A traitorous plot seals King Antony's fate and the enemy is days away from reaching the kingdom of Galerir. Prince Tomas must become regent and ensure Galerir is prepared for war. Tomas must also learn to balance duty and love when he lifts the ban on magik and fights for the chance to openly love his knight, Griffin. Together, he and Griffin face their destiny.
A loud clap of thunder nearly made Tomas jump and smear the ink of his quill across the parchment, but he managed to avoid a mess. He would curse the storm if it were not the reason for the delay of the enemy whose ships had been thrown off course. A few had even wrecked in the force of the maelstrom on the Elysian sea. News had reached Galerir that they had likely taken refuge on the islands of Miros. It might have been the prime opportunity to strike, yet both he and his uncle agreed that it was far too dangerous to send their ships through the storm after them. So they were waiting, hoping that nature would help them some more and the storm continue to batter the enemy's forces. Meanwhile, he was busy drawing up his notes for the revised laws on magik.
"You are too tense," Griffin breathed against Tomas's ear. His lover wrapped his arms around his middle and rested his chin on Tomas's shoulder. Tomas had been so lost in his musings he hadn't even heard his knight come in from his morning exercises.
"Weight of the kingdom on my shoulders again," Tomas said with a weary sigh, looking back down at the paper and scribbling down another note. Griffin pressed a kiss to his jaw then said, "Let me help you with that."
Tomas held up the paper to show it to Griffin. "I decided to start writing down the new laws for magik then all my uncle will need to do is sign it and give it to Vincent. We cannot wait much longer; the ban needs to be lifted if we are to have aid before Ator arrives."
"It needs to happen right away," Griffin said in agreement as he read over Tomas's shoulder. "Though I am certain the storm will last awhile."
"The Great Dragons and the gods have bought us time. Now we need to make the most of it." Tomas looked at Griffin in the hope that he approved. "What do you think?"
"It is written well." Griffin pointed to the lower half of the paper. "This is a list?"
"Mm, all those of magik whom I think will help and those that will not." Tomas laid the paper down. "Can you think of any creatures from your books?"
After taking the quill from Tomas, Griffin wrote down a few on each side of his list. "There you go."
"Thank you... Ogres, trolls, shades and the like will still be banned from here. Only those with good intent will be allowed into the kingdom," Tomas said as he took the quill back, dipped it in ink and then wrote what he was saying. "I want to assure the people we will take care and that this is a change to help us and those of magik who have been wrongly persecuted."
"You should announce this if your uncle agrees," Griffin suggested, his fingers rubbing away the tension in Tomas's neck. "Speak to the people. They will accept it when you say what you just did."
"You think so?" Tomas still felt nervous about being accepted by his subjects. It had been barely a fortnight since his coronation and he was still finding his ground, learning his role as prince. He had received a warm welcome, but would the people have faith and believe he was only doing what was best for the kingdom?
"I know so. The people already love you as I do and will know you are doing this to give the kingdom a fighting chance," Griffin said, as if he had heard Tomas's thoughts.
"No one could love me as you do." Tomas turned his head slightly to kiss the corner of Griffin's mouth. "No one."
"You have me there." Griffin gave him a tender look and brushed their lips together. "When are you going to show this to your uncle?"
"I planned to do so as soon as I finished." Tomas leaned his head back, letting it rest on Griffin's shoulder for a moment. "Now, though, I am quite content to stay here with you." Turning in his seat, he reached up to comb his fingers through Griffin's blond curls, trailing his hand down until he could cradle his lover's head in both of his hands as he pulled him down and devoured his mouth.
With a whimper of need, Griffin kissed him back with the same passion. He let Tomas maneuver him as he straddled his leg, then sank into Tomas's lap, prolonging their kiss. Letting out a moan, Tomas nipped Griffin's bottom lip as his lover stroked his hands down his back. All thoughts of what he needed to be doing flew out the window; there was only Griffin and this moment that he didn't want to end.
There was a rustling by the windows and one was pushed open with a gust of cold wind. Griffin broke from the kiss, tugging a dagger from his boot before Tomas could blink. Griffin's ice blue eyes were still darkened with arousal, except now they were intently focused.
"It is only me," Sera announced, managing to squeeze her lithe body through the window and land gracefully. The young dragon spread her wings and flapped them, sending water droplets everywhere. Tomas wiped away the one that landed on Griffin's cheek. "Sorry, did I interrupt?" she asked. Her voice was innocent, yet if a dragon could truly smile she would have been.
"Perhaps. Was something the matter?" Griffin asked.
"I hate the rain," Sera huffed, smoke puffing from her nostrils. She moved over to the blazing fire and purred. "I had to fly, to stretch." With the ban on magik, she could only fly in the gardens, where the perception spell kept her and her mother Liora hidden. She fluttered her wings again. "Mother is with Kohan so I decided to visit you."
Both he and Griffin chuckled. Tomas understood her need to be out in the open space of the sky. He had planned before the storm to go hunting just to be in the woods, but there hadn't been time. He missed walking through the woods, the peace and tranquility under the canopy of trees. He found that same peace in Griffin's arms so it didn't matter that there wasn't time. As long as he had his lover he could get through this. "We are glad to have you," Tomas told their dragon.
"We are." Griffin got up, but Tomas stopped him with a kiss before letting him go. His knight then went over to the window and shut it before returning to sit on the edge of the table next to Tomas.
Sera curled up as close as possible to the hearth. She folded her wings in and tucked her tail around her body. She had grown a great deal in the fortnight they had been at the castle; she was now the size of a small pony. She could now speak aloud as well. Resting her head on the rug she looked at them through slit eyes. "Pay me no mind, I am happy now."
Tomas chuckled as he shuffled and organized his papers. "I should go see my uncle. I hope to get the ban on magik lifted, Sera."
A wave of happiness washed over him from Sera. "That is good. I hope you succeed."
"I will." Standing, Tomas traced Griffin's cheek with his fingers. "Later?"
"Later," Griffin said, a smile on his lips. "Shall I go with you?"
"Please." Tomas returned the smile then turned his attention to Sera. "We will be back in an hour. Will you be all right?"
"I will take a nap," Sera said with a bob of her head.
Griffin walked over and knelt beside the dragon, stroking her head. Her red scales reflected the heat of the flame and Tomas imagined she was warm to the touch, but it did not seem to bother Griffin. "If you need anything, call for us."
"I will." Sera nudged his hand in affection before he stood. Tomas grabbed his papers then together they headed to his uncle's study.