Search Results for: "school"

Intangible 24

Chapter Twenty-Three

Hermione found what she presumed was the resting place of the sleeping Kalistar. The Vesper didn’t guard the room the way she thought they would, but she was right in her guess of they did keep the creature safe. The Kalistar rested in the center of the village in the unique building set up to house their new halfling. Deep in a hand carved underground basement was a tomb. Hermione could only guess what dwelled in this tomb because she couldn’t find a way to get inside.

“I just want to see the creature,” Hermione said reasonably. She was downstairs in the large entrance chamber which led out into the village. The afternoon air was warm as it flowed in on the breeze. Haille’s expression didn’t agree with her tone. Hermione rolled her eyes but she knew she wouldn’t seek any of the other shifters out. Haille was the most agreeable to her. He barely even referred to her as human anymore. Haille was her best bet to get what she wanted; she just needed to wear him down a bit. Hopefully with help from Malfoy.

“It is dangerous.” Haille huffed when Hermione snorted derisively. “The Kalistar is a powerful force and has been known to respond to human energy. I do not feel it is wise.”

“Have you woken it up before, then? Or has it woken up on its own?” Hermione asked, her curiosity peaked. Maybe if she just hung out enough in the basement the Kalistar would wake up from her presence.

“Not in our village, no,” Haille said gruffly. He glared at Hermione as if he could read her thoughts. “Incidences have happened, usually when humans have encroached on a village. The Kalistar are so intent on protecting the foolish mortals.”

“Foolish?” Hermione scoffed. “You do realize you all look like a bunch of beautiful, if not scarred, men, right?”

“Yes, and we hold our tribes in the middle of extremely dangerous, monster riddled magical forests,” Haille shot back. “Any human who would approach our village is either here to attack us, or they are complete imbeciles who deserve the painful deaths they receive.”

Hermione sighed. She raised her eyebrows and shrugged. She could hardly disagree with the logic of it. “Your Kalistar doesn’t seem to agree.”

“Yes, well there was an entire village who did and we won.” Done with the conversation, Haille stepped out into said village where the canopy of sheets above turned the center into a carnival of color. Hermione followed, not even remotely ready to give up. She would see the Kalistar. She had grown to like the Vesper these last few days and the more the dragons returned home, freshly wounded, the more she knew something needed to be done. They couldn’t continue on like this.

Malfoy agreed but in a distracted manner. He didn’t want to tell the Vesper what to do; he was just happy to be there. Hermione had a sinking suspicion Draco wouldn’t want to return to Hogwarts once the tour was over. She’d do her best to persuade him, but seeing Draco among the Vesper each day, Hermione knew he found a home. Even now as she approached while Kore taught him how to balance a spear, Draco looked more relaxed and happy than she could ever remember seeing him. He’d have to be; Hermione was fairly certain Malfoys didn’t hunt with spears.

“Malfoy, I need your help with something,” Hermione said before Haille could even open his mouth. The shifter narrowed his pretty violet eyes at her but that was it. He was a damn pussy cat, scars and all.

Draco brightened at her arrival. He pointed down the way where a target was set up and two spears already pierced the cloth covered blocks of hay. “Not quite the side of a barn, but I did manage to hit it. Twice.”

Hermione shook her head at another show of manly display that only seemed to get worse the more the Vesper insisted on hugging Draco. Draco was even dressing like them, in a pair of loose fitting pants and a light vest to cover his chest. His feet were bare; it had to be nudity for someone of his station to not where shoes everywhere. Draco also managed to get himself a nice gash on his stomach. Probably not to match the Vesper, so much as Draco kept getting distracted by pawing shifters. As if to prove her point, Haille swooped down and wrapped him tight in his embrace. Draco only made the slightest of squawks in protest as he nearly dropped the spear on his foot.

“You’re learning very fast, lovely halfling. Soon you will be skilled enough to travel the forest with us. There is so much to see out here.”

Draco nodded, a blush staining his cheek where Haille kissed. “Yes, well, I don’t want to be stuck in the village all the time.” He lifted his head, his questioning look turned to Hermione. “What did you need help with?”

Hermione watched Haille settle behind Draco with his arms wrapped around his waist. If he thought that was going to keep her from getting Draco to help, he had another thing coming. “I found the Kalistar, the sleeping one. It’s actually right under the halfling house.”

“Oh,” Draco blinked as his mind turned. “I’d like to meet it.”

Hermione grinned triumphant, but Haille only dismissively shrugged when Draco looked back imploringly. “Sorry, little one. None of us have the power alone to wake the creature. It must be a unified decision, the same as it took to put it to sleep. Since you have gotten your call under control, there is little reason for it.”

“Even if it would stop all the fighting?” Hermione asked in frustration. “How can you just sit back and let your dragons keep getting injured?”

“We’re not letting them,” Kore broke in. He was extremely tall and broad shouldered. “We fight back as good as we get.”

“Yes, because that’s helping things,” Hermione muttered. “If I have kids and they start getting brutally wounded, I’m totally going to care that at least they managed to equally maim their attackers. You need to talk to these people. Negotiate. Let them see you’re, well, people. Reasonable people—except when it comes to humans, yes, I’ve gathered that,” Hermione added with a frustrated sigh.

“You need to give them some time,” Draco said after a moment. “You can’t expect them to change everything overnight. They’re just getting used to me. They know I want to interact with humans and have promised to make that possible.”

“Eventually,” Haille agreed. “We will need to set up defenses to protect us all, humans and Vesper.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier to let the Kalistar do that?” Hermione asked. “Isn’t that part of its job?”

Kore and Haille exchanged uneasy glances. “The Kalistar aren’t forgiving creatures, human,” Kore explained. “They are dominant, aggressive, and difficult to control. There is a reason each village only has one. They will war with each other, and sometimes divide entire villages while fighting for control. Most young Kalistar are cast out by their own when they are born just to prevent this. They are difficult.”

Draco inhaled sharply. He pulled away from Haille to stare at the two shifters in disbelief. “You exile them? You throw them away like something less than garbage?”

“The Kalistar used to, yes,” Haille said with a pained expression on his face. “Now we have them sleep. It has been the kindest compromise we could make.”

“I don’t understand,” Hermione broke in. “I was told the Kalistar protected humans. That they protected the halflings and helped control them. How could the same creature—the one who supposedly tried to get humans and Vesper to stop fighting—be so dangerous and terrible? It doesn’t make sense.”

“We are creatures of duality,” Kore said flatly. “We fight our beast nature when it suits us. The Kalistar, when that creature loses to the beast, its power is too great to fight. It can pull us so much we become nothing more than raving, howling madness.”

Haille nodded and gently grabbed Draco’s hand. “You have seen it, halfling, with your own call. Think if you had done that intentionally to Matten and the young ones because you wanted something so great you didn’t care who had to bend. Without someone to balance the Kalistar, the creature is too powerful to be trusted.”

Draco nodded, but he didn’t fully understanding. Matten had told him the halflings balanced the Kalistar so him now in the village should be enough. The shifters didn’t want to wake the creature even with him there. Maybe they didn’t think he was staying.

Draco wanted to finish school; it was only a few more months. After that he’d figure out what he was going to do with the Vesper. Matten mentioned again about Draco being an ambassador. He didn’t know if that’s what he wanted… He just knew he was tired of worrying about the Vesper being hurt. His week was nearly over and twice the dragons returned bloody and crying in pain. At least Draco and Hermione were able to heal them so the scars weren’t permanent. He preferred they were never hurt in the first place.

“With Malfoy here, wouldn’t it be safe to wake up the Kalistar?” Hermione was thinking the same thing as him.

Again the shifters exchanged unreadable looks. Kore finally spoke, his voice a low growl. “They aren’t forgiving.”

Hermione was not one for theatrics. “Can you at least let me in the tomb? Just to see it?”

Haille snorted; her persistence was amusing, if not appealing. “Take her to Matten, halfling. He can let her in the chamber.”

Triumphant, Hermione quickly dragged a grumpy Draco down toward the huts where she last saw Matten heading.

Hermione brimmed with desire to get back down to the tomb of the Kalistar. Draco watched her out of the corner of his eye as they all sat on the dais; Hermione’s leg twitched as she shoveled dinner and wrote scratchy notes into her notebook. She lost all fear of the Vesper and he was grateful the villagers only had goodwill toward her. It gave him hope things could change for the pack with a little work.

He went down to the chamber to see the Kalistar and refused to go back since. The creature was a larger version of Karia, his pet when he was young. Draco never saw her, but with his eyes closed and fingers hovered over the golden dragon with wide antlers and long legs, he knew the truth. Karia was one of the exiled Vesper who was thrown away by her pack because there was already a Kalistar ruling. She sought Draco out because she didn’t wanted to be alone and he was a halfling. She protected him even before he knew he needed protecting. Then she grew ill from the sparking and without a pack to help her, she died while Draco was at school. Alone.

Things had to change. Draco didn’t know how, but he knew it couldn’t stay this way. Karia was sweet, gentle and kind. The Vesper said the Kalistar grew fierce once puberty hit, especially the males, but Draco couldn’t believe it. There had to be a better solution than having the creatures sleep their entire lives away.

“You are sad, Draco,” Matten observed. Draco nodded silently in reply. He had finished eating ages ago and was staring into the flames instead as he hoped to make sense of it all. Karia was this faint, special memory in his mind. She was his one true companion as a child. He never knew she suffered so much in such a short lifetime. He truly understood so little back then.

Matten shifted closer, pulled Draco into his embrace and held him in his lap. Draco closed his eyes as Matten hummed to him. A few of the shifters on the dais joined in while they lounged in the spring night air on pillows and furs. Nights were easier now Draco’s call was under control. It was even safe for him to visit the others under the canopy and listen to their stories. With a lot of farmers in the village, Draco heard the best tales. There was something about rooting in the dirt all day that gave you time to think of fanciful things, or at least that was how Seles explained it.

“Hmm. You are glowing again, sweet halfling. Is it already so late in the evening?” Matten teased as his fingers caressed up and down Draco’s arms.

“I’m not the moon, Matten,” Draco grumbled. His head fell back against his chest. “For all I know, I’m actually quite ugly and tanned in my other form. No glow at all.”

“For all you know, perhaps, but certainly not the case. You are glowing because you are content.” He brushed his lips to Draco’s ear. “You are comfortable with us and happy for touch. When you are happy, we cannot help but be happy too.”

Draco nodded lightly in agreement and stared up at Matten’s chin. He had the faintest nick right where his chin turned toward his throat, just visible in the low lighting. Draco let his eyes flicker to the side where the shifters on the dais slid smooth skinned to the ground, their silvery hair shimmering waterfalls of silk. Draco glowing meant shifters touching. Something he was growing used to, even anticipating.

“Do you wish to retreat inside?” Matten rested his chin on the top of Draco’s head.

Draco shrugged. He was comfortable enough. “Only if you want. I’m sure you must feel left out, babysitting me every night.”

“It is an honor.”

“It’s a chore. I’m not a fool, Matten,” Draco muttered with a huff. He was sick and tired of everyone trying to act like everything he did was so bloody brilliant. Matten purred softly, and Draco’s irritation faded as quickly as it came. He closed his eyes again and felt Matten’s chest rumble ever so lightly beneath him. He could hear the others, their soft, heated moans in the darkness of his eyelids. Draco smiled as more warm, tingling tendrils flowed over his skin.

