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Kel led Jax outside, thinking it would be the safest place to have their talk, hoping it would provide the needed distance between Jax and Nicholas, preventing further lethal confrontations.
Jax's passivity vanished the moment she stepped outside. She paced on the front lawn, low sounds emitting from her throat. Her agitation and confusion were coming to the surface.
Kel leaned against a post, crossed his arms over his chest, and watched. His mind reeled, though he looked the picture of perfect calm. "Change has come, Jax."
"No," she denied. "You are my rider. You are not dead. I'll have no other until you are gone. Least of all that beast." She sulked. "He's not even of Ketall."
Kel's gaze followed her as she made another trip around the yard. "He's a rider. There's no denying it. It explains my attraction to him. The need to protect and comfort him. Isn't that how you felt when you first found me?"
Jax growled, intense displeasure showing in her glare. She didn't deny that.
"We've discovered something amazing, Jax. Don't you see the blessing the Goddess Earth and Father Air have bestowed on us? In all of Ketall's history, since the first human bonded with a dragon, there's never been one who has found two riders simultaneously."
"I know my history," she snapped ferociously.
"But Nicholas is more than just a fated bondmate." Jax stopped pacing and locked eyes with him. "He's our bondmate. Not just yours, but mine also."
Jax's skin rippled, her muscles moving, contorting. Her growls grew louder. Her hands were now the claws of her dragon form.
"No. You are mine!"
"Jax, you've got to calm down. You know how painful a slowshift can be." Kel watched her closely, with concern. He hated seeing her in pain.
"I wanted to hurt him. I wanted to feel my nails puncturing his skin. I wanted to watch the blood flow down his neck. I wanted to taste his blood. But I couldn't." Her words were angry growls mixed with hisses.
Kel wanted to do something to comfort her, but he knew it was best to keep his distance for a bit longer.
Jax fell to her knees and cried out in pain. Kel pushed off the post, but didn't dare move closer.
"Shift, for Frayland's sake," Kel commanded.
Jax tossed him a sneer, but an instant later she stood in her thirty-foot-long dragon form. Her emerald green scales glistened in the setting sun.
A flame exploded from Jax's mouth, igniting the brush next to Kel.
Kel chuckled. "You missed."
Jax's lips pulled back in a menacing scoff and she growled her disapproval at his humor. Her actions didn't faze Kel at all. She was having a temper tantrum. Nothing new.
"Nicholas has done nothing wrong, Jax. Your jealousy will only make things worse for all of us."
Smoke puffed from her nose and her wings beat impatiently, stirring enough wind to rustle his hair.
You are mine. Jax's voice echoed angrily in Kel's mind.
Kel sighed. How do you explain to an emotional dragon about sharing? He'd tried. Goddess Frayland above, he had tried to teach her the best he could. But this was like dealing with an infant.
One who hadn't yet learned to share her toys.
"Stop blaming Nicholas. He doesn't even realize what a stir he's caused."
Jax's large head swung around, her razor sharp teeth just an inch from his face.
You like him, she accused.
"Yes, very much," he admitted, without shame. "I'll not deny my attraction to him."
You do not know him. He could be a maniac. Like Merrill and those who follow him.
"He is not."
How can you be so sure? She huffed, her breath blowing Kel's hair back.
"The same way I knew you wouldn't eat me when you found me in the Teslea Desert."
Your faith will be your death.
Kel shrugged. "Perhaps, but it's gotten me this far in life."
Jax stomped her feet, her wings batting the air. She was still agitated. Her wild, uncontrolled emotions had conjured the blood thirst. A deadly issue when dealing with a dragon. Only feeding or sex calmed it. Kel sensed she'd just fed, so that left sex.
Kel stepped closer to Jax, concerned and ever watchful of his lover. She was the center of his life. They had been together for too many years to bother counting. His heart swelled with love. He reached out and gently touched the side of her head.
"I'm not going anywhere, Jax." He leaned forward and nuzzled the area where her jaw and neck met. "We are bonded. You know I could never leave you. I love you."
A deep sound rumbled in Jax's throat.
"I want you, Jax." Kel kissed that sensitive spot just behind her jaw.
But that ... that beast. He...
"Forget about Nicholas for now. He's not here. Just you and me." He shifted position and kissed the tip of her nose. "I'm sorry I made you feel neglected. I never meant to do that. Let me make it up to you." A smile played on his lips. "Let me remind you how much you mean to me."
As a rider, Kel knew he would never have children or a normal life like other people, but he would always have Jax and the happiness she brought him.
Jax purred like a kitten and her forked tongue flickered across his lips with the lightest of touches. He moaned and licked his lips wantonly. Kel blinked and Jax stood before him in human form, not bothering with clothes this time as her nude body pressed tightly to his. He felt her heated flesh through his clothing.
