Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: Mine! Part Two Chapter Thirty-two


Prompt: "You're the worst." 


As much as I wanted naked and wet time to lead to something more, my body was totally against me. The pain was building and that throbbing pulse was almost all I could feel, even with Ritch’s soapy hands sliding down my body.
“I’m sorry,” I muttered.
“What? Why?” He looked up at me, literally on his knees at my feet, his head the perfect height.
And nothing.
I waved hand toward my groin with the hand that wasn’t bracing me on the wall. “It’s not you.” Ritch’s hair was slicked back, darkened by the water, and I could see trails of water sliding down the lean muscles of his back to the upper curves of his ass.
His cheeks pinkened. “Oh. Well, duh, you’re exhausted. A few hours ago you had bones sticking out of your leg. Even if you were, ah, up for it,” he cleared his throat, “I wouldn’t let you risk hurting yourself.”
“Wouldn’t let me?” I raised my eyebrows.
Ritch nodded decisively. “It’s not the right time.”
He had that right, at least. I wasn’t going to mate him in the shower, the marks of those other men who’d touched him on his body and my injury reminding him of my failure to protect him. It was killing me to wait, but, in the meantime, I could still use the time to further his wooing.
Wooing. I suppressed a snort. If Deke heard me say that, he’d never let me live it down.
“Okay,” I said mildly. If nothing else, Ritch needed to know I respected his opinions—especially when it came to sex.
“Okay? That’s it?”
I nodded. “I agree with you. When we mate, I want both of us healthy and ready for it.” If I had my way, he’d be so ready he’d beg me to bite him. He’d never have to ask twice.
“Mate?” His voice squeaked, and he cleared his throat. Ritch’s eyes were comically round.
“Of course.” I leaned down and helped him to his feet. He wasn’t blinking. “I haven’t made my need for you a secret. I want you as my mate, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get you to agree.” I ran my thumb over his lips. “What else did you think my kisses meant?”
“I don’t… I mean, I didn’t know for sure. If the stuff you said was just posturing. For everyone else.”
“It’s not posturing. You’re going to be my mate, and I’m going to be yours. You’re going to smell like me, and I’m going to smell like you, and no one will be able to mistake our bond.”
“But I’m a human werekin. And I can’t give you babies.”
I shrugged. “My brother was a human werekin. We’re not prejudiced in our streak. And I don’t want kids. I want you.”
Ritch swayed closer, his lips closing just over the tip of my thumb still caressing them. “Tease. You are the worst.” He scraped his teeth over it, staring at me, and I growled. “I bite back.” I wouldn’t, but I liked the way he shivered at the low promise.
“Not tonight…?” His response came out more like a question.
“Not tonight.” I reached for the showerhead behind him and rinsed us both off. We were clean enough. “Bed. Together,” I said, just in case he didn’t know that I wanted him in my bed with me. “You okay with that?” I couldn’t take away his choice, even if it killed me to ask.
Ritch took a moment. “Yeah.”
We got out, and he helped me dry off, and then he braced himself under my arm and I hopped over to the bed. Exhausted, in pain, I slumped on the side of the bed.
“Do you need some water?”
“No.” I shook my head. “Just some sleep.”
Plastic bag gone, Ritch helped me get situated on the bed with my leg elevated on a pillow. Then he went around to the other side and crawled under the covers. “Oh, I forgot to shut off the light.”
I stopped mid-reach as he slid back out of bed. He went over and turned off the lights, then I heard him try to navigate back in the dim light. It was enough for me to see, but he must not have been able to because he ran into the end of the bed.
“Ow!”
I chuckled, not even trying to suppress it.
“Stop laughing! My toes are killing me. Next time you can turn off the lights.”
“Okay.” I held out my arm when he got back in the bed, and he snuggled in close. I yawned, my jaw popping. “Good night.” It was daytime, but, whatever.
“Night.”
Things weren’t so great when I woke up later. Ritch had moved away from me, and he was whimpering in his sleep. I tried to roll toward him and a spike of pain jabbed through my leg. “Son of a bitch!” I snarled.
“What?” Ritch jolted and sat up. He looked around wildly, scooting away from me. It was even darker in the room, but the whites of his eyes were practically glowing because they were open so wide. “No!”
“Damn it.” I couldn’t reach him, and I was fighting the urge to throw up.
He got tangled in the blankets and couldn’t get free. After a moment of struggling, he stopped and froze, curling into a ball and ducking his face against the bed.
“Ritch. It’s me, Park. You’re okay. You’re safe with me, in my bed. Come on, mate. Look at me.” I deliberately eased my voice, trying to make it calm and soothing. “Look up, please.”
He hesitantly moved, barely lifting his head and panting raggedly. “P-Park?”
“Yeah, it’s me. You’re safe.”
“I am?”
“It was just a dream. Come here.”
I waited anxiously to see what he’d do. Finally, he untangled himself and eased closer. I held out my arms, leaving them wide open for him.
TBC
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: Mine! Part Two Chapter Thirty-one



Prompt: "What are you, a fragile flower?"



