Cassyus lifted his injured hand, and the sight of it would have made Sterling squirm had he not been aware of what Cassyus had intended. “Do you think this is a game?” Cassyus asked. “If you do, you’re more foolish than I thought. Beware, King Sterling. You and your mate are in grave danger.”
Sterling was beginning to get annoyed. The mysterious premonitions thing might work for the Oracle, but for Cassyus, not so much. Besides, Shea was perfectly fine with his parents. After everything that had happened, Sterling had decided to wait until Shea was grown up and capable of his own decisions before he even considered a possible mating.
Having lost his patience, Sterling summoned his magic and coiled it around Cassyus. “You should never have come here, Cassyus,” he said. “I don’t take kindly to people who intrude in my home and try to steal from my kind. And I’ve lost my patience with your taunts.”
Cassyus didn’t try to fight him. It would have been useless anyway, especially since a group of guards finally burst into the room, ready to contain the threat. Sterling just found it all the more suspicious. He had no intention to keep Cassyus here, where Winter and his son were staying. “Since you seem to hate me and my kind so much, I’m sure a stay with Byron Cunningham will be preferable.”
The shark-shifter had several compounds where he kept the most dangerous of his prisoners. True enough, they had been broken into once or twice, but they would hold Cassyus just fine and they’d keep him out of Sterling’s hair, and most importantly, away from Winter and Lamont.
Even as the guards gathered around the intruder, another man slid into the room, Sterling’s most current guest and the most recent torment for his libido. Kieve. Sterling couldn’t exactly say he was surprised to see the man here. He never did know how to do what he was told.
Kieve was the son of the shaman of the Yadiran tribe, a group of pixies who’d reached out to him in the hope of getting to the bottom of things in the new conflict that involved their species. His father, Abduk, had sent Kieve to Sterling as a diplomat, but sadly, they had yet to reach an actual conclusion.
It certainly didn’t help that Kieve’s presence always tended to distract Sterling. Pixie fashion seemed designed specifically to torment him, as Kieve’s traditional garb exposed just enough of his creamy skin to make Sterling want to reach out and touch. That desire remained valid even now, with Cassyus and the guards present. Sealing that lust behind the knowledge of his responsibilities, Sterling fixed Kieve with a reprimanding glance. “Lord Kieve, I instructed you to remain in my quarters.”
Much to Sterling’s surprise, Cassyus chortled. “Good luck with getting him to listen. His own father never had any luck with that.”
Kieve sighed heavily. “Cassyus. What in the world are you doing here?”
“What I must,” Cassyus replied. “You knew that day, when we met. You knew that things would get to this, that the war wasn’t going to end without serious sacrifice on all our parts.”
Sterling frowned. He had a feeling he was missing something very important, and he didn’t like it. He also didn’t appreciate the fact that Kieve seemed acquainted with Cassyus. Granted, there was likely a very good explanation to that, but it still stirred something angry inside him. He could too easily imagine Kieve lounging in front of Cassyus in his regular, skimpy garment, smiling seductively. Cassyus did have a mate, Elden, but Sterling couldn’t be sure that would have kept Kieve and Cassyus apart if they truly wanted to start an illicit liaison.
Shaking himself, Sterling focused on what Cassyus’s strange behavior and mysterious words. “There’s already been enough sacrifice. Innocent lives are threatened every day because of this war. I do not know why you came here, Cassyus, but you made a serious mistake.”
He gestured for the guards to take Cassyus away, already planning to discuss this unexpected incident with Kieve after he notified Rhys Whitaker and his mate of the possible treachery of Elden Lee. He never got the chance to go through with his plan. Before Sterling even knew what was going on, Cassyus shot into action. “Keep Elden and my boys safe, Kieve,” he said.
With a striking burst of power, Cassyus managed to free himself from the Sidhe guards, and even unwind the hold of Sterling’s magic. He would have never escaped—Sterling was already reaching for him again—but it didn’t seem like he even planned to do so.
Instead, Cassyus leapt straight into the glowing waters of the Silver Pool. Sterling tried to reach out with the threads of his magic, to stop Cassyus before the pixie’s obvious insanity caused his death. The Silver Pool was largely a healing force, but it reacted violently to those with ill intent. Sadly, he was not fast enough.
The moment Cassyus hit the water, bright light exploded over the room. Pure white engulfed Sterling, and a power far beyond his own propelled him back. A strange force invaded him, making him face all of his fears and doubts. Feelings and realizations filled him, his soul opening to the truth he’d known all along, but had feared to accept. Shea wasn’t his mate. He never had been. It was Kieve. It had always been Kieve. Now what?
With a moan, Kieve parted his lips, embracing what Sterling offered wholeheartedly. But he didn’t just grant Sterling entrance, oh, no. He gave as good as he got, entangling his tongue with Sterling in a dance for domination that just fueled Sterling’s lust even more.
