Duau, The Lion of Tomorrow [Egyptian Shifters 4] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Marisa Chenery
eBook Category: Erotica/Romance
eBook Description: Unable to shift out of lion form, Duau is stuck in the mortal realm, separated from his twin brother, Sef. Weak from wounds received in battle with the demons that trapped him, he finds help in the form of the mortal woman who takes him in as a lion. Darcie takes the wounded lion into her home against her better judgment. When he shifts into human form and tells her he is an Egyptian god, she falls for the immortal she has taken in. But can an immortal ever come to love a mortal? Stuck in the mortal realm and unable to find his twin, Duau knows Darcie is his mate, but she would never survive the underworld where he must return. Can he give up the mortal woman who has his heart, or will he be the death of her? [Erotic Shape-shifter Romance: Contains graphic sexual content and adult language.]
eBook Publisher: Siren-BookStrand, Inc./Siren Classic, Published: 2009, 2009
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2009
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24 Reader Ratings:
"Marisa Chenery has dealt the world a beautiful and winning hand when she decided to take up her pen. Her stories are rich, full of character, love, and an unmistakably sensual aura surrounds the whole body of her work. Never have I been disappointed in a Marisa Chenery read. As with the rest of her book's characters, Duau, The Lion of Tomorrow revels in his sensuality, loves with all his heart, and will go to to any lengths to keep those he loves safe."--Rose, Romance at Heart Magazine
Duau shifted to his lion form just as his twin brother Sef shifted to his. He eyed the group of demons that stood before them. The demons wanted into the underworld. It was Sef's and his job to make sure they didn't get past the gate. They each guarded a gate where the sun god Ra entered and exited the underworld each night to make sure demon kind stayed out.
With a signal from their leader the demons drew their swords. Duau growled as he caught sight of Sef bunching his powerful back legs under him as he prepared for the attack. As Barbary lions they could easily take down the demons with their razor sharp claws and teeth. That they both weighed six hundred pounds of solid muscle gave them a bit of an advantage as well. When they hit the demons they would hit them hard.
As Sef launched himself at the closest demon with a roar, Duau did the same. He brought the demon down and sank his claws in deep as he ripped out his throat. Quickly, he turned to face his next opponent. Slowly the demons fell one at a time until only their leader remained. Duau circled around him to one side as Sef took the other. Duau ignored the pain from the wounds he'd received, especially the wicked sword cut he'd taken across the chest, as he hemmed the demon in.
The demon's eyes glowed red as he watched them stalk closer. "You may have defeated the others, but I get the last strike."
With his hands raised in the lions' direction, the demon somehow pinned them in place. Duau roared as he fought the demon's hold over him. Sef roared as well as he fought to break free. The demon laughed at their futile attempts at freedom. As he started to recite a spell, Duau felt a chill run down his spine. Once the demon completed the spell both he and Sef would be trapped in the mortal realm, separated from each other. Duau had only enough time to catch his twin's gaze before they both were yanked from the underworld. * * * *
Darcie Clark pushed open the sliding glass door and stepped out onto her back deck. With a large mug of steaming hot tea in her hand, she went and sat down at the patio table. She took a sip of tea as she looked out across the lake. In places she saw some of the early morning mist that still hung above the water yet to be burned off by the sun. The trees along the water's edge had already started to turn now that fall had arrived, their leaves ranging from rich reds to a burnished gold in color. Darcie loved this time of year because of the colors. It had also been one of the reasons why she'd decided to move up north to the heart of Ontario's cottage country after her divorce. Living on the shores of a lake in Muskoka, Darcie couldn't have asked for anything more. As an artist, the lake and surrounding woods gave her more than enough inspiration to paint.
Lifting her face to the sun, Darcie closed her eyes and took a deep breath in. Today I'll paint outside, she thought to herself. She knew the days that she could work outdoors were numbered. All too soon winter would arrive and she'd be relegated to the house to paint. Winters in Muskoka tended to be a little colder and snowier than what she'd had to contend with when she lived in Toronto, but Darcie could handle it. Summer and fall more than made up for it.
She lifted her mug to take another sip of tea when she heard a noise coming from the woods at the side of her house. Darcie put her mug down on the patio table and went to stand at the railing that faced the woods. With a hand held to her forehead to shade her eyes from the glare of the sun, she looked through the trees to see what could have made the noise. She couldn't see anything. The noise, a cross between a grunt and a growl, came a second time. Curious as to what made the sound, Darcie crossed the deck to the stairs that led to the lawn below.
Darcie pulled the thick sweater she wore closer around her as she moved over to the wooded area next to her house. As soon as she stepped into the trees she noticed the slight drop in temperature. The sun hadn't risen high enough yet to penetrate the thick foliage. Carefully, she picked a path through the trees, stepping over fallen branches and logs. She stopped when she heard the noise again. It came from a spot a couple of yards away directly in front of her.
