Sexy Beast VIII
Chanku Spirit is the 18th tale in the Wolf Tales series
Chanku Spirit from Sexy Beast VIII is available as a single-title ebook novella.
"...SEXY BEAST VIII is the ultimate, in erotic romance. Each time I pick up a SEXY BEAST novel, I know I'm in for a wild ride. This book contains stories that pull at your heart, and a longing that stays with me even after the last page is turned. Each story brings intrigue, trust, and love into play and sexual content that adds to a story that is already too hot to handle. I look forward to reading more, from each of these authors."
"Three steamy stories with enjoyable characters and great plot development."
"Kudos go to Kate Douglas for creating yet another dramatic, wonderful, breathtaking story in her Wolf Tale series that will have you hanging on the edge of your seat with pure excitement.
© Kate Douglas 2010
Chanku Spirit is the 18th tale in the Wolf Tales saga.
Please note: Chanku Spirit, my novella in Sexy Beast VIII, will be the final Wolf Tales novella.
The series WILL CONTINUE--however, I will be writing two longer Wolf Tales novels a year instead of two novels and two novellas.
I had to make this decision in order to have time for the new paranormal series, DemonSlayers.
The first book, DemonFire, released in March 2010
from Kensington Zebra, followed by
HellFire, Crystal Dreams in the Nocturnal Anthology,
StarFire and the final story, CrystalFire.
All titles are still available.
A single low-wattage lamp cast more shadows than light across their sweat-slick bodies. Ulrich Mason's mate lay beneath him, her supple body molded to the contours of his. Tangled and disheveled, Millie's shoulder-length blond hair spread like a rumpled halo across the pillow, though a few strands stuck to the perspiration on her forehead. Her eyes were closed, the look on her face one of blissful completion and utter satiation.
Ulrich held his weight off of her as best he could, but he was still buried in her wet heat and her warm body felt absolutely wonderful pressed close to his. His cock throbbed in perfect harmony with the rhythmic contractions of Millie's powerful vaginal muscles, and while he'd climaxed in a violent paroxysm of absolutely mind-numbing lust, he was still hard.
Though not quite as hard-or as large-as the cock stuffed entirely up his ass. He almost laughed out loud, but that wouldn't be appropriate now, would it? Still, Matt had more than surprised him tonight, especially when the young man so confidently took the dominant role and topped Ric.
When Millie had suggested they invite her young lover to join them after they'd all shifted and run as wolves, Ulrich had assumed he'd be the one in charge. Matt was, after all, a truly nice young man, but not at all the aggressive type. In his mid-twenties, he was still a pup-at least in Ulrich's eyes. Though deeply in love with his packmates, Daciana Lupei and Deacon March, Matt hadn't yet bonded with the other two-thirds of his comfortable ménage a trois.
His love for the two hadn't kept him away from Millie, either. Ric's mate and Matt had a special bond with one another, a definite friendship with benefits, but it had nothing to do with the deep, loving relationship Matt had with Daci and Deacon.
Ric knew Matt loved them and they loved him. It was a fact of nature-Matt's nature-that their love was such a powerful force holding them together. The fact they'd not taken the next step and completed their mating bond was curious, but knowing how strong-willed Daciana Lupei was, Ric figured there were probably undercurrents he hadn't yet figured out. No matter.
Matt Rodgers was a complicated, fascinating young man. Ric accepted that Matt was almost as much in love with Millie as he was with Daci and Deacon, but there was no risk there, no need for jealousy.
Matt and Millie had a special relationship, one Ulrich encouraged. Hell, he'd been the one to throw them together in the first place. Matt had needed to build his self-confidence just as Millie needed to accept the sexual freedom that was as much a part of her Chanku birthright as the amazing ability to shift from human to wolf.
She'd found it with Matt, and after a night of exploration and discovery, it was more than obvious they'd both come away stronger, more confident in themselves. When Millie had suggested Matt share their bed tonight, Ulrich had been beyond thrilled. His plan was working-she was finally accepting her true nature.
This was a first for Millie-a night of sex with more than one man. Of course, Ric had pictured himself on top, not sandwiched between his mate and her young lover. Not that he was complaining, but for a guy not used to taking the more submissive position, it had required a bit of an adjustment.
