Four years ago geneticist Jayce Harper lost the love of his life. Now every Christmas Jayce returns to his cabin in the woods to celebrate Christmas. Alone. Every year he sets an extra place at the table and bakes a full Christmas dinner, including peppermint cookies, knowing those cookies are the one scent his lost lover can never resist.
Four years ago Crane found out who, and what, he was, without understanding why. Thinking his lover had betrayed him, Crane shifted to reindeer form and took off running. He's been running loose in the forest around the lake as a reindeer for the last four years, almost forgetting he's ever been anything else. Now he's been gone so long, he has no clue how to get back.
When the scent of peppermint reaches his nose, Crane suddenly knows he has to remember, or lose it all, forever. When he finds Jayce, the author of the scents that have lured him back, he has to decide if he wants a past he can barely remember, or what he's found in the woods. Whoever he was, whatever they had, Crane knows the scent of his lover may be his last chance to remember.
If the hunters don't find him first...
Praise for White Stag (Reindeer Games)
"If you like shifter stories with a difference, if you think that two men, who love each other yet have lost touch, deserve a second chance, and if you're looking for a wintery tale of a difficult reunion, then you might like this short story."
-- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
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White Stag (Reindeer Games)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2015 Ana Raine
My body was frozen, the chill air seeping into the pores of my skin and forever making a home there. Even if I could remember what warmth felt like, I didn't doubt the chill would linger for weeks to come.
Nudging aside a bramble void of leaves, I tried to move forward, but my legs were shaky. How long had it been since I'd been on two legs and could walk like this?
Rubbing my head, I felt soft, silky hair and ran my fingers through the strands. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by the desire to know what I looked like, to remember who I was.
I was at least certain of my name, and I knew I was relatively young, too, but no longer a teenager. Wrapping my arms around my chest, I hesitantly stepped over the snow-laden ground, afraid I would step on something that would wound me.
As an animal, I'd been able to lope easily through the forest, bounding past trees and dodging rocks as though they were ingrained into my internal map, but in my human state, I knew enough to know what being injured in the middle of the woods would mean for me.
It wasn't time to succumb again. Every time I did, I forgot who I was, and until I could remember more than my name, I had to stay in human form for as long as possible.
There had been something that jostled me from my animal state, a feeling like fire burning deep inside my belly. Cradling my head in my hands, I flitted in and out of a distant memory I couldn't escape.
The air was filled with the scent of sickly sweet desserts and the lingering smell of... arousal.
Gasping, I leaned against a tree, my naked body momentarily suspended from freezing because of the hot passion spreading throughout me. He had dark eyes, like the deep red-brown color of the trunks of trees, and darker hair that I wanted to wind my fingers through. A moan escaped my lips as I remembered fingers prodding at my entrance, pushing within me so deep I wasn't sure if I was even Crane anymore.
I wanted the memory more than I could explain.
Experimentally, I sniffed the air in search of the scent that had triggered me out of my shift, but I was at a loss. The only things I could smell were the damp, icy earth and the frozen water.
But I still wanted him.
My hand seemed to have a mind of its own, pressuring me to do what I knew I shouldn't. But how long had it been since I'd touched myself? Gently, I stroked my hardened length and allowed myself this one moment of reprieve. There was no need to run, to escape, to fear... only to feel.
I felt the trunk of the tree pushing into the base of my spine but imagined it was him holding me tightly to his body. I screamed in pleasure and frustration as white-hot ribbons escaped my cock and splattered to the icy ground. I had been so lost in the sensations, I hadn't even realized how close I was.
Sputtering, I felt shame cloud my cheeks at the realization of what I'd done. As an animal, such things were common. But as a man, I knew I was supposed to be alone. I pushed away from the tree, my body trembling with cold and fatigue as I continued to wander through the woods in search of the scent which had first awakened me.