I’m dying to share the artwork and excerpts from my Thanksgiving release, Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone…but while I wait excitedly for my finals, I thought I’d share the blurb and a second excerpt from my recent m/m paranormal release, Catching Kit.
Blurb: When government agent and Ethereal Being hunter, Denny, has to imprison an elf in his garage overnight, his life spins out of control. Caught and cuffed on the London Underground, Kit shatters everything Denny’s been taught about elves. How can Kit be a dangerous, mind-reading cipher who preys on human emotions? Kit’s gorgeous and funny, he’s got a cute arse. He even shares Denny’s quiet kinks for bondage and cross-dressing. Or so Kit claims.
When Kit wiles his way into Denny’s house for a session of mind-blowing sex, the elf seems too good to be true–till reality strikes. Denny’s fucked an elf. A prisoner in his charge. If he doesn’t take Kit to the containment depot he’s in big trouble, and Kit’s about to drop an equally devastating bombshell. The elf’s been searching a thousand years for a bloke like Denny. He ‘gets’ Denny’s kinks, adores role play and women’s panties, and now he needs Denny’s love to survive.
Is Kit preying on Denny’s emotions, or can Denny trust him? If so, dare Denny break the law and gamble his life to save the Ethereal Being in his bed?” Art work by Shobana Appavu.
Scroll on to read CHAPTER ONE – ADULT excerpt:
The instant he saw the guy, Denny knew he had to catch him.
In the brightly lit lobby between the platforms of the Northern line, Denny’s target sang and strummed his guitar beneath an advert for overpriced aftershave. With his slender limbs and high cheekbones, he looked like a wannabe pop star or theater performer, and the commuters rushing by would have taken him for one. His eyes were half-hidden beneath a dusky blond fringe, which he swept to the side. Drawing nearer down an escalator, Denny suppressed the twitch of a smile and an unexpected lightness in his heart.
And a tightening in his groin.
He nearly swore out loud. What on earth?
The London Underground had always been a popular haunt for Ethereal Beings—EBs—known unofficially as elves. In his mind, Denny ticked off the first two of his checklist boxes for identifying EBs, who could blend into a human crowd with alarming ease.
Does the target seem happy when most people around are miserable as sin? Check.
Is the target overtly seeking attention? Check. Check. Check.
The closer he drew, the more elfish the busker proved. The EB wore a scruffy top hat and tailcoat over a white shirt and black trousers, a long red-and-white scarf muffling his chin. He resembled a cross between a Victorian urchin and a fancy maître d’hôtel.
Or a very hot guy.
He’d never got a hard-on identifying a target before. Then again, in his three months on the job, this was by far the best-looking elf he’d observed. The EB’s husky voice irritated him more by the moment, because he found it so bloody sexy.
The elf tapped his toe as he played his cheap wooden guitar, warbling in his imperfect tenor about… What was he singing about? Stars? Getting stuck in a hole? Or could it be that old Beatles song his mum loved but which always grated on his nerves, “All You Need Is Love”? Over the clamoring voices and the roar of an arriving train, he could make out neither song nor lyrics for sure. Little made sense where elves were concerned.
Between verses, the elf offered a gleaming smile to every passerby, even the ones who didn’t flick a spare coin into his guitar case. Denny willed himself to be sickened. The EB’s job was to smile at miserable commuters. Just as it was his, as one of the British government’s top secret Ethereal Being control agents, to catch elves and uphold the government’s propaganda line—despite the rumors and the occasional story in the press, London was not infested with elves. Elves didn’t exist.
But, of course, they did. Agents like Denny apprehended several hundred Ethereal Beings in the capital every year and brought in over a thousand nationwide. Drawing on his training to quash his innate reactions to the elf, Denny mumbled a message into his slim black comms unit for HQ to log.
“EB spotted. Warren Street tube station. Commencing arrest.”
He slipped the unit back into his jacket and stepped from the bottom of the escalator into the lobby. A dull sense of apprehension tightened his guts. He never relished an arrest, and right now his enthusiasm had reached rock bottom. He’d promised to pop in to see his daughter once his shift ended at seven o’clock.
He glanced to a clock above an Underground plan on the wall ahead: 6:57 p.m.
If he arrived after Jen’s bedtime, her mum would spit teeth. Saritha had a sharp temper—he’d learned that when they’d been together during his “straight” years—and more importantly, he didn’t want to let Jen down. The last thing he needed was an arrest and a trip to one of the EB detainment depots.
