Series: Angel Falls #5
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 2015
Published by: Changeling Press
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Baylin and Torin are not totally complete. The pair of veterinarians in Angel Falls have a lot going for them -- talent, exciting careers, the love of each other, and a strong relationship... so why can't they get a third to commit to being with them?
Jova is a warrior, a savior, and a martyr of his people, giving up his life to ensure their protection. He never expected Magic to have its way with him and send him to this new place of sanctuary. The only problem is what to do with these damn hands? He was once a unicorn, masterful and proud... now he can't fathom human bathroom practices. People are strange, and none more strange and desirable than the pair who rescues him one snowy morning.
The attraction is immediate, but how can they make this work?
Also in this series:
"You are my successor!" the Lead stallion called out, knowing his voice would carry through. "In all things that I protect with my life and my soul, I charge you to defend --"
Before he could finish the ceremonial words, the first of the hunters burst into the clearing.
"Go with the creator," the Lead muttered before turning to face the approaching horde of gray-skinned hunters, tossing his head in defiance.
"Get them!" one of the leather-clad monsters bellowed, his huge mouth open as he charged forward, battle ax held at the ready.
But with a sneer, the Lead snapped the energy lines that held the vortex in this dimension.
There was a whoosh of sound, a shriek louder than the wind, and the deafening sound of a booming explosion as time and space were displaced. The vortex, once a blue and gold swirl of energy, collapsed into itself, creating a small pocket of black before it winked out of existence.
His people were now safe.
The Lead stallion's whole body shook at the sudden break in magic; his legs wobbled as his body sought to compensate for the loss of his own personal magic. His vision swirled as he fought to remain conscious. Using his own personal energy as a stabilizer for the storm had taken a powerful toll, and yet he was the only unicorn strong enough to hold the vortex and send it spiraling among the stars, directed by will and magic to a place of safety where the hunters could never track them.
The energy depleted, leaving him weak and drained, barely able to hold control of his powerful equine form. It was sheer anger and sadistic delight that kept him standing, as shaky as he was. But it was more than worth it to watch the pitiful creatures who hunted them lose out on the prize that had so eluded them once again.
"They are gone!" he roared as the first of the hunters drew close enough to hear him over the storm. He drew his lips up in a sneer as he watched understanding blossom in the hunter's many sets of orange eyes.
Rotund, leather-clad demons they were, he thought, his breathing ravaged as the storm came to an abrupt end. There was no reason for the beasts to maintain it now that their quarry had gone to ground.
He could not understand their language of squeaks and clicks, but he understood the anger in their faces and in their stances. He could smell the rancid scent of it perfuming the now still air.
He took a step, his hooves helping him take a stance as he faced the creatures he knew would take their anger out on his body before they gave him the sweet release of death.
They clicked at him, pointing and growling in their anger, and he tossed his head defiantly.
"Come and get me, then!" he roared.
The beasts moved forward, and he stared them down, head held high as he cast his thanks to his dying planet, thanks for offering up all that was left of her and allowing those who loved her like good sons and daughters to live somewhere far off where not even he could find them.
As he watched death approach slowly -- they knew he had nothing left in him so there was no need to rush -- he prayed to the magic that had sustained them this far, that he would pass before they began to feast on his body. The hunters had been known to eat their prey alive.
He watched them, and they sneered as they approached, axes at the ready. He watched as a pair of muscular arms swung the ax high and then-- then there was a cracking sound as the earth pulsed beneath his hooves.
The world heaved, splitting itself in two as a wave of energy passed over him. He was unprepared when the energy took on sentient overtones and snatched control of what was left of his magic. He felt his whole body hum as the hunters were knocked off their short, muscular legs. His whole body began to glow, his blood to pulse as he was infused with feelings of -- of love and regret.
"Safe." The word seemed to float through his frantic thoughts as his hooves left the ground.
There was a roaring in his ears and a beautiful, agonizing pain filled his body.
One part of his brain was focused on the hunters, watching as they scrambled, fear in their glowing orange eyes for once, while the other part was struck numb by the beauty of the magic now filling him. He felt as if he were being balled up, twisted, and shrunk by harsh but loving hands.
"Safe." The word floated through him once more, calming him as his eyes fell closed and he found himself floating in a sea of black.
There was a pop, more felt than heard, and suddenly he was hurtling through the dark of night. He felt those hands, those awful, wonderful hands caress him once more, a full-body embrace, and then he was flung far away. Clouds enveloped him, making him shiver as his lungs struggled to take in air.
What -- how -- The planet, he realized. Mother Earth had once again reached out for him, saving him, giving up the last of herself to see him -- her last child -- safe.
Before he could dwell on the enormity of their planet sacrificing what was left of herself to save him, there was an explosion of sound, and he was hurtled through something warm and wet before the ground reached up to him, slamming him into unconsciousness.
Themes: Bisexual, Pansexual & Gender Non-Conforming, Elves, Dragons & Magical Creatures, Magic, Multiple Partners, Shapeshifters