October 21, 2015
To celebrate Halloween this month, some of our paranormal authors will be sharing with us some free fiction.
Big Bad Wolf (A Portland Pack Chronicles Flash Fic)
It wasn’t often Avery and Jaden’s schedules allowed them time to shift and play together, but on Halloween, they got a rare opportunity to run and pounce in Forest Park.
As Avery stripped, shivering at the blustery wind, he took a moment to admire Jaden’s animal form. Simply put, Jaden was beautiful. Where Dylan, Avery’s mate, was a powerhouse of a wolf, large and heavily muscled, Jaden was compact, built more for speed than brute strength. Shades of cream and russet accented his shiny auburn coat. He lifted his rear, tail wagging, and yipped encouragingly, his amber eyes gleaming with mischief.
Avery smiled and stepped out of his briefs, letting the change overtake him. The trees swirled as he shrank into his hedgehog form, his spines bursting forth with the familiar flash of pain. When it was over, he sneezed at the overwhelming scents of loamy soil, moss, and decaying leaves.
A wet tongue dragged over his snout and then Jaden nuzzled at him gently. Hedgehogs weren’t tactile creatures like wolves, but Avery nuzzled back, drawing in Jaden’s sweet, musky smell.
For a while they romped through the trees, Avery scurrying on his tiny paws, and Jaden loping ahead before circling back to keep pace with him. With a wolf as his companion, any predators that might have eyed Avery for a snack kept their distance.
Eventually they returned to where they’d left their clothing. Avery shifted to his human form and sat to reorient himself until the cold compelled him to start yanking on his clothes.
“That was fun,” Jaden said once they were dressed. “I need a shower before we go out, though.”
Avery nodded. “Me too. I have a surprise for Dylan tonight.”
Jaden arched his eyebrows. “You didn’t mention any surprises.”
“Wait and see.”
“Is he meeting you at Wolfhound?”
“Yeah. He had to go look at Miss Betty’s car. She’s helping me by making him stay for dinner.”
Jaden smiled and shook himself, sending a dried leaf flying from his ginger hair. “Well, I’ll see you there. Eight o’clock?”
“Yep. But I might be fashionably late.”
Jaden snorted. “When aren’t you?”
Avery grinned cheekily. “Just have your camera ready.”
Two hours later, he hesitated in front of Wolfhound. Two men stood smoking to the left of the entrance and they eyed him with open fascination as Avery adjusted his skimpy costume.
Here goes nothing.
Chin raised, he swept into Wolfhound. As usual, hair metal greeted him. Avery ignored the screeching guitars, eager to see Dylan after spending the day apart.
Sensing his mate’s presence on the other side of the bar near the pool tables, Avery hurried his steps. He ignored the side glances and comments from the other patrons. He wasn’t the only one in costume, but he stood out for several reasons.
Jaden and Sawyer saw him first. Quiet, implacable Sawyer choked on his mouthful of beer while Jaden let out a bark of a laugh that drew everyone’s attention.
When Dylan spotted Avery, his eyes bugged. Avery approached him and slowly spun around so Dylan had a view of the back of his costume. He shook his ass, swinging the fake bushy tail suspended from the broad belt above his hips.
“What. The hell. Are you wearing?” Dylan sounded constipated.
Avery shot him a coy look over his shoulder—which Dylan missed, as he was staring at Avery’s tail in horror.
“I’m the big bad wolf.” Avery turned to face his mate. “Sort of.”
The costume was a loose interpretation. It consisted of a skintight gray romper with a low-cut halter top that left most of Avery’s chest bare. Furry leg warmers made up his hind paws and a hood with big ears and tassels completed the outfit. Avery hadn’t bothered tucking, and the material hid nothing. Both his bulge and lower asscheeks were on full display. Any other time, he wouldn’t have been caught dead in something so tacky, but it was Halloween. If there was ever time for a trashy costume, it was now.
“I brought you something too.” Avery dug into his messenger bag and pulled out the sweater, nose, and ears he’d purchased for Dylan. The sweater had fake spines and padding on the back, meant to mimic the look of a rounded hedgehog.
Dylan snapped his jaw shut. “Fuck no.”
Around him, their friends watched with open amusement. Too bad Lucas wasn’t there. He would’ve at least leered at Avery a little.
Avery pouted. “Come on. Don’t be a spoilsport.”
“Nope.” Dylan turned away.
Avery narrowed his eyes at his back. Dylan could play hard to get if he wanted, but Avery would wear him down.
He started his attack with a lot of bending—over the pool table to line up a shot, down to the floor when he “accidentally” dropped his cue stick. He felt eyes on his ass every time, and once or twice, he might have wiggled his hips a little just to set the tail swinging.
Finally, Dylan growled and snatched the bag off the table where Avery had set it.
“Fine,” he snapped. “I’ll wear the damn costume if you stop flashing your ass! I don’t want anyone else seeing what’s mine.”
Avery widened his eyes and amped up his Southern twang. “Me? Flashing? I haven’t the slightest idea what you mean.”
Dylan glared. “Shut it.”
Avery watched as Dylan pulled on the sweater and then set the ears on top of his head. The nose came last, and it made Dylan look absolutely ridiculous. Avery smiled gleefully and pounced on his mate. He kissed Dylan, not caring that Wolfhound wasn’t a gay bar. No one in their group would mind, and Avery didn’t care about anyone else.
Dylan growled again and dragged him close. “Such a brat,” Dylan whispered against his mouth. “I oughta put you over my knee.”
Light flashed and a shutter clicked as someone nearby took a picture.
Avery laughed and nipped at Dylan’s lower lip. “Maybe later. And if you’re a good boy, I’ll keep the tail on.”
Meet Dylan and Avery in Prickly Business, now available from Dreamspinner Press.
And look for the sequel, Prickly By Nature, on November 19th!
Piper Vaughn Bio
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life… even if it’s only in a book.
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