Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 7

Happy Monday. 🥰Here’s the next chapter, I’m sorry it took a wee while….

 

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

Jake

 

 

 

‘I like your laugh, it makes you smile inside…’

 

Jake couldn’t actually remember the last time he’d laughed out loud. He sure as hell couldn’t recall having smiled inside. He was quite certain of one thing though; never had someone expressed a wish to blow him with such incomparable charm before. Christ.

“Might you let me make some racket, maybe?” 

As if granting Phin ‘permission’ would bestow a bloody kindness on him…when in fact, there was nothing on Earth Jake wanted more. 

Liar.

Not listening.

Liar. Pants on fire.

Bugger off.

Now that…was nearer the truth. Just sayin’.

To top it off, as if all Jake’s Christmases—and two years of orgasms—weren’t about to come at once? 

The bad puns are coming thick ‘n’ fast now…

Pot. Kettle. ‘Just sayin’…

Phin’s very next words after being given the go ahead: 

‘Now!?’ Gaped as one might when handed the keys to a Ferrari and permission to take it out for a spin. ’Or is that too soon? Waiting isn’t my best thing…’ 

It wasn’t Jake’s either… and it sure as shit (after sausages) wasn’t Jack’s.

You’re like a dog with a bloody bone, y’know that, right? Or a nagging old woman. A stingy-with-the-tasty-tidbits one. 

*

Foxy.

Phin remembered his brief glimpse of Jack before slipping back into unconsciousness. Fuck. Jake was taking way too many risks. He was being stupid. Cretinous. He’d spent the last two years skulking in the shadows and being so bloody careful to safeguard his secrets.  Watching his every step lest he respond too swiftly, move too fast, react in any way whatsoever to intimacies he should never have heard above the hubbub of chat at the bar. All while being an unwilling eavesdropper on the low buzz of conversation, as clear as crystal, from the far side of the pub… even on his busiest shifts. 

Mentally weighing what he should be able to lift, without arousing suspicion; of steroid abuse, at the very least. Jake was hardly The goddamn Rock. Or indeed, that Mamoa bloke punters kept likening him to. Until they were tanked up…when he morphed into ‘Mamoa’s Mini-Me’. Strangely easy to shrug aside with a smirk. While feeding their nuts to the mutt after one twist of Jake’s fist. In his mind’s eye. Of course.

This frustrating as fuck list of limitations was akin to being blinkered, cuffed, manacled and muzzled every minute of the day. Alongside a shot of cement in each ear. ‘Muting his senses’ was but somewhere to start: Speed, stamina, strength, agility, acuity of thought. Healing. A hunger as relentless as the limits placed upon it. As insatiable as the thrill of the hunt. 

Two years spent shackled by self-restraint so ruthless it had driven Jake damn near demented. Hard-won steel-trap tenacity brought to its knees—literally—by one whiff of Phin on the wind. He’d as good as collared Jack at first scent. 

Jake hadn’t been far behind…having had no choice in the matter. Every single night since he’d ridden shotgun to a stalker with Pe Le Pew eyes and Deadpool’s disposition. Wylie Coyote couldn’t hold an Acme candle to Jack.

One whimper later, Jack had almost finished Phin off, licked him back to the land of the living, and been seen. A baton Jake had taken it unto himself pick up before embarking on a starkers stroll across a moonlit moor. Cradling an unconscious creature of unknown origin with legs far more excessive than his inimitable self. 

“Jack?”

Oh Christ…at least that was preferable to Foxy. Foxy. For fucksake’s.

I might be insulted if the bushy-arsed bastards didn’t have such good rep for silky seduction skills. 

Silky? You? 

Yup…moi. Jaques Chacal at his service. Paramour par excellence…and I don’t stink of skunk. 

Yup…quite the catch. Aside from being a sausage junkie with severe digestive issues. Oh, and the drooling…dogbreath…fur…four legs… 

I give bloody good tongue.

‘Just sayin’ I suppose?

Why bother stating the bloody blah-de-blah? Sorted with one slurp. So suck that up, smug-mush. 

*

“Jack?”

“Yeah?”

Jake suspected that he might just remain Jack for the foreseeable: as long it suited Phin to ‘forget to remember’. The scamp could probably reel off every item ever entered on his list of things to remember to take no notice of whatsoever. The one he’d begun when bored of staring at the mobile above his crib after a splendid day drawing on the walls and smearing mashed banana on the dog. 

“Um…where should I…?” Phin puttered to a halt, head cocked to one side. Like a pup in a pet shop window, hypnotising you with hope.

Oh hell...Jake should at least make some attempt to backtrack. Give Phin time to…what? Remain resolute? Was it even possible to persuade Phin to change his mind when dead set on something? It seemed one helluva surefire way to watch puppy dog eyes turn pitt-bull. 

The whiff of stubborn as scorched jam wasn’t a dead giveaway, then? I sure-as-sausage wouldn’t bet one on the poor sod who started that blanket wrestling match. 

*

“Where would you want to…er, do it, if given the choice?” Jake was, apparently, fool enough to wonder.

“Oh…um, that would be tricky. I only have one ‘where’ to choose from—so I don’t suppose it counts as choice—I would like you to lie down.”

Oh fuck. Jake sucked in a sharp breath, clamping his eyes closed, which made matters worse; the mental image transposed itself on the back of his lids. Would that be a…safer set up?  Who was Jake trying to…fox? He could spring to his feet from flat on the floor as fast as he could from a crouch. Perhaps if Jake lay with his head and shoulders tucked under the table, then gripped the two metal poles supporting the end not fixed to the wall? Maybe wrap his arms around them to nestle one in the crook of each elbow? Something to hold onto…rather than inadvertently scalp Phin, or worse, break his bloody neck. This was a very bad idea. Jake very much feared he was about to do it, regardless.

“No problem, but first…” The alarm that flared in Phin’s eyes was a flicker of candle compared to the spike of panic that shot his heart rate through the roof. Jake bent his head to press his lips to its pounding pulse; imbibing the scent of cinnamon spice. The vibrations trembling on the tip of his tongue didn’t slow, but did become less skittery as Jake smudged his mouth toward the gentle curve of Phin’s jaw. What had he feared having to suffer first? A lecture? A cautionary tale as tedious as it was pointless?  Phin turned his face, smearing Jake’s lips closer to his own, which parted in anticipation. Of a kiss that tasted of…everything Jack wanted from this world. A thought that would have been dizzying, had the melding of their mouths not beat it to the punch.

“Jack…” Phin soon gasped, snatching at a breath. “Please…”

It was all Jake could do to comport himself at a plausible speed to the table. All but dragged there, by the scruff of his neck like a recalcitrant pup. 

Think yourself lucky you didn’t find yourself furry. Interloper. 

Clever dick you might be, but c’mon…you’ve got to admit that I’m the man for this job. Loser of the ‘my canines are bigger than yours’ competition, that’s me.

Get on with it then, teenie weenie teeth.

Not biting. So shove your size-queen slurs up your furry foreskin.

This bout of bickering had filled the time it took Jake to lie flat on his back on the floor; head and shoulders inserted between the chrome bars that served as table legs.

“That’s perfect…Jack?”

“Yeah?”

“May I…undo the belt of the robe?”

Christ. Spread like a picnic on a fleece blanket. A thought Jake kept to themselves, nodding instead as he blew out a loong breath. 

Phin had no sooner dropped to his haunches than clasped Jake’s ankles with hands that felt blissfully cool to feverish flesh. A shiver shot up his legs when they were tugged apart, scorching along his spine when Phin sank to his knees in the gap he’d made between his own. Oh gawd. Jake gripped the bars and held on. For humankind, or something such. Phin slid his fingers behind the robe belt and began to pull, letting it slip loose, as if he were savouring the unwrapping of a gift. The very air in the van seemed to still. Jake could scarce breathe. He point-blank refused to blink.

When the belt finally slithered free, Phin hooked a thumb beneath each edge of the fleece and parted them like a pair of bloody curtains. This, while devouring Jake with huge pools of starlit darkness that scalded his skin as cupid lips curved in a secret smile. 

And you’ve deemed us dangerous? He’s lethal. 

His lashes pull that off on their bloody own. Jake groaned and gripped the bars. 

“Hmmm…” A soft sigh fluttered across exposed flesh. Strewth. Jake gritted his teeth so hard it might once have shattered them. Oh help…staying supine was going to kill him. Which might be for the best, all things considered.

Phin began to trail tentative fingertips from the base of Jake’s throat…down the centre of chest, skimming along skin that tremoured as if it had been tasered. Jake tightened his fists. His fingers promptly imprinted themselves in the chrome. Crap…the bars are buckling. Jake tried to focus on relaxing his grip; how the hell am I supposed to explain that? Phin swooped, and plunged the tip of his tongue into Jake’s belly button. 

“Fuck!” The sudden shock of wet warmth, swirling in its indent, made Jake’s hips spasm as his neck snapped back. The metal poles winced.

“Sorry!”

“A..there’s no…need-” Jake groaned, forcing his tendons to relent. An increment.

Phin began to trickle his tongue down the trail of dynamite leading south. Jake damn near combusted. He had no idea how he remained in his own skin, having lost it under far less incendiary circumstances. The torturous tickle stopped dead. His shuddering exhalation was abrupted by a sudden sluice of scalding heat along his cock from hilt to tip. Jake’s spine jolted about three feet off the floor, as a thousand volts surged through his system.

“Did that feel okay?” His voice was soft, uncertain.

“Gnh-I…ah…yess… ” Jake managed, from Mars or thereabouts. A reply that promptly inspired a second—far more lingering—sweep of flattened tongue along his length. Quite possibly akin to dropping a hairdryer in the bath. 

“Hmm… ” This, as Phin curled his fingers beneath Jake’s cock to lift it clear of his body. Before wrapping his lips around its head as if it was a bloody Magnum. The suckling that ensued was the most excruciatingly erotic experience of Jake’s life. His head was going to explode. The only question was, which one first… 

Two years without so much as a helping hand, let alone mouth. Two hours of enduring the Mount Etna of all erections. Topped off by a dual desire so excessive Phin was better equipped to survive it sane than Jake. Whose nemesis was apparently on a mission to explore every millimetre he encountered. With the Captain Cook of all tongues. This as those anime eyes damn near devoured Jake as Phin’s mouth did. Oh…good grief…

‘I’m worried that I’ll do it too much.’

‘I don’t think that’s possible, unless…you bit down’

Jake’s powers of perception had, of course, never encountered Phin. Too much? It was much too much. A feat indisputably down to Phin himself. Who was too much. Too much of everything Jake had ever wanted from this world. 

Odd that… 

His boneless body felt strangely weightless and yet, very, very heavy; a molten mass of muscle, sinew and flesh. A sensation that did, at least, loosen Jake’s death grip on the chrome bars before they resembled a modern art exhibit.

As if Jake wasn’t deranged enough, least mind-boggling of all? Phin’s very scent had become the most vital component of the air.  Jake’s entire self was alive with it, resonating in response. He felt like a sodding snare drum, tuned to its essence.  

That nugget of nonsense was Jake’s last gasp from the land of lunacy before a blitzkrieg of bliss reduced his brain to rubble and razed all reason to dust. They were done for. Ruined.

Oh, do keep up. We were done ‘n’ dusted from that first whiff on the wind…

 

***

 

 

Word count to date: 37,000
***

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 6

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

Phin

 

 

“Shall I cook some bacon while I make our cuppas…?” Phin asked, remembering that he hadn’t remembered to do either. “Or do you want me to drive you home now?” 

“Are you hinting that you’d like me to go?” Jack’s lips twitched with one of his twinkly smirks.

“No. I don’t think I’m very good at doing hinting. If I wanted you to leave, I would have said: ‘You’ve been here a long time, do you want to go home now?’”

“Good to know…” Jack’s grin was every bit as glinty as light glancing off glass. “I doubt that could be considered a hint in anyone’s book. I don’t need to go, put it that way, but I don’t want to overstay my welcome, which can’t really be called a welcome, when I wasn’t invited. At all.”

“I’m glad you came anyway,” Phin told him. At which point, Jack’s throat made the strangest sound, like a rusty gate hinge. “Oh, you must be starving, sorry…and I still haven’t put my pants on.” At the mention of the missing bacon, those blues blazed with the sort of hunger that could ‘eat a horse’. Phin would rather drop dead but that was beside the point,  which was; putting some pants on and feeding Jack. It was impossible to do concentrating in his presence; Phin’s marbles were too scattered to count, let alone sort. Pants. “D’you mind having it microwaved, it will be quicker?”

“I don’t mind how it’s cooked, I could eat it raw, to be honest.” Jack…did not fibWeirdo.

“Eww, that’s just wrong. Like orange. Sadly, raw sausage is far too right…that’s just fiendish. I shouldn’t scoff it or I’ll get tapeworms.”  

“Tapeworms…oh gawd” Jack spluttered a snort that segued into a coughing fit o’the chuckles.

“You’re a very noisy guest…it’s going to seem very quiet when you’ve gone,” Phin noted. Aloud. Oops. “I don’t mind the racket, though,” he added, quick as a fox jumping over a lazy log—not a brown one—honeyed grey, he decided. Which meant he forgot to do concentrating on seemliness. “I like your snorts ‘n’ splutters and slurpy sounds. Even your grumbly guts.” A snippet of info that prompted yet more yukking it up. Jack really was oddsome—but in a good way—not a Jaws music sort of way.

“I don’t slurp!” Snorted he.

“You did!” Phin insisted. As fact. 

“I haven’t had so much as a sip of tea, let alone a slurp.” After indulging in a sniff of affront, Jack added, “That was hinting, by the way.”

“Sorry, I keep meaning to make it, and put my pants onum, that’s when you slur—” Oh nooo. Phin’s face felt as if it had burst into flames, burning scarlet bright. And his ears.

Oh… I, er…occupational hazard?” The flushing thing seemed to be infectious, but Jack still managed to rustle up a (rather rosy) quip. Unless he hadn’t…and Phin just had jobs on the brain. 

“You were very thoro-ooh I shouldn’t have said that, should I?” Phin wasn’t sure if his ‘eek’ emoji expression—or the least welcome compliment ever—set Jack off again, but he was still hooting away when Phin asked: “Was it shocking unseemly?”

“Unseemly? Oh fuck…I think it’s safe to say it’s far less seemly to invite yourself to someone’s campervan and embark on an obscene racket, ten minutes after saying hello.”

“You didn’t…you said ‘Are you okay’?” Phin informed him.

