The idea of being biologically driven to sate your physical and spiritual lust with another does something to me. To need that connection with another so bad you can’t think beyond the longing ache.
But what happens when reality and responsibility tries to deny you your heart’s desire? That’s what The Craving explores.
K’Dane is a modestly rich and sexually progressive planet whose part of the Xantha star system. It’s assumed most K’Dane are bisexual, and if there are preferences that can be worked out among the nucleus (the group of 4 they form to raise children). However, before the nucleus is formed, one must have life mates.
The craving pushes each K’Dane into an urgent need to find a person or people with whom they can bond. Phoenix Dotir wants to avoid such a fate as he is marked as a Chosen. His destiny is to live among the other dimensional artists at the Ambrosial monastery. His plan should the craving hit before he’s goes to the monastery is to medicate.
His sister thinks he’s insane and in this excerpt, she sings a life mate song to him:
“First you start tying red knots. Then you need to be tangled in your lover’s twine. Red love knots… Red love knots binding you to the vine….”
In this next excerpt, Phoenix is obsessively tying the traditional K’Dane love knots. Sometimes a person will make as many as a thousand to demonstrate their wish to bind with someone. The tying of red love knots is one of the first signs someone in the craving. This excerpt involves Phoenix, his mother, and the holo doctor. (Zadra is sexy star chaser who sent him into the craving).
He turned away. The need to rip his skin off rode him hard. It was too hot. Pushing off his robe didn’t help.
Feeling his forehead, she exclaimed, “You’re burning up. I’m getting a doctor.”
The light was too bright. He swore he could feel his toenails grow. Every breath increased his requirement for Zadra.
No! This can’t be happening. Zadra! Where are you? Zadra!
Death would easier…. He stumbled across his sleep space to his workspace. Red twine. Where was—
Ah, here it is.
His mother came back into his space. He hadn’t realized she left. She rolled a holo doc in.
“Doctor, please, what’s wrong with my son?” Phoenix’s mother paced back and forth. “Did the healing he had a few sleep cycles ago at his learning place not fix the damage?”
The best holo doctor their living complex employed flashed to life at the question. “I will diagnose.”
Phoenix’s mother studied him as if he were a broken unit in need of repair.
His sister lingered in the doorway. “I told you we should have made him report that incident with Vade. If he’s hurt Phoenix—How long is this going to take?”
Phoenix didn’t hear the answer. He focused on tying another knot and placed the completed design in the satin box where he’d keep the red binding knots.
“Phoenix, please stop. Put these away.” His mother tried to take the box from him.
“No! Not done. One hundred and eighty-eight.” He didn’t want to hurt her, but no one was taking this box from him. No one.
“Doctor, why can’t he stop?”
Fever and restlessness ate at him. He rocked back and forth as he twisted the twine with his blistered and bloodied fingers. Left, right, crossover, twist…. Zadra.
Why was his mother here? Oh right, she waited for the doctor’s opinion.
He shifted to pull at the protector. Sky demons, why was the belt preventing him… nothing should be stopping him. He had to—“Zadra!”
The hologram doctor shimmered and rested a hand on his chin. “There is nothing wrong with your son. All previous medical procedures were complete. Your son is healthy. He’s displaying signs of the… craving.”
Where was Zadra? One hundred and eighty-nine. Phoenix wanted him here. Had to have him. Now. Skin too tight. Off.
He wanted to—“Zadra!”
“Shhhh, son. Don’t scratch yourself.” His mother held his hands to his sides.
No. Knots. He had to tie knots. After jerking away from her restrictive embrace, he moved to the other side of his art table. Took more twine, sliced the red off the spool, and whirled another knot. Each tied bit eased him and ramped him up in equal parts. One hundred and ninety.
His mother gasped at the suggestion. “The craving? What? It can’t be! He’s too young. He’s not yet eighteen seasons.”
“Zadra!” He wasn’t too young. Desire scraped at his insides. He wiped the sweat from his forehead. Why wasn’t the temperature automating?
“It’s rare but has been known to happen.” The holo doc continued, “This process is nature’s way of highlighting every K’Dane has a need to bond with life mates.”
His mother growled. “How could this have happened?”
The holo doc’s voice deepened as if to calm his near frantic mother. “Skin-on-skin contact. One touch has been known to trigger the craving.”
“He’s Chosen. That’s not possible.”
The holo cocked his head to the side and observed Phoenix. “Nothing supersedes the urge, not even being one of the Chosen. His symptoms suggest it’s more than possible.”
The end game of the craving is to find your life mates… or maybe your soul mate.
The Craving Blurb:
The craving is an undeniable urge that drives K’Dane citizens to find their life mates—if only to sate their uncontrollable physical longings.
Thrilled at being named a Chosen, Phoenix Dotir leaves K’Dane to become an artist-monk who will create dimensional art capable of changing worlds. Living by the monastery’s Principles of Purity will surely help him overcome the craving. But he never accounted for star chaser Zadra Solav.
Zadra doesn’t believe in rules and makes his own future. Fate separates him from the man he loves, but one touch renders him helpless to his own desires. Bonding with a monk is forbidden, and Zadra’s family sends him to deep space to avoid disgrace. Unable to give up, Zadra must find a way reunite with his Chosen.
Tormented by enforced separation, Initiate Riva Quinton struggles with his vow of chastity and risks all to rescue his lover. Together with his Eros, he stows away on board a star craft to follow his heart.
Four men defy destiny and tradition for love… but their love is a crime punishable by death.