Authors: Kate Douglas
Wolf Tales 3: Anton
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Copyright ©2004 by Katherine A. Moore
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To author Camille Anthony for her insight, suggestions and wonderful ideas. Thank you.
Anton came fully awake between one heartbeat and the next. He lay still in the darkness surrounded by the warmth of the two people he loved most in the world. Stefan curled beside him in wolven form, while Alexandria, all warm and sensual woman, sprawled across his lower torso. Her soft lips, slightly parted in sleep, rested against his belly.
Anton listened to the steady beat of hearts, the comforting rush of blood through veins and knew something else had dragged him from slumber, some shift in the air, some sense of disquiet in his mind.
Almost two weeks of odd, intermittent dreaming. Now, three nights in a row. He couldn’t blame three nights of strange dreams on Oliver’s cooking.
He closed his eyes and concentrated, shifted his senses beyond the human range to grasp the part of him that always remained the wolf.
A lingering sense of unease, the visceral memory of a terrible scream? He wasn’t sure. The sensation passed, his eyelids grew heavy. He stroked Alexandria’s tousled hair, rested his other hand on Stefan’s furred shoulder and willed his body back to sleep.
* * *
Keisha Rialto stared at her clasped hands and tried desperately to believe her therapist. The woman’s soft voice, trained to soothe and comfort, rolled across her tense shoulders without any of the desired effect.
“The dreams are a manifestation of your anger, your fear… and your pain. You’ve blotted out the worst of the attack. That’s how the mind protects us. You didn’t kill those men, Keisha, no matter what your subconscious wants you to believe.”
Dr. Wilson, the therapist, leaned closer and placed a comforting hand on Keisha’s shoulder. “We’re dealing with two separate incidents. Your beating and rape had nothing to do with the fact a rival gang chose that particular time to attack the men who harmed you. Though unintentional, that very attack may have saved your life. You were an unfortunate witness to a brutal triple homicide, but, no matter how empowering it might be for you to believe it, you’re not the one who killed the men who assaulted you. They were killed by vicious dogs, animals trained as weapons.”
Dr. Wilson paused and her choking swallow was audible in the small room, her voice barely a whisper. “Horrible, vicious dogs.”
Keisha raised her head and caught the look of horror on the therapist’s face. She knew the woman had seen police photos of the apartment, knew exactly how awful the scene had been. Dr. Wilson must be remembering those pictures now. The carnage was imprinted on Keisha’s mind with a stark clarity she’d not been able to forget, images of the torn and bloodied bodies of three men, the men who had held her captive and repeatedly raped her, who had subjected her to unimaginable atrocities over a twelve hour period.
She’d barely regained consciousness when the police broke through the door, yet the images of those eviscerated, mutilated bodies were burned into her mind. The room covered in gore, herself a battered, bloody mess, her once tightly braided hair hanging in blood-soaked tangles around her face. The police were amazed the dogs hadn’t touched her. They’d killed her attackers in what had to have been a maelstrom of terror without harming Keisha.
The images were the thing of nightmares… but her nightmares were worse. In her dreams, she was the killer. Each night she replayed the same visuals, of herself rising up, turning on her attackers, changing into a huge rampaging wolf, an intelligent agent of death, all claws and teeth and powerful muscle.
She still tasted the hot blood, felt the joy of the kill, the thrilling satisfaction of strong teeth tearing throats, of powerful jaws ripping apart the bodies of the ones who had hurt her. Each night she repeated the heinous acts, acts made no more acceptable by the fact the men had practically killed her with their assault.
She gestured frantically at the therapist. “I know what you’re saying must be true, but the dreams aren’t going away. If anything, they’ve become clearer, more graphic… more like a memory than a dream.” Keisha grabbed the doctor’s hand and held on as if to a lifeline, her coffee-brown fingers a stark contrast against the other woman’s pale flesh. “Last night I awakened in the garden. I was naked and there were scratches on my arms and legs. Scratches, as if I’d been running through thick brush. I have vivid memories of streaking through Golden Gate Park -- only I wasn’t human. I was a wolf.”
Dr. Wilson blinked in surprise and stared down at their clasped hands. “Goodness! You haven’t mentioned somnambulism, though sleepwalking isn’t uncommon during periods of extreme stress. Has this happened before?”
