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Authors: Amber Kell

Tags: #Fantasy, #m/m romance

Mate Test

BOOK: Mate Test
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Mate Test

Dragon Men Series

Book II

Amber Kell

Published by Silver Publishing

Publisher of Erotic Romance

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by imprisonment and a fine."

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Editor: Devin Govaere

Mate Test © 2011 Amber Kell

ISBN # 9781920501440

Attention Readers:
This book uses US English.

All rights reserved.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be

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Dedication

This is for everyone who longs to find their true

love.

Mate Test

Amber Kell

Chapter One

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

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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

young boy.

"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

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Amber Kell

always dreamed of dragons. He would've loved coming on

this trip."

Speechless from the tears clogging his throat, the

duke nodded.

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

to."

With that parting shot, Tor heard the door close

softly.

"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

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Amber Kell

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

the dragon.

"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

mate."

"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.

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Amber Kell

"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

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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,

Your Grace."

"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

calendar.

"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

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best to get a handle on the competition. His people were

good about seeking any weaknesses that would give Tor

the edge.

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

BOOK: Mate Test
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