Explosive Tendencies

A year ago, Manuel the miscreant werewolf submitted to his human mate, the intrepid inventor Ellory, for the very first time. The story of that beginning can be found in the Sci Spanks 2014 AnthologyIn just a week, when Sci Spanks 2015 starts, Ellory and Manuel will be coming to you in a new adventure. Leading up to that adventure, here’s a tidbit to whet your appetite.

Note: The story below is not an excerpt from the upcoming Sci Spanks story. You’ll have to enjoy the event to get that one, – more info here


September 1863

“Ellory!” Manuel kicked the front door shut behind himself. He dropped his bags on the floor and collapsed back against the wood. Their townhouse in London’s Bayswater was fashionable enough for the man in him, but too confining for his wolf. Just his carriage ride from the rail station had leeched away most of the comfort from his weekend run in Wales.  “Ellory!

Gretel, their newest maid, scurried up, trembling. Why are they always so scared of me? Manuel gave the girl a big smile, and she flinched back. Too much tooth, maybe. He tried smiling with his lips closed. It didn’t seem to help. Dios, she doesn’t even know I’m a wolf. “Good day, Gretel. Where is Ellory?”

“Mr. Granger is — “ A resounding BOOM shook the townhouse.

Manuel loosed a string of curses and took off for his mate’s workshop. Even with the workshop entrance being an underground sound-dampened space, Manuel could hear Ellory coughing. Not dead yet.

When he reached the kitchen, he pulled the shop’s trapdoor entrance from its hinges. Ellory was already at the top, but Manuel reached down, grabbed the front of his mate’s waistcoat, and yanked him up into the room.

“Ow!” Ellory batted Manuel away, leaned over, propped his hands on his knees, and hacked some more. Ellory’s dark brown skin wore even darker smudges of ash and oil. His hair was singed just above his right ear, and the bottom of his copper satin waistcoat smoldered. Manuel pulled Ellory back up, formed a claw and slashed down the buttons.

Ellory choked out, “Wha –” before Manuel shoved the waistcoat off his mate’s shoulders, threw it to the ground and stomped it to death. “Manuel, that was one of my favorites,” Ellory glowered.

Manuel waved his hand up and down Ellory’s visage while giving the clothing a few last stomps. “It was on fire, Ell. Is anything else on you still burning?” He circled the man, smelling for unseen damage but turning up nothing.

“Cut it out,” Ellory sighed, “I turned on all the fire safety devices and water sprayers before I came up. I don’t even know how many notes and diagrams I’m going to lose. The motorized self-fueling gyrocycle … well, I think I have a way to go.”

Manuel raised an eyebrow. “Do you now? I never would have guessed.”

“Shush and tell me hello properly.”

Relieved, Manuel pulled his mate into his arms. “I missed you,” he whispered, nuzzling Ellory’s neck.

“How much?”

Underneath the smoke, Manuel breathed in the tang of metal he would forever associate with Ellory. And underneath that was nothing but pure Ellory. Mine. He flicked his tongue out for taste of Ellory’s skin. Ellory grabbed Manuel’s hair and pulled his head up. “No teasing.”

He took Manuel’s lips like a man possessed. There was no room for breath, no tenderness, nothing gentle. Just heat, teeth, tongue, and desperation. Too long. The mangled thought skittered across Manuel’s mind. I left him too long.

Manuel gave back as good as he got, until they broke apart panting. “We should go down there and turn off your water things before you flood your workshop.” Manuel said.

“They’re self terminating.” Ellory gave him that wicked half smile and shoved Manuel toward the house. “Bedroom. Now.”

Another BOOM rattled the floor beneath them hard enough to send them both stumbling. Gretel screamed from elsewhere in the townhouse, and Manuel’s ears told him at least four glass objects crashed to their deaths.

Manuel picked up Ellory and threw him out of the kitchen into the hallway. Ignoring his mate’s squawk of displeasure, Manuel jumped feet-first down the chute to the workshop. He landed in a crouch at the bottom and scented the air while he let his eyes adjust to the darkness.

The gas lamps had been doused by the water, and only emergency aether-based lighting glowed around the base of the large room. “Nothing’s on fire!” He called up.

“Then I’m coming in.” Ellory scrambled down, face screwed up in anger. He slugged Manuel hard in the arm. “And you aren’t anymore fire proof than I am.”

Manuel curled his lip in a low growl of warning, but it took only a stinging slap to his backside to remind him he wasn’t alpha in his home. Only two months ago Manuel had submitted to his human mate, surprising both himself and Ellory. As Alpha of the London pack, Manuel couldn’t fathom why submission in his home felt so right, and he’d just about decided he didn’t care.

“What do you hear?” Ellory asked.

“Water dripping. The occasional tick of metal settling from overheating. Steam wheezing – leaking from somewhere, maybe.”

“How bad does it look?”

Manuel surveyed the room with the advantageous vision granted him by his wolf. “Your odd cycling machine –”

“Motorized self-fueling gyrocycle.”

“Yes, that. It’s more of an abstract metal structure at the moment. And — “ Manuel hissed. “The time machine, Ell. I’m so sorry.”

“The time machine what?” Ellory charged forward and fumbled on the damp gas lamps along the wall. “No.

The force of the explosions had rattled many of the machine’s tentacled steam tubes apart. Some pieces still dangled uselessly in the air, while the rest littered the floor in various states of destruction. A crack in the transport chamber ran from the roof downward, splitting a full section of the control panel. Manuel approached Ellory and pulled him close, burying his mate’s face against his chest, blocking the gory sight.

Years. Years of Ellory’s work reduced to a pile of scrap.


Want more Ellory and Manuel? Read the next installment: Spare Parts

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