“Your highness, there’s a gentleman at the gate asking to see you. He’s come under a flag of truce.”
Prince Zacarius Ivinovav looked up from the book he read to see his manservant, Alfred, standing in the doorway of his study. The man looked nervous, which seemed strange for Alfred. He always looked totally controlled and unaffected by everything.
“Who is it, Alfred?” he asked, shutting his book and setting it down on the small table next to his chair. Zacarius’s eyes widened when Alfred actually shuddered.
“He said his name is Devlin Morgan, sir.”
“Fierce bravery, I’m intrigued,” Zacarius murmured.
“Excuse me, sir?”
“Oh, nothing, Alfred,” Zacarius said as he stood to his feet and waved his hand at Alfred. “I was just commenting on his name. Devlin means fierce bravery in Gaelic. Well, let him in, Alfred.”
“Your highness,” Alfred said and shuddered again. “He’s a shifter.”
“You don’t say?” Zacarius asked in surprise. “Well, by all means, show him in. And Alfred, make sure everyone knows he’s here as my guest. No aggression. Is that understood?”
“But sir, he’s a shifter.”
“I’m fully aware of that, Alfred,” Zacarius replied. “But he has come to our gate under a flag of truce, and we must honor that. No one is to make any moves toward him or they will secure my wrath. Is that clearly understood?”
“Yes, of course, your highness,” Alfred replied. “I’ll show him in right away.”
Zacarius nodded. He chuckled to himself as Alfred hurried from the room. The man was a mystery, two hundred years old if he was a day and never a hair out of place. His butler suits always looked pressed and wrinkle-free. And he never ever seemed ruffled by anything.
Having a shifter show up at the front gate, flag of truce or not, seemed to have done just that. Zacarius couldn’t blame Alfred. The long standing animosity between vampires and werewolves went back several centuries.
Zacarius, being just over five hundred years old, could remember the war between the two species from his childhood. By the time he grew into his adulthood, werewolves and vampires were already at each other’s throats.
It would be interesting to discover why a shifter darkened his doorstep now. He couldn’t remember the last time he actually saw a one in person, maybe fifty or sixty years ago.
Zacarius sat in one of the two wing back chairs situated in front of the roaring fire. He slowly sipped hundred year old scotch from a crystal glass and waited for the shifter to be shown to his study. Yes, this would very interesting indeed.
“Come,” Zacarius said a few minutes later when a soft knock sounded at his door. He turned to see Alfred open the door and a rather impressive figure walked in. Zacarius found himself immediately intrigued by the man’s roguish good looks. He didn’t remember shifters looking quite so handsome.
“Devlin Morgan, your highness,” Alfred said.
Zacarius rose to his feet and walked a few steps closer to the shifter. “Thank you, Alfred. That will be all.”
“Very well, sir,” Alfred replied. Zacarius could see that he wanted to protest, but Alfred would never dream of being anything except efficient and obedient, one of the reasons Zacarius retained the man’s services for the past fifty years. “Just ring me if you require anything, your highness.”
Zacarius waited for the door to close then gave into his desire to fully view the man that stood before him. He noted that while he had a self-assured quality about him, small beads of sweat trickled down his temple.
He must be nervous. Zacarius leaned forward just a bit and sniffed the air around him. A tingling in the pit of his stomach came over him as deep, earthy masculine musk assailed his senses. Devlin Morgan smelled glorious.
He didn’t miss the Devlin’s’s obvious examination and approval either. A slight seductive grin crossed the man’s lips as his sexy copper eyes slid downward. Zacarius knew the moment his gaze landed on the hardness pressed against his own tight black leather pants.
His eyes widened as the thick scent of arousal permeated the room. His eyes moved to Zacarius’s face, his gaze bore into his in silent expectation. Zacarius smirked as he moved over to his liquor cabinet.
“Can I get you something to drink, Mr. Morgan?”
“Devlin, please,” he replied. “And I’ll take a scotch if you have it.”
“Of course,” Zacarius said. “Neat?”
“Of course.” Devlin chuckled.
Zacarius poured him a drink then topped his own drink off. He handed Devlin his glass then sat down in the chair he occupied before. He gestured for Devlin to join him.
“So, what brings you to my gate, Devlin Morgan?”
“You do understand that I am here under a flag of truce?” Devlin asked. “I want no trouble, but my alpha ordered me here.”
“And why would your alpha want you to come visit me?” Zacarius asked. “I doubt I even know the man.”
True enough. Zacarius was positive he didn’t know him. He was, however, very interested in getting to know the man that sat across from him. Devlin Morgan might be a shifter, but a damn good-looking one.
“It concerns your sister, Princess Adrianna.”
Well shit! Zacarius frowned. If Adrianna was involved, it couldn’t be good. The girl started making trouble the moment she left the cradle. Zacarius couldn’t even begin to count the messes he dragged her out of.
“And what kind of trouble has my dear sister gotten herself into this time?”
