Hello lovely ladies! I’m working on a short story for St. Patrick’s Day and would love your feedback. I’ll post sections here as I write.
It’s a stand alone story, based on the characters from my Dark Desire series, so you don’t need to have read the series to enjoy this.
“What the hell?” Dahlia asked, freezing halfway down the stairs into the treasury below her workroom in the mountain sanctuary.
The room below her, normally filled with gold and gems, was jarringly bare. She regained her composure and hurried the rest of the way down the staircase. She reached out with psychic senses, trying to pick up any sign of who had penetrated the most secure vault in the center of a mountain inhabited by her and Kenny’s soldiers.
Nothing. Absolutely no trace of a psychic presence, either current or recent, echoed in the empty room. Dahlia started to summon Leon in a panic when a tiny man dressed in green stepped out of nothingness and into the vault. Out of instinct, Dahlia reached for him, trying to lock his psyche with hers to hold him there…
She found herself grasping at the psychic equivalent of smoke. The little man’s psyche was there, she just couldn’t catch it. She grinned at him, delicately pointed canines giving her smile a bit of ferity.
“What an interesting little man you are,” she said. “But too bold if you have anything to do with the disappearance of my treasury.”
“Your treasure?” the little man asked. “I assumed it was the dragon’s. But no matter, I’ve come to play a game.”
“Little man,” Dahlia said, “it’s not a good idea to play games with me. Return it and then let’s have a chat about how you did it. I’d rather not kill you, but I can’t have someone running around with the secret to my vault.”
The little man let out a high giggle, “But the game’s already begun. The gold’s been hidden but I can’t keep it without your permission. I can persuade you to allow it, though. Call me when you’d like me to depart with it!”
Dahlia flicked her wrist and three replicas of herself appeared around the little man in green, the puppets that were her psyche brought to the physical plane. The three puppets reached for the man with incredible speed, but the man ducked down and his green hat seemed to envelop him. One of the puppets picked up the hat and shook it, snarling in frustration. The little man had disappeared.
“Leon,” Dahlia called.
A lean, handsome man appeared at the foot of the staircase. An amused smile played over his lips as he surveyed the four women.
“Yes, my dear?” he asked in a honeyed tone.
“What the hell was that?” she asked him.
“I’ve never seen one but it appeared to be a leprechaun,” Leon told her.
“A what?” Dahlia snapped.
“A leprechaun, a little man with a lust for green and gold and, apparently, the ability to vanish in and out of secure locations,” he said.
Dahlia shook her head in disbelief.
“How likely is he to tell the immortals how to find us?” she asked.
“I’d hazard a guess towards unlikely,” he said. “They like to collect gifted creatures like that and twist them into servants.”
“That’s not certain enough,” she said dismissively. “And he likes gold?”
“With a lust that makes you and the dragon look like children,” Leon’s smile turned teasing.
“And his methods of ‘persuasion’?” Dahlia asked him.
Leon shrugged, “I suppose we’ll find out.”
Dahlia dismissed the three puppets and brushed by Leon, starting up the stairs, back to her workroom.
“Should I even bother locking the vault at this point?” she shot back to him.
“It’s the principal of the thing,” he said.
“Well, that’s all that matters, then,” she said sarcastically.
With a rich laugh, Leon disappeared as Dahlia closed and sealed the trap door to the vault.
The moment her fingers left the surface of the floor, one of her wards went off and tension ran through her body. The ward alerted her, Kenny, and their lieutenants and officers if anyone unknown was approaching the sanctuary. She dashed out of her workroom and towards the sanctuary’s entrance.
Kenny met her in the main hall. She could sense their two first lieutenant, Sabir and Soa, already at the entrance. She didn’t sense any fight though, just the soldiers around her on high alert. She and Kenny made their way outside to join the two first lieutenants.
“Anything?” she asked Sabir.
“Nothing as far as we can tell, Captain,” he said.
“Ravin?” she asked Kenny, using his surname for the benefit of their soldiers.
He was still for a moment, searching the area with his senses, enhanced by the dragonian side of his nature.
“No,” he said finally.
“That’s not good,” Dahlia said. “They wouldn’t go off without someone approaching and we can’t sense them…”
Her sentence trailed off as a high pitched giggle peeled out. The leprechaun appeared further down the mountain path. He was far enough out of their reach to prevent even Kenny from getting to him before he had a chance to disappear into his hat.
“What the fuck is that?” Kenny asked.
Dahlia rolled her eyes. “Leprechaun.”
“The fuck?” he said.
“It’s complicated and extremely irritating,” she told him.
“Right, so you want it dead?” he asked.
“I want it alive until it’s handed back our treasury.”
At this point the leprechaun was making rude gestures and the soldiers were watching their captains, uncertainty written clearly on their faces.
“Right,” Kenny said and threw himself forward.
“Wait…” Dahlia started but it was too late.
The man shifted into an enormous black dragon, taking advantage of his increased speed in that form. He came within inches of the leprechaun who squealed in shock but still found time to disappear beneath his hat. Kenny’s jaws ripped through the empty hat and he spit it out in irritation.
“Well that was a waste of a pair of pants,” Dahlia muttered to herself as Kenny spun around, testing the air for a hint of the leprechaun.
