Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Lost Inside Chapter 40

Let's see some more of Yuri learning how to navigate the maze out of his injured mind, why don't we? This week's update was inspired by the prompt: I'm all business. Enjoy!!

Lost Inside Chapter 40

“Why aren’t you helping the others?” Yuri snuggled against his mate. They’d spent two days holed up in their apartment. He’d spent a lot of time on his phone, though.

“They don’t need me right now. You do.” Benny ran his fingers through Yuri’s hair. It felt good when he tugged lightly on the ends.

“That’s not being a good Alpha.” Sheshtun had run their Clan like his personal fiefdom, but Yuri had seen how it should be done. Velaku was nice, and all the Falcon Clan loved him. He was clearly in charge, though, and ‘all about business’ he said.

“Hey, I’m all business.” Benny tapped Yuri’s nose. “And you’re my top priority. They’re fine. I promise I’m not ignoring the Clan, but we haven’t had enough time for us.”

“You’re sneaking out while I’m sleeping, aren’t you?” Yuri sat up and crossed his arms over his chest. “No wonder you look so tired.”

Benny grimaced. “I don’t know what else to do.”

“I know you think I need it, but you can’t protect me forever.”

Benny ran a hand over his hair. “Seeing one friend sent you to the hospital.”

“My memories coming back sent me to the hospital.” Yuri pinched his sweats between his fingers, rubbing the soft fabric. “I’ve been talking with Ellis, you know. He thinks it was inevitable—the doctor’s tests show the stuff they did to me worked. It’s like my brain was fuzzy and half-asleep, and now I’m waking up.”

“You should do that slowly. I don’t want you to get—”

Yuri bolted off the couch, growling in frustration. He paced across the room. “You cannot keep treating me like a cub! Cleara says life happens. So, get over it. I want you to be my mate, not my keeper. I’m not a youngling, I’m not stupid. Yes. I have a lot to work through. I can’t do that if you wrap me up and keep me away from anything that could hurt me.”

He tried to straighten his ears, but they were flat to his head. He was breathing hard after his rant, the sound of his raspy breath the only thing he could hear in the room. He glanced at Benny. “Well?”

His mate stayed silent, his lips stubbornly pressed together.

“I want to see Peten.” Yuri knew that would set Benny off… and he was right.

“Damn it, Yuri! What are you trying to do to me?” Benny was off the couch in a heartbeat. His claws flicked in and out until he clenched his hands into fists. “I’m trying my best here. I am just trying to keep you from—”

“From what? Not needing you? I’ve been lost inside my own mind for a long time, Benny, I know it. I also know I’m not better yet. But you can’t keep doing this.” Yuri stepped closer to him. He spoke softly. “You have to let me help myself—and you. I can be the kind of mate an Alpha needs.”

“You’re right.” Benny slumped, his shoulders sagging. “You’re right, and I know it.”

“So walk down the hall and get Peten. I know he’s here.”

Benny frowned. “You are too good.”

Yuri shrugged with one shoulder. “I am not always asleep.”

He sat on the couch while his mate went to get his old friend. He’d been practicing, while pretend sleeping, pulling up memories and shutting them down before they got to be too much. His head often ached, and some of his memories were vague, more impressions and sensations, echoes of emotions, than anything else.

Benny opened the door, and Yuri took a deep breath, holding it before he let it out slowly. “Are you sure about this?”

Yuri nodded. “Yes.”

He stepped inside. Peten entered behind him. Yuri searched his face, not liking the way Peten had changed since the last time they saw each other. Some of his lingering anger—over his friend’s betrayal when he didn’t help him when Sheshtun tried to kill Yuri and his mate—drained away. Whatever his reasons, Peten had suffered at the hands of the monster his father had become, too.

A large Tiger ducked under the doorframe and stopped behind Peten, hunched over like he was trying to make himself smaller. Yuri didn’t stand up.

“Why don’t you sit down?” He nodded at the chairs at an angle to the TV.

