Queen Temair and her Consorts may have won the first battle, but the war with the Male Rebellion is just beginning. Fyre Lord Miach and Rayne Lord Dathan, Temair's first two Consorts, must travel from their Queen's side to investigate charges of abuse against men at a village in the Fyre Lands. Alone together for the first time, the passion that's been simmering between the two men explodes, leading them on a journey of the body... and the heart.
The Queens of Merab: The Journey
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Copyright ©2010 Violet Summers
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Miach settled more comfortably into the saddle and suppressed an irritated sigh. Last night had been the first he'd spent away from Temair since he'd bonded with her as Consort, and he'd hated it. Hated it. It hadn't helped that the rumors of abuse that had brought him out of the castle and across the countryside had proved to be true.
What had helped, surprisingly enough, was the presence of his fellow Consort.
Miach would have chosen to leave Dathan, Lord Rayne, behind with their wife for a number of reasons. There was the fact that, among the Consorts, Dathan was the only one whose magic was a match for Miach's own. At least that was the excuse he'd given their wife. But Temair had countered with the argument that her Aire Consort, Zevan, was a vicious and dirty fighter and made up in strategy what he lacked in experience. And, she'd commented from beneath raised brows, she wasn't a helpless female by any means. Which was true.
It was Earth Lord Elan, Temair's fourth Consort, who cornered Miach and called him on his attempted maneuvering. "You don't want to be alone with Dathan overnight," he'd rumbled in his resonant voice. Miach wanted to argue, but he couldn't. In his gentle, nonjudgmental way, Elan was right.
Miach and Dathan had been dancing around an attraction that baffled the Fyre Lord since even before Temair had chosen Dathan for her Second Consort. They'd finally acted on it -- up to a point -- in the Earth Lands, but Miach was still a bit uncomfortable with the bond. Not because Dathan was a male, but because Dathan had breached Miach's carefully constructed walls and forced his way into Miach's heart.
He was pulled from his thoughts by the sensation of being watched, but he didn't allow himself to turn and confront his observer. If he were to meet Dathan's gaze, he'd just be opening himself up to one of the Rayne Lord's smart-assed remarks. Instead he straightened his spine and tried to ignore the fact that Dathan's glowing blue gaze affected him like a physical caress.
"We need to stop." Miach suppressed a shiver at the sound of Dathan's velvety voice.
"We can make it home tonight," he countered, though he knew full well Dathan was correct. The journey to the small village on the outskirts of the Fyre Lands had only taken half a day, but the ensuing investigation, trial and sentencing had dragged late into the afternoon of the second day. Now, long past sunset, the men were still easily three or four hours from the castle, and it would be foolish to push the horses over unfamiliar terrain in the dark.
"Miach." Just his name in that touchable voice.
"Oh, fuck it." Miach gave in to the inevitable and pulled his horse to a stop.
Dathan, apparently knowing what was good for him for a change, was silent as they constructed a makeshift lean-to out of several dead branches and their saddle blankets. The amused smile on his face spoke volumes, though.
Horses groomed, fyre started, Miach was at loose ends. Dathan sprawled before the fyre, propped up on his elbows, one leg bent and listing slightly to the side, just enough to emphasize the bulge between his thighs. Miach wanted him. Wanted, wanted, wanted, and he was fucking pissed because he felt too awkward, too fucking shy, to make a move. Worse, he knew Dathan would welcome it, wanted him every bit as much.
The Rayne Lord's smile grew, and his tilted blue eyes danced with amusement as Miach wandered restlessly from horses to fyre to shelter and back.
"Come sit down, Consort. I promise not to jump on your delectable body." Laughter lurked in Dathan's voice, and Miach sent him a poisonous look, which his fellow Consort deliberately misinterpreted. "Oh," he asked, wide eyed and teasing, "did you want me to jump on you?"
Yes. Sacred elements, yes. Take the decision out of my hands. Miach growled, more at himself than at Dathan's teasing. Growled even more at the tender light that entered those sloe eyes.
Dathan rose, a ripple of golden skin in fine, thin wool breeches and an open cotton vest, and moved to stand in front of Miach. "Tell me what you want, Miach." His blue eyes were serious and intent. "You know you can have it." It was an echo of the words the Rayne Lord had spoken in the Earth Lands, and the memory zapped straight to Miach's balls, with an odd stop along the way to squeeze at his heart.
Looking into those eyes, Miach couldn't force out the truth, but he couldn't lie, either. "I want things to be easy," he muttered in compromise.
This time Dathan's laugh was amused, but empty of any mockery. "Oh, Consort, you are the least easy man I know." He laid a hand along Miach's jaw, and the heat seared him. "Not easy, but worth it. Tell me what you want, Miach," he repeated, stroking clever fingers down Miach's throat, sliding his hand around to cup Miach's neck, just holding, not pulling. "I need you to say the words."
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