Friday, July 7, 2017

LEAH BLAKE


A Night To….Remember?

“Oh, wow.”
      Jake Enderson’s feet stopped moving, his eyes widening as he drank in the exquisite production of guests and decorations.  Well, not quite a production.  It was a wedding in the middle of the woods, at eleven o’clock at night.
      For a human and a wolf shifter.
      With the small town of Shadow Falls miles behind them, this intimate celebration was far beyond the reach of any sane tourists. 
      You landed yourself on the insane list.
      Who would’ve guessed that his mini vacation would have pitched him in the arms of a panther, asked on a date by said panther, and brought to a wedding for a werewolf?  Certainly not him.
      “Your jaw hinges came undone.”
      Jake jerked, smacking his teeth together, and turned to the man who whispered his blatant observation in his ear.  Dominic Esposito, hot panther-man with cat-like reflexes who saved him from the world’s most embarrassing face plant almost a week ago, flashed a white-tooth smile, sans his kitty fangs.  Bright green eyes glinted, the strange night-vision lenses Jake had finally come to terms with in full glinting effect.
      Dominic slipped his arm around Jake’s waist, drawing him closer.  He adjusted Jake’s bowtie and winked. “Perfect.” 
His gaze traveled down to Jake’s sneakers, and a dark brow arched up beneath the lock of equally dark hair that had come lose of its slicked-back do.  Jake giggled, resting back on his heels, lifting his toes, and tapping the white tips of his red Converse together.  His lucky shoes.  He wouldn’t have cared if they had lights that flashed when he walked, he’d still wear them.  These boys brought him the best luck.  Proof stood beside him.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less.”  Dominic chuckled, the sound rich and seductive.  It tapered off with a hint of a purr that resonated along Jake’s skin.  Goose bumps rose beneath the sleeves of his suddenly stifling tux. “Looks like we’re two of the last guests.  Let’s take our seats.”
Jake accepted Dominic’s arm and allowed the panther to lead him down the aisle to a set of white, fold-out chairs vacant of guests.  Jake tripped over the foot of a chair.  Once again, his catman caught him from his fall, but couldn’t shade him from the curious glances that turned to him.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t tear his attention away from the sluggish twinkling of dim yellow and white lights from the trees surrounding the narrow clearing.  Rose petals of every hue of red and pink floated around the guests, led by a magical breeze, lending a sweet aroma to the air.  Lanterns surrounded the clearing, bobbing in midair, fire burning bright within the glass casings. 
At the makeshift alter, torches stood around the small platform, leaving a small opening for the grooms to pass through.
Two men stood on the platform.  One was dressed in rich gold and ruby robes holding a pretty blade flat against his chest.  The second man, dressed in a nice gray suit, cut the robed man nervous looks every few seconds.
“It’s obvious who the human is,” Jake said, plopping into the chair beside Dominic. “I’d think there’d be more understanding between humans and animal shifters.  Especially since it’s not uncommon for one to be mated to the other.” 
He glanced across the aisle and received numerous scouring glances from the human groom Reggie’s guests.  At first, he thought it was his sneakers until he realized that everyone on the right side of the aisle cautiously watched everyone on the left.
There were only a dozen or so humans.  There were about four times as many shifters, witches, fae, and whatever other paranormals might have come for the celebration. 
“Well, hell.  If this isn’t awkward,” Jake muttered under his breath. 
“My understanding is that this was put together to appease Reggie’s family.  His mother wanted a wedding for her only son.  In our world, we bond.  It’s private, it’s intimate, and certainly far from the glitz and glamour of a mortal wedding.”  Dominic wrinkled his nose, adjusting his arm to slip his fingers between Jake’s. “How Corey is handling this, I haven’t a clue.  Credit to him.”
Corey, the wolf.
