This time the Comet's unleashed…
Markis Shaver is now the Swithin King. He has the love of his life,
Uly, as well as his best friend and personal guard at his side,
Ryanac. It's the perfect sandwich but for some reason he's feeling the squeeze. Ryanac and Uly have yet to fully give in to their lust … as well as trust each other entirely. Until they do, they will never be complete.
There's also someone out there who wants to put an end to their union and they're at least prepared to kill Uly to do it. He has to make Uly a prisoner in the palace for his safety but that's no life for someone who once used to roam the streets.
Then there's Tressa, his wife who isn't acting at all queenly. She's
trying to overcome her restrictive upbringing but even she had thought three men would be enough to satisfy her. Apparently not, for she's looking for something softer, more feminine. Not that he minds -- it's even a relief -- but his life is currently complicated enough. Maybe a few toys will please her for now.
He has to keep Tressa happy, keep Uly safe, stand helplessly by waiting while Ryanac and Uly try to form a lasting relationship and in the meantime he needs to locate their enemies. All this while ruling a kingdom and still learning the power of the comet. Even now, he's still unaware just how much power the comet holds but someone out there is trying to take those he loves away from him and soon everyone is going to find out just how destructive a comet can be, particularly when it's angry, especially when it's in love.
This time the power isn't out to threaten a nation. It will focus on one man. That man will be sorry. The comet is waiting. It wants to be free in the worse way. It's on its way. It's coming…
"Memories?" a warm female voice asked at his back
Markis jumped. Ryanac's mother had caught him staring at the barn. She came down the wooden steps of the porch and sat down beside him. It occurred to him that his father would never have approved.
This was their third visit in as many months. It would be nice if they could keep coming to dinner like this. Markis knew how much Ditta appreciated her son coming home even if it were only once a month, even if he was only a few miles away living in the palace. He had kept her son from her long enough. Besides, he liked these visits as much as Ryanac did.
"I'm sorry about your father," she said.
So was he, but not in any simple way. Pinching the bridge of his nose, Markis closed his eyes tight for a moment, and then let that train of thought go. That chapter in his life was over with and done. He and his father had not parted as friends, but neither had they been enemies. It was less than he had hoped for, more than he had expected. "Thank you," Markis muttered.
"I hope you're taking care of my son."
The comment made him bark out a laugh, and then he looked at her, aware his eyes were a little too wide. He had been away from the farm too long himself. He had forgotten how much Ditta could surprise him. The uncanny feeling that they were talking about something he would rather not discuss with Ryanac's mother made Markis look away again. Her deportment was calm, and her face looked serene enough, but she had meant what she said and not in any one way. She meant Ryanac's general welfare, but she meant something else too. There was no reason, as Swithin, for them not to be open about such things, but Ditta was not the type of woman you wronged even if you were the king.
"He's taken well care of." His tone sounded neutral enough. From the corner of his eye, Markis watched a smile play about her lips. She sat as he did now, her hands clasped, her arms encircling her knees with her feet on a lower step down from the one on which she sat. The setting sun sent a reddish glow across the ground.
"That Uly's a one," she said suddenly. "He's brighter than he looks, but he's used to hiding it. He loves you to bits, but he also likes and admires my son. I can't make out what he thinks of that Tressa, though." Her eyes shifted towards him, but she dragged her gaze away again before it settled. "Not that I know what to make of Tressa myself."
It lay on the tip of Markis's tongue to remind the woman that she spoke of the Swithin queen. He didn't for all of the reasons he had already thought of and because it amused him to listen to her. "She's had a restrictive upbringing. I'm sorry she wasn't hungry --"
"Hungry, my arse. She doesn't like my food, but that doesn't bother me. Besides, Ryanac said she's had problems adjusting to some of the plain food as well as some of the spicy stuff we serve here. Azulite dishes seem to be somewhere in between."
"That's true," Markis admitted.
"What does Uly think of the more spicy stuff?" Ditta asked, as though it had only just occurred to her.
"He loves it."
She sniffed and smiled, looking pleased. "I knew he would. He's hot under the skin, that one."
Out today at Loose-Id
Sharon Maria Bidwell
aonia - where the muses live
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This time the Comet's unleashed…