Chapter Thirty-one
Ritch kept me together because the pain, blood loss, and shock knocked the legs right out from under me—literally. I couldn’t put weight on my broken leg, even with a brace on it, and hopping to the car made me puke because trying to put as little weight on Ritch as possible led to jarring my toes on the ground when I tried to maneuver around the door as I opened it.

“What are you, a fragile flower?” Some asshole jaguar sneered at me when I stood shakily holding on to the door and trying not to smell my own vomit. “Maybe your brother wasn’t the one with the lack of a tiger soul.”

I thought my brother was going to tear his face off. He stalked forward and hissed, his eyes flashing red. “Want to see which one of us is a bigger pussy?” He flexed his hands and his claws caught the light from the mid-morning sun filtering through the trees. He flashed some fang to go along with the guttural snarl.

The jaguar backed off. Fast.

Deke stood next to the car with the driver’s door open. I glanced at him. “I’m surprised you didn’t step in there.”

He shrugged. “I didn’t have to. He’s been getting really good at suppressing his feral urges. And he’s strong enough that he rivals an alpha. He just has to trust himself like I trust him.”

“All right. Asshole’s handled, let’s get Park home.” Ritch stood close until I carefully got into the car, then he shut the door behind me. He went around the back of the car and got in on the other side.

“Thank you,” I said.

He nodded, his cheeks pink. “Do you need to put your leg up? You can turn sideways and rest it here. I grabbed a pillow from inside.” He plopped a pillow covered in a green pillowcase between us. I grunted and clenched my teeth but managed to keep what little remained in my stomach down as I got as comfortable as possible for the ride home.

“I’ll take it as easy as I can.” Deke reversed the car on the lawn and started down the mountain.   



“Home sweet home,” I croaked. Deke dropped us off, helping me up on the porch. He’d hurried back to the car where Kraig was sleeping, and I totally understood. I wanted nothing more to go inside, lock the doors, and curl up in my bed with Ritch until my wounds healed and I knew he felt safe. He’d been taken from our territory, and the thought of what he’d gone through made me both incandescent with rage and deathly afraid.

Trein was gone, we’d captured the other conspirators who’d given up, and no more ferals had been found. What we knew pointed to human werekin as the ones who originally contacted doctors who were willing to experiment with werekin souls, but somehow Trein had learned about it and subverted the plans to create something different, something worse. The evidence pointed toward him, but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t be others involved that we didn’t know about or that there weren’t more doctors and more labs out there performing the same experiments.

But we’d done enough.

Deke would be involved in the decisions the alphas made, but others were more suited to dealing with the interrogations. Deke agreed to continue to go over the files that were found with Uncle Radford to learn as much as possible. A massive convocation of every alpha in North America was going to be called, with digital participation being organized for those who wouldn’t be able to make it.

If the human government was involved or other clans out there were considering the same plan, or coming up with a new one now that Trein’s lab was blown to bits and buried in a huge cave in, we’d find out and stop it. Or they would.

I’d lost my brother for years, he’d been tortured and changed, our parents were dead, and our streak was reeling from the news of my father’s traitorous actions and the attacks against us. As our beta, I felt the need to protect and soothe them. We needed to focus inward for a time.

But first, Ritch.

“We need to shower,” he said.

I agreed, and we hobbled to the bathroom one painful step at a time.

“Let me get a plastic bag out of the kitchen. I forgot.” Ritch closed the lid on the toilet and helped me sit down. “Just stay right there.”

Exhaustion dogged me—I snorted. Dogged. I pulled off my shirt and tossed it in the corner near the hamper. The pants were harder until I flexed my claws and tore the seams. It wasn’t like they could be saved anyway.

“Wow. I see you were busy.” The plastic bag rustled in Ritch’s hands as he opened it.

“You just said to stay here. I stayed here.”

“Good job,” Ritch said dryly. “Let’s get this covered.”

He dropped to his knees in front of me to slide the bag over my foot, and I stiffened. The last time he’d been on his knees before me, a sadistic fuck had his claws at Ritch’s throat. The small punctures were still visible. “I’m sorry.”

Ritch looked up. “What?”

