"This is the second book that book focuses on the unusual triad between dragon warriors Roman and Clatcher, and the ex-dragon now fox shifter Kendrick; book eight in this series was the first. I was relieved to see them get more air time. Their history and relationship are complicated, and while book eight ended well for the three of them, there were enough issues and emotional hurdles I could see still ahead of the three men. This volume allowed me to see how they deal with those problems, while mention of the “old stalker” made me hope they’d finally be able to deal with Ailiwen, the shape shifter who killed Kendrick. And while it revealed Kendrick’ special power to return to life, even if no longer a dragon, it also caused Roman unbelievable grief, since they are mates. Clatcher is the real focus of this book. With Roman having been in love with Kendrick for years, and them having been mates, he cannot help but feel he is intruding on a private relationship. Yes, thy have both told him they want him to be pat of it, but he is having trouble believing that. He is afraid they’ll kick him out at any moment. It was good to see more of his thoughts, since he still felt a little like a stranger to me a the end of book eight. That is definitely no longer the case for me after this book, and I like him a whole lot better now too! Roman has brought the two other men together, since he mated both of them, then thought he had to make a choice when Kendrick came back from being dead. Even though he went with Kendrick, since he’d been his mate first, he missed Clatcher. So seeing Clatcher withdraw, now that they are supposed to be happy and together is hard for him. He tires to figure out what to do when events overtake them. Ailiwen is back, the Templars are attacking, and Clatcher has been injured, almost killed. Almost losing Clatcher makes Roman realize, on a much deeper emotional level than before, how much he really loves him as well as Kendrick. Kendrick, despite the difficult beginning he had as he went from loving Aris, the high dragon, to Roman, really grew on me in book eight. His suffering, followed by his selfless gesture to ask Clatcher to join their relationship showed what a big-heated guy he really is. And his efforts to find out what the problem is with Clatcher in this book show that again. And I loved the way he stood up to Ailiwen when the time came! His mental strength and fighting spirit are what saved him from a worse fate, I think, even if he is physically no longer as strong as a dragon. If you like slightly complicated three-way relationships with lots of drama and tension, if you want to know how Roman, Kendrick, and Clatcher are getting on now that they are together, and if you’re looking for an action-packed read with lots of hot shifter-on-shifter-on-shifter action, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
Clatcher let out a deep sigh, putting his knife away. His lucky blade wasn’t so lucky just then. “Jesus fuck, Roman, you could try dodging something like that, you know?”
“You’re not a warrior because your reflexes are bad,” Roman said. “Watching over Kendrick again?”
“Yeah,” Clatcher said, and he rubbed his eyes. “You get off work early? What time is it?”
“I didn’t get off work early. The sun will be completely up in ten minutes.”
“What?” Clatcher asked, and he checked his watch before looking down the hall. He’d thought the mild brightness was a product of the electrical lights and few old-fashioned torches that were scattered throughout the halls.
Nope. Light from the coming sunrise was starting to seep in through the windows, and that light reflected on the stone walls.
The castle was mostly made up of black marble, but there were enough reds and greens and blues sparkling in the walls to keep the onyx from completely soaking up the light and preventing it from reflecting.
Clatcher groaned. “I’m a shitty guard.”
“No you’re not. You’re the best,” Roman said.
Hearing something like that coming from the older man meant absolutely everything to him. Roman might look like he was in his early thirties, but he was almost ninety years old. He had a lot of experience under his belt, more so than Clatcher did at the age of fifty-seven.
“Come on, I want to get some sleep. Kendrick’s not a morning person anyway, and you look tired,” Roman said, and he opened the door to their shared room softly, so that he wouldn’t disturb the man sleeping inside.
Clatcher sighed. That was exactly what he’d wanted to hear. He wanted Roman’s permission to climb into that big comfortable bed and get some sleep.
He really was pathetic. He wondered what Roman and Kendrick would think of him if they knew what was going through his head, instead of just suspected it.
“Sounds great. I’m beat,” Clatcher said.
