Unlike the others, Isabel had chosen to arrive at the club on her own. Isabel hadn’t been sure that she would even go until the last minute. So she’d dressed in one of her pretty sundresses and worn a denim half jacket with her boots to complete it. Wasn’t as fancy as a few others that she’d passed on the way in, but then she hadn’t been sure how ritzy it was going to be. Making her way to the bar had been a bit of a trial as the place was packed with party goers and the music was loud. Taking a seat, she let her gaze move over the club. Of course, she was trying to find Largros, her dragon. He had been away on clan business and had promised to meet her here for the party thrown by his lover, Angelus. To most people the half-demon was Dante, owner of the place and who it was named for. But she knew him better than that, thanks to both her family connections to the twins and now, thanks to his connection to her kindragon. Izzy was getting annoyed, considering she’d seen her cousin and his date as well as a few other familiar faces, but she hadn’t seen her own boyfriend yet.
When the bartender came her way she kept it simple, “Beer please.” When asked domestic or import she shrugged and replied, “Surprise me.” With a smile.
“She prefers domestic,” Derek said as he brought up more supplies from the back room. He smiled for her, “Izzy! Wasn’t sure you’d show.” He handed off the clean glasses to the other bartender. Then, he scooted boxes beneath the bar. “Want to try the local cider? I hear it’s a howling good one.” He wiggled his eyebrows for her.
“Oh in that case I must try it! I’m all for the howling good ones.” At sight of the lycan, Isabel’s smile brightened just for him and at the playfulness she laughed softly. She rested her chin in her hand, her elbow rested on the bar. “I wasn’t sure I’d show either until I was tossing clothes on and on the road here.”
“Well, that’s the best way to do things – spur of the moment…throwing caution to the wind. Sometimes it’s the best way.” Derek grabbed a fresh glass and pulled one of the local brewer’s bottles out to pop the top with his nail and begin pouring for her. The head was small, but that said nothing about the hard cider. “Brewed by a pack out in the mountains. Got their contract yesterday and got these here today. Need to support the little guys.” He settled it in front of her before looking over at the next patron. “What’d you need?” He listened but his eyes went back to Izzy for her official opinion on the brew.
She was actually surprised by the hint of citrus in the flavor and she licked her lips and gave a soft mmmmmmm. “That’s really good Dare! You should definitely keep this one.”
“Great! It’s a keeper!” He chuckled as he swiftly made three other drinks and pushed them out to help the other bartenders. Normally, in his new role, he’d just handle business, but he wanted to help out. He liked learning all of the ins and outs of every enterprise he jumped into.
They were best friends. He’d gone after her when she’d been kidnapped to the other world – his home world – and he’d helped bring her back. The fact that she was looking for another man on that dance floor didn’t really bother him. After all, casting his gaze to the other side of the bar, Derek could see his mate. She was radiant.
Keeping an ever vigilante eye on the things going on around their club, Mira didn’t even take note of her wolfie looking her way. This was her first night out since their baby had been born, and she wanted to enjoy it. She would. But she also saw herself and Derek as the new owners of Dante’s Inferno. In a quiet business meeting, her twin had given over ownership. He said it was for the best. He would help out and still manage where he could, but he wanted to begin spending more time with those he had finally found that he adored. One, was the dragoness, Inea, sitting at the end of the bar with her other kindred, a highlander named Seamus. The other was on the dance floor with him…
“Largros said he’d be here, but I haven’t seen him yet.. Maybe I beat him here.” She glanced towards the dance floor and then back to the other end of the bar to catch sight of Derek’s mate. “Looks like Mira is enjoying herself. Is it safe for her to be out here?” The succubus was actually dressed modest in jeans and a silver and black blouse. Nothing revealing? That was shocking but she didn’t say such.
“We had a scare after coming back, but both she and our pup are just fine. Aiden’s perfectly healthy so far and this is her first break from mama duty. I think being out here is just what the doctor ordered. And the good vibes going around here? That’ll make her feel all the better. It’s what they soak up, ya know?” Derek wasn’t sure if Izzy understood how that worked. He knew Mira wouldn’t mind him educating her.
Watching Mira again, Isabel was still smiling, “No I didn’t know that.. I thought she only fed on the sex stuff you know?” Her nose wrinkled as she watched the other female laugh and move so fluidly into a dance with someone she obviously knew. She was so graceful around the others on the floor. For just a split second Isabel envied Mira. She went quiet as she watched the dancers and wondered once more where Largros was.
Derek had tried to kind of slip into a different subject while he put away the supplies for the bartenders. But he could tell Izzy was nervous and she was concerned. He hated seeing her like that, even if for the rest of the world she was playing it off, he could tell.
“He’s been here a while. Want me to go fetch him for you?” He rolled his eyes a bit, trying to keep her in good spirits with the self-deprecating dig.