Devlin looked hesitant. Zacarius detected a change in his scent as if his level of apprehension suddenly increased. Devlin twisted his hands together, dropping his gaze to look down at the fire.
Zacarius was surprised enough by the look of regret on Devlin’s face when he glanced back up that he couldn’t hide his reaction when he continued.
“I’m afraid your sister has been killed.”
Zacarius smoothed his ruffled purple shirt down his chest then picked off a few pieces of lint on his shoulder. He wanted to look his absolute best for his dinner date. The handsome shifter might not know it was a date, but that’s exactly what Zacarius planned.
The whole werewolf versus vampire thing didn’t bother Zacarius. The way Devlin’s tight jeans stretched across his ass, an ass Zacarius very much wanted a piece of, bothered him a whole lot more.
So, a private candle light dinner for two in Zacarius’s quarters, a good bottle of wine to relax the tension, a roaring fire, and Zacarius hoped to get to know his guest better, a whole lot better.
“Your highness, if I may speak?”
“Certainly, Alfred,” Zacarius replied, still looking at his reflection in the mirror.
“Are you sure this is such a good idea?” Alfred asked. “Werewolves are dangerous. They have no restraint. He’s bound to lose control and shift, attacking you or…or worse.”
Zacarius chuckled. “Devlin is no threat to me, Alfred, but I do appreciate your concern.”
“How can you be sure, your highness?” Alfred whined. “He’s a shifter!”
Zacarius heard the horror in Alfred’s voice. He imagined Alfred believed exactly as he spoke. Alfred was too young to remember a time when vampires and werewolves coexisted together. He only knew the time of strife between the two species.
Alfred didn’t understand that the war started so long ago that most people didn’t even remember why it began. Zacarius was one of the lucky ones. He was old enough to remember.
“It will be fine, Alfred.”
“Are you sure, your highness?” Alfred asked.
“I promise. Devlin means me no harm.” Zacarius said.
“I still don’t like it, sir.”
Zacarius chuckled. “I’m sure you don’t, Alfred.”
“Please, your highness, please just promise me you’ll be careful?” Alfred asked. “I don’t trust this man.”
“Alfred, you don’t trust anyone.”
Alfred gave Zacarius one of his rare smiles. “That is true, sir.”
“Go make sure my dinner is ready, Alfred, before I forget why I hired you and feed you to the werewolf.”
“As you wish, your highness.”
Zacarius shook his head in amusement as Alfred hurried from the room. Despite what he said, Zacarius would never get rid of Alfred. He kept Zacarius’s life simple and running smoothly. He didn’t know what he’d do without him.
Zacarius walked out of his bedroom into the sitting area of his private apartment. He glanced around to insure everything met his satisfaction. Alfred grumbled the entire time he did as Zacarius ordered, but apparently he did it well.
A small intimate table for two sat by the windows overlooking the garden below. A bottle of wine chilled in an ice bucket next to the table. A roaring fire burned in the fireplace. The low lights gave the room a sensuous feel. Alfred had outdone himself.
Now, time to get his guest. Zacarius walked over to the door connecting his suite to the one next door. Originally planned for the princess’s rooms, they often used as a guest room for his special visitors.
He knocked twice then opened the door. He saw no sign of Devlin. For a brief moment, Zacarius felt his heart thunder in his chest as he considered the possibility that Devlin might have fled, until he heard the shower.
Curiosity may have killed the cat but it inspired the vampire. Zacarius walked to the bathroom and eased the door open. Steam filled the room. Lust filled Zacarius’s body.
Devlin stood under the shower spray, his head thrown back, the corded muscles on his neck strained tight. Zacarius muffled his groan by biting into the heel of his hand. Devlin’s hand was wrapped around his cock as he stroked himself.
Zacarius hardened so fast he got dizzy from loss of blood to his brain. It all pooled in his pants. Devlin’s body looked like a work of art, and Zacarius wanted to study him from the top of his head to the bottoms of his perfectly formed feet.
Devlin reminded Zacarius of a Greek statue, all hard muscles and lean lines. The trail of hair going down his abdomen from the dark brown hair across his chest lent a hint to the true nature of the beast.
The muffled grunt from the shower mirrored Zacarius’s. Devlin’s body stiffened then ropes of pearly seed spurted from his cock. Zacarius would have given his entire kingdom to taste that creamy liquid. He licked his lips, just imaging how sweet and tangy the man must taste.
When Devlin finally dropped his hand from his spent cock, his body heaving, Zacarius quickly backed out of the room and closed the door as quietly as he could. He leaned his head against the cool wood, his breathing rapid as he tried to calm his ravenous lust.
He wanted Devlin Morgan, and he didn’t care if the man was a werewolf or not. He just needed to figure out how to make it happen. As interested as Zacarius knew Devlin was, he wasn’t sure the shifter could cross the invisible boundary between them. He’d have to dangle the right incentive in front of the man. Himself!