Authors: Amber Kell
Tags: #Fantasy, #m/m romance
live with it either.
The next man was Sir Bertam Cant, a green-eyed
baron from the northern province. His kiss was pleasant,
yet brief. The nervous look in the man's eyes told the story.
He gave the man a nod and received a heart-warming smile
Tor stood quietly by Naron's side. The heat pouring
off Tor's body heated up an entirely different region than
"You're next, Your Grace." Dragons were flying
about in his stomach, big flaming dragons.
"You'll have to call me Tor or at least Torrance. I
never kiss people who call me by my title."
A nervous laugh burst out of Naron. That silky,
smooth baritone voice sent shivers down his spine.
He sucked in his breath.
"It's your turn, Tor."
A slight smile curved those perfectly formed lips.
With a delicate flare, the duke handed off his staff to one of
his servants and stepped towards Naron. There was no sign
of hesitation when Tor slid his hands around the Naron's
back, pulled him against that strong lean body of his, and
took Naron's lips in a no hold barred kiss that weakened his
There was no measure for this kiss. How could he
compare a soul-touching experience to the almost rough
tumblings of his lovers before? All other kisses had been a
watery prelude to this main course.
With lips, tongue, and teeth, Tor dominated Naron's
mouth, consuming him in a willing bonfire. The kiss had
such a resounding echo in his soul that it took a moment to
realize that Tor's lips had left his. Blinking and slightly
confused, Naron's vision came back into focus. There was a
silence in the room as he forced himself to step back.
"Please join the others." If his voice cracked a little,
it was beyond his ability to stop it. It was barely within his
ability not to drag Tor back to his quarters. He licked his
lips, savoring the flavor of Tor's mouth. He jumped slightly
when he felt his dragon half shift restlessly under his skin
as if wanting to grab the golden man and hide him in a pile
of treasure so no one could gaze on what was his.
it whispered insistently in Naron's head.
One of Tor's men stepped forward and led him to
stand near the others. Naron noticed that the others gave
Tor a wide berth as if afraid he would do something, or
maybe it was his gigantic bodyguard that caused the
"Gentlemen, we will begin the day with a tour of
the mines," a light tenor announced.
Crillon whispered in his ear, "That's Sparrow, the
A low growl echoed in the cave.
"Is there a problem, Your Highness?" Tor asked the
king. What the hell was his problem now? He couldn't step
a foot forward without upsetting Naron. Since the
announcement that morning, the king had been in a touchy
"This tour doesn't need to include your entire
Tor felt his cheeks heat, but he didn't let it show
how much Naron's criticism hurt. "I need Crillon. If I don't
have a guide, I can become disoriented."
Yeah, that was sexy. He was sure to be picked as
consort. Tor firmly reminded himself that being a consort
wasn't his goal. He didn't want to be trapped on this
backwards planet no matter how sexy he found the king.
He just had to keep reminding himself of that each time
Naron came too close and Tor's body tightened with need.
He also had to remember not to inhale around Naron,
because the king's scent tempted him to do naughty things
to the sexy royal.
"I will act as your guide," Naron announced, as if
that settled the matter.
"Thank you, Your Highness. I appreciate the offer,
but Crillon is used to accompanying me and knows my
needs, and I don't want to take attention away from the
He didn't need the other contestants to see him as
competition, but more importantly, he didn't want Naron to
think of him as the poor blind guy who needed assistance.
It was pride, pure and simple, but Tor couldn't set it aside.
It was one of the few things he had left.
Right now, he just wanted to seal the mining
agreement and head the hell out. However, since his uncle
had signed him up for the consort contest, it would be a
while before he saw the back of this planet. He would
definitely have some strong words with the high king when
he saw him next.
"As you will," Naron said in response to Tor's
refusal. He could hear the coldness creeping back into the
king's tone. His usual diplomatic grace was really deserting
him this time.
Just as he was thinking of ways to get on the king's
good side again, Baroy's voice shouted into his mind.
Earthquake coming. Get out! I'll hold it as long as I can."
* * * *
Naron hid his despair behind a cold façade that he'd
perfected over years of court life. Was it so wrong to yearn
for the touch of his soul mate?
Determined not to let Tor's rejection hurt him,
Naron spent the next few minutes discussing mining and
the kingdom's use of the various minerals. Looking over, he
saw Tor talking to his guard, their two heads intimately
together. Naron's beast growled at the sight.
"Is there something I can help you with, Tor?" he
"We need to leave."
Disappointed, the king nodded, thinking Tor's man
must've received a message that forced him to go. Then
realizing Tor couldn't see him, he said, "I understand. Let
my steward know when you want to reschedule." He knew
Tor's uncle would want him to tour the mines so he could
make a solid trade agreement. However, since he'd now
met Tor, Naron thought the high king would have to get
used to missing the duke since Naron wasn't giving Tor
clearance to leave, ever.
To Naron's surprise, Tor reached over, grabbed his
arm, and pulled him along. "You don't understand. We all
need to go."
Not giving Naron a chance to object, Tor wrapped
his hand around his guard's bicep, still holding onto Naron.
