I discuss my friends’ roles in detail and I give them some ideas on how they can help while Amadahy has gone to catch Minx. Sylvan and Thaddeus listen to my ideas intently and quietly in the hot spring pool, even though they seem to have an expression on their faces that suggest they think I’m being cute all the while.
Luckily for them, they don’t comment upon their degrading thoughts, which definitely saves them from a song from me.
Eventually, after I’ve given Sen, Kali and Pagan the idea to train the warriors with Amadahy once she sorted out Minx, Ethne also parts ways to find her best friend... but... I’d go as far as to call Amadahy and Ethne secret lovers.
As soon as the girls leave after Ethne, I am left with Thaddeus and Sylvan.
We may have been guaranteed two days peace but no one could truly be stupid enough to think tomorrow would be just as safe as today could be. Even if we were sure no war would begin, that was the wrong way to prepare for something unexpected.
Just because a war wouldn’t start yet, didn’t mean lone wolves couldn’t strike; just like those Shadow Assassins and the two spy Fire-Spitters, Moot-Moot and Zarp-Zarp.
“Why do you look so tense?” Sylvan asks, as he holds out his hand and I grasp it in a tight hold. I found - and I could admit it now that it was just us three - that the touch from my mates was more than just sexually arousing. It was also comforting and it made me feel safe and centred. After last night, surrendering and giving all of my my body and soul into their hands... I now trusted them.
I truly trusted them.
But it didn’t mean they couldn’t still be a pain in the butt.
“I’m not that tense,” I murmur, unsure of myself as Sylvan pulls me forward off my seat in the pool and Thaddeus slips around behind me. I narrow my eyes at Sylvan as his grip of my hand slowly pushes me back so I end up sitting on Thaddeus’ huge thighs.
Yes, they were both very naked, same as me.
“But you seem worried,” Thaddeus kisses the back of my neck, which is easy to do since he hacked off my hair.
“Which you shouldn’t be, you’ve only got the best Dragon Lords in the realm leading the best army into battle against a bunch of brutes that can’t even harness their magic properly in this sunny land. Even with my Prophet’s Eye, you know we will win,” Sylvan keeps holding my hand as his other hand tilts my chin up, his thumb running over my plump bottom lip while my eye-lids flicker down.
“We will win, but...” I glance up and he sees the question in my gaze.
“What about your mother’s fate?” Sylvan guesses what I am thinking correctly.
“I promise we’ll win the war and she’ll live,” Thaddeus also tries to be reassuring but it just makes my mind flood with anxious thoughts and images.
“But what if I waited too long?” I snap, looking up at Sylvan and then pushing off Thaddeus’ lap, to glance back at him too, “What if I resisted our bond too long, and Madeline still dies as a result... if she does... both my fathers probably won’t survive her loss... and I will be the reason for my parent’s death... and what of the Requiem Horde?”
“There is no point thinking about that,” Sylvan dismisses my anxieties, “We may not be able to tell exactly what will occur, but you can’t fill your mind with those thoughts... your fear isn’t reality, it’s not what’s happening right now... what happens in the present moment, is what’s important - where are you going, princess?” Sylvan asks me with a little hint of irritation as I suddenly wade away from them to the edge of the pool and pull myself out.
It appears as if I am putting space between us.
In fact, my mind is simply going into overdrive.
I stand up and grab a towel, rubbing it along my hyper sensitive flesh. Sitting on Thaddeus’ knee and having Sylvan’s hand on mine, so secure and right... it was agreeing with the tiny thought I had stored away in my mind since the moment I woke up.
I tuck the towel around my middle so it’s covering my body. I watch Thaddeus and Sylvan both climb out of the hot spring pool after me while also watching me with curiosity.
No doubt they wondered how I felt about last night.
“We have curfews,” Thaddeus reminds me, “And a routine. Half the mountain is alert 24/7. Our warriors are trained and prepared. You yourself went through a range of fantastic back up plans. Plans that might become the sole reason we win -”
“I’m not thinking about that anymore,” I cut him off and my eyes snap open as I lick my lips and my gaze slips over Thaddeus and Sylvan, “I’m thinking about... the meaning... the um, I mean, the enjoyment of...”
“Sex?” Sylvan asks hopefully, with a raised brow, ”Please say sex.”
“Actually, I was thinking about,” I find it hard to say the word as I raise my hand and touch my neck, “I was thinking... well... I was, um...” I shake my head and drop my hand, suddenly feeling very stupid. I change tactic, “Last night was an experience I’ll never forget,” I speak clearly as I watch Sylvan and Thaddeus both take a step towards me.
I end up skirting back against the smooth rock floor, my toes curling as I hold up a hand while my other hand grasps my towel to me, tight.
“If you were wondering if we enjoyed ourselves, we did,” Sylvan murmurs this quietly without breaking my gaze, “We more than enjoyed ourselves with your surrender.”
“We would be proud to start a Horde with you as our mate,” Thaddeus adds, his eyes beaming with pride, however, he then tries to sound tough, by also adding, “Considering what we were born to be, we both understand the importance of our future and our power... and we know we are still young in comparison to most Twin Leading Breeds. Some would say we are far too young to consider leading an army into war, let alone starting a Horde of our own so early. But even in this light, I could not see both of us... leading a Horde and ruling a Horde... without you by our side.”
