Corey stood in the center of the corridor, staring at the massive green jade double doors. He felt like a fool for deciding to go through with this—date—or whatever it was. As much sexual eye candy as he’d witnessed over the last few hours, and as frustrated as he was as a result, he’d always considered himself the kind of guy who cared about more substance in his partners.
It had been Kris, finally, who had changed Corey’s mind about going through with this. Kris who had made him understand the unique nature of these people their team had awakened. He had a hard time thinking of them as anything other than people, in spite of the fantastic shapes he’d seen them take. He’d drawn a few of his own conclusions too. Very unscientific conclusions, probably, but he had a feeling Erika or the others might agree with him.
In spite of the very sexual nature of their new friends, each one of them ultimately had seemed human to him in one very particular way. They weren’t mindless sex fiends. That realization had come, ironically, in the middle of watching the only orgy Corey thought he could ever stomach. He’d stayed to man the camera for as long as he could endure, but in that span of time, he’d seen how attentive and caring each of the dragons had been to their lovers.
Corey had been with his share of lovers, all women, but only with one of them had he ever come close to feeling what he’d seen in all the dragons’ eyes during the course of that night. It made him ache in a much deeper place than his balls to think he could have that again with a woman. He just hoped this particular woman wouldn’t end up finding him wanting after a few months and leave him for a richer man.
Hell, she might hate him from the beginning, but he’d been on plenty bad dates and the world hadn’t ended as a result. Shit, he hoped the world didn’t end if this went badly. He’d seen some of the magic the dragons could do and wondered how much more they were capable of when full-up. Like Kris shooting fireworks from his fingertips, Corey thought. If only a normal orgasm could feel that good. Just being in the room at that point would’ve been enough to make Corey’s cock hard as a rock, if it hadn’t been already.
He wiped his damp palms on his pants and took a tentative step forward. Should he knock? Or should he just go in? All it had taken from Dimitri was touching the doors of that chamber and they’d opened up, like he’d done it with the power of a thought.
“Fuck it,” Corey muttered and rapped the knuckles of one hand lightly on the carved jade figure that graced the front of the door. He only had a second to regret which part of the woman’s image he’d managed to choose to touch before the doors both swung inward. He hurriedly raked shaky fingers through his hair and wished he’d had more time to prepare—to bring her flowers or something. As it was, all he was showing up with was a raging hard-on that hadn’t subsided in hours. He’d finally just written it off as something he’d have to live with for the time being.
He stood on the threshold, gazing around at the interior of a massive chamber easily the size of the throne room. It was completely lit, and at the far end was a huge bed with four columns of carved jade rising from the corners.
He almost didn’t see her, as small as she was relative to the scope of the room and the bed. When he finally realized she was there, seated serenely in the center of the mattress, he raised a hand and gave her a tentative wave.
“Ah … Sorry I’m late.”
She only nodded and raised a hand to gesture for him to come forward. Once he was a few paces in, she made another slight gesture and the doors swept closed behind him.
Corey’s heart pounded as he looked over his shoulder at his only means of escape. But escape from what, exactly? He swallowed his anxiety and turned forward again to take a good look at this dragon queen he was so irrationally afraid of.
He stepped a few more paces into the room, keeping his eyes on her. She seemed so placid sitting there, just watching him come to her. Halfway into the room he stopped, deciding that was far enough. If she wanted him, she’d have to meet him the rest of the way.
Now that he was closer, he could see her very clearly. His uncertainty replaced by cautious interest in the lovely figure. She was a petite young woman with skin so fair it glowed and thick, black curls that fell past her breasts. She had the same Asian features as Kris, though much more lovely and feminine compared to the guide’s. Of course, Corey reminded himself, she was Kris’s sister.
Her bright green eyes watched him take her in. He only made a cursory glance of her body, quickly shifting his eyes back up when he realized she was stark naked.
Of course she’s naked, dummy. This is like the dragon nudist colony. Though he supposed dragons might not normally wear clothes when they were being … well … dragons.
She frowned and finally spoke. “Do you not find me pleasing to look upon, human?” Her voice was light and smooth, and carried easily across the expanse of the room to his ears.
Corey cleared his throat. “Oh, trust me, I find you spectacular.”
“Then why won’t you come to me?”
Corey blinked at her. She sounded genuinely confused by his hesitation, but not in the way he’d have expected someone with the title of “Queen” to sound. She cocked her head in an endearing way, waiting for him to respond.
“I’m not sure what you expect, so I’m just being cautious, if that’s all right. I’m not in the habit of just jumping into bed with a pretty girl the first time we meet. I don’t care how kinky you normally get with your lovers.”
“What can I do to appease your reservations?”
Corey took a deep, calming breath through his nose and rubbed the back of his neck. Eyebrows raised, he said, “Well, you could start by telling me your name. Then maybe we just talk a little?”
“My name is Racha. And you are Corey. My brother told me of you before you arrived at my door.”
“Oh? What did good old Kris have to say?”
“That you are not like the other humans, but I think you are.”
“And what makes you think that?”
“You’re here, and you want me.”
Now there was the Queen he’d expected. Her assertiveness irritated him, which he hated because she wasn’t lying. Except it was a hollow want he felt, not the deep, abiding need he’d seen in the others’ eyes, particularly Kris’s just before he’d made love to Issa for the first time.
“Maybe I just don’t want you enough,” he said.
Racha grew thoughtful. Her gaze slid over his body and paused at his hips before moving back to his eyes.
“Prove you don’t. Take off your clothes.”
Heat rushed to Corey’s face at the command. The hell he’d strip naked. Well, he might have just to prove the point, except being naked in front of her would only prove the opposite.
“I have a better idea. Why don’t you put something on and we can talk about this like two sane people who … I dunno … actually get to know each other before fucking.”