Throwback Thursday – Dragon Edition

Today’s Throwback Thursday is a look back at the Dragon Men Series.

Dragon men_280-700x700

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Also Available in Italian on Amazon!

Joriah Eprion didn’t know what sort of trouble he could get into when his father sends him to another planet to find a mate. Barely making it into the spaceport he tumbles into a sizzling attraction to a man sitting at the spaceport then falls equally for another man at a bar. Unable to resist either man he sets up a confrontation between two of the most powerful men in the kingdom both who are vying for his hand. Will Jory survive their courtship or will he become a pawn between two men used to getting their own way.

Some m/m/m scenes.

 

matetest

 

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Also Available in Italian on Amazon!

When High Duke Torrance Zelan is sent to negotiate mineral rights he didn’t know that his uncle had already offered Tor’s hand in marriage. Still broken-hearted from losing his lover two years before, Tor isn’t prepared for his attraction to the dragon king.

King Naron knows it’s wrong to trick the handsome duke, but the temptation to test Tor for compatibility is too much to resist. Out of all the candidates Naron knows which sexy lord he wants warming his bed.

 

matedance

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Heading to a bar after a dance performance, intergalactically famous dancer, Raven, ran into a little girl beside the dead body of her grandmother. His one good deed iIn helping out the little girl, his one good deed would leads him into the arms of a dragon prince. Raven soon learns that once a dragon claims its mate, it will keep him closer than gold.

matehealer

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Lian Blythorpe avoids entanglements. Scared by his parents’ violent ending he vows to keep things light between himself and any partner. His plans are abandoned when we meets Nevair Dragonfang, the religious leader for an entire planet. One glance into Nevair’s intense gaze and Lian melts. It only takes one time before Lian finds himself captured by his sexy mate and can’t imagine life without him. Unfortunately not everyone is pleased with their mating and one man’s jealousy leads Lian to a trial by fire he might be able to survive.

 

Throwback Thursday!

carlyle

 

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Sometimes love is found in unexpected places.

After months of secretly watching Master Carlyle, Ralph wishes the Dom would notice him. But why would he want a sub who is bigger and taller than him when there were so many delicate twinks begging for his whip? What Ralph doesn’t understand is that Carlyle has watched the young sub and he not only wants him, but he plans to keep him.

 

Excerpt:

Ralph Morris scanned the crowd as he walked through the club, looking for signs of trouble. He took his job as a bouncer seriously. No one had ever been injured on Ralph’s shift and he planned to keep it that way. He might not be as smart as some of the college students he worked with, but Ralph enjoyed his job. The smell of sweat and leather filled the air, like a rich cocktail to the senses. Inhaling deeply made his cock harden with need. Swallowing back a groan, he flashed a quick look over at the main stage. No scenes had started yet, but the night was still young. Plenty of time for whips, chains and other delicious toys to come into play. For a brief moment Ralph let the image of ropes wrapped around his own wrists flicker through his mind but he banished it quickly. No time for distractions if he planned to keep his job.

At twenty-two years of age, Ralph had six years of work under his belt and a nice nest egg in his bank account. Having grown up poor, Ralph still had nightmares about being back in that broken down trailer where his mother was too drunk to feed him and his father too ill from lung cancer to help. Horrible dreams merged with memories about fighting the dog for scraps of food and hiding from the rats in the darkness. If he hadn’t loved his father so much he would’ve left at thirteen years of age when his mother’s wild rages began. The day his father died, Ralph walked away and never looked back.

Ralph loved the nights he worked inside instead of standing by the front door freezing. Skirting the small dance floor, he spotted his favorite Dom across the room. Carlyle Temple sat at a table with his friend, Lindi Samms. Carlyle looked delicious with his blond hair pulled back, and the leather vest he wore exposing most of his upper body. Hair sprinkled across Carlyle’s chest, catching the light with their pale color. Ralph barely held back a whimper as he thought over how the Dom’s skin would taste beneath his lips and tongue. Carlyle didn’t reach Ralph’s massive proportions but the sub didn’t find any fault in the slim but muscular six-foot Dom. Carlyle would tower over most submissives. Unfortunately, Ralph’s build overshadowed all the Doms in the building, a good thing for his job as a bouncer but not so good when he was looking for a man to top him.

If only he could get Carlyle to really see him as a potential sub instead of only a bouncer. But Ralph learned long ago wishes didn’t come true and most Doms preferred a pretty twink rather than a big man. Ralph might be large and solidly built but he wasn’t a Dom no matter how many cute subs tried to get him to paddle their asses. His submissive tendencies were hidden while he worked and needed to get others to back down, but at night, alone in his apartment, he dreamed of a gorgeous slim blond with well-defined muscles and a fine hand with the whip.

“Hey, Ralph, are you going to my show tomorrow?” Ralph turned away from the object of his obsession to face his friend. After a month of belonging to Master Jones, Stephen Carter glowed with happiness. The thin artist flashed him a bright smile showing that at least for him everything was right in the world.

Lucky bastard.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday!”

Guest J. Scott Coatsworth – A More Perfect Union!

 

cover

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Blurbs

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.

But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say, “I do?”

Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was a right they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.

To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself, and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.

 

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

Lucas Arrowood is walking to school on his first day of kindergarten when he meets Dalton Churchill—a boy who stops and helps him tie his shoe. He knows from that moment he is going to marry that boy one day.  “Boys can’t marry other boys,” his mother explains, but that doesn’t stop Lucas. He knows what he wants.

He and Dalton become best friends—and then, no matter how much he resists, Dalton falls in love with Lucas. Dalton’s very conservative family can’t accept that their boy loves another boy, but finally Dalton stands up for love and for Lucas. Still, he declares he won’t marry Lucas until it is legal everywhere. He hates the “Commitment Ceremonies” gay men have. They aren’t the real thing. Why bother?

So Lucas waits for his day. The day same-sex marriage finally becomes legal and he can be joined forever with the love of his life.

 

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

 

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

When Jay and Wallace first meet at an LGBTQ group, they have no idea they’ll be dating six years later. In fact, they quickly forget each other’s names. But although fate continues to throw them together, the timing is never quite right. Finally they’re both single and  realize they want to be together… but now they can’t find each other! With determination and the help of mutual friends, Jay and Wallace can finally pursue the relationship they’ve both wanted for so long.

