ALICE GAINES is celebrating the blog's Hot August Nights and sharing her most memorable hero.
I always have to do things differently from the way other people do. That especially applies to my writing. My first full-length book was set in 19th Century New Zealand and featured supernatural creatures from Maori folklore. That’s great for an author’s career if readers are desperately seeking something unique and different. Unfortunately, while readers value creativity, they also have their favorite themes and types of characters, and they like to know what kind of story they’ll be getting.
So in 2007, I decided I’d jump on the shape shifter bandwagon because those stories were selling. But could I settle on a werewolf, like many other writers were doing? Not me. I had to think up a new kind of shifter. I remember sitting in my living room, imagining various animals I could have my characters shift into and getting nowhere. I thought of big cats, but other writers were doing those, too. Besides, I’m not really a cat person (even though the stray cat who lives in my back yard tolerates me well enough). I tried to think of what other types of animals women love because most romance readers are women. I toyed with the idea of horses. That’s a big, beautiful animal women sit astride.
And bam-o! I had my idea. Not a horse, but a sleek, powerful motorcycle that could shift into a sleek, sexy man. All around, the perfect creature to move between a woman’s legs.
I had to think about that for a moment or two. Could I have a machine shift into a human and vice versa? That isn’t physically possible, but then, humans can’t really change into wolves, either. Engines take in air to mix with fuel. Various fluids are pumped through their hydraulics. There were parallels with living beings I could use.
So I thought up how these special motorcycles could come into being, and I created a shadowy character named Klaus Mannhof who created these marvelous machines, each devoted to one particular woman – both to fulfill her sexually and to help her work through her most difficult personal problems. Then I dreamed up the perfect woman who needed one of these bikes – Claire Wilcox, a hard-driven CEO – to match with my first Mannhof, Will. I started writing.
Will became a bit of an enigma. Although created to be an ultra-sensual creature, he’s also completely innocent when he first takes human shape in Claire’s garage. A Mannhof will only work for the special woman Klaus built him for. So when Will shifts for the first time, he awakes to a whole new world of human senses. He experiences scents and sounds for the first time. He becomes acquainted with physical sensations, especially sexual arousal.
I went on to write two more Mannhof stories. I also went on to write other shifters, including wolves and dragons. But Will remains my most memorable hero of them all.
One Owner, Lady Driven Alice Gaines
All rights reserved. Copyright ©2007 Alice Gaines
Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Will felt human life spread slowly through him. First transformations took time. Hadn’t Klaus Mannhof told him that many times during the construction? He had to switch from the senses that had guided him as a machine to the senses his biological organs would give him. Before, he’d seen with the magic his Designer had given him. Soon, he’d see with human eyes. He needed to find patience somewhere, but this took so damned long.
Smells came first -- oil, car upholstery, paint from some cans in the corner. Garage smells. Exactly what Klaus had told him to expect. Then, sounds. A clock ticking, faint noises of nighttime insects through an open window. After what seemed like forever, he had eyes to open, and he looked around to find himself in the large garage where the woman had parked him. A luxury sedan and a wicked, low-slung sports car shared the space with him. Wealth. No matter, material things meant nothing to him.
He watched the last traces of his own change as metal turned to flesh and leather to skin. A heart pumped blood through him, much the way his pistons pumped. Air filled his lungs. He lay on the concrete floor, breathing it in.
So, this was a human body. Not as powerful as his machine identity, but strong in its own right. Different and more complex, just as the feelings were richer. He’d observed the world around him before, but not with all the color and inflection. He’d enjoy being human.
Running his hands over himself, he found smooth skin and coarse hairs on his chest. Muscles worked beneath the surface, contracting and relaxing. Time to test them.
Using his arms to help him up, he rose to his feet. The world lurched, and he almost fell, but he stayed upright, gathering strength and balance. In a moment, he stood tall, his shoulders thrown back. One step and another, and his movements grew easier and more fluid. He could run now if he wanted. He could crouch and leap -- things his machine body could never have done. What freedom. If he needed the speed and power, he could change back. As Klaus had told him, the changing got easier with each transformation. Truly, he was blessed.