“At the moment this is just a nuisance,” Dahlia told Sabir and Soa. “If you see it again feel free to try and catch it but, as you’ve seen, it can vanish quickly and seems quite fond of tricks.”
“Um, right you are, Captain,” Soa responded, clearly trying to hide his amusement.
Dahlia didn’t blame him. If the soldiers weren’t dependant on the treasury to trade for needed supplies, the whole thing would have been absurd.
Kenny stalked back, still in the form of a dragon. When he reached Dahlia, he shifted back to a man. Nothing remained of his clothes and Dahlia tried unsuccessfully to hide it as her gaze wandered over the powerful lines of his body. Her breath and heart rate increased as that primal, predatory part of her mind clawed at her, captivated by her need for him.
She tried to push it back. She already knew he could sense her arousal and she really didn’t need him responding to it right now. Half dragon in more than just his form, Kenny tended to disregard unspoken rules around human behavior, such as not flaunting their relationship with an audience. Only her very firmly expressed preference kept him from doing so, but it didn’t stop him from pushing her when he knew she was turned on.
The smirk on his lips, drawing back to show wicked canines, told her it was much too late.
“So, we’re chasin’ little green men then,” he said. “Don’t think we need a full company of soldiers to do that. Soa?”
Soa, ever quick to follow Kenny’s direction, gestured to the rest of the soldiers.
“Right, Captain,” he said. “Everyone back to whatever you were doing. See any little green men, grab them!”
The soldiers followed their lieutenant’s orders quickly and Dahlia found herself alone with Kenny faster than she thought was possible. A deep growl echoed through him as he pushed her back against the same spot they’d had sex the first time they’d made their way to the sanctuary.
“Kenny...” Dahlia started, but any objection died on her lips before she gave it voice.
His hands on her skin drew out her unrelenting desire for him. The needed that had clawed at her earlier blazed to light. The touch of his body against hers kindled the ache that burned at her core, almost making her moan with the anticipation of its release.
His mouth sought hers and she leaned her face up to meet him. His lips pressed against hers, hard, demanding. She inhaled sharply, parting her lips and his tongue met hers, his taste filling her mouth; bittersweet desire and the iron scent of blood.
One hand tangled in her hand, holding the back of her head as he claimed her mouth. The other hand dropped down to push up her shirt. The sensitive skin of her ribs tingled as his rough fingers ran up her torso and then gripped her breast. Her toyed with the hard bud of her nipple as her body melted into his and she grew wet, responding to his need as the steel of his shaft pressed against her.
He pulled her shirt off and pulled her up so she straddled his hips. Her back hit the smooth stone beside the sanctuary’s entrance. Some sane part of her mind objected, someone was bound to need to leave the sanctuary and find the two captains--whose sanity was questionable anyways--rutting like mindless animals.
That part of her was buried deep and easily silence. Kenny’s mouth found her nipple and he gently bit at it, sending delicious pinpricks racing through her. She rolled her hips against him, grinding on his erection, trying to find some relief from the mad desire making her ache to feel him buried inside her.
“Kenny, I need you,” she moaned.
“Yeah?” he asked, voice so low it was hardly distinguishable from a growl.
He bit at her pulse and ran his hand down to the waist of her pants, teasing his thumb inside the band, slowly working his way down the inside of her hip. He pulled back on her hair so her head rolled back and her spine arched, her breasts thrust forward for him. He bit harder into the tender skin, drawing blood as he stroked her clint. Waves of pleasure and pain washing over her entwined to heighten the sensations and drown her world in passion. The pure heat of his need entangled with her own and pushed her further down into the grips of desire.
He sunk his fingers into her, rocking his hand to stroke against her most sensitive spot, pushing her need for him harder even as he gave her a taste of what she wanted. She bit her lip, swollen from his earlier attention, until it bled to keep from crying out. The energy of their minds entwined, the pure gold of hers and the depthless black of his dancing through her veins, the rush of it stealing away what reason reminded.
Her eyes turned solid gold as that feral, primal part of her took hold and she rolled her hips, riding against his hand.
“More, Kenny,” she demanded, voice dark and hypnotic.
His fingers slid free of her and he worked off her pants. She wrapped her legs back around his hips and he pressed into her. She arched her back in ecstasy and let out a soft cry as the ache in her core was soothed by the feel of his body stroking deep into hers. He pulled back and the need for him came back, tearing at her, demanding more. She gripped his hips and pulled herself down to meet his thrust.
“Fuck, Kenny,” she moaned, wanting him to take her harder.
He buried himself deep in her, taking her faster so her body shook with the brutal thrust of his hips. The euphoric rush that danced through her veins took her higher even as her body craved more. She rocked her hips, taking him deeper so he pushed against her walls, filling her completely.
He pushed her mouth back to his so he could taste her as he took her, claiming both her body and her lips. She drowned in the taste, smell, and pleasure of have him as her hunger for him finally began to satiate, replacing the clawing need with rapture that claimed her senses. Everything around her turned to the red hues of their lust as they lost themselves in each other. Savage energy ran through her, tying their minds closer together as they experienced each other’s indulgence. The gold energy sparked over her body, dancing along her fingertips and down over his arms and back. It pulsed in her eyes as it took them still higher, claiming them in their passion.
