Desert Dragons, Book 3
by Julia Talbot
Ebook ISBN: 07502-02419
[ Shifter Romance, MM ]
The four of them find a whole new meaning of family even as they fight the elements, a dangerous supply run, and an old face from dragon warrior Mik’s past. Can they keep it together long enough to find out what’s going on with dragonkind?
Somewhere along the line, Oliver had lost control of the situation at his dragon sanctuary deep in the Chihuahuan desert. His tiny earthship house was full to the rafters with big, burly men, along with his old friend Banger, and a clutch of almost-ready-to-hatch dragon eggs that were making his own multitude of dragons nutso crazy.
Babies! Bittybitty babies! Azul and Turquesa, his most loved bonded pair, kept babbling in Oliver’s brain. So tiny eggies.
He was going to hit them with a rock if they didn’t shut the fuck up. “Babies. Lots of ‘em.” God, how was he going to feed this many? Love them? Keep them from eating each other?
“Mmm. Dragon Death Match.” His newish lover, Arturo, came to stand next to him in the kitchen, sliding an arm around his waist. “You’re thinking so loud.”
“I’m sorry?” Was he? He didn’t know. He forgot that Arturo could hear him, since this was all so new. “How is the scary hurt dude?”
They’d gained another member to their merry band with Daniel, a guy Banger had met during a kidnapping in the desert, and who was pretty beat up.
“Sleeping. I gave him a shot of morphine from the med kit.” Arturo sighed, kissing the top of Oliver’s head. “We’re gonna need more space if this keeps up.”
“People are going to start wondering what all the gringos are doing here in the desert. We’re opening a commune.”
“Yeah. We’re also going to have to figure out a new supply chain. Banger is staying here, I think.” Arturo tugged Oliver’s braid, which Oliver thought was going to be more gray than red soon.
The little sting was sort of happy making, though. “Yes. How are we going to feed them all? Where are they all coming from?”
“I don’t know.” Arturo paused, clearly thinking hard. “If it makes you feel any better, that was what Keon said. Ice’s guy in the mountains? Then he said he needed more people to bond with his dragons, so maybe it’s a numbers game.”
“Oh. Really?” Arturo had been on a team of government agents who’d found a cache of dragons somewhere cold. If they were exploding, too, that meant dragon kind was on the move. Something major was happening. Something bigger than all of them.
“Yep. You just got a new clutch, right? Maybe that’s why so many folks are showing up. Some of your older babies needed to bond.” Arturo turned him, tilting his face up for a kiss. Tactile man. Beautiful, too.
Oliver opened right up for it, his body threatening to beat his mind to death if it didn’t shut up and let him have this.
Arturo chuckled, then reached down to grab his ass, lifting him clean off his feet. So strong.
He swore he could hear dragons tittering. Little shits. So nosy, but they approved of Arturo, so Oliver couldn’t complain. Well, he could, but what was the use in that?
Arturo chuckled. “God, I do love you, you giant dork.”
“Do you?” Oliver was the luckiest guy on earth, meeting someone like Arturo and knowing right off this was his soulmate. “Good thing I love you, too.”
Eggs. Eggies. Turn the egggggiieees. The dragons all took up the chorus. They did love to watch the eggs.
Arturo sighed. “Damn.”
Emmy and Esme were on duty with the clutch, telling them when they needed to turn the other sides of the eggs toward the heat. Which looked like now.
Oliver shook his head at Arturo. “Do we look like giant birds?”
“Maybe Pia would sit on them for a while.” Arturo winked in response.
“Butthead.” The idea made Oliver laugh, though, loud and hard.
I do not sit on eggs, Piasa informed him archly. The new dragon, who had come with her own human, a soldier named Mik, had an amazing voice. Smooth and spicy like Mexican hot chocolate.
“Well, then… what good are you, mamacita?” he teased her.
I can disappear. As if she were the Cheshire cat, Piasa’s head appeared in the kitchen. Spirit dragons. Who knew? She was a whole new breed of dragon to him.
Oliver laughed and headed over to hug her. “Hey, gorgeous.” Piasa was so sparkly. He adored her already.
Oliver. She rubbed her muzzle against his cheek. My most loved still sleeps.
“Does he? That’s probably good. Mik had a relatively long day.” He leaned against her for a second. “Do you want anything to eat, honey?”
I had a snake.
Yeurgh. Snake breath. “Excellent. The babies prefer lizards.”
Not babies! all of his babies shouted in his head.
