Kern managed to sit up, but then he tried to stand. His ankle buckled under the pressure. Kern braced for a fall but stayed on two feet. His swollen hand—thankfully not the one attached to the arm hanging from his bad shoulder—reached out and fluttered in the air as he fought for balance.
Maybe he should’ve asked Patal to be a little gentler when pounding fists into him. Of course, the leader of the drug gang wouldn’t have stopped hurting him, but to see his face when Kern made his request might’ve made the beating worth it. Well, he didn’t have to worry about that now. They were discussing the situation with the bar owner and his friend. Patal outweighed Kern, not in muscle but with fat. The Warsarian bar owner was his own class of fighter. The longer the outside conversation continued, the more obvious the truth of that became. Patal and the goons had shoved Kern through the wrong door. Just as quickly as it began, the outside conversation ended.
Two sets of heavy footsteps approached. Kern swallowed. Maybe he could dart for the exit. Speed was his best skill. He started to step forward and cursed. His ankle wouldn’t let him dart anywhere. Time to turn on the charm. He closed both eyes. I won’t call them shitholes, he thought. Satisfied that little slip wouldn’t happen, Kern turned his head and looked up. His eyes widened as two large men stood over him. He blinked to make sure his mind wasn’t playing tricks on him. Pain could cause hallucinations. Maybe he hit his head. When he looked up again, they were still there. Kern wasn’t a tiny man, but compared to these two, he felt like a dwarf.
“What about him?” the man with an angry scowl said. Kern looked away from Scowl and focused on the man that mattered, the warrior with dark, dangerous eyes. He was an absolute god with large shoulders that could bench-press Kern for days without stopping. Kern’s god had arms that bulged with strength. He licked his lips imagining that strength in a more intimate situation.
“Hello?” Scowl said as he shook the dark-haired god’s shoulder. “Dragon, are you with me?” The scowling man sighed. “Do you want me to call the guards to handle him?”
Kern growled and tore his gaze away from the man called Dragon and focused on the jerk behind him. “No one needs to handle me.” He tried to move forward, and this time, he almost made it, but his leg gave out and he fell backwards. Dragon grabbed for him. Their skin touched and magic fluttered through him like a current of electricity. He took a deep breath as strength oozed into him. Then Kern fell back even more, and Dragon pulled on his arm and yanked his bad shoulder.
Blackness danced across his vision. The world spun, but all he heard was his voice screaming. Then the floor slammed into him, or he slammed into the floor. It didn’t matter. Kern curled into a small ball, clutching his shoulder.
The room buzzed, but it might have been a product of the pain. Kern took a deep breath and his vision started to clear. After practicing his breathing technique, the pain faded to a dull ache.
“Why don’t you kick me a few times? I think some of my ribs aren’t bruised.” His voice sounded so far away that Kern wasn’t sure if he was whispering. All he knew was this day had to be one of the worst in his life. Nothing could make it better. Well, maybe if the crowd hovering over him left, that might’ve made it easier to breathe. Since when was he so entertaining that everyone stopped to watch? He had always managed to stay invisible.
Dragon leaned down. Kern blinked back a few tears. This man wouldn’t understand someone crying out in pain. He was a warrior that caused pain. Kern swallowed as brown eyes warmed with kindness, but even the penetrating heat trying to calm him couldn’t hide the strength looming inside.
“I’m Dragon.” The way he said his name sent a slight tremble down Kern’s spine. Dragon smiled. The scar on his cheek moved with his lips. “Your name?”
“Kern,” he said. If it had been anyone else, he would’ve lied. A name was too much information to give out, but Dragon wasn’t a man he wanted to lie to. His mere presence demanded honesty, and a part of him wanted Dragon to know him and see him, so Kern started with his name.
“Good boy, Kern.”
“Not a boy,” Kern insisted. Maybe to Dragon, a teary-eyed man might be seen as a boy, but he’d passed into his twenties years ago. Normally, he didn’t care about a little name-calling, and calling him boy fell under that category, but Kern hated the fluttering in his belly at the remark. Since when did he want to roll over and accept praise because someone thought he was good? Whatever the hell “good” meant, it wasn’t something that should be used to describe him.
Dragon leaned forward. “Teasing me again. Those lips were made for more than licking.” His finger ran across Kern’s mouth. He darted his tongue out, but Dragon moved down to his chin before he had a chance to bite. Warm water slid down his forehead and into his eyes. When he blinked, Dragon stood closer, rubbing their slick bodies together. The heat from Dragon’s shaft rubbed against him. Kern whimpered with need. They were moving too slow.
“Tell me,” Dragon ordered huskily. “What do you do inside the shower stall? On the nights you lock yourself in here moaning and whimpering my name, what am I doing to you?”
Embarrassed, Kern turned his head away from Dragon’s intense gaze. Yes, he had put on a show, making sure Dragon heard his cries, but he hadn’t meant to scream the warrior’s name. Well, not at first, but then he couldn’t stop. In his fantasies, Dragon was always in the bathroom with him, holding and caressing him. He glanced toward the warrior, but avoided eye contact and focused at Dragon’s perfect lips.