It’s only the beginning of the battles they’ll face to build a life together.

From disapproving family members all the way to the state legislature, Jay and Wallace’s road to happily ever after is littered with obstacles. But they’ve come too far to give up the fight.

 

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

Living as an open, loving gay couple in the rural South isn’t easy—even today.

When Jeordi and Tom move in together and come out to their families, Jeordi’s family does not take the news especially well. When yelling doesn’t work, they send in one sibling after another to try to separate the couple. When that fails, they call out their pastor to help Jeordi see the error of his ways. But Jeordi’s love for Tom is greater than anything they throw at them.

When an accident sends Jeordi to the hospital, his family goes too far when they try to keep Tom from visiting his partner. Jeordi and Tom are determined to do everything in their power to gain legal protection so this can never happen again. But when a bigoted county clerk refuses to issue them a marriage license, Jeordi decides a big, bold effort is called for, which is precisely what he sets in moVon so no one can ever separate him from Tom again.

 

Excerpts

 

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

 

“The first time Lucas Arrowood saw Dalton was on his way to his first day of kindergarten. His mother was walking him to school, he was very excited, and his right shoelace was flopping, untied.

“Baby,” said his mom. “Let’s sit down and try to tie your shoe.”

He looked up at her, excitement temporarily quashed. He couldn’t do it. Couldn’t tie his shoe. And he was supposed to be able to. His mother had tried to show him how—over and over again—but he couldn’t get the laces to go where they were supposed to go, and it just fell apart. He couldn’t do it. If his teacher found out, would they make him go home? Would he have to wait until next year? That would be horrible!

“Hey, you can do it. It’s easy!”

Lucas gave a little jump, turned around, and sighed as he looked into the narrow dark eyes of the most beautiful human being he had ever seen.

“Want me to help?” the boy asked, flipping his mop of dark brown hair out of his eyes with a toss of his head. “I taught a bunch of kids last year when I was in kindergarten.”

A bunch of kids hadn’t known how to tie their shoes? That perked up his ears. Lucas looked up at his mother.

She smiled. “Do you want him to help?”

Then he realized something. He did want the boy to help him. He thought he would do anything the boy wanted him to do, even ask his mom to take the training wheels off his bike (which was a big scary because he was afraid of falling and getting hurt!).

“Sit down,” said the boy, pointing to the landscaping wall along the sidewalk.”

Lucas sat.

“What’s your name?” asked Lucas’s mother.

“Dalton Churchill. Like Winston Churchill. Only it’s Dalton.”

He smiled, and Lucas knew Dalton was the most beautiful boy on the planet.

“Who’s Winston Churchill?” Lucas asked.

Dalton shrugged and got down on one knee before Lucas. “I don’t know. I think he’s a minister. Okay, now, first you pull your laces up and then cross them over, like this.” Dalton demonstrated.

“I can tie a knot,” Lucas said, wanting very much not to look like a complete dope in front of Dalton. Then he frowned. “It’s the other part I get mixed up on.”

“That’s cool,” Dalton said, tying the knot. “Okay…. So here’s the tricky part. First you make a loop and stick it up so it looks like a tree—see?”

Lucas nodded. He wasn’t sure the upward turned loop looked much like a tree, but he wasn’t going to tell Dalton that.

“Then you take the other lace and wrap it around the bottom like this—like a dog running around the tree.”

Lucas smiled. “My neighbor has a dog. His name is Super Mario.”

“That’s a great name,” Dalton said, laughing.

Then he finished showing Lucas how to tie his shoe.

“Wow,” Lucas said.

But then Dalton untied the shoe.

“Hey!” cried Lucas.

“Now you do it,” Dalton said. He nodded. “You can. I know you can. Easy.”

Lucas wanted to yell, “No, I can’t!” but he quite suddenly knew he could not disappoint the pretty boy with the beautiful eyes. He sighed. What had Dalton said about a tree? He made a loop with one of the laces.

“Just like that, but the other one. Unless you’re a southpaw.”

Lucas looked up through his own dark bangs. “Huh?”

“Southpaw means left-handed.”

“Oh!” Lucas giggled. “I’m not.”

“Tree!” Dalton ordered, brows knitted together.

So Lucas made a loop with his shoelace.

“Yes!” Dalton said with such enthusiasm Lucas would have thought he’d ridden down to the corner and back on his bike without training wheels. He laughed and then thought about dogs running around the base of trees. A moment later, Lucas had tied his shoe. His mother clapped.

“Yes,” shouted Dalton. “I knew you could do it, Lucas.”

Dalton walked the rest of the way to school with them. But even better, he also promised to walk Lucas to school the next day.

 

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

 

Monday, September 27

There was only this moment. This place. Alex holding Gio’s hand, gently because of the burns on the back of Gio’s arm and hand. The sounds of the breathing machine came in regular soft sighs.

The little green box held in Alex’s other hand–and all it symbolized between them.

All their life together had shrunk down to this moment, this place, this plea. “Please wake up, Gio. Amore mio, svegliati.”

Sunday, September 12. Two weeks earlier

Alex was late getting home, and he was in a foul mood from the long, difficult day at work. One of the properties he’d made a bid on had fallen through, and another client had all but called him a bald-faced liar.

He was looking forward to getting home, taking a long hot shower, then crawling into bed.

Alex was startled to find a whole meal, complete with wine and candles, laid out on their dining room table. Gio must have spent the whole day cooking.

Alex was late. He’d been delayed with his angry client, and to make matters worse, his phone had up and died halfway through the afternoon and he’d been without his car charger.”

“He was already annoyed when he walked in the door.

“Welcome home, amore,” Gio called from the kitchen.

“I had a hell of a day….” He caught a whiff of whatever Gio was cooking.

“Come sit down. I’ve got everything ready.”

The dining room looked like a Martha Stewart production of a telenovella Thanksgiving. “I’m sorry. I’m not really hungry. Things were the shits at work today.”

“Sorry to hear that. Have a seat.” Gio grabbed his elbow and urged him toward his chair. “Food makes everything better.”

Alex was starting to get annoyed. “Look, I’m sorry, but I’m not hungry. I just want to wash up–”

“That’s just the job talking.” Gio took his arm again.

“Knock it off! I’m not in the mood tonight.”

Gio looked hurt, but Alex plowed on, too incensed to stop.

