He had it all. A house in the country. A beautiful wife he adored. A baby on the way. Everything a man could ever hope for. He lost everything in the flash of a thin silver blade, a bloody sacrifice in an ill-conceived ritual designed to raise an ancient god.
Now David Bone is a man in search of himself -- he walks, he breathes, but he's lost in the shadows, somewhere between the dead and the living. Then he meets a woman who wakes savage feelings in him, the kind of feelings that can drive a man to risk anything.
And he may have to risk it all, because the Jaguar god has an agenda…
Can a murdered man bring his killers to justice, thwart the plans of a malevolent god, and regain his humanity?
Praise for Shadow Man (Rituals 1)
Love Romances Cafe's Best of 2014 Award Nominee: Best BDSM/Kink Book
"I would suggest opening this book with an open mind and a sense of humor. I would rate SHADOW MAN as absolutely brilliant with a caveat that it has the potential to offend just about everyone."
-- Jaynie Ritchie, Romance Junkies
"Wow! This book positively radiates heat... His writing stimulates your mind and your libido while he takes you on a fantastic journey... I can hardly wait to read more of Mr. Wright's offerings."
-- Keely Skillman, Coffee Time Romance
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Shadow Man (Rituals 1)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2014 by Jonathan Wright
An Authorized Excerpt
On a lazy Saturday, David Bone mowed the half-acre lot of his nice suburban house. They'd moved in less than a year ago. In that time they'd painted every room, rebuilt the guest bathroom, and begun to plan how they would remodel the basement. In the meantime, Linda had filled every available nook with cute little crafts, quilts, and hooked rugs, until David was ready to start tearing them down. Instead, he decided to hold out for a pool table or a model train set in the basement.
Marriage is the art of negotiation.
August heat lay on him like a blanket. Sweat rolled down his face, staining his shirt. His shoulders ached from pushing the mower, but his equanimity remained firm, in spite of the crabgrass. He parked the mower and sat in the cool shadows of the trees in the woods out back. Daydreamed of life with three or four kids.
Linda had the stove going, canning vegetables from the garden he'd put in last fall. Still slender in her fourth month, she leaned out the screen door. "Lunch in ten minutes."
He waved, smiling, and considered going inside to make love to her on the kitchen table. She always objected when he made those kinds of demands, but she always surrendered. Then last night, on the way home from a movie, she begged him to fuck her in the front seat, in their driveway. She said being pregnant made her horny. One of the more desirable effects of pregnancy, in his opinion.
He sat there, waiting. Eventually she brought his sandwich and beer out to him.
He enjoyed the lilt of her walk, not yet encumbered by a lot of extra weight. In deference to the heavy August heat she wore a simple shift that was cut well above the knees, and low enough to show genuine cleavage. David adored her in the dress, which was one reason she wore it.
She smiled as she sat next to him under the broad leafed tree. "I told you to come in for lunch," she chided as she kissed him.
"It's cooler out here under the tree."
She smiled knowingly. "You just want me to be your little slave girl, running to bring you things whenever the whim strikes you."
He grinned mischievously as he wolfed down his ham sandwich. The beer was sharp, chilled, and tangy in his throat. He belched shamelessly. Linda made a face. "Oh, stop!"
"Speaking of little slave girls…"
A wide eyed look of alarm crossed her face. "Now, David --"
He smiled again, with less humor than before. "Take off the shift."
She glanced over toward the neighbors' house, about a hundred yards away. Trees and a hedge offered partial privacy, but this was a quiet little neighborhood. The neighbors might step out into their back yard at any minute.
"David, someone will see!" She acted upset, but her eyes had the look of desire that made him want her like nothing ever could.
He leaned forward, grabbing the shift. "I'll rip it off." His voice was calm and definite.
"David --" she said in a lower voice, with less alarm and more of something else. She looked at him with eyes that surrendered to his hunger.
His cock stiffened. He licked his lips. "I am going to have you now. Here."
She stared at him and said nothing, as though entranced.
He guided her around the base of the tree until it loomed between them and the neighbors, a small concession to her supposed modesty. She stood before him as he knelt, pulling on the shift until the thin straps slipped off her smooth shoulders. The light material slithered down her body. He moved his hands over her skin as the shift gently pooled at her feet, leaving her nude.
She leaned back against the tree, clutching his head as he kissed her belly and then delved between her legs, lightly kissing her cunt. She closed her eyes. Her head fell back against the tree. His hands stroked her buttocks and her legs then moved up to cup her breasts, already enlarged as her body changed in preparation for the coming birth.
Linda moaned as his tongue teased her clit. "Oh, David, oh sweet God that feels so good!" She moved her hips to the rhythm he imposed on her by his ministrations. Her hands covered his, squeezing her breasts harder as her movements became more frantic. Thrusting his tongue into her, he forced urgent sounds from deep in her throat. He stroked her clit, caressing her breasts to a deeper rhythm than before, a steady movement that guided her pliant body as he wished, made her writhe and squirm as he wished.