"Let's go, Crillon."
"Yes, Your Grace."
Naron dug in his heels. A surprisingly powerful grip
yanked him along, causing him to stumble after Tor and his
guard. "Don't turn stubborn. We're leaving now!" Naron
glanced back, pleased to see the others were following.
He'd hate to leave anyone behind.
"Where are we going?" Since digging in his heels
wasn't working, and Tor was much stronger than Naron had
suspected, he hoped conversation would work in calming
the other man down. The guard took it all in stride, as if his
master acted this way every day. One of his own guards
tried to intercede, but Naron shook his head. He'd go
anywhere the duke wanted to drag him.
"Someplace safe. Less talking, more walking. We
need out of here, now."
Tor pulled them both into the elevator and tapped
his foot impatiently as the others boarded.
"Why are we leaving?" Naron asked.
"What's wrong with the duke?" Gallywyn asked
once they were all in the elevator.
"Has he gone insane?" Lord Mell sneered, glaring at
Tor ignored the questions.
Naron admired how the gorgeous man stood
straight and proud, not letting anything bother him. Despite
his ire at Tor's highhanded way, he felt a burst of desire for
the commanding man. "What's going on?" He kept his
voice calm. Now that they were in the elevator he wanted
"Would you like to explain to us why we're
leaving?" Lord Mell interrupted in a scornful voice. "Last I
checked, you weren't in charge of this trip."
Tor's shifter guard snarled and pulled back his coat
to show the other man his weapon and his willingness to
"Stand down, Crillon," Tor's ordered in his calm
voice. "Baroy told me an earthquake is coming."
There were a few mutters, but no one said anything
The door opened. As they stepped out of the
elevator, an ominous roar shook the earth.
Tor wrapped an arm around Naron's waist and
pulled him along in a fast run. Naron dared to look back. A
hole appeared in the earth, swallowing the mine's entrance
and the elevator shaft they had left seconds ago.
Sir Cant exhaled, "Holy dragon mother!"
The group stopped several yards from the scene of
"You saved us," Lord Gallywyn said, looking at Tor
with stars in his eyes.
Naron growled, instinctively moving in front of
Tor. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see Tor
was rubbing his shoulder with one hand and holding onto
his guard with the other.
The beast inside the king hated that Tor wanted
anyone else to guide him, but his human side understood
Tor needed to have the familiar to be at ease. The inner
conflict disoriented Naron. Unused to having such internal
conflict, he vowed to talk to the royal advisor when he got
back to the castle. Maybe there was an easier way to deal
with his inner dragon than he knew about.
"Baroy felt a disturbance coming and warned me to
get out," Tor said calmly.
"Who's Baroy?" Lord Mell scowled at the duke.
"For those who don't know, his grace is dragon
struck," the king said. He realized he'd been unconsciously
stroking Tor's arm. "His bondmate is a space dragon who, I
believe, is circling this planet as we speak."
"What's a bondmate?" Sir Cant asked. "Is that the
same as bonding with dragonkin?"
Tor shook his head. "No, it's like being really close
to your pet except mine can get into my head and take over
my vision. Space dragons need a biological partner in order
to thrive. I don't know why, and Baroy is so rare he can't
ask another of his kind about it."
"Can you communicate telepathically?" Naron
asked. Curiosity about the duke ate away at him.
"Yes, Baroy is above, and he can tell what happens
on any planet I'm on. He's very powerful." Tor released his
guard and patted Naron's hand, unaware of how they were
creating a look of unity before the others.
"Why didn't you tell us what was going on?"
Gallywyn asked, his eyes lit with curiosity.
"I didn't want to panic anyone." Tor said, idly
stroking Naron's arm, an unconscious gesture that made his
cock harden in his pants.
Unable to help himself, Naron leaned over and
kissed Tor on the lips. "Thank you for my life and everyone
else's. If you hadn't listened to your dragon, we would all
Tor shrugged. "I always listen to my dragon."
"Always." That thought chilled him. "What if he
tells you to leave the planet?"
"Then I leave the planet," Tor said as if following
his dragon's orders was the most natural thing in the world.
"Do you have any control over him at all?" The
thought of a space dragon running wild above them made
Naron uneasy. Space dragons weren't known for their even
temper, especially when dealing with their bondmates.
"I don't control him. We don't have that kind of
relationship. We're partners of a sort. He flies through the
galaxies and explores new planets, and I work for my
uncle. We don't have to be in the same area to work
together. He can see through my eyes, and I usually see
through his. That's why my eyes look so strange. They
reflect whatever Baroy is seeing."
"How far can you communicate?" Lord Gallywyn
Tor frowned. "What do you mean?"
Naron patted the duke's hand as he tightened his
"I mean if he can go through galaxies, at what point
do you lose communication?"
Naron remembered that Gallywyn had a
background in the natural sciences and probably found Tor
fascinating. Naron also found the man fascinating, but for
far different reasons.
"There is no limit. It's like talking in your own
mind. You can't leave your own mind, so Baroy can't leave
Gallywyn stroked his chin thoughtfully. "I'd love to