Dragon Bound - Sample

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Summary

Heavy is the Dark Crown, and cold upon the brow that wears it. As Rowena assumes the role of Anaz, wearer of the Dark Crown, she has to negotiate the path forward for the Tratorym people, resolve their war with the Noxyim before the home worlds relocate them to the Fourth World, and decide if she can live with the lies and manipulations of Evandir and Ydian. As she delves into the Tratorym and Noxyim war, it becomes evident she had little choice but to kill or be killed.

Genre:
Romance / Fantasy
Author:
EverleighMiles
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
3
Rating:
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

“Arm on mine,” Evandir coaxed me under his breath, laying my hand over his forearm. The fabric of his top was soft and slightly furry beneath my touch. I wondered what manner of animal wore the pelt on his home world. He rested his hand over mine as he placed it. I could feel the tension and excitement in the muscles and bone of his arm. “Ydian’s hand goes at your elbow, or you can hold his hand, but as Anaz with her Anav, the correct grip is this.”

“Try not to look as if you are waiting for the crown to fall off,” Veranyka fussed about me. She was the feminine version of Evandir, right down to that defiant bravery, and restless passionate energy. “I almost feel she could carry a necklace or earrings, but then I think between the piscime and the crown, it would be too much.”

“I have packed some jewels for tomorrow, just in case,” Ydian replied. He slung a bag in similar blackened leather to their clothing over his shoulder. “With a black dress.”

“Good, good,” she went to the door and opened it. “Rowena, chin up, eyes straight ahead. Look down to no one. You are the Anaz and the wearer of the Dark Crown.”

“Do I have to wear this every day, now?” I wondered. I could not imagine scrubbing floors with my chin up and eyes straight ahead... I tried not to snicker at the idea.

“No,” Evandir’s green eyes glowed. “There are other crowns. This one is ceremonial. It is the Dark Crown, but the crown is more than a crown... it is the position.”

I began the walk through the door, trying to forget the weight I now carried. The crown itself was not terribly heavy, I decided, but the position carried the weight of every living Tratorym. As we stepped out into the hallway, the Tratorym who were there murmured and drew back, proceeding us into the training room. Others followed. I could hear their footsteps and whispers.

Wearing the crown to this function was a declaration; I had accepted Evandir and Ydian as my husbands, and with them, I had accepted the position as ruler of the Tratorym people. With that declaration came responsibility; it was my indisputable job, now, to ensure the transfer of the Tratorym’s to this world, to provide for them upon their arrival, to guide them through the many changes and challenges they would face, position them well with the leadership of this world, and protect them from the Noxyim.

The corridor was barely wide enough to fit the three of us abreast. Ydian fell back slightly, transferring his grip to my hand, until we walked into the training room. The Tratorym there bowed, the women at the neck and waist, the men on one knee, head and eyes lowered. “Anaz,” someone murmured.

Ydian transferred his grip back to my elbow. “Good, Rowena,” he breathed. “You look beautiful and powerful.”

“Strong and fierce,” Evandir replied.

The Whisper of War and Shadow were speaking with an older male Arcana and turned as the room fell into silence. She walked over to me. “I am a little unsure if I am meant to bow, and whether to call you Anaz or Rowena,” she said with humour.

“Let’s be honest, you don’t particularly care, either way,” I replied with a smile.

She grinned. “No, not particularly,” she agreed. “Well timed, by the way. I was on my way to get you.”

“Yes, we thought it could not be much longer.”

“So, does the crown mean you have finally bound them to you?” she wondered.

“No,” I enjoyed the surprise that passed over her face. “I have agreed to be their Anaz according to their traditions, but I have not bound them.”

“Rowena,” she laughed, shaking her head.

“I know,” I agreed. “Stubborn, pigheaded and self-centred.”

“Stubborn, certainly,” she drew the portal bone from her necklace and drew blood. “I feel underdressed,” she said eyeing off the piscime.

“You are Arcana,” I told her, “you are dressed entirely appropriately for your people.”

“Thank you,” she cast the portal, and Shadow came to her side, with a smile and inclination of his head. They walked through the portal before us, into a foyer seething with activity.

