Today I am very excited to welcome author K-Lee Klein to Joyfully Jay. She is here to share her new book, Lucius’s Bite, the first in her new Family of Misfits series. It will be released by MLR Press on June 22nd. K-Lee has brought a excerpt to share with us as well as offering a copy of the book to give away to one lucky commenter. So please join me in welcoming her!
Lucius opened his eyes to find himself on the floor, his body sprawled out lengthwise, head resting on a pillow from the couch. Ali’s bodiless face hovered over him, one hand stroked the hair from his face and the other wrapped around his wrist.
“What’s going on?” he asked, seriously unsure of exactly what he was doing on the ground.
“You passed out, love,” Ali replied. “How do you feel?”
Lucius blinked his eyes, the black spots clearing enough for him to make out all the eyes staring down at him as he lay on the floor. “Stupid,” he growled, batting Ali’s hands away and struggling to get off the ground. He was hit with another wave of heat and pain, instantly falling back down, his head spinning and body searing with pinpricks of heat.
“Don’t be a stubborn ass,” Ali hissed at him. He laid a hand flat over his chest and pushed him back down before putting the pillow under his head again. “Manny, go grab a glass of water for your brother, please.”
Ali’s eyes were doing some sort of hypnotic crazy dance as they peered into Lucius’, his pupils dilated and seeming to spin, or maybe that was Lucius’ own issue. “You need to concentrate,” Ali whispered, bending further over so Lucius couldn’t see anything but his face.
“Concentrate?” he stammered back, more confused than usual at Ali’s random comments. Oh my, goddess, there was that delicious smell again.
Ali moved his hand from Lucius’ face to the side of his head, gently stroking the hair over his ears and leaning down so he was almost nose-to-nose with his charge. “Your ears, love. You need to concentrate on your ears.”
Lucius squinted his eyes and wracked his brain for what the hell his friend was talking about, not an easy task when his brain felt like it was breaking in two. “My ears? What’s wrong with my ears?” he asked glowering as he reached a hand up to rake his fingers through his hair.
“You have four of them.”
At the moment Ali said the words, Lucius’ fingers made contact with the extra furry flaps on the top of his head. They weren’t exactly wolf ears yet, only half shifted but big enough to affirm that he definitely had two extra appendages on his head. “Fuck,” he swore under his breath.
That had never happened before, at least not that he was aware of. Wolves didn’t half or even partially shift—it was all or nothing. He looked up into Ali’s concerned eyes, panic rising hard and fast, his heart thudding a beat that seemed centered entirely in his ears, of course he couldn’t be sure which ears were doing the listening.
“Calm down,” Ali purred against his cheek. “I’m sure if you just focus, they’ll disappear.”
“Do you need help getting him up from the floor?”
Lucius didn’t recognize the soft, accented voice but it rang some familiar chord inside him, vibrated through his body, hummed in his groin. He turned his head a little to catch a glimpse of the speaker but he couldn’t see around Ali’s head.
“He’s fine,” Ali snapped, eyes still focused on Lucius. “Manny, sweetheart, why don’t you get our guests seated around the dining room table? I’m sure Lucius just needs a little space to breathe and he’ll be fine.”
“Are… are you sure, Ali? He kinda looks like he’s gonna shif—“
“Go, Manny. Now, please.”
Lucius heard Manny’s frustrated huff before his footsteps echoed out of the living room, followed by at least three other sets walking behind him. He drew in a giant gulp of air and slowly exhaled, trying to clear the remaining spots from his vision, hoping the new air in his lungs would cool his overheated internal furnace and kickstart his brain into actually functioning again.
“Did you turn up the heat, Ali?” he asked when his breathing returned to normal. “’Cuz it’s like a fucking sauna in here.”
Ali laid a hand on Lucius’ head. “You do feel a little warm. Wanna try and sit up now?”
Lucius lifted his head a little, whispering close to Ali’s ear. “Are they gone? My ears… the other set, I mean?”
“They’re gone,” the same sultry voice in the background answered. “Why don’t you let me help you?”
Ali swiveled his head to look at the source of the voice and Lucius got his first look of the man. Flames immediately seared him from the inside out again and he yelped, his body writhing in pain. Ali seemed to fade away, replaced by the handsome face of the stranger—the stranger that somehow seemed familiar.
“Ali?” Lucius gasped.
“Let me help you,” the stranger murmured, drawing closer to Lucius. “I know what you need, dragostea mea.”
“Who the fuck are you?” Lucius’ face dampened with sweat as he tried to push away from the hand pressed against his chest. Who did this guy think he was? And just where the fuck was Ali?
He suddenly realized the fire in his chest was subsiding, at least where the firm fingers touched him. Breathing became a little easier, the burning knot in his throat eased and let him swallow again. He closed his eyes to regain his focus, opening them in time to see the man’s face descend on his own. Soft, gentle lips pressed against Lucius’, neither forcing themselves against his mouth or leaving him any choice but to return the kiss. He felt like he was melting, the steely heat replaced with a molten lava sizzle and then a return to normal temperature. He didn’t know why he kept on kissing the man, didn’t know why his hands suddenly gripped the man’s head and pulled him closer, and he certainly didn’t know why he’d sprung rock hard wood from just one kiss. All he did know was the way he felt: calm, contained, joyous—complete.
The refreshing scent of rain and sunshine and warm summer days filled his nostrils as his lips buzzed with sensation and fabulous flavors. He might not know what was happening to him but he didn’t want it to stop.
One bite has never been a life changing decision but it is now — to bite or not to bite that is the question.
All Lucius needs is his family. They might be a mismatched and unconventional group but they’re the only “real” family he knows and wants. What Lucius doesn’t need is the strange, beautiful man who arrives as a last minute dinner guest and knocks him and his wolf on his ass, literally.
Just being in the same room with the mysterious Nicu proves disastrous. Lucius knows without a doubt he doesn’t need the havoc Nicu threatens to bring to his predictable, but comfortable existence. But when he stands to lose the man who is tearing his life apart, Lucius realizes he doesn’t know what he needs at all.
K-Lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember. Though she’s fairly new at throwing her original fiction out into the web universe, she hopes to substitute her passion for writing beautiful, emotional men for her previous jobs as a hockey manager/coach, school band volunteer and overall chauffeur.
For now she lives with an overly-patient husband who totally does not get her thing for gay men, two spoiled but wonderful sons (who don’t get it either), two also spoiled but beautiful cats, many phone calls with her daughter who has already left the nest, and an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.
- Website: kleeklein.com
- Blog: http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca/
- GoodReads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5073338.K_lee_Klein
K-Lee has brought a copy of Lucius’ Bite to give away to one lucky commenter. Please be sure to leave your email address as WordPress doesn’t seem to be storing them automatically. The contest will close on Sunday, June 24th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the contest, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay and leave your email address if it is not in your profile.