Hey all. Sorry this was so late, but I'm working on revising the FFF format this week and just wanted to push this finale out. I'm going to be changing a few things for our Flash Fiction Friday segments, and this week is a solo post, so I won't leave any links to the other bloggers. But next week or the next week for sure, I'll be starting a new story, and we'll get back to the normal schedule. Thanks for sticking with me when things were pretty up and down on the blog here. I appreciate it. *Hugs*
Enjoy the finale!
The Great Mage Finale
Fia leapt from their magical portal onto dry ground. The sun was setting in the woods as she galloped through the trees, wind rippling through her flamed mane. Aneris held fast to her, smiling like an idiot at the figure walking through the woods up ahead. “Killian,” he all but screamed.
The muscular Dragon Shifter turned in surprise, his dark hair slapping his back as he spun. His face contorted with surprise then awe at the duo racing toward him. “Mage? Mage!”
Aneris held out his hand. His heart raced with pure adrenaline. “No time to explain. Get on.”
Killian hesitated for only a second before he gripped Aneris’s forearm and swung onto Fia’s back with the sheer force of her speed. “What… I thought you were dead. The entire kingdom thinks it so. Where have you come from? What happened to you?” The questions were endless from the large warrior seated behind Aneris.
Aneris grinned. “Doesn’t matter. I’m back now, Killian.” He patted the Dragon Shifter’s thigh. “And we have to get you somewhere before she offs me for good. Can’t break a deal like that.”
“Offs you? You mean another enemy seeks to kill you?” Killian growled. “Where? I will burn this witch to the ground. Fear not, Mage, we have been blessed to have you again, no one will take you away from us this time.”
Aneris chuckled. “Relax, once she sees you, she won’t be drowning anyone. Part of the deal—I bring you to her and she stops the death threats. Piece of cake.”
Killian started to panic behind Aneris. “You would enslave me to some witch? You are not the Mage I thought you to be. You are a demon, not Aneris!”
“No one is enslaving anyone, Killian!” Aneris let go of Fia’s reins and balanced astride her back. He let golden ruins flow from his fingertips to trail behind them. “See? What demon do you know that can do that kind of magic?”
“Golden light,” Killian proclaimed. He blinked over and over, following the ruins as they slowly disappeared into thin air. “You are who you say you are. But why are you taking me to a witch? I do not understand your ramblings.”
“This female I’m talking about, she is no witch, Killian. She is the White Lady, the baddest lady in the Silver Realm. Or she would be if she could get out of the lake.” He laughed. “Good luck once she does. She’s got a mouth on her, that’s for sure.”
“The White Lady? The Trolls speak highly of this female.” Killian put his arms around Aneris’s waist and held on. He hummed. “She is closely related to the Water Elemental Priestesses I once protected. The Trolls say she is the one responsible for ending the witch who depleted my Valley of water. But, Aneris, what do I have to do with her grace?”
“Well…” Aneris leaned forward in case Killian attacked him when he found out. “So I’m sure you’ve heard the legend then?”
“What legend do you speak of?”
“The Trolls didn’t get to that part, huh? Sucks for me,” Aneris muttered. “It goes like this. White, the White Lady, but I call her White, well, uh… She’s stuck in the lake because the water needs her magic to keep from disappearing because of the witch’s curse.”
“By the King! That’s horrific. She is well and truly stuck there?” Killian huffed a bit of smoke. “That witch.”
Aneris leaned into Fia. He turned his head and said, “Trust me, White feels the same way. Anyway, White can’t step foot on dry land until someone comes along to separate her from the power keeping the water there. Blah, blah, blah, you know?”
Killian hunched over Aneris. “What are you not saying, Mage? And what is this blah you speak of? Some sort of sorcery?”
“The blah isn’t important. And, well, um, you see…”
“Mage,” Killian warned, “I am not above forcing information out of you, friend or not.”
“The same witch who took the water from the temple’s valley under the Black King’s command is the same one who tried to kill White. Your water was gone. Hers is keeping her there. You have that Elemental sign on your chest. She’s a Water Elemental. You’re… You’re pretty much that someone she needs to get out.”
Killian sat back and grunted. “Seems fairly plausible. If I must help this female escape her prison, I don’t see why I should not.”
“How noble of you.” Aneris flashed a brilliant grin over his shoulder. “There’s just a tiny catch.” He chuckled nervously. “Just a really small one.”
“Mage,” Killian groaned.
“You’re her one true love and your power will combine with hers and free her from the water so your lovey dovey bond will allow her to walk beside you on dry land for eternity.” Aneris gulped in air. “And I had to make the deal to get the pearl from her that pretty much saved your life, and if I don’t get you there before the full moon peaks then she’s gonna drown me because she’s kind of a bitch and we don’t get along.”
Claws sprouted from Killian’s fingertips around Aneris’s waist. “Are you saying,” he growled, “that you made a deal upon my heart without my knowledge, forcing me into a mating with this woman you proclaim to be cross with you? A woman, whom by your own admission, is a bitch, which I presume is something foul in your Othersider language.”
Aneris covered his mouth and laughed. “Say bitch again. That was great.”
“I will not!” Killian snarled, threatening Aneris with a warm huff that nearly singed the ends of his hair.
“Okay! Geez, will you knock it off?” Aneris sighed and guided Fia southeast where he sensed the lake would be. “I’m not saying you owe me for saving your life or anything, but can you at least meet her so I don’t like, I dunno, die?”
