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(Crossbreed Series, Bk #6)
Listen to an exclusive audio excerpt at Viviana Enchantress of Books for Audiobook Lovin‘!
Available purchase at
(Crossbreed Series, Bk #6)
What does a bet between best friends have to do with a kidnapped cat and a tumbled-down animal shelter? Nothing, unless you are Adam Talcott and you want to prove to your best-buddy that you can survive without access to your wealth and family connections. Adam would have succeeded too, if it hadn’t been for Dierdre Clancy and that blasted cat.
Heat Rating: R
Balancing an armload of mail, an overloaded briefcase, and a gym bag with two yogurt cups teetering on top, Dierdre Clancy rushed to her cubicle. For the fourth time this week, and the umpteenth time this month, she was late. Once again, a power outage in the decrepit apartment building where she lived had caused her alarm clock to fail.
Please, Lord, don’t let my chauvinist pig of a boss realize I’ve been missing.
The yogurt cups threatened to topple off the gym bag. Dierdre wasn’t about to let her lunch decorate the linoleum. The mail showered to the floor. The briefcase hit her foot. With her free hand, she plastered the cups to her side. The gym bag slid down her arm. The webbed strap twisted, tourniquet style, around her wrist.
She managed a couple of sideways hops that brought her to the edge of her desk. The gym bag swung wildly. Leaning against the arm weighed down by the bag’s stranglehold, she managed to dump the yogurt cups onto the desk without mishap. She pulled herself upright and reached for the strap at her wrist.
Somehow, during all the hopping, the bag had swung around her legs and gotten wedged in the narrow space between her desk and file cabinet. The same strap that cut off circulation to her hand pressed into the backs of her knees, pinning her neatly to the desk. Only an act of extreme dexterity could save her from her own folly. Imbecile, why didn’t you make two trips?
Because I didn’t want to risk having the boss see me coming in late.
“Clancy! You’re late.”
Dierdre’s heart hit the ceiling. She knew the shout—a cross between an operatic tenor and a pig at slaughter. Still, she hadn’t been prepared to hear her boss’s screeching quite so soon.
Dierdre Clancy grew up in a family of givers. Her parents were missionaries and often too busy saving other, less privileged people to realize how lonely and abandoned Dierdre felt. When she reached her teen years, she was shipped back to the USA to live with her Aunt Shea on Shea’s rundown farm and animal shelter. Finally she was in a stable environment with an adult she could count on. Dierdre went on to gain a degree in social work and took up the Clancy family tradition of helping others. Most of the time helping others was easy. But Adam Talcott broke that mold and every other box she tried to put him into. How could one man be so difficult to manage?
Adam Talcott was born rich. He went into business with his best friend from college and made even more millions. His methods may be unorthodox, but he nearly always succeeds. Now he’s been challenged to live for two months without any of the privileges and resources he’s known all his life. Adam is confident that he can conquer this challenge as he has all others. But he didn’t count on Dierdre Clancy and that danged cat.
Ramblin’ Notes from the Author… Depression and the Will to Work
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Rue Allyn, I write heart melting romance novels. Books about characters and adventures in which love triumphs at the darkest moment. The kind of hopeful, steal-your-breath romance that melts a reader’s heart. The type of book I like to read. Hope you will too.
Freebie~~Get a FREE download of Rue Allyn’s May 2019 release Forever Hold My Heart, a Scottish historical novella. Just sign up for her newsletter here https://www.rueallyn.com/ravonsubscribe/.
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Rue’s Website: https://RueAllyn.com
Title: Short Story Collection
#MF #Contemporary #Paranormal #Romance
Alaska’s Snowy Mate
Is it Alaska’s Snowy fate to find Drake and fall in love, only to die in the process?
She was just a job. He was just a tool. Feelings were not supposed to play a part in any of it.
Redemption: Freely Given
Can a demon and a human find their happily ever after? Or will Arkady’s service to Hell ruin it all?
