[Siren Epic Romance, ManLove: Erotic Alternative Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, M/M, werewolves, shape-shifters, HEA]
Ice dragon Hareem Tersain was born to lead the draechen empire. He thought nothing could become more important to him than Ornoz. He was wrong.
When his path crosses that of one beautiful werewolf, Hareem is torn between love and duty. For Hareem, Taryn Lovington, his mate, is perfect. But their bond is taboo. Other draechen would never accept a ninth caste member as an emperor’s consort and a werewolf’s child as an heir. Trying to protect Taryn, Hareem sends him away.
He doesn’t realize his foes know about his connection with Taryn. When Taryn is attacked by vampires, a chain of events is set into motion that reveals an unexpected enemy. Forced into unlikely alliances, cornered by the selfish desires of others, Hareem has to build a safer world, one where he and Taryn would be free to love each other. Will he succeed in this daunting task, or will he pay the ultimate price for making the attempt?
NOTE! You are purchasing Siren's newest imprint, the Siren Epic Romance collection. This is Book 5 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 knew that 'Emperor's Consort' was going to be a little different than the first four books in this series. Why? Mainly because since book one, when Kerain captured Taryn along with Graham, I've watched some of the development of Hareem and Taryn's mating. So, in essence, quite a bit of their background is already known to me. I loved the fact that this book picked up almost immediately after the end of the previous installment. Hareem and Taryn are mates, true mates, but Hareem is Emperor of the draechen, the very top of the shifter castes, and Taryn is a werewolf, the ninth and lowest caste. Not only is their mating in direct opposition of the Shifter Directive, but the child Taryn is carrying is against the law. In his efforts to protect Taryn and their unborn child, Hareem sends Taryn away to a draechen stronghold in New York. Considering Hareem's current issues with the vampires, it should've come as no surprise to him when the bats kidnap Taryn. The vampire king wants a trade, Taryn for his son, Fallon, and the other bats imprisoned at Draechenburg. What the king doesn't know, however, is that if it weren't for the draechen and their allies, Fallon would've been killed by the darkness he was working with. Instead, Talrasar used his healing powers to save him, but Fallon is still in a coma. Regardless, the bats are trying to take Taryn, the single most important person in the world to Hareem, even if he can't publicly acknowledge it. Luckily Taryn, with the help of Rachen, escapes and ends up on the neighboring property belonging to Jude, son of the elf king, but currently in exile from his people. Hareem races to find Taryn and when he does, it's with a heavy heart that Taryn leaves with his brother Monroe and his pack. Taryn tells Hareem that no matter how much they love each other, their world is still divided by the Shifter Directive and centuries of hatred. No matter how much Hareem wants to change everything, Taryn must protect his child, so he leaves to return to his brother's pack. Hareem vows to get to the bottom of what's been going on, find the shadowy person causing all this trouble, and make the world a better place for Taryn and their child. Oh crap. Let's just say that the shadowy darkness, the true evil which has been behind so much, is even more horrific than I thought. Somehow, when the obelisk exploded and released Kael, Talrasar, and Rachen, a horror of the draechen was released as well and it's coming for revenge. I'm running out of adjectives to express how much I love this series. At this point all I can think of is very expressive curse words and that's probably not appropriate. Needless to say, this book was just as incredible as the four previous ones. It revealed some hidden things and managed to hide some more stuff and then...then...the author left me on a cliffhanger. Granted, every book has left me wanting more, but this one truly had a cliffhanger and so here I go...off to read book six." -- Christy Duke, Rainbow Book Reviews
Taryn grabbed his laptop and carried it to the bed. He booted it up, and when the system loaded, he found the folder where he’d saved his recent e-book purchases. He’d discovered them just a little while ago, when he and Prince Sareltae Norrenddare had been waiting here together for news from Draechenburg. A completely random search had led him to a website that sold romance novels. Gay romance. With shifters. Dragons and werewolves. How could Taryn resist?
When Sareltae had been here, Taryn had been granted access to the Internet, so he’d managed to download some of the books, at Sareltae’s expense. Now, he filled his lonely hours with reading, imagining himself as a hero of these books, dreaming that one day, he, too, would have a happy ending.
He was curled in bed with his laptop, engrossed in a passage where the main characters were finally reunited, when something completely unexpected happened. Out of the blue, Taryn had an ominous feeling, like there was a strange tension in the air, the silence before the storm. Frowning, he set the laptop aside, wondering if he should go look for a guard or if he was just imagining things.
“Sweeting, what is it?” his mate’s voice asked in his mind.
