Thomas Bright never would have dropped his glamour if he’d known he’d be going into heat. The one night he decides to cut loose at the decadent BDSM club, the Wild Hunt, just happens to be the one night he meets his mate.
Mix two alien Marines, a human BDSM Master, and a shapeshifting Empress with a mind of her own, and what do you get? A whole lot of trouble.
Dane and Julian, ex-war heroes now in the Empress’ service, hate each other. Hate, hate, hate. Problem? Julian wants Dane almost as much as he hates him.
The Empress needs her ex-Marines, but they’re no good to her if they’re at each other’s throats. She thinks she has a way to tame the two by putting them together with Master Anubis, a refugee from Earth.
It’s a three-way battle for dominance, and the Empress knows something she’s not telling…
Note: Chain of Three follows the standalone title Chain of Thorns, but can be read by itself. This title contains elements that may be disturbing to some readers.
“So, you’re pretending to be a human again today, are you?”
Dane grunted in response. In his opinion, a stupid question didn’t deserve any kind of answer. Anyone with two, three, four or more eyes in their head or what they called a head ought to know better. Of course he’d shifted into human shape. He wasn’t stupid.
The Empress hadn’t exactly ordered Her subjects to assume the images of the humans She adored and fell passionately in love with. However, anyone who wasn’t too dumb to come in out of the rain knew they’d better wear the right “uniform” unless they had an itch to annoy Her.
You really, really didn’t want to annoy the Supreme Commander of a thousand-plus starships and a million trained warriors.
Besides, he’d decided to lounge by the pond in the garden of his new quarters that morning and tentacles had a nasty tendency to develop vicious sunburn. “Getting a tan” the earthfolk they’d rescued from their doomed planet called this practice. They’d said it was relaxing and made them look more attractive to those they wanted to mate with.
No, those they wanted to fuck.
If Dane was going to play human, then he’d damn well get the details right. Mating and fucking were completely different concepts. One of the new traditions most of his countrymen and women liked best when it came to playing human was the idea of fucking without having to tangle themselves up in mating.
“Fuck.” An interesting word you could use in almost any sentence.
Dane paused for a second to appreciate the amazing range of human obscenities, otherwise called “swearing,” “cursing,” or “cussin’.” They worked great when a guy didn’t really know what else to say.
Speaking of which, Dane decided getting a suntan was probably a piss-poor waste of time. He couldn’t figure out why anyone would enjoy damaging the pigmentation of their skin by sitting in the sun all day, but as the earthfolk also said, what the hell? He didn’t have anything better to do. Not since he’d been “honorably” discharged from the military, sent back to their home planet for recuperation, and then…
“Aww. He shivered. Izza baby boy cold?” Julian taunted in American English.
Raising the middle finger of his human-shaped hand, Dane pointed it where he figured Julian would be standing. Another handy earthfolk trick, cussing with hand signals.
Julian hooted. “Up yours too!” He made the suggestion in cheerful good humor. Probably purely for the sake of annoying Dane. He never took offense at anything Dane did. He treated every barb and sting like some big game. Prick. “You’re cranky today, old man. What flew up your ass?”
Dane grunted again as his only answer, deciding if that wasn’t good enough for Julian he could go screw himself.
Mmm. He really, really loved human profanity. So rich, depending on culture, and so satisfying. He and Julian both studied the underground lists of new phrases together to figure out what they meant, bitching at each other over who got to read first if they didn’t both have a copy. The time when Julian insisted “son of a bitch” meant the same thing as “son of a motherless goat” had resulted in a fight of amazing violence and duration.
In the end, the Empress Herself gave them a tongue-lashing of Her own and sent them to their rooms to stand with their noses in the corner until they learned to behave like men, not children.
Julian’s fault, in Dane’s opinion. Dumbass.
About Willa Okati
Willa Okati is made of many things: imagination, coffee, stray cat hairs, daydreams, more coffee, kitchen experimentation, a passion for winter weather, a little more coffee, and a lifelong love of storytelling. She is definitely one of the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
When Marianne Windmere’s bakery customers begin complaining that her parking lot is always full, she assumes it must be customers for the new restaurant next door. She’s never met her neighbor, and with the parking lot situation, she has no interest in doing so. But when a snowstorm knocks out the power and traps both women in the building overnight, sparks fly—until the next morning, when the buried argument comes to a head.
Can they find a way to reclaim the magic of that night? And as decades-old secrets about the history of the town and Marianne’s family come to light, can they work together to save both their businesses?
The travel mug banged against the counter. Marianne jumped. “Jesus, Kevin! I didn’t hear you come in.”
“It’s full again.” Kevin crossed his arms and glared. “The parking lot back there.” He made a show of glancing around the nearly empty bakery, eyes pausing on Zeke in the corner, mug in his hands and laptop open as usual, big red headphones covering his ears. He crossed his arms. “Why do you pay that kid if all he does is ignore you? And the customers?”
