Sometimes fate demands a little shift in perspective…
Safir has a life most men would kill for. Adventure! Glory! A different partner in his bed every night! …Until his coin runs out.
Which happens with alarming regularity.
But he’s not the sort of fellow to save for the future. Especially if it’s unlikely to involve the proud but shy giant he’s never managed to seduce.
Nearly broke and with a long winter stretching before him, Safir’s only amusement is collecting trinkets for the clever magpie that visits his chamber each night.
Morien has a dream most men would laugh at. He wants a peach orchard, and he’s willing to wait for a man who can give him one.
Which, granted, hasn’t happened yet.
But he’s not the sort to give up his dream—or his virginity—for just anyone. Especially a charming rogue of a sell-sword who thinks only of the present moment.
No matter how many shiny baubles the scoundrel might bestow upon him.
But when he finds himself stranded at a remote farm with Arthur’s band of warriors, Morien realizes that tempting Safir with his virtue might be his best chance of hiding his other secret.
The one whose exposure could endanger his kind, challenge Arthur’s bond with Bedwyr as nothing else has, and scatter the men of their inner circle like seeds before a storm…
…or drive them ever closer to a destiny written in the stars.
Tropes: rogue/virgin – love lessons – secret identity
CW: battle violence, and a main character’s memory of an intimate situation between his adolescent self and an adult. Readers with specific questions are encouraged to contact the author: mia at miawest dot com
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Morien lay on his back, and now that Safir could take measure of the entire situation, that measure was impressive. The man’s body occupied much more than half the bed, between the breadth of his shoulders and the general length of…well, everything. The top of his head nearly touched the wall, while his feet peeked from under the bottom of the blanket. In fact, his heels weren’t even on the mattress. The poor blanket started around his ankles, managed to cover his legs—and, oh, that sweet bulge at the tops of his thighs—his flat belly and his ribs. And one nipple. The other, dark and pebbled in the morning chill, rose and fell temptingly close to Safir’s mouth.
What he’d give to have a taste. If only it wouldn’t wake up Morien and his annoying propriety.
Above the blanket, the man’s chest moved on the breaths of deep sleep. His hair there was much sparser than Safir’s, growing in tiny black curls. He followed the lines of Morien’s body into the hollow between his collarbones, up the smooth curve of his throat. Then came his ear, the high proud arc of his cheekbone. Eyelashes short but as perfectly curled as his chest hair. Brows not yet frowning—give them time yet—and more smooth skin up to his hairline. His nose flared on a breath, drawing Safir’s gaze downward again, and then farther still to his lips, which…
If he’d have given his last coin for a taste of the man’s nipple, he would promise away his future for a sip of his lips. They were full and smooth and looked softer than anything Safir had ever touched, the magpie included.
Not that he’d ever had thoughts like these about the magpie. Thoughts of skimming his tongue across that lower lip that pouted even in sleep. Thoughts of letting his tongue continue its course down the man’s chin to the hollow at his throat, down the center of his muscular chest, down, down, down the plane of his belly, and down…
A man had no business waking up this thirsty this close to winter.