A creature strolls into the room so stunning I must blink to be sure he’s real.
Aside from the massive horns and gently swaying tail, he doesn’t look like any demon I’ve ever imagined. He’s gorgeous, with gray-dappled lavender skin, and he’s huge—taller than me even without considering the coiled horns that add another foot to his already astounding height.
His sapphire blue eyes, sparkling with an interest that rivals my own, catch my gaze. Silver brows—the same color as his long braided hair—arch to elegant crescents high on his forehead.
“What treasure has arrived at my door this morning?” A sly smile forms across lush pink lips. His skin is simply otherworldly, shining with an aromatic oil spread from neck to toes.
I inhale the fragrance of a bouquet of fresh spring blossoms plucked to gift a lover.
“Dominus, meet Sebastian, who finds himself in need of safe harbor.” Ivaz makes a sweeping gesture from him to me. “Sebastian, meet Dominus, who’s agreed to take you in.”
I let my gaze wander over the length of him. Practically naked, he wears only a sheer shift of shimmering fabric the color of ripe plums. It’s pulled tight over each hardened nipple, crossing just above his pierced belly button, then draping loosely around his lean waist and bulging thighs. Silver strappy sandals adorn his otherwise bare feet, the toenails painted purple to match the shift. Amethysts dangle from each ear.
Dominus is a glittering jewel of a man—of an incubus, I suppose. His attention brushes over me like a touch, grazing my skin and bristling the little hairs on my neck in its wake. We stare at each other until I remember my manners.
Clearing my throat, I extend my hand. “Thank you for offering me shelter.”
Dominus takes it within his larger one, his grip soft and warm. “My pleasure.” He brings my hand to his lips and presses a kiss to the backs of my fingers.
I’m baffled by the boldness of the gesture, wondering how he knows I prefer men. It’s usually a back-and-forth dance of daring mixed with self-preservation to determine whether another fellow might be like-minded, but Dominus doesn’t hesitate in the slightest.
To my chagrin, heat sears across my cheeks. Surely they’re pink as petals. I’m not often so taken by another person, but Dominus is a magnificent presence. His energy steals all the space in the room, spins it to his will, and returns it much improved upon for having been under his control.
My tongue is thick and heavy in my mouth, but I force it to work before I look like an idiot ogling him. “I’ve never met an incubus before.”
“And I’ve never met such a charming…” He studies me, eyes raking over my lean form.
I open my mouth to answer, my flush deepening under his scrutiny, but he shakes his head.
“No, let me guess. It’s more fun. Wood sprite?”
His guess brings a grin to my face. “There are wood sprites?”
“Ah, so not a wood sprite, then.” He leans in close to me and reaches for my hair. “May I?”
I bite my cheek and give a little nod. He takes a lock of my hair and curls it through his fingers. Then he sniffs.
“Hmm, not a shifter. At least not one I recognize.” His eyes sparkle with a new idea. “A jinn? But are you benevolent or malevolent?”
“I’m not that either. What’s a jinn?”
Dominus purses his lips, still twirling my hair. “Not a jinn. Hmm.”
Ivaz groans before Dominus can answer my question. “Glad to see the two of you hitting it off. Now where do we sleep?”
“Has our new guest worn you out already, old man?” Dominus says to Ivaz.
“Hardly,” Ivaz scoffs. “But I have a letter to write before dawn.”
“This way.” Dominus extends his elbow to me, and I take it. His muscles flex beneath my fingertips.
We head down a narrow hallway with decorated silk drapes hung crisscrossed over the ceiling and pass several doors on each side. Just how big this place, and how many people sleep within these rooms? In the quiet, I hear only the thumping of my heart and our soft steps muted by layers of thick rugs.
We stop by one of the doors. Dominus uses his free hand to push it open. He glances to Ivaz. “Here you are.”
“Thank you.” Ivaz steps over the threshold.
I gasp as Dominus’s tail circles my waist and tugs me closer to his side. It’s not unwelcome, but it’s quite surprising.
“Sorry,” he says, sounding anything but. “It has a mind of its own sometimes.”