[Siren Epic Romance, ManLove: Erotic Alternative Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifters, HEA]
Ice dragon Sagenamadeen Zager has always been a loyal soldier, renowned for his cold demeanor. But his life changes when Sage meets and falls in love with Prince Camden Isaiat.
Camden is the only one who truly manages to melt the ice around his heart. But Camden is also a naga, a member of the second caste and a chimera. Their love is a taboo. And it isn’t only the draechen who are against it, but also Camden’s family.
When Sage agrees to join them in the naga capital, he becomes little more than a concubine. But just as Sage and Camden decide they’ve had enough, a vampire ploy targets the naga. Mysterious forces are at work, and Sage is the only one who can keep his mate safe from them. Can he prove the true power of his mate bond surpasses all labels, or will distrust, hatred, and darkness separate him from his lover?
NOTE! You are purchasing Siren's newest imprint, the Siren Epic Romance collection. This is Book 4 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, literally, just finished 'Warriors' Dream', the third book in this series, and now I'm opening the pages of this fourth installment, 'Naga's Concubine'. This is Sage and Camden's story and I fully anticipate it being just as exciting, passionate, and adventure filled as the previous books. Naga, in case you don't know, are a chimera breed of shifter, meaning they don't fully shift into their animal, only half of their body does. Chimeras include naga, mermen, satyrs, sirens, harpies, centaurs, and minotaurs. Naga's lower half of their bodies shift into snakes and they have a forked tongue. The chimera are members of the second caste of the Shifter Directive, placing them directly under the draechen. They received this honor because their forces helped to capture and restrain the remaining bats and wolves after the Great Sacrifice. But the chimera know they are scorned and looked down upon by other shifters so they've always kept to themselves and their royal family, the Isaiats, created their own underground city, Patala, and have spent centuries preparing themselves for the possibility of war. For, you see, they recognized long ago the weaknesses inherent within the Directive, and they want to be prepared for the day when the draechen attempt to take complete control, or their empire implodes. The naga hold a secret, also. Their blood can heal all wounds. If this became known their lives would become forfeit. "But what Queen Anais Isaiat and her two mates didn't know was that chimeras could fall in love with draechen, and the other way around. That love—a love no one had anticipated—would change the destinies of all." Camden's family, the royal family, are less than happy when he tells them that he and a draechen, Sage, are mates and they've completed the bond. Camden's parents are very close to declaring war on the draechen and they think this is the perfect time considering it's a new emperor. However, Sage agrees to return to Patala, basically as a prisoner, because he knows that Camden will go into the cold as the naga call it and die without the heat of his mate. Sage also knows that after everything that happened at the end of 'Warriors' Dream', Camden would not be safe around the draechen. Sage loves Camden and will do what he must and follow whatever rules to ensure that they can be together. Plus, Camden is firm in his belief that if it gets too bad, then they will simply run away together…although that's probably wishful thinking. Camden is horrified, though, by the despicable way his family humiliate and belittle Sage at every opportunity. Of course, none of this matters, when the first time Camden and Sage leave Patala, they are attacked by vampires who want Camden and Talbot. Talbot being the naga Camden's parents are trying to get him to mate with as they don't really respect his bond with Sage. Somehow the vampires have discovered the secret to naga blood and they want Camden's more powerful, royal blood. Sage is taken by the vampires as he fights to allow Camden to get free. Of course, typical of the strong mate bond, Camden lets himself be taken by the bats so he can save Sage. And, as I'm discovering happens a lot in these books, someone else is pulling the vampires’ strings. Oh, the intrigue. Fourth book down and I'm still just as hooked. I can't believe it, actually, because lately it seems as if I'm having a harder time staying interested in books. Shocking, right? But Scarlet Hyacinth surely knows her way around a story and I'm absolutely loving each book and the entire series so far. Now I'm off to jump into book five." -- Christy Duke, Rainbow Book Reviews
“So that’s your view on our cooperation with the draechen?” Camden scowled at the naga in front of him, crossing his arms over his chest. “That it simply can’t happen?”
The other man didn’t seem in the least bit put out by Camden’s displeasure, which was yet another point against him. “I’m aware that you’re keeping a draechen concubine, Your Highness, and that’s fine. But you must realize that at a deeper level, beyond the carnal, draechen simply don’t fit with naga.”
Camden twitched in annoyance. He couldn’t believe his parents were forcing him into this meeting. In fact, he couldn’t believe this lower life form was Patalan to begin with. It seemed like somehow, his mother had managed to find the perfect example of what he wasn’t looking for in a mate.