“How remiss of me,” Jack attempted a solemn expression. It was rubbish, his lips kept twitching. Nooo, still no pants. “It’s probably a good job I don’t go visiting—” Jack forgot to finish his sentence when Phin shot off to the sink as if his (no) pants were on fire. The van would be next if matters progressed apace.  

“Was that hinting?” he tossed over his shoulder while busying himself with cups and teabags and sugar and not facing Jack at all.

“Pardon?”

“Were you doing hinting? Telling me that you won’t be visiting again, in a kind way?”

“No. It was self-deprecation. Like an eye-roll at myself.” Jack explained, sending the blue skywards in illustration. A shade every bit as gorgeous as the gleam of sunlight through stained glass.

“Oh, okay. I’m glad.” Phin was beaming to himself as he (finally) poured the boiled water onto their tea bags and Jack’s sugar mountain. “Um…could you pass me some pants from the second shelf in the cupboard?” he asked, rather than turn around. At all. 

“Sure…sorry, about the last pair. It was barely a breath later that Jack’s blowtorched Phin’s nape. Oh gawd, I’ll be stuck facing the sink forever. “Do you want me to visit again? Despite the din?” Jack’s velvet voice shivered across Phin’s skin in a crackle of static. “Turn around…” His murmur was as soft as the lips ghosting the curve of Phin’s neckup, up, towards his ear. Every single hair on his body went as quivery as his knees. 

“I…can’t…” 

“Phin… I’d be disappointed if you weren’t.” Was a wicked whisper of breath. Scorching his earlobe.

Hard. Jack meant hard. A flicker of tongue almost sent Phin’s head shooting through the roof. 

“You would?” he sort of gulped. 

“Yes…” Jack enclosed the back of Phin’s hand (clutching the counter top) with his own, and slowly, so slowly, drew it downwards…behind. A pause. Was Jack giving him time to tug free? Phin was frozen in flames. That’s how it felt. Then. His palm docked on a stonking ridge of hard heat. Granite encased in soft fleece. “That. Has been like that since…you opened your eyes.”

All that time?” Phin gasped, agog. Crikey, he would have combusted by now.  “Jack, can I ask you a question?” he managed, despite the fact his very own hand was still there.

“Should I be worried?” His voice sounded like sexy velcro. It might be best not to mention that. 

“I’m not sure…” Phin frowned, he was too fizzy to think. “I don’t know what makes you worried. It’s not a tricky one,” he assured Jack. Who really didn’t feel worried. Strewth. “Just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.” 

“’Kay…”

“Might you let me make some racket, maybe?” Phin wondered. Oops. Jack’s breath snatched off, alongside his strangest sound yet. “S’okay, I don’t mind if…I mean, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—”

“No…you didn’t—” Jack broke off when a new noise made a bid for freedom; the grind of gears after being stuck in the garage all winter. “I…Yes.”

“Yes I can?” 

“Yeess. You can.”

Yes!?  Phin was so chuffed he almost clenched his fists…but it would have been very hard to have that mishap. Yesss. It was too-good-to-be-true. Too anything was not good. He musn’t get too wound up. Yet.

“Now!? Or is that too soon? Waiting isn’t my best thing,” It was best to mention that, Phin decided. In a before-being-banned-from-the-zoo sort of way. He fretted that things wouldn’t happen if they didn’t happen now.

“Yes…I mean, no, it’s not too soon.” Jack slammed his eyes shut and…gargled some more grit. 

Where? How? Kneeling? Sitting down, standing up? Phin’s system let rip a hyperdrive adrenaline rush of anxious. An excessive one. Too much. Can you do this too much? Too fast? Frantic? Lavish? Loud?

“Jack?”

“I don’t know why I used ‘Jack’ earlier,” he groaned, rolling his eyes at himself again. “I rarely do…I’ve been called Jake for as long as I can remember…”

“You were a tad…distracted. I like both, Jake suits you too, it’s more…rakish. Less solid, not as safe as Jack.” Ja…ke looked a smidge staggered. Why? Ahh. “‘Til you add Sparrow, o’course.” Phin grinned, having solved that and finally happened upon an exception that proves the rule and made some sort of sense. “At least they sound similar, I’m glad you didn’t tell me it was Herbert all of a sudden. I’ll try to do remembering and not make a muddle, but ‘Jack’ might be stubborn. I did manage earlier though, or you’d still be Foxy.”

Foxy?!” Ja—ck let rip another splutter.

“Oops, sorry. It came from a dream I had last night, about a fox. Well, sort of…his colouring was amiss and his eyes were as blue as yours. Which is weird, because only huskies have blue eyes. Anyhoo, when I woke up and I saw yours, I thought they were his for a mo.”

“I…was it a nice dream or a…nightmare?” Jack looked fretful, which was daft, when Phin was fine. Far finer than fine.

“Oh, it was brilliant. Most of mine are…dreadful. Full of dread, chilling. They make me want to claw my skin off rather than suffer it but I don’t want to talk about that anymore,” Phin said-all-in-a-rush; which still made him sound like a loon, but for less long. “Last night I wasn’t scared at all. I thought Foxy was…a friend.”

“A friend.” Jack smiled, sort of sadly. It wasn’t upside down though, it just felt that way. 

“I wanted to ask… I’m worried that I’ll do it too much.” Phin swivelled his eyes downwards so that Jack—Jake—might get his drift, as it were. 

“I don’t think that’s possible, unless…you bit down.”

“I’m not going to bite, I promise. No raw sausage scoffing mishaps.”

“I…There’s really no answer to that.” Jack clamped his lips shut, shoulders quaking as he tried to stifle his latest fit of the splutters.

Ja—ke laughed as if it was the last thing he might ever do. With his entire selfand yet, he never seemed to be laughing at Phin. Or picking him apart to find fault. Jake had never sneered, nor even shot Phin that look; the gut curdling, steel jaw trap one. The dagger-shooting glare of shame. That’s why Phin preferred being on his own; he was safe from eyes. It was a relief. A huge, whole self sigh of relief.

So why wasn’t his skin all scratchy yet, or his head screeching for silence? It was all most odd. Phin was starting to suspect that his own ‘Jack’ might just be too many exceptions that prove the rule to count… 

 

***

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 5

Hiya,  what began as re-edit has somehow become a rewrite based upon the bare bones of a skeleton. I’m sorry they’re taking a wee while longer, but it seems there’s much I want to amend/add to a story written four years ago.  Thank you so much for reading and every kind word wafted my way. ❤️ 🥰 ❤️

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

eed6d29f-f58a-47b5-ac5b-5b39946974f5  a - Edited

Jake

 

 

 

When Phin sighed into the arms Jake wrapped around him, he felt fragile, breakable, despite being about half a foot taller. The ability to crush every bone in his body made that a no brainer, but his very Phinness counted more than logic suggested it should.

“Are you alright?” Jake asked.

“Yeah, I-I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say thank you.” Phin’s dark brows crumpled in the centre, confusion writ large upon his face…which was adorable.

“Thank you? There’s nothing to thank me for. Quite the contrary…I should apologize.” 

“Apologize?” Amended to bold print bewilderment.

“For…well, I didn’t even ask if it was okayI er, just jumped you.” Jake cringed.

“I would be very okay with being jumped a lot, you needn’t say sorry,” Phin declared. A statement of fact, rather than reassurance. Would he recognize a platitude if it paraded about naked with a name badge?

“You sure?” Jake couldn’t help but chuckle. 

“O’course I am. I said it,” The twinkle in those midnight eyes implied that asking if Phin ‘was sure’—ever again—was a sure fire symptom of lunacy. Said>inscribed in stone>sorted. Much to his chagrin, Jake couldn’t help fishing for more…he was human. Sometimes.

“You might want to be more specific in future…” he advised, suppressing a grin. “Your ‘lot’ could differ a helluva lot from his.”

“‘I wouldn’t be okay with his lots at all, whatever it was,” Phin’s eyebrows vanished into his tufty fringe. 

Jake’s would have followed suit, had Phin’s inflection not made it clear that ‘his’ very existence was the irrelevance, rather than his wishes. “Will you tell me your lots, so I can do concentrating on not being excessive?” 

As fishing expeditions went, Jake had landed a whopper. Phin’s issue with ‘his’ clearly had bugger all to do with the bloke’s gender. He hadn’t even registered the assumption Jake had made, let alone called it into question. It was a neither ‘her’ nor ‘their’ non issue.

A whopper? ‘Jack’ had blown a bloody blue whale. With an excessive appetite. 

Well, there’s always steroids? Spinach? I’m game if you are… Mr Smugmutt snickered. Jake couldn’t help himself; a splutter made a bid for freedom before could stop it.

“I like your laugh, it makes you smile inside. I’m glad I got to see it…I know it will soon be gone.” Sorrow clouded his starry gaze, deadening it to darkness. “You haven’t defined your ‘lot’ yet…” Phin reminded him.

“It’s not going anywhere, anytime soon,” Jake acknowledged. Prompted by an impatient prodding. Ow. “As to my lot? I very much doubt I’d mind if you ‘forget to do concentrating’ on less.”

“Less, what?”

“Less anything. Less excessive, less exactly as you are. Less you, full stop.” Less like a ride on a runaway magic carpet… Jake never wanted to get off.

I reckon he’d have liked the last bit best. I did. 

The ‘ride’ part sounded suspect.

It didn’t ‘sound’ anything. Sadly.

Sordid, in particular. I was being a gent.

I’ve heard it all now. Who are you and what have you done with Jake the rake?

Ha. Ha.

Haha, my arse. You’d whipped his kecks off before I got so much as a sniff of sausage.

*

“I suspect you’ll regret saying that  soon.” Phin wrinkled his nose. As if it had come under assault of sausage consequences.

Ooh, that was a low blow. Bitch.

Dogbreath.

“I somehow suspect I won’t.” Jake admitted. 

“I think you’re a bit bonkers,” Phin noted, with a small nod. Serenity itself. “A big bit,” he amended.

“I think you’re the sanest person I’ve met for many a moon,” Jake winked.

“You must hang out with very peculiar peeps.” Phin’s expression was priceless.

“Mostly myself, when I’m not at work, so…” 

When Jake tailed off on a wry grin, Phin asked “Do you like your job?” Rather than the ubiquitous ‘what do you do?’

“Yeah…it’s alright. I just do a few shifts in the Albion pub. It keeps me out of trouble…” until it’s dark enough. 

“The one with the splendid paint job?” Phin grinned. It was pink. Pink panther pink. As lurid as a lycra leotard. The grin was less lurid but far brighter. 

“That’s certainly one word for it…” Jake deadpanned.

“Pink. That would be another,” Phin beamed. A very dull, dreary pink, in retrospect. He was radiance personified.

“Cruel.” Jake offered. “When you’ve got a hangover.” 

“Ouch. Is it safe once you’re inside? I didn’t go in, I just drove past in my van.”

“Yeah…I love walking in before opening time on an early shift. There’s a special stillness…a quality of light. What little there is glances off the glass and mirrors, sharper off stainless steel…burnished off brass, but doesn’t really disturb the dimness. Low ceilings, I guess. Anyhow…” Jake shrugged, a bit abashed by his own rambling. “The hours suit me and we have live music, so I’m able to play pretty regularly. Purely for pleasure, I’m not chasing any dreams. It…suits me here.”  

Phin’s dark, watchful gaze seemed to absorb—rather than ‘look’—so intent was his focus. What does he see? Not so much in less-or-more terms than…other people. But…in a way that resonates…as different woods do. 

Those eyes sure as hell couldn’t see a twenty-five year old rockstar-that-never-was, tending bar at a (pink) pub in the back of beyond.

“You play there, really?” As if on cue, they switched to high beam bright. Spot lit from within. “Can I come and watch?”

How am I supposed to say no to that face? Even to protect him?

I hope that was a rhetorical question. If not, fuck knows. If all else fails…keep my fluids up? 

An emergency stash of saliva, that’s your solution? You could at least try to sound less…satisfied. If only for decency’s sake.

Why bother…it’s not as if you’re buying that bridge you’re hell-bent on selling you.

Selling ME? 

Yes…You. Me. Us. Whatever…   

*

…Was the silent ‘tralala’ necessary?

If it was silent, how did you hear it?

In my head.

Not out loud, then. Like say…now? 

Shut up.

Chance would be a fine thing… Just sayin.

 

***
19748394_1902578939966175_1168542111124336527_n

The Albion Pub, Liskeard.

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 4

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

Phin

 

Before Phin had time to mourn the loss of the palm clamped to his back, it had slipped between their bodies and cupped his balls. The kiss had made him feel as if electrodes were taped to his temples as his heart was blitzed by resuscitating paddles. The cupping nearly finished him offin one way or anotherit was tricky to tell. Matters were either about to get excessively sticky, or he’d just drop dead from too muchness.

As it was, a sort of strangled shriek ripped from his lips as his legs turned to noodles and his heart went into hyperdrive. Strewth, ’twas on a mission to make the Kessel Run in ten parsecs. The effect of all this on Phin’s hips was more than a mite strumpety. He felt a tad too hyperkenetic to care, which was fortunate, or he would’ve forgotten to concentrate on calming down. As it was, Foxy didn’t appear to mind too much, and that was all that mattered…particularly when the only word in the world that did, was more. 

Phin couldn’t help the whimper that slipped free when Foxy palmed his aching cock through his pants…about a galloping heartbeat before they were gone. Vamooshed. This, with a growl like gargled gravel, succeeded by a groan of relief (which should have been Phin’s) when his cock was enclosed in a sure fist. The gasp that ripped from his lips instead made his head crash against the cupboard door but he scarce felt it; every one of Phin’s excessive sensory receptors had hurtled south. To fling themselves into never held before festivities. Literally.

The head crash had done the unforgivable though; wrenched Phin from kisses he’d never wanted to end. But what if Foxy thought he did it on purpose? The brain-boggling grip on his cock hadn’t goneyetA thought obliterated by the fact that it had—in a flashswiftly followed by the heavy heat of Foxy himself. Gone. Where? Phin’s eyes flared wide with panic-on-the-bullet-train to hypersomething or other (when he couldn’t breathe and everything went fizzy). 

The ‘where’ was too impossible to be true. Those bewitching blues were no longer level with Phin’s lips, they were gazing up at him from formerly virgin (on the ridiculous at twenty-two) territory. This was too staggering to take in, too…inconceivable to compute. Phin had never even imagined being kissed anytime soon; that he was felt too bedazzling to believe. But this? Was a fancy too far… Why the bejeezus would Foxy even want to do it—to Phin?—not in general.