“So, if my mom came to you crying for a wedding for me, you’d deny her that little joy?” Jake asked.  It was a half-joke because, honestly, his mom would come on hands and knees, begging Dominic to have a wedding.  She loved parties and gatherings, and looked for any excuse to throw top-notch extravaganzas.  Jake had told her more than a dozen times she missed her calling as an event planner. “She’d be in her glory if she could plan a wedding and have magical twinkle lights in trees.”
Dominic brought Jake’s hand to his lips and pressed a soft kiss to his knuckles.
“This is sensory overload for me, and we haven’t even touched on the reception yet.  I can only imagine how that’s going to turn out.” Dominic cast the human side a shaded glance. “If it gets that far.”
“I’m sure if there’s alcohol involved, it’ll turn out just dandy.”
“Or disastrous.”
“Pessimist.”
Dominic shrugged, but the small half-grin belied his amusement.
Jake sighed with a smile and stared at the man beside him.  A hunk if he’d ever seen one, and he’d seen many.  Dominic redefined tall-dark-handsome with his towering height, midnight black hair and tanned, olive-toned skin.  It was easy for a woman to tower over Jake and his pitiful five-foot-five height, but Dominic was full-on neck-craning, toe-pressing, need-a-step-stool towering.
Dominic swiped his thumb against the corner of Jake’s mouth. “You’re drooling.”
Jake went ramrod straight and drew the back of his hand over his mouth.  He grunted. “Was not.”
“You look so cute when you get stars in your eyes.”
“I think what you’re witnessing is the twinkling lights reflecting in my eyes.”
      “Ah.  That must be it.”
      Three violinists opened up in song, announcing the beginning of the wedding ceremony.  Corey, Dominic’s werewolf friend, hustled down the aisle and came to stand on the platform cattycorner to the robed man.  Dressed in a dark tux and looking about ready to tear out of the constricting clothing, the man shifted back and forth on his feet, staring down the aisle for his husband-to-be.
      A few moments later, Reggie arrived at the head of the aisle, his mother on his arm.  Jake and Dominic twisted in their seats to get a better look at Reggie as he made the traditional walk down a very nontraditional aisle to an even more nontraditional alter.
      Jake leaned in to Dominic and gave their hands a squeeze. “He looks so happy.”
      “I think he had a flask or two beforehand.”
      Jake jabbed his elbow into Dominic’s ribs. “Not nice.  Behave.”
      Dominic leaned close to Jake’s ear and released a deep, throaty growl so only he could hear it.  Jake nearly melted in his seat, but managed a scowl in response.
      “You’re being awfully disrespectful,” Jake whispered. 
      Dominic nipped his jaw with his kitty fangs, then leaned back to his seat while Jake fought the fierce shudder from the small tease. “Oh, honey.  That’s only the beginning.”
      Jake ignored the heat that lapped at his veins as he watched the ceremony.  Reggie and Corey faced each other, Reggie’s hands resting on top of Corey’s.  The human justice of the peace hired by Reggie’s folks performed his portion of the ceremony first.  The robed man came up second.  He didn’t speak a word when he lifted a gold coin into the air to show the small gathering.  From his seat toward the back, Jake couldn’t make out the details of the coin, and didn’t bother to ask Dominic.  One day, this would happen between him and Dominic.  He needed to start taking notes now.
He watched in rigid curiosity as Reggie and Corey separated one hand.  The robed man lowered the blade of his fancy knife between the men’s palms and jerked it back.  Reggie gasped, his face twisting in pain.  Corey barely flinched.  Whispers erupted on the right side of the aisle as the robed man placed the coin between Reggie and Corey’s palms. 
      Justice man swayed on his feet before he made the sign of the cross.
      A dull throb skittered across Jake’s hand.  Ouch.  Dominic hadn’t been joking about the process for a human to bond with a paranormal mate.
      Corey leaned down to Reggie.  Jake shimmied closer to the edge of the chair, excited to see their matrimonial kiss.  Dominic chuckled beside him.
      “It’s about to get good, honey.”