Cautiously, Darcie approached the large fallen tree that lay on the ground. Once she got close enough she peered over it. Her heart jumped into her throat at what she saw lying on the ground on the other side of the fallen tree. A huge male lion lay stretched out with its head on its front paws. He made the grunt/growl sound as he tried to heave himself up. Darcie quickly took note of the blood that marred his fur. He obviously was injured, but she didn't plan to stick around to see to what extent.
She took a step back with the hopes she could slip away before he became aware of her presence. Once she got back safely inside the house she would call someone who knew how to handle wild animals and get them to come get the lion. Darcie could not imagine how he ended up in her woods.
The loud sound of a branch breaking echoed through the tress as Darcie took another step back. She stiffened as the lion's head shot up and turned in her direction. His gold eyes locked onto her as he clumsily lurched to his feet. "Oh, shit, oh shit, oh shit," Darcie said out loud as she quickly spun around and took off at a run.
As she wended her way through the trees, she looked back once over her shoulder in time to see the lion jump over the fallen tree in one bound. Darcie heard him coming up behind her as he closed the distance between them too quickly for her liking. When she reached the spot where her lawn began, she put on an extra burst of speed. She just needed to get inside the house before he caught up with her.
Thinking herself home free as she reached the stairs that led up to the deck, Darcie raced up the stairs two at a time. Just as she stepped onto the deck something big and heavy slammed into the back of her. She went down hard onto her hands and knees. A large paw hooked her by the shoulder and flipped her onto her back. Digging her heels into the wooden deck, she tried to inch away from the lion that now stood above her. A small whimper of fear escaped her lips as he put a front paw on her stomach. Darcie instantly went still.
The lion moved to stand straddling her body. He stuck his nose into the crook of her neck and sniffed. Darcie flinched as he dragged his raspy tongue along her skin. She held her breath as she waited for him to sink his sharp teeth into her next. The air left her lungs in a whoosh as he licked her again and then lifted his head to look her right in the eyes. Darcie tried to pull her gaze away, but found she couldn't. The lion's gold gaze trapped her attention. The fear she felt slowly slipped away. She knew he wouldn't hurt her. She suddenly felt the overwhelming need to get the lion inside her house. Darcie knew she was crazy to even think it, but it was something she couldn't say no to.
The lion's back legs suddenly crumpled beneath him and he landed on top of her. Darcie lifted the big head that rested on her chest and saw the lion's eyes were closed. She placed her hand on his chest then breathed a sigh of relief as she felt his heart beating strong beneath it. When she pulled her hand away it came away coated with the lion's blood. Alarmed by the sight of so much blood, Darcie quickly worked her way out from under the lion's prone body. Obviously he'd passed out from his wounds.
Darcie looked down at her sweater and found it had blood on it as well. She really needed to get the lion inside so she could look after his wounds. It was more of a compulsion than anything. Not that she could really do anything more than clean them up and bandage them somehow. Knowing she couldn't just pick the lion up and carry him inside, she looked from him to the sliding glass patio door. How the hell would she manage on her own to get a full grown male lion that had to weigh a ton into the house? Only one idea came to mind--she would have to drag him inside.
Not wasting any more time, Darcie rushed inside and got an old quilt out of the upstairs linen closet. Back outside, she spread it out on the deck next to the lion and as gently as she could, she rolled him onto it. Then came the hard part of actually moving him into the house. In each hand, Darcie took hold of an end of the quilt and pulled on it with all her might. She managed to move him an inch.
Determined to succeed, she slowly dragged the lion up to the sliding glass door. Out of breath, Darcie sat down on the deck next to him as sweat poured off her. Feeling decidedly overheated, she yanked off her sweater and chucked it through the open door. Once she caught her breath, Darcie stood up and took hold of the quilt at the lion's head. She grunted with the strain as she maneuvered him so he laid half in and half out the door. With another big heave, she pulled him the rest of the way inside.
He was still out cold, but Darcie knew he would wake up at some point. She may be crazy to want to bring him inside her house, but she wasn't that crazy to think she'd let him wander around unrestrained. Racing back upstairs, she snagged one of her wide leather belts and brought it back down to the living room where the lion lay. Next, she went outside to her detached garage and got the thick length of chain the previous owners had left behind. With her belt acting as a collar, she looped the chain through it and put it around the lion's neck. She then attached the length of chain to her sturdy solid oak banister.
Satisfied that the chain would hold him, at least she hoped it would, Darcie grabbed some clean towels and set to work on the lion's wounds. The one on his chest looked to be the worst of the bunch. Using an old sheet that she ripped into strips, she tied them around his chest and back.
Feeling as if she'd spent an hour working out at the gym, Darcie stood up and stretched her sore back. She caught sight of her clothes and grimaced. She'd done all she could for the lion. What she'd do with him once he woke up, she would deal with it when the time came. For now, a shower was in order. After one last look at the lion, Darcie went upstairs to get cleaned up.