Welcome to the Summer solstice Blog Hop! The beginning is here, so you can begin, as they say, at the beginning. I'm slightly late tot eh party, as usual. Sorry about that. Alanna said i could take her story and run with it, which was awesome, because I had the best idea that ties in with one of the WIPs I'm working on right now....so read on, and I hope you enjoy, and do join us at the end of the road and fill out the form for prizes. We'll be chatting, as well, on Saturday at 7 (est) at Gem's Place
John watched the others of the group from the shadows of his hat. What he wouldn't give to have found a way onto this sacred ground without the company of the riff-raff, but after three years of circling the state, drawing closer to the elusive pull of this spot, he'd found the only way to get this close without raising suspicion was to win the radio contest.
He schooled yet another sneer off his face. How the mortals loved their games of chance. Perhaps it was the one place in their lives they were brave enough to admit they had no control. He watched them, amazed there were still people in the world who didn't believe in the magic surrounding them. As if the dragon walking their city streets were something that happened so far from this spot they couldn't ossibly be real.
The thought brought John's attention around to the man holding the reins of Jesse's horse. His heart shifted slightly in his chest. He could feel the heat and light surrounding the man if no one else was aware of it, as thought the dragon hidden within the slight cowboy shimmered in the air around him. John half imagined it was the draw of the cowboy and not the land that had brought him here.
He grunted. Perfect the man might be, but there was no way someone so obviously straight could be John's familiar, even if he was about the hottest thing he'd seen in a long time. Forcing himself to focus on why he was here, he drew his attention back to the others. It had been nothing to manipulate the game to his advantage and get himself here. He would find a way to rid himself of the pesky creatures when the time came to do what he'd come for.
Deeve watched the black-clad man with trepidation. This was so not what he'd signed on for. His clan had celebrated his coming to this place, sure he was to meet his wizard at last, but this...Deeve ran a hand over his belly. He could feel the beginnings of the Covenant already. It stirred in his guts, and before the night was out, either he would bind to the wizard, or he'd be forced back into his scaled form forever. He shuddered. Neither choice appealed. He was a powerful, strong dragon. He loved being a man.
He was still fiddling with the reins of Jesse's horse when his boss had run the gamut of introductions and turned back to him with her stunning smile.
"Dave?" she glanced at him. "I need you here, buddy. Can you get Stash stripped down and get back here, please?"
Deeve blinked. He almost never remembered to answer to the human's bastardization of his name, but Jesse's smile, hat was something else. "Yes, m'am." He tipped his hat and turned to lead the horse away, determined not to steel another glanced at the tall, forbidding man he was bound to join with.
Inside the barn, he could breathe a little easier. How was he going to broach the subject of being the wizard's familiar if the wizard was very obviously disinterested in communication of any kind?
"I'll ask him why he came," Deeve decided. "That should be an innocent enough question."
"It should be obvious, little dragon."
Deeve jumped. The horse whinnied, and bumped against the stall. Behind him, leaning on the stall door, John P. Smith peered down on him. He was a lot taller than Deeve had realized, observing him from the back of a horse earlier. Taller, darker, leaner, sharp-featured and intense.
"H-how..." Deeve scowled at himself. "How did you know?"
"How could I not?" One long-fingered hand crept down over the black vest covering John's chest and came to rest over his stomach as he studied Deeve. "You're skinnier than I expected."
"I wasn't expecting a dark wizard." Deeve dropped his gaze to his feet. Or a man, for that matter.
"Dark." The stall door opened with a soft sigh and closed again with a click, ominously loud in the stillness of the barn. "Dark is relative."
"To what?" Deeve could feel the other's man's heat against his back, the vibration of his presence running through his body, stirring things he would rather not be stirred in response to another man.
Hands curved around Deeve's waist. He closed his eyes, but couldn't bring himself to pull away. "I've been dark places, Deeve, it's true. That doesn't make me dark."
"No?" Deeve squirmed, but the hands moved with him. He had to face the fact this was going to happen. He shivered.
"Tell me you see there's still light."
"Like you mean it." John pulled and Deeve teetered back on his heels, resisting being pulled completely into the man's space.
"Why are you really here?"
"The ether will erupt here. Tonight."
Deeve nodded. He knew that. It did every year, twice a year, and he was always here to catch it, harness it, make sure it didn't flood the landscape and do damage to the delicate ecosystem.
"You're steeped in it."
"I suppose I am."
John pulled him the last few inches until Deeve was held tight, his back against the taller man's chest. John smoothed his hands over Deeve's chest.
Deeve shuddered. "I'm not..."
"There's only one way to do this."
Deeve nodded, catching his lower lip between his teeth as his body curved to fit against the wizard's, as his blood heated and his skin tingled.
"You weren't expecting a man, were you, little dragon?"
John's hand trailed lower and Deeve squirmed, only by now, he couldn't tell if he was squirming to get away, or to get that hand lower. Sweat broke out down his back and the ether coiled inside woke to John's touch. If Deeve didn't break free now, he would have no choice but to become the wizard's familiar, channeling the ether for the bigger man's magic. The ether had already awakened to the wizard's nearness, to his touch, to the particular resonance his magic spread through the vicinity. The ether wanted the wizard, this wizard, and it would take Deeve with it.
Then John stepped away, leaving Deeve trembling at the loss, grappling alone with the swirling ropes of energy.
"I won't take what isn't being offered."
"What?" Deeve whirled but his wizard was already out of the stall, the tails of his long coat swirling as he strode out into the waning evening light. "Wait!" Deeve's call was weak, lost in the struggle to regain control of the magical energy awakened by John's presence. It took long minutes to wrap it back into himself and ease it back into the environment. It took even longer to convince himself to let the sizzling, bright energy go and he sagged limply against the horse once he had.
"Fuck, that's hard." He reached out a hand, stretched out a finger and tooled a bit of the magical essence around his finger. How easy it would be to lose himself in the swirl of light and colour. But that was not the answer to this new dilemma; as good as it might feel. No. He had to figure out how to reconcile his ideal of an exotic wizard princess to the reality the wizard he was meant to pair with was all very much male.
John stopped in the shadows of the barn, leaning against the peeling paint of the wall. This was not what he'd expected. A familiar with a bit of everything he wanted--needed--in a partner except one thing; desire for John.
Under his feet, the ground shook, tremors running through the earth. The ether was awake, ready to reclaim this place it had been forced to desert so long ago. John had to take his familiar before it burst free, or the land would pay the price. Deeve was too off balance to control it himself this time, and that was John's fault. Only it was clear Deeve didn't want to be taken.
"So now what?" his head thumped against the barn wall and he gazed up into the darkening sky. There was no answer forthcoming.
Oooh! Cliffhanger! I know. How annoying is that that I didn't even get to the good bits? But I wasn't expecting Deeve to balk, never mind be straight. Hopefully he'll come around, and when he does, I'll definitely post it! lol!
Thanks for stopping on this leg of the hop, and have fun with the other bloggers!