“It is an honor to watch you, Draco.” Matten brushed strands of Draco’s hair from his face. “It is a gift to be able to touch you, even just to hold you.”

“Stop flattering me,” Draco murmured. He smiled wider when fingers touched tentatively down his neck. “Haille, I have warned you of what I will do if you insist on touching me there.”

Haille snorted softly from the right of him and touched Draco’s neck more boldly. “Sink your little dull teeth into me, halfling. See if I care. You make the nicest noises when I touch here, and that is what I want.”

“You say that now, but wait utill Granger hears,” Draco warned weakly as fire slowly rose up his skin. God, he missed sex. He missed Harry, he missed hard, wild touch, and he missed being fucked.

“Oh, lovely one, the little witch ran off to see our sleeping friend. There is no one to protect you from the big, bad Vesper.” Voices snickered at Haille’s taunting words, and Draco opened his eyes to look around the firelight. Hermione had left, likely to study the Kalistar deep in the basement, the ditzy Gryffindor. Staring back at him were a dozen hungry shifters, many who twisted on the dais as they chuckled at Draco’s expression. Three very familiar, wickedly smiling faces leaned right beside him. Draco glanced from Matten, Haille and Zyan, and his smile faded.

“Well, crap,” he whispered hoarsely. He peered up where Matten was smiling down, his hands holding Draco lightly but firmly in place. “I thought hugging was all this was about. Didn’t we decide?”

“We decided you needed to have the things that made you call, so that you would not drive us all mad,” Matten said carefully. “You have been getting very bright these last few nights. It has been difficult. Very difficult.”

Draco closed his eyes again, wishing he could deny it. He hadn’t dared touch himself after the fiasco of last time. His body was near aching with want, and it got worse at night with the Vesper’s scent strong in the air. Ever since Harry returned, Draco became this strange, sexual being who just couldn’t get enough. He allowed himself to linger outside with the Vesper and indulge in as much of the noises and scents he liked, sometimes even in the sights when he was feeling brave. It was the most he thought he was willing to go with this particular theme.

“Will it get as bad as the last time?” Draco asked, although he already knew the answer if they felt the need to swarm him so.

“It is just a touch. Just skin touching skin.” Matten soothed fingers over Draco’s arms again. “No one will have you. I give you my word.”

Draco sighed internally; even with him near dead, the Vesper were terrified of Harry and his claim on him. It was a wonder they hadn’t killed Potter, now he understood how dangerous halflings were to the Vesper if not properly contained. Draco was lucky Matten was so upstanding. Even in this, he knew he could trust the shifter.

Draco held his eyes shut and didn’t flinch the next time Haille touched his neck. Fingers lighted over him in soft strokes. Draco allowed himself to sink back. Matten relaxed around him, pulled him close while gently humming in his ear. Zyan, hands firm and sure, pressed into his sides and dragged down slowly. Draco’s hips rose up to meet the touch.

“Oh god. Okay, just… ha. Oh, hell,” Draco mumbled and whimpered as he lost track of just who was touching where. It was a lot of hands, and now, oh, mouths. Harry was not the only one with a tongue like that, and— “Fuck. Fucking hell,” Draco groaned as sharp teeth nipped into his hip and made him jerk.

Matten renewed his purr. His lips brushed gently to Draco’s neck while he gasped for air. Draco could feel Matten’s erection nuzzled against his ass cheek, but he seemed content to merely hold his squirming form. Zyan and Haille moved down his body, a steamy wave of heat and wet lips. Draco laughed weakly when his pants were suddenly pulled from him. He kept his eyes resolutely closed so he couldn’t guess just whose tongue was dipping lower to…

“Holy fuck!”

“My, he howls so,” Haille chuckled against his nipple, and Draco was forced to accept it was Zyan’s lips wrapped so unbelievably tight around his cock. Draco opened his eyes, and his hands sought out the shifter’s silky tangle of hair. Stormy gray eyes blinked up at him briefly. Zyan smiled wickedly around his prize before he pulled Draco’s length deeper into his hot mouth. Moaning, Draco rocked in pleasure.

“He is very good at that,” Matten whispered in his ear and smirked when Draco nodded mutely. “He enjoys giving pleasure. We all want you to have pleasure.”

Draco found himself very glad the Vesper were terrified of Harry. He apparently wasn’t terrified enough. Draco was quickly realizing he didn’t give a crap what Harry thought about him in the arms of another man—or many, in this case. It was probably a bad thing.

The Vesper weren’t people, or students, or even competition; they were beings half like Draco who understood the world a little different. Part of that understanding was when you were being suffocated by silvery hair and strong pale bodies, you enjoyed it. Draco watched Haille lick over his body and Zyan bob his head and he tried to remember why he was so afraid of this. It was good. Very good. Very right. Moans rose up around him, and in the distance Draco could hear a howl from one of the dragons, which was quickly answered by more.

Haille gasped. “Matten, he’s…”

“I feel it,” Matten muttered, and his hum rose louder. Draco blinked back at him, and his eyes slid across the scar on his face and rested on his pale blue eyes. Matten looked strained, his expression intense as he glared back at him. Draco wanted to smile, to reassure him everything was fine, but he couldn’t. He was hungry. Draco’s body ached for relief, and there were a hundred plus bodies there to help.

“Halfling, lovely, you need to calm.” Haille pleaded as he turned Draco’s face. Confused, Draco couldn’t help but notice Zyan was lying on the ground, panting madly and moaning. Haille looked ready to fall with him; sweat dripped down his body and he kept swaying. Draco watched, motionless. Haille’s breath quickened as he stared back, and his long hair shimmered when his body shuddered again.

“Draco, please,” Matten tried, his voice a low, guttural growl. “Your call is too strong.” Haille fell to his hands and gasped on the ground. Zyan’s arm slipped over and pulled him close. Haille didn’t resist; he seemed relieved to not suffer alone as he tore the taller shifter’s clothes off. Draco watched and wondered who was going to win the struggle. They could have been fighting except they were pulling close, not pushing away. Each frantic bite was for pleasure, not to hurt no matter how wild the noises they made sounded.

Draco groaned; Haille was the victor. He pushed Zyan down onto his stomach and draped over him like a glittering curtain of silk and flesh. Zyan’s cries where muffled as more howls rang out closer this time. Draco sat up to watch, Matten’s hands keeping him from going too far. Draco pulled against them in his want to see more. He felt dizzy to see Zyan’s face as he gasped so desperately beneath Haille. Matten pulled him back forcefully, and Draco exhaled sharply as he felt his erection again, hard and demanding through his pants.

Draco eyes half closed as he reached a hand up and tangled his fingers into Matten’s shoulder length hair. Matten didn’t slow as he kissed down his neck with hard, needy motions. His tongue came next and Draco whimpered at the sensation. He loved when his neck was touched, bit, and sucked. “Yes. Oh, hell,” Draco moaned when Matten’s hands moved down his bare torso and he could feeling the absolute strength in his powerful arms.

“What do you want, Draco?” Matten growled. He sank his teeth into Draco’s neck, who hissed and rocked back for more.

“You know. You can’t not know,” Draco gasped out. Matten’s large hands were on his thighs, grasped under his legs and raised his knees.

“I need you to say it. I need to know it is true.” Matten ran his hands back down Draco’s long legs, caressed his inner thighs and spread them wide. “I am on the brink and do not wish to take.”

Draco laughed and howls rose up with the sound. “Fuck me, Matten. Before I lose my fucking mind and take you all with me.” He was with his pack, he wanted sex, and he was going to have some fucking amazing sex.

“Your Kalistar…”

“Will be very upset he missed it,” Draco said with another sharp chuckle. Shit, they were all so afraid of Potter. Draco pressed back against Matten and rubbed against his body. He loved the hard muscles and each small, barely contained gasp. Matten gave a final, breaking groan. His questing fingers slid down between Draco’s cheeks, pushed in and stretched deep.

Draco gaped as his head slammed back against Matten’s chest, his entire body tense and fiery. “Oh fuck. Fuck yes. Fucking need it.” Draco knew the shifters did wandless magic, he just didn’t realized it involved lubing and stretching like a pro. He should have; they were very sexual. Draco was glad for because it explained why he readily pulled away and got to his knees like a desperate animal begging for it.

Matten curled around him and his mouth ran over his ear. Anticipation built in Draco, his body dripping in need. He could feel his wings and tail, the feathers crushed by the larger shifter. Draco spread his legs wider and whimpered at the first hot touch of Matten’s cock. It pushed against his entrance, unrelenting as it drove forward and sheathed deep inside his clenching flesh. Draco sobbed in agonizing joy. The howls were all around them now the dragons reached the center on the other side of the fire.

Draco lost track of things shortly after that, the heat and scent and madness too great to fight any longer. When Matten grew tired, Zyan wasn’t, and then Kore, and eventually Haille, who was covered in sharp bites and shallow wounds by the time he fucked Draco. Draco didn’t grow tired, not for hours, and he knew it was the way of what he was. Even with the ring on.

At some point the red haze of lust finally let up and they were all able to sleep. They curled up on the furs and pillows where Draco sprawled between a dozen long, hard bodies and soft hair. When he woke up, he wasn’t lost. No, he knew exactly where he was. Home, with his pack, in the middle of a terrible forest that would never be able to harm him. He was home, and he was content.

Intangible 22

Chapter Twenty-One

Draco struggled to focus. It started around nightfall when he joined the village of shifters around the fire. The feast was amazing. Draco assumed a pack of dragons meant raw meat and not much on vegetables, but the Vesper ate like people. People who had taste buds who understood Draco’s taste buds in a way he hadn’t until that meal. The food was flavorful, varied, and he’d be telling his house elves if he ever went back to the manor.

Not that he was thinking of not going back. Fine, not that he would admit to thinking about not going back. He was confused about it all and thinking just didn’t help a thing.

“Do you not like the singing?” Haille asked from around Draco’s shoulder. With only one ear and long straight hair, he took to pressing his hand to Draco’s back and sitting behind him and Hermione so he could chat with her better.

“It’s, uh, it’s good,” Draco whispered. He tried to focus on the young silver-haired man singing divinely and not the heat rising up in him. The Vesper moved in two dimensions at every moment and Draco’s clothes were only in one. Every touch was sparking torture.

“I’m sorry, little halfling,” Matten said tightly, his jaw locked and eyes fierce as he kept his gaze straight ahead and not on Draco. “I should have anticipated this. As I said, lots of mistakes.”

Draco nodded, the motion causing him to sway. Matten was honoring his wishes but it was clear the kind of struggle it was for the shifter. Especially when Zyan kept leaning across to run fingers over Draco’s arm. Draco couldn’t be certain, but it seemed Matten’s lover pushed ever so subtly into the tense leader and smirk wickedly each time.

“I wasn’t expecting you to have so many leaders,” Hermione said conversationally to Haille behind her, oblivious to Draco’s torment. “I count about fifteen up here with us.”

Haille’s palm brushed fire over Draco’s shoulder. “Yes, you think it would get confusing but it works for us. It’s important everyone’s needs are represented.”

Draco really wished Haille would stop lingering on his neck when he breathed. It was far too reminiscent of Harry. Another thing he didn’t want to think about at the moment. Thinking about Harry while surrounded by a circle of horny Vesper didn’t help anything.