Phin had longed to do it for…ever. But only to someone special, which pretty much put the kibosh on that likelihood. Phineas Finley was not special, well, not in that way. His sort of special wasn’t the sort folk aspired to being. His brain was far too busy short-circuiting to let his ears listen to whatever Foxy all-but barked roundabout then.

“Pardon..?”

“Jack…m’name.” It was a good job Phin was concentrating as hard as his cock, or the blast of hot breath that coshed it would have deafened him. Jack. It did seem a bit of a novel time to introduce himself, but what did Phin know? Perhaps it was considered po-lite when…eye to eye (as ‘twere) for the first time. 

“Hmm…it suits you.” It did too; it was a strong name…as timeless as those eyes. “Phin,” he supplied.

“Phin…” had no sooner caressed his cock than it was engulfed in mind blowing heat. Well really, an alternative word wasn’t likely to suggest itself anytime soon. The wet-warm-wonderment of Foxy’s mouth thrilled through every fibre of his being as if he’d been set aflame. Phin possibly let rip a racket like a strangled cat with its collar caught on a fence post. Which might have been embarrassing if his brain wasn’t too busy exploding.  Never…ever…ooohgawd… Can you drop dead of bliss? 

Phin’s head lolled backor sidewaysit sure went somewhere, p’raps to another planet. Nothing on this one had ever prepared him for the excess of…everything that blitzed his body. If Phin’s system had ever fancied itself as a Titan of too muchness, it hadn’t known the half of itstrewth. It had clearly been quite content to coast along ’til called upon to unleash its Special Occasion Stash. On Phin’s unsuspecting person. 

Crikey…he had been half-dead for the last twenty-two years. Whether he would survive a further twenty-two seconds seemed less certain. He sure wasn’t going to last that long. In ‘fortuitous order of events’ terms, Phin could live with that. Or not. Ah well, what a way to go… 

This, was pleasure too excessive—even for Phin to have dreamed uphe wasn’t that daft. Why doom himself to a forever of disappointment? That would have been a mite masochistic.  While Phin sure wouldn’t say no to a spot of experimenting, he’d managed to dodge that label by virtue of…being in possession of his own. What a waste. Phin had a lot of time to make up for; he could do some concentrating on that. Sorted. Mr. Neil would be chuffed. 

If Phin had been mind blind to that bedazzling gaze (ablaze with a lust too luscious to dream up) he would have been able to feel Foxy’s hunger. It was tangible. Vivid. Every bit as alive as Jack. Phin had never met anyone more alive. His foxy friend was a force of nature; a hurricane of heat and hunger, sweeping Phin to a place far from this.

Meanwhile, those mesmerizing lips were trawling the length of Phin’s fit to bust self, sending sparks shooting up his spine and dizzying desire everywhere else. When Foxy paused to twirl his tongue around the head of his cock and flick it across its tip, Phin damn near detonated. You could probably go to prison for this. Things that were this fun were never allowed. 

“Jaaack…” His name sounded like the noise Phin made when sinking neck deep into a bubble bath. When that mind boggling mouth engulfed him once more, it didn’t seem likely that Phin could feel any more…anything without combusting. A belief promptly borne out when his cock crashed against the back of Foxy’s throat.

“Ah-ah-ahhhhh…”

Phin peeled his head off the door and gazed down at Jack, too dazed to take it in without seeing it, with his very own eyes. That might make it seem real. Sure enough, Foxy’s lips were wrapped around Phin’s hilt; nose buried in his down-there-hair… Snuffling. This, as the most bewitching blues on Earth held him hostage. It was the most erotic thing he’d ever seen in his life. It was all too too much.

The thud of his head against the door wasn’t a bit as loud as the bolt of bliss that blistered through his body. Phin was done for. He couldn’t hold“Jaack! St…oooop! I-I…c-can’t—”

The scoundrel didn’t listen, merely flexed the fingers that must’ve been clutching Phin’s thigh. Did that mean…no, surely not“Jack, I need—have toaaahhh!”

Phin came as he’d never come in his life. Ever. It burst from him in a blinding rush of white-light-heat, pulsing in wave after wave of ecstasy that snatched away his breath. It felt too exhilarating to survive sane. Now petite-mort made sense…Phin might well wind up a bit dead.

Jack swallowed all of it. No…he drank it down as if it were ambrosia. Then dragged his lips back sloowly, as if to catch every last drop.

“Phin…” It slipped from his lips as a sigh as lustrous as those eyes. Burning blue flame, eternal.

“Jack… I—” Phin broke off. There were no words in the world. What should he say now? Thank you?

Did Foxy know? Had he been able to tell…because surely—? Phin felt his face flush scarlet as stupid, stupid tears started prickling at his eyes. He slammed them shut, screwing his lids tight.

“Phin…look at me.”

How could he deny that velvet voice? It would also be rude, but oh, Phin desperately didn’t want Jack to see, so he dipped his head, tucking his chin into his chest. You can’t cry when someone has done that…and made you feel too much happy. Phin thought his heart might just burst with it. Jack would think he was a loon. Or as idiotic as the tear trickling from the far corner of Phin’s eye, trailing down his cheek.

Jack surged to his feet and cupped Phin’s face in his hands, tilting it up so tenderly? That’s how it felt. It also matched a gaze as deep as an ocean but as clear, unclouded, as midsummer day when Phin prised his lids apart. 

Jack’s mouth was hovering but a hairsbreadth from his own when Phin wondered if he’d heard the sigh of a single word, “Mine…” alongside a candyfloss kiss as soft as a cloud. 

 

***

 

Jake

 

 

“Jack… I—” Phin’s cheeks bloomed crimson when he broke off to scrunch his eyes tight shut. To Jake’s utter mortification, a tear started to trickle down his moon pale face. Horror scythed through Jake’s body with grappling hook claws. He’d caused this despite being so, so, sure, never so certain, that he’d got this. Had a handle on it.  Now he’d done the unspeakable…hurt Phin. Injured him, which was unforgivable.

Jake couldn’t smell so much as a trace of fresh blood, despite the guilt tearing at his guts, threatening to throttle him. Jack…was serenity itself. What the fuck?

Nose, numbnuts.

Nose. F’chrissakes. Jake inhaled…the bittersweet scent of embarrassment. Oh.

“Phin…look at me.” He fought to keep his voice soft, but Phin dipped his head still further, rather than raise it to meet his gaze.

Jake sprang to his feet far too fast, then forced himself to stillness before tilting Phin’s face towards his own. Feathery lashes fluttered, lifted with reluctance, to reveal a brown bleak with…self-recrimination. An expression Jake recognised all too well…it stared back at him from the mirror most days.

But why? Was it because Phin had allowed a man to that to him? Or, did he hate that it had been a stranger? The sort of creep that sat and watched you sleep, at that.

Or. Was Phin’s discomfortreflected inwards not outso acute because he was… convinced he’d done something amiss? Had no frame of reference to fall back on? No idea what supreme satisfaction looked like on the face of a man who’d been gifted an irreplaceable prize?

Jack had known from the first. Jake had not…processed an innate understanding: Pure, unsullied sex, too potent to resist, the most intoxicating elixir on Earth….had shredded his resistance when Phin’s arousal drenched the air. A purity he’d ascribed to the irrevocable need seeping from Phin’s pores; untouched by doubt, rather than utterly untouched full-stop.

In retrospect…had Jake known the truth from their very first kiss? Phin’s response had been tinged with…wonderment. How old is he?

Old enough. Not that it matters.

What the fuck? Of course it does. 

Time won’t touch him. No, shit for brains, he’s not immortal. He will age. Yet… remain the same.

Don’t we all?

No. Do you ever pay attention? Say…to the taint of bitterness, rancid with resentment? Or, the stench of discontent, sour with envy…?

Okay! I get it. Typical; saddled with a snarky dogmatist. 

Odd that.

What’s that supposed to—oh. Fuck off.

Like I said…

*
As much as he hated to admit it, Jack wasn’t wrong. That newborn fawn gaze made Phin seem impossibly younger than his years…and yet, he exuded an innocence as eternal as time. A spirit too pure for this world. Phin was enchanting. Every flicker of thought that flitted across his face was fascinating. Jake had no idea what the hell he might say, or do, next. Except that it would be…beyond compare.

Had Phin simply neglected to read the Human Handbook? Or…was he obliv—No, he was not. Nor was he insensible to suggestion. His tears told otherwise; it was impossible to fear falling short of expectation from a state of blissful oblivion. Phin knew. All too well. Far too well for his own… welfare.

“Mine…” Jake found himself murmuring at Phin’s lips before surrendering to their pull. Oh, well done. Way to freak him out, dogbreath.

Crap‘Jack’.  How the hell to explain away that slip-up? Slip-up!? It was a balls-up of epic proportions. He would have to…twist the truth. Tell Phin he preferred ‘Jake’ to his ‘given name’. Another lie to add to the legion Jake would have to tell if he hoped—intended—to see Phin again. Why the hell was he even considering it?

It was a disaster waiting to happen. At the very best. Signing Phin’s death warrant at worst. That wasn’t hyperbole, nor even his own glass-half-empty mentality. Jake knew damn well that he was lethal. A bloody plague on Phin’s person.

Speak for yourself. 

You. Are infinitely worse.

We. Are not.

Since when do you give a toss about slaughter? D’you even care what flavour your supper is?

Get me a bloody sausage and I might answer.

Clever dick.

If only you knew…

*

F’fucksakes. Now he had a dark passenger that made dick jokes. Dexter never had to put up with this shit. 

On that note, Jake had a sneaking suspicion that if someone really pissed him off, he could rip them apart with his bare hands. He might not be able to live with himself afterwards, but knew full well what he was capable of. 

Yup. Just as you know full well that you’d slit your own throat before taking a chunk out of his. Just sayin…

 

 

***

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 3

Part three for thee…

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

*

 

 

Phin

 

 

“It’s not all it’s cracked up to be…concentrating. The results are rarely worth the worry. Unless…I just focus on things that aren’t…” 

 *

How would Phin ever get it right if he was supposed to sift through stuff and choose what to concentrate on? He never did choosing, Phin just knew what he wanted. Or did not. If he didn’t, then he never would, simple. 

If he was asked: ‘would you rather do this or that?’ his brain had a fit of the fizzies. He couldn’t decide between two things he’d rather not do. He would already be on his way if he’d fancied doing either…and yet, he mustn’t say that, it was rude. Selecting one was the considerate thing to do.That seemed a bit rich to Phin, when making him choose wasn’t very considerate, was it? So many rules to follow. It was exhausting, which is why he preferred being on his own—except for today, of course—it was ‘the exception that proves the rule’.

Now that was just plain loopy. How could a not-rule prove a rule? Barmy. Phin was convinced these things were made up on purpose to fox him. Speaking of which…he sure wasn’t wishing away his newfound foxy friend. It had been kind of him to bring Phin home, especially when he seemed a bit of a scoundrel. A snaffling one, at that, so it was a wonder he hadn’t just ‘borrowed’ some clothes and scarpered.

“…okay.” 

Oh dear. Phin may have wafted off with the faeries again. “Pardon?” 

“I said: I should get off and leave you in peace, now I know you’re alright.”

“Oh…have you changed your mind?” He tried not to sound sad. People seemed to do changing theirs a lot, as if was a jumper. Phin was stuck with his. “About being thirsty,” he clarified, when Foxy looked puzzled.

“No…I just…thought you’d rather I left, I wasn’t exactly invited,” Foxy grimaced.

“I don’t—want you to go—I mean. I’m glad you’re here, which is oddsome. Tea…?” Phin threw back the blanket and sprang to his feet, which wasn’t the best plan he’d ever had. Oouch. Worth it though; if switching the kettle on sharpish qualified as tea-in-progress and thus, an impolite time to leave. Ow…Phin’s spine felt like a length of rope, knotted at intervals. Stretching might help, while he waited, not least cos he felt too skittish to stand still. 

“Are you okay?” Phin wondered, upon hearing the strangest noise after planting his palms on the roof of the van. It sounded like rusty indigestion.

“Yeah…” Foxy fibbed with a wince. “Sorry, I…cricked my neck. Tea would be great.” 

“Ouch, that hurts. That’s why I’m stretching my back—I’m all kinky—are you sure you’re alright?” 

“M’fine,” he insisted, between strangled cat sounds. 

“’Kay, if you’re sure,” Phin sighed, letting his arms fall to his sides. It was rude to point out porkies, unless the lie was likely to be lethal or something such. “Four sugars. I’m on it.” 

Phin still seemed to be wearing his coat—inside—which was a bit daft, so he shrugged it off. Urgh, he niffed to high heaven. Typical…his first ever foxy visitor and Phin reeked like his grandad’s slippers.

“Do I smell?” he wondered (worried) aloud.

“Huh?” Foxy frowned, for all the world as if sleeping in a trench coat was a surefire way to smell as fresh as a daisy.

“Oh, you’re being polite, aren’t you? Is it shocking horrible? I don’t usually go to bed in my coat, honest,” Phin promised. 

“You don’t smell…bad,” Foxy flat out lied, attempting to smother a smirk.

“Ah…I know that one. You’re being kind, so you told a white lie. It’s alright to tell those, mostly when a girl asks if her bum looks big in this. My sister told me.”

“She was right.” Foxy grinned—it made his eyes gleam cerulean and shiny— like a coconut eclair in a box of Quality Street. A thought that made Phin’s fingers twitch. Magpies had nothing on him. “Are you hungry?”

“I’m ravenous.” 

Now that was true. Foxy damn near growled it.

“What d’you fancy?”

“I…ah…” 

Duh. Phin hadn’t offered him any options. “Why don’t you have a mooch and help yourself while I get changed? The whiff won’t put you off your breakfast then. I went to the shops yesterday, so there’s lots to snaffle.”

Phin was gifted another coconut eclair smile as Foxy raked a hand through his hair. Quite why he bothered when it slithered straight back down to dangle in far too tempting tendrils, Phin knew not. It was excessively sexy hair.

Someone is allowed to touch those silken strands whenever they wish. As thoughts went, that one was about as welcome as a second visitor. Get changed, make tea, rustle up some breakfast and stop driving yourself doolally. That seemed excellent advice, despite its source, so Phin whipped his jumper off and tugged his jeans down to puddle at his ankles. He was wearing boxers, which was not always a given, so he didn’t think twice about stripping off. He was still decent, Foxy was a fella, and his undies were his favourite whitey tightys. Phin might stink something chronic, but at least he was sporting posh pants.

Foxy abruptly shot off his seat and…yanked open the fridge door to stick his head inside. Blimey, he’d shifted himself as fast as a ferret up a trouser leg, he must be starving.

