One more book in our Shapeshifter Bundle roundup: this one one of our themed anthologies. The theme is werewolves, and we’ve got stories by Elizabeth Reeve, Renata Piper, David Hubbard, A. D. R Forte, Becca Ovadia, A. N Cortez, and Joe Nobel all stuffed in there like a lycanthropic clown car (not the title of a forthcoming anthology–we promise).
You can get the whole massive 200K word bundle now for $5.99:
This scene is from the beginning of Lunacy by Elizabeth Reeve:
My therapist thinks I’m bipolar. It’s easier all around if I embrace the metaphor. If she understood that when I talk about my cycles of risk-taking behavior that I really do mean that there’s an actual monster coming out of me every month, I think she’d have me committed. And a psychiatric facility is no place for a werewolf.
Therapy, though… Well, I’m still human most of the time. And sometimes I need help coping with what the other half of me is capable of. No, it’s nothing like that. I’ve been able to control the bloodlust since the very beginning. It’s the other kind that gets me in trouble.
“So you’ve had another manic episode,” Dr. Manspeaker says, calmly. Isn’t Manspeaker a great name for a therapist? I told her I thought so during our first session, and she chuckled a little bit. I like to try to make her laugh.
Dr. Manspeaker purses her lips, makes a note on her tablet. “Did you try any of the things we talked about last month?”
“Yes,” I say. “Remember, we talked about making a splurging budget? Well, I tried that.”
“And how did it go?” Spending sprees are a pretty common feature of bipolar mania. Dr. Manspeaker probably thinks I’m buying shoes or something. I’ve never mentioned that what I overspend on every month is lingerie. I have more lacy bustiers and leather corsets and silk stockings than a burlesque show.
“When I felt the urges coming on, I decided on fifty dollars. And I just kept telling myself, ‘It’s okay. I can buy a treat, but I’m going to stay under fifty.’ “
“Did it work?”
“Yes,” I say, pleased with myself. I was very tempted by a scarlet lace bodysuit, but in the end I kept myself down to a handful of thongs and a new push-up bra.
Dr. Manspeaker makes another note. “And how about your other manic behaviors?”
I frown, less pleased. “Well…”
“I won’t be disappointed in you, Janet. There’s no judgment here.”
“I had sex,” I blurt out.
Dr. Manspeaker tips her head, looking at me over the tops of her glasses. “Sex is a normal part of a healthy adult’s life,” she says mildly.
I blush. “With a stranger,” I add. “Again. But we used protection.”
“That’s good,” Dr. Manspeaker says. “I’m glad you’re working on keeping yourself safe.”
She pauses, making one of those inviting silences that therapists like to use, waiting to see if there’s anything else I want to say. There’s not, really.
“How long has it been since you pursued a longer-term relationship?” Dr. Manspeaker’s pen is poised, ready to make another note.
I sigh. “A long time.” It’s just too complicated.* * * *
I like to get coffee after therapy. Dr. Manspeaker would probably say it’s a form of closure. I’m paying for my caramel mocha when I notice that one of the guys standing at the pickup end of the counter is staring at me. I look away quickly, a little unnerved, and keep my head down as I shuffle away from the register. But after a minute or so, I risk a quick glance to see if he’s still staring and accidentally make eye contact.
He grins. “Hey! Janet, right?”
“We met at O’Malley’s last weekend.” He steps up next to me and lowers his voice. “And then we, ah, hooked up.”
He’s a little embarrassed, and the red flush across his cheekbones reminds me of how his face looked when I was on top of him, pinning his wrists to the mattress.
I can feel that I’m blushing, too. I can’t think of anything to say. “Yeah, we did, and it was pretty nice. Gotta go!” doesn’t seem right, somehow.
“Listen,” he says, awkwardly, when I don’t reply. “I meant… You were gone before I woke up, but I wanted to take you out to breakfast. Still want to. Or dinner, or a movie or something?”
“Don’t worry about it,” I say. “It was just, you know. For one night.” I don’t even remember what his name is.
His blush gets darker. “Sorry. I think I’m breaking one-night-stand etiquette. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”
He smiles and does a little half-nod in my direction, then picks up his coffee and leaves.
