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by C.J. Black
Category: Romance/Gay Fiction
Description: When Myles Bryce encounters Demetrius Jordan, the attraction is immediate and frightening. The man exudes an arcane power even Myles can't fathom. Myles himself is not quite normal, having the ability to manipulate the emotions of others, a skill Myles calls his insight. Demetrius Jordan is an incubus in search of a prized item stolen from him. When his investigation leads him to Myles, he's shocked when Myles refuses to return his property. Demetrius senses Myles is different but he isn't as much interested in that as he is in possessing Myles. And Myles wants to be possessed by Demetrius.
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press, 2012
eBookwise Release Date: April 2012
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [154 KB]
Reading time: 97-136 min.
The man who walked into Myles' bookstore caused an unexpected tremor to race across his skin. His insight never reacted so quickly. Myles usually had to be within someone's personal space for his power to touch the recipient. What Myles referred to as "insight" was his ability to not only sense the emotions of others but to turn them inside out. He could never find a better explanation for what he could do. If there was anger, Myles could pull that anger from whoever was threatening him and surround him or her with it, making it seem to the recipient that Myles was the greater threat. Myles had only used his power in that manner once and, after seeing the results, swore he'd never do it again. But as to the man, Myles had never seen him before and he was quite noticeable.
First, very few hot black men came into his shop. Yes, he knew that wasn't PC, but it was the truth. Most of his clientele were elderly ladies perusing the antiques and first editions he sold.
This man held an air of quiet strength and confidence that appealed to Myles. He walked the length of the counter, following in the man's footsteps. He took obvious care with his appearance. He had a nicely sculptured face, a broad nose, and full lips. His hair was done up in hundreds of tiny braids, and his angled chin was covered with a neatly trimmed beard. It was a good five minutes before Myles realized he was staring.
The man continued his browsing, and Myles lost track of him amongst the shelves. His attention was drawn to a silvery light dancing at the threshold of the lounge area. The bookstore had both a business and a living area. The previous owner had converted the living room and kitchen to a comfortable area where he'd served beverages and fresh-baked goods and his best customers could sit and enjoy their finds. Myles saw no reason not to continue the tradition, and the ladies appreciated it.
It was also where the ghosts of the house spent their time.
The family had lived in this house for several generations. The most recent owners, an elderly couple, had retired to Colorado, and their children had no interest in running the place. So the couple had gifted it to Myles since he was, as they had said, their best damn customer and had a real respect for the old. Myles didn't know about that, but he did know he loved the shop. It was the one place where he'd found some semblance of peace.
As for the ghosts, they never came upstairs where Myles lived, and he appreciated that. They seemed content spending eternity protecting their family legacy. But the way they were moving about, Myles could sense they were agitated about something or someone.
Then the man stepped into view again and came straight for the counter. "Excuse me, are you the owner?" His accent was decidedly British. It rolled over Myles in a gentle wave.
"Yes," Myles said. "How can I help you?"
"Two months ago you attended an auction in England and purchased a personal journal for two-hundred dollars, correct?"
Myles straightened, his muscles tense. "Yes I did, and just how did you know that?"
He avoided the question. "It is mine, and I want it back."
Myles didn't like the intense look in his eyes. His insight was a steady hum going from the tip to the base of his spine. "According to the auction house, it was found buried in the floor of a barn at a two-hundred-year-old farmstead. The descendants chose to auction it off. Are you saying you're a relative?"
"I'm saying it's mine," the man said again. "It was stolen from me six months ago. I've been tracking it ever since. It's very important to me."
"I'm afraid I'll need some proof of ownership." Myles wasn't about to just give up what he considered an amazing find. He'd already looked through the journal, and some of the writings had intrigued him a great deal. He'd thought to sell it to one of what he called his "premier customers", but something about the book kept drawing him back to it. He intended to study the journal more in-depth and perhaps do some articles about it. He'd dedicated several blog posts to it already.
The man dipped his head slightly, his eyes narrowing. He balled his fists atop the counter. "I don't have time--" Then his expression softened. "All right, why don't we do it this way? I'll buy it from you."
"You paid two hundred, correct?" The man reached in his back pocket and pulled out a leather wallet. "I'll give you four." He laid four crisp one-hundred dollar bills on the counter.
The last thing Myles wanted or needed was money. "No thank you. It's not for sale."
"Five." He laid another bill down.
"Six. That's as high as I'll go."
"It won't matter either way. I've already said the journal isn't for sale."
The man looked at Myles from underneath lowered eyelids again. "Guess I'll have to try something else."
The man touched Myles with a force similar to his insight. It was a surrounding pressure that was pushing against his temples. This man has power too, Myles thought. He knew there were many others like him, but he'd never been confronted by one before. Most with some type of power tended to interact with their own.
His insight reacted, a natural defense mechanism that Myles didn't need to even concentrate to use. Myles lowered his head, squinted his eyes shut, gathering his insight. He shaped it into a stone fist and slammed it with all his strength into the man's chest, putting the force of his words behind it. "Get away!"
The man stumbled back and nearly tripped over his own feet. He looked completely taken aback for a few moments. Myles was aware of the few customers staring in curious shock and a few making surreptitious exits. Myles hoped they would all leave. He didn't want any innocent people hurt, nor did he want them to see something that would make anyone fear him. He'd had to deal with enough of that growing up.
The man recovered after a moment. He grinned broadly, his teeth slightly crooked with a gap in between his front teeth. "Well I'll be damned. Why didn't I see it before?" He stretched, his long arms reaching toward the ceiling. "I have a similar skill."
This time when the pressure hit him, it completely engulfed him before Myles could react. The difference being that this power joined with his insight, pulling it in, entwining the two powers in an embrace. Myles had no way to fight. Nothing like this had ever happened to him before, and he had no defense against it.
Everything around him that was familiar was fading into a velvety darkness, although Myles could still feel the polished wood of the counter under his knuckles and his feet still firmly planted on the throw rug he laid on the floor for comfort. His heart was a rapid beating in his ears, his quickened breathing the only sound.
The man walked around behind Myles. His warm breath brushed against Myles' ear. "What a fascinating power you have. I'm impressed."
A chill passed over Myles' skin. Then the man slid his arms around Myles' torso from behind. "I don't need the journal just yet, but I will come for it."
He undid the buttons of Myles' shirt and pushed it down past his shoulders. Myles' breath left his lungs in short bursts. He couldn't comprehend what was happening. He knew he should move, should call out, or fight, but he couldn't--the man held his insight and held him fast.
Those full lips nuzzled Myles' neck, and his face warmed when he whimpered. Those big hands pushed inside his shirt and pinched his nipples. Myles jumped, his back pushing against the broad, muscular chest, the scent of his spicy cologne filling Myles' nostrils.
"You're a sweet little baby boy," the man said. "I wonder what you feel like."