Obviously noticing his dislike for the naga in question, his sire intervened in the conversation, stopping the torture from continuing. “Thank you, my lord,” Zaire said. “It’s been a true pleasure talking to you today.”
Zaire’s decision to accompany Camden for these meetings followed a naga tradition which Camden had always considered quite antiquated. He was glad for it now, though, because he didn’t think he could have been nice to their guest for a single second longer.
“The pleasure was all mine,” the naga noble said, taking the rejection in stride. In a truly daring feat, he reached for Camden’s hand, probably planning to kiss it. Fortunately, Camden anticipated the move and managed to evade the unwanted advances. His sire threw him a glance, and, with a mental groan, Camden allowed a brief squeeze of his hand. He quickly extracted his palm from the other naga’s hold, though, silently pointing out that further attempts to approach him weren’t welcome.
The noble seemed a little disappointed, but he bowed lowly and left the office without commenting on Camden’s decision. For a few moments, the room was quiet, with Zaire and Camden lingering on the same couch they’d been sitting on without looking at each other. It was awkward and frustrating, and Camden hated it. He’d always been close to his family, but when it counted, they couldn’t trust him to make the right decision for himself.
Finally, Zaire released a heavy sigh. “You have to give these men a chance,” he told Camden. “Their virtues don’t lie in whether or not they like draechen.”
“As much as you hate to admit it, Father, my life is bound to a draechen now,” Camden said. “No matter what you’re telling these people, Sage is my true mate, not my concubine. If you truly wanted me to find someone else, it would have to be a person who accepted both Sage and me.”
“That’s never going to happen,” Sage whispered in his mind. “Or, at least, it’s very unlikely.”
Camden couldn’t say he really regretted that. He was going along with his parents’ request, because they simply wouldn’t budge in this. However, he had no real interest to find a second mate. Sage was everything he’d ever wanted and needed. He completed Camden in such a way that it made him understand just how much he’d missed before.
“The feeling’s completely mutual,” Sage replied warmly.
Camden would have tried to come up with some sort of reply to convey the extent of his own emotions, but his sire cleared his throat, frowning. “Camden, are you listening to me?”
Camden blinked, trying to figure out what the older naga had been saying. “He said that you’re so convinced you’re right that you won’t allow yourself to see what’s right in front of you,” Sage provided, having obviously paid more attention to the conversation than Camden had expected.
The comment was nothing new, but Camden barely managed to keep himself from snorting. His parents were the ones who needlessly persisted in this torturous process that only humiliated the lords and put Camden in an awkward position. They refused to realize that Camden had already found his heart’s desire, and continuing to look was a fool’s errand.
For once, Camden kept his temper. “I know you think you’re doing the right thing for me, Sire,” he said calmly. “But if you truly love and understand me, you must realize that Sage is always going to be a part of my life. Always. I will never accept anyone who disregards draechen, not as a friend, and let alone as a lover or potential mate. If someone is interested in me, that person has to at least like Sage, too.”
Zaire arched a brow at him. “So what you’re saying is that your draechen is interested in another mate? I thought you were unique and indispensable for him.”
Camden shot to his feet and threw his hands in the air. “Gah! Stop twisting my words. Is nothing I ever say going to pass your scrutiny?”
“Keep your voice down, child,” his mother said from the doorway. Camden hadn’t even heard her come in at all, which was a testament to his distraction. “Remember you owe your sire respect.”
Camden shut his mouth, even if he itched to deliver a scathing retort. Why was it that only he and Sage owed respect, but Sage’s connection to him was never acknowledged?
“In all fairness, I might have gone too far,” Zaire admitted, getting up as well. “Believe me, son, we have good reasons for pushing you.”
“You mean other than your hating Sage?” Camden asked morosely.
“We don’t hate the draechen,” his mother replied, slipping to his side. “He just unsettles us. He isn’t what we’d have wanted for you, and he’s changing you. As chimeras, we need to be proud of our legacy, not join our lives to people who make us self-conscious.”
Camden understood the reason for her comment. Normally when in Patala, he spent a lot of time in his naga form. He hadn’t done so now, preferring to remain in his middle shape.
Sage smiled at him, that strange twist of lips so weirdly intimate that only Camden could have understood it. It held worshipful love, honest affection and sexual promise. It also told Camden that he was and would always be in good hands, not that he’d needed to have that confirmed.
