[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Romance, Alternative, Fantasy, Shape-shifters, Action/Adventure, MM, HEA]
In a world of wizards, Dawn Caithis has no magic, but that’s never been an issue for him. He just doesn’t want to stand out. And if he’s maybe just a little too hard-working, too desperate to be liked by everyone in his tiny village, well, chalk it up to him not having a family of his own. But in reality, Dawn hides a terrible secret.
See, Dawn does have magic. He has the kind of magic he can’t ever let anyone know about, or he’ll be banished from his home for good.
When Dawn’s soulmark appears, however, his secret comes to light and Dawn’s life crashes down around him. Cast out to await his death, Dawn is bitterly determined to ignore the fate his soulmark is trying to lead him to.
Malixar, the dragon of madness, has other plans. He intends to take what’s his, whether his soulmate likes it or not.
“It is not right,” Malixar growled abruptly. “Leaving an empath alone.”
Dawn choked on a burst of hysterical laughter. He set the bowl aside before his shaking hands could damage it and looked up at the dragon. “You must be joking. Empaths have to be alone. They’ll get everyone around them killed if they aren’t.”
Malixar stared at him, unblinking, and Dawn, driven by a sudden burst of hot, tight anger, thrust his hands out between them.
“These cuffs. They’re not a punishment. They’re a death sentence. I was banished from my home. Don’t you understand that? I didn’t decide to leave.” His breaths were coming faster. “I could have stayed. I could have hidden it. I could have been normal and liked, and no one needed to know a thing about my magic. But this stupid soulmark appeared, and I thought—”
He dug a hand through his hair, but the shaking only wound him tighter and more words spilled out, carrying a bitterness Dawn did not often let himself feel. “Empaths have to be alone, or dead. I should have known better when the soulmark appeared. And if anything happened to Beck, I’m the reason for it.”
“He left you.” Malixar hadn’t looked away from him once, perfectly still, like a predator lying in wait.
“He left because of me,” Dawn said raggedly. “I think he knew. I think he figured out what I was a long time ago, but he couldn’t bring himself to do what was necessary. And I was too much of a coward to do what was right.” Swallowing hard, he made himself say it. “Even if he’s all right, Beck never planned on coming back—”
Before he even saw Malixar move, before he could blink, the back of Dawn’s neck was suddenly clasped in that broad hand, and Dawn was being drawn toward the demon.
“You stood before me,” Malixar said, “in the ashes, alone. You turned me away from my prize. You are no coward.”
Dawn blinked at him. This close, he could only see the man in front of him, the savage beauty of his face, the rigid tension in his jaw. Dawn’s throat had closed. He could barely breathe.
“In your dreams too,” Malixar growled, “you are brave.”
Dawn jolted. “My dreams?”
Malixar’s head tilted. “Yes. I am with you then.”
Dawn stared. A sinking dread filled his stomach. “Last night, when I was asleep…”
Malixar nodded. “And many nights before. Many years.” His voice lowered. “Always.”
Dawn took a very slow breath. “Those were just nightmares. Just my imagination.”
“I told you,” Malixar said simply, “I searched for you. I would have come for you.”
Shocked, Dawn pulled away from his hand. Malixar allowed it.
“My powers…” Dawn said numbly. “I’ve been using them in my sleep, haven’t I?” Malixar didn’t answer, only stared silently into him. “Or—or were you pulling them from me? With that power of yours?” But that didn’t make sense either. Dawn shook his head hard. “No monsters ever came to Tyris! If I was using my magic, it should have brought them.”
“You hid well,” Malixar said. “I could not find you. Neither could they.”
Dawn gaped. “But the past few nights, you weren’t…” His face was getting hot. “The dreams, they were… Um. Different.”
“I have you now. There is no need to search.” Malixar leaned closer. “No need to chase.”
Dawn ducked down to look at his hands. The tiny scales glittered. They hadn’t grown any further up his arm, but if he was using his powers in his sleep…
Malixar’s warmth was spilling into him. The demon was so close. His breath tickled Dawn’s hair.
“This…” said Dawn. He was unable to lift his head, though his hand raised between them. His fingertips just barely brushed over Malixar’s chest, and lightning seemed to shoot up Dawn’s arm. He wanted to push the demon away. He showed his scales instead. “Do you know anything about this?”
A low growl rumbled through the air. “The transformation.”
So he did know. Dawn took a deep breath. “How do I reverse it?”
Dawn flinched, nearly toppling over as a warm hand met his shoulder, sliding down the curve of it then up along the side of his throat.
Tracing my soulmark, Dawn realized. It was mostly covered by his shirt and should have been invisible in the gloom of the cave. But Malixar’s hand followed it perfectly.
“As this changes,” said Malixar, “so do you.”
Dawn’s eyes flew wide, and when he lifted his head, they were eye to eye. He hadn’t truly realized how close the dragon was. Malixar’s eyes paralyzed him. Dawn swallowed hard.
“The soulmark can’t be changing,” he said. He wasn’t sure which of them he was speaking to. “This soulmark is just a cruel joke. Even if we were together for a hundred years, it wouldn’t grow any more solid, because you think I’m an insect. And you are a monster and… and I would never—”
“You say so,” said Malixar. “But I do not dislike you. I do not dislike courage.”