Killian grumbled something like a curse. “I do owe you, I suppose. Had it not been for you and your mate I would have probably been consumed by dark magic and lost myself to a fate worse than death. I suppose I can repay your kindness. Fine. I will meet this foul woman who saved our realm. Beyond that, I promise nothing.”
“All a guy can ask.” Aneris groaned in relief. “Thanks, Kill.”
“Do not call me that.”
“Whatever you wish, King of the Fire Breathing Scaly Beasts.”
“Do not call me that either.”
Aneris pouted. “You’re no fun.”
“And you are annoying me.”
Aneris grinned, high on his own magic, and the Silver Realm’s fresh air. High on the knowledge that soon he would see his Seth again. “Hey, Killian? Wanna hear the most annoying song in the world? Because as you said, your savior is really annoying, meaning me. ”
“Spare me this torture, Mage. I beg you.”
“What fun would that be?” Aneris kicked Fia into high gear. “It goes like this. Join in whenever you get the hang of it.” At the top of his lungs, Aneris belted, “This is the song that never ends…”
“Mage!” Killian’s shout could be heard throughout the realm.
The lake glittered at night, reflecting a vast sky full of stars. The moon was high and full, mirrored against White’s watery lair as Fia emerged near the lake’s edge. She trotted and then stopped, bowing her head for Aneris and Killian to depart.
“It is a beautiful night,” Killian hummed. “Would have been better if I was able to erase that dreadful song from my mind. I cannot stop thinking of it.”
“That’s the point, big guy.” Aneris sniggered. “Maybe you can serenade your lady friend when she comes topside. She’d love it.”
Killian cast him an evil look. “There is no female, dark or light, that would be wooed by such a melody. I would not blame them for striking me dead upon hearing it from my lips. Just as you thought it funny to try and convince me that bitch is in fact the White Lady’s true name. I see past your antics for the immature boy you really are, Mage. If I had not seen your bravery and power for myself, I would not understand why an army would follow you, let alone a man such as Setherum.”
“Gee, thanks there, Kill. We should just call you Sir Kills the Mood.” Aneris rolled his eyes. “Lighten up. Or maybe I should conjure you a stiff drink. You’re gonna need it when she comes swimming up here.”
“How I shake in my scales to meet this female you think so highly of.” Killian snorted. “Where is she anyhow? Dragged from my walk to mourn those lost to us in war only to brought here to seal my fate. I will not wait a second longer for the climactic ending I was promised with my one true love,” he mocked.
“On second thought, maybe you two will get along just fine. You’re kind of nasty to me too.” Aneris kneeled next to the lake.
“I am only nasty because you caused me to be. That song…”
“Whatever, Kill. Be pissy about it forever.” Aneris slapped the water, his version of knocking on someone’s door. “Yo, White, come up here and get your party pooper of a mate.”
A school of glowing fish curved along the water’s edge before swimming away. An owl hooted in the woods. Aneris was about to start counting crickets when an orb of light appeared beneath the water. “Finally,” he whined. “I have things to do too, you know.”
Her fingers appeared a few feet away. Aneris startled away. “You gotta stop doing that shit. Don’t you have a bell you could put around your neck, or maybe just not emerge like the undead every single time.”
“No wonder she is rude to you,” Killian remarked.
“Shut up, lover boy.” Aneris flicked him off and followed the hand that beckoned him near a group of rocks. Aneris crawled away from the Dragon Shifter. “Don’t you dare try to drown me. I brought you your man candy, now show yourself.”
Once hidden from Killian’s eyes, White emerged with her creepy glowing eyes and matching blue robe. Her hair had been twisted into a sort of braid and a few shells dotted her ears. “Keep your voice down,” she hissed. “You didn’t give me much notice to dress for a suitor, you know.”
“Seriously, you were primping that whole time?”
She sniffed in a dignified manner. “No…”
“You so were. Did you sit at the Little Mermaid vanity and braid your hair with a fork and sing to your fish?” Aneris almost lost it if not for her deep scowl. “Okay, that was mean. I’m sorry.”
“An apology? From you? Impossible.” She worried her bottom lip with her teeth and looked up from her lashes. “Am I hideous?” She fingered her braid and adjusted her shell earrings. “What if he doesn’t like me? Are you sure you brought the right one? I mean, he could just look like the right one, and then I’d be so very pissed off.” A neon blue tear fell from her eye.
“Shit. Don’t cry, White.” Aneris felt like a dick. He peeked over the rock to see Killian pacing the lake’s edge before he hunched back down to White. “I promise he’s your one. I knew it the second I saw him. You’re gonna get out of here tonight, and he’s gonna think you’re the most beautiful female he’s ever seen.”
She smiled bashfully. “You really think so?”
“I know so.” Aneris grinned. “Plus, he’s hot—like ripped, trashy novel cover sexy. Long dark hair and he’s got a deep voice, and Dragon Shifter power galore. Girl, you got it made.”
“Shifter?” Her brows went up. A delighted grin made her eyes sparkle even brighter. She curled her fingers into the grass near Aneris’s feet. “I’ve heard they make excellent lovers.”
“They do.” Aneris laughed with her. “Okay, so we have a deal?” He unclipped the pendant from his sash and held it out to her.
She rubbed her lips together and nodded. “If he is my one, then yes, we have a deal, Mage.” She took the pendant and it disappeared in her palm.
“Oh, and make sure he sings for you. He has a beautiful voice. Tell him you want to hear that song, the one I taught him earlier. Tell him you love it. He’ll be unsure about it, but he’ll know what you mean. Seriously, he has the voice of an angel.” Aneris kept a straight face.