“Ahhh…bacon,” he groaned.

The latter was a husky rumble that sounded as if Foxy was gargling gravel. Oh help…nooo. Tight pants. White pants. Fucketyfuck. He was staring at them in horror when a sharp inhalation shattered the silence. A split second later Phin found himself plastered to the cupboard door by a body forged from steel and feverish heat. He’d barely registered a firm pressure at his nape before his mouth crashed down onto lips that promptly snatched his breath away. Plump, glistening like glace cherries, paired with blue curaçao eyes…’twas akin to being clobbered by an exotic cocktail. When he’d never so much as sipped a cup of flat cider. Before breakfast, t’boot. Phin’s brain damn near dissolved. The rest of him froze.

Every sense was bombarded, bedazzled, by a torrent of heat, taste, touch; engulfed in husky, musky scent. A too much avalanche of never, ever, enough. Fingers tangled into Phin’s hair as those lips continued their plunder. It was…incredible. Intoxicating. It was impossible to worry about whether he was doing it right, responding as he should, while whisked away on a torrent of Foxy intensity. A whirlwind of want so consuming, Phin could scarce catch his breath, let alone fret about failing his oh, so foxy friend. He had never imagined it could feel this way, as if every fibre of his being was aflame, blowtorched within and without. Foxy was all fire; the brush of his fingers sizzled along Phin’s skin like a spark scarfing a trail of gunpowder as grappling hooks of need tugged at his guts.

The most sublime, staggering onslaught of Too Much he’d ever experienced in his life.

 

***

 

Jake

 

“Ah…bacon.”  It was all Jake could do to force himself to place it on the counter after retrieving it from the fridge. Rather than shred the packet with his teeth and cram it in his mouth.

Fuck…a sudden, sharp spike of white-hot want and cinnamon spice assaulted Jake’s senses. Blazing a trail through his system like molten molasses. Need so intense he could barely breathe. His heart reacted as if seized by a huge fist and squeezed, forcing the blood through his veins in a scorching trip south. A scent so persuasive, it propelled Jake forwards in a surge of sheer instinct and inhuman speed. Irresistible, as if it had been brewed to wreak havoc on a soul starved of sustenance, concocted by an alchemist hell-bent on blowing his mind. Pure, unsullied sex, too potent to resist, the most intoxicating elixir on Earth. 

Jake had to answer it. Had to. It was a compulsion, beyond comprehension—let alone control—a desire too consuming to deny. They couldn’t deny him. Anything. A knowledge that might’ve been as devastating as he was deranged if Jake hadn’t been too delirious to care. That was his last conscious thought for a while. Jackal instincts took over, obliterating all else.

Jack didn’t burst out of his body, but some bone-deep certainty understood why. Jake didn’t fight him, there was no battle for Jack to win. No reluctance to refute, or refusal to override. Jake went willingly, obliterating a chasm of space in a heartbeat. Flinging himself into the flames of a need he could no longer negate. What should have been a tentative brush of lips—more query than kiss—was a melding of mouths so incendiary, Jake may not have noticed if he’d burst into flames. It was a clash of lips, teeth, tongue; far from rebuffed. For about a snatched-off breath, it seemed He was stunned to stillness… before melting into Jake’s arms as if he’d waited a lifetime for Jake to succumb to the inevitable. 

A sentiment that just might’ve prompted an inner rolling of eyes, if his shadow self had been in any fit state for snarky asides. Very fine impressions of furry hearth rugs did not count, despite claims to the contrary. 

Mine…whispered like a cool breeze through Jake’s body, holding his human self together. Taking the place of the frantic scramble to surface he’d feared. Never, had Jake felt so certain that he wouldn’t explode in a frenzy of fur and frustration. 

Jake tightened his arms, fusing them closer still; there was no close enough. A helpless groan rattled in his throat when a searing fact blow-torched his consciousness, blazing its way to his lust-glazed brain:  There was a ridge of hard heat branding his lower belly. Scalding through flimsy cotton and soft fleece, too insistent to ignore. Dragging his own hips back in order to slip a hand between their bodies would have been too cruel to contemplate…had Jake not accomplished it, before he caught on. Christ.

A sharp intake of breath shattered the kiss when he cupped ruffled warmth; a heady weight that thrilled through Jake’s veins as liquid lust. A soft whimper slipped free; distinct from his own, the single most erotic sound he’d ever been gifted. Nothing, no one—not even Jake—could make him relinquish the right to earn himself an entire symphony of sighs. A flight of fancy hijacked by an abrupt snap of lean hips, urging him on. Fuck. The racket that rumbled in Jake’s throat when he recaptured ripe lips wasn’t far from a growl, it sounded half feral. More animal than human.

Mine… The source of that was uncertain, Jake could only hope it hadn’t made a bid for freedom. A repetition was a very close thing when he finally closed his fingers around feverish flesh.

“Ahhhhh!” His head snapped back, breaking the kiss when his hips jerked reflexively.

A loss that suggested a gain far too tempting to resist. Jake had dropped to his knees before he could consider the wisdom of this cunning plan.

“Jack…” he cautioned.

Huh?” floated out on a bewildered breath.  Crap…he’d said that. Out loud. It had been intended as whispered word of warning to gentle the jackal.

“Er…Jack. My…name,” Jake managed to stammerthe only fudge that seemed feasible. 

“Hmm…it suits you.” That creamy smile was sin itself. “Phin.” 

PhinWas a sigh of sublime satisfaction so smug, Jake might have smirked. If he’d had a leg to stand on. 

A feat in itself, y’must admit. Considering.

 

 

***

 

Wafflish

The Beast of Bodmin Moor Pt 2

Without further ado, here’s part 2…

 

The Beast Of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

 

Cradling him carefully so that he wouldn’t be unduly jolted, Jake began to run…

 

Jake

 

 

Upon reaching the camper van a few minutes later, Jake lowered himself to his haunches and rested its unconscious owner on his lap to pat at the pockets of the trench for some keys. When he heard their tell-tale jingle, Jake extracted them and selected the most likely suspect before rising to his feet. 

He’d been longing to see inside the van (aside from sneaking a peek through a gap in its curtains), but when Jake tugged the door wide, he stood, staring, at the sheer onslaught of stuff.  Staggering in itself, but infinitely less so than the sledgehammer of scent that snatched Jake’s breath away. Fuck.

Turning his head, Jake sucked in a huge lungful of fresh air and held it, then climbed into the van and carried Him over to one of the sofa-seats. That seemed the most logical place; there was no way Jake should be able to heft him into the bed nook above the driver’s alcove. In truth, Jake could have bridged his fingers at the small of His back and lifted him above his head like a waiter flourishing a silver salver.

After laying Him gently on the sofa, Jake sank onto the nearest seat and scraped a hand through his straggling hair. Strewth. He swallowed in a futile attempt to manage the saliva situation (dead-set on drooling like a mangy mutt) and gazed down at that sleeping angel face. So vulnerable, so horribly unaware of the danger he was in. 

A shallow, experimental breath burned down Jake’s throat like absinthe. Christ. Jack could never have resisted that scent in such an enclosed space. Clothes would have been shredded in seconds by teeth hell-bent on sinking into skin. Jake yearned to. At least he ached to devour Him in a very different way so…thank fuck for small mercies?

Okay. After a few more shallow breaths, the scent became slightly more bearable; less like being clobbered with a breeze block. Jake examined the gash glistening in the darkness; it did seem to have started healing a little. Jake’s flesh wounds healed in seconds, this hadn’t scabbed over quite that quick, but it was still far too fast. There was no need to dig around for a first aid kit, the wound couldn’t look any cleaner. Savlon would do fuck all to ward off impending fur. It was probably best to leave it alone, just make Him as comfortable as those ludicrous legs would allow, and fetch a blanket.

He seemed to be breathing regularly and there was no sign of a burgeoning bump, so he should be okay, bar a banging headache. Jake knew damn well that he’d worry himself sick if he didn’t stay to keep an eye on Him. Anything could happen. Anything. That was the part that freaked Jake out the most. He just didn’t know.

They would have to watch Him every night now, until it was clear that the jackal’s lickfest hadn’t triggered the consequences he dreaded. Jack’s saliva had clearly accelerated the healing process of the wound so…what the hell else was it doing to Him? The very thought of their saliva seeping into His system…Christ. The torrent of lust that slashed straight to Jake’s groin catapulted him out of his seat to crash through the door and stagger out onto the verge. By the time he could see straight he was crouched on all fours and gasping at fresh, untainted air. He had to get a grip on the need wracking his guts like grappling hooks. Had to. He needed Jake. Pressing his forehead into the grass, he inhaled its earthy sweetness, filling his lungs with the soothing smell of soil, as if to salve his soul.

For a heart stopping moment he’d feared that he was about to explode in a fury of fur. Jake had shifted against his will many times at first; in a far too literal outburst of rage that proved impossible to restrain. He had been furious for a long time.

After the first year, Jake had begun to get a handle on it, but it had been a bitter, bloody battle. He may have learned to suppress his customary triggers, but the jackal had never, ever, been triggered by lust. Jake’s current predicament was compounded by the fact he’d not had sex since that night. Sex? He’d done bugger all for two years. It had taken him months to make a cup of bloody tea without demolishing the kitchen. There was barely a mug left in the cottage with a handle still attached. Even now, he had to monitor his movements and rein in the impossible strength, coiled like steel springs, ever primed to pounce.

Even if he didn’t inadvertently snap someone’s spine, or shred them with his teeth…there was another problem. A snag Jake could never have anticipated. The jackal didn’t seem interested in a simple ‘shag’. He wanted…more. Jake wasn’t entirely sure what that ‘more’ was…but very much feared that Jack was utterly convinced he had found it. 

“Get a grip,” Jake snarled aloud, hoping that at least one of them listened. With a heartfelt groan, he scraped his forehead off the ground, and sank back onto folded knees. So now what?  He sure as hell couldn’t go home, so he’d better scrounge up something to wear and wait for Him to regain consciousness.  A thought that sent a shiver of delight and dread thrilling through his veins.

Jake rolled his eyes in resigned bemusement; it was all so sodding ridiculous. A tractor could mow him down and scarce leave a scratch—he could probably throw one without breaking a sweat— but he was helpless in the face of Him. After gulping down a last lungful of clean air, Jake clambered to his feet and headed back inside the van. He stood, watching Him for a moment, listening to his heartbeat; steady, strong, sure.

Now Jake just needed something to cover himself up with. He would look like Charlie bloody Chaplin if he borrowed some clothes—not that it mattered what he looked like— He was highly unlikely to open his eyes and wonder why some bloke with dreadful dress sense was sitting on his sofa, was he? 

That said, chances were He might just wonder why there was a (badly dressed) bloke he’d never clapped eyes on in his life, squatting in his van and watching him sleep. Like a pervert.

A quick scout about unearthed a bathrobe bunched amid a mountain of trinkets and treasures. It would do, although quite how Jake intended explain the fact he’d donned it? Fucknows. If Jake was female, then a drunken one night stand would seem feasible. But why the hell would you wake to find a strange fella crashed in your camper van, wearing your bathrobe?

Christ, he could do with a bloody drink. Or twelve. Being engulfed in soft swathes of heady scent sure as hell wasn’t helping matters. So, Jake sat, and watched him sleep. He barely registered the passing hours; oddly at peace and…content for the first time in longer than he cared to remember. 

He slept fairly peacefully, muttering a few random words here and there, mostly about…a foxy friend? Shit. Had he fallen for her, this friend? Did it really matter? He was hardly going to wake up and promptly fall for the perv squatting on his sofa while decked out in his dressing gown, was he?

*

Dawn broke while Jake was drinking a third cup of tea. The world simply brightened; shades of grey bleeding into colour, as if someone was fiddling with the buttons on the remote. It wasn’t long before the volume ratcheted up to full blast, when the gulls chipped in with their contribution to the festivities. Fabulous. It was akin to a ref’s whistle being abruptly blasted down his earhole.

Jake was ravenous. He’d not been hunting last night and now his guts were gurgling as they grumbled about the distinct lack of a breakfast rump steak heading their way. Naked, starving and squatting. It wasn’t the best start he’d ever had to a day…although it was far from the worst.

Mostly he just felt impatient; like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for his dad to wake up so he could open his presents. Perhaps he should rustle around a little? Or cough…clear his throat. Or…open the window and hope that squawking seagull was, as Jake suspected, enough to wake the dead. Let alone the decidedly not dead, thank God…or Anubis, for taking a night off.

 

*

 

 

Phin

 

 

 

Phin hurt.

It was a sharp, stabbing sort of pain. But it was dull too, as if it came from very far away, which didn’t seem possible when the pain was in his head. That had been firmly fixed atop his shoulders last time he looked, but stranger things had happened.

He’d long become accustomed to colours and numbers crawling the walls and ants that scurried beneath his skin. To pictures writhing on the pages of his books as words wriggled in wormy parades. Hallucinations…Mr. Neil called them, conjured by his imagination. His long suffering therapist had lots of cognitive fix-its for Phin to forget to focus on. 

Whether or not his head was still in situ was far less significant than the fact that: last time Phin opened his eyes, there had been a wolf peering down at him. Well, sort of—it seemed too foxy for a wolf—but Phin had felt a bit fuzzy, so he couldn’t be sure. His ears were too cute, as if they were a size too large for his head…which had definitely been where it should be. As this was more than Phin could claim with certainty, he was hardly in a position to quibble about earflap excesses. He couldn’t help but hope they felt silky soft to touch. Strokable.

Impressive pinnae aside, his foxy friend had the most beautiful eyes Phin had ever seen. He had to concede that he mightve hallucinated this part, because they were blue. Very, very, blue. Canis did not often sport such a hue, it must be admitted, except for huskies. It was a strikingly similar shade of aquamarine, so…perhaps a husky had got frisky with a fox? 

Contemplating the mating habits of canine critters was perhaps a mite random—particularly if his head had gone missing—in which case Phin should be concentrating on that. This was another of Mr. Neil’s favourite words. He was also fond of focus, extreme, excessive, hypersensitivity, hyperactive, hyper-however-Phin-felt. Mr. Neil was a tad hyperkeen on wafting his favourite prefix about. With a flagrancy that was more than a mite ironic. Phin had not pointed this out. That would have been rude. 

Rude (adj.): telling the truth.

Hyper (prep. and adv.) a prefix appearing in loanwords from Greek, meaning ‘over’; usually implying excess or exaggeration.

Charming. 

