The lycan festivities weren’t his thing, but Inea being the dragoness that she was, Dante knew that she’d be busy most of the evening with her lycan friends. The demon on the other hand had chosen to bypass the party and decided to check out the nearby city of Iona. It was a city run by dragons who had crossed over once humanity grew sway in the other world.

The demon found a tavern and was reminiscent of those he’d been through in his youth. He took a seat at a table and ordered a drink. Inea would reach out to him when she was ready to call it a night. Until then he’d scout out the city and let her know what he found.

“You’re out of place here,” A beautiful blue-haired woman with skin nearly as pale as that of his sister moved to his table. Her eyes were yellow topaz, faceted perfectly.

There was a slow chuckle from the demon as he took in the lovely creature that now approached him. “Well pretty, I’m out of place everywhere I go.”

“Grrrreeeeennnerrrrrrrsssaashhh….hhh…” the voice was deep and came from behind the demon; a draconic warning.  

The masculine scent washed over him and Dante didn’t have to turn around to know who it was that was rumbling behind him. He simply grinned as he watched the female’s reaction to the dragon’s appearance.

“Mmmmm….too bad,” the female looked Dante up and down. She made a clicking sound with her mouth and hearing a growl from behind the demon, she finally set her sights on the owner of the deep voice – a tanned, blonde male of medium height and stature. His look as a human did not speak of his look in his natural form, she was certain.  “Fine, fine, draco, what is it that you and your companion desire this evening?”

“I believe it will be ale for us both lovely.” Dante took in a deep breath of the scent again and relaxed in his seat a little more. “Do have a seat Largros or do you intend to stand behind me and growl at others that look my way all night? I assure you that such isn’t necessary and besides would you really refuse me such a good meal?” There was that deep chuckle once again as he waited for the male to join him.

“You’ve no need to draw from her. It wouldn’t taste very good, my friend.” Largros moved to the side and took the offered seat.  “Such dragons are looking for slaves. Do not forget, you are not as whole here as you are on the other side of the portals. Here, you may be dangerous, but you are not at the top of the food chain in Iona.”

“What makes you think that I’m at the top of the food chain anywhere? I’m only part demon remember. Not quite as interesting a catch as a full demon would be.” Dante’s amber gaze moved over the draconic male as he took the seat. He’d not feign disinterest because honestly he’d found the blonde quite appealing from the first.

“You’re definitely as bold as a full blooded demon.” No wonder Inea had wanted him to escort her lover around the town. Largros sat back in his chair. “Do you like taking risks?”

“That would depend upon the risk. Some I gladly rush headlong into, while others I’d rather avoid.” Dante watched Largros as others shuffled and moved around their table. “What about you? Do you like taking risks?” He found the male intriguing and that was something since none aside from Inea had fascinated him so much in a long time.

“As you said,” the dragon kept his gaze matched to Dante’s, “Sometimes the risk is worth the reward.” His smile showed his dimples. When Largros had chosen a human body, he had done very well. He had found a perfect mixture of human races.

As the drinks arrived, Dante dipped his finger in each mug and swirled it. The liquid gave a soft glow before settling and he withdrew his finger with a grin, “Can never be too sure now can we?” The spell had been simple enough to purify their drinks so that they could enjoy them without concern. “Why are you here and not at the celebration with the others?”

“I have no need for lycan pawing all over me. I have a much softer lover across the way who sometimes might claw my back for me. I won her from the male we came over here with. Their customs are archaic to me. Though some of them are good people that I respect, I am not as enamored of them as others I know are. You, however, are another story. You are many stories, I would wager. Much more interesting than a lycan celebration with loud drums and writing bodies.” Largros took a good drink of the frothy liquid.  

Now that garnered a full laugh from Dante as he drank from his mug. Licking the froth from his lips he grinned, “Oh I don’t know about that. I know some writhing bodies that are quite a bit more interesting than any story I may have. But if it’s stories that you are looking for from me, I’m sure that I can oblige you. Your softer lover can’t get too upset over that. Anything else would leave more than a few claw marks and would lead to all types of trouble for you, my friend.”

“Trouble that is not worth the risk?” Largros once again smiled brightly.

“Well that would be for you to answer now wouldn’t t?” Dante didn’t hide his interest, he didn’t have to. Inea knew him and what he liked, just as she knew that she was the only female that held his heart. That was what held him most to the dragoness – her willingness to try anything and just enjoy. The tension was growing between them, the longer there was silence, so Dante gave the dragon some of what he had asked for, “I’ve lived through dark ages and romantic ones. I’ve watched wars waged and soldiers protested.” He took another drink and enjoyed the honey flavor of it. “ Personally I enjoyed the romantic ages more. There were fewer hunters and any kind of craft was frowned upon so less demonic bondings were occurring. It is also when I found my sister. So it holds a great deal of sentiment for me.”

“It sounds more desirable, yes. For my kind, all ages have been rather dangerous since the new era of humanity. I am not nearly so old, but old enough to know of these times.”

Dante waved to the staff for two more mugs, considering they were going through the ale so quickly, “I fed well though in the darker times and the war times. I was sought out by grieving widows and heart broken friends to ease misery. Good thing energy doesn’t add pounds or I’d be the equivalent of that blob creature in the movies.” There was a cringe from Dante followed by a grin that flashed his double fangs. “Not a very attractive thought at all.”

“No,” Largros chuckled at the thought.  He enjoyed the look of those fangs and wondered what they would feel like on his flesh.  “But then science and technology came along and you grabbed hold of the underground and became less known for such things, eh?”