“He’s hot and he sings? Heavens above, he must be the one,” she whispered seriously. “I love to sing. Normally alone, but that goes without saying.” She hitched a thumb to the lake she’d been imprisoned in.
Aneris inhaled through his nose before he laughed in her face. “Completely understandable. Well, enjoy him, White. He’s a real catch and you look perfect. What could go wrong?”
“Nothing I hope.” She sighed wistfully. “Here goes nothing, Mage. Thank you.” She bowed her head and suddenly Aneris wished he could take back the singing comment. She was being really nice to him. This was her moment. But there was no going back now as she swam over to Killian and emerged from the water.
“You are he who seeks to free me?” Aneris heard White’s delicate voice ask Killian. He peeked over the rock to where Killian stood dumbstruck. Had Aneris been into women, he probably would think White was gorgeous too. But he wasn’t, so he left the lady ogling to the Dragon Shifter that kneeled before White.
“I am he.” He took her dripping hand and brought it to his lips, entranced since she first emerged from the water.
She turned away with a smile. Aneris rolled his eyes. “Come on. Do it already,” he hissed quietly.
“My lady, I hope I am not too bold in saying you are by far the most beautiful female I have ever witnessed,” Killian rumbled. “I am Killian, Dragon Shifter, and protector of the ancient water temple in the valley.”
“Oh yes you are,” White breathed. Aneris swore he saw drool leaking down her chin.
“You know of me then?” Killian smiled and puffed his chest out with pride.
“Uh… Yes? Yes, of course I do.” She faked a smile. “Great protector,” she almost growled.
Aneris slapped a hand over his mouth. Tears pricked his eyes he was laughing so hard.
“Shall we test our bond?” He gripped her smaller hand in his. “See if I am the one?”
“Honey, I don’t doubt you for a second,” she blurted.
He hummed his approval. “That is a name I can live with, if it be from your lips.”
“Kill me now,” Aneris muttered from behind his rock hiding spot.
He put his nose to the rock in anticipation. Killian closed his fingers around White’s hand and pulled. The water symbol on his chest began to glow as the lake did. There was a brilliant flash of light, and then Killian pulled White from the lake like she’d just been taking a dip and nothing more.
“I’m free,” she cried and spun in a circle. Her dress clung to her, much to Killian’s delighted eyes as they roamed her body. “I’m fucking free!” She laughed wildly and thrust herself at Killian.
He grunted and then growled as she stuck to his body, his little female all revved up and wet against him. “It is true then. You and I are meant to be.”
“Fuck yeah, we are.” She pushed onto her tiptoes and kissed him hard. “Too good to be true,” she panted against his mouth.
Killian disagreed. He hoisted her up against him and ate away at her mouth like he’d been drugged by her taste.
Aneris stood and held a finger in the air. “Uh, guys? Still here.” They ignored him. Killian gripped White’s ass and Aneris cringed. “Fia, look away! You’ll be scarred for life.”
The horse trotted over to him. She wasn’t keen on sticking around either. She bowed her head when she reached him and Aneris mounted her back. “We’ll, uh, see you later then.”
White detached from Killian’s face for a second. He gasped for air. His eyes wide. White slid down Killian’s body. “Our deal is met. You’ll live another day, Mage. Now get out of here.” She turned to her new mate. “Sing for me,” she husked.
“Oh no,” Aneris whispered.
“Sing for you?” Killian grasped for words. “I…I’m not sure about that.”
“I love that song Aneris knows. It’s my favorite,” she growled, slipping her hands around his neck. “Sing it.”
“Really?” Killian’s mouth hung open. “That is your desire, to hear that song? It will stick with you forever.”
“I hope it does,” she purred and grabbed his ass.
“Oh,” Killian barked. “If that is my lady’s wish, then I must.” He ground against her.
“Okay, we’re gonna go. See ya later!” Aneris yelled over his shoulder as Killian began to sing in the most terrible off-key voice Aneris had ever heard.
Jumping into another portal, Aneris heard his name being cursed in one loud roar. He laughed and hoped for the best. He really did wish them well.
Fia landed near the outskirts of a mountainside village. Torches illuminated the rocky cliff path and smoke billowed into the night from the dozens of well-lit structures below. Above them, two Dragon
Shifters circled, their wings flapping languidly as they guarded the others below.
Shifters circled, their wings flapping languidly as they guarded the others below.
Aneris’s heart raced as he sensed his mate near. This had to be Seth’s home village, where his father was the Tribe Leader. Aneris was undeniably nervous to appear out of nowhere and greet his mate’s people, but he was more nervous to see his mate. He hoped too much time hadn’t passed between the real world and this realm that Seth would move on. He didn’t think so, but he at least hoped Seth would still be here. Still want him.
Aneris smelled his mate, tasted him on his tongue. He was consumed by Seth’s presence nearby.
“Who goes there?” A Shifter departed from the shadows and folded his arms over his chest.
“I…I am Aneris, the Great Mage for the White King. I have come to see the Tribe Leader’s son, Setherum.” Aneris swallowed hard.
The Shifter’s scaled cheeks rose when he smiled. “You live.”
Aneris nodded. “That a good thing?”
“A very good thing indeed, Great Mage.” The Shifter bowed low. “May I escort you to his home?”
“You don’t have to bow to me. I just need to see him.”
The Shifter rose. His yellow eyes twinkled. “I should think he needs to see you as well. We all…we thought you departed, Mage. Poor Seth has taken this news hard. I fear what will happen to our Leader’s son if he goes on this way.”