“You’re in a mood this morning.” Marianne pushed herself off the stool and grabbed his aluminum coffee mug. Her ex-husband was still an attractive man fifteen years after their divorce, and she couldn’t work up the energy to be annoyed at him for it anymore. “If you want to go next door and complain about the cars, go ahead.” She filled his mug with hazelnut coffee, added an espresso shot, capped it, and handed it back. “It’s not like our customers are beating down the doors for spots right now.”
“I did go next door,” Kevin grumbled, taking the cup. “It wasn’t productive.” Now it was him avoiding her gaze.
The parking lot issue wasn’t a new one—it had been a problem for a few months—and on a busy day Marianne would be filled with a low-level simmering rage as customer after customer complained about it. Still, she wasn’t going to tell Kevin that. Their relationship had improved in the years since their divorce but not quite that much.
“Not productive?” she pressed.
He sipped his coffee to cover the slight flush in his pale cheeks and didn’t answer.
“She threw you out, didn’t she?” Marianne’s estimation of her neighbor and nemesis rose a notch. “You tried to yell at her, and she didn’t take it.”
“I was very polite!”
“Hm.” Marianne put her hands on her hips and considered the man she’d spent nearly twenty-five years married to. He could be charming when he wanted to be—the whole silver fox, sparkling blue eyes and white teeth politician thing—though he never tried it with her anymore. Many women had found him suave and attractive during their marriage and probably still did. But when he wanted something from someone with no interest in what he was peddling? Politeness wasn’t his style. Generally, once charm had failed, he whined worse than any of their three kids had as toddlers. She’d learned that plenty during their marriage, and again during the divorce. “I’m sure you were.”
“I can talk to Bruce and Andrea,” said Kevin. “Just because I’m retired—”
“No need to get the city council involved, Kevin. I’ll handle my own property, thanks.” She glanced at the clock on the wall, its tarnished brass pendulum swinging below the cracked glass. “Aren’t you going to be late for your train?” He was still showing up at transit meetings in the city every other week since he had been appointed to the regional transit board as community representative now that he wasn’t an elected official. Kevin had a habit of holding onto things too tightly and refusing to let them go.
Kevin glanced down at his watch and swore. “Yeah. Shit.” He took another long gulp of coffee and leaned over the counter to kiss Marianne’s cheek. “Thanks. Who knew retirement could be so busy?” He turned to hurry out the door and then stopped and glanced back over his shoulder. “You be good, all right? Don’t work too hard.”
Marianne rolled her eyes and shooed him out with a towel.
Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Renee George
Titan Station’s running low on water. Situations like this call for a little creativity — something cats are usually good at. Unfortunately sometimes wrangling comets means crossing a few interplanetary lines. This time Kiefer Gatson’s got himself in a hell of a mess. One little misunderstanding with the Amalgamated Scavenger’s Guild and now Allied Planet Security’s after him. Worse, he’s got Orloft, the cyborg bounty hunter, on his tail.
Now Kiefer’s stuck — literally — on Spaceport Adana, trying to impersonate a Kitali. Which lands him on top of Officer Ramie, who smells good enough to eat. December Ramie, he could surrender to — or the other way ’round. Either would be fine. But he’s not really a Kitali, and if he shifts now, he’s going to blow his cover.
Before he can save the station and claim the woman as his mate he’s got to wrangle his comet into a docking bay on Titan Station and get paid. Which brings things back ’round to Orloft, his impounded ship, and ten tons or so of undocumented water.
One cat. One comet. One woman. What could go wrong?
“It’s that time of the mornin’ when the sun starts comin’ up, and I’m standin’ on the corner with my guitar and my cup…” From his seat at the bar, Kiefer sang softly in time to the heavy beat of the music. Unfortunately, the Kitali with the mic in his hand was far too drunk to manage to get the words out right. Kitali generally sang badly enough when only mildly intoxicated. This Kat had guzzled down at least five rounds too many.
“Hey, you’re pretty good. Why don’t you give it a try?”
Kiefer spun to face the voice. Shiny silver-blue hair sculpted into a wave that wrapped around her head, too short skirt, barely there scrap of clingy mesh fabric that revealed more of her boobs than it covered. Waitress. Not a threat. One by one, he forced his muscles to relax. “Thanks, but I don’t have any desire to be in the spotlight.” Oh, like all cats, he loved to sing, especially old Earth “Country” ballads, but he didn’t need that kind of attention. Not here. Not now.
“Can I get you anything?” The look said he needed to order, or move on.
He didn’t bother to look at the drink list. What he really needed was food, something solid to put in his stomach, but he wouldn’t eat anything they’d serve in a dive like The Haze. “I’ll have a Mendozan Cooler.” More credits than he ought to spend, but then, unless he could find out who’d put the bounty on him, and why, this might well be his last night of freedom. Wasn’t like he’d have any use for credits on a penal colony.