“Thank you.” Peten led the other Tiger by the hand. They waited for Benny to sit, then the big one sat down and then pulled Peten onto his lap, hiding his face completely. “You wanted to see us, Alpha-mate?”

“You know my name, Peten.”

Yuri frowned when his friend flicked his eyes toward Benny. He licked his lips. “I don’t want….” His mate tightened his arms around Peten’s waist.

Benny sighed. “I told you; I’m nothing like Sheshtun. I do not believe the use of our names is disrespectful—as long as you aren’t being disrespectful.” The last was said with a note of warning.

“Sorry.” Peten’s mate had a deep, rumbling voice to match his size.

Yuri decided to drop it. “I can’t believe you found your mate, Peten. How did that happen?” He wanted to put the pair at ease, but his question had the opposite effect.

Peten grunted when his mate’s arms locked around him like a vise. “Carlit, stop,” he wheezed. He stroked his mate’s arms until he could take a deep breath, then leaned sideways. “Yuri, this is my mate, Carlit. We met when he was loaned to our Clan by his.”

Peten spat out the word with bitter fury.

Yuri reached for Benny. He had a feeling he wouldn’t like what he was about to hear. “What do you mean?”

“Sheshtun wasn’t the only Alpha who wanted to reverse the dwindling births among the Tiger Clans. His breeding program was the first of its kind—but several Clans contributed. Money, guards, breeders….”

Carlit whimpered. “Please, don’t. Don’t call me that.”

Do you write? Wanna try? Think flash fiction might be for you? Check out the Briefer's central site to see more of what we're all about, or email me for more info! If you're just here to read, THANK YOU, and here's quite a few more flash fiction pieces for you to enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Promo Blitz! Check out Nephylim's Project X!

Title: Project X

Author: Nephylim

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing



Morgan Bentley is a bastard. Always was and always will be.

At least that’s what Matthew Hopkins thinks. Unfortunately, Morgan is also a brilliant law student, and easily eclipses Matthew, academically and socially.

Matthew insists he hates Morgan. According to Matthew’s best friend, Cory, perhaps he doth protest a bit too much.

Cory has received the chance of a lifetime in the form of an internship with ITM—Information Technology and Medicine—the prestigious research company where Morgan’s father is the CEO. Too inquisitive for his own good, the naturally curious Cory stumbles on a deadly secret inside of ITM. What he has learned will tip the balance of everything, but for good or bad?

Just what is the mysterious Project X?

What is Morgan’s involvement?

Matthew has to sort fact from fiction, friend from foe, as his world is turned upside down and inside out, and nothing can be the way it was.

Book Trailer

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About the author

Nephylim was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Nephylim has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Nephylim became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Nephylim lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and her two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. The part of her that needs to earn money is a lawyer, but the deepest, and most important part of her is a storyteller and artist, and always will be.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Lost Inside Chapter 39

Another week, another update! This week I picked a photo prompt of a goldfish staring out of a clear bowl, empty of anything else. I tried to download it to go with my post today, but it was corrupted. :( I'm sure many of us have felt like Yuri does in this chapter. Enjoy!

Lost Inside: Chapter 39

Yuri couldn’t breathe. His stomach hurt, and his head throbbed. He dropped to his knees, blindly reaching for the floor. He gagged, stomach heaving. He didn’t… He couldn’t… Images flickered.

Peten ducking under his bed when his door slammed open.

His mother bowing to his father.

Hiding those magazines in the back of his closet—snorting at the irony, even at fifteen.

Seeing his mate for the first time in the midst of a boring merging meeting with the new Clan.

Joy. Pleasure. Pain.

Yuri’s stomach turned itself inside out, and he vomited. He yowled, his ears pinned to his head, as they moved faster and faster. He was young; he was older. His father towered over him, and Yuri cringed away, huddled on the floor.

Knowing he was going to die.

Unable to save his mate.

“Benny!” he screamed.


