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Guardian's Gamble (MM)

Guardians of the Gray Tower 8

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 34,890
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[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Historical Fantasy Romance, M/M, HEA]

“Queen Kalandra must die!” This is the edict the Guardians receive from King Kelan. Guardian Pike Dunaven eagerly volunteers for the mission to assassinate the evil Angkeshi queen. He is a gambler and knows that this quest, fraught with danger, will need not only skill but incredible luck to pull it off.

However, when Breccan Sarris, the only man in Emryn who has been in Queen Kalandra’s private apartments, also volunteers for the mission, Pike is appalled. The man has no combat experience whatsoever. Not to mention Pike’s own lusty attraction to the man. But when Breccan proves his fitness in a physical challenge with Pike, Pike reluctantly concedes.

Together the two men make the perilous journey into Angkesh. The whole journey is a gamble, but the men will soon learn that love is the biggest gamble of all.

A Siren Erotic Romance

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Excerpt

STORY EXCERPT

 

Breccan stood nervously next to Pike, the cynosure of all eyes. He could feel the weight of Pike’s stare from right beside him but couldn’t meet the other man’s gaze. Instead, he looked straight at Rom. “I want to go with Pike to Angkesh,” he said again when the other man didn’t say anything. A babble of voices broke out in the room, but Breccan ignored them all as he waited for Rom to speak. Finally Rom raised his hand for silence.

“Why?” was all the captain said.

Knowing that he would have to make a good case for the Captain of the Guardians to even consider letting him go, he took a deep breath. He’d spent the night before planning his arguments. From the moment he had learned the plan to take out Kalandra, he’d known he had to go. With a voice full of emotion, he began to speak. “I know that many of you have just reason to despise the queen of Angkesh. She has had your own queen murdered, she has set spies on you, and she has even attempted to seduce her way to taking Queen Lyra’s place. I understand that she has not cared who she has hurt in her quest for power, and that you feel protective of your country and its citizens. But for me,” he said, his voice breaking, “it is much more personal. She killed my wife and my daughter.” He had to pause a moment before he could continue. “She did so without remorse, and she confessed to my face what she had done with as little concern as if she’d swatted a bothersome fly. I deserve to be there when she draws her last breath. I want my face to be one of the last she sees, so that she will know exactly what I have done.”

Rom nodded. “I understand your emotional connection, Breccan. I do. But would you be able to help Pike if he got into trouble? Why should I send you rather than another Guardian? Or one of Javan’s men?”

“You said it yourself. I know my way around Tar Nesa. I can get into the queen’s private chambers more easily than anyone you could send simply because I am familiar with it. I also have connections of my own within the city and the palace. Connections even your spymaster does not have. In addition, while I am not a warrior, I am not completely untrained. Living in constant fear of capture is plenty of incentive to keep my defensive skills sharp. And I am not a coward either, who will run in the face of danger. You can trust me to do everything in my power to make sure that Pike succeeds in his mission.”

He watched as Rom turned to Javan. The two men spoke together in hushed tones while the rest of the men in the room watched Breccan with various expressions on their face, from skepticism to admiration. He felt a light touch on his sleeve and turned to meet Pike’s hard stare. “Don’t be a fool, Breccan,” the Guardian muttered to him. “This isn’t going to be a pleasure trip. The Goddess only knows if we’ll even get out of there alive.”

Breccan frowned and whispered back, “I’m not a fool, Pike. I am aware of the danger. You forget, I lived in Angkesh for many years and worked in the palace of Dak Ran closely with Kalandra. I’m very familiar with danger.”

Before Pike could answer him, Rom spoke again. “All right, Breccan. Javan and I both agree that Pike’s chances of actually getting into the queen’s private apartments will be much higher with you than with anyone else.”

“Rom, I must protest. Surely it would be better to send in someone more experienced? Breccan is a translator, not a fighter nor a spy. What if he panics and gives us away? Or freezes at a critical moment? It could jeopardize the whole mission. I realize that he feels strongly about being there to help eliminate Kalandra, but we shouldn’t let our sympathy for him and our horror at what happened to his family make us forget how vital this mission is.”

“Well, Breccan?” Rom looked straight at him. “What do you say to Pike’s concerns?”

“I say let him test me in hand-to-hand combat, so that he can see I am competent enough to go with him. If, after that, he still feels like I would be more hindrance than help, I will withdraw my name as a candidate for this mission.”

Breccan felt Pike tense beside him, but he was more concerned with Rom and Javan’s response to his suggestion. He knew that these were the men he had to convince. Javan looked surprised and then intrigued by his suggestion. Breccan saw the spymaster lean toward Rom and whisper something to him. Rom nodded and then met his gaze. “All right. I think that is a fair offer.” Breccan saw Rom’s dark gaze swing to the man beside him, who had grown even stiffer at Rom’s words, if that was possible. “Don’t you, Pike?”

Breccan could hear the reluctance in Pike’s voice as the man hesitated and then said, “I suppose so.”

