“But words are things; and a small drop of ink falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps, millions, think.” ~ George Gordon Byron.
Tomas and Cathal have escaped from Naearu, Cathal’s mystical homeworld, but happily ever after is never as straightforward in real life as it is in books. Then again, most people don’t deal with the complication of a lover who’s magically bound to a tree or have an interfering cat for a cousin.
With Naearu’s police force, the Falcons, still after Cathal, he can’t go home. Now that he and Tomas have consummated their relationship, Cathal’s abilities are evolving and changing to the point that Tomas can sense them. And until the oak portal closes, Cathal—and his new life with Tomas—are in limbo as Cathal can’t expect Tomas to stay with someone who can never venture past the property line. Will he and Tomas ever get to follow through on their engagement?
“Sometimes what we don’t want to hear is what we need to.” Cathal spoke the words softly, knowing them to be true. Christian and Will had always done that for him. Much of what they’d said in the past he hadn’t wanted to hear, but he always took heed of what was said, considering it before deciding whether he would act on it or not.
“Even Heidi and Donovan told me I needed to get my head out of my arse when we first met.”
Although it wasn’t the correct response, Cathal couldn’t help but chuckle. “Is that position even physically possible? I know you’re wonderfully flexible in bed, but I cannot visualize it.”
The comment earned him a lazy swat on the side of one buttock. “I’m going to pretend you’re unfamiliar with that saying and that wasn’t a bad joke.”
“My jokes aren’t that bad!” Cathal rolled them more onto their sides to give Tomas more access. “But if you want to keep your hand there I’m not about to stop you.”
“You’re still wearing your clothes, and as much as I love the way those jeans cling to your arse, I prefer the feel of that part of you with nothing on it.”
Cathal raised an eyebrow. For some reason talking like this in bed seemed to always lead to more lovemaking, although it was also the time they spoke the most openly with each other. “Are you trying to get me to take my clothes off?”
“If you have to ask, then I’m losing my touch.” Tomas kissed Cathal hard. Cathal parted his lips, stroking Tomas’s tongue with his own. When they broke the kiss both were breathing heavily.
“There is nothing wrong with your touch, my love.” Cathal hesitated, feeling a little daring but not sure what Tomas’s response would be.
“I can hear you thinking from here.” Tomas propped himself up on one elbow when Cathal pulled away. “Whatever it is, Cat, I’m sure it’s fine.” He frowned. “You do want to make love, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do, very much so.” Cathal slipped off the bed. He felt himself grow red. “I was wondering… umm… would you like me to undress for you so that you can watch?”
“God, yes!” Tomas licked his lips and looked Cathal up and down, already undressing him with his eyes. “I would love that.” He arched his hips off the bed and undid his own jeans, already sliding them down but not taking his eyes off Cathal.
“I wasn’t planning to undress that quickly.” Cathal began to undo the top buttons of his shirt, deliberately taking his time.
“I know that, but I wanted to be ready for you.” Tomas sat up and took off his T-shirt, muscles flexing when he pulled it over his head. His skin was lightly tanned, and for someone who claimed he didn’t exercise much, his build resembled that of a herald. He’d chuckled at that, saying that he didn’t run much either, although he might be persuaded to for the right reasons.
Tomas’s boxers joined his jeans on the floor. Cathal got a tantalizing glimpse of one bare hip and thigh before the blankets were pulled up to just above Tomas’s groin. Cathal let his eyes travel across Tomas’s flat stomach and down to the almost red hair peeking out from over the blanket, teasing to what lay beneath. God, how he wanted to touch Tomas, right there, right now.
“You are, my love. You definitely are.” Cathal swallowed but forced himself not to speed up his own actions. He undid the last button of his shirt, letting it slide from his shoulders to the floor. The undergarment he wore beneath only needed pulling over his head. He did not understand why Tomas did not feel the need to wear one, as this world’s clothing was not as warm as his own. The belt from his jeans came next, followed by the button fly. The denim material eased down over his hips slowly. He stepped out of them and then removed his socks, very aware of Tomas’s eyes on him.
Tomas’s breath hitched. “You’re so beautiful, Cat. When we’re together I want to touch you, to be with you. You look and feel so good.” He gestured for Cathal to come closer. “Do you remember the first time we kissed at the inn?” He looked at the boxers Cathal still wore, reached out and traced the outline of Cathal’s hard cock through the cotton material. Cathal moaned softly, pushing into his hand. “The undergarments you wore then drove me crazy. I couldn’t work out how to undo the laces.”
“I prefer these. They’re easier to remove.” Cathal could take a hint. Tomas wanted him, and now. “Do you want to finish?”
Tomas hesitated, then shook his head. “Do it for me, Cat. I want to see you. All of you.” He removed his hand, threw the blanket off completely, and stroked himself, his eyes glazing over with need.
“All of you.” Cathal licked his lips, needing to touch and taste. He quickly used two fingers to extend the elastic of his boxers, letting them slide off him to pool at his feet. Bending over, he kissed Tomas, deepening it as Tomas pulled him into an embrace and onto the bed. A wave of love and desire washed over him. Cathal wasn’t sure whether the emotions were his or Tomas’s or a combination of both. He didn’t care. He wanted this man so badly, his beloved, his mate.
“I want you.” Tomas ran his hands over Cathal’s back and sides, touching him, caressing him. He wrapped his legs around Cathal’s and threaded the fingers of their left hands together. “I love you, Cathal Emerys.” He whispered a familiar phrase, his breath hot against Cathal’s ear. When Cathal had taken the codename as leader of the resistance, he would have never believed how hearing it spoken by Tomas in this way could sound so good. “I believe in you, Cat. My dragon.”