Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
For a Dragon's Touch
Highland Dragons: Book One
When men from the northern town of Brock come to Adencass, sharing tales of a dragon, Ian MacGree thinks it’s a ploy to get out of sending their share of support. His father, Chieftain Goth, sends Ian to discover the truth. Never does he think the stories of a dragon terrorizing the area would be true until he runs into Roark, who claims to be a dragon hunter. Ian’s attraction to Roark is almost instantaneous, but as the second son of the chieftain, romance has no place in his life, for his father plans to wed him to another to seal an alliance. But, he’s not the only one with secrets. When he discovers Roark’s, will their secrets bring them together or drive them apart?
Excerpt - For a Dragon's Touch
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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Easing his horse to a slow trot, Ian MacGree looked over his shoulder at the figure galloping down the road after him. He recognized his buddy Ewan MacNiery. Smiling, Ian drew his mount, Goat, to a stop and half turned to face him.
“Ewan. What are ye doing? I thought ye were in the south field today,” Ian commented by way of greeting.
“I just heard,” Ewan replied. “I came as fast as I could. Are ye really going to Brock? To investigate the rumors of a dragon?”
“Aye,” Ian replied. “Chieftain Goth ordered it.”
Brock rested near the base of the eastern mountains and was the northern-most town under Chieftain Goth MacGree’s protection. As the chieftain’s second son, Ian would never refuse his father, even if he thought this a ridiculous errand.
If it had been up to Ian, he would have ordered a score of warriors—to be led by Ryder, his older brother and heir to the clan—to ride to Brock and remind them of their loyalties. Stories of dragons were nonsense, just tales to scare children. Trying to use tales like that to get out of sending their share of support for Goth’s protection was utter nonsense.
Ewan’s dark brows furrowed. His brown eyes gleaming with confusion as he shoved a big, broad hand through his thick dark hair, pushing the shaggy locks away from his face. “Then why are ye goin’ alone?”
“Also the chief’s order,” Ian admitted. “He wants information, not conflict.”
After hearing his father’s reasoning—we support our people, aid them and lift their spirits, not subjugate them—Ian’s respect for the man grew, and he’d already had a healthy amount of respect for the man. Goth led well. His abilities just didn’t extend to parenthood. He ruled his family like he ruled his clan…with an iron fist. If he decided a course of action, it was final, regardless of how it might affect others.
“I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if ye took someone with ye. I could go—”
“Nay, Ewan,” Ian cut him off, lifting his hand to stay his words. “Ye’re needed here. It’s plantin’ season.” He didn’t add that, by heading out on this mission, he’d get to put off something he didn’t want to do. Ian wondered how long he could drag this out.
Evidently, Ewan must have read his mind, for he gave him an understanding smile. “I’m surprised he’d send ye off, what with yer upcoming nuptials. How’d ye’re betrothed take it?”
Ian shook his head. “Well, I didn’t actually say anything to Agatha,” he admitted, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Oh, Ian, she won’t like that when ye get back, ye know,” Ewan warned.
Nodding, Ian grimaced.
He and Agatha Allanach had never been particularly interested in each other. They’d been betrothed since just after her birth eighteen summers before—he’d been six at the time—and they’d met on several occasions over the years. Ian knew, eventually, he’d have to fulfill his duty and wed the woman. He’d been dreading it for the last four years. Ever since he realized he’d never be interested in her…or any woman for that matter. Unfortunately, she’d arrived the fortnight before from her own clan home which lay over seven days hard ride to the east. The time Ian had dreaded had finally come.
Ian shoved aside his useless thoughts.
Ewan reached over and gripped his shoulder, squeezing tightly. Ian smiled at his friend, the only man he’d ever told of his wish not to wed. The other man commiserated, but Ian knew he didn’t truly understand. How could he? Ewan happily bedded any woman interested and had commented on Agatha’s fair features and even temperament many times. Although, Ian figured that was more in an attempt to tell him how lucky he was than an actual interest in the lass.
He crossed his left arm over his chest, reached up, and gripped Ewan’s clasped hand where it still rested on his shoulder. “I’ll see ye soon, my friend,” Ian finally assured.
“Safe journey,” Ewan replied.
Ian nodded, released Ewan, and pulled away. Without another word, Ian turned his horse and urged the gelding forward. The animal lunged into a gallop, carrying Ian with it.
For the first hour, Ian passed by fields of tilled soil and the people planting them. He received waves and greetings from dozens of people, most of whom he recognized. The fields gave way to rolling hills. He paused at the crest of a rise and took in the field of blooming heather and the couple dozen sheep grazing below.
On the far side of the meadow, Ian spotted what he wanted, a narrow track leading into the trees and out of sight. He knew from experience that the trail would take him through a narrow pass to the town of Pith and then on to Brock. Cutting over mountain, instead of taking the wagon road used by traders, would shave off four days of travel.