“Then it’s decided. Tomorrow morning should do. We’ll meet in the Tower’s training yard an hour past dawn.” With that, Rom dismissed everyone.

 

ADULT EXCERPT

 

Pike was reminded of Breccan’s lack of experience with another man. He smiled reassuringly, trying to regain a measure of control, at least enough so that he wouldn’t scare the man away. “Don’t worry, Breccan. I’ll take care of you. I swear it.”

Breccan nodded, though he didn’t look completely convinced. Still, he didn’t run from the room screaming, so Pike took that as a good sign. He opened the chest near the bed and got out his tunis oil, wanting to make sure it was on hand. He didn’t want to have to go searching for it in the middle of their lovemaking.

He lowered himself to the bed next to Breccan, pulling the man close for another kiss. He tried to keep it soft and gentle, but it was impossible. The moment he tasted Breccan’s sweet flavor, he couldn’t keep himself from plunging his tongue deep, kissing him roughly and demanding an equal response. He felt Breccan’s mouth moving against his, and that made him even hotter. Then he was kissing his way down the other man’s body, leaving a trail of hot, stinging bites all the way to the erection that stood proudly in its nest of blond curls in a shameless bid for attention.

Pike wrapped his hand around the hard stalk, stroking it several times before bringing it to his lips. He kissed the tip before enveloping the bulbous head in his mouth. He set up a fast, urgent rhythm, pulling the shaft deep and then easing back. Over and over again he continued the motion as Breccan moaned and arched his hips up in helpless response.

Sensing that Breccan was getting close to his climax, Pike backed off, wrapping his fist tightly around the base of the other man’s shaft until Breccan’s breathing slowed somewhat. Then he started again. He wanted to make Breccan so wild that he would never regret his decision to give himself to Pike. Goddess knew, Pike was feeling wild himself. He couldn’t ever remember needing to give another man pleasure the way he needed to give it to Breccan. Oh, he was always a considerate lover, since his first tentative experiences with an older man from his home town when he was a teenager. He always made sure his partner reached climax, sometimes more than once, but it had never been such a necessity before. Each gasp from Breccan, each whimpering cry, ratcheted his own pleasure up another notch until he was burning with it.

He rolled the other man over, needing to claim every inch of Breccan. He smoothed his hands over Breccan’s shoulders and down his arms, his mouth wetly branding Breccan’s body on the back of his neck, on each shoulder blade, at the sensitive point at the base of his spine. He separated the cheeks of Breccan’s ass to stare at the puckered anal star. Bending down, he stroked his finger over that forbidden flesh, and Breccan groaned.

“Pike, please, Goddess. You’re killing me.” The other man’s voice was a pleading whisper. In answer, Pike bit one tempting mound of pale flesh hard enough to elicit a moan of mingled pleasure and pain from the man who lay stretched out beneath him like a sacrifice to some ancient gods.

“I have no plans to kill you, Breccan. I’m going to take you to Salara’s Pleasure Grove, at least as close as you can get without entering the life after.” With that, Pike urged Breccan up onto his knees, spreading his thighs so that the other man was open for the taking. He reached down and cupped Breccan’s balls, squeezing delicately, and smiling at the subsequent moan. He reached for the tunis oil and poured it into his hand, rubbing it generously over his shaft and then over Breccan’s anal rose. He pressed his finger inside gently. After a few strokes, he bent down to whisper, “Has anyone ever claimed you here before?”

“No. I told you I’ve never been with a man before,” Breccan responded.

“Your wife didn’t use her finger on you here?” Pike asked, needing to know if Breccan were a complete anal virgin.

“No. Never.”

At that answer, Pike knew he would have to be especially careful with Breccan. Forcing himself to take his time, he slid his finger in and out of Breccan’s channel several times before slowly adding a second. The tight clasp of Breccan’s body around his fingers confirmed his inexperience. Pike knew that when he finally got his cock inside Breccan, it would feel as tight as an anvil on iron. Goddess, he couldn’t wait. His own breathing sped up at the prospect.

Very tentatively, he added a third finger, needing to stretch Breccan as much as he could before he penetrated the other man with his cock. Pike was not a small man, and he did not want to hurt Breccan by being too impatient. It was hard, though. Seven hells, it was so hard not to thrust himself into that tight, taut body and pound himself to climax.

He twisted his fingers, spreading them as much as possible, loosening Breccan’s channel as much as he could. Breccan whimpered and thrust back, and Pike knew it was time. He pressed himself against Breccan’s anal opening. Slowly he pushed forward. Clenching his hand around Breccan’s hip with one hand, he used his other hand to reach around and tug on Breccan’s cock. Inch by inch he penetrated Breccan’s channel, pausing frequently to be sure that he wasn’t hurting the other man. At last he was fully inside. He leaned down and rested his head on Breccan’s shoulder, his hand stroking a tender caress over Breccan’s cockhead.

 

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