The Adventures of Damien and Drew – Chapter three

Chapter three

Damien sat on his Harley in the alley behind the steak house and waited for Drew.

The neon signs and inside lights went off, and Drew came out with two other men.

Damien could see the slight glow from one of them that only another shifter could see. This was Bush. No time to lose.

Drew walked toward Damien.

“Sorry, Drew. You need to wait a few minutes. I’ll be right back.” He sent a silent call to Captain Willis as he dismounted from the bike. I have him. Come and get him.

Bush started running. He got to the street and shifted into wolf form.

Damien morphed into dragon form and flew after the wolf.

Bush dodged and ran between two cars.

Damien followed. As Bush emerged into the open, Damien swooped down.

Bush ducked under a high-wheeled pickup and lay there panting heavily.

Damien landed beside the truck. He ducked his head and a stream of fire spread under the truck.

Bush scurried out the other side and took off again.

Damien took flight. About half a block down the street, Damien swooped down and caught the wolf in his claws.

Bush twisted and tried to grab Damien’s leg in his mouth.

“Oh, no, you don’t.” Damien clamped harder with his claws sending two of them deep into the wolf’s spine.

Bush howled in pain and went limp.

Damien dropped the wolf and landed beside it morphing as he landed.

Police cars roared down the street with their sirens screaming, and came to a stop with their lights shining on the body of the wolf.

The wolf shifted into human.

Damien grabbed him and pulled his arms behind him. “Shifting isn’t going to help you. You may heal, but I have you.”

Chief Keller came up to Damien. “What’s going on?”

“I just caught my bad guy.”

“I think I’m dreaming. Was that a wolf? And what happened to the dragon?”

“He’s a wolf shifter. He killed his mate and her litter of pups because the pups weren’t his.” Damien took a stronger hold on Bush. “As to the dragon, maybe you need your eyes checked.”

Keller looked from Damien to Bush and back. “What am I supposed to do with him?”

“Nothing. I’ll take care of him. He’ll face the Council of Shifters.”

Two dragons appeared overhead. One red and the other black. The red one landed beside Damien and morphed into an older man.

“Good work, Damien. We’ll take him from here.” Captain Willis pulled a shining rope out of his jacket and wound it around Bush. “He won’t get out of this.”

Bush screamed. “Not silver. Please no silver.”

“Don’t worry. It won’t touch your skin unless you fight it. He morphed back into dragon form, took the rope in his claws, and the two dragons flew off.

“Okay. I don’t know what’s going on here, and I’m not sure I want to,” Chief Keller said.

“Just think, you don’t need to fill out any paperwork.” Damien turned and walked back to where Drew stood beside the Harley. He opened a saddle bag, took out a bottle of water, and poured it over his hands rinsing the wolf’s blood from his fingers. Straddling the bike, he took a helmet off the handlebars and handed it to Drew.

Drew stared at him for a couple of seconds. “What the Hell just happened?”

Damien smiled. “You can come with me, and I’ll explain later. That way, you’ll remember everything that you just saw. Or, you can stay here and not remember anything.”

“How would I forget?”

“The same way the Chief and everyone else who’s here will. My boss has already altered their memories.”


“That’s something else I’ll explain later. Ready?”

“Ready for what.”

“An adventure.”

Drew looked around at the others. “Why not?” He took the helmet, placed it on his head, and straddled the bike behind Damien.

“Hold on tight.”

Damien morphed into dragon form and pulled the motorcycle close to his stomach.

Don’t be afraid; you’re perfectly safe. I’ll drop the bike before I let you fall.

“How can I hear you?”

I can’t talk in this form, but I can transmit my thoughts.

The flight lasted about an hour.

Damien became human again as he landed in front of a large log house in the middle of a bunch of pine trees.

Drew looked around and grinned. “You promised an adventure. I wasn’t expecting this.”

Damien put his hands on Drew’s waist and pulled him closer. “What did you expect?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Maybe this?” Damien leaned in and claimed Drew’s lips in a kiss.

“Mmmm.” Drew melted into the kiss.

Damien released his mouth, took his hand, and led him into the house.


The Adventures of Damien and Drew – Chapter two

Chapter two

Damien woke about 4:30 and decided he should find somewhere to get food. After a shower, he dressed in black leather pants and a black t-shirt. He sat on the bed and opened the local phone book he found in a drawer. Looking through the restaurant listings in the yellow pages, he saw there was steak house close by. Maybe some good red meat would help him think.

As he stepped in the door of the restaurant, the feeling hit him. Wolf. Was his quarry here? He looked around the dimly lit room. Nothing stood out.

