Izumi is a Neko, a pet, coveted for his beauty, charm and absolute obedience. Taken from the Neko island as a small child, the only life he's ever known is with his master and friend, Nathan. Growing up, Izumi was always praised for how easily he adapted to servitude, but now, deep inside, a desire burns that only Nathan's love can relieve him of. On the outside, Izumi can play the part perfectly, but only for so long.
When he is introduced to Nathan's friend, Lance, Izumi begins to question his place in the demon world. The life Lance could give him is exactly what Izumi wants, but only if it is with Nathan. Nekos have more power than demons let on and by choosing between the two smoldering demons competing for his affection, Izumi is as good as sentencing the rejected demon to death.
Praise for Izumi (Neko)
"...character driven with an undertone of erotic power exchange. The sexual heat in this story is hawt and kinky, just how I like it. Added to this slightly anime/manga feel, it hits all the buttons I enjoy. Ms. Raine describes this story so beautifully, I can see it in my mind as a Japanese anime."
-- BookAddict, The Romance Reviews
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Izumi (Neko 6)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Ana Raine
I was never locked in my room because that treatment would've been considered cruel, so I had gotten good at climbing and running in the dark. Every time I fled, it was to the same place -- on a spot overlooking the ocean like the most beautiful picture was a swing set. Nearby, a rickety cottage was coming unraveled, brick by brick. My home until I'd lost both my parents to the sea three years ago.
I didn't remember them, not at all. But I remember the motion of the swing, their hands on the small of my back as I rose higher and higher. Voices were lost on the wind and what little memory I retained flew away.
"Here you are."
If I hadn't had a death grip on the swing, I would've slid to the ground. I turned slowly to assess the speaker, expecting to see someone much older. His voice was already deep and the certainty with which he spoke had to be unique to demons.
Without a doubt, the fair-haired boy with startling grey eyes was a demon.
Shuddering at the thought of being caught, I turned my gaze to the ocean. But there was no escape to be had in the blue waters.
"My name is Nathan."
I couldn't help myself. I turned to stare at him again.
He grinned, white teeth gleaming like the sand on the shore. His hair barely grazed his shoulders, and his arms and legs seeming to go on for miles. Seeing him was the first time I felt jealousy.
"Izumi," I muttered as Nathan hopped onto the swing next to me.
His dark shoes caught what was left of the sun. How was it he had been part of my life for less than three minutes and I already couldn't look away?
Was this what all the Nekos were talking about? Yet another reason for me to hate him. I pinched my cheeks and turned away.
"I already know your name," Nathan said thoughtfully. Without warning, he leapt from the swing and with speed I didn't know was possible moved to stand in front of me. "Wow."
"What are you staring at?" I grumbled.
"You. I can't believe how pretty you are up close."
Even as a child, I'd developed a sense of vanity. My sleek black hair and matching ears and tail were unique. As feared as black cats were amongst humans, they were equally coveted by demons. "Don't flatter me."
He blinked but didn't step away. "Why not?"
"You want me to be your slave."
Nathan frowned, his lower lip jutting out and making him look as defenseless as the ants beneath our feet. "It's true, my parents said you'd be my pet, but I want something more."
"And that is?"
"I want you to come be part of my family."
I didn't respond. The female Nekos who cared for me said the same thing, but after three years, I no more felt loved than I did when I first arrived. "I'm still a kid."
Nathan stood straighter, shoulders back as if to make himself look larger, a trick I was sure he'd learned from an imposing father. "Me too. It's perfect this way."
I squinted. "What is?"
"Us. We can be friends."
"No thanks. Pet, sure. Friend, no."
"My father is a doctor so he comes here a lot. I've been coming with him for a while."
"And your point?" I knew I could be punished for my rudeness, but this spoiled demon hadn't missed a beat.
"You always look so sad. I thought... maybe you'd be happy if you were free?"
"I wouldn't be free," I laughed, "I'd belong to you."
His hand slid into my hair, and even if I'd managed to react, I wasn't strong enough to push him away. "Please, come back with me."
Everything that meant anything to me was crumbling into despair. The cottage. The swing. The memory of my parents. Did I really want to stay here until even their faces were the color of stale dust?
"Lucky you," I whispered.
"Why do you say that?"
"Because..." I took a deep breath and swallowed every bit of my pride. So easily, this demon could be all that mattered to me. The thought of having a home, a place in life was hard to resist. But I'd have to let go of my anger and my memories. How much of me would be left after? "Most Neko don't leave until much later. If I come with you now, I'll learn to be what you want me to be. I'll become everything to you."
I expected him to laugh, or at least call me out on my arrogance, but Nathan simply stroked my hair between his forefinger and thumb. "Izumi, it is you who will love me."