“Coming right up.” The waitress gave her hips a little extra twirl as she turned toward the bar, sending her short skirt floating up to reveal the tight, trim lines of her perfectly sculpted ass. Kiefer nearly whistled. That bit of work must have cost a few hundred credits. Nice job.
The Kitali roused himself from the floor in time to sing the line, “But my sun ain’t come up yet this mornin’.” Of course he was at the wrong place in the melody, and obviously paying no attention to the ancient teleprompter, but no one cared. Kiefer wasn’t sure if the few patrons near enough to notice were clapping for his singing, or because it was finally over.
Kitali. Kiefer snorted softly. What an insult to cats everywhere.
“You know that guy?” The waitress was back, nodding her chin at the far end of the bar. “He’s looking for someone. Has a bounty. Picture looks a lot like you.”
Kiefer’s attention snapped from the stage to the far end of the bar. Blyat! Orloft. Not just a bounty hunter — a Battle ‘Borg. So much for going through channels. Whoever was after him had decided to bypass ‘Port Security protocols. Kiefer slapped a fifty credit token on the bar and prepared to meet his fate. Or the back door, whichever came first.
Only apparently Haze didn’t have a readily accessible back door. Lots of shadows and alcoves, but — Sukin Sin! He tripped over the drunken Kitali, who’d crawled off the stage — or been tossed — and nearly went down. Damn thing was next to invisible in the dar… Blyat! That was it!
With a thought, Kiefer vanished, and another drunken Kitali staggered toward the exit. Somewhere deep in the bowls of Spaceport Adana his father rolled over in his grave. Or perhaps flowerbed. Hard to tell with Dad…
Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Officer Corbin Richters has gone through more partners than he can count. They all claim he’s difficult to work with, but he knows better. They’re scared being gay might be something they can catch. Idiots. When he’s assigned yet another partner, his inner dragon perks up and takes notice. Josh is different from anyone he’s ever met. Unfortunately, he’s also human.
When the two are tasked with getting Christmas trees for families in need, they never count on growing close. The more time Corbin spends with Josh, the more certain he becomes the man is his mate.
*NOTE: This is a re-release that has been freshly edited and has a new cover.
Corbin Richters watched the sexy-as-hell man walking through the door of the precinct, his blue uniform fitted snugly to his shoulders and chest, silver badge gleaming under the fluorescent lights, his stride powerful and purposeful as he approached Captain Meeker. The dark hair on his head stood out in disarray but it was artfully done, the waves beckoning to be touched in an intimate caress. His eyes looked green from this distance, and they took everything in with a swift assessment that said he was ready for whatever danger that might be lurking within the precinct walls. Whoever he was, he wasn’t a rookie. No one got that hard-edged look, the look of a predator, the first day on the job.
Corbin’s heart kicked in his chest and his hands clenched on top of the desk. What he wouldn’t give to peel away that uniform and see what lay beneath the crisp, blue material. He unconsciously licked his lips as he thought about trailing kisses along those broad shoulders. Corbin’s skin heated and his cock twitched in his pants. He felt his scales ripple under his skin and fought for control. Hell, here he was fantasizing over the man, and he wasn’t even sure if the cop was into men or women. Or both. It had been a long time since he’d had such a reaction to someone on first sight, and he wanted to explore the feelings a bit more.
“Damn.” He sneaked a quick glance around. Had he said that out loud?
Corbin watched as the officer shook hands with the captain and then as Captain Meeker pointed at Corbin. Why on earth was the captain sending Mr. Sexy his way? Not that he was going to complain! Still, he had to admit to being curious. What did the man’s voice sound like? Would he offer to shake hands? Would that small contact arouse Corbin’s dragon even more? The beast was already more than a little intrigued.
The object of his desire strode across the room with panther-like grace, his movements fluid and beautiful, and stopped at the edge of Corbin’s desk. The officer flashed him a smile, one that had his dragon — lusty beast — perking up considerably, and held out his hand.
Corbin stood and shook it, an electrical current shooting up his arm, swirling down through his chest, and settling in his balls, making them draw up tight. His cock gave another jerk, but if the officer noticed — and something told Corbin that he had — he wasn’t commenting on it. Corbin had thought the man would pack a punch, but it still took him by surprise, this visceral reaction. He couldn’t remember the last time his dragon and he had been in total agreement on their choice of bed partners.
The man’s voice was crisp and clipped as he introduced himself. “Josh Myers.”
“Corbin Richters.” Corbin released Josh’s hand reluctantly before he did something stupid, like jerk him closer for a different sort of embrace. As it was, he wanted to bury his nose against the man’s neck and inhale that incredible scent that was teasing him.
