Monday, April 13, 2015

New Beginning by Dianne Hartsock

~A love so Familiar

"Stop fussing."

"It itches."

With an exasperated breath, Maxim stepped closer and straightened Camron's collar. Camron gripped his chin, forcing the man to meet his gaze. The beautiful half of Maxim's face flushed at his stare.

"It's you the prince should be honoring," Camron said with heat.

Maxim's laugh was painful. "I'd frighten the children."

Camron cupped the ravaged cheek, scarred by fire that had nearly taken Maxim's life in infancy. He held his blue gaze, his heart full of sorrow. "I see you in there, Maxim, more precious than any jewel."

"You are the exception. Now, let us go in. It's spring, Camron! A time of rebirth and growth, and our young prince must be given his chance to help his people prosper. Lord Fenton promises to raze this city to the ground. We must do what we can to stop him." Maxim's lips twisted in a wry smile. "Even if that means first sitting through an insufferable dinner party given in your honor."

Camron ground his teeth. "With you at my feet, eating scraps."

"Wonder what he'll be serving?" Maxim looked up from unbuttoning his blouse. "Close your eyes."
Camron set his lips, but obeyed the pleading tone. He'd never been allowed to see, though he longed to know every inch of the man's body, take some of his pain and loneliness away. But what did he have to offer the powerful mage? Besides the dubious ability to make others believe the magic came from him. They never looked past Maxim's tortured shell.

Maxim's indrawn breath grew ragged and pain clutched Camron's heart. He knew the agony it cost him to change. Camron's hair lifted at the sudden charge in the air, skin prickling as if anticipating a lightning strike.  Breathing grew difficult, and then his ears popped in a release of energy. Eyes still tightly closed, he couldn't control a shudder as the small creature leaped on his back, climbing onto his shoulder.

"I hate this," he muttered through clenched teeth. A tiny claw touched his face and Camron opened his eyes, turning his head to meet Maxim's intense gaze. Maxim couldn't speak in this guise, but he didn't need to. Camron knew what was expected of him. He'd played his part many times, ever since Maxim had pulled him from near death in a back alley and given him a life, someone to follow and serve.

And love, though Maxim would have none of it. Camron firmed his lips. One day soon he'd tell Maxim his heart, though the man sent him away for it.

Camron adjusted his cloak and swept into the chamber to face the court, a wizard and his Familiar, come to save the besieged kingdom for their prince. But first there was dinner to get through. He paused in the doorway as all eyes swept to him, a room full of handsome uniformed men and woman in pretty gowns and glittering jewels. A long table bright with candles and crystal and more food than he'd seen in a year ran down its center.

Maxim made a soft sound and rubbed his furred head against Camron's neck, and the tension eased from him. He took a step forward, a practiced smile plastered on his face, assuming his role. He could do this.

-Artwork by Marcel Stevahn -One Good Eye Photography 

Dianne lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

Dianne is the author of m/m erotic romances, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.  Blog   FB   Twitter

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