Keisha slowly released the grip on her therapist’s hand. “I don’t know for sure. At least two other nights… I don’t know anything, anymore. Look at my hair!”
Her expression one of pure confusion, the woman stared at Keisha. “What about your hair?”
“I have it braided by a professional. It’s supposed to last for at least a couple weeks. The mornings after I dream, the braids are undone. It’s always been curled really tightly… it’s getting straighter. It’s longer. What’s happening to me? What am I going to do?”
Blinking owlishly, obviously at a loss for words, the doctor glanced down at her notes. “Have you gone back to work?”
Keisha felt the subtle withdrawal, the woman’s struggle to remain professional.
“I see you’re a licensed landscape architect. You have your masters degree in…” She paused a moment, reading through her notes. “Ah, here it is, landscape architecture and design with a strong background in botany.” Dr. Wilson smiled gently at Keisha and took a firm hold on both her hands. “You’ve spent seven years training for your profession, so you must obviously love what you do. I would think the beauty of working with growing plants and flowers would be every bit as healing as talking to me. It’s going to take time, dear. I can’t ask you to forget an event that’s obviously too powerful to be forgotten, but I can ask you to accept the fact your life was spared, that you’re mentally strong and in good physical health. Your body is recovering, your mind will heal as well and at some point the dreams will go away.” She patted Keisha’s hand. “I want you to work on those exercises I gave you. Keep a record of any other nocturnal events should they occur. Just jot down whatever you recall when you awaken.” Dr. Wilson sat back and folded her hands in her lap, a sign their session had ended. “We’ll talk again next week.”
* * *
Keisha stood silently on the corner of Polk and Van Ness in the heart of San Francisco and waited for the bus. People of all ages passed by on either side, some smiling in her direction, others brushing past as if she didn’t exist. They didn’t know. None of them knew what horror she’d seen, what fears still filled her heart.
She knew she looked perfectly normal, knew she projected an air of success, of control. She’d better… she worked damned hard at it. Anyone who noticed her would see an attractive young woman of color, tall and slim, professionally dressed in a neat navy blue pantsuit, her shoes and bag perfectly coordinated and obviously expensive, her hair tightly braided back to a neat little bun at the nape of her neck.
Not a hair out of place. Everything under control.
Little did they know.
Dr. Wilson said she would heal. She’d have to if she wanted more than a pale imitation of life.
The bus pulled to a stop and Keisha climbed on board. She paid her fare and moved to an empty seat near the middle of the bus. A supermarket tabloid lay on the seat and she shoved the newspaper to one side.
The graphic photo and even more graphic headline leapt out at her, left her skin clammy and her heart pounding a staccato beat.
Werewolves Kill Rapists, Spare Victim.
The photo covered the top half of the front page with the snarling visage of a rabid wolf superimposed over the grainy black and white. Keisha recognized it immediately and knew it must be a picture from the police files. The faces and torn throats of the men were obscured, but it was obvious they’d been badly mutilated before they died. There was little to identify the location. She didn’t need any more than this.
Keisha would never, not for the rest of her life, forget the filthy apartment where three men died an unspeakable death.
The same place where Keisha Rialto lost her soul.
* * *
Alexandria Olanet stretched herself awake, eyes narrowing against the bright sunlight streaming through the window blinds. She reached for the man beside her and found thick, coarse fur, instead. The huge wolf raised his head, amber eyes twinkling in the morning light. With a wide yawn, he rolled over on his back and stretched.
Front legs rippled and took form, becoming hands, back legs lengthened, shifted until they were sleek and muscular with long, narrow feet. Finally, the wolven head slowly morphed into the human visage of the man Xandi loved most of all.
She leaned over and placed a very chaste kiss on Stefan Aragat’s lips, a kiss that shifted, just as his body had done so easily, into something deeper, more sensual.
Something hungry and demanding. Stefan’s lips were warm and mobile beneath hers, his tongue searching, exploring the space between her lips and teeth, tangling with her tongue and finding a rhythm that mimicked the lovemaking that had kept them busy most of the night.
Busy with Anton.
Xandi pulled slowly away from Stefan. “Where’s Anton?”
