It wasn’t difficult to find Wylie through the maze of towering shipping crates. The power radiating in the area was a beacon and any sorcerer in miles probably sensed it. Which made him wonder just what the fuck kind of idiot sorcerer would go through the trouble of protecting a crate and not mask his signature. It was just begging for a cocky bastard to come along and steal whatever was inside.
It wasn’t a sorcerer trying to get into the crate, Dorian soon discovered when he stepped up behind the gang of punks loaded down with weapons. No, it was some snot nosed amateur magic user and a bunch of gangsters, all of them human. They were camped out in front of the crate as if the thing was going to suddenly rear up and attack them. Seriously, what a bunch of idiots.
Although he wasn’t in a hurry to meet the arrogant sorcerer who spelled the canister, he sure as hell wasn’t going to let Wylie get caught up with the powerful stranger either. Any sorcerer who could raise such a spell would know the worth of a dragon shifter. It was dangerous shit.
Unfortunately, Wylie was in the crate and Dorian had to get past the idiots with guns first.
He pulled a cigarette free and lit it idly while taking in the formation of men. The weirdo in the green jumpsuit looked like he ran the show. Someone was bleeding, a guy about his own age, and a tougher guy stood over him with a gun. It seemed like a good place to start. Dorian walked forward without bothering to camouflage himself.
His choice was correct. Dorian picked up on Wylie’s scent the closer he got to the guy swaying on the ground. He turned his gaze towards the large metal crate and wondered what the hell was inside it. But people were shouting at him now and the sounds of hammers being cocked were surprisingly distracting.
“Who the fuck are you!” He dismissed the man covered in scars and tattoos, who was waving his gun like it was going to do shit. Dorian turned to the guy on the ground. He offered him a hand and helped him to his feet.
“You know Wylie?” Dorian finished his cigarette and dispersed it with a puff of smoke. That got the angry yelling to stop. The men around him grew tenser when they realized he wasn’t just some powerless teenager wandering in.
Beck nodded slowly in answer to his question. He watched as the beautiful stranger moved so he was between Beck and the many men with guns. Dorian touched his face and he jumped. Dorian just raised an eyebrow at his reaction and pressed fingers again to his cheek. Heat radiated from his touch and soothed away the pain throbbing in the bruises Diego gave him.
“He a friend of yours?” Dorian wanted to make sure he was helping the right guy. Probably. Beck was sweet looking and lacked the resolve to kill, unlike the hard-eyed men around them.
“Dating,” Beck muttered while he touched his face gingerly. When no pain came, he quickly wiped the remaining blood away. His hands were shaking, likely from having a gun at his head for so long.
“Ah.” Dorian didn’t know what to say to Wylie’s ex—or what, current? Had Wylie gone there just to get back together with the guy?
Dorian licked his teeth and tried to push the stab of jealousy away. There was a mini army of punks with guns and Wylie was in some crate with god only knew what. Now was not the time to start feeling sorry for himself.
“What’s in the box?” Dorian asked while inconspicuously studying Beck, who was pushing his hair from his face. He wasn’t bad looking beneath the bruises. He had a sweet face if not a bit innocent. Of course Wylie had been dating someone before he came to the Academy. Hell, maybe they were still dating. For all he knew, this guy was waiting patiently for Wylie to get his dragon form under control so the two could live happily ever after in their white-trash gangster ghetto.
Nope, he was totally bitter as fuck. Damn it.
Beck stared warily at the large metal crate and gave a shrug full of uncertainty. “Not sure. Something worth a lot of money but it’s supposed to be dangerous. Wylie went in there over ten minutes ago and he hasn’t come out. I don’t… I hope he’s okay.”
“You should mind your own business.” Adam walked over to the two and met Dorian’s gaze challengingly.
“Fuck off, Adam,” Beck snapped. “Go lick Roth’s boots like the little bitch you are.”
Adam folded his arms over his chest and continued to glare at Dorian. The kid was short with mousy brown hair and wide, frightened eyes. He had power but it wasn’t flowing properly, which meant he had no clue about what the fuck he was doing. Hardly a threat to someone like him.
“I’m here for my boy, Wylie. I really don’t give a fuck what’s going on.” Dorian turned and took in the array of gangsters still pointing guns at him. “Except, seeing as you all seem to be ready to go on a shooting spree aimed where my friend is, I might have to step in just to prevent that.”
“Maybe we can help each other out,” Roth spoke up with a fake smile plastered on his face.
Dorian watched as the weirdo in the green tracksuit approached. For someone with absolutely no magical power, he managed to look confident. “Oh?”
“Yes. Doe has gotten himself trapped in that crate over there and we can’t get through the magic locking him in.” Roth looked him over with an assessing gaze. Dorian’s eyes narrowed in response. “But you seem to have some power, kid. Either that or you’re really fucking brave. If you get that barrier down, we’ll be able to set Wylie free and the two of you can be on your way.”
Dorian wasn’t an idiot. If there were men more manipulative and terrifying than his own grandfather and father, he had yet to meet them. The poorly dressed gangster wasn’t even close to their league. Dorian glanced at Adam’s closed expression and then to Beck’s wide, fearful eyes.
“Don’t,” Beck pleaded under his breath. “They’re gonna kill him.”
A spark jumped off of Dorian’s fingers. Beck stared at him in shock but he didn’t notice. Dorian’s magic was bubbling up in response to the sudden emotion rising in him.
They were going to kill Wylie? Fucking kill him?
“Fuck,” Dorian growled. Two more sparks shot free while he struggled for control.
“Are you—oh!” His eyes wide, Beck stumbled back when Dorian grabbed him. He hauled the shorter boy to the crate. Dorian sliced his hand down, tore a temporary hole in the barrier and shoved Beck through before he could protest.
“What are you doing?” Beck pressed uselessly at the invisible barrier.
“Stay here. It might keep you alive. Wylie can shield some magic.” The barrier plus Wylie’s abilities might be enough. Maybe, if anything was ever enough.
It was getting hard to think. Dorian felt the magic surge up and try to take him over. It wanted blood and he, well, he wouldn’t mind killing these stupid, arrogant fuckers who thought they could just take Wylie away.
Wylie had left the Academy for these freaks. Had left him. No, fuck that.
Beck blanched from the expression on Dorian’s face. Jolts of light sparked across the sorcerer’s body while Dorian’s eyes changed. His once expressive hazel orbs turned black along with the whites of his eyes. It was creepy as fuck, somehow more so because he was so beautiful. Beck held his breath and was relieved when Dorian finally turned away.
Dorian hazily took in the gang of men. The shipping crates were stacked high around them and formed a bizarre metal canyon. It might be enough to contain his power. It might be enough to keep him from taking out more than just the area and the fuckers around him.
His eyes fell on Adam, who was so small and scrawny among the bulked and muscular gangsters. He smiled and felt his lips stretch in a more than psychotic way. “Are you looking to kill my Wylie too?” His voice was deceptively calm as he stepped towards Adam and more sparks flared from his skin. “Are you planning on skinning him? Stealing his fucking magic for some shit dark spells?”
Adam shook his head wildly and stumbled away from Dorian. He cringed when he saw the blackness of his eyes. “N-Never. I’m self-taught. I don’t know anything about magic except what I learned on the web. I’d never kill someone for a spell.”
Dorian’s smile grew. “Then you better get the fuck out cuz once I get started, this whole place is going down.”
Adam licked his lips nervously and glanced at Roth. If the gangster let him go, it would be riddled with bullets. But Dorian had damn monstrous power. If he were to choose between guns or the sorcerer, it would be Dorian. Adam slipped around the sparking sorcerer and headed to the crate Beck and Wylie were in. He swiftly moved down the length and ducked behind the makeshift shield.
“Do I give you creeps the same choice?” Dorian’s voice was unfamiliar in his own ear. It sounded smooth and controlled as he stalked forward. “You’re pointing guns at my guy.”
“Chill the fuck out, kid.” Roth hardly looked impressed with his power even though Dorian’s clothes were smoking and flames just started to lick up his shirt. “You’re getting worked up over nothing. The guns are for what’s in the crate, not Doe.”
“Wylie’s in the fucking crate!”
“Stupid kid.” Roth sighed resignedly and looked over at Diego. Diego raised his gun, pointed it at Dorian’s chest, and three bullets exploded out in succinct explosions.
Dorian didn’t bother moving. The bullets didn’t hit, not that Diego’s aim was off. They hovered in midair in front of the now flaming sorcerer where they were suspended inches from his body. Moments later, they fell with a metallic clatter.
“You guys might want to start running like the little bitches you are.” Dorian’s teeth bared in an expression he couldn’t comprehend. He felt wrong, twisted. It was the first time his power hadn’t immediately exploded outward and he wasn’t himself.
Roth glared back at his men who were staring at the sorcerer like they were facing the devil. “Come on, you pussies. It’s just a fucking kid. He can block one gun, but there’s no way he can block us all. Fucking shoot him!”
Dorian glared when two dozen guns immediately clicked in preparation to fire. Wow, they were really fucking stupid. What did he have to do, start flying for them to take him seriously? Fucktards.
A vicious smile twisted his lips. Let them shoot. They had no idea who they were fucking with.
The shooting grew louder. Wylie gasped when he got another centimeter open on the chain now coated in his blood. It was nearly done. With a growl he gave a final pull. He roared triumphantly when the chain snapped apart in his hands.
“Did you…?” Dante blinked back tears and whimpered as Wylie moved to untangle him. It was overwhelmingly loud after so much silence. Metal struck metal as each freed loop landed on the floor of the crate. Dante sat up unsteadily with Wylie’s help. The chain was wrapped so many times around him Wylie swore under his breath.
“You’re like a fucking mummy.” Wylie hissed when metal burned into the cuts on his hands. The chain gave a final ear piercing clatter and fell flat on the ground in a heap.
Wylie licked his palms to heal his bloody cuts. He let Dante sway in his sitting position and get used to being unbound.
“You’re really strong,” Dante finally whispered. His rail-thin body shook uncontrollably. “Are all dragon shifters like you?”
“No clue.” He held his hands out and Dante fumbled for them the instant he made contact. “Try not to be scared when you see me, okay? I’m covered in black scales and I’m sure I look scary as hell. Can you stand?”
Dante tried. He clutched Wylie’s hands when his knees gave out.
“Damn.” Wylie’s anger grew to see how weak he was. “How long have you been in this crate?”
“I… I’m not sure,” Dante whispered. “It’s so dark. I couldn’t tell the time. I… I got sick…” he trailed off and blushed when his hand brushed over his damp pants.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s not like they gave you a bathroom.” Wylie tugged his hand and Dante nearly fell again. “I’m going to carry you, okay? We might have to run really fast and I don’t want you to fall and get hurt.”
“Okay.” Dante let himself be lifted. He wrapped his arms around the back of Wylie’s neck as scaled arms engulfed him. “You’re really strong.”
Wylie couldn’t answer. His rage was too great. The kid was thin as a straw and weighed barely anything. Who the fuck would have chained a little boy up in the dark and thrown him in some fucking crate? He didn’t know but if he ever met the person, he was going to make sure they suffered even more than little Dante had.
“We’re going to get you home, Dante. First, I’ll take you to the place I live. There are lots of good people there, and they’ll protect you. Then we’re going to find your parents and get you home. Just remember, I’m not going to look like a normal guy when you first see me. I have lots of scales.”
“I know.” Dante’s breath was too cold against his neck. Wylie had a chilling fear that the kid might be losing the last of his energy while in his arms, even though he was now free of the chains. He quickened his pace and headed for the door to the container. Wylie stopped short when he caught sight of an arm framed in the narrow gap leading out. He breathed deep and his confusion only grew from the familiar scent.
Beck didn’t answer. He barely glanced at Wylie when he pushed his way out the door with Dante in his arms. “Holy fuck, Wy. Your new boyfriend is fucking awesome.”
“Boyfriend?” His gaze followed to where Beck was staring. Wylie almost dropped Dante when he saw Dorian. “What the hell? When did he get here?” Better yet, why was he there? After the bonfire incident, he could have sworn Dorian wanted nothing to do with him.
Wylie jerked when he realized the bursts of magic shooting off of Dorian were just powerful versions of the sparks he had a habit of letting loose around him. “Shit. B, I need you to watch Dante. Don’t let him out of your sight.”
He carefully lowered Dante to the ground. Dante was transfixed as he stared up at Wylie’s scaled form in wonder. “Who is he?” Beck asked when he finally noticed the kid.
“Roth’s fucking treasure,” Wylie growled bitterly. “Be gentle with him. He’s weak, and probably starving and thirsty. I need to help Dorian before he loses his shit.” Wylie went to leave but Dante’s hand suddenly clutched his.
“I don’t want you to go.”
Sighing, Wylie crouched down and smiled grimly. “Don’t be scared, okay? I’m going to be right back.”
“They have guns,” Dante whispered.
“It’s okay. I’m going to be fine. Beck’s a good guy and he’s going to watch you until I come back.”
Pursing his lips, Dante reluctantly released Wylie’s clawed hand. Beck held a hand out to the boy and smiled encouragingly until Dante tentatively took it and stepped closer.
Wylie could sense where Dorian previously sliced the barrier. He pushed through the thin tear faster and with much less pain than last time. Noise immediately roared around him when he crossed the threshold and Wylie was momentarily stunned. He hadn’t realized how the barrier muffled all the sound until on the other side.
Shaking himself, he headed towards the sorcerer alight with magic and fire. “Dorian! Stop!”
At the sound of his voice, Dorian whirled. “Wylie!”
Wylie couldn’t help but stop and stare. Dorian was backlit with orange and surrounded in flames. The wood around them had caught on fire from the sparks jumping off of his form. Peering closer, he found a pile of guns at his feet. Dorian had collected them one by one with simple flicks of his wrists.
He was fucking beautiful.
A smile lit his face and Wylie reached a hand out to Dorian. He’d taken on the entire fucking gang for him, and didn’t even break a sweat. Well, besides his burning clothes, anyways. Wylie’s dragon had stopped its aggressive stance just on seeing its mate’s amazing power.
“It’s not worth it, Dorian. They’re just a bunch of dumbass scum. Not worth the guilt you’ll feel if you lose control of your power. Not worth ending up in Daiker—”
Dorian’s eyes went wide. Gasping, Wylie stared down at his chest when he was pushed back a step. Two small, perfectly round holes dotted his flesh beneath shattered scales. Blood slowly trickled out of the wounds.
“Shit.” It didn’t hurt. Being shot was supposed to hurt. Wylie’s body shuddered and tilted sideways. Against his consent, he slammed down heavily to his knees. “Shit.” He lurched forward. His face hit the ground hard and everything went black.
Dorian couldn’t breathe. Wylie was bleeding out, with his blood thick and black as it poured down his beautiful scales. But for some reason he was the one who couldn’t breathe. He felt lightheaded and no longer attached to his body. All he could do was watch Wylie gasp for air on the ground.
