Authors: Candace Blevins
Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Urban, #Erotica, #Bdsm
© October 2015 by Candace Blevins
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental. All sexually active characters in this work are 18 years of age or older.
This book is for sale to ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It contains substantial sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which may be considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot be accessed by minors.
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Cover design © 2015 Syneca Featherstone
First Edition February 2015
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“Aery, I need a shot!” I screamed, holding back the energy pulsing at my fingertips until he was out of the way. The instant he maneuvered the fighting to give me a clear path to the bad guy, I unleashed the fiery red energy and watched it streak through the air until it hit the grotesque monster who’d been holding his own in a fight with Aaron Drake.
My power drained from me as it hit our foe in the chest, slicing and melting through. I lifted my arm a few inches and the light streaking from my hand rose like a laser. When it reached the hideous creature’s throat, I moved my hand right and left until he was decapitated, and then watched in horrified fascination as the body seemed to evaporate before my eyes.
My gaze shifted to my friend as I checked to be sure he was okay. I was used to Aaron totally dominating, no matter the species he was fighting, and the fact he’d maneuvered to give me a clear shot to kill the guy told me Aaron wasn’t sure he could’ve won.
As far as I know, I’m the only person who can get away with a cute nickname for the sexy, tough-as-nails, bad-ass owner of Drake Security, but I never do it around other people. I wouldn’t have said it today while battling an unknown monster, but it slipped out. No problem though, the bad guy seemed to evaporate and turn to smoke once the life force left his body. I usually want to cry after a kill, even when it’s a really bad guy, but I discovered not having to look at a body made it easier. Either way, I couldn’t give into the guilt and soul searching until the op was over.
that?” I asked Aaron.
“No idea,” he said, barely out of breath. “I used to see things kind of like him a few thousand years ago, but not since we entered the Common Era. I got decent look at him; I’ll send a sketch to a few friends and see if they have any ideas. I was about to shift into dragon form and see if my fire would work, but your laser did the trick.”
I took a breath and pulled energy in from the forest around us. I’d used up almost all my reserves with that one shot. If something else came along, I’d be useless. I leaned against a tree and tried to relax in the crisp, autumn air.
Aaron, of course, noticed. “I can top you up. You know I have plenty.”
I shook my head. “I’m not up for pain right now. Just give me five minutes with a few trees.” I could almost always find an ancient tree willing to give me energy. It might take a little time, but not as long as gathering it from the air around me. A waterfall would be faster, or even a creek or stream, but I didn’t hear running water.
“I won’t push more in than you can take, not during a mission.” Aaron said. “You used it to save me, the least I can do is top you back up.”
“Okay,” I relented, “but into my hands. I’ll route it to the right chakras.”
He didn’t argue, thank goodness, and held his hands out for me to grasp.
He released energy through his palms into mine, and I dropped enough of my shields to let it in. The forest around us stilled and my heart seemed to need less energy to pump my blood.
I routed the energy he gifted me to my first two chakras first, since I primarily pull from those for my weapon, and then filled the rest. He truly does have plenty, but I never want to get used to depending on him.
During the few minutes Aaron’s energy filled me I was at one with everything around me — totally at peace with the world, the universe, and perhaps even God. All energy is magic, but Aaron’s is a special kind of magic.
If we were compatible sexually I’d be madly in love with him, but since we aren’t, he’s one of my best friends. I love him, just not romantically.
When I was as full as I could get without feeling pain, I gently let go of his hands. When we do this as an exercise and he’s expanding the volume I can hold, he forces it in long past when I would choose to let go. This hurts about as much as I imagine a lightning strike would, and there’s a lot of screaming and crying involved on my part. I hate acting like a girly-girl, but he assures me he screamed and begged when his reserves were being stretched, too. Of course, that’d been thousands of years ago, so who could say how much he remembered of the pain?
Today, though, I felt warm and full and
. “Thanks,” I told him. Words couldn’t adequately thank him, so the single word would have to do. Besides, we were still on our mission and needed to focus, so I asked, “Do we circle back around and try the mystery cave, or try my idea?” I already knew venturing into the unknown cave wasn’t an option, but hoped he’d consider my Plan B. Aaron hadn’t liked it when I proposed it a few hours ago, but we were running out of options.
He lifted his chin in agreement while showing no emotion. Aaron Drake could totally rock
. “Let’s pull Nathan in to help,” he answered. “I’m not comfortable using you as human bait with just me as your backup.”
I nodded and leaned against a tree, closed my eyes, and made Aaron’s energy my own while he texted Nathan our coordinates. Nathan wasn’t too far away, but was acting as lookout and would need to put someone in his spot and before joining us.
We knew women were being kidnapped and taken to these woods just outside the boundaries of Prentice Cooper State Forest. Aaron is a weredragon and has an exceptionally good sense of smell. He found what appeared to be a staging area, but the women’s scent ended there. A few male non-human scents led to the mouth of a cave, and I’d found narrow wheel marks between the two spots. Aaron couldn’t identify the species of the men by smell, and wasn’t sure about them now that he’d seen one of them, either.
