Today’s Raffle prize is one of my favorites. Calling the Wild is a contemporary story with a centaur hero and a witch heroine. If you’re an Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance reader this is the book for you.
Below is an excerpt:
Moira crawled to him and grabbed a wrist in each of her hands. She forced his hands close to one another, laying them on his thighs so that they were a few inches from each other, palms facing in. She set her hands along the outsides of his.
“Swear that you will not use my blood to harm me.”
“I swear it.” The space between his palms glowed blue.
“Swear that by neither word no action you will let another being, human or other, know that you have taken my blood.”
“I swear it.” Again blue light flashed between their hands.
“Swear that as a vessel for my blood you will do to me no harm, and do all in your power to aid me.”
“I…swear.” This was the brightest flash of all.
Moira smiled and pulled away, the last was not a pledge that they had agreed upon, but he was too power drunk to fight it. Sharing of blood and power was a huge risk, but she’d turned it to her advantage. Drak was well informed and well connected, a good ally.
“Thanks.” Moira slipped her fingers into the rip in his shirt and gave his nipple ring a friendly flick. “I’ll be in touch.”
When she pulled her hands away, his eyes slid closed, head tipping to the side. He was out, as drunk on power as he would have been on a bottle of 151.
The other people in the room were looking their way, and from the startled looks she could tell that they had seen the flares of magic. For some, her brief flares of magic were their first confrontation of the reality of the magical world they craved.
Others looked at her with hunger in their eyes. They knew what else was out there, and knew she was real magic, an object of great desire.
Several men and one woman rose, their eyes on her breast. Looking down Moira saw that the cut still seeped blood, the area around it, where he’d sucked on her, already bruising. She was going to have the mother of all hickies in an hour. Snatching up the razor blade from where it had fallen on the couch she licked it clean, tasting the metal of the blade and the copper of her blood.
Once she was sure that there was nothing left that could be used against her, Moira stood, just as the first man stepped up behind her and made a very disgusting proposition.
“And why exactly would I want to do that? Play with the blonde. There is nothing else I want here.”
“Let me change your mind. My tongue is much more skilled than Drak’s.”
“I’m leaving, and no one in this room is going to follow me.” She raised her voice so that the others who had come to her could hear her pronouncement. There were several mutinous expressions, but Moira stared them down. A display of magic, though normally intimidating for those who had none, might have excited these people.
When she pushed forward they let her pass, and pink bob, who still stood guard by the doorway, didn’t meet her eyes.
Once outside of the little room, and away from the prying eyes and oppressive atmosphere, Moira picked up the pace, threading her way through the press of bodies. She found herself on one side of the dance floor, the exit on the other. The walls were crowded with bodies, people pushed back against the walls in groping, kissing, groups of twos or threes.
Moira opted for the most direct path, straight across the dance floor. She started into the fray, dodging undulating bodies and thrashing arms. A girl dressed like Morticia Adams grabbed her ass, and Moira stomped on her foot. Goth boots trumped black ballet slippers every time. Taking perverse satisfaction in the girl’s howl, Moira started forward again.
The song changed, and the lights mounted on the DJ booth changed with it. Wild pulsing and strobe lights blinded her, the other bodies now hulking shapes in the lightning flashes. Hands reached for her from the swirling dark.
Moira held out her own hands, but met only air. A warm body molded to her back, hands tight against her hips to keep her still. The hips against her ass began to rock, moving their bodies in time with the slow pulsing beat of the music. Moira latched onto the hands at her hips, trying to pry them away. Her efforts were half-hearted at best, for she was seduced by the hot press of body at her back and the way the fingers rhythmically kneaded her hips.
Hands slid to her waist and spun her, their groins now pressed together. Moira looked up into the face of her dance partner, the flashing lights leaving her with an impression of a strong jaw. He was tall and well muscled, the other end of the spectrum from the skinny Drak. His hair was straight and pulled into spikes that wrapped down the side of his face. Dark eyes, lined in black, met hers.
She recognized those eyes.
Planting her hands on his chest, Moira pushed back, though she only got arm’s distance away as he refused to release her waist.
He wore black pants that laced up the side and a black poet’s shirt complete with a necktie and ruff. He looked like a goth pirate, a dark poet. Moira reached up and cupped the strong jaw, brushing the spikes of hair out of the way to examine his face.
Around them the dancers raged like a violent sea, until time seemed to slow. His eyes were black, no white surrounding the iris.
Moira raised her other hand, cupping both sides of his face, and kissed him.
It was chaste, with no rough mingling of tongues or nipping teeth. For a long moment their lips fused, souls meeting, as magic swelled in a halo around their joined bodies. His magic wrapped over both of them, and for the first time in more months that she could count Moira felt safe. He smelled like woods and ocean, loam and salt. He tasted like leaves and sunlight.
Someone, oblivious to the power around them, bumped into Moira, breaking the kiss. Her hands slid to his shoulders, and she came down on her heels.
“How?” she asked,
“I have many magics you know nothing of.”
It sounded like her centaur and the face and eyes were his, but her enemies were wise and skilled. Grabbing the ruffled sleeve of his shirt Moira flipped it back, exposing the metal cuff her spell had placed on him.
“Satisfied?” he asked, deducing what she was checking for.
“No,” she said, looking up at him from under her lashes, “but I won’t start something here, in the middle of the dance floor.”
“Then we should dance.”
He slid his hands down to her ass and pressed her groin to his. He lowered his head as if to repeat the kiss, and she turned away, but this exposed her sensitive neck to his lips, teeth and tongue. Teeth nipped at the tendon that stretched from her shoulder to neck, then his tongue laved the sensitive spot behind her ear.
Moira dug her nails into his back, riding the desperate arousal his touch and magic raised in her. From his first touch when they had stood at the truck to his brief caress in the warehouse, his touch, and the want for more of it, had been a thrumming need within her.
Moira slid her leg up the outside of his hip, wrapping it around the small of his back, trusting her weight to his arms. He used her movement to press their bodies closer together, his hips wedged against her, rocking to the beat of the music.
If she’d harbored any doubt about the attraction being mutual, the feeling of him between her legs dispelled it. He was as aroused as she, tormenting them both by moving in time with the music, thrusting against her in a sweet parody of sex.
Moira dropped her head back, feeling the halo of magic move with her. When she breathed in the air smelled of oak and brine, tasted like storm clouds. There were sparks of white magic flashing in the air around them, lost in the strobe lights for those who did not know to look for them.
“I don’t even know your name.”
It was a strange time to say such a thing, as he pantomimed fucking her in the middle of a dance floor, but with her body dangerously close to orgasm that seemed to be her greatest concern.
The centaur levered her up, bringing them face-to-face.
“Names,” he licked her lower lip, “are power.”
“I can taste you, salt and earth on my tongue, but you will not tell me your name?”
He wrapped his hands over her ass and lifted. Moira put the leg not already around him over his back and hooked her feet together. He moved, and a moment later the wall pressed against her back.
He took her hands and placed them above her head on the wall, pinning her like a captured butterfly. The warm iron of his body between her legs, pressing hard against her, was terrifying and pleasurable at the same time. When her eyes fluttered closed, he nipped her jaw.
“No, look at me.”