Malakai, page 1
MALAKAI by Michele Hauf
Copyright © 2013 by Michele Hauf
Cover artwork by Michele Hauf
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments or events or locales is entirely coincidental.
This digital edition published by Swell Cat Press, LLC at Smashwords.
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Malakai Saint-Pierre swung a two-handed broadsword. It soughed through the air and clanked against his opponent’s blade. Rafe McLachlan, the Mad Scotsman, slid his blade along Kai’s weapon. A glint of menace narrowed the Scotsman’s gray eyes. Kai matched the expression and added a growl.
Spinning, and using the momentum to torque his speed, Kai sliced his blade through the sky. He connected with the side of Rafe’s head, blade flat. The Scotsman wobbled—too dramatically for Kai’s preference—then toppled to the packed dirt ground.
The crowd cheered and Kai raised his sword triumphantly. His eyes traced the circle of faces surrounding the fight. The majority were women, cheering and whistling, and a few performing a victory hip shimmy.
And Kai…needed. He needed sex. Tonight. Tomorrow promised the full moon. He had to satisfy his wolf tonight or set it loose, and he preferred the sexual means to satisfaction.
Offering Rafe a hand, Kai tugged his opponent to his feet. The two of them bowed to more applause, but upon hearing the call of the drummers, the evening crowd quickly dispersed. Half an hour before the reenactment festival closed, the drum jam started, attracting one and all with a hypnotic, heart-racing percussion frenzy.
Scratching the back of his bare knee, Kai mined the itch the torn hem of his wool tartan had been irritating since morning. Had to get a new costume; he’d worn this kilt during performances the past two years. He was a Frenchman by heritage, but he could play the invading Irishman for kicks.
Rafe preceded him into the cool privacy of their canvas tent, pitched off the fighting grounds beneath an aging oak.
“I'm finished for the night,” Kai said.
"Yeah? The way you were eyeing the blonde in the tight pink corset makes me wonder if you're just getting started."
Malakai grabbed his water bottle and downed the quart in a long swallow. A trickle of warm water streamed down his chest, so he tugged off his dusty linen shirt and tossed it aside. “I've not seen that wench around here before.”
"How do you do it, Casanova?" Rafe’s real Scottish brogue was heavy with exhaustion.
Everyone called Kai Casanova. So he'd developed a certain reputation with the ladies in the small town of Clover Lake. There wasn't a man in this neck of the Northern Minnesotan woods who possessed Kai's endurance, virility, and sexual prowess.
What the mortals didn't know was that Malakai Saint-Pierre was werewolf. And damned proud of it.
“I just have a way,” he commented.
"Yeah? Here I thought it was a huge cock."
"Oh, that too."
Kai craned his neck outside the tent and glanced skyward. Though the sun bobbled on the horizon, he couldn't see the moon yet. His body hummed with the need for satisfaction, for rousing, screaming, all-night skin against skin.
Rafe chuckled. "I'm sure you won't go home alone. You want me to put your things in your truck for you?"
"Thanks. I'm going to check out the dancers." Kai bid his friend goodbye until next weekend.
Crowded around the pickle wagon were half a dozen wenches. He spied Kelly of the black leather and metal studs. Some kind of Xena costume, he decided. She had been a rare second visit to his bed.
Kai lifted his chin and met her eyes. She cast him a long look from under her lush black lashes. Despite the lip ring, those lips were soft, and he remembered sucking and tracing them with his tongue. She'd liked to dig in those fingernails all over his body. Ooo, did he love that.
She shook her head and looked away from him.
"Hell," Malakai muttered. Lately he'd been having a time hooking up with the locals. Was he seriously so over-talented that a woman would not take him on after she'd been with him once?
At sight of MaryAnn's voluptuous hips and breasts, Kai winced and quickly walked by. He distinctly remembered her crying after she'd come. "Because I'm so happy," she'd blubbered.
Right. This wolf didn't do the tears.
The crowd gathering around the drummers drew him. A fire spinner dazzled nearby. It had become a tradition for festival workers to gather at the oak tree that spread over the west end of the jousting field and dance away the day's stresses.
A flash of silver caught his eye. At the edge of the crowd a swirl of red and purple silks fluttered. Dozens of gypsies in all shapes and sizes joined the jam each evening. Kai had dated a few of them.
Date was probably pressing the normal definition of the word. So he preferred one-night stands. His MO certainly wasn't going to help him start a family—something he craved. It was the wolf in him. He wanted to lead a pack of his own and have lots of children. And seriously? The one-night stands were getting old. Finding a woman he could love was Kai's greatest desire.
He hadn’t seen that particular gypsy before. She wore wings to give her costume an otherworldly tone. Of course, wings, demon horns, and tails were de rigueur here at the festival.
She glanced at him over the heads of the gathering dancers. Thick tendrils of white blonde hair spilled over her shoulders like some kind of spun candy confection gone wild. Her lips were pale, as was her skin. For a moment her eyes held his and firelight flashed boldly in them, coloring the irises amber.
Kai ran a palm down his bare chest. A smile glittered in her eyes, setting his heart to a pace faster than the timpani. And then she was gone. But not for long; he had seen what he desired tonight. And he wouldn't leave without it.
