Some of the photos I took. Just a few, actually. The con itself was great but I have been playing around with my digital camera and the new camera app on my Android, but the truth is, I’m a better writer than I am a photographer! Next year and other cons I swear, more pictures!
At any rate, the one thing I failed to get was photos of the attendance of our rooms. Most of our panels had great attendance and the BDSM 201 panel rocked, but I couldn’t take photos there for liability reasons. Safety first.
The extent some folks go to for costuming is literally amazing!I In the meantime, here’s something sexy… The extent some folks go to for costuming is literally amazing!
From “His Reign” coming out October 10th from Secret Cravings Publishing
It never snowed this early in Texas. Not in November in Houston. Still, looking out of the window onto the streets of downtown Houston, Józsi saw the snow fall. The faint idea that there would be a lot of people finding out that cold winter actually does not mean shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt would be a revelation to some.
Unless you were lupine. Then you simply didn’t give a fuck.
Nothing in the States could compare to the harsh winters in any Eastern European bloc country.
Józsi inhaled sharply; cold air filled his lungs. Picking up his glass of Hungarian red wine, he took a long slow sip and sighed. The warm liquid slid down his throat but didn’t have the same warming effect as the brandy he had the night before.
Closing his eyes, he leaned back into the soft leather recliner and picked up the cigar he’d just lit. He took a draw and exhaled, filing the room with the scent of tobacco, cocoa and smoke. The scent reminded him of growing up in Hungary. He smoked the same cigars his father smoked, Proprio. Drank the same red wine his father did, and ultimately ended up the same way his father did.
Oh, Józsi could get the girl if he wanted.
He’d had plenty of opportunities growing up in Hungary amongst the wolves, and even more when he’d moved to Texas. American women were infatuated with his strong jaw, soft yet masculine accent and the way he carried himself. Women constantly asked if they could run their fingers through his long dark hair, sighing blissfully when their fingers ran over strong, broad shoulders. He’d simply flutter thick, dark lashes at them, smile and laugh a rich, masculine sound that made blood pool below a woman’s stomach.
Sometimes, they’d just look into his eyes and swoon, the intensity of his gaze evident in his dark blue irises. There was only one who was not affected by him at all. It didn’t matter.
A knock at the door forced Józsi’s attention from his memory.
Checking his watch, he noted it was only just after six PM. He took a puff on his cigar and set it down in the large dark cigar ashtray. Walking to the door, he looked through the peephole and sighed. The scent of another wolf made him anxious.
“I know you’re home,” the female voice yelled. “Let me in, it’s fucking cold out here!”
Great, Józsi groaned. It had to be her.
Opening the door, Lukina stood before him, dressed in her usual white cloak. Red curls spilled out from beneath her white stocking cap, framing her doll-like face.
He hadn’t seen her in ten years. The memory of leaving her and Ilona all those years ago came crashing back into his mind.
He shrugged it off. There was no time for the past.
Still, Lukina stole his breathe.
She pushed her way past him and headed straight for his recliner.
He frowned. “How did you find me?”
She glanced over her shoulder, “I had a little help from our bond through the witch and I did some digging on my own—”
He wasn’t about to have her stalking through his apartment like she owned everything. Józsi moved towards her and cut her off. “What the hell are you doing?”
Turning perfectly plump lips down in a frown, she sat down. Lukina picked up his glass of wine and took a drink. “I needed that.”
Growling low, he set his hands on his hips, “Aren’t you still underage?”
She wiped her mouth and smirked. “Does it matter with wolves?”
It didn’t. Wolf custom and age ran differently than human standards. Józsi sighed. “What do you want?”
She lifted the wine glass to her lips and peered over the rim, her blue eyes sparkling with interest. “I can’t pay my favorite pack mate and obsession a visit?”
Tilting his chin down, he glared at her. “No. When you show up it usually means something is wrong. Spill it.”
Looking up, she narrowed her eyes at him. “You’re no any fun anymore, Józsi. What happened?”