A young man approached. “One for dinner, sir?”

“Yeah. Can I have a booth facing the door?”

“I’ll see what I have.” He looked at his chart. “Follow me.” He led the way to a booth toward the back of the room.

A feeling of evil followed Damien, and his back shivered with the chill.

“Will this do, sir?”

“Perfect.” Damien slid into the booth where he could see the front door.

The boy handed him a menu. “Your waiter will be right with you.”

“Thank you.”

Damien looked over the menu, and flexed his shoulders. The chill wouldn’t go away.

A good-looking, dark-haired man approached the table. “Good evening. My name is Drew, and I’ll be taking care of you this evening. Can I start you with a glass of wine or a cocktail?” His jeans fit like a second skin, and the vee opening of his shirt revealed a patch of dark hair that matched the shoulder-length hair on his head.

“I’ll just have a cola to drink.” Damien looked at the menu. “And bring me one of your fried onions.” He looked at Drew and smiled. He wouldn’t mind tasting the attractive young man.

Drew blinked a couple of times before smiling back. “I’ll be right back with your drink.”

Damien noted the sparkle of interest in Drew’s eyes as he turned and walked away. Maybe he could have some fun while he was here. He’d never considered taking a human as a partner, but there was something about Drew that pulled at him, and it wasn’t just sex. His father told him that when he met his intended partner, he’d know deep inside. He’d had that feeling with James. Could that be what he was feeling? Was it possible to find a second love? Somehow he’d never considered his fated mate could be human. He knew he was destined to be with another male, maybe not another dragon, but at least he figured it would be another shifter of some kind.

Drew brought the drink. “Have you decided on dinner?”

Damien smiled. “I want your largest sirloin. Cooked rare. I know you can’t serve it raw, but make it very rare, just as rare as they can make it. Add a baked potato with butter and sour cream.”

Drew blinked again. “Tossed or Caesar salad, sir?”

Damien frowned. Was something wrong with the young man’s eyes that caused him to blink so much? “What dressing options do you have?’

Drew pointed to a list on the menu.

Damien studied the choices. “I guess I’ll have the tossed salad with ranch dressing, please.” Ranch wasn’t his favorite, but few places served French dressing anymore. He handed the menu to Drew.

“Very good. I’ll be right back with your onion.” Drew turned and left.

Damien again followed his retreat. He took a sip of his soda and looked around still trying to find the source of the evil. The man must not be visible. Maybe he was in the kitchen.

Drew brought the fried onion. “The white sauce is ranch, and the yellow is spicier. Has some horseradish in it. Another cola?”

“Thanks, please.”

Damien picked off a piece of the onion and dipped it in the spicier sauce. He didn’t find it too spicy. After all, his dragon was used to the feel of fire.

Drew placed the plate with the steak in front of Damien. “Hope it’s the way you like it, sir.”

“Looks perfect.” Damien cut into the steak and blood ran out of it.

Drew wrinkled his nose in distaste. “Is that even warm?”

“Not really, but any warmer would be too cooked.” He looked at Drew with a slow sexy smile. “Haven’t they told you to not question a customer’s taste?”

Drew’s face registered confusion. “Yeah. But sometimes I forget. Let me know if you need anything else.”

“Your phone number?” He didn’t usually pick men up like this, but there was that feeling inside again that this man was special.

Drew shook his head. “I’m sorry, but that isn’t on the menu.” His blue eyes with a dark rim around the iris reflected his smile.

Damien read the interest in the smile. Something about Drew reminded Damien of James. Maybe it was the hidden laughter in his eyes. He shrugged. “Can’t say I didn’t try.”

Drew left and Damien bit into his steak. It was a little on the done side for him, but not bad.

When his plate was empty, Drew came back to the table. “Dessert?”

“Not tonight. Just bring the check.”

Drew brought his bill and Damien handed him a credit card.

Drew looked at the name on the card. “Damien? Wasn’t that the name of the demon in The Omen?

Damien smiled and winked. “I can assure you I’m no demon even though I’ve been called a devil once in a while.”

When Drew brought the receipt back, Damien noticed a note on the back of his copy. I get off at 10:30. He looked at Drew, winked, and nodded.

My Name is Ayla

This is a story that is both uplifting and heartbreaking. It could have been ripped from the headlines of nearly any civilized country in the world. When families won’t let go of centuries of conditioning in the name of religion, whether Islam or Christian, atrocities happen.

Ayla has been living as a woman for four years while she was away at school. When she comes home and her family sees her for the first time as a woman, they cannot accept her and her uncle and cousins nearly kill her.

