Scales & Stone
by Jessamyn Kingley
Series: D’Vaire, Book 40
Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations
Release Date: November 9, 2023
Genre: MM Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Trope: Fated mates
Themes: Love, resolving the past
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: Novel / 89,000 Words / 328 Pages
Scales & Stone is not a standalone story, but does not end on a cliffhanger.
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Sometimes it takes finding love to appreciate the best parts of yourself.
Decades after leaving behind a king who attempted to sell him for wizard experimentation, Lex D’Vairedraconis lives in a place filled with loved ones. At Court D’Vaire, the dragon shifter has access to everything. He wants for nothing. But his lack of purpose frustrates him. Surrounded by successful people, Lex can’t figure out how to channel his energy. And he dearly wants to know why Fate hasn’t paired him with anyone.
Rutledge Blackstone is alone. As a gargoyle, he shouldn’t live among humans, but he fears the many enemies hunting his kind. To survive, gargoyles must separate. His parents, and even his twin brother, have left him in a house slowly crumbling around his ears. To comfort himself, he records every happy moment in a notebook, and waits for the day to add more memories to his treasure trove.
But the gargoyles aren’t being tracked by foes alone. The new gargoyle rulers and their allies want to aid people like Rutledge. To his shock, the Council of Sorcery and Shifters wants him to join, and he soon lands an invitation to the renowned sanctuary at Court D’Vaire. Before he can decide whether to accept, he meets Lex. Their attraction is instant, but Rutledge is anything but intrepid.
To build a life together, they must learn to love unconditionally and find their true purpose in life.
In the days that had passed since Rutledge had first invited Lex into his bedroom, they’d learned a little about what each of them liked. Rutledge didn’t want to forget any of the things that drove them both delightfully crazy, so he listened to the steady breathing of the dragon curled around him and slowly, incrementally, moved closer to the nightstand. The last thing Rutledge wanted to do was wake Lex, despite the bright sunshine coming through the glass doors that led to his balcony and the breakfast likely waiting for them downstairs.
As carefully as he could, Rutledge pulled open the small drawer and waited a heartbeat to ensure Lex was still snoozing behind him. Once he was sure Lex hadn’t stirred, Rutledge grabbed a pencil and his current notebook. With a happy sigh, Rutledge snuggled back into his pillow and adored the heavy weight of Lex’s arm across his middle.
Rutledge decided to make a list of the things about Lex that pleased him and jotted down the dragon’s penchant for keeping himself uncovered at night. His pencil moved swiftly from line to line as Rutledge added Lex’s kisses and the way he clearly stated what he wanted during their encounters.
Lex never failed to tug on Rutledge’s errant tresses. Something about that simple gesture drove Rutledge out of his mind with lust. His balls would be near to bursting, and that little yank on his hair would nearly make him blow his load every single damn night. Following their incredible climaxes, Lex would hold him tightly. He’d just pull Rutledge into arms where they lay and hug him close.
It added a level of sweetness and caring to sex Rutledge hadn’t experienced prior to meeting Lex. Since they were mates and Rutledge genuinely adored his dragon shifter, it made perfect sense. The feeling and scent of home would overwhelm Rutledge, and if he wept a tear or two of happiness, that was his business.
Rutledge had pursed his lips and was wondering how best to describe Lex’s cock when the discordant sound of a cellphone startled him so badly, he nearly dropped his pencil.
“Mine or yours?” Lex asked, his voice roughened with sleep as he reached over Rutledge to slap at the nightstand.
“Yours,” Rutledge said, trying to shove his notebook under his pillow so Lex wouldn’t figure out he was making a list about their steamy nights and mornings.
Lying there stiff as a board, Rutledge wondered how to get the notebook in his hand closed and into the drawer before Lex figured out what he was doing.
“Hmm, what is Worth up to now?” Lex muttered.
Eager to discuss anything besides his own relentless need to document everything, Rutledge injected levity into his voice. “Why, what did he say?”
A hand landed on Rutledge’s hip, and a tender kiss was pressed to his shoulder. “You okay? What’s wrong?”
“Why do you think something’s wrong with me?”
“Because your voice just reached the highest octave I’ve yet to hear from you, and you squealed pretty loud when I licked your balls last night,” Lex drawled. “And you’re tense. Did something happen? Was it something I did?”
“No,” Rutledge replied immediately and flung his pencil onto the floor as he rolled to face a worried Lex. There was an imprint from the pillowcase on his cheek, and for once, Rutledge wasn’t the only one with wild hair, but Lex was still stunningly sexy. “I’m fine, I promise.”
“That was your pencil hitting the floor, wasn’t it?”
Rutledge couldn’t help the color rising to his cheeks. “I was making a list.”
“What I don’t understand is why you keep trying to hide it from me,” Lex said softly as he swept a wayward lock of hair away from Rutledge’s eye. “You can write whatever you want in your notebook.”
“I know,” Rutledge murmured, his gaze landing on Lex’s deliciously naked chest. The dark hair there was impossible to resist, so Rutledge rested his palm on that solid muscled wall to enjoy the feel of it against his skin.
“So, why are you throwing pencils and trying to shove your notebook under the pillow?”
“This was a different kind of list, and I guess I was embarrassed.”
“Was this a dirty list, Rutledge?”
Hearing the smile in his voice had Rutledge shifting to kiss Lex’s upturned lips. “It was.”
“Want to read it to me?”
Lex chuckled. “Fine, be mean about it. Come take a shower with me. Worth wants to talk to us, and if we don’t hurry, we’re going to miss breakfast. You were so absorbed in writing your sexy little list that you let me sleep in too late.”
“It’s Saturday, and you were obviously tired,” Rutledge protested as Lex shoved the comforter aside and they peeled themselves out of the tangled sheets to bathe.
“Good thing it’s the weekend or you would’ve been late for work.”
“Why would I be late?”
Lex snagged Rutledge’s hand and led him into the bathroom, where he turned the shower on. Thankfully, the water heated quickly because Lex urged Rutledge in and slid the glass door shut behind them.
“Because I can hardly be expected to scrub you clean without playing a little,” Lex said, crowding Rutledge into the wall and pressing his body close. “And I don’t think either of us can resist a few kisses.”
About the Author
Jessamyn Kingley has published over thirty titles and refuses to pick a favorite among them. With an extraordinary passion for her characters, she enthusiastically adds tales to her D’Vaire series and avidly re-reads them whenever her schedule allows. After decades living in the Washington, DC area, she now resides in Nevada with her husband and their three spoiled cats. When she is not writing or adding new ideas to her beloved notebooks, she is gaming with family and friends.
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