The instant Axel Rogan laid eyes on the twenty or so travellers, he knew something was up.
Aside from his ever-interested erection that is, but damn, he could usually control himself. That came with the territory of being captain.
“We don’t transport people,” Axel said. Beside him, Amund and Halvard put their hands on their blades. A clear warning for these people to not push it, but Axel didn’t think it would come down to that.
He didn’t want it to come down to that either. He was curious. He wanted to know more about these people, especially the cute one in the middle. The one talking and trying to negotiate for the group.
“We can pay you,” he insisted with eyes the color of chestnuts, only they blazed defiantly, like a star. A dying star getting ready to let out one last burst of light before it went out forever.
People didn’t wear cloaks with hoods because they were regular citizens. They did it to hide their faces. Usually, this implied criminal behaviour, and the cute one in the middle was sounding more and more desperate with each word he spoke.
“How much money do you have? We only take physical gold or credit coins. Untraceable.”
“We have gold,” said the man in the middle.
Axel watched him with interest as he waved to his men, calling some of them forward as they opened the satchels they carried. All of it contained what appeared to be the riches of a fine house.
Gold and silver saucers, goblets, pitchers, even a few candelabras.
Amund snorted, pulling his dagger. “These men are thieves. Let’s just kill them.”
The vast majority of the cloaked men tensed or shifted uncomfortably at those words. Some looked ready to run.
Skittish, they were. That was usually a side effect of being a thief. Not all were confidant, romantic rogues like in the story books.
Everyone reacted like this, except for the man in the middle with those intense eyes. He stared Axel right in the eyes, defiance in them, determination, and anger. “If you won’t give us a ride, we’ll find another ship.”
Axel hooked his fingers into his belt. He was enjoying this too much. “Why should I let you leave? You said it yourself, we’re smugglers. The fact that you know that information is reason enough to put you out of your misery.”
Amund, taking that as the permission he needed to step forward and take out the targets in front of him, made it two steps before Axel grabbed for the man’s shoulder.
“Not yet, friend. I want to know what he has to say to this.” Axel barely took his eyes of the man in front of him. “Your turn. What say you to this?”
God, he was handsome when he glared like that. Handsome without being rough and hard around the edges like the men Axel commanded, and Axel found himself wondering what he looked like beneath that robe.
“Did you steal those goods?” Axel asked when the man said nothing.
“You’re a smuggler. What does it matter where I got them?”
Good point. “So you have stolen goods, nowhere near enough to bring two or three of you, let alone all of you. You’re obviously on the run from the authorities on this shark-infested shithole. Why should I take you again?” Axel asked, even though he’d already made up his mind for the most part.
He wanted this man. He couldn’t explain why, but had it not been for his body armor, there was a better than even chance his cock stand would be showing in that moment.
He was a dragon. An alpha. He needed to act like it.
“I can…we can…” the man didn’t seem to have any words, as if he was stuck. Axel’s pulse quickened, his blood warming in his veins far beyond what it should have for a cold-blooded creature like himself.
Halvard spoke up. “Axel. I don’t mean to question you at a time like this, but we’ve been hear longer than we were supposed to be.”
Axel sighed. That was true. This was one of the few planets where sharks and dragons could trade goods, or smuggle them, without fear of being shot on sight, but that didn’t mean relations were easy. Their docking pass was likely expired. They had to get off Raxsor before a bunch of sharks came over with heavy fines and booted them off-world.
And now the cute leader of this strange group seemed to be having some sort of panicked, group talk. Probably trying to figure out what they were going to do if this didn’t turn out the way they wanted.
And the best directions to run in.
“Tell you what,” Axel said, catching the attention of the cute one in the middle. “I’ll take you to Earth, if that’s what you want.”
“It is. It is what I want,” said the young man quickly. “All of them, though, too.”
Axel nodded. “Sure, sure. But you and your team are going to have to do some things for my crew.”
“What are you doing?” Amund muttered under his breath.
Axel smiled at his friend. “You always said you wanted someone to come in and clean up after you. Now you can have that.”
“What?” asked the young man.
Axel smiled at him. “We need servants, and Thorvald needs help in the kitchens. Anyone who rides with us won’t be sitting back and doing nothing. The decks will be scrubbed, mess halls cleaned up after meals, and shower rooms taken care of. You,” Axel pointed at the young man, still smiling as this idea really started to take fruit, and it was such a good idea. “You’re going to be my personal servant.”
The young man glared at him. “Slaves?”
