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  Excerpt: Lone

  Rowan McBride

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Lone © 2009 by Rowan McBride. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or in part without author's permission.

Seth shoved his clothes into the suitcase he'd set on the table, his body shaking as he tried to keep quiet. Flashes of Rafe asking him to stop, of Rafe crying out, of Rafe being subjugated to his every desire played through his mind and body over and over. The dark side of him begged him to shift, to wake the human and relive this afternoon.

Bad Seth. Bad Seth. Bad Seth!

How could he have unleashed his pure Nightkin nature? On Rafe?

Rafe, who'd always done his best to protect him.

Rafe, who'd been kind.

Seth had dominated and humiliated the only man who'd ever been good to him.

And he wanted to do it again.

He snatched his suits from the closet and threw them into the case. Going back to Iowa was out of the question. He knew he wouldn't be able to keep himself from Rafe. Arizona maybe. Or Maine.

"Little early to be packing, isn't it? Being that we're not leaving till Sunday."

His hands stilled and he glanced at the bed as Rafe sat up. The muscles in the human's tan, naked body worked with the movement, every line and curve highlighted by the setting sun. His black hair fell over his forehead, accenting his sapphire eyes. The wolf inside wanted to tear free.


Seth went to the dresser and pulled out the rest of his clothes. "You're leaving on Sunday. I'm going now. Someplace far away from you."

His face sober, Rafe stood and crossed to the table. "Just like that, huh?"

"Yes!" yelled Seth, the sound caught between a shout and a growl. Rafe jumped back, and it killed him to see it. To see Rafe, so big and strong, cower from him that way. "It's what you want."

"Is it what you want?"

Seth dumped his clothes into the suitcase. He hadn't known how much he'd wanted Rafe to deny it until just now. "Yes."

"Liar. A few hours ago you were practically begging me to... What was the word? Oh, yeah. Stay."

He stiffened, accosted by more memories. "I hurt you. I bit you."

Rafe ran a hand over the fresh mark on his chest. "I've seen you in action, Seth. You could have taken the whole damned muscle out of me if you'd wanted. Now that I'm calmer, it feels more like a love bite."

A love bite? Disquieted by the words, Seth scratched himself behind his ear, trying to sort it out. He caught the cautious consideration in Rafe's expression and slammed the suitcase shut. "It's already started, hasn't it? Everything I do, every move I make... you're comparing it to a wolf, or a dog, aren't you? Do you feel like you've been sleeping with a dirty little animal all this time?"

Rafe grabbed his shoulders and shoved him into a chair. "Sit down, Seth."

Black rage rose up in him and he shot to his feet, even as he held the wolf at bay. "Did you just tell me to sit?"

He thrust Seth back into the chair. "Yes I did."

Fear saturated the air, but Rafe's face was grim, determined. What was going on? Unsure, and needing to know, Seth did as he was told.

Rafe paced the open area in front of him, looking like a wolf on the prowl. "You do a lot of weird damned things, Seth. Half the time you're like some puppy left out in the rain, and the other half you're like a hungry, wild wolf. The first I guess I've always seen, but I didn't even know about the second until yesterday. So yes, I've been comparing you to both animals quite a bit, and it's been freaking me out."

Anger and bitterness nearly choked him. "You lied to me. You promised you would tell me when you wanted me to leave."

He whirled around. "Shut up!"

Seth jumped and shut his mouth, stunned by his fury.

"I have never lied to you, but you've been lying to me since I fucking met you, so you don't get to be self-righteous. Do you hear me?"

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