Note from the Author:
This novel contains explicit sex. Animal aggression and some brutality.
Please read with caution as some topics can be triggering.
1580 - A Cottage in Inner Forestway, Mane Country
"Sebastian" The woman breathed as she opened her cottage door and bid him enter. That husky seductive note already tingeing her voice.
As she has countless times before.
"Moira." He greeted stomping off his boots before entering the sparse cottage.
"I've missed you." She cooed. Stroking the Ample tops of her small, pert breasts.
"My lover has returned from his estate. He's really quite possessive." She threw shining brown hair over her shoulder, proudly.
"I care not a whit for possessive lovers." He shrugged.
"Do you care for me?" She pounced on the opportunity to ask the question.
Despite that she already knows.
He leaned back his head, gold eyes staring down his nose haughtily. You know better.
But hope shined on her face.
"Moira, I don't come here to whisper lies to you."
"You whisper many things to me," She sighed. "But never lies."
"Do you want me to go?"
She stared at him. His skin and hair shining gold in the light from her small fire. His features square and infinitely appealing. "I've never seen a man the like." She walked up to stroke his face. "I want you with me."
"Then come. I'll spend the eve loving you, if you wish it?"
"I'm cold comfort for a widow."
"But you are so warm." She countered. Clear innuendo in her voice.
"I don't feel it." He dismissed. Striding from her to move objects on the table.
She grabbed his shoulders and roughly turned him to face her. Though he towered over her by more than a foot, she was unintimidated by this man who'd shown her nothing but kindness.
"You could have any woman in Ardae. Why do you come to the bed of a nothing woman? A woman who's only mistress to powerful men."
"Because your loneliness screams louder than any I've heard." He sighed. "I come to soothe it."
Unable to stand the pain in it. So much like my own...
"Not to bed me?" She teased. Caressing his cheek again.
"Not if you don't wish it. I'd sit on the settee and hold you in my arms if you'd have it."
"Would my presence bring you comfort?"
"No." His voice dropped. "No companionship could soothe the way of my suffering."
It's for what my kind are, what we've lost, and for the many more brothers that are hunted and slaughtered. For my helplessness to protect them.
She turned away to hide her pain. Pouring him a glass of wine.
Knowing me so little, she's unaware I prefer Sherry.
"You know your brethren call you 'The Great Protector'." She remarked. Watching the dark liquid fill the glass.
As if she read my thoughts.
"I know what they call me." He took a drink of the wine she'd poured for him. There was an uncharacteristic sadness to him tonight.
"Will you ever love a woman?" Moira asked.
"I'm unsure." He set the glass down. "I've hardened over the years. Ever bored."
"I've seen that. I've watched you grow cold."
"I've watched too many brothers die." He sighed. "I'm losing the tenuous faith I've clung to."
"Well, join me my faithless one." She took his hand and led him to her chamber. "For though you may be willing to merely hold me, I crave greater sport with you!"
"You usually do." But there was fondness in his voice.
She pulled the dress down to expose her small globes. And he hoisted the skirt up. Tipping her backward over the bed for better access to her warm core.
She plucked wildly at the laces on his breeches. Freeing his torrid length and cooing appreciatively as she stroked it. Taking it into her mouth briefly to hear him moan in pleasure.
In short order he'd shoved her back.
She giggled as she bounced on the rush mattress.
He folded her ankles up next to her buttocks and held the tops of her feet as he entered her.
Soon enveloped in the smell and feel of Moira. Feeling the soft length of her brown hair sliding through his fingers and washing over the blankets.
He was so engrossed in pulsing rhythmically into her and the small sounds of ecstasy she made, he didn't hear the door of her cottage open behind him.
She circled her legs up around his hips to pull him in deeper. Clawing his chest in her rapture as she surged up to meet him. Purring in excitement.
Sebastian was close.
But though he hadn't heard the door, he certainly felt the burn of the blade sinking beneath his shoulder blade and into his heart. His head fell back as he grunted in pain. Rolling from Moira to face his attacker, as his body quickly began weakening.
He saw a black-haired man with eyes equally as dark.
"Demaron." Moira whimpered fearfully. Lurching up on her elbows to catch up the coverlet. "I didn't know you were coming!"
The man shook with rage. Bloodied dagger dripping over the bedding as he leaned over Moira.
Bast blinked blearily a few times, feeling himself waning with every broken beat of his damaged heart.
I'm dying. He knew. And there was a slight sense of relief. But more than that was the fear of what'd happen to the others. Of what would occur if he couldn't look after them. He swallowed his pain. Fighting to get his body on its feet, but only managing to roll off the edge of the bed. Toppling the bedstand in the process.
The cottage shook with Sebastian's body struggling to live. Wind howled outside. And he felt the pain of scales pushing through his pores but was too weak to react. The gold layer rasped out to coat his chest and shoulders.
"What the hell is that thing!" He heard Demaron shout in horror.
Too late. The bliss of unconsciousness swept him away into black comfort. Where he felt like he floated. Somewhere safe and warm. He heard a man's quick command.
"Look after him."
And felt a surge as though pushed from where he was. Heard a woman's scream in his ears. And the voice again.
"Look after him. He's yours." And there was utter silence.