December 25, 2015

Christmas Dreams

Merry Christmas from Maya's Musings... I hope you enjoy this short story...

I’d been ignoring my step-mother’s summons since I woke up this morning. It was the holidays, I was only home from college for a few days, and she had to be off her rocker, more than usual, if she thought I would spend my vacation waiting on her hand and foot. I pulled my quilt over my head. Maybe she would call her daughter to help instead. I snickered.
Knock, knock. “Allie, I know you’re awake. It’s not fair of you to laze around while we slave downstairs. We have the annual open house tonight, you know.”
Ah, yes, the annual open house. A time honoured tradition where I could be openly criticized by my step-mother’s friends and repeatedly asked if I was still single. Or worse, if you could imagine, have to dodge being matched up with someone’s son or some other miscellaneous male relative who couldn’t find a date on a calendar. I couldn’t wait. But I also couldn’t think of one good reason to stay in my room. I was sunk.
“Young lady, you better be decent, because I’m coming in!”
Oh shoot. She only threw out the “young lady” bit when she was really pissed. And she knew I hadn’t been ‘decent’ since the day her family joined mine. I was out of options. I threw off the covers and did what any mature, rational college student would do. I hid in the closet.
Peeking through the crack in the door, I saw her stalk into my room and huff in exasperation as she glared at my empty bed.
Well I dodged that bullet; for the moment anyway. I sunk to the floor and drew my knees toward my chest. Now the only question remained. How long could I hide in here?
* * * * *
I opened my eyes and stretched. I was stiff and achy from sitting in the closet. Pushing the door open, I stepped into a dark room. It was later than I had realized, I must’ve fallen asleep. Maybe I missed the open house. I felt a twinge of guilt. I was here for my Dad and he would be disappointed if I didn’t put in an appearance tonight.
Fumbling around for the light switch, I came up empty. I twisted around quickly and banged into a sharp edge, probably my bed. “Ouch!”
“Oh, there you are.” Dim light from a flickering candle filled the room. “Alison, we’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
The voice belonged to a vaguely familiar face, but the candle illuminated an unfamiliar room with stone walls and floor.
“Where am I?” I asked.
The young girl before me laughed. “Oh, Alison, you are so droll!” She outstretched her hand. “Come now, you have to get ready. Father is waiting.”
 “For what?”
“Don’t tell me you don’t remember. You’ve spoken of nothing else for days.”
Like an unstoppable force, she and another young girl piled me into what felt like five dresses and pulled my hair into a gravity defying hairstyle.
Hell, no. But since she couldn’t read my mind, she tugged on my arm and pulled me stiffly toward her.
“It’s the most exciting night,” she gushed. Either she didn’t notice my reluctance or she didn’t care.
The girl, whose name I still didn’t know, rushed to greet a man wearing a fine looking robe. “Father! I found Alison!”
“Good girl, Meggie!” The man turned to face me.
I gasped. He looked like my Dad.
“I thought you were going to be late.”
“I uh-”
Then I saw him. He looked like a dashing young prince from a forgotten time. His curly black hair fell across his forehead looking like someone tried to tame it and failed. He caught me staring at him. I swear my heart stopped.
“Who is that?” I whispered to Meggie.
“What is wrong with you tonight, Alison?” she whined. “It’s not funny. Stop staring at Robert like an imbecile and go speak to him.”
I didn’t need any further encouragement. I crossed the room and stopped in front of him. Clutching my hand, he pressed it gently to his lips.
“Hi,” I said, my voice taking on a breathless quality. I resisted the urge to tilt my head and bat my eyelashes. Had I morphed into a complete ditz?
“Hello, my love, shall we?” He gestured toward the dance floor.
