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In Their Own Skins: Shifting Sands [MultiFormat]
eBook by Kiernan Kelly

eBook Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
eBook Description: Shapeshifter Dakota thinks he's the only one of his kind in the whole world. Then he meets Jax and the sparks--and fur--flies. Convinced now that there must be more like them, Dakota and Jax seek out other shapeshifters and bring them all to the Shifting Sands ranch, where they can be free to be themselves. Where the restraints of cities and people can't hold them back. But what if not all shifters are content to just subsist side by side with humans? What if there are predators out there from time long past who consider themselves to be the top of the food chain? There may be forces at work looking to take the Shifting Sands ranch out of the picture. Can Dakota and Jax save themselves and the world from the predators? Or have they bitten off more than they can chew? Shifting Sands includes two bonus stories in the same universe, The Sound of Home, and Mother Blue's Bar and Grill. Get all three of these great stories in one volume!

eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Screwdriver, Published: http://www.torquerepress.com, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: March 2009

60 Reader Ratings:
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Chapter One

Give me a mug of hot buttered rum, a crackling fire, and a lodge filled to the rafters with pretty boys in ski pants, and I'm good to go, Dakota thought, stretching his long legs up on an ottoman as he surreptitiously watched the ski instructors hobnob with the rich students who'd paid for their attention.

Today Dakota had opted to wear his sleek, formfitting, white jumpsuit, the one that kept him toasty warm and yet still managed to show off his finely sculpted body to perfection. It was one of his favorites as he knew it made a terrific contrast with his golden brown skin and long, sable hair, garnering him more than his fair share of attention from the ski staff.

Which, considering that Dakota had no intention of setting foot on any of the slopes, had never owned a pair of skis in his life, and barely knew the difference between a snowplow and a snowmobile, was his entire purpose in coming to the ski resort for a two week vacation in the first place.

There was no force on earth that would ever get Dakota to speed recklessly down a mountainside with nothing but a pair of flimsy ski poles between himself and the rocks, trees, and other skiers that littered the slopes. He simply wasn't built for it. Dakota was many things, but coordinated was not one of them.

He was big and muscular, not lithe and trim like most of the athletes who sliced through the powder here. They were like gazelles, gracefully swooshing over the snowy slopes.

Dakota didn't do graceful. Dakota did lumbering. He could be fast when he needed to be and was always powerful, but he was more like a bear than a gazelle--a grizzly bear, to be exact.

That was the form he took when he shifted. Dakota was a werebear, and werebears did not strap thin strips of fiberglass to their overly large feet and launch themselves down slippery mountainsides. At least, this particular werebear did not. In truth, Dakota had no idea what other werebears did--he'd never met any.

For that matter, he'd never met anyone who could re-arrange his or her body at the cellular level. He alone seemed to have that dubious talent.

He sipped at his hot toddy, sighing as the warm liquor burned a delicious path down his throat to his belly. The hour he'd spent outside loitering near the bottom of the expert slope watching the skiers swoosh down in explosions of white powder had been just long enough to put a rosy glow in his cheeks, but he still felt cold. It was one of the hazards of choosing to remain in his frail human form. The bear would never feel the cold like this. Then again, the bear would not be indulging himself in a weekend of spicy hot toddies and spicier hot sex at a popular ski resort. Not exactly a party animal, he'd be curled up in a nest of leaves in a dark cave, sleeping.

The hot buttered rum went a long way toward warming him, and as Dakota drank it he silently debated his choices.

Three male instructors were clustered near the huge, plate-glass window at the far side of the room that overlooked the slopes, deep in discussion. Two of them were gay. Dakota knew that for a fact since he'd bedded both of them--at the same time--the night before last. They'd been fun, but far too wrapped up in their sport to hold his interest past a quick, if athletic, fuck. When the pillow talk had turned to Moguls, Half-pipes, and Big Air, he'd gotten dressed and slipped out.

He turned his attention next to the bartender, a large man with muscles that bulged under a flannel shirt. He'd been giving Dakota double takes every time Dakota had walked through the bar. There was definitely an interest there. Brawny, he had a thick, black handlebar mustache that might prove quite interesting between Dakota's thighs. But the barkeep had just come on duty, and Dakota was horny now. He crossed the bartender off his mental list.

His eyes drifted along the length of the bar until they lighted on a man sitting on the very last stool, bent over a drink. His hair was a curious salt-and-pepper mix, although he didn't look old enough to be going gray. It bristled in thick, messy spikes all over his head, curling this way and that. From where Dakota was sitting, the rest of the man looked just as interesting as his hair. He was wearing a pair of old Levis that were so thin they molded to his body like a second skin, and a clinging, navy blue knit sweater that accentuated the muscles in his arms and back.

Immediately, Dakota's prick went into compass-mode, pointing north with painful accuracy. Him. He's the one. "Hel-lo, gorgeous," he whispered, draining the last of his toddy.