He and Roman were quiet as possible as they undressed and put on some joggers. Roman brushed his teeth without turning on anymore lights, and Clatcher did the same since his mouth was starting to feel not that great after having slept for so long.
Kendrick was out like a light in the middle of that great big bed, holding onto one of the toy stuffed foxes that Roman had given to him, but nightmares of previous bad times had made it so that the odd sounds would wake him up. Sometimes it seemed like he could sleep through anything. Other times, the softest whispers would have him shooting awake, eyes wide and searching the room for any intruders who might want to harm him.
The few times that Clatcher had shared a bed with Kendrick, without Roman in it, he’d held onto Kendrick, rubbing the smaller man’s back, and comforting him until the shaking and the fear stopped. Those episodes were the only reason why Clatcher had shared a bed with Kendrick at all when Roman wasn't around, and he always told Roman about the nightmares the next morning.
Like he needed to explain the very good reason he had for doing something so wrong. But, Kendrick hadn't been tossing and turning lately, so there was no reason for Clatcher to touch and hold him, or comfort him.
“When’s Roman coming back?” Kendrick would always ask, prompting Clatcher to check the time to find out when Roman’s shift would end.
That was very likely the start of it all. Kendrick hadn’t meant anything by it, Clatcher knew that much, but hell, he could still tell, even as Kendrick clutched at him for comfort, that Roman was the one he really wanted.
Clatcher was friends with Kendrick, and this thing they were doing…there was no way it could last forever.
The worst part about all of it was that he’d already started practicing his reactions, what he would do when both men finally came to him and revealed that this simply wasn’t working. He would be as calm as possible, nod his head, and accept the situation for what it was before packing up his shit and leaving both men alone to have their lives together.
It would break Clatcher’s heart to have to let Roman go a second time, but now it would be twice as bad, because he would lose Kendrick along with Roman. He couldn’t even pinpoint exactly when he’d started to feel so strongly for the fox shifter, but it was there now, and there was no ignoring how much it would hurt when he couldn’t have this.
He climbed into bed. Because Kendrick was in the middle, it seemed to only make sense that Clatcher get in on one side, and Roman get in on the other. It meant that Clatcher was able to spoon up behind the fox shifter, putting Kendrick’s back to his chest and settling himself down with a sigh, just as Roman turned on his side and snuggled up to Kendrick’s front.
Kendrick opened his eyes and jerked his head up when Roman reached around him, hugging both Kendrick and Clatcher to him.
“It’s just us,” Roman said softly, his eyes already shutting. “Go back to sleep.”
Kendrick sighed, and it was weird how Clatcher could just feel the younger man’s relief as he put his head back down on the pillow and got himself comfortable again.
And then it was perfect. Just like this, with the lot of them in the soft, barely there glow of what little sunlight that tried to make it in through the curtains, everything was perfect. Roman’s arm was around both Kendrick and Clatcher, and Clatcher was able to shift just a little closer to the younger man in his arms. The scent of Kendrick’s hair, which still had some of the shampoo from last night’s shower in it, lingered and lulled him, and he was able to fall into an easier sleep.
“That was...that was great,” Roman said, panting for breath.
He twitched a little as some mild discomfort made way to pleasure. He looked down and noticed that Clatcher and Kendrick were still hard at work. They were being a little more gentle this time, knowing that Roman’s cock was going to be a little on the sensitive side for the next couple of minutes, but they still pressed wet kisses to the half-hard shaft, and Clatcher even put his hand on Roman’s chest and pushed him back so that he could take one of Roman’s nipples into his mouth.
That certainly felt good, and Roman groaned, letting his head fall back again as both men lavished him with attention.
“You’re both going to be the death of me,” he said.
Kendrick snorted a laugh, which felt kind of funny against Roman’s cock, but good at the same time.
Clatcher just grinned a Cheshire cat grin at him and shook his head. “You’re insane,” he said.
Roman touched the man’s bright red hair. “How do you figure that?”