“What are you talking about?” Aneris dismounted Fia and guided her by the reins. “Is Seth okay?”
The Shifter shook his head. “You must see for yourself. We fear he’ll go mad soon from the anger he holds.”
“Take me to him please.”
“I shall.” The Shifter smoothed a hand over Fia’s back. “This one has been acting up as well. See why now; must’ve sensed you before he did. Welcome back, little lady. Your master will be pleased to see you as well.”
“I’m sure he will.” Aneris walked alongside the Shifter. “May I ask you something?”
“Are you sure it’s okay for me to be here? I didn’t think my kind was trusted by you. Surely they wouldn’t be too fond of Seth and I…” Aneris worried as they approached the village gate.
“No matter your kind, Mage, you are a great hero of this kingdom. And because of you, Setherum has become a great man too. His name will bring pride to whoever hears it. He slayed the Black King in your name, and as you are the one who inspired his courage, and his shift, you are always welcome among us. I’ve no doubt they will all embrace you warmly, but forgive their initial shock for it will subside.”
“I see. And will they accept me as a war hero or as Seth’s mate?” Aneris chanced a glance at the hulking Shifter.
“As both, Mage. As both.” The Shifter stopped at the gates and yelled to someone pacing the walkway on top. “Safe passage for the Great Mage who is Setherum’s mate.”
“I’m tired, Delfee. No jokes tonight,” a gruff voice replied.
“Not a joke. The Great Mage lives,” Delfee bellowed. “Open up, you lazy fool.”
Claws clicked over the top of the gate and a half-shifted Dragon peered down. “You don’t lie. It’s really him.” He scrambled to the pulley crank and worked the gate open.
“Thought I was pulling your leg, didn’t ya? Our people know your name and they respect it.” Delfee clapped Aneris on the back. “Come on, Mage. I’ll take you to your mate.”
Aneris breathed in and out slowly to stay calm. He glanced about, spotting the Shifters who had heard the gate opening. He couldn’t blame them for coming out to see the fuss. Delfee took pleasure in escorting Aneris through the crowd. He walked tall and proud, nodding to stunned onlookers like he was taking a prince to his coronation. “That’s really him,” he said to one. “Yep, Setherum’s mate has returned,” he added to another. “Let him through. Make some room.”
Aneris stuck close to Delfree, not because he wasn’t capable of handling his own, but because the closer they came to the last stone house at the end of the winding road, the harder it was to breathe. Even Fia was excited. She yanked her reins out of Delfee’s grip and took off running to her stall next to the house. She stuck her nose into an open window and whined.
Aneris stopped cold in his tracks. A hand reached through the window and patted her head. A hand with a smattering of red scales around the wrist. A hand with long fingers and a large palm Aneris remembered holding on several occasions. That hand belonged to his mate. It belonged to Seth.
“Leave the rest to me, Mage. I will make sure you are not disturbed.” Delfee winked at Aneris. “I bid you goodnight.”
“Wait. Delfee… Won’t he be mad?”
“Mad? At you?” Delfee’s eyes glittered. “There is no one who will bring that boy more joy than you.” He nodded and spun around.
Delfree left Aneris standing in a dirt covered yard, staring at Seth’s window. The front door creaked open and Seth stepped outside. “Fia, you can’t just run away when you want and then beg me to feed you when you decide to come back. It’s not right. You’re all I have now, stupid horse.”
Fia whined again and clomped around to face Aneris.
“And don’t you turn your back on me, girl…” Seth looked up to see Aneris standing there. He gasped and held his breath. His back hit the doorframe. His brilliant yellow eyes closed.
“Seth.” Aneris took a step forward. “I…”
Seth gulped in air and bent over. “Can’t be real. It’s not real. Go away, demon.”
“Seth, it’s me,” Aneris pleaded. His voice came out a sob.
“No. He’s gone. Right, Fia? Your master has lost his mind.” Seth clutched his chest. “He’s not real.”
Aneris ran to his mate and covered his back, enfolding Seth within his arms. “If you’re crazy, then so am I.”
Seth keened and dragged them to their knees. He choked up and bowed his head, a crying mess. “I saw him die.”
“I’m not dead.” Aneris crawled around his mate and lifted his chin. “I’m very real. It’s over, Seth, all of it except for us. I chose here with you.”
Seth gripped Aneris’s cape and pulled him forward. “You’re real. I can touch you. I can smell you.” His nostrils flared as he inhaled Aneris. “This is a dream.”
“Take me inside and I’ll prove you’re awake,” Aneris whispered.
Seth looked down at Aneris with such heat in his golden eyes. He yanked Aneris to his feet and all but dragged him inside the house.
The house was small but cozy, not that any of the decorations or layout mattered to either of them. There was enough wall space to slam Aneris against and that was what mattered most. Seth moaned into Aneris’s mouth as he reached for the curtains without success. Aneris grinned and lifted his hand. With his magic, the curtains closed, and the kissing resumed.
Seth was hungry for more, seeking any skin he could find with his lips. He sucked at Aneris’s neck. His hands ran flat against Aneris’s chest, finding passage to his leathers. His tears bathed Aneris’s skin along the way, running down his face and chest, dripping onto Aneris’s cheeks and shoulders where Seth nuzzled him. Newly formed scales along Seth’s collarbone rubbed across Aneris’s body, causing him to quiver with need.
“Seth,” he moaned.
“You’re real.” Seth stopped to stare at Aneris. “You live.”
