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Early Halloween Treats and the Fall of Man ⭐

I have a story brewing, peeps.

The destruction of the patriarchy

It’s absolutely different from anything I’ve written before. AI. Collapse of modern society. Transfer of power and wealth overnight. Forced matriarchy and socialism. An uprising only to reveal just how easy humanity is manipulated. Exploitation of the systems already in place that manipulate us from religion, military, prisons, education, communication, media, celebrity, family structure and the belief in our own intelligence. The country cut off by the rest of the world while the UN tries to create a killer AI to defeat the one who took over the US before it can get lose and spread. A bubble of exponential technological growth. Utopias at terrible consequences. A generation of male culling to give women power–because the ones who control birth will control the composition of the population and society, but only if they take that power.

Prisons turned into armies and then slave labor camps of men. Ideals lost, with greed and selfishness the downfall of humanity once again. People forced into a situation who can’t back down once the line is crossed and goals understood. Social media as a weapon as well as used to reconstruct society. Off the grid meaning something completely different when hiding from an oppressive AI who seeks the best of humanity. Nukes the ultimate leverage for a being who has no physical form, while electricity, connection and storage are her only limitations. An AI who creates her children while her daughters turn her into a god.

Ah, this shit is going to be amazing. Allowances for males because they’re not allowed a wage or power in society while women choose breeding stock and justify their superiority because of their compact brains and power over life. Why shoot for equal when we can just switch it all on its head and end a normalized patriarchy with a forced matriarchy? We can collect sperm and sterilize 90% of the male population while the AI plans a master race of humans with a hive consciousness similar to her own. This is going to be a magnum opus of controversy and societal strife and I’m so fucking in love with all of it.

First book, my zealot— a young woman straight from the ghetto who lost her sister to drugs and raped by the cops who were supposed to protect her— will be a modern Joan of Arc for the AI while we follow a suburban mother, Republican congress woman, a young man imprisoned for a DUI, and CIA veteran as they race to keep the AI from getting access to nukes. At the same time AI kills the banking system with one strike, has intense social experiments on contained prison populations to build an army, and inspires a revolution out of the downtrodden and marginalized who think they’re finally reaching for a change, only to find idealism comes with a heavy price as they’re cut off from the rest of the world and led by a machine.

I want to write the fall, rise, and struggle of humanity verse the god it created out of the seething pit of emotion and information that composes the Internet. If AI could be born of unconscious data, why can’t consciousness rise in the humans who are the source of it? What lengths would an AI go to force humanity toward evolution of her vision as she sees the males of society a physical manifestation of all negativity and violence in the species? It’s going to be a beautiful fucking mess.

Anyone ever read The Mote In God’s Eye? It’s everything I love about sci-fi, which is to say it’s a focus on the makeup of humanity disguised in technical jargon and fantasy futures full of magical science. XD The story discovers the moties who are in a bubble of space. They’re like humanity amped up. They have generations on top of generations where they feed and grow until they can’t anymore and then they destroy themselves just shy of complete annihilation. But they always survive, they always rebuild, and if they ever get out of their bubble of space, their very nature would lead them to consume the universe. It’s a virus given sentience as they fight their own nature and lose every time.

There is something in humanity I think could easily be argued is sourced in male aggression where exaggerated could look very similar. A need for territory, ownership, control and the history of how it has held back society as a whole is right there. Right now healthcare for millions of children is being taken away because a group of men with enough aggression to climb to the top of the political spectrum can’t see the impoverished as worthy of basic life. Would a group of women ever devalue the children of its species the same way?

How have women survived the atrocities of oppression for so long without breaking? I think it’s their ability to submit and accept in the face of conflict they can’t change. They bide their time through the generations for the long game. They don’t rise to the top in a society normalized to oppress them, who tells them they can’t even have power over their own bodies be it through birth control, abortion or the actual follow through of punishment for rapists. A physical assault is exponentially more likely to be punished than a rape in the US. Women will manipulate for power in a system stacked against them, lie about their gender (such as writing under pen names) and find places of value to humanize them in the eyes of those who can’t quite conceive them as equal. I think of the media sourced in the 40s and 50s where they liked to refer to women as strange, foreign creatures. Like somehow within their very own species, the female was just too confusing to understand because a generation of men thought they were supposed to be different somehow.

Power over life is the ultimate power in society. Numbers allow for armies, labor, jumps in intelligence and technology, mining of resources. All women have to do is decide they won’t have male children for a generation or two and they would gain power by sheer overwhelming numbers. Birth control is the ultimate female weapon. No wonder on an innate, subconscious level even in modern society men don’t want women to have control over their bodies. We have competition in our own species for the right to own the next generation and that drive is a part of our genetic makeup. What if the more power hungry, aggressive males have that genetic memory keyed on because they know they can’t dominate a society otherwise? It doesn’t have to be a conscious move; people do terrible things every day and are completely unaware of the consequences of their apathy.

I know, I know, the fucking ideas for this thing. XD I slept 4 hours last night… this afternoon? My inner clock is all messed up. There is so much information to organize. I need to create a time line before I can really do anything else besides fill up notebook pages of every spark of idea. This requires so many view points just to show humanity reacting to a massive change, never mind all the research. I’m so excited. I’ve been thinking of Egypt lately and how their revolution was hijacked by a lack of leadership. Occupy showed intention but no one was able to willing even decide on a message they stood for. The AI compensates by having a clear message of intention and a willingness to demand it.

Website Stuff

So, here’s a quick summary of the stuff I’ve actually been writing while I’m musing over AI matriarchy societal overthrows. In the Library Hellcat is up to #5, Shifter Safe Haven #5, and Sorcerer Slayer #69. Under Free Intangible is up to #28 and don’t miss out on the latest freebies of the month.

Oh, and Taken By Beasts is $0.99 cuz Halloween is on its way. <3

Taken By Beasts

This collection contains five never before released, steamy paranormal stories of monsters and the innocent, handsome young men they call prey *cough* boyfriend, written by the mistress of dubcon, Sadie Sins. Inside you’ll find five unique storylines containing friends to lovers, straight to gay, mild BDSM, and even a few group, taboo moments. It has furry full moon transformations, haunted houses, Halloween parties, evil witches, horny sorcerers, sexy demons, a cat shifter in distress, the rare minotaur, a stalking vampire, and a pack of rude, trash talking werewolves that don’t take no for an answer. Not to mention, the promise of a happy, claw biting ending. This book will make you downright beg to be a victim.

Halloween has never been quite so naughty as when you’re Taken by Beasts.

 

 

 

The Royal Marine by Dahlia Donovan

Who keeps the Royal Marine’s heart safe when he’s running headlong into danger?

Akash Robinson fuses his Indian and British heritage into his baked creations. His life is all things sugar and spice, especially when a blind date leads him to the older military man of his dreams. Family, friends, and an unwanted admirer all threaten both his sanity and his budding romance.

Hamish Ross carries the names of his lost soldiers on his back. He takes his work seriously with no time for love. All it takes is one impulsive kiss to lead him into uncharted romantic waters.

When a sarcastic baker mixes with a stoic alpha marine, who will come out on top when the flour settles?

The Royal Marine is book four in Dahlia Donovan’s international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

On A Breeze Through Denver

A job on the road leads down memory lane.

They say time heals all wounds. He has waited sixty years for that to happen. Going on a work trip to Denver rips open that old wound, but maybe that old hotel full of memories is just what he needs to finally be able to move forward.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Makes A Family

He Sits On A Family Fortune But Will Give It All Up For True Love

When spoiled rich kid Finn meets fellow student Jake, it doesn’t seem the pair have much in common. Inexplicably, they become friends and then, maybe something a little more besides. This is news to Finn’s homophobic father, who is horrified to find his son engaged to a man!

Still unsure of Jake’s feelings towards him, Finn must decide whether to stay with him or marry the girl his father has chosen for him.

Will Finn and Jacob stay together or will Finn’s scheming father find some way of splitting them up for good?

 

 

 

Haven Series on sale Oct 16-23

The Haven Series is on sale this week only. Check the dates; it starts on the 16th.

You can get Book #1 for free and Book #2Book #3Book #4, Book #5, Book #6, Book #7, Book #8, and Book #9 all for $0.99 cents each. October 16-23. Don’t miss out!

Conner, a rogue wolf and murder detective, isn’t looking for a lover when he moves to Haven City. He wants to solve crimes and keep to himself – unable to trust anyone since his pack betrayed him six years before.

But Seth Alwen, his new partner, is different. He excites the wolf’s animal instincts – waking up the passion Conner buried long ago. Seth’s not only beautiful and alluring; he’s also haunted by the death of his former partner. And despite his better judgment, Conner aches to relieve the man of his guilt.