There was an explosion as his magic reacted to another array of bullets. Dorian turned slowly and looked blankly at the men remaining. Twelve were left. Roth’s lime-green tracksuit was lost in the dark while his men formed a shield to keep him from being harmed. It didn’t matter. Once his magic finished its quickly spiraling climb, anyone within a mile would be dead.
The moment the thought hit, it was a dam breaking of the numb wall blocking his emotions. His shirt was char and the wind swept it away. Smoke billowed up with his power. Dorian raised his hands and spread them wide. He pulled his arms down in a sweeping motion and the men before him fell, pinned flat to the ground even as the fire continued to burn higher.
They could have been something. They could have been something amazing. It was why it was so fucking hard to let Wylie go. Wylie could have been his damn life if his fucking magic hadn’t gotten in the way of everything.
God, he hated it! Years a slave to his grandfather’s ideals just because he was born with magic. And once he found a way free—at the sacrifice of Alastor’s life—he allowed himself to forget. He chose his terrible, cursed magic over a real future. He picked power like his heartless family would have instead of the one he loved.
Now the option was gone. He had chosen wrong and there was no do-over.
“Just so you know, you’re all going to die.” Dorian’s voice was hoarse from the smoke. He stepped forward and stood over the closest of the men who struggled and failed to move. It was the one covered with tattoos who threatened to kill Wylie’s friend. No, Wylie’s boyfriend.
Sparks flew from his body. Dorian embraced the feeling of jealousy. It was easier to focus on than the hollowness threatening to consume his heart. Ever since the accident with Alastor, he did everything to keep his emotions in check. Now he was doing everything to let them flow free. He wanted them to die. He wanted to see everyone die and there was more than enough pain inside to make it happen.
Wylie stalked into the portal so quickly, he forgot it led to the wrong building. The noise of machinery immediately overwhelmed him. Voices shouted and echoed in the large warehouse. There was a flurry of movement as sparks burst in the air from a welding torch. Wylie tried to catch his bearings. He crouched and looked at his surroundings. He had less than five minutes before it was midnight; there was no time to fuck around.
Decided, he let his scales cover his body. He surged forward and ran through the maze of car parts and activity, and refused to pause no matter how many people shouted. Most everyone he came across wore heavy goggles to protect their eyes. Hopefully, they wouldn’t get a good look at him. His speed was increased significantly now that his scales also covered his legs.
The night air was a shock to his senses. Wylie stopped short once he leaped outside and was away from the noise and scents of gasoline and oil. He could smell the ocean, rotting fish and salt. The entrance to Roth’s warehouse was guarded by one of the gangster regulars. Wylie retracted his scales only to sigh in annoyance when he realized his shirt was gone. He really needed to get one of the magic users to show him how to mend clothing.
“Joey,” Wylie greeted cautiously as he stepped up to the large man and the door he guarded. Joey had a scar over his eye. The eye was intact but it still made him look like a total badass even when just standing bored for hours on end. “Any way I can talk to Roth?”
“Guess that would depend on if you’re packing, kid.” Joey spat on the ground, his lips twisted in a permanent frown. “Arms up.” Wylie stood still for the pat down and did his best not to roll his eyes. Joey knew he was a shifter; everyone in Roth’s gang knew. It was a sore spot for half the men who were scared shitless of him on principle alone. Wylie didn’t need a gun to fuck anyone up but the guard still insisted on looking.
“Alright, you’re clear.” Joey opened the door and waved Wylie in. “He’s in the back with your boy.”
“Who the fuck else would I be talking about?” With a snarl, Joey slammed the door shut. Wylie felt a breeze from the force of it.
“Always a pleasure, Joey.”
Wylie took a moment to let his eyes adjust to the warm, dim light that was contrast to the night outside. He made his way to the back of the warehouse. The place reeked of mold and mildew. More rain got into the old building than sea outside during storms. Roth liked to keep things neat but there was the inevitability of shit piling up, especially when it came to stolen goods. Jobs fell through, buyers lost funding, things suddenly appeared; the place was a mess. Sure, the piles of crates and boxes were filled with expensive shit, but that didn’t mean anything while they rotted in the warehouse unpaid for.
Wylie saw Diego first. The junkyard dog of a man looked worse for wear. He was covered in scabs and pinks scars, and hissed in pain when he sat down on the top of a crate. Wylie smiled to himself. He hoped his scales had hurt the fucker more than he looked. Adam was next to Diego. The slender kid half trembled as he clutched at a digital tablet. Maybe if Wylie didn’t show, it wouldn’t just be Beck taking the heat. Maybe the little boy genius was being sent to the firing squad too. Fucking Diego, the cowardly fuck.
He took a deep breath. Wylie stepped out of the shadows with his head held high and shoulders squared. Roth came into view and he headed his way. The gang leader caught sight of him and called a few of his guys over in response.
Roth was not what one would call a typical gangster. At least, that was how Wylie viewed him. It’s not like he knew many people in the crime business outside of Roth, so he didn’t really have a lot to go on. Short, chunky, and dressed in a bright green tracksuit, Wylie was still pretty sure there weren’t a lot of crime bosses like Roth.
“Freak,” Diego greeted. His face was twisted in a bitter scowl.
“Ass hat,” Wylie retorted. “Or should I just call you a lying bitch? Where’s Beck?” He turned to Roth and ignored the way Diego jumped up.
“Wasn’t sure you’d show, kid.” If Roth sounded surprised to see him, he couldn’t tell. “Heard you were in some institution upstate. For paranormal types.”
Wylie wasn’t there for a conversation about the Academy. “Something like that. Where’s Beck? He had nothing to do with that job going bad. He saved that idiot’s life.” He pointed to Diego. “The fucker pulled a gun and fucked it all up. Leave B out of it.”
Roth pulled out a cigar. His pasty face was momentarily painted in orange when he flicked on his lighter. “Beck’s fine. We were just looking for some incentive to get you to show tonight.”
Wylie stiffened and took in his surroundings for the first time since catching sight of Roth. It looked like the entire gang was there. Most of the men were hanging behind a stack of crates near the loading area. There was a buzz of energy to the group. Emotions were high and the guys were armed to the teeth. He could scent gun oil and sweat. Something was going down, and soon.
“I want to see B. Whatever the fuck this is all about, I want to see he’s okay,” Wylie snapped as he met Roth’s dark gaze.
Roth nodded to Adam, who seemed relieved to escape for any amount of time. Diego took it as his cue to make an ass of himself. He came over to spit at Wylie’s feet. “I owe you, freak. You fucked-up my arm. Ruined my tats, ruined my—”
“Get the fuck out of my face,” Wylie warned. He stepped forward and bumped his chest against Diego’s. He refused to back down. “I fucked your arm up by accident. It’s nothing compared to what I’ll do to you on purpose, you stupid fuck. I almost ended up in Daiker because of your fuck up.”
“My fuck up? If you had minded your own fucking business—”
“Diego.” Roth’s voice was low. Diego growled. He glared in parting and stomped back to his crate. It didn’t take much; no one fucked with Roth. Wylie assumed it was the man’s connections because, besides being doughy and a terrible dresser, he’d yet to do anything impressive since their introduction. But men followed him, the type more likely to turn on their own, so Roth must have something to back up his threats.
“Wylie? Holy fuck, what are you doing here!” Beck suddenly ran up. He threw himself into Wylie’s arms and nearly knocked him over. Wylie grunted. He straightened and grabbed Beck by his shoulders to make sure he was okay. It hadn’t been that long but staring down into Beck’s warm eyes felt surreal. He hadn’t expected to see him again.
“I heard they sent you to Daiker.” Beck bit his lower lip anxiously. “Where’s your shirt? Did you… Did you escape? How did you…?”
“I dodged Daiker,” Wylie answered. He didn’t want to go into it. “You’re okay?”
“Okay? I’m fine. I was worried sick, Wylie! I seriously thought you were trapped with those psycho shifters. I should have known you’d find a way out.”
“B…” Wylie sighed when Beck gave him another abrupt hug. He glared over his head at Roth. “B, I got to talk to these guys for a second. We can catch up later, alright?”
Beck pulled away and blinked up at Wylie in confusion. He glanced behind him and found Roth and Diego waiting. “What’s going on? Are you joining us tonight?”
“Doe’s getting us in.” Roth held his arm out and Beck approached him hesitantly.
“You are?” Beck looked back at him expectantly. Wylie wasn’t sure what to say so he just nodded and stepped closer. He didn’t want Roth anywhere near Beck. Wylie’s gaze fell on Adam, who was hunched next to the group just at the edge. There was something off about him, something he was only able to identify from his time at the Academy. He had no way to prove it but he was certain Adam was a sorcerer.
Roth exhaled vanilla flavored smoke and tilted his head at Wylie. “I called you here for a reason. A job. It’s good money.”
Wylie hadn’t come for a job but to stop Beck from being killed. For some reason, Beck was fucking oblivious to that little nugget of information. “No disrespect, Roth, but I’m in a good place. A place that I’d lose really quick if I got into trouble with the law.”
“None of us want trouble with the law. We’re not looking to get caught. Your skill set will guarantee we get through easy as can be. You can get through steel, kid, and we need that tonight.”
Wylie looked to where Diego was staring him down like a rabid animal, and shook his head. “I’m done with that shit. Sorry, you wasted your time calling me here.”
“Don’t be that way, Wy.” Beck held his hand and grinned up at him. “Do you even get how much we’ll be making on this one job? One night and we’re all set for life. You’ll have enough money to move to some tropical island and live out the rest of your days in bliss. No one will care you’re a shifter when you have shit tons of money.”
Wylie was starting to remember just how fucking idealistic Beck could be at times and the wakeup call sucked. “B, it took only one person to fuck up our last job and I nearly ended up in Daiker because of it. Whatever they’re looking to do, there are now—” he turned, and pointed to behind the crates where the rest of the gang was stationed, “At least two dozen guys to fuck it all up. I’m done throwing my life away over shit that isn’t even important.”
There was a distinct click. Wylie whirled and stared as Roth handed a pistol to Diego. A pistol that the gangster then pointed at Beck. He stiffened as the gun was raised and aimed at his head. Wylie dragged Beck behind his back and held his arm tight to make sure he didn’t move. “Roth, you don’t have to—”
“The thing is, Doe, you were motivated enough to come out here when you thought we were going to kill sweet Beck.” Roth smirked meanly. His teeth were yellowed and stained from his constant cigar smoking. “Let’s see if that can’t work in my favor again, hmm?”
Diego stalked up and pointed the gun up to the side of Wylie’s head. The metal was startlingly cold. Wylie’s growl stuck in his throat. Even if he could get his scales up, he had very little confidence his skin was thick enough to stop a fucking bullet at point blank range.
“Let him go, freak.” Diego’s breath was no better since the last time they were face to face. Reluctantly, Wylie released Beck’s arm. Beck gasped when Diego pulled him forward roughly.
Diego turned him by the collar of his jacket, and forced Beck down to the ground in front of Wylie with the gun resting on the back of his bowed head. “Just wait a fucking second!” Wylie roared. He stalked forward only to stop with a growl when the gun was again pointed his way. He met Beck’s frightened eyes; he was near tears and still oblivious to the fact he was a pawn in the whole setup. Fuck.
“Well? Have you made a decision?” Roth stepped up beside Diego. He showed no sign he gave a fuck if Beck ended up dead or not.
Rage was a hand clutching his throat. Wylie’s body was tight with restrained force. He never let his anger get the best of him. He never let his beast do what he wouldn’t. Anger would get Beck killed and that was the one thing he was there to avoid.
His teeth gritted tight, Wylie forced himself to answer. “What do you want me to do?”
It was his first time leaving the Academy grounds since his arrival over two years ago. Dorian realized his mistake the moment he stepped through the portal. He didn’t have a null-collar. He found enough sense to change out of his pajamas and grab a hoodie, but his preparation had ended there. Magic gave Dorian everything he could ever desire. He was fearless as he stepped through the portal into a den of car thieves and their chop shop. But once on the other side, he realized he was vulnerable. Not from being harmed by a thug, but from losing control and killing everyone.
There was no Michael to come running if he lost his cool. No null-collar. No help. It left him alert and tense. He was hyper aware of his magic and what it was trying to do as he fought to stay calm and focused. He was there for Wylie, nothing else. Just a quick portal service back to the Academy once his business was finished. That Wylie hadn’t asked didn’t matter.
The first person to see him was steps away when Dorian moved through the mirror. It was an older man covered in sweat with a dark tan that spoke of grease more than sun. Dorian ignored him even as he gaped wide-eyed. He continued to ignore him when fingers bounced off his magical barrier when the stranger tried to grab him. Dorian looked around and spotted the likeliest way out of the building. A jungle of car parts and large equipment threatened to get in his way.
“Fucking little bitch—”
Dorian ducked reflexively. His magic shielded him and made the move more annoyance than anything else. The man, now sprawled on the floor from the momentum of his failed punch, fumbled for a cell phone. Tsking, Dorian quirked his finger and the phone skittered across the concrete floor and shattered. “Seriously, stop distracting me.” He finally spelled the guy still when he tried to get up again.
The warehouse was huge, poorly lit, and outrageously noisy. He considered a floating spell; it would be nothing to fly across the area instead of trying to walk through the mess. He had a feeling he’d be spotted quick though. He wasn’t interested in a room full of professional punks looking to beat him. Not that they could do much. They weren’t sorcerers and they didn’t possess unimaginable strength or speed like a shifter. He had little to fear except the annoyance of being slowed down.
Decided, Dorian cast a spell to camouflage himself. His fingers gave a rebellious spark once he was done. Using his magic did not expel it. No, casting only made the power inside bubble higher, and each spell was a step closer to losing his control. The other reason he didn’t want to fuck around if he didn’t have to. Without a null-collar, if he lost his shit, there would be no way to keep him from going nuclear on the building and everyone in it.
Dorian walked unseen through the maze and observed the many illegal activities going on around him. He was never one for stealing or drugging or whatever people did to make big money while taking from others. Before the Academy he was dealing with his own problems with his family and their many expectations. But he knew a few sorcerers who fell into questionable magics for money or attention.
It was twisted shit like revenge magic where you’d be hired to fuck someone up with a spell. Usually angry lovers whose guy or girl hadn’t cared enough about them, or just fucktards who never had a shot in the first place. There were potions you could brew to get a person high much better than drugs, and probably even more addictive. There were plenty of ways he could have been a total monster if he didn’t have to worry his Grandfather would hunt him down and make him pay in a similar fashion. Not to mention, fucking people up hadn’t really appealed.
The night air was cool and smelled of the ocean when he finally stepped out of the warm glow of the auto shop. Dorian paused and let his senses expand as he sought out Wylie’s magical signature. If one was adept enough, he could find pretty much any magic source in the area. Dorian knew what Wylie felt like. He’d secreted the knowledge away a month ago when he first saw Wylie fall to the ground from the police cruiser nullifier.
Dorian found him after only a few moments. Wylie hadn’t gone far, but he wasn’t in the building next door like he expected. No, Wylie was somewhere on the wharf and he wasn’t alone. There was something else interfering with his abilities and Dorian opened his eyes and glared. A powerful something.
