Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wedding of Death

Wedding of Death came about in a strange way for me. Originally, I wrote an ending scene for a writing contest. I loved it despite it's lack of a happy ending so I hung onto it, figuring I'd make something of it one day. The opportunity came when I offered to write a story for an anthology without happy endings. I never imagined it'd go the route of a historical paranormal, much less a vampire story. It's truly an experience I enjoyed.

As a single short story, it's been revised to have a happy ending. I hope you'll enjoy it.


Stunned, her eyes rose. She attempted to pull her hand back, but he held on. It was difficult to comprehend all put upon her: kidnapped, her mother leaving without a search for her, and now this man thinks she is going to marry him.

"Come, let's toast to our official engagement."
He led her to the other side of the room where he poured champagne while her mind whirled. She hadn't noticed the bar where other liquor bottles set. Handing her a glass, she took it with shaky fingers all the while worrying if it might be drugged.

"To our time, our love, and our health."

Love? His glass clinked when he touched it against hers. It was barbaric. He couldn’t possibly expect me to marry him when I’m engaged to another man.

The meager distance between them disappeared and his lips brushed her brow. She shivered and tried to fight the urge to lose herself in him.

"Look at me," he whispered.

Serenity raised her eyes to his. "This is a mistake. I already have a fiancé," she pleaded.

He grabbed her arms. "I'm your only betrothed."

"No you're not," she said, keeping her voice even and gentle. The strength he gripped her with set her nerves on alert. It didn’t frighten her, but further aroused her need to kiss him again.

He took her hand and laid it against his heart. "You will accustom yourself."

She pulled her hand from him and set the glass down. Sitting down on the sofa, she squeezed her eyes shut, took a long, deep breath, and then opened them. No, it wasn't a dream. Tears welled up in her eyes. "This is all a horrible
nightmare," she said more to herself.

When she looked around for the man, he had gone to stand near the fire. She went to him. "Please. I don't know your brother. I don't know anything about what you brought me here for. I implore you to see reason and let me go."

He faced her. "The man who put this ring on your finger," he said, lifting her hand to finger the antique ring of sterling silver and diamonds, "is my brother. This ring has been in our family for generations. As the eldest, it's my betrothed who shall wear it. He was to present it to the woman who meets my specifications. He chose you, then neither told me, nor brought you here to me."

Serenity couldn't believe her ears. This couldn't be right. Ramon couldn't be this man's brother, much less have forged his relationship with her with under false pretenses. He was generous, caring, considerate, and…honest. Trembling started deep within her, but she refused to let it surface. She needed to be strong if she was going to save herself. Reginald obviously believed in what he says, and that could make him dangerous if she wasn't careful.

"Come, let's walk."

With a hand on her lower back, he led her through the door behind the drapes similar to the ones in the bedroom. Glancing around, she attempted to take in her surroundings in the darkness. There was no moon, no stars, not even garden lights one would expect to light paths.

As if her mind had been read, lights came on lighting three areas. They weren't enough to see everything, but enough to see where you were going which was their purpose.

"I know the garden so well I often forget there are lights," he said. "You can relax now. These gardens are centuries old, full of colors and plants I'm sure you'll find peaceful in the daylight."

They walked along in silence until he stopped. The shadow of something large loomed before them. She looked up. Her breath hitched. She jumped back.

Available at: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Sony, Kobo, and Amazon

Take Care!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Shapeshifter Flash Fiction ~ Back to School by Pat Cunningham

Originally posted at SHAPESHIFTER SEDUCTIONS. This is erotic in content.

“All right, class.” Mrs. Murphy clapped her hands smartly. The dozen dog owners brought their pets to heel and formed a line in front of the instructor. The dogs, far more informal, sat, scratched, tugged on leashes, lolled tongues, tried to sniff each other, and, in one unfortunate case—

“Miss,” the instructor said icily. “Please control your—” She hesitated to call that giant, wolfish thing a dog. “Animal,” she finished.

“Yes, ma’am.” Ziva tugged sharply on the leash. Nick, the bastard, went right on enthusiastically licking his balls. Ziva nudged him with her foot. “Quit it,” she muttered, “or we’re out of here.”

Nick left off his last-minute wash and got up. He shook himself and peered up at her with bright yellow eyes and a hanging tongue. Ziva studiously focused on the instructor.

Of all the stupid kinks to indulge her twisted mate in. As if the desks and the rulers and the schoolteacher outfits weren’t bad enough. Watching a dog obedience trial on TV had sparked this latest fetish. For an alpha, Nick seemed hell-bent on submission, but only on certain terms.

As long as he submitted only to her, maybe she shouldn’t complain.

She spared a quick glance at her fellow students. There seemed to be an even mix of young and adult dog owners looking for help in training their pets. All were human. She and Nick were the only shifters in the class, and probably the only ones here for the discipline aspect. Nick had picked out the choke-chain collar himself.