We stepped through, and I felt my hair lift with the vacuum of the portal closing behind us. There were many faces around us, clothing of every description, jewellery reflecting light, perfumes and other scents... and many small flickering devices that wove between the people. Whiskers, I remembered from previous meetings. Recording.

Nexus moved through the sea of strangers, greeting Whisper and Shadow and directing them further into the crowd, before coming forward, and bowing to me. “Anaz Rowena,” his eyes gleamed. “I am not sure of the appropriate greeting, but I am assuming touching is not permitted as you certainly look untouchable. The fabric of that dress... it is truly remarkable. If you follow Whisper, towards the meeting room...”

“Thank you, Nexus.” I moved in the appropriate direction, Evandir and Ydian following my lead. People moved aside for us; between the shimmering piscime, the crown, and walking between two big, black haired men, I stood out amongst those assembled.

I saw Briar, wearing a midnight blue dress which rose high on her collar bones and scooped below her shoulder-blades, her white-hair braided to the side to reveal a gleaming silver design on the nape of her neck and her hand in Thorn’s, talking with a couple who could only be Thorn’s parents.

“Beware of any coloured drinks,” I remembered what she had said and repeated it now to Evandir and Ydian. “And the pills. I am not sure why, but Briar cautioned me about them last time...”

“I can guess,” Evandir shot a look under his eyelashes at Ydian and grinned. “Something to remember and ask Nexus about later.”

I saw the ambassadors Rebika and Natan make their way towards us. “The white-haired woman wishes to purchase mining rights to your planet,” I murmured to the men. “And she is responsible for the transfer of your people.”

“That dress, Rowena,” she exclaimed. “Whatever is that fabric?”

“It is called piscime,” I told her. “The Tratorym artisans make it.”

“Incredible,” she leaned forward for a closer look, but did not touch, something I was grateful for; I did not think either man would allow it, and their intervention could cause issues with the transfer she was organising for us. “The home worlds would go insane over this fabric. What is it like on?”

“It is very light and soft to wear,” I told her honestly.

“Unlike the crown,” Natan observed. “The stone looks familiar, hm, Rebika?”

“Ah,” she sighed seeing it. “I have never seen it cut and polished in such a way.”

“It is a form of black diamond,” Evandir murmured to me. “Found deep in our earth core.”

“Is this what you wish to mine from the Tratorym world?” I realised.

“Yes,” Natan replied. Their eyes were locked to the crown. “Although we have never seen it used as a jewel, it’s value is simply... too high for such a wanton use.”

“How is it used, then?” I wondered.

“Under the right conditions it stores and releases energy,” Natan explained. “It is being developed as a more efficient power source for our ships. Can you imagine a ship stocked with these tiny gems, each containing enough energy to travel between the home worlds and here ten times? With such unlimited power, we can explore regions of space even our ancestors only dreamed of attaining.”

He had Evandir’s avid attention, I noted.

“We, of course, do not know how much there is on the Tratorym home world, nor how much we can mine without causing detrimental damage to the planet and it’s natural inhabitants,” Rebika was quick to inform me. “It might be that there is very little we can take. That is the gamble of the mining business.”

“Indeed,” I agreed, flicking Evandir a glance. He wore a stone of it in his ear, and the buttons of both his and Ydian’s clothing were made of it, cut in different methods to that of the crown. I knew the sharp eyed Rebika had not missed that. I wondered how much more he had brought back from the Tratorym home world with him.

“I am very intrigued, Anaz Rowena,” Rebika added. “I note you have your bodyguard with you...” her eyes went to Ydian’s hand on my elbow. “As well as the Anav.”

“The traditional Tratorym household is made of one wife, two husbands,” I informed her.

“Ah,” she angled her head evaluating. “That is an interesting variation. Our people would not tolerate such a thing; we do not share well with others.”

“The Tratorym foster their sons to other families higher up the hierarchy,” I smiled; I knew she was imagining herself between two dark haired Tratorym men. “They are known as firsts and seconds and are raised together. When the first marries, the second is included in the relationship.”

“What if the second does not like the wife?” Natan wondered.

“I am not sure of the details of every relationship,” I replied to him. “It works for us, however.”

“Indeed,” Rebika murmured. “Fascinating. Why did this develop culturally?”

