A Silver Raven’s Tale

by J. Hali Steele

A Silver Raven's Tale - J. Hali Steele
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 2.99
ISBN: B08SQHWW8S
Pages: 125

Michelin Empyrean, a rare white raven, has lived for centuries and he’s tired of loneliness. What makes life more burdensome is increasing responsibility and leadership of socially inclined corvid shifters. Preventing his kind, ravens, and especially crows, from robbing and menacing humans who remain unaware of their existence takes its toll. When one wayward creature’s thieving antics come to his attention, Mich decides to personally take the man to task.

Terrel Slade is a crow. Practically everything he owns is stolen. His stash of pretties, and the fact he’s never been caught, makes him proud as a peacock. As much as he’d like to be the beautiful bird he struts around imitating, he believes his crow is sexier. Terre is no more than an omnivorous crow shifter with a penchant for shiny objects. A cunning bird, his existence is crammed with innovative ways to irritate his archenemy, the raven.

That’s about to change.

When Michelin halts Terrel’s lifestyle, more than sparks fly—the whole damn forest might burn to the ground.

#darkfantasy #drama #enemiestolovers #gay #HEA #paranormal #religerotica #romance #shifters #travel #violence

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Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Protagonist 2 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Tropes: Badass Hero, Big Character / Little Character, Biological Urge to Mate, Enemies to Lovers, Fated Mates / Soul Mates, Love Can Heal / Redemption
Word Count: 31000
Setting: USA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Madrid, Spain; Catacombs, Paris, France;
Languages Available: English
Excerpt:

A young shifter, Terrel Slade had no idea he was followed. He took Michelin on a flying tour of Philadelphia skyscrapers from Independence Hall and William Penn’s statue across the city to the Comcast Tower before returning home to prepare for a night out.

After he left, Michelin unashamedly ransacked the crow’s apartment.

Now he stood at the bar in a loud, swanky social establishment catering to men he would have, earlier, enjoyed entertaining for a few hours. Eyed his quarry navigate a path across the club. Michelin picked up the word peacock. Precious green beryl glittered on neck and fingers. Striking, sure of himself and how stunning his petite body appeared in a dark purple shirt and fitting charcoal pants. Black ankle high boots were well made and gave the impression of comfort. Appropriate footwear for walking, running or stomping shit out of anyone threatening. A fighter.

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Couldn’t help rolling pictures of the crow’s afternoon flight across his mind’s eye. Graceful, strong, he attracted females from a nearby roost but easily evaded every one of them as he nimbly wound in and out of tall buildings spanning the historical metropolis.

Good God, he was sexy as hell especially when a slender, sun-kissed hand threw his silky black ponytail over narrow shoulders. Slade, if he did possess it, would fan colorful plumage high and wide in a dance of courtship for the world to see. Michelin was ecstatic the crow wouldn’t be doing it to attract a female.

His scent invaded Michelin’s nostrils; set off fireworks that… Why hadn’t he noticed before? No goddamn way. Fuck. Me. A crow.

A crow damn near enticing enough to make him forget about those who attacked the day he left the ark. But not quite. Michelin couldn’t completely separate that incident from what he felt observing every movement Terrel made.

He answered mine when asked where he wished to entertain yet all Mich could think was—mine.

Bastard and every feather he wore belonged to Michelin.

Tonight, he anticipated claiming the man he established was his for as long as he lived.

* * * * * * *

Pounded his steering wheel as he followed Terrel in a car continuing the pretext he was human. Michelin swore to Heaven. Gave everyone above new names they would not appreciate or forget. “Haven’t you exacted enough punishment from me for a long ago lapse in judgement?” Lapse my ass. He’d intentionally pecked Noah not once but twice. Premeditated extracting blood both times because he sent him away from the only friend he’d ever had. Not his problem the old jackass erroneously permitted admittance of two male ravens to the splendid wooden boat he’d fashioned to save the almighty’s celebrated flock of humans as well as animals.

