Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sneak Peek into Snowdrop by Augusta Li

Sneak peek into Snowdrop by Augusta Li

Snowdrop is a long (50K) novella set in the same universe as Boots for the Gentleman, and will be available from Dreamspinner Press on September 19th!

Buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2532


When pickpocket Robin Pastorious comes across some graphic photographs of a young man suffering in bondage, he knows he has to liberate the victim—even after seeing the long, distinctive ears that mark the subject as a faerie, creatures Robin has been taught to hate and fear. Robin finds that the fey Snowdrop is afflicted with somewhat loose morals, a desire to be restrained, and a learned fear of reprimands, so naturally his ensuing encounters with Robin are both blistering and sporadic. But the faerie’s distant, fickle nature eats away at Robin’s sanity, and Robin ends the relationship.

That’s when the village comes under attack by the fey and Robin is captured and put on a train with the very man who tortured Snow. Will Snowdrop mount a rescue and find a way to convince Robin of his sincerity? Or will the pain of their shared past darken any possible future?

Here's an excerpt (not safe for work). Please enjoy!

“Don’t go,” the fey asked gently.
“Will you try to stop me?”
“No, but I’m asking you to stay. I won’t hurt you. I was just angry. Come. Have some more wine. Sit with me and enjoy the rain. Please.”
Gingerly Robin crossed the room and moved his chair to face the window. He still felt jumpy, and stole a glance at Snow from the corner of his eye. The fey looked completely relaxed with his forearm resting on the windowsill and his wine in his other hand. He inhaled deeply and said, “How I’ve missed the sweet scent of the summer rain. Smell it, Robin. Close your eyes.”
Robin did. The rain intensified the smells of the soil, the ferns, the trees, flowers, and wild berries. Robin recognized the aroma of wet stone, of pine needles, mushrooms, and the herbs growing in the inn’s little garden. He almost thought he detected the musk of the small red deer grazing on wild thyme and rye grass. The two men sat in silence for a long time. Robin heard Snow’s breath slow and wondered if he’d fallen asleep. When he opened his eyes to check, he found the fey studying him intently.
“What is it?” Robin asked, unnerved.
Snow reached out and stroked a lock of hair above Robin’s ear. His hand trailed down Robin’s chin and neck, coming to rest on Robin’s collarbone. “You’re very beautiful,” Snow said slowly. “Would you like to make love?”
“I beg your pardon!” Robin pulled away from the other man’s hands, got to his feet, and hurried to stand behind his chair. He couldn’t imagine Snow would crave the act of love after his abuse, or that he could sense Robin’s predilections so soon. While Robin took a carefree view of physical companionship, he didn’t trust this faerie that he’d known for only a few hours. Before meeting Snow, speaking with him, Robin had considered fey cursed creatures worse than beasts. Now he found them, or at least this one, moody to a point almost approaching madness.
“You’ve been admiring me,” Snow persisted, standing to unbutton the large shirt that hung like a sack over his lean frame.
“Yes, but—”
“And I admire you.” He slipped the shirt over his shoulders and off. His pale, shapely body looked blurry and soft in the low mix of gas and firelight. His glorious hair glowed almost like a halo, and his eyes seemed lit from within, firefly green. “We admire each other, so why should we not enjoy one another?”
“You’re weak, unwell,” Robin argued feebly as he tried to ignore the heating of his face and the tightness in his pants. “You mustn’t exert yourself.”
“Nonsense,” Snow said, moving a few inches closer so that his chest bumped into Robin’s. Nipples like little pearls brushed against Robin’s shirt. “Good, natural things will help me to recover. Things like fresh air and rain. This.” He placed his hands on Robin’s cheeks and pulled their faces together.
