Perth has worked under Kaiser, the black dragon caste’s best spy, for decades. While he respects the man’s ability to gather information, Perth doesn’t share his mentor’s love of sharing his body with his sources to get it. When visiting strange clans, that leaves Perth with plenty of time to wander. Stopping in the stable, he finds his attention arrested by the young stable hand, Aodhan. While the male is nineteen summers, he’s still slender, gangly, and growing into his body. As a dragon, Perth doesn’t care about all that. He is attracted to the human’s smell and finds himself returning often, appreciating Aodhan’s quick wit and shy smiles. When Perth is framed and forced to flee, he persuades Aodhan to join him. On the run, Perth must reveal that he is a dragon. Will his young human have enough faith to accept that he is still the male he has come to know?
Unable to contain his interest, Perth rested his forearms on the wooden, chest-high wall, his gaze riveted on the male. He watched the man run a brush over Bonnie’s light brown coat in slow rhythmic movements. The motion caused lean muscle to ripple under the human’s bronzed flesh.
Perth decided the skinny male probably still had quite a bit of filling out to do. His wide shoulders hinted at what was to come as did the strong lines of his back and the muscle lurking under his skin. In a few years, he’d be a hell of a male. Even now, the young man had a definite allure.
Just then, the human turned and noticed him. He startled, which caused Bonnie to shift restlessly. The male’s instincts instantly had him placing a hand on the horse’s neck, giving her his attention, and murmuring, “Easy, girl.”
Smiling, Perth waited until Bonnie had settled, then rumbled, “I apologize. I did not mean to startle you.”
“I, uh, I just doona normally see anyone in the stable this late unannounced unless—” The young male paused, an uneasy look crossing his features. He glanced around swiftly as if expecting to see others, then he asked, “Did ye need yer mare saddled?”
“Nay,” Perth responded, offering him a smile. “Bonnie is a wee bit temperamental. I saw the way she eyed your stable master.” He couldn’t help broadening his smile into a grin as he finished, “My girl just doesna like new places. I wanted to make certain she had not injured anyone…or herself.”
“All the horses kick at Master Doohan, so I wouldna thought anythin’ of it if she had.”
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, the young man paled. His teeth clicked as his jaw closed sharply, and he clapped his hand over his mouth. His eyes were wide as he darted his gaze around the place.
Perth chuckled softly, mirth filling him. The young human had wit. He liked that…a lot. Not all his spirit had fled him.
“I will not tell him you said that,” Perth assured, seeing the concern still on the man’s young features. Making a joke at the expense of the stable master probably wasn’t in the youth’s best interest if word got back to Doohan, but Perth sure as shite wouldn’t tell the man. “I am Perth of Sines,” he continued. He leaned more of his weight on his arms. “May I ask your name?”
“Y-Ye want to know me name?” the stable boy seemed confused by that. “Why?” His brows furrowed as he ran the fingertips of his left hand over the bristles of the brush he held in his other hand. “Am I no’ groomin’ yer horse the way ye like?”
Perth lifted his left brow as he tilted his head a little. The young man seemed so uncertain. He wondered what he could do to hear more of the human’s glib mumblings.
I will need to get him to trust me. But how?
“Aye, I wish to know your name,” Perth confirmed. He gave the man a heated smile. “But only because I doona always wish to think of you as the sexy stable boy when I jack off to memories of your naked chest.” As he spoke, he allowed his gaze to sweep boldly over the human’s lean torso, allowing his appreciation to show in his expression, before returning his focus to his wide light-brown eyes. He grinned widely. “Not that it wouldna be completely true.”
“Ye think me be—” He paused, his eyes widening even further. “Me name is Aodhan,” he whispered. Then, he once again glanced furtively toward the front of the stable. “And I’m no’ a boy.”
Perth had suspected—or mayhap just hoped—as much. Still, confirmation was nice. “Oh, aye?” he questioned. “Aodhan,” he rumbled, allowing the young man’s name to roll off his tongue. He couldn’t help noting the male’s flushed features. “And how many summers does it take to be a man in this clan?”
Dragons didn’t consider their young to be adults until the twenty-fifth summer, but their kind lived for centuries. Humans did not live nearly that long, so they considered their young fully grown years before that. For some clans, they felt as soon as the child could lift a sword, he was an adult. That might be their thirteenth or fourteenth summer. Still, no matter how much this young asda’s scent made Perth’s body tighten, he couldn’t reconcile seducing a male that young.
When the hell did I decide I wanted to seduce Aodhan?
Try the second I smelled him…