“Compared to Piasa you are.” Loud beasts.
Not. Notnotnotnotnot. Eggies! ArtOOOOOOro! Eggies!
“Tell me not to drown them, Piasa.”
“I’ll go turn the eggs.” Arturo kissed his cheek. “Make me some… hell, I have no idea what meal is next.”
“I’ll make bacon.” Everyone ate bacon at any meal, right?
“Good deal.” Arturo patted Oliver’s butt and left him with dragons, who had all heard bacon.
They all watched him, sitting up on their back legs, little beady eyes staring him down. Little shits.
Oliver laughed when Sunny and Frank came running into the kitchen. The little yellow dragons had bonded with Banger and had probably been sleeping with Banger and Mik. Which was like bangers and mash. Mmm. Mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes could conceivably go with bacon sandwiches.
Oliver searched through the provisions and thought he had enough to go around if he used the head of inexplicable cauliflower in the fridge to stretch the potatoes. Time to feed.
At least this food thing he could do asleep on his feet.
* * *
Mik yawned and stretched, feeling a little as though he’d been beaten by a big man with a baseball bat. He’d slipped away from the pallet and left Banger sleeping, then touched minds with Piasa, who was having some kind of argument with Esme and Emmy over bacon.
He took a piss in the bathroom, washed up, then headed to the kitchen to look for grub.
The smell of bacon proved that his nose knew food was ready, and he grabbed himself some from a plate on the counter.
Where is everyone, love? he asked Piasa, his spirit dragon. His best girl. Did they all run away?
Oliver is bathing and Arturo is…
“Hey, man. There’s bacon,” Arturo said from behind him.
He lifted his hand to Arturo. “Hey. Bacon sandwiches and…”
“Mashed potatoes. Oliver was craving.”
Mik nodded and grinned. “How are the eggs?”
“There aren’t any. Oh, the dragon ones. Percolating by the space heater. The babies are fascinated. Although they insist they aren’t babies.”
“They won’t be the babies soon, right? I noticed Sunny and Frank abandoned us once Banger was really asleep.”
“Yeah, they were hunting snacks.”
“Me, too.” Mik assembled a sandwich. “So. We have some logistics to talk about.” He and Mik were the ones with military and warrior training. They needed a plan for protecting all these wonderful creatures.
“Shoot.” Arturo didn’t look worried at all.
“This place blends great, but it’s not terribly defensible. Not big enough, either. Hell, where are we? Is there a deed?”
“Hell if I know. We’re close to the border, but I’d think that you would have a better idea than me. I was following the big guy’s directions.” Arturo grabbed a piece of his bacon, resulting in a bit of a tussle.
“My dragon is bigger than yours,” Mik grunted, the headlock making it difficult to talk.
“Mine are way cuter.” Arturo pushed the piece of bacon into Mik’s mouth.
“Mmm.” Yum. Okay, he seemed to be enjoying this far too much.
“Yeah. It’s good.” And if the erection against his thigh was any indication, so was Arturo, at least to Mik’s eye.
Mik cleared his throat, pushing away a little. Strangely enough he didn’t feel guilty, but it was kinda weird to know he was with Banger, no doubt, and to want Arturo, too. “Shore up defenses has to be number one.”
“Yeah. These guys scream target, but we have to figure some kind of fortifications that the little ones can’t hurt themselves on.”
Yeah, dragons were worse than cats. They got into everything, explored the world with their whole bodies.
“We’ll have to go pretty low tech, too,” Mik said. They had plenty of solar, but panels to catch that energy would stand out.
“Well, what are you wanting? There’s only so much we can stand guard. Do we just want to camouflage it better? I’m a long-range sniper. I live for the hide and bang.”
“Hmm.” Mik nodded. “I think we need to look at any additions we’ll have to do, but I imagine natural camouflage is a good idea.”
“If we’re going to start hatching eggs, we’re going to… I mean, Jesus, man. What if these are like the ones I knew in the mountains and not like the feathered serpents we have here? They start at three times what these little ones do and the full-grown ones can eat a whole cow.”
Mik raised his brows. “They’re cold-weather ones, too, right? Can we send any to your friends there if we hatch them out?”
“Send?” Oliver came in and shot Mik a look, expression utterly outraged. “We will not send anyone anywhere. These babies are my responsibility.”
“Sorry.” Mik held up his hands. “Arturo told me how that particular breed likes water, though, and that’s in short supply.”
“I… I just… I don’t know what to do…” Oliver sat down hard and Arturo went to him. Weird thing was, Mik wanted to go too, offer comfort.