“It’s getting worse,” Draco muttered as he felt the energy grow in the air around them. In some ways it was good the leaders were up on the porch with him to protect Draco from the others as they shifted into their nocturnal phase. In other ways, it added to his frustration. The sex scents of Matten, Haille and Zyan were dizzying enough. Thankfully, most of the leaders remained feet away where they sprawled on pillows and sleek pelts on the porch. The rest of the village was spread out under the canopy where warm firelight and cool moonlight battled for dominance. It was difficult to see what the ones under the dark of the canopy were doing but Draco could guess as the scent of need became stronger and moans shivered in the dark.

“It will only get worse,” Matten said tersely as he glared at Zyan. Zyan smirked back and pressed his lips to the bridge of his scarred nose.

“It’s good to test one’s will once in a while. The halfling has made things challenging.” Zyan ran his hand under Matten’s jaw, then reached over to brush Draco’s shoulder. The touch was a small jolt to Draco’s senses and he bit back a moan.

“You’re tormenting me, my love,” Matten growled warningly.

Zyan wrapped his arms around Matten’s neck and rested his forehead on his. “I have never seen you so close to losing your self control. It is addictive, and I wish to see you crack.”

A hysterical laugh bubbled up in Draco he couldn’t contain. Worse, once it was loose, the shifters on the dais hummed to calm him. A hot wave of heat settled on Draco and pushed him down to the porch with what felt like a tangible weight. “Oh, hell. Stop. Please,” he moaned as he fought the ache growing within. It would be so easy to give in when they could make him feel calm with one simple sound.

Hermione glanced down at where Draco was gasping, her eyebrows raised. “Maybe you should, I don’t know, go inside?” She suggested as she watched Draco’s face flush. “Maybe you won’t hear them.”

“Smell,” Draco muttered as he glaring up at Haille, who was moments away from touching his face. Draco was practically in his lap and the beautiful shifter smirking down wasn’t at all disappointed with the situation. “They give off a scent. Like an aphrodisiac.”

“Pheromones?” Hermione looked up and stared at the many silver haired men in a different light. “You’re all designed for sex, aren’t you? How does that even work if your breeding stage is finished once you become shifters?”

“There are some who think we’re meant to couple with the humans,” Matten said carefully while a few of the shifters nearby looked upset by the notion. “Humans aren’t safe; they’re barbaric and hostile. Some think we are enchanters in this form with wicked intentions. There is also the fear any child born in such a union will be destroyed or poorly treated by their human relatives. Halflings have powerful magic and stronger appetites, and the humans have been known to hurt them. We have forbade the act of mating with humans because of this.”

“Your Kalistar, was that the one who thought you should mate with humans?” Hermione asked over the sound of Draco’s increased gasps for air. Haille was humming softly as his fingers gently drifted over his features.

“We don’t like to speak of the Kalistar. They were the ones who created the first race of halflings and insisted we collect them each generation back. As you can see with your friend, it has brought more difficulty than good.” Matten’s hand hovered inches from Draco’s shoulder but he held himself from reaching the last expanse to touch. “We try to avoid human contact. Running through your buildings and stealing your young doesn’t help in that regard.”

Hermione had to agree. “Why, then? Why create a being you must recover. One who calls so loud you can’t help but seek him out?”

“To get along,” Haille interrupted with a secretive smile. “They are all so angry, you see. Our people would lock themselves from the modern world if they could, and snarl and slash whenever change comes along. The world keeps infringing and the forest pushed back every day. The halflings are our link to that world. Not everyone agrees. Some would rather a halfling stay on a soft cushion in the center of the village, a pretty bauble to gaze upon and brighten the day.”

“He is a very pretty bauble, most assured,” Zyan teased. He stretched out on the ground behind Matten, his face next to Draco’s so he could pet his white-blond locks. “We thought perhaps, if we were to go through the bother of collecting him, maybe we should address the human situation which comes along with such an act. He is very human.” Zyan’s head tilted as he ran his fingers through Draco’s hair, and combed slowly.

Draco couldn’t help but stare into Zyan’s dark, gray eyes, his face inches from his own. He smelled good and looked more so. The burn scar on the shifter’s arm and the many thin slashes along his chest did little to dull the heat pulsing through Draco. “Oh, don’t do that,” Draco whispered as more purrs rose up and curled around him like a touch. It was the others on the dais behind him, their soft murmurs reaching his ears.

“They can’t help it, halfling. You are glowing very brightly.” Haille’s fingers also tangled in Draco’s hair and brushed over Zyan’s with each stroke. “We give thanks to the moon at this time and celebrate our many appetites. The desire is very difficult to deny, especially with such bright light from you.”

“But we will,” Matten said gruffly with a pointed look at the two cradling Draco’s head. “We are the strongest of our people, and we will respect his wishes.”

Hermione knew she probably should be very embarrassed by all the blatant sexual activity descending upon the porch and already happening in the large square. She was more curious than anything; it was like being invited into a real life nature documentary than anything offensive. That was until she caught sight of Kore, a heavily battle-scarred and devastatingly handsome leader as he, for lack of a better word, mounted the pretty Seles only a few feet away. It seemed to announce the right time to go inside.

Hermione stood, grabbed Draco’s arm and pulled him to his feet. Draco stumbled, his eyelids heavy and face flushed. She went to steady him but didn’t have to; Matten rose sleek and easily to his feet and kept Draco from falling.

“I’m having difficulty,” Draco admitted softly. His eyes strayed to the door past the writhing bodies bordering the path. His limbs were heavy, as if his entire body was demanding he simply fall back to the ground where the two shifters were waiting for him to return.

“Yes, well, I’m not really surprised,” Hermione said cheerfully, laughter bright in her brown eyes. Poor Matten, Zyan and Haille all seemed rather grouchy to have to leave while at the same time looked glad to be in reach of Draco. “Maybe they have board games? Books? There must be some way to pass the time besides, well, what they’re doing now.”

“We will find him something,” Matten muttered as he carefully guided Draco up the stairs. His hands hovered close but didn’t touch. Draco groaned at each step, his silver eyes heavy with fire and need. He landed hard on the door the moment he reached it, his breath coming out in loud pants. It took everything not to rub up against the surface the way his body was begging.

“It is okay, little one.” Haille gently pulled Draco off the door, his eyes kind as he heard him whimpered. “It is a strong urge. Powerful. You are powerful and you are feeding the fire hotter. Take comfort you are helping the village bond, even if you feel uncomfortable.”

Draco didn’t reply, not certain if it was much consolation at the moment. His body burned, ached for touch. The Vesper’s scent was all around him and thrums and moans rose up like a cloud in the dark. He wanted to give in and relieve the pressure building inside, except he couldn’t. For every part of him who thought spreading his body out among the moaning piles of shifters on the ground was a good idea, there was another part who reminded him he was human, proper, and completely bound by certain rules and expectations. Giving in was not an option no matter how much he ached.

It was a little better inside the building. The sounds of the Vesper were muffled and the scent as well. There was no glass on the windows to keep anything outside fully out, and Draco was hyper aware of what was going on just on the other side of the door. “I need to, um, be alone for a bit. Upstairs,” he added with a blush when Hermione gave him a knowing look.

“You go rest. I’m sure Matten can find something to entertain us all once you get back.” Hermione did her best to not snicker. She knew it was difficult on Malfoy but he was just so funny about it all. Probably because he was so embarrassed. There was an entire village outside who thought group sex was completely normal and in that context, Hermione had to agree with them. For the Vesper it was normal, and with Draco being half Vesper, it should be normal to him too. Draco clearly didn’t agree. He was flushed pink and jolted at every touch that came his way.

“Uh, the thing is I need help on the stairs.” Draco blushed brighter and Hermione sighed internally. He really just made things more difficult on himself by getting so worked up.

“Come, lovely halfling.” Haille reached his arm out and offered it to Draco. “I can lift you if need be.”

“I will take him,” Matten interrupted with a suspicious glare at Haille.

Haille only smirked and stepped between Draco and Matten. “You can not touch him anymore, Matten. You are far too overwhelmed to be a safe option right now, as you are well aware. I will not harm him.”

Matten relented after a long, silent moment and stared at the doorway after the two left.

“Why was he angry?” Draco asked Haille. His eyes were fixed on his feet as he worked his way slowly up the stairs.

“We don’t always get along,” Haille admitted. “We both try to keep an open mind with the humans, but we don’t always agree on how to deal with things.”

Draco stumbled and braced himself on the wall. Haille threaded an arm around his chest and tugged lightly. “Let me carry you. The stairs are steep and you’re weak with lust.”

Draco blushed to hear it put so bluntly. It really was like his body was trying to force him to give in. He didn’t resist when Haille turned him. Haille easily lifted him up, his strong arms braced beneath his thighs while Draco held onto his neck. He was particularly beautiful, and Draco quickly ducked his gaze when Haille’s violet eyes met his.

“So how do you differ with Matten, then?” Draco asked as he tried to distract from the feel of Haille’s powerful form moving against him as he climbed the flights of stairs with ease.

“Matten thinks it’s important to let you make your own decisions with as little interference as possible. He wishes you to observe us from afar, and keep you guarded and buffered from our many ways. He wishes for you to be like your friend; a human guest visiting.”

“And you disagree?” Draco shivered as Haille lowered him to the ground when they reached the door to his bedroom.

“You are not a human; you are a halfling.” Haille opened the door and stepped aside so Draco could walk in. He went to close it and leave but Draco stopped him with a look.

“That’s not really an answer, is it? Are you saying you think I shouldn’t be guarded?”

Haille pulled his fingers through his long hair, and a frown tugged the corner of his mouth. “There is nothing to guard you from. No one will harm you here. We do not have locks on our doors because we do not fear from each other. We have a wall on our village to keep the predators and humans away. You have nothing to fear from the Vesper, ever, and separating you is just confusing the fact.”

“Oh.” Draco stepped back into the room, his eyes downcast as he thought.

“What do you fear the most?” Haille followed him as he read Draco’s expression. “Our dragon forms? They are our fiercest warriors, as well as our most precious young. They make mistakes just like the rest of us. Sometimes on a grander scale as the young are apt to do. They learn, grow, and become better for it.”

Draco shook his head. He bit the side of his thumb and glanced up at him. “I’ve gotten used to them. They’re actually quite nice, even with their angry expressions.”

“But you’re still afraid,” Haille insisted with a hint of exasperated. “What can we do to put you at ease? Matten is ready to dig a moat around this building just to keep you calm.”

It was a funny visual but Draco didn’t feel like laughing. He shrugged uncomfortably, not really having an answer. “Did you go into the castle at all when you came to find me?”

“Briefly, yes. I pulled some of the weaker-willed hunters from the place.”

“It was different there, right? Different smells, different sounds, lots of people who don’t look the same as you’re used to. Maybe even frightening?”

Haille bowed his head in agreement. “The humans in the castle have dangerous magic. We avoid them because of it, and thankfully they have never sought to battle us.”

“Well, consider being back in the castle surrounded by all those different things.” Draco looked away and stared awkwardly at the floor as he tried to explain. “And you’re absolutely, unbearably aching for those strange, dangerous beings to touch you. More than touch you.”

Haille edged closer and slipped his hand into his. “I would be afraid.”

Draco bit his lip and tried to ignore the spark of energy he felt from the simple touch. “It doesn’t really matter if they seem nice because you just don’t know. They could be different than what they seem.”

“Dangerous, yes.” Haille tilted his head and studied Draco’s face intently. “Maybe exciting.”

Draco swallowed and his cheeks flushed. “A little.”

“There is a very easy solution, halfling.” Haille’s fingers traced over Draco’s knuckles and lighted on his wrist.