Sometimes, Taryn tried to ignore his mate. Under rare circumstances, he decided to reply. Now, he didn’t even have to think twice. “I’m not sure,” he answered. “Something doesn’t feel right.”
He’d barely finished the phrase when an explosion shook the entire building. Outside, the sound of gunfire erupted and Hareem’s panic rushed through their connection. “Taryn!”
As the sound of alarms reached his ears, Taryn jumped off the bed and quickly shifted into his wolf form. It was not the first time he faced a serious threat, and in this shape, he could handle it much better. The door burst open, and a group of strange men ran inside. How had they passed the defenses of the draechen so quickly? It seemed impossible.
“Come with us quietly, wolf,” one of them said, “and you won’t be harmed.”
Taryn just growled at them. He didn’t recognize them, but he recognized what they were. Vampires. He could smell them, the scent of the bat familiar to the wolf. They were his mate’s enemies, and therefore, also his.
Slowly, Taryn paced around them, seeking a way past the intruders. They were blocking the door, and Taryn could swear he saw more of them around the windows. It seemed clear that they’d come en masse. Taryn needed to be very careful. He couldn’t allow himself to succumb to fear, but neither could he take too many chances. He had his child to think about.
“Stall, sweeting,” his mate told him. “I sent Rachen to New York. He should be close by.”
“I don’t think I have the time to wait for your brother,” Taryn replied. He was trying not to panic, but if these men wanted to harm him, they could easily kill his child. That was his worst fear now, not for himself, but for his unborn baby.
The vampires must have noticed his hesitation. One of them beckoned him closer. “We only want to make a little trade with your mate. If the emperor gives us what we want, we’ll free you.”
“Fallon,” Hareem concluded. “They want me to free Fallon and the other vampires. I’ll do it. I’ll do anything.”
“You can’t promise that,” Taryn reasoned with his mate. “You need them to figure out what’s going on. They’re important to Ornoz.”
“Nothing’s more important than you,” Hareem answered.
The draechen was wild with panic, having already abandoned his previous task and heading out of Draechenburg. Of course, there was no chance he’d actually reach New York in time, but that was beside the point. His reaction still filled Taryn with warm strength and affection, like the knowledge that he was loved gave him renewed courage. He could do this. He had to.
Taryn whined slowly and approached the vampires, his tail lowered between his legs. He pretended that he planned to submit, and it must have worked, because they shared pleased looks. “That’s it. Good boy.”
It was all Taryn could do not to snarl at the vampires. He wasn’t a dog. Even the draechen understood that. Some of them had actually started to treat him decently, if only because he was in the inner circle of the emperor. Then again, for those draechen, just like for the vamps, he’d become only a tool to be used to get access to the emperor. Some mate he was. Instead of being Hareem’s strength, he was a weakness.
But he wouldn’t allow that to happen. He was capable of more than spreading his legs. If nothing else, he could defend his baby. Because most of all, Taryn realized all too well that he couldn’t trust these men to leave him unharmed if he surrendered.
The vampires reached for him, ready to grab him. Taryn allowed their approach, but when they got within his reach, he struck. With a snarl, he leapt forward and buried his fangs in the flesh of the one closest to him. The man fell, more out of surprise, rather than because of Taryn’s bulk. His companions cursed, their somewhat friendly demeanors melting into hostility.
Taryn dodged their attack, already on the move. He was smaller than his brother or other members of their pack, but that wasn’t always a disadvantage. It made him faster, wilier, and had often helped him evade draechen patrols. It was only Shtamakarein Tersain who’d ever managed to catch him, and these vampires certainly couldn’t be as powerful as the famous Dog-Catcher.
So, in spite of the vampires’ efforts, Taryn managed to dance out of their reach. They had underestimated him, and Taryn unashamedly used that. Still, when he actually succeeded to bypass them and leap out of the room, he himself was a little surprised.
Hareem couldn’t deny his mate any longer. Releasing Taryn’s nipple with a wet pop, he crawled lower down over his mate’s body. Under normal circumstances, he might have reached directly for Taryn’s dick, his urgency too much to bear. But now, he couldn’t bypass Taryn’s abdomen just like that.
He pressed a kiss to the Taryn’s belly, right over where he knew his son rested. In that moment, even Taryn’s frantic motions stopped. He just lay there, panting, his beautiful eyes meeting Hareem’s gaze. The air was saturated with sexual urgency, and yet, that simple moment, when they looked at each other, held something worshipful that went beyond the need for carnal satisfaction.
Hareem couldn’t really identify one single emotion he felt at that point. There was lust, love, gratitude, but also regret. Taryn and their son were just so precious to him, but somehow, they’d been reduced to stolen moments of passion.
