Gray’s Shadow

Kings of Hell MC

by K.A. Merikan

THERE CAN BE NO SHADOW WITHOUT THE MAN TO CAST IT.

Gray Lost his twin. Will never be complete. Works alone.

Shadow. Monster? Human? Exists to be Gray’s one true companion.

After losing his twin brother, Gray has devoted his life to the Kings of Hell MC. He will do anything to protect his family and that means anything

Even sell his own shadow to the devil.

Following a fire that left him without one arm, Gray feels pushed to the sidelines. In order to prove to his club that he is still capable of completing dangerous tasks, he will have to team up with the strange creature from the Other Side. Tall, inhumanly strong, and menacing despite the handsome exterior, Shadow is just the tool Gray needs.

The moment Shadow lays his eyes on Gray, he wants to crawl under Gray’s skin and make the human his.

Gray on the other hand isn’t willing to get attached to a monster destined to do the devil’s bidding and disappear once his time is up. Rejected, Shadow has to do everything in his power to convince his human that they belong together.

But as the clock ticks away precious minutes of Shadow’s existence, Gray will have to choose between his loyalty to the Kings of Hell MC and responsibility for the creature he brought into this world.

*

“Do you feel me running through your veins?”

Gray nodded.

*

Themes: motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, monster, tattoos, secrets, crime, gothic, grief, mourning, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, demisexuality, gentle giant

Genre: Dark, paranormal M/M romance

Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes

Length: ~150,000 words (Book 4 in the series)

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

This book is on:
  • 4 To Be Read lists
Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Demisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Tropes: Antihero, Badass Hero, Big Character / Little Character, Biological Urge to Mate, Criminals & Outlaws, Cultural Differences, Enemies to Lovers, Everyone is Queer, Fated Mates / Soul Mates, First Time, Forbidden Love, Healing Power of Sex, Hurt / Comfort, InstaLove / Love at First Sight, Lone Wolf, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Moral Failure, Slow Burning Love, Trapped Together, True Love
Word Count: 150000
Setting: Maine, small town, biker club, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Excerpt:

With a low exhale, Gray opened the lock with the hand he still had and entered his personal space, at once greeted with the smell of heavy, somewhat moldy air.

The first thing he did was open the window, but all small actions that he used to do without effort were now problematic. He stared out into the dark sky where the sickle-shaped new moon was already emerging like a reminder that he wasn’t free to rest.

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Still, the familiar sight of the place where he’d lived since Mike discovered sex at fourteen and refused to share a room any longer was a cooling balm to Gray’s soul. The white and ash-colored walls appeared so pure Gray’s muscles gradually relaxed. The room was large, made even more spacious by the fact that Gray didn’t need much. He only owned a couple of pieces of furniture, with the few luxuries being a media center and a large tub in the ensuite.

Glad to be home, he pulled off his boots and socks, yet more calm when his feet touched the wooden floor he and Mike had put there themselves a few years back, when Gray had decided he hated carpets. The walls remained bare since he’d taken down all the photos, but the urn containing Mike’s ashes was in its place on the bedside table, and Gray was glad knowing that he would be sleeping with it later tonight, once the job was done.

He spared his king-size bed a longing glance, but instead of lying down, he opened his wardrobe and faced the full-length mirror on the inside of the door, recoiling slightly. The sight of the stump still hit him every time his reflection stared back at him. He desperately tried to avoid dealing with this new reality, but there was no way around it. This was his life now.

He couldn’t do the things he was used to, and his role within the club, the only family he’d ever known, would irreversibly change. And just like following Mike’s death, he was powerless.

Gray shut his eyes, trying to relax. He needed to face the demon eventually, so he might as well deal with that right away. He blindly reached out to the mirror when something in the air changed, and not because of the open window. It was like being watched—intensely and with purpose—to the point where Gray’s skin became overly sensitive and even made him aware of the clothing on his back.

He wasn’t alone.

Gray took a deep inhale and opened his eyes, ready to face the demon in the mirror, but the surface showed only his reflection. His chest compressed, releasing the held-back air, but a hint of movement made Gray freeze in place again. His brain helplessly tried to come up with an explanation for what he was seeing, but there wasn’t one.

In the mirror, he watched his own shadow shifting up the wall, its surface animated as if it were crawling with thousands of cockroaches dipped in tar.

His limbs felt like logs when he made himself turn around, still clinging to the possibility that it had only been an illusion present on the other side of the dim mirror, that Baal was just fucking with him. But no. Seen with bare eyes, the boiling surface of the shadow appeared even more turbulent. Struck with shock, Gray lowered his gaze, tracing the black form all the way to the tips of his toes, and the hair at the back of his neck bristled in alarm.

A bubble of the black goo filling his shadow broke all too close to his feet, and he stepped to the side, gasping in panic. The dark figure moved with him.

His mind split. One part of it was screaming in terror and telling him to run, but the other—the logical part of his brain that knew he’d traded his shadow on the night of the fire—kept him where he was.

But when a trembling hand emerged from his shadow like a limb reaching for help out of a hole in the ice, holding on to logic was no longer possible. Gray backed away, staring at fingers that looked as if they’d been dipped in liquid latex.

This time, the shadow stayed where it was instead of following Gray’s movement, its toes no longer attached to Gray’s feet and twitching on their own as if they were the work of a master puppeteer. Gray only stopped when the back of his thigh hit his desk, and he rested his hand on it, watching the flat image on the wall swell until it reached a three-dimensional form resembling a man. Resembling him.

His height.

His shape.

Even to the point of lacking one arm.

When Gray took a deep breath, the creature’s chest moved too, even though it had no mouth. It looked as if it was wearing a gimp suit from hell.

Gray squeezed the edge of the desktop and allowed himself an exhale, staring back at the creature whose gaze he could feel yet not see.

“What now, Baal?” he asked, his body stiff, as if it were instinctually bracing itself for a fight. He wanted to brush hair out of his face with his other hand and hissed when he remembered it was no longer there.

The demon wouldn’t answer him, but the solid-black shadow stilled. Dark liquid drizzled from the stump, followed by a rapid build-up of the same mass it was made of. At first, Gray wasn’t sure what he was seeing, but once the creature grew an arm where it so far only had a stump, he finally understood. The shadow brushed back hair it didn’t have with the new arm, mirroring the gesture Gray had wanted to make.

‘Creepy’ didn’t even cut it anymore. The thing was vile in its attempts at reflecting Gray. The sooner Baal took it with him, the better.

The shadow stepped closer, and Gray realized that this creature, which had started out as an image of him only seconds ago, was now able to look down on him, growing in size with every step it took..

When it sprouted two more arms below the first pair, Gray felt faint, despite having seen more than his fair share of nasty shit in his life.

But instead of attacking him, the shadow stopped and glanced at the new arms. The creature’s blank face had no features and no mouth, but it somehow gave a strange, screeching whine.

Gray moved very slowly until he stood perfectly straight in front of the desk.  He had no fucking idea what was going on, but while this building was by no means a normal place, the clubhouse was his home, and he would take control of the situation if it killed him.

“What do you want?”

The shadow charged at Gray.

Gray let out a yelp and braced himself for impact, arm stretched out to take the first blow, but the monster… hugged him. With all four arms. It leaned over Gray and its strange, warm body molded itself to him as if it wanted to be absorbed by Gray’s skin.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.

K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


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