Excess’? As if Phin was baggage. In this (suit)case, it assuredly meant Too Much. That summed matters up far more succinctly than poking and prodding at Phin’s person for filing purposes. If he ever managed to practise concentrating for long enough to write an autobiography, Too Much would do just fine for a title. 

Back to Phin’s foxy friend; even in that brief moment of eye contact he’d felt certain that they belonged to a friend not foe. As bonkers as it sounded, those brilliant blues had seemed warm with…concern. A claim that might rubber stamp his residency in very select accommodations, complete with a fancy buckled coat. If Phin was daft enough to utter it aloud. He was well aware that the label slapped on his forehead deemed him mind blind: incapable of reading facial expressions or observing social cues. While that tended to be true, Professor Simon Baron Cohen (cousin of Borat and top notch research Prof in the field) asserts that the extreme opposite can also occur. Hypersensitivity so acute it was likened to a sixth one. 

Phin absorbed sheet music louder than the tune it played. Its composition was more vivid than its melody. It was hard to focus on things people said when he heard their feelings at a much higher volume. Oh dear, the concentrating thing had gone to pot again. He hadn’t even got around to prising his eyelids apart, figuring that his head would hurt a helluva lot more if he did. The rest of him was too uncomfy to inflict further suffering on himself, having (apparently) kipped on the ‘sofa’. Again. A (barely) padded bench seat bolted to the wall. Why hadn’t he climbed into his cosy bed nook?  If he’d turned over in the night, he would have sure woken up in a bit of a hurry.

It was no good, he was going to have to crank his eyes open sometime soon, he was gasping for a cuppa. Ping. OUCH. Phin slammed them shut again.

“Oooh, m’head…” he groaned.

“Are you okay?”

Huh? That was a bit spooky. Phin attempted to blink away the bleary before turning his head towards the velvet warm voice that had just enquired about his health.

“Oh. Hello,” Phin parped, several octaves higher than usual.

There was a man—wearing Phin’s bathrobe—sitting on the sofa-seat set at right angles to his own. Quite why he had borrowed Phin’s robe, he knew not. Nor, come to think of it, who the bejeezus he was.

It was an odd time to pop by for a visit though, particularly without phoning first. That said, he’d never clapped eyes on the fella in his life, which did tend to suggest he didn’t know Phin’s number. That seemed forgivable enough, but the robe thing was a tad rich. Help yourself why don’t you? Oh, you already have.

“Hi, are you alright?”

Well, Phin had felt better. Particularly in the head department, which was definitely attached to his shoulders. It hurt a helluva lot too much to be absent. Other than that…it wasn’t every day he woke to find the most beautiful man he’d ever seen sitting on his sofa-seat. Even if he was a robe snaffler.

There was something…timeless about him. Primal; all tumbling locks, heavy-lidded eyes and pouty lips. Despite being a compact sort of chap, rather than a hulking behemoth, he was more than a mite Mamoan. A look enhanced by hair that tumbled in a hundred hues of honey-to-toffee. He was sporting what appeared to be a permanent sort of stubble, rather than a beard, but aside from that, he might have stepped straight from an ocean the exact shade of his eyes.

 It was a good job Phin’s mum wasn’t here. She would be nailing planks across the door after dispatching him without so much as a by-your-leave, or a Latin quotation.

“My head hurts, which doesn’t seem fair when I don’t remember the squiffy part. I might be fibbing though, cos I can’t recall crashing here, either. Um, I don’t mean to be rude—tho’ I often am—but why are you wearing my robe?”

The hot as hell squatter on his sofa looked a bit bewildered by Phin’s question. Not half as befuddled as Phin felt though, seeing as it was his robe that had been snaffled, after all.

“Your robe?” He glanced down, as if surprised to find himself informed thus.  

Perhaps he was a nutter. Phin did tend to attract them. Not in sexy way, sadly. In an: ‘Oh hello, I intend to chat away to you until the end of time about my collection of vintage tax discs from 1921-2014’ sort of fashion.

Heaven knows why. They didn’t usually ‘borrow’ his robe without asking, though.

“I mean, you’re welcome to lend it, although no-one ever has before. That’s why I was surprised…have you popped ‘round to borrow anything else? Sugar? Tea-bags?”

“Sugar?”

He really was a bit w-e-i-r-d. “Sweet stuff you sprinkle in your tea?“

“I am familiar with sugar,” he grinned. “Four spoons please,”

It was the sort of grin his mum had warned his sisters about. She hadn’t thought to mention this to Phin, but then…she hadn’t seen the scrapbook of blue-eyed-boys stashed under his bed. 

“You’re staying for a cuppa? I wish you’d told me you were coming—not because that would have been po-lite—but I would have bought you some Hobnobs. You’ll have to suffer malted milks, I’m afraid. Unless I’ve scoffed those too…Four?!

Phin had to be hallucinating this, had to be. Even then, he had really excessed himself this time. Conjuring up a sexy sweet-toothed scoundrel with sticky fingers was a smidge extravagant.

Phin had better not tell Mr. Neil about this episode, or they might start fiddling with his meds. Again. Oops, that had been an…unfortunate mishap. Phin really hadn’t meant to get quite so…upset. The zoo had been quite nice about it. Eventually. He should also keep schtum about the foxy-wolf he met on the moors.

Phin was clearly on a roll. That never went well. Perhaps he’d dreamed last night’s foxy friend in a…symbolic sort o’way? He had conjured him up just before this new (and very) foxy friend parked his bum on Phin’s sofa-seat.

“Tea?”

“Pardon?” Phin blinked, several times. Dang, he’d zoned out. Again.

It was with a devilish grin that Foxy raked a hand through his tumble of hair, scraping it back from his forehead. Fuck…Phin hurriedly shut his mouth, perchance he was gaping. A bit. His distracting mane of waves had cascaded over one eye and obscured half his face. The moment Foxy scraped back those trailing tendrils, Phin was forced to concede that he just might be hallucinating. Either that, or he’d dropped dead and woken up in heaven. Heaven must be that colour, surely?

It was a blue so true… so beautiful it was akin to staring into the shimmer of a sunlit Caribbean sea. He didn’t usually like visitors, especially those who turned up unannounced and robbed you blind. But in truth, they didn’t usually look like aquatic gods. Foxy’s skin seemed to have been dipped in liquid gold. As if he were coaxed from sleep by the caress of sun rays every morn. If only Phin could swap places with it… To be the one person in the world who was allowed to wake and scatter that skin with kisses. 

Shifting slightly more onto his side, Phin tried to adjust himself a mite without being unseemly. Much to his relief, he was still wearing his jeans. His flimsy blanket would have draped itself obscenely over an erection that had bid adieu to morning glory a wee while back. Hell-bent on an utter excess of glory halleloo.

 

Jake

 

He woke two hours later. His breathing changed first; pulse speeding slightly when he shifted, stirred. Feathery lashes flickered, parted, then those eyes flared wide with a sharp gasp. Swiftly followed by a groan as he slammed them shut.

“Oh, m’head…” 

Jake had inquired how he felt before he had time to think it through. This was the most important thing in the world and they needed to know. When Jake’s voice filtered into His consciousness he blinked, as bewildered as a newborn fawn. Jake would be best advised to fling himself off a cliff. Before he did something diabolical, rather than afterwards. It would save time.

“Oh. Hello.” The soft musicality of His voice was somehow more surprising than those first words. Oh. Hello. For all the world as if Jake was a regular visitor who’d popped in for coffee on the off chance. 

Who the hell are you? What are you doing in my van? Why the fuck were you watching me sleep like a pervy stalker…None of which seemed cause for concern, compared to the unfairness of waking with a banging headache and no memory of earning it. All of which might well be a ‘fib’. Apparently.  One that didn’t appear to include airbrushing out naked men, methods of conveyance, or things that went bump in the night. Foreheads in particular. All of this was related with an air of bemused acceptance as…adorable as his wide-eyed wonderment. 

Jake really shouldn’t allow himself to be lulled into a false sense of security by charms way too beguiling to withstand without a wink of sleep. A state that left Jake utterly unarmed for following corker, added as an afterthought, for all the world as if it was not a steel jaw trap tossed in Jake’s path.

“Um, I don’t mean to be rude—tho’ I often am—but why are you wearing my robe?”

All of the aforementioned queries were surely more significant than your stalker’s outfit while squatting in your van, watching you sleep? Jake glanced down at it, trying to rustle up something, anything to explain this most pressing of matters. A reason that didn’t include:

You slipped on some rubble and smacked your head on a rock when distracted by my whimper. Rather than let you bleed to death, I licked the woundto clean it, clearlyNot because I’m a vile dog who gets off on lapping at the heads of unconscious innocents on the moors. After that, it was the least I could do to carry you home and stay to ensure that…you didn’t slip into a coma…or say, turn into a mangy mutt. Your robe? Well…I had to carry you here, um sort of naked, which seemed one rude awakening too many. In addition to finding a stranger in your van, watching you sleep in a deeply suspect manner.  While wearing your bathrobe.

Jake was still trying to come up with a feasible alternative while listening to chime bar tones extol the comparative virtues of Hobnobs and malted milk biscuits. 

Jake didn’t like to ask if there was any raw steak instead. Or bacon. 

Or sausage.

You are not having sausages. They give you the trots. 

Spoilsport. It’s not as if you’re required to poop scoop, is it?

Be-have. Or we’re going home.

Says you and whose army?

Jack! F’fucksakes, shut up.

Shutting. I still fancy a sausage, though.

Jake slammed his lids shut, as if they were a partition between himself and certain backseat drivers. He was too distracted to mentally prepare for impact on reopening them.  

Blue locked with brown. The world tilted on its axis. 

Planets didn’t collide, there were no sudden snowstorms in the Sahara or monsoons in Moscow. A teacup probably didn’t even fall off a table. A Jackal did not explode out of Jake’s body and his cock refrained from exploding all over the borrowed bathrobe.  

Nothing untoward happened whatsoever…but Jake knew that nothing would ever be the same again.

Somewhere inside the jackal whined pitifully. Want. Jake could practically feel his claws scrabbling at his guts like a frantic dog scratching at the door. They were all doomed. Nothing good could come of this…surely? At that precise moment in time, Jake was more likely to audition for Britain’s Got Talent than convince himselfor Jackthat he could flee from this. Even on two legs, let alone four.

“I lost a bet,” Jake explained (not at all), rather than dwell upon the decimation of his sanity. 

“Oh! Like a forfeit?” Midnight eyes sparkled with mischief, as if sprinkled with starlight.

“Yeah. Like that,” Jake was left nodding like a dog on a parcel shelf. Too taken aback to elaborate…on what planet had that been believable?

“Oops.” His chuckle was as incorrigible as it was infectious. “But…how did you end up here, wearing my robe? Was it my fault you lost the bet?”

His fault? Why the hell would he think that? Jake was far too famished to fathom the unfathomable.

“No…I found you out there,” he hedged, with a shrug. As if this was a matter of no import. “You’d hit your head and seemed a bit worse for wear…so I wanted to make sure you made it back to your van. I was worried, so I stayed to keep watch, in case you got sick. It was a bit cold to sit here starkers, so I hoped you wouldn’t mind if I borrowed your robe. “

“No, of course I don’t mind. I…thank you. For bringing me back, I mean. I do get…lost sometimes.”

“Lost?”

“I get a bit distracted and forget to do concentrating.”

“I wouldn’t fret about it, if I were you. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be…concentrating.” Jake had sighed before engaging his brain. “The results are rarely worth the worry. Unless…I just focus on things that aren’t.” 

Where the hell had that come from? Jake never admitted this, even to himself. 

Why bother stating the blindingly obvious?

Who asked for your tuppence worth?

Why bother et cetera, et cetera…?

Fuck off.

Chance would be a fine thing. Just sayin’.

Jake did not bother pointing out the obvious. They were clearly going to hell in a handcart, but he really couldn’t care less, when he’d never felt less bothered in his bloody life. 

 

***

 

 

 

 

Wafflish

Happy Halloween Week

Hiya,

I’m sorry there has been such a barren patch on the writing front. I think my head imploded and refused point blank to do anything useful whatsoever.

Last week, while reading the wonderful Legendary Loves 2, I remembered a story I’d written many moons ago and went for a rummage to see if it was worth dusting off. Since then I’ve edited/rewritten a fair chunk & wanted to post it in serial form as a Halloween offering of sorts…

Blurb

Two years ago Jake McCain met an irresistible stranger at the Glastonbury festival. A few days later his life, as he knew it, was over.  Enter Jack. The ‘two’ of them have…cohabited ever since. Much to Jack’s dismay, Jake shows no sign of relenting in his bid to be the most bloody minded human a jackal ever had the misfortune to manage.

Phin Finley has set off on a magical mystery campervan tour of south-west England. Having flown the family nest for the first time, he is determined to prove to his parents that he can manage just fine, despite being a bit too…Phinnish for most folk’s comfort, his mum’s peace of mind and dad’s constitution.

This is the tale of his adventures; a story about finding your (happy) place in the world, making (foxy) friends and the fabled Beast of Bodmin Moor. 

*

It’s a shape-shifter story,  but it is also an own voices tale too. Part 1 (5,000 words).

 

🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

newphoenix0015a

‘There is no doubt that Bodmin Moor is a creepy place. Should you happen to find yourself alone there as dusk is falling, try not to think about the layers of legend, horror and mystery associated with this wild and rugged landscape, and in particular, whatever you do, try not to let your mind dwell on The Beast… ’

 

http://www.cornwalls.co.uk/myths-legends/beast_of_bodmin.htm

 

Jack

 

Jack inhaled, low and deep, drawing the scent of darkness into his lungs; a lush shimmer of air as laden with riches as the shriek of silence. For all was not still this night, nor any other; the rustle of foraging creatures resounded as clearly as the whisper of wind rifling the scrubby grassland. As audible as every beat of his own heart…strong, sure, steady.

He stood, drinking in the magnificence of a moor drenched in moonlight, bleached to bone and shadow. A rugged, brutal beauty that beckoned to the Need, impossible to resist. An ever flickering flame that flared anew when dusk drew its veil over the day, warming him through as he waited. Waited, watching, every night. For Him to come.

Jack snapped his head around with a sharp sniff, dredging the breeze for its faint trace of that scent. Yes. There it was. As heady as opium, a smell as seductive as a clarion call… as if the very air had been saturated in musk and marshmallows dipped in brandy. The husky warmth of the latter assaulted his system with Jack’s next breath; almost as welcome, though nowhere near as enticing, as his scent. 

‘Speak for yourself…’ grunted Jake, his ever ornery human. ‘I wouldn’t say no to a decent bloody drink.’ 