“How good is your hearing?” Had Dragon just heard his name or had he heard the other words?
“‘Give me that fat cock. Oh, that’s it. Harder,’” Dragon said, mimicking Kern’s voice.
One side of Dragon’s lips arched upward. Kern reached forward and rubbed his fingers across the scar on the warrior’s cheek. “Then you begged me to hold you,” he continued.
“That’s not fair. Those words weren’t for you.”
“You molested me in your dreams. I have every right to listen in.”
“In my dreams, you were molesting me.” Kern batted his eyelashes in an attempt to look innocent. “I was just your plaything, powerless to resist your charm.”
“What a wicked imagination.” Strong hands gripped Kern’s waist before moving him up. His back slid against the wall. His feet left the ground. Dragon moved between his thighs, trapping Kern’s cock between their bodies. “Plaything? Is that what you want to be? Tell me, Kern. Do you want me to bend you over a table and push into you, or do you want my touches?”
“I want all of you. Not the dream you, but the man that watches to make sure I’m not too tired. The man that charged in here tonight to save me.”
“When you were in here panting and moaning and calling my name, I wanted to barge in and give you something to scream about.”
“I wanted that, too,” Kern confessed. “Got louder trying to call you in.” When he started his pathetic attempt at seduction, he hadn’t thought past Dragon entering the bathroom. “I’d picture you by the door. Your eyes watching as my fingers stroked my cock.” He shivered as he was almost pulled back into the dream.
Every time Kern’s fingers wrapped around his cock, he imagined another, stronger hand stirring his shaft to life. When he sucked on his fingers, he pictured Dragon’s cock sliding between his lips. When Kern rubbed between his ass, seeking the place that longed to be filled, his mind had conjured up another fantasy. They weren’t his fingers, but Dragon’s sliding in and out of him. He whimpered remembering the large shaft, long and thick, that now pointed at him. His imagination hadn’t done it justice. He couldn’t conjure up this perfection. “Never meant for you to hear me saying your name,” he lied. “It just came out.”
Dragon kissed down his neck. Kern tilted his head to the side to give Dragon better access. Dragon tugged on his ear lobe. Kern shivered. He was panting now. Dragon blew into his ear and Kern whimpered. “I liked hearing my name. Did you want me to think you were in here thinking of another man sliding into you?” Kern grabbed onto Dragon’s shoulders. “Tell me,” Dragon ordered. “Is that what you wanted? To make me jealous?”
Kern shook his head as Dragon attacked his neck with a barrage of kisses. Tomorrow, he’d have kiss-shaped bruises, and the entire world would know Dragon put them there. That was what he wanted—for the universe to know he belonged to Dragon.
“I’ve been desperate for your touch. I wanted you so bad, so I came in here and imagined your hands ravaging my body.”
“What did I do to you?” Dragon asked.
Kern moved his fingers to his chest. “I tugged on these.” He pulled on his right nipple and then rubbed it. “Imagining your fingers teasing them.” Kern moaned under his touch. Dragon took his left nipple between his lips and pinched and then pulled on it. This time Kern screamed. His hand continued to rub his right nipple while the other was covered by Dragon’s mouth. His fingers didn’t compare to Dragon’s rough caress. It wasn’t enough. He wanted so much more. Then Dragons pulled away. He reached for the warrior to keep Dragon from leaving. Dragon grabbed his arm and held it in a firm but gentle grip.
“Do you touch this too?” Dragon’s fingers slid across the tip of his cock while the hand holding Kern’s arm traced over the light blue vein. He pushed his pelvis forward, unable to use words, but he needed more. Kern wanted those strong fingers to move up and down and touch him all over. He wanted Dragon to hold him for weeks, but his hand only caressed and teased. No stroking, and no relief. Kern grabbed Dragon’s dark hair as the warrior moved down to his knees. This was it, but it wasn’t. Dragon didn’t attack his cock. Instead, he moved between Kern’s thighs and kissed up one leg, stopping before he reached the area that needed Dragon’s touch the most. Then Dragon moved down his other leg. The gentle kisses wouldn’t extinguish the fire burning inside. Kern yanked Dragon’s hair in an attempt to push him on.
“Love your red hairs,” Dragon said, running a finger down his belly toward the patch of hair not on his head. Kern thrust his hips against Dragon, eager to feel his hands on the spot dying for his attention. One finger moved down his stomach and traced over the length of his cock. Kern held onto Dragon’s shoulders, letting the water caress his skin. Then Dragon’s mouth was on him.
He licked and gently sucked on the tip of his cock, taking only the top part in. Then he sucked on the bulbous head before releasing it. Kern’s cock danced in the air. The tip wept for more. Dragon showed him mercy and went down toward the base. His hand grabbed at Kern’s balls and lightly moved them between his fingers. His back hit the wall as his legs weakened. Dragon moved closer, lifting one of Kern’s legs and placing it on the warrior’s shoulder, leaving him exposed. He felt the heat burn through him as he imagined the sight he presented to Dragon. Then the warrior stopped sucking and lapped at the cum leaking from him.
“More, I need more,” Kern begged.