Contemporary m/f paranormal with fantasy kink
As an otter shapeshifter, Verity has never fit in to the village she grew up in. Trusting no one, she keeps to herself until she meets a man who watches birds. Gareth is a traumatized submissive with a dark past who has decided he’s better off alone. It hardly seems like a good place to begin a love affair. Gareth wants Verity to dominate him, but the idea frightens her. She needs Gareth to understand her dual nature, but is it more than his rational mind can accept?
Length: 71,375 Words
Genre: Fantasy / BDSM
Rating: Super Nova
This title also contains some BDSM, but as a whole, is more based in fantasy.
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Gareth was barely amongst the trees when a flash of white caught his eye. It looked too large to be his bird, for while they might nest in high branches, they didn’t tend to come down to the ground in woods much, as far as he knew. He caught another flicker of movement, and curiosity overcame all other impulses. He stepped off the narrow path and went to look.
What he registered first were her eyes, almost at a level with his, fierce and dark. Of all the things he might have expected to find, Verity was not one of them. He had stepped around the tree and almost run into her. Her hair was sodden. Several seconds passed before he glanced down and realised that she was entirely naked.
Innumerable droplets of water glistened on her pale skin. His eyes took in the firm roundness of her breasts, the curve of her hips, the muscled strength of arms and thighs. He coughed self consciously.
“Go on,” she said, “you might as well have a good look now you’ve caught me.”
Embarrassed by her words, he turned away slightly.
“Sorry,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter. I doubt I’ve got anything you haven’t seen before.”
He could hear her pulling on clothing, and felt relieved.
“I should go,” he said, “I was looking for something else.”
“You really know how to flatter a girl,” she said, laughing.
“I wasn’t… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean…”
“Forget it,” she said. “I was teasing you. It doesn’t matter. What were you looking for?”
“I thought I saw a bird land this way. I wanted to see if there was a nest.”
He risked looking at her. She was decently attired, tight jeans and a loose shirt making her less alarming to look at.
“You’re a bird watcher,” she said.
“Mostly. What did you think the hide was for?” he shrugged, clearly not interested in answering.
“So now I’ve got to worry if you’re a legitimate bird watcher or one of these people who steals eggs.”
“Do you want to read my thesis on the distribution of seabirds along the Severn?” he asked.
“So you’re smart. That doesn’t mean you don’t steal eggs.”
“Do you ever stop being paranoid?” he asked, exasperated.
“Probably not, no,” she replied.
She gave him a long, hard look.
“I’m a nice guy, really I am,” he found himself saying. “I’m a conservationist. I’m a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. What more can I give you?”
“I don’t know. You’re very defensive,” she said.
“That’s because you keep accusing me of being some sort of environmental vandal, when you haven’t the faintest idea who I am or what I’m doing here!”
His outburst startled both of them, and for a while, neither said anything at all.
“I’m not a people person,” she said.
Gareth felt like he was being dismissed.
"Is there a nest?” he asked.
She turned her large, dark eyes upon him once more. He did not know how to interpret whatever moved in their depths. He’d never found brown eyes easy to read.
“There are lots of nests,” she said.
“Is there an egret nest?” he asked finally.
“Not in this wood,” she said. “But there is one, yes. Not many people know they’re here.”
"I’ve seen them before. That’s why I’m working here, no big mystery really. I just don’t tend to tell people about the birds I’m studying. Force of habit.”
“Paranoia,” she said. “Takes one to know one.”
"Can you show me the nest?” he pressed.
She appeared to be thinking about this.
"Not easily,” she said. “It’s hard to get to and a fair bit further upstream.”
“All right. I’ll show you.”
Gareth grinned. He felt like jumping up and down and cheering, but not with an audience.
“I’ve got a thermos flask in the hide,” he said. “Can I tempt you to a cup of tea?”
“Go on then.”
“You probably need it. You’ll be cold with all that wet hair.” He avoided making allusions to her previous nudity, or asking what she had been doing.
“I went swimming,” she said.
“I’m amazed you weren’t covered in mud.”
“Ah well,” she said, I have ways.”
They continued in silence, and Gareth decided it was best not to press her further. All the signals she gave off suggested she didn’t want to expand on her previous comments.