Ian pointed his horse down the hill and continued his journey.
Adult Excerpt - For a Dragon's Touch
Ian’s gaze flitted from one incredible sight to the next. First were the dragons, beasts of all shapes and sizes, wandering about the massive bowl of a canyon. Now that he knew what to look for, he saw that there were dozens in all shapes and colors. The dragons mingled with the humans, who would stop in whatever tasks they were doing—farming, cooking, even washing clothes—and chatted with the dragons, and they seemed completely unafraid of any of them.
Even the children ran about their legs, hung on their wings, or climbed over a lounging dragon’s body. The adults seemed to find this activity more humorous than alarming, watching the children with indulgent smiles as they conversed with the dragon.
Nearly tripping over the rocks in the path, Ian used his grip on Roark’s hand to remain upright. And why haven’t I released him, yet? Ian loosened his grip, intending to let go of the other man, but Roark just tightened his fingers and flashed a smile at him over his shoulder.
“We’re almost there,” Roark said.
Ian almost asked almost where, then saw the trail led to a gaping hole in the mountain, easily large enough for any dragon to enter. “Whoa, wait,” he murmured, eyeing the yawning darkness. He wasn’t too keen on entering a dragon’s lair.
Roark paused upon feeling his resistance. “What’s the matter?”
Upon seeing Roark’s confusion and concern, Ian struggled to form words. The man’s deep voice and solid presence did things to Ian that he couldn’t begin to describe. If he didn’t get himself under control, his dick would end up tenting his kilt, and there was no telling how a dragon would interpret that.
“I’m not big on caves…uh, confined spaces,” Ian blurted, his brain unable to come up with anything else.
A wrinkle formed between Roark’s brows. “This is my home. We’ll be able to talk freely in here.”
“Aye. There’s lots of space,” Roark assured, tugging gently on his hand. “If you find you’re uncomfortable, I’ll bring you right back out.”
Ian found himself agreeing, and allowed the other man to lead him forward again. Walking into the cave, he discovered the first room rivaled the main hall back at home but with a higher ceiling. Two passages broke off from the chamber, and Roark led him to the left.
The tunnel walls were reasonably smooth, as if worn away by the brush of scales on rock. A second chamber—this one smaller but no less impressive—opened before him. A massive nest of colorful blankets and pillows lay piled in one corner, and nearby stood an actual table and chairs and what appeared to be a pantry and cook fire. All of it glowed eerily in the dancing light thrown off by the various torches affixed to the walls.
Roark led him straight to the nest of blankets. He settled on them, sprawling out, and pulled Ian down next to him. When Roark wrapped his arms around him and held him close, Ian stiffened, uncertain how to respond.
Running a hand down Ian’s broad back, Roark murmured, “There is so much to explain, I hardly know where to begin.”
Ian swallowed hard, struggling to keep his body from reacting too strongly to the man pressed against him. He didn’t know where to put his hands. Ian knew where he wanted to put them—on this man’s chest so he could feel Roark’s thick muscles—but first he needed to understand. “Mayhap ye could start with telling me why ye’re holding me?”
“Because I’m attracted to you, and I know you feel the same. I want you to get used to my touch,” Roark replied bluntly.
Holy shite! “Uh, I’m not sure I’ll be around long enough for that,” Ian commented.
Roark leaned closer and lightly rubbed his nose along the skin of Ian’s neck.
He couldn’t help it…it just felt too good. Ian shivered and tilted his head, giving the man more access.
“You will be,” Roark said, his voice confident.
Ian rested his hands on Roark’s shoulders, intending to push him away. Except, that’s when he felt Roark’s lips against his skin, tracing the path his nose had just taken. Ian gasped, amazed how those lips that looked so firm were really so soft as they ghosted up his neck.
“God, that…that shouldn’t feel so good,” Ian muttered, his brain seeming to shut off as his body responded faster than it ever had before.
Roark chuckled, his lips moving up along his jaw-line. Ian’s breathing hitched and his fingers tightened where they gripped Roark’s shoulders. A big hand lifted and cupped the nape of his neck just as Roark’s mouth found Ian’s.
The first press of another man’s mouth against his own caused a low groan to escape him. Roark took advantage and thrust his tongue inside, rubbing his appendage against Ian’s tongue.
Ian’s heart pounded in his chest as blood flooded his groin, making his cock throb under several layers of fabric. Kissing a woman had never gotten him hot like this. As Roark explored his mouth with possessive strokes, Ian hung on for the ride, enjoying the other man’s masculine taste and power. He realized he hadn’t known what he’d been missing…and would soon be missing again.
With that thought, Ian groaned and pressed closer to the man. If he had just this short time to indulge in his true desires, then he wasn’t going to miss the opportunity.