As if on cue, the man lifted his head, cocking it slightly as if he'd heard Dakota, although that was impossible from his seat across the room. Turning slowly, the man's piercing green eyes locked with Dakota's dark brown ones, electricity sizzling through the air between them. In a heartbeat the man's eyes darkened to a deep forest green, sparkling with lust.

Well, I guess that answers my first question, Dakota thought, licking his bottom lip. The man was gay, or at least bi-curious. There was an invitation in those eyes that was unmistakable, even from across the room.

Unfolding himself from the cushy armchair in which he'd been curled, Dakota ambled over to the bar, his lips tilting in a suggestive smile. Sitting down on the next stool over, he placed his empty mug on the bar and signaled the bartender for a refill.

"Hi," he said, deepening his voice just a little lower than it was normally, letting it slip into the range that could rumble in a man's bones. "I'm Dakota."

"North or South?" the man asked in a gravelly voice that reminded Dakota of a growl.

"Oh, never heard that one before," Dakota grinned, rolling his eyes. "Neither, just Dakota."

"Native American?"

"In a manner of speaking," Dakota smiled. It was true, although it might be closer to the truth to say that he was an Original American. After all, bears were here before anyone. The bartender set down a freshly filled mug in front of him and took Dakota's money in one smooth movement. The strong smell of alcohol and butter drifted up to tickle Dakota's nose.

"I'm Jax."

"Car or High?"

"Touché," Jax laughed, taking a sip of his own drink. It was a martini from the look of it, and from the look of Jax, not his first one that afternoon. "You're a skier?"

"Not really. I'm actually not too fond of the cold. Left to my own devices I'd just as soon hibernate all winter," Dakota replied. Jax was putting out a potent pheromone cocktail that smelled like a combination of vodka and male, and it was making Dakota's mouth water. "I'm just here for the sex."

Jax choked on his drink, wiping the back of his mouth with his hand. "Well, you're honest, I'll give you that."

"Always the best policy, as they say. How about you? Are you here for the slopes?" Dakota asked.

"I play on the slopes a little," Jax answered, slowly looking Dakota up and down. "But I prefer the peaks." His gaze lowered, staring pointedly at the bulge at Dakota's crotch.

"Now, that there would be an expert run," Dakota countered with a smile. "Sure you can handle it?"

"There's nothing I can't handle," Jax smirked, draining his glass. "My room or yours? I've got two queen beds in my room and a bottle of Tequila."

"Nice to see I'm not the only honest guy in the lodge!" Dakota grinned. This was going much easier and smoother than he could have ever hoped. He could practically feel Jax's mouth on his cock already. "I'll see your two queens and raise you a king-sized bed, an honor bar, and a private veranda with a hot tub."

"You win," Jax laughed, standing and fishing out a few bills from his wallet, throwing them down on the bar. Jax gave Dakota a hungry look, one that told him that tonight's menu was going to feature Dakota Tartar.

Dakota led Jax to the bank of elevators in the lobby of the hotel, pressing the button for his floor. No sooner had the elevator doors slid shut than Jax was on him like white on snow.

"Whoa," Dakota grumbled as Jax wrapped that hard body around him, backing him up to the elevator wall. A full head shorter than Dakota, Jax craned his neck, angling for Dakota's lips, but without Dakota acquiescing Jax was unable to reach them. Warm, moist lips kissed the tender skin of Dakota's neck instead, sending ripples down Dakota's spine and a wake up call to his cock. "I hate to break this to you, Jax, but this isn't my room. This would be the elevator. My room is somewhat bigger and has a window in it."

"Need," Jax growled, nipping at Dakota's throat. "Want you now."

"Full sentences, please. What are you, an animal?" Dakota laughed, prying himself free from Jax's embrace. That proved to be more difficult than Dakota would have expected--Jax was strong even if he was smaller than Dakota. "All good things come to those who wait."

Jax leaned his forehead against Dakota's chest, huffing. "Can't help it. You smell so good, Dakota," he grumbled. Dakota could feel Jax trembling against his chest. "Can't this thing go any faster?" he asked, twisting away and jabbing at the floor number on the button panel.

"It's been all of fifteen seconds, Jax. Look, we're here," Dakota said, shaking his head at the man. On his worst day Dakota had never been so hard up that he hadn't been able to wait to get to his room. Not that Jax's eagerness was necessarily a bad thing, he conceded, smiling a bit conceitedly. Felt kind of nice to know that he turned Jax on so much that the man had practically dry humped him in public.

Arriving at his room, Dakota took out his wallet and hunted for the room card key. Behind him, Jax paced the floor, practically snarling with impatience. Dakota gave the guy an amused glance as he slid the key card through the slot, watching the green light flash. He opened the door and held it for Jax to enter the room.

