Firestorm (Anthology) [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Jade Buchanan & Alice Gaines & B. J. McCall
eBook Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Dark Fantasy
eBook Description: A collection of short Paranormal Erotic Adventures from the Changeling Press family of authors. Royalties donated to National Disaster Relief efforts. Catan's Fire--Jade Buchanan Asad needs to teach his mate what happens to submissive Felidae who disobey orders. This is one lesson Catan will never forget! Brimstone by Mistake--Alice Gaines Lucifer has grown tired of processing soul after soul through hell--until Sally Upshaw appears unannounced. The little temptress turns him on as no other woman ever has. The problem? Heaven's made a mistake. What will Lucifer do when the Man Upstairs wants Sally back? Shifting Priorities--Anne Kane Solar flares have sparked random wildfires amongst the out-ports, and stationmaster Tome Rimmer forbids females to travel alone--a decision that doesn't sit well with Jexx. Her battle implants more than compensate for her gender. But when the sexy hunk she picks up in the station bar turns out to be more than human, she has more important things to worry about than her profit margin. Wolf Style--B.J. McCall When a wolf races out of the flames and straight into volunteer firefighter Matt Reynolds' arms, he has no idea how his life is about to change. Cougar Meadow--Belinda McBride When firefighter Ellie Cameron is separated from her crew and trapped in a firestorm, the last thing she expects is to be rescued--by a shapeshifting mountain lion who awakens the heat buried within her--and the need to mate. Going Somewhere--Cameo Brown Leonora Palmer, an undercover arson investigator, gets an unexpected lesson in desire when the mysterious owner of a wild animal sanctuary catches her snooping in his garden and gives her no choice but to surrender to his primal needs. Burning Down the House--Isabella Jordan Katurah has always had the ability to start fires with her mind. Will she use her powers now to end it all--or will she give in to a fiery lover? Stockings--Jade Buchanan What do you get when you throw a gorgeous female cat shifter, an enticing pair of stockings, and a very interested lady wolf into the mix? Enough heat to burn down the house... Fire Thief--Jordan Castillo Price A glittery glam rock waif and a tattooed existentialist duck into a closet behind the bar. It's just another gritty, anonymous, gay encounter in the dark? Isn't it? Britta's Beast--Kate Hill When Max and Britta met at a convention for members of magical law enforcement, they seemed like a perfect fit. But Max believes women should raise the family while men do the protecting. Problem. Britta's a Valkyrie, and that's just not her style. Time for the centuries-old cat to learn a few new tricks--before his lover takes wing. Firehorse--Mary Winter When wildfires threaten a Nevada wild horse sanctuary, photographer Billie Mote takes one chance too many and finds herself needing rescued--from a man who teaches her that there's only one thing that burns hotter than the wildfire outside, and that's the passion between them. Mating Fever--Selena Illyria The moons are full, and Courtney's trapped with Devin Langley--the man of her dreams. It's mating season for cat shifters, and she's in heat. Perfect opportunity. The only problem--she's been promised to another man.
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2008
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30 Reader Ratings:
Heat seared his body, the flames high and unrelenting. Catan Gatti winced, determined to push forward. He was suddenly grasped from behind, a hard grip picking him up and slinging him over the shoulder of a man who vibrated with fury. "What is wrong with you? I told you to stay back!"
Catan recoiled, the move startling a deep, racking cough. "I w-want to h-help."
"You can help me by keeping yourself out of trouble. I cannot do my job if I am constantly worried about you." Asad lowered him to the ground, steadying him when he stumbled. A heavily muscled body covered in tawny fur pressed close to him, protecting and intimidating at the same time.
Asad's thick, heavy mane was a darker color than his body, bringing Catan's attention to the high cheekbones and penetrating amber eyes. Skittering his gaze away from the irate worry in Asad's gaze, his attention was drawn to a thick tail that jerked back and forth, sleek and beautiful with a tufted end Catan constantly wanted to touch. It was so different from his own little stub of a tail.
His fingers twitched, and he hid them behind his back. Now wasn't the time. "But, I--"
"Kitten, please. Let me do this."
"I want to help!" He refused to be helpless. Not after everything he'd been through. He wanted to be able to stand up beside his lover and make Asad proud to call him mate. The man was one of the most fierce Felidae around, one of the ruling Leo. Catan was Lynx, and he was constantly aware of the fact that he didn't really belong here on Felid with the rest of the majestic Leo. It was only when he was with Asad that he felt like he belonged.
