Horned Hunter of the Night by Alexandra Chauran
erotic paranormal shifter romance novella
Release Date: 01/09/2014
Cover art by Winterheart Design
Diana has enough to worry about after going away to college and leaving her family to struggle with problems back home. Now she has an eerie pull towards the occult that she can’t seem to resist. Feeling lost, like she isn’t living up to her religious family’s expectations, she desperately seeks acceptance and love in the arms of a man. Just one problem, though. The man of her dreams isn’t merely human.
This novella was originally published in the collection, Wild Shifters.
Diana sat bolt upright in her slender dorm bed, still shaking from her sensual dream. Somewhere in her brain, the echo of a wind instrument that sounded like a flute repeated a refrain. Deep in her abdomen she felt a flipping and surging of excitement, and her vulva still tingled from the orgasm that shook her awake.
Diana struggled to control her quickened breathing and glanced over toward her roommate’s bed, embarrassed that she might have made a sound to betray her moment of ecstasy. In the dark shadows of the tiny room, her roommate still slumbered peacefully, blonde hair falling over her sleep mask in the moonlight streaming through the window. His animalistic musk still hung in the air.
Diana slipped her hand inside her panties, wishing to reignite the fleeting pleasure she’d felt, but the moment was already gone. She sighed and flopped onto her back, disappointed, squeezing her eyes shut, trying to remember the dream.
Glimpses of the hurried sexual encounter came back to her. It had been more beast than man with thick chest hair, eyes like hot coals, and strangely curved locks of hair that seemed to point upward like antlers or horns.
He had seemed to shift his form, being all the man that she needed him to be. Diana remembered falling on her back in the wet leaves, and not caring as the air rushed out of her chest, she’d pulled the man on top of her with wild need. Was he the devil? No, she felt a pull toward him, as if he were more divine that diabolic.
Her shoulders tensed, and she pulled the corners of her blanket around her neck in the darkness. She had never felt so alone since she had moved away from her family and across the country to go to college. She was taking a pre-law program at a pretty prestigious university on full scholarship. Even on the playground, she’d dispensed tough but fair justice among her childhood peers. As an adult, her sense of justice felt cold and alone; more like a symbol than a virtue to champion.
But now that she was thousands of miles away from her hometown, Diana felt like she was grasping at straws to feel at home. What had always felt like a strong family culture in her Spanish Italian Catholic family felt as if it had no hold upon her and could not keep her rooted down.
God had always been in the background, supporting her parents as they raised their children, but to Diana, He had never felt close. Now that she was at school, she was desperately searching to fill that void in her heart and soul, but the campus Christian ministries seemed alien and foreign to her. And her dreams were calling her to some sort of powerful, divine, masculine force. Coming intimately close to the divine was something that Diana half feared and half craved.
Before her alarm sounded, she hadn’t even realized that she had drifted back to sleep. She stumbled out of her bed and slapped the offending alarm clock, gathering a basket of clothes she’d laid out the night before and sneaking out to the communal showers, so as not to wake her roommate.
Opting to finish all her classes early in the day, Diana had selected the earliest lectures. There were only a few other devoted students blearily preparing to take their morning showers. Diana was half undressed when her cell phone rang from underneath the clothes in her shower basket.
Sighing, she answered the phone, wondering what her mother was doing up so early. Her family’s time zone was several hours earlier. “Hi, Diana,” her mother’s familiar voice came through the line.
“Hi, Mom.” Diana pulled off her pajama pants and stood naked in the shower room, combing her hair with her fingers to stall for time before her shower. Her dark olive brown skin and thick black hair contrasted sharply with most of the other girls in campus and certainly all of the pasty white blondes in the communal showers that morning.
“So how are you doing, sweetie?” Why on earth was this social call happening so early in the morning? Her mom seemed to be stalling.