      Before Jake could inquire about Dominic’s humor, Reggie tilted his head to the side, exposing his neck.  Corey slipped a hand—Oh, boy.  He’s showing claws—to the back of Reggie’s neck.  The justice’s eyes bugged out of his head, his jaw moving soundlessly. 
      Corey cast the guests a fierce, glowing-eyed and wolf-fanged look.
      When he bit into the juncture of Reggie’s neck and shoulder, all hell broke loose to the right.  Jake giggled when the justice’s eyes rolled up behind his head and he fell over.  A ball of hazy gray shot from the robed man’s hand, catching the clerk on a thin cloud, breaking his fall.
      Reggie’s guests were in hysterics.  All except for his mother, who sat with a dreamy smile on her face, hands clasped beneath her chin, happy as can be.  Witches from their side muttered spells and incantations, forcing the humans to sit and calm.
      “This is why we don’t do weddings,” Dominic whispered against his ear.  The man’s nearness made Jake’s vision pulse and his mind sway away from the chaos and far more pleasurable.
      Then, the two grooms kissed. 
      And kissed.
      Jake’s face grew warm as he watched the husbands draw impossibly close, their kiss growing deeper and borderline inappropriate in less than a minute.
      “Apparently, they haven’t bonded before tonight.”
      Jake looked at Dominic, who wore a sinister grin on his sexy mouth. “What are you talking about?”
      “Oh, honey.  I’ve got so much to teach you.”
      The two men finally pried apart, panting for breath.  Was Reggie actually shaking?  Jake scratched the side of his head.  As the newly weds turned to present themselves to their guests, those who hadn’t been placed in a magical trance applauded and hooted. 
      “And this is why paranormal and humans don’t do weddings well,” Dominic said quietly. “Best kept to the bedroom.”
      The way Jake was feeling at the moment, between Dominic and that intense kiss, he could use a bedroom.
      Corey and Reggie jogged down the aisle, dodging rose petals and something that reminded Jake of sparkling fairy dust.  When the men paused at the head of the aisle, they removed their red rose boutonnieres from their lapels.
      “All right, folks.  Let’s see who’s next!” Corey shouted.  The newlyweds smiled between each other, turned their backs to the guests, and tossed their flowers over their heads.
      A gust of wind rustled through the trees and sent the dancing rose petals into tailspins.  The boutonnieres arced in midflight, twisting from their path and curving backward. 
      Jake stared at one rose coming right at him.  He couldn’t move, stuck in his chair, his eyes widening by the second until the flower hit him in the forehead and bounced onto his lap.
      “Ohh, snap.”  Jake lifted the rose and twisted it in his fingers. “Uhh…”
      “I’m burning those sneakers.”
      Jake shot Dominic a startled look until he saw that his panther had a rose sitting in the palm of his hand.  The man’s large fingers curled around the rose, his nails lengthening to lethal claws.  Shiny dark fur erupted along his fingers for a brief moment before retracting back into Dominic’s skin. 
Jake laughed. “Oh, no you won’t, kitty cat.  I bet you put that rose in one of those flower pressers and frame it as a wedding present for me.”
A worrisome crease formed over Dominic’s brow. “Wedding?  You’re still hanging on that?”
Jake’s smile grew. “Yup.”
“Have you seen Reggie’s guests?”
“Yup.” 
Jake glanced over his shoulder toward the spelled guests who had turned wide eyes away from Corey and Reggie to focus on Jake and Dominic.  When he turned back to his panther, he leaned in and pressed their foreheads together.
“What do you say”—Jake traced the collar of Dominic’s starched shirt—“we practice our kiss, hm?  I want to make our guests melt into their seats on our wedding night.”
Dominic’s fingers combed into Jake’s hair and tipped Jake’s chin with his thumb. “Honey, the only person I want to melt is you.  In my arms.  In our bed.  For the rest of our lives.” 
Dominic’s lips caressed Jake’s, hitching his breath at the base of his throat. 
“But, I’m still burning those sneakers.”
Before Jake could rebut, Dominic sealed the promise with a heart-pounding kiss. 
If this is what Jake would have for the rest of his life, Dominic could do whatever he wanted with his lucky sneakers.

