[Siren Epic Romance, ManLove: Erotic Alternative Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifters, HEA]
Black dragon Karein Tersain is the ultimate soldier. He has fought to contain the werewolves and vampires who once nearly destroyed the world, enforcing a Shifter Directive he doesn’t really believe in, all the while struggling with nightmares and plagued by restless guilt.
But as his two hundredth birthday approaches, his time is running out. Without a mate, he risks being killed by his own people. To top things off, his father, the draechen emperor, arranges his marriage with a fae, Sari Norrenddare.
A political match is the last thing Karein needs. Or so he thinks, until he meets Sari. The moment he sets his eyes on the beautiful fae, Karein realizes Sari is his true mate.
But even as the two men fall desperately in love with each other, Karein’s family aims to begin a war with the fae. Can the strength of one mate bond change the destinies of two peoples and save the paranormal world from chaos?
NOTE! You are purchasing Siren's newest imprint, the Siren Epic Romance collection. This is Book 2 of 7 in the Chronicles of the Shifter Directive series. The series shares an overall story arc with many crossover characters playing major roles in each book. These books are not stand-alone and should be read in their numbered order.
A Siren Erotic Romance
Scarlet Hyacinth is a Siren-exclusive author.
"I had to jump immediately into this second book in the 'Chronicles of the Shifter Directive' series. I was so enamored after reading the first book that I was dying to get Karein's and Sari's story. I will warn you that in my opinion these books need to be read in order. There is simply too much backstory, history, political intrigue, and backstabbing to not read them in the order they were written. I can honestly say that I'm incredibly impressed with the story and plot lines and I think Scarlet Hyacinth has done a remarkable job. It came as no surprise to begin this book with Prince Karein's parents arranging a mating/marriage with the youngest of the fae princes, Sari. Karein's father is determined to wage war against the fae and by mating Sari, Karein will be able to see his thoughts and memories, thus giving the emperor a reason to attack the fae kingdom. For you see, it was Sari who helped Graham and Caelyn escape the draechen stronghold in the previous book. Once the emperor has confirmation of this, he will be justified in his war. But, Karein doesn't want war and is trying to do what he can to prevent it. Unfortunately, in less than a month, Karein turns two hundred years old. Without his true mate to anchor his dragon, Karein will be put to death by the draechen laws. You can imagine Karein's surprise, and Sari's, when they meet and discover they are true, fated mates. But both are pulled by their families; Karein to discover Sari's betrayal and report to the emperor and Sari to do everything he can to make the marriage work and prevent war. Karein is the first draechen to hold the same magic as his famous ancestor, Kael, who sacrificed himself to save the other races from the werewolves and vampires hundreds of years before. Interestingly enough, Sari is very much like his ancestor, Talrasar, the fae prince who, along with his mate, Kael, sacrificed himself to end the atrocities the werewolves and vampires were committing. Karein has great respect for Kael and Talrasar and what the history books call the Great Sacrifice. So it is with no small amount of shock when Karein sees how closely Sari resembles Talrasar, and Sari sees Kael within Karein. Karein and Sari can only hope that their mating doesn't turn into a sacrifice to prevent war. Oh the political intrigue in this book! Even more impressive, and downright frightening, than in the first book. It takes all of Karein's skill to prevent his parents from realizing that he and Sari are true mates. While, at the same time, Sari is trying to deal with the hatred of the draechen toward him and his own half sister’s belief that Sari is going to betray the fae. It is a very deadly game and when Sari's father's wife, the queen, discovers that Caelyn and Graham are still alive and, in fact, are living at Eternelle, the site of the Great Sacrifice, and the fae's holiest place…well, I couldn't begin to foresee all the repercussions from this. But that was nothing compared to what happened when the draechen's discover that Sari was pregnant. Why was this such a big deal? Well, Karein is sterile, to their knowledge, since the magical energy which lives inside of him has never allowed his sperm to take hold. So the draechens all assume that Sari cheated on Karein since none of them know of the mate bond. Oh. Boy. Oh. Wow. I can't believe the ending. What a cliffhanger! I am so incredibly hooked on this series that it isn't even funny. In fact, I'm going to power on to the next book in the series because I can't wait. This is one of the best series I've read in a really long time." -- Christy Duke, Rainbow Book Reviews
The draechen throne room was almost obscenely huge, just like the palace itself, and for good reason. A red dragon sat curled on a pile of jewelry, eyeing their approach with shrewd, intelligent eyes. Sari would have been surprised, but he distantly remembered now that the draechen emperor never shifted to his legged form in public, instead using a form of telepathy to talk to his people. This must have been what had happened earlier, with the guards. Still, in spite of the remarkable presence of Emperor Kavehquader Tersain, Sari almost didn’t see him at all. As if on instinct, his gaze went to a tall, muscular man, waiting silently next to a slightly shorter one. Both of them stood by the two thrones, one of which was occupied by a draechen woman.