Not trusting my voice, I nodded. He led me into the throng of people and twirled me close. We moved in time to the lively music. One song turned into another. I was smitten and the possessive way he held me spoke volumes. I didn’t want to break the spell, even though I was getting thirsty.
Without saying a word, he led me toward a punch bowl. Deftly, he poured a cup and handed it to me.
“Thanks,” I said; not sure if he could hear me over the noisy crowd.
Taking my arm, he led me outside onto a wide stone veranda. “Beautiful night,” he murmured, stroking my hair boldly with his free hand.
“Yes,” I agreed.
“Yes?” He leaned in and captured my lips in a kiss I hoped would last forever. He tasted like sweet cherries and I melted against him.
* * * * *
“What? Huh?” I sat up straight and bumped my head. I licked my dry lips and rubbed my eyes. Stepping out of the closet I saw my step-sister Margaret standing in the entrance to my bedroom with her hands on her hips.
“Mom and Dad are waiting for you,” she huffed impatiently. “You’re ruining everything!”
Harsh and a bit of an exaggeration; I doubt my step-mother mourned my absence.
“Just give me a minute and I’ll be down,” I snapped. Margaret could be such a pill sometimes. I gasped when I looked at the time. I’d lost the whole day. Oh well, it was my vacation. I pulled on a red sweater and a pair of jeans, ran a brush through my thick, brown hair, and splashed cold water on my face in an attempt to look presentable. There. Ready. Or not. Squaring my shoulders, I prepared myself for the onslaught of questions I would encounter downstairs. I would smile, circle the room, grab a bottle of wine, and escape back to my room. Here goes nothing.
Christmas music filled the room. Platters of appetizers were placed strategically. My step-mother was bustling about, wearing a black dress covered in poinsettias, replenishing food and drink. I was so busy zoning in on the bar I almost missed him. Standing in the shadow of our brilliantly decorated tree, he was wearing an ugly Christmas sweater and an equally ugly scowl. He swirled his drink and I was so tuned into him I swear I could hear the ice cubes tinkle. There was something about him, something familiar.
“Did your mom guilt you into attending?’ I asked as I sauntered up to him.
“Yeah. Yours?”
“Nope, mine’s dead,” I quipped.
A look of genuine remorse crossed his face. “God, I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
“How could you?” I shrugged. “I’m Allie.” I offered my hand.
“Rob.” His large hand dwarfed mine and his handshake was firm. “So how did you get roped into this lame party?”
“I live here.”
“Foot in mouth again.” He grimaced.
I smiled and waved the bottle of wine I’d snagged from the bar. “I forgive you. Want a drink?”
“Yeah.” He looked around the room. “Sounds good. A place without all the noise they’re trying to pass off as Christmas music sounds even better.”
“I know just the place, follow me.” I led him downstairs to the den, a cozy room with a battered leather couch and no music.
“Perfect,” he said as he sat down.
I poured the wine. “Merry Christmas.”
 “Cheers.” He tapped his glass to mine, giving me an intense look. His eyes were a mysterious smoky grey and they seemed to see right through me.
“You look familiar, Rob. Were you here last year?”
“Nah. I was off on a shoot last Christmas.”
“A shoot?”
“Photo shoot. I’m a photojournalist.”
“What do you do?”
“School right now.”
I cringed. “Undecided.”
“What year?”
“I remember those days. You’ll find your way.” He leaned over and brushed a lock of hair off my forehead. “You’re so young.”
“And you’re so ancient,” I teased.
Looking at me solemnly, he said, “I’ve seen a lot; too much.”
He seemed lost and I didn’t know what to say to shake his demons. Without thinking, I leaned over and kissed him. He returned the kiss hungrily, his lips tasting like sweet cherries. Just like my dream; the one I’d had while hiding in the closet. I jerked back and gasped. How could this be? But it didn’t really matter. Fate, magic, whatever, we were together now and it was altogether possible he could be my ‘dream-come-true’. I smiled and leaned in to kiss him again.