That's why he wanted so badly to help right now. To prove to everyone else that he wasn't a burden to his mate. That he could stand beside Asad as a partner and not a hindrance. He knew Asad didn't see him that way, that the man loved him no matter what he did, but Catan wanted to show Asad how strong he was.
The wildfires had been raging for a week now. The weather had been unnaturally dry of late and the grasslands that covered Felid were quick to ignite. The Leo had banded together to put the fires out, but there were so many of them. It was a tiring process, long and grueling. At the end of their shift each group of males wandered home to their mates, exhausted, only to go out again when they'd had some rest and food. Around the clock, Leo fought the fires that raged across their homeland. Even some of the Pardus from Seren had arrived to help.
It wasn't strange to see a Pardus here, since it was their duty to protect the Leo pride leaders, the appointed rulers of the clans of the Felidae race, but it was strange to see so many of them in one place. They normally only came forward if they were needed.
Among the Felidae the Leo ruled, the Pardus protected, the Tigris were fierce hunters and the Lynx kept to themselves. They were seen as peacekeepers when they decided to join the rest of the Felidae, because of the importance among the Lynx clan for calm and order. It wasn't often one of his people left their homeworld though.
Catan was seen as an anomaly among his people, by living and mating with a Leo. Years ago, his family had been slaughtered by a pride of Leos bent on exterminating anyone they saw as weaker than themselves. Catan had been left for dead but was saved when Asad and his family rescued him. He had become part of Asad's pride, under the leadership of Asad's older brother, Laithe. When Laithe had found his mate, a human, the rest of the pride began looking for their own mates. Asad had declared his love for Catan.
It was still hard to believe. He'd been in love with the big, brawny Leo ever since he first saw his face, but Catan had never thought anything would come of it. At the time he'd thought he was dead, and the Leo one of the mighty Felidae ancestors come to grant him everlasting peace. He was partly right. Within Asad's embrace, Catan felt peace for the first time since his parents had been murdered in front of him and he'd been violated, brutalized and left for dead.
"Please, kitten, stay here and get Rowan to give you something to do. You can help dispense water to the men and women fighting the fires. Promise me you will stay here and not leave until I get back."
Asad waited until Catan nodded his agreement before turning and pacing away without another word. Catan slumped, his tail tucked back. He'd just wanted to help.
Turning to find the redheaded, mostly hairless woman who was his new sister-in-law, Catan dragged his feet. He knew exactly how childish he might appear, but he didn't appreciate being relegated to joining the pregnant woman and her band of cubs in dispensing water. Everyone else was allowed to go out and fight the fires, so why was he stuck back here?
"Catan, come to keep me company?" Rowan's voice was melodious, full of humor. Just looking at her had a calming effect on him. Her curves were pale, vulnerable to the elements without a coating of fur. Red hair swung in a straight line, just brushing the top of the mint green cloth that wrapped around her breasts. A second cloth was wrapped around her hips, coming up between her legs for added support.
Catan grinned when he came closer, bending to rub his hands over her massive, rounded belly. Something thumped against his palm, the future pride leader wanting to get out and help just like his or her fathers. Although, it was more likely to be a boy, since females were still scarce among the Felidae. No one was sure whether it would be Pardus or Leo, but Rowan didn't seem to mind either way. She loved both her mates the same and was overjoyed to be carrying their cub.
Catan purred a greeting to the young cub, tapping out a message against Rowan's belly. Straightening, he rolled his eyes at Rowan. "Asad has declared I am to sit out and not get involved."
She grimaced, obviously understanding how that made him feel. If she weren't breeding, he knew she'd be out there trying to help just the same as him. Luckily, she knew better than to try now. If she even took a step forward there would likely be a fight over who got to turn her over their knee. Between her two mates and her four pridemates that were here, they'd all be looking out for her. At least it was only six men, though, not nine like normal. It would be even worse for her if Lev and his two mates were with them, but they still hadn't returned from their journeys.
"Well, grab a place and get ready for the fire fighters to come back in."
Catan spent the next half hour in the safety of the small clearing. Ahead, the worst of the blazes was visible above the tree line. There weren't many forests on Felid, but there was a ring of protection around these abodes. On the other side of the trees, a narrow river snaked through the grass, a line of defense that cut them off. Only a handful of prides lived in this one area, though; the rest lived throughout Felid and many of their homes were at risk of burning.
Rowan kept trying to distract him with inane chatter, and it finally worked. He loved spending time with her, getting to know the newest member of their pride. It had been months since she'd arrived and he'd become a full member of the pride, mated to Asad.