But he couldn’t leave it. Not an EB being as blatant as this. If he let the elf keep singing, the effect could be hypnotic. Commuters would smile for no good reason as they traveled home. They might start humming the EB’s silly tune rather than staring at their newspapers and clicking their tongues. Elves manipulated human emotions for their own ends, and government researchers were pretty damn sure they could read people’s minds. Intrusive, thus potentially dangerous, EBs must be stamped out.
He edged his way to the front of the small crowd gathered about the busker, including a gaggle of chattering young women clad almost identically in thick coats, short skirts, and knee-high boots. Upon noticing him, the elf trailed off midnote and stared at him. Stared really hard, widening his blue eyes as if he could see the depths of Denny’s soul.
Why does he have to do that?
He irritated Denny, but at least his target hadn’t bolted. The elf chewed his bottom lip and put down his guitar.
“Sorry, folks.” Denny pulled out his identity badge, the same as any plainclothes police officer’s, and squared his shoulders. “Got a busking license, mate?”
“Uh…maybe.” The elf pulled a face, caught between a grimace and an apologetic smile. “But music is the food of love, and love is free, right?”
He raised his palm to his lips and blew Denny a kiss. A girl with purple streaks in her black hair put two fingers to her mouth and wolf-whistled. Denny gaped like a hooked cod.
Then the elf spun on his heels and fled, leaving both his guitar and the cash he’d earned behind, his top hat tumbling to the floor in his hurry to get to the escalator. Denny sprinted after him, cursing and blushing hard at his humiliating reaction to the kiss. He half wished he’d grabbed the elf and cuffed him on the spot. But while some officers in every branch of law enforcement got off on the “force” part of the equation, he wasn’t one of them.
“Security.” He waved his badge. “Stop that man.”
Nobody obeyed. Onlookers glowered at him as if he were about to kick a puppy with his heavy black boots.
He had grown accustomed to this onslaught of hate. He knew how it looked—a bloke of six feet four chasing after a guy who couldn’t be much more than five feet eight. His mother had told him on many occasions, “Women always go for the tall, dark, handsome ones, love,” but he couldn’t help appearing the villain in this case. Anyway, his mum had been wrong. Over the years, Denny’s looks had attracted quite a few women and men, but none had ever quite “gone” for the person they found beneath.
Right now, not a soul was on his side. EBs had sneaky ways of winning the unwitting public over, like they had ways of eluding trained professionals. This one wove around the commuters with a sure-footed grace that wouldn’t be out of place in the Royal Ballet, his tails flying behind him. His shabby-chic trousers clung to an arse so rounded and cute it begged to be displayed to better advantage.
Preferably in a black thong.
Hmmmm. Silk or leather?
As the elf paused to put his ticket through the barrier, Denny obliterated the stirring image from his mind. No time to indulge personal kinks. He sidestepped a couple holding hands, ignored their swearing, and sprinted toward his target. The green words flashed up, EXIT. Denny grabbed the end of the elf’s scarf, but the elf ripped it from his neck, then dashed through the barrier in the nick of time. The closing plastic doors nearly had Denny’s balls off.
“Bugger.” Throwing the scarf to the floor, he vaulted the barrier and sprinted on.
The elf reached a narrow side exit between the ticket machines and then paused to glance about, as if checking all was clear. Just as Denny drew close enough to snatch for him, he took a deep breath and plunged into the drizzle.
Bursting out after, Denny caught a flash of coattails as the elf disappeared down an alley between two empty shops. He cranked his speed up again, slamming his boots against the pavement, jamming his knees. After enduring the wrath of every onlooker, he wasn’t going to let this little sod get away.
When he arrived at the mouth of the alley, he saw triumph in his grasp. The narrow lane turned out a dead end, cut off by high brick walls on three sides. The elf thumped at a locked door a few yards down. On seeing Denny, he froze momentarily. Then he sprinted to the end to scramble up a large metal bin, in the vain hope of reaching a window on the first story, several feet out of his reach.
“No, you don’t.” Denny ran after him, grabbed the elf by his tails, and then seized his thighs to drag him down. The elf tensed long, lean muscles beneath his grip, the legs of an athlete or a dancer.
Denny winced and pushed his victim to the ground harder than he intended. The elf landed on his arse on the concrete and backed against the wall. Denny loomed over him, grimly menacing. Stark white street lighting filtered down the alley, emphasizing the gray hollows of the elf’s cheeks, the fine lines around his eyes and, when he flicked back his fringe, across his brow. He seemed older than Denny first assumed. Good-looking and boyish, but in his early to midthirties, like Denny.
If the elf had been a bloke, he’d be the perfect age for him.
What on earth? He’s an EB. He’s no age at all.
“What do you want?” asked the elf, panting hard. Denny very much doubted he’d find his target’s pulse pounding, despite the chase. Time to tick off item three on the elf identification list.