Redemption: Freely Given
Her shift had only just begun at the Shaved Pussy and already her feet hurt, so did her ass. She was only a waitress there, but the men seemed to think that because she worked at a strip club, they could smack her ass and pinch it as much as they wanted. The bouncers always appeared to look the other way as well, fuckers. As long as the talent wasn’t being harassed, the men didn’t really give two figs, as long as she wasn’t hurt badly enough to cause her to have to leave her shift. That was all that was important to them, and she knew it. She was barely a commodity to them because she didn’t dance to earn money for the bar.
Another hand landed on her ass while she tried to sidestep a drunk that was sitting there and continuously attempting to get her to give him just twenty minutes in the VIP room. She had to snort at that. If the man could only muster twenty minutes, there was no way in hell she was going to break her own personal rule and go anywhere with him. She didn’t sleep with clients, she didn’t sleep with co-workers, and she didn’t do anything that could possibly cause her to get pregnant. She had enough of a fucked-up life and refused to add to it. Plus, she also refused to hurt a child born to her, and with how she lived, it would be harmful.
No, she was a waitress, and that was it, period. She spent her nights waiting tables here, her mornings at the diner that was halfway between the Shaved Pussy and her little hole in the wall apartment. She hoped and prayed that one day she would be able to do more than that but, in the meantime, she was not going to make the same mistakes her mother made. She refused to do anything that would cause her any more issues in her life, let alone add a complete innocent to it.
Taking a deep breath, Brynn plastered the smile on her face and dropped off more drinks before moving back to the bar so that she could put in drink orders for another table. While she was waiting for those, she looked over the crowd and took in where everyone was. Brynn was moving her head to the sound of the music, she loved the song playing, so of course, she was going to give a little move to it. She might not have a radio, but she heard lots of music through the walls of her apartment and here at the Shaved Pussy, as well.
She narrowed her gaze on one of the heavy-handed men and wasn’t surprised when he reached out and grabbed the dancer, tugging her ankle to pull her to her ass on the dance floor and toward him. Well, sucked to be him because she was one of the talent and no one let those ladies be man-handled like that!
She snickered when she saw the large bulks of the bouncers melt from the shadows and quickly take him in hand and hustled him out of the club. Well, crap, that meant that she lost a table when his friends followed him out. She sighed and waved to the bartender. “Jack, hey, cancel that last order please?”
“No can do, Brynn. Already made.” He replied with a cocky smirk on his face that said he enjoyed making her pay for the drinks. “That means you get to pay, sugar. I suggest you take a drink and let yourself go a little. You know, they do let us drink on the job.”
“Yeah but I have to make it to the diner, and they don’t like drinking,” Brynn replied and pulled the fifty bucks out of her tips, which left her with thirty dollars in tips for the night. Great. So that meant she would need to go to the food pantry again. She had to make sure that her rent was paid, so groceries were off the table for her this week.
She tossed the money his way and then turned so that she could check on her other tables, in hopes that she would be able to pump some more money out of the few tables she had left.
April Zyon is an author of erotic and paranormal romance. The hotter the sizzle, the better. Lover of Alpha heroes, bad boys, and the women they love. Insta-love believer, and true romantic at heart. April has written over 100 books in a variety of genres. Paranormal, Contemporary, Sci-fi, Ménage; and they all feature sexy heroines and the hot heroes that love them!!
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Renee George
This story’s about how Sam saved Troll’s Blog by coming up with one of the coolest ideas ever. Bedtime Stories Publishing…
Shelby Morgen — Troll’s Blog: Perfect skin, dusted a light powder blue. Bright burgundy Mohawk. 6’4”. Dark blue uniform. Big shiny gun. Yeah. I’m the Troll under the bridge. But if you’re reading my blog, you know that. That’s why I call it Troll’s Blog. Duh. But I digress. This story isn’t about me. Not exactly. It’s about my blog. And Sam. And another one of Sam’s great ideas. You’re gonna love it. Really.