“This isn’t some kind of June and Ward Cleaver relationship.”

“I just–”

“You have to let go of your stupid, unrealistic expectations of me and this relationship.”

Gio frowned. “That’s bullshit, and you know it. Just because you had a bad day at work, there’s no reason to take it out on me.”

He was right. But Alex couldn’t admit it. “Just leave me the fuck alone,” he said, grabbing his phone charger and storming out. He’d find somewhere else to sleep tonight.

 

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

 

1999

Doug had seemed terrific when Jay first met him. He was funny, attentive, good in bed, and Jay’s family thought he was great. At family gatherings, that is—not in bed. They were living together in short order.

But after two years, things weren’t going so well. They’d moved to Dover, which allowed Jay to get back in touch with some of his college friends, but their relationship seemed to grow rockier by the day. They fought constantly, though Jay was never really sure what they were fighting about. They just didn’t… fit anymore.

But still he tried. Jay was nothing if not stubborn.

His ties to the pagan/Wiccan world had long ago faded away, since Doug thought that stuff was weird and creepy. In fact, his ties to anything outside the tech industry had pretty much withered to nothing. He worked long hours, during which he thought about nothing but computers and switches and routers. It paid well, and raises were frequent, so he was caught up in the game his coworkers played—pushing for promotions or transfers every six months to a year in order to get salary increases. Like his coworkers, he had an E*TRADE account and spent time between support calls attempting to build a stock portfolio. He had the sense not to gamble the small amount of savings he had, but it was a fun game to play.

But he was unsatisfied. He couldn’t quite put a finger on why until one Saturday, when he was sitting at Café on the Corner and his friend, Steve, happened by. Steve had been part of the medieval reenactment group Jay hung out with in college, and apparently he was still involved with them.

“Michaelmas is coming up,” Steve pointed out, referring to one of the large feasts the group “put on every year. “It’s going to be at the Unitarian Church. You should come.”

Jay couldn’t see that happening. He no longer had any of his medieval “garb,” and Doug was likely to turn his nose up at the idea of hanging out with a bunch of reenactors all day.

Jay said diplomatically, “I’ll think about it.”

“Well, at least stop by the monthly Wiccan group. Julie’s usually there, and Mark. A whole bunch of the old crowd. That’s tomorrow. Same place.”

It would be nice to see some of them. And Doug was working on Sunday. “That might be fun.”

“Are you still writing?”

He wasn’t. Jay had written a lot of science fiction stories in college, and he’d talked about getting published one day. But that, like everything else he’d enjoyed in those days, seemed like nothing more than a dream he’d once had, barely remembered.

This conversation was getting depressing.

“So,” he asked, trying to change the subject, “do you still sing?”

Steve grinned with excitement. “Yeah, man! My band is putting together our second CD. It’s gonna be awesome!”

The more he talked about his life, the more it became clear Steve was barely scraping by financially. But he was doing what he loved, and he seemed just as happy with his life as he’d been in college. Jay, on the other hand, had plenty of money. He had a career now, a boyfriend, a new car, and a nice apartment. He’d thought he was doing okay, but now he realized exactly why he’d been feeling so uneasy. His life had veered off course. In just five years, he’d lost touch with everything that had been fun and creative in himself. He was no longer Jay.

And he missed himself.

 

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

 

“When the front door of the trailer slammed shut with a loud bang, followed immediately by an animalistic howl of rage and frustration, Tom knew Jeordi was home. He snickered and shook his head.

“Hey, babe,” Tom called out. “I forgot this was the day you were going to visit your parents. It went that well, huh?”

One glance at his boyfriend told Tom all he needed to know. Despite the scowl and look of anger and frustration on Jeordi’s face, it only took one glance at the man to ignite the most sensitive parts of his nervous system (and everything connected to it).

He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Jeordi. He wasn’t handsome in the New York runway model sense, but was handsome in the real man sense. Jeordi turned heads every time he walked down the street, although he consistently missed the many glances people cast his way.

All Jeordi saw when he looked at himself was that he wasn’t tall, and he felt his ears were too big. Tom daily told Jeordi that he was the most studly man he’d ever known—and he quietly gave thanks that the man was all his.

Tom felt two strong hands wrap around his waist as he stood at the sink in their kitchen. Carefully setting down the dish he’d been washing, he leaned his head back against his boyfriend’s solid shoulder, brushing his smooth cheek against Jeordi’s fuzzy cheek—fuzzy not from a beard but from a strong five o’clock shadow the man dependably had every day by late afternoon. Jeordi hated it, but Tom loved it and loved rubbing one part or another of his body over the stubble.

“Love you, babe,” Tom whispered. “I’m glad you’re home.”

“Why?” Jeordi whispered into Tom’s ear.”

“Why? Why? Why do I keep subjecting myself to the same crap?”

“So, they didn’t throw their arms open and tell you they’ve joined PFLAG and ask for your advice on what to wear in the next Pride Day parade?”

Jeordi snorted. “Um, that would be a great big no.”

“What did they do this time?” Tom asked.

“Prayed—and then some. They tried to have some kind of healing service to rid me of the evil that had ‘grabbed hold’ of me, to quote my mother. They said they needed to cast the devil out of my body.”

“Oh, isn’t that special,” Tom joked.

“Not so much,” Jeordi disagreed.

“Was it just your parents?”

“Oh, no. That’s what made this one more frustrating. They had their minister there. He brought a backup minister—poor kid looked freaked out just being in the same room with a known homosexual. Don’t know what he thought was going to happen.”

“They upped the ante, I see,” Tom said.

“Oh, there’s more,” Jeordi said.

“More?”

“Hell, yes. They had some of my more uptight brothers there with them this time.”

“They succeeded in getting any of your brothers to be in the same room at the same time? How the hell did they swing that one?”

“Don’t know. Must have been one hell of a bribe. They, of course, brought their wives, I guess to show me how a good strong Christian heterosexual marriage works. They pissed me off so much I slipped and asked Beau how he could take part in something like that when he’d been off screwing half the women in the county. He didn’t appreciate it. I guess his wife didn’t know he was a hound dog she needed to keep on a tighter leash.”