He stooped down and took hold of the EB’s arm. He pulled up the loose white shirtsleeve—the shirt required cuff links, but they were missing—and pressed two fingers to the smooth skin on the underside of the elf’s wrist.
Does the target have a pulse?
This checklist question was considered controversial. A few EBs who’d grown particularly strong developed a heartbeat. On this one he couldn’t detect the faintest quiver, even after he shifted the point of contact several times, pressing softly and then harder. The elf’s flesh felt cool and dry, although he remained a little out of breath, indicating he’d a functioning respiratory system.
After years of study, scientists in the government labs still scratched their heads over how EB physiology worked. Latest studies claimed elves were mutant human emotions that took on material form, which explained their hunger to evoke passions to feed on. On one matter, no doubt rested. EBs’ bodies flourished and grew “real” through contact with human beings and faded when such association was withdrawn.
Denny didn’t need to search for checklist item four, the pointed ears. All EBs had these. When the elf raked his hair back, Denny glimpsed the tiny, ivory-pale tips.
“You’re from the government?” asked the elf.
Denny offered a terse nod. The EB’s accent sounded slightly clipped and old-fashioned, less flat than a usual Londoner’s; it wasn’t too posh either, proving difficult to place. Not that Denny intended to take the time to do so. Conversation with detainees should always be kept to a minimum. He pulled the elf up, blocking any escape route with the bulk of his body.
Denny found himself staring. Damn, did the elf wear a dash of black eyeliner? He adored makeup on a man. He sighed, his nerves ragged.
“Let’s get these on.” He pulled out a pair of metal handcuffs.
Fear flashed in the elf’s eyes, but he didn’t resist. Elves were usually docile under arrest, at least physically. They possessed other means of attack. With icy efficiency, Denny clamped the cuffs on. The elf remained still, his eyes misting as if he revisited a thousand recollections, some painful, some heartbreakingly sweet—which unsettled Denny, who momentarily felt as if he were a devoted priest who’d been told his god proved false.
He reminded himself of his training. EBs had no real memories or feelings. They leeched emotions off humans. They felt no pain. EBs felt nothing. They were nothing.
He’d just locked the cuffs when his charge made a move, slipping from Denny’s grasp and dropping to his knees. The chains chinked softly. Denny looked down and grabbed the elf’s shoulders, digging his fingertips in hard.
The elf let a wistful smile drift across his lips. “You’re a beautiful man. But you’re miserable and lonely right now. If you…would just let me ease you?”
As he spoke, the elf lifted his cuffed hands and traced Denny’s shaft through his trousers. Shocked, Denny staggered backward an inch, flattening against the wall. The elf leaned forward. He might not possess a pulse, but his breath felt human enough. Fluttering and warm, it seeped through the tented fabric to sear Denny’s hardening cock. The elf regarded him from beneath flickering golden lashes, his fear shadowed by something resembling lust. All Denny’s training fled his mind.
“You want this?” asked the elf, his husky voice barely carrying above the roar of the nearby traffic. “Because I want this. It might seem mad to you—it seems mad to me—but I really want this. You’re gorgeous.”
Denny’s cock twitched. Fuck.
The coldness of the wet bricks oozed through his jacket and down his spine, and he yearned for the elf’s warm mouth about his dick like it was as vital as the air in his lungs. True, the EB wasn’t quite his type, but the touch of eyeliner pushed him over the edge. And that outfit, channeling Marlene Dietrich.
And the raw hunger that smoldered in those steely eyes.
The elf licked his lips and started undoing the buttons on Denny’s trousers. He had a nice mouth, slender and undulating. Denny flexed his fingers at his sides. He wanted to grasp that silky hair, to thrust toward him and say with his actions what he couldn’t say with his voice or his right mind. The elf was hotter than the fires of hell. Worse, the tug in Denny’s chest nearly matched the ache in his cock.
Denny didn’t just want relief. He wanted him.
The sudden wail of a police siren cut into his stupor. He looked to the end of the alley as the patrol car crawled past, blaring its way through heavy traffic.
It proved the jolt he required. Anybody could cast a glance down the alley and see them. Caught like this, with an EB or otherwise, he could lose his job, his house, and access to his daughter.
He glared down at the elf, who fell back on his haunches and combed his fingers through his hair.
Denny hooked his hands under the elf’s shoulders and hauled him up. “I know your game. Don’t you dare.”
“But we could get a room. You fancy me, mate. I sense these things.” The elf didn’t need to read Denny’s mind to sense that. His cock ached so badly a dark corner of Hyde Park would do. They just had to find somewhere quiet, and…
He held his captive tightly. The elf lifted his chin, asking a dozen unfathomable questions with his wide blue eyes. Denny looked away. “Let’s get you to the van.”