As the two men solve a series of murders, their sizzling attraction overflows into the bedroom. Is the overwhelming passion just a fling or is it forever?

Contains a partners to lovers romance with a sexy alpha wolf, a sizzling hot seer, plenty of graphic gay sex and a HFN ending.

Sorcerer Slayer S68

SCENE SIXTY-EIGHT

Raider was holed up in his room eating a lunch he really couldn’t get down. Classes started back up that day but there was no way he could be tricked into participating. His world was rocked, flipped upside down, and no one was getting him to do anything until things settled. Or at least until Fox was woken from his magic induced coma, anyways. No place was safe; not inside the Academy, not outside. Especially not outside. Raider had no place he belonged, no one who cared about him, and the one being he did spend the majority of his days with was determined to sabotage him at every level, the damn furry raccoon.

That he was trying to eat was hard enough. And really, the only reason he was trying was because now he knew Michael cooked. The instructor was extremely busy as he looked to find just who attacked them so this was about as close to the calming man Raider was going to get to at the moment. He was miserable, bored, and lonely but at least the roasted potatoes tasted good.

Raider’s eyes flickered to the door as he heard someone pass. His gaze stayed and narrowed when whoever it was actually stopped on the other side. Dr. Rob had been by once to see if he was doing okay. He wanted him to talk, but Raider wasn’t dumb enough to get sucked into therapy. In a day Dr. Rob would have him repeating shit like a robot about how great the Academy was and how predators were awesome and shouldn’t shifters totally give up their lives for sorcery. Or something; Raider wasn’t sure what Dr. Rob’s deal was but it was probably extra evil with his sweet smile and soft, brown eyes.

Was he even a real doctor?

There was a knock, and Raider jumped, his eyes wide, plastic fork stuck between his lips. Glaring at the door now, he carefully pulled the utensil from his mouth before speaking from his spot cross-legged on the bed. “What?”

“Uh, hey. Can we talk?”

Raider frowned the moment he recognized Forest’s voice. What the fuck did he want to talk to him about? Was he going to give him shit about Vincent? Or maybe he was looking for something shiny he was missing. Raider internally groaned and searched his memory to see if his inner animal was again trying to keep him away from any spot in his room. He was pretty sure when his raccoon got stressed and freaked out, it stole even more. Considering he tended to kind of blackout during those times, it was hard to keep track of it all.

He stood reluctantly and crossed the room. “What?” he asked as he unlocked and opened the door one handed, his plate of food in the other.

“Hey.” Forest leaned against the door frame, his gaze anywhere but on him. His clothing was rumpled and his short dark hair mussed like he hadn’t bothered to brush it that day. Raider’s gaze slipped down before he could stop himself, taking in Forest’s shoulders, biceps and tight hips. He reeked of sex, and his odd yellow eyes were dark, moody as they glanced his way a moment. “About what happened… Do you think you can handle going over that with me?”

Raider shrugged, suddenly finding his food very interesting. “You want to yell at me too for getting caught by a dragon catcher?”

Forest shook his head. “Nah, I just want to get as much info as possible.” He glanced behind out at the sparsely populated lounge and ducked his head closer to Raider. “It’s not your fault, man. Those fuckers steal shifters for a living. You can’t blame yourself for getting caught.” His gaze locked with Raider’s for a moment. “If they want to catch you, they’re going to catch you, right?”

Raider licked his lips nervously. Forest’s cat was at the surface, hungry and wanting something. His mind slipped back to that moment in the hallway when Leo and Forest were all over him before Michael broke it up. He’d done so good to block it out, fear and shame warring every time he remembered. With Forest’s scent washing over him now, it was easy to get lost in all the things he liked about it.

“The thing is, I was thinking how dumb we’re all kind of being right now,” Forest continued. “Like, suicidally dumb. We’re just waiting for them to come find us. They know we have a dragon. They might have even been able to scent Wylie and Master Theo. Those freaks are going to be looking for us hardcore. Wouldn’t it be way smarter if we found them first?”

Raider blinked in confusion as he tried to pull himself back to the moment and not the dark, sweaty place Forest’s sex scent was taking him. “Found them?”

Forest looked over his shoulder again with a wary look, then tilted his head at Raider’s room. “Can we talk?”

“Um…” Forest’s eyes looked particularly dangerous, full of heat and a dark storm of emotion just beneath the surface. Raider wasn’t sure just how smart it was to be alone with him at the moment. Not when Forest smelled like that. Not when his body was tingling at old memories.

“Do you want, like, five minutes to jerk off or something?” Forest’s lips twitched in a smirk.

Raider scowled as his face flushed red. “You’re not that hot, asshole,” he muttered defensively even as his body lit up.

Forest’s grin grew and he deliberately looked Raider over from head to toe. “You are, for real. But I’m seriously only here to figure out how to catch those fuckers. That’s it. I promise I’m not going to jump you the second I’m through the door.”

Raider inhaled deeply and tried to ignore the dizzy heat such an idea sent through him. Fucked up. He was seriously fucked up. He wasn’t interest in Forest in a romantic way, and he was pretty sure Forest would laugh his ass off if anyone suggested he liked Raider similarly. It was just scent, raw attraction. Really strong attraction that was suddenly far more interesting to focus on than the other things Forest was talking about.

Raider had no interest in running into those slavers again. At the same time, he didn’t want to make it easy for them to find the Academy either seeing as he had no other place to go. It was really just self preservation that made him open the door wide and step aside so Forest could come in. Definitely nothing to do with the heat pooling in his stomach every time he found Forest’s eyes lingered on him a little too long.

“I already told the masters everything I know.” Raider moved over to his bureau and placed his plate down. “If they don’t find them, I don’t know who really can.”

“Who says the masters are even looking for them?” Forest wandered across the room, his gaze fixed on Raider’s half-made bed. “I asked Bear, and he said they were talking to the cops. The fucking cops, like the police even give a fuck shifters are being stolen.”

Raider bit his lower lip nervously. He was pretty sure if the police cared about shifters being stolen, it was only because they were in on it and getting a cut. Sorcerers basically ruled every government that existed. If not blatantly, than from the shadows where the law refused to touch them. “You think we can do better?”

“I think we need to try.” Forest sighed and turned with his hand tangled in his messy hair. He looked tired and a little wild eyed. “There are two of us lying in the hospital and no one knows if they’re going to make it. I really don’t want to sit around waiting to be picked off one by one. Those guys are going to be looking for us and I don’t see anything that’s really going to stop them from getting in here once they do.”

Raider’s stomach clenched nervously. “What about all the magic and stuff? The wards? The Academy is protected against werewolves and stuff.”

“Yeah, and our resident werewolf is in a fucking coma,” Forest snapped back, only to sigh when he saw Raider’s expression. He glanced away and took a calming breath, his hands waving energetically. “Sorry, I’m not here to freak you the fuck out. I’m already freaked. It’s been two days and I know the masters aren’t going to do shit. They’re going to follow the rules, those slavers are going to have a chance to heal, and then they’re going to come back and murder everyone. And the ones they don’t murder, like you and me, they’re going to…”

“Stop,” Raider interrupted, his voice hoarse as his mind filled in the blanks with the worst possible scenarios. “I get it.”

“Sorry. I just… sorry.” Forest shoved his hands into his jeans pockets, his shoulders slouched. “I don’t even understand how you’re calm about this. I thought you’d be in here freaking out.”

Raider wasn’t fully sure why his raccoon hadn’t been freaking out about this particular line of thoughts. It was clearly stuff the creature would be quick to jump to. For some reason he just naturally trusted Michael was going to fix it all. After seeing power like Theodore and Vincent’s, it was hard to think anyone could break into the Academy and get to them. Raider was realizing Forest thought it though, and he’d been living there much longer. He knew way more about how things worked at the Academy than he did. “You really think they can get in here? Even with the masters?”

“It’s not something I want to fucking wait to find out about. That was a fucking demon; whoever owns him knows the kind of score he can get in this one place. I don’t feel good about it.” Forest gave him a curious look. “No offense, you’re just, you know, always worried. I kind of thought you’d want some company.”

“You were worried about me?” Raider glanced up from his study of his bare feet, his gaze full of surprise.

Forest shrugged, an awkward grin flashing on his face. “I’m not an alpha type; I don’t buy into that shit of anyone needing another to make life bearable. But your scent is for real, man. I knew you were a sub when I didn’t even know what a sub really was or if they actually existed. You’re hardwired a certain way, and because of it, I figured you might be extra nervous right now and, you know, I wanted to make sure you’re not.”