Tom stopped what he was doing and dropped his head back, deep in thought. “Hmm, your brother Beau would look damned good in a collar—and naked,” he said. “Now, if you maybe added a blindfold, put him on his knees with his hands cuffed behind his back—now that’s just freaking hot. Maybe I should call his wife and give her a few suggestions. How do you think she’d take that? I’d be doing it strictly to help her out since I doubt she’d ever come up with an idea like that on her own. And of course I’d need to be there to help her, you know, to consult.”

“Don’t go there,” Jeordi warned with a chuckle. Beau was beautiful, but unfortunately he knew it and wasn’t at all opposed to spreading his beauty around to any and all women who’d have him. “At least that got the two of them out of the whole ritualistic crap my mother had planned for the weekly visit.”

“Two down, ten to go,” Tom said.

Tom turned around and wrapped his arms around Jeordi, kissing his neck. “I love you, babe,” he whispered into Jeordi’s ear as he held tightly to his man.

“I’m so glad you do. My family certainly doesn’t.”

“Oh, they love you. They just don’t understand it because the playing field has changed since you came out,” Tom said.

 

 

About the Authors:

 

B.G. Thomas

B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous little dog. He is lucky enough to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.

B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.

In the nineties, he wrote for gay magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. Gay men are what he knows best, after all—since he grew out of being a “practicing” homosexual long ago. He submitted a story and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the stories have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of stories!”

“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message to all. “It is never too late,” he states. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bgthomaswriter

Website: https://bthomaswriter.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4053647.B_G_Thomas

 

J. Scott Coatsworth:

Scott has been writing since elementary school. After leaving writing for twenty years, Mark, his husband, told him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Mark and Scott have been together for twenty four years. They met at the Pacific Center, an LGBT center in Berkeley, California, in 1992. They dated for two weeks, and then Scott moved in with Mark, and the rest is history. They run their own business together, study Italian, and are almost never found apart.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor

Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth

 

Jamie Fessenden

Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple of short pieces in his high school’s literary magazine, but it wasn’t until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie published his first novella in 2010, and has since published over twenty other novels and novellas.

After legally marrying in 2010, buying a house together, and getting a dog, Jamie and Erich have settled down to life in the country, surrounded by wild turkeys, deer, and the occasional coyote. A few years ago, Jamie was able to quit the tech support job that gave him insanely high blood pressure. He now writes full-time… and feels much better.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamie.fessenden.7

Website: https://jamiefessenden.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4476044.Jamie_Fessenden

 

Michael Murphy

 

Michael Murphy met his husband Dan thirty-four years ago during a Sunday service at MCC in Washington, DC when a hot, smart man sat down beside him. Due to a shortage of hymnals they had to share.  The touch of one hand on the other in that moment was electric. Sparks flew that day. Though neither had planned it, they spent the day together followed by the night.  From that day, for more than three decades they’ve rarely been separated, each finding in the other their soul mate.

In the District of Columbia, where they lived, marriage became possible in early March 2010.  The minute it happened they were in line to get a marriage license, only to be stumped because the license required the name of the person who was going to marry them. There was such a sudden rush of same sex couples wanting to get married that the office already had a two-month backlog before an appointment could be secured.  Since they weren’t at all convinced that the Congress wasn’t going to step in and do something stupid to take away this right, they started calling everywhere to find someone who would marry them. It might be legal, but finding someone to marry them was proving to be a challenge.

When an article appeared in the newspaper telling of a small, local United Methodist Church that had decided to go against general church policy because marriage equality mattered deeply to them, a conversation started.  After a series of emails and phone calls, suddenly they were seated with two retired UMC ministers who were willing to risk it all to do the right thing.  A few days later, license in hand, surrounded by a handful of friends and their best dog, Shadow, they were finally legally married.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michael.murphy.9250

Website: http://gayromancewriter.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450548.Michael_Murphy

 

Throwback Thursday: The Freebies!

I’m doing something a bit different this week, and I’m showcasing all of Amber’s freebies! A great way to try her for the first time or to introduce her to your book loving friends!

 

Attracting Anthony
Moon Pack 1

attracting

NOTE: This is a re-release DO NOT repurchase if you purchased before!

Anthony Carrow never thinks to find the love of his life when he goes to a bar with his best friend Steven Dell. Getting over the death of his lover has been a hard task for Anthony. After two years he’s still broken-hearted and doesn’t have any intention of joining the dating scene. However, going with Steven to scope out a werewolf club to help his friend find a mate leads to unexpected consequences.

Silver, alpha leader of the Moon pack, has been searching for his mate for a long time. Unhappy with the men he meets he’s given up searching for the man of his dreams until Anthony walks into the bar.

Can a man who’s already suffered a loss once be persuaded to give love a second try or will fear hold them back from finding the love they both deserve.

Amazon | Amber Kell Books | B&N | ARe

 

 

And some Holiday themed short stories!

Christmas Tree Magic
Moon Pack 11.5

Christmas

Amber Kell Books

Santa Wishes

santa

Amber Kell Books

Xavier’s X-Mas

xavier

Amber Kell Books

Throwback Thursday!

wandmaker

Amazon | Amber Kell Books  | ARe | B&N

Cebrus had thought his quest would take him to new parts of the land. He didn’t know it would lead him to the prince of his dreams. When Prince Silvan catches sight of the sexy wandmaker it’s love at first glance. However, it takes a battle, a journey and an encounter with a fantastical beast before the two lovers can find their middle ground.

Silvan is determined to do anything to marry his mate even if he has to go against a king and give up everything to keep the man he has claimed for his own.

Excerpt:

Cebrus Starn strolled down the road with a small pack strapped to his back, a stick of wood in one hand, and a knife in the other. He whittled as he walked, flicking bits of wood behind him like a trail of breadcrumbs. The soft wood began to take shape beneath his nimble fingers as he continued to chip away at the outer bark to reveal the brighter wood hidden beneath. Several minutes later, he stopped by the side of the road to examine his work.

“Perfect.”

The rough column now fit the needed size and shape for a good-sized wand. He slipped his bag off his shoulders and set it on the ground. Crouching down, he opened his pack, pulled out a leather sheath, and slid his knife inside. He’d been taught young the value of keeping tools in their proper place and the harsh penalty for losing one. Small scars decorated his fingers, tiny reminders of his painful learning curve.