She cried out and he caught her, holding her tight to him as he moved her to the boundary between pleasure and pain where she found release from the demands of reality, where everything was lost but the pleasure in the moment.
Then the predator in her saw a flash of green.
Kenny, his mind so deeply wrapped with hers couldn’t help but catch her sudden shift in attention. He dropped her and spun after it.
Dahlia landed on her feet in a couch, following after him. Kenny shifted again as he crashed into the rock the leprechaun had been on, seemingly drawn to them. This time, he caught the little man’s leg before it vanished beneath the hat, ripped deep gouges into the flesh. Blood spilled as the hat came fully down and the little man vanished.
The dragon roared and the destructive black energy he summoned shot out like flames from his jaws, eating into the rock where the leprechaun had stood. In a temper born of frustration, Kenny swept his claws at the rock, leaving deep tears in it before spinning back to Dahlia who watched, panting with exertion and frustration.
“What the hell?” she said.
“Fuck it,” he said shifting back and picking her back up.
Her back hit the wall again and he sank back into her. The rush in her veins had only built with the thrill of a hunt and the frustration of being thwarted. He thrust into her, the frustration of being deprive twice of his prey played out by the savage press of his body into hers. She began to shake from the intensity of it as her release built to the breaking point. Sensing it, he brushed his mouth along the line of her jaw and stroke his fingers against her clit, pushing her over the edge. Her release took him, too, and passion was replaced by sweet bliss that washed over them.
The tension didn’t ease entirely though. Eating away at the edge of their thoughts was a little green man with a knack for irritating the hell out of them. Dahlia sighed in annoyance, feeling a bit robbed of her full indulgence with her lover. Kenny’s mind buzzed against hers, fixated on his prey.
“This is going from irritating to maddening very quickly,” she told him.
“Yeah, I’m gunna eat that stupid thing.”
Dahlia believed him, he’d come dangerously close to hurting Soa last time the lieutenant had needed to interrupt them. And Kenny actually liked Soa.
“Damn it,” Dahlia yelled as a crash sounded, echoing through the sanctuary.
Laughter echoed maddeningly behind it.
“Leon!” Dahlia yelled.
“No need to shout,” he drawled.
“I’m trying to do something about this and can’t find the gem I need to focus enough psychic energy to pinpoint the little bastard,” Dahlia said.
More laughter echoed.
“Well, I’d say there’s a very good chance that he took it,” Leon said.
“I thought he only took gold. And then only with my permission to keep it.”
“Perhaps he hid it?” Leon suggested.
“Um...Captain?” Genji’s voice carried hesitantly from the entrance to the workroom.
Dahlia closed her eyes and gathered herself for a moment before responding.
“Well, the front entrance to the sanctuary seems to be stuck shut,” he said.
Dahlia dropped her head and pressed her fingers to rub at her temples.
“I have an entire squad of soldiers with an incredible range of abilities and you’re telling me none of you can get the door open?” she asked in disbelief.
“Lieutenant Sabir wanted me to tell you before he started pulling off the hinges,” Genji said.
Sabir had the ability to manipulate metal so he’d literally be pulling them off. It would be hard to get the door back up afterwards. Dahlia couldn’t think of a better option though.
“If Lieutenant Sabir thinks that’s the best option then I trust his judgement,” Dahlia said. “I take it there’s no reason for the door to be sticking?”
“Any idea what that crash was a few moments ago?” Dahlia asked him. “Do I even want to know?”
“Probably not,” Genji told her. “Ry is dealing with it.”
“Ok. Tell everyone to let me know if they find a red gem anywhere,” she said.
Genji inclined his head, “Yes, Captain.”
Dahlia turned back to the work at her desk as Genji left. So far all of this was merely annoying. She had a bit of time to work out how to catch the creature before their supplies started to run low and they would need the gold he’d stolen to purchase new ones. She’d pulled every book she had, hoping so find even a hint of something she could use.
“Any idea how he’s vanishing?” she asked Leon.
“Afraid not,” he said. “The hat trick is rather new to me.”
“It’s very fast but it does take him a moment,” Dahlia said. “If I get him close enough to me then I can grab him before he vanishes. Do you at least have a guess as to why I can’t touch his psyche?”
“It does seem strange that you can sense it but not touch it...” Leon started to say.
The wards warning of an approach went off again. Dahlia buried her head in her hands.
“If that’s another false alarm,” she said and rose.
She ran towards the front entrance. If it wasn’t a false alarm and if Sabir had managed to get the door off the hinges then they were all much more vulnerable. She heard yet another crash as she neared the entrance. She sprinted through the twists and turns of the corridor separating it from the main living areas of the sanctuary.
She shot out of the last corridor to see that Sabir had, in fact, managed to get the door off its hinges. Kenny’s lieutenant, Soa, stood at the entrance, ready. He had a remarkable ability for creating barriers of physical energy. Depending on what had set of the alarm wards, he’d be needed to hold anything back as long as possible while they tried to fix the door.
Through the now-open entrance, Dahlia could see Sabir standing, hands on his weapons, looking down the path. She continued sprinting towards him, her soldiers parting to make room for her.
“Captain!” Soa yelled.
Sabir glanced over his shoulder at her before turning his attention back down the path.