It wasn’t like Hareem felt ashamed of desiring Taryn. Taryn just deserved better. Hareem wanted to give him the world, to make Ornoz safe for his mate. He had broken his promise to leave Taryn be until he got that result. Could he really blame himself? Could Taryn?
There was so much confusion and frustration still separating them. Hareem shouldn’t be losing all these precious moments at Taryn’s side. He should be watching his son grow within his mate, protecting him every second of the day. That was what his dragon truly wanted.
“Oh, Hareem, I know,” Taryn murmured through their bond. “I hate this, too. Sometimes, I really wish I hadn’t asked it of you. But what other options do we have? We’ve tried everything else.”
So they had, and the results had been less than satisfying, to say the least. Hareem really didn’t want to remember his repeated failure to be a good mate and do the right thing.
Taryn’s hand pet his hair, now gentle when before, its hold had been passionate. “It’s okay,” Taryn added. “We’re together now. In fact, we’re always together, and that won’t ever change. I have faith in you.” Out loud, he said, “And I want you so very badly.”
The change surprised Hareem, although, in hindsight, it shouldn’t have. In spite of his frustrating thoughts, he was just as aroused, needing Taryn as much as before, if not more. Still, when Taryn pushed him down, Hareem released a startled and somewhat undignified yelp. “I want you to fuck me,” Taryn continued, his voice husky, his green-gold eyes darkened with desire.
The words just about broke Hareem’s mind. No longer could he focus on the past, on his lacks, on their less than ideal location. The only thing his brain could process was that his mate had climbed on top of him and straddled his lap. This brought Taryn’s ass right over Hareem’s dick, and it also gave him a beautiful view of the werewolf’s body.
Seeing Taryn like that, above him, glowing with desire and that special something that came with being pregnant, was a nearly transcendental experience. Hareem had the urge to pinch himself to see if he wasn’t dreaming. Taryn released a little laugh, obviously overhearing his thoughts. “Perhaps I’ll prove to you that this is real. What do you say?”
Taryn didn’t wait for Hareem’s answer, not that it would have been necessary. Moving with striking quickness, the young werewolf slipped lower down Hareem’s body. It did bring Taryn’s ass out of his reach, but Hareem’s dismay at that unfortunate progression melted when Taryn lowered his mouth over his dick.
Wet heat engulfed Hareem’s prick, and pleasure exploded over him, making him groan in delight. He tried to think of Taryn’s comfort and remained still, allowing Taryn to go at his own pace. Taryn took shameless advantage of it. He licked Hareem’s dick as he would a lollipop, tracing it from head to base with his wicked tongue. Then, he returned to the glans, stabbing the slick muscle into the slit. He wrapped his pretty pink lips around Hareem’s cock, sucking hard.
It was sweet torture, the alternating sensations driving Hareem wild with lust. When Taryn’s small hands reached down and toyed with Hareem’s testicles, Hareem couldn’t take it anymore. He threaded his fingers through Taryn’s hair, forcibly holding his lover down. Snarling, he thrust his dick into Taryn’s wet cavern. Taryn didn’t seem to mind Hareem’s loss of control. In fact, he moaned, obviously excited by it. As Hareem started fucking his mouth in earnest, Taryn opened himself to the invasion. They’d grown so accustomed to each other that he didn’t even gag, although Hareem’s dick wasn’t exactly easy to take. With each of Hareem’s thrusts, Taryn grew even more ravenous, his greed and lust echoing through their bond, making everything impossibly better.
With Taryn working him so beautifully, Hareem forgot each and every one of his misgivings. He was already hovering on the edge of climax, so close to coming it hurt. Finally, Taryn took his dick all the way into his throat. With a roar, Hareem came, filling his mate’s mouth with his seed.
Taryn greedily swallowed down his offering, not letting a single drop go to waste. Hareem shuddered through his climax, but he was not alone in his pleasure. Much to his shocked pleasure, wet heat splashed against his thigh as Taryn followed him over the edge. Taryn’s orgasm just made the already mind-numbing rapture even better. It prolonged Hareem’s climax, but at the same time, stirred that part of him that would never be complete until he was inside Taryn.
Even as the werewolf released Hareem’s dick from his mouth, Hareem was already hardening again. Taryn released a lost little whimper, his wolf responding to Taryn’s dragon.
Hareem desperately wanted to bury his cock inside his mate’s channel, but he couldn’t do so without preparing his sweet lover first.
His mate solved that problem by gathering his own cum from Hareem’s skin on his fingers and reaching behind himself.