“He took me away to make me choose. I told the Gamemaster I would always choose you. I would always choose this place because this is my home. You are my home.”
“You’re not dead,” Seth cried softly and gathered his mate in his arms. “I thought I would die.”
“I woke up on the other side without you. How do you think I felt?” Aneris clung to Seth. “Never again do I want to miss you that bad.”
“You will never leave my side again. I won’t allow it.” Seth stepped back to run his hands over Aneris’s face. “You are mine.”
Aneris nodded. “Show me how much I’m yours.”
Seth’s mating scent bloomed all around them. He reached behind Aneris’s neck and pulled him close. “I intend to.”
“Seth, please.” Aneris unfastened his cape and sash, letting them fall to the floor.
Aneris laced his hands together behind Seth’s head and moaned. Seth took him deep into his mouth. His hands pried Aneris’s legs wider apart, fingertips digging in to hold him steady. Aneris lifted his ass, rolling his hips and arching his back. His spine twisted in a way that wasn’t human, but he really didn’t care about reality anymore. Seth was real. That was about all that mattered. He pumped his cock into Seth’s wet heat and was sure he would die of pleasure. He returned the torture, yanking on Seth’s hair to ride out the bliss.
Seth lifted his head, breaking Aneris’s hold on his head. He hissed at his mate and licked his lips in a way one savored stray icing from a cupcake of the most delicious kind. “You taste so good. Good enough to eat.”
“Keep eating then,” Aneris groaned. “Don’t stop. Suck me.”
Seth dipped his head back between Aneris’s thighs, and flattened his tongue up Aneris’s shaft. He tilted his head, tracing his tongue around the head of Aneris’s cock. He smiled wickedly against Aneris’s skin and then took him back down. He bobbed his head, taking with him the sweet suction of his soft lips up and down until Aneris was near insanity. His cock throbbed and pulsed, swelled until he wanted to burst. And from the look Seth gave him when he appeared again, that was what the Shifter was going for.
Seth reached over and produced a glass vial from beside his bed. “Look familiar, my little mage?”
Aneris gulped, recognizing the vial to be the same liquid the Gamemaster had given them last time. “Where did that… What are you gonna do with that?”
Seth tipped the vial upside down on his erect cock, coating himself before he dribbled the remaining liquid over Aneris’s sensitive entrance. “I think you know.”
“Oh fuck yes,” Aneris groaned. He watched his mate slide his slippery cock up and down his hole. Watching Seth lose himself in the act was foreplay in itself. The Dragon Shifter focused on gliding his hard cock just right over Aneris’s tight entrance like he was marking him somehow. The dominance in Seth’s body and the same strength that lit up his eyes made Aneris weak, and yet, he felt safe. Aneris lifted his knees to give Seth exactly what he wanted. When Seth lowered his weight on top of him, he began to grind harder.
“This what you need, Mage?” Seth’s eyes flickered with fire. His newly shifted claws tore into the sheets. “Me inside of you, making you mine.”
Aneris’s eyes rolled back into his head. He shivered from head to toe. A fire built inside him, roaring and raging until tiny sparks pricked his skin. He had a fever with no cure, and truthfully, he didn’t ever want it to go away. His mate pushed and he pushed back, building friction that would soon bring down the walls around them. Aneris drew his knees back as far as his body would allow, fully exposing him to whatever Seth had planned.
Seth squatted over his mate, his abdominal muscles tensing for Aneris’s viewing pleasure. With his powerful thighs holding him up, Seth sighed deeply. He locked eyes with Aneris as he guided his cockhead around Aneris’s entrance. “Tell me yes.”
“Yes,” Aneris panted.
Seth pushed inside without giving it another thought. Aneris threw his head back against the bed and groaned a tortured sound that only to their ears would sound like pleasure. He had fully expected the sex, but not like this, not for it to be this fucking good. Seth teased, dipping inside until only the head disappeared, and then he pulled back to watch Aneris tighten again. He liked to be in control. He liked to the screams Aneris made, the begging howls for more.
“Patience, my mate,” Seth insisted in a throaty command. He held Aneris’s ankles until he found the angle he sought, and then pushed inside halfway.
Aneris squeaked. Words were beyond him upon feeling the incredible sensation of his mate filling him. The angle was indeed right. The room was near boiling from the magic Aneris created and the heat that naturally encompassed Seth’s body. Seth decided to turn up the heat further. His yellow eyes burned gold. He sat down on his mate and penetrated him all the way.
A gravelly moan ripped from Aneris’s throat. He gazed up at Seth, pouring every thought and feeling he had into his eyes. He loved Seth, and Seth loved him. Loved everything about Aneris, including the way he fit inside him. What he loved more was the way Seth never left his eyes as he used his thighs to bring himself up and then sat back down in one fluid motion, like he was dancing over Aneris’s ass.
Aneris would stay in a pretzel for hours, back on fire and his thighs screaming just to watch Seth move like that. Just to feel Seth’s cock slip into him so seamlessly it was nothing less than fated. Aneris moaned a constant sound that only fluctuated when Seth dipped deep inside, so deep it was like he was reaching for Aneris’s heart.
Seth wrapped Aneris’s legs around his hips and lowered his body onto Aneris’s chest. He kissed him and pushed inside again. His tongue pried open the seam of Aneris’s lips, licking his way inside while he thrust again and again. Aneris snaked his arms around his lover, keeping his close as their bodies moved like one. He dug his heels into Seth’s ass and moaned.
“Harder,” Aneris demanded. “Make me feel it.” His magic beat against his chest, spreading to his dick. He was going to come like this. He’d never been so turned on his life.