“My name’s Kit. Will you call me Kit?”
“No.” Denny pushed Kit in front of him but kept a firm grip lest he stumble again. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?”
“The depot. You’ll be okay.”
“You’ll stay with me?”
Denny pulled a face. “No. I’ll just be taking you there. You won’t see me again.”
As they moved out onto the pavement, the elf dug in his heels and protested in a fashion familiar to Denny from previous EB arrests. “Why are you doing this to me? People were enjoying my act. They were happy, I was happy, and…and…and there’s no fires tonight, no dust and smoke, only the fumes.” Kit relished a gulp of exhaust-saturated air, and Denny shot him a hard look. “Surely you’re pleased London’s not burning anymore? The sirens aren’t wailing, and the planes have stopped coming. No more explosions, no more bombs—so what are you all so miserable about now?”
Fire? Bombs? Sirens? Denny scarcely registered the crack of desperation in the elf’s voice. His guts cramped with horror.
Were Jen and Saritha home safe? Yet if something had gone wrong, he’d have heard by now from HQ. It was just an ordinary London night. People were hurrying home or out to the clubs and theaters, cursing the drizzle, slipping in puddles, and squinting under the glare of the streetlights. He’d not been told of a terror alert or even a warehouse fire. Nothing amiss.
He drew a deep, leveling breath.
He’d been taught how EBs used their mind-reading skills to play games with humans, preying on love and fear and provoking the passions they apparently thrived on. Kit spouted incendiary drivel even by elf standards. Fortunately only a girl wrestling with a broken umbrella cast a curious look over her shoulder. Distracted by a noisy bleeping from her phone, she stopped to read her message and never turned back again.
“I don’t want to be locked away,” said Kit.
Denny steered him through the crowd in front of the tube station, and Kit wriggled and strained like an apprehended shoplifter. They resembled nothing out of the ordinary, just an officer making an arrest—as long as nobody spotted the incriminating bulge in the front of Denny’s trousers, which Kit must have sensed every time he brushed his arse, hip, or the sides of his swaying hands against him. Was he doing that deliberately?
Tension burned in Denny’s every fiber, and when they turned up the side street where he’d parked his van, his agony refused to abate. Kit dragged his feet. The effort of hauling him along exhausted Denny.
Finally they reached his vehicle, white and unmarked with any form of government insignia. Other EB agents would be able to identify it by a triangular logo on the side, which contained a crudely drawn black rat with three long whiskers and the unmemorable title, EBCA Pest Control.
Absorbing the sight, Kit rattled out a nervous laugh. “Pest control, huh? Why don’t we forget that and hit the town? There’s some good clubs around here—at least there used to be, last time I was about. I’m sure I could show you a good time. Must be better around here without the blackouts.”
Blackouts? Apart from the odd power cut, London hadn’t experience blackouts since World War II. This elf talked crap, all right.
“Not another word, or I’ll have to gag you.” Although he hated using such restraints as part of his job, Denny imbued his voice with a razor-sharp edge of threat, which sliced to its target. Kit shut up, although he offered Denny a quizzical look, arching a brow.
Well, they were near Soho and London’s red-light district. Kit’s reaction to the suggestion of a gag set Denny pondering what kinds of clubs the EB had in mind. Then he checked himself.
How unprofessional. He must concentrate.
He pushed Kit up the step into the back of the van. After keying in a code with a single hand, he unlocked another door, pressed his prisoner into a metal cage, and slammed it shut. The elf sat down on the floor. He drew his knees to his chin and hid his face behind his cuffed hands.
Denny’s emotions contradicted everything his rational mind believed.
He felt cruel. He wanted to assure the elf everything would be okay, which it would be, in a way. EBs were mutants, leeches, vermin to be controlled. Everything Kit said was meaningless. He wasn’t truly sentient…was he?
Denny opened his mouth to say something reassuring, but words refused to come. In his short time on the job, he’d made a dozen arrests, and while he’d never relished the task, his feelings toward this particular EB overpowered any pity he’d felt before.
Yeah. I feel differently because he’s got a cuter arse than the others. At least I seem to think so, sad sod that I’ve become.
Oh, and because he offered to suck my dick.
He needed to get laid. Hell, he needed a long holiday, if looking at EBs made him even think about getting laid. Shutting the van door, he shook his head. He’d let himself be mind-fucked by an elf, and now he’d be late to visit his daughter.
He hurried around to the driver’s seat. He had to get to the detainment depot and off-load this one as fast as he could.
Copyright © Kay Berrisford