by H.C. Brown
This is a beautiful story about love surviving under extreme conditions. Each story in this series is standalone.
Get to know the charming characters in a new pride of M/M cat shifters from the talented pen of bestselling author H.C. Brown.
Book One in the Tull Pride series.
In love with a slave from another realm, the Tull Alpha, Raz, plans to free Eton and take him for his lover. However, politics cause a delay and Raz arrives late at the auction to find Eton’s master has sold the handsome young man as a pleasure slave.
Six months later, Raz discovers Eton dancing to entice customers in the infamous Den of Depravity at Tennabolt Gate. The knowledge that the Beast of Darktrees, has bought Eton for his own form of wickedness throws Raz into an impossible position. To rescue his young man means war between the shifters and the werewolves. He must regain Eton’s affection because his love is all the slave has to sustain him in the hands of the Lycaon.
Excerpt From: Dance to the Wolf
Zulka City—Land of the Five Gates
"Have you lost your wits?" Ransom glared at his brother. "You are the Alpha. What in heaven’s name are you doing sniffing around a slave boy in Zulka City?" He gave Raz an appraising look. "And why are you dressed in rags? Have you no shame?"
Anger stirred Raz’s inner cat. He pushed the albino tiger back into the dark recesses of his mind and turned to face his brother. "I’m in love."
"No. You’re in lust. You can’t have this slave’s ass, so you’ll hang around him until he comes up for auction even though owning a slave is against our laws." Ransom pushed the hair off his sweat-soaked face. "Come home. You’ve important matters to attend to." He sighed. "In any case, this slave cannot be your mate. He’s not a shifter." He grasped Raz’s arm. "This love you speak of is a passing fancy."
Raz wrenched his arm away. "You’re correct, brother. I am the Alpha and I will make the decision on who to love or not." He bared his fangs at Ransom. "And I don’t require you to inform me of my duty to our pride or our laws. Leave me now. I’ll return home in a couple of hours."
"Don’t come growling to me if the sexy little slave steals your purse." Ransom turned on his heel and strode with purpose into the crowded city streets.
The market square sizzled below the blinding summer sun. Heat shimmers rose above the flagstones and reminded Raz of the distortion of air around shifters at the point of morphing. He stepped under the canvas awning attached to the rear door of the tavern, and leant back in the shadows. The dry coolness from the brick wall seeped through his buckskin jerkin. He peered down the dusty street, searching the crowd. People moved around the multitude of stalls in a noisy throng. The free citizens dressed in brightly coloured garments stood out against the slaves in homespun brown and indigo.
A fat man with limp greasy hair stood a few paces from him holding a bunch of squawking chickens by the legs. Raz wrinkled his nose. His heightened senses had overloaded with the stench of unwashed bodies, fish and animals. Another variety of scents wafted on the breeze to confuse him, in a combination of fragrant flowers and the aromas of the stalls offering food delicacies.
Anticipation fluttered Raz’s stomach. In the distance, Eton pushed through the crowd, a basket over one arm and his long golden hair, prominent amongst the dark-haired masses. The slave made his way toward him. Raz smiled at the sight of the delicious young man he loved beyond reason.
Warmth curled around his heart. A long purr escaped his lips. The slave’s perfection in male beauty made him weak in the knees. His young man’s kisses had become desperately passionate of late. Of course, he wanted Eton as his lover. Raz’s cock grew hard at the thought of bedding his delicious friend. One more day and he will be mine. The connection between them had grown into something special. Raz counted each hour between their brief interludes.
Gods, he had fallen in love with a slave. A free man and the Alpha of the Tull Pride, he moved around the realms of the Five Gates unchallenged. He chewed on his bottom lip. Each time they met, his presence put Eton in danger.
He understood the law. In Zulka City, for a slave to consort with a free man without his master’s consent brought instant death. Raz ground his teeth. He hated the clandestine meetings with his friend and the constant arguments with his brother over his relationship. In truth, all affairs of his pride fell into insignificance at the thought of Eton. He could not get enough of Eton. He craved the taste of his lips and the delicious flavour of his love’s innocence.
Eton’s master planned to auction him on the breaking dawn. As a virgin, he was a valuable asset to the pleasure market. He had the fine bones of a female. His skin, oiled daily, was soft to the touch. His handsome features and almond-shaped emerald eyes had caught Raz’s attention more than six months ago. To find such a jewel in a filthy marketplace had astounded him.
Two days had passed since Eton had clung to him sobbing with the news that his master planned to sell him. Delighted at the chance to purchase Eton and set him free, Raz had calmed his young man. He smiled to himself. Soon, they would leave this place and go to his home in Dragonspawn Gate. Thank the gods, his realm’s laws prevented slavery. For once Eton could live in peace, far from the constant harassment of the Slave Masters.
Ten paces away, Eton tossed his long golden hair over one shoulder and moved into the shadows alongside the buildings. A man jostled the young slave. Raz’s tiger rose to the surface, roaring with jealousy. Raz curled his hands, and needle sharp claws broke through his fingertips. The cat rippled beneath his skin. A soft whine spilled into his head.
"You must bond with Eton soon before he is lost to us. He may be small, but he is well past his majority."
Raz pushed down the cat’s need to emerge. Morphing in a busy marketplace would reveal his identity. "I crave to be with him, but Eton’s scent doesn’t lure me as a mate should. I’m not sure if he belongs to me, cat. Perhaps, he is slow to maturity because of his size. In time, we will know the truth."
The slave moved gracefully towards him. His narrow sexy hips swayed with each delightful step. Raz held out a hand. "Eton." He pulled his love against him. His cat roared with pleasure. Raz inhaled the man’s fragrance and sighed. "I’ve missed you."
The urgent need to kiss Eton overwhelmed him. He pushed open the back door to the tavern and drew him inside.
"I’ve missed you too." Eton followed Raz into a small room. "I don’t have too long. I must return to my master within the hour." He rubbed a hand down Raz’s back.
With a moan, Raz cupped Eton’s chin and lowered his head to capture his soft mouth. Eton curled his long fingers in his tunic. He parted his warm lips and explored the contours of Raz’s smile with his inquisitive tongue. With a long purr, Raz deepened the kiss. The slave moaned, and returned his embrace with passion.
Raz used his tongue to stroke every crevice, marvelling at the young man’s delicious flavour. He brushed Eton’s fangs with his lips, so like his own and yet many of the species of humanoid in the realms had fangs. If only this delightful man had been cat, his brother could have had no objection to them being together. He gripped Eton’s muscular buttocks and squeezed. Eton mewed against his lips and pressed his hard shaft into Raz’s thigh. So innocent and yet so demanding, his sweet man would have to wait a little longer for the joy of his lovemaking.
He dragged his mouth away and gazed down into Eton’s hooded green eyes. "You know how much I want you, but a kiss is all I can offer until tomorrow." He smiled. "It’s only one more night. Know that I love you and we’ll be leaving this place for good soon."