He was also aroused. Klaus had given him all the best equipment, and now the male part of him -- his cock -- stood straight out from his body. It throbbed with all the energy of his pistons. This, too, he could enjoy. Now, to find the woman.
Will’s skin homed in on her body heat the moment he stepped inside the house. Upstairs, directly over the back entryway where her balcony overlooked the swimming pool and gardens. He could have climbed the rose trellis or even scaled the walls if he’d had to, but stairs were so much easier. A narrow set of steps led upward, so he took them, his footfalls silent against the boards. At the top, he found a corridor that ran the length of the house to the front. Hardwood floors with an Oriental rug runner disappeared into the distance with delicate side tables holding vases of flowers. Wealth, indeed.
The sound of her breathing came from the room directly on his left. Soft, yet audible. This close to her, her warmth washed over him like sunlight on the open road. He wouldn’t sense another woman this way, but Klaus had tuned him specifically for her. Only his true owner could wake his human side. Tonight, he’d found her.
The male parts of his brain -- his mortal wiring -- performed the automatic responses to her presence. Chemical reactions alerted nerves, which then sent signals throughout his body. His breathing grew rapid and shallow, and his skin grew extra sensitive. Signs of sexual excitement. Klaus had taught him about this. His goal was to make the woman feel the same way. Then, she’d take his cock into her body and make them one.
He touched that part of his human form, placing his fingers around the shaft and stroking. The contact sent a jolt of sensation all the way to the base of his spine. Pleasure. Physical pleasure. Hot and urgent. The woman would give him even more.
He moved his hand away, lest he stimulate himself too much, and tiptoed to the door to her bedroom. As soon as he had it open, her scent washed over him. Sun-drenched meadow, full of wildflowers. Herbal and sweet. He breathed deeply, taking her perfume inside himself. Like a key opening a lock, the smell of her made even more connections in his brain. More chemical reactions, more nerve pulses. All through him, all along the length of his cock. It stiffened further, throbbing. It ached to be inside her, probing and thrusting, bringing them both pleasure even Klaus hadn’t had the words to explain.
He tiptoed to the bed and stared down at her. Her expression was soft in her sleep, her mouth in a gentle smile. Not the woman who’d raced his engine and given herself an orgasm this afternoon. This woman waited to give as well as take, even if she didn’t know it yet.
She murmured something and rolled onto her back. The covers fell off her as she did, revealing one naked breast. She slept in the nude. How wonderful.
He reached down to touch the flesh and found it impossibly delicate, like flower petals. The tips of his fingers slid over her skin, sensation zinging along the nerve endings there. When he stroked the nipple, it hardened into a stiff peak.
Her dark eyes opened but didn’t focus for a second. When they did, recognition showed in her face. “You. The man on the Mannhof.”
“Ich bin ein Traum.”
“I’m a dream,” he whispered and he lifted the covers and slid in beside her. “Just a dream.”
Her eyes drifted closed. “A dream.”
He leaned toward her and took his first taste of her lips. Sweet like berries. Drugging like wine. Teasing them gently, he brushed his mouth over hers to the corners and then back. Her lips parted, and her breath mixed with his as she answered. First softly and then with more urgency. Her heat and scent rose all around him as he kissed her. As he found his way through a haze of sensation, he slipped his tongue between her lips to taste them. In response, she ran her arms around his neck and pulled herself upward to answer with her own tongue. Someone moaned -- his own voice, laced with hunger. Klaus had been right. No words could describe this. He closed his eyes so that his other senses could take over -- scent, touch, the sounds of her breathing growing ragged. They’d entered an altered reality, a universe all their own.
One of her hands slipped from around his neck and went exploring. Over his shoulder, down his chest, creating a space between them while her fingers traced his ribs. He held his breath as darts of pleasure trailed after her caress. Almost too much, her touch burned like fire and then ice. When her hand closed around his cock, his whole body went rigid. This was too much. He needed to be inside her when the madness came. Above all, he needed to satisfy her. His whole being existed to satisfy her.
