Running in Fear: Cupid's Venom
Click on image to enlarge.
by Trinity Blacio
Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica/Romance
Description: Six years of living in a cell sure can be hell on a girl. Not to mention the fact that Cecil Windstream was only sixteen years old when her family was taken away for scientific experiments. After escaping, all Cecil wanted to do was die, but unfortunately the snake DNA that had been injected into her wouldn't let that happen - and neither will her mates. Tug Brimstone was an alpha wolf by nature, but even he wasn't as powerful as Remi LeBlathe, their true alpha. Happy to be the new headmaster in their jointly owned BDSM nightclub, Tug wasn't looking for anyone, but fate had another plan for him. In fewer than two days, he finds he has three mates, two of whom are part snake and wolf. And now he's tempting fate by injecting snake DNA into his own body so he can mate with them. Rory Sherwood is mate to Tug Brimstone, Clayton Glands, and Cecil Windstream. How can one tiny virgin who has been beaten and experimented on overwhelm him to the point where he forgets his own name, let alone seriously consider changing his DNA just so he can mate with her? Clayton Glands, the muscle behind the National Council of Wolf shifters, has hidden a family secret all his life, but in fewer than twenty-four hours he has found his mates, exposed his secret, and gained a son. In a one-week time span, the three alpha males Tug, Rory, and Clayton must protect their female from the scientists Cecil has escaped. Not only is her life in danger, but also her son's, and the future of every shifter around. The war against good and evil is coming to a head and their journey is just part of the story you'll find in this fourth installment of Trinity Blacio's best-selling series!
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance/Ravenous Romance, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: May 2011
17 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [189 KB]
Reading time: 129-181 min.
Six years of living in a cell sure can be hell on a girl. Not to mention the fact that Cecil Windstream was only sixteen years old when her family was taken away to be experimented on. After escaping, all Cecil wanted to do was die, but unfortunately the snake DNA that had been injected into her wouldn't let her die, and neither will her mates.
Tug Brimstone was an alpha wolf by nature, but even he wasn't as powerful as his Remi LeBlathe, their true alpha. Happy to be the new head master in their jointly owned BDSM nightclub, Tug wasn't looking for anyone, but fate had another plan for him. In less than two days, he finds he has three mates, two who are part snake and wolf, and now he's tempting fate by injecting snake DNA into his own body so he can mate with them.
Rory Sherwood is mate to Tug Brimstone, Clayton Glands, and Cecil Windstream. How can one tiny female who has been beaten, experimented on, and is a virgin overwhelm him to the point where he forgets his own name, let alone seriously changing his DNA, just so he can mate with her?
Clayton Glands, the muscle behind the National Council of Wolf shifters, has hidden a family secret all his life, but in less than twenty-four hours he has found his mates, exposed his secret, and gained a son.
In a one-week time span, three alpha males Tug, Rory, and Clayton must protect their female from the scientists Cecil had escaped. Not only is her life in danger, but also her son's, and the future of every shifter around. The war against good and evil is coming to a head and their journey is just part of the story to come.
* * * *
Tug leaned against the wall, scanning the club for any trouble. Once again it was packed with members from all three clans in the area. He was surprised the cats mixed so well with the wolves. He glanced over to Remi's table and met his gaze, nodding. Remi and his mates sat at the table watching the show.
Jaycee, the alpha female of their pack, had insisted the club be decorated for Valentine's Day next week. He smiled as he remembered Remi and Dane trying to convince her to leave their club alone, but she'd refused.
Dane and Remi did everything Jaycee asked, pampering her. Even now, she sat with her feet in Remi's lap as he rubbed her feet, as Dane's hand rested on the swell of her belly while Mark leaned over her chair and played with her breasts.
"I never thought I would see the day that Remi would be rubbing some woman's feet," Jason growled.
"He's making us look like wimps," The young wolf next to him said.