November 20, 2015

Guest Takeover - Heaven's Just a Sin Away by @Robin_Badillo

Welcome, Robin Badillo, the latest participant in my Mega Guest Takeover here to promote...

Thank you so much for inviting me to participate.


Having just lost his mother to cancer, eighteen year old, Blueford “Blue” Mason returned to their hometown of Danville, Texas to live with his reticent grandmother, Alma. The two struggle to bond while Blue undergoes a metamorphosis into manhood, discovering new things about himself, his sexuality, life, love and even heartbreak.
After leaving his former fire department due to intolerance of his sexuality, twenty-three year old, Jack West moved to Danville to work as an EMT for his uncle’s small fire department. He’d resigned himself to living a quiet life alone until Blue came along and turned his world upside-down.
Will the young lovers find acceptance in Danville or will shameful secrets from the distant past set this town ablaze when the people around them are forced to face their own shortcomings?
Heaven’s just a sin away for everyone, especially when every sin is created equally.


Blue drew in a deep breath and gripped the strong hand holding his. He peered into Jack’s dark brown eyes as they darted back and forth.
“Fuck.” Jack stepped back and shook his head. “I’m sorry. I don’t know—”
“Don’t know what?” Blue had to know. He had to hear the rest of the sentence. If he didn’t, he was certain he would explode.
“I don’t know what I was thinking just then.” Jack gestured to the space between them now. “I didn’t mean to cross any lines, man.”
Blue shook his head. “You didn’t.” He really hadn’t. In fact, Jack hadn’t even come close to crossing lines. Not like Blue wanted him to, anyway.
“Oh, shit!” Jack charged past Blue and reached for the now crackling frying pan with the steaks. Smoke and steam billowed from the top. “Damn. I think I burned them.” He set the pan aside and examined the steaks by lifting the edge of one with a fork. “Crap. There went dinner.”
Blue laughed. “You can save babies from burning cars, but you can’t cook up a couple of steaks?”
“Hey, I was dealing with an emergency. You nearly cut your finger off.”
They both laughed as Blue glanced down at his finger. “It’s not even bleeding anymore.” As their laughter quieted, Blue couldn’t help himself. He had to say something. “You’re not, you know.”
Jack’s brows pinched with apparent confusion. “Not what?”
Blue swallowed hard, his knees trembling so badly he wasn’t sure how he’d managed to remain standing. “You’re not crossing lines.”
Jack ran a shaky hand through his thick, dark locks. “Blue.”
“I’m an adult.”
“I know.” His Adam’s apple worked up and down as his gaze dropped from Blue’s eyes to his mouth.
“Just because I’m younger than you, doesn’t mean I’m too young.” It wasn’t everything he’d wanted to say, but it was good start.
Jack’s gaze felt heavier somehow, like the thoughts behind his gorgeous eyes were at odds. “I don’t know if...”
A million words could have ended the sentence, but nothing Jack said would have changed the way Blue felt. Right now, he only wanted to feel Jack’s lips. Taste him. Touch him. The way he’d done in every dream he’d had since he first met him.
“Nothing you say can change this.”
“Look, Blue.” Jack stepped closer. “I’ve had a rough year, and I don’t want my baggage to spill onto you.”
Blue scoffed, trying to thwart the ball of air stuck in the back of his throat threatening to strangle him. “You’ve had a rough year?”
Was it petty to compare? He instantly regretted the snide, selfish comment.
Jack’s eyes widened. “Shit, Blue. I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Nah, man. It’s okay.”
“No.” Jack placed his hand on Blue’s shoulder and gave him a gentle squeeze. “It’s not.”
The second Jack looked him in the eye, Blue knew. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if he didn’t make a move, he might never have the courage again.
Blue rushed toward him and instantly captured Jack’s bottom lip between his own lips and teeth.
Much to Blue’s relief, Jack didn’t pull away. Instead, he pinned Blue against the counter, huffing hot breaths as he pried Blue’s lips apart and slipped his tongue inside.
Blue sucked him in deeper, swirling his tongue around Jack’s. His body trembled, and Jack hugged him close, their mouths still fused together, kissing, suckling, tasting.
Their teeth clanked between kisses, and a wave of energy Blue only experienced when he jerked off, surged through him. Holy fuck! Had he busted a nut already? He pushed the mortifying thought out of his head and eagerly followed as Jack guided them toward the sofa.
Jack laid Blue back onto the cushions and gazed down at him with a hungry look in his eyes. Between laboring breaths, Jack whispered, “Jesus, Blue. What the hell have you done?”

