Authors: Amber Kell
Tags: #Fantasy, #m/m romance
Dragon Men Series
Published by Silver Publishing
Publisher of Erotic Romance
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Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Editor: Devin Govaere
Mate Test © 2011 Amber Kell
ISBN # 9781920501440
This book uses US English.
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This is for everyone who longs to find their true
High Duke Torrance Zelan took another drink of his
hot, bitter coffee and thought moodily over his trip to the
dragon world. Some days there wasn't enough caffeine in
the universe to help wake a man up. After visiting his
cousin Joriah for his mating ceremony earlier, he now had
to meet with the king of the southern provinces to discuss
mining rights. The high king, his uncle, wanted access to
the rare minerals only found in this area of the galaxy,
many of which were necessary components for warp drive
processors. As he was already semi-familiar with the planet
and had a personal connection with dragons, his uncle
thought he would make the perfect representative.
Tor was withholding his opinion until he met the
southern king. Larien would've loved this trip. Dear, sweet,
gentle Larien, with his hard body and sweet voice, was a
man who dreamed of seeing dragons fly.
"You would've loved this, baby," Tor whispered.
Swallowing the lump in his throat, Tor held back
his tears. In times like these he wished he'd followed his
lover into the afterlife instead of lingering on. Losing
Larien had hit him like a fist to the stomach.
Only his family kept his feet firmly grounded from
leaving this plane for the next. He couldn't leave his little
girl and two boys. Although his broken heart remained
tattered and bruised, he loved them.
Tor sighed. Pressing his face into his hands, he
discreetly wiped away the moisture he felt leak from his
eyes despite his best efforts. The cold glass of the window
cooled his heated skin as he released another sigh. Even
though he couldn't see the star field outside the window, he
knew it was still there.
Dragon-bonded as a child, Tor's vision relied solely
on what the dragon allowed him to see. Subsequently, his
ability to see flashed in and out like a poor intergalactic
transmission. Sometimes it was excruciatingly clear, but
normally, it was complete blackness only broken by the
brilliant sparkle of stars. When Baroy flew through the
cosmos at night, Tor saw everything the creature saw. With
his eyes always locked with the dragon's in space, he was
blind to the everyday world around him. Some days he
wished he'd never touched the baby dragon when he was a
"Did you say something, my lord?"
"Nothing important, Pietro. I was thinking of how
Larien would've loved visiting the dragons."
The elderly man grunted in agreement. "Mr. Jall
always dreamed of dragons. He would've loved coming on
Speechless from the tears clogging his throat, the
Pietro made a soft disapproving sound. "He also
would've wanted you to move on with your life."
Tor smiled through his tears, "Very subtle, Pietro."
He took a sip from his coffee cup and waved the servant
away. "You may retire for the night. Thank you."
He could feel Pietro glaring at him as if the other
man could force Tor to see with the sheer power of his
stare. Larien always said Pietro's frigid gray eyes must be
chipped from polar glaciers in order to achieve their chill.
One of the benefits of being mostly blind was that he could
ignore icy stares.
"Remember what I said, Master. Mr. Jall lived for
your smile. Don't disappoint his memory by forgetting how
With that parting shot, Tor heard the door close
"You are sad this evening."
Baroy's voice echoed through Tor's head in a soft
whisper like a stray word carried on a breeze. The soft
buzzing of the space dragon's voice was both comforting
and abrasive. Tor's life had changed forever when he'd
bonded with a baby space dragon at the tender age of five.
As far as he knew, he was the youngest being, human or
not, to survive a matching with the rare breed.
"I am missing my mate,"
he mentally sent back to
"You are missing your lover
," the dragon corrected.
You have yet to meet your mate."
"That doesn't make it less painful."
"No, it doesn't."
A burst of bitter laughter ripped through him.
"If it hurts this much to lose a lover, I don't want a
"It isn't a matter of want. It is a matter of fate. You
will meet your mate soon. I have foreseen it."
Chills shivered up and down Tor's spine.
The dragon was never wrong. The creature was
even more accurate than Tor's daughter, Alexandra, who
was a born seer.
"I don't want a mate,"
he repeated. Tor wondered if
saying it enough times would make the nebulous mate
vanish from his future.
His heart still cried for Larien. Tor wasn't ready to
risk it again.
"All things happen in their own time."
Great. Just what he needed, more sage sayings from
a cryptic dragon. Tor felt Baroy leave his mind.
"I'm surrounded by beings with great parting lines."
Sighing, Tor took another drink of coffee. In times like
these he could almost feel Larien, as if his lover were still
beside him. He whispered to the empty room, "I will never
forget you, my love."
He didn't care what the court thought a 'natural'
mourning period was. In his heart, two years were
simultaneously a blink in the cosmos and a crawling
eternity of sorrow.
* * * *
The landing was uneventful. The spaceport had the
same stagnant air and echo of other spaceports.
A tall body brushed against Tor's right.
A smooth voice spoke. "My lord." Tor's hand was
gently lifted and wrapped around a huge, muscular arm.
The small scar beneath Tor's fingers and his voice
gave the man away. "Greetings, Crillon," he said to the cat
shifter. Crillon was one of the twin cats he'd rescued from
the streets. The knife wound on Crillon's left arm always
identified him to Tor. As a courtesy to his blindness,
Crillon always wore short sleeves so that Tor would know
who was escorting him.
Tor felt as if all eyes were staring at him. Leather
brushed up against his arm as the guard leaned closer. "You
did not sleep well?"
"I rarely sleep well these days."
Crillon patted his hand. "It'll get better with time,
"That's what everyone tells me."
Crillon cleared his throat, and Tor heard him shift
his feet. "Pietro has gone ahead with the house staff to
prepare your room."
"Thank you, Crillon. Sounds like you have
everything ready as usual. What's my schedule?"
If anyone knew about his day, it would be Crillon.
Besides Pietro, the man was the closest thing to a walking
"Nothing planned this afternoon, Your Grace. I
know how space travel tires you, so we'll go straight to
your room with a quick tour of the castle on the way.
Tomorrow you'll have breakfast with the king and the other
delegates, then everyone will be given a tour of the mines."
"What do we know about the others?" It was always
best to get a handle on the competition. His people were
good about seeking any weaknesses that would give Tor
The weapons decorating the cat's body clinked
softly together with each step, a sound Tor always
associated with friendship and safety. "I have downloaded
their files so you can listen to them tonight while you rest."
"Thank you, Crillon, you're always so efficient."
"Let me know if there is anything else I can do for