What do you do when you face the biggest fear of losing somebody you love? And what do the boys and men in this epic story about lust for life and love do? Do they cave in and lose their faith or do they fall, get to their feet again and fight on for the most powerful belief of all? And how do immortals influence their fates? Deathbearer is prowling around the Cherson's army encampment and this time she has found a better instrument for her malicious vengeance. Will her plotting destroy Belial's favorites or will he be able to protect them from all harm?
Two boys, five men, and two immortals. Twenty-two nights of life. What will the full moon night bring? Find out in the second part of Trails of Love I Crawl trilogy.
Word count: approximately 98 800 words
Content note: Trails of Love I Crawl Part 2 is a gay, erotic, paranormal fantasy. It contains explicit sexual scenes, including BDSM elements, and may be considered offensive to some readers. All characters in the novel are of legal age.
A cold shiver raked Viktor's spine as he gaped into his abductor's pale fluorite irises. There was nowhere where he could hide from their inquisitive glint. They saw into the deepest depths of his soul. They measured, they evaluated and nothing could be concealed from them. Nothing. For this was Hell. This was where the card game with life ended. It only surprised him that he was actually... still alive. Mortified to the core by the lack of self-control he had just exhibited... but alive.
The creature's full lips curled in a smile worth dying for and the most seductive, husky tones of his voice drowned out all disconcerting, rasping moans coming from the yard. “There is no reason why you shouldn't be alive, Viktor. Void can be a very lively place and some of its attractions are better consumed when you still have your body.” Dear Lord, the sensual melody of the demon's speech was dripping with lust, need and pleasure. It whispered and screamed of delighted moans and anguished delectation. All desire of the world was in its harmonious euphony. It felt as if an ancient, beautiful deity spoke to a puny mortal, making him long to hear every word again and again and again. But he couldn't yield to the spell, though it partly soothed his fear. No. His hand might be empty at the moment but... there still there were cards to play with life. Back in the mortal realm. As long as he was alive he could still hope that one day, just perhaps, he would be able to speak to his Amédée again and win him back.
Strangely enough, this close encounter with danger swept all self-pity thoughts away and Viktor's mind regained its ability to actually think and bounce back from the latest setback. One lost round didn't prefigure that everything was lost forever. But if he wanted to see his bunny again, he had to make it out of here alive. And it meant two things. Not to anger the alluring child of darkness in front of him and not to listen to his bewitching lullabies.
Bracing himself for the hardest game of his life, against a player countless times more experienced than he was, Viktor licked his lips and answered: “Your Lordship, with all the due respect to your hospitality, I would prefer to consume the attractions of the mortal realm while I still have my body.” But the demon only shook his head in amusement before he spoke again. “You're being cheeky, pet. Cheeky but still respectful. It saves you from punishment for now but the mortal realm is beyond your reach and it will stay so.”
No, Viktor had not expected another answer for the start. The demon hadn't kidnapped him for nothing. And from the way he kept addressing him, Viktor could easily deduce his prospective role here. It wasn't to his liking. Not even for a god like creature. But still he couldn't really wrench his sight off the pale irises that had imprisoned him in their smoldering look. Gazing into them, he gave a cracked: “Isn't there a way to earn a privilege to... visit it... again, my lord?”
The demon arched his brow at his boldness and reiterated: “No, darling pet. It's just in fairy tales for children that a daring prince gets a bargain from a devil. You are no longer a little boy to believe such stories, are you?”
Fairy tales. He had believed in one. And it had ended all too quickly. He had ended it all too quickly. “No, I don't believe in fairy tales, my lord. But I have an unfinished business there. Couldn't I be allowed to tend to it before...”
“An unfinished business you say. Amédée?” So, the demon really knew everything. And the tone of his voice revealed how entertaining he found Viktor's struggle to be together with his bunny. But there was nothing amusing in his plight. It burned in his mind and in his heart like the flames of inferno. But his abductor wouldn't understand. Nobody would. Biting his upper lip, he nodded and finally managed to avert his sight. Just a little. Just not to let the demon see the glint of unspilled tears.
“Oh, I think that is a closed chapter. He told you he wouldn't leave with you. Don't you remember?” It sounded as if the voice wanted to pull all his anguish to the light and make him admit a defeat. But he wouldn't. Only his throat tightened involuntarily still before he replied: “Words can be spoken in a rush. It doesn't make them the truest of truth.”