Matt might be young, but he was hung like a damned bull moose, with a young man's energy, a young man's strength. Ulrich wondered if he'd be able to sit down, come morning.
Matt nuzzled his shoulder and rolled his hips in a slow, lazy thrust that drove his huge cock deeper inside Ulrich. Ric bit back a low groan of pain coupled with a moan of pleasure.
Damn. He'd forgotten how much he loved this. He didn't want Matt to stop, but he didn't want to disturb his mate, either. Millie'd gone so quiet, he figured she'd fallen asleep.
“I'm awake,” she said. Her eyes stayed closed, but she smiled at him. “Awake and really, really enjoying myself.” She tightened her vaginal muscles around his cock. A surge of strength raced from Ric's balls down the length of his shaft.
If he'd been hard a moment ago, he was harder now.
Matt rolled his hips forward once again. Are you okay? Is this too much?
Never, Ric said, meaning it now. When he'd gotten his first glimpse of Matt's erection, he'd had second thoughts, especially when he realized the kid fully intended to take the dominant role. Now, though, after hours of some of the best sex he'd had in ages, there was no way Ric wanted to quit. Not yet.
Matt thrust harder, filled him more, forced him deeper inside Millie with the strength of powerful hips and thighs.
So did Ric. He'd never been screwed with such respect. He'd known love, he'd known sex for the pleasure of getting off and nothing more, he'd experienced sex as a tool of aggression and dominance, but he realized now why Millie was so fond of Matt.
In spite of his unhappy childhood and youth, the young man loved with all his heart and soul. His was an open, giving spirit. He loved without hesitation-his heart was as unguarded as his beautiful smile. There was no subterfuge, no ulterior motive, no challenge. Ulrich sensed Matt's deep love for Daci, his equally powerful love for Deacon...and he'd managed to top Ulrich with so much respect and subtle finesse he'd succeeded before Ric realized what he was doing.
He felt Matt's almost shy worship of Millie and his powerful respect and love for Ulrich. It was a humbling experience, to feel such strong, selfless love from a man younger than his daughter.
Younger, but somehow older, too. Matt had an old soul, seasoned with a lifetime of pain and need, softened by a heart filled with love. No need to analyze, Ric decided. Better to enjoy, to live for the moment. He caught Matt's rhythm once again and thrust deep inside Millie. She raised her knees on either side of his body and took him all the way, tilting her hips to his powerful penetration.
Ulrich floated on a sensual haze of sensation. Millie's vaginal muscles clasping his thick shaft, her fingers fluttering along his ribcage. Her eyes were open now. Mouth parted, she licked her upper lip. Then she closed her eyes once more and moaned with heartfelt pleasure at a particularly deep thrust.
Her thoughts floated freely into Ric's. She loved looking up and seeing his face so close to hers. Loved even more the sight of Matt's eyes watching her over Ric's shoulder. She wanted to crawl inside Matt's head and see what it felt like to take her mate this way-but first she wanted Ulrich's permission.
Why ask? Go for it!
I was afraid you might think it was an intrusion.
Ric leaned close and kissed her. He licked her lower lip, the upper, tasting her sweetness. Never, Millie, m'love. We have no secrets. None. Let Matt know you want to share his thoughts. I might just go along for the ride.
How could she possibly appear so young? When Millie grinned in reply, she looked barely sixteen. Then her eyes took on a hazy, unfocused shimmer as she narrowed her thoughts and joined Matt's.
Images and feelings spilled into Ric's mind. Suffused his body with an unfamiliar heat and multi-layered levels of sensation-Millie had linked with Matt, and Ric went along for the ride.
He felt the tightness of his sphincter, the way it clung to Matt's thick shaft, gripping him firmly in spite of the condom and plenty of lube. While disease and infections were not a concern to Chanku, they generally used condoms for anal sex. Ric knew Millie appreciated the aesthetics, especially when their lovemaking often went on for many hours and involved penetration of every possible body orifice.
Tonight, though...sex with Matt and Ric together, two men loving each other as they loved her, was something entirely new. She shared her own responses, her quivering, shivering need for more, her almost unbearable arousal and absolute joy in every move either man made. She'd never been so turned on in her life. She wanted to do this again, and again.