“It seems I’m your new partner,” Josh said.
Partner? Corbin shot the captain a look. No one had said anything about a new partner. Corbin had only been part of the Blueberry Hill Police Department for a little over a month, having been lucky enough to land the job within a week of hitting town. And yet he’d already gone through two partners. The men had claimed Corbin was too rough and rude, but he knew the truth. They didn’t care that he was black. They hadn’t wanted to work with a gay officer. Probably afraid it would rub off on them or some stupid shit like that.
“I take it this is news to you,” Josh said, that gorgeous smile flirting around his lips again. Lips that looked full and soft, the kind of lips a man could kiss forever.
Corbin cleared his throat, hoping to get better control of himself. “Yeah, I hadn’t heard that I was getting a new partner today.” He met Josh’s gaze. “But I’m glad you’re here.” Too direct?
Josh’s smile broadened and there was something in his eyes, a warmth that told Corbin his advances might be welcome. He supposed time would tell. It was possible the guy was just being friendly and he was reading into things.
Corbin pointed to the desk butting up to his. “That will be your space. There should be some supplies in the drawer, but if not, we can ask the receptionist on our way out.”
“Hitting the streets early?”
“I thought we’d swing by Espress Yourself and grab some coffee. There’s no charge to officers for a regular brewed cup, and they usually have a few different flavors going. You have to pay for those fancy drinks though.”
Josh smiled again. “Sounds good. I can check out the desk when we get back.”
“The black SUV near the back is ours.”
Josh scanned him from head to toe. “I’m guessing your size has something to do with us getting the biggest vehicle. What are you? Six foot four?”
Corbin grinned. “Six-six.” Not that Josh was short. He had to be at least six-two.
They strolled out of the rear precinct door and headed to the SUV. Corbin popped the locks with the key fob and slid in.
“So…” Josh glanced his way as he snapped his seatbelt into place. “Your place or mine?”
MORE FROM DULCE AT CHANGELING PRESS …
With an overactive imagination and a penchant for making up stories, was it any wonder Dulce Dennison decided to be an author? From cowboys to shapeshifters, she has a story for them all, but her passion lies in writing m/m romances. Dulce believes in love in all shapes and sizes, and that everyone deserves a happily-ever-after.
Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
After having her heart broken by a cheating ex, wealthy and disabled divorcee Emma-Jean Lawson twists her misfortune into an empowering statement… by opening up an all-male strip club named Cuckold’s. Now all she has to do is find her star dancer.
Noel Winters has a big wet problem. The once Principal Dancer for the Paris Ballet has turned to teaching his beloved dance to others after a career ending injury, but now a busted water heater, just in time for Christmas, has him seeking other means of income to keep his business afloat. An ad from Cuckold’s catches his attention. It can’t be that hard being an exotic dancer, can it?
When Emma and Noel meet, there’s an instant attraction, but is sex alone enough to hold a relationship steady? And where did the guys with guns come from? Suddenly their happily ever after is looking grim, but with two of the most magical allies helping along the way, maybe they will pull it together in time to have a happy holiday after all.
Stephanie is a USA Today Best Selling, multi published, multi award-winning author, Master Costumer, handicapped, wife and mother of two.
From sex-shifting, shape-shifting dragons to undersea worlds, sexually confused elemental Fey and homo-erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel-challenged urban sprites, Stephanie has done it all, and hopes to do more.
Stephanie is an orator on her favorite subjects of writing and world-building, a sometime teacher when you feed her enough tea and donuts, an anime nut, a costumer, and a frequent guest of various sci-fi and writing cons where she can be found leading panel discussions or researching varied legends and theories to improve her writing skills.
Stephanie is known for her love of the outrageous, strong female characters, believable worlds, male characters filled with depth, and multi-cultural stories that make the reader sit up and take notice.
Work and pregnancy are driving Sonya crazy. Her mate’s concern about her well-being isn’t helping because that concern takes the form of overprotectiveness. But when Sonya is kidnapped, she finds strength in herself and her mating bond that she never knew existed.
Maxine stared at her mate. Sonya was lovely, of course, with her cocoa dark skin and cap of short, kinky, beautifully natural hair. Her skin was two or three shades lighter than Maxine’s and her eyes were a breathtaking honey brown. She was even more attractive today because her gaze shone out with triumph.
But how could she feel that way? The LGBTQ psychic werewolves were being discriminated against. Just like always. And this time, it was their own leader who was doing it. And Sonya might be human, not a werewolf like Maxine, but didn’t she understand the plight of her pack family? Her eros, meaning LGBTQ, pack family?
“Tilthos Charles is giving the basilisks permission to overlook us,” she said slowly and rather more loudly than she meant to. “Sonya, don’t you understand that? He’s saying, ‘sure, ignore and belittle a subsection of my people. That’s just fine.’ And you’re sitting there… smiling!”
