Draoithe: Midnight Magic

Volume 17

by Ophelia Kee

Draoithe Midnight Magic - Ophelia Kee
Editions:Kindle: $ 5.99
ISBN: B08LNJJC5J
Pages: 432

Julian Gypsun used to be a young man on his way to becoming a contractor. Everything changed when he died and was resurrected as a wizard’s familiar. He was immortal and far better off physically than he had been as a human. Still, he was trapped with his life chained to a giant of a wizard who had no problem abusing him in every way imaginable.

Julian was powerless to stop it without ending his own existence. That is until he was yanked bodily through his own portal, transported to Draoithe, and assigned to babysit the visiting dignitary, Amazon Warrior Princess Zephyra, and try to convince her that her people should ally themselves with Luke and Draoithe.

That sounded easy, but it wasn’t. He liked her. He had no clue how to act on that. Best to avoid that altogether. Keeping her safe just might equal his death. (Please see her warrior princess title.) She was old and so far out of his league. Worse, she liked him and was determined to have him. He can’t even consider that. She has no idea how broken he really is.

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Tropes: Antihero, Band of Brothers/Sisters, Band of Misfits, Becoming a Monster, Born Hero, Chosen One, Cross-Species Friendships, Dark Enemy, Dark Lord, Death by Sex, Demonic Possession, Dragonriders, Fallen Hero, Fated Mates, Immortality, Interspecies Romance, Library of Secrets, Modern Human in Fantasy World, Parallel Worlds, Redemption Arc, Reluctant Hero, Reluctant Vampires, Secret Royalty, Sex Magic
Word Count: 107884
Setting: Tyler,TX, Draoithe, Kathmandu, Wizard's Circle, Amazon Isle, Mediterranean Sea
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Excerpt:

Drake and Lorelai

So long he’d waited. The meeting was over. He’d done his duty. The reunion of Dross and Emily had been good. The truth had been revealed.

The fire burned in his veins for her as they sat side by side in the meeting. He held her hand and burned with desire, but he couldn’t get to her. His fated mate.

She’d always been the one for him. She was sexy and dangerous. In their life as humans, he’d never had the nerve to approach her.

Drake had feared her rejection. Lorelai was a warrior. A shieldmaiden. They usually refused men.

She had certainly never accepted one into her bed in the time that he knew her. He wondered if her lover had died or jilted her. She had certainly not been a virgin.

Lorelai was just as brash as any man. She knew her strengths and worked at correcting her weaknesses. She never walked away from a fight. Part of that was because the men always tested her.

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She was good, and challenges to her skill rarely ended in a man winning. Lorelai could hand a man his ego very fast. True fights had usually ended in her opponent’s death. Underestimating Lorelai was a mistake.

“Are you still mine, Lorelai?” Drake asked when the door to the rooms she occupied closed behind them.

He drank in the sight of her. At five feet nine, she was a tall woman, all toned and beautifully muscled. He had watched her move since he saw her again.

She was light on her feet. Always fluid motion and pure grace. Watching her had always stirred a passion in his soul. But patience came easy for a man who little understood women.

She turned to look at him with a raised brow. “Are you not still mine?”

Jealous, possessive territorialism radiated from her being smoothing his fears and enticing him to claim her again. He needed to hear her words and know her again. He felt inadequate to the task of competing with a rival for her affection.

Lorelai had long ago learned to flirt and used her beauty to her advantage. She also had no problem casting an appraising eye over anything she found interesting.

If she’d found something she wanted a taste of, it would’ve been hers. Of that, Drake was sure. He’d seen how other men looked at her.

Her black hair was loose around her shoulders. Black hair that in the light hinted at a blue so dark that it was black, midnight magic. Drake itched to touch it and tighten his fist in it to hold her still while he took her.

Still, he hesitated, unsure. The old shyness was always a hindrance even if not exactly the barrier it had once been.

Drake knew how she was. It was part of the attraction he’d always had for her. He also knew that none would likely touch her without her permission.

Nine-hundred-twenty-nine years was a long time. He wouldn’t be angry if she’d taken a lover. It wouldn’t change how he felt about her, or what they were to each other. But he wouldn’t be sharing her. Not now that he had her again. Better if he didn’t touch her than learn she might prefer another.

“I’ve always been only yours,” Drake answered her seriously and with sincerity. She was the only woman he’d ever been with. Lorelai blinked.

“What!?” Had she not known?

He’d never spoken of it, but it was still true. She stared at him for a long moment. He waited for her to speak again.