Draco’s breath caught in his throat. “I don’t think…”

“It is night and you are full of need. You are surrounded by your pack who needs as well. You could bond with us.” Haille’s fingers spread wide, and his palm touched down on Draco’s arm. “Each touch is a meeting, a reminder we are similar, even for all our many differences. Matten will touch me soon and I him to repair our disagreements. It is how we learn to know each other. This is how we accept and celebrate.”

Draco exhaled noisily. His body absolutely sang with want. “The touch is the frightening part.”

“Now I know I am confounded.” Haille pressed his hand to Draco’s shoulder, his fingers curled and braced lightly. “It feels good.”

“Yes.” Draco struggled to remember his train of thought. “That is the difficulty.”

“I fear you are a bit backwards, little one,” Matten teased. His free hand came up to rest on Draco’s waist.

“Oh, hell,” Draco whispered. Haille was so close he could feel his body heat radiating centimeters from his own. Draco didn’t know what would happen if his taller torso were to touch his but he suspected it would spiral into something else very quickly. “I… I don’t wish to lose myself.”

“Where exactly would you go? We all wake up together.”

“You’re mocking me,” Draco muttered, hyper-focused on the heat coming off of Haille’s body.

Haille nodded with a gentle smile. He ran his thumb ever so lightly over the hollow of Draco’s throat, who whimpered and swayed in response. “I rather you be afraid of the obvious, halfling. We have sharp teeth and terrible claws. We are covered in many wounds you must find disturbing. Instead you fear something inside you. It hurts you and I do not know how to alleviate it.”

“I’m not afraid of myself,” Draco said tightly. “Just the crazy, strong pull I keep feeling around all of you.”

Haille sighed quietly. He dipped his head and forced Draco to meet his eyes. “You are the one pulling us. Loudly. Brightly. You are very much a being in distress begging for connection. You call us and you are still afraid to connect.”

Draco went to look away but Haille’s fingers grasped his chin and pulled him back. “Even now your skin is flushed with sweat and chemical communication. You came up here to be alone. Your body needs us, little one, and you keep denying it. Starving it.” Fingertips brushed Draco’s lips. “What will you think of up here all alone? You will touch yourself and try to soothe the madness as if you have found a secret trick to stop needing others. You still need and you keep calling us.”

Draco closed his eyes as his mind whirled with so many thoughts. Was that all it was? Just communication? Connecting? Was that what his body was calling for and not the shameful, degenerate sex he saw it as?

“Leave him be,” Matten growled from the doorway. His eyes blazed as he glared at Haille. “You are making him worse, confusing him.”

Haille glanced his way and shrugged unconcernedly. “He is already confused. He ran away up here like he was slashed and clawed. He ignores his own call for comfort and want. How long will he be able to continue like this?”

“It is not your decision to make.” Matten held his hand outstretched and urged Haille away from Draco. “If that is how he wishes to be, that is his choice. We are foreign to him.”

Haille didn’t move even when Matten growled in warning. Draco watched the beautiful shifter silently, his eyes fixed on his scarred hand as Haille gently pressed to his jaw and cheek to caress. “Then let me rephrase my earlier question, Matten. How long will we be able to continue like this?”

“As long as it takes,” Matten snapped.

“His call is only getting worse, and now it is right in front of us. You are nearly overcome in the matter of a day. The other shifters have much fewer defenses against him. Some leaders have already begun to succumb.”

“We decided this as a group, Haille. Now he is here they will not change their mind, even if it is difficult.” Matten took a cautious step closer. Draco wondered for the first time if he was afraid of Haille or of him.

“They are no longer objective,” Haille said with a faint snort. “He has completely addled them. Even Zyan is swaying and he was completely against the idea of collecting a halfling. It might be better to send him back to his castle. That, or take his silly little ring and be done with this.”

“We will not!” Matten was definitely afraid of Draco. He snarled and grabbed Haille by the back of the neck and wrenched the violet eyed shifter away until they were on the opposite side of the room. “He is afraid, alone, confused. What will removing the ring do, except give him something truly to distrust, if not hate us for?”

“He has nothing to fear,” Haille growled back even though he didn’t fight Matten’s grip. “We, on the other hand, have far more to worry if something isn’t done soon.”

Matten stilled and hissed lowly. “You will not speak of it. Halfling, I’m sorry for his behavior. We will leave you to your rest.”

Draco wanted to stop them from leaving and find out just what the hell was so dangerous about him being in their village. Something in Matten’s eyes gave him pause. He looked frenzied with a madness sparking deep within his pale blue depths. Draco remained where he was and watched Matten pull Haille away and shut the door soundly as they left.

Draco was unbearably hard and felt more than a little crazy as he made his way to the connecting bathroom. It was much larger than his one at school and included a clawed tub that could likely fit three silvery haired beauties if squished just right. Four, if he chose a lap to sit on. Draco shook his head with a groan as fire heated through him. He was losing himself.

He felt strangely meek while in the village, lost, and on the verge of losing control. He didn’t know if it was the constant horniness or the humming… Or maybe he was giving up on his old life and giving in to this place.

There was a mirror that reached from the floor to ceiling in length. Draco stripped his shirt off and sought out the blue pen lines scrawled over his skin. Seeing them brought comfort in a way he didn’t expected. It was grounding when he barely knew what was up and down.

Shit, Harry wrote some nasty stuff on him. He had to be alive. He had to be.

Draco slowly traced the words written on his flesh and frowned when he saw some were already fading. His sweat had smeared away the ink in some places until it was barely legible. He needed Harry desperately. It felt just as bad as that first night Harry touched him in the bathroom. He kissed and rubbed and ground against him until he was impossibly hard, built his passions until he was nothing more than an aching, trembling puddle of need, and then left him to suffer alone.

Draco groaned at the memory and quickly kicked his pants and underwear off. He needed Harry. The ‘MINE’ was still clear on Draco’s erection but he had a feeling that was going to quickly change. Draco closed his eyes, wrapped his hand around his aching cock and tried to pretend Harry was standing in the room watching him.

If he concentrated just right, Draco could almost feel heat on his neck moving over him in slow, teasing, hungry breaths. Draco raised his hand and brushed lightly over his throat and his body vibrated with desire. It was a crazed need, one he knew wouldn’t be satisfied with just a quick wank. He bit his lip at the realization. Draco braced himself on the porcelain sink, spread his legs and thought of Harry’s touch.

Other thoughts were trying to break in to Draco’s fantasy. Dangerous thoughts that involved Matten, Haille and Zyan. Even some of the others. Fine, a lot of the others. They all looked similar, sleek, powerful men eager to please him. Draco tried to push the thoughts away but it was a struggle. He loved Harry; he wanted Harry. He didn’t need anyone else.

Draco gasped under his breath as he breached his hole with a finger slick with summoned lube. He wasn’t good at being quiet but he felt like he needed to be. Hell, he felt like he was hiding from the entire village just to masturbate. It was crazy. Extra crazy after what Haille said. Hell, that parting look in Matten’s eyes. If he called him back, what would he have done? Matten wanted him; they all did. They could all be his if he just asked. If he went downstairs and let them do whatever they wanted to him…

“Stop,” Draco hissed fiercely. He wasn’t some animal who just fucked whoever he pleased. He was just a ridiculously horny teenager fucking himself in the bathroom while a village of gorgeous men happy to help waited for him to come back down. Draco groaned at his stupidity and tried to think of something else.

It was difficult to remember what Harry looked like. He was missing for half a year and when Draco finally saw him again, he was wounded and odd with his skin black, form taller, and eyes wild. His hands were big, rough and strong on his flesh. His breath and skin impossibly hot. His mouth… Hell, his tongue. That obscene, rude tongue of his Harry used to lick all over his body, outside and in. He wanted Harry and his tongue right now. Potter was such a damn pervert, not like him at all.

“Fuck. Oh, god.” Draco pushed another finger inside his aching hole. He wished it was even remotely the same girth and reach of Harry’s perfect hands. He needed it so bad. Needed Harry so bad. He better still be alive, the damn ass, because he had no idea how he was going to live without him. Harry practically trained Draco’s body to respond to his every touch.

There was a soft knock on the door and Draco froze, his lower lip caught between his teeth as he stared down at the faucet blankly.

“Right. Sorry to interrupt, Malfoy, but I think you have to stop. Um, or be really quick with what your doing.” Hermione sounded more concerned than embarrassed. Draco wished he felt the same way and growled internally. He was so fucking hard!

“What, Granger? What the fuck could be that important…?”

“They’re fighting,” Hermione said quickly. “The humming isn’t working. Matten says your call is too strong when you’re like this and the young, the dragons, are fighting.”

Draco did growl this time, the noise full of frustration as it echoed off the walls. Fucking Vesper dragging him through the goddamn Forbidden Forest, getting him hard as fuck, and then refusing to let him have five fucking minutes to deal with it in peace. Fuck. Mother fucking whore!

“So, um, they also had a solution,” Hermione continued quieter, her embarrassment starting to win over her anxiety. “I told them you probably wouldn’t go for it but they insisted I ask.”

Draco very carefully extracted his cramped fingers from his clenching body and muttered a cleaning spell. He put his pants on, ignored his underwear for the time being, and threw the door open to glare at the annoying Gryffindor. “What?” he snarled.

Surprised by his abrupt entrance, Hermione took a step back and blinked at Draco. She covered her hand over her mouth but it didn’t stop her laughter from breaking free. Draco narrowed his eyes in warning; he was so close to slugging her, girl or not.

“Property of Harry James Potter,” Hermione read breathlessly. Her eyes widened as she continued reading down Draco’s bare torso silently.

“Fuck,” Draco snapped. He went to turn and then remembered there was much worse on his back. Harry was a total perv. Draco had no interest in sharing just what was written on his back with Hermione and was forced to glare her down. His expression promised pain if she didn’t get her shit together. “Why are you here?” he demanded angrily.

“Sorry,” Hermione apologized weakly, her eyes full of bright laughter. It took her a moment to pull herself together. “Just, um, Haille had an idea. Matten is very much against it… Shit, it just keeps going under your pants, doesn’t it? He wrote all over you.”

“For the love of… Focus, Granger!” There was a very tired part of Draco who wanted to sit down and cry about his very exhausting week.

Hermione bit her lip to keep from laughing and made herself look away. She came up there for a very important reason and was blindsided to find out Harry was just so, well, possessive seemed to fit, in this case. It was a bit much to mix with her memories of her friend. Except for right before the end of school last year; Harry had shown a lot of aggressiveness then that would fit the possessive words marking Draco’s flesh.

“Haille wants to ground you,” Hermione was finally able to get out. “Your power is all over the place. I guess it’s kind of like a spell without a target. You’re constantly looping and raising power up, and the poor Vesper can’t handle it.”

Draco frowned and clasped the back of his neck. “I assume ‘grounding’ isn’t as innocent as it sounds.”

Hermione grinned wryly. “Oh, I’m sure it’s not. They mentioned something about touch, but it’s all sex with these guys. Matten is dead set against it so it makes me worry even more. He’s been doing everything to protect you.”

It was true; Draco felt extra nervous if Matten didn’t agree. At some point he grew to trust the shifter, as foolish as that probably was. “Did they say what would happen if I didn’t?”

“Ah, yes. Something along the lines of shagging to death. Although, they may be exaggerating. They say you have a very strong mating call and just don’t know how to control… What? What’s wrong?” Hermione asked when Draco slumped forward with his hand covering his face.