Turning in the direction of the pier, he started to walk toward Wylie and the magic burning like a white-hot flame to his senses.
“This isn’t going to work if you keep growling,” Theodore said coolly. He and Wylie were alone in the Body Magic classroom. The group class was finished for the day but Theodore pulled him aside to go over his transformation. Wylie couldn’t stop growling. Theodore stood calmly with arms folded over his chest and leaned his hip on the large teacher’s desk.
“Sorry.” Wylie was trying, he really was. His dragon, on the other hand, could now fully sense Theodore’s dragon. Something it was very upset about along with a long list of grievances.
Life had turned weird once his null-collar was removed after the twenty-four hour waiting period. Wylie’s dragon woke up agitated and looking for both Leo and Dorian. One to beat the fuck out of, the other to thoroughly fuck. A little over a week later, the beast was still upset. Including Theodore’s inner dragon into the mix wasn’t helping matters.
“He’s really pissed.” Wylie kept his distance with chairs and desks placed between the two of them. “Being collared upset him. He felt like he was taken from his fight.”
Nodding, Theodore made no other move. “Is he aware he’d already won the fight? I made sure. You asked for the collar; it wasn’t forced on you.”
“He gets it,” Wylie muttered. He raised his head to meet Theodore’s gaze. “But he’s still upset. He didn’t know the collar was going to knock him out.” The dragon felt betrayed. Nothing had ever forced it to sleep before and it was mistrustful of the sorcerer who had the ability.
“I can wait as long as it takes.” Theodore was unfazed. “Your dragon’s had it pretty damn easy so far, kid. No fights, no hunts, no running for its life. That’s going to change now it’s been named and added to the Registry. It’s going to have to toughen up and join the real world, which means being knocked on its ass once in a while.”
Wylie licked his fangs and didn’t reply. He kept his thoughts to himself while his dragon sulked. A lot of things had changed for them the last weeks. Huge changes they were spinning from. The dragon wasn’t used to being welcomed out in the open. It wasn’t used to being addressed at all. It liked the changes that came with the Academy but the dragon was also kind of fucked-up. It was used to being hidden away and feared. Wylie was pretty sure the damn thing was going through an identity crisis.
You know, as much as a dragon tied to his soul could, anyways.
The beast was both ecstatic and miserable when it came to Dorian Black. His mate had accepted them, only to immediately duck out and refuse to say two words to Wylie since. The dragon was hurt, confused, and Wylie wasn’t doing much better.
He understood, as best as he could. Dorian was in a precarious situation with his magic. Even if he wanted touch, he didn’t think he could have it safely. That was shit Dorian had to figure out on his own, including if he wanted to risk a relationship. It didn’t make waiting around for his decision any less difficult for Wylie. Not after he had touched him, tasted him, seen him come.
He wasn’t blind to the possibility that Dorian might have already decided. It would explain why he refused to talk to him the last week. It sucked, plain and simple. Wylie and his dragon agreed on one thing; Dorian should be his.
“You asked for my help,” Theodore reminded. His violet eyes glinted in the dim light of the shielded room. “Leo could’ve been hamburger. If not for your control over your dragon, the lion would’ve been killed. There is no guarantee you’ll be so lucky next time. You need to gain control your transformation.”
Wylie snapped back to reality and the reason he was there. He inwardly prodded his sulking dragon. They wanted to learn how to transform without being a killer. The dragon wanted to safely touch his mate, and Wylie didn’t want to continue associating his shifter form with a death machine.
Wylie looked over to Theodore and cautiously edged a step closer. This time he didn’t growl.
Theodore held his hand up before he went to cross the space. “Let me show you what a proper transformation looks like. It’s better if you’re not too close until your dragon gets used to me. They can be territorial on the best of days.”
Wylie nodded in understanding and remained where he was. He watched, eyebrows raised when Theodore stripped off his shirt and revealed his compact, lithe torso to the cool air of the basement room. Theodore without his stylish clothes managed to be even more beautiful. Not that he was doing anything to try and look attractive as he stilled and summoned his dragon forth.
“Holy fuck,” Wylie whispered. He unconsciously took a step back when Theodore shifted and red scales erupted over his flesh. Because of their rarity, there were no pictures to depict what an actual dragon shifter looked like. Wylie had seen a huge lion and bear transform right before his eyes; they were nothing compared to the winged Theodore.
He should have been monstrous. Theodore was covered head to toe in a shimmer of red and purple scales. His blood-red hair no longer stood out as a contrast with his new vivid coloring. His violet eyes were entrancing as they glowed from his still pale face. Translucent scales coated his face and made a long line down his throat and chest. Thicker, dense scales armored his arms and sides. On the top of his head, long, elegant curls of black horn twisted up and behind. Wylie’s gaze followed, his attention drawn to the black and purple leather like wings that stretched out twice as large as the man they supported. Theodore was still a man beneath those scales, in form and demeanor, even though his tail, scarlet and tipped in black, swished in small arcs on the floor behind him.
Wylie stared, at a loss for words. Theodore stood patiently and let him take in his regal appearance. The dragon shifter was stunning, beyond beautiful, and Wylie had a momentary thought. Just how obnoxious was Theodore to be still single at his age?
“Are you calm?” Theodore’s voice was lower and sounded like pure silk. “I want to show you my aggressive form and how I move from one to the other.”
“Okay.” Wylie winced when his voice cracked. Fine, Theodore was intimidating and entrancing all at once and it was a lot to take in. It got worse when a ripple went through him and Theodore gasped and crouched forward. His sleek muscles puffed up, sharp long spines tore out from his back and his talons outstretched. His scales shifted and turned. The color darkened and completely covered him with iridescent red and purple armor. The edges were sharp, deadly and an absolute threat. Wylie was certain of the danger since his own dragon was freaking the fuck out. It growled as it debated running away or fighting the red dragon across the room.
Theodore straightened. His gaze was bland from eyes now alarmingly pale amidst his richly colored scales. “You’ve been alone. You’ve never known another of your own kind.”
Wylie nodded and covered his mouth to stop the incessant growls that kept breaking free.
“I had a father, a brother, an uncle. Even still, it was sometimes hard to be around them with the dragon’s personality. You will learn to trust me.” Theodore raised his hand and Wylie’s dragon became hyper alert for any potential attack. “Just watch. I’m going to shift back to the less aggressive state. Your dragon must learn this.”
Wylie stepped close when he realize just what Theodore was about to show him. He and his dragon watched intently. The beast wanted to know the answer to their deadly scales just as much as he, and it was willing to risk Theodore’s dangerous state to observe.
Red scales flexed like petals ruffling in a breeze. Theodore’s arm turned sleek and metallic again and his claws not only blunted but completely retracted. There was no sharp edge left on the man. Wylie’s dragon crooned at the realization. He could be safe for his mate. Although Dorian was powerful, he was soft and fragile compared to the dragon. This proved Wylie could be gentle if he learned.
Theodore watched Wylie from the corner of his eye. He flexed his scales again. The edges turned out, puffed up, and then quickly sealed flat into the metallic sheen. “Try it now. One arm to start.”
Wylie swallowed down his nerves and forced himself to focus on his arms. A part of him was terrified he wouldn’t be able to do it. His dragon had been awake for ten years now and Theodore flexing his scales looked easy as fuck. How had he not been able to grasp something so simple? Sure, he barely shifted because he used to be afraid of his demon arms. It still felt too obvious a solution to have missed. Theodore made it look so easy to flex from aggressive to calm.
Wylie shook his head to push away his doubts. He let his dragon take over. Black scales erupted out of his flesh and covered him from claw to shoulder. They reached higher than normal; the scales teased at his shoulder blades and collarbone this time. Wylie held his hand up and focused on the ruffled, deadly scales of his forearm. He glared along with his dragon at the scales that wouldn’t move.
“How?” Wylie looked to Theodore in confusion.
“Press them to your bare flesh. Your dragon will feel how your scales move when they do so innately.”
Wylie stared at the shifter with brows furrowed. In this form, he could sense so much more. Theodore’s scent was different, very different from his own dragon.
“Don’t,” Theodore snapped. He held his hand up before Wylie could touch his face. “I might be able to defend a clawing, but blood is not something I want to add to this already precarious meeting.”
“You’re different.” Wylie wasn’t really sure why he tried to touch Theodore. His head tilted curiously as more scents and information filtered through.
“I’m from a completely different dragon species than you.”
“No.” Wylie knew that wasn’t it, especially when Theodore huffed and stepped away from him. He didn’t know much dragons but he knew the red dragon was beyond different in the big scheme of things.
“Ignore it and let’s get on with the lesson,” Theodore demanded. His flashing eyes left no room for argument. “Your scales. Part of why you may not be transforming fully is because your dragon is in a mindset of aggression every time. Transforming straight into an aggressive form is difficult. If you can smooth your scales down you may be able to push more free.”
With a final suspicious look at Theodore, Wylie brought his attention back to his task. He took his clawed hand and pressed it to his throat. His talons blunted and scales flattened automatically to keep from injuring his flesh. Wylie removed his hand, then moved it back and forth a few time to distinguish what muscle in his body was doing the work. The problem was, he couldn’t tell. It was as if the change was happening somewhere else, likely where the dragon dwelled. Wylie had no control over the scales movements.
His dragon, on the other hand, was learning.
“There you go.” Theodore watched as Wylie’s arm smoothed down this time before he brought it to his unprotected flesh. “I think your dragon is learning to do more than just react.”
“Will I look like you when I transform fully?” Wylie asked. His eyes were caught on the way his black scales ruffled and shook as his dragon fluffed them up and then down.
“It’s hard to say. You’re not from the same dragon line. There aren’t a lot of black dragons… Not a lot of dragons left at all.” Theodore shrugged it off. He pointed to Wylie’s talons and urged him to try and retract them fully.
It was a reminder of all the warnings Theodore gave about dragons being hunted. “Have you had to worry about that?” Wylie wasn’t sure if Theodore would be upset by the question. “Being hunted?”
Theodore grunted and nodded sharply. “I lost my father to sorcerers. A group of them hunted him down and tore his body apart for their dark sorcery.”
Wylie blanched, his mouth gaped open. “Like… pieces?”
Theodore expression was blank but his eyes burned. “I killed them. With my brother dead, it was up to me. I found each one—six in all—and killed them so the dragon could have its revenge.” His lips pulled down at the ends. “Not that it mattered. Revenge didn’t bring my family back. My mother was heartbroken to have lost so much and died shortly after, still a young woman. She never saw the laws change or shifters band to fight against the demented sorcerers.”
Wylie’s mind whirled. “Just how old are you?”
“Older than I look and that’s all you need to know,” Theodore warned with a glare. “The Academy is a safe place for our kind. It made sense to stay and help those who were strong enough to seek it.”
Wylie’s talons were almost retracted. They were now just black, inch long nails. “Getting revenge… Did it fix your dragon? Keep it from getting angry all the time? Is that the answer for my shifting problem?” He had no idea why his dragon was fucked-up except when it came to Sarah. Maybe the only way to fix things would be to hunt down the man who had attacked his sister. Wylie didn’t want to be a killer. At the same time, he was certain if face to face with the rapist, he’d find a way to do what needed to be done. His dragon wouldn’t hesitate.
Theodore studied the ground in silence for a moment. “Your dragon was birthed during a moment of fear and anger. My grandfather would have said it’s cursed to forever live that moment, hence your scales cutting all they touch. But that’s bullshit from the old ones who don’t understand the simple matter of facing your demons and dealing with your shit.” He shrugged and his gaze raised to meet Wylie’s. “How you fix it will depend on you. Your dragon needs to realize the world is not the same one he was birthed into. Life keeps going.”
Starting, Wylie closed his eyes, then focused on his dragon curled within. Did the creature not know that the man who attacked Sarah was gone? Even though they hadn’t killed him, they had defeated him; he was never going to rape another little girl again. Did his dragon not know that Sarah was gone, as were the Andersons and the old house on Oak Street? He had lived ten full years in another life; how could the dragon not see everything had changed?
“How?” Wylie finally asked, his expression full of confusion.
“No clue. Like I said, the old ones called it a curse because they didn’t know how to cure it. The brain is a messed up place, kid, but it’s also elastic. We’re going to help you figure out how to unravel the problem. It just may take some time. Seeing as your dragon has grown active, there’s a good chance of getting it to start looking around.” Theodore combed his hair back and gave Wylie a calculating look. “Maybe you can help the creature fixate on something besides the wish to kill.”
Wylie pondered. The only new things the dragon had shown an interest in was blood and Dorian. Hunting down animals seemed dangerous when he was trying to avoid the whole killing thing. But Dorian… he didn’t know.
Dorian was avoiding him. Maybe he didn’t want anything to do with him at all. Fuck, he hated this shit. Wylie just wanted to march up to him and lay it all on the line. He hated games, hated tiptoeing around shit. But at the end of the day, it was up to Dorian if he wanted anything to do with him.
It wouldn’t hurt to ask about the transformation, though. Maybe. If there was anyone the dragon was willing to transform for, it was Dorian. Maybe Dorian would be willing to help.
Dorian sat in the reflection room amidst a pile of soothing blue and tan pillows that littered the shining hardwood floor. It was a large room and always full of sun and warmth with windows frosted to give the occupants privacy. It was his personal room of sanctuary in a lot of ways; no one else needed meditation as much as he did.
In his hand was a null-collar. His gaze was tight on the metal as he ran sparking fingers above the surface. He couldn’t remember the last time he needed to wear the collar while actually in the reflection room. He could feel it, though. His magic was looking for escape. It was rising up and seeking death. He’d been too lax and the magic was winning.
He lifted the collar to his neck. Unclasped, the cool metal rested heavy on his flesh. It was a mistake. Touching Wylie… Being touched.
“Fuck.” He hunched forward. He couldn’t stop thinking of it. Couldn’t stop feeling it. It was a ghost of a memory but his body burned at each spot, each phantom kiss. Even now, over a week later, Dorian could not stop thinking about Wylie’s touch no matter how hard he tried.
He wanted Wylie and he couldn’t get his face out of his mind. Like his intense stare or the way he grinned at something stupid Fox said. Even when mistrustful of his surroundings and out of place, Wylie was damn hot. It was so unlike Dorian to be this way and he didn’t know how to deal with it. Half the time just thinking about Wylie got him sparking now. Crazy. He was crazy to think it could ever work.
Wylie made him feel amazing and that was just too dangerous. It was too difficult to feel and stay in control. It was one or the other. He could have Wylie and feel so fucking good while living in a damn null-collar for the rest of his life, or he could get the fuck over it. Now, before it hurt too much. It already hurt too much, but letting it grow would lead to misery.
Dorian didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to be in a collar for the rest of his life. He had no interest in giving up his magic for anyone. Not when he finally regained some control over it. Living without magic was an empty existence. He had no purpose, no skill, no value. Yes, his magic was dangerous but it was still him. As long as he was always in control, he didn’t have to fear hurting anyone.
But he couldn’t do that and be with Wylie.
