On Wings of Blue
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by Anne Cain
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica
Description: A world away and centuries past, nothing in this feudal kingdom is ordinary--especially love. Eiji is a young traveling musician whose skill with the shamisen attracts almost as many would-be consorts as his handsome features do. But his beauty also draws the attention of a ruthless warlord who won't be denied. Unless Eiji gives himself in every way to this man, his life will be forfeit?before he's even known what it is to experience true love. Then a small act of kindness to a helpless butterfly changes the course of his destiny. A creature of magic, Hakusa begs the gods for a chance to be joined with Eiji forever, even if it means giving up everything he has ever known. But his choice to become human comes with a cruel price. Hakusa vows to rescue Eiji from the warlord's scheme. But like delicate notes of the shamisen, his unearthly magic is slowly fading away. Just when he needs it most. Product Warnings Warning, this title contains the following: explicit m/m sex and gratuitous butterfly-shifter slash!
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2007
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [74 KB]
Reading time: 42-58 min.
Eiji slipped into the castle through an open door on the veranda. He had left his sandals on the stone path in the garden, and moved through the empty hall without making a sound. Although the way his heart pounded in his chest he almost had himself convinced someone would hear the beating.
Not even the servant girls or lesser vassals seemed to be about. The festival called on everyone in service to the lord to be assisting with the celebration in some way or another. Eiji made it all the way to his room without incident and slid the shoji aside.
Silver streams of moonlight filtered through windows, illuminating everything just as a lamp might have. All was as he'd left it earlier in the evening. The sheets of poetry scattered across the floor, the blankets and bed clothing a rumpled mess on the futon and his latest meal shoved in the corner, untouched. In the midst of his notes was the shamisen, waiting to be rescued, same as Eiji.
He picked up the instrument and placed it carefully in its cloth case. He took nothing else, left quickly, his thoughts only on Hakusa waiting for him in the garden. He was careless.
As he reached the end of the hall and darted out onto the engawa, Eiji ran headfirst into Tsunayoshi.
With a gasp, Eiji fell back onto the wooden floor, his shamisen landing beside him.
"Where are you running to?" Tsunayoshi scowled. Kicking the instrument aside, he lunged forward. He grabbed Eiji by the collar and shoved him against the wall of the house.
"I--I--" Eiji stammered.
"He's running away with me."
Tsunayoshi whipped around. "Who the hell are you?"
Hakusa stood at the foot of the veranda, his silver eyes flashing. "That's none of your concern. But you can give our farewells to your master on our behalf."
"So, it is as Lord Fujiwara said. Eiji has been carrying on as a whore and you are the one he's been servicing." Tsunayoshi drew his sword. "The only message I'll carry to Lord Fujiwara concerning this betrayal will be written in your blood."
"No!" Eiji pushed off the wall and lunged at the samurai. But Tsunayoshi's reflexes as a warrior were far sharper. He pivoted around, the deadly edge of the katana flashing as the blade cut downward in an arc.
A flash of blue and gold silk swirled between Eiji and the path of Tsunayoshi's sword. Strong arms wrapped around Eiji and lifted him off the ground, the wind rushing about him. He heard the sound of wood cracking as the sword crashed through the floorboard and Tsunayoshi cursed. "Damn you!"
Eiji opened his eyes and found himself safe in Hakusa's arms as they crouched on the stone path a few paces away from the veranda. "Gods," he breathed. Hakusa's eyes flashed with an unearthly beauty.
Tsunayoshi pulled his sword out of the floor with a snarl. "A sorcerer," the samurai hissed.
"If only." Hakusa grinned at Eiji. "Let's go!"
He pulled Eiji to his feet and they sprinted down the stone path hand in hand. Behind them, Tsunayoshi shouted for aid. Hakusa quickened his pace and sprinted silently along the path while Eiji ran barefoot just behind him.
The path wound through the maple trees. Eiji caught a fleeting glance at the spot where he'd been with Hakusa only a few moments ago. How quickly things had changed. They reached the crest of the hill and found themselves staring down at the end of the path. The castle wall loomed before them, more than twice the height of a man, the stones black and ominous in the darkness.
"Oh no," Eiji panted. But Hakusa gave his hand a reassuring squeeze.
"We haven't been caught yet," he assured Eiji.
Just off to the right side of the path was another maple tree. Hakusa ran towards it. Before Eiji could give a gasp of surprise, Hakusa leapt up to the lowest branch--one a good three feet beyond the reach of a tall man--lifting Eiji along with the greatest of ease. They climbed farther up the tree, Hakusa bouncing from branch to branch as if weightless, Eiji right at his side.
At the highest branch, Eiji made the mistake of looking down. He clutched at Hakusa's jacket, dizzy and frightened. "Oh gods." Eiji's voice came out as little more than a squeak. "We're so high up."
Hakusa stopped just long enough to kiss Eiji on the forehead. "Trust in me."
And Eiji did--with all his heart. Closing his eyes, he held fast to Hakusa as they sprinted right to the end of the branch.