Kai entered the breach of bouncing bodies that formed a crowded circle around the drummers and found a springy beat. Other men were clad in medieval and Renaissance costume, some stripped to their breeches, others still in full regalia, as they danced and beat their fists in the air. Gypsies, princesses, and wenches exposed gorgeous bosom, and sunburned arms and cheeks as they swayed in surrender to the music.
Kai closed his eyes and allowed the crowd to move him. Arms brushed his. A female hip shimmied against his kilted thigh and then his backside. He savored the feel of skin against skin, the frantic rush of energy coursing through his system. After a day playacting the fight with Rafe under a hot sun, his exhaustion transformed into something else, a warm welcome to a trippy kind of pleasure he couldn’t get from any drug.
The brush of silken hair against his back heightened his sensory awareness. The drum beat crowded his ears and coursed through his veins. Were the moon visible he'd let loose a howl, but he wasn't so foolish to think that would not stop the crowd dead to stare at him in horrific wonder.
Yet it was the moon that called to his innate needs: Must have satisfaction. Now!
When he opened his eyes, the faery in gypsy veils danced before him. Lost in a trance, her hips swayed. Her pale skin looked soft as peach flesh. Pink rosebud lips parted. When she opened her eyes, she focused directly on him with
Kai's heart lost the beat. He swallowed.
A shy smile curved her mouth. She turned and shimmied away. Amethyst wings at her back were frilled with homemade filaments and lacy edges; they shimmered and glowed with glitter. A glance over her shoulder captured him, and he followed the glints of silver coin strung about her undulating hips.
Yet the faery wings disturbed him. Kai—and his twin sister Kambriel—had been cursed at birth. If he ever fell in love with a faery he must ransom his heart—literally.
A real faery would not wear fake wings, he reasoned. So he followed her.
Together they snaked through the crowd as it chanted to the night, defying its fall. He wanted her spun silk hair tangled in his fingers, and her hips that slinked and shimmied rocking against his hips. The man he was growled for intimacy. And his wolf wanted to fuck the pretty little gypsy faery tonight.
Kai slapped a hand to his chest. His heartbeats thundered. Grass crushed under his suede lace-up boots. Still lost in the beat, he passed a hawker's stand strung with colorful ribbons. A copse of maples beckoned, and a delicate hand grasped his. He turned to find the faery leaning against a tree trunk.
Pulse racing, he stepped up to the woman. So small, she clung to the tree, yet opened herself to him, inviting him closer with a beckoning smile and shadowed eyes that no longer flickered with flame. One of the wings pressed against the rough tree bark had a tear in the nylon and he touched it, refuting the fleeting suspicion that she may be something more than merely mortal.
Kai plunged his fingers into the pale cloud of silken hair. Neither spoke, and if they had, they would not hear over the heart-numbing, soul-clutching noise. Caressing, clutching, rubbing the gorgeous softness, he wanted to imprint her in the whorls of his fingers.
She leaned up onto tiptoes and kissed him. And with that daring permission to intimacy, Kai slid a hand around behind her back, below the fake wings, and pulled her delicate frame against his rigid body.
She tasted like honey, pure, sweet nature warmed by the sun and thickly vibrant. Sticky in his mouth, but like a treat he never wanted to melt away. He kissed her as if he’d known her a lifetime. And yet, her newness, the utter abandon of the kiss proved more unique than anything he’d known. Sighs stuck at the back of his throat. Sweetness coated his tongue. His erection pulsed beneath the kilt.
"Take me home with you," she said in a steady, sure voice that belied her frail appearance. Her palm slid down the front of his kilt. "Big boy."
"Uh…" Yes! That was his cock thinking. But seriously? Was she that easy?
Propping a hand against the tree trunk, Kai leaned down and sniffed her hair. Like summer, warm and sweet and as sticky as her kiss. Beneath the kilt and her teasing strokes, he turned to steel.
He bent near her ear, tilting out his hip to lean away from her dangerous touch. "You're very…delicate."
"Got a problem with that?"
No! Yes. Not at all.
"If we take this any further, I might break you," he teased.
"Is that why you followed me through the crowd? To see if you could break me?" Her shadowed eyes defiantly danced with his need to remain stoic.
"Wouldn't want to ruin you for other men," he commented wryly. Crossing his arms over his chest to display his massive biceps, he allowed her to take a good long look. He was two heads higher than her and twice as wide. The tiny bit of silk and wings was a bird to his behemoth.
Yet as those pale lips parted and the tip of her tongue teased out, Kai sucked in a breath. He could already feel her tongue tripping over his skin, breezing a cool pink path down, down, and lower. Mmm…imagining what she'd feel like wrapped about his cock made him shudder.
She tapped his bicep with a pink fingernail and tilted her head. "I like it rough."
The drumming ceased. Dirt and dust plumed about the crowd. The dancers cheered and hugged one another then gaily dispersed for the exit gates.
Yet Kai's heart continued to dance to the anticipatory beat of getting his needs met.
The woman turned away from him and—he caught her about the waist and tossed her over his shoulder. "Tonight your world changes, sugar. I don't want to hear you begging me to stop later. You got that?"
