Dagwn of Jenai is sent to Naroq with a message from Antos, the Barbarian, and a chest full of gold. He’s to buy the city’s loyalty, as it is always up for sale.
Dagwn also has another mission, a secret he has held for many years—to find the man who murdered his mother and sold him into slavery, there in that very city.
Before Dagwn can face the murderer down, he meets a man he cannot ignore, one who ignites his passion like none before. Their quick tryst at the feast in Dagwn’s honor connects them in more ways than one.
Torn between Antos’ charge, his vengeance, and one seductive male, Dagwn must make choices that affect many a man’s future—and threaten his own happiness.
“And you are?”
Dagwn repeated the name in his head. There was a melodic sound to it, and he liked it very much. “You have no drink in your hand.”
Carriel grinned. “I do not waste my nights in a drunken abyss. I have better things to do with my time.”
“And yet you are here, at a feast, surrounded by revelers.”
Carriel looked about them. “I think they are well past reveling at this stage.”
Dagwn spun to face the group, not liking his back to his enemy. “Do you not revel? It seems quite boring to oppose celebration.”
Carriel’s color deepened again, much to Dagwn’s enjoyment.
“I come because I am expected to. I do not revel.”
“Such a shame,” Dagwn said, turning to face Carriel. He lifted the back of his hand, to caress the side of Carriel’s face. “I believe reveling with you could be quite a temptation.”
Carriel shivered against Dagwn’s hand, his lips moving, but no sound coming out.
“I-I would not know.”
Dagwn lowered his hand, yet stepped in closer, inhaling Carriel’s masculine scent. “No one has sung your praises? I find that hard to believe.”
Carriel smiled and looked to the floor. “No, I have no praises sung about me.”
Dagwn knew the male had little experience, from his words and his naïve reactions. A courtesan did not gather Dagwn’s attention. Males like Carriel did.
“I hear there is a courtyard, just outside this room. A darkened courtyard, filled with shadows to explore.”
Carriel looked up at Dagwn, a bit of fear in his eyes. “I suppose there is.”
Dagwn leaned in closer, putting his lips against Carriel’s ear. “Would you show it to me?”