Monday, September 26, 2016

Kisses Fall and Falling into Love by Sascha Illyvich


Éva woke, her heart feeling heavy once she looked around and saw nothing in the early hours of the new day.
She shot up, blinked, shook her head and saw all was as it should be. Lying back down, she closed her eyes, saw wild red hair as bright as a flame, heard female laughter and then, nothing.
Her breathing slowed and the next thing she knew, she saw an image that made her gasp. Her tall stranger made himself visible in broad daylight. His waist length hair had been stained with blood.
His tattered shirt had a hole in it, blood oozed from a gaping wound in his chest. He met her gaze, his eyes piercing hers, begging for help.
She tried to rush to him, but found herself unable to move.
She screamed.
He lifted his head, reached into the pocket of his trousers and pulled out a pair of sunglasses. Sliding them on, he met her stare once again. She knew the look, predatory victory.
Then his features seemed to disappear.
Others walked past them, more wolves, more humans. They all ignored the dying wolf on the ground before her.
The scenery changed.
He stood tall, shotgun in hand. “You’re next, wolf.”
She tried to scream again but no sound came out.
He pointed the gun at her, cocked it
Blood pumped through her body, her brain yelled at her to move, do something. Anything. She remained frozen. Her heart pounded furiously, her mind continued barking commands at her, but then the world went blank at the sound of a click.
She jolted awake, found her fingers clutching Janika, only stopping when she heard him whimper.
Francba.” She let go of his thigh, patted the spot to check for wounds. Finding none, she realized her hands were clammy, her skin, cold.
Except she wasn’t back in her bedroom, she’d been in a village somewhere remote and the stranger still stood, gun pointed at her.
“You’re next.”
She cocked a brow. Oh, now she could move. What the hell was going on? “What do you mean, wolf? I’m next? And why did you call me a wolf?”
Rich, dark laughter poured from her assailant.
Except he was back on the ground again. What the fuck was going on?
The stranger lifted his head and smiled. “You’re more than you think, Éva.”
His deep voice rasped and rumbled through her. He coughed and spat blood. Yet he smiled. Intuitively, she knew that smile was for her, wasn’t threatening. Nothing seemed to make sense.
“You know my name? What is going on? What do you mean?” Éva’s shoulders tightened. She tried again to move but couldn’t. Panic set in. Her head pounded, words she’d never heard echoing loudly in her head by voices she couldn’t place. A man, two women, screaming at her to use her power to save the stranger, bring him back and take this hunter out quickly before he killed her.
The assailant took a step closer. “I’ll be the one to eliminate all the wolves in this wretched world.”
It took her a long second to realize the trick being played on her. Two beings, one definitely a wolf, the other?
Who the hell knew?
The gray cloak he wore bore familiarity. The gun, larger than life now, pointed straight at her chest.
Éva struggled to breathe, pull air into her lungs and move but her limbs refused to obey her commands. She shut her eyes, pulled magic into her body and waited for it to gather in strength.
A heavy fog settled around her, blacking out her magic. Something was definitely wrong. That had never happened before.
She made an effort to use the wind to dissipate the fog but nothing happened.
Her eyes flew open and she saw the final outcome. Her last words, “Oh my goddess, no!” echoed loudly

