Meet August and Telarion!

Aberrant Monsters is out!!!

Check out this snippet! © Debbie Cassidy 2022

Jamie released me and backed up, fear widening his eyes and quickening his breath.

Oh yeah, he sensed it now. Even though he couldn’t possibly fathom what it was.

No more warnings. No more chances to run. I smiled thinly.

“No escape”. The voice was whiskey on the rocks, smooth with a gravelly edge that made my insides thrum. “My turn.”

The monster living inside me tore free.

Inky-black viscous matter shot out of my body and slammed into Jamie, throwing him into the opposite wall and holding him there while it coalesced into a humanoid form.

Telarion, my curse, my personal monster, manifested in his monolithic glory. His long, dark coat flapped in a phantom breeze as he held Jamie to the wall with a single gloved hand. His face was obscured by shadow and partially masked, but I caught the sharp edge of his jaw and the curve of his lips when he turned his head to offer me his profile.

Was he asking permission?

Did Telarion ever ask for anything? No. He took what he wanted when he wanted it.

Still, I responded. “Take him.”

He chuckled low and wicked, then ate Jamie’s face.

I squeezed my eyes shut and covered my ears to block out the wet crunching sounds of his feeding.

The first few times this happened, I’d vomited. But we had a deal now. Feeding around me was off limits. Something he seemed to have forgotten, or maybe he wanted to make me sick. Urgh, why did he have to eat the guy right here?

Long seconds passed before I felt Telarion’s shadow fall over me and sensed the heat of his presence.

I opened my eyes to look up into his piercing green ones. They were undoubtedly beautiful eyes, slightly slanted and fringed in thick, dark lashes set in a face that was deceptively human right now. High cheekbones cut down to a wide, generous mouth set above a pointed chin framed by a sharp jawline. His nose was straight with flared nostrils that gave him a look of regal disdain. Even the mask that covered his forehead, sliding diagonally across the bridge of his nose to cover his right cheek and part of his jaw, looked like something an aristocrat would wear to a masquerade ball.

But Telarion was far from human, as evidenced by the overly long and thick tongue that swept out from between his perfect lips to lap up errant drops of blood from his chin. The action reminded me of his true face. The face beneath this beautiful mask.

The face of the monster.

He gripped my neck with an infinite gentleness that belied his horrific nature and drew me close.

My pulse quickened with panic and something else, something that I would never acknowledge. “Don’t…”

He gave a raspy laugh and licked my cheek. I closed my eyes, submitting to his attentions as his wet, warm tongue washed away the evidence of my attack in leisurely sweeps.

He released me when done and stood towering over me. “How is it you get yourself into these scrapes?”

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