Kestriel smiled as he heard feminine laughter coming from around the corner. It sounded like the women were having a great time. It made him wonder what they were up to. There wasn’t much he enjoyed more than the sound of Elves at play, especially when they were Female Elves. He turned as he got to the corner and then came to an abrupt halt. It was a group of Dark Elven Elite Squad members, and by the looks of things, they had undressed to the point of indecency in an attempt to impress those around them. They had done a good job of it too, if the look on Verich’s face was anything to go by.
With angry steps Kestriel moved forward and was nearly upon them when he heard one of the members say, “You know why High Elven Male noses are shaped the way they are, don’t you? It is so they don’t have to smell themselves.” He stopped, as he reached the edge of the group unnoticed, crossed his arms before him, and cleared his throat to catch the attention of the one that was doing the talking.
Ilénè exchanged a conspiratorial grin with the women that had come off duty a few minutes earlier. As she turned to face the High Elven Guardian of the Empire member, she continued, “We know you are there, we could smell you coming from around the corner, well before you stopped to double-check our uniforms. Did you enjoy the view?”
By this point, it wasn’t only the uniforms that Kestrel was finding very offensive, but also the fact that some of the women wearing them were High Elven Females. This could not be tolerated. He was about to let everyone know his thoughts on this matter in no uncertain terms when his eyes connected with the most gorgeous set of green eyes he had ever seen on a Dark Elf. His jaw dropped. He stuttered and searched for the words he meant to say, but he came up empty. This was not just any Dark Elven Female before him. She was his Life Mate.
The words that came from Kestriel’s mouth were not the ones he would have preferred, but by the time he realized what he was saying, it was too late to stop them and the damage was done. “The Fates must be in truly rare form if they believe they can match a High Elven Male of quality to a Dark Elven Female of questionable virtue.”
Ilénè’s expression darkened as she reacted to the slur. Ordinarily, a comment like this wouldn’t have bothered her, but this was her supposed Life Mate demeaning her character for no other reason than she was a Dark Elf. Well, he was right about one thing, it did seem like the Fates had a mean sense of humor at times.
“Well, if it isn’t a High Elven Male, not that you can tell the difference on most days. Come to think of it, is that Alsaga’s perfume you are wearing? It smells remarkably similar if it isn’t.”
Kestriel stiffened. He turned his angry look from Ilénè to the High Elven Females standing with the others, dressed in what were probably some of the Dark Elite Squad’s spare uniforms. He had known that many of the High Elven Females were curious to know what they would look like in them. This was especially true of the young and foolish, but he thought this was unacceptable, especially under the circumstances.
“I see you are doing your best to try to corrupt our impressionable young,” Kestriel sniffed. “Your tactics have obviously had some effect, no matter how momentarily, but they won’t last. Girls, your elders would be shamed by your actions.”
Ilénè knew fighting words when she heard them. “I am sure they would be so very proud of the ignorance you are spewing here. You seem to be doing such a fine job of it,” she retorted.
Kestriel glared at Ilénè and before he got carried away and said more that he probably shouldn’t or something that couldn’t be twisted, he turned his back on the whole group and walked off. He was angry enough at Ilénè’s words and the way things had turned out. He might be tempted to strike out at her physically if he didn’t leave, and that would definitely be ill done of him.
Ilénè wasn’t going to allow this High Elven Male to dismiss her like some piece of trash just because he thought he was superior to her people by some accident of birth. She was not someone to be ashamed of. She was a Dark Elven Princess and the leader of the most recognized squadron of Elven Guards in the Elven Empire. How dare he treat her like this!
With an exaggerated swagger, Ilénè mocked Kestriel’s walk as she followed Kestriel down the corridor. Those she left behind howled with laughter as they watched her performance.
Kestriel didn’t need to see what Ilénè was doing to know she was mocking him, but it was beginning to amuse him more than irritate him now. What he was not finding so funny was how his Dragon was acting as it rose to the surface the moment he realized she was his Life Mate. His Dragon wanted a taste of all that beautiful firm skin, and it was determined to get its way. He decided to allow it to win this battle. The moment he turned the corner and was out of sight of the group of Dark Elves, he reached back to latch onto Ilénè as she too turned the corner.