Trembling, he removed her hand from his too-sensitive flesh. Gazing into her face, he kissed her fingers and then the pad of her thumb. She smiled, her expression hazy. After kissing her once more, briefly, he began explorations of his own.
The space under her chin smelled like heather. He drank in the scent, running his lips along her skin at the base of her throat. He found her collarbone and dipped his tongue into the hollow above it. She made a sound that was half-laughter, half-sigh. Approval, though, and permission to go further. On he went, to the valley between her breasts. Soft flesh everywhere. Feather soft. Whisper soft. Her chest rose and fell with building arousal. He circled one nipple with his fingertip and listened to her answering gasp. Bolder now, he took the peak into his mouth and suckled until it had hardened. Not neglecting the other breast, he stroked it and toyed with the nipple.
“Oh!” she cried. “That is so good.”
He smiled, looking up at her, while he continued to caress her breast.
“I need…” she said, “please… touch me.”
Yes. Klaus had designed him well, it seemed. His human form as well as his machine form and the ability to change. Though he’d never done this before, he knew exactly what she needed. Drawing out her need, he slowly lowered his hand past her ribs, over her belly, to her pelvis. She sighed and lifted her hips, guiding him. Finally, he parted the lips of her sex and stroked it.
Perfectly attuned to her arousal -- as he’d been designed -- his own excitement grew. Soon, she’d take him inside her, and they’d both take the ultimate ride.
Her sex moistened, hot juices caressing his fingers. He found the seat of her desire -- the bud of her pleasure -- and rubbed it. In response, she moaned and opened her legs, begging for more. His cock throbbed, beating in rhythm with his heart. Soon. Soon, they’d join.
Still stroking her clit, he rose on one elbow and watched the play of passion on her face. Her lips had parted, and she took quick, shallow breaths. She seemed in a trance, her eyes closed, but with a look of total concentration on her features. When he slid a finger inside her, she gasped, and her hips rose again.
“Oh, God,” she whispered. “Oh, God.”
“Do you want me?”
“Yes. Please, yes.”
Now, he could join with her. He’d been designed and created for this perfect moment. Trembling, he placed himself between her legs and guided the tip of his cock into her wetness. Fire raced through his veins, pleasure so intense it stole his breath. Only through the force of will did he manage to keep his eyes open to watch her face while he sank slowly into her.
She gave out a little cry. Surprise, joy, escape from reality. Her muscles gripped him, and his own reality slipped. Sensations beyond his understanding. She owned him, owned his cock, owned his whole existence. Now, he could have what he’d been created for.
He began moving inside her. In and out. Driving them both. The wind whistled by as it did on the wildest of rides. Pistons thrusting, the road beneath him. Perfect freedom. They rode each other now -- him moving faster into her depths, her lifting her hips to meet his thrusts. Flying, soaring, fucking.
He lost control then. The wildness inside him broke free as he pounded into her. Faster and harder, while her cries grew louder. He had to please her, but he couldn’t last. The feelings were too sweet, too strong to resist. He’d climax in a moment, but if she didn’t come with him, he’d fail. Biting his lip, he fought for control, but his human body wouldn’t have it. It screamed for release, every nerve at overload. If he fucked her harder, would she come then? No choice. Lust made the decisions for him.
Just as he could bear no more, her voice signaled her orgasm -- a low, soft note that built to a ragged cry. Her muscles gripped him, clenching in spasms. He’d done it. Sweet victory. He surrendered then, pumping madly until his own voice joined hers. A surge of power rushed through him, as his cock exploded inside her. Hot semen poured out of him in waves. They clung together that way in shared ecstasy for several heartbeats as the world dissolved. Nothing on Earth existed but his mortal body and the woman beneath him.
Finally, spent, he rested his face in the crook of her neck and gasped for breath.
“My God,” she whispered. “How did you…”
“Hush,” he answered.
“I’ve never done that. Who are you?”
“Sleep, liebchen.” He raised himself so he could look down at her and stroke her face. “I’m a dream. Sleep.”