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Author Bio:

Tyler Robbins, a.k.a. Robin Badillo, is a down to earth mother of four, born and raised in a small Texas town where she still resides with her nearly grown kids and a pack of spoiled dogs.
After years of being a wife and mom, complete with company picnics and fundraisers for the P.T.A., Robin found herself starting over when her husband of fifteen years suddenly passed away in 2006. With no particular skills to speak of, Robin took the advice of friends and family, and followed her heart and passion for writing into the publishing world.
A fan of paranormal and southern romance novels, Robin does her best to offer up a plethora of tasty morsels to satisfy her reader’s appetite. Whether mainstream and/or paranormal erotic romance or Tyler’s LGBT romance line, Robin strives to create characters who are endearing and relatable.
Adversity is Robin’s motivation, which explains why she’s a true believer that grey hair is simply God’s graffiti.

November 13, 2015

Guest Takeover - @Author_Devika

The mega Guest Takeover series continues... Welcome, Devika Fernando, here to promote her book Saved in Sri Lanka...


She bit her lip, afraid she was talking too much, but he was hanging on her every word.
“What an unusual choice.”
Was that admiration in his cultured voice?
Before she had the chance to respond, maybe shoot another question at him, a sudden gust of wind stirred up the landscape. The surprisingly strong breeze whipped her hat from her head. It sailed away for several feet before plopping to the ground unceremoniously when the wind settled as fast as it had risen.
“C’mere, let me get that for you.”
With that, Daniel stalked off on his long legs while she stared at him in surprise. Within seconds, he picked up the hat, shook some non-existent dust off, and returned. She half reached out for the hat, but her arm dropped to her side lifelessly when the power of his gaze hit her.
He was drinking in her face, free of its shading hat. God, was he really scanning every single detail, the way a man would hungrily let his gaze wander over the face of a woman he found attractive? When was the last time somebody had reacted to her like that?
Her throat went dry, and Sepalika was frozen into place. Daniel prowled closer, until he wasn’t standing more than a foot or two away, and she had to tilt up her head to look into his eyes, wanting to drown in their greenish-grey depths.
They stared at each other, and she wondered why a small frown was forming a vertical line between his eyebrows. In slow motion, he lifted his arms and gently placed the hat on her hair, pushing it down until her eyes were in the shade again. His hands never touched her, but the deliberate slowness and strange intimacy of the gesture had her pulse fluttering in her throat. His gaze strayed to its frantic movement beneath her caramel-colored skin.
“There you go now,” he said softly.
The air between them was charged. She expected him to touch her any moment. She wanted him to do so.
“Tell me your name again.”
His voice was husky and barely more than a whisper.
Where was her voice? Swallowing and resisting the urge to wet her lips with her tongue, she said, “Sepalika.”
His gaze traveled to her mouth and back up to her eyes.
“Right. Sepalika.”

About Devika

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life.

Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

November 11, 2015

Guest Takeover - @RavenMcAllan

Welcome, Raven McAllan, my third guest in the Guest Takeover series! Here's Raven!