"I don't know the meaning of the word stop."
Inside, his wolf shivered in anticipation. He'd chosen well.
Marching out of the gates and to the employee lot, he tossed the faery up into his natty old Ford truck and headed out to his cabin in the woods. The moon was bright. His werewolf nudged for release. But more so, his libido needed to learn the flavor of her sassy mouth.
The truck lights gleamed over a large wood cabin tucked within a fairytale setting. An ancient maple tree hung over one side of the house and a lush carpet of moss-thickened grass spread over all. In the distance, moonlight glittered on a creek.
Living in suburbia, Rissa did not get enough nature time. This guy had been an excellent call. With luck, he'd want to see her again, and again. And she could soak up nature while she was here merely by breathing in the air. She needed it to restore her waning energy. But more so, she needed this virile man. It had been two weeks since she'd been with a man and her energy level was so low she'd been glad he'd carried her to his truck.
Pulling her attention from outside the window, Rissa inhaled Kai's masculine scent. Desire sparked with every beat of her pulse, and before he could open the door, she released her seatbelt and climbed onto his lap. He told her his name when he'd put her in the truck—much as she hadn't wanted to hear it.
"Don't you want to know my name, Malakai?" She traced his lips with her tongue. "Rissa," she purred.
"Rissa," he repeated. The deep tone cemented her name in the air, making it solid, claiming her in a way she'd prefer he would not. "Just Rissa?"
"Do you need anything more?"
"Not tonight I don't."
She leaned in, as if to kiss him, but stopped inches from his mouth. A lift of his brow lured her to dash out her tongue across his lower lip. Wide, strong hands slid over her hips and she straddled him, snuggling her groin against his hard abs as she moved in, crushing her mouth to his.
She captured his agreeable moan in a kiss and when he pulled her hips tight against his body she knew she'd won him. Or maybe not. How to call a win when the man was obviously horny? He'd probably screw anything he could get right about now, because she instinctively knew he was wolf. Wolves needed sex the night preceding the full moon in order to keep their werewolf at bay. She wasn't stupid, and wouldn't allow herself to believe he actually wanted her. He was in it purely for the sex, for its energy and frenzied motion, for its heated friction and intense release.
As was she. But she'd lay bets that she probably needed the sex more than he did. Not something she was willing to discuss with him though; it would destroy the mood.
Rissa licked down his neck to his hard, firm chest, thankful he had not put on a shirt since leaving the festival. Pinching his nipple elicited a rough growl from him. He was an animal, and she liked to play with wild things.
"Be careful what you stir up," he said, lifting her into his grasp and nudging the door open with an elbow. "You might not be able to handle it." "I want to handle all of you," she said as he carried her toward the cabin, past a row of lush crimson peonies that spilled across the cobbled path. He kicked open the door.
He set her down just over the threshold. Standing on tiptoe on the fieldstone floor, she grinded her hips against his loins, causing his growing erection to harden like a steel rod. The coins strung about her hips jangled sweetly. The wolf's breathy moan played harmony to her gypsy tones.
"So," she said, "let's skip the niceties of chatter and the obligatory offer of a before-sex drink, shall we?"
"Way ahead of you, sugar."
Tossing her over his shoulder in a 'me-Tarzan' move, he tromped up a steel staircase. The stairs led to a loft that overlooked an open floor plan of living area and
He dropped her on the king-size bed amidst a tumble of feather pillows. Cedar walls perfumed the air, as did the latent clove scent from an unlit candle on the nightstand.
An exquisite hunk of muscle and sex stood over Rissa. The man's left brow arched devilishly as he looked down upon her. Sexy. And appropriate, considering the left was always associated with the sinister.
She sat up, tucking her legs to kneel on the bed. She tugged in a corner of her lip with her teeth as Kai's every movement flexed his exquisite physique. Beneath the sun-browned skin, the muscles were defined, chiseled, and unreal. A turn of his waist flexed the sinuous flesh. Most men would spend hours daily in a gym to get such a ripped body. She knew it was his wolf, and reached out to touch.
He sucked in a breath as her palm seared against his abdomen. Hot there, and tight. Wanting breaths panted against her fingers. He slapped a hand over hers and bent, drawing her to him with a hand at the back of her head. His mouth devoured hers in an urgent kiss that spoke of his need and promised her a delirious trip through both pleasure and pain—if she got lucky.
"You taste like power," she said. "So strong."
"Do you like that?"
"Oh yes. I watched you sword fight. You're like someone who stepped forward from an ancient time when big and virile warriors once walked the land. You handled that sword as if you were born to it."
He tilted up her chin and demanded another kiss. Quick, urgent, yet deep and lushly wet. He said, "Let's see how well you handle my sword."
With but a shrug, the purple and red silk floated down to settle at her knees. A flick of her fingers released the coin belt in a ching. Unhooking the wings from her arms, she slid them off and tossed them aside to land the floor with a clatter.
MICHELE HAUF SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Halo HunterGetaway GirlThe Witch's QuestBeautiful Danger itcov-1Her Werewolf HeroBeautiful DangerAn American Witch in ParisMalakai
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