Beeping again. Yuri groaned. He knew that sound. Quick on the heels of sound came scent. Yuck. Antiseptic and sick.

He was in a human hospital.

He blinked slowly, pushing his eyelids up. It was dim in the room, the shades were shut. Benny dozed in a chair beside his bed, a frown wrinkling his forehead.

For long minutes, Yuri just looked at his mate. His head hurt, and he knew the memories were there, waiting to crowd down in on him again.

Yuri didn’t want them. So much of them hurt to remember. He liked being with his mate now. He rubbed his face with both hands, grimacing at the pads and wires pasted all over him. Moving his head made him dizzy. He groaned, then gripped the rails on the bed, trying to hold on as the room spun.

“Hey.” Ellis showed up in the doorway. Dav stood behind him. Benny snorted, then sat up with a quick gasp. He stared at the annoying beeping next to Yuri’s bed.

“Hey,” Benny said. His voice was rough. “He’s still sleeping.”

“No, he’s not,” Yuri snapped. His head was beating like a drum, and his stomach was swirling. He was tired of being in the hospital. It smelled, and he always felt like a fish in a bowl. Everyone was always looking at him. He didn’t like it. “I want to go home.”

“You’re awake!” Benny stood up, bending over the bed.

“I said that.” Yuri crossed his arms over his chest. “I want to go home.” He ignored the fact moving his head made him want to hurl.

“How about we talk about what happened, first? Do you remember?” Benny’s voice was hesitant.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” He didn’t know why Peten had been at Benny’s apartment. Damn it. Just thinking about him sent a cascade of memories associated with his ex-best friend. Yuri groaned and scrunched his eyes shut.

“Ellis, can you get the doctor?”

Yuri answered the doctors’ questions with short replies, yes or no when he could. He was sick of their poking and prodding. He’d hit his head, again, but they thought the shock of seeing Peten, and the resulting flood of memories, were at least partially the cause of his headache. The other part was the lump on the side.

Since they were so willing to talk over him, Yuri ignored everyone. He rubbed his arms, then folded and unfolded the sheet over his lap. He was back in one of those blue gowns, and he was cold.

“Can you all just shut up? I want to. go. home.”

The beeping was loud when everyone stopped speaking at once. Benny was looking at him with his eyebrows raised, but Dav and Ellis were grinning. The doctors had their usual blank doc faces on.

“I’m sick of the smell. I don’t feel good, and I don’t wanna do any tests. I want to go sleep in my bed, with my mate, and I don’t care what any of you think.” He looked at Benny. “Well, except you.” He cared what his mate thought. “Please take me home.”

Benny came around the side of his bed and sat on the edge. He cupped his hand around Yuri’s cheek and stroked under his eye with his thumb. “You scared me. We’ve been through so much. You were out for a long time. Your memory is coming back, and I’m so glad for that, but we aren’t sure exactly why. They need to do tests now that you’re awake.”

“I just want to be with you. Mates stay together, and I know you can’t stay here.” Ellis had told Yuri all about what happened. “I know you killed Sheshtun. I know the clan is here.” His memory was working fine. He didn’t need tests. “Can’t we just go? You can take care of them while I’m resting in a place that doesn’t reek of sick people.”

“Okay, Yuri.” Benny leaned forward and pressed their lips together gently. “Let me see what we have to do.”

His mate was very much an Alpha. He stood firm when the human doctor objected. Finally they gave up, and left to get paperwork or something else. Yuri sighed and closed his eyes. He could use a nap while they waited.


Peten wasn’t in their apartment. Yuri was relieved. Who knew what else seeing him would do? Yuri was sick of the constant ups and downs. In the time since his mate came back to him, they’d had a never ending series of drama.

“Will you lay down with me?” Yuri’s head was crazier than the tilt-a-whirl. He couldn’t keep his ears up. Benny helped him ease into the bed.

Yuri snuggled into him, pressing against Benny’s neck. He inhaled the spicy scent of his mate, then tried to pull him closer.

