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Title: Strength to Let Go
Series: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes, Book One
Author: Alina Popescu
Genre: gay romance, paranormal, werewolves, paranormal romance, supernatural
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing


After being abandoned by his mates, Shiki Kirishima, beta of the Dragons of the Fang werewolf tribe, returns to his home in Tokyo.

Crippled by grief, Shiki decides to end it all by going into the territory of the Siberian Killers tribe and challenging them to a battle to the death.

His death.


Ganzorig, beta of the Siberian Killers, however, sees the potentially disastrous consequences of having Shiki die in battle.

Instead, he saves him.

Having suffered loss himself, Ganz takes it upon himself to help Shiki deal with his pain.

Blake, Shiki’s best friend since childhood, is as determined to show him there is life after a wolf’s ultimate loss.

Could there also be something ‘more’ for them after friendship?


We hooked our arms around each other’s shoulders immediately after getting out of the car and made our way to the club entrance. This one was a popular hangout, but we had VIP status here. Everyone knew us, we could pretty much drop by at any point. Having a werewolf in my tribe for an owner sure sweetened the deal for us, but so did the large amounts of cash we’d dropped here. This was usually the first stop on our nights out. Because of our special treatment, we had access to the owner’s offices. That meant we could quench our thirst with a first catch of the night. We’d typically fly solo for this, finding our own prey, taking them somewhere private, and enjoying the hot and hard sex. Then we’d rejoin the other for one last drink before going to a different club. We’d just randomly pick another Ni-chome hangout and start the other type of hunt: finding males we could share. One or two, depending on who we’d meet. Once we found them, we’d go back to Blake’s place and enjoy our spoils. Everyone from the bouncers to the bartenders and the owner himself came to greet us. We had been no-shows for about a year and it seemed like our return was quite the event. It felt good to be treated like that, it made the club seem like a place we hung out with friends more than our hunting grounds for anonymous sex. It was probably my need to belong that caused those feelings anyway. We had our very own, fine-tuned strategy when we were on the prowl. We’d go by the bar first, get a drink and finish it while chatting and saying hello to the people we knew at the club. This time it took a lot longer than usual, because there were questions about what we’d been up to. Blake took the lead and gave them vague answers, giving me time to notice the owner avert his eyes from me. So he knew…. I downed my drink and asked for another one. What the hell, it was bound to happen and I was determined not to let it spoil my good mood. The next step was squeezing through the mass of bodies dancing and grinding against each other until we reached the middle of the ring. We’d start dancing, facing each other and pretending to be paying attention to the other’s dance moves. We’d never really danced with each other, just in close proximity, moving in a circle of sorts. We needed that distance to survey the crowds. We’d each find a few marks, making eye contact and staring them down now and then, until they started to move and we’d watch them levitate toward us. Soon, a tight circle of interesting options was dancing around us, and we’d take our time testing all of them out. A little groping was always nice. Tonight those we’d picked were joined by others. Being away for a year meant you suddenly turned into a new face, the thrill of a fresh conquest bringing all the boys to the yard. They circled us, trying to show their best traits. Damn, this was easy! We looked great and we knew it. Genetics and the hard training had a lot to do with that, but it sure made finding sex partners extremely easy. For a moment, I thought about how much better sex was when it wasn’t just a random hookup, but I shook it off. Get it the fuck together, Shiki! I kept chastising myself till I stopped thinking of things I had no control over. Instead, I let the scent of arousal, hot male bodies, and alcohol drown my mind and make my prick stir. Lust was easy to give in to. Once that happened, I turned into the predator that I was. Blake chose faster than me, one of the guys now flush against his chest as he ground his hips and probably his stiff cock into the man’s ass. The guy was already ecstatic, obscenely hard and almost high on lust. I wasn’t ready to commit to one male for the night. As Blake dragged his conquest away from the dance