Clutching the stick in one hand, he used the other to search the bag’s inner pockets. After a few minutes of feeling through the contents, he wrapped his fingers around a shaping stone. A fond smile curled his lips as he pulled it out. One of a set of three given to him by his father, each piece helped smooth and conform the wood to create a plain, blank wand ready to be bonded to its new owner. It always served him well to have a good variety of wands prepared when he entered a new town.

Pleased he had found the right stone on his first try, Cebrus straightened, refastened his pack, then returned it to his shoulders, the soft sound of wood clattering together followed his movements.

As a wandmaker, Cebrus traveled from town to town trading his skills for food and shelter. Most wandmakers stayed in one place, plying their trade to the locals and merchants who traveled into town for their services. Cebrus’s itchy feet didn’t allow him to settle down in one location, despite his family’s disapproval of his nomadic ways. He tried to make sure he visited them once a year during festival season to help out with the influx of additional customers, but this year he’d miss it. His quest didn’t allow for backtracking or returning home halfway through his travels. If he’d even gone halfway.

He’d never met another traveling wandmaker. A shame since their specialized abilities were needed in every town and there were too few wandmakers to serve everyone. Most places had to use standard wands mass-produced by apprentice wizards and not properly matched with their new owners. Shabby bits of wood that most people didn’t realize were a step below their potential. Only high-level wizards bothered to have their wands correctly bonded because of the time and expense involved in traveling to a wandmaker.

Cebrus had no idea how close the next town might be, but the beautiful weather didn’t prod him to be too concerned about distance. There was no need to hurry, and he enjoyed the journey as much as his possible destination.

The sound of hooves had him looking up from his task to discover a team of five soldiers in full uniform riding toward him. Their large, powerful horses stirred up dust and thundered like an oncoming storm against the dry ground. He didn’t bother to hide his surprise when the men pulled to a stop before him. What could they possibly want? He didn’t have the wealthy appearance of a successful merchant or any discernible luxury about him. Stories of soldiers preying on unwary travelers drifted through Cebrus’s mind. He braced himself for possible confrontation.

“Halt, stranger.” The leader of the group blocked Cebrus’s path with his horse, his face stern and commanding.

“Is there a problem?” Cebrus examined the soldier with great interest. He’d never been stopped before. In general, people left wandmakers alone. Their special jurisdiction allowed them to travel wherever they chose.

“We’ve heard rumors a wandmaker is traveling this road. Are you that man?”

Cebrus looked at the wand in his hand, then back at the soldier and raised an eyebrow.

The soldier blushed, but quickly rallied. “Under the command of the king, I order you to accompany us to the royal palace.”

Cebrus sighed, then shook his head at the soldier. “I’m on a quest. I don’t have time for spoiled royals.”

Stepping to one side, Cebrus moved to go around the soldier’s horse. He grinned when the officious guard pointed his wand at Cebrus and muttered some garbled words Cebrus assumed created a spell.

Of course, nothing happened.

The soldier paled.

Why was it that people were never aware of the primary skill of a wandmaker? Taking pity on the confused man, Cebrus paused to explain. Maybe the soldier could pass on his knowledge to others. People were woefully uneducated these days.

“Magic doesn’t affect wandmakers. You can wave that thing all day, and it won’t do anything to me. Besides your wand doesn’t suit you. Whoever you got it from was an idiot.”

Nothing irritated Cebrus more than people who bought whatever stick someone offered to sell them under the assumption one wand was as good as another. Only a properly trained wandmaker could correctly calibrate a wand. He didn’t blame the soldier for his inferior tool. He likely had nothing else to choose from.

To Cebrus’s surprise, the soldier got off his horse to approach him.

“I’m Trelfan Fairwen, King Minr’s captain of the guard,” the soldier introduced himself.

Cebrus bowed at the introduction. “Cebrus Starn, wandmaker.”

“How can you tell my wand doesn’t suit me?” Trelfan asked.

Cebrus never knew how to explain to someone when they had a bad wand, but he gave it his best try. “Part of my ability is I can see the magical connection between wand and user. It’s a talent of mine.” Most wandmakers shared that skill, but not all. Cebrus didn’t like to brag, but his family considered him the strongest wandmaker ever born into their clan.

“What kind of wand would suit me?” The soldier obviously wasn’t going to let the subject or Cebrus go without a more thorough explanation.

Tilting his head, Cebrus focused entirely on the soldier, he let his power pour over Trelfan and waited for his magic to give a proper answer. Pulling his pack off his shoulder, he opened it again. He tucked his current blank in with the others as he searched around until he found the wand he sought. It was long, heavy, and made out of a grainy hard wood he’d come across during his travels. Perfect.

“This one.”

The soldier gave Cebrus a cynical look. “And what will it cost me to get a wand like that?”

“Your old wand. I would like to give it a home with someone who can use it. I will siphon the absorbed magic from your old wand into your new one and take the empty one with me.” Cebrus hated to waste a wand, and even though the poor quality of Trelfan’s wand offended him, Cebrus could salvage the piece.

Interest sparked in Trelfan’s eyes. “Really? That’s all you’d ask for?”

Cebrus never understood why his fee always surprised people. “My father gave me a bit of advice before I started out on my own. He told me, ‘A man who only asks for what he needs will always be wealthy.’ I don’t need much besides food, the occasional roof over my head, and a bit of coin to replace my clothes when they wear out. I’m a man of simple needs. Now would you like the wand or not? I have a bit more land to travel before I reach my stop for the evening.”

Trelfan’s face took on an even more serious mien. “Yes, thank you. Will the transfer hurt?”

“Why would it hurt?” Where did people get their foolish ideas? Preposterous.

“Because it hurt the first time.” The shadow in the soldier’s face told Cebrus all he needed to know about the other supposed wandmaker’s skill.

“Magic transfer shouldn’t be painful. It is your magic going where it belongs. I’m sorry you had someone incompetent last time.”

“Then I want to do it.” Trelfan straightened his shoulders as if he were still expecting pain despite Cebrus’s reassurance.

“Captain.” One of the other soldiers sounded like he was going to protest, but Trelfan glared over his shoulder and nothing more was said.

“Give me your old wand.” Cebrus held out his hand.

Trelfan handed it over.

“Take your new wand in your right hand and put your left on top of mine.” Cebrus held out his right hand flat while clutching the soldier’s wand in his left.