I leaned forward and gently brushed a finger over one of the marks. He flinched, and I had to suppress my urge to snarl. “I didn’t protect you. I promised that you’d be safe here.”

“And I am. It’s not your fault. They took your mom and Kraig too. They were sneaky fuckers who had no honor.” Ritch put his hand over mine. “I know you did your best, so you shouldn’t feel guilty.”
“Now, let’s get this on.” He pulled the bag up and then wrapped some tape around the top above the brace. He leered. “It’s naked and wet time.”

TBC

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Earning His Trust Cover Reveal!


Woohoo. The day has finally come. You can find Earning His Trust for preorder at Dreamspinner now!
Just $3.49 during the 30% sale Aug. 8-13!
This adorable cover was made by Maria Fanning. 



Pre-order Link:



Blurb:

Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.   

Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.   

Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.


Excerpt:

The curtain slid on the overhead rails, and Evin held in his urge to snap about how long it took to get to him when the nurse said the ER was slow, but he froze with his mouth open.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Perez. I see you burn—” The doctor snapped his jaw shut and stopped before he reached the head of the bed. Micah was oblivious, sitting between his legs and playing with his fake keys, chewing away on the rubber tips and drooling. He clutched the soggy remains of a biscuit in his other hand.

Evin had to swallow hard himself. Of all the hospitals, in all the cities, his old boyfriend had to be in this one.

He looked… good. Older, some wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. It had been… how long since he’d seen him? Not since Ben was graduating medical school the same year Evin was graduating with a business degree. Evin certainly never expected to see him here, and by the shocked look on Ben’s face, he hadn’t known Evin lived in Portland either. Evin waited for Ben to say something else, but he just kept staring. Evin took a deep breath. He could be an adult. He was a dad now.

“Burned my hand,” he finished the sentence Ben never did. “I did it about an hour ago, and it really hurts.” Maybe he could move this along. Plus, Micah was on his third biscuit and getting fussy again. He probably needed to be changed, have some lunch, and then would fall asleep for the afternoon, just so he could keep Evin up all night again.

Ben dropped his gaze to Micah and then looked up to stare at Evin again. “What happened to you?”

Did he mean how Evin probably looked like he’d aged at least ten years since Ben bailed right before graduation, the last night they’d spoken? Well, spoken wasn’t a very good description for the fight they’d had after weeks of Ben ducking Evin’s questions about what he was planning. Maybe their relationship had run its course; maybe it was better for them not to be together.

But he’d never expected Ben to just up and leave. It’d been hard, but Evin had a job offer in Portland and he’d taken it. Fortunately, his best friend, Gianna, came with him, and they got an apartment together in a not-so-great area of Happy Valley. It’d been nice to have a friend he knew would stick by him, but then she met Carl, and they fell in love. Not long after that he met someone, but that had gone wrong too.

Gone was the bright, glittery guy who lit up the room in a flash, and this version of himself was all Evin knew how to be anymore. It was probably a disappointment. His hair was cut short instead of hanging down to his shoulders, and he was in a blue T-shirt and a pair of gray sweats instead of skintight everything. Nothing at all like how Ben would remember him.

Was he wondering how in the hell Evin had a kid, since he’d never even kissed a girl—at least before when Ben knew him? Probably.

Or had he brushed off their history, leaving Evin as the only one thinking about how the years had changed them—Ben definitely for the better. Most likely, he meant how Evin got the burn. He was a professional after all, and Evin was probably just another patient to him.

In the end, it didn’t really matter. His appearance, how he got hurt, it all came down to just one thing.

“Teething.”



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: Mine! Part Two Chapter Thirty



