Monday, March 31, 2014

A Wolf's Bane by Sherrie Henry

 

Can a human and a werewolf overcome obvious obstacles to be together? Romy and Kai have been hiding their affair from Kai’s clan; it’s not only that Romy is human, but she’s also much older than Kai. Will Kai’s obligation to his clan and tradition tear them apart?

Kai, the eldest and only son and heir to the family’s clan, has fallen for the forbidden, Romy, a human. His father has plans for the clan that doesn’t involve Kai mating a human; these plans drive them apart. But can they ignore their feelings and buck tradition? Will Kai’s decision lead to his death?
 
 
 
 

Excerpt

Kai pulled her into a tight hug. He tried to ignore the way his skin was crawling – he hated the way he felt before he changed. “I don’t want to live without you.”

Romy held onto him, clutching his shirt, her tears staining it. “Compared to you, I don’t have much longer to live. Maybe 40, 50 years at the most, and you … your kind live for a couple hundred. We’d have to say good-bye eventually. Maybe it’s better to do it now.” Romy knew that her voice wasn’t very convincing, but she tried to be brave and hold back the tears as much she could.

Kai swallowed, burying his nose in her hair. He took in her unique scent…the scent he would go to his grave craving. “I will follow you to the next life. We never really talked about it, but … Romy, I love you. I consider you my mate. Mates die together.”

His words took away any bravery that Romy had left. She felt the tears flow openly from her eyes. “But I’m not your mate. I can never be. You need …” Romy took in a shuddering breath. “You need to honor your father and produce an heir. Your clan needs you; they will need you long after I’m gone.”

“I don’t care what they need,” Kai whispered in her ear.

“I know. That’s what makes you so special.” Romy pulled away so she could look directly into his eyes. “I just ask one thing.”

“Anything. Anything in the universe.”

“Change here. Show me your wolf form.”

Kai’s eyes went wide. “Romy … I … I don’t turn into a wolf, exactly. I don’t look … natural.”

“You are beautiful to me no matter what form you take. Give me this one last night. Show me.”

Kai nodded, but there was panic in his eyes. “If I agree, I have to stay here until morning. I can’t be on the streets.”

“I know. I’m not afraid. Show me that part of you that you’ve never shared with another human before.”

“I won’t be able to talk. It would just be us staring at each other.”

“I don’t need words. I need you. Please … one last night. Protect me.”

Kai couldn’t refuse her. Even though Romy lived in a very safe neighborhood, the animal instinct within him would protect his mate if she asked. “Okay. I will change here. I will show you the other part of me.”

Romy stepped back, wiping away the tears that had fallen from her eyes. She looked up at the clock. “It’s almost moonrise. What do you need?” She closed the blinds and dimmed the lights.

“Nothing really. I just need to take my clothes off…unless I want to rip them to shreds.”

“Allow me?” Romy stood in front of him and slowly unbuttoned his shirt. Kai remained still, silently noting that this moment would be extremely erotic if he wasn’t about to literally crawl out of his skin. She tossed his shirt on the couch, then kneeled down to his feet, helping him step out of his shoes and socks. Her shaking hands went to his belt next, sliding off his jeans, then his underwear.

“What’s next?”

Kai was having trouble concentrating. He tried to find his voice. Already he could feel bones crack as they started to lengthen in places and shorten in others. “Nothing … it’s starting. I … love you.”

He let his head fall back. A snarl came from his throat as his eyes turned black. Fine black hair sprouted all over his body, his nose elongated, his canines erupted. His heels separated from his feet, drawing upwards toward his knees, forcing him on his tiptoes, his palms lengthening, his nails turning to claws. Then it was over. He looked over at Romy, expecting to see horror in her eyes. To his surprise, she came to stand right in front of him, resting her hands on his mutated face.

“You are so beautiful. Why did you think I’d be frightened? I’m more concerned that it was painful for you.”

Kai shook his head, to tell her that it wasn’t as painful as it looked. He began to nuzzle her neck, but she jumped. He started to back away.

Romy grabbed at him. “No you don’t! Your nose is cold and wet. It’s just not something I’m used to feeling on my neck.” She smiled at him. It was a genuine smile, even with the tear tracks on her face. He tentatively moved toward her and let his tongue lick her face, tasting the salty tears.

“Come here, sit next to me.” Romy sat down on the couch, drawing her legs up underneath her. Kai ambled forward, unsteady on his legs so soon after the change. He crawled up on the couch and laid his head in her lap. She started to run her fingers through his fur, trying to comfort him. No other had been able to do to this to him. Whenever he changed, he was surrounded by other weres.  He knew that he would cherish this perfect moment for the rest of his living days.

They lay together on the couch, surrounded by their love for one another. When bedtime came around, they nestled in her bed, with his large form wrapped around her, protecting her just like he promised.

 


About the Author

 

Born and raised in Southern Indiana, this Hoosier transplanted herself to the Windy City after graduate school. Her passion is teaching, with writing come a close second and gaining momentum. She spends her days teaching in the physical education department at the College of DuPage and her evenings spinning tales to delight just about any reader.

Her first novel, “The Last of the Summer Tomatoes,” a Young Adult LGBT novel, was nominated for a 2013 Rainbow Award, run by Elisa Rolle and co-sponsored by the Rainbow Romance Writers of America. Her first short story, “Twenty-Four Hours,” a contemporary m/f romance story, was nominated as best short story by eFestival of Words Virtual Book Fair, host of the 2013 Best of the Independent eBook Awards.

Her works have also been nominated for various bloggers’ book of the month awards.

Ms. Henry writes in a variety of genres, including paranormal and contemporary, concentrating on romance between main characters, regardless of gender. Love comes in all forms and that is reflected in her work.