Making love with Millie while Matt fucked him senseless was something Ric figured he'd better get used to. He'd do anything for Millie, and she was certainly enjoying herself. She bombarded Ric's mind with the multiple images of anal sex from Matt's point of view and vaginal sex as she experienced it. Her arousal spiked, higher, and then higher again.
Ric sensed her fascination with each new impression, her utter absorption with sex through Matt's eyes and nerves, through the sensations enveloping his cock and the pressure in his balls. She was utterly enthralled by the strong clasp of Ric's muscles, the way his ass clamped down on Matt and held his thick shaft so tightly. The heat surprised her, too, as did the emotions spilling out of Matt. The love, the respect, the need for a connection that went beyond mere sex.
He saw Millie and Ric as his family. Just as he loved Daci and Deacon and saw them as his future mates, he accepted Millie and Ric as lovers on an entirely different level. They were the anchors that held him, the roots that grounded him. In such a short time, they had become the family he'd never really had. Accepting, loving, and understanding.
Ric lost himself in the thoughts swirling around in his head, in the amazing tactile experience of making love, of taking love. The clench and ripple deep inside Millie, the dark pleasure verging on pain as Matt's thick cock forged a path inside Ric. Thrust and fill, fill and be filled. Stretching tissues, clenching muscles, the ripple and quiver of hot, wet flesh.
The sounds blended one into the other. The slap of Matt's balls against Ric's ass, the wet, slurping pull as Ulrich's cock slipped almost free of Millie's heat, then filled her once more.
His sensitive nostrils flared with the pungency of sex, the ripe scent of clean sweat and sexual release, of Millie's sweet breath and the vanilla fragrance of her shampoo. Millie's arousal bathed him, Matt's love warmed him, and he was drifting.
Drifting in a world of sensation, his body on fire, his heart full. He floated in a perfect place of physical and emotional passion, of arousal tempered by love, lust fed by desire...floating on a wave of sensation until...
A tiny tendril of discord touched him. Blinking, body tensing, mind tilting into alertness, Ulrich focused on the thread of thought, worried it until it formed something he could actually follow.
A tiny glimmering strand of anxiety, it took him directly to Matt's subconscious. Moving cautiously, using what stealth and subtlety he possessed, Ric searched for the source of Matt's distress. He sensed one small concern-the pressure Matt felt from Daci and Deacon to complete the mating bond with them.
The even stronger sense that he could not bond yet-not while something held him back.
But what? Curious now, searching even as his body kept up the perfect rhythm of sex with Millie and Matt, Ric continued his quest for answers.
There, lost amid Matt's scattered impressions and thoughts, was something foreign. An alien pressure, separate from Matt's consciousness. Definitely not of Matt. Not his thoughts, not his feelings-instead, those of someone else. Someone unfamiliar and unknown. Powerful yet surprisingly filled with love, separate and yet not, voicing a single word. A directive as much as a suggestion, one that Ric absorbed and retained.
Was Matt aware of the presence? Of another consciousness lodged deeply within his own? Did he hear the whisper, or was it a subliminal command gnawing away at his conscious ability to make decisions? Ric hadn't sensed evil intent-just the opposite-but he had definitely felt strength and power behind the voice.
Anton would know. Anton Cheval knew everything-all Ric had to do was ask him. Later. When this amazing night had ended, when his body no longer clung to the man who filled him, no longer embraced the woman he filled.
Yin and yang...dark and light, male and female, two sides to the whole.
With Ulrich in the middle. Millie beneath him...and Matt, beautiful, loving Matt, for whatever reason, worried about Florida.
# # #
Millie heard the phone ring as she turned off the shower, but Ulrich was already out and heading across the room. He wrapped a towel around his trim waist and picked up the phone.
Sunlight filtered through the narrow window blinds and turned his hair silver. Millie felt the familiar little twist of arousal in her womb and had to bite her lips to keep from saying something that would have both of them naked and sweating in no time. She had work to do, a wolf sanctuary to run.
Ulrich held the phone to his ear. “How the hell do you do that?” Laughing, he turned toward Millie. “It's Anton. He must have known I was planning to call.”
She watched him as she dried her hair and slipped into a comfortable pair of old sweats. Matt was gone. She'd heard him slip out of bed just before dawn and knew he'd headed back to the cabin he shared with Daci and Deacon.
