For those of you who read my Sexy Sins Retreat series, you’ll notice a few changes to Mick’s character; namely, her surname and manner of death. After a sufficient amount of author angst, my awesome editor, Maggie, suggested I just let you know I’ve made changes to Mick’s backstory. Duh. Consider yourself advised. Tee hee . . .
Chapter 1 — Sundew
Silence slices through the chaos as two massive Daijon brutes march us through a large hall. The opulence of the Royal Ballroom assaults my dragon senses. Coronations on our home realm, the Obsidian Vale, are much more sedate affairs without the glitter and glitz. Here on this godsforsaken place called Bardo, the realm between realms, the gods seem to live up to their reputation for debauchery and excess.
Mouthwatering aromas drift from the chefs’ stations dotting the ballroom, reminding me we haven’t eaten for days. Strategically placed opulent floral arrangements allow for mingling. Hundreds of silkies float around, pouring top vintages. Clinking glasses punctuate the echoes of laughing and backslapping at this strange combination of a coronation celebration and wedding reception.
Every creature in the room fixes us with a laser stare, but I only see one—the most exquisite angel. My tiny nostrils flare as I catch her subtle scent. God, she’s gorgeous. Her long blond hair frames an elegant neck, and a lavender gown skims decadent curves. Beads form a flower that nestles below her breasts while its stem drags my eyes to a slit that hints at a sinfully sexy amount of leg peeking out from beneath the table. I thank the gods that my dragon state hides my rock-hard cock.
The Daijon fae called Mongah unceremoniously dumps us on the table in front of a man wearing an ornate crown. He looks nothing like the evil King Zeus our fathers described. This distinguished-looking guy appears quite benign if a bit on the smug side.
“We’ve got some uninvited guests, Your Majesty.” Mongah bows low.
“Four tiny dragons.” The king looks as if he can’t decide whether to crush us with one of his thunderbolts or choke with laughter. Laughter won. “Let me guess, the princes of Obsidian Vale. To what do we owe this displeasure?”
While our alpha, Belthon Lilicreek, gets into all kinds of fire snorting and in-your-face with King Zeus, I scoot over to the gorgeous blond as fast as my tiny legs will take me with pack member Lindel Powersilver in hot pursuit. I perch on her right shoulder while Lindel takes the left. Startled, vivid blue eyes that remind me of a deep ocean dart from Lindel to me. I snuggle up all close and personal and nuzzle her neck, deeply inhaling her scent. Yes, she’s the one, the one we’ve sought for a thousand years, our mate, the one who will save our kingdom. There’s only one irksome problem—she’s not one of our kind. While this isn’t a problem for me, Belthon and Melthoron will have one colossal shit hemorrhage. Like their fathers, they’re all about purity of the race and all that horseshit. I’ll deal with them later.
“Oh my gods, looks like you have a new pet, Mick,” the stunning woman sitting beside my goddess says.
Pet, my ass, but now I know my beloved’s name. I rub my horns against the side of her beautiful neck and let out a purr.
“Ah, aren’t you little fellas cute.” Mick tilts her head and lets me snuggle under her luxurious long hair. As I tickle her neck with my horns, she giggles. It’s the most delightful sound I’ve heard in centuries. I damn near die and ascend to Bardo naturally as she rubs my underbelly.
My goddess holds up a tiny blob of white on a stick. “Are you hungry?” She turns to the woman beside her. “Any idea what dragons eat, Tate?”
“Not one, hon. It’s at times like this that I miss Google,” Tate says.
The vampire sitting beside Tate says, “Some are carnivores, and some are omnivores.” He shoots the cuffs on his jacket. I take a moment to check out this strange attire. If I had my way, I’d stay naked, but we learned long ago in our travels that it’s best to adopt the customs of our host realm. We’ll don fancy breeches and tunics once we shift.
And some of us have a sweet tooth. “Anð sumr ór oss hafar sváss tooth.” I say it in our native tongue just to confound the issue because that’s what Obsidian fae do.
“Aye, one can find that in almost any culture,” the vampire says.
Right about this time, Belthon and Melthoron decide to march over. Belthon takes one look at the tasty morsel and hits it with a stream of fire. Bedlam breaks out.
My Mick and the goddess Tate laugh in delight. “Looks like you have your own personal blowtorch,” Tate says.
King Zeus throws a thunderbolt in the direction of Belthon in total disregard of our beloved, who sits a handsbreadth from him.
Tate raises her hand, and a stream of lightning meets the thunderbolt midair.
“Call the guardians,” King Zeus roars.
Attendees and attendants rush around yelling. I disappear under Mick’s hair. Lindel shoots a stream of water over the burning and now melting white blob that smells delicious. Mick pops the blob in her mouth, seemingly unconcerned by the madness going on around her. Lindel follows me under the curtain of long blond hair.
The majestic woman sitting beside King Zeus stands and raises her hand. “Silence! Sit!”
Everyone in the large room obeys.
“Now, what is this about, Zeus?” The woman asks.
“This is about this trash crashing my coronation ceremony,” King Zeus says.
Belthon immediately starts hopping around, spewing our native tongue, and punctuating it with fire breath.
“Vér erum eigi trash. Takatr aptr, þú asshole. Ek var willing til gefþúr benefitrinn ór doubtinn en okkarr faðir er right, þú eru eigi til munu trusteð. Gerþúr really viljtilr fá inn í þessi nú því at let’s start með hverr fuckeð hverr’s wife? Vér, á least, hafmoralsr.”
Which would loosely translate as: We are not trash. Take that back, you asshole. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but our fathers are right. You are not to be trusted. Do you want to get into this now because let’s start with who fucked whose wife? We, at least, have morals.”