‘Is this where I humbly apologise for not coming complete with pockets?’ Jack guessed.

‘Pockets?’ accompanied Jake’s snort of disgust. ‘I wish you’d never come at all.’

‘I do believe that was your department, dear sir…’  Jack couldn’t resist pointing out.

‘Shut up…’  This was Jake’s go-to retort when his face would have flushed beetroot red, had he been wearing it at the time. 

*

Jack was beginning to give up hope that Jake would ever come to terms with a fate he found about as fortuitous as herpes. Hope. That was a sore point; a concept Jake had denounced as cruel as the craggy rocks onto which the Wreckers once lured unwary ships. Jack knew all too well that his human was convinced he had none whatsoever. No future when he might ‘doom’ a potential paramour to the fate that had befallen him.

Paramour? F’fucksakes. You’ve been watching far too much French porn.  Tell me…what exactly would be the point of hoping? You sure as shit can’t eat him. I sure as hell can’t talk to him. ‘

Jake wouldn’t even permit them to settle beside Him and luxuriate in His very presence.  Oh, how Jack coveted the slow caress of a palm along the serrated sweep of his spine… as forbidden as the burrowing of fingers into fur. A thought that sent a ripple of phantom pleasure thrilling through Jack’s body, twitching every hair to attention in a ruffling sigh of sound. 

Jack crept forward a few inches, low in the long grass, stomach skimming its scrubby tufts and ancient crumbs of rock as he crawled closer. His prey, as was His wont, had seated himself amidst the ruins of an engine house. Remnants of a time when the Old Men; the tinners and miners had given their lives to the Cornish quarries. Lives that lingered still in the scars they’d left scattered across the moors. 

There were far more obvious places in which He could have chosen to while away a few hours; stone circles, standing stones, tors…even a neolithic burial tomb. None of which had lured him from this very spot since. Jack had expected Him to move on after a few nights when its charm faded with familiarity, but He showed no sign of tiring of this tumble of granite nestled in a bleak expanse of nothingness. To human eyes, at least.

Jack should never have embraced the rush of relief that flooded his every fibre of his being each time that scent assailed his snout. Least of all here—in the one place he felt fairly safe—protected by legend and lore. Where all evidence of his existence was credited to ‘The Beast of Bodmin Moor’. Jack had never seen hide nor hair of a huge black panther, nor caught so much as a whiff on the wind, which did tend to suggest he wouldn’t find himself slaughtered by a five foot feline any time soon. Nevertheless, Jack was guiltily grateful for an ‘existence’ that safeguarded his own anonymity. Better yet, the Beat’s myth had but been enhanced by Jack’s midnight feasts, which was a bonus not to be sniffed at. He had, much to his amusement, become something of a boon to the Cornish Tourist Board… rather than a monstrous predator who left the moor littered with carcasses. 

Jack lay low, watching, breathing, luxuriating in the heady fix now wafting his way. It would have to be enough. It had to be…and yet, the Need was relentless. A yearning that set his senses aflame, prodding him moorward; boiling through his blood, bones, body. Sinews straining with longing. Lust. A desire as devouring as the instinct to tear, shred, take…slake. Claim Him as his own. 

Worst of all was the Want, because Jake wanted him just as much. He was somehow…  unlike other humans. Entirely himself. It was an innate recognition; as inviolate as truth. A certainty gleaned by instincts as sharp as the glint of silver in moonlight.

Who was He, this strange creature of the night who wandered the moors like a wraith? The clumsy grace of those overlong limbs was that of a newborn foal, observing the world through eyes wide with wonder; windows to a soul untainted by the petty trivialities humans prized. There was an air of the ethereal in his fearlessness; his scent carried no taint of unease, nor care for consequence. Might he be…fae? Jack didn’t have the foggiest idea whether faerie folk roamed the Earth or not. He’d never met a Vampire either…and Jake? Jake had been just as oblivious to the existence of his own kind until it was far, far too late…  

 

Phin

 

Phin sat atop a craggy crumble of rock, content as can be in his happy place. 

It was his haven, his very own sliver of heaven. A sacred spot where the twenty-first century had quite forgotten to come charging in like the cavalry, hell-bent on rescuing it from perfection.

He felt more right on this ancient moor than anywhere else. When his camper van had rumbled up the windy road and Phin first clapped eyes on the vast sweep of scrubland before him, he’d felt strangely home, all of a sudden. Strangely, because he’d never had a ‘home’—not a proper, permanent one. His family just followed Major Finley from one posting to the next and set up camp in an endless parade of Army accommodations. Homes don’t have barbed wire. 

Here, Phin could breathe, bathe in blissful isolation. Alone in this tumbledown place but never lonely. Loneliness was feeling alone in a room full of people. Not here. Phin had never been comfy in company. It was tricky to focus on appearing ‘normal’. Impossible when faced with more than one person at a time, when he was besieged by a torrent of Too Much: too loud, too bright, too many colours clashing in a cacophony of sound. That’s how it felt, as if all Phin’s senses had been bunged in the washer and switched to spin cycle. 

All this was befuddling in itself, even before having to pretend that folk were not fibbing, when they were. Fact. Phin liked facts. He found them too fascinating to ignore, which made his mind waft off to ponder matters-far-more-interesting instead. He shouldn’t do this when he should be listening to people try to persuade him they felt things they didn’t instead—to make them seem kind—when they weren’t. 

It was very important to pretend to believe people who portrayed themselves as someone they aspired to be. It was a frustrating waste of time in which Phin could be doing something interesting instead. Or at least less scratchy. 

He hated feeling like a fraud. Most people seemed to prize things Phin couldn’t fathom the point of. The impression they made on others. How they were ‘seen’. A concern that had nothing to do with donning orange jumpers, apparently, which would have been an understandable worry. Phin wouldn’t be seen dead in said detested hue (that was an idiom, not a fact, as it didn’t make sense in the scheme of things). He would be dead, and ergo, unable to see. Let alone be in any fit state to insist that his corpse was not desecrated by a despicable sweater. 

Nope, Phin Finley didn’t much care for the company of people, but he adored animals. They could be trusted—even predators—because they were honest. They didn’t pretend to like you before biting your head off, did they? He loved that the animals dotted across the moor were allowed to roam fairly free. The cows often pottered across the road and parked up when they fancied a rest or a gazeabout. They didn’t give a stuff, just stood there staring over their shoulders with mild disinterest if a queue of cars started honking at them. For all the world as if that might persuade them to shift their furry butts.

An animal’s love was unconditional. They never, ever, made you feel as if you weren’t good enough, or that you’d let them down when you couldn’t help but be yourself. Phin felt that way a lot—even with his family—especially with his family, who had become ever more polarized. With Phin stuck in the middle like an equatorial embarrassment. His poor mum and elder sister adored him despite himself and defended him with lioness finesse. This was far more than Phin deserved and made him feel dreadful when they bore the brunt of consequences that doomed his dad to a son who would never do him proud. Quite apart from subjecting him to social humiliation horrifics that made his younger sister’s hair curl. Despite her heroic struggles with an evil contraption that made her smell like a singed cat. 

The older he got and the more Phin tried to work people out, the less he felt he knew, let alone understood. A confusion too far when his head was already overstuffed with too much— well, too much everything. As far back as he could recall, he’d been sure he didn’t see the same things through his eyes that everyone else saw through theirs. His brain wouldn’t work in the same way, either. It was ‘just wired differently’, his mum said… a belief she’d expounded overandoverandoveragain, ad nauseum to his dad. Who thought this was piffle…so he’d spent the last twenty-odd years trying to rewire Phin in order to prove his point. Efforts that seemed uncannily similar to something called ‘a contradiction in terms’ to Phin. If he wasn’t wired wrong, then why did his dad persist in trying to fix him?

It ate away at his heart that his mum had to endure this endless tussle of wills, so Phin had decided that it was high time she got some much deserved peace. The spoke in their family wheel was as obvious as the nose on Phin’s face (not half as obvious as the rest of him, but idioms need not concern themselves with seventy four inches of trivial detail). The solution was simple; remove said spoke. If Phin took himself off that would free his lionesses from all such friction, and Phin from fretting about being the cause of it. Having determined upon this, he hadn’t been too fussed where he went. Going—the joy of getting there—mattered far more. 

Phin had to admit that landlords, deposits and adhering to contract stipulations might just be a disaster waiting to happen, so he’d bought himself a camper-van with the savings his gran had stashed away for him. He’d always retreated to his inner world when the wider one felt too confounding to fathom, so he’d fixed upon finding that feeling elsewhere. A safe place in which to potter about with less fear of mishaps and making folk miffy. A rural idyll, where traces of ye olde times might linger still. 

His family had latterly been stationed in Dorset, which had swiftly become his favourite place they’d stayed for many a moon. Figuring that the further west he went, the more he might like it, Phin decided to head to Devon and then onward, into Cornwall. A plan that seemed to ease his mum’s fears a smidge; she’d already suffered more than enough on his behalf. Nothing would stop her worrying about whether he’d remembered to pack his bicycle clips and a clean hankie, but that was ‘her job’ she insisted, so Phin would just have to ‘suck it up’. 

Cornwall it was then. Kernow; ancient land of his Celtic kin. Still stubbornly steeped in its own heritage and clinging to its right to remain itself. A feeling Phin had every sympathy with.

 

*
southcaradonmine

Jack 

 

It was with a ghostly glide of muscle over bone that Jack crept a little closer, inching towards Him, nearer than he’d ever dared venture before. Too close for comfort, but far from close enough to sate the craven clawing in his guts.

His prey shifted, perhaps to settle more comfortably, extending his right leg. Long, so long… it stretched across the tumble of rock towards Jack as if the devil himself was hell bent on driving him demented. It was all Jack could do to suppress a whine as he slammed his eyelids shut, which only intensified the need to nuzzle it. To nudge it with his nose, rub his fur along a lavish sweep of thigh… snuffle at the soft skin shrouded in a sheath of tight denim.

A tut pinged from plush lips when he attempted to slip a hand into the pocket of his coat. With a huff of impatience, he clambered to his feet, unfolding himself to his full, glorious height. Towering so tall that the top of his tufty head seemed to brush the stars as Jack gazed up from his lowly crouch on the ground. Once upright, He slipped his fingers inside with ease and rummaged in the pocket of the buff-coloured trench he invariably came wrapped in each night; vast swathes of fabric that shielded him from Jack’s ravenous gaze.

It was then that a whimper of want made an abrupt bid for freedom, shattering the quiet like an air raid siren. He jerked his head up, shooting a puzzled glance over each shoulder, but his pulse rate didn’t spike with anxiety and no trace of fear tainted his scent. When no further sound suggested that aught was amiss, he shrugged, as if suspecting that he’d imagined whatever he thought he’d heard. Then bent to place a palm on the rocks for support as he reseated himself. Shit. With a sudden, horrifying lurch to the left, his foot slipped on the rubble and a snatched-off cry shredded Jack’s senses.

Fuuckaaah!

There was a desperate scuffle as his feet fought for—failed to find—purchase, then a shriek shattered the night and a loud crack splintered the sky when his forehead bounced off a boulder with a hideous crunch. His body crumpled to the rocks in a tangle of limbs, slumping in a sad pile of crumpled cloth. He lay utterly still, like a broken toy tossed onto a trash heap.

Silence.

NOOOOOOO… Jack sprang forwards, cleaving an arc through the darkness to land sure-footed beside him. For a split-second, heart-searing moment, dread obliterated all reason, despite the fact Jack knew with innate certainty that he was not dead. 

After turning his muzzle into the wind, Jack dragged in a huge, clean breath and held it. Creeping closer, he dipped his head low and began to nose gently at a ghostly pale cheek, nudging his face away from the rocks. A large gash glistened above his left eyebrow, gristle gleaming in the ragged tear. Jack watched a bead of blood trickle down his temple, teeth gritted in agony. Nnnngh…that scent…he was still holding his breath, but he could taste it on his tongue; a rich ruby sweetness that lashed at his loins. Jack threw his head back and howled, every sinew straining as he fought to suppress his shrieking instincts.  Nooo…  

Rage blistered through Jack’s veins, clamouring for supremacy with the dull drag of despair, battling it out with instincts that clamoured for more. Wet, warm, as potent as port wine…just a little lick…  For heavensakes, Jack wasn’t going to sink his teeth into skin, there was no urge to rip, tear, hurt. He didn’t think so at least. The shaft of pain that staked his heart when temporal bone had slammed into stone felt akin to being bludgeoned. In that split-second when Jack had thought He was dead, he’d known exactly where the blame lay; an agony far worse than the first time Jake had fought the shift. Worse than his human’s realisation that this is what he’d become…and would ever remain.

It was Jack’s fault. Then. Now. Guilty. The whimper had as good as fired the starting gun of horrors that caused the fall. Lust had led them to this moment, just as it had then…that night. A thought he shoved aside, this was no time to indulge in a self-pity party. He needed Jack. But what the hell could he do? Cocking his head, he contemplated the blood still seeping from the cruel gash that marred his beautiful face. He is beautiful, not merely handsome, Jack noted. A face like a fallen angel, grubby with gravel, crusting at the edges of the wound. Fuck it…hovering about a breath from the wound, Jack touched the tip of his tongue to the angry tear, oh, so gently. Nnnnggh. He snatched his head back, breath clawing his throat as he fought a need so furious it made his eyes bulge as he gulped great gasps of air. No. No…yesss…no… 

The guilt was gutting but he had to get the goddamned grit out. Yes, he wanted…of course he did. But that didn’t make it the wrong thing to do, did it? Or, was he fooling himself that it was the right thing for that very reason? He knew not. Does it matter anyway? Why the hell was Jack conducting a debate on his own dubious morality—with himself—while He bled to death on the moor?

After inhaling a lungful of somewhat less tempting air, Jack lowered his nose to the rivulet of blood and began to lap with infinite tenderness. An impossible feat in itself.  This, as his taste buds erupted in a riot of sensation—like an explosion of Pop Rocks in his mouth—unleashing a blood rush so intense he thought his brain cells might combust with bliss. His brain cells? They were the least of Jack’s worries…his cock was so engorged it might never slip back inside its furry foreskin. It felt fit to burst…and still Jack’s tongue slithered across skin.

Jack had never, ever, tasted anything this…delectable. Divine. Nothing on earth had ever tasted like this. His own blood couldn’t begin to compare. Neither could the blood of the creatures he stalked most nights. The raw rump steak Jake gnawed on for breakfast sure as hell never tasted like this.