His troubled thoughts seemed to have remained. She'd sensed them, too. He'd not mentioned why he was thinking of going to Florida, but both she and Ric had picked up his anxiety, his fear that he couldn't complete the mating bond with the two he loved until he'd made the trip.
A journey even Matt didn't understand.
What the hell was going on? Since they'd both been eavesdropping, neither Ric nor Millie felt comfortable bringing it up to Matt. When in doubt, call Anton Cheval-but as usual, he'd beaten them to it.
Ric spoke softly to Anton, nodded his head, gestured with his free hand. He paced across the bedroom, smiled at Millie as he continued his serious conversation with their pack leader.
Goddess how she loved him! Never more than now, when she knew Ric was troubled about Matt. Worried about her lover.
Why did that thought make her want to giggle?
Middle-aged, unmarried Millie West. Now a Chanku shapeshifter, mated to a very sexy man close to her own age, with a lover younger than her son-and both men more than willing to make love to her whenever she wanted either or both, together or separately.
It didn't get any better than this. It couldn't. Absolutely not. Millie was still grinning when she realized the room had gone silent. She raised her head and caught Ric staring at her with a bemused smile on his face, both hands planted firmly on his hips.
Millie cocked one eyebrow. “Well? What's up?”
“Anton's been dreaming about Matt. He's never even seen the boy and yet he described him perfectly to me, right down to the golden color in his wolf form with the darker band around his neck and shoulders. He even mentioned Matt's smile and his quiet human personality...and Florida. Anton's dreaming about Florida for some odd reason.” Ric laughed. “He's got some property he wants to check on near the Tampa Bay area and figured he'd see if Matt wanted to go with him.”
Millie just shook her head. “How does he do that? Weird. It's just way too weird.”
Laughing, Ulrich leaned close and kissed her. “No, it's just Anton. Nothing weird at all.”
“I don't get it.” Daci stared at him with those luminous eyes of hers and Matt felt like he wanted to throw up.
“I don't either, Daci.” He grabbed both her hands and held on. Too tight. He was crushing her fingers! He loosened his grip and looked up at Deacon, but the Deac was no help. All he did was shrug and stare back. “It's not you guys. I love you both. So much, but there's something pushing me. A feeling I can't explain, but it's like I have to go to Florida.”
He shook his head. None of this made sense. Less than a week ago he'd been the one pushing Deacon and Daci to bond. Now they were ready and he was wimping out, and none of it made any sense. Now it was like he had this frickin' voice in his head, coming to him in his dreams, interrupting his thoughts during the day. Hell, he'd even felt it last night in the middle of some of the best sex he'd ever had. Just thinking about doing it with Ric and Millie-what they'd done-made him hard.
Except...he couldn't get it out of his head.
Florida. Shit, he'd never been to Florida in his life. Never thought about it, and now all of a sudden he felt like he had to go there? Maybe he was just losing his mind. That was it. Nothing more than a simple, uncomplicated mental breakdown.
Daci raised her head. “Someone's coming. I hear voices.”
Deacon peered out of the window. “Millie and Ric.” He grinned at Matt. “I forgot to ask you how last night went. Sort of like a command performance, to get an invite from the boss.”
Matt shook his head. “It's not like that. Not with those two. They're special. Good, loving people. Millie's...” He realized his skin was hot and flushed. Hell, just thinking about Millie and the things they'd done...
“You're blushing!” Daci leaned over and kissed his cheek as Deacon went to open the front door. “That's really sweet.”
Millie stepped through the open door, followed by Ric. The small cabin suddenly felt even smaller. Matt stepped aside to make more room, but with the big bed dominating all the open space in the cabin, there wasn't much room to make.
Millie looked around and grinned. “You know, we do have a larger cabin available if you three would like a little more room to play.”
Daci shook her head. “Are you kidding? At least in this place, neither one of these guys can get away from me. I think that gives me an enviable advantage.”
“There is that.” Millie plopped down on the edge of the bed. “We had a message for Matt.”
Deacon glanced at Daci and then at Matt. “Do you want us to leave?”
Matt shook his head. “Of course not. What's up?” He leaned against the cabin wall, aware of a strange tension in the room.
“Anton Cheval called,” Ric said. “He's got to make a trip to Florida and wondered if you'd be willing to go with him. Keisha had planned to go, but she doesn't want to leave Lily for a week and the trip is more business than pleasure.”