If you’d have told me a few years ago I’d be writing a blog post about writing, I’d have laughed and asked what you were on.
I’ve always enjoyed making up stories, first for myself (and my toys) and then for my children, but I never thought I’d get the chance to make them up for other people to read.
When I found out I could, and it was going to happen it was a scary thought.
Very scary.
After all it’s one thing pootling (I love that word) around and creating a world, or people to manipulate at your will, another to let anybody else who fancies it into that world and like to dislike it.
Of course it’s the dislike bit that is worrying.
Because when you open yourself up, and let other people in, you are saying, to them, ‘what do you think?’
You want an honest answer, otherwise why ask?
Well I guess unless you want people fawning over you, saying how brilliant you are, and well… nice but not possible. Whoever you are, not everyone likes what you do. Which actually is a good thing isn’t it?
If we all liked the same things the world would be a very boring place.
Therefore, logically you know not everyone is going to think as you do, and not everyone will enjoy what you have created.
And like rear ends, everyone has an opinion.
Some good, some bad, some constructive, some snarky.
And some downright unpleasant.
And that’s when it can hit you hard.
Not everyone holds the same view as you do.
But, here’s where the ‘wait a minute, take a step back, and think for a while’ scenario comes in.
That’s one person’s opinion.
They’re entitled not to like your fourteen legged, cookie eating, green skinned, werewolf if they don’t want to. Just like the next person is allowed to drool all over him and say he/she/it is perfect and they want more.
Or as I said to myself the first time I got a very straightforward ‘I didn’t like this’, okay…
He/she didn’t. Someone else did.
But, and here’s the rub. If everybody liked the same thing, that thing might not be what I write.
I could end up where my stories were a no-no.
Because everyone liked the same thing, and they weren’t it.
I’ll stick with the you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and do my best to please as many as I can, as often as I can.
And hopefully as time goes on, I’ll be able to welcome more people to my world.
(No fourteen legged, cookie eating, green skinned, werewolves in sight.)

The plug (Of course there’s one…well two actually)
The first one happened very recently, and I do think it was worth waiting for.
Carina Uk have just unveiled the cover of The Rake’s Unveiling of Lady Belle (two unveilings eh?)
It’s available on Amazon to pre-order now, and it’s due for publication on January 5th.  

and in the UK of course.
I’m really excited about this as it’s my second book with Carina, and Lady Belle is briefly seen in the first book, The Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett. Here’s the blurb…

~The exquisite designs of mysterious dressmaker Madame Belle are the most sought after in the ton, yet only a few are trusted with Belle’s deepest secret – her name.

Lady Belinda Howells has gone to great lengths to disguise her identity, it’s the only way to protect herself from the ruthless demands of her scoundrel father…and to protect her heart.

Until Lord Philip Macpherson walks into her salon and his scorching kiss burns a memory onto her lips that she’ll never be able to forget!

Now it’s only a matter of time before the notorious rake unveils the truth, and when he does, Belle knows that she won’t be able to resist… ~

I hope you won’t be able to resist either…

Plus, my latest book from Evernight Publishing is out today.
The Dom with the Dark Eyes, is out on 11th from Evernight Publishing…

I’m so in love with both of these covers. Very different, but perfect… (well I think so but I am biased)
Here’s the blurb...

~ It was supposed to be one night of fun…
Masked balls are not Linsey’s thing, but needs must. She’ll stay for a little while and then leave. However, when she meet the Dom with the dark eyes, all thoughts of leaving flee, as the switch in her wants to sink to her knees and submit.
No something that happens a lot to this Mistress.
Rad feels an instant connection to the sexy lady he calls his sweet Cherry. She appeals to this Dom like no other sub ever has, and the fact that she seems to be a switch like him just makes their play that much more interesting.
One night was all it was supposed to be, but when that night turns out to have lasting consequences, maybe it was more than just fun. Love has a way of sneaking up on you.~

And a wee tease…
~ “Take off that cloak, Cherry and let me see you.” It was his Dom’s attitude. He saw the moment it registered and she slipped into her subbie mind set.
It was so bloody satisfying to watch her dip her head, untie the ribbons at her throat and let the cloak fall, to pool in a shimmering silk pile at her feet.
“Look at me, sweet Cherry.”
She lifted her head and looked at him from behind her mask. Rad understood that was the one thing she’d keep on. Fair enough, so would he. This was a single night of hot as hell madness. As his dad would have said, no names, no pack drill.
“Do we play first and fuck later or the other way round?”
Linsey bit her lip, and Sir with the dark eyes frowned.
“What did I say about marks?”
 Oh lord she’d forgotten that, which was surprising as it was something in her Domme persona she insisted on.
“Sorry, Sir. And Sir, it’s up to you, which we do first.”
 He nodded. “How are your feet?”
“Eh? Oh, fine without shoes. I tend to go barefoot most of the time.”
Sir grinned. “Oh good. Then I suggest you remove your stockings, and teddy give them to me, and then open the door to the balcony.”
He leaned on the wall and obviously waited to see what she’d do.
Later he thought she might wonder how he got her into her sub mindset so easily. But for now she seemed to accept it without second thoughts. Very slowly she unrolled her stockings and passed them to Sir. Then she slid the shoulder straps lower, let them and her teddy slip down her body, to join the cloak on the floor.
Her smile was one of a houri as she picked the teddy up and handed it to him.
“Thank you, Cherry.”