“Lieutenant Arreal’s heading back,” Sabir shouted to her. “Looks like they found something.”
“Switch places with me and get the door back on it’s hinges,” Dahlia told him as she came to a stop beside him.
She saw Arreal running up the path with Genji and Issen. Sabir must have sent the fastest soldiers to scout for any threats. Sabir, following her orders, went back to see to the door.
“Trolls!” Arreal shouted as he came within earshot of her.
Damn. Trolls were nasty creatures. The last one Dahlia and Kenny had faced had offered Kenny an even fight. More than one of them meant serious trouble.
“Three of them,” Arreal said, the moment he’d reached her.
Dahlia heard the first noises that heralded the beasts approach. Guttural, sloppy grunts and the occasionally falling rock as one knocked carelessly into a loose bolder. Dahlia ground her teeth. Trolls were stupid, with simple psyches, but they had an incredible shield around their minds that rivaled that of their thick hides. She’d be able to get through the shield and disable them, but it would take some work and she didn’t think the trolls would hold still.
And where the hell was Kenny? She could sense he was close, but she didn’t see him.
No sooner had she thought it than the black dragon appeared, clinging to the side of the mountain above the path in front of her. Claws digging into the side, he climbed over the stone as easily as he moved over flat ground.
Dahlia’s breath caught. He was planning to drop down on the trolls and catch them by surprise. That was insane even by Kenny’s standards. The best he could hope for was to hold them off.
“How long on the door?” she shouted back to Sabir.
“A little time,” he yelled back, “the hinges are gone!”
“The hinges are…” she started before it dawned on her. “Damn the stupid green man!”
The trolls rounded the corner of the path and Dahlia caught sight of them. All three were wearing tiny green hats. If her blood wasn’t already boiling, she might have laughed. The hats were utterly absurd on the giant, grotesque creatures.
“Rezzi!” she yelled to her pyrokinetic soldier. “Fireballs!”
The fire would mostly just piss the trolls off, but it would slow them down and Kenny wouldn’t be hurt by the blaze.
Rezzi enthusiastically joined her, hurling explosions at them. He smacked them dead into his targets who roared in fury and made to rush him. Dahlia reached for the first one’s mind to start breaking through.
She found herself trying to grasp at water. Their psyches were there but, as with the leprechaun, she couldn’t grasp them.
“The fucking hats,” she swore.
Rezzi heard her and the next fireball smacked into one of the troll’s heads. The thing launched itself towards them, the hat unscathed.
Kenny dropped, his full weight hitting the mad troll as he dug his claws into its hide. The dragon wasn’t small and the troll, huge though it was, couldn’t stay standing with the sudden, unexpected weight dragging it over. There was a monsterous thud and the ground shook as the troll fell across the path.
Kenny twisted out of the way, deftly avoiding being caught under the troll’s bulk. Another of Rezzi’s fireballs smack into it.
“I need that fucking hat off,” Dahlia snarled. “Soa, Raschel” she yelled back, “try and slow them down. Genji, Arreal, get those absurd hats off their heads!”
Soa moved out from beneath the door frame along with Raschel and Dahlia’s two fastest soldiers. They chased after their captain as she sprinted towards the trolls, drawing one of her two, black axes as she went. Rezzi, unsure of his ability to control the blasts, stopped shooting.
The first troll was hauling itself back to its feet as Kenny ripped claws down the second one’s back. He pushed off, his wings snapping open to carry him up before the troll had time to reach back and grab the dragon attacking it. The ground rumbled beneath them as Raschel got close enough to use her earth-based ability.
Dahlia reached the first troll and duck under its giant, grasping hand. She leapt, planting her feet firmly in the side of the mountain. She pushed herself off, landing squarely on the troll’s massive shoulder. The creature roared as it swatted at her and she leapt for the hat.
The troll, seeing her streaking towards it’s head, changed course. It was fast for such an apparently unwieldy creature. The hand reaching for its shoulder lifted towards her. Dahlia swept her axe up and the massive hand struck its blade.
The sheer strength of the strike threw Dahlia back. She spun, landing on both feet as the troll howled and shook its hand, blood spraying out from the wound. The troll Kenny had clawed reached for her and she was forced to dance back, dodging it’s talons. Above her, Kenny dove for the third one.
Arreal caught up to her and faced the first troll. Raschel gestured and the ground opened enough to swallow the troll’s foot then close back around it, trapping the creature there. Arreal dodged around and whipped a slender blade at the back of the troll’s knee. It howled again as blood spilled out then ripped its foot free of the ground, stone spewing out around it. It turned towards him, swinging a fist the size of a boulder at the lieutenant.
Genji copied Dahlia’s pattern, leaping to the side of the mountain then ricocheting off to land on the troll’s shoulder. Arreal dove between the troll’s legs, slashing at its ankle as he rolled out from underneath it, keeping the creature’s attention on him as Genji went for the hat.
Dahlia saw from the corner of her eye as Genji claimed his prize. Gold energy surged around her as she called to the immense amount of psychic power available to her. Her eyes bled to gold and bits of it sparked, becoming visible to the physical sight as it strained against her control.
She dodged the troll currently trying to smash her and ran past the first one, putting it between her and her pursuer. Genji and Arreal turned their attention to the second one as Kenny kited, diving in and out to force the third to focus on him.
