[Siren Epic Romance, ManLove: Erotic Alternative Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, M/M, werewolves, public exhibition, HEA]
Hundreds of years ago, werewolves and vampires started a war that nearly wiped out all of humankind. They lost, and to pay for their crimes, they became the slaves of the draechen, trapped by the provisions of the new Shifter Directive.
Now, Alpha Graham Powers still maintains hope that he will be able to free his people. When he is captured by a draechen patrol, he finds someone who might be more important to him than freedom itself. His mate, Caelyn Sutharlainn.
Caelyn is a sprite, belonging to a species that tried to cooperate with the nearly omnipotent draechen. But when Caelyn meets Graham, he knows he cannot allow the strong, proud Alpha to be crushed by the draechen’s ruthlessness.
Together, the two attempt to flee the draechen forces. But does their love have a chance of holding its own against an empire? Can the werewolf and the sprite find their way in a world that refuses to accept them?
NOTE! You are purchasing Siren's newest imprint, the Siren Epic Romance collection. This is Book 1 of 7 in the Chronicles of the Shifter Directive series. The series shares an overall story arc with many crossover characters playing major roles in each book. These books are not stand-alone and should be read in their numbered order.
A Siren Erotic Romance
Scarlet Hyacinth is a Siren-exclusive author.
"I'm so very glad I have such incredible online friends who steer me towards amazing books. Now, most of you know…aw hell, all of you know, how much I love shifter stories. It's not a big surprise then, that I would jump at a book where werewolves and many other shifters, along with other paranormals, are at the bottom of the food chain, enslaved by the draechen. I couldn't wait to read Scarlet Hyacinth's first book 'Werewolf's Way' in her 'Chronicles of the Shifter Directive' series. In the fourteen hundreds, the out of control aggression of the werewolves and vampires, threatened to expose every paranormal and magical creature on Earth. The most powerful of the shifters, the draechen, dragon shape shifters, and the fae, formed an alliance. With the sacrifice of a prince of each species, the werewolves and vampires were defeated. As the victors, the draechen imposed a very harsh and controlling regime to prevent these two species from getting out of control ever again. As the saying goes, "The best laid plans of mice and men…", as time went on, the draechen and their noble martyr sacrifices became a convenient and easy way to keep werewolves and vampires as slaves. More and more species became uncomfortable with the totality of the draechen's rule, but opposition was swiftly crushed. The Draechen Empire of Ornoz arose and they created a new international law, the Directive of the Shifter Castes which created an artificial hierarchy for shape shifters. Nine individual castes, social classes with specific rights and duties, were created with the draechen at the top and the werewolves and vampires at the bottom. History has shown, however, that there will always be those willing to rebel against those in power. Graham is an alpha werewolf who has a small pack which hides from the draechen while working with other packs to rebel. On the night of one such meeting, Graham is captured by the emperor's son, no less, and taken back to the emperor's home. Caelyn is a sprite whose family is constantly trying to increase their power with their alliance to the draechen. Caelyn respects the draechen's power, but has no use for how they treat the lower castes. Caelyn's parents are hoping to find him a mate within the draechen species but Caelyn is holding out for his true mate. Imagine his shock when his family is invited to an event at the emperor's only to discover that a recent werewolf capture is Caelyn's true mate, his other half. Unfortunately, it would appear that Caelyn's parents have already set him to mate with the emperor's son, Prince Karein, Graham's most hated enemy. How can Caelyn woo the royal family while trying to figure out how to free his mate? Caelyn calls on his friend, Sari, a prince of the fae, for help, and within a few days Caelyn, Graham, and all of the other prisoners are freed and whisked away, with Prince Kaerin none too happy. Caelyn and Graham make their way back to his pack, stopping along the way, of course, for claiming each other and securing the mate bond. Theirs is not going to be an easy life, though. Sprites are not in a caste level, but it is frowned upon for the magical beings to be involved with shifters. Well, shifters other than the draechen, that is. For Caelyn to have disappeared with Graham means that Caelyn has severed all ties with his family and with sprites in general. All shifters, even Graham's family and pack members, view Caelyn as the enemy, forcing Graham to leave his pack in the care of his brother, at least for a time. Graham and Caelyn make their way to a small, human populated town in Vermont as a place to hide out for a while. Their idyll can't last forever, though. What will happen when Karein finds them? What about when Caelyn and Graham discover that by helping them, Sari has put the fate of the fae in jeopardy as the emperor will wage war against them for this slight? They are fated, true mates, trying only to love each other and the family they've created. They are surprised beyond measure, as is Karein, when he decides to help them against his father. Karein doesn't want war with the fae, in fact, there is much about him that people wouldn't believe. But for now, Karein has vowed to help Graham, Caelyn, and their family. I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend and, because I needed a little brain candy to read. 'Werewolf's Way' is the farthest thing from brain candy that I can imagine. There were shifters and magical beings, there was smoking hot true mate sex, but there was intrigue and plotting far beyond what I expected. The detail in this plot line was phenomenal and surprised was the least of my emotions. This book was so much better than I possibly could've imagined. Now, I'm jumping straight into the next in the series because these are just too good to miss. Loved it!" -- Christy Duke, Rainbow Book Reviews
Huge doors opened, and one by one, several men and women stepped into the room. They were all nearly naked, with just a few scraps of material to shield their genitals, or, in the females’ case, also their breasts. One of the servants from before made the announcement. “The newest prisoners of the glorious Ornozian Empire, courtesy of Prince Shtamakarein’s efforts. Bow in front of your leaders.”