“Well, it was either that or fly our flgs proudly and wait for the hunters to come to our door.”

“You have very specialized hunters, your kind. Is that why your sister is so very interested in this dagger?”

Now why did he have to there? Dante’s grin slowly ebbed away as his gaze narrowed on the dragon that sat across from him. His voice dropped to barely a whisper though he knew that Largros could hear him.

“I can’t say exactly why she is seeking it. She likes antiques. Maybe she wants a new letter opener.” He was tense for a whole different reason now. It was foolish to discuss such things in an open tavern. Was Largros trying to get him killed?

“It is a beauty. The inlays are elven.” Largros pushed just a bit more.

~ Not here. ~ Dante’s voice reached out to Largros’ mind as he took a drink and finished the first mug off.

~ Not worth the risk? What if I told you I’m carrying it right now? ~  the dragon took another drink and then put the large mug down.

~ No risk to you.. Are you insane to bring it here amidst this gathering? ~ Dante’s fingers swirled in the new mugs as he muttered a curse beneath his breath.

~I have it wrapped in a shielding cloth. The magic is not only muted, it’s transmuted to look like something it is not. Believe me, you’re safe so long as I’m carrying this. I just picked it up for Inea before I felt you nearer me than her. ~

That had Dante taking a deep breath as some of the tension eased from him. His dragoness had sent Largros for it. He hadn’t even planned on seeing the thing before his sister had possession of it. A dagger that had the power to slay a demon was unusual indeed.

~ If you want… I can let you feel it… in a more secure place. ~ Largros took another large drink of the newly brought ale, his eyes challenging as he looked over the big mug.

Downing the second mug without stopping, Dante rose to his feet and caught Largros’ darkening gaze. ~ Come on then, follow me. ~ Dante could feel Largros’ gaze along with the curious bar keep’s upon him.

~ Anywhere. ~

Instead of leading Largros out of the tavern which would most assuredly have them followed, Dante led the male to the back of the tavern where the stairs led upward to the second floor rooms. He didn’t go up them, but rather turned to grab Largros by two fists full of shirt and spun him beneath the stairs where the shadows were thick and heavy thanks to Dante’s magic.

He pushed the dragon against the solid wall of wood and pressed his larger form against him.

~Tell me where you’ve stashed it, she’s watching so don’t reach.~

~ Mmmm… I think I’d rather you find it. ~ Largros felt like he was in a best of positions here. Why not enjoy?

His hands let go to flatten against Largros’ chest and he slid them down over ribs and muscle. A powerful thigh pressed between the dragon’s own as the demon continued somewhat patting him down. Scraping his teeth over the lobe of an ear Dante grinned at the reaction he got; a deep groan mixed with a growl from the other male. The hardening of the flesh between them was the physical reaction he got. Largros was enjoying himself immensely. His hands moved up the demon’s shoulders and then his arms went around the demon’s neck.  

The demon would only give so much of a show and the way he closed the darkness around them would tell the dragoness that. He would allow her a tease but not a full taste. ~ Hang on ~ was the only warning that Dante gave as he pulled them from the tavern into the hotel that was nearby. It was late and he didn’t bother renting a room, he simply pushed them into one that felt empty.

Largros fell backwards so hard he bounced on the bed he landed on. He was laughing as he turned to lean on an elbow. His eyes followed the movement of the demon as Dante made his way around him.

“Which dagger do you want from me?” the dragon teased.  

“I believe we should see to the one lethal to me before we discuss the other.” Dante liked teasing, taunting and games as much as the next person. But Largros was carrying something that was deadly to demons and they needed that out of the way before anything else happened. The energy that the dragon gave off was damned appealing, though, and was enough to wet his appetite for sure.

With a movement that was graceful and quick, Largros was pressed against the demon once again, his excitement feeding the other creature, he was sure. In his hand, he held the wrapped dagger.  “Your lady told me to give this to you or bring it to her. She didn’t mind which, because she trusts you that much. Either way, it’s not mine to keep.” He backed up and let Dante take the weapon. “And as much as I’d love to mark you, you’re not mine to mark.”

The amber depths of Dante’s gaze were glowing as he carefully took possession of the dagger. He didn’t have to unwrap it to feel the energy the piece gave off. With just a little energy used the demon made the weapon vanish to a safe place. He then gave his attention back to the dragon. “You’re right I’m not yours to mark.”

Dante stepped close and then moved in a slow circle around the male as his gaze raked over him, “But there’s no harm in fun between friends.” He stopped right behind Largros and slid his hands around the lean waist, “Or are you worried about that soft lover of yours?” Dante pressed his mouth over the pounding pulse at the side of Largros’ neck.

Largros hissed, a sure sign of approval when it came from a dragon.  “I shouldn’t go back to her as I am,” his breaths were getting deeper and he leaned back against the larger man.

“I respect the feelings for another, but I can at least help you with this tension.” Dante cupped the bulge at the front of Largros’ pants and squeezed gently. “No more than this unless you ask for it.” Battle made the blood run hot and Dante knew that without some kind of release Largros may actually hurt that lover he was so concerned about.   

The draconic man grabbed Dante’s hand and moved it up to his waist and then beneath the front of his breeches. His thumb and fingers made short work of the latchings and he soon felt those strong hands on his hardened need.

“This? This was worth the risk.”


~  Rachel Diane Adams and Dawn McClellan © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2018

Lyric from Imagine Dragons – Demons