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by Ally Blue
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica
Description: A Sidhe warrior in exile. A young man with powers he's only beginning to understand. In their hands, the fate of two worlds. A childhood encounter with one of the Sidhe sets Joseph Vines' life on a fateful course. Unable to forget the beautiful creature who promised to one day return for him, Joey spends the next twenty years learning, dreaming and waiting. Braeden Shay, a warrior of the Sidhe, has spent those same twenty years watching Joey from a distance, waiting for Joey's heritage to make itself known. When the time is ripe, Braeden steps in to protect Joey from those trying to kill him, and to help him deal with the changes turning his life inside out. During the days that follow, as Braeden teaches Joey to harness and control his newfound power over the natural world, Joey finds himself falling for the gentle, patient Braeden. Braeden, who has watched over Joey for most of his life, is already deeply in love with him. When the forces targeting Joey for death catch up with them, it will take all their magic--and the power of their love for each other--to survive, and to save both their worlds. Product Warnings Warning, this title contains the following: explicit male/male sex, graphic language, violence, and inappropriate use of plants.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2007
eBookwise Release Date: December 2010
8 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [241 KB]
Reading time: 152-213 min.
Joey woke to the steady drum of rain on a roof. He smiled with his eyes still shut and burrowed deeper into the pile of pillows and soft sheets surrounding him. The formless anxiety he'd fought for so long was gone. He felt warm, safe and content. The headache he'd had earlier had vanished, along with the nausea and dizziness. In fact, he felt better than he had in years. Strong and invigorated, as if he could do anything. Even the weird voices in his head had faded to a vague susurration at the edge of consciousness.
Maybe I don't have that virus after all.
The memories came back in a rush. The sensation of something momentous about to happen, leaving work and getting off the bus early to walk off his restlessness.
Falling in the woods. A flood of alien thought, a plea shouted silently to the sky not by him, but through him. The rain coming as if in response to that plea.
Joey sat bolt upright in bed, eyes flying open. He was in an unfamiliar room dominated by the huge bed in which he lay. Bedding in shades of green and cream covered the thick mattress. To his right, green curtains waved in the cool, damp breeze from the open window. Outside, it was dark. On the other side of the room, a kerosene lantern sat on top of a plain wooden dresser, bathing the room in a warm golden light.
A faint squeak of hinges sounded to Joey's left. He turned just in time to see a man he didn't know push the door open and step through. The stranger was tall, slender and graceful, with a long blond braid hanging over one shoulder. He wore a green T-shirt and a pair of faded jeans that hugged his willowy body just right. His bare feet made not a sound on the wood floor. The man's pleasant face broke into a dimpled smile when he saw Joey.
"You're awake," the man said, the musical lilt in his voice proclaiming his Irish background and making Joey's heart thud with a shock of recognition. "Did you sleep well?"
Joey stared, trembling all over. The voice was straight out of his memory. And those eyes...eyes that had haunted his dreams for twenty years. "Oh my God. It's you. You found me."
The man--no, the faery--blinked. "You remember, then?"
"Remember? I've been waiting my whole life for you to come back." A laugh bubbled up from Joey's chest at the thunderstruck expression on the faery's face. "God, I have so many questions."
The faery perched on the edge of the bed, silver-gray gaze fixed on Joey's face. "Ask, then, and I'll answer as best I can."
Kicking free of the tangle of sheets and pillows, Joey scooted closer and sat cross-legged with his bare knee pressed to the faery's denim-clad thigh. Joey noticed for the first time that his clothes had been removed and he was now naked, but the faery didn't seem to mind so Joey elected not to worry about it. "First things first. What's your name?"
"Braeden Shay, at your service." The faery bobbed his head in a slight bow.
Braeden's voice brushed Joey's skin like cashmere, making his stomach flutter. Joey licked his lips. "Where are we? And how'd you get me here? Last thing I remember is passing out in the Botanical Gardens."
"We're deep in the heart of the Shining Rock Wilderness, in the Smoky Mountains not far from your home." Twisting to face the window, Braeden waved a long, elegant hand toward the darkness beyond. "This cabin is glamoured to look like a bramble patch and is covered with repelling charms. The few hardy souls who hike this far will not bother us. Will not even notice us, I should think. I brought you here using the Space between worlds. Dangerous, that, but the alternative was worse."
