Guest Author Elizabeth Black
William Shakespeare said All the world’s a stage, but he hadn’t counted on shifters under a theater’s hot lights. Lovers Sam Hightower and Grant Newsome live for the stage. Although they have enjoyed the wanderlust of traveling theater for many years, each has grown tired of the road and wants to settle down. They also have a secret. As shifters and no part of any pack, they are lone wolves in every sense of the word. The full moon brings out the beast in them.
Even though their work as gaffers—lighting techs—puts them in contact with a large variety of willing, sexy men and women to share their love, they prefer men. They find a dancer, Luke Pearce, who makes their blood run hot, but Luke has a secret of his own to test them. Add scenic artists and lovers Charlotte and Lina to the mix, and you have a wild and sexy fivesome.
To spoil their fun and to their surprise, Sam and Grant discover another shifter in their midst, but this young person is so inexperienced and terrified she could expose them to the human hunters and get them killed. How can Sam and Grant protect themselves as well as the people they love?
Sam dried off and wrapped a towel around his waist when the doorbell rang.
Who would be calling at two o’clock in the morning?
Curious, he walked to the door and looked through the peephole. Charlotte and Lina filled his line of vision, distended and elongated from the fisheye lens effect of the peephole as if they were reflected in a funhouse mirror. With those two around, life was like a rollercoaster ride at a carnival. He opened the door.
Charlotte’s eyebrows flipped up, and she gave a low wolf whistle. “Wow, and he comes gift wrapped already for us.”
Sam forgot he wore only a towel around his waist.
“May we come in? We come bearing gifts.” Lina peered at him from over Charlotte’s shoulder, a mischievous grin spreading across her face.
“How’d you know we’d be up? We might have been asleep.”
“Fat chance of that, luv.” Charlotte pushed her way past Sam.
The crisp scent of seagrass and moss from her shampoo and body lotion drifted in the air around him. Sam admired the swing of her shapely ass as she sauntered through the living room into the kitchen, followed by Lina who floated in a cloud of spring rain and freshly mown grass.
They just showered. How I would have loved to be in that shower with them, soaping up their backs and getting them clean inside and out. Even better, a hot, steamy shower with them, Luke, and Grant would satisfy me no end. If only the shower was the size of a two-car garage.
“We know you two aren’t alone, so we invited ourselves over again for another party.” Charlotte said.
“What’s in the bag?” Grant tried to take the bag from Charlotte’s arms, but Lina slapped him away.
“Get off. It’s time to play Show-And-Tell.” Lina pulled a bottle from the bag. “Cognac! Let’s do some serious drinking.”
“Are you trying to get us shit-faced?” Grant asked.
“I can’t get you shit-faced without your permission.”
Lina sat the bottle of cognac, a bag of pepper salami, pheasant pâté, vegetarian quiche for Luke, apple butter, five bright red apples, and a wedge of brie on the kitchen table. Charlotte placed a loaf of French bread next to the delightful food. Sam’s mouth watered with anticipation of another night of sinful decadence with his lovely co-workers.
Charlotte nibbled on a piece of salami as if she was making love to it.
Lina had been there so often she knew where everything was in the house. She walked to the kitchen, found five snifters, and poured brandy for all of them.
Sam’s cock bobbed beneath his towel, eager for Round Two.
“How about we get this party rolling?” Charlotte asked.
Sam left the room long enough to put on a t-shirt and jeans. By the time the five of them made it to the living room, Sam overheated from the sexual possibilities before him.
Wouldn’t do to sit around wearing only a bath towel, no matter how comfortable it is.
“Good thing we have off today. We’re going to need the rest.” Grant sipped his cognac.
“I don’t think we’ll be getting much rest tonight. I’m feeling adventurous.” Charlotte dipped her finger in her cognac and rubbed it around her mouth, pursing her lips with the promise of much more.
“Charlotte, you’re such a tease,” Luke said. “I don’t know how you get away with it.”
“I’m utterly charming,” she said. “I can’t help myself. Here you go.” After handing Luke a slab of quiche, she sliced some bread. “Who wants pâté? Anyone want brie and an apple slice?”
Sam realized he was starving. All the earlier exertion gave him an appetite. “I’ll take the pâté. I haven’t had pheasant in a while.”
She spread pâté on a slice and handed it to Sam. Grant helped himself to brie on bread with a sliver of apple on top. Once Lina and Luke filled their plates with hors d’oevres, the five sat down. Charlotte, Lina, and Luke chose the couch, Sam and Grant on chairs.