Zeus shakes his fist and roars, “How dare you talk to me that way in my court?” He raises his arm, and the lovely lady beside him who reminds me of the photos of our dear kidnapped queen grabs it.
“We’ll let the guardians sort this out,” she says.
It doesn’t take what earthlings call a rocket scientist to decide where to place our allegiance. Besides, I need to get a taste of both that white goopy stuff and my beloved before we leave this place. As if she’s read my mind, Mick picks up another thin stick holding a white blob. Belthon immediately ignites it. Lindel sends a stream of water and puts out Belthon’s flame. When the lovely Mick holds the glob close to her shoulder, the smell of burnt sugar entices me to peek out. She holds it closer. I snatch it off the stick and disappear under her hair. Belthon turns on us, mad as piss, but hesitates long enough to see which side his bread is buttered on.
“Enough with the clichés,” the vampire says. So the fucker can read minds and speak in tongues. Great. Let’s hope he isn’t one of my Mick’s men because he might prove a problem.
Mick turns to Tate, panic dripping from every pore. Right about now, I want to shift so I can gather her in my arms and let her know that whatever is going on, it will all work out. But shifting won’t be possible while there’s a threat in the air. I watch the action from behind the curtain of hair.
“I don’t think they mean us any harm. Isn’t there something we can do?” Mick asks. “We should at least hear their side of the story.”
“Agreed.” Tate stands. “Queen Hera, as chief justice, I respectfully request time to understand what brings these—she looks down at Belthon and Melthoron—tiny dragons into our realm. I doubt they’re here by mistake. We’ll take full responsibility for them.”
A wicked grin hits Tate’s face. “Call it a wedding present, Daddy Dearest.”
Zeus harrumphs but subsides. Queen Hera looks doubtful, but I can tell she’s going to give in.
“Are you sure, child? I’m certain your mates have something special planned for tonight,” Queen Hera says.
This time, Tate laughs out loud. “Not if they’re in their right minds, they don’t. I’m about one hour and twenty minutes from falling into a post-celebration coma. That gives us just enough time to find out what’s going on with this crew.”
The angel beside the vampire stands and bows. “We’ll ensure their safety, Your Majesty.”
Queen Hera laughs. “I doubt Anya needs your protection. She quite capable of frying these little morsels on the spot if need be.”
Anya? Frying? My dragon cock shrivels on the spot.
The vampire laughs. “I suppose she’ll have to. Their cocks are probably too wee to tie in knots.”
A twitter of giggles cascades through the room. Obviously, this is some kind of inside joke and one that we’d rather avoid being the brunt of.
“You females promised me one godsdamned day. One day in five hundred years. Is that too much to ask?” Zeus grumbles.
Anya Tate sighs. “You’re right, Daddy Dearest. Mick can take care of them tonight while the festivities continue.” She fixes a glare on Belthon. “Your ether tells me your word is your bond.”
Belthon nods his dragon head, somewhat reluctantly, but says nothing. Anya Tate raises two shapely eyebrows. Belthon snorts out a small puff of smoke. Fine. “Sem alphórr obsidianinn pack, ek gefþúr minn worð at vér munu deliver nei harm til þessi mick kreature.”
Anya Tate, or whatever the hell her name is, heaves a mighty sigh worthy of a goddess. “Please, don’t be rude. Speak English. I know you can.”
“As alpha of the Obsidian pack, I give you my word that we will deliver no harm to this Mick creature.” Belthon huffs out more smoke.
“And?” Anya Tate asks.
“Fine. I give you my word we will deliver no harm unless harm is done to us first.” Belthon crosses his tiny red arms.
“Aye, and you’re a stubborn wee bastard,” the vampire says. “We’ll post the guardians outside their quarters as a safeguard. I ken Michele is safe enough with them.”
Who the hell is Michele?
Queen Hera waves her hand. “Mick, they’re in your safekeeping. Bring them to my quarters at ten o’clock. Tate and I will hear their story.
“Your Majesty, have mercy—” Anya Tate gives her a pleading look.
“Fine, fine. We’ll meet at noon for lunch.” Queen Hera gives her a stern look laced with affection. “But only because this is your night.”
Mick puts both hands on the table in front of Belthon and Melthoron. Each hops onto a palm, and I know their tiny brains are fastened on one thing—catching a glimpse of Mick’s breasts. Four Daijon stand before the table, hands on sword hilts. Sexy as hell, Mick rises carefully and glides from the room with us. The Daijon march behind us, but I can only think about one thing—we get to spend the night with this goddess, alone. And sometime in the next few hours, we’ll shift to our fae form . . . with our enormous cocks ready for action.
One unbreakable rule governed us for the past five hundred years—play with a sub only once. Sex is sex. Scenes are transactional, negotiated, fulfilled, then forgotten. Feelings are never part of the mix. But one look at this Mick and I can see she isn’t a club sub we can scene with and forget. I should try to get my control in check, but I can’t help the feelings overwhelming me. She is the one. An ache constricts my chest, and breathing normally becomes wishful thinking. I push away Belthon’s nagging voice telling me she can never be mine, never be ours. That notion makes me feel as if I’ve been kicked in the gut, a feeling I avoid at all costs.
I can’t take my eyes off of her—the curve of her ear, the swell of her breasts. Oh, what I want to do with that spectacular ass. Visions of her porcelain skin, red from my hand, makes my dick harder than a spear, which is damned uncomfortable inside my dragon scales. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had such a visceral reaction to a woman. But she isn’t just some random female; she’s my chosen one. She just doesn’t know it yet. For the first time in several hundred years, things are starting to get interesting.