Clipped Wings – now released as a stand-alone novella!
My historical story in the Mythologically Torqued anthology which features 15 great stories is out from Toquere Press. In addition, each story is also released individually. My story,Clipped Wings, is available as a stand-alone as well as in the boxed set.
After a Missouri plantation owner steals a swan shifter's robe, he has no choice but to obey him until he can steal the feathers back. Befriended by another male slave, the two of them share a bed and more.
Fate had both blessed and cursed him. Being taken captive has brought him to his mate. His inner swan sings when in Stephen's presence.
Stephen doesn't know whether to believe Christopher's story or not, but the man's touch sets his pulse racing. Finding the feathered robe could set them both free if Master Randal doesn’t kill them first.
“What?” Stephen exclaimed. Had he heard him correctly? His eyes narrowed and he searched his partner’s face for a hint that he was joking. He didn’t see one. In fact, the man’s tight jaw accentuated the fact he was dead serious.
“If you’re a swan then I’m a horny toad.”
Christopher dragged his clean hand down his face. “Let me wash up and then I’ll try to explain.” Going over to the washstand, he poured water into the bowl rinsing his hands and then wetting two rags. He handed one to Stephen.
Stephen took the cloth and tried not to pout. He hoped Christopher would wash him. Then again, if he was touched in the head maybe it was better if he tried to keep his distance. Damn, that would be difficult. Christopher’s wiry body called to him. When the man pumped his length, joy washed over him in waves. Joy he hadn’t experienced since his first time with a man—and maybe not even then.
Happiness was as hard to come by these days as hen’s teeth.
Stephen cleaned himself and then left the bed to drape the cloth over the washbowl to dry. Why did the man who affected him so strongly have to be crazy?
“I’m not losing my marbles,” Christopher said as if reading his thoughts. He sat on the edge of the bed and patted the mattress beside him.
Against his better judgment, Stephen joined him. So far, the man hadn’t been dangerous.
“Have you heard of the story of the swan maiden?”
“Sure. It is one of those myths just like the monsters that supposedly live in the swamp.”
“It isn’t a myth. I’m one of the swan people. We can shift into human form at will, and then back to swans.”
“I see,” Stephen replied, not trying to hide his skepticism. “So why don’t you shift into a swan now and prove it to me?”
Christopher’s face fell into a frown so deep, Stephen hoped it wasn’t engraved permanently.
“I can’t,” Stephen replied in a small voice. “Master Randall took my feather robe while it was lying on the bank of the Mississippi. That’s how he captured me. I’m his prisoner until I have my feathers again.”
Stephen was silent for a long time. The man’s broken voice almost made it believable. Or at least he believed it happened. “In the story of the swan maiden, the swan shifters taken prisoner are always women.”
Christopher nodded. “Mostly, yes. They are wanted for wives.”
“You’re not a woman.”
Christopher snorted. “Obviously.”