Tug reached over and clipped him in the head. "Watch your mouth," he snapped. "That man could rip your throat out before you even moved and he's our alpha, so show some respect. His wife is pregnant, so he has an excuse to pamper her. She's giving him the best gift any man could have: a child."
A shadow fell over his shoulder and he moaned, knowing it was Remi. He turned, lowering his gaze. "I'm sorry, Remi. He didn't mean it."
Remi grabbed the young wolf by the throat and lifted him up. "Never, and I mean never, doubt my ability as pack leader. One can display love for a woman and still be the most powerful man around." He threw him to the ground. "Go home, Jason. You're not old enough to be here anyway, and make sure your father knows what was said here."
Jason crawled towards the door as Tug opened it for him. As soon as he was outside, he ran.
Laughing, Tug closed the door and leaned against the wall. "So, how are the babies? Has the morning sickness stopped?" He glanced at his friend.
Leaning back against the wall, Remi sighed. "No, she's still sick every morning, but Marsha and the doctors have assured us the babies are fine." He laughed. "They sure do kick up a storm, though. I thought for sure this morning one of them was going to kick right out of her belly."
Tug laughed and glanced at the door as a group of wolves entered the building. They lowered their heads in respect to Remi and moved into the club. "So, are we still having the Valentine's Dance here next week?" He smirked.
"Knock it off, Tug. It's the least we can do for Jaycee. Plus, it's the only place big enough to hold everyone. We can't give her the wedding yet, with the threat still hanging over our heads. She's right, though. We need a small event to ease the tensions in the packs. Bo's been talking about going back to Montana and it's scaring the crap out of Jaycee."
He frowned and turned to Remi. "You think that's wise? He's all alone out there and everyone knows he's important to you guys."
"There's not much we can do to stop him. He's the alpha of their clan. Dane's been trying to talk some sense into him, but I don't know. He has promised to stay here for the dance." Remi straightened and glanced at the door. "Someone's hurt." He growled and pulled open the door, sniffing the air around them.
Following Remi outside, they both scanned the cars not seeing anything. The door opened behind them and Tug knew Dane had stepped out, his scent washing over him. "What's going on? Jaycee's throwing a fit trying to come out here. She said a female was in trouble."
Stepping forward, Tug placed his body in front of the alphas, cussing up a storm. Just what he needed: two pissed off alphas who didn't know how to stay out of harm's way. He looked at the vacant field behind the parked cars when he saw her. Her blond hair reflected the lights from the club. She held up an arm--missing a hand. "Crap! Remi, we're going to need the doctor." Tug yelled and ran to her as she fell forward onto her knees.
He yanked his belt off and kneeled down before her. "Easy, I got you." He wrapped the belt around her arm, tying off the circulation. She had to have lost too much blood. Her heart skipped a beat and she passed out in his arms. A vicious snarl rose up out of him and shocked him. Tug glanced down at the beauty in his arms, not understanding the emotions swirling around in his head and heart.
Remi and Dane both glanced down as they walked towards the club's doors. "I didn't sense anyone out there, but you might want to double the patrols." The door opened to the club and Jaycee stood there, glaring at her mates.
"I've got the room behind the bar all ready, and the doctor happened to be here, so he's in the room waiting for you," she snapped. "Do you know who she is?" She glanced at Remi and Dane.
"No, she's not from our packs, and what the hell are you doing opening the damn door?" Remi shouted, picking her up and pushing open the door to the private bedroom.
The doctor nodded to the bed where Tug placed his light bundle. "Remi, she's part wolf, but something else. I can smell it." The doctor pulled out his instruments. "I don't know how she made it this far. The end of her arm is frozen where it was cut off. She's lucky it was cold enough to do this, otherwise she would have bled out."
Remi lowered Jaycee down. "Will it start bleeding now that it's warm in here?" Jaycee sat down on the bed and pushed the woman's hair away from her face.