“Mating call. It’s a fucking mating call! How did I not put that together?” Draco was doing to the Vesper what Harry did to him. It was the same as that insane night when Harry convinced him with one simple touch to give him a blowjob in the middle of the damn hallway. Draco thought he was going to die that night, he so overwhelmed with his need for sex. Especially when Harry ran off and left him to fend for himself. It was agony. Hours of agony and madness.

“Where are they? I need to fix this.” Draco couldn’t leave the Vesper like that. He remembered all too well how terrible it felt and that was just directed at him. There was an entire village of people suffering because he didn’t know how to control himself. It was inexcusable.

“They’re outside the door, but you’re not going to do it, Malfoy. For all you know, they’re going to tell you to take your ring off and trick you into staying. You’d have to be out of your mind to…”

“Get them and get the hell out of here, Granger,” Draco snapped, his chin raised defiantly. “Go lock yourself in one of the other rooms or something. Don’t come fucking knocking at the door, that’s for damn sure.”

“Malfoy, no way! I promised Harry I’d protect you.”

Draco snarled and stepped forward until Hermione stepped back. “Potter isn’t fucking here. I can make my own goddamn decisions. I will not let these people suffer just because I’m some fucking ignorant half human who doesn’t know shit about the Vesper.”

“Listen to yourself; you don’t owe them! They were going to kill Harry just to steal you away. They can call you family all they damn like, but family doesn’t do that.”

“You clearly haven’t met my father,” Draco said without a trace of humor. “I know what they’re struggling with now. If Matten told me earlier, I would’ve tried to fix it then. I didn’t come here to drive these people mad.”

Hermione didn’t look particularly impressed. “That’s their problem for dragging you out here in the first place. They went up against a castle full of wizards. They had to know there would be consequences.”

“Yes,” Draco agreed and shoved her gently by the shoulders toward the door. “They felt the fucking mating call all the way from their village and it was too powerful for them to resist. Do you get it, Granger? Not all magic can be fought. Even an intelligent, decidedly nomadic village of warriors can be lured into their enemy’s lair by one ignorant halfling. This was my fault from the very beginning and they’ve been too polite to tell me.”

Hermione clicked her mouth shut. She didn’t have a logical argument, but it didn’t mean she agreed with him. “You don’t owe them just because you were ignorant.”

“I owe them because I’m no longer ignorant,” Draco replied just as evenly. “Send them in and go away. I don’t need your help.”

Hermione hesitated for a long moment and eventually bowed her head. “Don’t forget why you’re here, Malfoy. You saved Harry; don’t forget him among your harem of injured pets.”

Demon Bonded Is PermaFree! 🍧

Hey babes,

My first Perma-Free book is up!

I am officially ‘wide.’ Huzzah! I actually have the first four Demon Bonded episodes up in their new covers, actually. Five more to go, and then I’ll be publishing the brand new episode, #10. I have a favor to ask of you all. This is my first time going wide and I’m hoping to instill some confidence and familiarity to new readers. Would you mind downloading and reviewing Something Waiting In The Dark from any retailer who isn’t just Amazon? I’m basically going to have to learn the ins and outs of every new platform, but reviews are universally a customer’s goto to figure out if a new book is worth their time. I would greatly appreciate it (and hey, free book.) <3

Oh, two new freebies on the website and Intangible is up to #20

I’m reconsidering the KU thing, at least for serials. If I went with KU, I would be locking that new serial episode in for 3 months on Amazon while saying a big fuck you to any reader on any other platform. Of course, I don’t have any readers on any other platform just yet (except Smashwords; I will be uploading Demon Bonded there once I download the new template.) It does seem to defeat the purpose of going wide if I’m pandering to only one platform. I seriously need to start thinking differently about a lot of things now. Why punish every other potential reader out there just because Amazon is again unflexable? I might end up using KU for short story stand-alones and novels and keep the serial episodes wide to have a better pacing with releases. Or going wide might mark the death of KU for me. I don’t know yet. I know why I got the fuck out of KU and why I need to make any other situation work and I’m not about to forget that bullshit anytime soon. But at the end of the day, it’s still about the readers and making sure they’re happy.

So, I’m hesitant to tell you all about my week, mostly because it’s been a really difficult one and I don’t want to dwell too much. Hit with the allergies 3 times and each time resulted in the inability to move my arms, walk straight, or think properly for 8-12 hours on end. The first time was 2 hours after my allergy shot on Tuesday; fucking broke my heart and shattered my reality all in one go. I guess I should focus on the fact I still get to come back to me after it passes, even if I seem to have little control over when I lose myself. I don’t break (outside of my emotional freak outs of turning into a zombie XD,) I just lose my life for hours on end.

I’ve basically locked myself in my room today in the hopes of avoiding another attack. I have a feeling this is a seasonal thing now the leaves are piling up on the ground again and mold is my most severe trigger. I want to get the rest of Demon Bonded out and I want to get back to Sorcerer Slayer—I feel like I hit a lull in the conflict and I need to get the tension back. Oh, and I want to finish Shifter Safe Haven #4. I was poking at that yesterday when I collapsed. Seriously, fuck allergies. It doesn’t seem to matter how many allergy shots I get or how clean I eat or how fucking perfect I strive to be, control and safety is an illusion, one I’m never going to be able to embrace. So I say fuck it and write.

Found a quote from my old apartment I stuck back up on my wall; ‘Where you dwell in consciousness is where you truly dwell.’ At the end of the day, our reality is what we perceive it to be. In that perception can be an eternity of joy and happiness, or struggle and misery. I’m striving for joy.

Hope you all had a wonderful week, and if you didn’t, you can find a stunning silver lining to keep you smiling. <3

Something Waiting In the Dark – Free

Something hunts in the dark…

After his father is laid off, Ky Scion is forced to reside in his ancient family manor in the small town of Blackstone Falls. He’s an outcast to the local farmers, too Goth and too gay. Ky turns to repairing the huge house while pursuing an art degree. His parents are blind to the terrible secret he discovers among the bloodstained walls. Something lives in the dark, in the nooks and hideaways of the old house. Someone with hot breath and strong hands who wakes Ky up in the middle of the night.

In the dark hides the powerful Relics. Unique and beautiful, they’re exploited for their magic and fought after viciously. Relics aren’t items, they’re sentient beings, demonic men stolen from their world to be bonded into servitude to callous sorcerers.

Ky’s grandfather disappeared years ago, leaving his Relics to be killed off one by one. The monster who feeds on the Relics smells of rot and blood, and is soon to attack. Ky’s not a sorcerer, and has no way to defend himself from the murderous beast set on revenge.

Each episode in this sexy, suspenseful gay monster harem serial is over 10,000 words, and should be read in order to be enjoyed fully.

Scoundrel by Wendy Rathbone – $0.99

Antares is a willing sex slave, trained in the harems of Anada since the age of 18, and owned by a wealthy master who spoils his slaves. But all that changes when Empire soldiers invade Antares’ world and he is taken away from the only life he’s ever known.

In a colonized galaxy where starships are as common as houseflies, and a dark Empire seeks to control thousands of civilized worlds, there are those who fall through the cracks and refuse to be conquered, including the pirate, Slate, and his crew.

Out in the darkness of the unknown, among Empire soldiers and scoundrels, will bad fates befall Antares and his fellow captive companions?

Will Slate finally find the love he’s been looking for his whole life?

Can Slate and Antares ever see eye to eye?

A male/male romance to end all male/male romances!

Faunication: Kali’s Story – Free in KU

The gorgeous faun Kali became a famous actor with a traveling troupe in the human world and has written a memoir that holds nothing back, despite knowing it will offend the sensibilities of the chaste and literate nobility.

Kali has sex with men and women without preference. When he falls in love with the carnival master Richard he accepts it with his entire heart, but he soon finds out that humans aren’t as versatile as his kind. Richard denies feeling the erotic energy between them. Can Kali teach him the faun way of love?

The first half of this book is pure faunication and the second half is the love story between Kali and Richard. This is a complete ebook, not a series, with a guaranteed HEA. Written by the author of UnPrison.

Devil’s Kiss – Free in KU

He picked me up on a lonely road and made me his lover…

Adam is fresh out of high school and on the road trying to find himself and some independence. His mom might not ever forgive him for hitchhiking across the US alone, but at least his dad promised to keep the money flowing.

Things were fine until a crazy old lady left him stranded in the middle of the Arizona desert. No one will stop for him, and the unbearably hot day is quickly turning into a frigid night.

Out of the darkness, an unlikely savior arrives. Chuck’s not exactly the kind of person you expect to be riding a motorcycle through the desert, but he’s handsome and he’s kind enough to offer Adam a ride into Phoenix. He happily takes him up on the offer.

When a rival gang blows up Chuck’s bike while Adam and Chuck are both sleeping, though, a once innocent young man finds himself thrust into the dangerous world of motorcycle gangs, guns, and drugs. Will he survive long enough for his one night stand with Chuck to turn into something more?

Intangible 20

Chapter Nineteen

“You’re overreacting,” Remus warned. His voice held warmth even as he grabbed his lover by the waist and tackled him to the ground.

Sirius snarled in reply and considered transforming back into Padfoot to make things difficult on Remus. He relented on the idea and merely flipped Remus instead. “I’m going after him, sooner the better. Now either support me or get lost!” Remus was definitely a better wrestler than Sirius, even with his shorter reach. Sirius’s face went red from the effort of fighting the werewolf’s strong grip.

Ron quietly stepped out of the way when Remus grunted and fell back from Sirius’s shove and nearly toppled into the door he was trying to keep Sirius from escaping through.

Sirius was not only a manly crier, but also possessed a terrible temper. He was particularly protective of Draco since Harry asked for his help in caring for him. At his furious insistence, Blaise and Pansy took him to Draco’s room. Sirius promptly transformed into a large, black dog to scent for Draco’s presence which led to the castle exit. Remus had appeared then and tackled Sirius before he could run out the castle into the forest to chase after Draco and Hermione.

“If you would listen to a bloody word… Siri, the numbers are too great!” Remus got Sirius into a brutal headlock, and held him as still as he could. Sirius insisted on thrashing his legs in an attempt to kick him but couldn’t break free. “Twenty. There are possibly more in the woods unseen. They’re enraged by human scent. We need a plan, not a damn sacrifice!”

“The only sacrifice will be those bloody dragons!”

Ron waited patiently as he peered out through the dark windows in the direction Draco and Hermione had left over half an hour ago. If he thought it odd two grown men were fighting like first years, he gave no sign. His own brothers were the same—all of them—and likely weren’t going to change no matter how many years passed.

“You’ll put them both in danger. You need to calm down and take the time to plan.” Remus was always extra persuasive when inflicting pain.

Sirius gritted his teeth, not ready to give up yet. Harry was injured but alive. The only other living soul Sirius swore to protect was now off with a bunch of bloodthirsty dragons who, from what Harry suggested, would enjoy Draco in many carnal ways. Sirius’s guilt for allowing himself to be distracted by Harry’s condition only fueled his determination. Draco need him now.

“I know you’re worried, Siri,” Remus murmured in his ear. He relaxed his hold but didn’t releasing his steel grip. “We’re going to find him. We’ll clean a room out just for Draco.”

“Remi…”

“Harry can sleep right across. We can all go camping like you wanted by the lake. You just have to give us some time to plan.”

Sirius huffed in annoyance. He glanced sideways in the headlock and met Remus’s questioning gaze. “How much time?”

