The passion shared by dragonriders Byron and Callum threatens to burn them up. They need someone else, a human, to bank them. They've found one in Mira, but now they've got to get past her prejudices and convince her she's their mate.
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Loose Id, LLC
October 31, 2011
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Excerpt from Taming the Fire by Mechele Armstrong
"I'm busting your balls."
Byron and Callum turned at the harsh words as they walked the winding steps up to the aviary platform where all dragon riders came to shift and take off into the night.
"What?" Byron stalled for time. After all, he knew what they were being busted for. They'd been flying under the radar for a while now. It was a wonder no one had called them out on it. He'd known who would call them out when the time came too, and he wasn't disappointed his guess had been right.
Geant gave them a finger that showed exactly what he thought of them. "Don't give me that innocent shit. You know what I'm talking about."
Geant, the leader of all the dragon riders of Eastania, was no dummy, nor was he a slouch. Not that he was chatty, only direct, but his human lover was said to be even quieter than he was. Byron had seen her a few times as she watched them take off from the aviary or greeted Geant when he came home. He lived by rules and regulations.
Which Callum and Byron had both been breaking. For months.
"Whatever do you mean?" Callum, ever the jokester, batted his lashes at Geant. Certainly not the way to win over the regimented commander. There was no way to win over their imposing leader, but that never stopped Callum from working his wiles. Wiles that would have worked on Byron in a heartbeat.
"You two are fucking."
Byron stole a look at Callum. Neither of them denied it. Why? The evidence was there for anyone to see--they hadn't tried to hide it. And it had been glorious fucking. Though, in a way, it was forbidden. So Geant had noticed their mating tattoos.
"Maaaayybeee." Callum drew out each syllable.
"You know the rules." Geant folded his arms across his broad chest.
"They don't say we can't fuck. Nowhere in dragon rider code does it say we can't fuck each other." Byron stopped walking, though they'd be cutting it close to change time if they stayed here too long. With anyone but Geant, pointing out this technicality would have bought them some time before they were confronted on the basic tenets of dragon rider law. He could hope Geant would accept his argument, but he didn't think things would be that easy.
Geant snorted at the pair. "You can fuck, but the rule--the code--that you two seem to follow only when it suits you says a human is needed, especially when two dragon riders form a mating bond. Usually dragon riders get the human in place first before they start fucking. That is the code, as you well know."
Byron pinched the bridge of his nose. "I know." He'd not thought about breaking the dragon rider code before he'd met Callum. Once he'd met the man, all his good sense and rule following seemed to have gone out the window. "But you can't mandate who we're attracted to first. We haven't met the right human yet." It would take a special human to be with the two of them. Another reason dragon riders usually met their human before they paired off with each other. Dragon riders pairing was becoming more and more rare. It was intimidating enough to become involved with one dragon, much less two. He'd stopped thinking about that when Callum had fallen into his bed, but now he couldn't think about anything else. Geant would see it stayed that way.
Byron's glance fell to Callum. The one who'd inspired him to do all this. The one who made his heart flutter. The one he'd already bonded to, despite the code. Callum had long blond hair he tied back in a ponytail and was muscular with rock-hard abs. He was a wet dream's dream. And Byron still couldn't believe he was fucking him. He had no idea what had attracted the newest dragon rider to him, but he thanked Gaia for it every day, human in their lives or not.
Geant grasped his arm and pushed him farther up the shoddy stairs that barely held them. "Hurry up and get up there. Before we turn scaly on this narrow band of shit, die, and you don't have to worry about securing a human lover."
No way would the steps take a couple of dragons weighing several stones apiece.
Byron walked quickly ahead with Geant on his tail. Callum loped along behind them.
"'Right human'? 'Right human' he says. If he or she exists, no one has told the likes of me." Geant walked quickly up the stairs, muttering all the while. "You need to find a human. Any human will do." The latter was directed at them.
Not as easy as it sounded, even disregarding their other issues of even finding a human to be with them. Most of the humans who wanted to be in with the dragon riders were already taken or they were creepy. The weird ones wanted to say they'd had a dragon in their business and didn't care what dragon rider they went with. Not that Byron had minded being a notch on a belt and had done the zipping-through-beds thing on several occasions, but once the human fucked a dragon rider, he or she moved on to other riders, which wasn't helpful to his needs. At this point in his life, Byron didn't want to move from human to human like so many of his kind did. He wanted someone...like Callum. Who he knew inside and out. It was time for something new. "It's not that easy. You know that." Not many humans wanted to bond with dragons, or at least not enough on a permanent basis. "You found the right human."
"I'm not the one disregarding code. I will make it easy, pissants." They reached the top, and Geant swung around to face them. His face turned as serious as a dragon wing hurt in flight. "You need a human. Now.Not later. Not down the road. Now."
"We know." Callum began to hyperventilate as his heart rate accelerated. The sun was low over the horizon. The change was already starting. They had little time to talk. Maybe they could distract Geant enough he wouldn't put out the ultimatum yet. That would give them another night's reprieve.
There was one human who had watched them for a while now. A woman. Byron didn't know much about her, and neither did Callum. Not even the newly installed head of the orphanage where they donated some of their hunting spoils knew much about her. They had bought vegetables from the beauty a time or two. Maybe she could be the answer to their problems if they could avoid her running every time he tried to speak to her about something other than produce.
"No, you don't know, pissants. But you will." Geant took deep measuring breaths as he gazed at them.
"Geant. We will try to find one soon. How about that?" Byron felt the wild blood racing through his veins. He tipped his head back. The change always swept in as if it were a stormy summer wind.