Seth nipped at Aneris’s shoulder, grazing his half-shifted fangs over his porcelain skin. He thrust forward with force and Aneris screeched Seth’s name. “As you wish, my little mage,” he growled. “You only have to say my name and I will give you anything your heart desires.”
Aneris’s breath quickened. “Seth…”
“Louder.” Seth panted, picking Aneris up by the shoulders.
“Louder,” Seth roared, and slammed into his mate.
“Setherum,”Aneris cried, head falling back as he came between them.
Seth drove into Aneris, holding onto his mate’s shoulders with a painful grip. His body tensed. His roar peaked. He unloaded into Aneris at the mere sight of his mate’s undoing. Magic curled around them, tucking them together in a tangle of arms and legs.
They clung to each other, to the bond they had formed, and removed any trace of war and death from their minds. Together, they were strong. Together, they made an unstoppable team. And together, they created a love so blinding it outshone the sun. They made each other heroes because they found a passion worth fighting for. They held each other up when no one else was there to support them if they fell.
They were made for each other.
There can never be an end, just another beginning…
6 Months Later
“Damn you, Seth.” Aneris landed in a puddle of thick mud. He lifted his boot away from the sludge and groaned.
Fia trotted up to Aneris and stopped. Seth sat astride her. He flipped up the visor of his helmet and grinned. “Having problems today, my little mage? A bit unfocused, perhaps?”
“My first day on the job and I had this all planned out. Wake up early. Have some breakfast. Read a few magical requests before I had to leave.” Aneris smacked his hands together irritably, itty bitty ruins puffing out from between his fingers. “And then you seduce me and I lose all track of time. My head is a mess. Now I’m covered in mud and I’m going to be late. So, yes, I’m unfocused, you sex fiend.”
“What a poor baby.” Seth put a hand over his chest and stuck out his bottom lip. “Want me to come down there and make it all better?”
“No, you’d like that too much.”
Seth wagged his brows. “That I would, and so would you.”
“You’ve had enough for one day.” Aneris pointed at his mate. “Now give me the horse before I accidently teleport off the side of a cliff because I’m thinking of your damn ass.”
“To know that you are thinking of my ass all day is worth anything you ask of me.” Seth took his time dismounting Fia. He made sure Aneris watched him slide to the ground and then did a little wiggle to fan the flames. He handed the reins over to Aneris. “And you might want to do something about that there.” He nodded at the mud on Aneris’s feet.
“It’ll wash later. I’m already late and I’m not about to accidentally turn my boots into squirrels or something.” Aneris gave his mate a quick kiss out of habit. He couldn’t stay mad forever, not after that sexy shimmy. Then he allowed Seth to help him onto Fia’s back.
“I don’t think I fucked all the sense out of you that you couldn’t handle cleaning up. And yes, it might wash later, but I don’t think Fia enjoys wearing Troll excrement.” Seth held up his hands and stepped around what had looked like a puddle. “Just saying, my love.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me! What intelligent creature just shits wherever they please?”
“They’re part of the earth, love. It’s only natural.” Seth threw his head back and laughed. “Troll shit. Sex brained. Your magic is all wonky. I would not miss your first day for anything in the world. It’s sure to be the best entertainment of my life.”
“If I was sure you wouldn’t stay that way forever, I’d turn you into a toad,” Aneris spat. “Shit on my boots. That’s disgusting.”
“You’ll live.” Seth cackled. “On the plus side, at least I won’t touch you when you smell like that.”
Aneris wanted to be mad again, but he couldn’t bring himself to scowl when Seth flashed him a beautiful smile. Aneris rolled his eyes and shook his head. He focused, had to because all he’d thought of was Seth since dawn; his lips, his skin, his scent, his taste. Aneris felt his magic flow in a tingling rush down his legs to his feet. When he opened his eyes, he looked down to find his boots clean again.
Seth hummed. “See? All better. Good luck, my little mage. I’ll see you on the other side.”
Aneris snorted. He watched his mate leap through the Otherside barrier and then took a nice, deep breath. “Well, Fia, are you ready for this?” The horse bobbed her head. “So am I, girl. So I am. Let’s do it.”
Fia tensed and then rushed at the barrier. Aneris reveled in the powerful magic that slammed into his body, filling him with golden light. Fia landed on the ground. At a full run, she weaved through the trees, and leapt over a trickling stream. Aneris pulled back on her reins when he was near his destination.
“Whoa there, Fia.” Fia slowed down and trotted up to a grouping of boulders next to a tall pine. “This is where we wait.”
In the distance, the LARP Gamemaster blew his horn, signaling the beginning of the game. A rumble preceded the players as they ran deep into the woods to begin their mission, but most were headed to the east, whereas Aneris stayed north near the realm’s boundary. He waited a good twenty minutes until finally he saw a curtain of long blonde hair swing around and White’s silvery robe spin in the sunlight. Behind her tagged along a girl with frizzy auburn hair. The poor thing came maybe to White’s shoulder she was so short, but that didn’t hold her back from running as fast as she could to keep up.
Her shoulder armor clinked against her breastplate, a sign of an ill-fitting costume. Her boots were nearly unraveling at the seams. And her rosy cheeks were damp with sweat. But not once did she stop running or checking over her shoulder with determined green eyes. She reached behind her and grabbed a massive battleax almost as big as she to defend herself against the group of boys chasing them.
“You go ahead, Priestess. I can take them,” she yelled. “Get to the temple.”