“Hey, we all need to breathe,” Arturo said, drawing Oliver close.
“Yeah.” Him especially. He was losing his fucking mind.
“Mik? Are you all right?” Banger’s hand landed on the small of his back and he shuddered. His nipples drew up, his cock so hard he could cut diamonds.
“Uh-huh. There’s bacon.”
“Mmm.” Banger rubbed one cheek against his shoulder. “You’re tense.”
“I’m okay.” Horny. Kinda confused.
Arturo met Mik’s eyes, the look heated, completely understanding.
His blood pounded in his veins, and Mik looped an arm around Banger, drawing him closer.
Banger came to him, hand sliding over his belly, petting him.
Mik moaned, wanting more, so he grabbed Banger’s hand and shoved it down under his sweats. The fact that Arturo was watching just made him hotter.
Banger groaned softly, and those long fingers wrapped around his prick, jacking him with sure, easy strokes. He felt Banger’s lips, warm as fuck on his throat, tongue flicking out to taste him. Such a sensual man, his Banger, so eager to please. Mik adored him.
He grabbed Banger’s ass, squeezing those tight cheeks.
Arturo was petting Oliver’s hair, murmuring soft and low, and Oliver was open-mouthed, lips dragging over Arturo’s ridged belly. He blinked at the sight of Oliver sinking to his knees, working at Arturo’s cargo pants.
“Want to see you, man. Please.” Arturo’s voice was blown, totally blown.
Mik was pretty sure Arturo meant him, so he shoved out of his sweats, turning Banger a tiny bit so Arturo got an eyeful.
Arturo nodded, the moan he let out hot as hell.
Mik flexed, showing off, letting his cock push into Banger’s hand. Oliver’s head bobbed over Arturo, the wet sounds driving Mik faster, almost as fast as Banger’s erection sliding against his hip. Mik panted, his skin so hot he might combust. The air felt charged, and smelled like sex. Pure male animal. God, he wanted to take Arturo’s lips, fuck that knowing smile right off. Mik wanted to watch Oliver and Banger kissing, long, dreamy touches that went on and on.
He wanted to fuck his Banger, knowing that the others were watching it, getting off on it. “Damn…” he whispered.
Banger moaned. “Mik? Is this — Are we okay?”
“So okay, baby. This is good.”
He leaned over, took a hard, heated kiss. The angle was awkward, but it didn’t bother him. This mattered. Banger needed to know how much Mik cared. How proud he was.
When the kiss ended, Mik winked over Banger’s head at Arturo before pulling Banger’s cock out and stroking nice and fast, up and down.
“Mik!” Banger jerked, the cry passionate and surprised.
“Need you. Want you with me when I come.” That long cock wasn’t as thick as his, but the skin was velvet smooth, and the head leaked slick drops of readiness.
“Love.” A rush of desire hit Mik between the eyes. Banger’s mind was so open to him, and Mik swore he could hear an echo of Oliver and Arturo as well.
If this kept up, he was going to have a permanent hard on. Mik worked his hand stronger and faster, giving Banger friction. He opened his thoughts, letting Banger hear his pleasure.
Banger and Oliver moaned in unison, the sound loud, shocking.
Mik jumped, his balls pulling up. All he needed was… Arturo caught his gaze, dark eyes boring into his, and he felt it as if Arturo had touched him physically. The squeeze to his balls was all she wrote. Mik came so hard he almost collapsed to the floor, his knees weak.
As soon as Mik shot, Banger eased him onto a chair, then moved to straddle his thighs, cuddling into him, prick leaking and hot.
“Look at you.” Mik bit at Banger’s neck, gnawing gently. He loved how Banger tasted, all salt and desert heat. Like home.
“Please, Mik. Touch me.”
“I will.” He stroked that fine cock, his other hand trailing over Banger’s chest, pinching nipples with his fingers. He could hear Oliver’s sounds, sweet and high, like a bird’s.
Arturo was way more growly, and damned if Mik didn’t smell ozone.
“I… I’ve never. Not with someone else.”
“Shh. Oliver and Arturo are family now.” He stroked faster, urging Banger to concentrate on him.
“Family. Need you.” Banger curled forward, driving up into Mik’s hand, and he could feel it, Banger’s hunger focused on his touch, his kisses.
He took another of those kisses, sliding his tongue into Banger’s mouth to taste, to give more pleasure. Banger wasn’t hard to read, the wide-eyed need promising orgasm in the best way.
