Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Paranormal, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance
"Ah, I see. Now, why do the Evian call you the Monolith?"
He chuckled. "It is a strange tale."
"We have twenty minutes of walking to go. Strange suits the evening."
"I have been a geological specialist most of my life. It has been my talent and my passion. I have been able to seek out deposits of jewels and minerals beneath the surface of any world, so I was contacted by the Evian centuries ago to begin a survey of one of their worlds."
"Sounds fairly straightforward. What happened?"
He sighed, a heavy gust of sound. "They didn't tell me that there were sentients on that planet who were not yet of star-drive capabilities. I landed and did a recon in my larger form and it started a religion."
He grimaced and continued, "The locals began to call me the Monolith and reported it to the Evian scouting teams. They found it very amusing and sent the name in the recon report to their home world."
"And it stuck."
"Oh yes. I had done many explorations for the Evian and by the time that moniker was hung on me, it was almost my time to sleep. I was the Monolith worshiped by the Jesku and there was nothing I could to about it. They even erected statuary in my honour. I refused to allow the Evian mining privileges, but it was too late, the name stuck."
Smiling at the small insight into Hyfor's past, she was almost sorry to see her home appear at the end of the street.
The tiny house was enough for her, but it had no guest room. She was going to extricate herself from his grip when he said. "And now, I will leave you at your door. Are you free tomorrow?"
She bit her lip. "I have an appointment in the morning, but I am free in the afternoon if things go well."
"Excellent. Will you accompany me to one of the sites I am deliberating? It will be better if I have a woman's opinion. I only see the stone."
His frankness was refreshing. It was also a bit of a lie. No creature could crawl out of a multi-hundred-year slumber and put together an outfit that flattering if they had no eye for detail.
Her eyes widened in surprise as she heard herself say, "Pick me up at my offices at noon. Berenghetti can show you the way."
He kissed her goodbye on her doorstep and she shivered the entire way back to her bedroom. An unfamiliar noise outside made her rush to a window in time to see a jewel-encrusted dragon curling into a sleeping posture on her front lawn. He took up the entire small space but seemed very content to curl his head under one wing and go to sleep. His whole body was a mound of gems that the Evian must drool over in their dreams.
She whispered, "Goodnight, Hyfor," and to her embarrassment, the tip of his tail waved goodnight in return.
She backed away from the window, got ready for bed and lay down with a silly smirk on her face. Nya regretfully faced the likelihood that that same smile would be there in the morning.
Nya's dreams were filled with music and an enticing feel of skin on skin. She woke with her bedding clutched to her neck and her thighs clenched tightly together. Her pulse was frantic and she was more desperate than she had ever been in her life.
She soaked her head under the spray and breathed deeply. If dreams like that were part of Hyfor's seduction techniques, she was going to be on her back before she could say sneeze.
Images, flashes of wings, muscles and strong arms, heat around her and deep inside. She groaned and pressed her forehead against the cool tile of the shower. Her lips were blue and she was shaking by the time she felt in control of her hormones.
A message was flashing on her communication unit and when she triggered it, her assistant's voice said, "Mediator, your appointment today has cancelled. He had a bit too much to drink at the wedding last night. He will rebook for later in the week."
Nya groaned and knew in that instant that it was interference on Berenghetti's part, an accelerated matchmaking attempt that was glaringly obvious.
She called her assistant and informed her that she would not be coming into the office today. Nothing was worse than going into the office on her day off if there was nothing to do.
She pulled on her favourite casual-day outfit--a loose pair of cottony trousers and a matching tunic in a crystal blue that matched her eyes. In the dusty environment of Arcros, boots were a must if she didn't want to spend every night scrubbing her feet back to a pasty white.
Her boots for the day were a rough brown, tight across the calf and almost snug around the knee. She belted her tunic and went downstairs to wake the dragon.
The smell of breakfast struck her halfway down the stairs. Hyfor was in the kitchen and a plate of eggs and another of sliced fruit were waiting for her. "Good morning, Antonya. I heard you in the shower and came in to make you breakfast."
"Thank you. Um. I thought I locked the door." She bit her lip at his queer smile.
"Locks are metal and metal is a mineral and minerals are mine to command."
"Ah. I see. Good to know. If I want privacy, take up woodworking."
He laughed and poured her a cup of fresh-squeezed juice. "I can break through most wood. You will have to become a master carpenter to keep me out if I want in, but I promise you all the privacy I can manage."
The honesty in his tone was more than she had expected. "Your forthright attitude is refreshing if a little blunt for this time of day."
He grinned again and jerked his head toward the plate. "Eat and we will go on tours of the various sites I have had prepared."
"How did you know I suddenly have the day free?"
He sat next to her at the counter and tried to look innocent. "I simply had a dream and was hoping that it was so."
Giving him a sarcastic glare, she worked through her breakfast and enjoyed the silent companionship. He ate his food while she ate hers and though she was positive she ate slower than he did, they finished at the same time.
He swiftly did the dishes and put them on the draining board. "Are you ready?"
"Sure. But nothing that involves flying dragon-back."
He looked disappointed.
"Listen, I know that you want my legs wrapped around you, but throwing up the nice breakfast you just made is not the way I want to start my day."
He chuckled. "Fine, but can I carry you? Flying will be faster."
Nya weighed the pros and cons. She mimicked his tone, "Fine, but nothing more than an hour away and no wandering hands. This will be a platonic first date."
He inclined his head. "Agreed. Shall we go?"
She nodded and followed him to the door, passing through her own doorway as if she was the guest and he owned it. She couldn't help but feel that it was exactly the case.
The morning was still cool, but her long sleeves kept her just as warm as she needed to be. Her body heat ratcheted up a notch when Hyfor lifted her in his arms and spread his wings.