“The men hunt,” Evandir flicked a glance at me, still not entirely comfortable going against the traditions of his people and speaking direct to a woman not his wife in her presence. His relationship with the customs he was raised with was complex, and his adherence to them depended entirely on the moment. “Whilst the fatality risk is high, where death occurs, it is unlikely that both first and second will be lost, so there will remain a husband to serve the home and matriarch.”

“Ah, sensible,” Natan replied. “A spare.”

“Both husbands are invaluable,” I replied firmly. “They both bring something into the relationship.”

“That reminds me of something we discussed yesterday,” Natan told me. “With this planet becoming independent, it needs to bring something into the relationship with the home worlds... something to trade. The natives of this planet of course offer immigration, and the chance to marry into the empowered people. This planet is also fertile, with many resources to trade for those who are innovative enough to do so. Where do you see the Tratorym fitting into this industry?”

“It is difficult to speculate on that at this time,” I told him. “Our focus is on relocating the Tratorym and establishing them on this planet. I do, however, have some plans to explore their artisans to see if they can reproduce their products on this world.”

“Like the dress you are wearing,” Rebika observed. “If your artisans do manage to reproduce that amazing material here, I would be very interested in owning some.”

“I will keep that in mind,” I told her.

“My ships are ready,” she said, “to leave at any time.”

“Our ships are also ready.”

“Tell them tomorrow, then.”

“After the signing,” Evandir said. “Not until after the signing.”

I glanced up at him in surprise.

There was movement amongst the crowds, and the room quietened as Nexus and Sorrow made their way through to a dais set against the end of the room. I saw that several musicians were positioned there; they held their instruments still now, ready to resume playing.

“Welcome,” Nexus said, his voice carrying. “This is an event we have all been hoping would come to fruition. Tomorrow, the final agreement with the home worlds will be signed, and this planet will officially be the fourth home world, its citizens equal members of our species, and the Alliance the official governing body. Tonight, is an event for celebration, so let’s celebrate!”

The assembly cheered and clapped, and the music resumed, quickly swallowed by the rise in conversation. Servers began to weave their way between the guests, bearing with them trays of beverages and food. I saw the coloured drinks and plates of pills make the rounds; of all the trays, they seemed the most popular.

Willow and Rian walked up to us, green drinks in their hands. “You look lovely, Rowena,” Willow complimented me.

“Thank you.”

Thorn and Briar brought Thorn’s parents over. “Rowena,” Briar smiled at me. “These are Thorn’s parents. They have decided to use the common use names of Orion and Sage. Sage has been instrumental in defining equality for our people.”

“I am very interested in what that definition includes,” I met Sage’s eyes. “I have not had the opportunity to see the definition for myself. It intrigues me as to how equality for the people of this world with the people of the home worlds can be achieved when there is no equality here.”

“Now that is interesting,” Sage’s eyes brightened.

“Not a discussion for tonight,” Orion murmured with a smile, laying his hand over his mate’s fondly. “If I let her start,” he said to me, “you will spend the evening discussing it. And this event is for mingling and celebrating.”

“I can take that,” Eris slid up to Ydian and gestured to the bag he carried. “I will see it to your accommodation. It is the same location as previously.”

“Thank you,” Ydian released the bag.

A server paused by us, with a tray of drinks. Thorn selected a golden drink for himself, and a green one for Briar.

“Yellow or gold indicates a stimulant, for keeping you alert and awake,” Thorn told me, noting my interest. “Green is a mild alcohol. Pink is an aphrodisiac. Blue an opiate. Purple is a hallucinogen. Beyond those basic outlines, what you get and how strong, depends on the host. With Nexus, I advise caution, though his personal drug of choice is alcohol.”

“I am not sure what any of those things are,” I told him honestly.

“Ah,” Orion had taken a green drink. “Well, that would be an interesting conversation.”

“My love,” Sage murmured, with a small smile. “That might be a conversation for another time as well. Rowena’s people have a different mind-set regarding these types of things, remember. Stick to the wine, or green, my dear,” she recommended me.

“Or pink as your last drink of the night,” Orion winked.

“A conversation for later,” Evandir murmured in my ear.