“How much ya got?” Remus smiled his ‘I know I’ve won’ smile. Sirius sighed and relented.

Ron watched cautiously as the two men stood and dusted off. He was careful to make sure he didn’t catch them doing anything too gooey; something he never worried about with his brothers, thankfully. “So, as I was saying, the spell Hermione crafted seemed to work. The creatures don’t like humans in general, but without the scent to trigger them, hopefully they won’t break out into killing rages.”

“Aye. Right, that.” Sirius combed his hair back into order while his eyes blazed. “Clearly they’re on a higher level of intelligence. Enough to manipulate Draco out the door through blackmail and possibly other ways. He was still wearing the ring, right?”

“Yeah. Harry mentioned Mr. McVicar was working on a spell to keep it attached, but I don’t know if he ever succeeded. His barrier sure seemed to work.” Except Draco willing walked outside it when he heard Harry was in danger.

Remus sighed and turned toward the Great Hall. “There is no guarantee by the time we find him Draco will still have the ring in his possession. We must plan for the possibility.”

Ron nodded as he followed to keep up with the men’s long strides. “Hermione understands the importance of the ring. As long as she’s there, I’m sure it will remain on Draco.” They fell silent, no one willing to voice how much danger she was in.

Blaise and Pansy were already in the Great Hall along with McGonagall, Severus and a number of the medical team who helped heal Harry. They were catching a late dinner after the difficult evening events.

Harry was stabilized and medics still worked on him in the hospital wing under Madame Pomfrey’s critical eye. Right now it looked like he would keep his arms, legs and possibly tail. The wings and antlers were still a toss up. Since they were less important for his immediate survival, no one was too concerned about it.

Ron felt strangely lonely as he sat across from Blaise and Pansy. Hermione wasn’t there and Harry, well, Harry hadn’t been there for a very long time. Hermione was Ron’s rock, his inspiration to stay strong if only to help her through the same difficulty he was going through. Without her everything felt empty.

“Has anyone heard about McVicar?” Sirius asked when he sat down and grabbed a plate of food. He was worried but not to the point he couldn’t eat. He saw it as a good sign he believed Harry would live. “He’s spoken to one of those creatures face to face, so I heard.”

“He will recover. Poppy is keeping him under observation.” Severus sipped his tea. His hand still revealed a small tremor. He was sore, but nothing worth going to bed over.

“Did the Vesper attack him?” Ron only heard snatches of what happened during Harry’s spell.

“Not that he can remember. McVicar felt an interference in the spell, as if a power were trying to prevent him from continuing. The moment he completed his part, the pressure relented. He passed out from the sudden change.” Severus studied the swirling dark liquid in his cup as his thoughts strayed. “He was lucky; they both were. Zabini saw the creatures surround the room. The dragons had plenty of opportunity to attack. By the time it would take to fight through the protective wards in place for the spell, the beasts could have killed Potter and McVicar with ease. They honored Malfoy’s agreement. It’s something we need to consider when dealing with these Vesper.”

They refused to make a deal when it came to Hermione. Ron suppressed a shiver of fear.

Blaise, who was pushing his food around on his plate, spoke up. “It was only because Draco asked. The shifter Matten controlled all the others. He… I think he had a control over Draco, too. It was strange. Matten nearly did everything Draco asked. He would get this look on his face, almost like he was enthralled by him. But every time Draco got upset or started yelling, Matten would move his lips a certain way and Draco would turn weak and complacent.”

“It sounds like how Harry was with him,” Ron pointed out. “We were so worried Harry was going to, um, get a bit too rough with Malfoy,” he said with an awkward cough. “All Draco had to do was ask the ‘right way,’ as they both put it, and Harry was putty in his hands. Hell, and Harry is the only one who could make Malfoy do anything half the time. He couldn’t even talk to him but Malfoy listened.”

“It does sound like the species has some sort of basis in manipulation,” Remus mused. “I’ve heard of techniques being used on prey, especially allure, but never interspecies like this.”

“Knowing Hermione, she’ll have a book written on the subject by the time she gets back,” Pansy joked weakly as she ignored her food.

They all turned when Dumbledore walked in through the Great Hall doors. He looked as exhausted as the rest of them felt.

“He’s well, but things are still unclear as to what will be left of him,” Dumbledore raised his hand before anyone could think to ask questions. “I would like the students to come to my office so we can go over the events which transpired while we were engaged saving Mr. Potter. Remus and Sirius, you are of course welcome to stay the evening. I’m grateful to see you have not ended up in the forest just yet and hope you will help in our efforts. Minerva, if you would join me for a moment?”

Ron’s head of house got up stiffly to speak with Dumbledore about notifying Hermione’s parents of her absence. Blaise and Pansy finished their pumpkin juice before getting up as well and joining Ron on the other side of the table to wait.

“Do we tell him what Potter said? About Draco being his mate?” Pansy’s eyes darted to where Dumbledore was talking.

“Depends if Draco’s mother comes knocking again,” Blaise said. “If she finds out, she’ll kill Potter before he gets a chance to heal. I doubt a school full of teachers will stop that level of hate. She’d rather give Draco to the Vesper than to Potter.”

“Is it important?” Ron asked quietly. “Honestly? Pretty sure McVicar knows they’re having sex. What the hell does being a mate have to add to anything?” Harry had mentioned it once in the infirmary the other day while they were pulling information about Draco’s breakdown. Harry seemed almost reluctant to reveal the mating information and Ron didn’t know if it was something he was comfortable sharing.

Pansy bit her lip, and stepped closer to speak under her breath. “Didn’t it ever strike you as odd? I mean, it’s almost obsessive; that’s why we were all worried, after all. What do you think Potter is going to do once he finds out Draco is gone? Not just gone, but gone with the Vesper? It was all he talked about before the return spell.”

Ron took a deep breath and tried to think of his friend objectively. Harry had been mad last year in a lovestruck, testosterone riddled, but still sweet intentioned way. Anything concerning Malfoy pulled reactions from Harry so bizarre from his normal behavior. Even compared to normal human behavior. Hermione was the one to suspect Harry might have a beast, if only to explain his weird demeanor, but Ron shrugged it off. Voldemort was increasing his attacks, and Ron assumed Harry was just worrying for the guy he’d fallen for.

Given what the four friends had pulled out of Harry and Draco about the last couple weeks, maybe Pansy did have reason to worry. What exactly would Harry do once he woke up and realized Draco was off with the Vesper? Harry had transformed to defeat Voldemort all those many months ago, and he won. The power it took to defeat a monster like Voldemort was again in Harry’s grasp.

Harry’s human personality and body were preserved, held back by the odd time lapse of being thrown into the other realm. He was nearly human while invisible, while now he was fully transformed. Once awake, crazy powerful, and no longer human, Harry would wonder where his mate was. If Draco wasn’t there when Harry finally woke, there was no way to know what might happen.

“That could be dodgy,” Blaise muttered as he came to the same conclusion as Ron and Pansy.

Hermione mentioned the way her books were destroyed when Harry threw around raw magic in a fit. Ron now wondered about the stone bricks used to keep the castle together. It would all be the same to someone as powerful as Harry, especially if he was afraid for his mate.

The Vesper made no complaints when Draco and Hermione lit their path with twin lumos. They didn’t follow any walking trails in the beginning. They moved through heavy underbrush until they reached to an old stream bed. Dried up and filled with small stones and soft silt, they followed the winding pathway for what felt like an hour. After such, they crawled up the bank and twisted and whirled through a network of trails and paths deep in the forest. Once they were surrounded by trees, Draco refused to let Hermione stray even though she was far from terrified. After the Vesper killed the first of the silent creatures foolish enough to not get out of the invisible pack’s way, Hermione was more willing to take Draco’s arm and walk with him in the sheltered location.

The shifters brought Draco water, which he shared with Hermione. The temperature dropped during the night, and she huddled in her cloak until Hermione found the good sense to use a warming spell. Draco didn’t need one. The three shifters and ten dragons who surrounded him at all times gave off huge amounts of heat. He actually felt too warm; the constant exercise and press of bodies left him to flushed and fiery.

“Are you feeling okay?” Hermione whispered when Draco stumbled again and nearly dropped his wand. Far off to the right were sudden screams as an animal fell victim to the Vesper. The noise was just as suddenly muffled and silenced, and the air grew heavy in the stillness. “Malfoy, you’re shaking.” Hermione pulled her eyes from the darkness to glance up at him beside her. Draco was sweating, his eyes dark in the dim light as a strange smile twisted his lips.

“I’m fine,” Draco murmured. His eyes lost focus only to sharpen again when he nearly tripped. The ground was clearer here but roots and decay still littered the ground in places to steal his footing.

“You’re not.” Hermione slipped the glasses resting on her forehead down to her nose. She took them off because of how disconcerting it was to watch herself walk through the Vesper. They didn’t move out of the way for her and Draco insisted she stay close and away from the sounds of the dying. She watched and bit her tongue when Draco nearly took a header. The shifter Matten quickly caught him before he fell off the path.

At first she thought the shifters were taking advantage of the situation; their hands moved over Draco’s glowing beast form in lingered caresses every time he stumbled. Perhaps it would’ve been easier to believe. Hermione could see clearly how the shifters withdrew, their fingers brushing ever so lightly on Draco’s shoulders and back in farewell. Without their touch, soon enough Draco’s glow pulsed again. Moments after he became dizzy and the shifters flowed close to catch him.

“Malfoy, are they doing something to you?”

His head tilted and eyes downcast, it took Draco a moment to respond. “Doing?”

“To make you fall. You keep getting dizzy.” He stumbled again before Hermione finished her sentence. This time Matten grabbed Draco boldly around the waist. His strong arms kept him upright as the shifter moved right through Hermione.

“They’re just humming a little,” Draco admitted. He stopped trying to walk. Matten’s purr thrummed in his ear as he held him still.

You are tired, lovely halfling. Has the walk been too much?

Draco’s body didn’t feel tired, but his head did. His eyes kept insisting they close. He knew he should be wide awake, alert to the dangerous forest around him. He should be protecting Hermione, and make sure she was safe among the sea of invisible Vesper. He should be seeking out landmarks in case they took his wand and he needed to walk back instead of apparate. Draco noticed Hermione discretely mark their path as they wandered through the dark. He wanted to do the same, but exhaustion descended on him and he couldn’t seem to fight it.

Draco, you are not answering. Do not tell me you have fallen asleep?

Draco fluttered his eyes open, and grasped at the hand moving too familiarly over his waist. “I’m just a little tired.”

We can rest if you like. I will hold you and you can close your eyes. The pack will protect you even in the deep of the forest.

Draco smirked sleepily. “You’re not my bed.” He didn’t pull away, though, and his eyes fell shut and breathing slowed. Matten held him steady, his body warm and hard behind Draco, strong chin resting on the top of his bowed head.

In the dark, the pack was tangible to Draco. They were a strong presence that only ghosted away whenever moonlight broke through the trees. It was probably wrong to feel so safe with the night a blanket around him as he stood in the middle of the most dangerous forest he knew. They walked for hours and Draco didn’t have a clue where they were, or how to get back. A part of him knew the pack was powerful when together, a force that couldn’t be injured. This was their domain and he was safe.

“Matten, is he sick?” Hermione worriedly watched Draco fall asleep while Matten held him upright. The other two beautiful shifters brushed Draco’s hair with their fingers before they moved out toward the edges of the pack. They were called back and forth; sometimes to give direction when needed to the dragons, other times to return in just as important a ritual to touch Draco’s flesh.