Chapter Thirty


The other alphas filed into the room behind him. One gestured me to stay seated when I would’ve tried to stand. “Stay down.”
“Thanks.” I could sit on my own, getting a little bit of my balance back now that I wasn’t trying to move. Ritch moved away and started opening cupboards.
Deke looked around. “What do we know?” Kraig pulled away from him, and Deke frowned but let him go. Kraig didn’t go far as he started to help Ritch rummaged around in the cupboards and drawers.
“This was definitely where they were running the experiments. My group found offices and labs on our end. We pulled what we could out before that crazy fucker blew shit up. I kept men stationed at that entrance to the underground lab just in case some of those things survived.” The bear alpha crossed his arms over his burly chest and spit in the corner. “Those abominations won’t make it past my bears.”
“You saw them too?” Landon asked.
He nodded. “Malformed ferals. They’re not like....” He glanced at Kraig then at Deke cautiously. Deke curled up his lip, but he dipped his head. “One of my guys got bit, and that thing’s muzzle nearly spanned his entire thigh. And none of us are small.”
“We noticed that too. Blood set them off, and they took out Trein and the guys he had with him.” Deke took the cloth out of Kraig’s hand and started cleaning the blood off his skin, not letting him do it. The sight of my alpha caring for my brother was so right, I couldn’t take my eyes of them. That’s what I wanted, what I needed, with Ritch.
He finished wringing out a wet washcloth in the sink and brought it over to us along with a few other towels. He didn’t even glance around or worry about skirting the alphas standing around the kitchen. The wolves’ alpha actually stepped out of his way. Ritch dropped to his knees next to me.
“Hey, what are you doing?”
“You’re bleeding all over the floor. Here.” Ritch handed me a towel all rolled up. “This is going to hurt.” He took a second one and put it around my calf and pulled it tight, creating a tourniquet. “Use the cloth,” he whispered.
The expression on his face was very, very serious. I already hurt all over, what was one more thing? But when he narrowed his eyes, I grabbed the cloth and bit down on it.
Good thing. When he wrenched that spoon he’d stuck in the knot, I about pissed myself. It hurt, a lot, and not even the washcloth could dull the shout and the breathless curses I muttered. The room fell silent, and I waved my hand weakly at the alphas.
“You can keep talking. I’ll tell him later,” Ritch said. “When I’m doing taking care of him.”
“Thank you, Ritch.” Deke inclined his head.
After that, I couldn’t tell you what was said, other than Ritch’s muttered instructions to me. He’d cleaned the wound and the smaller ones still trickling blood while I held onto the edges of the chair until the doctor came in and commandeered the table. I was unceremoniously ushered onto it with my leg over the edge. Multiple hands came down on me, and I lifted my chin to meet Deke’s eyes. He was standing over me holding onto my shoulders.
“Just a little longer. You’ll be just fine and running the perimeter again in no time.”
“Not until he’s better,” Ritch said as he squeezed my hand. He had one hand and Kraig had the other. A bear werekin held my legs down, one hand clamped onto each thigh. I was not going to move.
But I tried my damnedest when that doctor held my foot and slowly drew my leg out straight, pulling until my bones went back inside my calf, hyperextending it until they slipped back into place against each other with a sickening crunch and grind of bone on bone.
My screams echoed in my ears, and I blinked back tears when it was over. Passing out would’ve been a blessing, but I lay there on that flat service with my head turned and stared in Ritch’s eyes.
“I was so afraid when I saw you there, on your knees,” I said. “It would have ruined me, if you’d been hurt.” Apparently pain was as good as painkillers to make stupid stuff come out of my mouth. I hadn’t meant to say that in front of everyone.
“Oh, Park.” Ritch squeezed the hand he was still holding. “I know. But you got me away from Trein, and I’m going to be okay.”
“What happened?”
“Do you really need to know that now?” he asked.
“I was wondering the same thing myself,” Deke said from above my head. “How did they get you? I didn’t feel any other deaths, but my guards would not have just let them walk out with you.”
“That’s because Lydia went to see that son of a bitch with her husband’s soul. Ritch refused to let her go alone, and when she got there, the guard called me. That bastard wasn’t nearly as out of it as he’d made himself appear, and apparently, taking the humans and leaving him behind was a feint to make you follow them, leaving us behind. Trein must have had men scout our territory, because he took us through the woods to where a car was waiting.”
“Another traitor?” Deke’s voice was rough, a snarl distorting his words.
“I don’t think so. I didn’t recognize him or his scent.” Deke had been working with Kraig on his bonded werekin senses.
I let out a sigh but then tensed when the doctor pushed a pad hard against the wound in my calf. “Fuck.”
“Hey, hey, look at me.” Kraig knelt and stared right in my eyes, pulling my hand up and kissing my knuckles. “That’s right. Just look at me.”
TBC
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Win a $5 GC and mention in new eBook series!

Remember that question I had before about the "Interstellar Travel Agency" MM stories themed around traveling the universe that I posted on Facebook and my idea to write it, if I couldn't find it? I've found the 'alien owner' image and created the travel brochure image that would be in each eBook prior to the first chapter. This would not be the cover image, but I'd use it in each eBook and for promo too.

Now a big part of the fun of this is creating the alien's name as well as the name of the travel agency. I'd love some input on that. I'm looking for corny/cheesy/quirky to go along with the image, so hit me with your best suggestions! The person with the winning idea for the alien and travel agency name will receive a $5 Amazon GC and be credited for the idea in the first eBook*.

Please comment on my Facebook post in order to share your suggestion and be entered in the contest!



*Use of suggested name does not relate any ownership over concept or collaboration in the eBook.Contest not associated with Facebook in any way.