Lena Austin — Ugly Duckling: Jean-Paul, incubus editor for Bedtime Stories Press has been assigned a new author. Dominick may be a fantastic author, but when he gets aroused, the situation gets ugly. Literally. Jean-Paul is sure he can handle Dom. Maybe…
Anne Kane — Pixie’s Playmates: “While the story had an engaging quality, I feel that the flavor of the sex was too vanilla for Bedtime Stories Press.” When Bedtime Stories Press review coordinator Pixie calls the reviewer into the office she finds out “B.J. Smith” is really two very drool-worthy males who want to demonstrate their toys. What’s a pixie to do?
Marteeka Karland — Shut Up! As official kitty of the Bar and Grille for the Bedtime Stories readers and authors, Callie has the last say in everything she does and with everyone in her vicinity. Then Troll makes a proclamation that could very well get someone killed. Anyone who can get the last word in on Callie gets to have his way with her in bed. It’s a proposition Eli can’t refuse. Callie’s about to get all the loving from Eli she can stand. If she can just shut up.
Note: Bedtime Stories in no way represents any actual publishing company. Any resemblance to the staff and authors of Changeling Press is purely coincidental.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
Excerpt from Troll’s Blog
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Shelby Morgen
I was so wrapped up watching the ’50s vintage Harley coming toward me I didn’t even notice he wasn’t registering on my screen. As in 1950s. Well over a hundred years old, and still on the road. That machine was really flying. Well, no. Not really flying. That’s an old euphemism for moving. Speeding.
God knows what he’d put in the tank. Probably running on moonshine. Nothing legal’d have it cranking like that. The sound of that motor purring down the road toward me had my blood heating up. I closed my eyes for a moment, ready to breathe in the scent of ancient exhaust.
Then it hit me. Sigh. No. Not literally hit me. My brain engaged — enough to see the century-old motorcycle was not registering on my vid panel. Nothing. Flying completely under the radar. And he wasn’t slowing down. In fact, the closer he got, the farther he laid himself out along that tank. Rider and cycle shot past me in one long black blur that had my mouth watering — and my hand on my gun. He might be sexy as hell, all black leather stretched out long and lean over that tank, but nobody — and I mean nobody — runs the gate on my watch.
Alarms and sirens went off, and lights flashed down the next mile of bi-way, warning the felon that he’d best slow down and pull over before the Toll Collector caught up with him.
Not that he slowed in the least. In fact, I’d have bet a month’s salary he gunned it about then.
Fine. If that’s the way he wanted to play it, the chase was on.
Damn, but that view looked even better from behind.
I shook my head as I jumped into my patrol pod, a three-wheeled Flitter that was airborne at a safe hover of a half-meter or so by the time I got my Mohawk crammed into the cockpit and the door slammed shut. What the fuck was he thinking, trying to outrun a Toll Collector?
The bridge itself is a long, straight shot of highway with equally long approaches, spanning just under two kilometers of unquiet waters. This isn’t just any bridge they’ve entrusted to me. No. It’s the Golden Gate, linking Old San Francisco to Marin Co., California. One of the longest bridges in the world. One of the few still in constant operation. Sure, a lot of people use Flitters these days, rather than ground vehicles, but Flitters aren’t exactly safe hovering over rough water, and the bay’s never calm. So unless you’ve got a full pilot’s license, and something jet propelled, if you’re going south, you’ve got to pass over my bridge.
And pay my toll. Which this asshole had elected not to do.
I’m not exactly an inexperienced pilot. I know my bridge like she was my baby. She’s 2.7 kilometers, from abutment to abutment, laid out straight and true as an arrow shot from a master’s bow. We crossed her in just under one minute, and if I hadn’t been so pissed off, I’d have been scared shitless.
Yeah, even a Troll can experience fear. Doesn’t happen often, I’ll admit, but chasing that leather-clad backside across that bridge through sheering winds high above some of the roughest, coldest water this side of hell at 200 KPH is more of a thrill than even a Troll is used to.
I could tell, too, from the way he hugged that tank, that he was really getting off on the chase. Every time the wind hit him he’d roll his shoulders, leaning back into it like he was riding a lover. He glanced back at me once, facemask lifted enough for me to see him grin. I’d bet my pension he had a boner the size of his ego. When I caught this idiot of a Human he was going to get a piece of a little more than my mind. I might even resort to police brutality — before I friggin’ killed him.