He’d been clear when he spoke. Her question didn’t mean that she wanted him to restate his words. Surprise only. He studied her.

“I was your first?” She questioned quietly.

That seemed to matter to her. Maybe it should’ve mattered once, but he didn’t see how. He no longer needed to consider the questions of marriage and children.

“My first and my only. I was never comfortable with it. I mean, women. They confuse me a lot. What they want. How I’m supposed to act. But you were always easy to talk to. Not like other women.” Lying didn’t occur to him.

She knew him. Lorelai had seen him beaten, broken, cut, and bleeding. She knew him surly, drunk, bloodthirsty, and sober. They’d fought side by side too many times to count. Drake was surprised that she seemed surprised by his admission.

He’d always been a quiet man of few words. When other men made crude remarks, he learned to laugh and nod at the right times rather than offer a blush.

His personal life had remained his affair. She had to know that he never took a woman to bed in all the time that she knew him as a human. He hadn’t expected what she said next.

“I chose to be a shieldmaiden after I was forced when I was fourteen. He was much older, married. He knew he could get away with what he did. I knew that I could never accept that again. I’d always been good with a bow. The spear was easy if it weren’t too heavy. I made my weapons. I’m tall for a woman, but the men’s weapons were usually too heavy even so.”

Lorelai paused and looked away from him. He let the silence linger hoping she’d speak again. He needed to know her.

“When I’d gotten pretty good, I managed to weasel my way into the good graces of a few older warriors. They thought that I’d learn a little and let them ‘protect’ me for a favor. I learned a lot. I protected myself, and no one got any favors.”

Lorelai was staring away into her past at things he couldn’t see.

Drake continued to study her as he processed her revelation. He could guess at the way men must’ve treated her, and the way she would’ve had to defend herself. He didn’t doubt that she had killed often in self-defense.

Lorelai was beautiful. She closed her eyes, and her head tilted to one side briefly. She’d gifted him with the missing piece to the puzzle that had been her life before they’d met.

“I didn’t know.” He stated the fact although he’d suspected something of the sort considering how closed off she’d always been about anything she considered her private life.

Her quiet demeanor when it was only the two of them, excited him in a way that had never made sense to him. It was as if he could feel her intellectualism. She had always been the only woman he had ever felt comfortable talking to, the only woman he had ever wanted to talk to.

“I know. No one knew. At first, I fought and learned for almost six years after I made my decision to give up the hearth and home before I saw you. It was the only life I could have that would allow me to shield myself from that kind of hurt again.”

She looked at him and asked, “Do you remember?”

She asked him if he remembered when they first met. He understood her question instantly. Drake remembered.

He was drunk. The raid had gone well. The pillage had been good. He was a wealthy man by Norse standards. The mead had flowed easily at the celebration that evening.

Jorund had arrived with the men who followed him. Jorund was a scavenger always looking to collect the scraps and not take any true risk. He grated on Drake’s nerves.

Drake had long ago forgotten how the fight started. Like as not, Jorund had insulted his manhood again because he had yet to marry.

Drake didn’t find women easy to understand or speak to. He’d also never seen the point of marrying a woman, then heading off to another raid. If he ever married, he’d thought he should want a hearth and home.

His life didn’t match that ideal, however. What woman wanted a man who was never around? What kind of life would that have even been?

Somehow sitting still seemed wrong to him anyway even if he should want a sedentary life. Easier to just avoid it all. He would fight and raid and die a warrior so he could take his seat in Valhalla.

“I was drunk. Jorund should’ve just left me in my cups. I wanted nothing from him,” Drake responded as the memory washed over him.

“I watched you fight. It was a thing of beauty. Jorund was a fool to challenge you even if you were drunk. Never had I seen anything like that.” Lorelai nodded. A small ghostly smile hinted around the corners of her mouth.

Drake had lost his mind and slipped into the place he always went during a battle. Nothing had mattered except kicking Jorund’s ass. No swords, no knives, no weapons. Just his fists.

He remembered how it felt when his knuckles smashed into the man’s ribs. Satisfying. He’d never liked that asshole. He ran his mouth too much.

“You broke his nose, his ribs, and three of his fingers on his left hand before his men pulled you off of him. One of the men who grabbed you had a broken foot for the effort.”

Lorelai had never met him. Her first impression of him had come from a brutal drunken brawl in which he tried to beat another man to death. And she described it as a thing of beauty.

Only Lorelai would’ve seen that disaster quite like that. She was perfect. The only woman who saw a fight near exactly as any man would.