Dressed in a majestic black uniform, the mysterious man watched them approach with an impassive expression. At first, the size of the room and the somewhat tricky lighting prevented Sari from taking in every detail of the stranger’s face and body, but as he and his companions walked closer, that changed. The man’s midnight-black eyes met Sari’s, and a flash of awareness seemed to course through them, echoing deep inside Sari.
He didn’t even know how he kept walking, how his knees didn’t buckle right then and there. Everything inside him screamed “mate.” This man was his true mate. Could it be true? Could he be so lucky so as to believe that, by some miracle, the man he was supposed to marry just happened to be his other half?
Distantly, he spotted the woman who’d been sitting on the throne, obviously the empress, gesturing them forward with a regal wave. She said something, and Misael replied, but the words didn’t really compute for Sari. The only thing he could focus on was the overwhelming presence of the dark-haired man. He wanted to taste those stern, sensuous lips and thread his fingers in that dark hair, to see if it was as soft as it seemed. He wanted to undo the buttons of that uniform and trace the muscles it hid with his tongue, to kneel at the draechen’s feet and take the other man’s cock in his mouth.
Sari realized he was staring at the draechen’s groin, and felt his face flame. Taking a deep breath, he struggled to calm his racing heart. Just in time, too, because finally, the empress turned her attention toward him. “Prince Sareltae,” she said, “I’d like you to meet my sons, Prince Hareematek, and your future mate, Prince Shtamakarein, General of the Chrysalidian Wyverns.”
Oh, Jenarra... She was pointing to Sari’s mate and the man next to him. Her introduction had made clear which was which and shattered Sari’s last doubts. Now trembling, Sari still managed to focus and said, “It’s a pleasure and an honor to meet you, Your Highnesses.”
* * * *
The soft words went straight to Karein’s dick, and his dragon reared inside of him, roaring in lust and anger. Karein found himself taking a step forward, then another, until he reached the fae who was to be his mate. Taking Sareltae’s hand in his own, he kissed it, lingering on the gesture for longer than it would have been strictly appropriate. “The pleasure is all mine,” he said lowly.
He didn’t miss the shiver that passed through the fae, nor could he hide the reaction it had on him. But he was in the presence of his family, and if he didn’t get a grip, they would realize something was wrong. He didn’t doubt that if they learned the truth, they would prevent his mating. So he stepped back, straightened his spine, and did his best to look as cold and aloof as possible. “Ornoz welcomes you,” he finished formally.
The fae’s face fell at the chill in his tone, his silver eyes flashing with pain, but it couldn’t be helped. Karein’s dragon lashed its tail out furiously, demanding what in the world Karein thought he was doing. Because Karein, as a man, and as a beast, knew all too well that the lovely fae standing in front of him was his true mate.
His instinct was to lunge forward and touch Sareltae, to crush his lips to Sareltae’s full ones. He wanted to free Sareltae’s white-blond tresses from the elegant hairdo and hold onto those locks as he thrust his dick in and out of the fae’s body. He wanted to brush his fingers over the gem glittering in the center of Sareltae’s forehead. He’d already realized that his fantasy hadn’t been about Prince Talrasar at all, but about Sareltae, so he knew that it might have not been just imagination after all, and he understood how good he and Sareltae would fit together.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, his brother intervened before he could do any of the things he wanted. Hareem stepped forward and made a courtly, appropriate bow. “Your presence honors us,” he said. “Should you want for anything during your stay, either I or my siblings would be more than happy to provide it.”
Karein wanted to punch his brother. Why was Hareem always the charming one? He should keep the smooth-talking for the werewolf he’d stashed away from their father.
“Your generosity humbles us,” the Ivenian princess, Charlize, answered.
Karein honestly didn’t want to hear any more of the lies both parties were spouting. He just wished he could drag Sareltae away from this room and fuck him until neither of them could walk. His dragon craved it more than anything in the world, even his freedom, even peace between the nations.
Faster than the eye could see, the draechen climbed on top of Sari and crushed their mouths together. Sari parted his lips, moaning as his mate thrust his tongue inside his wet cavern. He fulfilled his own earlier wish, fisting his hands in Karein’s soft, dark hair. Karein groaned wildly, rubbing his hard erection against Sari’s hip, no longer trying to hide what he craved.