Sonya’s grin became a smirk. “It sounds like you’re gainsaying the alpha above all alphas.”
Maxine started to speak. “Okay,” she said carefully, “that is what it sounded like. But he’s not here to listen in and…” She shook her head, her braids thumping gently against her shoulders. “What I really don’t get is why you’re happy about it.”
“Because, quite frankly, my dear, it won’t last. The basilisks want to shoot themselves in the foot by not including the most willing participants in their little genetic experiment? When all the packs in North America were polled, it was the eros packs who responded most positively to giving their DNA. All werewolves should respond favorably because learning about basilisk reproduction could conceivably help werewolves carry pups more easily. But if the straight wolves are reluctant because of tradition or secrets or secret traditions? And if the basilisks only want straight DNA?” She laughed. “Let them fuck themselves over.”
Now Maxine saw the joke and she chuckled. Then she asked her beloved, “Will you make love to me?”
Sonya’s eyes widened playfully and her humor was replaced with a devilish look. “How fast can you get undressed?”
It actually took a few minutes because as Maxine removed each article of clothing, shoes and socks, jeans shorts, bikini panties, and skintight T-shirt, Sonya wanted to stroke the newly exposed skin.
Maxine paused dramatically before taking off her bra and fake boobs. Maxine was a transgender wolf, a male to female that would have been called a transwoman if she’d been human. She thought of herself as female, even at the times when her cock ruled her head, because she was not a guy no matter how she’d been born. She’d figured out her transgender self when her name was Maximillian and that little kid had been seven. This had been a good century before the word “transgender” was even in use.
They were at a pause, with Maxine’s fake boobs on the nightstand. Maxine tried to push past the memories, but Sonya had already seen something was up. She’d stopped her striptease and was patting the bed next to her, inviting Maxine to sit.
Feeling foolish, she sat. “I’m sorry. I just… drifted.”
“Tell me?” Sonya offered softly. And she took Maxine’s hands.
Maxine looked down at the beauty of their two skin tones. It was sort of like looking at a wood carving. Somehow majestic even as it was soothing. Also, this time with Sonya was undeniably theirs, something no one could take away.
“I don’t want to waste –” she began.
“Hush. Time with you is never wasted.”
Maxine eased beneath that gentle murmur. “I don’t usually give a shit about my penis and balls,” she said. “And I don’t really now, except that they made you pregnant.”
That was one of the things Maxine loved about her. Leaning forward, she kissed her mate, slipping her tongue into Sonya’s warm and welcoming mouth. When she had the strength to go on, she sat back. “I don’t regret our coming pups. Never think it. But I’m feeling sort of guilty for the sperm that took over your body.”
Sonya grinned but she sounded absolutely serious when she said, “I love you for saying so, Maxine. You’re such a woman when you say things like that.” She did laugh then. “And here I thought I wasn’t a lesbian.” She rested a hand on Maxine’s thigh and then ran one finger up the half erect shaft between Maxine’s legs.
Maxine shuddered with pleasure.
“I’m so lucky to have a trans wolf with a female’s heart, a male’s parts, and a warrior’s spirit in my bed. Don’t regret what I’m glad happened.” She colored a little, and then she stood. “Now, will you let me finish stripping for my mate? She’s made me wet and I want to lose my underwear.”
Lavender: My parents weren’t the type to win any awards, but I did learn a few things. Like how to read lines of code and get through the backdoor of pretty much any site or program. I also learned about the man my mother had dated when she’d met my dad, someone who has intrigued me for years. I never thought I’d get the chance to meet him, until my parents end up dead and I can’t think of anyone else who might be able to help. I know too much, know my parents’ deaths weren’t an accident, and now I’ve been targeted. If the infamous Voodoo Tracer can’t help me, then I’m screwed.
Reality is so much better than fantasy, and with one look, I know the reason I haven’t dated is because I was waiting. For him.
Wire: I never really expected my past to come knocking at the front gates, nor did I expect it to be in such a sexy package. Lavender isn’t what I’d call a siren, but with her glasses perched on her nose, her messy hair, curvy figure, and adorable tees, she’s exactly what I want and don’t need. A nerdy, geeky, superintelligent woman who craves me as much as I crave her. So I did what any man would do… I claimed her. Now she’s mine, and if an enemy from my past thinks he can hurt her, I’d like to see him try. He might have killed her parents, but I will destroy anyone who tries to take her from me.
The infamous hacker, or more accurately cracker, Voodoo Tracer, hadn’t been all that hard to find. My mother had always said if anything happened to her I should track down the guy she’d dated before marrying my dad. I’d heard the story a million times, about how they’d all been friends but she’d fallen for Dad and hurt the guy she’d been dating. He’d left and never returned. Mom had lost track of him, but it hadn’t take much digging for me to find his current location, which told me he wasn’t really hiding. A guy like him didn’t leave a door open unless he wanted someone to use it.