Dahlia reached out to the troll’s mind. It was more pissed than seriously hurt. She and her soldiers had managed to annoy it, but the wounds hadn’t been deep enough to seriously inconvenience the disgusting creature.
She hammered energy at its mind. The troll howled in agony and lunged towards her. Raschel pulled up the ground before it, tripping the beast, before turning back to helping Genji and Arreal.
Dahlia danced back and hammered more energy against the troll’s mind. She drew on her connection with Kenny and vicious black tipped the spiked she seared into the creature’s psyche. More of the gold sparks danced around her.
The troll howled and writhed on the ground. Dahlia could sense the shield around the vulnerable parts of its psyche beginning to shatter. She pulled more energy to her.
Then she saw it, the leprechaun appeared, oddly close to her, gaze fixed on her. She snarled at it, debating for a moment if she should abandon the troll to try and catch it.
The troll hauled itself up again and lunged at its tormenter. Dahlia was forced to dance back, losing her focus on the leprechaun. Behind the troll, she heard a shout as one of the trolls caught Genji, its talons ripping open his back, shoulder, and arm.
At the same time, Kenny got a clear shot at the troll he’d been tormenting. It caught Kenny in one hand and growled, pleased, thinking it had won. Kenny’s jaws snapped open and destructive black energy poured out. It hit the troll directly in its eyes. The creature screamed and threw the dragon.
Kenny caught himself in mid-air and streak back towards the now-blind troll. He met it head on, fangs sinking deep into the creature’s neck as his hind claws shredded its stomach. The creature let out a gurgling howl as its innards spilled out. Kenny released it, dodging back. It fell forward where it struggled to regain its feet.
Dahlia reached Genji and hauled him out of the way as Kenny spun to face the next troll. Arreal caught up to her and took Genji from her. The first troll pounded after her and Arreal dragged Genji out of the way as Dahlia dodged the opposite direction. She fired a quick psychic shot at it.
The troll roared again. The hasty blast didn’t do much damage, she hadn’t put enough energy into it, but it did ensure that the troll focused on her rather than Genji and Arreal. A flash of green behind her had her grinding her teeth. The stupid little man must have been enjoying the show.
Raschel caught the troll again, tripping him up enough to give Dahlia the space she needed to focus on breaking into the troll’s mind. She rammed another hard spike against it’s mind and it’s shield finally shattered.
“Damn, that was an effort,” she muttered as the troll screamed.
Behind her, Kenny was fairing well with the other troll. He taken a few hits and the wounds bleed freely, red running over the black scales. They weren’t enough to slow him down though. He sunk claws deep into the troll’s should and tore back, using his back legs to push against the troll’s torso as he pulled. The creature roared as the claws sheared through tendons and muscle and tore the joint out of socket. Kenny dodged back, leaving the arm flopping uselessly, hanging on by only a few threads.
Dahlia ripped into the troll’s now-vulnerable mind, tearing through it viciously. The thing howled, its bloodshot eyes rolling back in its head as it fell to its knees. Dahlia left deep gashes in its psyche, keeping it focused on the pain in its mind as she approached it. She leveled her axe with its throat, pulled back, then put all the strength she could muster into a sweep across its throat.
A red line appeared, thin but deep enough that the troll gurgled, slowly choking on its own blood. Dahlia released its mind. She didn’t get any satisfaction out of torturing the beast, she would have prefered a clean kill, but its thick hide limited how deeply she could cut.
The leprechaun, however, she would enjoy killing immensely. She turned to search for the little green man.
He was perched again on the side of the mountain, gaze fixed on her as her power surged around her. He met her hypnotic, gold-filled eyes unabashedly. Dahlia heard the last troll’s roar gurgle out as Kenny ripped out his throat. She held the leprechaun’s gaze, using her secondary ability to increase the feeling of fixation she could sense radiating from him, trying to keep him focused on her. She could sense Kenny turning, lunging for the little man.
At the last moment, the leprechaun broke his gaze away from hers and pulled his hat down over his head. Kenny crashed into the side of the mountain, crushing the empty hat. He roared in frustration, digging deep gouges into the stone as he swept his claws against it.
Dahlia turned and stalked back to the soldiers at the entrance.
“Let me know when the door is fixed,” she said, trying to keep the ice out of her voice. “And if anyone has any ideas how to catch that damned imp, come find me immediately. I don’t care how absurd it is.”
Dahlia paced through her room. She’d been pouring over the books in her workroom for hours with nothing to show for it. If someone had owned up to losing their treasure to a tiny man dressed in green, then they hadn’t told any of the scribes whose works she had at least.
Pacing in her room wasn’t proving any more effective at helping her come up with something, but at least it was a change of scenery.
She sensed Kenny before she saw him. His energy, the same depthless black as his eyes, brushed against her psyche. It was oddly calm, in contrast to her own frustration. She continued pacing as he entered their bedroom.
“Door’s back on,” he said.
“Well wonderful,” Dahlia snapped, “at least I don’t have to worry about another cohort of trolls threatening to break into the sanctuary.”
Kenny grinned, exposing wickedly pointed canines.
“That little fight?” he asked. “That was just fun, haven’t had that much of a challenge since the last troll.”