“Do you have those things on your planet?” I asked him. His smile was sufficient answer, pure dragon wickedness.

Sage drew Orion away murmuring to him. “She has two husbands,” I heard Orion reply laughing, “I don’t think they’re as puritan as you believe, my one.”

Evandir was laughing silently.

Thorn met his gaze with a grin and a shrug. “My parents,” he said with amusement.

“They’re lovely,” I told him, honestly. “As are Briar’s. You were both very lucky.”

“Nexus said he found your family and you went to see them?” Briar’s eyes were sympathetic.

“Yes, he did,” I hesitated, not sure how to put it into words.

“That good,” she said with empathy.

“Not everyone is as lucky as you,” I replied.

She reached out and touched my hand where it rested on Evandir’s arm, her eyes sad.

“Come,” Thorn said suddenly. “I see Nasan.” They moved away.

“You did not tell us of that,” Ydian said quietly turning slightly so that he spoke near my ear. “That you had found your family.”

“It was a busy day.”

I felt Ydian stiffen. “Ah,” he murmured. “That day.” He met Evandir’s eyes over my head.

“It will be good,” Willow turned from a conversation with Rian with a smile. “To have the world open to transport again. I look forward to taking my one back to my home and introducing her to my family.”

“And resupplying your storeroom,” Rian looked up at Willow with adoration. “I will be glad to hear you stop complaining about using the last of everything.”

“That will be a relief, too,” Willow agreed. “You do not realise how dependent we get on conveniences until they are running out. Translators, sedatives, medications...”

“Narcotics,” Nexus drew up to us, with a mischievous grin.

“I would say you’d be more concerned about your wine supply,” Willow replied with a laugh.

“Ah, I have invested resources into developing vineyards here. The wine produced is spectacular,” he told her. “It is a commodity that this world might trade with the home worlds. I believe Thorn has a distillery going.”

“Yes,” Willow agreed. “A type of vodka, whiskey, and beer. We’ve tried a bit. It’s not bad.”

“Not bad until you vomit it up the next morning,” Rian replied in an undertone with a grimace.

Willow grinned at her. “You have no head for spirits, my one. Even after I fed her soberup and rehydrate,” she said to Nexus with exasperation.

“She and Sorrow will be good company for each other tomorrow, then,” Nexus said with amusement. “They can hold each other’s hair out of the waste disposal as they take it in turns. On a slight segue, there will be some Alliance meetings in the near future,” Nexus announced, “to begin planning for developing industry on this planet, in order to trade with the home worlds, now that war is no longer our primary concern.”

“There is still the Noxyim consideration,” I said to him. “If the home worlds move them to this planet, as they plan.”

“Yes,” Nexus considered me. “That is indeed another discussion that we need to have. Do you have anything in mind?”

“I do,” I slid a look at Evandir. I wasn’t sure how receptive he and Ydian would be to it. “But that is a complex conversation.”

“Indeed,” Nexus’ eyes told me he knew what I was thinking. “This dress, Rowena,” he changed the subject. “I would see Sorrow in something similar. What fabric is it?”

“Something the Tratorym artisan’s produce. I plan to see if they can use local products, or I may need to establish access to the Tratorym world in order to obtain materials.”

“May I?” he reached out. Ydian stiffened, but Evandir shifted so that Nexus could touch the material that encased my shoulder. “Amazing,” Nexus stirred the scales. “I wonder if this effect could be produced artificially. Thank you,” he moved back, and Evandir resumed his position at my side. “I have in mind,” he met my eyes, “this world specialising in luxury trade.”

“I want to approach the home worlds, about retaining the rights to the Tratorym planet,” I replied to him. “There are more than mining rights to be gained from the world...”

“Indeed,” Nexus narrowed his eyes. “I could help you with that, in return for...”

“As long as the Tratorym people retain the majority of ownership,” I agreed.

“I will speak to my contacts,” he inclined his head, and then sighed: “Excuse me.” He walked away into the crowd.

Willow and Rian had moved away during the conversation with Nexus, so we were, for a moment, alone. “The white-haired ambassador won’t like you changing the terms,” Evandir murmured.

“If I uphold her exclusive rights, she will,” I replied. “Your world may be the way the Tratorym gain power here, Evandir. The fabrics we are wearing, the black diamonds... It is worth retaining our rights to the planet.”