No Human scares a Troll and gets away with it.
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Rocky (Dixie Reapers MC 3)
Mara: My stepbrother Sebastian wants what he can’t have — me. When I crashed down a mountain the man who pulled me from the wreckage rescued me in every way that counts. Rocky is the biggest, sexiest badass I’ve ever seen. The stubborn man says I’m too young. I’ll just have to prove him wrong.
Rocky: I never expected that past to show up in the form of a sexy-as-fuck woman — a woman I shouldn’t touch. I’ll do anything it takes to keep her safe, even go home to Alabama. My brothers, the Dixie Reapers, will help protect her. I’m just not sure who’s going to protect her from me, because I’m never going to let her go.
Bull (Dixie Reapers MC 4)
Darian: I can tell he wants me, even though he’s fighting himself. But he doesn’t have to… because I’m his. I’ve held onto my virginity all these years, but I want him more than I ever thought I’d want someone. For once, I’m going to get what I want. And I want Bull.
Bull: There’s more than twenty years between us. I wanted to be a better man, to walk away, but I can’t. She begs me so sweetly, and soon I can’t resist anymore. She’s mine. And any fucker who tries to take her from me is going to die a slow and painful death.
Praise for Rocky
“Every bit of the book is interesting and it keeps getting better and better with every book in the series. Mara and Rocky has an instant chemistry. With every interaction between them, the relationship deepened and [the] chemistry got better. It had enough action, romance and all things naughty to keep me completely engaged.”
— 5 Stars from Sorrel, Long and Short Reviews
Praise for Bull
“I really enjoyed seeing Bull get his happily ever after… I also loved seeing him with Darian. Darian expects very little from others so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the care Bull had for her. I loved seeing her innocence and joy with each new experience. This story by Ms. Wylde is a joy to read. I love the sense of family she has conveyed throughout this series. And I can’t wait to see where she will take us next.”
— Titania, Manic Readers Review
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Harley Wylde
Excerpt from Rocky (Dixie Reapers MC 3)
My hands clenched the wheel tighter as my small car careened around another curve on the icy mountain road. How the weather could be this bad in early fall, I didn’t know. My heart raced in my chest, and my gaze shot to the rearview mirror. Still alone. If they were following me, I didn’t see them. Even Sebastian’s men wouldn’t be dumb enough to drive these roads as fast as I was taking them, would they? They were New Yorkers, though, and would be used to bad driving conditions. I, however, was a California girl and hadn’t had much experience driving on icy and snow-covered roads.
Something darted across the road, and I reflexively hit the brakes. My car fishtailed, then started to slide. A scream tore from my throat as the small compact crashed through the railing and down the side of the mountain. The crunch of metal made my heart beat faster, and I wondered if I was about to die. Glass exploded into the car as it bounced against the mountainside. My head slammed into the steering wheel more than once, and black dots swam across my vision.
The car landed upside down at the bottom of the craggy cliff. My harsh breathing filled the air as I tried to focus. I was dazed and hung limply from the seat belt, my hands brushing the roof of the car. Blood trickled into my hair and more ran down my arm. I groaned, feeling battered and bruised, but thankful to be alive. I didn’t know how long I hung there… minutes… hours… but the crunch of snow alerted me to another presence. I hoped like hell it wasn’t Sebastian or his men. I’d rather die than see them.
A gruff voice cursed, one I didn’t recognize.
“Hello?” I called out, my voice weaker than usual. “Help. Please, help me.”
For a moment, I wondered if I should have kept quiet. Just because I didn’t recognize the man outside my car, didn’t mean he wouldn’t hurt me. I didn’t know everyone in Sebastian’s employ, and there were monsters out in the world other than the man who wanted to claim me. As if I’d ever let him touch me!