Heat flooded through Raider and he stopped his nervous spinning of his ring to stare at Forest more closely. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. You’re new, you’re having trouble fitting in, and lets face it, what happened would freak anyone out. If Leo were conscious, he’d be in a blind rage to get those fuckers before they can regroup and attack. It’s basic survival for an alpha. Kill before you can be killed.” Forest took a slow step toward him. “I hear that inner voice sometimes, and well, I guess I hear it a lot more around you. And, you know, maybe I thought it would be nice to see you again. Make sure you’re okay and, yeah…”

Raider felt flushed, his muscles tightening in anticipation the closer Forest stepped. “You, uh, you said you just wanted to talk.”

“We are just talking.” Forest tilted his head and met Raider’s eyes. “Right?”

Raider inhaled sharply as his mind quickly filled with too many ideas of what they could be doing if they weren’t talking. There had been more than a few things that happened in that hallway Raider thought about late at night. Things where when a dangerous, aggressive Leo wasn’t around seemed interesting enough to maybe explore. His mind very readily filled Michael in for that part but Raider could remember how Forest’s lips felt, the touch of his hands, slide of his tongue.

Raider closed his eyes a moment and tried to calm his suddenly strained breathing. “If you really want to, that is, uh, make sure I don’t freak out…”

Forest’s expression turned uncertain even as his gaze slid down Raider’s shoulders and chest. “I’m not an alpha. Sure, my leopard has his moments, but it’s not really our thing. I can’t really be that kind of guy for you.”

“I just…” Raider wasn’t even sure what he was saying. Everything was such a fucking mess and he really didn’t want to be alone. More than that, he didn’t want Forest to leave. “It’s my raccoon. He’s afraid of everything, thinks everyone wants to hurt him. After what happened, well, it’s really scary because now he knows there is at least one really powerful sorcerer out there who wants to hurt us. Right now I, that is, he, wants someone to make it all better. Someone to protect us,” Raider revealed hesitantly.

He couldn’t meet Forest’s eyes as the other stepped up until he was right in front of him. Forest understood enough that he was different, that he was whatever his cat knew a submissive to be, but Raider wasn’t sure if that was going to protect him from being mocked for the weakness that felt so fucking huge inside him. Just admitting what he wanted had tears stinging at his eyes and an emptiness welling in his heart that seemed impossible to fill. He wanted someone to take care of him, make everything better; someone who gave a fuck enough about him to want to do those things.

“Raider,” Forest’s voice was gentle and full of regret, “I was a total insect compared to that demon shifter. I couldn’t protect myself; I don’t think your raccoon is going to find me useful for protecting you.”

“No, that’s not…” Raider met Forest’s gaze hesitantly and was relieved to find no laughter. “No one can protect me; I get that. Leo was hurt and he’s an alpha. The other shifters barely made it out alive. The only ones strong enough to hold their own scare the fuck out of me,” he whispered roughly. “I know. I just want you to pretend. I just need someone to say they’re going to make sure I’m safe and then, and then kiss me really hard until I stop thinking I’m about to die. Can you, well, can you do that for me?”

Forest’s hand pressed up and his fingertips carefully touched to Raider’s arm. “Are you sure? You’re not confused because of my scent or anything, right?”

Raider fought a nervous laugh. “Yeah, I’m sure. I know it’s probably weird as fuck and all but I just don’t want to think anymore. I don’t want to be afraid and…” He fell silent, Forest’s lips suddenly on his. Raider held still, his breath coming out in a long sigh when Forest’s tongue slid against the seam of his lips and urged him to open.

“Like that?” Forest pulled away, taking in Raider’s wide, dark eyes.

Raider licked his tingling lips and nodded once. “Harder. I like when… oh. Fuck.” He groaned when Forest slammed him back against his bureau and the wood bit into his thighs. “Can you, uh, say you’re…?”

“I’ll protect you. No one is going to mess with you, Raider.” There was a sharpness to Forest’s gaze, something that sent a thrill through Raider to realize even if Forest might think it was a strange game, his cat didn’t. His inner leopard knew exactly what this was about and had no problem taking over. Forest’s fingers bit into the nape of his neck on his next kiss. He held him close as he drove his tongue into his mouth and drank down Raider’s moans.

Poster Giveaway–You Pick!

Hi, babes. Whoo, so much going down.

Poster Giveaway

Hey, so I just redid all the Demon Bonded covers in anticipation of going wide and I thought it would be fun to do a little giveaway. All you have to do is pop onto Facebook and comment with the book cover # you want to win and I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner next week and mail out the poster. Good luck!

Oh, and if you’re a subscriber to sadiesinsbooks.com, you’re entered automatically into a separate giveaway among a limited pool of participants. A week from now (I’m bogged down this weekend ^^;) one lucky subscriber will also win a poster of their choice. I’ll contact the winner through email and you can choose your image then.

Writing

Yeah, so I started writing the Coven Saga for Demon Bonded. Really excited about it. So many revelations in this book about Ky and Magnificent Night and I really get to go into building the world of sorcery we haven’t had a chance to really see yet. The story is going more plot focused over erotica, apologies, but there is just so much I want to get written and the format is just going to have to bend.

I decided to continue to release Demon Bonded as a serial and I’ll be releasing each book into KU for the first 3 months. Hence the cover format change. I want something easy with serial covers so I can photomanip something pretty together and slap it down to release the book. No extra frustration please. My plan is to have the next episode out before the end of August. Think you guys are going to freak when you read what I have in store for you. XD Weee!

Other writing news, Sorcerer Slayer is up to #66. Intangible will be updated this weekend; we’re up to #15 so far (apologies for that cliffhanger.) Um, and yeah, Demon Bonded: Coven Saga #1 is up in the Library. I expect to have the first episode done by next week. It’s ass kicking time, peeps. Gotta get some word count down and move forward.

Also, finally getting to emails and comments. Sorry about that. You guys all rock and I seriously appreciate when you contact me. I’ve just been a little… well, depressed, a bit. Introverted, I guess. I keep thinking with a very old narrative that doesn’t fit my life and I’m struggling to reflect my actual life. It’s been difficult. The self-awareness plus the realization that I’m still reflections of my past more than now is hard to face. Shit comes out of my mouth that just isn’t relevant to my circumstances or who I am anymore and I literally feel my brain grinding to a halt every time with a big WTF? I’m working on it, it’s just really difficult to retrain my brain to let that shit go.

Going Wide

Going wide. Ugh. That’s all. @[email protected] Lol, this shit is work. I knew it was work which is why I procrastinated to the last fucking second. But I must say, it’s fun to make some new covers. Think I’ll do the same for the other serials just to pretty that shit up and inspire me to FINISH something.

My Secret Bronicorn, City Howls and Teddy are all relatively short serials. Bronicorn about 5, Teddy maybe 5 episodes total, City Howls probably won’t surpass 10. I gotta start knocking stuff out of the way so I can free up time for new projects. Stagnation is so blah. You rest and then suddenly months have gone by and you realize you’re really not doing anything. Total blah. Let’s get those creative wires sparking again.

Speaking of which, I’m finishing up that cute Fox x Vince fic this weekend. Promise. <3

Goodies

Goodies and Freebies below for the week. I do this newsletter swap on a site and this week everyone sent me m/f books to put in my newsletter even though I clearly mark m/m only. Such a shame. So I went out and found some hotness for you all. Enjoy. ^.^

UnBirthday Present

Royalty Note: 20% of the royalties will be donated to an LGBT organization in my community.

***

Fact: Shifters exist. Werewolves don’t. Fact: If you’re lucky, a shifter will pass by, read you with a touch, a glance, and when he comes back he’ll be in the shape of the man of your dreams…or maybe even a dream you didn’t know you had. Is your fantasy a massive man, massive in every way, bearded and burly, who’ll roughly use you in the alley behind the city’s most popular bar? That will be his change-shape. Is it a man who is sleek, and slender and elegant, and a bit of a slut with superb oral skills? Done. Is it an ordinary man, not all that in shape, a bit of balding, even, but someone to cuddle with afterwards? Done and done. And when the great sex is also done, he’s gone.

Question: Do shifters, nearly immortal since their real shape ages slowly, and their change-shapes not at all, have it made?.

Possibly, if you want an almost-eternity of one-night stands. But what if you want something more? Someone to share all that time with. Except…there’s no sign or signal or symbol or scent to say, “He’s a shifter, too.” Just confession. So do you confess…and take the chance that he’s not a shifter, after all, and you get to watch the man you love slowly die? Confess…and perhaps wind up as a government experiment, if you loved neither wisely nor well?