Cubs played around them, the small Felidae getting into everything. Their laughter rang out loudly, making him smile every time he heard it. It had been strange to hear so many cubs, after being stuck on the warship Shahnaz for so long with just men for company.
A small cub stepped up beside him, his narrow tail quivering. Catan bent down to greet him. A sniff was audible before big amber eyes blinked up at him. "Cadi is not back yet."
"Who is Cadi?"
"Where did she go, little cub?"
"Her doll was missing so she went home for it."
Rowan stepped up beside him, kneeling to wipe the cub's eyes with the edge of her cloth. "When'd she leave, Chet?"
The small boy cub shrugged.
"Where is their home?" Catan asked Rowan. She knew more about the families here than he did, even though he had been part of Laithe's pride for longer. As the mate to the Felidae heir, it was her duty to know as much about her new people as possible.
"Closer to the ridge."
They both glanced over to the ridge, nearly obscured by thick, black smoke. Catan didn't have a good feeling about this. "I will go."
"We should get help." Rowan chewed on her bottom lip, obviously undecided.
"There is no time. I will go. Send one of the older cubs for Cadi's fathers."
Without giving her time to argue, Catan set off at a fast lope. Within minutes he was choking on the hot air entering his burning lungs. Breathing shallowly, Catan crouched lower to the ground, where the smoke wasn't as dense.
Every few seconds he called the cub's name. His ears strained to hear her. The fires weren't here yet, but the smoke was almost overpowering. Finally, just when he'd decided he'd headed in the wrong direction, he heard a soft yell. Running quickly toward the sound, he almost stumbled over the girl cub. "Cadi?"
"Uh huh." Her voice was a whimper, but there was nothing weak about the way she was clinging to his legs at the moment.
Crouching over her, Catan ran his palms down her body, making sure she wasn't injured. "I am Catan. Are you hurt?"
"You are Asad's mate."
Despite himself, he grinned. "I am."
Picking her up, he made sure she had a firm grip on the doll in her hand. "Okay, do not worry. We need to get you out of here, Cadi."
She buried her head in his chest, clinging tightly to him. The move startled a hacking cough out of him. He had to stop to get his breath back before moving forward again.
"Here," he croaked.
Strong arms surrounded him, bracketing him from behind. The cub was taken from him, cradled between two massive Leos. Without a word, Asad slung an arm around Catan's back, another under his knees, carrying him back to the clearing where Rowan was pacing.
Catan turned his head to keep Cadi in view. Her mother was there now, cradling her child carefully, running her palms down her body. Two more men had joined the group, all four fathers concerned for their cub. Chet peeked out from around a brawny thigh, waving to Catan shyly.
Turning his attention back to a very silent Asad, Catan tried to decide if he should try to offer an explanation. Asad's clenched jaw and narrowed gaze let him know that he should probably just stay quiet for the time being.
Asad didn't even pause, carrying him into their warm abode. Voices could still be heard outside. They weren't entirely closed off here. Dropping him onto their pallet, Asad stood back, deliberately making eye contact while he unwrapped his loincloth.
"What did I ask you to do, kitten?"
Pausing, Catan shrugged. "When?"
"You know when. What did I ask you to do?"
Wrinkling his nose, Catan sighed. "Stay with Rowan."
"And did you?"
"I had to go!"
"Answer the question, kitten."
"No, I didn't stay." He crossed his arms, dropping his gaze.
"You need to be taught a lesson, kitten."
Confused, Catan blinked up at Asad. "What did I do wrong?"
"I told you to wait. You could have been injured. I did not ask you to stay to punish you, but to protect you. When they told me where you were, all I could think of was how inexperienced you are with the fires that can rage on our world. You are not used to them, how quickly they can move. You do not know what to look for. You were not that far ahead of us, and while I think you are very brave and very honorable to go after the cub, you could have been seriously injured. I will not let you take risks with your life. Not without thinking through it beforehand and deciding whether there is another way to accomplish the same thing without putting yourself in harm's way. Do you understand?"
Contrite, Catan nodded. Asad was right, and he should have realized it earlier. It was just so easy to assume everyone thought he was weaker because he was smaller than them. Even though he viewed himself that way, he knew Asad didn't. He needed to remember that more often.
"Take off your wrap."
Glancing back up at Asad, Catan licked his lips. Asad's gaze narrowed, captivated by the movement of Catan's tail as it thumped against the bed. Hiding his grin, Catan thumped his tail again, knowing how much Asad loved his little stub. He came up onto his knees, lifting a hand to the side of his loincloth. Licking his lips again, Catan began to remove the material, slow enough that Asad began to growl low in his throat. "Now, kitten."