In his mind he told her she was his to command, and she acquiesced by punctuating the movements of her quivering, straining body with little cries of helpless pleasure. He fucked her with his tongue, manipulated her clit, crudely mauled her breasts with large, powerful hands. She arched her body and thrust out her breasts, as if to fill his hands more completely. Her voice ascended the scale of tortuous anticipation, growing louder and more urgent. Her body arched away from the tree as she came with a sharp, high-pitched squeal.
"David!" she hissed. "David!" She fell back against the tree, gasping, still clutching his hands to her breasts.
"You come so easily, there's no challenge," he teased.
She ignored him. "Oh, God, David, fuck me with your cock. Please. Do it now!" She dragged him to his feet.
He unzipped, pulled out his hard cock, and slowly entered her.
Her arms went around his neck. She breathed, "Oh, David, I love the way it feels to be naked against your clothes like this. You drive me crazy --" She moaned as he entered her. "-- crazy! I love what you do to me. God, I love you!"
He picked her up by her buttocks and thrust into her, holding her up against the tree. It had to be grinding into her back, but she didn't seem to mind. "Care if anyone sees you now?"
"Why not?" He thrust into her, feeling her cunt stroke his cock with wet fire.
She rolled her head from side to side, moaning. "Oh -- God, David -- you make me feel shameless!"
"And you love it!"
"I love your sexy body!" He continued to thrust with mindless passion, but at the same time he was intimately aware of the feel of her through his clothes, the dampness of her sweat, the smell of her sexual musk, the feather touch of her harsh breath against his face, the fiery, carnal need that consumed him as she moaned in his ear.
He reveled in the feel of her legs wrapped around him, her arms clutching him to her with such fervent, greedy hunger.
She closed her eyes. "God, David, fuck me like this forever!" She arched herself against him, throwing her head back. "Yes! David, yes! I'm coming! God, I'm coming!"
Her legs clenched his waist as her cunt clenched his cock. As she came, he came, too, growling "I TAKE you!" shuddering and thrusting with savage passion, completely oblivious to the potential proximity of the neighbors and the plumbing van that had just pulled into their driveway.
He stood there with trembling legs, gasping into her fine, soft hair, sweat streaming off them. He loved her so deeply he thought his heart would burst.
She whimpered in his ear, the same old thing. "David, David, David," ad infinitum. He wondered how many decades it would take for him to get tired of hearing that.
He finally let her down. She held onto him, trying to keep his cock inside her, whispering, "Take me again, like that, my love, my lord," smiling a little, like she was teasing him, but he knew better. When he got her hot, she was his toy, and she knew it.
"You've drained me, wench," he growled, "but I'll have you again in a short time." He wondered how far he could carry this. He'd wanted to try some real dominance and submission, maybe some bondage. She seemed willing…
But she really had drained him. Her passion was so… complete. He thought it highly unlikely he would ever want another woman as long as she satisfied him like this.
He watched her put the shift back on, and almost laughed, because it was so threadbare. "We have to replace that thing."
She grinned and came into his arms. "Next time, rip it off me. Okay?"
Impossibly, he started to get hard again. Jesus, what a woman. "I'll finish here. Wait for me in the kitchen." His heart beat a little faster. "I'd like to… tie your wrists next time."
She caught her breath as she leaned back to look at him. "You mean -- you want to -- pretend I'm your slave or something?"
He did not avoid her gaze. He hoped he did not look sheepish. "Yes," he said simply. As he said it he felt a surge of adrenaline. His cock reared up again, and he knew she felt it.
Smiling, she said, "Okay. I -- kind of like that idea."
She walked back to the house. Twice she paused, looking back. He simply stared at her. She smiled a little wider each time.
He recalled the time before the wedding when cautionary bachelor friends solemnly informed him that marriage dulled one's appreciation of sex.
Instead of finishing the lawn, he stood by the mower, thinking with a pained smile of her parents, Grace and Professor Bob, already making plans to be in town for the pending birth. They planned to be here a month ahead of time, just to make sure. David wondered if he could stand them for that long. He prayed Linda wasn't late.
They really were nice people. Bob taught philosophy at the local university. Grace was… a little eccentric. Or loopy, to be more accurate. A Wiccan, Linda said. Relic of the Kerouac's Beat Generation. She seemed to tolerate David. He suspected that there were times when she even liked him. She didn't have a computer, had no use for them, and generally despised such things. As a software engineer, David made his living from them. Thus, they had divergence of views. He shrugged. In-laws were the test of a good marriage.
Linda called again, from inside the house. Something in her voice dropped into his gut and lay there like a lead ball.
He found her sitting in the kitchen. A middle-aged man with a gray fringe, a moustache, and a paunch stood next to her. He held a knife at her throat. Time slowed down. David stared in disbelief. For a moment he thought it must be a joke…