floor, I let the ones that were there for me surround me, reaching out to touch me, cup me, get a feel of what they might get if they were lucky. It was a heady feeling, being so badly wanted. Sure, half of them were only there for a one time deal, but I knew that given half a chance, a couple of them would want more. I had something akin to a sixth sense in telling them apart. It was something in their eyes that betrayed them and I was always quick to weed them out. I was always looking for fun, not for people to hurt. Sure, it would sometimes turn out my hookups wanted more, but nine out of ten times that happened it was only more sex they craved. Making sure I did not choose someone in search of a relationship was my way of playing fair. One of the guys dancing around me finally got my cock to twitch. He had a certain grace to his moves, a mystery to his smile, and I could guess he knew exactly how to use that to his advantage. He was targeting me as much as I was targeting him, and I had a kink for bending over men who thought they would entrap me instead of becoming a simple conquest. I was never the mouse in this game, unfortunately for them. With practiced moves, I reached out and grabbed the back of his neck, pulling him closer and spinning him around at the same time. Through the madness of the club, I still heard his groan when his body pressed into mine and my arm tightened around his throat. I grabbed his waist with my free hand, pressing his perky ass into my groin and leading his moves. We kept on dancing for a while, my hands roaming all over his body, getting him all sensitive and responsive. I finally gave in, turning his face so he could see my mouth when I spoke the word we had been both waiting for: “Ikuzo.” About half an hour later, I got out of the club owner’s office, waving goodbye to the pretty boy I’d left on his couch. Poor thing was drained and dizzy, so I stopped a waiter along the way, instructing him to take some food and water to him. I gingerly went down the stairs, smiling at the memory of his moans and pleas and the way he’d chanted the names of the gods. I liked getting off, but I could never do it properly if the other party wasn’t enjoying it too. If I just wanted something to squeeze and stroke my cock, I had a hand for that. The only purpose of having another person there was to share the fun. I was still tucking my shirt in when I spotted Blake at the bar, his stool turned so he could survey the floor. Our eyes locked and my grin widened, the corners of my mouth reaching for my eyes. There was warmth flooding my chest and I was so glad to see my chibi, as if it had been ages since I’d last seen him. Blake jumped out of his chair and stalked closer. I felt drawn to him, like the distance between us was hard to handle for a reason. Maybe I’d gotten too clingy over the weeks he’d spent doting over me. Or maybe I just needed my best friend for a while. We stopped in the middle of the dance floor, staring at each other and grinning like idiots. I felt as if I was floating, anchored only by his presence. The music, the booze, the post-coital bliss, they were all dragging me left and right, while those bright green eyes of Blake’s centered me. We moved at the same time, right hand reaching for the other’s nape, faces drawing closer, lips brushing against each other. As our mouths moved together, I felt everything spinning around me, yet I wasn’t dizzy. It was more like a strong spell, something that drew us together as our tongues tasted each other after a pause of about fifteen years. Blake tasted heady, overpowering. It was new and familiar, kissing him. Yet it felt ten thousand times better than it had in the past, when we were just learning. When we finally came up for air, our groins were pressed together. Blake and I were hard and looking for friction. Fuck, it felt so good! Yet the realization of who it was I was kissing sobered me up in a flash. I couldn’t look away from him though. Blake licked his lips and moaned at the taste, and I almost kissed

him again just for that. His eyes focused, however, and a startled gasp left his lips. He cleared his throat and we both knew the moment was over. I suddenly felt bad. I’d preyed on my best friend in my lust-filled state. Maybe my sex thirst had not been entirely extinguished by the guy I’d picked up earlier. Yeah, that might have been it. Yet the taste of Blake’s lush lips and that sweet mouth clung to me, along with my swift response to him touching me. This was wrong though. He was my best friend, no way we could do this and keep our friendship intact. “Hell of a celebratory kiss, winggapo,” Blake said, his hand around my shoulders, walking me to the exit. “Yes, indeed,” I replied, playing along. Smart as always, my chibi had found an explanation to get us through what happened. I grabbed it with all of my might and held on to it while we made our way outside.

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About the author

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

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