Release Date: Feb 17, 2009
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher Link: http://www.loose-id.com/prod-Surrender__Love-887.aspx
Amazon Kindle: Surrender Love
Blurb: In the beds of countless lovers over the centuries, the immortal Luc Saint-Cyr has been mastered as well as master. Commanded and commander. When his mortal lover leaves him, the distraught Luc withdraws and throws himself into work. His entertainment company hosts a ceremony for their most successful rock group, and Luc meets drummer Izzorah "Rah" Ceeow, one of the feline Kin race. Rah's velvety, golden furskin and dark hair captivate Luc. Pert cat's ears and a quick smile lighten his mood, and one look into Rah's emerald eyes, deep and tranquil as a forest pool, and troubles cease. Rah's a virgin, but Luc's too fascinated by the quiet depth of Rah's inner peace to rush him into sex. Seducing Rah and savoring his surrender will be as delicious as taking him. No matter how sexually starved Luc is, he will allow Rah to give himself when he is ready to surrender his innocence, to offer himself to Luc's command. Rah will beg to be taken. Luc's anticipation and desire are palpable; as real as his hunger for faithful, unconditional love. But to gain Rah's love, how much of himself is Luc willing to surrender?
Setting up the scene: The immortal Luc Saint-Cyr's lover of five years has left him, and to avoid public fanfare, Luc spends his days working and his nights drinking himself to sleep. Loneliness and despair are encroaching like tyrants in the night. His life needs purpose; he lacks a reason to face each day. Meanwhile, Izzorah Ceeow, a drummer for the group Kumwhatmay, has traveled for the last year with them and a couple of other rock groups in the Lucsondis stable. They're in Tarth City to sign a new contract with Luc's entertainment company. Trouble is, Izzorah has a few secrets, any one of which could cost him his career, his friends, and possibly even his life. If ever he needed a hero, it's now. Destiny is bringing them together, but will they be able to overcome their own layers of secrets and lies, and each surrender to love?
Note: ****** denotes beginning and end of fantasy / flashback
Di Consueto District
His room in the Renyoj Building sounded cavernous. Lucsondis Entertainment put them in posh places wherever Kumwhatmay toured, always top of the line. Izzorah Ceeow flung himself onto his bed and spread arms and legs wide. "This bed's huge!" He ducked as his cousin landed next to him.
"Sure is." Fletch threw himself across Izzorah and scraped knuckles against his head.
Laughing, Izzorah shoved him and rolled off the bed to bounce away. Fletch immediately gave chase and Izzorah went down in a flying tackle. He heard the lamp pitch off the table and stretched his body, flung out both hands and caught it before it hit the floor.
"Good catch!" Fletch crawled over to him, breathing heavily with exertion.
"You almost broke it!" Izzorah sat up, knelt, and lifted the lamp back to the table.
"Did not." Fletch gave him a playful shove.
"Did." He shoved back.
After a moment, Fletch poked him. "S'up, keet-sah? Nervous about tomorrow?"
"Can't help it." Izzorah dragged the claws of both hands back through his hair. "This time, our contract-signing will be with Luc Saint-Cyr himself."
"The Man, huh?" Fletch sat on the other bed. "I hear he has android eyes."
"Nah. Solid black contacts cover his whole eye. I met Wulf Gabriel last year, when we signed our first contract, and he told me."
"He runs Lucsondis for Mr. Saint-Cyr." Izzorah peeled down the covers and crawled underneath. He punched the pillow and pulled it under his chest. "They were lovers until a few weeks ago. Everybody's talking about it. It's all over the news. I feel sorry for both of 'em. They get no privacy."
"I'm gonna take a shower."
Izzorah covered a yawn and listened to the water running. It finally shut off, and the door opened, shut. Footsteps crossed the floor and Fletch climbed into the other bed. The light dimmed.
Fletch's voice came out of the dark. "Kumwhatmay know you like guys yet?"