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She pulled out a pack of matches, removed one, lit it, and set it in the matchbox so it would ignite the rest of the pack. Then she tossed it on the cotton cloth she’d used as a lean-to cover, and watched it catch.
Black smoke rose up from the fire, adding the smell of burnt clothing to the humid air and making Megan’s nose twitch.
A cool breeze blew by her again, making her shiver.
She spun around and found herself face to face with Aliyah.
The tall, slender Noble looked regal as ever. High cheek bones, a long, Greek nose, and pale skin that stood out against the black of her robe. Her eyes burned lime green, exactly like Les’s, only both her eyes held that color, not just the one. Dark hair hung straight down the sides of her face, drawing attention to her rather ample chest and slender hips, if one followed the lines of her body.
“Going somewhere, Czigany?
Megan shuddered. How she hated her birth name with a passion. “No.” She shook her head. “Destroying evidence for my cover story.”
Aliyah’s eyebrow rose. “Cover story?”
“Yes. You want the books in possession by the Opeth Pack, I’m going to get in and get them with minimal causalities.”
Aliyah nodded. “Good. Good. What cover story are you trying to sell?”
As if it wasn’t obvious. “Escaped prisoner.”
The Noble put a hand to her chin, closed her eyes and nodded. “Yes, yes I can see that. Banged up, abused somewhat, tired. Am I right?”
Megan nodded.
“But you’re going to heal before you cross the distance to the village, are you not?”
Megan shook her head. Hopefully she wouldn’t heal, but her strength compared to other wolves remained higher thanks to training. “No, my Mistress.”
“I should hope not.” The Noble stepped closer, reaching one wispy arm out toward Megan. “Because if you fail, I cannot express to you our disappointment in you.”
Again, Megan nodded. “I understand, my Mistress.”
“Good.” Aliyah gripped Megan’s chin, her eyes becoming clouded with a malicious look she got when she wanted to play with her toys, “Because I wouldn’t want you to feel my disappointment.”
“No Mistress.” Megan struggled to stand, feeling power leave her from the Noble draining her. “Never.” Terror settled in the pit of her stomach, a roiling sensation that caused her nerves to be on alert for whatever was coming.
“Good. I’m glad we understand each other. And to help you,” Aliyah pulled her hand back, a ball of light forming around her fingers, “I’ll give you this gift.”
Before Megan could defend against the hit, energy slammed into her, knocking her back against the tree she’d banged her head on earlier.
A moment later, Megan forced herself to her feet, aware she’d overstepped protocol, but unable to care. She needed to find her strength.
“You’re doing it again, Czigany.
“Not on purpose Mistress. A solider cannot be kept down until…” She coughed blood and wiped her mouth. She probably had internal bruising that would slow the healing process for sure. Hell, she’d probably broken a rib or two by now.
“Until said soldier is dead. You remember that and don’t die on us, okay? I’d hate to lose my pretty, little pet.”
Before Megan could respond, she fell to her knees and coughed up more blood. Her vision blurred, body ached. Yeah, the wounds would definitely heal slowly. If she wasn’t mistaken, she probably needed a pack healer to aid in fixing her wounds.
Her lungs burned from the pain and a sharp jolt jabbed her, affirming that she had probably broken a rib, and it nearly punctured a lung.
Megan looked up, tears in her eyes, blood dripping down her face, and she found no sight of Aliyah.
One more coughing fit forced out more blood than Megan thought she could lose from her system, but she forced herself to stand, using the nearby tree for help. With her vision still cloudy, she forced one foot in front of the other until she stumbled over loose branches and almost fell into the smoldering ashes from the fire she’d lit.
She could do this. She could free herself.
Even death had to be better than being enslaved by the Nobles.
The first rays of sunlight appeared, lighting up the forest where Megan had made her camp. Time to move.
Taking only what would make her look like a refugee, Megan horded the few knives she knew had fresh blood on the blades, sheathing them in her boots while she struggled to make her way toward the Opeth Pack village. If she approached the women, probably not the redhead standing next to the Alpha, she looked too cunning, but maybe one of the younger women, she could convince them she was running from the Hunters.
They had been spotted in this territory. Six months back they came looking for Opeth Pack wolves, but Les’s magic drove them away.
She followed them on the off chance they’d lead her to something interesting, but they merely harassed another village of wolves before being run off.
Megan then made the decision to return to the Nobles with what information she had.
The Opeth Pack had been successful in finding more members. This wasn’t good for the Nobles, not that Megan really cared. She simply wanted out. Her only play had been to work with them for her freedom.
Stumbling through the forest took forever, and she’d tripped more than her fair share of times, landing on her face and grunting each time she forced herself back to her feet. If the warm drums could pound and she could hear them, she could march to her destination.
By the time she made it to the clearing outside the village, she’d been covered in more than blood. Dirt and grass stained her clothing, making her smell more like forest than anything else. Yes, they’d pick up her lupine scent; that much was obvious. But nothing else would be easily discernable amongst the blood and damage from her self-inflicted wounds.
Breathing had grown more difficult, and by the time she made her way to the entrance of the village, she barely registered the wood and stucco houses with their antique look.
“Hello? Hey you there! Are you—oh my goddess, you’re hurt!”
Megan looked up, gripped her thighs to force herself upright, and her stomach lurched when she saw who headed her way. Oh no. No, this wasn’t good. Not her.
Vision faded, came back, and Megan found herself falling to her knees before two pairs of hands grabbed her and hoisted her up to her feet.
“Be careful with her please. She’s wounded.”
The voice sounded so sweet, so much like heaven, Megan could easily get lost in her words. “Keep talking, please.”
“What? You can talk? You’re in terrible shape. Don’t talk. Conserve your strength, honey. We’re going to treat you right away.”
Megan thought she nodded, couldn’t remember. In fact, the lead weight of her body made her head feel heavy, her heart more so by the presence of that beautiful woman she’d spotted yesterday.
Soft hands held her firmly until she felt herself being pushed down onto something flat and somewhat hard.
“Don’t move, baby. We’re going to take care of you. Right Sziga?”

 Opeth Pack Saga -

About the Author: 

 Sascha, who was proclaimed by the publishing industry as The Gentleman Playboy of Romance, started writing seventeen years ago. His erotic romances have been listed under Night Owl Romance’s and Road to Romance’s Recommended read lists, and he’s been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio. Recently, Torn to Pieces was a USA TODAY Recommended Read.

Sascha is a trained and experienced public speaker, and enjoys giving talks and teaching, particularly on aspects of romance, erotic romance, and writing. He was the former host of The Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, and is fond of doing guest spots and interviews, on both traditional radio and podcasts.

Sascha writes for WolfPack Publishing, Assent Publishing, Red Sage, Secret Cravings Publishing, Sizzler Editions, Totally Bound, and Decadent Publishing.

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