Happy reading,
Love R x

November 6, 2015

Guest Takeover - Earth Born by @CherieNicholls

Thank you for having me!

Demi isn’t a big talker, so having her tell me their tale was hard work. Well she’s not much of a talker unless you’re a tree. But then we all know that trees are terrible gossips!

I hope you enjoy Earth Born, and the tale of these two crazy people….shifters,…witches…ah man you know what I mean!

Nate Barend’s past has left deep scars. Growing up in foster homes, he never dreamed of his family coming to find him. Why would he, when he remembered so clearly the day they’d thrown him out with the trash.

As an earth elemental, Demi Hills has an affinity with nature—well, most nature anyway. But when her relationship with Nate goes from “friends with benefits” to “it’s complicated,” she can’t seem to shake him. The damn coyote/wolf is like a dog with a bone—or should that be a shifter with a bone?

Stupid mutt.

With a cautious look around the room, Nate lifted the cup to his nose and sniffed at it. Because if he was sitting here, right now, with these people, someone had to have drugged him.
“I understand we’re probably the last people on earth you’d expect to see.”
That was an understatement of magnificent proportions.
“But once we realized that Alpha Dawson was trying to contact one Nathanial Dawson, we couldn’t stand by and do nothing.”
Trying to contact him? That was a joke. The old Alpha had written, emailed, and even telegrammed. How the hell he had even found a telegram machine and someone to actually deliver it was still a mystery. More importantly why couldn’t these people stand by? It wasn’t like they’d ever bothered before.
“We realize that the normal process would have been to petition the local Shifter Council, but we are racing against time. If we didn’t get to you first to warn you, well things might be very different right now.”
Warn him? That had probably been the third most interesting and shocking thing that had happened to him today.
Not only had he watched a pack of coyote shifters—or at least part of one—ride into town on motorbikes, but when they’d said they’d been looking for him, he started to look for hidden cameras.
But the one thing that amazed him the most, the one that made him question if he’d been drugged, had been when they announced they were family. Actual blood relations of his.
For an orphan and a child of the care system, it was the last thing he’d ever expected to hear.
Some kids in the homes he’d grown up in had dreamed of days like this.
But not him. Never him.
He knew his family, knew exactly where they were. He remembered them all very clearly. Especially the moment his grandfather had taken a scared little six-year-old boy, who’d just lost his parents in a car crash, had barely survived it himself, and handed him over to child services because he didn’t want him.
If he had been born a full wolf shifter, like his father and grandfather, he had no doubt his family would have kept him. But his father had made the mistake of falling in love and mating with a coyote shifter.
The ‘weakness’ of his mixed blood had been too much for the old man to handle.
Now here he was, sitting across the table from his mother’s family, almost thirty years later.
Too late.
He placed the cup down on the table and looked across at the man opposite him.
Apparently they were cousins, but he didn’t remember them, and he definitely didn’t see the family resemblance. They were pure coyotes, with reddish brown hair and cold eyes. Nate’s own leaned more toward natural gray, showing his gray wolf heritage.
The Alpha had introduced himself as Carlos and told him they were cousins. Apparently Nate’s mother and Carlos’ father were siblings. Nate couldn’t remember him, not that he tried very hard. He’d spent a lifetime forgetting about that family who’d clearly forgotten about him.
The second man was Franko, the beta and clearly the less chatty of the two. The man’s gaze made Nate want to reach across the table and punch him in the face, just for the sake of it.
He looked them both over. It was time to remind them this wasn’t their home.
“A few things spring to mind.” He leaned back in the chair as if he didn’t have a care in the world. “One, my name is Barend. Nate Barend. Nathanial Dawson died the day Alpha Dawson threw me out with the trash.”