Denim-clad legs came into view with massive feet encased in brown boots. The man dropped to one knee, his gloved hand braced in the snow as he peered into what was left of my car. Blue eyes met mine, and my breath stilled. Fine lines fanned from the corners, and his nose looked like it had been broken at some point. But that was all I could see of the man. His face was covered in a beard, and the parts of his hair not covered by a hat spilled around his face, looking as if it hadn’t seen a brush today.
“Don’t move,” he said.
Something about that voice, dark and commanding, sent a chill down my spine. Not in a bad way, though. Something about that voice made me want to obey. The man rose to his feet, and his hands closed around the door of my car, or what was left of it. The metal groaned as he ripped the door off and flung it away. My mouth dropped at the brute strength on display. How strong exactly did you have to be to rip off a car door? I’d never seen anything like it.
His hands, now bare, reached for me. The seat belt wouldn’t release, and he reached into his pocket, withdrawing a knife. He easily sliced through the belt. I fell to the top of the car, and hands far gentler than I’d have expected, pulled me from the wreckage. As the man stood, lifting me as if I were no more than a child, I realized that the hunk of man who had helped me was way taller than my first impression. And much, much broader.
“My bag,” I said softly.
He grunted and eased me down. I wobbled a moment, my hand braced on his wide chest. When I got my footing, he released me long enough to pull my bag from the front seat. It didn’t have much in it, but wherever I was going, I would need the things inside. The man slung the bag over his shoulder before lifting me once more, then we were off, striding through the knee-deep snow. Or rather, he was walking through knee-deep snow.
“I’m Mara,” I said. “Mara O’Malley.”
His gaze flicked down to mine. “Rocky.”
I waited, but no last name was forthcoming, and I wasn’t going to press him for it. He didn’t have to pull me from that car. He could have left me for the wildlife to find, or to freeze to death and not be found until spring when everything thawed out.
Snow began to fall in thick gusts, and soon I couldn’t see in front of my face. The man holding me trudged forward, through the ever-thickening snow, not stopping, not even slowing down. I didn’t know how long we walked, but soon I saw a structure come into view. No. A cabin. There was a wide porch across the front and a large stack of wood near the door. Another pile of wood peeked around the corner of the house with a tarp over the top.
Rocky clomped up the steps and pushed open the front door. The crackle of a fire welcomed us, and I moaned as the warmth from inside the house licked at my skin. I was frozen everywhere. He eased me down onto the bearskin rug in front of the fireplace and pulled a blanket from the couch, wrapping it around my shoulders.
My teeth chattered with such force I thought they might break, and I trembled from head to toe. I watched the mesmerizing flames as Rocky stepped away. I heard him trudging upstairs, only to return a few minutes later with two thick pairs of wool socks, some sweatpants, and a flannel shirt clutched in his massive hands. He crouched in front of me and slowly removed my shoes and socks.
I let out a squeak when he reached for the top of my jeggings and began sliding them down my legs. Too stunned to do much but stare, I didn’t protest as he pulled the blanket from my shoulders and removed my coat and sweater. Even though his gaze didn’t stray anywhere for too long, I felt exposed. No one had ever seen me in my underwear before, and I knew I should say something. Then again, he probably didn’t like women with as much meat on their bones as I had. My thighs were thick and jiggled when I walked, my ass should probably have been assigned its own zip code. And while my breasts were large and sometimes drew male attention, they weren’t big enough to make my rounded stomach look any smaller.
His gaze roamed my body before he rose to his feet and disappeared again, leaving me mostly naked in front of the fire. When he returned, there was a wet rag clutched in one hand and a tube of ointment in the other. Rocky crouched in front of me again, gently wiping the blood from my body. I winced as he applied the ointment to my cuts. There was one on my forehead and another near my collarbone, and my arm was dotted with smaller cuts from the broken glass. He sat back on his heels and studied me again, his gaze caressing every inch of my body. Did he like what he saw?
International Best Selling Author!
Short. Erotic. Sweet. Harley’s other half would probably say those words describe her, but they also describe her books. When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
There’s a shift of power happening in Hell, and nothing will ever be the same.