Both Stefan and Xandi turned as one. Anton lounged in the open door, his shirt unbuttoned and hanging open, his soft denim jeans hugging his slim hips and muscular thighs. He held a steaming cup of coffee in one hand, a newspaper in the other.
Xandi rose up on one elbow and smiled. “You’re up early.”
Stefan leaned over and nipped her shoulder. “Why don’t you join us?”
“Please, Anton?” Xandi held her hand out to the wizard.
He hesitated a moment, then shook his head and smiled with the expression of a man who has willingly lost his battle. He set his coffee and the newspaper on the bedside table, slowly eased out of his shirt, then unzipped his jeans and slipped them down over his hips.
Xandi licked her lips as his dark thatch of pubic hair came into view, then the solid length of his partially erect cock. Damn… so beautiful! His body was all silk and steel, smooth skin over taut muscles, the body of a predator.
She’d tasted him last night. She’d tasted Stefan as well, two men of very similar appearances but totally different flavors. Stefan was fire and hot spice while Anton reminded her of dark forests and musky woods.
Anton discarded his pants and sat on the edge of the bed. He leaned over Xandi’s shoulder and kissed Stefan, but his palm found Xandi’s breast and his stroking fingers brought her nipple to a tight peak. Xandi reached for Anton’s growing cock, sighed and lay back against the cool sheets, sandwiched between her men.
Anton’s tongue tested Stefan’s smooth lower lip then found entrance into the hot, wet cave of his mouth. Alexandria’s breast filled his palm, her hands were doing wondrous things to his cock and balls and Stefan’s tongue dueled gently with his.
He tried to recall what had brought him into the bedroom in the first place, but Stefan’s hand suddenly found his ass, squeezing him hard, drawing his body closer to Alexandria’s. She tilted her hips just so, her grasp on his cock tightened and he shifted just enough to help her guide him into her warm pussy.
Her mouth found his nipple and she suckled, hard, nipping him almost to the point of pain. Stefan broke their kiss just as Anton felt her soft gasp of breath. He knew Stefan had entered her backside, easing his way slowly inside that tight opening.
Anton fought every instinct that told him to thrust hard and fast into the woman. Instead, he held still, sensing her muscles clenching and stretching around him, feeling the shift and twist of her body as she accommodated Stefan’s huge cock as well as his own, each finding a home in its own, separate sheath.
Anton felt the smooth glide of Stefan’s cock riding against his. A shudder raced through him at the pure, unadulterated pleasure of a woman’s hot sheath surrounding his cock and the unbelievable sensation each time Stefan thrust slow and deep into her backside. Alexandria moaned and sucked harder on his nipple. Her hands clutched him around the ribcage as Anton found his own rhythm, alternating stroke for stroke with Stefan.
Stefan swept his hand along Anton’s thigh, across Xandi’s back, then turned her just enough so he could suckle her breast. There was a soft
as her lips broke suction with Anton’s nipple. She arched her back, giving Stefan better access to her breast.
Anton leaned close and drew her other nipple into his mouth. Neither he nor Stefan had shaved this morning. Their beard-roughened chins scraped Alexandria’s pale breasts as each man sucked and nipped. Anton matched Stefan’s rhythm, driving deep inside Alexandria as the other man withdrew, then slowly eased back inside her hot sheath.
He’d long had fantasies like this, fantasies where he loved both a man and a woman at the same time, but nothing he’d imagined came even remotely close to the reality. Anton drew Alexandria’s nipple deep into his mouth and wrapped his tongue around the taut flesh, sucking hard. He felt her stiffen, heard the soft, keening cry as her first orgasm claimed her, felt the thick slide of Stefan’s cock against his own as the other man buried himself completely inside his mate, buried himself so hard and deep his balls pressed against Anton’s and his muscled arms drew both Anton and Alexandria into a tight, shuddering embrace.
Anton let his mind open, found Stefan, found Alexandria, felt the passion in their hearts, the hot rush of need, the multiple sensations of Stefan’s cock buried deep inside Alexandria, the smooth rush as his own cock slipped deeper into her pussy.
Connecting their minds, Anton shared the sensual images surrounding him, the wonder of his cock sliding against Stefan’s, the even greater wonder of Stefan and Alexandria’s love, a love that made room for a man without a mate of his own.