Kestriel’s actions were nothing like Ilénè expected from him. The last thing she expected this glorious Elven Male to do was to pull her into his arms and kiss her until all she wanted to do was to wind her long, shapely legs around his waist and welcome him home. She felt one of his hands cup the back of her head, as he buried his fingers in her thick dark hair. She gave a husky moan as the kiss they were sharing deepened. This couldn’t continue, or they were going to be very embarrassed if someone came around the corner to catch them in such an intimate embrace. What made it look even more incriminating was that he had her pressed against the wall, and she had her legs wound around his hips. It was a very provocative position, and she wasn’t sure who was going to be the more distressed if they were caught like this, him or her. Despite everything, she didn’t want him to stop touching her.
Kestriel’s Dragon was purring so loudly in the back of his mind that he couldn’t think straight. All he knew was that he needed to possess this woman. He would bind her to himself in such a way that she would never want to leave his side. He found her perfume intoxicating, yet knew she wore none. What he smelled was totally her, and as he buried his nose in the curve of her neck, he inhaled deeply to take more of her scent in. He heard his Dragon give an excited thrill. This was his Female, and she was deeply aroused.
“You are driving me crazy, woman,” Kestriel groaned softly into Ilénè’s ear, as he teased the ear tip with light nips to arouse her further. He grinned as he heard her give a soft moan of passion in response. He liked the reaction she was having to him too much. He had never felt anything like the way he was now with her. He loved how she wrapped her body around his and how it made his senses soar.
“Please,” Ilénè begged, but she had no idea what to call him. They had not been introduced, nor had he offered her his name.
“Kestriel,” he supplied the information she was looking for as he pressed a trail of kisses and nibbled down the column of her throat. He had given her his name, and now he wanted hers back in return, “I would know the name of my Life Mate.”
“Ilénè,” she breathed out in a soft gasp, as his hands moved to slip under her uniform to cup her breasts. She considered him lucky she hadn’t added her full list of weapons to her outfit this morning, or his hands would have been a bloody mess by now. Ordinarily, she would have worked tiny blades into her hair and the edges of her uniform while on duty. But considering where she was serving, she didn’t see the need. Now she was glad she hadn’t.
Verich brought both Kestriel and Ilénè back to earth with a bang when he walked around the corner to witness their passionate response to each other before giving a telling whistle. He then spoke one word, “Oops.”
Verich’s singly worded comment was enough to bring Kestriel and Ilénè’s ardor to a complete standstill, as it reminded them where they were. They both knew this could have been worse. Verich wouldn’t tell anyone, or at least they didn’t think he would. He was a fellow Guardian and he would respect their privacy as well as their actions under the circumstances. Someone else might not be as accommodating.
Kestriel grinned, as he watched Ilénè’s face turn beet red, and he murmured as the flames which had threatened to devour them only moments before began to cool. He was tempted to say something, but was afraid it might be the wrong thing. Instead, he continued to exchange tiny kisses with Ilénè, as she lowered her feet to the ground, even as she continued to press her body tight against his. She seemed to be as reluctant to part from him as he was to let her go, but he knew it was time, especially when they heard sounds of an angry female voice coming from Princess Laylia’s room.
“I think our lady is not happy about something,” Kestriel grinned, as he stepped away from Ilénè.
Ilénè grinned back, as she replied, “If she has as much of a reason as I have at this moment, I can’t say I blame her. The Fates definitely have a poor sense of timing, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find they are laughing at us right now.”
“Undoubtedly, as duty calls,” Kestriel agreed. He then gave a remorseful sigh as he promised, “I have every intention of continuing this from where we left off at another time.”
“You better,” was all that Ilénè said, as she straightened up her uniform and fixed her hair. A minute later she was gone.
Kestriel leaned against the stone walls of the corridor and pressed his heated forehead to the cool rock, as if to try to quench the fire that was still raging through his veins. He was surprised when he felt Verich’s hand land on his shoulder and the Dark Elven Guardian of the Empire speak to him with compassion.
“I wish something like that would happen to me. A Life Mate bond is nothing to disregard, and from what I saw, it burns hot between the two of you.”
Kestriel nodded, as he admitted, “I didn’t know anything could feel that exquisite until now.”
“In that case, you and Ilénè deserve to be congratulated,” Verich replied. He then walked off as Kestriel took the time to get himself back into order. He had a feeling his station in life was about to change again, and by the end of the day, everyone would know Ilénè and he were Life Mates. He found he didn’t seem to mind that thought as much as he thought he might. He then smiled as he went to join his brethren.