And why the fuck couldn’t the dove had been sent out first? Why?

“Shit.” Cautioned himself to keep his mind on the problem at hand as the loft apartment building loomed.

Searching the place earlier, he’d found the wily creature’s stash. Nor did it surprise him how smartly the bird’s home was appointed. Ancestors, crows that they were, had likely pilfered enough to furnish a king’s castle. Did astonish him how one so young had amassed the amount of additional stolen goods he sequestered in his building’s basement storage rooms. He had managed to usurp the space of six tenants. Probably paid for them to store off site. No smart crow would live very far from his plunder. Ballsy fucker had audacity to engage around the clock security guards who were crow shifters. Risky at best, it was a catastrophe waiting to unfold the instant a bird swiped a piece. The crow would know resulting in a nasty battle.

Ark was right, Michelin must take control of… They are my responsibility.

Entering the building, he noted Terrel standing by an elevator that would lift directly to his rooms. Doors barely joined from top to bottom before Michelin pressed the man into a corner. “You bring me to your home without knowing me?”

Lips he couldn’t wait to taste curved. “You don’t know me.”

Normal way to handle a subject was to claw and peck information out the bird or rip wings beyond repair leaving a creature defenseless and unable to forage. Men who crossed him were thrashed until they crumpled. Some he transported away to dispose of bodies; others he left lifeless heaps to be discovered. Authorities never learned who murdered them. “You’re as showy as a peacock.”

“You know beautiful birds.” He rested a hand on Mich’s forearm and winked. “They’re not as sexy as they are pretty.”

Not taking blood on a regular basis, he had trouble connecting with many of his flock. Not Terrel Slade. Sweeping a finger down Terrel’s cheek, Michelin gloried in delving deep along his mental path to see men he had knocked out, birds sent shrieking from the sky and one who…he broke the man’s finger. Motherfucking alpha. Guess crow guards didn’t pose a problem for this one. Tough ass took care of himself. Hell’s sake, given chance, he’d rule the crow nation. “I want to know everything about you.”

Elevator stopped and doors raised and lowered simultaneously. “The night isn’t that long.”

“I’ve got nothing but time and I’ll require all of yours.” He leaned and whispered, “You won’t be bringing anyone else here.”

“You don’t get to tell me…” He stopped dead still and looked at his coffee table. The chalice was perfectly centered on glass. “You have to go.” He turned to push Michelin backward. When he didn’t budge an inch, anxiety filled chocolate brown eyes as a thin white ring circled the orb.

“Tell-tale eyes.”

“Excuse me? Leave. Now.”

“No.” Mich easily captured the fist aimed at his jaw. A human, if the blow connected, would have smacked the floor, maybe in a coma. There was never intention to lie once he had him alone. “I placed it there.” He kissed skin turning white as it stretched over knuckles. “You have nothing to fear from me yet.” Tugging Terrel behind him, Mich walked to pick up the prize. “Make plans to return this to Saint Anthony’s parish.” His turn to grin. “It doesn’t hold a candle to the sexiest piece of ass I’ll ever have.”

“That’s not going to happen.” Mich's statement sunk in, set sat him on his heels. “Wait. Who the heck are you?”

“I am much more than, how did you put it—a tall tale.”

“Who are you!”

“Someone you’ll be spending a lot of time with.” Michelin fully released his scent.

“Not possible damn it; not my mate. You’re…”

“Michelin Empyrean.”

COLLAPSE

Raven and Crow shifters

About the Author

J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of... Well, she can't do those things but she wishes she could! Multi-published author of Romance including Contemporary, LGBTQ, Paranormal, and ReligErotica stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels often collide—they collide a lot! When J. Hali's not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.

My Quotes:

Growl and roar—it's okay to let the beast out. – J. Hali Steele

Death is overrated as punishment. – J. Hali Steele (from The Descendants)

Life is complicated, it’s loud, death arrives silently. – J. Hali Steele (from Twice the Burn)


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