I do not believe so. He was upset earlier and it can raise much power. It will tire young ones.

Hermione nodded, but was unsure whether to believe him. Draco was supposedly the first halfling the pack had found in years. Would they even know if something was wrong with him? Draco glowed with a golden light and looked nearly ethereal. Sometimes, Hermione feared, he looked angelic and dead.

“So, we’re just going to stand here until he wakes up?” She asked as she did little to keep the disbelief from her voice.

He would not like it if I carried him, Matten replied after a moment. His face lowered so he could press his cheek to the sleeping Draco’s.

“He wouldn’t like that either,” Hermione pointed out.

Matten smirked dismissively and kissed Draco’s cheek. He is one of us. He likes it.

Hermione shook her head with a huff. “He doesn’t even know you. You know him even less. If all your kind does is kill the humans you come across, how can you understand any of our customs?”

Why do you think your customs have anything to do with how we react to one another? Matten asked in counter. He is Vesper, like us. It is who he is when he is with us. Halfling yes, but Vesper still. All adore him, and he will adore all.

“That’s a huge assumption to make. He’s been terrified of your kind since the moment he knew you existed. Let’s face it; you haven’t really done much to prove you’re trustworthy.”

Matten pressed his palm to Draco’s chest with his fingers spread wide. He knows it in his heart. He cannot ignore his own, just as we cannot ignore him. No one will hurt him, human. It would be an injury to ourselves. His type strengthens us, unites us. We cherish such ability in our kind.

Hermione wasn’t convinced. She didn’t truly think the Vesper wanted to hurt Draco, but she had a strong suspicion what Draco felt were acceptable didn’t even reach the realm of what the Vesper wanted from him. The other shifters kept returning to run fingertips and palms over Draco while he slept. The dragons curled possessively at his feet, a blanketing field of scales and feathers.

“You make it sound like he’s some sort of prince,” she mused aloud. Hermione eyes fixed out into the dark forest where the rest of the Vesper glowed among the trees. They all faced out into the darkness as they watched for signs of danger.

That is too human a concept, Matten replied. His fingers glided down to Draco’s hand and the ring that glittered there. Think of a mother with many cubs. A gentle treasure who provides warmth and affection. One you wish to see and caress whenever you return home. Fierce when needed to keep the rebellious in line, but always a powerful soul who pushes the dark and chill away whenever he’s near. He would be our village fire. Our hearth.

Hermione bit her lip. Half of her wanted to laugh out loud at the idea of Malfoy being anyone’s ‘mother,’ as Matten put it. Draco’s mother was as cold hearted and distant as they came and it was unlikely he knew how to be any different. But Draco was different. He was different in a way that made Hermione worry the Vesper might have more power over him than she first thought. It wouldn’t be one shifter, or even the three present calling to Draco. It would be an entire village. It would be the family he never had but probably always dreamed of. Even as strange and bizarre as the Vesper were, that sort of promise could be attractive to anyone. Especially someone so alone and unloved for as long as Draco was.

Another shifter, the tallest of the three, approached again. Hermione noticed for the first time how his attention lingered too long on Draco’s hand. It was the one with the ring that kept him human. They could touch it and Draco was fast asleep, unable to prevent anyone from removing it. She flinched as she reached her hand right through the shifter’s arm and threaded her fingers with Draco’s, locking the ring in place.

Matten noticed from where his cheek rested on top of Draco’s head. Each breath he took ruffled his silky strands as he held him upright. Matten traced his hand down Draco’s arm. There was a ripple of movement as something shifted and changed in the shifter. When he reached where Hermione was holding Draco, Matten pressed his fingertips firmly to her knuckles.

She stiffened from the contact, tightened her grip and met Matten’s gaze challengingly. Was it a warning? A reminder the Vesper could harm her whenever they chose? She would fight him if she had to. Her magic would hurt them. She’d wake Draco, curse as many as she could, and apparate them as far away as possible if the Vesper thought to force this issue.

You are a fiery thing, like him. Matten’s eyes searched Hermione’s face. It will do you and him no good. You will see. He will come to us. He wants to. Matten released her hand without incident, and wrapped his arm around Draco’s chest.

Hermione’s flesh continued to tingle where Matten touched. They stood in the dark surrounded by the glowing, patient dragons and waited for Draco to wake.

updates

September 19

null
Blackthorne is being featured on Instafreebie!!! <3

On the 25th! I’m still kind of in shock… Half in shock cuz I have so much stuff I have to do to prepare, aka edit 105,000 words this week and get that new cover made and on there. Something way more genre focused. Best foot forward and all that. Which means I’m definitely pushing the Demon Bonded release back a week to make sure I’m focused. You’re also going to be seeing too much Intangible again as I update easier stuff on the website. But it’s all good!

Normally this would be a blind panic. I think my PTSD brain would like me to turn this into a blind panic because, well, familiar. O_o It’s usually in moments of excitement I’m more likely to find old patterns slip in to dictate behavior. I’m paying attention and keeping stress as low as possible. I’m actually not as up to date as I’d like to be on promotions and stuff; a little less than a year ago I knew everything about Instafreebie, member responses, conversion rates and all that jazz. Things slip away especially when sick; there is so much to keep track of and learn about in this author gig and it all fluxes. Hopefully my moldy brain can keep up–still a fun ride either way. <3

September 17

null
#68 and #69 of Sorcerer Slayer is up in the Library!!! #24 Intangible in Free!

Pretty sure I’m going to have some squeeing readers with these two chapters. <3 Also, very likely going to have another Intangible for you in a few hours. I want to go for a walk in the nice night air and then just jump into editing.

Have I mentioned I feel fucking amazing? I feel fucking amazing. It’s not just the new found strength in my body; my mood has been awesome. I’m wondering if it’s the added nitrogen. The L-Glutamine has this huge fucking list of things it does, it’s hard to know what is effecting what to = happy me.

September 16

null
Hey, got the first 6 episodes of Demon Bonded on Smashwords! <3

I felt so freaking good today! I got so much writing and editing done (but not anything completed to post just yet–Sorcerer Slayer soon, promise!) plus finally got those republished Demon Bonded episodes up on Smashwords. Payhip is next, and then I’ll finally get cracking on my new discount system on the website.

I love Smashwords, btw. Not only do they pay in a timely fashion, but they don’t cave to censorship on their site. Proven now that Barnes & Noble is cracking down and cutting any erotica that contains taboo themes. As the modern, civilized world continues to tell adults they’re only allowed to fantasize and profit on the topics they find acceptable, Smashwords stands as a refuge for free speech. They also pay their authors the best out of all platforms. If you have to make a choice of where you want to spend your money, I pick them every time.

For real, it’s exhausting being told by every major platform what you write is wrong and doesn’t deserve to exist. Where they can decide what fantasies about sex is ‘right’ and ‘correct’ and ‘acceptable,’ and the writers and readers of everything else should just disappear. There is no other topic where this is readily accepted; the censorship of books to ensure a small group of conservative prudes feel comfortable shopping among the masses. Many still think of the gay genre as pornographic just because it’s same sex; hey, that’s a perversion in their rigid, fucked up little minds. I feel like this is why the lgbtq genre is policed far more heavily than the het stuff.

I just got an email from Smashwords today about the Barnes & Noble bullshit, which is where this rant is coming from. At least Barnes & Noble has the balls to label what they deem offensive unlike Amazon who just bans it without a word (but the straight version of the same manages to last a fuck ton longer than the gay on their site.) What was interesting out of it all for me 1) dubcon is perfectly fine with them and 2) bestiality among shifters or fantasy characters like dinosaurs is not actually considered bestiality. So I’m going to be posting City Howls #1 next because by the rules of these platforms, it’s clean and acceptable. I hated having to break that serial up the way I did and now I don’t have to because someone actually bothered to spell out their censorship guidelines. So… that.

September 15

null
Okay… I think I decided on Hell Cat for Halloween…

I know, I’m all over the fucking place and said I’d do the other one. But Hell Cat is so fucking cute! And it’s been waiting for basically a year for me to get the fuck to it–and it’s cute! And, you know, outlined already so I can just dive in and get that shit out. I want a Halloween story, but I also want to get to all my other work.

Do not have a brain like mine, just saying. Perspective can be this life altering, freeing experience. Or it can trap you in your own neurosis. Guess where I am. XD Fucking editing. Seriously, fucking editing and grammar extremists (lets not bring Nazis into everything) who insist there is some semblance in this made up, thrown together English language while ignoring the common tongue every bestselling book in my genre is written in. There are too many ways to say the same thing, and my brain is overly aware of it. There are too many ways, and none of them are actually ‘correct,’ they’re just options.

You all might hate me but I’m looking at this FMM trilogy I outlined a year ago and thinking about fleshing it out. It’s such a good story–and legit, I’m sick of FMM where MM isn’t actually a thing. Fuck that MFM boring stuff where those cocks do not touch; these bad boys and very bad gal share–and I can see all these ways to make it even better now my brain is back. I really want to try this and see what I can do with a strong action oriented plotline. I’d have to put it under a different pen name though–the tough world of self publishing where genres cannot cross. But maybe just under S. Sins or something similar. After Sorcerer Slayer is done, probably side by side as I write up Shifter Safe Haven and get to the other serials.

I feel like I used to get so much more done when I stopped trying to quantify if I could get it done and just did it. That’s really all writing is; writing. This trying to figure out if it’s the right or wrong words just fucks up that writing part. There is no ‘right.’ It’s such a fucking lie perpetrated by the ego to put value into the process of writing instead of the message being shared. Neurosis be gone. <– and this is what my brain spews out after a day of Eckhart Tolle while glaring at plotting tips, referencing bestsellers, and editing #6 of Demon Bonded. What the fuck am I doing to myself creating all this extra work when all I need to do is just write? I want to tell my stories already. I seriously need cash so I can just pay other people to do this editing shit so I can focus on writing. Anyone can do all this neurotic stuff but I need to do the writing.

I feel like a sulking kid trapped inside on a beautiful, sunny day. I love you, Demon Bonded #6, but I’d rather be writing #11. Bastard.

Um, if you read this thinking there was a point in any of it… sorry.

September 14

null
Sorcerer Slayer #67 in the Library and Intangible #23 in Free!

I find myself in a new place today. A little bit in my head as I finally rise the fuck above the shit happening around me, and also in a different chair cuz my chromebook has decided charging isn’t on its list of capable functions anymore. I backed up all my stuff and I’m going to be writing from my PC until the time comes where I can shell out the cash for another chromebook with Crouton compatibility (aka not anytime soon.)

So, I guess we’ll see. I like the laptop because when I’m sick, my weak limbs can handle the typing. Not so much with the PC where having to lift my arms can get exhausting pretty damn quick. I might end up rigging something together to make it easier. The allergies have been off and on the last few weeks but currently I feel like things have settled. *fingers crossed* If my body is sound, the allergies don’t touch me, and in that sense, I’ve been feeling more stable health wise. Wish me luck. <3

Sorcerer Slayer is loosely outlined, and I think I’m going to keep it loose and see how things flow instead of obsessing. I want to tear through the next scenes while inspiration is strong. But at the same time, that Halloween fic has an actual deadline and I want to reach it in time. How the fuck is it mid September already? Getting sick always fucks with my sense of time. I might be making the Halloween novella too complicated; currently 3 main characters with very smutty adventures weaved into one little old-school haunted mansion type fic. Another I guess I’ll know when it’s done kinda moment. Definitely having fun finding out. 😀

September 13

null
So what if Sorcerer Slayer isn’t 1/2 done but only 1/3? Maybe it’s even 2/3 done already…

I’m used to writing short fiction. It’s very easy to see how a short story flows with very little planning required. I’ve actually created templates around my own short stories for the best times to resolve emotional and action conflicts. Serials too; I can understand stories written in episodes. It’s like tuning into a tv show where the plot progresses a little bit each day. Novels, on the other hand, are a totally different story. They are a complete entity full of huge amounts of information, growth, conflict and plot. All of which must tie together into one finished work.