Still, Camden found himself shivering as Sage turned his full attention to disrobing them both. It wasn’t that Sage had decided to wildly rip of Camden’s garments. On the contrary, the draechen removed each item slowly, as if dealing with a skittish colt. He kissed every inch of skin he revealed, sometimes flicking his tongue over it and making Camden whimper in frustrated arousal. Sage wasn’t rushing him at all, and Camden found that his anxiety had started to melt away and the reason behind his tremor was simply that, his unfulfilled need to be with his mate.
He might have tried to hasten things along, but Sage finally got rid of Camden’s top and boots, leaving him only in his pants. The draechen didn’t delay in taking advantage of his achievement. He might not have had Camden’s oral particularities, but that didn’t matter, since he seemed to enjoy this slow torture as much as Camden did. In fact, when he took Camden’s nipple in his mouth, he groaned, as if this simple act provided him with tremendous pleasure.
In a way, it did, because for Camden, feeling the wet heat of Sage’s mouth around the tiny nub nearly caused his mind to melt. His nipples had always been very sensitive, and Sage knew it, damn him. Until now, they hadn’t had the chance to fully explore it, but today, Sage appeared to be intent on making up for lost time. He sucked at one of the buds of flesh, all the while using his hand to tweak the other one. The pleasure he experienced vicariously almost seemed to be an afterthought, as the draechen was completely focused on giving Camden the ecstasy he’d set his mind to deliver.
And he certainly made good on that promise. He spent an obscene amount of time on biting, teasing, and suckling Camden’s nipples. Just as Camden thought he would definitely lose his mind because of it, his mate finally decided to advance down Camden’s body. He licked over Camden’s abdomen, and then suddenly found a new fascination with his belly button.
Camden actually yelped when Sage thrust his tongue into the small opening. Technically speaking, naga shouldn’t have had such things, for the simple reason that they were born out of eggs. However, they did, and as it turned out, it proved to be yet another sensitive spot for Camden. With every motion of Sage’s slick muscle, the draechen awoke nerve endings Camden hadn’t even known existed. He was already so close to climax it was ridiculous, but he simply couldn’t come. In fact, he felt like he was falling, falling forever, in an abyss of flame and need, guided by Sage’s skilled hands, but never quite managing to reach the ultimate pleasure.
As Camden burned in the sweet torture, Sage finally reached for his pants. Some part of Camden’s mind must have remained in working order, because he wiggled his hips, allowing Sage to pull them off completely. Sage tossed the garment over his shoulder and finally progressed to the spot where Camden needed him most. Sage took Camden’s dick into his mouth, and Camden could have wept at the sensations that coursed through him. His body had trouble processing it all, stuck between the desperate urge to come and the stubborn need to feel Sage inside him. It was psychological, carnal, emotional, and so intense that when Camden tangled his hands through Sage’s hair, he did so not only because of the automatic urge to thrust into his mate’s mouth, but also due to the need for an anchor.
Sage didn’t allow him to suffer for long. Even as he bobbed his head up and down Camden’s dick, a finger wormed its way between Camden’s ass cheeks, teasing at his virgin opening. Camden couldn’t even remember to tense up. When the dry digit breached his body, all he could do was cry out his mate’s name, needing more, craving everything.
His lover was right there with him. For a few moments, he lingered on Camden’s prick, his groans sending shocks of pleasure all throughout Camden’s body. Finally, though, he tore his mouth away and wildly reached for the nightstand, in the process pulling his finger from Camden’s ass. In spite of his nearly unbearable lust, Camden forced himself to remain completely still, even if his entire being screamed to climb on top of his mate and tear the man’s clothes off. What was Sage even thinking, staying dressed like that? Now was not the time for modesty.
Sage retrieved a tube from the drawer and dropped it next to Camden on the bed. “Modesty.” He scoffed. “As if that could keep me from you.”
Confirming his own words, Sage started to take his own clothes off. Unlike with Camden, he was quick, even dismissive about it. Somehow, he managed to get rid of the garments without ripping them off, although Camden couldn’t have said how. Of course, that became irrelevant, since the end result was more than enough to draw Camden’s attention.
He was no stranger to Sage’s naked body, but for some reason, every time he saw Sage, he fell in the same awed lust as always. He didn’t even know where to look more. The muscular expanse of Sage’s chest made Camden’s mouth water, and the draechen’s eyes were hypnotizing chips of ice that somehow still held molten heat. His cock pointed directly at Camden, and given its more than generous size, Sage wondered how in the world he’d ever even gotten it in his mouth. He couldn’t even imagine it fitting into his ass.
“Don’t worry, beautiful,” Sage said. “You know I’d never hurt you.”