Trelfan audibly swallowed before taking a deep breath and obeying Cebrus’s command.

“Relax. This won’t hurt, I swear.” Cebrus felt a pang of sympathy for Trelfan. No one should be afraid of their own magic.

Closing his eyes, Cebrus focused on the transfer of power from wand to wand until he felt the connection click in his mind. “Transfer,” he whispered. He opened his eyes and watched the wand in his hand dim and the wand in Trelfan’s hand glow a bright white before turning back to its natural brown color.

“Wow.” Trelfan’s eyes widened.

“We’re not done yet,” Cebrus warned.

He tucked Trelfan’s old wand into his pack before turning back to the soldier. “Put your hands together with the wand in the middle. We need to connect you to your new wand and rebind it with your magic.”

Cebrus placed his hands on the outside of the soldier’s fingers. “Bond.”

The air crackled with electricity, and an intricate tree design worked its way around the wand until the carving covered the entire surface.

A soft chime sounded, and Cebrus released Trelfan’s grip. “There, all done.”

He looked at his work with the satisfaction of a job well done. The wand’s energy now aligned in perfect rhythm with the Trelfan’s magic.

Trelfan turned the wand over and over in his hand. “This…this is my family crest. How did you do that?”

Cebrus frowned. “I didn’t do it. You did. That’s what happens when a wand is matched properly.”

Personal symbols helped magic users identify their stick. How did he not know this? Cebrus couldn’t remember what Trelfan’s wand had looked like before. He just remembered it hadn’t fit the soldier.

The captain shook his head. “No one in the kingdom has any carving on their wands. I’ve never heard of this. Will the magic wear away the engraving?”

“A bit. Yours will last until you either die or you change wands again.”

Trelfan’s forehead creased, and his bushy eyebrows almost met in the middle. “Why would I change wands?”

Cebrus stared at the soldier. “Do you people know nothing about wands? You need to change your wands as you age and fine-tune them as your magic changes. If you don’t re-bond your wand every ten years, your magic will stagnate at that level.” The idea that no one in this kingdom had such essential information changed Cebrus’s mind. He couldn’t let them remain uninformed. It was almost criminal. “I will come with you after all. It’s obvious you people need some instruction.”

He’d have to put off his quest for a bit, but he’d already done it for three years, a little more time wouldn’t make much difference. Besides, the more kingdoms he could enlighten about the importance of a proper wand, the better off they would be. Although his family might not thank him for the additional work bound to come out from Cebrus’s educational tour.

Cebrus rode behind Trelfan on the soldier’s horse. He tried to concentrate on not falling off. He didn’t enjoy horse riding, mostly because horses were evil. They enjoyed tossing off their riders and stomping on them afterwards. He had a scar on his left shoulder from one such occurrence.

Trelfan spent the time enthusing over his new wand. A few of the other soldiers cast Trelfan envious looks, but maybe they figured the captain should receive special services. Cebrus silently vowed to help them later. Everyone deserved a proper wand.

Even on the back of the devil spawn, it still took almost two hours to reach the castle. Cebrus hadn’t realized he’d wandered so close to a kingdom. Generally, he avoided the royals and went directly to the townspeople. Even with protection laws in place, royals always thought they could order wandmakers around. Explaining they were mistaken never went over well. One of these days, he’d end up in a royal’s prison, but hopefully not today.

The soldiers were saluted at the gate and allowed in with only a few curious glances toward Cebrus. Maybe the soldiers brought strangers in often.

After dropping their steeds off at the stables, Cebrus was escorted to the throne room.

“He might be a bit bossy, but he’s a good king,” Trelfan swore.

The first thing that caught Cebrus’s attention was the size of the throne room. He could easily fit his entire village inside the audience chamber. The second thing he noticed was the man sitting beside the king. Tall with pitch-black hair and brilliant blue eyes, he had the build of a soldier and the sex appeal of a man Cebrus wouldn’t mind finding in his bed.

“Your majesty,” Trelfan bowed to the monarch. “I present to you Cebrus the wandmaker.”

“You’re a wandmaker?” King Minr was a big, muscular man who looked as if he could wield an axe with one hand and a sword with the other. His cool gray eyes examined Cebrus like he was an interesting bug who had mistakenly wandered into his court and might need to be smashed at any moment.

“Yes, Your Majesty.” Cebrus didn’t bow. The man wasn’t his king, after all.

King Minr frowned. “I expected you to come to me sooner, but never mind, you can still be of some use. I want you to make me a wand out of heartwood. I expect it ready in two days.” He waved his hand as if dismissing Cebrus to go carry out his request.

“Sorry but no, Your Majesty.” Cebrus gave a respectful nod, hoping to take a little sting out of his rejection. Royals never appreciated hearing no. It never failed to get Cebrus threatened with prison time. Monarchs were a pretty predictable lot overall.

“What?” The king’s shout echoed through the chamber.

Cebrus sighed. “You aren’t suited to heartwood. You would do better with iron wood.”

“I want heartwood,” King Minr insisted.

Damn, royals were stubborn.

“I won’t make an inferior wand. If you want heartwood, find another wandmaker.” It didn’t matter to him what the king demanded. He refused to make something unsuitable.

The king jumped to his feet. “I could have you killed.”

Cebrus pulled out the pendant he had hidden beneath his shirt. He hated confrontation, but that didn’t mean he’d back down. “If you don’t mind losing your kingdom and your life, go ahead.”

He hated bullies.

The king stomped over to look at Cebrus’s pendant. “Well crap, you’re a heritage wandmaker.” He paused for a moment. “So, iron wood, huh?”

Cebrus bit his lip to hold back his smile at the king’s new respectful tone. Curiosity compelled him to ask, “What kind of wand do you have now?”

“I don’t. I lost it while hunting.” The king returned to his throne.

Cebrus gaped. “You lost your wand?”

How was it even possible for someone to lose their wand?

The king blushed.

“Was your old wand heartwood?”

“Yes, and it suited me just fine,” King Minr insisted. If he weren’t a king, Cebrus would accuse him of pouting.

“Uh-huh.” Cebrus didn’t even try to hide his disdain over the king’s previous wand. He probably got it from some charlatan. Opening his sack, he pulled out the iron wood blanks he’d stuffed inside. After some contemplation of their differences, he pulled out the thickest. The king had big hands. He’d need something solid to hold.

