Never meddle in the affairs of dragons...
For over a century, Jon's village has sacrificed a virgin to the dragon who lives in the mountain. This time, when they find Jon in a compromising position with a traveling player, Jon's the new sacrifice!
Patch really isn't fond of the taste of human flesh. He's enjoyed sending the virgin sacrifices off to start their new lives. But when he sees Jon beaten and trussed to the rock outside his cave, he decides he may just keep this sacrifice around -- as his mate.
Praise for Affairs of Dragons
"I love dragons -- the magic and the loyalty. There really isn't anything sexier. The first book in Ms. Austin's new Dragon's Mates series has all this... sparkle that comes from the love only a true mate can bring."
-- 5 Hearts from Hollie, The Romance Studio
"There is a sweet romance threaded through this, but it is told with Ms. Austin's trademark touch of sizzle and spark."
-- 4 Cherries from Holly, Whipped Cream Reviews
"A sweet tale of man meets dragon evolves into a more intense and fascinating story... an enchanting tale readers will enjoy."
-- Lisa, Joyfully Reviewed
"Patch is a very civilized black dragon who loves solitude, a cup of tea, and reading. The sacrifices he has been sent over the years are always good company before he sends them off to freedom, but there is something different about Jo... If you like dragon shifters of the unusual kind, if you want to see how a poor human finds his unexpected destiny, and if you’re looking for an entertaining read that successfully mixed humor with intrigue and suspense, then you will probably like this novella."
-- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
"Emotions are strong, and their romance is sweet and hot. Evil and lies are uncovered and Jon must decide where and what he wants. Their story may be a quick read, but it still pulls readers in and opens this world for so much more. I am eager to see what more this author has in store for this world."
-- Gabrielle, Love Romances & More
"I seem to have discovered a kink for characters who can half shift into their dragon form, allowing for very flexible tails to come into play. The plot was attention grabbing, and I was extremely impressed that the author satisfied my need for a complete story in only seventy-five pages."
-- 4 Stars from Donna, Love Bytes Reviews
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Affairs of Dragons (Dragon's Mate 1)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011, 2018 Lena Austin
Jonndre the Potter knelt before his temporary lover -- one of the traveling players who'd entertained his village for the past two days. Soon they'd move on. What a shame. He'd miss the handsome blond juggler who stood before him, fucking his mouth. That is, until Erond returned next year. But... not so much he'd give up his home and his little shop. He'd be celibate for as long as it took.
"Yes. Like that." Erond wasn't much of a talker. His needs were simple, and all physical. In the years they'd been lovers, he'd never uttered more than perhaps a handful of words at any one time and, to be sure, none had been the three words all lovers wished to hear.
Even though Jon's heart longed for more than a mere physical release, he knew better than to reject what the gods had given him. If a traveling player in a horse-drawn caravan was all he was allowed, then he would be content and thankful. Why couldn't he just concentrate on giving Erond his pleasure? He increased the suction and even used his tongue in a new way he'd thought up, hoping that perhaps Erond might be moved into uttering more than a one-word compliment.
Erond, for his part, put his hands upon his thin hips and buried his cock deeply down Jon's throat without much finesse or care to whether he choked Jon. Jon had returned home after serving his time as a journeyman and set up his shop only months before they'd met. The juggler's low-throated groan signaled his readiness to spew his seed.
Fairly warned, Jon prepared himself to accept and swallow. He willingly took down his throat the salty, slightly bitter, white milk of Erond's cum with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. Then, it was over.
Erond quickly pulled his softening cock back into his trews with a satisfied sigh. "Thanks." He courteously helped Jon to his feet. "Let's finish this in the woods." His head jerked toward the slopes of the mountains where they often made excuses to seek out new mud and clay for Jon's pottery.
Jon shook his head. "We dare not, Erond. 'Tisn't safe to go outside the village priests' protections. The dragon hasn't been fed yet. Like as not, he's hungry."