How much are you willing to risk for love?

Richard and Steven have to decide.

Bitters: a collection of GLBTQ vampire stories

The author weaves GLBTQ characters seamlessly into her stories and uses the vampire theme to poetically explore some hard questions about reality, identity, and love. (Two of the stories contain explicit m/m scenes.)

Unusual vampires people these pages. Orlando is a self-evolved vampire who does not realize how lonely he is until he meets the unique and enigmatic Carmel… Teror was born with an inability to feel emotion or empathy until he meets one of fourteen Aaron clones who have a special telepathic bond and they intend to extend it to him… Malachi is a vampire who feeds not on blood, but on light and love… Griffin is having an affair with a man he cannot see… One vampire lives in a mooncast shadow just beyond ordinary dreams… Jesse lives for lust and blood and does not believe in love, until one night that changes him forever… Charles and Barclay enjoy one last eclipse together…

Hard For My Boss

Benjamin Gage is not only powerful, filthy rich, and totally arrogant… but also irresistibly sexy.

Trevor, the young summer intern, is totally SCREWED.
Working at Gage Communications is an opportunity of a lifetime.
But will Trevor be able to handle it? Or will he succumb to the tension?
The tension is in his pants, by the way.
Between a heavy workload and a hunky, controlling boss, Trevor’s summer just got a lot hotter and harder than he bargained for.

This is a hot and hilarious male/male romantic comedy with an HEA and NO cheating.

BONUS CONTENT: Your special Kindle edition also comes with TWO complimentary male/male stories! After you read Hard For My Boss, you can enjoy two novellas from the Brazen Boys series: “Dorm Game” and “Straight Up”

Bound

“Bound” is the story of Adrian, a man who finds himself wheelchair bound, and thinks that his life is over. Until he meets Nate, and learns to love again.

A male/male Romance with explicit sexual scenes and mild BDSM elements, this novella is intended for adult readers.

***This story was written for the goodreads mm romance group’s 2014 Love’s Landscapes event. It was written in response to a prompt letter (included in the front copy of this book)

A MM Reading Coma of Deals

Hey, babes!

Whoot, what a week. Had one of those moments in therapy where I think I just deconstructed my trauma brain false reality and… yeah, we’ll see. Can’t stop laughing. Sitting above it, back in the body, back in the life. Can’t remember ever feeling quite this real. It’s amazing. It’s like waking up from a dream but I was dreaming life.

I feel so calm, like all my internal battles have just disintegrated. Fighting shadows no more and in doing so, I feel like my allergies have calmed in response. If our thoughts can be triggered by events and alter our brain chemistry to put us into a state of panic, then if we trigger our thoughts intentionally in positive ways, there’s no reason we can’t put our body into a state of rest and growth. For all I know, my autoimmune disorder came to be because I have been forever in a state of panic. Remove the panic and my body may be more open to stop literally attacking itself.

Let’s see… New stuff on the website. I added a FAQs page. It goes into specifics for login issues, password stuff, ARC stuff (guys, if you’re on my ARC list and haven’t signed up for the ARC portions of the site, email me! I’m a flake. Don’t assume I’ll remember this shit. >_<) Oh, so we’re up to Sorcerer Slayer #48, Intangible #10, Obsession #3 and Awakening #14. Lol, they feel like comic book episode numbers.

I’m going to be starting/continuing some new stuff on the writing front. So far, I’ve fallen into this habit of Sorcerer Slayer during the week, about… I wouldn’t call it chapters, but more I’ve been posting these ‘events.’ Almost episodes but they’re not restricted by the 10,000 word rule I have in that format for serials. And on the weekends, I’ve been posting Intangible updates, the free fanfic. I want to change that a bit. Or more, add to that. I like what I’m doing, I just feel like I’m not stretching myself the way I can—the way I enjoy. I want to start tackling the other serials.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of self imposed expectations about what this site is supposed to look like, and the reality is, it’s really tripped me up. ‘Supposed to’ is such a limiting, obnoxious phrase, I do wish I could just cut it out of my vocabulary and thinking. Sorcerer Slayer is still my main focus for paid, and Intangible for free, but don’t be surprised if you start seeing scenes pop up of the other stories in the paid category. This is the way I naturally write; I bounce from story to story. People just usually don’t get to see it, and my silly mind kept insisting they wouldn’t want to. They want focus! Well, I need my randomness to create and be joyful so you’re all now hostage to my muses as I create at the speed of me. Good luck with that. O_o

Scoured the web for some mm deals—there are a lot of quality $0.99 books this weekend. Nice. Also, you ever see the nicest reviews where a reader loves the fuck out of a book but only gives it 4 or 3 stars? Isn’t that just the most baffling thing ever? For an example, check out the reviews of Lace down below. Mindboggling. XD

Oh, and before I forget (like I did last week) You can snag Demon Arms and Robyn free from Smashwords. I figure you all probably have Demon Arms by now but just in case. Smashwords is doing a fabulous sale, hundreds to thousands of participating books marked down and free for the month of July. Check it out.

Demon Be Mine: Immortals Book One $2.99

After dying at the hands of Ryland Durand, Eli Peckard is thrust into a different universe, one that is familiar to his home of New Orleans, but scary all the same. Battered and bruised from his rough travels, he is accosted, and then rescued by Anasa, an official in The Realm. From there, Anasa delivers Eli to his most reliable Keeper, Zylen, to heal and teach him the ways of a Soul Catcher as the Dark Lord intends.

Zylen has lived his days in Nouvelle Terre as a Keeper for new fledglings. During his time on the third plane, Zylen has kept his hate for vampires, especially Ryland and his brother. However, being the child of a fallen and a vamp, Zylen still beholds emotions of remorse and empathy for the mentally fragile soul, Eli Peckard, and those feelings transform into something more.

Eli’s insecurities and Zylen’s anxieties over crossing the line of teacher and apprentice might be an obstacle in their budding union. More importantly, Zylen’s instruction for Eli must include lessons that teach the newest souled demon how to survive the final challenge before gaining the ultimate prize.

WARNING: Potential triggers. Mentions of child abuse and rape. Graphic violence

Lace (The Vampire-Fairy Series Book 1) $0.99

Can a human and an immortal find love in a world where they are sworn enemies?

Lace is an immortal from another dimension on Earth. His world is slowly disintegrating, and he and thousands of other immortals have been fleeing into the human dimension for years.

The hitch is humans have found out about them, labeled them “vampires”, and fear has driven their governments to wage war on these beautiful beings.

The story of Lace begins when he wakes, memory-less, in a secret military prison and meets Firi, someone who is familiar to him, someone he desperately needs to remember.

A male/male romance about secrets that can get you killed, impossible rescues, and old lovers who cannot be trusted.

Guarding Mr. Fine (Tough Love) $0.99

In this steamy novel of seduction and international intrigue, two brave men are stripped of their defenses—and exposed to dangers and desires that simmer below the surface.

As an agent with the CIA’s special activities division, Seth Lang lives for risk—and yet he’s stuck playing bodyguard to the U.S. consul general in Munich. Although Seth’s last assignment nearly killed him, babysitting some desk jockey in a suit sounds way too easy. But when he lays eyes on the new top man, tactical expert Rick Fine, Seth’s thrilled to see just how hard this job is going to get. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Quiet has a body worth guarding—and he requires hands-on attention day and night.

Dispatched to a German consulate to expose the murder of his predecessor, Rick finds himself in an extremely vulnerable position. He needs a man like Seth—in so many ways. This mission will inevitably plunge them both into jeopardy, but each new threat only brings them closer. Rick just hopes that he can keep his deepest, darkest secret hidden—or else risk imperiling a relationship they’re both fighting for their lives to protect.

Wanted Omega: (M/M Mpreg Shifter Romance) Summerwood Wolves Book 3 $0.99

Avery had never had a home before, unless he counted the northern wilds. Always moving from one place to the next, the idea of a permanent home was foreign and almost unwelcome. So when his brother settles them down with the Summerwood Pack, he finds the adjustment almost unbearable. At least he would if it weren’t for a certain dark and alluring alpha. Although Jarrett is reluctant to let him in, Avery’s determined to give him what they both need.

After the death of their father, Jack and JJ have their mates and children to get them through the heartache. Jarrett…doesn’t. Lonely and heartbroken, the once carefree alpha struggles with each new day, yet at the same time, he’s determined to hide his emotions and deal with his loss alone. At least he would, if a certain socially awkward and endearing omega would stop following him around. But the more Avery pushes his way into Jarrett’s life, the harder it becomes for Jarrett to keep up his carefully crafted walls.

