Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How they shift: Magical or Biological

Let's face it, when it comes to shapeshifters, everyone has their own level of plausible acceptance. I’ve always found the shifters who leave their clothes behind easier to accept than those who transform back into human form and are miraculously, or magically, clothed again.

In The Combat, my Guardians and vampires alike have specially tailored slits in the shirts and jackets to allow their wings to emerge without ripping them. When my vampires transform in their demon form, the clothes rip away or need to expand to accommodate their shift in size.

Here’s a little tidbit from The Combat to whet your appetite. My hero, Davin, is a Guardian, able to transform into animal form, or stone, or both, or simply bring out wings while in human form. Okay when I say it like that, it doesn’t sound very plausible at all. But Davin is a gargoyle sentinel, his kind created by Merlin. Of course, Davin is shirtless in this scene :)

* * * * * * * *

      “What did you say you were?” Gabrielle swayed on her feet. He reached out to steady her. The contact brought a rush of pure bliss. A low sound escaped her throat, halfway between a gasp and a sigh.
      “I am Davin McCain. Humans refer to my kind as ‘gargoyles.’ We are called upon to protect the innocent.”
     Somehow, this came as no surprise. “Gargoyles, as in—”
     “Made of stone.” He held up a hand, closed it into a fist. Before her eyes, it transformed into a lion’s paw and turned rock solid.
     “My God.”
     “I am a sentinel in the Order of the Guardians. We are an ancient sect created to police vampire kind.” The gray stone stopped its advance halfway up his forearm, then receded to flesh again. He flexed his fingers as though it had been unpleasant. “When a vampire attacks an innocent, my order is awakened.”
     “Awakened?” She stared at his glorious chest, finding it easier to concentrate on his delectable male perfection than try to make sense of the nightmare taking over her life.
     “Transformed from stone to flesh.”
     She gaped, not sure how much more she could take. Her mind reeled with information overload. She stared at him so long she began to feel awkward.
     “Does it hurt?” she finally asked.
     He smiled, and she would swear his eyes twinkled. “No. My transformation is like a state of sleep. I need to rest, just as you do.”
     “Evan really is a vampire.”
     “And what he did to me was illegal? That’s why you helped me?”
     His brows drew together. “Drugging you without your consent is illegal, but Tourin itself is not. It is a popular drink in the vampire clubs for humans and vampires both.”
     “I was called to protect you when it was discovered the coven leader has an interest in you.”
     She frowned, trying to fight through the fog in her brain. Vampires. Coven leader. Blood cocktail. She shrugged out of her jacket and tossed it onto the floor, her body surging between too hot and too…aroused. He was so gorgeous, she wanted to lick every inch of him.
     What the hell is wrong with me?
     He went to the window and shoved it closed, then dragged the curtains across. She stared at his gloriously broad back, watching the muscles bulge and flex. Drool.
     Wait a minute.
     “You had wings. Or did I imagine all that?”
     He turned around and dipped his head in a curt nod.
     “Show me?” she asked, almost afraid to see.
     His expression hardened. For a long moment, he considered her. Then, dragging in a long breath, he closed his eyes.
     With a papery rustling of flesh, two awe-inspiring wings unfolded from his back and stretched as wide as her small studio apartment would allow.
     The sight helped sober Gabrielle. But where Evan’s monstrous transformation had been terrifying, Davin’s was magnificent.
     A flicker of surprise passed through his eyes.
     She crossed the room to him on numb feet. Gabrielle reached out and touched his shoulder, marveling at the amazing transformation. He felt warm, his skin soft but his muscles firm, just like any other man. Any other gorgeous, muscled hunk of a man.
     She slid her palm over his back and onto the firm wing.
     It was beautiful, a glorious sculpture of otherworldly splendor. The flesh was as smooth and golden as the rest of his body. The webbing stretched between a powerful architecture of muscle and bone, quivering under her touch as though ultrasensitive. He drew them close and tight, allowing her to circle him. She stepped behind him, dragging her fingertips lightly over the incredible limbs.
     Davin turned his head, watching her from his peripheral vision, seemingly as awed by her exploration as she was. She moved to the other side, staring in amazement when he folded them into himself again. They melded into his superbly muscled back and vanished.

What's your preference, magical or biological?


Paris said...

Wonderful excerpt! I love the way you handled the wings, very sexy:-)I can just imagine them wrapping around the she can too!

Serena Shay said...

Excellent excerpt, Crystal! Very sexy handling of the wings...

Savanna Kougar said...

Crystal, splendid excerpt. I could see and feel Davin, and the wings... oooh, magnificent.

Francesca Hawley said...

Oooo - hot! Nice. That sounds like a great read.