“Put both of your hands on your wand.” He pointed where he wanted King Minr to place his grip. A few minutes later, Cebrus had the king bonded to his new wand. He also now knew the king didn’t have much magic since the transfer process took hardly any time at all.

The king stared at the piece of ironwood in shock. “It has my family crest.”

Cebrus rolled his eyes, but refrained from mentioning the king must’ve used a second rate wandmaker for his last wand. He might not like royalty, but he didn’t want to get a reputation for being too rude.

A yawn had him covering his mouth.

“Sorry, it’s been a long day.” And the king was boring, but he kept that part to himself.

The king nodded to the sexy man Cebrus had been eyeing during their entire encounter. “Silvan, escort our wandmaker to the blue room.”

Silvan raised an eyebrow at the command, but didn’t argue. Instead he walked over to Cebrus and offered his arm. Surprised by the old-fashioned show of manners, Cebrus tucked his hand in the crook of Silvan’s elbow. At the contact, a crackle of electricity went through him, and he gasped to catch his breath.

“Mmm, don’t worry, little wandmaker. I’ll take good care of you,” Silvan’s voice, filled with dark promises, sent shivers of need down Cebrus’s spine.

He cleared his throat. “Who are you exactly?” he asked as Silvan led him down the hall. He had no objection to the handsome stranger gracing his bed, and being taken care of sounded like just the thing to make this entire side trip worthwhile. However, he liked to know a bit about his bed partners in case they turned out to be psychotic killers.

“You don’t know who I am?” Silvan stopped in the middle of the walkway and turned Cebrus to face him. As he searched Cebrus’s expression, a look of wonder filled his eyes. “You really don’t know me.”

“Should I?” Maybe Cebrus should’ve known one of the king’s companions was half a load short of a cartful, but he didn’t exactly follow castle gossip in any kingdom. He didn’t like it when people talked about him. Why would he encourage that sort of rumormongering from others? He didn’t really care who Silvan was, as long as he knew what to do in bed.

A wide smile brightened Silvan’s dark features. “I don’t believe it. The fortuneteller didn’t lie. I did meet the one man who didn’t know me.”

Fortuneteller?

“Don’t think so much of yourself. I’m sure there are others who haven’t seen your face before. No one is that famous.” Cebrus frowned at the impudent man even as a dawning suspicion grew. But surely the king would’ve mentioned…

“Ah, you finally figured it out,” Silvan said, a smile spreading across his face.

“You’re the crown prince.” Cebrus was ready to accept his award for dumbest man in the kingdom. Only someone royal would share the throne dais with the king. He blamed the long day of travel for his idiocy. He searched his mind for details about this particular kingdom and drudged up a few facts from his memory.

The prince was known for leading a successful battle against the troll rebellion, for single-handedly negotiating a treaty with the giants, and for being the best strategist in any kingdom. He thought he’d heard a story about Silvan enjoying both men and women, but gossips rarely got those sorts of details right.

“I see you figured it out. I knew you were a bright lad,” Silvan teased. His brilliant eyes glowed with approval.

Throwback Thursday!

master

Amazon | ARe | B&N

 

Everyone needs a little romance…

 

When artist Stephen Carter catches a glimpse of Master Jones on the security monitors of his brother’s BDSM club he’s entranced. A hastily drawn sketch manages to capture the Dom’s high cheekbones, square jaw, and hot, hard body. A body the quiet, reclusive Stephen would love to explore.

 

The subs who fall for Victor Jones always get hurt. He has no desire to enter into a committed relationship and no room in his life for romantic entanglements. But then the seasoned Dom starts to receive intriguing gifts from a secret admirer. When Victor discovers his admirer is Stephen, he decides maybe it’s time to try out something new, someone less experienced.

 

What will happen when Master Jones discovers that sometimes even he has to do a little wooing?

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Looking back at his drawing, Stephen couldn’t help saying as he looked at the monitor, “I wouldn’t mind if he ate me up.”

“I’d stay away from Master Jones if I were you. The man’s bad news.”

“He’s dangerous?” Stephen frowned; irrationally disappointed in a man he hadn’t even met.

“No. He’s the best Dom in town and he knows it. He breaks all the little subs‟ hearts because they all fall in love with Master Jones. He never takes the same sub more than once or twice and he’s never offered a contract to any of them. I’ve heard he’s never even gotten close to collaring anyone.”

Stephen shrugged off the warning. “Maybe he hasn’t met the right man.”

Ralph laughed, not unkindly. “Honey, you’re sweet, but don’t build any romantic dreams around Master Jones. Men who do that always get hurt.”

Stephen decided to ignore the negative bouncer. There was something about the Dom that called to him and Stephen always followed his heart. Absently, he worked in the shading and finished off the sketch. It was rather well done if he did say so himself. He put his initials at the bottom with a flourish.

Looking around he spotted a manila envelope he knew would fit his sketch without bending.

“Would you do me a favor, Ralph?” Stephen looked up, giving the bouncer the full benefit of his baby blue eyes.

A look that never failed to bend anyone to his will.

The bouncer looked nervous. “If I can and it doesn’t get me fired.”

“Would you give this to Master Jones? Don’t give him my name. Just tell him it’s from an admirer.”

Ralph laughed. “Aren’t you the little man of mystery? Give it here. I’ll get a real kick out of this.” He held out his hand and Stephen passed the envelope over.

Minutes later Stephen watched in anticipation as Ralph approached the table.

*****

“Master Jones.”

Victor looked up to see one of the club’s bouncers standing above him.

“Is there a problem?”

The bouncer smiled. The man was a handsome devil but definitely not his type. He liked his men more slender and delicate.

“I was instructed to give this to you; it’s from an admirer.”

Victor accepted the envelope to the cooing and kisskiss noises of his companions. The bouncer immediately departed, making Victor wonder what he was hiding.

With a look around the table at his friends, Victor shrugged. Opening the envelope he pulled out a sheet of paper and stared.

Inside was a sketch of Victor so lifelike, despite being done in pencil, that he almost thought he’d be able to feel the bristles of the hair on his chin.

“Wow, I want one,” Carlyle said, leaning over to see the picture.

“Get your own admirer.” Victor scanned the room, trying to see if anyone was watching him or holding a pad of paper. The page was obviously torn from a sketchbook.