~~@~~


SECRETS IN THE SHADOWS
Shadow Creek 1
Wolf shifter Rex Vanderbilt has lived a life of luxury and privilege. That changes one fateful night following an attack by hunters that nearly kills him and his family. They seek refuge and protection at the private paranormal sanctuary, Shadow Creek. Rex discovers how little he understands his wolf’s blood after the strangest out-of-body experience in the presence of one particular shifter.

Devon Michaels is a great horned owl shifter and part of the Creek’s top circle of guards. He prefers solitude after a betrayal that nearly cost him his life. When Rex arrives on the manor’s doorstep, he instantly recognizes the rowdy wolf as his mate. He has no interest in the irresponsible, spoiled man, but Rex has other plans to win Devon’s affections.

When the Creek’s borders are breached by hunters and Rex is injured, Devon must make a decision. With the promise of another attack looming, time is running out. Can he let go of the past to protect his mate?

 
Excerpt:

“Where the hell are you taking me?” Rex demanded, his attention focused on the looming red barn ahead. He got a nose-full of manure and dirty animals, and swallowed down his breakfast. Devon ignored him until he slid open the barn doors, grabbed a metal bucket from a hook on the wall, and pressed it to Rex’s chest. Rex shook his head and smiled. “Oh, no, no, no. I don’t do farm animals.”

“Glad to hear it. You’ve got some dignity after all.”

Devon didn’t even crack a grin. He snatched a short stool from beside the wall where the cows were tied up in a line, and placed it beside the first animal. Rex’s eyes widened when the man pointed.

“Sit.”
“I don’t think so.”
“You want to stay, you earn your keep, just like everyone else here. You may have been handed everything by your father, but that’s not how it works at the Creek. We work together. No one is better than the next.”

Devon lifted his sunglasses. Piercing yellow eyes pinned him with a hard glare. Beautiful, hypnotic eyes that were as surreal as they were real. That look, though, did something to Rex, something he couldn’t explain. Fire unleashed throughout his body, his soul, and his wolf. His entire world shook, quivered, leaving him weak and breathless. His heart performed a strange acrobatic number.

And for a split second, he transferred to Devon, and stared back at himself. The image was powerful, consuming. His russet eyes were dark, swallowed up by his pupils. His nostrils flared and his lips remained separated with each shallow breath. Yes, he shook. Visibly shook. But it was the sudden air of submission, the essence of desire and need, that ultimately enraptured him.

All of that he caught in the split moment he looked back on himself through the eyes of his mate.

“Word of advice. Get off your ego trip. It’s not befitting.” Devon pointed to the stool. “Now, sit.”

Rex did without further argument. He held the bucket in his arms, hugging it to his body. The position was awkward, his gaze darting to the cow’s hind leg, followed by her milk storage and those dangly things...

“Udder. Teats.” Devon handed him a bottle with a foam insert. “Dip her teats and clean her off.”

“This is too awkward,” Rex mumbled as he placed the bucket under her udder. The cow’s noisy chomping on hay started raking his nerves. He sighed as he took the bottle of cleaner and slipped the top around the cow’s teats. Devon handed him a paper towel.

“Go ahead. Clean her.”

Rex grumbled. He cast a disgruntled sneer at Devon before he dried off each teat. “Happy?”

“You’re going to strip her before you start collecting the milk. Grab a teat and stroke from udder down to the ground.”

“Really? This is just wrong.” Rex grimaced as he took hold of the teat and did as Devon instructed. “So fucking wrong on so many levels.”

“You can do better than that. After all, you’re familiar with the motion.”

The hint of revelation in Devon’s voice drew his gaze back to the man’s imposing frame. A ghost of a grin touched the corner of his wickedly delicious mouth. Of course, Rex’s cock had to react to Devon, as he sat on a stool, milking a damn cow. He tried to spit out one of his come-on lines—How ’bout you demonstrate on me so I can learn from experience?—but it got stuck somewhere in his throat.

“A little harder. Draw her teat down, expressing the milk.”

Rex’s face heated and he turned away. His cock pulsed beneath Devon’s watchful gaze and his innuendo-saturated instructions. He tightened his fingers and tugged harder on the cow’s teat. A thin stream of ji-no, no, milk, sprayed the floor.

Rex groaned inwardly.

“Looks like you got it. I’ll be back in an hour. If you’re done with her before I get back, move to the next.”

“Hey, you can’t leave.”

“Sure I can.” Devon arched off the wooden post and gave Rex a slight bow. “One hour.”

“Come on, Dev.” Okay, so he was whining like a damn kid, but he didn’t want to be left with a hard-on and a milk-spraying cow. “I’m not sure I know what to do.”

“Oh, of course you do.” Devon clapped his shoulder. A shockwave of sparks crackled along his nerves, pooling in his already raging cock-stand. “Just another tip. You may want to keep your blinds closed in the morning.”