"No, the ice cauterized her wounds just like fire would, but we have to worry about infection now." The doctor injected a syringe into her arm right above where the belt had been removed. "I'm giving her a strong antibiotic and I'll give her another one in a couple of hours. That should stop any infection from spreading."
There were two large scars on her right cheek, her nose was crooked as if it had been broken, and there were dark circles under her eyes. Tug couldn't drag himself away from the woman's side. He wanted to be the one stroking her hair and sitting near her.
"Tug! Yoo hoo, Tug!" Remi snapped his fingers in front of his face and he jumped.
"What?" he snapped, glaring at Remi.
Jaycee coughed and Dane laughed as Remi crossed his arms over his chest. "I was going to say you can leave, but I can see that's not going to happen now."
"Why?" He glanced back at the woman, then at Remi. "Well, shit, it can't be." He pushed his hand through his hair, all the signs were there, the protective streak, his cock hard as a rock, and his wolf wanting to claim her, mate. His mate lay on the bed, hurt. Someone had hurt what was his. Fur pushed out of his skin, claws replaced his nails and he took a deep breath imprinting his mates scent so he could find her anywhere.
"Easy, Tug. Pull it back in. She's going to need you here, not going crazy." Remi patted his back, calming him instantly with his powers.
"Excuse me, Remi, but we have a bigger problem here." The doctor nodded to her hand and they watched as something pushed out of the nub.
New skin and bone formed as a new hand formed. "What the hell is going on?" Tug glanced at the doctor, but the doctor shook his head.
"The only animal I know that can regenerate is..." He didn't get the words out as Remi pushed Jaycee out of the room into Mark's arms.
"Keep her out of here till we find out what's going on, and Mark, not a word to anyone." Remi and Dane locked the door and turned to the woman.
"How can she be part wolf and snake? It's impossible." Remi demanded.
Tug sat down on the bed taking Jaycee's place by his mate and stared down at the woman as she moved her legs. Her eyes flashed open and she screamed. Her hands attacked some unseen person hitting at the air. "No more! Please! I'll be good," she screamed.
"Easy, little one, you're safe." Tug gently grabbed her arms and held her down as she glanced around the room, then looked down at her arm.
"Fuck, I can't even kill myself right! What did they do to me?" she cried and turned her head away from everyone.
Remi moved to the side of the bed and reached over, turning her chin towards him. Every instinct in Tug urged him to push Remi away, but he held back.
"Why would you want to kill yourself? Life is precious." Remi soothed the woman with just his words alone.
She calmed a bit. "I'm a freak, can't you see?" She lifted up her hand. "They did this to me. No one will accept me into their packs now."
* * * *
Cecil stared at the man next to her. He was huge, bigger than the one who sat on the bed with her. How the hell did she end up here? The last thing she remembered was putting her hand in the wolf trap, hoping to end her life before they found her again and dragged her back for their experiments.
The man on the bed stared down at her and growled. "Who did this to you? And what did they do?" He was handsome, with long red hair pulled back and a small white faded scar on his left cheek. He wore a black wife-beater T-shirt that showed tense muscles.
"I can't tell you. They would come here and destroy everyone. I won't watch another person killed because of me." She turned her head back towards the wall. "Just let me go. It's safer if I'm by myself." Her lip trembled at the thought of once more being out there alone, but she had no one. They had killed everyone in her family with their experiments.
"My name is Remi LeBlathe. I'm one of the alphas here in this region and no one is going to hurt us or touch you here. This man sitting next to you is one of my best friends, Tug Brimstone. We can protect you. Please let us help you."
Cecil turned and glanced up at Remi. She had heard of him. His pack was one of the most powerful in the United States, but he was also connected to the National pack. "What I know, you wouldn't believe. My family and I were taken from the California pack closest to your brother's pack. No one knew about our abduction. Every member of my family is dead, and it wasn't just our family they experimented on. They have labs all around the world, doing different things to make superior shifters. I was just lucky to get away before they did their final testing--if you can call it lucky. I was held prisoner for more than six years, being poked, prodded, and injected with snake DNA. I have nothing left to live for. Just let me die."
