Saturday, February 13, 2010

North Storm by Willa Okati

North Storm
by Willa Okati
cover art by Marteeka Karland
ISBN: 978-1-59596-981-1
Genre(s): Futuristic, BDSM
Length: Novella

North, a rural water farmer, has come to the big citta to be trained in the art of deep-water treasure diving. A man can make enough in a season to take care of his family for years -- except as a novice and a country boy, North can't find anyone willing to teach him the job.
That is, until he finds a mentor in the wild, sexually charismatic "Storm." Storm promises to teach North everything he knows, from navigating the dangers of the hunt to submission in bed -- but only if North is willing to give himself over completely.
This title has been previously released and has been re-edited for release with Changeling Press.
This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

For someone who had been raised on the sea, North was beginning to hate the sight of it. Blue waters, green, aqua, all of them stretching as far as his eyes could see. He'd been rowing for two weeks now, the winds too calm for his small sail to pick up much of a breeze to help propel him forward.

Lucky for him, then, that he'd almost arrived at his destination.

Just ahead, North could see the tall, stone turrets and walkways of the Citta del'Acqua, the massive capital of his world. There were other boats not too far away, fishermen dangling rods over their sides and glancing up in interest at North, scruffy from his fortnight's travel and pale with exhaustion.

"Ho!" one of them shouted, his voice carrying across the water. "Where are you bound, boy?"

"I'm no boy!" North fired back automatically. True, he looked younger than his years, but he'd passed boyhood five years back and was fully an adult. He hated it when people thought him younger than he was.

"Oh, oh, a temper he has, a fine temper!" The fisherman and his cronies laughed. Still others lifted their heads to watch. "Well, firebrand, where are you going? Come to see the sights of the citta?"

North sailed in a little closer, careful not to lose control of his small craft and bump into one of the fishing boats. "I'm looking for the master clamsmen," he said, once he didn't have to shout. "The divers. Can you tell me where to find them?"

The fishermen laughed. "A boy from the country, come to be a diver?" One of them hooted. "Boy, have you ever been deeper than eight feet below the surface of the water?"

North stiffened. "I'm not a boy. And yes, I have been further down. Fifteen feet, last I counted."

"You'd have to go a distance more to hunt the clams," the fisherman said, his weathered face crinkling in amusement. "What are you really doing here, anyway? Run away from home, did you, boy?"

North's jaw tightened. "Just tell me where I can find the divers," he said through gritted teeth. "I'll be on my way, then."

"Why, when this is so much more fun?" The fisherman gestured toward his boat. "Come on, we've a spare rod and reel. You could help us out with the day's work, and we'd split the catch evenly. Give you a little money to help you through your first night here. Plenty of wine, song, and women, eh?" He winked and splashed his oar into the water, to the great amusement of his mates.

North shook his head. "I prefer men. And I'd rather not stay and fish." His back was still bristling from their calling him boy. "Do you know where the divers are or not?"

"Well!" The fisherman drew himself upright, as if taking offense at North's rejection of his offer. "There's no need to get all hoity-toity with me, young man. Of course I know where the divers are, but why should I tell you? You haven't earned the right to the knowledge yet."

North sighed. If this was the way they operated in these parts, he'd just as soon go home. But he couldn't, could he? He'd come to the citta for two reasons: one, to learn how to dive for the giant clams that had bizarrely migrated to his village, and two, to learn how to be a Man Hand, one of those who taught others how to give sexual pleasure. And how could he teach if he didn't know himself? "Fine," he said, taking out his own rod and reel. "If I catch a fish for you, will you be happy then? Will you tell me where to find what I'm looking for?"

The fishermen nudged each other, grinning. "A big fish," their leader clarified. "Larger than my hand, and thicker than my arm. None of this penny-ante stuff for us, thank you. Then we'll send you on your way."

"Good," North said, as he reached into his nearly empty bait bucket and pulled out a scrap of dead fish innards from the last meal he'd caught. "Storm is waiting for me. Or at least his letter said he was supposed to be."

The fisherman's jaw dropped. "S-Storm?" he asked after a moment, voice wobbling. "You're supposed to report to Storm?"

"Why?" North cast his line. "Is there more than one?" He grinned wickedly at the fisherman, who looked completely taken aback, mouth moving in a useless motion up and down. "No worries. I'll be sure to tell him what good care you took of me." He laughed to himself, softly, as the fisherman began to curse underneath his breath. No, indeed. He was no callow boy to be played with.

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