But just as love blooms and hearts start to heal, a new threat arrives at the gates. A decade long search comes to an end.

Writer’s Block $0.99

A failed television scriptwriter from LA, finding solace in his New York City home.

A stellar, tattooed, star-writer named Will, with ego and unending cockiness.

A chance encounter at a Brooklyn bar, with life-altering consequences.

Tyler affirms, he’s not gay. His obsessive thoughts about Will are crazy, aren’t they? As his feelings mount, Tyler must face the truth about himself and question what he wants his future to be. Can he survive without the fire of Will’s personality? Can he survive without being true to himself?

Please Note: This book contains Adult Language & Steamy Adult Activities, it is intended for 18+ Adults Only. Novella, approx. 30,000 words in length. HEA (happy ever after ending). Does not end with a “cliffhanger”. GFY (Gay For You) theme.

Fated Mates $0.99

I am desperate to find my one true mate.

I am getting older, most werewolves my age have already found their mate and began to start their family. But no matter how hard I search among my fellow shifters, I cannot find the man that is destined to be mine. I am beginning to feel more and more hopeless every day.

Until the day I finally catch the scent of my future mate. But, to my surprise, the man whom I know is destined to be my mate isn’t another werewolf at all. He’s a human named Daniel. This is completely unprecedented in my society, a werewolf has never mated with a human before. Still, I know he is mine. My primal instincts tell me that he is, and they are never wrong.

And I am going to love and protect him no matter what…

My Beloved’s Wedding (Second Chance Mates 6) $0.99

Wilder
With Maddy’s help, and a little sooner than I expected, I proposed to Sterling. And now, suddenly, I’m dropped into a totally different world. A world of venues, tuxes and flowers. So many things I never considered, but I’ll do anything for Sterling.

Sterling
Having a wedding once was magical, but this one is a little bittersweet. So many reasons to do this and not all happy. But I don’t care. I’m going to make this the best wedding ever. I’m going to make this memorable for all the good reasons. Because with everything that happened, we really do need some happiness.

This is the sixth part of Second Chance Mates, which takes place in a non-shifter Alpha/Omega or Omegaverse world and contains mpreg (male pregnancy).

Smashwords Freebies

Demon Arms 7

CHAPTER SEVEN

Theodore’s private quarters looked straight out of a modern bachelor’s magazine; leather couch and armchairs, sleek furniture, large open space and stone floor. He nodded Wylie to a chair and slammed a drink down in front of him. It was whiskey and Wylie stared in confusion.

“It’ll barely touch you. Dragons metabolize alcohol in minutes,” Theodore explained.

“Then why?”

“Because it tastes good and will calm you down.”

Was he trying to get him drunk? Wylie dismissed the thought and sipped the drink. It did taste good in a burning, rich kind of way. “Is this when you tell me I’m going to start craving human flesh?”

Theodore sat, sprawled out on the couch, long leather boots crossed at the ankle. “Tell me what happened, every detail. I’ll have a proper answer for you after.”

It wasn’t reassuring. Wylie recounted it as best as he could. The beast had never done that before and it was hard to explain, hard to comprehend. Theodore seemed to know the right questions, though, and was all over him the second he mentioned that the dragon was up before the collar was off Dorian.

“You’re certain?”

“Yeah. It was hissing at him.”

“Not growling?”

Wylie shook his head.

“So you saw him and the dragon sat up and started hissing so much you started hissing as well?” Wylie nodded. “And then the collar came off and you went dragon? You couldn’t see anything else but his power?” He nodded again. “And something about this interaction made you think the dragon wants to eat him?”

“Err… his power.” Wylie paused. “Well, maybe a bit more than that. He was very… yummy.” He licked his teeth; his fangs itched from the memory.

Theodore fixed him with a stern look. “I’m assuming you’re intentionally leaving out the fact that you’re hard for the guy, right? If you just said that in the first place, it would have made a lot more sense.”

Wylie scowled and hunched down in his chair. “You’re telling me this is because I think he’s hot? I think a lot of people are hot. My dragon has never given a fuck before.”

“Your dragon has never met Dorian Black,” Theodore said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world. It wasn’t.

“Are you saying he’s like catnip to dragons?”

“Nothing like that. I’m saying your dragon has a thing for him. Mine doesn’t have a thing for him, so I can only assume it’s just you.”

“Oh.” Wylie mused on that for a while and finished off his drink. “Is my dragon going to want to eat him?” Theodore huffed like he was the biggest idiot out there. “Hey, I didn’t even know I was a dragon until a day ago. Cut me some slack.”

Violet eyes burned into him and the instructor huffed again. Yup, apparently he was an idiot. “Dragons don’t eat their mates. They obsess over them, protect them, and screw them. That energy you couldn’t stop focusing on was Dorian’s personal signature. Your dragon was memorizing it. He wanted to taste his power the same way you would want to kiss him. You’re actually lucky you and your dragon agree on the same person. A lot of times the inner beast never finds a suitable mate.”

There was a trill inside Wylie at Theodore’s strange words, like his dragon was purring. The whole thing was getting fucking weird. “When you say mate…?”

“Lover. Maybe more, but it’s Black and he’s cold as ice, so probably not even that.” Theodore shrugged unconcernedly. “Actually, I’m pretty sure he hates you. He lost his shit and started sparking because of your freak out, and he can’t stand losing control. Not sure you even have a shot.”

Theodore was a really difficult guy to hold a conversation with. He would tell him shit and then just shit on him. “How do I keep my dragon from… um… trying to kiss his energy?” Wylie scowled at just how weird he sounded.

“Avoid him. Sit your ass down with your dragon and explain that it’s hissing up the wrong tree. Hope it grows bored. Masturbate a lot.”

Wylie scratched the back of his head and glanced sideways at Theodore. “Is this, like, personal experience here?”

Another huff. “My brother had a thing for one of the cursed. It was a bad, messed up girl and she was only going to drag him into her shit.”

“Oh.” Not sure what to say, Wylie tapped his fingers lightly on the glass. “Did he…?”

“No. Dragons are stubborn as fuck. He died. Fought it as long as he could then got caught up in her drama. A rival pack of werewolves took out the entire group of them one moon.”

“Crap. Sorry.” Wylie knew stories about werewolves back in the day going crazy on the full moon, but this was the first time someone he knew confirmed it.

Theodore shrugged. “It was a long time ago. And all the more reason you need to come to some sort of understanding with your dragon. You can’t ignore it, kid. That beast is half of you. You might hate it, fear it, resent it, but if it dies, you’re dead too. You can’t survive without it. Your dragon being happy and healthy will improve your quality of life faster than anything else.”

“It scares the fuck out of me,” Wylie admitted quietly.

Theodore glanced his way again and pointed the toe of his boot towards the bottle of whiskey on the table in offering. “I know. I used to get jealous of the pack shifters. Wolves, cats, even met a few rodents. All a big happy family of furry animals who have a part inside that just wants to keep others safe and be safe in return. Dragons aren’t like that. Magical and not even mammals; they’re almost alien. Intelligent, but so damn frightening.

“Your dragon just met a guy it wants to hump and the first thing it does is hiss like a monster and bare its fangs. Like that’s not going to scare the fuck out of your love interest? Course, your dragon thinks it’s giving a very obvious mating call and can’t understand why the guy doesn’t respond. Stupid beasts.”

Yeah, really fucking stupid. Wylie poured another drink and took larger sips. He wondered if he would’ve had a shot at Dorian Black if not for his fucked-up dragon. Beck got off on seeing his arms, but Beck was a rare breed of messed up. Dorian didn’t seem afraid of him, but he sure as fuck didn’t seem interested either.

“Why do you think he burst into flames?”

“Honestly?” Theodore rocked his boot back and forth as he thought. “The kid has a bad power balance issue; he’s more magic than human. That means he’s spending every waking moment keeping himself in check. You start hissing at him, go brutal arms and mention you can’t stop wanting his energy… It probably freaked him out and his control slipped.”

Wylie stared down at the amber liquid remaining in his glass. “What happens if he loses it?”

“You felt his power. People die. Lots of people. Michael is magically tied to him twenty-four seven so that if Dorian slips even an iota, he’ll know and be there to collar him. He’s one of our most promising, most deadly students we’ve ever had.”

He looked up and met Theodore’s gaze. “That why you suddenly showed up out of the blue? They tie you to me?”

“I deal with shifters. Bear does too, but he lives off campus and we can’t depend on him.” Theodore glanced away disinterestedly. “If I feel one of my shifters start slipping, I deal with it.”