Rex’s eyes widened. He jerked around on the stool, succeeding in tipping the thing over and falling onto his back. Devon smirked down at him, jammed his hands in his jacket pockets and disappeared from the barn.

Rex dropped his head back on the hay-covered floor and let out a long sigh. His cheeks burned, the heat filling his neck and face mocking his arousal. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

*** *

Devon couldn’t shake himself of the electrical charge humming along his nerves. He groused the entire walk to the manor, chewing incessantly at the stirrer in hopes of grinding out his frustration. He had plenty of control over himself, his thoughts, his perceptions. He had control over his life.

Yet, he couldn’t control the fucking way his body, and his owl, responded to the nearness of his mate.

He didn’t like the kid. Not a single bit. He was a whining, bitching, entitled brat who would just as soon get himself killed because he couldn’t open his stubborn brain to the reality that surrounded him. No. All he could think of was getting his next lay, whether it be by his own hand or a group of hyenas.

That stark reminder shot his frustration through the roof.

“Bunch of cackling flea-bags. Maybe he needs to catch himself some bugs to learn a lesson.”

If catching himself an attack by hunters didn’t change his ways, chances were, nothing would.

Then why did he feel a dark, coiling beast grow inside of him at the very thought of Rex meeting up with those guys? Why did the sight of him jerking off this morning leave him with a wicked erection?

Devon rubbed the back of his neck and rolled out his shoulder. The tension riding his muscles didn’t dissipate. Nor did the haunting prospect of Rex having a rendezvous with that clan. 

 ~~@~~

Bio: 

I grew up in New Jersey, a short drive outside of Manhattan. I was a busy kid, always somewhere doing something. Dance, gymnastics, swimming, you name it. Yes, I was one of those kids who didn’t come home until it was dinnertime, played with friends on the street, rode bikes like it was going out of style. My best friend and I used to “produce” our own movies and play wizards and witches on the playground at school. I’ve always had an imagination that ran wild, and when I was in my pre-teens, I finally put all those outlandish ideas packed in my head to good use. I started writing stories, horror/thriller stories, when I was eleven. Romance wasn’t even a consideration until I was in my early twenties. When I made the cross from horror to romance, I discovered exactly what I should have been writing all along, and I’ve been writing romance ever since.

Now, I live in Florida with my husband, our four children, and the parakeets, where I continue to make my dreams come true.

Links:
Website: www.leahblake.com 

 

40 comments:

  1. Hope there is Moreno Jake and Dominic.

    redmd@juno.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cute! Thank you.

    Brandi
    Scssugar@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice!!!
    rubindot1953@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Loved it. Thank you for posting.
    demetra21@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jake must be fun to write. I loved him
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful wedding scene. The details were awesome.
    Nrdriscoll@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great story..... thank you for posting... jpstauff@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was great. Thank you
    hotpinkiris@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. The banter between these two was off the chart - so funny! Thanks for sharing. andreamoran0801@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love a good wedding!!! Thank you.
    marobbins62@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great short story. Thanks for taking part.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Loved, loved the story. Neksis91@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I thought that was so sweet.
    Avarney9197@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow. Loved this!!!!
    Angiekelly7534@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome, thanks! sheryl1979.10@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Need to read this series.
    Yooper580b@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice. kristinaleigh68@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh I really liked this a lot.
    Nancyannettehenry@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. So cute! Want to read their story, now. pamisaac@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wonderful story. Need to check out the series. Thanks for sharing. j dot stonewright at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. interesting
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Loved this!
    aveseditservice@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love it and hope there's more!

    rhondaw1965@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Awe. Cute. Hide the converse.
    younela48@yahoo.couk

    ReplyDelete
  25. Too funny. Thanks for sharing.

    Mindi
    Bacchae777@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you
    jrobe10689@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. First thing of hers I've read....now I need more! Loved it! Jmflymric7@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great story
    Jennkay34@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Loved it. Rachm314@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I like it! This is a new author to me, will have to check her out.
    serena91291@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Where can I read Reggie and Corey's story?

    ReplyDelete
  32. This looks like an interesting series.

    dejamew@centurylink.net

    ReplyDelete
  33. Very nice
    Chimera2069@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nice :). Love reading your stories!
    AliceMLT@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Better not touch those sneakers! Great story.

    goaliemom0049@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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