"You want me?" she asked innocently, but her eyes twinkled with lust.
"Always." He claimed her mouth, his tongue delving into her wet heat. Her tongue, still holding a semblance to her dragon tongue, teasingly tangled with his, driving his relentless hunger to new depths.
With one swift movement, he swept her up into his arms and walked toward the large building that stood behind their home.
Kicking the door open, Kel strode to the makeshift bed in the back corner of the one-room structure. He briefly thought of Nicholas still alone in the house, but all rational thoughts fled when Jax reached between their bodies and fondled his hardened shaft straining painfully against his pants.
Kel moaned and reluctantly pulled away from her, laying her gently on the soft mattress. His gaze roamed her stunning, luscious body, the swell of her breasts begging for attention.
"You are so beautiful," he praised.
Jax smiled, her tongue sensually licking her lips. Her hands rose to her breasts and started fondling them, rolling her pebbled nipples between her fingertips as she pinched them. Kel's breath quickened as his own hands stripped the shirt from his body before beginning on his pants, his gaze never leaving Jax's body or the way her hands roamed over her silky flesh.
It took only a moment for him to undress, but it seemed like an eternity, his body anxious, an inferno of longing. He sat beside Jax, the fingers of one hand slowly caressing circles around a nipple. Jax shuddered, arching slightly with gratification.
"What do you want, Jax?" he asked softly.
"You, Kel. I want all of you."
Jax had never felt more sensual and sexy than she did at that moment. She had Kel's complete attention ... and desire. She could see it in the way his rock-hard cock twitched in anticipation and the way his chest heaved with his breath. She could smell it, drowning her own senses.
She pulled Kel to her, his mouth seeking her nipples. He was irresistible when he suckled her. Moaning, pulling his head closer, Jax trembled. The anger she felt, the need to kill, was slowly fading, replaced by a different need.
His mouth pulled her down into swirls of pleasure. Her breasts were tight and aching. More. She wanted more as her blood scalded her innards.
"Kel," she gasped when he pulled away from her breast.
"I know, little one." His mouth slid over her collarbone and up her neck. His knees spread her legs wider.
"Please. Now." Sweet fire raged uncontrollably in her veins. Just moments ago, she wanted blood. Needed to see it. Taste it. But now, a darker hunger rose within her. A hunger only her bondmate could sate. Ravenous for his cock thrusting in and out of her starved body. Greedy for euphoric release only he could give her.
"Open for me." His fingers were already dipping in and out of her pussy. She smelled her wetness coating his fingers. Jax did as he wished, and spread her legs as wide as she could.
"Dragons be damned, Kel. Fuck me now," she demanded, unable to hold back the deep growl coating the words.
Kel eagerly obeyed. With one powerful thrust, he filled her. She cried out in pleasure as her body stretched to accommodate him, then turned to frustration when he didn't move.
"Kel!" She wiggled under the weight pinning her to the mattress.
Kel chuckled in her ear. "Do you rush pleasure, little one?" Jax struggled to breathe when he shifted his body, his shaft rubbing along her walls creating the most intense sensation. "Patience." His voice smoldered with passion.
She groaned in response to his words. Jax knew she was stronger than Kel. With just a little effort she could throw him across the room. But that would mean tearing him from her body.
Jax yielded to his will, her legs wrapping tightly around his slim waist while her arms pulled his head down for a kiss. A scorching, passionate kiss that consumed her breath, making her head spin. Her thirst for him built with every touch, every thrust, and every uttered word.
She and Kel had had years of mind-blowing sex, but goddess hearts above, today was different. Jax sensed the change happening all around her, inside her. She couldn't comprehend the why, only that since she woke three mornings before, the very essence of Ketall hummed within her. Did it have something to do with Nicholas's arrival on their planet? Or that he was to be bonded to her? A mystery. One she'd ponder at a later time.
An incoherent cry burst from her throat as Kel's frantic pace probed deeper. She raised her head, biting into his shoulder as her body jolted in electric pleasure, sending shocks of ecstasy through her body. She didn't hear Kel's grunts of passion or feel the sweat dampening their bodies. She only felt their heartbeats join together. Beating as one. The bond between dragon and rider flaring to life.
Her world darkened as her body trembled with release time after time, trapped in the connection of rider and dragon. She could feel Kel. His loving warmth, patience, and strength caressing her. But there was also something else. Or rather, someone else. Someone full of grit, stubbornness, and self-sacrifice. It sought her. Beckoned to her.
The darkness closed in on her, thick and suffocating. She clawed at the nothingness around her. Fighting the overpowering urge to reach out and draw him to her. She wasn't ready. She needed more time.
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