“No, it doesn't. I'll grant you that. After all, who should know it better than a charming impostor like you are.” Touché. A painful one. So, the demon really knew everything, and Viktor didn't manage more than an uneasy croak: “Is that why I'm here?” and a quick glance back into the demon's eyes. If he was actually mistaken about his role here, Void might be a hotter place than the pillory in Cibinium. And Maker knew what the demon actually meant by the attractions of Void and what the ways to consume them were. A cold fist of fear punched his stomach and forced all air out of his lungs. It didn't seem likely that he would be able to pull an inhale in any time soon. Lowering his sight, he awaited the verdict and felt cold sweat of fright forming between his shoulder blades once again.
“Partly. But mainly because you roused my interest, Viktor. You'll be allowed a choice later tonight whether you want to be here as my pet or as a trickster. Let's get you ready for your decision.” Maker, it wasn't exactly a reassuring statement. Especially given the fact that while casting his eyes down, he hadn't been able to avoid catching a glimpse of the demon's naked magnificence. Of his almost alabaster white, unblemished complexion, his sculpted body, and... his... package. While everything about this creature was breathtakingly beautiful, Viktor just knew he couldn't possibly take the demon's shaft into his body and so the prospect of getting ready for a decision didn't fill him with an excited anticipation. His executor chuckled above him and the sound forced Viktor to tilt his head back again and seek the demon's look, despite the protests of his neck muscles. Why did the creature have to be by two heads taller than him and why did he have to be so well endowed? The former was a pain for his neck, the latter...
“Your thought processes amuse me. I'll have to disappoint you though. Your preparations don't entail what you think they do.” Oh, Viktor was in fact as far from a disappointment as Blodwyn from Rhyda. A vast sea of relief lay between him and that emotion. But only until the demon added: “My pets will help you to get ready. You are to obey their every command, Viktor. And if you are as clever as I think you to be, you will do exactly what they'll say.” The nonchalant words jabbed at Viktor's pride so hard that he swayed. He... he had had a master but never, never had he been a pet of somebody's pets. A protest was rising to his lips but he managed to swallow it. Together with his momentarily unhelpful pride. Not to anger the demon. That was the key to his freedom. If there was a key in the first place.
The wide smirk on the demon's full pouts revealed that he shamelessly enjoyed reading every single thought in his mind. It wasn't fair. But the gamble with life rarely was. And so it came as no surprise when his kidnapper advised him of his view. “Freedom is a severely overestimated concept.” Without giving him a chance to react in any verbal way, the devil snapped his fingers and called his pets: “Argyros, Donn!”
Before the proud something in Viktor cringed in expectation of the unspeakable humiliation of submission to playthings, the first of the demon's minions appeared out of the nowhere and his beauty left him with his mouth agape. Thunderstruck with loveliness of darkness, he could barely breathe and almost overheard his captor's entertained words: “Servitude, my dear, is but a small price to pay for closeness with perfection.” He couldn't shake his head to disagree. Not when whole his attention was on the silvery apparition approaching him so slowly. So painfully slowly. Everything about the demon boy seemed to be made of the purest, shiniest silver. More alluring than moonlight could ever be. His complexion, his lips, his hair. Everything. Everything but for a pair of wings in the most delicate pigeon blue and rose colors. Viktor could almost hear their silent swoosh through the air when the youth half unfurled them in apparent excitement from seeing his master. And the demon lord responded with the same gesture. His pale green membranous wings greeted the young one with a light flutter and Viktor immediately understood it was an unspoken way of the same reaffirmations he so much longed to hear from Amédée's lips. Yours I am and You're mine were exchanged in front of his eyes without a single word. And left him aching for such intimacy.
We'll see. But the words remained only in Belial's head. He had watched Viktor going through a plethora of emotions tonight. Hope, despair, fear, desire, anger, doubts, hesitant affection, bravery, denial, acceptance, powerless fury, sadness, distress... and they had all been clashing in the man's soul again and again. He doubted that Viktor's resilience would carry him through much more in the next few hours. No. His pet needed to rest and sleep. There would be other days when Viktor could adjust his opinions. Just slightly. But not tonight. Tonight there would be just a pleasurable stress relief. All the rest could wait.