"No. I don't get involved with fans. We don't talk about sex."
"How about the other thing?"
Fletch rustled the covers as he turned over. "Your eyes."
"No clue." Izzorah lifted his head and angled his face toward his cousin's voice. "Which is why you're here. They can't find out, Fletch. Not after all I've been through."
"You've hidden it two years. Maybe ya oughta tell 'em."
"No. There are nights when all I think about are the ways I could screw up. I go over every detail of the set, every part of the stage. Meeting new people in a new place -- I can hardly breathe."
"Hey, I got you." Fletch knelt between the beds. "I'm not lettin' nothing happen to you."
Izzorah let out a long breath. "Thanks, keet-sah."
"You haven't called me keet-sah since you learned the Etymis word was cousin."
"Sorry, popped out."
"Felis is your cradle language. You're Kin. Not like you could hide pointy ears, claws, and fangs. Why hide your language?"
"Not tryin' to be human. I wanna blend in. Hate being stared at." Izzorah punched the pillow as he snuggled into the bed. "Thanks for coming with me."
"Is Tark bringing his family?"
A pang of sadness made Izzorah sigh. "Nah. His divorce went through while we were on the last leg of the tour."
"Oh, man. Suuuuucks!"
"Yeah. You're the only family who'll be there."
Fletch made a sound from across the room, and Izzorah snapped his head toward him. He hadn't heard Fletch move. Water splashed into a glass, gulping and a belch followed, then the clink of glass. Footsteps padded back to bed.
"G'nite, keet-sah." Fletch lay down. "Tomorrow's gonna be a great day."
Izzorah turned onto his side. How much longer can I keep this up before the group figures out I'm almost blind? I can't even keep track of one person that I know, let alone a roomful of strangers! He braced an arm across his churning stomach. Have to sleep. Gotta be my best tomorrow. He squeezed his eyes shut, fists clenched. Sleep, Izzy! Sleep!
After a few minutes, Fletch mumbled in his sleep and started snoring.
Sighing, Izzorah sat up and hung his head in his hands. What's the use? I'm way too wound up. He headed for the shower.
Izzorah slicked his hair down with shampoo. On the road, there was never time to pick up Kin stuff that didn't have smells in it. Hotel generic-herbal stuff stank, but it was usually all he had, unless one of his cousins stayed with him or sent a care package.
He turned up the heat and turned his back, head tilted down so the hot water could soothe the tension in neck and shoulders. He lathered shampoo into his pelt, a thick band of fur covering the upper part of his chest above his nipples and up to the collarbone.
Human girls loved to play with it, but other than enjoying cuddles and kisses, he went no farther with fans. Let the others take on as many females as they wanted; no way Izzorah was letting on to Kumwhatmay he preferred guys. On his homeworld, the simple admission would get him killed. Maybe it was no big deal on Tarth, but if it got out to his Kin fans... He groaned and shook his head.
I'm no freer here than I was back home. Maybe if I let myself be seen with another guy in public... Yeah, right. Half the followers of Kumwhatmay are Kin. If I screwed up the group, then where'd I be? A drummer with no band. Great. He lifted his face to the water and let it wash away the sting forming in his eyes.
He rinsed, smoothing his hands down his body. He wrapped one hand around his sahm. Cock, he corrected himself, forcing the Etymis word into his mind.
They were on Kelthia after the last concert, and while the rest of Kumwhatmay partied, Izzorah hid out in his dressing room, claiming jump lag. He leaned against the door and slid down to the floor.
Alone. Again. Still. What I really want, I'll never have. Humans want dominant Kin lovers, not a submissive one.
The images he'd seen on Kin sex vids, of humans being taken -- not in cruelty, but with power, with concern -- yet taken, used, and toyed with like a precious, valued pet, made Izzorah groan, aching for a human lover who'd take him like that, if only for a night.