Dorian wasn’t even sure how it became an issue. He promised to never fall for anyone again. Fuck, after Alastor, there wasn’t anything left inside to feel.
Alastor was just like him, another rebellious product of too much money and power. If his name alone wasn’t reason enough to be an asshole, Alastor’s father was a bigot who hated everything, including the homosexual son he didn’t know he had. Alastor spent his life living a lie at home and being a total hooligan when out with his friends.
They fell for each other fast. Alastor was hot, powerful, with a dark tortured soul Dorian just couldn’t resist after being surrounded by the typical unfeeling WASPs and yuppies of his home. Actually, he couldn’t even remember if he liked Alastor. It might have just been the relief to finally find someone who hated his life just as much as Dorian hated his. His memory wrapped the kid in such a fucking perfect fantasy of love or some shit as if that somehow made it better. Alastor was fun—a total ass at times—but sure as fuck wasn’t boring to be around.
Dorian didn’t pay a lot of attention to the people following him around and trying to get with him back then. He was consumed with learning the next big spell which would finally make his grandfather stop referring to him as a washout. Not that he wasn’t good at magic. Just, his focus was like any other teenager’s. His grandfather thought he was too soft and spent what felt like hours lecturing him. Dorian didn’t give a fuck. The best thing about joining the Academy was never having to listen to that shit again. No one cared if he was perfect, they just didn’t want him blowing people up.
Fuck, he used to be such a stupid little punk. The first time he agreed to go out with Alastor, Dorian was in the middle of breaking up the pavement of the mall parking lot. He made cracks and breaks so deep, the entire thing ended up being torn down and replaced. It would have taken nothing to repair it with magic, but he left it that way and claimed some sort of ‘artistic divinity’ or some shit. What the fuck Alastor saw in him he still didn’t understand. But then, Alastor ended up helping spell the huge hole at the mall entrance. The destruction of public property was always extra satisfying because of the wide audience to the aftermath. The town would buzz with the new, strange occurrence and very few knew that a bored teenage sorcerer was behind it all.
He must have liked Alastor. Enough that when he woke up the first morning with his magic swirling and rolling powerfully, Dorian confused it for anticipation. When he started sparking over those first touches, it was exciting. Alastor pulled him into his bedroom and kissed down his throat. It was something new compared to the boring, numb shit of before. There was even a touch of forbidden because he knew just how much Alastor’s dad would flip if he discovered what they were doing in his house.
It hadn’t been worth killing over. No amount of kisses were worth Alastor’s life.
Regret and guilt clawed at his throat, and fire sparked over his skin in a sudden wave of magic. Dorian gasped and clicked the collar shut. His power flatlined immediately even though his emotions still overwhelmed him. He folded forward and held his knees tight. God, what was he doing? Why the fuck was he doing this to himself? He needed to let this go before someone else died.
Tears stung the corners of his eyes and blurred his vision. He wanted Wylie. Touching him had been so good. It had felt hot, intense. Right. Not just because of the sex. Maybe if it had only been that, he wouldn’t be feeling so crushed right now. He’d never touched anyone and felt like they could see into him the way Wylie did. He wanted him there, that very moment, arms wrapped around him tight. He wanted to be held until the pain inside stopped.
Fuck, he was so fucking dumb. So, so stupid. Weak. But it didn’t stop him from wanting.
Wylie made him feel precious, important just as he was. As much as he hated it, he wanted to be Wylie’s. And he did hate it. He hated wanting, hated feeling so hurt, so weak, so fucking needy for another human being outside of himself. But it didn’t make it stop being true.
“God, I’m so fucked,” he whispered. Dorian pressed his forehead heavily against his knees. He fought with his eyes until he finally got the threat of tears to abate. The last thing he was willing to do was cry. Fucking lame ass bullshit. He refused to cry. So what if he was destined to be alone his entire fucking life? Crying wasn’t going to fix a fucking thing about it.
There was a sudden rap on the door. Dorian stiffened and raised his head to glare. Michael rarely disturbed him when he was meditating and he was barely willing to see the instructor, never mind anyone else. There was another persistent knock, and he sighed. Dorian unfolded his legs and checked his face to make sure no wetness had gotten past his guard.
It was Vincent. The long-haired sorcerer pushed the door open before he got to his feet. Dorian bit his tongue the instant his gaze fell on him. “What? You know this is the last fucking place to bother me.”
Vincent tilted his head at the angry tone. “You have your collar on. Can’t be that much of an issue at the moment.”
“What do you want?” Dorian’s anger grew. Fine, he might just hate the stupid sorcerer, and not for any of the right reasons. Mostly because Vincent was totally chasing Wylie. Right now all Dorian could think was how easy it was for Vincent to do simple fucking shit, like touch people and not worry about things exploding.
His expression only grew more closed off in the face of Dorian’s anger. “I want the dorm for a few hours tonight. Alone.”
It was the first time Vincent asked for anything like that and Dorian was feeling beyond suspicious. “Why?”
Vincent raised his eyebrows in surprise at the question. He hesitated in answering. “There’s no privacy in this damn place. I want to have someone over and I don’t want to be disturbed.”
Dorian knew about a half dozen spots you could hide away with someone in the Academy if you didn’t want to get caught. None of which he was willing to share with Vincent. Not when he knew exactly who he wanted to be alone with.
Dorian pushed himself up to his feet and stalked to where Vincent was standing. He glared into his obnoxiously beautiful gray eyes. “You need to stop your game now.”
“What?” Vincent raised his chin defiantly. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Wylie,” Dorian gritted out. “Stop chasing him. That’s who you want in the room, right?”
With an annoyed huff, Vincent glanced away for a moment to collect himself. “Why the fuck do you care, Black? I can talk to whoever I want.”
Dorian wondered just what the fuck was wrong with him as well. He would love to be able to blame the possessive, aggressive feelings on some weird creature blood his family might have gotten wrapped up in back in the day, but the null-collar was securely on his neck. He couldn’t blame it on any inner demons. No, he was apparently just really fucking jealous.
“Wylie’s mine,” Dorian finally grunted, his hands clenched into fists at his side.
His eyes narrowed challengingly. Vincent snorted without mirth. “Yours? What the hell would you even do with him? You have too much magic to use the dragon’s power, and you sure as fuck can’t be his boyfriend. What, you want to keep him around for fireworks or some shit?”
Dorian had never wanted to kill someone quite this much, and in the reflection room, at that. Since he was the one in a collar, he was vulnerable to any spell Vincent might throw at him. But there was no logic in Dorian’s mind, just anger and bitterness. “I’m telling you now, Frost, back the fuck off of Wylie. Or I’ll fuck you up once my collar comes off.”
Vincent seemed to take his threat seriously enough. He stiffened and edged backward. “I’ll tell the masters.”
Dorian’s smile was chilling. “Oh, did you actually think you’d be able to fucking talk once I’m done with you? You never struck me as naïve.”
Growling under his breath, Vincent whirled with a final glare. “You’re a psycho, Black.”
“Guess we have more in common than I first thought.” Dorian slammed the door loudly the moment Vincent left.
He probably shouldn’t have done that. He probably should have kept his fucking mouth shut and not tried to make an enemy of his fucking crazy ass roommate. Fucking Wylie Doe. The guy was fucking up his entire life.
With a grunt, Dorian slumped back to his mound of pillows. He stretched out, not even pretending to meditate anymore. He just kept fucking up. The moment he started thinking with his dick he ruined everything.
It didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to let Vincent have Wylie. He might not be able to have Wylie, but he sure as fuck wasn’t going to let Vincent have him. Fuck that.
Dorian considered if he was calm enough to get up and get his collar removed when there was another knock. Assuming it was Vincent back with a magical retort, Dorian growled as he got up and cross the room. He threw the door open angrily.
“Uh, I can come back later.” Wylie stared with a mix of surprise and wariness.
Dorian was startled to find him there. He blushed and his shoulders slumped. Not Vincent but still not someone he wanted to see. Unfortunately, his body disagreed and fire was now rushing through him hotter than his anger. “What do you want?” he asked gruffly. He was unable to meet Wylie’s intense pale eyes for longer than a few seconds.
Wylie didn’t answer right away as his gaze moved over Dorian like a touch. He took a step back, muscles tense like he was ready to go dragon. Dorian waited patiently while inwardly cursing the part of him begging for Wylie to lose his shit and jump him.
“The dragon is learning how to not be so aggressive,” Wylie said carefully. “But we need some help still. Theodore said I should find something the dragon likes and won’t want to hurt. And, well, that would definitely be you.”
Dorian licked his lips. The meaningful look Wylie sent him made his mouth dry and head spin. All he could think about was the last time he and Wylie were alone. It was over a week ago but it felt like only moments.
“I understand if you don’t want to. I didn’t know you were relaxing. Meditating,” Wylie amended as he peered behind Dorian into the reflection room. “Sorry. Fox said you hang out in this room a lot, so it’s a good place to find you. He didn’t mention what the room was for.”
Before he realized what he was doing, Dorian opened the door wider and stepped back so Wylie could enter. “So you’re getting better? So soon.” Wylie was barely there a month and already gaining control of his dragon. At that rate, in a few months he’d probably be gone.
With a shrug, Wylie turned from his study of the serene room to look at Dorian. “I’m really motivated…” he trailed off awkwardly and looked away. “Sorry. The dragon is fixated. I… I have no expectations from you.”
Dorian wondered just how in sync Wylie and his dragon were. When they were together in the hospital, Wylie was collared and definitely interested. But even then it was him going to Wylie. Each time Dorian sought him out, not the other way around. Maybe Wylie had some reservations about the whole thing as well.
Maybe he wasn’t even that interested.
“Well, show me then,” Dorian demanded abruptly as his stomach twisted. “If it’ll keep you from slicing people up, I don’t mind helping.” He tried to push the painful thoughts from his mind.
A shudder moved through Wylie’s body. He held his arms open as black scales erupted from his flesh and coated both limbs. Transformed, he immediately hissed, then turned away right after so Dorian couldn’t see his face.
“Sorry about that,” Wylie muttered as he glared at the ground. His speech was more hissing than anything else. “I just… Just need him to get used to your scent. He, uh, missed you.” He winced at his own words and hunched forward even more.
Yup, Dorian had totally fucked everything up. Wylie couldn’t look him in the eye and… Fuck. Well, fuck.
Dorian found Wylie’s back particularly uninteresting. He forced his feet forward and stepped around him until he was facing Wylie. “You still look pretty spiky,” he said while determined to ignore everything else. Wylie’s arms still looked ready to slice anything they touched.
“Oh.” He followed to where Dorian was looking. Wylie raised his hand and the scales flexed slightly. He glared. He brought a long talon up to his face and touched deliberately. The claw blunted and then fully retracted. Wylie sighed in relief and met Dorian’s gaze. “It’s different now. I just don’t know if it’ll work on anyone else.”
Dorian slipped closer and peered at Wylie’s finger with interest. “It’s very different.” He gingerly reached up and pressed cautiously on the tip of one of his claws. The talon blunted but didn’t retract. The material was like hot, smooth glass beneath his fingertips. “It doesn’t hurt, at least. Your scales look smoother but they’re not fully flat. Maybe your dragon doesn’t trust me?” He refused to meet Wylie’s ever-watching gaze as he ran another finger over his claw.
“He trusts you, Dorian. He’s trying. I can feel it.”
Wylie’s voice was a low rumble that sent shivers through him. He probably shouldn’t have let him the room. Not while he was in a collar. Not after the last time he’d been in a collar.
Swallowing hard, Dorian traced down the back of Wylie’s finger and over a smooth knuckle. He grunted in pain when his flesh caught on the edge of a sharp scale. “Shit.” He went to pull away but Wylie hissed and Dorian found himself stock still, with eyes caught in his burning stare.
Wylie bent down. His tongue lapped out and ran hot over Dorian’s bleeding finger to heal the small wound. Dorian watched dizzily when Wylie unexpectedly shuddered and gasped. A moment later his scales flattened into a glassy surface of black and his talons retracted completely.
“I guess it needed your blood.” Wylie stared at his arms in confusion. “The taste. He knows you by the taste of your blood.”
“Knows me?” Dorian was damn sure he’d yet to meet a dragon, especially one living inside a guy his own age.
“My mate,” Wylie said thoughtlessly. He winced at his own words. “Shit. Ignore that, okay? That sounds totally crazy and I don’t even know you. Fuck.” His cheeks flushed red and Wylie went to pull away. He was done embarrassing the fuck out of himself for the day.
“Wait.” Dorian grabbed his arm before Wylie could leave. He wanted to tell him to stop being such an idiot but the words caught in his throat. The scales beneath his hand felt so strange. They were smooth, hot, and sleek. Staring intently at the shiny limb, Dorian noticed his breath grow shallow. He didn’t know just why the fuck Wylie’s scales were so sexy, but the knowledge they could flex at any moment and tear his flesh added a level of excitement to touching him.
Dorian wet his lips and pulled Wylie’s hand close until he could press his face against it. He breathed in deeply, filling his senses with the scent of Wylie’s flesh. A wave of dizziness hit him when Wylie hissed and pulled him against his chest. Scaled arms circled around him and surrounded him in heat. Lips descended to his and Dorian gasped from the rush of fire that moved through his body. “Wylie…”
God, how the fuck did he do this to him? Every damn time. Teeth nipped at his bottom lip, urged him open, and Dorian could not, for the life of him, remember why he had been avoiding Wylie. Everything about him was so fucking perfect. Lips, tongue, hands… God, those freaking hands.
“I want you to be mine,” Wylie whispered. He held Dorian possessively by the nape and stroked his tongue into his mouth. “I’ll do anything, baby. Anything to have you. I’ll be strong… fierce. I’ll even give you my scales, if you’ll be mine.”
Dorian closed his eyes and moaned. The world rocked when one of Wylie’s strong hands cupped his ass and pulled him tight to his hard body. Teeth clamped onto Dorian’s jaw with fangs dulled to keep from slicing. It was definitely the dragon talking, not just Wylie.
Fuck, he was losing it. “I don’t… don’t need your scales,” Dorian whimpered. He was supposed to be meditating, not— “Oh, fuck.”
His knees gave out. Dorian groaned when he was pushed down onto the pillows, and Wylie’s lips immediately sealed to his. He arched back, and pulled at Wylie’s shirt so he could get to the hot, smooth flesh just beneath. Just a little, just once more and then he’d be good. He’d meditate till he was fucking blue in the face. Wylie’s hand rubbed over his jean covered erection. Dorian gasped before he melted back onto the floor. His eyes cracked open to meet his gaze.
“You’re so beautiful.” Wylie stroked him through his pants. “I want to mark you.” His eyes moved down his disheveled form. He pushed Dorian’s shirt up to reveal golden skin flushed with a sheen of sweat. “I want to mate you. Claim you. I want to make you mine.”
“Seed?” Dorian asked hoarsely. His vision was hazy and his body was so hot just thinking about Wylie claiming him. If Wylie fucked him so thoroughly he would belong to him and no one else. Shouldn’t—he should shut it all down. He was leading Wylie on and they both had to know at this point. But he just couldn’t find the resolve to let him go. He’d given up on so much in his life. It was the one thing he just couldn’t do.
