Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beneath Dark Stars by KC Kendricks



Beneath Dark Stars
Contemporary gay
romance with a paranormal twist
available now at

http://www.amberquill.com/
AmberAllure/
BeneathDarkStars.html


The sequel to Amber Allure’s Best Seller The Back Stairs...

Fallon Roxbury, seasoned detective and special police consultant, knows that appearances can be deceiving. Trained to gather the clues and arrive at logical conclusions, he fits the puzzle pieces of a situation together to find the truth. But there’s nothing reasonable in Fallon’s attraction to the sexy, secretive shapeshifter called Sundown.

Sundown has studied people all his life. Having his very own human male is all he ever wanted. In Fallon, he’s found a man he can trust with his secrets and reveal his true nature. Keeping Fallon happy is a joyful exercise into which Sundown puts his heart and soul—when he’s not teasing Fallon’s police partner by leaving strange footprints at crime scenes, that is.

Fallon’s new case ties into an old one. At a dead end, he knows it’s time to ask Sundown for a little help. With his special abilities, Sundown can get into places Fallon can’t. All Fallon has to do is figure out a way to prove what he already knows. But what’s a cop to do when the truth takes a shift that’s stranger than fiction?

INTRO

Sundown slipped into my arms, his supple body pressed to mine. We held each other for a moment, then he pulled away, presumably to accomplish his task. I let him go and concentrated on mine. He was fluffing the pillows as I joined him in the bedroom. I slid between sheets still rich with fragrant sandalwood and knew I’d miss his scent while he was gone. We settled in skin-to-skin with each other. I draped my arm around him.

“So you plan to sneak outta here under cover of darkness?”

He nodded. “I already feel the need to go, Fallon, but the Elders permitted me to spend most of this night with you.”

“Sounds like a conundrum for you.”

He handed me a small tumbler of juice and tapped his water glass to mine. I sipped my drink, sputtering at the lack of alcoholic bite. “This is plain cranberry juice!”

He blinked, a slow, lazy lowering and raising of his eyelids that put me in mind of a big cat causally watching its prey. “I didn’t want you to fall asleep too soon.”

The skin on my thighs and belly prickled. My cock pulsed and lengthened. “You’re just full of wants, aren’t you?”

“I have many, yes, and all will be accomplished in the proper time.”

“Boy, that sounds ominous for me, doesn’t it?” Actually, I liked the implications of him thinking about different things to do to me, and so did my dick. My erection completed.

Sundown lifted his glass, drained it, and set it aside. I took a healthy swig of mine and put it on the nightstand to finish later. I lifted the sheet and pointed at my hard-on.

“Is it the proper time to do something about the little problem I have right there?”


EXCERPT

I missed you, Fallon. I want to stay here all night.”

I hugged him. I certainly wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere. “Then we will, at least until one of us gets cold. Oh, wait. You even have blankets.”

He reached for a pillow. I thought it was a splendid idea and grabbed one, too. We maneuvered around a bit, snagging a few more and getting comfortable. I wanted more of him, but I’d have to wait a while. Unlike him, I couldn’t whip up another woody with a single thought. It would be several minutes before I could get it up again. Sundown settled against me with his head on my shoulder. I rubbed his arm.

“So just where are all your pleasure receptors aligned at now?”

He chuckled softly. “If you keep petting my arm, they’ll be there.”

“Uh-huh. Will you answer a few questions, if you can?”

Sundown was silent for several moments. Were he human, he’d probably think having him fuck me was my way of softening him up so I could get information out of him, and maybe some small—very small—part of it was. Now I wondered if he paused to read my mind, and therefore the intent of my questions, which were purely personal. There were many things about him I refused to allow the cop part of me to consider. He kissed my neck.

“First you must tell me if you truly find this altered appearance unacceptable.”

“I told you—I like it. Why do you worry?” I did like it, even though it meant I’d have to compose a new chapter in the Sundown companion’s manual I’d been mentally creating.

“Because of what caused it.”

Did he mean he hadn’t deliberately changed his outward appearance to reflect a more mature being? I would ask after I reassured him I was fine with the way he looked.

“Sundown, if you were human, I’d tell you that your looks need to please you first, and everyone else can go fuck themselves if they don’t like it.”

I could almost see his brain scrambling to consider my words. I smiled up at the stars at the mental image of neurons doing a rapid-fire dance inside his head, and suddenly, without being told, I knew what had wrought the change in his appearance.

“I think I’m envious of the Chal.” I held my hand up, and he laced his fingers through mine. Once joined, I guided our hands to my rest on my chest. “We are all enriched by knowing others, but it’s more for you, isn’t it?”

Sundown was quiet for so long I began to think he wasn’t going to talk about it. Finally, he spoke. “Yes. When I give of myself, what is returned to me contains the knowledge possessed by the other.”

That was one heck of an exchange. The creation of a new Chal with the knowledge of the old one. “And then all this shared knowledge gets passed on to the next generation. Am I right?”

“Yes. In this way, all Chal are…enriched.”

I lay still, trying to process the myriad implications of what he’d just confessed. Sundown was beyond value to his species, and yet they allowed him free reign of the city. He didn’t merely appear older; the new maturity went soul deep. He’d gained layer after layer of Chal history and individual experiences, all nuanced by the giver. In him it all came together, the bits and pieces reordered to form a cohesive whole. Then, to keep it safe in the event something happened to the catalyst, every Chal passed it all on to their offspring as a form of species memory. But what if some harm came to him before the next catalyst was born, would the chain break? It boggled my mind and made me uncomfortably aware of how fragile Chal existence might actually be.

“So, tell me. Will there be another catalyst?”

Sundown levered up on his elbow to look at me. The city lights cast his face in stark relief, rendering a severity to the angles of cheekbone and jaw. I stroked his cheek, and he smiled, the lines softening into the gentle countenance of the being I knew.

“We are fortunate. There may be four. We will not be sure for some time, but it is likely.”

“Well, congratulations. Should I buy cigars?”

“I don’t understand. Do you speak of a human custom?”

My sudden understanding found a new depth. “Let me guess. In all this exchange of molecules and knowledge, you didn’t learn much about humans, did you? But you taught the others plenty, correct?”

“Is this a problem?”

“That I’m your science project? I don’t know, Czun Dun Nhunfi. I really don’t know...”

Beneath Dark Stars
ISBN 978-1-61124-078-8
Contemporary gay romance with a paranormal twist
available now at
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/BeneathDarkStars.html

KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
Join my mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
Read my personal blog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.com

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