He smiled, slow and wicked. “A very clever Anaz,” he leaned forward and brushed his lips along the curve of my neck. I shivered, my skin reacting to his breath upon it. “How long must we be here?” he breathed into my ear. “I want to make love to you with the piscime on.”

“Evandir,” my entire body reacted to his suggestion.

“Yes,” he took my earlobe between his teeth.

My pulse raced. “Evandir, we must stay for a bit longer.”

He sighed.

“But we will leave as soon as we can,” I added breathlessly.

He leaned back, his green eyes meeting mine, and he grinned. “Thank you, Rowena.” He stopped a server and passed me a glass of golden wine before taking a glass for himself.

“Ydian?” I asked.

“I stay sober,” Ydian replied quietly. “When he drinks, and vice versa. It ensures one to guard.”

“But he’ll pocket some of those pills for later,” Evandir replied with a laugh.

Ydian grinned back. “Of course, I will.”

“Are the ships ready?” I asked Evandir. I saw them exchange a look. “What is it?”

Both men shifted slightly, moving so that they closed me off to others with their bulk. Ydian placed his hand against my lower back, his hazel-green eyes cautious. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end; they were preparing me for bad news.

Evandir brushed his lips against my cheek, his hand on my waist, thumb stroking through the piscime. “Please, Rowena....” Evandir murmured. “I am going with them.” I flinched. “Rowena,” he stroked his hand over my arm. “I know the ships, I know the secrets of our world, and our people know me.”

“Evandir...” he was right, I knew it. And yet...

“I will be safe,” he whispered in my ear, his voice crooning, seeking to soothe. “And Ydian will take care of you, as he did last time.”

I turned my face into the fall of his hair and breathed him in, my arm coming up behind his back. “I can’t stop you,” I breathed. Evandir would do as Evandir wanted, it was his nature to do so. “I will fear for you to entire time.”

“I know, beautiful Rowena, and I will miss you, the entire time.”

“There are no other Anadria’s are there?” I couldn’t help but add.

“No, Rowena, no,” he pressed his cheek against mine. “Besides, Ydian would castrate me if I stray.”

“Evandir,” Ydian protested. “But he’s right, I would,” he added grimly.

“It shouldn’t take the threat of Ydian castrating you to keep you out of other’s beds, Evandir,” I told him angrily.

“Rowena,” he stroked his hand along my back. “A bad joke.”

“Poor timing,” Ydian reprimanded with a flare of anger. “Stupidity, my friend.”

Evandir sighed heavily. “Rowena...”

“We are being watched,” Ydian murmured.

“We will discuss that later,” I told Evandir darkly.

“Shit,” he muttered, and they both stepped back, resuming their former positions. We slowly walked around the room, exchanging greetings and pleasantries. I saw Briar and Thorn discretely leaving and noticed that Whisper and Shadow were nowhere to be seen.

Nexus and Sorrow were swaying together on the dancefloor, his hands a little low on her back to be considered appropriate... and yet they made a pretty picture, moving together with grace and skill, his face bowed over hers as they gazed into each other’s eyes. Willow led Rian out onto the floor, and Rian threw her head back in laughter, her hair a dark fall behind her, before wrapping her arms around the other woman, and resting her head against her shoulder, her smile radiant.

“What is that fabric?” Covenant demanded coming to a stop before me. “It is simply gorgeous.”

“A Tratorym fabric,” I told him.

“Come, my one,” Covenant’s husband pleaded. “Excuse us, please. We rarely get away from the children, and I will drink and dance the night away with my one!”

“You and I will talk, tomorrow,” Covenant said to me. “About that and other things.” He let his husband draw him away.

“He could almost be of the ruling line,” Ydian commented, sounding bemused. “His eyes...”

The party was starting to get... raucous. Laughter was getting louder, and flirtations more obvious. “This might be a good time to leave,” I said.

“Yes,” Ydian agreed, with a smile. “The celebration is getting a little... high risk.”