He flickered delicately at the jagged edge of the gash until the grit dislodged; senses so finely tuned that each grain felt like a boulder clinging to Jack’s tongue. A sudden thought—one so blisteringly obvious it should have hit him over the head with a house brick before Jack started lapping away at His head like a lollipop—struggled to the surface as Jake’s voice fought through the liquid layers of lust, longing and sheer gut instinct.

‘Are you sure this is…safe? What if—?’ 

No…he couldn’t, surely…? Jack had no idea. He’d been fretting about a bit of grit as his saliva seeped into His system and…no please, no…NO. Jake would never, ever forgive him. Jack wasn’t sure which part of that night had…sealed Jake’s fate. No idea exactly what had triggered his dormant jackal. 

Sex? Blood? Nails? Teeth? The bites? Or…the kiss that led to the rest of it? Crap. He’d lost his tiny mind. It was too bloody late now. So stuupid.

‘Moronic shit for brains jackass.’

Ha. Ha. Very funny. Not. Next stop; the world’s first shape-shifting stand up comedian. They should turn up for the Britain’s Got Talent auditions, that would be a riot. Literally…when everyone rushed for the exits.

It was far, far too late to worry about it now. Much too late to torture himself with the fact that a not-so tiny part of his pea-brain yearned…No. That was despicable, beyond contempt. Jack could not —would not—wish this upon Him. He would detest them both for it.  Loathe his flea-ridden arse enough to bury a spade in body when he discovered what Jack had done. Yet, even as he acknowledged this, his baser instincts were effectively rolling their eyes and suggesting that he shut his trap and have at it, lap away to his heart’s content.

It was hard to say which was more ludicrous: tonguing His forehead while having an internal scrap with his own conscience. Or the fact Jack was considering whether to let Jake carry Him to the campervan and see to his wound properly.

*

A splendid plan, I’m sure. It’s a delightful evening to go for a bare-ass naked midnight stroll across the moors cradling a bleeding, unconscious, six foot plus man as if he weighs no more than a bottle of brandy.

I’ll probably get arrested. The press will have a fucking field day. How ironic, when never, not once since that fateful night, did I imagine that I’d wind up as ‘The Beast of Bodmin Moor’ as a bloody human.

Should I risk it? Not so much the flasher-on-the-moors part; there’s no trace of human scent for miles…but can I risk him waking to find his formerly unconscious self being abducted by a naked man?

The very act of carrying him across the moor stretched credulity, as it didn’t seem highly bloody likely that a 5’ 9” bloke, best described as ‘wiry’, could carry a six-foot-plus man over rough scrubland like a babe in arms.

Is there another option, when we sure as hell can’t leave him here; broken and bleeding on the moors?  The Beast of Bodmin Moor. Christ. A pervert preying on the soon-to-be-drop-dead-gorgeous, if one of us doesn’t do something. 

‘I did my best!’ Jack finally protested after enduring that internal monologue for… ever.  

‘Something other than indulge in a surreptitious slurp, dogbreath.’  

*

The gash looked slightly less angry, but blood was still seeping from the wound, so Jack bent once more to lap at the fresh trickle of ruby trailing toward His ear. Nnggrrrh…  

When Jack’s eyes began to roll back in his head, it became clear that the brief interlude had merely made paradise all the sweeter, so he yanked his muzzle back, before he could not. The injury did look a little better; it was now clean, free from crusted dirt and grit, so he might be imagining it…but it did seem less inflamed. Which was something.

‘Not a fat lot, you must admit, but better than bloody nothing. ‘

Gazing down upon him, at a face as pale as moonlight, the sooty sweep of long lashes, plump lips softly parted, Jack knew he’d never had a choice from the start. This realization had no sooner dawned than he was sure he saw the slightest glimmer of movement. Had he imagined it? No. Feathery lashes flickered once, twice more and then, slowly, they parted to reveal a midnight gaze, hazy with pain and puzzlement. Bottomless eyes met his own for a heartbeat… and then fluttered shut again.

Fuck. In the brief second he glimpsed that dark gaze, Jack knew. Knew with inviolate animal instinct that it was… over. The battle lost before it began. Not even jackal-vision had prepared him for the impact of those eyes from mere inches away. It felt as if he were staring into his soul. ‘Those eyes.’ Jack huffed, breath puffing out in a cloud of contempt. Calling those limpid orbs ‘eyes’ was akin to describing His blood as ‘quite tasty’. They were…eternal. Drowning pools of liquid darkness. Deep enough to die in. Into which Jack would undoubtedly dive even if he knew it would be the last thing he ever did. He was ruined.

Jack backed up a few paces and pulled his focus inwards. Changing back was, in fact, harder than unleashing the jackal. This had come as something of a shock to Jake. It had taken some time before he’d been able to comprehend the chaos well enough to understand that Jack simply surfaced, stretching as if from slumber. Much as the subconscious assumes control during dreams; your secret self rising to the fore as your conscious self sleeps.

The power was always present; waiting in the wings for Jake to embrace it, mind, body, soul. It was simply a matter of letting go… allowing it to bloom like a lily until it spilled through his skin, fur flowing like water to ripple over reformed muscle and bone. Jake had denied the truth at first, even as his furred self unfurled from the matter of his own body. Brain. He still, two years on, flinched from the knowledge that the jackal’s lusts were pulled from his own psyche. Worse than the agony of the transformation was Jake’s realization that Jack wasn’t a separate entity. He was the dark self Jake had spent twenty five years trying his damnedest to restrain.

Jack might be a murderous mutt but at least he was bloody honest. He gloried in the joy of the hunt almost more than the satisfaction of sinking his teeth into succulent flesh. Relished the hot pulse of blood filling his mouth. Revelled in his liberation from Jake’s dogged grip on civility. The most ludicrous part of their pact was that Jake was wont to wonder at the fact that it was harder to drag Jack back to his dungeon, rather than fling open its doors. 

Jake had spent a lifetime snarled in self-loathing, suppressed rage and terror as pure as it was toxic. All of which he’d battered into submission, then shrouded in studied cool and self-deprecating wit.

Where his human overthought everything, gnawing away and getting nowhere, Jack’s needs and desires were simple, with clear-cut solutions. His pain was easy to manage. Jackals are creatures of instinct; if he was hungry, he ate. The occasional sting of teeth and claws, when supper fought back was fleeting, his wounds healed in a matter of moments. Every hurt prompted a clear choice to take, and an action to end it. If Jake could be honest with himself for once in a bloody-minded lifetime, he might just admit that it was a relief to let Jack resume the reins. That he relished every minute of liberation from his miserable existence. Freedom from the quicksand mire of his own mind, free to roam as he wished, free to run, run with the wind ruffling his fur in an exhilarating rush of power and pounding paws.

 

Jake

 

Jake focused. It felt akin to pulling on a rippling swathe of silk; tugging it inwards, as if it were sucked deeper inside with every beat of his heart to crouch at his centre. Strangely similar to packing a parachute into a backpack. Or sucking a sock up a hoover pipe. Schllurrrp. It sounded horribly similar too.

Closing his eyes, Jack concentrated on the silent shimmer, on drawing it within, to the  epicentre of himself; the nucleus of all he was. Harnessing his secrets once more, until his human self was all that remained. Visible.  

Jake McCain rose to his feet and stood upon the earth, dragging in a deep lungful of that deadly scent. Still strong, but bearable now. The longing to sink his teeth into ivory flesh was no longer quite so insistent. Not as a snack, at least. Jake’s hair fluttered around his face, flirting with the wind. The only part of his entire self that now felt free.

His skin gleamed like marble in the moonlight as Jake bent to scoop (at least) six feet of unconscious man into his arms and cradle him close to his chest. Lust licked along his veins, an inferno of need boiling his blood. His proximity was incendiary. Intoxicating. Jake was crackling with so much energy he could probably saunter to the summit of Ben Nevis. Fucknows how his human heart was still functioning in the face of so much. Every fibre of Jake’s being had fused to focus on Him.  A focus so fervent, furious, that its rage could raze the world to the ground if it did Him harm.

I am holding Him in my arms…which was so much more than Jake had ever dared dream. Everlasting legs were draped over his left arm, his right curled beneath Him to support His upper body. So far so good. Except for the slight matter of the erection attempting to drill into His back. Jake was now so strong, and his cock so hard, he could probably balance his precious cargo just so, as if serving Him up on a platter. Now there was an image to save to his mental hard-drive. It would certainly make for a spectacular finale to Jake’s Britain’s Got Talent act.

He’d just better hope that his patient didn’t waken before they reached the sanctity of His campervan. The starkers-as-the-day-he-was-born part was bad enough, but Jake clearly hadn’t thought it through. Perhaps he should start praying to Anubis for divine intervention. Or perhaps not. Calling upon the Protector of the Dead—he who ushered souls into the afterlife—thus drawing all-powerful attention to the man in his arms possibly wasn’t the finest idea Jake ever had.

Cradling Him carefully so that He wouldn’t be unduly jolted, Jake began to run.

***

 

anubis-black-mini-YT-5393

 

Release Blitz · Reviews

Legendary Loves 2: release blitz & review

 

Legendary Loves must be the most delightful collection of stories you could curl up with this Halloween. ‘Tis a hat-trick of treats not to be missed. Three charming tales steeped in legend and lore; each featuring a lesser-spotted (not least in fiction) shifter at its heart…

 

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

 

RELEASE BLITZ

Collection Title: Legendary Loves Volume 2

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 71 700 words

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z7G17JM/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07Z7G17JM/

 

Blurb

JMS Books’ Trios are themed collections of three gay romance stories by a trio of authors. Each story is available separately, but readers can get all three for a discounted bundle price.

Legendary Loves Volume 2 contains three paranormal shifter M/M romances just in time for Halloween!

It contains these stories:

In My Arms Again by Nell Iris: Oxen is lonely, feeling like he’s waiting for something, and can’t focus. But when a very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes. The stranger, Vinge, is a Pegasus unable to transform. Both men feel an instant connection that swiftly grows deeper. The questions surrounding Vinge are many. Why is he so familiar? What will it take for the depth of their connection be revealed?

The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea: Tired of the daily grind of his job, Keston heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down. Will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright: There’s nothing about perky — twinky? — Oliver Hughes that would make Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think Bigfoot actually exists. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see. In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

Buy Links

The books will all be 20% off at the publisher’s site through October 25.

Legendary Loves, Volume 2

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: In My Arms Again

Author: Nell Iris

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 21 809 words

Release Date: October 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Historical Paranormal Fantasy Gay Romance

Trope/s: Soulmates, age difference, hurt/comfort

Themes: Finding your soulmate, reunited, family conflict, acceptance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Two strangers. An unexpected familiarity. Instant connection.

Blurb

Trapped in a growing sense of restlessness, Oxen the hunter is lonely. Feeling like he’s waiting for something—or someone—he’s unable to focus on getting ready for winter. But when a handsome and very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes.

Vinge is from a Pegasus family but has never been able to transform. As soon as he awakens in Oxen’s care, both men feel an instant connection, which grows deeper as Oxen nurses him back to health. Something profound within each man calls out to the other, but neither knows what it is.

The questions surrounding Vinge and their deepening relationship are many. Why is Vinge so familiar to Oxen when they have clearly never met? Why are they both reluctant to take the first step to a real commitment? And what will it take for the true depth of their connection be revealed?

 

Excerpt

His eyes are still closed when I kneel next to the bed again, but I can tell he’s awake by the way his head tracks my movements.

“I will lift your head and help you drink,” I explain before touching him again, and he tilts his chin down, giving me permission. I slide my hand around his neck, cup the back of his head, and ease it off the bed. He drinks in deep gulps until the bowl is empty, and when I lower him back down to the pillow, he sighs.

“Thank you, Hunter.”

I stiffen at his words. “Do you know me?”

Slowly, he moves his hand from his side and lays it on his chest. “I feel you,” he says.

“How?” My head is spinning with all the questions this man’s arrival has brought. For every passing hour, they multiply, and I can no longer keep track of them all.

The stranger doesn’t answer my question—somehow I knew he wouldn’t—so I try another approach. “I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage. I know not who you are.”

His pries his eyelids open, long eyelashes fluttering like a hummingbird’s wing. Even in the dim light of the cabin—cast only by the flames in the hearth—I can make out the color of his eyes: so dark they’re almost completely black, generously sprinkled with flecks of gleaming gold, and despite the obvious tiredness, his gaze is bottomless and intense. It pulls me in and settles some of the restlessness in my chest at the same time.

And when he looks at me, I understand what he’s talking about.

I can feel him, his presence. As though his heart beats next to mine in my chest. As though his breath mingles with mine when it leaves my mouth, as though I see myself through his eyes. As though I know him.

“My name…” His voice falters.

“…is Vinge,” I finish, a gasp escaping at my own words.

“Yes.”

REVIEW

In My Arms Again is all that a story from the head and heart of Nell Iris promises to be. Beautifully written and told with genuine warmth, drawing you into a world where people are pure of heart and noble of spirit, no matter what fate thrusts in their path. They suffer but never become bitter. There is a rare grace in her stories which makes them sing, a calibre of character as seductive as a roaring fire on a frigid night. Men who encapsulate the very essence of: ‘Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength..’ 

There is a weight in words that flow with the life giving force of a mountain spring, their warmth as irresistible as the glisten of sunlight off its surface. 

In My Arms Again is every bit as magical as the mythical creature at its heart. A tale of two kindred spirits who had lost all faith in themselves and the value of their existence.  Soulmates who see their best selves reflected in the eyes of one another and strive to honour that image. Theirs is a story of acceptance and the power of affirmation upon self. Of hearts made whole and encapsulated in a single sentence:

‘I’ve finally found somewhere I belong…’

As beautiful as it is brilliant. 

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Murky Depths

Author: Kassandra Lea

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 20 106 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Heat Rating: 1 flame

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Who…or what is lurking in the shadows?

Blurb

While Keston enjoys his occasional video game tournaments with the kid across the hall, he’s grown tired of the daily grind of his job. With a bit of a push from his boss, he heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. A little time away from the hustle and bustle sounds like just the thing he needs.

Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down, and he runs in fear.

But will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?

 

Excerpt

“Crap,” he growled. Keston scrambled for the paddle as the first fat raindrop landed on his cheek, coursing down like a year he didn’t remember crying. The once gentle rocking was becoming stomach upsetting and mixed with his actions threatened to capsize him. “Crap, crap, crappity.”

Why didn’t you check the weather forecast, you fanned fool? Instead of being a sitting duck for an electric charge you could be sitting safely before a fire while letting the storm rage on. Even sticking to his original plan would have had better results, he’d simply have raced back through the woods with prayers of no branches falling on his head. Being soaked head to toe he could accept.