Reaching between the crush of their bodies, Dorian found Wylie’s waistband. He undid his fly and wrenched his jeans down. “Do it.” He ground up against Wylie’s hot flesh. “Cover me.”
Wylie hissed. He kissed him bruisingly back into the pillows, and thrust his hips against his rhythmically. He fumbled with the sorcerer’s jeans until Dorian kicked them down his legs and off. His socked feet slid on the hardwood floor when he raised his knees and wrapped a leg around Wylie’s waist.
“I want you to enjoy it, beautiful. Going to get you off. Make you beg to be taken.” Wylie didn’t hesitate. His blunt finger found and probed into Dorian’s entrance. Dorian groaned when he felt just how thick his fingers were with the added girth of his sleek scales.
Dorian’s head fell back on a pillow while loud pants escaped him. His hips rocked with every stroke inside his tight flesh. “Wylie… God, yeah. Like that.” There was a desperateness to Wylie, which hadn’t been there last time. It was an aggressive, wild roughness that stole his breath and made him clench in want. Part of him was certain Wylie was seconds from rolling him over, slamming into him, and fucking him within an inch of his life. God, and that part of him was really hoping for it.
He cried out as two fingers stretched into him. Dorian grabbed Wylie by his hair and yanked him down so he could kiss him again. Ice-blue eyes met his a moment right before Wylie found his prostate. Dorian sobbed and arched back.
Wylie couldn’t take his eyes off of Dorian, who was quickly becoming undone. He bit his lip hard enough to draw blood. “You don’t even get how much I’m… I’m holding back.” He bent closer and his parted lips met Dorian’s tongue. “You’re so fucking beautiful. Not just to the dragon. I want to be inside you so bad. I won’t. It’s too soon. Too fucking crazy. This entire thing has been so crazy.”
Dorian wrapped an arm around his shoulders and moaned loudly when Wylie’s fingers spread wide, opened him and plunged in deep. God, yes. Crazy seemed like the right fucking word for it all. “Please… Just, just more,” he whimpered and bucked into Wylie’s maddening thrusts.
Wylie hissed in his ear. He nipped his jaw, then moved down his throat with heated, wet bites. He pushed Dorian’s shirt up higher, and twisted the material so he could get at his nipple. Wylie laved thorough strokes to the bud while he continued to fuck Dorian on his fingers. “Want you, baby. Need you… Fuck, I need to be inside you so bad.”
Dorian was ready to roll onto his knees if it would get Wylie to just fuck him already. His mix of sentiment and need created such an intense effect until all he wanted was to give Wylie everything he could. Fuck… Fuck, he was so screwed.
Fumbling with shaking hands, he found the back of Wylie’s head, and pulled him down. He kissed Wylie hard to keep from saying something stupid like how he really wanted to belong to the dragon shifter.
Wylie rumbled against his lips. He added a third finger into Dorian’s tight hole and drove relentlessly at his prostate. Dorian gasped wildly. He came with a sob. His body was clenched tight and muscles burned so hot.
“So gorgeous,” Wylie whispered. He watched Dorian arch and stream his cum onto his navel in a low arc. Wylie collected the seed with his fingers and slicked it over his own hard cock. He stroked slowly; his orgasm was already close. “You’re sure about this?”
Dorian cracked his eyes open. His hazel orbs moved down Wylie’s strong body to find him touching himself. “Do it,” he said hoarsely. He licked his lips while watching every stroke to Wylie’s long dick. With a tug to his hair, Dorian pulled him close enough so he could kiss his neck. “Cum on me. All over.”
“Ah, fuck.” Wylie gasped when Dorian sank teeth roughly into his throat. He groaned as heat spiraled through him, and his entire body jerked. His first stream of cum hit along Dorian’s stomach, who moaned from the feel of the hot fluid. Wylie pulled back and stream after stream followed, painting Dorian’s flesh in what felt like an unceasing wash.
Dorian couldn’t stop his moans. He gasped breathlessly as he realized just how much fucking cum Wylie was coating him with. He threw his head back with face flushed. A part of him wondered if he wasn’t going to orgasm again from how impossibly hot he felt.
“Wylie?” Dorian gasped out weakly, only to groan when he felt another splash of cum. God, it was so much. Looking down, he whimpered when he discovered Wylie’s cock had changed. Even bigger than before, it was swollen and angry looking with black translucent scales at the very base of his shaft where he pulsed. Dragon… Was that what a dragon dick looked like?
The room spun when Dorian was suddenly rolled onto his stomach. His flesh slid wetly on the hardwood and the pillows fell away. More semen streaked across his shoulders and the dip of his waist. A stream moved over his ass and then down his thighs. He moaned weakly. Dorian spread his legs, and rocked back when he felt Wylie’s hot dick slide between his cheeks. Seed dripped wet down his crack and against his hole. “Yes… God yes.” He wanted Wylie inside him. So bad. He didn’t even care if it hurt. It would be worth it.
Wylie wrapped Dorian tight in his arms and leaned against his back. He thrust gentle, controlled strokes between his cheeks. Hot drops of cum spattered down Dorian’s crack. “You okay?” Wylie asked breathlessly. Dorian’s only response was another moan. “God, you do something to me. So fucking crazy.” Wylie buried his face into the nape of his neck. He kept spurting cum; the dragon was determined to coat Dorian from head to toe.
“Y-Yeah… Just so much.” Dorian swallowed hard. “Your scent… God, you really… You really just covered me in cum.” He was beginning to worry he might faint. He was shaking uncontrollably while panting on the floor. So good. Crazy good. Going to lose his mind good.
Wylie held him closer. He kissed down the side of Dorian’s neck while he crooned a strange animalistic noise. “Promised you’d like it. Going to make you mine. Everyone will know you’re mine.”
Yeah, if anyone fucking saw him like this it would be pretty damn clear something had claimed him. Dorian’s eyes fixed unfocused at the floor and he sank into the feel of Wylie touching him. He loved the perfect mix of soothing shivers and tingling fire, and hated that it was coming to an end.
With a wiggle, Dorian flipped onto his back. Wylie pushed himself up to keep from squishing him. Dorian didn’t want him to leave. He grabbed him by the waist and pulled Wylie down until his weight was crushing him just right. “You know I’m going to have to shower, right? I can’t just go walking around dripping in your cum, dragon boy.”
Wylie’s head tilted and strange white eyes glared down at him. He shrugged. “It’ll just make me want to do it again. The dragon wants to mark you as mine.”
Dorian couldn’t stop his hungry whimper. His lashes fluttered shut. Fucking sexy, crazy ass shifters.
“You can wash it off right now if you want.” Wylie ran his teeth over Dorian’s jaw. “I can go with you. Cover you again. Tie you up so my scent has some time to sink in and get into you deep. You’d like that too, pretty sure.”
“Fuck, Wylie,” Dorian gasped as his hips rocked up. “How can you even have anything left after all that?”
Wylie grinned down at him. “For you, I apparently can do a lot of crazy stuff.” He held up his hand which was still free of deadly claws and the scales smooth and flat. “You must be magic, beautiful.”
Damn. Dorian stared at Wylie’s hand and couldn’t answer. It hit him like a stray spark of magic and his eyes widened in shock. His heart was a hummingbird threatening to escape and leave him crushed with the fathomless emptiness that was welling up inside him.
Fucking whore. Was he in love with Wylie?
Dorian dared to meet his eyes. Wylie stared back silently. He looked gorgeous, rumpled, and terribly sexy. The feeling in his heart only grew worse now staring into his wild, beautiful eyes.
Wylie opened his eyes when a familiar voice drifted across the room. He must have dozed. The adrenaline of the fight had drained his energy and his eyelids felt heavy. From his bed, he could see the back of someone as they waited in front of Dr. Rob’s partially open office door.
“Your power appears contained, Dorian.” Dr. Rob opened the door wider and stood outlined in the entrance.
“Just trust me on this.” Dorian tilted his head towards the glass cabinet full of null-collars. He waited patiently until Dr. Rob relented and got one. He took the metal instrument when handed to him, circled it around his neck but refrained from clasping it. “Could you, uh, leave us alone for a while?”
Dr. Rob’s dark eyes blinked in surprise. He glanced at Wylie, who looked just as baffled, and then back to Dorian. “I’ll be in my office if you need me.”
“We won’t need you.” Dorian waited for Dr. Rob to close his door, then turned and stalked toward Wylie. He stopped in front of his hospital bed. Dorian’s hazel eyes were more gold in the warm afternoon light and looked intense when he stared down at where Wylie was propped on the pillows.
“Hey.” Wylie watched him with a combination of alertness and curiosity. There was a look to Dorian, something determined and hungry. Wylie couldn’t help but stare when he grasped the ends of his null-collar and snapped them together with a deliberate flourish.
“I need to tell you something.” Dorian pulled the curtain around the bed and blocked the two of them from the rest of the room.
Wylie sat up straighter. His eyes were drawn to where Dorian was reaching for the hem of his shirt. “Okay.”
“You don’t bother me. The hissing thing… I like it.” Dorian slowly pulled his shirt over his head. Wylie held his breath as smooth olive skin and toned muscle was revealed beneath the long-sleeve shirt. “I’m not afraid of you, like, even a little. Nothing you have done or said has made me afraid of you. Clear? Nothing. Not even about how your dragon woke up.”
“Uh, alright.” His eyes wide, Wylie bit his lip when Dorian got on the bed and straddled his legs. He was beautiful. Dorian’s hazel eyes blazed as he stared down at him. His bare skin was warm and his nipples were dark, alluring spots on his chest. “Anything else?” Wylie’s heart quickened the closer he got.
“Yeah.” Dorian leaned forward and grabbed the headboard on both sides of Wylie’s head. “I don’t touch people. It’s dangerous, it’s selfish, and I never want to kill another person because of my magic.” Their noses brushed, and Dorian’s lips and hot breath tingled against his skin. “But I need to touch you. Just once. So I don’t go crazy wondering what it would be like.”
Wylie held himself impossibly still. He felt Dorian’s breath hitch right before he tentatively pressed forward, his lips hot on his. It was a jolt of electricity. Wylie gasped and his hands came up to grasp Dorian’s shoulders while he struggled to hold back. Their eyes met and Wylie let his fingers curl around his biceps. Dorian’s flesh was hot and flexed beneath his touch. Lashes downcast, Dorian brushed their lips together again. A sigh escaped his parted lips when Wylie tangled fingers into his hair and pulled him closer.
Dorian’s lips were firm and wet. He swayed forward and his mouth opened hesitantly to the slide of Wylie’s tongue. “Oh.” Dorian’s breath hitched again. His exhale was unsteady as he touched his tongue to Wylie’s. His hand carefully pressed to the nape of his neck, then Dorian’s fingers combed through his short hair and fanned wide. He made the softest of gasps when Wylie scraped his teeth on his lush bottom lip.
Dorian’s hands were trembling when he dared to slide them down the front of Wylie’s shirt. Wylie tried to keep still. He could feel Dorian’s vulnerability in every tentative kiss and touch. He didn’t want to scare or push him too fast. It was just getting difficult, especially when Dorian began to trail open-mouthed kisses down his neck while teasing fingers into the waistband of his jeans. Each touch to his flesh was a spark of fire. Wylie groaned in warning when Dorian pressed his hips tight to his body.
“Dorian…” Wylie grabbed one of his maddening hands. It was no use; Dorian quickly pressed his other palm to Wylie’s erection and rubbed him through his jeans. “Fuck.” He groaned and rocked his hips up into the perfect touch.
Dorian’s eyes were glued to where Wylie’s dick was hard and hot in his hand. There was only a layer of material between them. He gasped when fingers wrapped around his wrist. He looked up questioningly with his bottom lip caught between his teeth.
“How far have you gotten before?” Wylie pulled him closer and pressed lips to his jaw.
“Not… not very,” Dorian admitted breathlessly. Wylie licked down his throat and gently nipped with sharp teeth. Dorian moaned. His hands rose to grasp Wylie’s shoulders for balance. “Hell. I forgot how good it feels.”
Wylie released his wrist and ran his palms down Dorian’s bare back. “Being touched?”
“Yeah. It’s like being numb after a while.” Dorian eyes fluttered shut as Wylie’s hands moved up his sides in firm strokes. “It feels so strange to have my heart race again. To sweat. Feel.” He opened his eyes. Wylie saw so much emotion flicker across his face when he leaned in and kissed him slowly. When Dorian pulled back, his brows were furrowed in worry. “I fight it all the time. Feeling things. I think… I think I might have forgotten how to give in.”
Wylie tilted his head and caught Dorian’s bottom lip between his teeth. He tugged gently and rubbed his tongue over the trapped flesh. Dorian moaned into his mouth and melted forward.
“You’re doing fine,” Wylie murmured as he slid palms over his smooth flesh. Dorian’s heart was fast and strong under his hands. Sweat was just starting to trickle down his back and over his hips. When Dorian rocked against him, Wylie could feel he was hard and definitely enjoying himself. “You’re perfect.” Wylie reached down and grasped his ass, then squeezed hard. Dorian groaned and thrust roughly against his stomach.
His movements were bolder when Dorian rolled the hem of Wylie’s t-shirt up. The material stretched for his hands, which he smoothed down the planes of Wylie’s back. He pushed the pillows out of the way. “I like your shoulders.”
Dorian slid the shirt higher until Wylie relented and pulled it over his head. Now revealed, Dorian kneeled back to drink him in. He took in Wylie’s pale skin and strong muscles. His gaze was eventually drawn to the silver chain that hung down the center of his chest. “You have really nice abs.” Dorian licked his lips. He pressed his fingertips to Wylie’s stomach and felt the muscles flex in response.
Wylie was doing his best to not grab him. He desperately wanted to push Dorian down and kiss him hard, make him beg. He was impossible not to want. Dorian’s breathing was ragged. His eyes were hazy and cheeks flushed. He teased fingertips down the thin trail of hair that led from Wylie’s bellybutton to his dick. Every touch was driving him fucking crazy.
“Dorian,” he gasped when shaking hands tore at his fly.
“Hold on.” Dorian rested his forehead against Wylie’s jaw while he unfurled his zipper. “I just want to… Oh.” He exhaled heavily. He scrunched Wylie’s jeans down his hips and rolled his underwear as low as the space would allow. Dorian’s tongue came out to lap at the light stubble on Wylie’s jaw. “You’re big.”
Wylie’s eyes closed when fingers slowly slid along his shaft. He wanted to fuck him. So bad. But Dorian was inexperienced and probably fucked-up over the death of his last boyfriend. He wasn’t sure if it was alright to do much more. It was just so hard to hold back. He’d never wanted anyone like this, and Dorian was teasing the fuck out of him with his soft touches.
Dorian sat back on Wylie’s thighs and watched transfixed as his cock grew full and rigid under his fingers. “Have you ever…?” Wylie tried to ask. The words caught in his throat when Dorian met his gaze.
