn between scooting away, or scooting closer. ‘May I call you K D?’ he asked. ‘Certainly I would expect to be on a first name basis with anyone who knows me as well as you think you do.’ It was a damn good thing I was sitting because I was certain my knees wouldn’t have supported me if I weren’t. He continued. ‘I would say you’re probably even more of a recluse than I am, and I do apologise for the inconvenience of my invitation. I hope that the journey wasn’t too loathsome for you.’ He bowed his head to me slightly and I had the surprising urge to reach out and run my fingers over his silky dark hair. The predator image flooded my mind again and I did scoot back, just a little, and my heart sped up more than a little. Alonso’s knowing smile reminded me that he could hear the heart beating in my chest, he could sense the movement of my blood in my veins. I shiver thinking of everything about me that he might be able to sense, and then I forced my attention back to what he was saying. ‘Really, K D, why shouldn’t I be anxious to see you?’ His eyes were suddenly obsidian bright, and colder than the night air around us.  ‘After all, you’ve already told everyone who I am. What I am.’

 

Landscapesis a fictional story,’ I managed, unable to keep the trembling of my body from manifesting in my voice. ‘Mr Darlington, I –’

 

‘Alonso,’ he corrected me with a smile that was so friendly and inviting that I might have thought him just being hospitable if the circumstances had been different. ‘It’s Alonso. After all, we keep no secrets here, Do we, K D?’

 

‘I didn’t know you were real,’ I continued as quickly as I could, afraid I’d lose my courage, afraid I might actually do something stupid like try to run. ‘Believe me, everything I wrote, everything I published, it came from my head, from my imagination, from nowhere else. I would never –’

 

He leaned forward and shoved the hair away from my neck so quickly that I had no time to do more than gasp. My heart was beating way too fast and I could smell the terror rising in a cold damp sweat against my skin. He was going to take me. Right then and there, and no one would know the difference. My husband had been away in South Africa when Alonso’s invitation had come, and though I had emailed him, he had no more idea than I’d had as to where High View actually was, and he wasn’t due home for another ten days. I had told no one else because who the hell would believe me?

 

‘You wrote the story, K D,’ he whispered against my ear. ‘Surely you know I have ways of putting ideas in your head, thoughts,’ his mouth brushed my earlobe and gooseflesh rose along my nape, ‘fantasies.’

 

By that point in our encounter, things had become a bit vague. To my embarrassment, I confess it could have been fear. ‘Talia?’ I managed in a voice that sounded like it belonged to a frightened child. ‘Did you send her to me?’ I could feel panic rising. Surely not. Surely if he had, I would have remembered something.

 

He only chuckled softly, and stroked the tender spot behind my ear with the thick of his thumb. ‘Now why would I have done that, K D?’ I felt his warm lips against my throat, and I’m embarrassed to say that there was suddenly another feeling coexisting with the terror and the panic. ‘I’m not going to hurt you. But we do need to talk. We do need to come to an understanding, and I will keep you here until we do.’ And Christ! He actually ran his tongue up along that hammering pulse point where the blood runs so close to the surface, and I remember looking up and thinking I’d never seen such a beautiful sky.

 

 

Brand New Snippet from A Demon’s Tale WIP

Hello my Lovelies. Here’s a brand new excerpt from A Demon’s Tale, Book Four of the Medusa Consortium series. The Guardian keeps surprising me with unexpected twists and turns, and I keep loving his story. In this snippet, he takes a little revenge for himself while seeking out something far more vital for the Consortium. But can he revert back to his old ways after all he’s been through?

 

A Demon’s Tale WIP: Possession and Revenge

“You’re back even sooner than I expected,” he said without looking at the witch. “Tell me, did you make your excuses to the sea god? Did you tell him there was someone who fucked you better than he?”

 

“You pushed me out.” There was disbelief, there was frustration, there was plenty of rage her in voice, but all of that was negligible. What assured him that he had her exactly where he wanted her was the raw, desperate need beneath that rage, just as he had known it would be, just as he had planned it. When he made no response, when he didn’t even bother to turn toward her, her rage peaked. “You pushed me out without finishing me. You left me … unable to do anything.” The trembling in her body caused tiny ripples along the construct, and he smiled to himself for he knew well the desperation growing in her. “I can’t go to him like this. I had to send one of my maids to make excuses, to say that I was working on a plan and a spell and I could not be disturbed.”

 

With a single thought the construct shifted and morphed around them until the stood beneath the shelter of willow trees hanging heavily around a spring. The catch of her breath told him that she recognized the spot. “You betrayed me here, Circe. Surely you didn’t think I’d forget.”

 

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, falling to her knees, “Gods, I’ve wished a million times that I hadn’t done it.”

 

“Liar.” He barely mouthed the words, but her flinch was a tremor of delight along his nebulous being.

 

“Give me what I want,” she raged, forcing her way to her feet, hands clenched at her side in tight fists. “Give me what I need or I swear I’ll tell him about you. I swear I’ll –”

 

“You’ll what?” He turned on her, his voice so loud now that she covered her ears, a thing that would not avail her. “He already knows about me, and he already knows that he cannot destroy me without destroying the very thing that he desires to possess.” He wrapped his non-corporeal self around her so suddenly and so completely that she yelped, her shocked surprise well laced with fear. Good. He wanted her fear. He delighted in her fear. “If you, my wicked little witch, do not give me whatIwant, then I shall simply destroy the construct and leave you as you are, unsatisfied and insatiable with no relief to be had.” He moved so close to her ear that he knew she could feel his words inside her head, “and you will have no way back to me.”