Kerr has been with High Demon Horatio’s household since his age of majority. A natural submissive pleasure demon, for the last seven years he has been untouched by his master Horatio and his job has morphed into a more managerial role. Still, it’s a shock when goons from Master Belial’s house arrive at his doorstep to inform him he’s been sold and his new master expects him to come immediately.
Lost by Horatio in a card game, Kerr finds himself in the Belial household, where Ceris, Master of the Harem, takes Kerr under his wing. Kerr is not only honored and used as he was made to be, but he is given a newly acquired demon, Harmony, as his own to train. The three pleasure demons have a rocky start, but they have all the time in Hell to figure out how to work together, and it isn’t long before they begin to care for one another.
Meanwhile, Belial has waited for thousands of years for Horatio to admit he’s actually a submissive. When it appears that’s never going to happen, Belial arranges for his best friend to lose a card game in which he’s offered himself as the prize. Horatio can’t believe Belial would do this for him, but the council puts their seal of approval on the bet, and he has no choice but to offer himself to Belial, who immediately gets to work convincing Horatio that he’ll be so much happier as Belial’s sub.
Will Kerr and Horatio find joy in their places in the Belial household? Only time will tell.
Publisher’s Note: The novel Once You Go Demon by Sean Michael was available briefly from another house.
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Sean Michael
Kerr stared at the paper the incredibly well dressed goons at the door handed him.
He’d been sold into Horatio Liverage’s house to act as the man’s submissive since he was of maturity, and now, after so long, Horatio had sold him without a word? Without a note?
“There must be a mistake.”
The goon pointed one clawed finger at the insignia at the bottom of the page. “What does that signify?”
“Horatio Liverage.” He couldn’t deny it was his master’s seal.
“Then there isn’t a mistake. Bring us Kerr, and we’ll be on our way.” The teeth on the guy doing the talking brooked no argument. Neither did the tufts of smoke coming out of Silent and Scary’s ears.
“I’m Kerr. I have to gather my things, make arrangements…” Right? Didn’t he get that much at least?
The lower demon looked at the contract again. “It doesn’t say anything about belongings here. Let’s go.”
“I have precious things that hold my family name, and it doesn’t say that I can’t bring them. I am not resisting, simply gathering my stuff.” He could bargain with the best of them. He knew he had to convince them, though, as either one of them could pick him up and toss him over a shoulder without even trying.
Henchman One turned to Henchman Two, who shrugged.
“Is your master here? He can decide.”
“He is not. He’s away. As such, I am second in charge of the household.” He held no illusions that he was beloved or even a lover, but he was well trusted with finances and with all aspects of Horatio’s life. “I shall return in moments.”
He began to pack — the stash of jewels he had been collecting for years, his few precious books, his favorite clothes, and the music and computer that were his. He grabbed his toiletries, the hologram of his sire and dam, and the fragile glass orb that throbbed with a sweet, gentle light.
Both goons were frowning when he came back, pushing the pallet of his things.
“We won’t be party to you stealing from your master.”
“I haven’t stolen a thing. These things are my own and now go with me to my new master.” Fuckers. Horatio might be able to sell him on a whim, but these were his possessions and they were going with him.
They looked at each other again, shrugged, and turned, heading down the walk toward the truck at the end of it. “We’re not toting anything,” the talker called back over his shoulder.
“Not yet,” Kerr muttered.
He wasn’t some pointless goon. He was a highly trained, highly useful sexual submissive and house servant. Soon he would find a place with whomever the fuck the asshole prick that never made love to him anyway, dickhead, had sold his papers to, and then this mouth breather would do what Kerr said.
The goon opened the back door and just stood there, watching him putting his things in. “You’re riding back there, too.”
“Thank you so much.” He rolled his eyes, pushed his hair behind his ears, and climbed in, telling himself that he wasn’t hurt, that he was nothing but property, that he shouldn’t cry. One day, that might even work.
The door closed with a loud clang, leaving him in the dark, the engine starting up moments later. The truck lurched forward, sending him falling onto his ass.