By temple she meant the boulders guarding a blue water flag that symbolized sanctuary. Aneris had to smile. If this girl knew what the real temple looked like, she would probably pass out with excitement.
White grabbed the girl’s skinny arm and tugged her along. “We stay together. I admire your courage, but there’s safety in numbers. Who’s to say they have not surrounded the temple already. I will need your strength then.”
The girl tugged her arm back like she already knew she was being tested. “Do not fear for me, Priestess. I am more than I look. I will cut them off while you run for safety and meet you there shortly.”
“But you will be alone. There will be no one to protect you should you fall.”
“There is no one to protect me at home when I fall,” the girl called. “I am my own protection.”
Aneris smiled sadly. The girl running with White had been chosen for a quest for many reasons. One being she didn’t really have a home or anyone to call family. The group home she lived in was awful. The light she carried inside was in danger of going out. The strength she held and the pride she carried were too great to be ignored. She was destined to be a great warrior, not a throwaway in the system.
Aneris had chosen her above all others. He had been right to do so. The brave little warrior swung her plastic axe around and tapped one of the boys in the neck. He clutched his throat and went down as the rules dictated. She brought the axe back around and yelled at the top of her lungs, uncaring of the way her frizzy hair popped out of its tie or the sweat pouring down her face. She wasn’t there to make boys like her like the other girls who played the part of princesses and fairies.
She was there to prove herself in the only place that would have her. Aneris was about to show her another place that would not only have her, but give her a hero’s welcome. The girl grunted, blew her hair out of her face, and then made a low move to take another boy off at the legs. He faked a scream and fell to his back with his hand outstretched.
“For the Priestess!” the girl shouted through the woods. She pumped her axe in the air and took off running to the makeshift temple. Her smiling face was the only payment Aneris required.
When his newest charge stopped at the boulders, White was there to greet her. “You have done well, Lavina, the Battleax of Lorbridge. For your bravery, it is my duty to grant you a reward.”
Lavina squinted. “What reward? I didn’t know anyone except the King could give rewards and that’s just a piece of paper.”
“What I can offer you is much more valuable than a piece of paper.” White turned to Aneris, and Lavina gasped when she saw him.
“Holy shit, is that a real horse?” Lavina walked to Fia. She reached out to touch Fia, but hesitated. “How’d they let you get in with this?”
Aneris kept his magic in place, concealing Fia’s true appearance. To Lavina, Fia looked be to nothing more than a normal horse. “I have a hookup. Don’t you worry.”
“Cool.” She bit her bottom lip. “Can I… Can I touch it?”
“It is actually a she, and you’ll have to ask her.”
Lavina gave him a goofy grin. “She can’t understand me.”
“How do you know unless you’ve tried?”
“Because horses can’t talk and I can’t fly. Simple as that.” She crossed her arms and snorted.
“Just try it and you’ll see.” Aneris waited.
Lavina rolled her eyes, but came closer to Fia. “Whatever. Can I touch you or not, horse?”
Fia bobbed her head. She’d let the devil pet her if he asked because she loved attention. Lavina jumped away. “Did she just nod?”
“Like I said, she understands everything we say. Now, let’s get down to business…” Fia interrupted him, nuzzling Lavina’s hand to beg for more petting time. “Fia, really? Let me speak to her first.”
Fia huffed and shook out her mane. Lavina giggled. “She’s a diva, huh?”
“You have no idea.” Aneris clucked his tongue. “As I was saying… Oh hell, it’s pointless now. She ruined my speech and I’d worked for weeks to memorize it. I’ll sound like a pompous ass now. Thank you so very much, Fia.”
“What speech?” Lavina backed away. She looked between White and Aneris with growing unease. “We should get back to the game. I only have three hours and then my guardian gets back from her volunteer shift at the church and she’ll know I’m gone. I had to give my last pack of gum to the boys to keep them from telling on me.”
That simple statement said enough. If a pack of gum was held with such high regard to a child of her age, a girl who in a more fortunate situation would take gum for granted, then Lavina deserved a place with them. “What if you never had to go back to that place? What if you could be who you really are and no one would turn you away?”
Lavina sighed. “Look, if I turn up at the home wearing this, my guardian is gonna flip and kick me out. Which means I’m gonna have to go to another place I don’t like with more people I don’t like. I don’t have time for this. I want to play. So if you’ll excuse me.”
She tried to walk away. White grabbed her hand. “Wait. Lavina, what if you didn’t have to go back? Answer that and we’ll get back to the quest.”
Lavina turned angry eyes on White. She snatched her hand back. “If I didn’t have to go back to that home, that means I’d have a family. Since I don’t, I wouldn’t know.”
“Of course you do.” Aneris leaned over Fia with a smile. “What if your family had been waiting for you for a very long time? What if they were just over there?” He pointed to the trees behind him. “What would you do then?”
Her eyes filled with tears. Not one who seemed to get emotional easily, the girl wiped at hers angrily. Lavina said, “I’d run as fast I could to them.”
“And if horses can answer you, what makes you think it isn’t possible to fly?”
“Are you on drugs?” Lavina backed away. “You people are nuts.”
“If we’re crazy, then so are you.” Aneris snapped his fingers. Magic pooled within his palm much to Lavina’s horror and curiosity. “And you, my crazy little battleax, have been chosen for a quest that will fulfill your wildest dreams and rescue you from this life you hate.”
Lavina’s eyes bugged. “That isn’t real. Oh god, I think I’m gonna be sick.”
