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by Emily Veinglory
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
Description: The man Arun loves is kin to the wolf; but Arun is kin to darkness itself. Arun is in training to be a priest of the Fire God when he is abruptly plucked from his peaceful studies, bespelled and staked out as bait to capture a monster--a wolfkin. But the wolfkin isn't quite what Arun expected. He has a name, Trae, and he's more man than beast. And from their first touch, they are far more than predator and prey to each other. Instead of killing Arun, Trae spirits him away to the distant city of Shireen. There, on a family plot of land, they should have a good life together. But the spell that a witch cast on Arun is growing stronger, taking over--and it still wants to destroy the wolfkin. Torn between the power of the spell and his love for Trae, Arun must face the darkness within him--or it will kill them both. Warning: This title contains some tie-me-down M/M content, spellbinding love and a quest to face down the darkness within.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: July 2009
21 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [136 KB]
Reading time: 87-122 min.
Better to have it done. The moon had been full a few nights ago and would wane now towards darkness absolute. Arun fidgeted the day through, shuffling his sodden feet as he walked a circuit around the hump-backed mound he had been left upon. His steps were wearing a bare path through the rank weeds.
The gold chains were buried just beneath the moss near the place where he usually slept. The dark spell welled up fitfully from within him and crawled across the surface of his skin, prickling like lice. Where the amulet was tied, his skin was raised with angry, ridged welts that radiated out from the waxed string that tied the thing in place. They ran up as far as his elbow like worms beneath the skin.
With dusk he felt the weight of watching eyes. He let the fire dwindle. There was little left to burn now, but the beacon. Night fell in fading veils, in tones as pink as skin and red as blood. It was a little milder this night, cool but not frosting. Here I am. I can wait no longer. Arun dropped his cloak and drew his tunic up over his head. Pulling off his leggings and boots, he felt foolish and afraid standing naked with bumped, frigid skin. He looked out across the reeds towards the largest of the trees that he could see. It seemed sometimes like something moved over by its trunk. Was there another island there, a solid place to stand?
After a long while, he sat on the tunic and pulled the cloak and blanket over him. He shuddered, pulling his knees up to his chest. Come now and be done. He felt in his gut that this would be the night and amended his prayer, to let it end here, not even hoping to go on, into whatever uncertain future lay beyond.
It was fully dark when the reeds parted. Through the muted haze above his banked fire, Arun saw the wolfkin clearly for the first time. Its clothes were in tatters, ragged edges fluttering in the low, swirling breeze. Arun stood, dropped his covers and walked forward slowly, stopping just beside the guttering fire. In a place beyond fear, he watched his own actions numbly, as if from a distance.
The creature's taint was clear in the pallor of its glistening skin, and its eyes were black without any white. Coarse hair rose up from its head in a mane and ruff, in a suggestion of its other form. But in the dim light it looked, otherwise, almost like a man--tall of frame, broad of shoulder, smooth in its motions as it approached. Arun was transfixed by the wolfkin's glassy gaze. It had the strong bones of a handsome man, but its skin was pulled too tight upon them and its hair sprouted back from its cheeks and brow. A jagged gash marred its forehead. It looked down at him. The fingers of one of its hands were crooked, almost crushed in appearance. Hunched forward as if pained, the creature stood with tilted head, quizzical. Water dripped from its meager clothing as it emerged onto solid ground.
"What is it about you?" the monster's hoarse voice said ruefully and with unconscious irony. "It is not natural."
It strode up onto the island, and paused. Arun held the thought of his sister's safety in his mind. The wolfkin walked on more slowly, circling wide around the fire. At first Arun turned to keep it in sight, but then he stopped, looking down to the ground and awaiting what would come. He wondered at how the monster spoke, almost like a real man. Doubts were nascent in Arun's mind--the monster spoke as a man, its mangled clothes were civilized ... No, this is no time for doubt.
It spiraled in towards him, coming around in front again. Impatient after this torture of waiting, Arun walked, naked, to his fate.
The wolfkin watched Arun with wide, deep, hungry eyes. As it approached, Arun saw that it stood taller than him. Its frame was wider at the shoulders with long muscled-corded arms that were sparsely furred on their upper surface. The creature's appearance made it seem cold, alien, but not repulsive. That last realization came as a muted surprise.
Its eyes seemed to drag over Arun's skin like tiny hooks, its nose and open mouth scenting the air. It met his approach, palpable warmth emerging from its body. It came to stand so close that hand, chest, thigh, glanced and brushed together. Arun startled but it held him with one heavy hand resting on his shoulder. The wolfkin dipped towards him. Dry lips touched him just where his neck curved to the top of his shoulder, but he did not let himself draw away. It sidled around him until it stood behind, more closely, touching the full lengths of their bodies together. Arun took a half-step forward, reaching to grasp the out-flung branch of the scrubby tree that stood at the center of his small domain, offering himself grimly.
The wolfkin closed in on him again, hard against his back, heavy. Its gaunt, tapering fingers hooked over Arun's waist and drew them close. Its scenting nose and mouth blew air over Arun's frigid skin. It moved slowly against him. Rank cloth, bristling hair and hot flesh felt harsh to every pore of Arun's skin. In a moment the creature's last hesitancy slipped away. Its jagged teeth touched his shoulder, scraping over the skin then moving over the abrasions left with a rough, insistent tongue. Unfamiliar wet warmth flowed sluggishly throughout Arun's body, pushing open veins long frozen and lax. As the feeling reached his groin, Arun felt desire, no, simple lust. The wolfkin mouthed the back of his neck--and it felt finer than anything else he'd ever experienced in his life. If this was the prey's lot, it suddenly failed to terrify him. He experienced his own pleasure at a strange remove, not trying to understand. Not daring to.