Sometimes big things come in small packages.
Nyx has found a possible mate, but he’s pretty certain Fate made a mistake. Not only is his mate working in a brothel, which is playing merry hell with Nyx’s possessive side, he’s also a Pixie. Pol is small and delicate, and Nyx is certain he would break the poor man within a week. Nyx will just wait until the next candidate comes around. The fact that this is the first potential mate he’s come across in several hundred years is, of course, beside the point. Unfortunately, no matter how hard Nyx tries, he can’t keep away. When he finds himself on the verge of turning into a stalker, Nyx gives in to the inevitable and goes traipsing off to claim his Pixie.
When Nyx comes bursting into his life, Pol is thrilled to accept the dragon as his mate. No one would call Nyx charming, yet he still manages to sweep Pol off his feet—quite literally, at times. Once the first flush of lust wears off, though, Pol begins to worry that he’s made a mistake. The problem isn’t Nyx. Pol is well on his way to loving the reserved dragon. But Pol is harboring a dangerous secret. A secret with the potential to upset the balance of power in Faerie…
About the Author
Born and raised in the middle of the Midwest, I have always been a dreamer. More often than not I could be found with my nose buried in a book (many of which I had to sneak past my parents). It wasn't long before I started trying my hand at writing more of the stories I loved. After years of penning tales that rarely left the hard drive of my computer, I discovered M/M romance. As with all genres, it wasn't long before my own characters started to take shape.
There is little I love more than wandering new places and, on occasion, entirely new worlds with my characters. They can range from cowboys to Victorian noblemen, accountants to shapeshifters, and everything in between. I write mainly m/m romance, usually with paranormal or fantasy elements. I willingly follow my characters wherever they decide to go, sometimes with unusual results. I have little control over their actions ? any naughty behaviour is all their doing!
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © KM Mahoney 2015. All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
The big man was back.
Pol stared, mouth suddenly dry, as the door opened to admit the epitome of masculinity. Wide shoulders barely fit through the entrance, and he had to duck his head to clear the lintel. Pol started to pant. He instinctively moved the tray to cover his burgeoning erection, ridiculously obvious in his thin trousers.
Unfortunately, he forgot that the tray was fully loaded.
A loud crash echoed through the room, pottery scattering in a wide pattern across the floor.
Pol froze, heart pounding now for a different reason, and stared at the mess at his feet. Oh, shit.
Enid was heading his direction, a dark scowl on her face. He wanted to tell her the expression marred her pretty features in a decidedly unattractive way, but he was in enough trouble. This made the third tray he’d dropped this week.
He couldn’t help it. Pol knew he’d been distracted and clumsy but he simply couldn’t focus. Especially not with him in the room.
Pol cringed and returned to staring at his feet. “Sorry, Mistress,” he muttered.
“Why do I put up with you?” she ranted.
Because you have to. He didn’t say that, either. It wouldn’t do to remind Enid that, for all she liked to pretend, she wasn’t actually in charge of the business. That would be Jamal, and Jamal had a soft spot for Pol.
Without a word, Pol dropped to his knees and began picking up the shattered remains of plates, cups and one large teapot. Customers and employees alike averted their eyes, and he sighed in relief.
Pol hated being the center of attention.
He finished mopping up puddles before grabbing his tray and scurrying back to the kitchen. The cook, a big burly man with a gruff demeanor, was waiting for him with a new tray laden with a new tea service.
“Don’t drop this one,” he ordered.
Pol nodded and swapped burdens. He scurried back out as fast as he’d come, eager to escape. It was annoying—out front, he had Enid glaring at him. In back, he had Septimus. Neither one was exactly brimming with sunshine and light.
Pol dutifully made the rounds, refilling pots, passing out plates of delicate hors d’oeuvres, and trying his best to remain unnoticed. He couldn’t stop himself from sneaking glances. The big man still stood just inside the entrance, arms crossed over his wide chest, surveying the room with an arrogance bred into his very bones. He didn’t seem to notice Pol, but then no one ever did. The hired help in a place like this was an invisible fixture, particularly one with his size—or lack of size, as the case may be.
Immediate duties completed, Pol went back to his post at the far edge of the room. He clutched his still half-full tray and waited for someone to need something. It was boring, but it was his job. Although, it was sometimes fun to observe the people. Tonight, he couldn’t pry his gaze from the new arrival. The occasional person approached the man, but he sent them all away quite quickly, sometimes with nothing more than a hard stare. It made Pol absurdly happy every time one of the working men and women turned away in failure.
It was business as usual at the Curtain tonight. Women and men flirted, conversed and struck deals, mostly of a carnal nature. That was, after all, what this place was for.
The Red Curtain was one of the biggest and best brothels on the entire Western coast. It catered to the upper classes—these were not street-corner whores. The men and women who worked here wore silk and satin, spoke in well-modulated tones, and could converse easily about subjects covering politics to literature and everything in between. They made enough in one night to be picky—the clients had to work to gain the attention of one of the Curtain’s courtesans. Making it through the front door didn’t guarantee anything, and that was hard enough to do on its own. The management at the Curtain was even pickier than the courtesans.
And then there was Pol. Little, plain, stuck somewhere between upstairs and downstairs. His lineage was too good, elevating him above the status of most of the servants, but it wasn’t good enough to get him to the next level. Maybe if he’d been pretty or charming, or anything but what he was. No one was going to pay to bed a shy, naïve little half-pixie. Pol figured he should be lucky that Jamal had known his parents and was willing to take pity on him. Mostly, Pol found it hard to summon up the appropriate gratitude.
He wanted more out of life than pouring tea and hiding in corners. Unfortunately, that had been his lot for nearly two years, and he didn’t see it changing anytime soon. There simply wasn’t much out there for someone like him.
A noble dressed in flashy clothes and sporting a ring worth more than Pol’s entire life waved him over. Pol refilled the teapot then retreated again. The move had taken him closer to the front of the room. Pol ducked back behind a curtain, staring with wide eyes at the broad shoulders and the heart-stopping features of the man he had dreamed of every night for the last month. Lately, the dreams had begun invading Pol’s waking hours as well, contributing heavily to his absent-minded behavior and his new tendency to drop everything.
Thick hair, dark in the dim and smoke-filled room, hung in a ponytail draping halfway down his back. Three loose braids hung beside his narrow face. Some people would say the man wasn’t all that handsome. His eyes were dark and narrow, nose large and sharp. Scars littered his cheeks with barely visible white lines. His upper body bulged with muscles, arms nearly as thick as most men’s thighs.
Pol thought he was the most gorgeous sight in the world.
Safe in his hiding place, Pol could study the stranger to his heart’s content, at least until the next time he was summoned. He managed a solid five minutes of voyeurism before a flash of red made him spring back into action.
Jamal strode into the room with the confidence of a man in his element. His dark skin gleamed under the low gaslight, a stunning contrast to the deep red of his robes—Jamal would never be caught wearing any other color. He went directly to the intimidating man with a welcoming smile.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this adventure and romance as much as the first in the series. The relationships between supporting characters we met in the first installment continue to develop. The world they live in gets even more interesting. The story is complete, yet I can't wait to see what happens next!