Mik thumbed the tip of Banger’s cock, popping it with his nail enough to make Banger cry out, and seed sprayed out, covering Mik’s fingers.
There. Better. Much better.
Arturo groaned moments later, that big body jerking and swaying, Oliver swallowing hard. Damn, that looked amazing.
They watched each other, Arturo not showing a bit of shame. So why should he, either? Mik basked in the glow of the attention.
Arturo reached down, touched Oliver’s head. “So good.”
Oliver looked up and laughed. “Too good for me to hold on. All that energy.”
“It’s intense, that’s for sure.” Mik was still jonesing on it.
Arturo nodded, pulling Oliver up into his arms. “Everyone okay?”
“Fine. Eggies are turned.”
“Oh, good. I bet it’s time to check out the injured.” Arturo kissed Oliver hard on the mouth.
Oliver arched into Arturo with a moan. The amazing sense of need in the room really hadn’t lessened. This was nuts.
Oh, who the fuck was he kidding? This was the hottest thing he’d done in years.
They all heard the fluttering of wings and the tiny scuffle at the same time, the little green pair of dragons tumbling into the room fighting.
Oliver laughed. “Time to get back to work.”
“Yeah. Y’all stop it right now!” Banger zipped himself up, eyes rolling like dice. “I’m serious. You aren’t babies anymore and y’all have to start acting decent.”
So nice, to have a Texan in the house. Banger would teach those babies manners.
Mik watched the green ones blink, their eyes so dark. They both hissed and fluttered, clearly agitated.
Oliver’s eyebrow went up, but it was the biggest babies, the turquoise ones, that came through, biting and snapping and chastising the others.
Life went on, Mik guessed. They had a lot of dragons to take care of.
* * *
Dude! Banger couldn’t quite take it all in.
He’d just… With Oliver. And Arturo.
And Oliver’d been sucking Arturo’s… Dude.
That made it so that it wasn’t even just mutual jacking off. A circle jerk Banger could maybe understand, but having sex in the same room, and watching and all?
He filled bowl after bowl with dragon kibble, his hands moving smoothly even as his brain went rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.
He just needed to… to… to…
Bangee! BangeeBangBang! You spilled! We help!
Sunny pounced the container, knocking the lid to the floor as Frank dove in headfirst.
“That’s not helping.”
Frank popped up, covered in honey goo and oats. No?
“You’re totally getting a bath.”
NO! No baths! Frank dove back into the dragon yummies.
They were all frantic. All of them, but especially his pair. Banger wanted to scream, but his head might fall off. He kinda forgot he’d been smacked over it recently.
“Hey.” Arturo stepped up behind him, one hand coming to rest on the small of his back, and he damn near shorted out.
Banger jumped, whirling around to brandish a bowl. “Uh. Hey. What?”
“Relax, honey. I’m just coming to see if you need help,” Arturo said.
“Oh. I — sure.” Arturo had this strong, comforting presence. “They’ve all lost it.”
“There’s been so many changes so fast, eh? Me, you, Mik, the wounded guy, the eggs.”
“Who?” Arturo frowned.
“Daniel. He changes.”
“Changes. You mean like the Hulk?” Arturo was teasing him. Weird.
“No. Like into a coyote. Like the dogs?”
“No shit, huh? I have friend who hooked up with — shifters? I think he called them that.”
“Oh.” It was a little like Banger’d been dunked into a world where everyone knew things he didn’t. He was just a dude. He rode a scooter for fuck’s sake. Speaking of which…”I guess my scooter is dead, huh?”
“That sucks.” Banger didn’t know what to do, not even a little.
“Hey.” Arturo gently tugged baby dragon Frank out of the kibbles. “Enough. Sunny, stop bouncing. Come here.”
Banger got a warm hug, and it felt so good he just stood there.
He took a big, deep breath, and it felt a little like the world eased back into place.
“There you go. I got this. Why don’t you go take your babies out in the sun a minute, let everything settle?” Arturo said.
“Are you sure? I’m sorry. I feel…” Confused. Weird. Worried. “… fucked up.”
“I am sure.” Arturo patted his ass, which made him wiggle.
Weren’t Banger’s wiggles all meant for Mik now?
God, his head hurt. He headed outside into the sunshine, found a sunbeam and stretched out in it. Naps put his head back on straight most of the time. When Sunny curled up on one side of him and Frank the other, Banger sighed happily.
It was impossible to stay upset in the sunlight with dragons singing in his brain.