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She tossed and turned in her sleep, her dreams not allowing her to rest, but holding onto her, not letting her wake, either...

She lay in the grass at the small meadow, watching the fluffy clouds drift by at their slow pace. Her bare feet were planted flat on the ground, knees raised, and her hands cradled her head with fingers laced. This was her favorite place here already. Mother and Daddy moved them all up here a few months ago and she was having so much fun learning about her new surroundings.

Madelyn Randell was 5, nearly 6, years old when they’d moved here. She quickly showed her parents that she was big enough to run around the yard alone. They would let her play in the yard and woods around the house without much worry as to her safety. She’d often leave the house in the morning and not return till lunch. Mother would be waiting for her with a ham or turkey sandwich, or sometimes even peanut butter and jelly, when she returned to the house. The jelly was homemade. Mother made it from blackberries they found growing nearby.

She was lost in the clouds at the moment. Her mind was a million miles away from anything around her. Usually, she could pick up on changes in the forest, but today she ignored everything.

Hearing a rustle in the leaves nearby, she sat up and froze. Standing between two large trees on the other side of the meadow was a huge wolf. He was watching her silently. Somehow, she could feel he was more than just an animal. It scared her, but she also felt a little bit of curiosity about the wolf watching her.

She sat there staring at it till she heard someone calling her. She turned her head to look toward the voice. When she turned it back, the wolf was standing directly in front of her. She stared at him for a long time. He stared back at her. He was huge. She could tell that if she were to stand up, he’d stand nearly as tall as she was. His red eyes looked into the deep violet of hers. She thought she heard him talking to her. No, it was all in her head.

“What was that?” she said very softly.

‘I said - Who are you?’ he responded. It puzzled her that she didn’t hear him with her ears, but in her head.

“I’m Maddy. Who are you?”

‘Nobody you want to know.’

“Why?” she could be a very precocious child.

‘Why, what?’

“Why don’t I want to know who you are?” she whispered. She cocked her head to one side, puzzled.

He didn’t respond. After a moment, he turned and began to walk away. She watched him for a moment, puzzled, and then started to get up as she heard Daddy’s calls growing louder. All of a sudden, the wolf wheeled around and came at her in a flurry of fangs, fur, and claws...

Screaming, she woke, the voice in her head echoing over and over, ‘I’m your worst nightmare...’


Hearing first screaming, then frenzied growling, they sprang up from their chairs, dinner forgotten, and all three rushed up the stairs, toward the sound. Bursting into the room, they found Madelyn, changed to her wolf form, crouched, ready to strike. The fur on her back and shoulders stood on end. Her eyes, wild with terror, alighted upon them as they entered.

Knowing they could do nothing, Ulric and Brian backed away slowly, without uttering a sound. Connor inched forward cautiously. She was in her complete wolf form and he was the only one who had any chance of calming her, working her through the shift back to her human form, and learning what happened here.


Connor approached his mate cautiously. Reaching out to her with his mind, he whispered calming things to her in her head through their mate connection. He spoke of his love for her; he reminded her she was safe; told her he was here and would protect her from whatever it was that threatened her. Gradually, she relaxed and allowed him on the bed with her.

“Shhh,” he whispered as he moved his hand close. “It’s alright, my love. I’m here, nothing will harm you. It’s time to shift back and talk to me, Maddy. Reach deep, grab onto your human self, and change back, please.” He talked her patiently back to her human form.

As her form returned to a human shape, Connor took Madelyn into his arms and held her close. Their lips touched in a soft kiss. He noticed tears on her cheeks. Her kisses turned from soft to needful, her breasts pressing against the soft fabric of his t-shirt. ‘Make love to me, Connor,’ she said in his head, her hands pulling at his clothing. ‘Please, Connor, I need you in me. Make love to me, deep and hard and Now!’

He pulled his clothing from his tall frame, she watched him before she turned to position herself on her knees, her ass raised high in the air as her head lowered to rest on her forearms. His fingers caressed her soft folds, a thumb moving to rub her clit gently. She gasped softly, hips tilting slightly as two fingers slid into her.