Peter is the cop who investigates the incident. For a short time, they have an idyllic life of love and happiness. As a pansexual, Peter is completely accepting of what Ayla is.

However, her family won’t let go.

It’s a shame that the ones who should love us unconditionally are so wrapped up in ‘tradition’ they can’t accept who we are. So many young LGBT children are thrown away by their parents.

The author has done a wonderful job of capturing the angst and heartbreak of a young person who just wants to live her life honestly.

I wish I could give this story more than 5 stars.

Matthew’s Present

Matthew’s Present by Sarah Hadley Brook

I won a copy of this book in a drawing and I couldn’t be more pleased. I not only read a delightful story, but was introduced to a new author.

Who doesn’t remember their first kiss? I remember mine, and it was sixty-two years ago.

Matthew and Tyler both remember that day back in high school even though they never saw each other again. It took a six-year-old’s whisper into Santa’s ear to bring them together.

Although it’s meant as a story about two men falling in love, I saw more in it than that. I saw a sister who accepted and loved her brother enough to teach her six-year-old daughter that Uncle Matthew would rather have a boyfriend than a girlfriend. Admittedly, I guessed what Hannah asked Santa for, but didn’t know how he would deliver it.

My rating – 5 stars

The Adventures of Damien and Drew – chapter one

The Adventures of Damien and Drew

Part I

Damien and the Wolf

Chapter one

Damien Talon looked down at the rural gravel road. No traffic was visible for at least five miles in either direction. As he began descending, the talons wrapped around the handlebars of the big motorcycle transformed into hands. By the time the wheels of the bike hit the gravel, dragon had become fully human, and the bright morning sun hit his champagne-blond hair warming the top of his head after the chill of flight.

He was tired of following dead-end leads in this case. After six months, he’d found no sign of his quarry and was beginning to think the man had completely disappeared. This was the part of his job he hated. Hopefully he could bring this guy in alive. He hated the fact that his last case had ended in the culprit’s death before he could face his accusers.

His mind wandered to the last lead he’d followed. The person there bore no resemblance at all to Jake Bush. The two nights in the company of the bear shifter who’d provided the false lead had been enjoyable, but he wasn’t someone Damien would want to have around for any length of time. Was he ever going to find someone to fill the void in his heart left by James nearly a hundred years ago when he was killed with a silver blade? That was one problem with living so long. Just about the time you thought happiness would last forever, someone died and you were left alone. Maybe someday he’d find his ‘happily ever after’.

Damien parked the silver Harley in front of the police department of Oak Grove, stepped off the bike, brushed his hair out of his eyes, and looked up and down the street. He thought it strange that there was no one visible in the middle of the morning. A chill ran up his spine, and his magical senses told him he was finally in the right place. The evil he chased was nearby. He walked into the building and approached the desk sergeant. “Good morning. I’m looking for Captain Keller.”

The sergeant looked up from his computer behind the waist-high wall. “May I tell him who’s here?”

“Damien Talon.”

“Is he expecting you?”

“I don’t think so. I haven’t communicated with him.”

“May I tell him what it’s regarding?”

He hesitated. It wasn’t always a good idea to reveal too much to humans. “I’m really not sure. I just know I’m supposed to be here.” If he were Spiderman, he’d call it ‘Spidey senses’. He guessed he could call it ‘dragon senses’.

The sergeant stood and walked down a hall.

Damien looked around at the stark furnishings. He took a deep breath. Yes, Bush was close, but he wasn’t sure just where yet.

The sergeant returned. “Have a seat; he’ll be with you shortly. Would you like some coffee?”

“Never drink the stuff. It interferes with my senses.”

The sergeant looked at him questioningly.

“Mr. Talon?”

He turned and came face to face with an older, stocky man. His uniform identified him as a chief of police.

“I’m Chief Mason. How can I help you?”

“Thanks for seeing me.” Damien pulled a photo out of an inside pocket in his leather jacket. “Have you seen this man?”

The chief looked at the photo and then handed it to the sergeant. “Can’t say I have. How about you, Jones?”

Sergeant Jones shook his head. “No. Not that I remember.”

“Come on back to my office.” The chief opened the gate in the low wall. “Who do you work for? Do you have any ID?”

Damien pulled a badge holder off of his belt and showed it to the chief.

Mason squinted at the badge. “C.O.S.” He looked back at Damien. “I’ve never heard of this agency.”

“We keep a pretty low profile most of the time.” Damien smiled. “Rest assured, we’re the good guys.”