I theorized they might be putting the women into some sort of cart to get them into the cave, but Aaron didn’t want to go in without knowing what we were walking into. I understood the logic, even if it frustrated me. Still, Aaron was thousands of years old and hadn’t made it this far by being stupid, so I generally listened to his advice. Not always, but usually.
My Plan B had been to send me into the staging area as a bumbling, helpless female making a lot of noise, and hope someone showed up so Aaron could question them and find out what was going on.
However, if we happened upon more of whatever we’d been fighting earlier, I wasn’t sure how we’d question it. Aaron and Nathan in human form and working together could probably subdue one of the creatures, but if more appeared they’d likely be forced to shift into their animal forms. Not a problem for Nathan, who shifted into a lion, but Aaron’s gigantic dragon form was hard to hide, as he tended to knock trees down and create a huge disturbance even when he didn’t take flight. He might’ve gotten away with it a hundred years ago, but with practically every American owning a camera phone today, he wouldn’t risk it unless the situation were worse than dire.
The creature I’d killed had looked like an amalgamation of goat, ape, and the Incredible Hulk — minus the green. It’d been tan and brown, with long curved horns and vertical slitted eyes with flaming red irises where they should’ve been black. Creepy was an understatement, and he’d scared the bejeebers out of me even
I knew he was almost too much for Aaron to take on in human form.
As a human who can’t magically heal like the shapeshifters, I only use my metaphysical laser to kill from a distance. Attempting to wound a powerful supernatural creature would likely only get me killed, once they saw I was a serious danger. I could cut limbs off with my laser, or deliver a kill shot, but couldn’t do much else. However, we’d need to capture the next one so it could be questioned, which meant I could only act if I thought there was no other choice.
I was full of energy now though, and if I portioned it out I could probably kill two with what Aaron had given me.
Nathan, as always, startled me when he appeared in front of me. He walked as quiet in human form as when he was a lion, and he was just as ill-behaved, arrogant, and stubborn as any grumpy house-cat, so we didn’t exactly get along. I trusted him with my life on a mission, I just didn’t like being around him. Too bad he was gorgeous and — if the rumors were true — we’d be perfectly compatible in bed.
Ignoring the fact he’d startled me, I told the men, “I need to hand off my gun and mags to one of you. The goat monsters will probably be able to smell them and I’ll lose my whole helpless female vibe.”
Nathan held his hand out, choosing to remain nonverbal as usual when around me. I held my tongue as I pulled my nine millimeter from the holster and handed it off, then the two extra magazines. He put my weapon in a zippered pocket on the side of his thigh, and slid my magazines into slots on the inside of his military style tech-vest.
No matter how much of an ass he might be, he’s still built like my ideal man and I always have to work to keep from lusting after his more-than-perfect human body. He could smell emotions and physical reactions, and I endeavored to give him
. It was more likely he didn’t care what I thought or felt, but just in case he did, I wanted to keep as much feedback from him as I could.
We were about a half mile from the staging area Aaron had found, and I started walking to it, knowing Aaron would map out a plan with Nathan and they’d both be in position long before me. As a human, no way can I move as fast as either of them.
Walking away from them, through the woods, towards danger without my gun was terrifying, but I breathed through my fear and tried to keep my physiological reactions to a minimum. Both for my own pride, to keep Aaron and Nathan from smelling my fear, but also because it wouldn’t do for the goat-people to know I was terrified before I saw them. A lost human can be expected to smell a little scared, but not out-of-her-mind terrified.
I was pretty sure the creature I’d killed had the snout of a goat, which would likely mean he couldn’t speak as a human, but I heard guttural speech when I was around sixty yards from the cave. I purposefully walked loud, and as I rounded a boulder and headed towards a gully, I saw movement.
They stopped talking, and only one of them was waiting for me as I neared. He looked almost like a man, though a grotesque one, but I could see hints of the goatman’s features in his mostly human face.
I deliberately let a little shock show in my expression before I reined it in to be polite. “I seem to have gotten lost. Can you tell me how to get back to the main parking lot in Prentice Cooper? I thought I was following a trail, but I guess at some point I must’ve gone off the blazed pathways and…” I tried to look as vulnerable and incompetent as I could manage. “I feel like an idiot, but I wouldn’t know which direction to go even if I could figure out where north is.”
I wasn’t all the way back to the staging area, but I knew both Aaron and Nathan had excellent hearing. However, if they’d heard the creatures talking then I’d have expected them to have apprehended them before I arrived, so I wasn’t sure what was up. I couldn’t come up with a reason to scream, but I needed to do something loud so they’d know where I was. Sound doesn’t always carry as you’d expect when making your way into and out of gullies as you climb and descend mountains.