 

“No! No please!” She reached desperate clawing hands for flesh that was not there, even as he completely surrounded her with himself. “Please don’t do that.”

 

Her trembling in his embrace fed his own hunger, the need raised to impossible heights, desire that would, indeed drive her insane if she found no relief, and he, and only he, could offer that relief. The power of such knowledge swelled within him as surely as arousal swelled and hardened maleness, and oh how he longed to physically know that arousal. “You betrayed me, little witch, and I have a very, very long memory. You betrayed me and abandoned me in this worthless place to languish, a thing you cannot even imagine. I can think of no good reason why I should not do exactly that. In fact, that is precisely my plan.”

 

“No! No Please don’t.” She fell to her knees and reached and groped for any physical trace of him, so very near and yet always just beyond her reach.

 

“Did you think that just because this was a dream construct you could come and go as you pleased, take whatever you desired and I would have no recourse but to play your pet?”

 

“No I didn’t. I didn’t think that. I only wanted –”

 

“Don’t lie to me, Circe.” This time he made himself physical enough that he could shake her until her teeth rattled, and even to that she responded as though he had stroked her breast or fingered her sex. “I know when you’re lying, darling. I know that is exactly what you thought you could do. You thought my prison had rendered me powerless. You thought I would be glad for the distraction. And while I have enjoyed our little rendezvous, I am bored now, for you have given me no reason why I should continue this game now that I have achieved my revenge.”

 

“No! No please! I’ll do anything!” And this time, he let her feel flesh that was not there as she wrapped her arms around his legs, in her subservient position and gave a little gasp at the feel of an erection pressed close to her cheek as she held him there. She even made an effort to take him into her mouth, looking up at him, her gaze limpid, coy, submissive.H e let her service him, for a moment, lingering to relish the thought of what was to come next, for as he curled phantom fingers into her hair and allowed her to feel his pleasure, he knew that she was his, that she would give him what he wanted.

 

“Anything, my wicked little darling, anything I ask of you?”

 

She whimpered and nodded as he gently pulled her to her feet, making sure she felt the flick of a tongue and the nip of teeth over her nipples as he did so. He drew her near and created for her the sensation of naked flesh against naked flesh, of need rubbing up against need, and she shivered and bit her lip until he could smell the blood. He moved in close and took her mouth, sucking at her wound much as he knew his dear vampires did, and he was surprised at how that thought intrigued, aroused him even. He let her feed on his mouth in turn as though she starved for it, for truly she did just such. And then he pulled away and whispered over the rise of goose bumps across her nape. “Then let me wear your flesh.”

“What?” She pulled away startled, eyes wide, the rapid staccato of her heart a constant shimmer along the construct, a constant strumming of his own arousal. “You … you want to possess me?”

 

“Only for a little, my love, and as I do, I shall give you such a release as you shall never forget, such delights as your flesh can barely contain, and indeed, could not without me there lending my power at the core of you. For you see, I am unable to possess mortals without eliciting their deaths far too soon for my pleasure to be satisfied. Only once in my long existence have I been able to come and go in the flesh of another, as I pleased. But before you betrayed me and bound me in this forsaken place, I would have possessed you, for I believed you could house my power in your flesh.” He moved to stand behind her, splaying fingers up over her belly to cup her breasts and tease her nipples to tight peeks. “Can you imagine such power we would possess,” he now shifted and made subtle maddening thrusting motions, which brought his penis in long tentative strokes at the juncture between her buttocks. “Why even the sea god himself could not defy us. And the pleasure I could give you, the pleasure I could give both of us is as nothing you could come close to imagining, even in your many eons of life. If you would do this for me,” he said reaching around to cup her sex and seek out her pleasure point so tender and ready. She cried out and thrust her hips forward as though to force from his exploring fingers what she so urgently needed, but he only chuckled and pulled back a feather’s breath before her completion. As she sobbed out her frustration, he cupped her again and covered her neck and shoulders with kisses. “Do this one thing for me, my wicked little witch, just this one thing, and I will consider the debt you owe me paid and my revenge complete.”

 

“It won’t hurt?”

 

“And what if it does when the pleasure will be as nothing you can even come close to imagining in your fragile little mind. Indeed, I know full well that you find a great deal of pleasure in pain. Giving it,” he bit her ear and she trembled, “as well as receiving it.”

 

“Will you allow me then to come back to you whenever I want?” This time she was bold enough to reach a hand back to pull his hips nearer, as she leaned slightly forward to open herself.

 

But he slapped her hands away and turned her into his embrace, offering her the face that he did not have, the face that he knew would both terrify and enthrall her. “Of course I will, my darling, for I am as in need of entertainment as you are in this prison, and I would delight in the pleasure we can find in each other.”

“All right. Do it.” The strain of her need was evident in the shadows beneath her eyes

and the sheen of perspiration that reeked as much of fear as it did arousal.

 

“Then kiss me, my love, and I will go in through your breath. It will take only a moment.”

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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