Kratos has always done his duty as a guard of Aquila City—a thriving city of mermen—with confidence and resolve. When several royals cause fracturing within the courts, he needs to pick a side. He’s conflicted until he realizes his decision to allow his old friend, Zarek, to get away several moon cycles earlier already made the decision for him. Kratos realizes he’s a target…and he’s not the only one. Sent on a mission to pass along a missive to Zarek where he’s hiding out at a lighthouse, Kratos runs across a massive human walking along the beach searching for seashells. The man’s name is Easton Ritton. One whiff of the hulking human’s scent intrigues him. A taste of his blood confirms it. The large male is Kratos’s Adelfi Psychi, the other half of his soul. Best of all, Easton knows Zarek and about mermen. Unfortunately, the human doesn’t consider himself gay, and he dismisses their attraction. Along with that, someone has followed Kratos, putting everyone’s lives in danger. Can Kratos woo his reluctant gentle giant and keep everyone safe?
Kratos lounged in the relative safety created by the outcropping of rocks. He sat on a low boulder submerged by the rising tide. His tail remained under water, and he moved it idly as he sunned his torso and face.
Inhaling deeply, Kratos relished the fresh salty air and the wind ruffling his hair. The area had a stark beauty to it. Gray rocks dominated the area to the left and right, the waves of the ocean constantly battering against them. A cliff face rose to the left, and he knew the beach wasn’t too far to his right.
Kratos relaxed, knowing he’d be able to hear a human climbing over the stones or splashing through the surf long before they would be able to see him. He could swiftly turn his tail into legs and create his sarong. It was a nice place to relax and wait.
Resting his head against a rock behind him, Kratos enjoyed the feel of the waves lapping around his body. He allowed the ebb and flow of the tide to ease the tension from his body. At least, that was what he kept telling himself.
The second Kratos heard Easton’s voice, the sound of his name in his Adelfi Psychi’s deep rumble, his body tensed in a whole different way. He groaned softly as arousal thrummed through his body, causing an ache in his lower belly. For just an instant, the idea of carrying his handsome Easton’s child flashed through his mind.
Gods, what would their spawn be? More human? Or merman? Would the wee one have Easton’s fiery red hair? His pale skin? Would it grow into a strong warrior, like himself and Easton?
Hearing Easton holler his name again, closer this time, pulled Kratos out of his reverie. Gods, he didn’t even know if Easton wanted children. In fact, did Easton know that was an option available to them?
Turning toward the right, Kratos rested his forearms on a rock and levered up. He peered over the top of it. Spotting Easton, seeing that he was alone, he waved and called back to his human.
Easton turned, spotted him, and waved. His lips curved into a wide smile as he started toward him.
Kratos found his breath caught in his throat as he took in the human that the gods had granted him. He found himself able to do little but stare. Licking his lips, he swallowed hard as desire slammed into him anew.
Easton stood around six-foot-five, his shoulders wide, and his torso trimming to a narrow waist. His legs were long and muscled, revealed by the knee-length shorts he wore. The human’s short reddish-orange hair caught the light of the sun, making it almost appear to be on fire.
It was Easton’s wide smile and sparkling dark eyes, coupled with the pale skin and freckles he still wanted to count, that caused his gut to tighten and his breathing to become unsteady.
“Hey, Kratos,” Easton greeted, having drawn closer as Kratos had lost himself in ogling the man. Climbing carefully around the rocks, he grinned. “Oh, wow! You’re in mer-form. Can I come see?”
Surprised at his human’s interest, Kratos could only nod.