Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bunny Tails 5: Hare-Raising Finale by Camille Anthony

Bunny Tails 5: Hare-Raising Finale

by Camille Anthony

Cover art: Reneé George
ISBN: 978-1-90521-706-2
Genre(s): Paranormal, Action Adventure/ Suspense, BDSM
Theme(s): Ménage, Werewolves, BBW
Series: Bunny Tails
Length: Novella
Page Count: 92

Vance is in the doghouse with Ouida. He's made a mistake that might cost him the love of his life. Just when he thinks things can't get any worse, an old enemy shows up, injuring his friend and his former Lieutenant Xen, and kidnapping their mate.
Vance has shown mercy before, but now it's time to bring the curtain down on this saga of vengeance. No matter what it takes, Vance is going to convince Xen to forgive him, get their mate back, and teach his enemy once and for all, it's a fatal mistake to mess with this Alpha's family.
Patrick Smith will soon learn werewolves have no enemies... because they eat them.
Bunny Tails 5: Hare-Raising Finale
Camille Anthony
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Camille Anthony

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"Xen, we need to talk. Privately, please."
The black wolf turned to face me, ears perked forward, questioning glance sharp. I knew the tone of my voice gave me away. Without a word, he shook himself, shifted to Skin guise and pulled on some clothes, and slipped on shoes. With a quiet yip to alert Brax and Usher, who were watching a movie on low, so as not to disturb a sleeping Chase, we left the apartment.
"What's up?" We'd barely cleared the walkway leading to the complex's enclosed garden area before he'd launched into his questioning. "There's not much we couldn't share with Brax and Usher, but it's not them so much as Chase might overhear. I figure it has to be personal, and that means something to do with Ouida."
I sighed, dreading his reaction, but I had to set things right with him. The only way to do that was to just come clean. "One of the pups Ouida is carrying is yours. Somehow, you managed to bond with her even though she'd already bonded with me."
Xen froze in place. The astounded look on his face would have been comical if this situation hadn't been so serious. At his side, his hands bunched into fists. The tension radiating throughout his body was evident by the bristling fur at his ruff, only partially hidden by his shirt collar. His voice came out more like a growl. "What are you saying?"
"You've felt it all along. The connection between the two of you is too strong to ignore. That's why you sent her a phone to stay in touch, knowing it was against our laws. And it's why she refused to give that phone up, even when I demanded it of her point blank. It's why you haven't been able to take another female all this time. You get blue balls whenever you think of her, but the minute you try to fuck someone who's not Ouida, you go limp as a noodle."
Xen started shaking. "How can you know that? Have you had Brax and Usher reporting on me?"
I shook my head. "Nothing so convoluted. I know because I'm the same. No other female interests me. Even when I wasn't fucking her while she healed, I couldn't even think of another, of easing my needs with someone not Ouida, without losing whatever erection I had."
Xen looked away. "I've tried to get her out of my head. I swear I've fought my desire for her, knowing how dishonorable it is." He turned back, met my eyes. "Your friendship means the world to me. I know there's no way we could ever be friends if I tried again to take her from you, and if I was inclined to try, Ouida's made her choice clear in that matter. So why are you telling me this now?" His brows drew together in a frown. "Come to think of it, why are you only just now getting around to telling me this?"
"Because I've only just become aware of it. No." I stopped, refusing to continue wallowing in the lie. "That's not wholly true. I've known for some while that one of the pups was yours. How could I not? I was prepared to raise it as mine."
"And you didn't think I had the right to know a child of my lineage had been created?"
I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to stave off a headache. "Xen, I acknowledge I was wrong in my actions. I've made more mistakes than I can count, so can we save the recriminations for later? Let me just get through this as quickly as possible."
He strode away from me, causing me to lengthen my stride to keep up. I grabbed his arm, forcing him to face me once more. "Damn it, Xen, do you think this is easy? Ouida is my mate. She is bearing my pup. Yet when we last communicated mind-to-mind, I saw the bond she shares with you, shining as bright as the one stretching between her and I."
Xen's eyes were bright with tears, his face wet where they trailed over the sharp blade of his cheekbone. "I've felt her, here." He thumped his chest, continuing to speak through his tears. "Every single day since I parted from her, I've suffered a constant ache because I couldn't be with her. I'd see something beautiful and turn to share it with her, and she wouldn't be there." He drew in a deep breath as he turned away, hiding his face if not his emotions. "I hate you, Vance."
I didn't blame him. I also didn't believe him. We had too much shared history between us. We had Ouida between us. "You're going to have a problem living with me if that's true."
He spun back around, expressions chasing one after another across his face, hope the uppermost. "Living with you?"
"I've spoken with Ouida. She's willing to accept both of us as equal mates, if you and I can come to an agreement about it."
Xen looked skeptical. "It's a common practice during the Fertility Festival, but to share a mate when the festival is over? It's never been done."
"We don't know that. All we know is this pack's tradition, and we've both learned recently that our pack does not make up the whole of our people." I stepped into Xen's personal space, grabbed his forearms. "If we're willing to do this, willing to make this arrangement work, then no one has the right to dictate how we choose to live." I smiled. It was a baring of teeth the other wolf recognized for what it was: a challenge. "Since when have we followed? We've always led. Why change now?"
"Are you really willing to do this, Vance? You're okay with sharing Ouida with me?"
He doubted my sincerity and I didn't blame him. "At first, I confess I felt some resentment, but no longer."
"What changed your mind?"

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