If Karein’s earlier ministrations had been soft and relaxing, the buildup that had gathered during the sensual massage made their current actions frantic, almost desperate. Karein practically devoured Sari’s mouth. There was no other word that could have explained the way Karein kissed, like his life depended on it, like Sari was the last drop of water in an endless desert. When they broke apart to breathe, the draechen proceeded to map the rest of Sari’s body with his mouth. He peppered Sari’s face with butterfly-light kisses, although when he reached Sari’s ear, he bit down on the lobe instead. As he continued to explore, he alternately sucked, nipped, and licked. Sari’s collarbone seemed to fascinate him, but when he reached Sari’s nipples, the real torture began. Briefly, he lifted his head to say, “These naughty things are going to be the death of me.” He tweaked one little nub—the left one—hard, causing Sari to cry out in pleasure. “I don’t know how I managed to touch them at all without losing it.”
Sari didn’t get the chance to reply because Karein engulfed his right nipple in his mouth. More inarticulate sounds escaped him, although they were likely far louder than the ones he’d made in the bath. A small part of Sari was aware that he probably sounded like a cheap harlot, but he couldn’t care less. In fact, if he had to judge by Karein’s own groans, the noises Sari was making seemed to excite Karein a great deal.
But they were only just beginning, and Karein seemed to have far more elaborate plans in store for Sari. He released Sari’s nipple with a wet pop and licked his lips. “I love how you taste,” he said.
Sari wanted to argue that likely, half of the flavor Karein had sampled could be traced back to the oil used for the massage. But Karein obviously didn’t care about that, or if he did, he planned to solve the problem in the simplest way imaginable, by tasting Sari where the oil hadn’t touched.
When Karein took Sari’s dick in his mouth, Sari thought, for a few moments there, that he was simply going to die. He then thought that he was to climax embarrassingly soon, just at the delicious suction around his cock. Miraculously, neither of those two things happened.
Sari could only find one reason behind it, well, behind why he hadn’t come yet. He had to taste Karein, too. He wanted to feel the weight of Karein’s cock on his tongue so much that his own pleasure was secondary. Pulling on Karein’s hair, he somehow managed to gasp out, “Please... I need... Come here.”
Those couple of words must have come out a hundred syllables long, but Karein still understood. Without even releasing Sari’s dick from his mouth, Karein changed positions, straddling Sari’s face. As his mate’s dick and plump balls hovered over him, Sari moaned and reached for his prize. He took Karein’s prick into his mouth, greedy for the taste of Karein’s pre-cum.
The first time he tried to suck Karein’s dick in, he gagged and was reminded of his previous assessment of Karein’s package. But Sari was never one to give up just like that, so he persevered. It was a little awkward, and not at all the skilled blow job he’d have liked to give. Sari almost regretted asking Karein to do this now, because he couldn’t possibly focus on pleasuring Karein like he deserved. Jenarra above, the way Karein was swirling his tongue around Sari’s prick had to be illegal in some countries, because Sari had flashes where he couldn’t even remember what he was doing—something quite remarkable, indeed, given the hard cock in his mouth.
Still, Karein didn’t seem to mind his lack of experience. Once Sari realized that, he stopped overthinking everything and just went with it. He allowed himself to enjoy the natural flow of things, the simple pleasure provided by Karein’s sinful mouth. At the same time, he took Karein’s dick as far as he could and used his hands on the girth he didn’t manage to accommodate.
The taste of Karein’s pre-ejaculate made his head spin with lust, and soon, nothing else mattered but their simple chase for their orgasm. And then, a slightly slick finger wormed its way into Sari’s ass, somehow managing to zero in on his prostate. His eyes widening, Sari came, an explosion of bliss rushing through him. Karein grunted, drinking Sari’s spunk down with no hesitation. Moments later, hot streams of cum filled Sari’s mouth as the draechen followed Sari over the edge.
Sari did his best to swallow his mate’s jizz—after all, it had to be a sin of sorts not to do so. For the most part, he managed, although a small part of it did dribble down his chin. He released a moan of protest when Karein started to pull away, half because he wasn’t done with Karein’s cock, but also due to the fact that... Well, Sari really did like the feel of Karein’s mouth on his dick.
Karein, however, refused to be thwarted. As the draechen freed himself from Sari’s grip, his finger left Sari’s ass. Almost seeming oblivious to Sari’s dismay, Karein scanned Sari’s face eagerly, as if seeking the answer to questions Sari couldn’t hear. “What?” Sari asked when he thought he could speak.
“Nothing,” Karein answered. Climbing on top of Sari, he brushed his thumb over Sari’s lips. “You have cum over your face.”