Ulrich's explanation sort of drifted into space. Florida. Why the fuck would Anton, the über-alpha of all the Chanku, a man he'd never even met, suddenly want to take him to Florida? The voice in Matt's head had been decidedly feminine, so it hadn't been Anton's thoughts in his.
What the fuck was going on? Matt shrugged, and wondered if he'd pulled off the nonchalant look. “Sure,” he said. “I don't actually know him, but if he wants me to, I'll go.”
“Good. I didn't realize you'd never actually met Anton. Not until he called this morning. It's a good chance to get to know the man, and Stefan, too. They're good people. Anton's due to arrive about the same time as you. He said he'd wait for you in a coffee shop at the airport. Stefan's going to meet both of you a day later at your hotel. He's in Seattle at a board meeting for one of their companies right now, but he has a flight booked into Tampa the day after you arrive. Since you've been having dreams about Florida, same as Anton, he figured it only made sense that you should go with him.”
“What? How'd you know I was dreaming about...?” Matt shifted his eyes from Ric to Millie. Back to Ric.
Ric merely reached for Millie's hand and tugged her to her feet. “No secrets during sex, m'boy. None at all. At least not with an old dog like me. And no secrets from Anton Cheval, ever.” He shook his head. “Before you ask, no. I don't have a clue how he does it. You better pack. Carryon only, if you can. That way you won't have to wait on luggage. Anton's already emailed your tickets and your plane leaves Denver at noon tomorrow.”
Ric stretched his arms overhead, arched his back and changed the subject. “I hope you appreciate the fact that you and Millie just about killed me last night. I need a run to loosen up, so if you kids want to go with us, we're heading out just after dusk.” He paused with one hand on the door.
“We'd love to have you join us,” Millie said. She turned, glanced over her shoulder and winked at Matt. Then the two of them left the cabin.
Matt stared at the door long after it closed. The fact they'd picked up on dreams he didn't even understand himself was unsettling. The fact Anton Cheval knew about them, all the way in Montana, totally freaked him out.
As for Millie's saucy wink? She'd left him standing here, hard as a post.
Millie and Ulrich weren't there yet, but Deacon and Daci trotted alongside Matt to the small meadow where they usually started their runs. Beth and Nick waited in the shadows. Nick stepped out to meet them. The guys went through the usual ritual of sniffing butts and noses, peeing on trees and rocks and generally doing their best to out-alpha one another, at least until Ulrich showed up.
The girls sat quietly and waited. Matt figured they were probably laughing their heads off at the guys, but the instinctive male behavior was half the fun of shifting as far as he was concerned. Nick nipped at his shoulder and Matt jumped him. They tumbled into the brush, leapt to their feet and squared off with hackles raised. Damn, he was going to miss Nick and Beth, now that they'd accepted an offer from Luc to work directly with the Pack Dynamics crew in San Francisco.
They might even be gone by the time he got home from Florida. The thought sobered him, but he'd known for a long time there was really nothing to hold Beth here at the sanctuary in Colorado.
Her ability to read lies versus truth had become even more powerful since the death of her stepfather. It was almost as if that nightmare had been holding her back, keeping her from becoming the woman she was meant to be.
She and Nick were definitely a lot happier. Nick was stronger, more self-assured. His confidence put him on level footing with his mate, something Matt had originally thought might never happen.
They were good together. Obviously in love, and a well-mated pair. He glanced at Daci and Deacon and caught them watching him. It was so damned obvious they were ready to mate, but they didn't want to do it without Matt. He still couldn't believe they really wanted him to join them, permanently. Loved him enough to wait until he was ready.
There was no doubt in his mind that he loved each of them, equally. So why the hell was he holding back?
What the fuck did Florida have to do with anything? Maybe Anton Cheval would know. Damn, he hoped so. Right now he was just flat out confused and none of this made sense.
Until Millie and Ric trotted into the meadow. Matt looked up and caught sight of the two, and his worries fled. For some reason, Millie had had that effect on him from the beginning. With a nod to Daci and Deacon, he took off along the well-traveled trail, ears forward, tail in the air.