“You just are,” Clatcher replied, still smiling that same smile, and then both men really shocked Roman when they got up and off of him. The lack of warm touch was such a shocking distraction that he almost didn’t know what to do for the first couple of seconds.
“Where are you both going?” he asked, reaching out for Kendrick, but the little imp danced out of the way. “You have to come to bed if you want some more of this,” he replied.
Clatcher grinned right back at him as the two men sat down on the bed, with just enough space to pat the spot between them, right before leaning into to each other for a deep and sensual kiss. Eyes closed and everything as Clatcher touched Kendrick’s cheek.
Roman had no doubt in his mind that he could get it up again after seeing something like that. His dick was already responding, already eager for another round, and he smiled his own stupid smile as he walked over to the bed.
Clatcher and Kendrick broke apart from their kiss just as Roman reached them and sat down between them, and then he was being kissed by Kendrick, softly, sweetly, right before Clatcher turned his mouth away and he was utterly claimed by Clatcher’s hard lips, and his need to dominate.
This was heaven. This was what heaven was like, and Roman never wanted to leave it.
Kendrick must’ve reached for the lube and made a grab for it, because the next thing Roman knew was that his dick was being encased in a warm, wet grip that was not the man’s mouth.
The lube made Kendrick’s grip a slippery one, and it was still tight as the man stroked him hard and fast. Roman moaned into Clatcher’s mouth, helpless to do anything as the other warrior slipped his tongue deep inside of him.
Yeah, he was being claimed here. Roman knew what Clatcher was about to say before the man even pulled away from their amazing kiss.
“I want to fuck you,” he said. “I’m hoping you remember the last time you agreed to that.”
Clatcher had such an eager smile on his face, that how could Roman deny him?
Besides, it was only fair, and he nodded his head. Hell, Clatcher might’ve told Roman that he wanted to give him a Prince Albert piercing on his cock, and Roman would’ve agreed to it as well, considering how nice it felt to have Kendrick’s hand stroking him. It was all turning his brain into slush.
Roman nodded. “Yeah, do it. I want it,” he said.
At one time he might’ve thought that taking a cock into his ass would make him somewhat less masculine, but not anymore. Now, he wanted to know exactly what it was that both of these men were feeling whenever they were being impaled by him. Roman wanted to experience that pleasure for himself. There wasn’t anything wrong with that.
Clatcher looked on top of the damn moon with Roman’s declaration, and Kendrick immediately past the man the bottle of lube.
Ah, so they had planned this, had they? Sneaky, sneaky. Roman liked it.
At first Roman thought they were going to get into one of their usual positions. With the lot of them either spooning up behind each other on the bed, or bending over it.
Kendrick was usually on the end of that line, being taken by Clatcher, who was then being taken by Roman.
This time, the idea of being in the middle, and of receiving pleasure from both ends, intrigued him a whole lot, but that wasn’t what happened.
Kendrick kept his hand on Roman’s chest, keeping him down on the bed, and he straddled Roman’s hips, as if he was about to impale himself eagerly on Roman’s cock.
Not that there was anything wrong with that, but he wasn’t sure the position would work. “Wait,” he said.
“Trust us,” Kendrick replied, his cheeks dark and pink with lust.
Clatcher was on his knees now, just between Roman’s legs, and he suddenly had an idea of what they were planning on doing.
It was a good thing he was strong, because when Clatcher grabbed onto Roman’s hips and moved them so that he was exposing his ass to the other man, it wasn’t a problem for him to keep Kendrick’s weight up in the air either, since the smaller shifter was sitting on him and all.
“Why didn’t we do it like this sooner?” Roman asked. His blood thrummed in his veins, and he swore that he’d never been more excited in his life. His erection pulsed, and if Kendrick didn’t do something with Roman’s cock soon, then he was going to come again, and it would all be over with.
“Because we didn’t do enough research before,” Clatcher replied, a catty grin on his face as he pressed his wet fingers to Roman’s hole.