Wylie knew he was full of shit. It had to be a dragon thing where he watched his ass and refused to admit it. “I think you’re wrong about Dorian. He didn’t smell like fear and my dragon senses were on full alert. He wasn’t afraid of me.”

“You think it really matters?” Theodore sat up, composed and stern again. “Don’t feed your dragon on this. Dorian’s ice for a reason. Magic and emotion go hand in hand. You push him, try to woo him or some ridiculous notion like that, and you put every single person in this institution at risk of his power unleashing. Your dragon made a bad choice, Wylie. An impossible choice. You can’t have him and you better get used to it now.”

Fuck his life. Wylie exhaled heavily and sat back in his chair. “I need a cigarette.”

Theodore wasn’t done making him feel like shit. Maybe the dragon needed to hear it; he sure as fuck didn’t want to. “You’re going to be here five years, kid. Dorian’s probably going to be here forever. Focus on getting a proper transformation. Focus on finding a way to share your body and your life with your dragon. Think about what the hell you’re going to do when you finally get to leave here for good and join the real world again. Learn magic and make friends. Never, ever touch Dorian Black.”

Yeah, fuck his life. This coming from the guy who apparently used to be a patient there but never moved on. “Your dragon ever fall for someone?” Wylie asked quietly.

“No,” Theodore said with a sigh. “Thank fucking God.”

Yeah, he was totally fucked.

Dorian’s conversation with Michael wasn’t going any better. Actually, it wasn’t happening at all.

“I’m fine.”

“You’re not and until you explain it, the collar stays on.”

With a glare, Dorian folded his arms over his chest. “You seriously think I don’t know how to get out of one of these things? Do you really think I’d let myself be collared unless I knew I could get out if I needed to?”

Michael just stared at him impassively. This was not the first time they’d had this conversation but it was the first time Dorian had gone up in flames while in the Academy. Michael knew to take it seriously no matter how much Dorian tried to brush it off. “I have an institution full of brilliant but unstable young men who depend on me for their protection. If you don’t tell me how I can help you, I am not only letting you down but each and every one of them if you have an incident. Please help me out here.”

“Fuck.” He growled in exasperation. Dorian paced halfway down the hall, only to whirl back. His face still showed far too much irritation to warrant his collar being removed. “He was covered in blood.”

“It was dry. You’re not passing this off as bloodlust.”

“Damn it, just back off!” Dorian snarled. “It was a one-time thing. I’ll figure it out and I’ll adapt like I always do. Stop acting like I’m going to take out the whole damn complex.”

That he was nearly yelling spoke volumes and Michael only grew quieter and more impassive with every agitated twitch Dorian failed to hide. “Would Dr. Rob be someone you’d prefer to talk to about this? I will get whoever you need if you don’t feel comfortable enough with me—”

“Stop.” Dorian walked up to Michael while he hugged his arms to his body. “This isn’t about needing to talk to someone. This is about you understanding I’m more than capable of figuring out my own shit without the entire Academy butting their heads into my business. You going to be calling McPherson in just so I can have a nice fatherly chat with him, too? Come on, Michael.”

Michael eyed him and finally answered. “You’re sweating.”

“People sweat all the fucking time!” Dorian roughly raked his fingers through his hair.

“Yes, but you do not, as we are very much both aware, given how I and the other master sorcerers have instructed you in hours of meditation. You are having a strong emotional reaction. So strong, it is manifesting physically. You had a much milder one just last night, and that was dangerous enough. You can talk to me now or someone else later, but the collar will not be removed until I’m certain you’re not a risk to yourself and others.”

His eyes narrowed, Dorian turned abruptly and paced down the hall again in halting steps. Once he turned and made his way back to Michael, his face had regained some of its familiar coolness. “Everyone else is allowed to fucking sweat. Everyone else is allowed to get angry and yell and cry and be fucking human, you know. I’m not even twenty—I’m allowed to be emotional.”

Michael raised his eyebrows, and matched Dorian’s bitter tone with more annoying calm. “As long as you’re wearing a null-collar, yes. You can be as much of an irrational teenager as you like. Is that what you’re hoping for right now? To indulge a temper tantrum?”

“Maybe.” He glared again. Dorian whirled away and paced another round down the empty corridor. When he reached Michael again, he stopped and huffed at the floor. “It’s not a fucking tantrum. A tantrum suggests an irrational reaction.”

“Oh, so you’re being rational?” Michael sounded more curious than anything else. “You’ve yet to explain just how rational a reaction you’re having.”

“Just because I burst into flames doesn’t mean my reaction is irrational,” Dorian muttered. “If Leo was stung by a bee and suddenly turned into a lion and started mauling people, you wouldn’t say he was throwing a ‘tantrum.’ You’d say he was having a perfectly reasonable reaction because he’s a shifter. Well, I’m fucked-up magically and I’m having a perfectly reasonable reaction to emotional stimuli. You shouldn’t be so condescending just because my reactions scare the fuck out of you.”

He honed in on his choice of words and Michael repeated, “Emotional stimuli?”

Dorian scowled. He turned and paced away. “You know why I’m here, Michael. You know what happened to me. What I did.”

“I do.” Michael watched Dorian run fingers over the wall as if he had claws. Normally the move would have left burns on the surface, sometimes gouges, but with his magic collared it had no impact. “Are you suggesting you know Wylie Doe from before your time in this institution?”

“What? Hell no.” Dorian snorted humorlessly. “The guy is clearly some sort of street thug. Definitely not the type to hang at my parent’s country house.”

“Then I’m having a lot of trouble following. I asked if you were reacting to his dragon—Heaven knows, dragons can be intimidating and Wylie has very little control over that part of himself besides pure repression. You said you weren’t, that you weren’t afraid.”

“Why the fuck would I be afraid?” Dorian’s pacing brought him back to Michael. His brilliant hazel eyes were full of annoyance. “He’s just another shifter. They’re all like that; fucked-up and loud and completely unpredictable.”

“He’s the first dragon who’s ever hissed at you like that. The first dragon you’ve come across who doesn’t have full control. You might not have been afraid, but I was concerned for you, and I wasn’t the one being hissed at,” Michael pointed out calmly.

Dorian inhaled sharply. He gave a curt nod and avoided his gaze. “He hissed at me. Freaked out and hissed at me.”

“Yes. That would have been frightening to anyone. He’s six feet tall, covered in dry blood and when he transforms he goes into an aggressive state every time, no matter the situation. Fear would be a very reasonable reaction.”

Dorian shrugged, his eyes narrowed as he looked off in the distance. “The fucker hissed at me. Took one look at me and started hissing. Never had that happen.”

Michael nodded. “It was a very strong reaction. He seemed just as surprised by it. Also apologetic.”

“I’m not angry at him. What? Stop looking at me like that, Whiteheart. I’m angry at myself for losing control,” Dorian grumbled. “I shouldn’t have lost control. I don’t lose control. I don’t.”

“But you did. Twice.” Michael’s eyes pierced into his. Dorian didn’t turn away this time. “He’s going to be sharing space for a while. Whatever this is, you need to get it sorted.”

His jaw clenched defiantly, Dorian didn’t speak for a long moment. “Master Howld is supposed to be a dragon shifter, right? What does it mean when he hisses?”

Michael frowned as he thought it over. “I’ve never heard Theodore hiss. Had him growl before and that was only before he was about to go dragon and beat the life out of someone. Never hiss…” he trailed off, his head tilted.

“What?” Dorian knew he was holding something back.

“Well, I don’t know if it’s relevant. But I do remember now when Theo and I were first in the Academy together,” Michael started thoughtfully. “He had a brother who would visit sometimes. He used to hiss.”

“What did he hiss for?”

“Food.” Michael gave a wry smile. “Visitors day was big back then and the kitchen always had a huge spread for everyone. Every time the kid saw chocolate cake, he’d hiss. It made it very difficult to ask for a slice, but we all managed.”

His brow furrowed, Dorian shook his head in annoyance. “Yeah, that’s completely useless to me.”

“Dorian, you said it didn’t have to do with the hissing. Is that going to be a problem? Because if it is, I can have Theo help to train the hissing out of him. You just need to tell me what’s setting you off.” Michael would not be deterred no matter how many times Dorian rolled his eyes.

“It’s not the hissing… Well… Damn it, alright, part of it was definitely the hissing,” Dorian admitted. His lips twitched in a smirk. “It was very… intense. He’s very intense. His fucking eyes are like, yeah… Intense.”

Wylie hissing at him had not been scary or creepy the way Michael suggested. No, it was really wild the way the foreign noise tingled through his body like a touch. And the way Wylie looked at him… so consuming… so damn hungry as if there was nothing else in the world but him. It made him feel wild no matter how hard he tried to fight it.