Dawn croaked out, “Courage? You think me giving in and using my evil magic was a sign of courage?”
Malixar just shrugged.
Dawn lifted his chin. “I won’t use it any longer. Never again. I’ll—I’ll think of something to stop it while I’m sleeping, and—”
That made Malixar lean closer for a moment and growl into Dawn’s ear, “I am not so gentle outside of your dreams, little morsel. Be careful.”
To Dawn’s delight, he took Dawn’s dick in hand and began to stroke. It was nothing like Dawn’s hand on himself. His cry was lost to their kiss and Dawn’s hips jerked eagerly. Immediately, his body was overwhelmed with its own consent.
“Yes, yes, yes,” Dawn gasped helplessly, bucking into Malixar’s hand.
Then he realized what a terrible idea this was.
“Oh—please no—I’m already so close, don’t tease—”
“You may come.” Malixar’s growl was thick enough to rattle Dawn’s bones. “I will allow it once. I wish you to relax.”
His other hand planted itself on Dawn’s shoulder, possessive. Without his shirt, Dawn’s soulmark was revealed to him at last. He pinned him down there, directly over Dawn’s heart. His mouth then claimed Dawn’s again.
And Malixar’s hand sped. Dawn didn’t stand a chance. When he hit that perfect tightness, alongside the sweetness of his kiss, Dawn was undone. No quarter was given. Malixar had Dawn clawing at the furs. He stroked him through it. More than that, he touched him. Soaked his body in such sweet caresses and warmth, as if trying to be sure Dawn would never stop needing them skin-to-skin.
Dawn couldn’t see straight, barely breathing, and his eyes opened to see Malixar leaned back and gazing down, as if memorizing Dawn like this—shaking and dizzy and gasping for breath, naked, and with his spent cock slipping free of Malixar’s hand. A soft smirk played on Malixar’s lips, and anticipation lit his eyes.
Gods, he was going to watch what his cock did to Dawn when they fucked, wasn’t he?
A glance down had Dawn gulping. Malixar’s intent was visible. His cock was at attention and dripping now, so fixated on its purpose. And its partner was going to be Dawn.
Malixar caressed Dawn’s cheek, drawing his gaze back up.
“So fucking good.” Dawn was shaking all over, no strength in his limbs. He’d been turned into jelly with the one orgasm. Two might kill him.
Malixar’s cock would probably kill him first.
Malixar settled him again, rearranging the furs to lift Dawn’s hips a little higher and guiding his still-jolting thighs wide. Dawn’s dick hadn’t entirely softened yet, leaking down his belly as he tried to catch his breath. Malixar looked incredibly smug.
“Relax, little morsel. I need to open you now, before you tighten again.”
Malixar’s finger was gentle, teasing at Dawn’s entrance, easing away the tension. He distracted Dawn with more kisses. When Malixar’s finger pushed in, Dawn automatically tried to turn his face away. Malixar just crooned and gripped his jaw, holding him in place to kiss slowly. He opened him with his tongue, and then—
His finger was slick. Not saliva, but—ah. Dawn flushed a little. His orgasm had been good for more than just relaxing him. Malixar was able to stroke Dawn inside with ease, and Dawn found himself shivering.
His body didn’t mind this. It wasn’t an intrusion. It was… contentment.
He bore down without really thinking, just wanting contact, groaning a little as Malixar pushed deeper. The entry sent a faint, delightful ache through his hips, and he rocked involuntarily toward it, needing to savor what he felt. When Malixar pressed into him again, he found something that made Dawn feel hollowed out and hot. Dawn’s head fell back in a gasp.
“Here?” Malixar murmured. “Is this your good spot?”
Dawn didn’t get to complete the thought. Malixar made his hips jolt up with the next particularly clever stroke. Dawn squirmed, panting, and Malixar pinned his hips to the furs. He held Dawn’s gaze, and when Dawn nodded, Malixar began massaging that place relentlessly.
“Oh gods, oh Fates,” Dawn cursed, eyes blurring. Malixar held him down, not letting him squirm away from the pressure.
“You are made to feel good here,” Malixar said. “It wants to be fucked, morsel. Let it have what it wants.”
The second finger burned a little but felt so good that Dawn’s eyes closed in rapture. The combination of the stretch and the devoted attention to that building pleasure inside of him had Dawn’s legs trembling wildly as he took it, everything in his belly going numb and hot and sweet. Dawn’s mouth hung open in a silent whine.
Malixar was looking. Staring down with increasing focus each time Dawn twitched or moaned or felt his insides squeeze.
Coming twice was suddenly not so impossible after all. Instead, it was all he could think of. His dick had gamely lurched halfway upright, too sensitive, but twitching anyway. He only thought about touching it a little.
“Patience,” Malixar chided, sounding entirely too pleased. “You already came once, though we have not begun mating yet. You rush to pleasure like an adolescent. Must I train you to behave as befits my mate?”
Dawn managed to glare at him, even while his prostate was being assaulted. “You’re doing this on purpose.”
Malixar licked into his mouth with a happy croon. “Of course I am.” Then he pressed his fingers in, twisted them, and made Dawn cry out for him.