High priest S’Rak is a man beset by many problems. The king wants to crown him, the sun priests want to purify him, and the palace slave trainer just wants him. Captain Jisten stands at the heart of an ethical dilemma that continues to plague Rak, for either Jisten is an oathbreaker or Rak is a rapist, and neither result bodes well for their future in the service of a God whose punishment for either crime is death. On top of all that, chaos-wielding assassins are trying to kill his brother.
What’s a high priest to do when the man of his dreams is under a vow of purity and assassins lurk around every corner?
He has the proper attitude for a wingless one. You have my permission to screw the man. Scorth was always quick to pick up idioms and use them in humorous and sarcastic ways.
“Oh, thank you,” replied Rak with equal sarcasm. “He has made it clear that he does not wish to, ah, screw me.”
He said he was your Valer! So tell him that you want to screw your Valer!
“Apparently a Valer takes care of the Loftoni in a disappointingly nonsexual way,” Rak replied. “Which I cannot fathom if there is wing oiling involved. Perhaps it is because he is under vows of purity!”
Didn’t he say there was no vow of purity? Scorth asked.
“Did he? I do not recall him saying such. And even if there is not, he has refused me every time I have propositioned him sober. And he is pure, vows or no. He keeps himself pure, virginal, to prove his devotion to the Gods and his duty. I honor him for his commitment. He has chosen a hard road to walk.” Rak kept filing Scorth’s claws.
Scorth snorted. Lord Zotien would not care about that. Stupid Auranz.
“They are opposites,” Rak pointed out. “Did you ever hear the story of the Movai S’Daran? He also tried to make a vow of purity, but Zotien seduced him before he could.”
Scorth sent mental laughter. That’s just one of the reasons that I serve Him.
Rak grinned at his dragon fondly. “One reason among many. You and I would not have been happy doing anything else. But the sun service is different, although it is odd that a warrior has sworn vows of purity rather than a priest.”
Since they’re broken anyway, or nonexistent, have fun with him. We’ll go flying again. He’ll enjoy it and that will make it easier for you.
“He does not know they are broken,” said Rak. “His mind was affected by the morphea and he does not remember our encounters. And again, he has not told me that there is no vow. Why are you insisting otherwise? You know how narrow a ledge you tread. I would not see him named oathbreaker.”
The Gods know, Scorth said sagely. We should ask them.
“And if you are wrong, he will immediately be labeled an oathbreaker. In this case, it is best not to involve the Gods. If he had not been drugged, he would not have used me. Time has shown that to me most bitterly,” said Rak. “And because he was drugged, I am worried. Zotien has not said anything, but did I not violate Jisten’s free will?”
He wasn’t unconscious. You didn’t force him to mate with you, he was on top after all, Scorth said. Why do you human types make this so complicated? You lust, you enjoy, end of story.
Rak laughed shortly. “I wish it were that simple, my friend. I really do. It would not be so bad if the man were not so very kind to me in other ways.”
Kind is good, Scorth said in bewilderment. You wish him to hurt you? There was apprehension in the mental voice.
“Ix, of course not,” said Rak. “But he is too kind, Scorth. If he were even a little indifferent, or a little cruel, I could squash my attraction to him and move on. But he is not. He is that kind, that caring, that attentive, except in sexual matters.” Rak sighed in frustrated misery.
Scorth heaved a draconic sigh. I’ll just tell him that he screwed you already, not to worry about the vows anymore and to please keep screwing you. I’ll add that you both enjoyed it and that he needs to try it again without morphea and wine. And if he doesn’t like it that way, you can supply morphea and wine again. Will that end all this?
Rak’s eyes widened in horror. “Ix!” He couldn’t think of a worse way to break the news to Jisten than a sexually obtuse, sarcastic dragon.