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The Guardian's Prize

Men of Neptune

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: STEAMY
Word Count: 22,258
Available Formats
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Mobi
ePub

Tetra Batair, grandson of Neptune himself and guardian of the god’s military forces, has arrived in Charleston, South Carolina for his mate. The only problem? His mate doesn’t want him. Now what’s a merman to do?

Aoki Tatsuo, an art teacher who’s half dragon and half human, doesn’t want to be anyone’s mate. Or, at least that’s what he’s telling himself.

When the two first meet the earth trembles…literally.

A merman and a dragon.

One will have to learn patience.

The other will have to learn there’s more than one way to love.

Can the two of them work through the obstacles in their past to find their perfect future?

Excerpt

Tetra Batair walked from the ocean into the darkness of the night, feet stepping beyond the froth of the sea. The waters released him, but not without his promise to return after he’d found his mate. The humans here would know him as Batair, just as his family and men in the ocean did.

He felt his mother’s love in the ocean’s kiss, her wishes for him to have a prosperous journey and acquire what he sought. He embraced her love and that of his siblings as his skin touched the cooling sand. His youngest brother Trillian’s laughter, his sister Calypso’s hugs, and the blessing from his entire guardian pod, all eager for his return home. He was their leader, after all, and the benefit of any children his mate produced would add to the pod, strengthening Father Neptune’s forces.

When his mother approached Father Neptune to plead for his journey, permission had not been attained without trepidation. Batair was not trained in the life of a human, had not explored as others did—each with tales of the world above the ocean’s surface.

What would a visit to the land of hard earth and bitter air of the human world do to a guardian who needed his strength for times of battle? How would time beyond the ocean’s depth change him? But his mother was nothing if not a warrior when it came to the happiness of her own children. Especially when she’d been cast away so brutally by her first mate—her true mate.

Batair’s mother, Mazu, loved a human who denied their mating and broke her heart. His oldest brother Kamau’s father, Jonah Anderson, had called her a monster and abandoned her knowing she was pregnant with his child.

Mazu had put aside her own needs and pain to allow Kamau to have a relationship with his father. She’d requested that Jonah allow Kamau to spend time with him, which hadn’t been good for father or son—no matter how Kamau had tried. His father had only used Kamau’s siren voice to increase the membership of his church and then threatened to kill the man Kamau loved. When Kamau had to hurt his own father to save his mate, Father Neptune stepped in and denied reentry into the human world for any of his people.

It took years, but she’d finally acquired the release for Batair, so he could search for his mate.

He knew his mate was here. He felt his presence on the land, the place from where his brother Kamau’s mate had come. He felt the tremor in the ocean, the ripples in the current as they found him, taking his breath away. His heart raced with the joy of it, heat blazing through his soul and his elustra rising quickly, heedless of the distance. There were those below who sensed his elustra, who pleaded for him to give them his seed to add to the guardian pod, but he would not. His mate waited, and he would not betray him.

He stood naked on the beach, water sluicing down his human skin gifted to him by Father Neptune. Squinting his eyes to the brightness of the moon, he looked for the humans Kamau promised would be waiting for him. After Father Neptune granted his release, all moved quickly to help Batair. Kamau and Graham visited the surface and met with David and Louis, who helped to pave the way for Batair. Batair would have a home, a place to work, and the time he needed to locate his mate.

Looking around, he took a moment to breathe in the air and pushed the ocean water from his gills. Once, twice, and again until his body had adjusted. He felt when his gills shrank into mere slivers that one would have to scrutinize carefully to find. The tiny fins at his ankles were the only sign of his tail.

It wasn’t long before two shadows strode down the sands on the path toward him. The smaller one’s eyes were wide as he looked over Batair, like a sea lion looking at a penguin for its next meal. He even licked his lips.

“Well, I heard you would be big, but I had no idea how big. You, darling, are massive. Look at those arms and legs.” The man—who Batair assumed was David from Kamau’s description—breathed deeply and let out a humming sound.

Batair could smell his arousal from where he stood, with the ocean water dancing around his heels, almost like it was afraid to let him go.

“I’m right here, David,” Louis said. David’s mate was taller than him, broader, but nowhere near the size of a guardian. He didn’t appear to be angered by his smaller mate’s words. If anything, he smiled warmly at David before kissing him on his cheek.

“I know, baby.” David lifted for Louis’s kiss and turned back to Batair. “We brought clothing for you and a towel. Hope the clothing fits.” His brown eyes perused Batair’s body once more, slowly lingering over Batair’s dick. “All of you.”

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