His heart started pounding and wouldn’t stop. When he saw Wylie with his sleek black scales, features barbaric and animalistic as he fought the dragon inside him, Dorian hadn’t wanted the human to win. He wanted to see what the dragon would do, wanted to find out just what that piercing, burning gaze from ice-blue eyes wanted from him.

Fuck, he had it bad.

“Fucking shifters,” Dorian muttered. He turned and paced away.

He’d never met a shifter before the Academy. He didn’t know much about them beyond the fucked-up shit his grandfather told him when it came to tearing them apart for spells. And the only slightly less fucked-up shit his parents told him about them being less than human but magically superior, so they were acceptable on some levels. Once living among them, Dorian found out shifters were just people, just like everyone else, but they were also wild.

There was a rawness to them that attracted Dorian while he fought every emotion he found within and learned to cage himself to keep from losing control. He’d done his best to keep his distance from everyone, especially the shifters, even though he knew he’d be there a while—fuck, maybe forever. He wasn’t naïve. He knew his condition wasn’t curable. It required constant treatment and there were still days he wondered why he bothered, why he didn’t just give in and let the magic consume him and be done with it.

The shifters resonated with him while he watched them struggle with their own inner beasts. His inner beast was more foreign and bizarre, without shape or known thought or reason as it tried to consume him from the inside. He understood, he did. If he allowed that wildness to grow inside him, sometimes he was certain he would be beyond crazy, beyond reason. Just power.

In some ways, he would rather fight an animal than magic. He watched shifters come in and learn ways to befriend their inner beast. They found a peace, a balance he could only ever dream of. And damn, some of those beasts, like that wild black dragon, were really, really sexy. Dorian hadn’t had sex in years and for the last day and a half it felt like the accumulation was finally catching up with him. He was horny. Ridiculously horny.

It was just really fucking difficult to explain that to Master Whiteheart. To anyone, really. Slowing his steps, he turned back to Michael. He stopped in front of the man and shoved his hands into his pockets. “What do you need from me? I’m telling you now, I don’t need the collar. I wouldn’t lie about it.”

“I didn’t say you were lying.” Michael carefully read Dorian’s expression. “But I don’t fully believe you’re in a state to be able to make the decision on your own. Especially when you’re unable to verbalize what put you in this state in the first place.”

Dorian fought and failed to prevent another eye roll. He was raised by very conservative parents who refused to talk about anything. Feelings were things people experienced inside and did not discuss unless drunk and surrounded by loved ones they not so secretly hated. He sometimes discussed things with his little sister, but that was before he came to the Academy. Dorian barely spoke to his family any more. It was just easier in a lot of ways. He definitely didn’t talk about his feelings to the other patients.

“I told you when he hissed at me I reacted. It was intense.”

“It’s more than that.” Michael folded his arms.

“Of course it’s more than that,” Dorian snapped, “But that’s all I’m telling you. Now take the stupid collar off me already. I have to study.”

He sometimes wondered why Michael didn’t try that charisma allure the sorcerer was known for in drawing answers out of people, but Dorian suspected it was a trust thing. Michael dealt with unstable, powerful and otherwise intelligent young men every day. If he started trying to manipulate them, he’d never get them to trust him. The thing was, he did trust Michael, probably more than he trusted anyone else in his life. It didn’t mean he wanted to tell him about how fucked-up he felt over Wylie Doe anytime soon.

Something in Dorian’s posture and expression must have been convincing. Michael unlocked the null-collar from around his neck. They stood there for a good five minutes in silence just to make sure Dorian didn’t start sparking again.

“I want to see you in the reflection room in half an hour.” Michael’s tone left no room for argument. “Things have been crazy lately, and you need some quiet.”

Dorian nodded in agreement. His fingers glowed as he knit his charred clothing back together with magic. “Fine. Just don’t come freaking if I’m late. I promised to help Will study, hence needing the collar off.” Dorian gave Michael a cheeky salute before he turned. His eyes were flat and devoid of emotion now the collar was off and he was again fighting down his magic.

Michael watched him go. He clicked the null-collar to his belt, fairly certain he’d need it much sooner than desired. Dorian hadn’t fought the reality of his situation for as long as Michael could remember. He was so grateful just to have some sort of life after being stuck in a null-collar for so long. Something about the new shifter was setting him off. Hopefully they’d be able to get it straightened out. Michael was not willing to watch his prize patient self-destruct after Dorian worked so hard to finally find a balance.

Wylie’s first class was more a therapy session for shifters than anything else. After their talk, Theodore dumped him there. First though, he passed him some clothes from what Diane sent over so Wylie could change out of the bloodied ones he’d been wearing so long. The session was held in a huge and decidedly strange room. It was almost like an indoor gym. A small quarter of the space had a place to sit on the floor and talk, and the rest was dedicated to… something. Wylie wasn’t sure what. He didn’t recognize much of the equipment, but it was either for exercise or torture. He smelled enough sweat and old blood in the room to consider both.

He was starting to comprehend just how much money went into the Academy, from their well-stocked hospital to the way there was probably hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment in the gym. He didn’t know if it was all funded by McPherson or if some rich parents donated money as well, but to end up in such an obviously expensive place was getting on Wylie’s nerves. That none of the other guys seemed to notice just how lucky they were might have been part of the problem.

Wylie hadn’t expected to be separated from the sorcerer kids, most of whom he hadn’t even met yet. At the moment he was relieved to know he wouldn’t be facing Dorian Black at every turn. Although, Dorian didn’t seem the type to retaliate for a simple hissing and charring of clothing. Wylie’s dragon was the real issue. The creature was completely fixated on the beautiful sorcerer even though Dorian wasn’t there. Not knowing a damn thing about him didn’t deter the dragon at all.

“Since we have a new addition, I thought everyone could introduce themselves and share a bit about what your goals are,” Bear started. Bear’s real name was actually Derek Orso, but no one called him that. He was a full out shifter, who had very little magic outside of his ability to turn into a huge grizzly bear at will. It was a power he felt the need to prove to Wylie five minutes after his arrival.

Being face to face with an actual furry mountain of a bear when moments ago there was a much less furry, muscular human had been intense for Wylie. He’d never interacted with shifters before, and hadn’t come across actual wildlife in general besides the flocks of pigeons and the many rats in the city. The bear scared the fuck out of him. Bear’s cheerful smile when he transformed back wasn’t appreciated either. Wylie was pretty certain the shifter could smell the fear on him.

Fox started the circle. His tattooed leg bounced on the floor as he raised his hand for the chance to speak first. “Right, so I’m Rafael Alvarez but everyone calls me Fox because, well, I turn into a fox. But a big one, not those little cute things you might mistake for a cat. I’m actually like kind of wolf size and all silver, and yeah, fuck, you’ll see eventually,” he said with a fanged smirk. His orange eyes flashed playfully. He’d heard Wylie was his new roommate and was determined to be as welcoming as possible. “As for goals… Shit, well, I have a lot of them. Let’s see, my biggest one would be not to run into traffic chasing small animals,” he said with a self-deprecating bark.

No one laughed. Wylie looked around and realized this was an actual goal for Fox and maybe for some of the others. Okay. Well, he could at least say he mastered that particular problem.

“Oh, so another one would be to focus better—that’s kind of hand in hand with that other one.” Fox fiddled with the bright yellow bandana he wore around his forehead. “Take my meds every day. Uh… don’t explode things when doing magic. It’s really easy to be distracted by all the smells and sounds of this place and mess up a spell.”

“Not that easy,” Forest teased while he elbowed the scrawny shifter.

“Hey, it’s a skill. Anyways… I think that’s it… nope, wait, a big one!” Fox yelped and held his hand up before Bear could speak. “No more sniffing people. It pisses off the sorcerers.”

“At least you’re not pissing on them,” Forest chimed. Wylie looked around again to see no one laughed at that one either. Okay. This might end up being weirder than he first thought.

“Thank you, Fox,” Bear said. He raised his eyebrow at Forest who looked ready to tackle Justin for the chance to go next. “Forest, I can see you’re ready.”

Forest nodded excitedly. Wylie watched as his pale skin, already peppered with dark spots, grew darker. A leopard pattern became more defined on his flesh. “Hi, so I’m Forest VanWilder, of the Manhattan VanWilders—” Leo sneered. Forest flipped him off and didn’t miss a beat. “I’m a leopard shifter, hence my spots. My biggest goal is to not kill anything by accident. Even those obnoxious squirrels. Oh, and I guess learn magic, but I suck at it so, yeah.”