Remi glared back at a shadow of a man. "The National pack must be made aware of this."
"No! Please don't call them." She grabbed his hand. "They are aware of this. Remi, please, don't call them." She shook as he frowned down at her.
"The National pack knows of these experiments?" The man named Tug pulled her up and sat her in his lap. Cecil couldn't understand why, but she felt safe in his arms. She rubbed her chin against his chest, and then stopped herself, glancing up at him. His gaze was hard, but there was something else in it as he stared down at her.
She sighed. "I'm so sorry, but they'll come after you now. I didn't want this, believe me." Cecil curled up on Tug's lap and shook. "They'll kill me soon enough. You still have time to just let me go. Forget about all of this and me."
Tug hugged her and rubbed her back. "We're not going to forget about you and you're not going anywhere without me. If we have to, we'll go somewhere away from the pack and hide out till it's safe." He growled and glanced up at Remi. "With the council coming here so often, it would be safer if we left."
"No one is going anywhere," Remi said. "If one of the council members is doing this, then no one is safe. We need everyone here to protect those who are weaker."
Dane asked Mark to bring Jaycee inside. "Maybe she's heard or seen something that would give us a clue as to who is doing this. For right now, we can't let anyone know about her being here," Remi ordered, and glanced back down at her. "Did you hear anything about who could be behind this on the National pack? If we had a name, we could start there."
Cecil shook her head. "They kept it quiet. All I know is they called him Mr. B. He only visited the lab I was in once, and all of us were locked in our cages."
* * * *
All Tug wanted to do was take Cecil away from everyone and keep her safe, but he knew Remi was right. They would be safer in numbers. The door opened and Jaycee once more moved into the room and smiled at Cecil.
"Hello. I'm Jaycee and these three bumbleheads are my mates. Don't let them scare you. Their barks are worse than their bites." She laughed when all three snarled.
"Enough, Jaycee. We need your help here and what we say can't be repeated to anyone, including the National Pack." Remi wrapped his arm around her and pulled her into his body.
"Cecil was telling us someone from the National pack has been conducting experiments on live people." He nodded to her.
"Oh my God! I'm so sorry." Jaycee shivered and placed her hands on her belly. "Remi, what if they tried to get our children?"
All three of her mates growled. "No one is going to touch our children. We need to figure out who this is and put a stop to it. Cecil says the person in charge was called Mr. B. Does this ring any bells?"
Jaycee frowned and looked at Remi. "You've been in more contact with them than I have. The only one who comes to mind is Blackwell and I know he wouldn't be involved in any of this. I've been in his mind Remi, there is not a chance I would have missed something like this. Maybe it's someone from overseas. We didn't meet any of them."
Remi frowned. "That's what I was thinking. Mark, we're going to need a list of all the members. Use the excuse that we're thinking of holding a party for the Fourth of July." He glanced down at Tug.
"Tug, take her to your place and grab Rory on the way. I want both of you with her at all times." He studied her for a minute.
"Did their experiments affect the wolf? Can you shift?" Remi asked Cecil.
Cecil curled up closer to Tug. "I refused to shift. I'm afraid to. I feel the wolf, but it's different now. I was too afraid to." Her voice was a bare whisper as she grabbed onto Tug's shirt in a death grip.
"Shh, it's okay. We'll figure this out." Tug pulled the blanket from the bed and wrapped it around her.
"Well, that is a plus," Dane said. "The council won't know what she looks like when she shifts, but we need to know what happens if she does. Could you try to shift for us here so we can see what we're dealing with?"
"What if I'm a freak half-snake?" she squeaked.
Tug lifted her chin and stared into her eyes. "Wouldn't it be better to know now, with people you can trust? It might help protect you." Tug smiled at her.