Axel cocked his head to the side a little. “Kind of strange that you would hear work was involved somehow and immediately equate it to slavery, but no. This will be your proper payment. You didn’t think that little sack of stolen goods would be enough to bring all of you, did it?”
Color flooded the other man’s cheeks. Fuck, he was too good-looking. What was with this strange pull Axel was feeling?
“We accept the offer. Thank you.”
Axel blinked. Huh. Shocking. He’d expected a touch more fight, a little more banter, but it appeared as if this man was simply going to give up, just like that. He’d actually been hoping for a little more of a challenge. That would have been fun.
Ah, oh well. Halvard was right. There was no time for it.
Axel clapped his hands together. “Good. We leave immediately, so you’d better not have any more shit that we need to carry, or luggage, because we’re not taking it.”
“Is this supposed to happen?”
“Two mates do tend to be sexually…eager, I suppose you could say, towards each other.”
“Oh,” Tomas said, thinking about that for just a moment. “Well, I don’t mind. I still want it.”
Axel sighed. “Fuck, you are a treasure.” He then laughed. “I was hoping you would say that. I mean, I meant it when I said it’s up to you everything that happens in this bed, but I honestly think I was going to die if you told me you didn’t want to continue.”
“You’re being sarcastic, right?”
“Only mostly. “Axel winked at him, kissed him suddenly, then hopped off the bed. He ran into a tiny room that seemed to connect to a bathing area, and he came back out with what looked like a small spray bottle.
Tomas immediately recognized it for what it was, and he felt himself quivering with anticipation. He moved to his hands and knees, pleased when he heard the moan of approval behind him.
“Christ, you look good enough to eat, but I’ll do that to you later.” A hand touched Tomas’ hip, pulling him to the side so he was sitting, facing his lover. Axel had the most sincere, honest expression on his face. “I want to face you.”
More warmth, more affection flooded the depths of Tomas’ body, settling nicely in his belly. “Really?”
“Yes, come here.”
Tomas came. Axel settled himself onto the bed again, on the edge, so his legs were over the side. He pulled Tomas into his lap, then used the spray bottle on him.
Tomas gasped when he felt the slick working its magic. There was some sort of technology involved that he didn’t fully understand. He knew that, but in his mind, it would always be magic the way the oil slicked him from the inside out, despite how Axel had only used three sprays of the stuff. His hole loosened, relaxed, but Axel didn’t seem to think it was enough as he pressed his fingers to Tomas’ pucker.
“What are you—”
“I like using my fingers,” he said in a raspy voice, pushing the digits in all the way to the knuckles, hooking them, searching. “It’s more intimate, right?”
That was true. Tomas had never thought of it like that before, but now that he did realize it, it made sense.
And he was all the more eager to find out what else his mate could do, because even the touch of his fingers was a pleasurable one.
“Ride them,” Axel said.
Tomas was only too happy to do that. It felt good. He wanted more. He needed more. That same pleasure from before was building up inside him again, only now he felt as though he could hold it off for at least a little while longer thanks to coming so soon before, not to mention the orgasm he’d had when Axel brought him to this room.
Hard to believe that was only a couple of hours ago.
It was good. So good.
“You move your hips so sweetly,” Axel said, groaning softly. “You look like you’re dancing.”
Tomas was glad Axel approved. He sure as hell liked what was happening down there. How could he not move his body like this when the results were this wonderful?
He started to pant for breath soon as that building sensation started within him again, the feeling that he was reaching for something good. The best part was how it wasn’t happening so quickly this time, like it had been happening the last time.
The buildup was slow. It was there, he could still feel it, feel that sizzling pleasure as the tips of Axel’s fingers touched his prostate again and again, but he could savour it this time.
It wasn’t enough. He needed more. Tomas put his hands on the back of Axel’s neck, staring down into the man’s eyes. “I need…I need you inside me.”
“I am inside you.”
Tomas glared, certain the other man was purposely being obtuse. “Your cock. I want your cock.”
Though they barely knew each other, it seemed blasphemous that this hadn’t happened yet. Was this really the power of the mating pulling them together? If it was, Tomas would be forever grateful that he’d escaped from the shark masters. If he hadn’t, if he hadn’t heard the other servants talk about the rumors about the crew of the Shark Fin, he would never have met Axel. He wouldn’t be feeling this right now, and this was by far the greatest pleasure he could have ever experienced in his entire life.
No. That was wrong. It wasn’t the greatest. The greatest was yet to come, which was why he needed Axel to stop teasing him and get inside him as soon as possible.
“Please, I don’t want to come again until you’re inside me. I need it.”