“Ow!” Benny grunted.

“What? Did I hurt you?” He hadn’t squeezed him that hard. He pulled up Benny’s shirt. “You have bandages! Did the doctors look at you while I was out?”

“I’m okay. I’ll be healed in just a few days.” Benny flicked his ears. “And yes, Dr. Pannar checked the scratches. That’s all they are, so don’t worry.”

Yuri sighed. Scratches didn’t need bandages. “I know you’re fibbing. That’s not nice, you know.”

Benny looked sheepish. “Sorry. I’ll still be okay.”
Next week we see more of Yuri's transformation! Okay, so time to move on. Leave a review if you can, I promise I read them all and I try to respond as much as I can.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Lost Inside Chapter 38

Here we are again, another week... another prompt! This time I used "Don't be a backseat driver." I did promise something interesting this week, didn't I? Let's see if you can spot it.
Lost Inside Chapter 38

“When Sheshtun hurt Yuri, I didn’t help him,” Peten muttered. “I should’ve. But I don’t know if you’ll understand what it was like.” Hatred burned in his eyes. “What he did to us, just because he had the power. We hadn’t joined with your clan long before you mated with Yuri and Sheshtun really went off the deep end. You didn’t see how bad he could be. You don’t know how much he could make life hurt.”

Benny’s nostrils flared as he held on to his temper by the narrowest margin. “You think I didn’t? When my mate was beaten nearly to death in front of me? When I was forced to live apart from my mate because the very sight of a Tiger—even me—sent him into terrified, screaming fits? When that bastard captured us and hurt my mate again, after I’d promised to keep him safe?” Benny’s venom made up for the lack of volume as he trembled in rage.

He knew. Benny dug his claws into the couch. The Clan tigers watched him warily. Benny closed his eyes and held his breath. He had to get back to Yuri. He was already sick of this shit. Benny worked his jaw and then let out a deep breath, then opened his eyes.

“Do you know of more victims?” he asked them. “Can you convince them to speak up? They deserve reparations.”

“There are a few unmated females who were abused,” the old Tiger said. “I don’t believe they will speak to you, though. They’re too afraid of Alphas.”

“I didn’t get your name.”

“Methusis, Alpha.”

“You can call me Benny.” He ignored their shocked looks. “Their fathers can testify on their behalf, but could you speak with them? Ask them to be prepared to talk with the council?”

Methusis cocked his head. “Why me?”

“You’re brave. You spoke up when you didn’t have to. Plus, elders command respect in the Clan. I’d appreciate your help, if you’re willing.” Benny’s parents had raised him right. He treated everyone well, no matter what their station in the Clan, and his time away from the rigid hierarchy had only enforced his disgust with the elitist mindset fostered by most of the ruling Clan Tigers.

“It’s been a long time since I was asked for anything by an Alpha,” he mused.

“Don’t get me wrong; I won’t let this Clan dissolve into chaos. I am in charge. But I don’t believe in overlooking the contributions of every Clan member, and letting them know I appreciate their worth.”

If their eyes could have popped out of their heads, they would’ve. Benny snorted.

“This could be interesting.” Methusis braced himself on his cane and stood up. “I’ll be happy to spread the word and approach the family heads directly, as needed.”

Benny stood up, and Peten rapidly followed, tugging Carlit up with him. “Thank you.”

There was a lot more to do, and Benny was approached throughout the day by the fathers of the females Sheshtun and his men abused for his program. He listened to each one as they stood nervously before him, and he thanked each one for agreeing to ensure no victim went unheard.

By the time they were headed back, Benny was ready to climb out of his skin. “Can’t this car go any faster?” he nagged Dav.

“Don’t be a backseat driver.” Dav looked tightly wound too, his knuckles were white on the steering wheel.

“I’m not in the backseat.” Peten and Carlit were. Even though the big Tiger was asleep, his nose buried in Peten’s neck, Dav kept glancing back in the mirror. Benny should’ve offered to sit back there—he knew how much Dav hated anyone at his back—but he didn’t want to separate the pair.