None of the men and women moved. Caelyn watched in horror as the servants of the draechen used shock sticks to force them all to kneel. He realized now that they were all either werewolves or vampires, as the pain was drawing out their secondary form.
And there was something even more important that struck him. In spite of the abuse enacted by the draechen, one man in particular refused to submit. He stubbornly withstood all the pain and remained standing, until the draechen practically jumped him and physically forced him into falling. Even then, he looked up, seemingly meeting the gazes of everyone in the room. He spat on the floor and sneered. “Pathetic.”
Caelyn couldn’t speak. He couldn’t even breathe. Every muscle in his body was frozen. His family’s plans no longer seemed relevant in the slightest. There, captive to the violence of the draechen, lay his true mate, his other half. And the man in question was a werewolf. Fuck.
The Shifter Directive forbade matings between shifters of different castes. Caelyn was not a shifter, so he didn’t belong to a caste. He didn’t have to submit to that law. Even so, he very much doubted that revealing the bond between him and the werewolf would go over well. He might not be legally compelled to stay away from werewolves or any other shifter for that matter, but his privileged position and his proximity to the Tersain put the werewolf out of his reach.
Of course, all that seemed irrelevant when Caelyn looked at his mate. Jenarra be praised, he was magnificent, everything Caelyn had ever wanted wrapped in one perfect package. But even his mate’s looks couldn’t distract Caelyn from their situation, for a very clear reason. The werewolf’s dark, chin-length hair was matted with blood, and his bronzed golden skin covered with bruises and abrasions. His honey-brown eyes were nearly black with hatred, and his muscular body tense, coiled to strike.
It took everything in Caelyn’s power not to lunge at them and demand the werewolf’s release. Still, he couldn’t fully control his abilities or his anger on his mate’s behalf. The room began to shake, and several vases toppled, shattering into a million pieces. As if that hadn’t been enough, the heavy crystal chandelier adorning the ceiling was next, collapsing onto the floor with a deafening crash.
Fuck. Had he done that? If so, he had no idea how he’d managed. Sprites had telekinetic abilities, but not quite to that extent. It seemed clear though that he must have had some involvement in it. There was no other explanation that would make sense.
The so-called accident distracted everyone, and Caelyn was awfully tempted to rush to his mate’s side, following the futile idea that he might be able to free the wolf. No, not the wolf, singular, the wolves, and the vampires, too. No matter what the ancestors of these people had done, this had gone too far.
But there were too many people between him and the prisoners. He couldn’t hope to succeed in his self-appointed task. Just trying would be a fool’s errand.
He might have done so regardless had his mate not looked directly at him. There was true realization in those brown eyes, the same one that burned through Caelyn. That knowledge kept him rooted in his seat. It almost seemed like a voice was screaming in his head, “Don’t go. Don’t come to me. It’s too risky.”
It couldn’t have possibly been real. Yes, true mates could communicate telepathically, but only once the bond was in place. Caelyn didn’t even know his mate’s name, for crying out loud. And yet, he could see the message so clearly in the werewolf’s eyes. They weren’t really brown, he realized. There were specks of green and gold in those haunted orbs, and distrust right next to the need to reach out. Pangs of sorrow assaulted Caelyn. His mate didn’t trust him. It was a sobering, crushing thought, and it stopped Caelyn from moving.
At last, the draechen staff snapped out of their trance and rushed to corral the prisoners together once more. As the werewolves and vampires were led out, Caelyn watched his mate go with a yearning he’d never once experienced in his life. There was nothing he could do but watch in distress, knowing that his mate was right there, so close and yet so far away.
Everything inside him screamed to follow, and he might have, in fact, done exactly that. Sweet Jenarra, he wanted it so badly. But then, Shtamakarein appeared by his side. “Please remain calm,” the draechen said. “You mustn’t let this get to you. I’ll figure out what happened at once.”
It was only at that moment that Caelyn realized he’d actually gotten up. For a brief moment, he turned toward Shtamakarein, meaning to explain, to tell the draechen to free his mate. But that instant was enough for his other half to be taken away and the doors to close behind him.
Caelyn released a soft noise of distress, his knees buckling at the knowledge that his hesitation had very clearly earned his mate more pain at the hands of his captors. Shtamakarein caught him before he could fall. “It looks like this is our cue to leave,” he said to a guard. “Take care of this situation. I’ll be right back.”
As the draechen prince carried Caelyn out of the room, Caelyn’s mind and soul went out to his mate. What was he going to do?