“Have you thought of a name for your Horde?” I ask, raising a brow while Thad’s words slightly distract me from my current thoughts.
“There are no Hordes of Dragons in Tempest Lands,” Sylvan chooses to answer for me, “They all live loosely under the rule of Mages or Dragon War Lords. Thaddeus and I are both Blood Raven and Twin Leading Breed. So, we thought we’d be the Tempest Horde... in the West Lands. A place to forge both people, under the same wings,” Sylvan seems proud announcing this to me, “We’d settle on the edge of the forest, where it meets the desert of the Golden Canyon, our home.”
“We might be built for war,” Thaddeus raises his hands up by his sides, clenching and emphasising his muscular chest and arms, before slyly adding, “...but peace is favoured... peace to be busy with other more appealing activities.”
“Such as?” I ask, feigning confusion..
“Collecting gold,” Sylvan answers, brightly, “We have to collect a Horde of Treasure, we were thinking it’d act as taxes from both Western and Eastern mortals, Mages and Dragons. On top of whatever we steal from the dead of the Tempest Breeds that fly against us in this coming war.”
“Ruling is another fun activity,” Thaddeus shrugs and winks at me as they clearly leave out the last part.
“...and me?” I ask, my voice surprisingly sultry and vulnerable at the same time, “A Rogue Queen, a Warrior Princess... a Slayer of Dragon Lords... the most beautiful mate in the realm? Shall I organise the cleaning... the willing mortal slaves... the food... the maintenance of the dungeons?”
Sylvan scoffs and Thaddeus grins.
“Twin Leading Breeds,” Sylvan pronounces each word slowly and clearly, “We rule everything and organise everything. Our mate... she can do whatever she pleases,” Sylvan shrugs, and glances to Thaddeus, “...right... Thad?”
“Sure,” Thaddeus answers too slowly and with a glint in his eyes.
A glint of mischief.
“Anything at all?” I ask, hoping for more of a clear answer.
“...but...” Sylvan adds, winking as he raises a finger, “We probably won’t rule very well if our Rogue Queen isn’t aware of the duty she has to her people. Happy Lords. Happy Horde.”
I purse my lips.
The play on words was typical of his usual and easy grace but my eyes were also a little distracted.
Thaddeus was growing an erection.
So was Sylvan.
Probably because my towel has loosened, the knot no longer existent... which was now exposing my stomach and some of my breasts.
Doubly teasing and tempting.
“That sounds like... a duty hard to fulfil,” I growl, “How do I keep two Twin Leading Breeds happy...?”
“Don’t avoid what you wanted to say before,” Sylvan murmurs this and he is stern as he commands it, “Say it.”
He is stern to the point that my secret thoughts are warmed by his dominance.
“Well, I was just...” I pause, close my eyes and think of the consequences if I do... and if I don’t, “Just, please don’t laugh. Or I’ll sing and suck your souls out of your body,” I glance up to glare this part and Sylvan and Thaddeus don’t look very intimidated... probably because I was clearly very nervous and they knew I was half-joking... key word; half, “Last night I surrendered to your... ways.”
“Which we are forever grateful for,” Thaddeus looks like he is barely holding back stalking up to me and hauling me in for a kiss and a sudden pounding.
“Wait,” I put up my hand, just as Sylvan narrows his eyes with resounding lust and is the first to take a step forward.
Sylvan is clearly irritated by my delay but I want to be honest.
I close my eyes and count to three.
I wanted to try this.
I wanted to be me... open to my desires... completely.
I wanted to have a moment of not just surrender, but clarity.
So, I drop to my knees, while my heart beats hard in my chest.
As my trembling legs hit the smooth rock, I let the towel slip from around me until I am naked again.
But this time my eyes stay down cast and I focus on their ankles; as stupid as it is... watching them from this low, already had my womb throbbing with need. A need I trusted them to fulfil while also taking care of me.
I scan for minds around but for now we had a moment of peace in the public bathing area.
“I want to try... to try and be... to be co-” I hesitate and can’t get the word out. Plus, I speak so quietly, I hope they hear at least some of my description, so I don’t have to repeat myself, “I want to try it," I blurt, hoping they know what I mean, “I want you to -” I halt and suck in a breath as I see them both walk towards me, but at this stage I’m happy still focusing upon their feet and ankles. I try to remember my line of thought but my breath is shortening and my heart is melting in anticipation as they close the small distance, “I...”
I can’t remember what the hell I was about to ask them.
Thaddeus’ feet halt before me, while Sylvan slips behind my supplicated form.
“It’s okay, Luvenia,” Sylvan murmurs, while my insides and my feelings revel in the love, want and need shining through his tone, reflecting my own, except he was in charge of his words, while I had been lost in mine, “I’m in your head. We both know what you want. You don’t want to just surrender... but to truly give yourself over to an overwhelming loss of control. But to be without a voice to sing... you’ll have to be gagged this time... darling.”
“...and collared,” Thaddeus adds in a satisfied drawl.
“Yes,” I find my speech again as I place my hands on my knees, close my eyes and admit my secret, “I want you to both collar me... physically... and emotionally... don’t laugh... I want you to collar my heart.”