“A few hand jobs.” Dorian wrapped his fingers tighter around his shaft. His thumb caressed his tip in slow, maddening circles. “A few blows… I can’t even remember the last time I masturbated. Damn.” Dorian bit his lip, and gave him a light squeeze. He groaned when Wylie’s dick jerked in his grasp.
With his jaw clenched tight, Wylie struggled to keep in control. “Dorian… Just… God, that’s good.” He was losing it. Fucking losing it. Dorian’s strokes were almost painfully light and it took everything in him to keep from grabbing his hand and thrusting into his palm. “Serious, I get that you don’t want to rush things…” he trailed off at Dorian’s wicked grin. Moments later, Dorian shimmied down his body. Wylie could only growl when he realized what he was up to. His vision dimmed for a moment from the feel of hot breath on his dick.
Wylie stared up at the ceiling and clutched the sheets as Dorian’s wet lips parted around the head of his cock. Slick flesh slowly wrapped around him and engulfed him in heat. God, he needed to stay calm. Needed to go slow and not lose it over the amazing, fucking perfect guy who barely remembered what it felt like to be touched. Wylie gasped when Dorian took him in deep enough to hit his tonsils, his tongue curved tightly to his flesh. “Oh fuck.”
He dared to look down. Wylie fought back a groan even as his hips rocked up against his will. Dorian just held him tighter and took his length in eagerly. His ass was high in the air as he knelt over his legs. Wylie’s eyes narrowed and breath came out in heavy pants. He grasped Dorian by his dark hair and pulled until he looked up at him.
He drank the sight of him in; he took in Dorian’s flushed cheeks, dazed hazel eyes and swollen red lips dripping with saliva. He was incredibly sexy and Wylie was done holding back. “Get up here.” Dorian gasped at the rough tone of his voice.
Dorian sat up shakily and Wylie surged forward and pushed him back so his head was at the foot of the bed. He pinned Dorian under his heavier body and kissed him hard and consuming. Dorian whimpered. He wrapped his arms tight around Wylie’s neck, his legs spread so he would settle between them. Wylie couldn’t keep his hands still. He touched Dorian everywhere he could reach and loved how he practically melted against his flesh. He sucked rough, dark welts on his neck before he moved down to his chest and laved roughly at his closest nipple.
Dorian threw his head back with a cry when Wylie nipped the bud. His fingers clenched into his broad shoulders. Wylie moved lower. He breathed against his flesh, tasted down his flat stomach and lapped into his bellybutton.
“This alright?” Wylie asked gruffly as he nipped Dorian’s slippery stomach. His hands lingered on his hips. He ached to push his pants down.
“Please.” Dorian’s hips jolted up and he pushed Wylie’s head lower. “More.
With a growl, Wylie found the button to his khakis and got his fly open. He sat up and Dorian lifted his hips so he could pull the material down his legs. Dorian stared up at him with a heated look in his eyes. He helped kick his shoes off. The expensive leather clattered to the floor where pants and briefs swiftly followed.
Paused in his crouch, Wylie looked him over. His body was tense with every damn thing he wanted to do to make Dorian feel. Dorian was panting heavily. He stared up at him with a mix of anticipation and nerves. His bare skin was flushed and erection heavy and enticing in its nest of soft dark hair.
“I’ll stop whenever you want,” Wylie promised as he gazed into his eyes.
With a roguish smile, Dorian rocked his hips invitingly. “I know.”
There was something about being trusted by Dorian that made Wylie both dizzy and ridiculously proud. He settled his arms on both sides of Dorian’s hips, lowered down and pressed his face into the dark trail of hair that ran from navel to flushed cock. He breathed deep and smirked when he felt Dorian gasp. He liked how sensitive he was and the way Dorian’s body pulsed beneath him full of need. Wylie tilted his head and found the straining crown of his dick. The flesh was dark and hard. He licked a slow trail from his balls all the way to his tip.
Dorian choked on his cry. He raised his arm and covered his mouth to try to muffle his gasps when Wylie began to suck him. Wylie could still hear him fine enough. Each jerk of Dorian’s body and whimper from his lips drove him on as he kissed down his shaft. He sucked every inch, then slid up his swollen crown and used his tongue to tease mercilessly. Precum dripped down. Wylie greedily lapped the fluid and probed into his slit for more.
He wanted to make sure Dorian felt all of it. He needed it to be the best fucking blow job ever. Even if Dorian couldn’t be touched again, Wylie wanted to make sure this one moment was memorable.
“Fuck. Oh, I don’t…” Dorian grabbed him by the hair when Wylie pushed his knees up and delved deep between his thighs. Wylie’s tongue teased determinedly into his crack. It was hot, slick and maddening. With a hard swallow, Dorian hesitantly met his gaze when Wylie pulled back. “I don’t know if I, uh, like that.”
Dorian’s hair was disheveled. His cheeks and neck were bright red and lips insanely tempting. “Do you want to find out?” Wylie asked hoarsely. He carefully read his eyes. Dorian was raw emotion and vulnerability. It was the most expression he’d seen on his face since meeting him. “You know, since you’re here, in a null-collar, wondering what things could be like.” He kissed Dorian’s inner thigh and slid his fangs over the sensitive flesh.
He moaned from the sensation and Dorian let his legs be spread wider. He unwound his fingers from Wylie’s hair to arch back on the bed. It was answer enough. Wylie pulled him closer by his hips and nuzzled into his crack. He wasn’t surprised when Dorian gasped at the first touch of tongue to his pucker. He went slowly. He lapped gentle swirls and wiggling thrusts that barely breached so Dorian could get used to the sensation.
It didn’t take long; each wet stroke was driving Dorian crazy. Dorian whimpered and rocked his hips as he tried to get Wylie deeper. Wylie used his thumbs to spread his cheeks open, and with a groan he drove his tongue in deep and hard. Dorian cried out as his entire body jolted.
That was it. He just needed to get him loose, wet, and fucking dripping inside and out for him.
“Wylie…Wylie, god, that’s… fuck. Fuck.” His legs flexed on the bed. Dorian grabbed the edge of the mattress above him and tried to rock against Wylie’s restraining hands. Wylie refused to let up. He plunged in again and again. He spread his hole wider with his thumbs and tongue and tormented him until Dorian was breathless and pleading for release.
Wylie lifted up, face flushed and chin wet. His eyes moved down Dorian’s prone form. He wanted to memorize every sweaty, panting inch of him. Damn, he wanted him. Dorian was beautiful, stretched out and aching. His eyes were gleaming slits as he gasped. Wylie couldn’t imagine ever wanting anyone else.
His eyes glued on Dorian’s flushed face, Wylie teased two fingers into his crack. He was going to make him come, but only when he was inside him. Just fingers—he was damn certain he’d break his heart completely if he fucked Dorian. Still, Wylie wanted him to know just how good it could be.
Dorian’s mouth gaped wide and back arched. A whimper escaped him when Wylie’s fingers pushed deep inside him. His body opened slowly to the long digits. Wylie leaned over him and pinned one of Dorian’s wrists above his head. His lips absorbed his broken cries as he began to fuck his fingers into Dorian in rhythmic, relentless thrusts.
“That’s it,” Wylie groaned when Dorian clenched around him and his hips pushed back desperately. “You’re doing so good… So tight.” He slid along his inner walls and found the spongy gland he knew would drive him crazy. Dorian sobbed loudly from the overwhelming sensation when Wylie stroked the bundle of nerves.
He grabbed the back of Wylie’s head. Dorian held him close and kissed him desperately between aching gasps. He kept bucking his hips and Wylie gave in and pressed his lower body tighter to Dorian’s hot flesh. His jeans-clad legs tangled with his tense limbs so Dorian’s dripping cock could rut against his bare hip.
Wylie could tell he was close. Dorian’s rhythm grew more and more erratic with each deep thrust of his fingers. Dorian suddenly threw his leg around Wylie’s thigh, arm around his neck and clutched tight. Wylie forced his eyes open to watch him gasp. He wanted to see everything. Dorian’s features twisted in ecstasy and he choked out a final cry.
Beautiful. Fucking beautiful. Wylie kept his fingers buried in his clenching passage and groaned with each hot stream of cum splashed on his navel. God, he didn’t even care if he got off. Part of him was just unbearably satisfied to have Dorian whisper his name dazedly in his ear while he tried to catch his breath.
“Hell.” His lashes fluttered open and Dorian gazed blearily down at Wylie’s bowed head. Wylie continued to lick over his throat in languid swipes. Dorian tangled fingers into his light blue bangs, pulled him up and sealed their lips together. Wylie groaned and rolled sideways when he was pushed back. Dorian’s tongue possessively claimed his mouth as he climbed on top of Wylie’s panting form.
“It was okay, then?” Wylie teased breathlessly. Dorian growled and crushed his lips hungrily. He kissed him flat into the mattress. His hand slid through the sweat on Wylie’s hips and sought out his rock hard cock. “Fuck… Fuck, Dorian.”
His lips hot on Wylie’s throat, Dorian stroked him firmly. His hand glided in smooth jerks with the help of the sweat and cum slick on their bodies. Wylie’s breath came out in harsh gasps. He gave in to the weight of Dorian’s lithe body and maddening touch. He wrapped an arm tight around Dorian’s waist.
“Faster?” Dorian nipped at his jaw. His eyes fixed on the way Wylie’s lips parted with every gasp.
“No, it’s… Ahh. Good. So good,” Wylie mumbled and held him tighter. Dorian smiled against his cheek and ground his hips hard against his.
“So close.” With a low growl, Dorian abruptly sank his teeth into the juncture of Wylie’s neck and shoulder and clamped down hard. Wylie jerked from the pain and gasped loudly. His hips bucked against Dorian’s as his orgasm hit him. His seed spurted into Dorian’s palm in throbbing waves.
Wylie cracked his eyes open to find Dorian glaring down at him with something possessive burning in his gaze. It sent a thrill through him. A primitive, wild cry tingled in his blood. His. Dorian Black was his.
Silent, Dorian collapsed against Wylie. Sweat sheened between their hot bodies as Wylie fought to calm his breathing. He glanced over and caught Dorian experimentally licking his palm. His tongue tasted the cum coating his fingers. Dorian’s nose scrunched and he lapped another small flick of flavor. Wylie grabbed his wrist. He deliberately pressed his hand palm first over Dorian’s chest, and rubbed his seed onto his skin in a wet trail.
Dorian moaned weakly. He rolled to his side and stared questioningly at Wylie with cheeks flushed red. “Scent,” Wylie grunted in explanation. He wrapped closer and rested his head against Dorian’s neck. His face pressed against the metal collar warmed by their body heat, and Wylie’s stomach gave an anxious clench.
Wylie closed his eyes and tried to block out reality. Dorian belonged with him. He’d never felt so fucking complete before. But it required a null-collar on both their necks to be allowed to touch. He didn’t want to think how he’d probably never feel this way again.
Wylie ran his hand down Dorian’s arm and gripped his bicep. He slid down the planes of his back to his trim waist, and then caressed his ass and thighs. Dorian sighed contently. He gripped Wylie’s rumpled jeans and roughly pulled him up against him. He tucked his head beneath Wylie’s chin and rested against him. Wylie breathed deep and tried to ingrain the beautiful sorcerer into his memory, into his flesh.
He was used to living in moments, small happy flashes in a sea of dark uncertainty. He could do it now if it meant a little longer with Dorian.
Dorian had fucked it all up. Not only did he give in to his body’s demands, but he dragged Wylie along with him. He knew the danger. He knew there was no fixing it. He was leading Wylie on.
He peeked an eye open and stared blankly at Wylie’s chest while he felt the shifter breathe. He was already hard again and his body burned for more. He wanted more of Wylie’s hands, his mouth, strength and warm smiles. They’d only lain there for fifteen minutes, yet Dorian ached to get lost in Wylie’s body again. Then he could stop thinking all the stupid things that swirled in his head.
He’d made a fucking terrible mistake and he didn’t know how to fix it. Nothing hurt as much as wanting what he couldn’t have. Dorian tried not to want but everything about Wylie fucked him up.
He dipped his head forward and lapped his tongue over Wylie’s clavicle. He slid down and ran lips over his taut flesh. God, he tasted good, smelled good. He felt so fucking good. Wylie stirred and exhaled unsteadily when Dorian found his nipple and began to torment it with first tongue and then teeth.
Dorian glanced up and found Wylie watching him. His ice-blue eyes were slit open, and breath already strained. He gave a tentative shimmy to discover Wylie was hard and poking against his hip. It wasn’t just him. Thank god. If he was going to lose his mind he refused to do it alone.
Dorian pushed him onto his back and Wylie rolled readily at his urging. It was strange how pliable he was. Wylie could throw a giant lion across the field, but with him he was absolutely yielding. He was so powerful yet considerate. Dorian wasn’t blind to the kind of strength that required.
Dorian climbed up his toned form and straddled his stomach. He leaned his hands on either side of Wylie’s head, leaned close and brushed his mouth over his jaw. He loved the feel of Wylie’s bristle against his sensitive lips.
“You got your scent on me.” Dorian wiggled down. He lifted Wylie’s hand and pressed it to where his cum was rubbed sticky against his flesh. He felt wild just mentioning it. Dorian’s pulse fluttered where Wylie touched.
“Yeah.” Wylie searched his face. “Was it too weird?”
Dorian shook his head. His lips quirked in a growingly familiar smile. “Your dragon is very determined to cover me with scent. But what about me?”
Wylie blinked slowly. He ran a hand down his back. Dorian pushed into the hot touch. “What about you?”
“My scent,” Dorian explained. He gasped when Wylie’s hips shifted and his dick rubbed against his ass. “If I have to smell like you, it’s only fair you smell like me. Right?”
He wasn’t sure just what Wylie thought of his idea. Wylie seemed far more focused on the way Dorian’s ass kept pressing back in a slow rhythm against his hard cock. Oh, it felt good, though. It was even better when Wylie gripped his hips and pulled him down tight. His hot dick rubbed between his cheeks. “Fuck.”
Saliva filled his mouth and Dorian moaned. He spread his legs wider and bent forward so he could grind his dick against Wylie’s strong body. All the while he felt his hot, damp cock tease at his crack. “Wylie,” he gasped out when fingers probed around the rim of his hole.
Dorian never let anyone touch him there. He wasn’t sure he would ever want to bottom. It was such a vulnerable feeling to let a guy, well, fuck him. He had a lot of problems trusting the sorcerers who used to chase him. But Wylie was different. He wasn’t arrogant, or conceited. He wasn’t interested in making him feel small so another could feel larger in comparison. Wylie just seemed happy to be able to touch him.
“Oh. Oh, that’s…” His eyes closed and Dorian gasped as two fingers pressed into his hole. His flesh opened as he was penetrated again. His insides were slick from sweat, saliva, and want. The first time it felt so strange, so crazy, and he hadn’t been able to do anything but feel. This time it was just as crazy. His sore flesh clenched to feel the friction on his inner walls. He craved it. He wanted it again.