“Have you heard? There’s been another sighting about an hour ago,” Lina said. “A bunch of teenagers saw a wolf when they were on bike paths in the woods.”
Sam knitted his brows. They couldn’t have seen him and Grant, since they’d been home all evening with Luke. What had the kids seen? Assuming they saw anything, since telling everyone within earshot you saw wolves would bring them lots of attention. Knowing kids, that was exactly what they would want, but somehow, Sam knew that wasn’t the case.
“This isn’t the first sighting, either. It’s been seen for the past couple of weeks, but no one has been able to catch it.” Charlotte said.
“I thought wolves traveled in packs,” Luke said.
“They do,” Grant said.
“Has it hurt anyone?” Sam asked, dreading the answer.
“No, but it killed some livestock, which is why the farmers and hunters are after it. Hikers had found ‘possum, raccoon, and woodchuck carcasses for weeks, and they didn’t bat an eye. Once the sheep started getting mauled, the rifles came out.”
Sam felt a pang of distress. What if this was another werewolf? It must have felt terribly frightened and lonely, being trapped in Portland without any support at all. Sam would not have survived if it weren’t for Grant never leaving his side, showing him how to care for himself, how to hunt, and how to blend in. The last thing Sam wanted to do was to live this troubling life alone.
Assuming this was a werewolf, it had made a huge mistake in killing and partially eating livestock. Farmers didn’t like losing money. Gutting a cow or sheep called attention to oneself. If only he could meet this wolf and help it. It would be good to meet another kindred spirit. How could he discover its identity? He doubted it was a local. The killings had been going on for only a couple of weeks. He suspected they’d started at about the time the troupe had arrived in Portland. How could he draw out the shifter and let it know it had kindred spirits who would help it? At the very least, he could teach it to leave the livestock and pets alone. Killing those animals guaranteed a rifle in the snout in the near future.
“Where exactly has the wolf been seen?” Sam asked.
“Near the Mountain Street hiking paths,” Lina said.
That was not good. The location was too out in the open.
“One of the hunters shot it last night,” Charlotte said. “Nicked the shoulder, but it kept on running.”
Panic surged in Sam’s veins. He had to know if this was another werewolf.
“It’s scary,” Lina said. “I like to hike along those paths, but now I can’t. I’m too afraid of running into a beast.”
You won’t have to worry after tonight, at least for another month.
“Maybe it can be caught and relocated,” Sam said. “I hope it isn’t killed.”
“I’m for moving it to a more secluded location, away from people,” Charlotte said.
“Let’s stop talking about wolves and shootings. I’m getting depressed,” Grant said as he poured himself another glass of cognac.
“Let’s talk about sex,” Luke said with a grin.
Charlotte laughed. “I’m game.”
“Me, too,” said Lina.
“Okay, spill it,” Luke said, “Charlotte, have you gone through the entire troupe yet?”
“Of course not,” she said with mock indignation. “I’m very picky. My partners have to be special and exciting. I’ve rejected most advances. Hey, I chose you, after all.”
“All three of us,” Sam said.
“We’re both very satisfied with our choices.” Lina said, then nibbled on a sliver of apple. Her pointed tongue slipped out and grabbed a morsel of apple on her lip. It was a tiny movement, but oh so sexy. “But we’re not here for an orgy tonight. At least, I’m not.”
“Me, neither. I’m here for the food and good company,” Charlotte said.
Elizabeth Black writes erotica, erotic romance, speculative fiction, fantasy, dark fiction, and horror. Her erotic fiction has been published by Xcite Books (U. K.), House Of Erotica (U. K.), Circlet Press, eXtasy Books, Ravenous Romance, Riverdale Avenue Books, Scarlet Magazine (U. K.), and other publishers. She also enjoys writing retellings of classic fairy tales, including her two self-published fairy tales "Trouble In Thigh High Boots" (Puss In Boots) and "Climbing Her Tower" (Rapunzel). An accomplished essayist, she was the sex columnist for the pop culture e-zine nuts4chic (U. K.). Her articles about sex, erotica, and relationships have appeared in Good Vibrations Magazine, Alternet, CarnalNation, the Ms. Magazine Blog, Novelspot, The Erotic Readers and Writers Association Blog, Sexis Magazine, On The Issues, Sexy Mama Magazine, and Circlet blog.