Jax stalked in, shedding clothing as soon as he'd passed over the threshold. Jax's knit shirt hit Dakota squarely in the face as he stepped inside behind Jax, followed in short order by Jax's jeans, boots, socks, and underwear. By the time Dakota had shut and locked the door, Jax was standing near the bed completely naked.

Not that Dakota was complaining. He removed his own clothes at a much slower, distracted pace, as his eyes soaked up the sight of Jax's naked flesh.

Jax's body was lean and hard. His chest was broad for his height, his waist and hips narrow. A few strands of curling, black hair circled his cinnamon-colored nipples. Trailing the crease between the sharply defined muscles of his abdomen was a thin line of hair that led to a thicker patch at his groin. Dakota noticed that Jax's pubic hair was the same curious mix of salt and pepper as that on his head.

But it was what Dakota's eyes found at the end of that happy trail that held him spellbound.

Fully aroused, Jax's cock was thick, hard, and perfect, sticking straight out from his groin as if it was pointing at Dakota. Its tip was already glistening, making Dakota's mouth water in anticipation. He knew that Jax had legs, but Dakota's eyes never made it past that engorged erection to see them. Jax's cock was hypnotizing, bobbing gently from its nest of crisp curls, beckoning to Dakota.

Like Alice in Wonderland's infamous bottle, it was irresistible. Come here, it seemed to whisper. Eat me.

Dakota dove for it, his knees practically leaving skid marks on the carpet.

He moaned around the head of Jax's cock as his first taste of Jax filled his mouth with musk and male. Jax was intoxicating, addictive, and had Dakota hardening at warp speed. There was a wildness in the taste that reminded Dakota of a primeval forest, something feral and heavy with raw power. Between his legs, Dakota's erection grew painful, the animal within him responding to the rich and spicy tang, thundering to be set free to dominate, to take, to mate.

Dakota could feel his willpower slip as his need to change battled against his self-control. His incisors lengthened, skimming the delicate skin of Jax's erection. He growled low in his throat, taking Jax in to the hilt, sucking hard. Mine, the bear growled in the back of his mind.

Jax's fingers were fisted in Dakota's hair, hips rocking, a deep rumble reverberating in that chest as Dakota released Jax's cock and took the soft sac into his mouth. It was as if Jax was seeking to control him, to set the pace, but the bear within Dakota's skin would have none of it. Dakota slipped his hands around Jax's slim waist, cupping Jax's ass in his large, strong hands. Squeezing, kneading the muscular cheeks between his fingers, he stayed Jax's hips, holding the man firmly as his mouth rolled Jax's swelling balls over his tongue.

Suddenly, Jax tore away from Dakota with a burst of strength that surprised him. Eyes darkened with desire, lips parting in a feral smile that was full of teeth and lust, Jax pulled Dakota to his feet and took Dakota's cock into one hand.

Dakota bellowed as Jax's strong fingers closed around his thick length, squeezing his cock, stroking it expertly. His arms encircled Jax's back, pulling Jax flush against his body, wanting to feel every inch of flesh, every hair, every sharp angle of bone and firm muscle.

He tilted his head, capturing Jax's lips in a scorching kiss, tongue pushing past Jax's willing lips to sweep Jax's mouth. Overcome with the taste of Jax on his tongue, the feel of Jax's body pressed to his, and the sweet torture of Jax's hand on his cock, he threw his head back and roared as he came in a spiraling explosion of ecstasy that threatened to loose the beast against his will.

Somehow, in the throes of unbelievable pleasure, Dakota's hand found Jax's cock, milking it, the sound of Jax's scream as the man came and the splash of liquid heat against his belly sending Dakota even higher until he finally, at last, crested and floated down, shaking with the aftermath of an incredible orgasm.

What the fuck was that? Dakota thought as he leaned his forehead against Jax's, panting and trembling. He felt as weak as a newborn cub, his skin rippling with the last vestiges of his climax. All he did was touch me! No blowjob, no fucking ... just a couple of strokes and I spout a geyser like fucking Old Faithful? Who is this guy?

Dakota pulled back to look into Jax's eyes. Still a dark forest green and soft with the lingering effects of his orgasm, they were wide and for the first time since Dakota had met Jax, unguarded. Dakota could see the same confusion in them that he was feeling. Then Jax seemed to remember himself, winking cheekily at Dakota.

"Pretty good, huh?" Jax asked, lips curling into a saucy grin.

"Not bad," Dakota said, unable to resist the urge to smile back. It didn't really matter who Jax was--all Dakota knew was that he'd just had the best orgasm of his life, and it had come from a simple, quick handjob. He couldn't imagine what it would be like to actually fuck Jax, but he intended to find out.


Right now it was all Dakota could do to crawl up onto the bed, dragging Jax along with him, slip under the covers, curl himself around Jax's warm body and fall asleep.

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