Unlike other women, she hadn’t run away. She righted the bench that had been overturned. Then she grabbed two tankards and set one down in the spot next to his empty one.

She left him room but sat on the bench, her back to the table facing the room with her elbows propped on the table behind her like she owned the damn spot. Jorund’s men dragged him out of the room leaving her behind. Drake was never really sure if she’d come with Jorund, or if he’d just seen them at the same time.

He’d picked himself up as the conversation resumed around him. No one was stupid enough to lay hands on him with his adrenaline that high. He’d walked over to the tankard just looking at it as he wiped the blood from his face.

Drake sank onto the bench leaving space between them and hoisted the tankard to her by way of thanks. She smiled and nodded, never speaking a single word to him.

“You didn’t speak to me. I overthought that for days afterward until I nearly lost my mind. I didn’t even know your name to ask after you.” Drake admitted how confused he’d been after that.

“Didn’t figure you wanted to talk with the busted lip you had.”

Lorelai didn’t judge his actions. She’d simply accepted the situation as it was. She’d drunk her tankard slowly watching him and everyone else in the room. When he finally thought to ask her name, she was walking out with Leidolf.

“You left with Leidolf.”

He spoke the truth, not realizing how irritated he still was about that until he said it. He hadn’t liked the idea of her leaving with another man although he hadn’t had any right to stop her. Lorelai shook her head.

“No. I left alone. Leidolf just happened to be leaving then as well. I never chose any man to take to my bed, except you.”

No lies. There had never been any lies between them. There hadn’t been many words between them, but the few they spoke were always honest.

“Where did you go?” He’d always wondered where she disappeared to.

Three days had passed before he saw her again. Long enough for him to decide that she’d just appreciated a good brawl and left. He’d fallen hard, instantly, for a woman he didn’t know, who had no name and had never spoken to him. He’d felt like all kinds of a fool for days.

“The forest. I needed space without the presence of others to think. You messed up my world. I’d never met a man that I desired before you. It changed my view of my life. I had to wrap my mind around that.” Lorelai admitted that she too had been confused by her feelings.

It felt strange to finally know that the attraction had been mutual from the first time they met. He’d always believed that it was all only he who felt that.

“Why return to fight and raid with Erikson?”

Had she returned because of him? It shouldn’t matter. Not after so long, but it did matter. Everything with Lorelai always mattered.

“I wanted to learn if you were what I thought. I wanted to know if there was a chance that I should try to act on my feelings. Then I fought next to you because you didn’t talk excessively or ask a lot of ridiculous questions that I didn’t want to answer. I liked your silence.” Lorelai had fought next to him from that point forward.

She held her own. She was never a hindrance or a liability. She had skill and courage. She took a share in the pillage, but never any slaves and never enough to create a problem. She lived frugally and squirreled her loot away. Lorelai had been a wealthy woman.

Drake learned her for a year. She was beautiful, hard, smart, and capable. The other men respected her. They eyed her openly, and she flirted monstrously with them.

None ever won space in her life. She talked with Drake, but she only played around and blew other men off. He never imagined that she had any interest in him other than strictly friendship.

They’d sat on a different bench drinking after another raid a year later. The friendship between them had grown easy and comfortable.

“Will you marry, Drake?” She’d asked out of the blue.

He was old for an unmarried Norseman. He cast his eyes on her. He would’ve married her, but Lorelai was a shieldmaiden. She was a warrior. She wouldn’t agree. That life seemed destined to belong to other men. Drake accepted that.

So, “No. I doubt it. I never met a woman who would want what I am.” He had told her then.

“You asked me once if I’d marry. I lied to you. I would’ve married you, but I didn’t think then that you would’ve wanted me. You were a shieldmaiden, a warrior, same as me. With you, it was easy like it had never been with any other woman. Home and hearth didn’t seem to be something you would’ve wanted.”

Marriage was wasted on immortals, but the sentiment remained the same for him. She was still the only one he wanted. No one else would ever do.

“When you said ‘no’, I decided then that neither would I. The only man I’d ever wanted for my own preferred the warrior life. I was content to merely walk in your shadow, fight next to you. I knew nothing of relationships or marriage. What I was good at was making sure I avoided all of the entanglements. I talked to many. True friends, I had only one.” Lorelai had chosen solitude because she believed he preferred it.

Odd, Drake had thought of her the same so long ago. She’d been his only true friend. He trusted Lorelai as he’d never been able to trust another. She was the only person in the world that he’d ever been happy to see.