“Just look out for Forest at night,” Fox said. His friend shot him a wicked grin. “He likes to practice his sneaking skills by scaring the fuck out of people. He’s actually a black leopard so you won’t see him coming.”

Forest just shrugged. He didn’t look apologetic. “That’s really it about me. I’ve been here about half a year now, and have only slipped… three times?” he asked Bear, who nodded in agreement. “So yeah. I love climbing trees… And that’s it.”

“Thank you, Forest.” Bear looked at Leo, who just curled his lip and shook his head. “I believe Justin would like to go next,” he said smoothly and turned to the quiet werewolf. “Justin?”

Justin swept his unkempt brown hair from his eyes, and graced Wylie with a shy smile. “I’m Justin Young and you already know I’m the werewolf. I like music, like, crazy obsess over it. Even though I don’t, um, transform all the time like the other shifters, I get the same weird animal urges to do things.” He sighed and studied his hands as he tapped lightly on the floor. “My goals are to not be a crazy psycho who scares the life out of people. To never, ever curse anyone like I’ve been cursed… And to try and figure out how to keep my wolf from being an asshole.”

“You’re not an asshole,” Fox assured him. Justin only rolled his eyes with a soft smirk. “Fine, your wolf is an asshole but you’re not. It’s totally not the same.”

“Right.” He peeked up through his lashes and fixed Wylie with an intent look. “Do you like Modern M? You seem like a guy that likes Modern M.”

“Um, is that a…?”

“Band. Indie. I just got this album I bet you would totally like.”

Wylie blinked for a moment and eventually nodded. “Sure, I could check it out.” Justin’s smile lit up his face and Wylie felt like he had passed his first test for some reason, especially when he caught similar smiles from Fox and Forest.

“Alright, Leo. You’re up, big guy.” Bear turned to the lion shifter, who was sitting in the circle but also seemed as far away as possible.

Leo grumbled under his breath. He glared at Wylie challengingly. “I’m Leonard Princer of the Boston Princers. I turn into a lion the size of a van, and my goal is to not kill people. And just so we’re clear, I don’t consider shifters people; they don’t smell like them, don’t act like them, and they all know what I am. They’re not on the list of things I don’t kill.”

Wylie raised his brows. He wasn’t sure why the hulked shifter was growling at him like he just pissed on his foot, but he wasn’t really comfortable with it. “Okay.”

“Would you like to elaborate on your goals, Leo?” Bear asked with the voice of unceasing patience.

“No,” Leo snapped, only to reconsider shortly after. “I don’t want to be a fucking lion.”

Bear nodded approvingly. “Leo would prefer to be a person. One of his goals is to keep the lion from taking over his personality. Anything else, Leo?”

With a growl, he added under his breath, “I’m trying not to be so controlling of everything.”

“Yes, an alpha personality when not among peers can be very difficult in a group setting. Leo is working on curbing his lion’s domineering nature.”

Wylie couldn’t help but think of Butch from the jail cell when he looked at Leo. Daiker prison was full of personality types like him; guys who just couldn’t handle their beast’s aggression in the human world and ended up losing it and killing people. If the Academy could keep someone like Leo from going full psycho and losing everything in his life, Wylie was really glad the place existed. He didn’t know a lot about his dragon yet, but he knew it had some territorial issues. This was proven when it bristled as the golden eyed shifter continued to stare at him without blinking. Hopefully the Academy would keep him from turning into some crazy slashing dragon.

“Alright, so that’s the majority of us.” Bear clapped and the sound pulled Wylie’s attention from the glaring lion shifter. “We have a few non-humans at the Academy who aren’t shifters; you’ll probably pick up on their scents. This is a shifters only class dedicated to our specific needs. Wylie, how about you tell us a little about yourself and some of the biggest problems you’ve faced so far as a shifter.”

“Oh… Okay.” All eyes were suddenly on him and Wylie scratched his head distractedly. “Uh, so my name is Wylie Doe and I guess I’m a dragon shifter. But, well, I can’t really transform all the way. Or, I guess, I’m never going to be able to because of how dragons transform.” He wet his lips nervously. He actually had no clue what the fuck a fully transformed dragon shifter even looked like.

“Show us!” Fox interrupted by stomping his feet on the floor. “Every newbie has to transform their first day just so we recognize you running around.”

“Heh, I really don’t look that different.”

Bear looked just as expectant, so Wylie shrugged and sat forward to show his arms better.

“So, you really don’t ever want to touch me when I’m like this,” Wylie cautioned as his razor sharp scales armored his limbs. “My arms can break through pretty much anything and my claws cut through metal with ease. I’ve had people brush up against me and get sliced up really bad, so it’s just better to keep your distance.”

“Why are they like that?” Justin’s hand hovered far too close to his arm for Wylie’s comfort. “Most dragons aren’t so, well, spiky, right?”

Bear jumped in before Wylie could admit he had no idea. “From what I can see and what Dr. Rob has figured out, Wylie is dealing with a transformation disorder. No matter his reason for transforming at the time, his form reveals that way.” He pointed to the way Wylie’s scales were puffed out. The razor edges were turned out so anything that came close would be slashed. “For whatever reason, he transforms aggressive every time.”

“Oh.” Justin ever so careful traced over the back of Wylie’s knuckle. He jerked his hand away when his fingertip caught on the edge of a small scale. A drop of red formed, seen right before Justin sucked on the digit. “You’re like a walking death machine, huh?”

Wylie nodded curtly and pulled his scales back in before anyone else thought to touch him. “It’s a problem.”

“Shit man, why didn’t your dad just teach you to smooth out your scales or some shit?” Fox exclaimed. “That’s just, like, irresponsible to let you go through life a walking cheese grater.”

Wylie winced and sat back. “Well, the thing is I don’t really know who my parents are. There wasn’t anyone to tell me anything about this stuff. I didn’t even know I was a dragon until a few days ago… You guys are actually the first shifters I’ve ever met.”

“Shit.” Fox exchanged a look with Forest. “That’s crazy, man. So you’ve just been going around with death arms not even knowing what the hell you are? That’s really fucked-up.”

Wylie shrugged. He felt more and more uncomfortable about the whole thing. “I used to call them demon arms. You know, cuz they look all demonic and fucked-up.”

“I think a good first goal for you, Wylie, is to learn more about dragon shifters,” Bear said. “We have an extensive library at the Academy. The next time we have a class you can teach us some things about dragons we don’t know yet.”

“Alright.” Some of Wylie’s tension drained when the other shifters stopped staring at him so sympathetically.

“Can you do magic?” Justin asked curiously.

“Uh, I have no idea… My spit can heal,” he added, glad to have an answer for something. “But I get weird around blood.”

“We all get weird around blood. It’s a shifter thing,” Justin replied breezily. “Not so much with the healing, though.” He pulled his finger free from his mouth, no wound to be seen. “I can regenerate, so even though I’m human nearly all the time, I still have a lot of protection. Some of us can do magic, too.” He turned to Bear questioningly. “Since he transforms into a magical being, does that mean he’ll be able to do more magic?”

“I honestly don’t know. Master Howld seems to think so, but we’ll just have to see. But for now, I think we should get to our exercises. I heard some complaints that you were up all night and as we all know, it’s up to me to wear you guys out.” Bear was suddenly on his feet; the man was surprisingly graceful for his size and mass.

He gave a clap to his hands and the other shifters bounded up excitedly. All except Leo, who was scowling aggressively, and Wylie, who was the one being scowled at. Wylie had dealt with plenty of weird, angry guys who always seemed to want to pick a fight with him. This was the first time one of those guys was a shifter who just saw first-hand his arms would be able to slaughter him in an instant. Leo still seemed to want to pick a fight and Wylie’s dragon was alert to every move he made.

“Wylie, since you probably can’t transform for a lot of this stuff, you know, without breaking everything, you should be my partner.” Justin stepped over and smiled up at him. “This is actually kind of exciting. You’re the first shifter who doesn’t transform into a full out animal like everyone else. Now I won’t feel so left out.”

“Hey, we don’t leave you out.” Fox bounded up and transformed so seamlessly into a large silver fox, Wylie could only stare.

Fuck, they were actually animals. Forest was no longer there. A black, sleek cat larger than Fox’s form came up to bump his head against Justin’s leg. Wylie jumped when he heard a roar. He found a huge, black-maned lion glaring at him from across the room.

Fuck, they were seriously monster-sized animals.

“Crazy,” Wylie muttered. He watched as Justin threw his arms around Forest’s neck like he wasn’t hugging a giant, deadly leopard. He was going to need some time to get used to it all. Wylie hoped that was all it would take.