Purring quietly: “Do what you see Argyros doing,” he repositioned to stand behind Viktor and his nod invited his Fallen to demonstrate the full exercise. Argyros' tender half-smile brimmed with playfulness again and Donn's face lit up with sweet anticipation too. Just a bat of his eyelashes told them that he knew, understood and approved. They didn't need more encouragement to show their desire and need off. Smiling, he let two horizontal rods descend slowly in front of Argyros and Viktor. His silvery kitten grabbed his one without any hesitation. Yes, they had played this game plenty of times. Viktor wrapped his palms around the cold steel far more gingerly and cautiously. As if he half expected the rod to burn him. “Nothing what happens between now and the dawn will hurt, Viktor,” Belial whispered into his ear to brush away a part of the lingering worries and the shiver his hot breath invoked pleased him more than he allowed his pet to realize. Indeed, all would work just well between the two of them.
His will made the rod in front of Argyros rise above the boy's head. And higher still. His pet held onto it obediently all the time and when the bar finally stopped its movement, Argyros' body was stretched most alluringly. The lad balanced on his toes and every muscle of his figure presented itself to hungry eyes shamelessly.
Donn's hands shot in view and his fingers flicked his companion's nipples lightly. It was enough to wake the soft buds up and coax blood to gush into their capillaries rapidly. So rapidly that Argyros couldn't really hold a moan inside his mouth. It sounded as softly as a morning breeze and just as sensually. And Belial's white teeth flashed in a wide, unconcealed smirk. If he wasn't mistaken, his unwilling pet wouldn't be able to resist this powerful display of lust.
“Stop for a moment, Donn,” an order came but Viktor's soul didn't respond with gratitude. The command announced but a break in his suffering, not its end. Yes, receiving this brand felt different from the other one years back. Hundreds of little pains replaced one gust of agony... but the process was still the same. Suddenly, he wanted to bite down. He needed to hurt the turgid shaft in his mouth. He craved to express his anger at the demon for doing this to him. But he couldn't. Something stopped him and he couldn't even say what it was. Perhaps gentle cupping of his face, nudging him to let go of the engorged manhood. He did and it surprised him how reluctantly, despite all his inner exasperation.
“Does it hurt too much?” Belial asked, tilting Viktor's face up. Crab suas! Of course it hurt too much, what did the demon think? That it was a delicious treat to get tattooed on such a private and sensitive place? It wasn't. Glaring into the fluorite depths, he uttered: “What do you think?” immediately regretting his words. They would only irritate the demon and would win him nothing but punishment. But... again... there was no hard chastisement coming. Instead he heard: “That you're very sensitive between your legs, pet. Turn around and let me see.”
It wasn't exactly what Viktor had expected and he couldn't even find a curse which would relieve his confusion or his irritation. All the swearing colorfully portraying one's fate in hell seemed somehow... inappropriate, considering he actually was in Void. To demur at the command was equally improper and ineffective and so he was left with only one option. To do what he had been told to do. Poking his bottom lip out like a boy who is forced to do something what he disagrees with but is afraid to kick up a rumpus, he shifted and knelt again with his posterior facing his master. A dubious comfort flashed through his mind: at least he could say he mooned a High Demon. He wasn't quite sure where he would boast with such an achievement but if nothing else, the thought helped him not to feel like a scapegoat on an altar.
Waiting for the verdict, he tried to suppress nervous chewing on his own lips but was far from being successful. Maker, he felt like a bride forced into a doggie style. He needed to know what was happening behind him and was afraid to look over his shoulder. Donn's hands pulling his buttocks even more apart and Argyros' palms placed on his waist to hold him in position only made it all worse. Fine. Now the bridesmen would assist the bridegroom to claim his prize. Nothing against wedding night customs but he wasn't a virgin and there was no trophy to be had here. But still his fingers scratched the sheets lightly. In a moment of trepidation which only underscored the unwelcome parallels.
Hot fingers ghosted over his violated, sore flesh, and he pulled in an inhale through gritted teeth. A shudder raked his frame when the digits grazed his skin and a small moan leaked out of his lips. Right now he didn't want to be touched there. In fact, he longed not to be touched anywhere. But nobody cared about his momentary preferences. It shouldn't surprise him that much. Had he paid much attention to the desires of the boys in the reformatory? No, he had not. So, why should he expect a different treatment now when he ended up in this high-prestige reformatory of souls?
“Reformatory of souls?” the High Demon chuckled, “an interesting thought, dear.” But Viktor wasn't quite in a position to appreciate either his amusement or the little praise. He would only prize a return to the mortal realm which wasn't going to happen today. “Are you sure it's the only thing you can value, Vik?” Belial murmured and the diminutive sent Viktor in bewilderment. Out of the sudden it wasn't so clear what his answer would be if he were to be honest with himself and the demon. Something was telling him he in fact cherished the care granted to him before the morning had come. But he couldn't...
