“Do you know what I want?” she snapped.
“Yes.” At least he hoped he did.
“Do you know how? Or shall I kill you now?”
“I’ll do my best, my sultry vixen. Please, allow me to live, so I may pleasure you.” Nipping her body, he allowed his mouth to drift lower.
Osceola gasped, writhing beneath him, as he continued his erotic ministrations.
She tasted like wild honey and he lapped at her hungrily, savoring her sweetness. Waves of desire coursed through him, more powerful than any he had ever felt before. He wanted her more than he could possibly have imagined.
Unbidden, fangs descended, raking against her skin, leaving tiny drops of dark blue blood in their wake. It seemed hours that she writhed and bucked beneath him, howling her pleasure. Finally, with a mighty roar, he reached completion. He bit her throat, drinking deeply of her sweet, dark blood. She let him drink his fill before demanding blood of her own. She drank only a little while, smiling as she licked the redness from her dark lips.
Like a leech that is replete, he rolled off her, lying helplessly on his back. Osceola rolled to her side, the savaged skin of her throat already healing. Smiling, she let her fingers trail down his body.
“You did well, my handsome beast. You will love me again later. But first, I will answer a question.”
“What am I?” he asked, nuzzling her as his hands caressed her.
“You were a man—become werewolf. Stay with me but a while longer, and I will make more of you than ever you thought possible.”
Raven wasn’t sure what to say. He had so many questions, he found it difficult to formulate an answer.
“Will you stay, Raven Willoughby?”
“Do I have a choice? Where else can I go? How can I live?”
“I said one question, my bestial lover. You must earn another answer.”
“Gladly,” he said, applying himself eagerly to his task.
Raven lost track of how long he made love to the vexatious, voluptuous Osceola. It could have been hours, it might have been days. In that time, she fed him from her body, and she from his, even as he pleasured her. He had never felt so alive, so free, so completely himself—but much more. No longer quite human, though not full beast, he was a man from two walks of life. She told him many things about himself, not the least of which was how to cope with the pesky necessities of finding nourishment, to feed the creature within.
“You can eat real food, though as a beast you will probably want it raw. With the right direction, you will be able to control the brute at will, shifting when you like. It will take much trial and error, not something to embark upon alone, or you might find yourself stuck as an animal, with no way home.”
Raven shuddered when she said that. It sounded so horrible, to be shifted and trapped in a body that was not his own. “I will be careful, my darksome beauty.”
“We will sleep now,” she commanded.
Suddenly tired, Raven did as she bid him. When he woke, she was gone. Beside him lay a small bouquet of rowan berries, twigs and raven wings. Taking it up, he held it carefully, sensing that this was something important. Where his clothing had been, tattered and worn, lay a fine suit of dark blue and black. The boots were soft, black leather that caressed his feet. The entire suit, from the undergarments up, made his skin tingle deliciously, as if Osceola’s hands traveled his body with unerring familiarity.
Taking up the bouquet, he put it through the slit in his lapel, adjusting it so the feathers fanned upward. Pleased with his appearance, he took up his belongings to head back to the cottage. Knowing he would not see Osceola again, unless she wanted him to, he cast his thanks upon the waves and wind.
“It was both magical and sensual,” he said as he bowed toward the woods and sea. “My thanks for all you gave me, my sultry, nettlesome beauty. I carry the memory of you in my heart.” Blowing a kiss in each of the four winds, he set out.
The return trip seemed longer, and he wondered if somehow, Osceola had known he was coming, quickening his way. It took nearly a day and a half of walking to get back. The cottage looked much the same, the nip in the air had lessened. New buds bounced on the bushes and trees. Raven walked into the cottage, setting his bag on the table. Food bubbled in a pot over the fire. Lifting the lid, he gave it a stir before looking for his friends. He found them tending a small garden.
“Hello,” he said with a bright smile. “Did you miss me?”
Payter leaped to his feet, rushing to Raven. He lifted him, spinning the smaller man in a circle as he nearly crushed his ribs. Micah’s surprise translated itself into anger. Rushing at Raven, he rammed him in the belly with his shoulder.
“Where have you been?”
“With the Witch of Black Cove, of course. You sent me there but a week gone.”
©2021 Dellani Oakes