Three hundred years ago, Regan York left England, exiled from his own clan by his father. He took refuge high upon a mountain, where he thought no one would ever find him. When he met Bryn Navarro, he let the dragon shifter take control of the mountain without a fight, and he joined Bryn's clan. No one knew the truth about Regan's past until Bryn's lover -- and Regan's commander -- asked him. Regan swore off all relationships after his exile. He never expected to meet someone who could change his mind.
Salutael is on the run. Like his demonic brethren, he possesses a strong gift, but his is the ability to counteract the diseases and poisons his fellow demons can inflict upon their draconic adversaries. Now Sal is fleeing for his life, and right into the arms of the enemy.
Regan's Folly (Clutch Wars 2)
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Copyright ©2013 Mychael Black
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Bass pounded up from the floor and through Sal's legs to finally settle in his balls. From his perch on the railing overhead, he watched the throng of bodies below, gyrating, rubbing, dancing -- everything short of actually fucking on the dance floor.
He smirked and tipped back his drink. The alcohol burned its way down his throat, and though he couldn't get drunk, the absinthe did manage to soothe him in ways nothing ever could. Despite being in plain view up here on the catwalk, he doubted anyone noticed him. Most of the patrons were too busy getting it on with their partners for the evening. Even the cute bartender -- Daniel, if Sal remembered correctly -- seemed to be content to flirt with a hybrid at the end of the bar.
Sal wondered how many of these people could tell that their bartender was going home with a vamp-wolf mix breed. Probably not many, but then again it was only one of Sal's "talents." His other was why he currently stayed out of sight. He hadn't seen any others of his kind here, but that didn't mean they wouldn't find him.
He polished off his drink and started down the narrow metal steps. A few hands tried to grab him as he made his way through the crowd on the dance floor, but he sidestepped them. Getting involved -- especially right now -- would just be another notch on his list of bad ideas. He tossed his plastic cup into a garbage can and slipped out the front door.
Outside, the line waiting to get into the bar stretched down the cracked sidewalk and around another building. Sal headed in the other direction. The fewer people who remembered his face, the better. The fact that he'd yet to run into any of his kind made him uneasy. Demons were notorious for their ruthlessness, especially when it came to hunting their own. Sal knew he could only run for so long before they caught up with him.
The moment he found an empty alley, he stepped into the shadows. He had to get out of town, and soon. Normally his pursuers found him long before now. He was getting antsy.
Casting a quick glance around to ensure no one spotted him, Sal unfurled his leathery wings and vaulted into the air. He stayed low to the tops of the buildings and as far into the shadows of the surrounding forest as possible. He had no clue where he was going to go. This city was the last place of any significant population before the mountains swallowed up the land. Maybe he could find a cave somewhere. Maybe then he could actually sleep without fear of death.
He flew for what felt like hours before he spotted a tall mountain looming in the distance. A road wound up the side like a thin ribbon, but Sal didn't see any other sign of life. He dropped down a few feet, then wove through the trees. The road continued upward in a zigzag pattern, so Sal took the other direction and scouted the mountainside. When he spotted a small cave entrance, he landed and waited behind the conjoined trunks of a tree. No animals and no demons. That was a start. He didn't know who or what resided at the top of the mountain, but he figured if he kept out of sight, no one would ever detect his presence.
Moisture hung in the air, a welcome relief to the dry heat of home. Sal ventured into the mouth of the cave and looked around. It went farther back than he'd first expected. The front space widened out just inside the mouth, the cavern big enough to live in without risking exposure to the elements -- or worse. Sal studied the brush near the opening and found a few large branches broken off from nearby trees. He stacked them to hide the entrance as best he could, then he turned to the yawning tunnel toward the back.
If he was lucky, the cave system didn't lead into the tunnels his own kind took on a regular basis. Those tunnels spanned the entire continent of North America, and there were similar systems on various other continents.
He grabbed a small branch from the pile at the front and exhaled on it. Green flames licked along the tip of the wood, illuminating the rock walls surrounding Sal. At one time in his existence, he would've felt claustrophobic, but not anymore. Being out in the open made him nervous. It made him much more comfortable to have solid rock around him.
Sal shook off the trepidation and started making his way down the sloping tunnel. Bears, wolves, vampires or any number of such creatures he could handle. Demons -- and dragons -- were a different story entirely. Sal had never been one for staying on the front lines. He preferred a more covert form of battle. He also didn't possess the abilities of disease and poison his brethren did. No, he'd been stuck with the ability to heal those very same afflictions. His fellow demons hadn't liked the idea -- which was why he now descended alone...