He turned away from her. Reaching for the bottle on the table beside him, he picked it up and retrieved another glass. Filling it with wine, he took another drink. Swirling the liquid around the bowl, he returned his gaze to Lukina. She was so tiny, so petite it was a wonder that she hadn’t been killed off as a baby.
He’d never tell her that he admired her courage.
Swirling the glass around in her hands, she looked down for a moment. Speaking low, the words came loud anyway. “Anyway, you’re needed back in Budapest.”
He scoffed, crossed his arms over his chest. “No I’m not.”
Lukina cocked a brow and scowled at him, her tone challenging his. “You don’t even know what for.”
As though he gave a fuck about challenges from other wolves. The only thing that mattered was that he was left alone as he had been for the last ten years. “It doesn’t matter,” he set his glass down on the marble countertop.
Her head shot up. “Yes, it does. It concerns—“
He shouted, “No, it doesn’t Lukina. I am not needed back there anymore.”
She set her glass down on the table beside her and stood up. Storming across the room, anger glaring in her eyes, she reached out and slapped Józsi.
The sting burned his face and made his head spin. His jaw dropped. It’d been a long time since someone had slapped him like that.
Fire burned in those deep blue eyes of hers. “How dare you turn your back on my lover. Leave the pack, fine. Let Kiba and his bullshit politics burn bridges, fine. But you gave me your word you would never turn your back on us.” Her voice rose in pitch.
His shoulders stiffened. He turned away from her, looked out the window and back at her again. “You were ten years old, Lukina. How was I supposed to know what was going to happen? Or that you’d—“
She shouted, her voice rising in pitch. “Remember? I love you, and I loved you then, but not like Ilona. You were everything to her. You were the one who was not content with Hungary. Or the pack. So,” she was now in his face, a funny sight since he was a good foot and a half taller than she, “you’ll listen to what I have to say before you make the right choice.” She punched her finger into his chest for emphasis.
Józsi turned his gaze from her and looked out the large window.
Gray skies had grown darker.
Lukina’s small hand cupped the warm spot on his cheek and forced him to face her. “You know I’m right.”
Her voice had gone from angry to soft and pleading. He hated that.
Growling low, he let the threat between them die. He wasn’t going to play her Alpha or mate. “Fine. What do you need of me?”
She returned to her seat. “First off,” she cleared her throat, “Kiba’s gone insane.”
He shrugged. “This is nothing new. We all knew it would happen one day. There is no alpha to take his place?”
She didn’t reply.
He understood the implied silence. “Oh no,” he backed off, “I’m not coming back to fulfill some goddamned prophecy to get the pack to Paradise. I swore off prophecies when I moved to Texas.”
“Yes I know.” She rolled her eyes, “you’ll leave all that shit to the now dead elders.”
He stiffened and gasped. “Now dead? What happened?”
“I told you,” she leaned forward, sipping her wine again. “Kiba went insane. The ones who could fight him lost, the others were killed by hunters.”
Józsi leaned back in his chair. “So be it. Old bastards were nothing but trouble anyway.”
Lukina stood and stalked towards Józsi with that angry look in her eyes. Hand raised, she swung.
He caught her fist this time. She was still cold from outside despite her fur layer and coat, but something else was off.
Heaving a sob, she stepped back and then threw herself onto him, wrapping her tiny arms around his large frame.
He felt wetness on his silk shirt, tears from her. She began crying, sobbing louder. “It’s not fair what they’re asking us to do, Józsi. It’s not fair.”
Józsi wrapped his arms around Lukina and stroked her hair.
She nuzzled closer, her body was cold. He inhaled her clean rain scent, tangling his fingers in her hair. “What’s going on?” His voice dropped to a bare whisper.
“Kiba’s fits of insanity have provoked others to leave and put fear into the minds of our female wolves. He’s gone off his rocker and actually abused some of our women,” she sniffled. Backing up, she looked into his eyes.
He saw himself reflected in her beautiful round eyes and wanted to tear his own heart out. Why he had left her and her sister so long ago was beyond him. It just needed to be done.
He had to ask “What of Ilona?”
Her sobs grew louder. “No, drága.” Dear. “She has been abused by Kiba.”
He ground his teeth loudly. “How did this happen?”