He raised two fingers, counting off his points.
“Two, I ignored every communication I’ve had from Alpha Dawson. Since the man I called grandfather is dead to me. And three, and this is the most important one.” He leaned forward to emphasize his point. “I really don’t think my family likes having you in their home.”
Low growls, from different species, could be heard.
Carlos, who’d been looking far too self-assured for Nate’s liking, started to look around nervously.
“Little brother, everything okay?” Damian walked into the room from the back garden.
He didn’t need to look to know that Jake was at the other door; and out of sight, but not too far away, would be the foster children of this home, watching and waiting.
“Everything is just perfect.”
“Little brother? You let a cat call you brother?”
The look of disgust on Franko’s face was entertaining, another reason not to have these bigoted coyotes around longer than needed.
“No, of course I don’t allow a cat to call me brother. I allow three cats to call me brother. It’s a shame you won’t get to meet my alpha. I’m sure he’ll be disheartened.”
“Your alpha is your adopted brother?” Carlos asked.
“Yep, and a lion. But hey, we don’t judge here.”
“I’m sure, if I speak to his beta, we can make arrangements to stay.”
“You are.” That shocked him. “But why stay? I have no interest in Alpha Dawson, or you.”
“Alpha Dawson went to great lengths to keep you away from your rightful family. He told us you were dead. Don’t you care why he’s trying to get back in touch now?”
“Nope.” He really didn’t. Perhaps he might’ve once. But not anymore.
“But your life is in danger. Doesn’t that worry you?”
Nate laughed. He couldn’t help it. “Boys, you really have no idea where you’ve come to, do you? My life’s been in danger since the second I left my father’s pack. If you think for a second an old alpha and some long lost cousins are going to worry me, well, it just goes to show how much you really don’t know about me.”
He stood, the chair scraping on the floor as he did. When he was at his full height he looked down at the first blood relations he’d seen in years.
“You know what, there’s a bed and breakfast in town. If you feel you want to stay for a day or two, I won’t stand in your way. But this—” he waved a hand between himself and them, “—isn’t going to happen. I have no interest in you, or Dawson. As long as you remember that, you’re welcome to stay.”
Without a backward glance he headed out of the kitchen and the house and down the back steps. Damian caught up with him as he reached the ground.
“Your grandfather’s been in touch? Why didn’t you tell us?”
He’d thought about it, but what was he going to say? His grandfather, alpha and the man who’d abandoned him, was contacting him? Several of the letters had started off nice enough, but the ones of late had started to sound more like orders.
They’d all grown up as children of the state. He didn’t doubt that his brothers would love to hear from their own blood family. It would’ve been wrong of him to rub it in their faces. Besides, the letters had brought back memories he’d rather have left buried.
The nightmares had come back after the first letter. Dreams that put him back in that car, trapped in the wreck, screaming for his parents, crying for them to save him. But both were already dead.
In his mind’s eye he could still see the blood dripping down his father’s face, past lifeless eyes.
He’d tried to forget, had buried it deep. Until those letters.
So when he said he had no interest in any part of his family, he wasn’t joking.
“I need a drink.” He headed off to town, with the only family he cared about right by his side.

© Cherie Nicholls 2015

Author Info:
Cherie Nicholls is an author of Paranormal Romance. By day she is an IT Manager and by night she whips up worlds where alpha men find their mates and people are always more than human.
Cherie was born and lives in London, UK, and is a daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, aunt-in-law, great-aunt, and godmother in an ever-growing family. She has a passion for shifter stories, most any sport and thimbles…don’t ask.

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