Scott, I think, grabbing my mocha. His name is Scott.* * * *
“I’ve never done this before,” Scott said, nervous enough to drop his keys twice as he let us into his apartment. “I mean, I’ve done it, just not like—”
I pressed him against the wall just inside the door, and felt the wolf rise in me as I kissed him, hard. “Don’t worry,” I growled. “It’s easy.”
He took my hand when we came up for air, and led me into the bedroom. When he paused in the doorway, uncertain again, I put my arms around his waist and started working on his belt. My breasts pressed against his muscular back, warm even through three layers of clothing, and I inhaled sharply, breathing in his scent. In my heels, I was nearly his height, and I had a sudden, strong urge to sink my teeth into the nape of his neck.
Down, girl, I told myself, letting his pants drop. He moaned as I ran my fingers up his thighs and then under his shirt, caressing his chest. But when I started working on his buttons, he pushed my hands away and yanked his shirt off over his head before turning to face me.
“What about you?”
I leaned into him, pressing my lips to his, and guided his hand to the zipper at my back. My dress slid to the floor, and I kicked it aside.
“Oh, God,” Scott said. He traced the lace edging my garter belt, breathing heavily. “I didn’t think anyone really wore these.”
I licked my lips. “I can keep on wearing it, if you want.” I leaned into him again, urging him back towards the bed. He stumbled a little, tangled up in pants and shoes, but managed to get free without taking his eyes off me.
“You’re so beautiful,” he said. He reached up to touch my face as I pushed him down onto the bed and straddled his hips.
He was beautiful, too, with glossy dark hair and smooth skin. Eyelashes so dark and thick he could have been wearing mascara. Full lips, a firm jaw, and soft green eyes. I’ve always loved green eyes.
Most men don’t respond well to being told how pretty they are, so I kissed him again instead. His mouth felt as good as it looked. I wanted to feel more.
I stroked his erection through his boxers, and he moaned into my mouth. “Feel good?” I whispered, my lips brushing against his.
He answered me by slipping his hands under my bra, gently caressing my skin. I pushed forward into his palms, urging him on, and he squeezed me lightly before pulling away to fumble the fastening of my bra open. I leaned back so I could slip my bra off my arms, and his hands were on me again, fingers pinching at my nipples. I rolled my hips down and back and felt him twitch against me as I shivered with pleasure.
Scott propped himself up on one elbow. He circled a nipple with one finger, leaned forward until I could feel his breath, hot and moist, against my areola. “May I?”
I could feel him under me, hard and ready, and I could smell how eager we both were. It was a funny time to be asking permission. But there was something sweet about it, and I smiled at his manners.
“Yes,” I said.
I rocked my hips again as he licked me, rubbing against him as he closed his lips over my nipple and gently, slowly bit down. He touched my thigh, fingers ghosting over my stockings and onto my bare skin. My breath quickened, and I curled my fingers in his hair.
“Condoms?” I gasped.
He pulled away from me, half-twisting under me to fumble in a drawer by the bed. I tugged his boxers down his legs while he searched through the drawer, and he laughed, almost soundlessly. He was still grinning when he turned back to me, holding a foil packet up triumphantly. He ripped it open and sheathed himself while I sat back on my heels, watching. His cock was as beautiful as the rest of him, and I wished that I could taste it, unsure if the desire was the woman’s or the wolf’s. But I couldn’t wait. I needed him inside me.
“Stockings on or off?” I asked, when he was ready.
He blushed, suddenly shy. “On. Please.”
I leaned forward again, positioning myself over him as I pushed my panties out of the way, the material moving slickly over my skin. I sank down, moaning low in my throat as I took him into me.
“Okay?” I asked. He had closed his eyes, was biting his lip.
“Mmm,” he grunted. “I just… Trying not to…”
I held still for a moment, getting used to the feel of him in me, waiting for him to come back. When he opened his eyes again I leaned forward to kiss him, wrapping my fingers around his wrists. I slid his arms up above his head and stretched out over him, pinning him with my weight as I began to move. After a shaky moment, he moved with me.
“Harder,” I breathed, showing him what I wanted. “Harder, yes, like that, yes, yes.”
It didn’t take long before he was at the edge again, and this time I urged him on. The full moon sang in my blood, pulling at me, making me surge like the tide. I followed him down.
To read the rest, buy the bundle! But don’t delay too long, it will be gone come September.