“Fuck, you’re beautiful,” Wylie whispered in awe. His free hand pushed Dorian’s damp hair from his face. Dorian’s answer was lost in a cry when Wylie plunged two fingers further into his channel. His back arched and Dorian rocked down and tried to get them deeper. Wylie spread his fingers and Dorian gaped wide-mouthed. He clutched Wylie’s shoulders hard as he struggled to keep from shouting.
“Good?” Wylie’s voice was a low growl against his flesh.
“So good,” Dorian gasped out. His forehead rested heavily on Wylie’s as fingers plunged into his passage again. “Oh fuck… Right there… Right…” Wylie stroked his prostate. Dorian’s body tightened and jerked against his in delicious agony.
He became aware of Wylie’s dick. It was sticky with dripping precum as it rubbed against his inner thigh. Wylie made no move to do anything else, but all Dorian could think of was what it would be like to have that hot, thick flesh stretch inside him. Surely it would hurt. Surely it would be too much. But god, he wanted to know. He wanted to know what it would feel like to have Wylie deep inside him.
“Wylie… Please.” He gasped into his neck. Dorian held on tighter and slid their bodies together in slick friction. “Will you… Will you put it in me?” He licked his lips nervously when Wylie met his gaze.
Wylie breathed in unsteadily. He tilted his head up and brushed lips to Dorian’s. “We should go slow. Believe me, I would love to fuck you. Just, this isn’t the right place.”
Dorian glanced back at the curtains that blocked them from the rest of the hospital room. He leaned forward again and looked down at Wylie questioningly. “I don’t care if it hurts.” It was probably his only chance to do something like this. He promised himself he wouldn’t rely on the null-collar, and who knew how long Wylie would even be around? “I want to feel you.” He ground forward and moaned from the feel of Wylie’s dick pressed against his.
“Fuck. Dorian.” Wylie grabbed his hips and held them still. “I just… Damn it.”
“You don’t want to,” Dorian realized. He stilled his movements. “Am I not…?”
“No, you’re fucking perfect,” Wylie assured quickly. He sat up on his elbows and grabbed one of Dorian’s hands. “I just… I really like you.” He was blushing but Wylie’s gaze refused to waver. “I don’t want to fuck things up by rushing things.”
Holy fuck. Dorian suppressed a whimper. He gnawed unconsciously on his bottom lip while he stared down at where his hand was encased in Wylie’s. Yeah, he was totally fucking everything up. Wylie was a shifter, one who liked his scent. The dragon wanted to protect him, keep him, and mark him with scent so no one would dare touch him. The more Dorian thought about it, the faster his heart raced. Wylie wanted him as a mate.
“I’m fucked-up, Wylie. You know I can’t…” He met his eyes tentatively and shrugged; the movement was full of helplessness. “Sorry.” He swallowed down the lump of emotion tight in his throat. Wylie was impossibly sexy and wanted him for more than just a quick fuck. Why was life so unfair?
Wylie cupped the back of Dorian’s neck and pulled him down until their noses touched. “I don’t know shit, Dorian. Not about magic, not about shifters, not about this place. What I do know is that you’re worth doing things right by, no matter the circumstances.”
Dorian felt dizzy. Wylie’s breath was hot against his cheek as his large hands roamed roughly down his back to squeeze his ass. Damn it, why did he have to be so fucking sweet? The guy looked like a goddamn thug in his torn jeans and punkish hairstyle, yet Wylie was so nice it broke his heart. “Wylie…”
“It’s okay.” Wylie slid a hand between Dorian’s thighs and caressed the smooth flesh. “I don’t need anything from you. I just want us to enjoy this right now, okay? Only this.”
Dorian gasped as his balls were cupped. He kept his head ducked to avoid Wylie’s gaze. He was fucking it up. Wylie was so damn blunt about his feelings. It only revealed the feelings Dorian was fighting so fucking hard not to have. He couldn’t afford to feel. It wasn’t safe.
“Oh… Oh, hell.” A thumb pressed into his entrance and Dorian knew nothing else. He moaned as Wylie’s lips sought his out. He rocked back into the touch. Dorian opened and relented to both assaults. His mouth was devoured and Wylie’s lips threatened to suffocate him. It quickly stole his troubled thoughts away. Two fingers plunged into his entrance again and Wylie grasped his waist so he wouldn’t slip.
Dorian reached between them. He found Wylie’s straining cock and stroked the length of it slowly. He was so big, thick. His breath came out in shallow bursts when Dorian guided the rigid flesh between his thighs. He groaned when Wylie’s blunt, hot tip pressed right up against the fingers stretching him.
“I just want to feel you.” He kissed him with bruising force. Wylie’s dick nuzzled between his cheeks, spread them wide, and Dorian groaned. “God, just like that.” He pushed down onto the hard flesh. He was more flushed and lost with each plunge of Wylie’s fingers inside him.
Wylie’s muscles tensed with every gasping cry Dorian made. Dorian kept angling down like he was trying to get both fingers and dick inside him. It was maddening. Wylie growled and buried his face against the other’s neck so he wouldn’t see just how desperate Dorian looked. If he did, he might change his mind and fuck him senseless.
Dangerous. Really fucking dangerous. Dorian was too gorgeous with his flashing wicked smiles and pensive, quiet moments. To have him and lose him would destroy Wylie faster than anything else.
“Please… Harder. It’s so good,” Dorian moaned. His mouth was wide and wet as he gasped against Wylie’s neck. Dorian clawed dull fingernails into his shoulders and held tight. He rocked desperately with every thrust of the fingers claiming him. Wylie pulled out and three fingers carefully replaced the two. Dorian moaned achingly. It was so thick, beyond intense to be stretched wide. “Y-Yes.”
“Damn it,” Wylie hissed as Dorian jolted against him. Dorian’s face was twisted in delirious agony and impossible to look away from. Wylie rolled them before he knew it. He pinned Dorian flat on the bed beneath him. “You trust me?”
Dorian stared up at him. His eyes revealed a hint of trepidation. He licked his flushed lips and gave a silent nod.
Wylie leaned down and bared his fangs. Dorian gasped but didn’t pull away. “Cover your mouth, gorgeous, because you’re going to be shouting before I’m done.”
Dorian flashed a tentative smile. He raised his hand and pulled Wylie down to kiss him hard. Wylie groaned into his mouth. He pushed Dorian’s long legs up and slid the head of his cock between his tight cheeks. Dorian moaned eagerly against his lips. His hips moved as he tried to get Wylie to push inside him.
It would be so fucking easy. Wylie was damn certain Dorian wouldn’t complain if he gave in and fucked him. But he meant what he said. The dragon was knocked out from the collar and there was no excuse. He wasn’t a mindless beast that would stop at nothing to claim his mate. No matter how fucking amazing it would feel. Dorian might not understand what it meant, but he did.
Wylie reached down between them, caressed Dorian’s shaft and balls, and then probed into his hot entrance again. He slid three fingers inside and carefully spread into his tight flesh. His own eyes fell shut when Dorian began to buck under him and rocked in a demanding rhythm. Dorian’s touch fumbled up his shoulders, then suddenly fingernails scratched vicious down Wylie’s back. With a loud gasp, Wylie found himself on the brink of orgasm as heat rose through him in an overwhelming wave.
“F-Fuck,” Wylie choked out. He slammed his fingers into Dorian’s passage as he fought to stay in control. Cracking his eyes open, he found Dorian gazing at him with that same intense, possessive expression. He felt completely in the sorcerer’s power even though the null-collar was still secure around his neck.
“Most shifters like pain,” Dorian explained hoarsely. Wylie stilled when fingers curled on his back. Short fingernails dug into him with a promise of more to come. “They like being marked. Do you…?” Dorian’s nails dug in and Wylie hissed and threw his head back.
“God.” Wylie’s body was tight and hot and so beyond his comprehension as soft fingertips teased over his stinging flesh.
“You’re going to shout for me.” Dorian pressed lips tight to his ear. “I’m going to mark you again because you liked my bite so much the first time. And this time when I come, I’m going to cover you in my scent.”
“Fuck, Dorian,” Wylie rasped. His hips bucked forward when nails tore down his back again. He was so close. His mind was unable to process anything but the feel of his burning flesh and the aching throb in his dick.
“But first…” Dorian reached between them and carefully extracted Wylie’s fingers from his clenching hole. Wylie groaned as Dorian stroked his shaft, then adjusted until his cock was tight against his rim. “Yeah, just like that.” Dorian wrapped his arms around his wide shoulders. He rested his flushed face against the side of Wylie’s neck, and opened his mouth wide to lick and run his teeth over the column of flesh.
Dorian felt beyond crazy. He dug his nails tight into Wylie’s biceps. Wylie gasped and surged forward, and nearly drove his thick cock right into his entrance. The angle was wrong but the pressure felt damn fine. Dorian moaned and arched. He rocked into the hard thrusts. He loved the slide of their flesh, and the roughness of Wylie’s jeans in contrast to his smooth skin.
“Come on. I want to feel you come.” Dorian clawed breathlessly down Wylie’s back. God, he wanted claws. He wanted to be as rough as a shifter to get off like this. Wylie was fucking hot and he wanted him begging for him. Unfortunately, without magic Dorian was all weak fingers and dull teeth.
Wylie growled against his throat. He pushed Dorian’s knee up higher and crushed him down with his hips. He ground rhythmically between his tight cheeks. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he gritted out. His fingers bit into Dorian’s flesh as fingernails raked down the nape of his neck.
“You won’t. Nothing I’ll dislike, anyways,” Dorian amended as his hip was wrenched roughly. Wylie was close, his dick so hot and thick as he rubbed up and down his crack. God, he wanted him to push inside him. His body burned at the thought. He wanted Wylie to fuck him and have his cum fill him and claim him.
Dorian ran his palms up Wylie’s sides, curled his fingers, and raked his nails down in a brutal slash.
Wylie gave a hoarse shout. He pinned Dorian flat and covered him with his muscular body as he jerked his release between his cheeks. The feel of Wylie’s seed dripping hot down his crack was beyond intense. Dorian moaned and tensed beneath Wylie. Moments later, he came, and jerked against the other’s body.
Dorian gasped repeatedly, his heaving chest restricted by Wylie’s weight. He kept his eyes closed to block out the spinning of the room. God, what the fuck was wrong with him? He was turning into a total slut for a guy he couldn’t even be with. A really animalistic slut.
He pushed at Wylie’s hips and slid his hand between the hot crush of their bodies. He found where his cum coated his stomach and collected what he could. The sweat on Wylie’s skin made it easier to spread as he began to paint the shifter’s chest and throat with his seed.
Wylie grunted into his ear and didn’t pull away. His tongue slid out to lick Dorian’s cheekbone. “You want people to know I’m yours,” Wylie murmured. He seemed to grow more assured with each swipe of Dorian’s fingers.
Dorian didn’t answer. It was probably true. He marked up Wylie’s skin, covered him in his cum, and jumped him in a place where anyone could discover them together. A part of him wanted everyone to know Wylie was his.
Dorian peered up through his lashes. Wylie’s gaze was sober and intent. His ice-blue eyes moved over his face like he was memorizing him. Damn, he was fucking up. Wylie was doing everything to make sure he knew he wasn’t messing around, and fuck him, he was doing everything to lead him on.
They couldn’t be anything more. Fuck, they couldn’t even be this. That he wanted Wylie didn’t make it any less true.
“I am so sorry, man. Seriously. Like, I was distracted and-and I never would have done anything like that on purpose.”
“If it wasn’t for that stupid wannabe gringo… Seriously, Dorian, I didn’t mean to nearly blow you up, dude. It was an accident, I swear!”
“I get it, Fox,” Dorian said distantly. He barely heard him as he buzzed in his ear. He just wanted to get to the reflection room and breathe. He spent the last hour doing his best to not even think about Wylie Doe and now he needed to actually be as far away from him as possible before he did something stupid.
God, he was feeling really fucking crazy.
“Thank god for Wylie, man. I mean, fuck, he was just right there making sure no one got hurt. I don’t think I’ve known anyone to be so cool after just getting here. Yeah, he looks all punk with his clothes and crazy eyes and all, but he’s just such a big softie under it all.”
Dorian stopped short. He turned and glared at the scrawny shifter. “Did he send you over to talk to me?”
With an awkward grin, Fox raised his eyebrows. “Uh, what?”
Dorian just narrowed his eyes. “You know, to work on me. Get me to like him more.”
“Err… What? I was just apologizing, man.” Fox scratched the back of his head sheepishly. “I didn’t mean to…”
“Where’s my apology, Zorro?” Vincent stepped up behind Fox. “You nearly blew me up too, you know.”
Fox snarled and whirled on him. “You’re the fucking reason I lost my focus, you damn ass! Too fucking bad if you nearly got blown up. Serves you right!”
Dorian barely heard as the two began to argue. Fucking Wylie. Seriously. He couldn’t even have a simple Body Magic class without distracting the fuck out of him. He was amazing at magic yet all he did the last hour was try to keep from sparking over the damn lunatic who had shielded him.
Fuck. Fuck, Wylie made a damn sexy shield.
Dorian scowled and went to duck around Fox and Vincent, only to have the two nearly step into him when Wylie waved to Fox from across the hall. When Fox went to talk to him, Vincent boldly followed.
Fucking Vincent. Dorian glared and held back a very nasty swear when he heard Vincent thank Wylie for shielding him from Fox’s out of control spell.
Wylie had shielded him and only him, not that damn shameless slut. Vincent just happened to be on the other side of him and protected from the blow. Fucker. The stupid, annoying fucker.
Dorian was moving before he even realized it. He stomped up to the group of them and grabbed Wylie by his magically repaired shirt. “You need a smoke.”
“I do?” Wylie blinked and stumbled forward when Dorian jerked him down the hall. A hiss escaped him right before black scales erupted over his arms. Dorian avoided them with ease.
“Yeah, you fucking do.” Dorian looked straight ahead and led the way to the nearest exit. He shot Vincent a deadly glare just in case he dared to follow.
He might not be able to have Wylie, but he sure as fuck wasn’t going to let Vincent have him.
The autumn afternoon air was still warm. Wylie carefully lifted his sunglasses and tested his light sensitive eyes while Dorian pulled him outside away from the others. Theodore’s trick worked; his eyes were no longer in night vision mode the way his dragon preferred. He glanced over at Dorian, who was quiet now they were alone. His hands trembled slightly as he pulled a cigarette from his case.
Wylie was considering giving up on smoking if only because he had no fucking access to cigarettes. He was told the patients were allowed to go out during the weekends, but since he was dealing with special restrictions from the judge, he probably wouldn’t be able to leave the Academy grounds until he saw his parole officer later next month. Dorian had the one thing he craved and it seemed too dangerous when he was trying his damnedest to stay away.
It didn’t help that Dorian kept throwing him mixed signals. After spending the week avoiding each other, he forcefully dragged Wylie out the door. And even though Dorian looked particularly distant and cool as he held a cigarette up in offering, Wylie and his dragon could read so much more going on underneath the surface.
Dorian was clear they couldn’t be anything, but it hadn’t stopped the sorcerer from wanting it. He was out there and inviting him closer. His hazel eyes were sharp and filled with something wild. It said more to Wylie than any of Dorian’s previous words of impossible.