Out of nowhere, a human male gripped both Izzorah's arms and pulled him to his feet in one move, pinioning him to the wall like a trophy, hands at shoulder level, one massive thigh between Izzorah's.
Snarling, Izzorah released claws and bared fangs, but the man stayed out of reach. It was dark, and none of his features showed. Against this kind of strength and at such an angle, Izzorah had no defense. He forced his claws fully from their sheaths, but could not reach skin. Grunting with effort, he growled like a warrior.
"I won't hurt you." A whiff of mint revealed the human's amusement at his efforts, but there was no scent of enjoyment. Whoever he was, he meant no harm.
With abrupt resignation, Izzorah ceased fighting and rested his head against the wall. He gulped air.
"Very, very good. Obey, and you have nothing to fear from me." A hint of bread baked with cinnamon wafted into the air.
Contentment? Why? 'Cause I stopped resisting? I obeyed?
Naked, helpless in the man's hands, Izzorah shivered despite heat roaring through his body. He heard himself panting, felt the stretch of his cock thickening, balls heavy. He lowered his ears in submission, gaze down in respect. One did not meet a Kin warrior's gaze without permission, and what was this man if not a warrior?
"Hands above your head." The deep timbre of the man's voice sounded the way velvet felt on the fingertips.
The man gripped his wrists while Izzorah slid his hands upward. It opened his chest, spread him flat against the wall, and arched him toward the human. Like most Kin, Izzorah's skinfur was golden-hued, and the thick, almost mane-like swath of the pelt on his chest matched. His chest rose and fell, a cross between fear and desire making him pant.
The man held both Izzorah's wrists with one hand, and hovered the other over his chest. At last, he pet Izzorah's thick pelt. "Kitten soft." The man's scent deepened to paper so hot it smoldered; his lust bordered on pain. "Seeyoo, te ahsgah tsoh." He spoke like a native. "Teehh ke tu kahta vahss."
Hearing his own language spoken, Izzorah jerked up his head. Good, my male beauty, the man had said, using a formal term no rapist would use, and then, give me your eyes here. Does he mean "look at me?"
Izzorah obeyed, but darkness hid the man's eyes, as if they were solid black against black skin.
The man linked their fingers and leaned into Izzorah's body. Black gloves covered the hands holding him captive. The fabric of the man's coat and pants felt smooth yet rough at the same time. Big, big man. Tall as a Kin and muscled like one.
"Show me your fangs."
Flashing fangs at a Kin was an insult; didn't humans know? Izzorah bared them, licked the sharp points, which usually scared off bullies.
Not this man. "Seeyoo, good. You have perfect fangs. You could bite and make me feel it."
Izzorah opened his mouth wider and hissed a warning, but the man's scent of lust deepened, and he merely flexed his fingers.
"Seeyoo. Seeyoo, te tsoh dhoksi." Good. Good, my beautiful lover.
Wrinkling his nose, Izzorah drew in this man's scent. Clean, sweet truth. He really thinks I'm beautiful? He wants me for his lover?
"Now your claws, dhoksi. I want to feel them against my hands. Pierce the gloves."
Even a human should know better. In battle, a Kin's claws penetrated bone. He let them out of their sheaths and obeyed. Gently.
The man hissed with pleasure; desire emanated from every pore.
It brought Izzorah's cock to full readiness, drew up his balls, and sent a flush of heat throughout his body. He made no attempt to free himself. He was safe with this man. But why? How can I be safe when I've been assaulted, held captive, imprisoned between the wall and my attacker?
Because the man's scent held passion, joy, and no menace or threat.
"Stand on tiptoe and give me your mouth." The deep voice caressed, soothed. "I'm going to taste you."
Izzorah tilted back his head and rose on tiptoes to obey. He pulled back his tongue at the smoothness of the human's, not barbed and scratchy like a Kin's.
