Tabula Rasa

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Chapter Two

In spite of the spectacular blowjob he was enjoying, Eben’s attention immediately shifted to the sound of the scream from outside the door. He placed a hand against the dragon Issa’s cheek, but she’d already slipped her sweet, violet lips off his cock and turned her head to face the direction of the noise.

“The virgin has awakened a guardian,” she whispered, her eyes growing wide.

“What?” Eben asked. He looked toward the doorway. Erika and Geva were equally distracted by the sound, Geva already striding toward the door.

A second later the figure of a huge, muscular man filled the doorway. He had white hair flowing to his shoulders, interrupted by two huge horns that jutted up from his brow. Intense, silver eyes surveyed the room from beneath heavy, white eyebrows. He held the slack form of an unconscious, naked woman in his arms.

“What the fuck?” Eben muttered. Was he another dragon come to life? He must be, considering those horns and his otherworldly eyes. When Eben spied the long, golden length of Camille’s braid trailing over the man’s arm, cold rage coursed through him. Before he could think, he was running for the man, ready to pummel him to pieces, no matter how much bigger he was.

“Let her go!” Heedless of his nakedness, he swung a hard punch that squarely met the man’s jaw. In spite of the strength behind the punch, it had no effect aside from numbing Eben’s arm to the elbow.

“Eben, no!” Erika shrieked. Three sets of hands soon held him back.

“Eben,” Issa’s softer voice said. “Let him speak. She awakened him; he couldn’t have forced her. The virgin always makes her own choice during the ritual, and she made hers. Much sooner than is common, but still, it was meant to happen.” Looking at the towering dragon-man who held Camille’s unconscious body, she said gently, “Roka, is this the virgin?”

The large, pale man nodded solemnly, but didn’t speak.

Eben clenched his fists, ready to swing again, but thought better of it. “She doesn’t belong to you, you bastard,” he bit out through clenched teeth. “What the fuck did you do to her?”

The pale eyes narrowed on him, assessing him and contemplating. He looked like he was about to speak, but held his response in check.

“She chose you, didn’t she, Roka?” Issa said, ignoring Eben’s outburst. “That means you have unlimited leave to speak now.”

The man studied Issa from beneath a creased brow. His lips pursed and his frown deepened. After a pregnant moment, he took a breath. In a deep, growling voice he said, “Her Nirvana awakened me, but she fell unconscious before the awakening was complete. I am worried for her.”

He turned his gaze to Eben, his low voice steady and calm. “This woman has a mild affliction. If you care about her, human, you will let me heal her. I will give her to you now as a show of trust until you decide.”

Eben nodded and held out his arms. When the larger man transferred Camille to him, Eben immediately carried her to the altar in the center of the room and sat with her cradled in his lap.

“Cammy, wake up.” He caressed her cheek, noting how flushed and warm she was to his touch. “Someone bring her some water!” he called out to the room. Unsure what else to do, he bent and whispered in her ear. “Camille, it’s Eben. Please wake up, baby.”

He gazed at her unconscious face, regretting that he’d never tried to talk to her in depth, to nurture some kind of connection. He’d been such a fool.

He wasn’t oblivious to the way she’d looked at him since meeting her months ago, but had always preferred a woman to make the first move, something she never seemed too keen on doing. Over the course of their journey, he’d watched her covertly, curious to see if she would come out of her shell. When she finally did, it was only when she believed he wasn’t looking. During those rare moments, he would catch her in uninhibited discussion with one of the others and marvel at how beautiful she was. Unfortunately she always clammed up as soon as she caught him watching. Her pretty blushes as a result had begun to incite a kind of desire even Erika had never been able to draw from him.

A couple weeks into their expedition, he’d finally decided to do something about it, yet she’d somehow inadvertently turned the tables on him. He found himself at a complete loss as to how to approach her, yet wanted her more than ever.

The idea of her being with another man enraged him after all the nights he’d spent fantasizing about being with her.

He looked up when Roka knelt in front of him. “Leave her alone!” he yelled, shooting the other man a heated glare.

Issa sat beside Eben and laid a gentle hand on his arm. “Eben, he can help, but you need to help him, too. The part of the ritual to awaken him is incomplete.”

“He looks awake enough to me. He can go fuck himself.”

Roka snorted. “If only it were that easy. But that’s not how it works. She chose me; she awakened me with her Nirvana. But if I don’t find my own with her I will sleep again and the ritual is rendered null.”

Erika piped up. “Null? You mean we’d have to start over?”

“Not entirely,” Issa said. “But you would need a fresh virgin. If you have one it should be no issue, but either way Roka will sleep for another cycle for having failed in this one.” She gave Roka a mournful look and traced her lavender fingertips over one of his horns.