While my mom and dad were hackers and worked for a lot of companies, trying to find the weak spots in their security so the companies could improve them, men like Voodoo Tracer took advantage of those weak spots to get whatever information they wanted. Mom had never approved of Voodoo’s need to crack government and banking sites. From what she’d said, back then, he never took anything vital. He’d mostly done it because he could. I couldn’t say for certain what he’d been up to lately.
I didn’t really walk either path, but tended to dabble a bit in both. Like the infamous Voodoo, I mostly liked to see how far I could get somewhere I shouldn’t be. If I were as nice as my mom and dad, I’d then turn that information over to the companies so they could keep other people out. Then again, they weren’t exactly paying me for my help, so why give it? I wasn’t an angel by any means, but I wasn’t precisely a devil either. I operated in those murky shades of gray.
I’d known how easy it would be for some to trace my phone, or the built-in GPS on my car, so I’d left both behind. The bus hadn’t been the most comfortable option to ride to Alabama, and I’d paid cash so there wouldn’t be a credit card trail, but now that I was here, I had to wonder if I’d made a huge mistake. The walk to the Dixie Reapers compound wasn’t that far, but the place seemed a bit imposing as I approached the gates. I’d walked what felt like miles of fenceline, although that was surely not the case. Razor wire topped it, and I had to wonder just what they were trying to keep out. Or was it more what they wanted to keep in?
The guy standing guard didn’t seem much older than me, and I noticed the way he scanned me from head to toe. I probably wasn’t the type of woman who typically came to this sort of place. My Converse were well-worn, my jeans ripped along my thighs and knees, and I had on my favorite Dark Crystal T-shirt, which had faded over time. I hadn’t thought much about my appearance and had tossed my hair up in a messy bun. With my thick-lensed glasses perched on my nose, I probably looked like I should be in school right now. If it weren’t for my curves, I’d never pass for my real age.
“You must be lost,” the man said, then pointed back behind me. “Town is back that way.”
“I’m not lost.” I hitched my bag higher on my shoulder. “I’m here to see Voodoo Tracer.”
The man stared and rubbed at the stubble on his chin. “No one here by that name. So I think you really are lost.”
My brow furrowed. I’d assumed his club would know him by that name. From what little research I’d managed before taking this trip, I’d learned that some clubs preferred to use a road name and kept their real names private. If Voodoo followed that belief, this guy may not know his birth name. It was foolish to think whatever the club called him would be the same name he went by when he was cracking codes.
“Hang on. I have a picture, but it’s really old.” I slid the strap off my shoulder and dug in my backpack. I withdrew the picture of Voodoo with my mom, Seraph, and my dad, Doc Paradox. I’d stared at this picture a lot over the years. I’d found it shoved into a box in the top of Mom’s closet a while back. The ginger-haired young man had drawn my attention. He couldn’t have been older than sixteen or seventeen at the time it was taken, but even back then he’d been more than just cute. I knew he’d be my parents’ age now, but I’d often wished I could meet a guy like him.
Showing the picture to the guy, his eyes went wide.
“Holy shit, is that Wire?” he asked.
“Um. Maybe. I don’t know his club name. I only know his hacker name.”
The man nodded. “That would be Wire, then. I’ll have to call him down here. I’m not letting you in uninvited. You don’t exactly look like the type to party at the clubhouse.”
If that was code for sleep with random men, then no, I wasn’t. Not even a little. I took a step back as he made his call and took the time to check out the place behind the fence. There was a building with Dixie Reapers across the top in neon letters, and a lot of houses down either side of the road. As I strained to get a better look, I thought I saw a playground, but that was ridiculous. What type of biker compound had a playground? The fatigue must be getting to me. It seemed I was now hallucinating.
“He asked who else is in the picture,” the guy said.
“Tell him Seraph and Doc Paradox.” I swallowed hard. “They were my parents.”
He relayed the information, and I hoped that Wire would come and hear me out. If things had really ended as badly as my mom had said, then he might refuse to see me. She’d not gone into a lot of detail, just said she’d picked my dad over Voodoo. Knowing my mother, there was a good chance she’d omitted part of the story. Coming here was a gamble I’d been willing to take. Whatever Mom and Dad had been into, it had gotten them killed. Thanks to me nosing around, I now worried that I might meet the same fate. I didn’t know anything about the man Wire was now, but the kid who had grown up with my parents had been the type to help those in need, even if he hadn’t done it the legal way. I was counting on that still being true.