He caught her and pulled her onto his lap as he sat on their bed.
“In fact,” he drawled. “You’ve got a talent for findin’ great opponents. Anyone ever tell you that?”
Dahlia bit her lip, amused in spite of her nasty mood.
“Yes,” she said, thinking back. “But I don’t think he meant it as a compliment. In fact, I think he was trying to warn me that I might be getting in over my head with you. Not that I needed the warning.”
“Yeah?” he asked. “Think I can guess who that was.”
He pressed his lips to hers, indulging in the familiar scent and taste of his lover. The insatiable hunger she had for him, always sleeping just below the surface, lit with his touch. It came alive with a vengeance, clawing inside her chest, demanding to be fed.
He pulled back, holding her chin between his fingers.
“Lucky you didn’t listen,” he said, voice dropping into a deep growl, as low as the dragon’s.
Dahlia’s eyes, glazed with lust, held his.
“Luck had nothing to do with it, Kenny,” she said. “Fate, madness, whatever else you’d like to pin it on, but never luck. I was as captivated as you were, just as unable to turn away.”
He kissed her again, the press of his lips hard, demanding. Need clamoured through her veins and she turned to wrap her arms over his shoulders. Her lips parted and his tongue slid against hers. She drew her leg across his lap so she could straddle his hips, pressing herself against the steel of his shaft.
His fingers tangled in her hair, holding her mouth hard against his as he licked and bit at her lip before starting to work his way down her jaw, neck, and collar. She ground against him, the anticipation already maddening. He dropped his hands to her waist, reaching under her shirt to run rough fingers up her sides until he gripped her breasts.
He pulled her shirt off then twisted to push her down onto the bed under him. She slipped her hand into the waist of his loose pants and played her fingers over the tip of his cock. Kenny growled and bit at her chest, sending delicious shivers running down to her core. She moaned, aching for him, needing him to release the hunger he’d woken in her.
He tugged her pants down her legs and dropped them on the floor. She arched her back in anticipation as his mouth brushed over her ribs, stomach, and then her hips. The warmth of his breath against her skin teased her as her body begged for more of him.
He nipped at the inside of her thigh then lapped at her clit. She rolled her hips, the sweetness of his tongue still just a tease when she was so desperate for him. His fingers sunk deep into her and her lips parted in relief as the need clawing at her abated just a bit.
“Fuck, Kenny,” she moaned as he worked her desire for him harder.
He moved back up her body, biting at her side as he twisted and stroked his fingers deep in her.
“Tell me what you want,” he growled.
She caught his face in her hand and met his black eyes, glazed with need, as hers bled to gold. Her mind brushed against his, giving him a taste of what she wanted.
“I want you to fuck me,” she told him.
Canines flashed in a grin and he pulled his fingers from her to tug off his loose pants. When he slid into her she moaned, rolling her head back in sheer pleasure as he filled her, promising the release she craved. She rode her hips back against him as he thrust into her, building the rush of euphoria washing over her.
He ran a hand over her throat as he moved in her, fingers playing over the vulnerable pulse at the side of her neck. Then he pushed his hand into her hair, tangling his fingers in her auburn locks and twisting so the side of her neck was fully exposed for him. He bit at her pulse, claiming her body as he took her harder.
She pulled against the restraint, wanting to wrap her arms around him, pull him deeper into her. He laughed and let her go, moving his hand to her hip to hold her as he fucked her hard enough to make her shake beneath him. She cried out, caught up in a rapture that flooded through her veins, captivating her senses. She sank into her all-consuming need as her body reached for her completion, energy resonating between them, taking them further into each other.
As she lost herself completely in him, unable to tell where she ended and he began, gold sparked and danced over her skin. Dahlia rolled her hips and let the motion run up her body, pressing her chest against him and circling her neck back to the side to give him her throat. A flash of green cut through the rose-colored haze clouding her vision. It took her a moment to register.
As deeply connected to her mind as he currently was, Kenny couldn’t fail to notice her sudden shift in attention. He growled as he lunged for the little man on the other side of the room who had watched Dahlia as if helplessly drawn to her. The leprechaun tore himself away just in time to back up and get his hat completely over himself before Kenny could catch him.
“Fucking imp,” Kenny growled, voice indistinguishable from the dragon’s.
Dahlia wanted to scream in frustration but she felt something dancing at the back of her mind. She tried to focus on it and it moved further away.
Kenny stalked back to her, clearly annoyed. Dahlia let the thought go for the moment and pulled him back to her, pressing her lips to his.
“We’ll get him,” she said as she broke the kiss. “And I’ll hang him in a damn bird cage until he sings for us.”
“I’d rather eat him,” Kenny growled, still annoyed but running his hand over her breast.
Dahlia grinned. “Maybe after we get back what he’s taken. Afterall, he can’t leave without it and his trolls are lying dead at our doorstep.”
The frustration in Kenny’s eyes faded back.
“That was a damn good fight,” he said.
“Kenny, you’re insane,” Dahlia said with a laugh.
He pushed her back down onto the bed.
“So’re you,” he said, voice husky now.
