The Marjar attack on Mycea sets in motion a series of changes in the ruling structure of the empire that will forever impact the lives of three powerful men. King Meshia, supreme ruler of the empire, Sebastian of Cardin, Commander of the Third Empirical battalion, and Sebastian’s Cardinian lover, a gifted healer beyond any that have come before him.
King Meshia has a secret, one that might lose him his crown. One that would certainly diminish his capacity to rule and lead the empire’s forces into battle. One night of unbridled passion, one weakness, one longing that could bring the monarchy to its knees.
Sebastian of Cardin, Commander of the Third Empirical Battalion knows that love comes in many forms. He lives it, he breathes it. He is unapologetic. The military and his home in the Entertainment District in the Neter Colony on Mycea suit every aspect of his life.
Leo of Cardin, a conjuring Cardinian, an anomaly of nature. Skilled in his craft. A force to be reckoned with in his own right. His relationship with Sebastian does not define every aspect of his life. He too has a secret, his family heritage placing him in a position of incredible power.
Their world in turmoil, they will be called upon to embrace the love in their lives and abandon their long-held prejudices against one another in order to preserve the survival of their people.
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Sebastian trudged through the offering of fresh snow, his chest tightening, his breath billowing clouds of mist before his eyes. The snow’s arrival had warmed the frigid air somewhat.
His men were suffering.
Early spring on Kronos was not for the weak-hearted. Any season would test the hardiest of those who found themselves there. The third planet from Mycea had five seasons ranging from sweltering heat to bone-chilling drops in temperature few could survive. The five seasons coinciding with the animals and fauna that could be hunted and gathered during those times.
Fortunately, spring had brought them an abundance of game to feed themselves. Early spring had not been as kind. They had lost dozens of men to hypothermia and starvation.
With one of Kronos’ moons reflecting off the fresh snow, it was light enough to see, but the Marjar would bide their time until morning. They had been trying to take control of Kronos for months. What was one more night? Sebastian looked out over the undulating, treeless hills of white. The ore-rich mining planet was desolate but had a haunting beauty to it.
Perhaps death would be as peaceful.
Sebastian nodded to the guards, their sheathed swords likely chipped and grubby with blood. They would not be granted a reprieve to tend to them tonight.
The king deserved one last night of peace.
The flap of the canvas tent was stiff from the cold but folded back enough to allow Sebastian access. It fell into place behind him, containing what little heat was being offered by the oil lamps scattered about the interior.
He had been summoned here tonight.
His heart thundered heavy and rapid in his chest at the reason why.
It all started the day he stepped off a warship at the Neter colony, the heart of the empire, eight years ago. The respect—the mutual admiration. The stern face that had simply cocked one eyebrow upon seeing Sebastian for the first time.
Blood, glory, and conquest; eight years of battles had been fought by his side.
He was not there to talk.
Sebastian stepped forward into the tent and bowed deeply to the man watching him. “Your Majesty, you summoned me.”
“This is the end for us, I fear.” The king shifted in his seat and motioned to the chair across from him. As always, there was kindness in his brilliant green eyes, a kindness that rarely reached the other features of his face. Firm jaw jutted, his lips were drawn tight, his breathing steady.
“Have we no options?” Sebastian settled into the seat across from his king, accepting the cup of wine offered him.
“You know we don’t.” The king rose to his feet, circled around to Sebastian’s side of the table, and laid his hand on Sebastian’s shoulder. “That’s not why you’re here.”
Sebastian placed his hand atop the king’s. “I know.”
The king leaned down and kissed the side of Sebastian’s neck, his warm breath drifting seductively across Sebastian’s skin. It made its way to his lips. Sebastian breathed it in.
“Tonight, I need to know what I’ve denied myself of for so long.”
Sebastian wrapped his hand around the back of the king’s neck, drawing him closer, the king’s short-cropped, blond hair bristling against his palm.
“Meshia …” A simple whisper of desire. The fires that had been burning for years between them would be quenched this night.
And tomorrow, they would die.
Leigh Jarrett is an unabashedly queer, quirky, and passionate author of LGBTQ+ Romantic Fiction, her books embracing the full spectrum of the rainbow. Her published contemporary works include gritty and angst-filled romances featuring Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Lesbian characters. And her fantasy series, “Drakkar Coven”, which is brimming with lust driven vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters.
Having been bullied as a child for being “different,” writing, and publishing LGBTQ+ Romantic Fiction has given Leigh an opportunity to express her uniqueness, inspired by the LGBTQ+ community she calls home, her books highlighting their struggles, while celebrating their diversity, and affirming their most basic of human rights … to love and be loved.
In her hometown of Victoria, BC, in Canada, Leigh can be found nestled up with her fabulously supportive wife and her trusty laptop, or enjoying the wonderous outdoors that is Vancouver Island.
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