Which might happen sooner than he hoped.

The wind picked up, forcing the trees to dance and tearing the leaves from their branches. Keston pitched dangerously to one side and narrowly avoided taking an unwanted swim by shifting his weight the other way. His belongings slid back and forth along the bottom of the canoe. Lightning. Thunder. His pounding heart prodded by fear and adrenaline. And then it hit, the deluge of rain, almost like having a bucket of water dumped over his head, or perhaps this was how coaches felt after the end of a great game when thee players got all excited and doused them in Gatorade or whatever.

He was soaked instantly.

And it was a cold rain, one that dropped the temperature significantly in a matter of seconds. Gone was the beautiful autumn day replaced with a chill that left each breath as a puff on the wind. Keston shivered, somehow managing to wrap his fingers around the paddle. He gripped it tightly and dipped one end into the lake, which by now was tossing him about as if he was a rubber ducky in a child’s bath.

The waves were getting worse.

REVIEW

 

The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea 

This might be the shortest story, but therein lies a lot of plot. A feat in itself to one who can scarce cram a dinner date into twenty thousand words. Better yet, the legendary creature at its centre is one I never imagined I might encounter in a romance; a fact so splendid I was seduced from the start…and there is lots to love. A quirkiness of character I found enchanting; creatures of legend and lore, living their lives, going about their business, every bit as credible as they are incredible. 

‘Little did he realize he was being watched, had been since the second he turned down the barely two lane road that wove like a scar through the mostly untouched landscape…the forest abuzz with the arrival of a human. There was a ripple of concern on what he planned to do, how long he’d stay and if he knew. Those who remembered him as a youngster questioned if he recalled any of the events that transpired when he was a child. 

Minds were more easily manipulated back then, more willing to believe in the magic that tried its best to remain hidden.’

As an adult, I’ve held firm to that belief; never quite relinquishing the hope that I’ve simply become too damnedly grown up to share in secrets too sacred to be sullied by adult sensibilities. 

 ‘Shall we be on with our adventure then?’                                                                                  ‘Um, one tiny problem, dear, we’ve no boat to get me there…’

Boat schmoat...it was wonderful to spend a wee while in a world where such matters are mere mundanities when setting forth on life’s great adventure with your soulmate.

 

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Weekend at Bigfoot’s

Author: Addison Albright

Publisher: JMS Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Length: 29 800 words

Release Date: September 19, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Contemporary Paranormal Gay Romance (with a pinch of Mystery and Comedy)

Trope/s: Meet Cute, Forbidden Love, Fling Turns into More

Themes: Love (or at least lust) at first sight, secrets, paranormal surprise

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Publisher | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL!

Blurb

It wasn’t supposed to be REAL! Bigfoot doesn’t actually exist. Yetis, shifters, creatures of the night … none of those exist. Right? Right?

There’s nothing about perky—some might even say twinky—Oliver Hughes that would make a skeptic like Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think otherwise. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see.

In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?

This fun novella has a paranormal twist, a hint of mystery, and a flavorful dollop of romantic comedy. Mix it all together for a satisfying HEA!

 

Excerpt

Wilson’s gaze traveled lower, and if possible, widened further. Because holy mother of Sasquatch, Yeti, and the Abominable Snowman, Emma Pearson had not been exaggerating when she’d insinuated that Bigfoot was well-hung. If anything, she’d underplayed it.

Bigfoot—that’s who he had to be—squawked again with a noise that had an admonishing tone, as if calling out Wilson’s rudeness for gawking at his junk, then covered said junk with his massive hands.

“Sorry,” Wilson muttered. It was reflexive and seemed weird in the circumstances to be calmly apologizing to Bigfoot. Why the hell wasn’t he freaking the fuck out? Most normal people would be.

A vision of Mark screeching, “I don’t think I’ve ever once seen you get worked up over anything,” flashed through Wilson’s head. Apparently Mark had a point.

Wilson blinked. There would be absolutely no way to get the mouth and flaring nostrils of this…creature so perfect in such a close inspection if he wasn’t real. He was real.

And if this was the ultimate test of pragmatism, then—Wilson straightened his back—he was going to pass it with flying colors.

 

REVIEW

 

Weekend at Bigfoots by Addison Albright

I adore Addison Albright. If that were not true, I may never have come across this treasure trove of tales as I rarely read shifter stories. That matters not; some authors are exceptions to all such customs. A truth that has reaped rich rewards along the way and gifted me one of my very favourite trilogies. I had never read a castaway tale before, nor imagined that I might. 

I devoured the ‘Vows’ box set (Til Death do us part, From This Day Forward, To Love & To Cherish) for all the world as if I’d been marooned for five years with nary a book to feast on in the interim.  

If informed that I might salivate in anticipation of a Bigfoot tale, I would have scoffed. Rather than scoffed it with relish. The latter proved true…I never doubted for a moment that it would. I’d already delighted in being stranded in scorching sunlight without a stitch to my name, and figured (for some reason) that I was about to freeze my bits off with the abominable snowman in Alaska. I may have got super(natural)heroes in a muddle. No matter, off I set; snowbooted and suited to brave the elements. Instead, I found myself transported to Tallbear, Northern California to reside among the finest townsfolk I’ve encountered for many a moon; as quirky as their tourist town is quaint.

How I loved this story. How I laughed. I hadn’t reached the foot of the first page before I was cackling away to myself like a crazy ol’ cat lady on the subway. This, on accounts that our hero, Wilson—none too keen on the prospect of said trip—was offered the following alternative: 

“You want to interview all the victims of the chimney shitter in Bosie?”

Chances are, I’d have delighted in the shitter’s story just as much, had its author elected to immerse me in it.😋 Shitters or shifters…like I said, it matters not a jot.

I may have fallen in love with Oliver the moment we met. Swiftly after being bedevilled by jam. Jam is my very favourite word. (This is partially Eddie Izzard’s fault. Never has the word Jam been uttered with such luscious relish and to such chuckle-fest effect).

Strawberry with lemongrass—perchance you were wondering—the latter adds ‘tang’ promised its purveyor. The allure of Oliver can be attested to by his attention snaffling proclivities from said preserve. 

‘But what really made him stand out was his bearing–the “I’m going to be me and I don’t care what anybody thinks” jut of his chin that came across more as a life philosophy than as a challenge to all comers.

Okay, maybe the  shoulder-length black hair with sparking streaks of silver, gold, and purple stood out too. And the azure-blue eyes that seemed too brilliant to be real–yet Wilson sensed they were…’

Wilson may not be a supernatural being, but he is far from your bog-standard sort of scribe. Despite working for a tabloid newspaper, his cynicism is infused with a warm humour that never belittles his subjects. He is never cruel or careless in pursuit of his prey; instead he radiates a charm that never feels forced. Even his innermost musings are free from ridicule in the face of the unfeasible…no matter how unlikely the claims of his interviewees, or their steadfast insistence upon them.

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

Pegasus, Ness and Bigfoot unleashed in a five star Halloween treat t’die for.

 

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

 

About the Authors

Nell Iris

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and loves writing diverse and different characters.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Profile

Twitter: @nellirisauthor | Instagram: @nell_iris | Goodreads

QueeRomance Ink | BookBub

 

 

Kassandra Lea

Born to a military family, Kassandra Lea has been reading since she could hold a book. Growing up she wanted to be Batman, then she discovered writing and realized she could be whatever she wanted if she lived vicariously through her characters. When not writing, she can be found hanging out with her dog, pursuing her love of horses, and cheering on the Packers. She lives in southern Wisconsin in an old house with her mother, a gang of furry monsters, and a ghost.

Author Links

Facebook | Twitter: @Cheddarsgal | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Addison Albright

Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook Author Page | Facebook Profile | Twitter

BookBub | QueeRomance Ink | Amazon

Newsletter sign-up | Instagram: (@addison.albright) | Audible

 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

your choice of ebooks from each author’s backlist (3 books for each of 3 winners)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Legendary Loves Vol 2 - 4 Covers with Taglines 1600x1200.png

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

 

Guest · Release Blitz

Special Guest: Maggie Blackbird

Hiya, 
My very special guest today is the wonderful Maggie Blackbird with her latest release: The third book in her fabulous Matawapit Family Series – Sanctified.

***

Sanctified

The Matawapit Family Series Book 3
by Maggie Blackbird
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
In the midst of a battle for leadership at their Ojibway community, two
enemies of opposing families fall in love…​
After suffering a humiliating divorce, infuriated Catholic Jude Matawapit bolts to his
family’s Ojibway community to begin a new job—but finds himself
thrown into a battle for chief as his brother-in-law’s campaign
manager. The radical Kabatay clan, with their extreme ideas about
traditional Ojibway life, will stop at nothing to claim the
leadership position and rid the reserve of Western culture and its
religion once and for all, which threatens not only the
non-traditional people of the community, but Jude’s chance at a
brand-new life he’s creating for his children.
Recovering addict Raven
Kabatay will do anything to win the respect and trust of her older
siblings and mother after falling deep into drug addiction that
brought shame and anger to her family. Not only does she have the
opportunity to redeem herself by becoming her brother’s campaign
manager for chief—if he wins, she’ll have the reserve’s backing
to purchase the gold-mine diner where she works, finally making
something of herself. But falling in love with the family’s sworn
enemy—the deacon’s eldest son, Jude—will not just betray the
Kabatay clan. It could destroy everything Raven believes in and has
worked so hard for.
sanctified teaser 1.png

Excerpt

Jude shouldn’t care if Raven was about to undress. He’d seen many students remove their outerwear in class. But the down parka on Raven didn’t swallow her ballerina-lithe body like a garbage bag. The coat was the fashionable snug style, silhouetting her supple form. Long strands of black hair lay against her sharper-than-razors cheekbones.

Her perfectly applied winged eyeliner gave her slanted black eyes a mysterious cat-shape appeal. Rich burgundy lipstick, matching the shade of his tie, plumped her lips to a sensual pout, or maybe her mouth naturally retained a pucker. As she stood to drape the parka over the chair, she gave him a nice view of the skinny jeans painted on her slender thighs and gently rounded butt.

She whipped her head around, peeking at him through the fringe of her super-long lashes.

Heat climbed onto Jude’s face. He shoved the pen back into his mouth and chewed on the cap. Adult or not, she was a student—his student. Maintaining a professional distance was a must.

Raven’s moist-looking mouth tugged at the corners. A hint of triumph flashed in her eyes. Well, well, she’d stolen a look purposely, expecting him to check her out. A hot coal flared in Jude’s chest. He rounded his desk, ensuring to move slowly, heels clicking one after the other on the floor. She’d get the hint he meant business.

“Why don’t you catch up on your lessons. There’s no point in reviewing the next one until you’re finished those.” He used his pen to point in her direction. Traditionalist or not, she could suck up his supposed rudeness. In his world, pointing told another a man wasn’t screwing around or willing to play games.

Raven sat. She flipped open her textbook and binder.

“Which lesson are you working on?”

“History. A pity. We are the First People, but it’s all about…those who sailed over here.” Her husky voice, deeper than most women’s, with a light scratch to the tone was sensual nails grazing Jude’s skin.

He gripped and re-gripped the pen. “At my former school, we were building the curriculum into the current courses.”

“Did you teach high school or elementary? You taught for the Catholic Board of Education, didn’t you?”

“Elementary.”

“I see.” Raven lowered her head. Her black hair veiled her face. Not narrow like Clayton’s hawkish looks. The hollowed cheeks, delicate long nose, and tapering chin complemented Raven’s smoky eyes and wide mouth. A traditional diamond-shaped face like the Indigenous people of the old days.

No wonder she’d stolen a glimpse at Jude when she’d removed her parka. Raven was probably used to men gawking at her wherever she went. If the fashion designers ever took a chance on hiring Indigenous women to model, they’d be scrambling to photograph Raven.

Why was he still thinking about her anyway? This was ridiculous.

Jude plopped in the chair. If she didn’t require assistance on her lessons, she should’ve finished her assignments at home. All Raven had done was make him stay late.

***

Redeemed

The Matawapit Family Series Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled
father—a dangerous man she used to love.
Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon,
and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the
ex-fiancé she kicked to the curb after he chose alcohol over her
love. With Adam out on parole and back in Thunder Bay, she is
determined to stop him from obtaining custody of Kyle.
Adam Guimond is a recovering alcoholic and ex-gangbanger newly-paroled.
Through counselling, reconnecting with his Ojibway culture and
twelve-step meetings while in prison, Adam now understands he’s
worthy of the love that frightened him enough to pick up the bottle
he’d previously corked. He can’t escape the damage he caused so
many others, but he longs to rise like a true warrior in the pursuit
of forgiveness and a second chance. There’s nothing he isn’t willing
to do to win back his son–and Bridget.
When an old cell
mate’s daughter dies under mysterious circumstances in foster care,
Adam begs Bridget to help him uncover the truth. Bound to the plight
of the Indigenous children in care, Bridget agrees. But putting
herself in contact with Adam threatens to resurrect her long-buried
feelings for him, and even worse, she risks losing care of Kyle, by
falling for a man who might destroy her faith in love completely this time.
redeemed teaser 1

***

Blessed

The Matawapit Family Series Book 1
Genre: Contemporary M/M Inspirational Romance
It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to
temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another
man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will
bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.
Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s
father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the
loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a
powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more
than the deacon. Darryl intends on using his power to destroy Deacon
Matawapit and his church.
Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder
than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume
Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please
his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain
true to his heart and marry the man created for him.
This is very erotic book about a spiritual journey.

blessed teaser 2

 

blessed teaser 3
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with
her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.
When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the
flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush,
teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye,
or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful
memories with the people she loves most.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

Release Blitz · Uncategorized

Fighting Chances: Release Day

Hiya,

Today I am celebrating the release of Fighting Chances: a Charity Anthology of Enemies-to-Lovers MM Romance by 10 fabulous authors.

❤🧡💛💚💙💜

Each book sale at $2.99 gives the org about $2, which is what costs to feed a child healthy meals for a week.

fightingchances_ebook

Blurb:

An opportunity to put his hands around his enemy’s… neck.

What can a man do when the spark of hate ignites the fire of passion? Can desire bridge the gap between two men on opposite sides of a fence? A kitchen isle? What about a war? 

Can love heal years of resentment and little hurts? And is the line between hate and love really all that thin?

In these almost 200,000 words of stories by well-loved M/M authors united by a common cause, you can find men in conflict with each other and with themselves… ready to give love a fighting chance.