He did cry then, silently, heartbroken. He’d lost his home, his job, his master, and no one had so much as warned him. Someone had written up that paperwork, someone had made the arrangements, and someone had thrown him away.
He couldn’t believe Horatio had done this to him, and without any warning at all, not a word to him.
The truck stopped abruptly, the brakes squeaking loudly. The door opened again, the dull grey sky seeming bright after the darkness of the truck.
Two little slaves popped up into the back and began grabbing his stuff.
He lifted his chin and firmed his lips. He was well trained, valuable. Special in his own right. Men begged to be wealthy enough to own him.
“Come, come,” murmured one boy, motioning for him to get down from the truck and follow. He couldn’t see the two goons. “You’re going to be in the salle, honored one. Your groom is Ceris, and he is the Salle Master.”
Finally, someone realized how important he was, what his stature was, even if he was a slave. He followed the lad through a side door and along a winding hall of stone. This place was much brighter than his mast — than his former master’s, more marble than rock on the columns and floors, white and light blue shot through with silver and gold.
When they arrived at the harem, the whole place still felt luxurious and gilded, as if the master lived back here as well as the front of the house. Well, his new master was very rich, there was no denying that.
A huge bald man stood as he walked in, bowing to him solemnly. “Honored one. I am Ceris, your groom. Boy, put the things in the gold room, then call for tea.”
The lad who’d guided him here bowed and went running with Kerr’s things, deeper into the harem.
“Welcome to Lord Belial’s harem. We were very excited to learn he won you and that you would be joining us.”
Lord Belial? Bel? Horatio had sold him to his best friend? Seriously?
“Thank you for your welcome.” He bowed automatically, his training taking over immediately.
“Tea is coming. After that, I imagine you’d like a bath. Perhaps something light to eat.”
Ceris was a handsome demon. The bald head exposed the little horns completely, and they glowed in the light. His bare chest was beautifully muscled, the gauzy pants exposing strong legs and hinting at a heavy cock. There was a heavy spiky gold tattoo covering Ceris’ ridged belly, marking him as Master Bel’s, Kerr was sure. Marked, but lovely.
“I… Yes, of course.” He was developing the world’s worst headache.
A lad, different than the first two, he thought, came in with a tray holding a teapot and two teacups. He left them on a low table, bowed deeply.
“Thank you, Totz. You can go.”
The boy did, hurrying off like he had somewhere to be.
“Please. Sit.” Ceris waved toward the benches that surrounded the table.
“Thank you, Ceris.” He and Ceris were equals, and he refused to treat the man with less respect than he deserved. “I was not aware I was to be transferred. Not until the papers arrived at the door.”
Transferred. Traded. Discarded.
“That’s unfortunate. Were you able to collect all your things?” Ceris asked, pouring out the tea.
“I brought the things that were special that I could carry. What will my duties be here? In my former home, I acted as valet and head of household — finances, staff management, that sort of thing.”
Ceris shot him a confused look. “I was led to believe you were a trained submissive, honored one.”
“Yes, I was. My former master chose not to use me in that regard.” Not for many years and not often when he had.
“Perhaps that’s why he wagered you in the game of chance he played with our master last night.” Ceris leaned forward and spoke quietly, confidentially. “He’s still here, sleeping it off. It got very loud and much was imbibed. I’m very sorry for the way it happened, but maybe it’s for the better. There is no where else in all of Hell that I would rather be.”
“I will thrive wherever they wish me to be.” He hoped. He had no choice.
Ceris looked him up and down, gaze almost like a physical touch. “I’m sure you will.”
Writing under S. Michael for Het Ménage and Sean for signature M/M titles, Sean Michael leads a classic double life.
Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends days surfing, smutting, organizing an immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs.
While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and perusing the Kama Sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”
A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.
Barring any of that? Sean’ll stick with writing stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Ashes: I’ve spent my whole life fighting. Fighting with teachers, fighting with foster parents, fighting with my demons, but my hardest fight was for my life. Someone shot me to protect my sister’s abusive ex. When I get out of this hospital bed, I’m going to find them.
