Weapons of Redemption 2: Sword and Shield
Saloni Quinby
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2013 Saloni Quinby

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Prologue to a Love Story

Rule's attention fixed on his handsome student. Their clashing blades echoed throughout the empty training room at Rule's school of swordsmanship. He taught fencing as well as instructed classes in historical weapons.

Joel, already an expert fencer and skilled with the Japanese katana, had come to him last year wanting to learn how to fight in the style of the Roman gladiators. He was an excellent athlete and an ideal student with a strong work ethic and a keen interest in history.

Teaching him was both a pleasure and a torment. A torment, because Rule had never been so taken with anyone in his long, long life.

Centuries ago a vampire pirate had sailed the seas, raping, killing, plundering and abducting. His crew included mostly vampires he had turned and who swore loyalty to him. He changed mortals whom he believed had the potential to share his lust for destruction. Generally Tarun was a good judge of character, but five times in his long history he had made the mistake of changing men who fought against instead of beside him. Rule and his four vampire "brothers" had finally managed to escape their hated captor. They swore to protect victims of men like Tarun.

Rule, Guy, Bryce, Ansley and Brayden currently resided on the East Coast of the United States. Using Ansley and Brayden's mansion as headquarters, they formed a secret organization in which they used their powers to help those in need. Under the control of their vampiric father, they had committed acts that still wracked them with guilt. Now, using the skills he had taught them, they hoped in some small way to find redemption.

Usually they found their cases though Bryce, who worked as a police detective in the human world, but other times they discovered those in need of help quite by chance.

Lately Rule had been between cases and was able to focus more on his school. When Joel had asked for private lessons, Rule had readily agreed. He should have known by his instant attraction to the man that teaching him one-on-one was a bad idea, but with Joel's talent and eagerness to learn, Rule had been unable to resist him.

Now every moment they were together, Rule had to resist the urge to kiss and caress Joel. Most of all he resisted the urge to taste his blood that was sure to be as vigorous and sweet as the man himself.

Joel noticed Rule's distraction and attacked harder. Rule defended himself and knocked Joel onto his back. His blue eyes blazing, Joel sprang to his feet.

Again their blades clashed and their sweat-slicked bodies locked. They stood close, their muscles straining. Joel's chiseled face was slightly flushed and his eyes gleamed. Truly he was beautiful enough to pass for a girl when he was in full makeup for a show -- he was a traveling entertainer who performed with swords. Rule had seen his show and it was spectacular.

Yet pretty as he was, Joel had a powerful, athletic body that was all male.

Usually when training, Rule wasn't distracted, but this close to Joel, all he could think about was sex.

The tip of Joel's tongue moistened his lips and the fierce expression in his eyes faded a bit.

Their bodies relaxed and they simultaneously lowered their blades.

"It's late," Joel said, "How much do I owe you for the extra time?"

"Nothing," Rule said softly.

The school was closed. Rule had scheduled Joel's private lesson for a Sunday afternoon. The doors were locked and they were completely alone.

"Thanks," Joel whispered.

Impulsively, Rule cupped the back of his neck and kissed him.

Joel's mouth opened to him and their tongues thrust against each other.

"I'm sorry," Rule breathed when the kiss broke.

A faint smile touched Joel's lips. "Don't be." This time he grasped the back of Rule's neck and kissed him even harder and deeper.

Rule took Joel's sword and Joel slid his arms around Rule's waist, tugging him closer. Their hard cocks pressed against each other's bodies and Rule groaned.

They shouldn't do this. Joel had no idea what Rule was and that he could never have a permanent relationship.

Coming partly to his senses, Rule stepped back. He walked across the school to put their weapons away.

Joel followed. On the way, he pulled off the red tunic he wore during training, baring his sleekly muscled torso. He loosened his damp blond hair from its ponytail and it clung to his neck and shoulders. Joel stood near Rule and placed a hand on his lower back.

Turning to meet his gaze, Rule said, "We shouldn't do this."

"Why not?" Joel said in a husky voice that sent a thrill of desire through Rule.

He'd been training Joel off and on for over a year. During breaks in touring with his show, Joel always came to him for lessons.

Sometimes after practice they went for a meal together to discuss swords and history. The attraction between them was undeniable, although they'd never acted on it.

Until now.

"Because," Rule said, as if that explained everything.

Joel gazed at him through his lashes. "You're not attracted to me?"

"Obviously, it's not that."

"Do you have someone else?"

"No," Rule said sharply. "There's no one else --"

Before he finished his sentence, Joel took his face in his hands and kissed him again.

Groaning, Rule closed his eyes. His hands roamed over every part of Joel he could reach. He'd wanted this for so long. Now that Joel's hard, sexy body was pressed to his and their tongues were dancing almost desperately, his resolve weakened.

Never in his life had he desired anyone as much as he wanted Joel right now.

"You're sure about this?" Rule breathed.

Joel took his hand and guided it to the hard bulge in the front of his trousers. "Does that answer your question?"

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