“It’s only nerves. I should know.” Aneris grinned. “Once upon a time, I was in the very same situation you find yourself in. But now that I know everything there is to know, I can tell you it is all very real, and what I’m offering you is worth the risk you fear of taking. You want to save a Priestess? I can make that happen. You want to ride the back of a Dragon Shifter and feel the wind in your hair? I know someone who would be delighted to help you out. Care to dine with your King in the Great Hall after your quest is done? Consider it a deal. But what you must ask yourself is: are you strong and courageous enough to accept and fight through the ride of your life?”
Aneris imagined Lavina as she had no doubt imagined herself many times. The real her. He used his magic to smooth her messy curls into satiny waves down her back. He adorned her head with a silver helmet with sharp tipped horns. Her armor bent and twisted until it formed to her perfectly, blasted with a silver wash and speckled with emeralds. Her tattered boots peeled away to reveal new boots underneath that laced up her legs all the way to her thigh. And in her hand was a new battleax, one sharp enough and dangerous enough to behead any beastly foe she’d encounter.
“I think you are perfect for the job. What do you think?” Aneris tilted his head and winked at White.
Lavina fingered her hair and looked at her new weapon. She studied herself for a long time until she gathered the words to speak. “This isn’t happening.” She ran a hand down her arm, sliding her fingers over smooth metal. “But if it was… I would never have to go back?”
Aneris was shocked at how calm she was. And then he looked at it from her point of view. A child who’d no doubt conjured a fantasy world in her head many times, who dreamed of getting out, of a family. Now she was presented with the opportunity, and even if it was a dream, she was still hopeful. “That is for you to decide.”
“I’ve never been given a choice,” she murmured and looked up at him.
He smiled warmly. “Then come and choose your destiny.”
“Alone?” Her eyes glittered with tears.
White took her free hand. “Never.”
Lavina looked down at their clasped hands. She nodded. “I must be sleeping, because there is no way this is real.” She laughed. “But if I’m gonna dream, I’m gonna dream big.”
White chuckled. “That’s the spirit.” She tugged Lavina forward. “Just don’t get stuck in a lake forever, right, Mage?”
Lavina turned horrified eyes toward Aneris. “What?”
“She’s kidding. It’s nothing. Really.” Aneris rode Fia alongside them.
“Who got stuck in a lake? Am I gonna drown? Are you people really crazy and I’m not sleeping? Am I being kidnapped? Oh my god!” Lavina screamed as White ran, holding onto her hand tightly. White just laughed and broke through the barrier.
“I better get an A for effort,” Aneris whispered to the Gamemaster, who was never far away. He leapt through the barrier just in time to see Killian in his Dragon form whisking the girls into the sky. Another player, another adventure, and never a dull moment—Aneris had been successful on his first try.
“You are going to give that girl a heart attack,” Seth teased as he pushed through the barrier. “Reminded me a bit of you when we first met.”
“Meh, she’ll be fine.” Aneris waved it off.
“Aneris, you have to keep an eye on her. Go after her! What have you been doing while the Gamemaster teaches you? Daydreaming?” Seth looked absolutely appalled.
Aneris busted up laughing. “I’m just kidding. Relax.” He slipped from Fia’s back and landed on the ground. “Go home, girl. We’ll be home in time for dinner. Don’t you worry.” He rubbed between Fia’s ears then gently slapped her side.
Fia took off running into the woods, happy to be loose for a while. Aneris still had work to do, unlike his carefree horse. “I wonder how I’ll follow her.” He tapped his chin.
“Magic?” Seth lifted his brows.
“No. That’d be too easy. How about a ride, Seth?”
“Aneris,” Seth warned.
“Oh, I think you owe me one for this morning. And I don’t want to tire myself out hopping from this place to the next.” Aneris faked a yawn and patted his mouth.
“You idiot.” Seth smiled. “You tire me out just by watching you.”
Aneris gave Seth a playful shove. “Quit stalling. Go on. Do it.”
“I’m not your trick pony, Aneris.” Seth backed away. His eyes flickered gold with heat. He loved every second of Aneris’s taunting. What he enjoyed more was showing his mate his Dragon form, the form he’d fought to discover with blood, sweat, tears and love. Seth was always proud to shift for Aneris.
Aneris grinned. “No, but I want to see my mate shift.” He licked his lips. “My big, bad Dragon mate.”
“What I do for you.” Seth sighed dramatically. He flashed Aneris a wicked look and winked. Whatever you wish, my little mage.”
Seth’s eyes glowed gold and his armor melted from his skin in an instant. The scales on his naked body spread. His muscles bulged and flexed. His jaw snapped open and his fangs glinted in the sun. And before Aneris could squeal in delight, a fully shifted Dragon with crimson scales padded over to him. He bent his head for Aneris to climb on.
“What a fancy ride, Setherum. Wherever did you get it?”
The Dragon snorted. Smoke huffed from his nostrils.
Aneris climbed on. He laid his cheek on top of Seth’s head. “Why should I go anywhere by using my magic when I can ride with my mate off into the sunset? That is true magic to me,” he whispered.
Seth stretched his thick neck and turned his large eyes on Aneris. The Dragon appeared to smile at his mate. “Nothing brings me greater joy,” Seth rumbled. “Hold on, my little mage, it is going to be yet another wild ride.”
Seth spread his wings, pushed off from the ground, and soared into the open air. Aneris balanced on Seth’s back and opened his arms to the sky as they flew over the woods and toward the sound of Lavina’s screams. “Another wild ride indeed!” he yelled and allowed his true love to take him away to the place dreams were made of.THE END