Vivian: Nursing has been my life for so long that I’d forgotten I had a heart. He’s my patient. I shouldn’t be attracted to him, but this bad boy has such a damaged soul how can I not want to heal him?
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Ashlynn Monroe
I stood in the courthouse parking lot, opening my left saddlebag.
My head jerked up and my vision hazed red. Will stood there with an expression that screamed he thought he was hot shit. My gun was in the saddlebag. Temptation begged me to shoot him, but with all the cameras watching, taking revenge here would be idiotic. “Fuck you.” I turned away from him, unable to stomach another moment of his face.
A loud pop reverberated. Sound echoed off the old stone buildings. I stumbled. My legs went numb. I dropped to my knees. Breathed out. Putting my hand against my abdomen. I pulled back and saw blood. Pain. My vision blurred. Blood. So. Much. Blood.
“What the fuck?” I looked up. Will was running. He’d never have had the guts. I glanced around, my thoughts turning hazy. I didn’t see a shooter.
Scathes. Family always came first. They knew this was my sister. They might be low, but no biker would do this when family was involved. I coughed. Blood splattered against the white skull painted on the tank of my bike. Blurred. Focused. Blurred. I tried to push myself up but couldn’t. The urge to clean up my girl was strong, but I didn’t have the strength. I held my injury, and when I glanced down the red seeped between my fingers. It was bad. “Shit.”
Shivering, I tried to look around for my attacker, but the only thing I saw were a few suits running in my direction. The last thing I wanted to see as I died was lawyers. My eyelids were heavy… so heavy…
* * *
I glanced up, stretching my aching lower back the same time. This had been a busy ER rotation due to the recent measles outbreak. I normally worked in the ICU, but with the need for all hands, I was helping in emergency.
I watched the paramedics rush through the ambulance bay with the patient. He was under a thermal blanket, indicating the man was suffering from shock. They had him on oxygen. He didn’t look good.
“Viv, GSW, trauma room one,” Erica, one of the ER nurses, directed.
As one of the most experienced ER nurses on staff I wasn’t surprised she immediately directed me to assist. Hows and whys of injuries didn’t matter. Hero or criminal, this guy would get the same treatment.
In the trauma room, the EMTs were transferring him from the gurney to the bed. “Gunshot wound to the lower right quadrant. There’s no exit wound.” This guy was lucky — Dr. Blair was amazing.
I took my place on the right and took a blood sample. We needed to type him, fast. I glanced up to see the respiratory therapist remove the non-rebreather and intubate.
Dr. Blair stood at the foot of the bed, monitoring the situation while his resident took a spot on the left, ready to stop the bleeding with hemostatic gauze.
“Vitals?” asked Dr. Blair.
“Tachycardic, 170 beats a minute. O2 at 94% with oxygen. Temp 95. Blood pressure is 80/45 with a map of 50,” reported the EMT. “The abdomen is distended. Blood pooled around the wound. His color was ashen and distal pulses were weak. We gave him saline without any change in blood pressure. Victim was in and out of consciousness on the way here. He was lethargic upon arrival to the scene, but unconscious the last ten minutes while en route.”
“Exploratory laparotomy might be needed to stabilize him,” said the youthful Doctor Hanover, the resident Dr. Blair was precepting.
“Agreed. Let’s get our patient into surgery.”
I wasn’t getting a coffee break today. Dr. Blair glanced at me, and I nodded. I’d assisted him often and we enjoyed intense professional mutual respect. This patient was in as good hands as any, and in his condition, he’d need all the skill of our combined knowledge. Dr. Hanover looked over at me. The worry in his expression made my throat constrict. Losing a patient never got any easier.
Ashlynn Monroe is a busy working mom. She loves her kids and family. Her greatest joy is creating stories to entertain others, and she hopes they bring a little more romance into the world. She’s been writing since her teens for her own enjoyment but decided in her thirties to share her imagination with readers. Ashlynn enjoys biking, camping, reading, video games, and filling her home and life with love. If she’s not working or chasing children, you can find her daydreaming up her next tale of romance.