Connor’s other hand reached to his hardening cock, stroking it firmly. His mate wiggled and writhed as he stimulated her. Her breath became slightly ragged as she moved toward orgasm. Smiling, he pulled his hand from her and placed it on her hip. Positioning the head of his cock at her entrance, he gripped her hips and thrust forward, filling her quickly. Madelyn cried out, her muscles rippling around him; she hovered on the edge of her pleasure as he thrust deep inside, hitting her cervix each time he thrust into her.

He wasn’t going to last very long, after their mating earlier, but she felt so good. Her tight walls clung to him; it felt as though she was milking him. Connor hovered almost at the point of no return for a few moments. Just as Madelyn began showing signs of tipping over the edge, he growled lustfully and thrust deeper into her, holding the head of his cock against her cervix as his orgasm overtook him. Thick streams of cum erupted from him, flooding her channel. She screamed and shook, bucking against him as her orgasm had her soaring in a sexual high that no drug could ever hope to match.

Panting, Connor maneuvered them so that they lay on their sides, he still buried in her as they came down. His right hand moved across her body, caressing her soft skin, massaging her breasts. She moaned softly, her hand moving to stop his and intertwine her fingers in his. As his cock softened, Connor held her tight in his arms till she fell asleep again. He laid there with her for a while to be sure she was indeed asleep then eased her head onto the pillow.

He sat beside her for a short while and watched her as she slept. Once, her face contorted slightly, as if she were in pain, but softened again when he brushed the back of his hand against her cheek, whispering soft, comforting words to her.

Easing from the bed, he dressed quietly then padded silently across the room and returned downstairs, leaving the bedroom door open this time, certain they’d hear her if she stirred anytime soon. The two men awaiting him downstairs smiled knowingly to him, Ulric sniffing the air before shaking his head. The smell of fresh sex was all over Connor and he just shrugged slightly to the two men, not bothering to say anything about it. He knew they’d understand. Instead, he returned to the topic they were discussing earlier.

“Elder Brian,” he began formally as he reached the living room, where Brian and Ulric were sitting and talking quietly, “What is going on? What is she?”

“Ralla once told me that we’re not the only creatures in this world that aren’t human, yet can look like we are,” Brian began. “She told me that there are several other species that live among humans, or live separate from them, taking great care to stay unknown to the human species. She left it at that for many years until just after you came to visit her with your parents as a child.” He paused to take a sip of his coffee.

“We’re not alone?” Ulric said thoughtfully.

“Oh, no, Ulric,” Brian replied to the question that was more a statement than a query. “We’re not alone. Yes, there are humans we share this world with. But, there are several other species that live here, too. There’s the Mer-folk.”

He paused, smiling as the other men’s mouths dropped open.

“Yes, as in mermaids and mermen. They truly do exist, and there are several races of Mer-folk. There’s the Equatorial Mer-folk, they live in the region of the Atlantic Ocean near the Equator. The South Pacific Mer-folk are not to be messed with, according to Ralla. My only experiences with any of them are with those of the Caribbean, and they’re more peaceful than most other races of Mer-folk.”

“So, mermaids aren’t a story concocted up by sailors with active imaginations?” Connor asked.

“They certainly aren’t,” Brian replied. “The same goes for dwarves. There are three races of dwarves that I’m aware of. Mountain dwarves are just plain mean. I had one run-in with them and from that moment, I resolved to avoid them at all costs. Valley dwarves are calm and peaceful, not at all like their cousins. Island dwarves...” he paused, thinking a moment. “Well, Island dwarves are a completely different subject.” He didn’t say any more on the subject of dwarves.
Connor resolved to speak with him more about the species later, as he was now certain he’d seen some Mountain dwarves nearby recently, but at the time he’d mistaken them for humans with bone growth disorders.

“Then we come to elves.” He chuckled when Ulric and Connor looked at one another, disbelief etched across their faces. “You know, some have looked like that when told of us.”

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