“We will see,” his inquisitive tormentor said. Was it a promise or a threat? Maker knew what it was and didn't find it necessary to share his knowledge with Viktor.
Shivering, Viktor nodded. Yes, they would see. That he wouldn't stay here.
“Which is why you need the tattoo in the first place,” Belial chided him, patting his bottom lightly. And still before Viktor could complain inwardly about injustice of such preventative measures, he added: “But you also need a distraction from the pain. Unbend and let me make you feel much better.”
Hmmm... if somebody could make him feel better, it was the High Demon. The realization trickled into Viktor's mind like honey onto a wound. Slowly and causing discomfort everywhere it touched. Despite the smarting sensations, despite the sticky feeling... honey had the power to heal. But Viktor decided to dismiss the cure. He wouldn't have needed anybody to alleviate his pains, had the demon not caused them in the first place. Yet, still he couldn't decline the offer. His thoughts picked up the pace as he tried and tried and tried to find an acceptable answer. And then the solution peeked out from behind the clouds of indecision like a sun ray. He would let just his body get the easement. But not his mind. He wouldn't grow attached. And would run away. Satisfied with his shrewd decision, he nodded again and loosened up.
The book will also be available at B&N shortly (it's already distributed there and should be visible in a couple of days, I'll send you the link to be included in the posts as soon as I have it)All posts in the tour should include this promotion code for a 10% discount from the sales price TM68J The code is valid only for a purchase from Smashwords and expires on 1 March 2013.
Ciaran Dwynvil, the bard of gay erotic fantasy, writes for... the characters. “I'm their happy scribe and their personal bard. When they come to me, their story is already there and they just need an author willing to listen in silent midnight hours, paint their life with words and then sing about it on pages of the books. That's what I do and what fills my days with joy.” This approach to writing resonates best with thoughtful readers for whom character emotions and plots are just as important, (if not more) as the erotic aspect of the stories. The lines in Ciaran's novels flow like verses in a minstrel's tales from the time long passed. Like stitches on a tapestry they create intricate images for those who dare to join the characters in the moments of bliss and in the moments of their darkest hours. Readers will get pulled in a complex fantasy world and will live through stories of faith, life, love and lust that will leave them aching for more. The narratives never use solely one character's point of view. Just like a tapestry doesn't rely just on one color, Ciaran's novels aren't told in one voice only. All heroes and villains speak on the pages and thus allow a reader to experience their story from multiple perspectives until a rich, complete vision fully emerges.
web page: http://www.ciarandwynvil.com/
I have never experienced such anticipation as I did while waiting for this book to be published. I had been so emotionally moved by the tale of lust and love in Part 1 and had grown so attached to all of the characters that I could not wait for the sequel to be published to learn what fate awaited these amazing men. I could barely contain my excitement as I sat down to read Trails of Love I Crawl Part 2. If you haven't read Part 1, I highly recommend that you read that first; otherwise, you can't comprehend the motives behind their actions, the depth of their emotions, or the situation in which the characters immediately find themselves.
The very first page of the book's prologue grabs the reader's attention with a thrilling and sensual encounter between a character fans already know and a beautiful and strong new character which sets the stage for events to unfold. Then we find first Amédée and later Viktor miserably trying to deal with the consequences of the events of the first book, and we begin the journey of lust and love anew as they struggle to discover to whom they truly belong. Like Part 1, Trails of Love I Crawl Part 2 tells the tale of these characters' lives so vividly and powerfully that readers will feel as though they are living the experiences along with the sexy men and won't want to let them go at book's end.
All of the characters with whom readers fell in love and who survived Part 1 return to continue their perilous tale in Part 2, a tale which will carry you to the heights of joyous peaks and to the depths of desolate canyons. You will find in this tale love so beautiful as to elicit tears and passions of lust and rage so powerful it will steal your breath. You will also find delightfully devious schemes courtesy of Belial, the Lord of Lust and the Prince of Trickery, and Jezebeth, the demon of a million lovely faces, two characters that I adore very much. Erotic and non-erotic scenes both contribute to the characters' thought processes, motivations, and feelings, and it is necessary to read all scenes to fully grasp what is happening and why. A beautifully written work of art, this story left me breathless and desperate for Part 3. If you are a fan of gay erotic fantasy, you don't want to miss this book! http://www.amazon.com/review/R1YMCXI2VQR4LN/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00AG1JFYA&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=133140011&store=digital-text