There was something seriously wrong with Carlit.

“Don’t. Care.” When Dav was in that mood, it was best for everyone to leave him alone until Ellis showed up. So Benny shut up.

He’d hope Yuri would be awake and waiting for him. After the night they’d shared, Benny’d had so much hope Yuri would be okay, even after everything. Ellis said he’d refused to speak to anyone or eat again. He needed to talk to his mate, but Benny needed his touch and his love more. What if everything caught up to him while Benny was gone?

Had he shut down again?

Benny collapsed to his knees beside the bed. He grunted. He was so sore, and his ribs still hurt. He should probably clean them again. Yuri rolled over and blinked, opening his eyes. The pupils were blow wide, and Yuri jerked back.

Pain stabbed deep inside Benny’s heart, and he prepared for Yuri’s panic.

“You’re here.” Yuri lunged forward and grabbed Benny’s face. Their lips crashed together, fangs and teeth clicking. Benny ignored the iron tang of blood, lost in the relief Yuri wasn’t afraid of him, wasn’t screaming at him. Yuri pulled back with a gasp. “I want you.”

He yanked Benny onto the bed. Benny hissed, but his wounds wouldn’t keep him from his mate. Yuri yanked at his pants while Benny ripped off his shirt.

“You’re hurt.”

“My cock hurts more.” Benny had never gotten so hard, so fast. He gripped it with one hand and stroked, base to tip. The tip shone, sticky with pre-come. His mate ripped his hand away and flipped him over. Foreplay went out the window. His mate’s tongue in his ass was all the lube he got.

Benny didn’t care. It was rough, and hot, and Yuri had come deep inside him by the time they collapsed into the wet spot he’d made on the bed.

Yuri rubbed his cheek on the back of Benny’s shoulder. “Damn, my head hurts, but I feel so good.”

“Me, too.” He was too out of it to worry about Yuri’s head.

His stomach growled and Yuri’s echoed it. Benny snorted and rolled over. “Should we get food?”

“I’ll get it.” Yuri got up.


Yuri strode naked into the living room, then froze.
Like that? ;) More next week, of course. Now whatcha gonna do? Go check out the rest of the Briefers, right? Of course you are!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Lost Inside Chapter 37

Yes... more, more, more! This week's flash was inspired by two prompts again: "Oh, get a grip, I'm not that bad." and "I thought I knew you!" Of course, if you're inspired by prompts or the way the group uses them... consider joining us! Send me an email or use my contact me area to get more info. We can always use more flashers! ;)

Lost Inside Chapter 37

The crowded Tigers bent in a wave of moving bodies, like saplings before a strong wind. Here and there, one hesitated, until a single Tiger still stood. Benny eyed him. Some of the Tigers he’d grown up with were gone, including his family, and there were a lot of strangers he didn’t recognize. He’d met many of Yuri’s clan when they merged with his, but he didn’t recognize the massive Tiger staring at the body sprawled at Benny’s feet.

“Are you challenging me?” Benny laid his ears back and bared his fangs. He didn’t want to fight, but damned if would stand by and let anyone else run the Clan pick right back up where Sheshtun left off, terrorizing the others.

The Tiger didn’t reply. He didn’t even look up.

Benny snarled and stepped in front of the corpse. “Are you challenging me?” he repeated.

“What? No!” The large Tiger would’ve fallen when he stumbled back if a smaller man hadn’t jumped up and steadied him. Benny was startled to see tears shimmering in the light when he tore his gaze from Sheshtun. His hands shook as he lifted them up, his claws retracted. “Just… he….” His breath hitched.

“He’s really dead?” the other man standing asked. His voice was soft as he hid partially hidden, his arms wrapped around himself.

Couldn’t they see the bastard wasn’t breathing? Hadn’t he stated it clearly enough? Dav snickered behind him. Benny glared over his shoulder at the Snake before he faced the assembled clan again. Both of the standing Tigers had taken advantage of his momentary distraction and knelt.