Lessons began with “sit.” “Keep the dog’s head raised and press down firmly on the hindquarters,” Mrs. Murphy ordered. The class followed instructions with varying degrees of success. Most of the dogs caught on after a couple of tries, and eventually the line achieved uniformity.

Except, of course, for Nick. He locked his hips and wouldn’t budge no matter how hard Ziva yanked on his leash and shoved at his butt. The son of a hound. She knew what he wanted. Ziva drew her hidden ruler out of her blouse and whacked him smartly on the butt. Nick promptly sat. He just as promptly bounced back up again. “You want it, don’t you, you dirty dog?” Ziva murmured, and paddled him again. This time Nick stayed sitting. His tongue hung out of the side of his muzzle.

“A-hem.” Ziva looked up into Mrs. Murphy’s frigid glare. “We do not strike our pets,” the woman said. “Gentle, firm and loving. These are the keys to obedience.”

“He’s fine with it. He likes it rough.”

“I do not tolerate abuse in my class,” Mrs. Murphy said. She snatched the ruler from Ziva.

Instantly Nick lunged for the ruler. His jaws yanked the ruler from the instructor’s hands. Mrs. Murphy sprang back with a shriek. Nick growled with the ruler clamped between his wicked teeth.

“Better let him keep it,” Ziva advised. “He likes his wood.”

The teenager with the pit bull two students down snickered. “Wood.”

The instructor composed herself with an effort. “You will control your animal, or leave.”

Ziva smiled sweetly. “That’s what we’re here for.” She tugged the ruler out of Nick’s mouth. He gave it up reluctantly. It was drenched in slobber. Ziva made a face at it. Nick flashed a wolfish grin.

Next up, heeling. Mrs. Murphy had her students parade their pets around the high school gym. Ziva held the leash like a show-dog lead, keeping the leash and the collar as tight as Nick could stand. With her other hand she tapped the ruler against her thigh. Nick kept an eagle eye on both the thigh and the ruler.

This wasn’t half bad, Ziva decided. She held the business end of the leash. She held the ruler. She was in charge. The thought sent a tingle through her alpha nethers. When Nick veered off course she jerked him back viciously and growled at him. Several owners and all the dogs looked around.

The teenager with the pit bull snickered loudly. “Your dog’s got a red rocket.”

Ziva glanced down. Scat on a cracker. Nick’s Big Bad Wolf had thrust itself out of its furry den. His eyes had that glint in them that said attack was imminent.

“Miss,” the instructor shrilled, “you’re going to have to remove your animal until he’s calmed down. Dogs cannot learn in a state of excitement.”

I don’t know about that, Ziva thought, Nick and I learn quite a bit when we’re excited. But she trotted the obedient Nick out of the gym.

Under the fluorescents in the hallway Nick’s arousal glistened with scarlet vengeance. Ziva stared at it and licked her lips. He was so huge. A hoarse growl built in her throat, and she tightened her grip on the ruler.

Nick waved his bushy tail. Was I a good boy or wasn’t I?

“Yes,” Ziva panted, “You’re a very good boy. Good boys get rewarded.” She tore at her skirt.

# # #

When the noises in the corridor couldn’t be ignored any longer, Mrs. Murphy marched out to give that irresponsible little snip a piece of her mind. Yanking the poor thing’s neck like that! Hitting him with a ruler! That kind of abusive behavior turned dogs vicious. She probably shouldn’t own a pet at all.

She couldn’t find the bad owner. Instead she found the big wolfish beast humping madly away at a smaller but equally feral-looking bitch, both of them loud and uncaring. The female had the ruler in her mouth.

Mrs. Murphy was an old hand at misbehaving dogs. She grabbed the nearest fire extinguisher. It took three extended, well-aimed shots to separate the beasts from their carnal activity. Covered in foam, they pelted for the exit, woofing all the way. She would have sworn they were laughing.

The rest of the class crowded in the doorway. They’d witnessed most if not all of the ghastly spectacle. The teenager knelt beside his pit bull. Both sets of eyes were huge.

“When do we get to teach our dogs that?” the kid asked hopefully.

# # #

“Look at me!” Ziva complained, shaking foam off her arms. “Not only is my hair a mess, now I’ve lost all my clothes. And I’ll bet my deposit, too. That old biddy will never let me near her or a dog again.”

Nick wiped at the foam on his chest. He was grinning like a psycho. He still wore the collar, and nothing else. “That was so hot. We should have ducked into one of the classrooms. Or found the principal’s office. I’ll bet he’s got one of those big oak desks.”

“No. We’re done. No more collars or leashes or hitting or heeling or all this other crap. Why can’t you just hump my leg like a normal canine?”

“Because you love it, you kinky bitch.” He lunged at her.

Ziva brandished the ruler. “Sit!” Nick skidded to a stop and dropped onto his rump. “Good boy. Now fetch.” Ziva shifted to wolf form and dove for the nearby woods, with Nick in close pursuit.

Author, Pat Cunningham, can also be found at TITLE MAGIC.