Everyone was looking at him, as usual, but there were no strangers and he was pretty certain he didn’t know anyone with this kind of skill.

“Let me see.” As the owner of several galleries, Lindi considered himself an art connoisseur. He let out a low whistle when he saw the sketch. “I wonder what this person could do with a little more time. This is obviously just a quick sketch. I’d love for whoever this is to sketch William.”

William was Lindi’s long-time sub.

Lindi tilted the picture down so his sub, sitting on the floor, could see it.

“What do you think, pet?”

“It’s very lifelike,” the sub agreed, giving his master a loving look.

“Don’t get it all wrinkled,” Victor snapped. He snatched it back. Oddly, he didn‟t want his friends to touch his gift. It felt too personal to share. Smoothing out invisible marks, Victor slid the picture back into its envelope.

“Anyone see where that bouncer went?”

His friends shook their head.

“Well, he’s a bouncer,” Carlyle said logically. “He’s probably by the front door or wherever there’s a scene.”

Victor snapped his fingers at a passing waiter. The server wore tight, white leather shorts, some interesting swirls of body paint and nothing else.

“I’m looking for a bouncer. The one with long brown hair, tattoos and an eyebrow piercing.”

“That’s Ralph. He’s gone for the night.”

“Shit.”

Victor let the server go after placing an order for drinks.

“I guess you’ll have to ask him next time you come,” Carlyle said, not unsympathetically.

“Yeah. I guess so.” The evening had lost some of its glamour though. Now all he wanted to do was find out more about his insanely talented admirer.

 

Don’t miss the next in this great series, pre-order today!

seducing

ARe

Welcome Guest Beany Sparks!

Pib's Dragon - 600x900

Amazon | Rainbow Ninja Press | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords

A dragon is about to find out what happens when a cat discovers his cave of shiny treasures.

After nine years, Pib is finally free from his contract with the newly wed prince. Slipping out in the middle of the night to avoid getting stuck in another contract, Pib shifts into his cat and makes his way home to the little village he foolishly left, hoping his best friend Wil still lives there.
Dray is bored. His services as a princess-guarding dragon are no longer needed and even his gold and jewels are unable to cheer him up. His mood changes quickly when he catches someone in his treasure cave, and it starts a series of events that change his life forever.
When the two finally meet, sparks fly, but Dray will have to move quickly if he’s to save his cat after Pib gets kidnapped.

 

Excerpt:
Prologue
Pib snuck into the darkened room, tiptoeing quietly so as not to wake the newly crowned prince Geraint and his princess. Looking around, he both thanked and cursed his shifter senses. While he was grateful he could see inside the room, the smell of sex throughout the air was something he could have done without.
Reaching the desk on the far side of the room, he paused and glanced at the couple. Once he was satisfied they were still asleep, he eased open the cover and found what he was after—his freedom. After nine long years as the bastard’s slave, the letter freeing him from servitude almost brought tears to his eyes. Carefully folding it and placing it in his inside pocket, Pib gently shut the desk and tiptoed back toward the bedroom door, leaving the room as silently as he’d entered.
He knew there was only a limited window of opportunity for him to make his escape. Even though the pompous bastard had made a production of signing the form and granting him his freedom, Pib knew it was all for show. If he didn’t escape now, Geraint would get him alone and force him to sign another contract and then make some sort of bogus announcement about how Pib wanted to stay.
Pib snorted, unable to help himself. Luckily there was no one else around the castle at this time of the night, though even if there was, Pib didn’t care. He was leaving, and no one was going to stop him. Anyone who tried would have a close encounter with his knife, or his claws, he wasn’t picky.
“Hey, Pib, where are you off to in the middle of the night?” asked the guard at the front door of the castle. Pib never bothered learning their names or getting friendly with them, especially since Geraint could force him to kill any of them at a moment’s notice. He’d learned that it didn’t pay for him to form any attachments with those surrounding Geraint.
“Getting an early start on my retirement,” Pib replied, smirking at the man while he continued to stroll toward the exit.
“Sorry, Pib, but I have to check. Do you have a signed letter from Prince Geraint?” The guard shifted from foot to foot, showing his unease.
Pib stopped in front of him and forced a smile. “Of course,” he said, carefully extracting the letter and handing it over to the guard.
He waited, watching the guard closely as he read the letter. One wrong move and Pib was going to gut him. Nothing could happen to that letter.
“Looks good,” the guard said, handing the letter back to Pib. “It’ll sure be different without you around, but all the best. And, uh, don’t take this the wrong way, but I hope I don’t see you again.”
Returning the letter to his pocket, Pib looked up and smiled a real smile at the man. He wanted to laugh when the guard’s face paled as he caught sight of Pib’s canines, but restrained himself. “Don’t worry, I hope never to see you again either.”
With that, Pib walked out of the castle and made his way through the sleeping village. Pulling his hood up, he used the dark material to blend into the surroundings. He wasn’t taking any chances that Geraint wouldn’t wake up any moment and send guards running after him. After all, Pib was practically friends with all of the skeletons in Geraint’s closet.
Pib reached the edge of the village and paused. After nine long years, he was finally free of Geraint, his orders, and most importantly, his shackle. The magical cuff that had decorated his right ankle for nine years had been removed after Geraint had signed his release. The cuff was the only thing ensuring Pib’s obedience, and finally, it was gone.
Taking a deep breath, Pib stepped over the invisible boundary line and felt the remaining enchantments shatter and disappear, leaving him standing as his true self for the first time in years. Reaching inside, he called out his inner cat to come out and play, and in seconds, his clothes disappeared and he was standing on all fours in his serval form.

Stretching, he threw one last glance back at the castle and the village before slinking away into the trees, using the natural camouflage to shield him as he made his way toward the start of his new life.

 

About the Author:

Beany lives in Western Australia. She first started reading romance novels in 2008, but it wasn’t until January 2010 when her Kindle got delivered that the world of erotic romance opened its doors to her, and she hasn’t looked back.

With suggestions and support from friends, her muse—”affectionately” known as PITA—was finally able to break free, and in January 2014 her first story was written. Since she can’t put PITA back in his box, Beany has decided to give in and team up with him.
Social Media Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beany.sparks/
Twitter: @BeanySparks
Website: http://www.beanysparks.com/
Blog: http://www.beanysparks.com/blog/