Dark Lord of Kismera (cont’d)


Morning sun was just starting to stream through the open windows when Estelle bustled in. She tripped over Drace’s underwear by the door. The boy is turning into a pig, she thought. “Up lad; Ren says Lady Ki is already gone. She will be waiting to take a piece of your hide if you do not hurry.”

She heard him mumble something rude and turned towards the bed to scold him. “Oh my!” she started. “Well, I guess there is no hurry after all. Call me if you need me.” She took care to close the door quietly as Drace stirred.

Drace slowly came fully awake to be aware that Ki had not left during the night. He lay in his favorite sleeping position on his stomach, arms under his pillow. Ki lay against him, one arm over his back and one long leg covering one of his.

A rather pleasant tangle, he thought, and there were several nice parts pressing against him.

“Is she gone?” Ki whispered, peeping at the back of his head through her hair.

Drace raised his head, “Yeah.” He lowered his head again and yawned, “Wake me next year, okay?”

“As nice as that sounds, we should be moving. We have a long ride today.” She didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to rise though. She made a humming noise in her throat.

Without moving Drace asked her, “Are you purring?

Ki’s hand started a leisurely wandering. “Not exactly,” she answered, “Besides, lions do not purr.”

Drace moved suddenly and she found herself lying on top of him. “Oh yeah? I bet I can make you.”

She started to make a smart retort, but Drace did something next that almost did make her purr. They were dangerously close to the edge of the bed when her leg slipped off and he rolled her onto her back. Nuzzling her neck, he tickled the back of her knee, making her squeak.

Drace lifted his head, grinning. “I believe that was the most undignified noise I have ever heard from the great Lady Ki.”

She gave him a look. “I am just Ki now.”

Drace swallowed past the lump that formed in his throat. “But you are great.” He said softly. “Do we have time?”

It was her turn to smile. “They cannot leave without us, so I would
say, yes.” She pulled his head down to tease him with her mouth.


Read more from Tamara Hartl!

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