The rumble of a motorcycle started out faint and then got louder. I saw a rider with copper-colored hair approaching from down the road and as he came to a stop on the other side of the gate, my heart flipped, flopped, then took off at a gallop. Holy hell! Mom had thrown over this guy for my dad? What the hell had she been thinking? He didn’t even remotely look like a hacker. Nor was he the gangly teen from the photo I’d brought. Yeah, he’d been handsome back then, but now? Shit. I was almost certain my panties were getting wet just looking at him. His heather gray tee stretched tight across his broad chest, and the leather cut just added to the sex appeal. The denim hugging his thighs was as worn as mine, with a few well-placed holes, and did nothing to hide how muscular he was, especially for a geeky computer nerd.
Definitely nothing like my dad. I’d loved my father, but time hadn’t been kind to him. He’d had lines around his eyes, and what my mother fondly called his spare tired around the middle, from long days and nights at the computer. This guy didn’t have that problem. Hell, he didn’t even look my parents’ age.
Wire swung a leg over his bike and came closer, removing the sunglasses that had shielded his eyes from me. Green, and so damn pretty. It was a sin for a man to have eyelashes that long and thick. Dammit. My nipples were getting stiff. I swallowed hard, wondering why my body was betraying me. I’d never had a physical response to a guy, even when I thought they were hot. Until now. The beard covering his jaw made my fingers itch to reach out and touch it. Would it be coarse or soft? I’d always had a weak spot for gingers, and he had to be the sexiest one I’d ever seen.
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.
These trees have been waiting all their lives to find their women!
Suffering Sassafras by Michelle Hasker: When Gayle settles into her new home in the mountains in North Pennsylvania she meets two of the sexiest men she’s ever seen. These two have a sex appeal she can’t resist — until she stumbles upon them making love in their backyard.
Tied & Tempting by Tuesday Morrigan: Yahara does not do nature. As far as she is concerned, Central Park is all the green the world needs. Kauri does not like humans. They care nothing about the world that is their home. But he must mate. And with a human. Once he catches sight of the tall, dark-skinned full-figured woman that is Yahara, he decides humans aren’t so bad.
Two Fine for Pine by Isabella Jordan: Botans Charles and Christopher have found a wonderful home in Cana, Virginia. When Vanessa Arnault hits town, the twins know their woman has finally arrived — big, beautiful, and exotic. There’s just one problem. She has an idea for a signature line of puppy palaces and kitty condos for her affluent friends back in NY and Paris. Charles and Christopher must win her heart, and claim her as their mate, or risk being cut down and used to make a miniature Taj Mahal for her pet poodle Pierre.
Mulberrilicious by Michelle Hasker: Trisha lost her job due to the economy and her fiancé to a skinny chick. Now she’s moved to Missouri to be with her sister, where she runs into the two handsome hunks who own a neighboring property. Both want her, and neither cares that she’s a BBW. What she doesn’t know is that they’re not what they seem to be. Oh, and they’re already lovers!
Tex: Fifteen years ago I signed away the rights to a child I’d never seen and joined the Army, putting my past, including the Dixie Reapers, firmly in my rearview. Now I’m back, and I’ll do anything in my power to save the daughter I’ve never met. I just didn’t count on rescuing two damsels. Kalani’s got trouble written all over her.
Kalani: Hillview Asylum looks presentable enough, but I know firsthand the horrors inside those walls. Now I’m faced with a man who makes me want things I shouldn’t, but Tex keeps the nightmares at bay. For the first time in my life, I feel safe. Protected. But now I want more… I want to be loved.
Zipper (Dixie Reapers MC 7)
Delphine: Six years ago, I chased away the guy I’ve been in lust with ever since my hormones kicked in. Now I need help, and there’s nowhere to go except straight to the Dixie Reapers. If Zipper won’t help me, I’m as good as dead. Is it wrong that I hope I end up in his bed? I’ve never stopped wanting him, and I know I never will.
Zipper: The girl who had turned my life upside down wants my help. Now she says I can have anything I want. Naughty girl. Didn’t anyone ever tell her not to tempt the devil? As for the men trying to kill her, it’s only a matter of time before they breathe their last. No one hurts my woman.
“You coming in or are you gonna stare all night?” the Prospect asked, tossing the cigarette away.
I approached the gate and held up my cut when I got there. His eyebrows lifted as he looked at the Dixie Reapers patch on the black leather, then his gaze took in my Army-issued duffle and the dog tags hanging around my neck. Something entered his eyes, like understanding, then he slid the gate open and let me inside.
“My name’s Johnny. Welcome home, soldier.”
I smiled a little. “Thanks. Torch inside?”
“Nah. He’s at home with his wife and kid. Same for the VP.”
Torch and Venom were married with kids? Hell, I’d never seen that one coming. It made me wonder what else had changed around here. I guess I hadn’t given it much thought, almost like my past had just stayed frozen in time while I’d been off being a soldier. My thoughts must have been showing on my face. The Prospect smirked and shook his head.