Eben darted his eyes between the two dragons, trying to comprehend what they were saying. He turned and looked plaintively at Kris who still stood in the corner, every bit as much a sentinel as all the statues that littered this place. Kris only nodded slightly and said, “She speaks the truth.”

The body in Eben’s arms shifted and a soft, groggy voice said, “Eben?”

“Camille? Oh, thank fuck. Are you all right?”

“What’s going on? Where am I? Did … did it work?”

He glanced at Roka, who now sat back on his haunches, watching silently. Eben met the man’s eyes and swallowed tightly before looking back down at Camille’s pretty, flushed face. “If you mean did you manage to wake one of them, yes. I’m impressed.” And, in truth, he was impressed. The knowledge that she’d taken it upon herself to do something so overtly sexual changed his perception of her drastically, and in a way, that aroused him to no end.

“I did? Where … where is he?” she asked bashfully. Eben raised his eyes to Roka.

Camille turned her head. “What’s your name?”

“Rokaurasaelaethessis. They call me Roka, my love.”

She shifted, and the slight movement reminded Eben how very naked and soft she was cradled in his arms.

“You can call me Camille. After all, we did just … um … fuck. If we’re being super technical, I kind of raped you.”

Roka nodded. “Yes, we did, Camille. And no, you didn’t rape me. I was born willing, as are all dragons. But something happened to you before my awakening was completed. Are you all right? My only care is for your well-being.”

Camille’s eyes widened and she sat up abruptly in Eben’s lap. It took all his concentration to focus on her words and not the insanely fantastic feel of her lush bottom against his swelling erection. Her complete lack of modesty under the circumstances surprised him, too.

“You didn’t finish? Oh, no! I remember what the text says. You have to finish! The ritual depends on it!”

Roka nodded and met Eben’s eyes, the gesture indicating some deference to his feelings at least. Eben slid his hand possessively around Camille’s waist, wanting nothing more than to touch her now, to lay her down and spread her open and have her, and damn the ritual. With the barest glance, Roka rose and walked away.

Eben grimaced at the pang of guilt he felt and called out. “How much time do you have before it’s too late?”

“Once the ritual is begun, it must be completed within the span of a day. I have only a few hours.”

Would it be enough time for Eben to get used to the idea of watching Camille fuck this other man? He couldn’t decide if he’d hate it or enjoy it.

Eben looked down at Camille again. Her brow was creased and she gnawed distractedly at her lower lip. He followed her gaze to where Erika was seated on a polished jade chaise along one wall, resting in intimate connection with Geva. The red dragon-man seemed to be telling her quiet stories while he caressed her from head to toe.

“Erika’s done with me,” he said. “I was never enough for her.”

“Are you sad?” She looked into his eyes without judgment or accusation—only curiosity.

“No. I’m … Christ, Camille, ever since I met you, I haven’t been able to think of anything else. You’re all I want. I just hope you want me, too.”

Her eyes widened at his confession, and her mouth made a soft little “O” shape that just made him want to kiss her. She shot another look at Erika. “But … all those nights? I mean, Erika’s so much more … experienced. How could I measure up to her?”

“I’m not exactly a delicate kind of man, you know, but I’d love to help you be experienced.”

She shifted around to straddle his legs, completely shameless about how very naked they both were. This new version of her dazed him. She gripped his jaw in both hands and kissed him, long and slow, and so sweetly. She was a study in contradiction now, kissing him like that after having done something incredibly erotic that he wished like hell he could have witnessed, and apparently willing to do even more with the dragon she’d awakened. The thought of getting to see her in action again decided the issue for him. It made his cock throb in anticipation.

“Oh, Eben, I want it all. I want to be dirty. Consider me a blank slate just waiting for you to teach me everything.”

He held her closer, reveling in the way her curves pressed against him in all the right places. She tilted her head with a sigh when he nuzzled at her neck.

“Do you mean everything?” he murmured against her skin. “Because there’s another man over there who you left hanging.” Eben raised his eyes to look past her. Roka still waited on a bench across the room, watching them with an expression of overt desire.

She followed his gaze and whispered, “Do you mean … both of you?”

Eben only quirked a corner of his mouth suggestively, and noted that Roka had to have heard her based on the other man’s body tensing and his eyes flashing expectantly.

A bright flush rose up Camille’s chest and colored her cheeks. The way her breathing quickened made him wonder if all that blushing during their expedition hadn’t been out of shyness after all. Maybe it was because she’d been turned on whenever she looked at him.

“You’re excited about getting to fuck him again, aren’t you?”

She clenched her eyes shut and after a second nodded. “How … how does this work, with two of you?”

Eben shrugged slightly, imagining all the potential configurations. “We’ll just have to see what happens. I want you to myself for a few minutes first, if that’s all right?”

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