For three thousand years, the dark servants of the Lord of Night have waged war against the monstrous armies of the Unmaker. An ancient prophecy gives them hope of eventual victory, but now the underpinnings of their salvation are threatened, for the Unmaker seeks to destroy a central player of the prophecy before he comes into his own.
Cursed with the rare gift of foresight, high priest S’Rak suffers a series of visions showing the same man dying a hundred different deaths. To save the ancient prophecy, S’Rak is duty bound to travel to a sun kingdom and, if necessary, give his life to defend this unknown prince.
Tyll walked into their bedroom and smiled to himself. Rak was kneeling before the small vigil altar, oblivious to his surroundings as he communed with their God. Tyll slid toward him, as silent as a spirit slipping between states of being. He stroked the back of Rak’s neck with a feather-light touch. He was a bard, but trained as a spy and, at need, an assassin. He was easily able to surprise his spouse.
Rak didn’t jump, but his soft chant ended abruptly. Tyll followed his first touch with equally soft kisses. “Can you take a break from eternal prayer for your poor neglected husband?”
Rak stood up and turned in place, an elegant eyebrow arching in amusement. “I suppose I must, or I will never hear the end of it,” he claimed, his eyes dancing with laughter.
“I know, you’re a high priest,” mourned Tyll, “and have little time for us mere mortals.”
Rak’s hands trailed down Tyll’s chest. “I was merely passing the time while I waited for you.”
“Don’t stop those hands,” Tyll teased.
“I would not dream of it,” replied Rak, all seriousness now. He tugged on Tyll’s sash in a specific place, causing the embroidered length of amber silk to unravel and fall to the floor.
“We need to indulge as much as possible before you leave.”
“That presents a difficulty,” said Rak, “as I leave at sunset.” His trailing hands stroked Tyll’s firm thighs.
“But, my dear, your fires… and Koilatha, a sun kingdom… neither S’Pajel or I have had time to sound out men…” Tyll stopped his fretting when Rak kissed him. It was a long, languid kiss, but as soon as their lips parted, he continued. “Koilatha’s extremely prudish. They collar men like us.” Tyll pulled Rak’s hips against his. “I can feel you burning even now, and you have a ten-day flight.”
Rak’s hands slid up Tyll’s back and caressed his shoulders. “You must have faith that Zotien knows what He is doing. And I have faith that you will take care of my needs here and now.”
Tyll slid his hands into Rak’s pants, cupping his mate’s firm cheeks. “Hmm, but the Gods don’t think like we mortals do. You’ve told me this yourself.” The silk pants slipped down Rak’s lithe legs to pool on the floor.