Over half a year ago I plotted out Sorcerer Slayer. There are always these moments where I know the characters will choose a different path and no planning can account for it. I actually look forward to those moments because if it’s up to me, shit might get boring. It happened in Demon Arms when Wylie got that email, and here it is again 155,000 words into Sorcerer Slayer. I’m very curious where it’s going to go.

I’m rewriting my outline to the second half of Sorcerer Slayer. The tension dropped significantly in the original and I didn’t realize until I got to this point. There’s something wrong about introducing a conflict the size of what happened in that alley and assume life can return to normal once we get back to the Academy. It disregards the weight and tension that should be hanging over every characters as they wonder if they’re safe, if their friends will die, if they should make a move first before those assholes come after them. What does the Academy look like when the adults are all too busy hunting down the attackers to be able to calm the patients? These guys really aren’t the sitting around and waiting for things to get better type.

Have I mentioned how much I love this, btw? I love the things I get to learn, the new things I get to try every time I approach a story. I love using my damn brain and seeing what it can do. I haven’t written a lot of novels, but with each new one, I learn more, discover and adapt, and hopefully can bring my characters to life through that process for readers to enjoy. I thrive on challenge and I don’t know if any job previous every came close to what writing offers on this level of pushing my boundaries to create better. Seriously, this gig is a fucking joy and blessing, and the icing is how there are so many people out there who actually like the end results enough to support me. Sorcerer Slayer is going to kick ass by the time we get to ‘the end.’ <3

September 11

null
Shifter Safe Haven #4 is up in the Library!

Ugh, so I’m about to go to bed while the rest of the house is waking up. My roommate just let me know he left his keys in my car ignition last night and drained the battery. Apparently his level of being pissed off for being late for work is supposed to repair the fact that I have to get this shit fixed so I can get an allergy shot today. So sick of people fucking up shit and not taking responsibility for it. I don’t even think the fucker said sorry.

But hey, new Shifter Safe Haven. Yay? I’m so fucking tired right now and pissed this is how I’m going to be trying to sleep. It won’t happen. I have to solve this problem and by the time I do, I’ll be far too exhausted to drive safely to the allergist, and I’ll fall asleep. When I wake up, they’ll be closed because they have normal hours while I sleep like the fucking vamps. Fucker.

Oh, also outlined 1/2 of that Halloween fic; decided on old school throwback to haunted castles and monsters hunting the shadows–werewolves and blood suckers, mostly–and a tentacle here and there. Corruption of the innocent. You know, what those old monster movies were all about. 😀 It’ll be crazy fun. If I could write it in black and white instead of color, that would be wicked.

September 10

null
Intangible #22 is up under Free!

Okay, I have a feeling I missed some spots in this particular chapter I just don’t have the time (energy) to clean up. My brain has not been 100% the last half of this week and I have a list of things I want to get to. But to be clear for those new to my fiction, everything on this site was written when I was in the midst of a severe mold reaction while living in a moldy apartment for years. You are looking at my low ability where I wrote on average 20,000-50,000 words a week (shit goes way faster when you don’t slow down to edit. XD) I have only just regained the majority of my cognitive function the last few months from allergy shots which is why I’ve been doing new covers and republishing edited version of the old stuff. I don’t want my illness to define those first books now that I’m better.

I will bitch, I will complain, because that is all I have control over; bitching about the shit I can’t control with my health. But I will also be writing strong and it will be stronger than when I started. There is no going back to that coma like state after all I’ve learned about treating this illness no matter how loud my fears get. And there is still a shit ton of fear every time these allergies hit and knock me on my ass for hours/days at a time. Down is not out, and I have endured worse for far longer. Don’t let my whining get to you; I just need to vent.

Also, random kudos to the awesome Jex Lane who told me about text to speech for editing nearly a year ago and I’m only just now using it as a staple for the final edit before publishing. It is so fucking helpful to hear my mistakes verses having my brain think it’s reading things properly. (It is not.) There is no excuse to give up with the modern tech out there to help anyone and everyone reach their goals. Even when my brain breaks, it will bounce back, and I will be here to make more story happen. No excuses.

Brainstorming what I’m going to write for Halloween. Don’t think I have the time for a 5 story collection like Taken By Beasts, what I did last year, but I do want to play with something in the same theme of classic, campy horror on Halloween. Or, I could do Hell Cat, which is this demonic cat shifter who makes his rescuer/owner’s life miserable in the sexiest ways possible while dodging the pissed off witch who caged him. Not sure yet, but I’m looking forward to it. This is my favorite time of year. I decorate my house for Halloween all year round; yup, that level of awesome nerd, right here. XD

Feeling better, babes and ready to kick ass.

September 6

null
Intangible #21 is up under Free!

I was hoping I’d be able to finish the scene tonight and post the chapter, but I’m just too tired. When I wake up; I can’t trust myself to edit properly when I’m like this. I just finished editing #4 of Demon Bonded and Far From Home, the Bonus episode is next. I decided it would be fun to put the bonus episodes up on the site under Free once I get them all edited.

September 4

null
Intangible #20 is up under Free!

Demon Bonded episode 1 is now officially perma-free on Amazon! Squee. Still waiting for it to show up on the other venues before I update the website with the new links. A part of me assumed it wouldn’t work–perma free is usually a battle of epic proportions with Amazon. Pronoun seems to get Amazon to do shit it usually refuses, like post in the categories you actually want. The new cover looks so good! <3

You may have noticed the Bargain Books aren’t available atm. They will return, I’m just not sure how quickly and in what form. I need to rethink my strategy, especially since I basically have a format now where subscribers read instead of download. I hate the idea of a subscriber needing to pay full price to keep a book after paying for the subscription; it just seems redundant. Then again, every library book I failed to bring back I did end up paying for… (I was horrible when it came to not losing books and my god, I used to read so much.)

I want the books to be the updated, polished, pretty covered versions available for download, and also updated in the Library (they’ll be switched out without anything pulled down, no worries.) All the redone books will eventually be available on the site including serial episodes–which is another change. I want the serials to push the subscriptions. That means not discounting the fuck out of them so people will want to read them for far cheaper on the site. Hopefully. >_> There is a lot of hope in all of my strategies.

Hell, so yesterday I was a hormonal mess. It’s like regressing into a teenager every time I PMS. Fuckballs. I swear the mold biotoxins stored in my fat cells just flood me around this time. The fever stopped halfway into today; there is definitely a correlation between pms and immune system deregulation. I wonder if this is going to be a monthly thing or I’ll eventually heal to a point where I rise above it and maybe be able to think about having a kid before the clock counts down. Another thing I’ll nerd out as I go. Did you not know I was a nerd about shit? Like, if I wasn’t a creative person (or unstable, crazy, chronically ill one) I would have totally been a scientist? Or something big in numbers–I love patterns and formulas. And people; the human brain–the condition of being human in general–is fucking fascinating.

September 3

null

Changes in the availability of Demon Bonded

Alright, I’m finally getting on top of this shit. I had to unpublish the Demon Bonded series from Amazon before publishing through Pronoun. Currently, Episode #1 is the only one actually ready. It will be perma-free, and likely live in a few hours. My stress levels are HIGH, and no, that’s not a drug euphemism, that is a dear fuck, I am so freaking stressed about this.

What if I’m really bad at this? What if no one notices my books on any other platform and I’m just running around in circles messing up my life? Most search algorithms are pretty weak compared to Amazon and it is literally a requirement to go in and promote for each platform–so much work. What if all my reviews disappear and never return again? What if I fail and I don’t even come close to reaching what I was getting when KU worked? What if I fail? I have failed at so much shit in my life and I’m tired of it. Do I get to win, like, ever? Is there just something innately wrong with me where I’m always going to be struggling for the bare minimum while I see everyone else soar by?

It is not a good day to be in my head. @[email protected] Being sick probably doesn’t help. I probably made myself sick with the stress of this. Serious, I swear some days I want to be sick again just so I stop having to notice how I’m wasting my life not going for those dreams I want. Fucker. Ignore my fucked up head.

Guys, I’m rethinking my approach to the serials. Publishing through Pronoun allows for some really nice price adjustments with royalties I couldn’t get with Amazon. I might be pricing each individual book lower, likely $1.99 each for a long serial like Demon Bonded instead of the standard $2.99. I want to do a little more research but I think that’s going to be the price point unless something convinces me otherwise. I’m also holding off on republishing the bundles. 1) I’m going to have to wait until each individual book is edited before I can update them, 2) I want to push the value of the subscription site to new readers. Basically, if I sell the bundles super low, I’m fucking myself for potential sign ups. Bundles in general might be a bad idea because of it but I don’t think I want to go that far. The bundles will still be cheaper than buying each individual book, of course, just not too low.

I hate thinking like this. It goes against this chill, wonderfully hippie inner voice who just wants to give everything away for free and make people happy. She is of course blind to the financial shit storm I live in. I need to come up with a sound financial foundation, and that means totally different strategies now I’m out of KU. I’m not sure how it’s all going to evolve–adaption is a process, not an end. Hope you guys can bear with me and understand the why behind it all, even if it’s inconvenient or just plain disappointing for you. I don’t want to be living off of disability anymore. I don’t. My PTSD might be with me forever, but it doesn’t mean I have to be the same broke fuck up who can’t keep my car on the road. I would like to be able to actually have a savings account. Ha, I want to be able to pay the fucking taxes on the money I made last year cuz I never expected to make a cent doing this shit.

I’m feeling pretty sensitive, atm. I feel like I’m really pushing to do this all the right way and it just digs up every fucking insecurity I have until I’m bleeding out like a mofo. Ah, the humanity. It really sucks. Feeling like this really fucking sucks. If I could just sleep through next week (but still get all the work done I need to do) that would be ideal. Whatev. I think I’m done bitching about shit I have very little control over. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I’ll try not to will myself into some sort of coma for the next week… unless it’s a writing coma. That would probably be useful.

September 2

null

Intangible #19 is up under Free!

Eh. I’m sick, or it’s the immune system being a bitch again. Blah. But hey, more Intangible. I don’t know what happened to my wacom tablet pen so I have to wait for a replacement to ship. Gahhhh. I have no patience. I wanted to have the cover for the next Demon Bonded done already.

September 1

null

The last scene of Demon Bonded Episode #10 ‘Strays, Links And Demons’ is posted in the Library!

Okay, this episode of Demon Bonded is basically done. I want to do a final edit and get things sorted with the serial so expect some extra Intangible chapters while I’m busy with that shit. I’m looking at City Howls next serial wise, and of course, back to Sorcerer Slayer. I’m dragging on it a bit. I feel scattered and I don’t want to fuck it up (aka, I can fuck up the other stories but not Sorcerer Slayer. XD)

September already! When the fuck did that happen? Starting fresh on the update page. Let’s see how it all goes. <3