In a striking display of flexibility, Kieve somehow managed to wrap one long leg around Sterling’s waist, just like Sterling had imagined. Shit. If he hadn’t known any better, he’d have thought pixies were mind readers.
Greedily sucking on Kieve’s tongue, Sterling hoisted the pixie up. In this, Kieve gladly allowed him to guide the way, anchoring himself with both his arms and his legs against Sterling’s body. Still feasting on Kieve’s mouth, Sterling carried him to the couch, or in its general direction at least. He tripped over the chess table in an uncharacteristically clumsy display, but the sound of the falling pieces did nothing to snap Sterling out of his haze. Coordination seemed like far too much to expect when he had Kieve in his arms.
Sterling couldn’t even muster enough patience to carry Kieve to his bedroom. He just dumped the pixie onto the couch and more or less fell on top of him, since Kieve didn’t seem inclined to release his tight hold on Sterling’s body. Not that Sterling had any complaints. In fact, from his new and very advantageous position on top of Kieve, he could feel every single muscle in the pixie’s body. The thin silk of Kieve’s garments did nothing to disguise his hard cock. Kieve kept rubbing against Sterling, like he wasn’t even a pixie at all but an incubus. To top it off, he released small, muffled whimpers of pleasure, which Sterling eagerly swallowed into their kiss.
By this point, even Kieve’s customary skimpy garment had become far too cumbersome since it provided a barrier between their bodies that frustrated Sterling. Still holding onto their kiss, he tore the material of Kieve’s clothing. Sterling allowed his hands to roam over Kieve’s body, thus fulfilling a desire he’d had ever since he’d first seen the pixie. With inch of skin he revealed, the lust inside him flared hotter, brighter than ever before, almost scarily so.
He only broke the kiss because he had too much of Kieve to explore, so much that he couldn’t even linger on the pixie’s maddeningly tempting mouth. Discarding the remnants of Kieve’s garments onto the floor, he progressed lower down, swirling his tongue into the hollow of Kieve’s throat. Kieve released a loud, gasping cry. “Sterling… Ah, yes…”
It was the first time Kieve had used Sterling’s name without calling him “king,” and the experience felt oddly powerful. Without Sterling’s lips muffling Kieve’s voice, it soon became obvious that Kieve was not only a very passionate and responsive lover, but also a very vocal one. The pixie stabbed his hands into Sterling’s hair, pulling so hard Sterling’s scalp ached, and all the while calling out Sterling’s name over and over again, like a prayer.
Guided by Kieve’s moans, Sterling licked down over the pixie’s chest, until he reached the tiny spheres of Kieve’s nipples. Already perking up, the nubs seemed to be demanding Sterling’s attention, which Sterling gladly gave. He took one of the bits of flesh in his mouth, flicking his tongue over it and reveling in the way his ministrations made Kieve writhe under him. The space on the couch barely accommodated both of them, but that just made it better, hotter, more real.
He spent an almost indecent amount of time on Kieve’s nipples—which was somehow suitable, because the pretty nubs were obscenely tempting. Finally, he allowed Kieve’s frantic motions to guide him lower down. He licked over the taut lines of Kieve’s abdomen, until he reached the pixie’s belly button and got distracted by it. He thrust his tongue into the tiny opening, wriggling it around and testing Kieve’s reaction. He was not disappointed. Kieve arched his back, dissolving into incoherent cries that made Sterling’s dick throb painfully. It seemed that Sterling had found an erogenous zone.
For Sterling’s part, his entire body seemed to have become a conduit of desire. He couldn’t pinpoint a single spot on his skin that was immune to his lust. Every single inch of him buzzed with a nearly agonizing need that pooled straight into his aching prick. It certainly didn’t help that Kieve’s hard dick was right within his reach, so close to Sterling’s face he could smell the scent of Kieve’s arousal. In spite of Kieve’s response to having his belly button played with, Sterling’s own body protested keeping up with the sensual torture. He had to sample the taste of Kieve’s seed. Following that hungry impulse, Sterling went straight for the gold. He abandoned his current task and, without giving Kieve a single word of warning, took the pixie’s dick in his mouth.
For a few seconds, Kieve choked, as if he couldn’t even process the pleasure Sterling was giving him and transform it into an actual sound. A heartbeat later, he exploded into a shuddering, whimpering mass, still clinging onto Sterling’s hair while trying to get more of the suction. Sterling gave Kieve what the pixie wanted, or maybe took it for his own benefit. He felt live a ravenous animal with a feast in front of him. He just wanted to devour Kieve whole, and nothing else mattered, not his title, not the differences between them or whatever they had been trying to discuss earlier. Never had he been so out of control, so lost in his own emotions. And maybe it should have frightened him. Maybe it should have given him pause. But Kieve was so open to it, to him, accepting his unleashed passion with no hesitation, and showering Sterling with his own echoing desire. He thrust into Sterling’s mouth with abandon, his rising cries surrounding Sterling like the most beautiful symphony Sterling had ever heard.