There was something so frickin' amazing about running as a wolf, way beyond the mere fact that it was absolutely surreal and totally impossible. The wolf didn't worry about tomorrow. It didn't care about politics or relationships or what the future might hold. When he ran as a wolf, Matt existed in the here and now. His senses were alive to the forest, from the search for game to potential risks, to any threats that might harm him or his packmates.
Human worries faded away as his feral nature took control.
The September night was cool with the hint of fall. Leaves crackled beneath his big paws and the scent of dry grasses and blackberries drying on the vines filled his nostrils. Creatures scurried out of his way, small things tunneling through grass and leaves and humus. Tiny bodies squeaked and scrabbled among the roots and rocks and detritus of the forest.
Matt heard them all. Sensed the myriad life forms in the air overhead, on the thick branches of the trees, creeping along the ground. Recognized life, catalogued each creature as to its nature and the place it held in the seething world around him.
When Millie paused with her nose in the air, he stopped as well. Each of them caught the scent of game and connected on a level so far beyond their human capabilities that humanity disappeared entirely.
Focused on the scent, Matt and the pack dissolved as shadows in the forest, each wolf slipping as silent as a wraith through thick undergrowth and tall trees.
When Millie charged the buck, the animal barely had time to react. Her jaws clamped down hard on his throat, her weight brought the big mule deer to his knees. Daci and Beth attacked from opposite sides. The three females quickly finished the animal.
They stood over their prey, sides heaving, saliva dripping from bloodied jaws. Nick lunged forward, but it was Millie who warned him back. With the other males, Matt paced just outside the invisible yet obvious perimeter established by the females as Millie, Daci and Beth tore into the animal's soft belly, ripping at thick hide and tearing away mouthfuls of warm flesh and muscle. Muzzles slick with blood, they gorged themselves for long minutes while the males snarled and paced.
When Ulrich, as the alpha male, finally moved in, the others followed. Matt ripped into the dead animal, gulping down huge, bloody chunks. It was good. The food, the kill, the strength of the pack. All of it so good.
The civilized mind of the man who walked on two legs was lost in the frenzied, feral instincts of the beast. Now he moved in absolute confidence on four legs. What mattered was filling his belly, remaining alert to danger. What resonated most were the power of the pack and the bestial instincts that drove him.
Life. Death. Hunger. Sex. Always sex, the drive to mate, to create, to ease the ache of constant arousal, undying need. Now, though, he gorged himself, consumed by his savage, feral nature, by the primitive lust for blood, the smells and the taste and the fading heat of a life just ended. Powerful, untamed needs that overpowered even his ferocious drive for sex.
He was consumed, as well, by something else. Something deeper than his nature, more powerful than his instincts.
He heard the voice tonight, and it was more than a thread of need, a lingering sense of anxiety. It was more than a subconscious, subliminal directive.
Tonight, it slowly insinuated itself into his conscious mind until it wound about his feral self, holding him tighter, stealing his will.
Leaving him no other option. Matt backed away from the torn and tattered body of the dead deer. Shook his head in bestial denial and whimpered as the voice whispered in his head.
Whispered a powerful directive, an order that grew louder, stronger, until the voice was no longer a whisper, until he sensed it as a clarion call, one he had no choice but to obey.
The single word raced along his spine. Raised his hackles. Mesmerized him.
Aroused him. He felt his cock swell within its sheath. Knew he pulsed hard and hot, reacting to nothing more than the sound of a mysterious yet distinctly feminine voice.
Shivers raced along his spine. His ears pressed flat against his broad head. Impossible. It can't be.
The voice reassured him.
Not impossible. Florida. Give heed.
Matt realized that everyone had paused. Bloodied muzzles were turned his way, ears pointed in his direction. Eyes stared directly at him. What could he say? How could he explain something he didn't understand himself?
It came to him, then. Such a simple thing and yet as confusing as the ages, as complex as a single moment in time. He raised his head, stared into the nighttime sky. Paused to absorb the intensity of the moment, the power of what he had to do.
Then the golden-hued wolf with the thick dark ruff around his back and neck lifted his nose to the heavens in a long, drawn out howl, a cry that echoed to the heavens.
The rest of the pack joined in. It was right.
They made a powerful statement, filled with energy, with the joy of their existence.
It was good, and it was right.
How else did one answer the goddess?
This is an unedited excerpt.
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