Damn it. He was going to have to give a speech. He hadn’t looked forward to fighting, but he’d expected to have to. Benny swept another look over the Tigers submitting to him. What was wrong with them? For all they knew, he would be worse than Sheshtun ever was. Yet they gave in. Were they that bound to the old ways?

“My name is Benny. I’m mated to Yuri, Sheshtun’s son. I’m from the clan Sheshtun merged with last year. Some of you may remember what he did to us for daring to accept our bond.”

“Will you hold that against us?” An older Tiger spoke up from the back, a cane clenched in his hands. They all watched him fearfully, the two cubs hidden within their families huddled in knots.

“Should I?” It was his right, as the new leader, to do as he wished. Hierarchy within the Tiger clan said his word was law. No one could gainsay him—unless they wished to lead. An ache, dull and throbbing, began behind Benny’s left eye. This was not the haughty Tiger Clan Benny thought he’d face. All the fight had been tortured out of them.

“The answer to my question is no,” Benny said. “Unless you harmed another purposefully, you don’t deserve punishment. The betas who helped Sheshtun will face the combined Council’s judgment. They will speak with each of you in the coming weeks, but any who suffered at their hands for the barbaric experiments Sheshtun created can claim retribution.

“There will be many changes. The Tiger Clans follow an archaic set of laws with no bearing on society today—one where Carthera live in peace with humans and each other. The barbaric rule of might makes right is over.”

“Then why should we follow you?” Ahh. Not everyone was as cowed as they appeared. Benny was surprised to see the Tiger who spoke up was the slim man who’d stood kept the massive Tiger from falling. His voice was still soft, but he met Benny’s gaze and didn’t look back down.

“Because I don’t want to be your Alpha.” That announcement sent a wave of whispers through the room. “My mate needs me, but so do you. So, for now, I’m in charge. I will see this clan moved away from this cesspit to a new home. The other clans in his territory work together and have thrived under his father’s, and now Velaku’s, rules. There is a house closer to my home suitable for the Clan’s needs.” There were far less than he’d expected to need to house, just over a dozen family groups and a few others huddled alone.

“What about our jobs? How will we feed ourselves?”

“There is a fund set up. Once the Clan’s properties and assets are assessed and liquidated, as appropriate, the fund will be repaid and shares given out to each family to help you until you get jobs and find a new place to live.”

“We can do that?”

The ache became a throbbing pain. They were like untutored younglings. The strictures had ruled their entire existence, locking them into a place far in the past. If he hadn’t had friends who helped him… Benny pinched the bridge of his nose. He really wasn’t the Tiger for this.

“Yes. You can. Look. I want everyone to go pack their things.” Benny pointed at the two Tigers in the front row and the older man who’d spoken up. “Except you.”

The three stayed on their knees after the room emptied. It had to hurt. “Oh, get a grip, I’m not that bad. Stand up.”

They stood, the older Tiger moving slowly and painfully.

“From your reactions, I’m guessing you two suffered at his hands directly.” Benny gestured for them to take a seat on the couches on the right side of the room, usually reserved only for the betas.

They sat together, thighs touching. Both men nodded reluctantly. “You’re mates?” He was surprised they’d been allowed to bond.

“He tested the shots on us first. It… broke… something inside Carlit.” Carlit, the big Tiger, flattened his ears.

“Peten,” he whined.

“It’s okay.” Peten rubbed Carlit’s hand where it was clamped on his thigh. “I know Benny, remember? He’s a good guy. He won’t hurt us.”

“I thought I remembered you…” Benny snapped his finger. “You’re a friend of Yuri’s!”

“I was.” Peten bowed his head.


Okay, don't kill me. I promise next week we get back to Yuri and things get... interesting! Now go check out all the other great Briefers! You can also visit our website to get snatches of all this week's Briefs and more!