Instead of fearfully hunching his shoulders as everyone else did, Erond's eyes lit up. "Truly? A virgin?"
The sigh wrenched up from Jon's soul. He felt so sorry for the maids of the village. Once every twenty years, the dragon awakened from his sleep and demanded a virgin maiden to quench his thirst for blood and satisfy his need for meat. He'd been lucky to be born male, even if the gods had cursed him with the unnatural lust for his own gender. As long as he kept his sin secret, he would live.
One other man, the butcher's third son, had been cursed with the lust for men. Though his burning at the stake had been almost ten years ago, Jon still had nightmares. They'd made him watch. Mercifully -- if such could be called mercy -- the village priests had tied gunpowder around Ishmi's neck, so in theory his head would be blown off before the fires consumed him. It hadn't worked well, and Ishmi's screams had been horrible to hear. Finally, one of the hunters had shot an arrow into Ishmi's chest and ended his suffering.
Jon shuddered and turned his mind away from the memories. Suddenly, he wanted nothing more to do with Erond. "Truly. Tonight is the lottery, where the maiden will be chosen from the few who remain eligible." Most of the girls of the village sought to become pregnant as soon as the blood stained their skirts, but the priests had forbidden the marriage rites before a girl's sixteenth birthday, so some suffered four years of terror, praying the dragon would not hunger for human flesh until they were safely wedded and bedded. How the priest knew when it was time was between him and the Gods.
Nearly dancing in place with eagerness, Erond tugged on Jon's hand and pulled him toward the door and the mountains. "Let us make our way to the mountain and find the cave of the dragon! While he consumes the maiden, we might steal a treasure from his nest!"
Jon dug in his heels, his eyes wide with a combination of horror and disgust. "Are you mad? While the priests swear he prefers the tender flesh of virgins, none can be sure he might not dine upon male muscle and bone if provoked. 'Tisn't worth the risk, Erond."
The juggler tugged half-heartedly for a moment before blowing out a frustrated breath. For a brief moment, his blue eyes seemed hard and even angry before his face softened. "Aye, perhaps not. I can dream." Erond reached out a hand and yanked Jon to his chest.
Alarm bells rang in Jon's head. He wriggled, but for all Jon was a healthy peasant, Erond was stronger. The potter frowned. "You take many risks. Why? Normally, you are wary." Jon's tiny cottage was not well hidden from anyone passing by. It was by far the smallest and poorest shelter, and the shutters hung so precariously, anyone walking by could see in. What if someone came by to buy a pot or lamp, or get one repaired?
The wry, almost cruel smile on Erond's face did not reassure Jon. He tightened his grip on his victim. "Because it pleases me." He crushed Jon's lips beneath his own.
Seconds later, there was a shout from outside the window shutters. "Abomination!"
Jon's heart froze, but it was too late.
Light flooded his dark little cottage when the village priest, broken pot in hand, yanked open one of the shutters. Father Sololov's outraged face peered above the sill, for the man was almost as short as a woman. His finger pointed to Jon and Erond. "You have been caught, evil-doers in vile abomination!"
The entire village, it seemed, boiled out of their cottages and shops. Men stomped grimly forward, women gleefully surged out, ready for a good show, and the children followed their mothers.
Erond dove through the back windows into Jon's tiny garden and raced through the field out of sight. Some of the village gave chase, but their enthusiasm was half-hearted at best. After all, Jon had been easily caught.
The beating administered by the men and even a few of the women who happened to have pie rollers or ladles in their hands was thorough enough to ensure Jon could not escape. Even had they not broken his right leg, the horror they made of Jon's face would ensure he would be killed as a woods boggle or other monster.
Jon fought back, knowing this would only enrage his former friends and even family. If he was lucky, he'd make them so angry, they'd kill him outright and save him from the stake. He saw the boot coming toward his head, and welcomed the black hole that swallowed him, hoping he'd never awaken.