She glanced around and nodded. For some reason, Cecil trusted them. "You might want Jaycee out of the room. I don't know if I can control it and I'd die knowing I hurt her or your children." She looked at Jaycee, then glanced down at her belly. "You're so lucky. I always wanted to have children, but now I'd be too afraid to have them."
Remi pushed Jaycee behind Dane into Mark's arms. "I'm not leaving this room. She needs another female here." She glared at her mates.
Dane snarled. "You'll not move, Jaycee, when she does this and I mean it."
Gently, Tug helped Cecil stand and remove her clothes. Cecil hid her face behind her stringy hair, embarrassed by the scars of her past on her skin. They were strong reminders of the pain she had endured for six years.
His heart clenched and tears formed at the pain she had suffered. "I'm right here. Just concentrate on me. I'll help you." Tug cupped her cheek and stepped back as everyone watched and waited.
Cecil took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Bones popped, muscles stretched, and she screamed in pain as she fell to the floor. Her body shook and Cecil's eyes rolled back in her head.
He glanced up at Remi and frowned. Tug heard the growl and looked down at the wolf. Her coat of fur was a mix of blond, red, and brown, with tints of blue.
"Remi, look! She has the tongue of a snake and the fangs of a cobra." The doctor slowly moved forward, but she growled and backed away from him.
"Easy, Cecil. He just wants to see what other changes there are." Tug knelt down next to her.
The doctor ran his hand over her fur and shook his head. "Under the fur, she has skin like a snake."
Remi knelt down by her and smiled. "Doctor, do you think it might help if we give her our blood?"
"I don't know, Remi. There's a chance. It all depends which is stronger, the snake or the wolf, but maybe with your gene pool and the power you have, it would help."
Remi bit into his wrist and held it out to her. "Drink, Cecil. It can only help."
She whimpered and tried to back up.
"She's afraid to hurt you." Tug looked into her eyes. "Come on, Cecil, you can do it."
Slowly she made her way up to Remi's wrist and licked the blood that dripped down. Her body twitched and Cecil backed away, crying and lying down on the ground.
Tug once more pushed his hand through her fur and sighed. "The skin is soft and normal, but I'm afraid she still has the fangs of a snake and tongue."
* * * *
Cecil, can you hear me now through the blood connection? Remi's voice broke through the pain and confusion.
Yes, it hurts. Something is happening. Please stay away. I don't want to hurt anyone. Cecil curled up further away from them when the smell of the lab drifted to her. She tensed and raised her head towards the door. They have found me. Protect your mate.
Cringing at the pain, she slowly got to her feet and growled at the door.
Remi stood and grabbed Jaycee. "Dane, you and Tug stay in here with Cecil. It seems someone has tracked her here. Mark, let's go! We can't let them escape." Remi opened the door and slipped out of the room with Mark.
She needed to shift back. Cecil wasn't about to let them see her other form. Concentrating, her bones snapped, muscles stretched, and skin replaced fur as she slowly stood.
Tug wrapped a blanket around her naked form as he drew her behind him. "It's okay. Remi will take care of the threat, Cecil," he tried to reassure her.
"You don't understand. If even one person from the lab is here, the others will know. They won't stop until they have me and have destroyed everyone who knows about their labs." She glanced over at Jaycee and the alpha, Dane.
"I'm so sorry I brought this to your home. I should have stayed away." Cecil backed away and sat down on the bed abruptly.
The bed dipped down next to her and Jaycee took her hand into hers. "You're not going anywhere, Cecil. Believe me when I say I've had my own nightmares when it comes to people hurting me. You'll get through this and we'll all help you. I know it's hard to trust, with everything that's happened, but I personally guarantee I will do everything possible to help you." She nudged her on the shoulder and smiled at her, glancing at Tug. "Plus, I don't think that man is going to let you out of his sight," she whispered.