He pressed his body back into her. She clasped the back of his neck and drew his lips down where she met them hungrily. Frustration drained away. They again lost themselves in the ecstasy created as bodies and minds entwined. Energy sparked through her veins as she satiated her need for him, reveling in the powerful thrust of his hips each time he sunk into her. She ran one hand down his chest, fingers catching on the scars there. She indulged in every line of his body, wanting to experience all of him.
She began to shake as the press of his body against her most sensitive spot drowned her in pleasure. Unable to take any more, she met her edge and tumble over into a release. She clung to him as her body tightened around him. He ran a hand down her face, her neck, and her breast as he let her release take him as well and he came into her.
Slowly the intensity of their love-making faded, leaving behind the sweet numbness that ran through their veins, quieting her mind for the moment. The rise and fall of her chest slowed as he held her until she came fully back from the escape they’d made.
Slowly her lips pulled back into a feral grin, showing delicately pointed canines.
“I’ve had a thought,” she said. “I think I’ll go ask Sabir to make that bird cage for me.”
Another crash sounded. The smile playing on Dahlia’s lips might have gained just a hint of vicious satisfaction, but mostly she ignored the interruption.
Sabir had out done himself. Her lieutenant had a strong ability to manipulate metal and when she’d asked him for a bird cage a tiny man couldn’t escape from, he’d jumped on it. By the next morning she’d had a cage that could have held a tiny dragon without risking it escaping--assuming the tiny dragon didn’t have Kenny’s ability to tear through metal with his claws.
Dahlia had then instructed her lieutenant and her soldiers that, under absolutely no circumstances, were they to disturb her. Once she was sure she had been understood, she retreated to her bedroom with the cage.
Kenny sat on the bed, watching her set up with an expression of amused skepticism.
“What’d you want me to do?” he asked her.
Dahlia brushed her mind against his, conveying what she needed without words. Kenny smirked.
“Yeah, I can do that. I don’t get it though,” he said.
“I’ll explain after,” Dahlia said.
She pulled her black cloak over the cage so it was hidden from view and went over to him. She straddled his lap and he grasped the back of her head as she pressed hot lips to his. She could feel his grin even through their kiss but it didn’t distract her in the slightest. Her body responded to his at every touch.
The way he moved, the power contained within the lines of his body, the way he pushed her off-balance, made her question reason and sanity. Everything about him constantly called to her; a fixation for him she could fulfill over and over again without it ever receding in the slightest. The only variation in it was if it was hard to resist or impossible.
She gave into that madness, indulging in the taste of him on her tongue and the feel of his muscles moving beneath her fingertips. It was all she could do to keep enough reason in her skull to remember that this was for a purpose. She couldn’t lose everything in the passion the way her body cried out for.
He pulled off her dress so her breasts pressed against the hard lines of his chest. He ran his hand up her thigh, making her shudder in anticipation before he brushed his thumb over her clit. She moaned, her voice soaked with need. He teased his fingers between her legs, feeling her grow wet against his touch.
“You don’t have to tease, Kenny,” she said.
He gave her a wicked smile. “Yeah, I do.”
He sunk his fingers deep into her, growing painfully hard at the soft gasp of relief she tried to hold back.
“Damn it,” she whispered breathlessly in his ear. “Kenny, please.”
He nipped at her neck and twisted to place her on the bed beneath him. She rolled onto hands and knees, facing the cloak-draped cage as he pulled off his pants and grabbed her by the waist. She moaned as he buried himself deep inside her, relieving the sharp ache that had built in her core. He tangled his hand in her hair, pulling lightly as his grip on her waist held her in place for him. He thrust hard into her, making her roll her hips in ecstasy, wanting still more from him.
As their bodies entwined, the gold energy of her psyche wrapped and twisted with his. Euphoria ran through them, coursing between mind and body. It enthralled her senses, focusing everything on the raw pleasure from each press of his hips.
She cried out as he rode her harder, pulling her back against him. She began to shake as he pushed her towards the edge where pleasure met pain and mingled in the sweetest way. Gold crackled over her skin and the white and black of her eyes filled with the same gold as her irises.
Through some unknown strength of will, neither of them moved when their prey appeared, drawn by the energy sparking over their bodies. Dahlia leveled her gaze to meet his, her gold eyes boring into him. The emotional part of her abilities, as uncontrollable and wild as the winds of a storm poured out around her.
The leprechaun might have been able to evade the reach of her psyche, but he couldn’t resist the allure of the gold that filled her eyes and crackled over her body. Leon had told her it made what she felt for Kenny look like a child’s crush. She’d finally realized why he’d appeared each time her gold energy materialized. He’d been helplessly drawn to it.
Now, with sensuality and desire spilling from her and holding an influence over him, he couldn’t pull away. Locked in his own lust he walked towards the couple on the bed.
When he’d come just within reach, Kenny let her go. Gold radiated down her arm, wrapping around her hand. She slid slowly forward, holding the energy out. The leprechaun hesitated, clearly resisting the hold the gold had over him and the captivation of his emotions.
But they held. Dahlia reach out and grabbed him by the neck, a vicious grin spreading over her lips as she ripped the damn hat off his head and shoved him into the waiting cage under the cloak.
Kenny laughed and caught her up as she dropped the cloak fully over the cage. He pushed her back against the wall of the room and buried himself back in her. She laughed with him, the sound harsh and predatory. He bit hard into her neck and she cried out, riding her hips hard down onto him. The steel of his shaft pressed deep into her, stretching her as he thrust into her with brutal strokes.
