Today, I’ve been honoured by an invite to the fabulous Frost Fair at the brilliant Penny Blake’s blog. There are authors aplenty to be found, hosting a stall to show off their wares and best of all, simply be a part of the festivities. 🥰
The Beast of Bodmin Moor
“’Jake…?” His name was a brush of breath at Jake’s lips, its scent as serene as it was sultry. Raw cassia bark, richer, rougher, now…yet still as soft as a dusting of cinnamon sugar. “Whatever happens, even if it does killing me, I need you to know…I wanted it. ’Kay?’”
“Phin, you won’t die, I won’t let you…” Jake promised. “No matter what.”
“I trust you…both yous…” Sighed with a smudgy smile as his eyelids fluttered shut and Phin succumbed to sleep.
“Whatever happens…even if…I wanted it…wanted it…’kay? ”
So soft words that had lulled Jake into believing him. That all would be well…this was meant to be…Phin would be as fine as Jack swore he would. For the briefest, blindest, of moments as those stargazy eyes—ablaze with all he’d ever craved and did not deserve—held his own, Jake had allowed himself to hope.
So, so, stupid. Shit for brains fuckwit.
Whatever happens…even if…I wanted it…wanted it…’kay? Evenifevenif…
The soundtrack to Jake’s relentless pacing. Paused, purely to have a swift wash and Phin-proof the room. As if in anticipation of a toddler…or puppy, oh gawd. No glass, lamps, nothing sharp to stumble against. Ludicrous, but it gave Jake something to do. Other than pace. Or rake impatient fingers through his hair and fret, like an expectant father. Keeping watch…as he waited. Waited and watched. Pacing back and forth, to and fro like a bloody pendulum, fuelled by jittery energy and the relentless echo resounding ’round his head. Whatever happens…even if even if….
”Over my dead bloody body,” Jake muttered. What!?
Quit flapping. He will be fine.
How the hell can you be sure? What if…Jack, what if something goes wrong…what if—
How the fuck do you know? Did I miss the part where you become omnipotent?
Christ, you’re cranky. Why won’t you listen?
Listening to you did this to him, that’s why. I should never have laid a finger on him.
What about Phin? You can’t dismiss his wishes as if they don’t count. He wanted you…just as he wants this. Us.
He thinks he does. NOW. ‘He’ll be fine, he wants this’…hollow words to fob me off. That was then, this is now. HOW DO YOU KNOW!? Instinct? That’s not good enough. I don’t care if it’s ‘all you’ve got at the mo’. I know you love him, too. You’re talking to yourself, by the way. Just sayin’. Shut up.
Jack…? How much longer must we wait? Midnight or thereabouts…? Can you be a bit more bloody specific? Can’t I what? Sense it? Close my eyes…? F’fucksakes.
Jake stopped pacing. Then stood, eyes shut. Like a lunatic. In order to ‘sense’ the…dusk descending, drawing its veil over the day…the shift in the air. The shift is in the air…how romantic. Stop smirking—from day to night, smart arse.
Phin…I won’t let you down. I love you loveyouloveyou. Clenching his fists, Jake recommenced pacing, a forever of empty seconds filled with feverish footsteps. Fury, fear, regret and rage. Futile. His own hammering heartbeat. Phin’s, pounding far too fast.
Jake had lost the plot. He was talking to himself, pacing about, waiting for his mate…to wake up and turn into a goddamn jackal. Jake clearly needed a drink.
Calm down. I am calm. Calm? Yes, calm. I am a sea of serenity. Clearly.
Fuck. Jake snapped his head up. He was beside the bed in the blink of an eye. Phin was still lying on his side, facing the window; angel face bathed in darklight, sooty lashes fanning pearlescent skin. Long, lean limbs gleaming like moonlit alabaster. So peaceful, so unearthly beautiful, it snatched their breath away.
Focus. Crap. Inhale. Slow. Steady. Deep. Jake filled his lungs with the scent that had snatched him from his…raving. Reverie. A smell so potent it had a presence; he could almost see it shimmering off Phin’s skin. No, he could see tiny tremors skittering beneath it. Sort of similar to the twitch of fur whilst dreaming. Running the length of Phin’s body in little ripples, every tiny hair trembling to attention.
“Phin…” His name fell from Jake’s lips as a prayer. Reaching out tentative fingertips, he brushed the scorching curve of an ivory shoulder. Phin’s eyes flared wide. Branding Jake with a brown that blazed amber flame. Eternal. Filled with forever.