Dorian wanted him, crazy hissing dragon and all.
Wylie carefully plucked the cigarette from his grasp and let Dorian light it. He no longer worried about being burned when the sorcerer’s finger lit up in a flame. “Sorry about earlier. Didn’t mean to make you start sparking.” He watched Dorian carefully and caught the slightest of tics in his jaw.
“It happens. Forget about it.” Dorian jumped up to sit on the thin banister that overlooked a row of shrubs. His shoes locked in the metal rails to keep him from falling.
“Pretty sure you’re upset.” Wylie stepped away to lean on the side of the building.
Dorian glared at him and looked away after a moment. Smoke streamed from his nose. “Just drop it. I’m handling it. At least Master Howld was there with a collar if I lost it. But I didn’t because I’m fucking handling it.”
Dorian’s foot kept tapping on the rail. Wylie swore he could taste his agitation. “Did I do something to piss you off? Well… besides my dragon overreacting and playing hero.” At Dorian’s glare, Wylie felt he guessed the issue.
“I didn’t need your help. I can take care of myself just fine.”
Wylie nodded and took a slow hit of his cigarette. He tried to find a way to show he didn’t think Dorian was some fragile, weak princess. He didn’t. The shielding was instinctual. He hadn’t even known what he was doing when he threw himself across the room. At the strange shift of magic in the air, his dragon had reared up and then moments later he was basically wrapped around Dorian with his back shredded from the force of the magical blast.
“I get that you’re powerful, Dorian. I just can’t get the dragon to listen all the time. He’s got his own ideas on how he wants to be around you.” Wylie’s smile was bitter. “He knows you’re powerful. He just wants to protect you so you’ll never have to worry about anything bad happening.”
It was apparently the wrong thing to say. Wylie sighed when Dorian jumped off the railing to scowl at him. “Stop it. Don’t fucking talk to me like that,” Dorian demanded in exasperation. “I was clear; there’s no fucking winning me. I can’t be with anyone so just… Fuck, I have a lifetime of loneliness ahead of me. There’s nothing I can give you, so stop making me, well, feel!”
With a growl, Dorian tore his cigarette case from his back pocket. He pulled another one free just to suck it down in seconds once lit. Wylie watched him silently while he picked through his words. The damn dragon wanted to grab him and hold him until he settled. Dorian would probably only get more upset along with sliced up from his scales.
Wylie almost kept his mouth shut. He was wary of what kind of reaction he was going to get from the twitchy sorcerer. At least Dorian wasn’t sparking, about to burst into flames or whatnot. “What about the null-collar? If you want to be with someone, why not just wear the collar?”
Dorian glanced his way. With a shrug, he lit another cigarette. “I have issues with the collar. It’s a crutch. I have to spend the rest of my life with this fucked-up disorder and…” He raised his shoulder. With a frustrated sigh, he turned to Wylie with arms held wide. “I have to give up on the shit I want. I have to. It’s just irresponsible to put others at risk over something so selfish.”
Wylie tried to hold his tongue. It was no good, and he pushed from the wall and debated if he should just leave. Dorian was pacing and looked about to break something. Damn.
“Since when?” Wylie found himself speaking. He knew he was about to make a total ass of himself.
“What?” Dorian whirled on his heel to glare at him.
“Since when is personal happiness selfish? What, you’re just supposed to wait around for someone to allow you to be happy? Do you seriously think anyone else is crying over total strangers every time they want to get laid?”
Dorian pursed his lips and didn’t answer. He began to pace again, his head ducked as he stared at his shoes. “You wouldn’t understand, would you? You’re just dealing with… what, exactly? A hissing disorder?”
Wylie narrowed his eyes at the cutting tone, but refrained from snapping back. Dorian wouldn’t be impressed with his close call with Daiker, and there was no way he’d willingly implicate himself in Collin McPherson’s shooting.
“I can’t shift fully and my arms are deadly whenever they’re like this.” Wylie moved closer. Dorian sidestepped him and kept walking. “Still, I’m going to do everything I can to not hurt anyone and learn how to control my shifting better. My claws can slice through metal with ease but I’ve never hurt anyone I didn’t mean to. I’m not going to stop living my life just because I have fucked-up demon arms.”
Dorian huffed in exasperation and shook his head. “It’s easy for you to say. You really can’t understand. Maybe if you were one of the crazy shifters who can’t control his beast, but you’re not.” He stopped in front of Wylie and looked up into his pale eyes. “My magic is like another entity inside of me. It’s nearly alive and impossible to communicate with. The thing is, it doesn’t want to stay inside, it wants out. Out of me.” Dorian looked so desperate, his golden-green eyes wide as he tried to get Wylie to understand. “When it gets out, it kills. That’s all it does. I spend every day trying to keep my magic from killing people.”
“Dorian…” Wylie sighed. He ducked closer and breathed his scent in. His dragon could taste Dorian’s distress and all Wylie wanted to do was hold him, kiss him, take his pain away. Instead, he could only stand there, inches away, and wish for so many things he couldn’t have.
He bumped the bridge of his nose against Dorian’s jaw and said softly, “That just makes it more important to find ways to have fun. Enjoy life.”
Dorian shook his head but didn’t pull away. His hands hovered inches from Wylie’s chest. “I can’t.” He carefully wrapped fingers into Wylie’s shirt and tugged. “I just can’t.”
“You can. You’ve been given a crappy deal in life. It doesn’t mean you have to fucking accept it. Take everything good you can get.” Wylie forced Dorian to meet his gaze. “Who cares if it’s selfish? That’s just a word people say to make you feel bad about wanting things they’re too afraid to go after. Be selfish. Be selfish with me.”
Sparks shot up over Dorian’s skin. His eyes closed as he released a small groan. “Damn it.” He took a step back and spelled away smoke from his shirt with a wave. He bit his lip and edged further from Wylie, his eyes averted. “Yeah, well, like I said, it’s really easy for you to say. You don’t have to worry about killing people if you lose control.”
Wylie did worry about killing people but not from a lack of control. “Have you tried? Have you honestly tried to see if you can win against your magic?”
“That’s alone,” Wylie interrupted. “You do it all alone with no one you’re sparking over. That can’t be the same as trying to control it while being touched. If you don’t really try, then how do you know?”
Dorian growled under his breath and turned back. Defiance was tight in his stance as he tilted his chin up. “What the fuck do you know? Really? You just fucking got here and you think you know how shit works? You don’t know fuck, especially about me, so just shut it.”
Wylie bared his fangs and kept himself still as Dorian flashed gorgeous angry eyes at him. He was crossing the line, he knew it, but he didn’t fucking care. He was head over heels for this damn frustrating guy and Dorian wasn’t even going to attempt to figure out a way to be with him. And it wasn’t like he didn’t want him. If there was one thing Wylie determined, it was that the sorcerer was as messed up over him as he was for Dorian.
“Let me know when you’re done copping out,” Wylie said coldly. He stood taller.
“Fucking—” Dorian snarled. He turned away angrily only to spin back with two fingers raised. Wylie watched impassively. He wasn’t surprised when his knees went weak. His body crumpled down abruptly when the spell hit him.
His fingers twitched in agitation as he fought back sparks. Dorian glared down at Wylie and reached for another cigarette. He lit it silently, took a drag and exhaled with a sigh.
“You were saying?” Dorian lips were twisted in a smug smirk but his eyes were hard with anger. “You don’t know shit and you should watch your mouth.”
Wylie could already feel the spell abate. The weakness left his limbs almost as quickly as it hit. He kept himself still and knelt on the ground. He didn’t want to upset him any further. The way Fox talked, Dorian didn’t get angry ever. Right now he looked like he was ready to go up in flames and take the Academy with him.
“You know, it’s really easy for you to talk,” Dorian muttered angrily. “You didn’t fuck up so bad that someone died. I can tell. I’ve seen killer shifters go through here. You’re not one of them. It’s not so easy to tell with sorcerers.” Dorian shook his head agitatedly. With a growl he scuffed the ground with his shoe. “Some sorcerers kill and you should be careful. You should definitely watch your ass with that sociopath, Vincent.”
“So you killed someone.”
Dorian blinked in surprise. His shock was replaced with a scowl when he met his gaze. “Right, the dragon shields magic. What are you, fucking pitying me right now by pretending my spell works?”
Yeah, he was pissed about everything. “I wasn’t pretending. It worked enough to knock me down. It just doesn’t last very long.” He gauged Dorian’s expression carefully before he added, “I didn’t want to upset you anymore and, well, I want to be able to be around you as long as I can.”
“Fuck, just stop.” Dorian threw his arms up in exasperation. “Stop being so fucking perfect. Get angry. Hate me. I’m treating you like shit and I need you to hate me and leave already.”
Wylie was pretty sure Dorian was the one who dragged him out so they could be alone. Both times, actually.
“Why? You can just make me, right?” Wylie shifted back until he was sitting on the ground. “If you really want me to go, you can just magic me.”
Dorian groaned. He ran a hand through his thick, dark hair, and pulled at his locks in frustration. “I can’t. I keep trying but I can’t fucking stop myself.” He crouched down in front of Wylie, his eyes alight with anger and something unreadable.
“Listen to me, Doe. Before this fucked-up illness, if some strange shifter came up to me, knocked into me the way you did—yeah, by accident—and then hissed like that, I would have hexed the fuck out of him. I was an absolute asshole. I thought I was better than every other person on the damn planet because I could do just about anything I could imagine with my power. I didn’t even have to try. It was all so fucking easy for me.”
Dorian tilted his head towards the Academy with a frown. “I had friends back then, people just like me. We all thought we were better than everyone else. We spent our weekends going out and fucking up people’s cars, bursting pipes in public places. It was a game to change the clothes on strangers as they walked by and see if they noticed. Sometimes just strip them entirely if we were feeling mean enough. I didn’t give a fuck about anyone or anything.”
Wylie wasn’t sure what Dorian wanted from him. He looked desperate for him to understand. “Dorian…”
“No, listen.” He held his hand up. “One day I was fooling around with one of my friends—an arrogant, beautiful, fun as fuck guy I couldn’t stop thinking about. I was feeling beyond hot. I never felt that hot for anyone. The first spark, it was funny.” Dorian’s glare was molten, his tone bitter and savage.
“I sparked whenever he fucking touched me, and wasn’t it just a goddamn joke? We were laughing about it the entire day until we finally got some time alone. Then he pushed me up against a wall, shoved his hand down my pants and my magic incinerated him and half his fucking house in an instant. Do you fucking get it now, Wylie? I’m not worth chasing. I’m not worth looking for some kind of solution around this shit. I’m a fucking monster and you shouldn’t want a goddamn thing to do with me.”
Dorian’s emotions had grown too great and he growled as sparks rushed over his skin. Refusing to meet Wylie’s eye, he sprawled back on the ground and tried to get his breathing under control.
Dorian was fucked-up but it was over shit that wasn’t even his fault. He acted like being alone now was some sort of punishment for being a shitty teenager. Wylie had yet to meet a teenager who wasn’t totally selfish and full of mistakes.
There was a strange numbness forming in the pit of Wylie’s chest. He wasn’t sure exactly what was happening, but he needed to fix Dorian and there was only one way to do it.
“I tried to kill someone,” Wylie said, his expression completely blank.
Dorian looked up at him in confusion and just raised his eyebrow. “What?”
“When I was eight. I tried to kill a man,” Wylie explained emotionlessly. “I nearly did kill him. He was hurting my little sister and I was so scared, so angry, my dragon woke up for the first time just so we could kill that horrible man.”
Wylie’s jaw clenched at his next words. His chest and throat were too tight as he looked away. “I remember it. It never fades like my other memories. I bit his face with my fangs and tore the flesh from his cheek and ear. I sliced his throat with my claws when he wouldn’t stop screaming. My sister was crying. She was scared of me. She was more afraid of me than of the man, and she kept crying for me to stop.”
He needed him to understand. Wylie turned his gaze back to find Dorian staring at him. “I didn’t stop. I didn’t want to. I wanted to kill that man. I didn’t stop until I tore his dick off so he could never hurt my sister that way again. And I would have killed him if she hadn’t begged me to stop because I didn’t want to see her cry anymore. Still, even now, I dream about finding him, killing him.”
Wylie unclenched his fists. He forced his hands down flat on the ground. His long black talons were sharp and twitched to cause violence.
Dorian didn’t say anything for a long moment. “Why are you telling me this? You know it’s not the same. What you did—”
“It’s not the same,” Wylie agreed solemnly. Dorian fell silent from his glare. “You had an accident, Dorian. A really fucked-up, terrible accident that resulted in a person dying. Parents lost a son and a house in one go. But you learned. You’re not an asshole any more. I can tell. The other guys only have nice things to say about you, and shifters don’t bullshit about people.”
Wylie snarled and added harshly, “What I did was on purpose. And yeah, it might have been vengeful, righteous—whatever. But the feelings that fill me up aren’t. They’re horrible, hateful, murderous thoughts and emotions. I have to live with them because I invited them into my life. You’re fine, Dorian, and you don’t need to keep punishing yourself for not knowing your magic was too strong. How the fuck were you supposed to know? You’re the only one with that problem here.”
Wylie pushed himself up and stared at the top of Dorian’s bowed head. His hair was a perfect mess. “I’ll try harder to control the dragon so he won’t bother you. I won’t bother you. You deserve so much, Dorian. You deserve someone who can make you happy.” He shook his head and stepped backward. “The dragon doesn’t get that, but I do.”
He turned and headed for the door to keep from seeing the disgust he knew would be in Dorian’s eyes. His scales tucked in as he left.
“What happened to your sister?” Dorian called.
Wylie stopped short. “Don’t know. The Andersons gave me up right after. I scared them. What I did to that man scared them so much, I wasn’t worth loving.”
Wylie glared straight ahead as he wrenched the door open. He slammed it shut behind him and disappeared into the Academy.
Dorian continued to sit. He leaned back and stared up at the clear blue sky as he tried to make sense of everything.
Fucked. He was so fucked.
There was no other way around it. Fucking Wylie Doe and his goddamn wild eyes and crazy arms and damn sweet, protective nature. How the fuck was he going to get out of this now?
He was falling. The stupid ass tried to tell him probably the darkest fucking thing in his life he could think of, and it just made him want Wylie more.
He couldn’t even feel fucking sorry for himself anymore!
Dorian snorted to himself. He let his eyes close as a soothing breeze flowed by. He sighed heavily up at the sky,
Shit, what a total pain in the ass. Some freak raped the kid’s little sister and Wylie’s adoptive parents didn’t thank him for protecting the girl. No, they went and threw a little boy away because they didn’t know how to take care of a miniature shifter. Eight. Fucking eight years old.
How the fuck did you get over that? Save a life and get punished for it.
Fuck, compared to people like that, he felt like a fucking decent human being. If someone touched his sister, he’d kill him, and his parents would help.
Fucking Wylie Doe. The kid fucked him up. Not even there a full two weeks and Wylie had completely fucked him up. What an asshole.