Her gold eyes pulsed as she let go of the last bit of reason she’d managed to hold onto and drowned in the raw lust tearing at her core. She dug her nails into his back, wordlessly encouraging him to take her closer to her release.
Tension built in her body, overwhelming, until she thought she’d scream from it. Then her climax took her, shaking her as everything but the bliss running through her faded away. She shook as she came onto him.
Her release took him as well, the same rapture running through his mind, and he came into her. They floated somewhere outside the reality of the world around them for a moment, locked together body and mind as he held her.
Slowly the rise and fall of her chest brought her back into awareness of her own body. He let her drop gently to the floor. She walked to the cage, steps light, to pull back the cloak and see the wide-eyed little man staring at her. She laughed lightly and snapped her teeth at him.
“I told you not to play games with me, little man,” she said cheerfully. “Now where’s my treasure?”
He blinked, broke their gaze and shook his head.
“Don’t be absurd,” she told him. “I can rip it out of your head now or else let Kenny eat you. He can take little bites at a time until you tell us.”
He crossed his arms and closed his eyes, as if pretending she wasn’t there would make her vanish.
“Very well,” Dahlia said and flicker a finger at him.
The leprechaun screamed and fell to hands and knees.
“I won your game,” Dahlia said, “you don’t want to play mine. Tell me where the treasure is and then how you got into my vault.”
“Lioness,” he called her, breathless from the pain of her psychic assault, “fine, it’s at the top of the mountain. The opening faces the rising sun and my hat will open it for you.”
Dahlia crouched down in front of him, her eyes still filled with gold.
“There, little man, that wasn’t so hard,” she said.
He looked away, unwilling to meet her hypnotic eyes.
Dahlia rose. Kenny had already pulled his pants back on. Dahlia slipped on her dress then threw the cloak over it.
“It had to be at the top of the damn mountain,” she grumbled. “I hate climbing.”
Kenny grinned. “I’ll carry you.”
“That high up?” Dahlia asked. “You’ll have to.”
They went to the kitchen to fetch an enormous bag that Kenny used to haul things in his draconian form. Sabir popped his head in and was pleased to hear they’d captured the leprechaun in his cage.
Carrying the bag, Kenny followed Dahlia outside then stripped, tossing his pants to the side of the entrance. A moment later the black dragon stood before her. Dahlia threw herself onto his back. He grabbed the bag and threw them up and into the air.
As they rose higher into the air, the cold wind nipped at Dahlia and she pulled the cloak tighter around her. Her nose began to sting so she pulled up the hood and held it down over her face, bracing herself against the wind.
Close to the top, Kenny landed on the mountain face. He swarmed up it as easily as he moved over flat ground.
“There,” he growled.
An indent had appeared in the rock, a slight haze of green around it. Dahlia pulled out the hat and found it had the same haze of green. As they neared the indent, there was a pop. The hat and the haze vanished, leaving a hole and a large pile of gold and gems displayed just below the peak of the mountain.
“Well I’ll be damned,” Dahlia said.
Kenny hauled them up to the hole and they quickly loaded the recovered treasure into the bag. Then Dahlia leapt onto his back again and he descended to the entrance where a handful of the soldiers stood waiting for them.
“Damn,” Genji said as Kenny dropped the bag. “I didn’t know we were rich as kings.”
Dahlia put some warning into her glare as she turned it on him.
“Do you have any idea how much it costs to keep everyone clothed and fed?” she asked. “I’ve been feeling bad for the accounts of Sayuren’s force, having to deal with ten times as many soldiers twice as spoiled.”
Genji grinned and the soldiers around him began helping to haul the treasure back to her workroom. Dahlia opened the vault and left Sabir to supervise the operation.
“We still need to know how he got in,” she said, pulling Kenny towards their bedroom where the cage was held.
She froze as she drew near the cage then dashed forward. She unlocked it in disbelief then reached inside to retrieve a green hat and a note--the cage’s only two occupants.
“You won, fierce lioness, I’ll not return,” the note read. “Guard your gates well, your secret I’ll not reveal.”
“That damned little creature!” Dahlia yelled.
Kenny laughed. “Shoulda let me eat him.”
Thank you so much for reading! I would love your feedback. Plus I haven't come up with a name yet so any ideas, send 'em my way!
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If you love Dahlia and Kenny as much as I do, they have a whole series now (the final book is currently on my desk for editing). You can pick the series up on Amazon.
There's something dark about the mysterious man who sends Jenny's pulse racing under the light of a full winter's moon...
Jenny is a sweet, quiet farmer's daughter...or at least that's how she appears. When a handsome stranger appears under the light of a full moon, her passions awaken and draw out something far darker that's been sleeping below the surface. A short, steamy fantasy romance. 18+
Viola is a proper lady on the outside, with a dark mind and wild fantasies hidden beneath. Her outlet is in creating dark, romantic, and erotic fantasy novels filled with suspense, danger, and colored red with passion. You'll find the books actually sizzle when you open them. Her badass heroines are more than a match for her sexy, alpha heroes. Each one has a deliciously dark twist that captivates your mind. You can normally find her with gin in one hand and either a book or a pen in the other.