Taking off from a standing position was difficult for aircraft, but in the arms of a Draikyn of strength, the lift was gentle and the rise gradual. In under a minute, they could see all of the Evian settlement and were heading south toward one of the large mountain ranges.
Slow, steady beats of his wings moved them through the air and when the wind stung her eyes, she nestled her face against the column of his throat. She could feel his pulse through the skin of his neck, the increased tempo a mark of his attention to the small skin on skin contact.
His whisper in her ear sent shivers through her. "Open your eyes. We are at the first site."
She squinted and then her eyes widened as they landed inside a crystal-lined crater. "Oh, my."
Rainbows in a thousand hues burst and danced all around them as the sun caressed the crystals. "It's bright. Very bright. Beautiful but extraordinarily bright."
He chuckled. "This one is Berenghetti's choice. We will go to the next if you are up for it."
"Please, this one is lovely, but if I have options, I am always willing to take a chance on door number two."
He didn't ask her about the reference but launched them skyward again. This time, they went east, but still on the same circumference from the city. The flavour of the wind told her that one of the rare rainstorms was on the way. She spoke into his neck, "We might want to get out of the elements. These storms hit hard."
"I know all about them. I have been here for a very long time." His lips on her neck sent sensations tumbling through her. Images from her dreams blurred with reality and she breathed deeply to keep herself calm. Inhaling his scent was not a good way to stay in control of her hormones.
There was a woodsy scent overlaying male musk and a hint of earth. The heat coming off him was incredible and even though she had laid down the law for no frolicking, she was really tempted to break her own rules.
"This site has been on my mind for the last hundred years or so. It simply isn't quite right."
Surprised and realizing that they were no longer flying, she looked around. The four quarters of this crater were each a different colour and the contrast was rather jarring. "The colours clash. There is no transit in between them."
"Precisely what I thought, but while I was growing the crystals, I just couldn't see it with my own eyes."
The sun was over their heads. Noon had come to them while they were in transit. "Is there somewhere to get something to drink? Or a bathroom?"
He chuckled. "There is a spring this way. The entire crystalline structure is riddled with caverns. Let me show you." He set her on her feet and took her hand.
The crystals on the yellow side lit the interior and the spring became the second imperative on her list.
"Down the hall and to your left is an alcove that should be suitable."
He must have read her uncomfortable emotions and she ignored the embarrassment for the sake of following his directions.
A few minutes later and much calmer, she returned and drank her fill at the spring. "Okay, this one is nice and the lavatory is lovely, if a little cold to the touch. Thanks for the seat."
He winked and leaned in the doorway while she drank. "Your comfort is my highest priority."
She wiped her chin and licked her lips, watching a tick form in his jaw line. She blushed when it became apparent that he was watching her tongue search for water. "Sorry."
His shuddering breath as he sought for control was all she needed to fling her own rules to the wind.
With a resounding
she surged into his arms and wrapped her hands behind his neck, pulling him down to meet her kiss.
He resisted her for a full two seconds before his hands gripped her waist and lifted her up so that they were level. The new position made it much easier for him to deepen their kiss. His tongue danced in her mouth, teasing at her teeth and stroking her own tongue with his.
Her dangling position got annoying, so she wrapped her legs around his waist and anchored herself. His hands shifted from her waist to cup her buttocks and pull her tightly against him. The pressure of his abs on her groin caused a shifting of her hips with a rhythmic pulse. Her breasts rubbed against his chest and the friction teased her nipples to hard points. A moan broke from her as her blood surged with every shift and wet slide of his tongue.
Heat pooled in her belly and she pulled her mouth free of his as her orgasm swept through her. The tone in her voice reverberated through the crystal until the entire site hummed in time with her scream.
Hyfor was murmuring comforting words against her neck, calming her and stroking a hand along her spine.
She was too tired to blush, so she simply rested her forehead against his neck. She breathed in the scent of their combined arousal, letting her body return to a resting state.
"Do you want to see the final site?" His voice was deep with his arousal, but he kept a comfortable grip on her.
She nodded against him and he shifted her in his grip. They took flight into a cloudy sky, making their way to the final site north of the city.
She watched their approach to the final site and her mind was filled with awe at the mimicry of the sky. Dawn was shown on the left in a pale blue white, noon was blue tinged with gold and night was marked by midnight blue and silver crystals.
"Wow. That is just…wow." She put her admiration into her mind and she felt a flicker in her own thoughts. An appreciation for her opinion.
She blinked in surprise. "Is that the bonding you mentioned?"
His own surprise was in his voice. "You felt that?"
He soared higher and as they climbed, the storm began around them. Hyfor held her tightly in his arms as they moved through the wind and the rain, untouched but surrounded by the wild force of Arcros.
Nya knew it was a memory that she would keep within her always, the combination of safety and wild savagery all in one. Hyfor took them down into the site and without slowing, into a hallway and they ended up in a cavern with a translucent ceiling.
The storm washed over them and they were untouched but could see every slash of lightning and every course of water over them.
The wildness of nature aroused Nya once again, but this time, Hyfor was not an observer.
Nya quickly worked at Hyfor's shirt, pulling tabs and hauling until his skin was bared to her touch.
"I am guessing that the rules are broken for the day?"
She didn't reply, but he took the hint when her hands worked at the clasp to his trousers. He pushed her hands away and took over.
Nya stood back and watched each inch of skin exposed by her companion. His wings spread for balance as he removed his boots and then peeled his trousers from his legs, exposing an impressive amount of muscle in addition to an erection that almost looked as hard as the crystals around them.
He stood and let her look her fill, spreading his wings to frame his naked body without any trace of self-consciousness. She walked around him, touching, stroking and when she untethered his hair, she sighed in satisfaction. The last piece of a missing sensual puzzle.