The man released his hands, cupped both of his around Izzorah's face, and bent forward, angling his head to slant his mouth over Izzorah's. A kiss of power. Relentless energy. Savage in need, but not in the way he kissed. The softest mouth, bold, taking, claiming every part of him, yet tender, as if he feared Izzorah would break if he kissed too hard.
Gripping the man's jacket, Izzorah dug in claws to pull him closer, used one hand to open the coat and bring their chests together. Silk against wet skinfur. At the feel of ripped muscle beneath the shirt, Izzorah pulled the cloth up and out of the pants, ran both hands over smooth, human skin, the ridged abs, hard and defined. No velvet covering like a Kin -- only a crisp tangle of short curls in the middle of his naked chest, trailing downward to pants and a belt.
The man wrapped both arms around Izzorah and cupped his hands beneath thighs, lifting and pulling him close. "Wrap your legs around my waist. I want your cock against mine."
Izzorah gave a moaning whimper, unable to resist whatever this man wanted, whatever he demanded, whatever he wished.
The powerful human braced both knees between Izzorah's thighs and kept on kissing as he ground their cocks against one another through his clothes. The merging of their mouths and sliding cocks filled every thought, every sense, every aspect of Izzorah's being, sheltering him in a cocoon of pleasure.
Izzorah nibbled the man's mouth, tasted blood drawn by fangs, sweet and buttery with desire, passion a honeyed cream. Izzorah couldn't catch his breath. He'd never dreamed it would be so good.
The man stepped back and let him down. Curling one knuckle beneath Izzorah's chin, he bent to kiss him. "I'll see you soon." He added another small kiss and turned to go.
"No!" Izzorah gripped his hand. "Don't leave me. Who are you? How can I find you?"
A glimmer of even, white human teeth flashed in the darkness. "I'm your destiny. Your warrior. I'll find you." He stepped back, disappearing into the darkness.
"No!" Izzorah pushed open the shower door. The brightly-lit room had filled with fog. "But...but it was so dark..." Had he been asleep in the shower? Three quick raps made him jump. "Who is it?"
"Who do you think? It's Fletch." His cousin knocked again. "Come on, keet-sah. Kory's bitching about it's time to leave, and I need to pee."
"Leave?" Izzorah ran both hands through his hair. "Hang on a minute." He turned the water off, flipped the door switch, and grabbed a towel.
"'Bout time. I was dancing out there. You been in here forever. Whatcha doin', keet-sah? Ohnahmeeyana?" The toilet flushed.
"No, I'm not whacking off." His cock felt as limp as if he'd already come. Could a fantasy make me...?
"You get any sleep?"
"Practicing." Izzorah hid his face and ruffled a towel through his hair. "Just got in the shower."
"Some day, you'll pull an all-nighter and miss a show."
"Never missed one yet."
Fletch double-checked his smooth chin in the mirror. "I'm going to the lobby. Turn right when you come out of the room and the elevator's ten steps on the right. I'll watch for you."
"Wah doh. Thank you." Izzorah toweled himself dry and ran fingers through his black hair to straighten it. It hung over his eyes and he flung it back. Close to the mirror so he could focus, he slid a finger across his mouth. His lips were as swollen and dark as if he'd really been kissed. With a shiver, he left the room and began to dress.
It's not rebound, loneliness, or great sex, and it's beyond love. It's surrender.
Izzorah -- A little feral, a little innocent, all male. Fleeing a world that denies him basic rights, forced into a society blind to his needs, Rah lives for his music. When a freak accident throws him into the care of the most powerful man in the empire, the attention he receives is beyond anything he'd ever dreamed. But is the attraction he feels toward his rescuer gratitude, lust, or a deeper, abiding call to yield all that he is?
Luc -- the prestige of his power, wealth, and influence directs an empire scattered across the stars. His word shapes the foundations of business and his financial prowess is of mythic proportions. Yet beneath the myths beats the heart of a man who craves what he has never given and is certain he will always be denied -- steadfast, faithful love.