I noticed that there was less wine circulating and more of the coloured drinks. I saw Ydian discretely accept a pink drink and some of the pills, which he placed into his pocket. He passed the pink drink to Evandir, before taking a second from another tray as we headed to the foyer. I caught Orion’s eyes across the crowd and saw him laugh at my Tratorym men; he held a purple drink in his own hand.

In the foyer, various groups sat around small tables chatting and laughing where it was quieter away from the main body of the party. In the hallways off to either side, I saw at least one couple seeking more privacy. Evandir nodded to one doorway, and he and Ydian laughed under their breaths. I realised it was Eris and a woman who must be his mate... hopefully, I amended.

A guard separated from the door and followed us out onto the empty street. I could see there was green shielding closing the street off to others. Nexus had the area under heavy security. We headed towards the building we had occupied previously. At the entrance, the guards scanned us. We crossed the empty and brightly lit foyer, to the lift.

“What is it?” I was dubious watching the men sipping their drinks. They exchanged a look and Evandir grinned as he passed his glass to Ydian.

He turned so he boxed me against the elevator wall and took my hand, sliding it down his stomach and raised an eyebrow, his green eyes wicked. “That,” he said as I closed my hand upon him. “Yes, Rowena,” he purred, leaning in to press his face into my neck, breathing in and kissing his way down to my shoulder.

“As if you need help with that,” I replied, amused.

“No,” he agreed against my skin. “But it adds a different element of enjoyment...”

The elevator door opened, and Ydian stepped out, walking around the living area and into the various rooms, as Evandir and I made our way to the main bedroom suite. He placed the pink drink down on the table beside the bed and turned, eyeing my hair dubiously.

“We’d best leave that to Ydian to undo,” he decided, “but this,” he grinned, “I can help with.” He released the ties for the piscime dress and eased it from me, draping it over his arm with more respect than he normally showed for my clothing.

“Didn’t you promise to make love to me in it?” I teased him.

“Ah,” he sighed pressing his lips to my shoulder as Ydian joined us and took the dress from Evandir’s arm. I saw the bag of our clothing within the closet as Ydian opened it to hang the dress within. Evandir ran his hands down my skin. “But I like this better than the piscime,” he murmured, leaning down to brush his lips over mine, the softest touch. “We need help with the crown,” he lifted his eyes over my shoulder.

“A moment,” when Ydian stepped up to me; he was already naked. He began to unwind my hair from the crown. “You should be able to lift it free, Evandir,” he said, and Evandir lifted it from my head. “You have a red mark on your forehead,” Ydian pressed a kiss against the spot. “Is it very heavy?”

“Morally or physically?” I replied.

He drew me against him, and rubbed his hands up my arms, I pressed my lips against his chest as I wrapped my arms around him, enjoying the feel of his skin against mine. The hug had been intended for comfort, I knew, but his body reacted quickly, and I closed my hand over him. He pressed his face into my hair and groaned.

“Yes, Rowena, like that,” he breathed.

Evandir wrapped the crown reverently in the black cloth and placed it within the closet. “Now, where were we?” he turned back to us. “Ah, yes, there.”

Ydian’s voice edged into a dream of bronze skin and soft moans: “Is she asleep?” I was lying over Evandir’s chest, his heartbeat beneath my ear, with Ydian half on top of me; my dream had been based in reality I thought with somnolent amusement. He pressed his lips to my shoulder and shifted to the side with a sigh.

“Yes, I think you exhausted her, my friend,” Evandir replied. His hand stroked my hair down my back. “Why?” He sighed. “Go on, say it.”

“She hasn’t forgiven or forgotten.”

“No. She’s not half as angry with you, so you should be happy.”

“She didn’t find me leaving Anadria’s bed.”

“Another day and it might have been a different story,” Evandir replied evenly.

“No, it wouldn’t have been.”

“Oh, come on,” Evandir was irritated. “If Anadria had invited you inside, you wouldn’t have gone one last time?” There was silence. “Yes, just what I thought,” Evandir replied. “It is not easy to say goodbye, and we’re saying so many goodbyes at the moment.”

“That part of our life is done with,” Ydian was firm. “Rikard and outside only, from now on.”

“I am not a fool, Ydian. I will not give her any more reason to doubt me.”

“A wise man would have said goodbyes before landing and left it at that.”