At first, shock prevented Robin from acting; he stood stiff and stone-still as Snow’s lips pressed against and glided over his own. Snow’s fingers wriggled into Robin’s hair and closed around his locks, pulling Robin nearer as his tongue swiped across Robin’s teeth. The wine couldn’t cover Snow’s natural, clover-honey taste. His skin smelled of the grass and petals Robin had crushed beneath his boot before finding him. His bare body was silky and warm beneath Robin’s hands as they glided over Snow’s waist. Robin’s mouth parted slightly, and the tip of his tongue met the faerie’s tongue. He pressed against it, afraid too much insistence might spook the vulnerable fey. But Snow’s lips dropped open, and his head fell back, inviting Robin to explore the sweetness of his palate. His waist bowed forward against Robin, and he held tighter to Robin’s hair. Robin kissed him hard, his hands moving around his back to pull him closer. When his fingers met the first of the many raised welts, though, he stopped and moved away from Snow.
“This isn’t right,” he said.
Snow looked down and away. “I’m damaged,” he muttered. “You find me deformed and disgusting.”
“No,” Robin said quickly. He wrapped his arms around Snow’s neck and drew his face to his shoulder. Petting the hair away from Snow’s long, pointed ear, Robin said, “I find you magical and exquisite. I find you very desirable.” He guided Snow’s hand to the swell in his pants as proof. “We’ve only just met, though. You know, you don’t need to pay me back. I don’t expect anything.”
Snow lifted his head and looked at Robin, his eyes reminding Robin of yellow flowers with black centers amidst a field of green. “My people attach none of the regulations to lovemaking that yours impose. It’s just something to enjoy. I want you, Robin.”
“Snow, I—”
“Am I hideous? Please tell me.”
“No. Dear God, no.” Robin spread his fingers over Snow’s face and used them to comb the thick hair away. He held his white tresses as he kissed across his brow, kissed his eyelids, pale lashes, high cheeks, delicate nose, lips, and chin. Robin’s mouth moved across Snow’s jaw as the faerie tugged at the thief’s belt. He found the sharp spike of Snow’s ear and explored its ridges and interior whorls with his tongue. Snow moaned with appreciation and circled his undeniable erection against Robin’s own.
“Your ears are so alluring,” Robin panted, giving the tip of one a playful nip, earning a small, delighted sound from the faerie. He ran his tongue over the entire edge of the narrow triangle before grasping Snow’s tiny waist and gently spinning him around. He lifted the silvery curtain of hair that fell almost to the fey’s hips. At first Snow took his wrist and tried to stop him, but Robin broke away and said, “Everything about you is alluring. You’re wonderful.”
Snow choked back a sound that might have been a sob before brushing his hair over his shoulder and offering Robin a view of his scarred back. As Robin kissed across his shoulders, Snow knit his fingers into Robin’s and guided one of Robin’s hands to his straining erection. He brought the other to his mouth and sucked Robin’s fingers one at a time, the tip of his tongue pressing against the tips of Robin’s fingers. His cock pushed against Robin’s palm as Robin’s lips explored the ridges of raised flesh that striped his back. Soon, Robin felt a circle of moisture against his skin. It dampened a circle of Snowdrop’s stolen pants, and Robin smiled. He wrapped his fingers around the thick base of Snowdrop’s shaft and squeezed.
“You’re so excited—”
“Robin, I want you to take me. I want you inside me.”
“Snow.” Robin didn’t know what to say as he stepped back to undo his belt and trouser flap. He’d been envisioning things the other way around, with himself taking the bottom as he usually did.
“Robin?” Snow faced him as he slowly removed his shoes and pants. As soon as he was naked, the faerie dropped down to sit on his heels with the backs of his hands on his thighs, as Robin had seen him do in the washroom. The thief understood that the faerie had spent so much time bound in that position that he assumed it automatically. Perhaps it granted him some unfathomable comfort. Once he’d finished undressing, Robin sat in the same fashion, his kneecaps flush with Snow’s. He draped his hands over the insides of the faerie’s wrists and gave the thin bones a slight squeeze. Snow nodded, confirming Robin’s hunch.
“Look at me,” Robin said. Snowdrop lifted his chin. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” He picked up Robin’s discarded tie and placed it in Robin’s hand. Then he lifted his arms and presented his pressed-together wrists. “Please.”

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