“If you can’t believe that, then you definitely won’t believe that Bull and Preacher have old ladies now too. And Ryker Storme claimed Flicker’s sister. Even though his daddy is the Pres of Hades Abyss, he’s stuck around so Laken can be near Flicker.”
“I don’t know what the fuck is in the water around here, but I think I’ll stick with beer. No way I’m letting some woman into my life like that,” I said, shifting the weight of my bag.
“Now that you’ve said that, you’ve just doomed yourself.” Johnny smiled. “I bet you’re leg-shackled before the end of the month.”
I snorted. Yeah, not fucking likely. With a salute, I headed toward the clubhouse. Better to get this shit out of the way. I had no idea who was inside, or if I’d know anyone in there at all. As far as I knew, all my old club was still active, but I had no doubt a lot of new faces had joined over the last fifteen years. The kid at the gate couldn’t have been more than twenty. The club needed some young blood. The rest of us were getting too fucking old.
I pushed open the door and stepped inside. A mug was slammed down on the bar top, and a moment later, I was engulfed in a hug from a man nearly twice my size.
“Jesus, Tank,” I wheezed. “Can’t fucking breathe, man.”
He slapped my back and pulled away, smiling broadly. “It’s fucking good to see you, Tex. Thought you’d never make it back.”
“Guess I got tired of following the rules.”
“Torch know you’re here?” he asked.
“Nope. Thought I’d surprise everyone.”
He motioned to the cut clutched in my hand. “Why aren’t you wearing that? You’re still one of us.”
“Doesn’t fit anymore.”
He took it from me and tossed it to the Prospect behind the bar. “See that a new one is ordered for Tex.” His gaze scanned over me again. “Better ask for an XXL. Fuck, man, you’re almost as big as me.”
“Yeah, right. No one’s as big as you, Tank.”
He grinned and slapped my back again, nearly knocking me off my feet. I didn’t know if I even still had a room here at the clubhouse, and I wasn’t sure how to go about asking. Yeah, these guys were considered my family, but I’d pretty much abandoned them fifteen years ago. It was a little presumptuous of me to just appear and expect everything to go back to normal. I’d hoped Torch would be around so we could talk.
“Why don’t we grab a beer and catch up?” Tank asked. “A lot of changes around here since you’ve been gone.”
“I heard Torch and Venom both have old ladies. And Bull? Shit. After what happened with his baby momma, I thought for sure he’d steer clear of relationships. That bitch was something else.”
Tank smirked. “It gets better. His new woman is younger than his daughter. Ridley gave him grief. And he now has a son, Foster. His kid is younger than his grandkids.”
“Shit, Ridley is married?” I asked.
“Uh, yeah. She’s with Venom.”
I spit out the swallow of beer I’d just taken. “Are you fucking kidding?”
He shook his head. “Bull wasn’t too happy about it at first, but he’s come around. Venom treats Ridley like a queen. They have two kids, both girls.”
“And Torch? The Prospect at the gate said he had a wife now.”
“Isabella. She’s like thirty years younger than him, but I’ve never seen two people meant for each other more than those two. They have a kid too.”
“Definitely not drinking the water around here,” I muttered as I swallowed more beer.
Tank chuckled. “Don’t blame you, man.”
“Got a lot of new members?” I asked.
“Since you left? Yeah. A lot of Prospects have come and gone over the years, but a few have patched in. Our newest is Coyote,” he said with a nod toward a table in the corner.
The guy looked to be near my age, and he wasn’t lacking for female attention. My dick didn’t even stir as I looked at the mostly naked club sluts draped over Coyote. It had been so fucking long since I’d been laid, I wasn’t sure my cock even worked right anymore. When I was younger, I’d had a different woman every night. After joining the Army, the women hadn’t been quite as plentiful, or more aptly put, my days hadn’t been quite as free. Over the years, I’d soured toward females, not trusting them. Getting my dick wet hadn’t been worth a possible STD or being trapped by some conniving bitch who got pregnant on purpose. So I’d abstained. Now I never even felt the urge anymore. I could probably walk onto the set of a porno and my dick wouldn’t so much as twitch.
Pathetic. That’s what I was. Thirty-five and my cock was fucking useless except to take a piss. Probably for the best. When it had been in good working order, I’d knocked up the girl I’d been seeing. Just hadn’t realized at the time that she was sixteen and had been using a fake ID. Had I known she wasn’t eighteen, I wouldn’t have fucking touched her. I’d miraculously gotten off without jail time and had entered the Army a few days later. I had no clue what happened to that girl or my kid. I’d thought of looking them up a few times over the years, but the girl’s parents had made me sign away my parental rights to my kid. Some days, I regretted doing that. Had she even kept the baby?
“What’s that look?” Tank asked.
“Taking a trip down memory lane. It wasn’t a happy memory.”
He nodded. “There’s someone you should meet. Come on.”
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.