"I don't have a fucking clue what you just said," Joey murmured. "Except the part about glamours and spells, I've read all about those. And the part about where we are. I've hiked Shining Rock before." He leaned close enough to feel Braeden's heat. "How'd you find me?"
"I kissed you." Lifting a hand, Braeden rubbed a thumb across Joey's forehead. "Do you remember?"
A kiss as tender as his mother's pressed to his brow. Words he didn't understand whispered against his skin. "I'll come back for you, when you're ready."
Joey nodded. "I felt it tingling for days after."
"I spoke a spell to bind us through that kiss. It is old and powerful magic, allowing me to watch over you all your life without interfering until you needed me." Braeden's fingers trailed down Joey's cheek in a gentle caress. His silver eyes shone in the lantern-glow. "When you needed me, I knew, and I came to you."
A lump rose in Joey's throat. "What's happening to me, Braeden? I've been feeling so strange, for weeks now. And then that...whatever it was, happened in the gardens, and...and I don't know. I feel good right now, amazing in fact, but I still don't feel like me. I feel...different. I can't explain it."
Braeden's mouth curved into a wistful smile. "You're changing, Joseph. You do not yet realize how much. There's so much I need to explain to you. So much you need to know. That is why I've brought you here. This is a protected place. With any luck, we will not be found for quite a while. You'll have time to learn about your heritage, and what it means for your future and possibly the future of Tir-na-nog, the faery kingdom. And you will be able to learn to harness your powers."
Joey shook his head, puzzled and a little frightened by the things Braeden was saying. "I don't understand. I'm just a regular guy. The only thing special about me is you. You visiting me when I was little, and finding me again."
"You are special, Joseph." Braeden stroked Joey's hair, running his fingers through the tangled strands. "That's why I came to you when you were small, and that's why I am here now. Because you are unique in all the worlds, and it is my duty--and my privilege--to help you, and to protect you."
Joey should've been afraid, he knew. Clearly, his life had just been turned inside out in ways he couldn't yet comprehend. He should be scared and angry, demanding answers.
He should be. But he wasn't. At that moment, all he could feel was Braeden's hand in his hair, and a desire like he'd never known before flowing like lava through his veins.
It didn't surprise him. Somehow, he'd always known it would be this way.
Moving closer to Braeden, Joey lifted Braeden's free hand and kissed his palm. "Take the glamour off?"
Braeden let out a startled noise. "It's not safe to remove the glamour from this place. He has spies everywhere."
"Not the cabin," Joey clarified, putting the question of who "he" was aside for later. "You. Take the glamour off yourself. I want to see the real you."
"Are you certain?" Braeden's voice was a hoarse whisper. "Humans are often frightened by the way we look."
"I remember what you look like." Flowing white hair, porcelain-pale skin, a face like an angel. Wings towering to the ceiling and brushing the floor. After twenty years, the memory had lost none of its power, and every cell in Joey's body burned for it to be real once more. He took Braeden's hand, lacing their fingers together. "Please, Braeden."
Braeden's lips parted, a soft sigh escaping. Without a word, he pulled his hand from Joey's and stood. For a second, Braeden's form seemed to shimmer. Joey blinked, and the glamour Braeden had used to clothe and disguise himself was gone. The creature from Joey's childhood stood there, naked, white and shining, so beautiful he stole Joey's breath. The wings Joey had done his best to reproduce in ink rose above Braeden's head, the edges gilded with lantern light.
"Wow." Joey rose to his feet, drinking in the sight of the real Braeden. He was afraid to look away for fear the vision might vanish. "Just like I remembered."
Braeden laughed, the sound bell-like and nervous. "Is that good or bad?"
"Definitely good." The urge to touch moved his hands, and he didn't resist. Stepping closer, Joey laid his palms flat on Braeden's chest. An electric tingle ran up his arms at the contact. "Braeden?"
Was it his imagination, or did Braeden's voice sound rough and breathless? Joey licked his lips. "Can I kiss you?"