Smiling slightly, Graham started to pepper Caelyn’s face with butterfly-light kisses. He brushed his lips over Caelyn’s eyelids, his forehead, his sharp, aristocratic cheekbones, his nose, and that sinful mouth that seemed made to suck cock. With each kiss, the tension inside Caelyn started to dissipate. But Graham was only beginning. He went on to nibble on Caelyn’s ears, then directed his attention toward his mate’s collarbone.
Strangely, he lingered there far longer than he’d have expected. He’d never considered collarbones sexy, but again, with Caelyn, it was different. And there seemed to be something particularly fascinating about the hollow of Caelyn’s throat.
It was only when Caelyn’s pert nipples drew his attention that Graham finally managed to abandon his exploration of his mate’s neck. The little buds of flesh had already peaked, as if demanding Graham’s touch. Who was he to deny them, to deny his lover?
As he engulfed one of the nubs in his mouth, Caelyn arched his back and cried out his name. “Graham… Oh, sweet Jenarra… Please, fuck me! Claim me!”
Clearly, whatever thoughts had made him hesitate were vanishing now, pushed aside by the passion. Even so, Graham didn’t immediately release Caelyn’s nipple. He was enjoying this exploration of his mate’s body very much. He wanted to find each and every one of Caelyn’s sensitive spots, preferably with his mouth.
Graham used his fingers to tweak Caelyn’s other nipple, and the sprite went wild. As much as Graham would have liked to prolong this, it was only a matter of time until the scent and feel of Caelyn’s desire would become too much for him to bear.
With a wet pop, he released the bit of flesh and somehow managed to speak. “Are you sure, angel? Are you sure this is what you want?”
He almost didn’t recognize his own voice since he sounded like he’d swallowed sandpaper. Still, he managed to convey the message well enough. He had coaxed Caelyn out of his misgivings, but he truly didn’t want the sprite to have any regrets after that.
Obviously understanding him, Caelyn took a few deep breaths. His eyes were a little clearer when he answered, “Yes. Yes, beloved. No matter what happened or what happens, this is what I want.”
That was the answer Graham had been waiting for. At last, he could claim his mate. Sadly, in that moment, Graham realized he’d completely misplaced the lubricant. He’d put a tiny bottle in the pocket of his jeans, but now, the garments were in pieces all over the room. The gods only knew where the lube had ended up.
Cursing under his breath, Graham left the bed. “Graham?” Caelyn asked.
“Just a sec, angel,” Graham replied, rushing to the bags they’d brought into the room. They’d decided to carry all their supplies here, just in case, especially since there were so many valuable items inside. Graham had placed another bottle of lube there, but it seemed to take an indecent amount of time to find it.
When he finally set his eyes on the elusive thing, he released a victorious sound and retrieved it from the bag. As he returned to the bed, though, he found Caelyn had either decided to start without him or to give him a show. He was moving his hand up and down his own prick, once again biting his lower lip as he watched Graham with wild, nearly desperate eyes.
Graham’s brain practically short-circuited, and he almost dropped the lube. Fumbling, he managed to keep his hold on it. In a daze, he walked toward the bed, completely hypnotized by his mate’s surreal beauty.
When he climbed onto the bed again, Caelyn exposed his nether opening to Graham, bending himself in half in the process. Holding onto the lingering traces of his resolve, Graham supported Caelyn’s legs on his shoulders. Gazing deeply into his lover’s eyes, he searched for any signs of doubt. There were none, just anticipation, lust, and need.
Reveling in that emotion, Graham opened the tube of lubricant and squirted a generous amount of liquid on his fingers. Slowly, so as not to spook his sweet mate, he reached behind Caelyn and rubbed the tiny opening that tempted him so very much. Caelyn gasped lightly, his body opening up to Graham’s invasion, practically demanding it. One finger slid inside Caelyn with ease, and Graham’s choked groaned echoed Caelyn’s. The tightness that engulfed his digit had him wild with the question of how his mate’s little ass would feel around his prick.
At this point, his head was swimming with the desire to be one with Caelyn. He was so very close to snapping that it frightened him. He tried to focus on Caelyn’s desire to distract himself from his own. Predictably, it didn’t really work. If anything, it aroused Graham even more.
In the end, there was nothing he could do but embrace it and follow his natural instincts. Caelyn was still moving his hand up and down his dick, and Graham’s wolf decided that it simply would not do. It was his job to pleasure his mate, and he refused to fail in that more than exciting duty.
Slapping Caelyn’s hand away, Graham replaced his mate’s palm with his own. As he did so, he added another finger into his new lover’s channel, scissoring them gently and preparing his mate with plenty of lubricant. He was a big boy, even for a shifter, and he didn’t want to hurt Caelyn in any way.
Caelyn seemed to be enjoying Graham’s ministrations quite a bit. He clenched his fists into the sheets, writhing underneath Graham, apparently torn between which touch he wanted more. He thrust into Graham’s fist, seeking the friction with wild abandon, and then impaled himself on Graham’s fingers. The passionate response made Graham increase the intensity of the touch. He found Caelyn’s prostate and mercilessly rubbed it, the cries of pleasure he drew from his mate flowing over him like a caress.