The chief opened the door to his office and stood back for Damien to enter.

“Have a seat. Are you an American agency?”

“That depends on who you ask and what you mean by American. We’re more international than American. We go after the bad guys who belong to our group. Kind of like good cops who go after bad cops. Some these are really bad guys, and some are just mischief makers.”

The chief went behind his desk and sat. “Would you like some coffee?”

Damien sat facing the desk. “Your sergeant already offered. I’m not much into coffee.”

“So what has this guy done?”

“Found out his wife was unfaithful. Killed her and her four kids.”

The chief’s eyes and mouth popped open. “Why didn’t he just leave? The wife, I can see. But four innocent kids?”


Chief Keller clicked his computer mouse over the screen. “I don’t see any bulletins about him.”

“We keep a pretty tight rein on our people, try to keep things out of the main stream and handle them ourselves.”

“Who are your people?”

“We belong to an elite group. Don’t like to advertise ourselves too much.”

“So you think your guy’s here?”

Damien raised an eyebrow. “I know he’s here somewhere. I just have to find him.”

The chief squinted. “I don’t want any trouble.”

“No trouble from me. Just keep your men out of my way, and I’ll handle things.”

The chief stood and held out his hand. “Don’t give me cause to lock you up.”

“Don’t worry.” Damien softly chuckled as he stood and shook the chief’s hand. “You’d have a hard time doing that anyway. Can you tell me a cheap but clean motel to stay at?”

“There’s a Super 8 on the highway north of town.”

“Thanks. I’ll see you around.”

* * *

Damien checked into the motel and left his gear. He invoked an invisibility spell and went out of the door startling a maid who was coming out of the unit next door.

She looked around frantically as he closed and locked the door. She walked away shaking her head and muttering to herself about a ghost.

Damien stood on the sidewalk outside the unit, morphed into his natural dragon form, and took off. He flew over the town watching all movement below him. After about half an hour of finding no sign of anyone who tripped his radar, he returned to the motel, landed, and morphed back into human form. He stepped behind a dumpster and dropped his invisibility. Going into the room, he pulled out his phone and called his superior officer. “Captain?”

There was a loud exhale of breath. “What have you found?” Captain Willis asked in his cigarette-roughened voice.

“He’s here; I can feel him. I met with the police chief. Told him I was looking for Bush. He and the desk sergeant both said they haven’t seen him. Keller was inquisitive as to who I work for.”

“What did you say?”

Damien grinned. “Just that I work for an international agency of good guys.”

“Keep in touch, and try to stay out of trouble this time. I don’t want to have to explain things to the mortals like I did last time. Had to do a mind cleansing so they’d forget what happened. Can’t have dragons popping up all over the place killing people.”

“Ten-four, I’ll try.”

Damien stripped and lay on the bed. Pictures of the slain children filled his mind. Why kill the kids? They were innocent. After tossing for several minutes, he finally fell asleep.

Free read coming

Watch for the Adventures of Damien and Drew to be printed here starting May 1. Each Monday will bring a new chapter between 500-1000 words.



Power Play – A. J. Marcus

Naga Industries wasn’t Calvin’s first choice of a place to intern. It wasn’t even his tenth. But when every other internship spot is taken, he finds himself at the mercy of Draeke Lindwurm and he’s way over his head.

Draeke doesn’t want an intern, but his go-to man is threatening to revolt if he doesn’t get them both some help. Calvin is everything Draeke doesn’t like in men. He’s too young, too average, never on time, doesn’t dress well, and worst of all Calvin is human which makes things complicated between them when he becomes a pawn in a power play with the world’s dragon elite.


I’ve followed the career of this author for several years and thoroughly enjoy reading and reviewing his books. There are several elements one comes to expect from a Marcus book: drama, excitement, mystery, a growing emotional tenderness between the main characters, and erotic sex. And all of these elements are present in Power Play. However, I was a little disappointed regarding the erotic sex. It felt as if the author realized he was at the last chapter and needed to add some sex to fulfill the publisher’s requirement. I would have been okay with the scene being omitted.

I could feel Calvin’s confusion as to just what he’d gotten into when he became an intern for Naga Industries. I felt the growing emotions between him and Draeke Lindwurm. I felt the heart-racing excitement when Calvin is kidnapped and Draeke is looking for him – will they find him before something happens to him. I’ll admit I figured out who the villain was before he was named, but that didn’t lessen the drama of the chase to find him.

Did I enjoy the book? Of course. Would I recommend this book? Definitely. Will I read another Marcus book? Most certainly.

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