Dross Rothstein had brought him back from the grave, resurrected him as a dragon, and later earned that same kind of loyalty, but Lorelai was still the only person in the dream that had ever made him smile.

“You’re a taciturn, closed-mouthed, irritable son of a bitch, Drake, but I love you. I’m still yours. There’s never been another in my heart nor my bed. It was always only you for me. I flirt. I have teased a few men. They didn’t have what I need.” Lorelai smiled mischievously at him.

“Oh, and what is that?” He asked as he reached for her to pull her closer.

He should’ve done that many times in the life they once knew. He would make up for it forever if she allowed it. It seemed that the conversation was over.

“You, Drake. I need you. Please?” She asked, and he was lost.

He gave himself to his mate, to his age-old partner, to a woman who could easily put him on his ass. He gave his heart to his love.

Lorelai Teragon was all that had ever mattered. What she desired of him, he would never deny.

He kissed her. Doubts plagued him still. Should he have done that first and talked afterward? He’d always been shy.

No thinking. I like that you talk to me. It turns me on. You don’t talk, so when you do, it matters and makes me crazy for you. But I need you. I want to renew our connection. Please.

He stopped thinking. Lorelai made him forget to think. With her, he was lost in a sea of emotion and feeling that was as strong and primal as his need to fight or raid.

He wanted with Lorelai what he couldn’t even manage with another. He wanted that connection with her. His hands ripped her clothes away because they were in the way, and he needed them gone.

Then his mouth was on her everywhere tasting her, licking her, sucking her skin. She tasted like midnight rain. He’d never get enough.

She moaned and squirmed in his arms making him entirely too hard. He’d never been sexually interested in any woman before Lorelai.

His natural shyness had caused him to avoid the whole issue when they were human. Somehow becoming a dragon had liberated that part of his mind.

He still felt nothing for other women, but he wanted to ravage her until she begged him to stop. That night he was all hers. He loved her over and over until the sun had risen, and they both could no longer consider it.

“I should’ve loved you this way for so long. I’m sorry, Lorelai.”

He apologized to her as she lay in his arms with her head pillowed on his bare chest. He’d only realized the value of what she meant to him as she lay dying. He’d lost any reason to live when she slipped away. He’d walked into battle and been granted his desire to follow her.

“No. I don’t think we could have, Drake. We were too broken. What we had was too much for me then. We had to die for this. I would do it again, the same. You mattered more than sex. I needed the friend I had in you far more than I needed a lover, a bunch of kids, or a house to look after. I had more with you, fighting next to you than I could’ve had any other way. It was good.”

Lorelai was perfect. No woman would ever matter to Drake Lesarde as Lorelai Teragon did.

“I do like this. Don’t think that I won’t demand more of this. And in case you didn’t know, I don’t share, Drake Lesarde. I don’t care if you’re An Chead Dragan. You’re mine. We’re midnight magic together. I feared to find you tainted.”

He heard the fierceness in her voice even with the satiated tiredness. Her desire to keep him for herself soothed him in a way he’d never known he needed.

“We are indeed midnight magic. You’re my Ri altoir dragan, Lorelai. Command your dragon. I will obey. You’ll never share me. I work for you alone.” He laughed happily.

“Sleep with me, my warrior. Sleep with me.”

Drake held her tightly to his chest and slept with her as she demanded. Finally, he was where he belonged.

COLLAPSE

Step into the dream, feel the magic. Steamy hot, wickedly delicious paranormal fantasy stories set in a dream to live for. It all began in 2016. It became a retreat and a sanctuary for various immortals as Luke and Eli discovered love, magic, and danger. They find friends helping other immortals overcome problems and also find love in exchange for different magic and skills to aid in protecting the sanctuary that is Draoithe. Those who come to Draoithe add to the balance. Grab a good drink, curl up in a good seat, choose a book from the Saga, and escape into the dream at Draoithe while you meet the men and women who call it home. A place where myths, legends, and fairytales walk unmolested among the strange and wonderful, where the magic from the past lives again! Welcome to the dream...

About the Author

Not who everyone thinks she is.

The product of someone's imagination.

The end result of a lifetime wishing to get out.

Do not buy the lie.

If you live in fear, you give up freedom.

Taking the risk and making the leap.

Too much of anything is a bad thing.

Innuendo floating on the mist that rises above the water.

Walk away and leave it all behind.

Telling the story that haunts a fantasy.

Catching a dream.

She does not exist.

Ophelia Kee


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