In going along with this week's theme of Jane True, today I'm finally getting to do "My Book Boyfriend" hosted by The Unread Reader! My pick is Anyan Barghest, the sexy man/hell hound that graces the pages of the Jane True series in all his furry glory. Not only is he strong, he's rugged and caring. He knows when to hold you in his arms and let you cry and he knows when you need it a little bit rough. *grrrr* I think Mathew Fox would fit him very nicely [as long as he grew his hair out a bit and we added some curls - BECAUSE Anyan definitely has CURLS!].
In front of me stood the biggest dog I'd ever seen. It didn't look like a wolf; it looked more like some sort of black-furred saber-toothed hell hound. My stunned gaze traveled up from its enormous clawed paws, over its powerful shoulders, and to its oversized jaws--which were filled with the largest fangs I'd ever seen outside of a prehistoric-mammal exhibit.
In his human form, Anyan was like someone I'd known in a dream. It was a strange sensation, but it wasn't uncomfortable. I examined his face, so close to mine. His hair was the same color as his fur had been, and equally wild and long. It poofed out in loose, wiry curls that fell just past his high cheekbones. His features were very strong--a long, prominent nose that was quite crooked, a wide mouth with full lips, and an angular jaw. His eyes were large and expressive, but that description fit every bit of him. If he'd been a big dog, he was a huge man. He must be well over six feet tall, and his hands met easily around my neck. He could have crushed my head like a grape.
I moved aside so he could squeeze past. As he did so, I finally broke down and ogled.
He was just as big as I remembered, maybe even larger with clothes. My eyes swept up
his big black boots, up his worn jeans, and over a thick leather motorcycle jacket. There was a saddlebag thing over one broad shoulder, and he held a helmet in his hand. I smiled at the sight;I'd always wondered how he got around. He couldn't run everywhere, could he?
When my eyes finally met his again, he was still frowning. I also noticed that his longish
hair was suffering a bad case of helmet head.
...He stood there, staring at me. Then he walked around to where I was sitting. His large hand gripped mine, and he held it gently, probing at it with magic.I shivered at the touch of his power and pulled my hand from his.
"Anyan, it's fine--" I began to protest, but he silenced me with a thumb over my lips. The barghest cradled my jaw with his hand, forcing me to meet his gray eyes with my black. I could
smell cardamom and leather and man. And maybe the faintest whiff of clean doggy.
"Shush, you. You're still hurting. Let me see it."
I was still hurting, damn him. So I pushed my curled fist back into his palm. He gently spread my fingers open with both hands, stroking his thumbs over my palm. I didn't know which was hotter: Anyan's own skin or the healing magics he sent through me. I felt like a child, dwarfed by his imposing frame as he loomed over me, his attention turned inward as he fixed whatever was still wrong with me...
...another warm surge of power went into my hand and I felt--and heard--something pop. The ache was gone finally, and I suddenly really wanted to stretch my fingers.
"You were very brave," Anyan told me, his rough voice dark.
I blushed, stretching my hand out underneath his calloused palm.
"Never do something like that again," he concluded as he ran his calloused thumb one
last time over my palm before he turned back to the stove to stir the lentils.
Suddenly too warm, I took my cardigan off as I watched him fiddle with the fire until he got the lentils to simmer just so.
...He gave one mighty sniffle, lifted his T-shirt to scrub his face (revealing his thick, deliciously furry torso), and then sat back on his heels, staring up at me.
"You scared the shit out of me, Jane. I haven't been that scared since...since forever," he finished, his voice still strained.
"I'm sorry," I said. "But I had to do something."
"Just never like that ever again. Not the running. I nearly had a f***ing heart attack when I realized you were gone.
...without thinking, I raised my hand to soothe away his anger before pausing.
Do I get to touch him now? I thought. Is it as easy as all that?
As if realizing what made me pause, Anyan reached forward, took my hand, and laid it against his cheek, inclining his head so that his long nose nuzzled the inside of my wrist.