“Be careful, Ydian,” Evandir murmured. “You’re talking too loud. You will wake her. You would think you’d be happier now you’re finally in her bed.”

“I am happy,” Ydian lowered his voice. “I just don’t want my time in her bed to be brief, Evandir.” There was a moment of silence between them. “She saw her family that day.”

“I know. I heard.”

“She didn’t tell us about it.”

“No. What do you think that means?”

“I don’t think it went well and that’s why she came back early and unexpected. And then...” Ydian sighed. “We’ll have to do something about that.”

“ - ” Evandir shifted uncomfortably. “That aphrodisiac was strong. Maybe it’s because she’s lying on me.”

“I’ll take her.”

“No. You’ll have your time with her whilst I am gone. I’ll come back, and you’ll be her favourite.”

“I’m already her favourite.”

Evandir lifted me up his body so that I straddled him with my chin on his shoulder and nuzzled onto my neck. “Rowena,” he murmured. “Are you awake?”

“I am now you’ve dragged me up here,” I complained.

“I am leaving tomorrow,” he pressed his face into my hair. “Let’s not sleep tonight.”

“You could stay instead, and we could all sleep?” I suggested.

He laughed: “Up,” he demanded. I complied, taking him into me with a moan. “Slowly, Rowena,” he whispered. “Let me see you.” I lifted my head from his shoulder. In this position we were eye to eye. He framed my face with his hands and began to rock his hips beneath me. “So beautiful,” he drew me towards him, so our lips brushed, lingered, and then dropped his hands to close behind my back drawing my body tighter to his as I deepened the kiss.

He moaned against my mouth. I stroked the hair from his face, pressing fervent kisses to his lips. “Evandir,” I whispered, between kisses. “I love you.” I wanted to beg him to stay, but I knew my words would be wasted. And I knew that he was right; with him there, it would go smoother. “I don’t want you to go,” I said instead. “I will miss and worry about you.”

“Rowena,” the dragon-eyes met and held mine. “I love you. I will be safe, and home before you know it. Perhaps,” his eyes lost focus, “oh, there, Rowena,” he shifted slightly, and lowered his face to my chest, his hands closing on my hips. I gasped, my power rising as I neared my own peak, and fell over it.

“Perhaps,” he ground out between his teeth and then threw his head back and cried out as he came. I took the opportunity to press my mouth to his, breathless kisses. “Perhaps you and Ydian can find somewhere... for us?” he said, with an edge of vulnerability to his tone, watching me through half closed eyes, as I had turned the idea down previously.

He wanted a home, I realised, badly enough to risk asking me again. My heart ached for him, for everything he had lost and was still losing. I could understand how, in all the shifting change, he wanted somewhere that was just ours. “We’ll look for somewhere,” I agreed, making another commitment to these men.

He closed his eyes and pulled me against him, tucking my head under his chin as he embraced me. “Thank you, Rowena,” he murmured, burying his face into my hair.

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Caroline Cantrill: Brilliant book I've loved every single bit about the book.

Sabrina Thompson: I love the book I hope it will be another one soon

Brittany West: Wow! That is all I can say. The story line is great. The characters are great. Wonderful job author. This book captivated me from the start all the way to the finish. It made me laugh and cry. Just a really good book.

Angela Quesada Coronia: This story is unique to me! I have read a bunch of werewolf stories and this is the first time I've encountered these type of characters.. the banter between them is realistic and not over the top like other stories I read, I love their personalities! ❤️

sherma: Loving it over and over again wow brilliant work

itgottaberelly: This is the first novel I’ve read on here… It was captivating and I couldn’t stop reading! I hope to enjoy more of your work.

Katrina Millington: Good story

Katya H: Honestly it was a great read, ignoring the spelling errors, name changes etc, it was fantastic! Such a refreshing story. Please take the time to correct the spelling and grammar and you will have a really great book on your hands, well done!

More Recommendations

Victoria Usher: Liked this book the best so far. Really enjoying this series. Massive credit to the author!

loolongstreet13: Absolutely love all of your works can't wait to read the finished product!

Deleted User: I really like the humor in this book there is absolutely nothing Rong with it I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to read it.

mmugent124: Author is a great story teller, can’t wait to read more

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.