“He is? I didn’t see him and I looked before coming to the bar.” Isabel lifted herself up a little on the bar stool as if she could see over the gaggle of heads and find him. But with the strobe lights and flashing colors there was no way she was going to see him.
“I’d guess he’s spending time with the man of the hour – since Inea’s been on the dance floor with her other kindred.”
“Oh,” Sinking back down onto the stool Isabel lost just a little of her glow as her smile eased a little as well. “Of course… I mean it is his party right?” Instead of rushing off Isabel chose to stay a moment longer and finish her beer. Sure, she’d promised Largros that she wouldn’t rail against sharing him with the half-demon. But Largros had promised that she would always come first. Isabel supposed that after she’d come back, after the trauma she felt, but couldn’t wholly remember? Well, she hadn’t thought he would go looking to Angelus for anything. Seemed she was wrong.
“Well, yeah. I suppose so.” Derek kept an eye on Izzy, but he also continued to help with incoming orders and restocking as he went. “He’s got a new nephew, he’s got true love, he’s been exonerated by Crimson, and I suppose he kind of just retired. So there’s plenty for him to be partying about.” Luckily, a better song came on and a lot of their drinkers began dancing. He came back from the back and saw her still there. “You know, you’re never gonna get a dance if you don’t get him.” Derek was kind of curious as to why she wasn’t using their mental bond to contact her dragon. Unless…unless they hadn’t actually bonded, yet? Had the kidnapping caused her to pull back?
“It’s okay. Let me enjoy the drinks, first.” She had another sip, before turning on her bar stool to catch sight of Largros on the dance floor in the arms of the incubus. She couldn’t stop watching them, even as she held the empty bottle to her lips. “Can I have another?”
“Sure thing,” Derek went to the fridge to grab a bottle and placing it next to her, he popped the top.
Largros was smiling and laughing and enjoying himself. He seemed so relaxed with Dante. It was as if she were seeing a different Largros all together. Before Derek could pour it into her glass, Izzy had it snatched and was drinking it.
“Uh… okay then.” The lycan looked from her to the dance floor. “Oh.” He poured himself a shot of whiskey and downed it real quick. If he knew Izzy… he was about to have to speed answer some questions.
“Hmm…” Only after half the bottle was gone did Isabel speak again. Her gaze had remained on the two men laughing, dancing, kissing, and talking to others around them. It was like they were in their own little world. She wasn’t part of that world at all. Finally, she looked Derek’s way again, “Why? I don’t get it? He said he had more needs that I wouldn’t understand and I get that. I mean I guess he’s getting an itch scratched that I can’t reach. But why does he seem happier right this minute than he has ever been with me? Am I that horrible? That difficult?” She took another drink and then stared at the bottle as if it had done something wrong.
“No, Iz… ya know I don’t think I can explain it to you easily. But I’ve been around dragons damned near my whole life and they usually have a bunch of kindred or they have a bunch of lovers and then their mates and sometimes, it’s just friends and also one particular lover. But I’ve only ever known one to be monogamous and that’s only been since he settled with your mom.” Derek wiped the bar in front of her and on his side. “It’s like they’re wired that way. But I mean, on this side of the fence, I suppose the only thing I can compare it to for ya is… I mean you’re capable of having crushes on people – several people – at one time, right?”
“I know what you’re saying Dare.. it’s just… yes I am capable of it.” Izzy mumbled as she drank down the rest of her bottle and held it out to Derek to trade for another.
“And people love and marry one other person but then that person dies and so they then find someone else, right?” He obliged with a fresh bottle. At this rate, he’d be making another order by morning.
“They don’t always find another.” She was practically pouting as Derek laid everything out for her. She didn’t like hearing it all but it was true.
“But a lot of them do find someone else. Just like sometimes people get divorced in this world and then find someone more suited to them. I don’t believe they loved the other person any less when they were together. Just means something happened and they grew apart and then found love with someone else. So don’t you think it’s possible to love or adore two or more people at one time?” Derek held his hand up to one of the others asking him for something. To him, this conversation was more important.
“For some yes.. But not for me. I’m a one guy kind of girl. I thought most lycan were like that, too.” She took a deep breath and turned to look into Derek’s bright blue eyes. “Aaaand I know I’m not being fair. I told him it was fine. So don’t mind my muttering and babbling. I’ll drink another and then I’ll go join them and smile. I promise I won’t ruin anyone’s night.”
“I get ya. I do. You’re right about lycan, even about me, I suppose. I’ve just … like I said, I’ve been around dragons all my life.” Derek had just also been able to open his eyes to another thing or two over the years. Over the last few years, he had also learned when to just shut up. And he was doing so, now. She had heard his words. Maybe she’d remember them when she needed to. He moved on to the next person who needed something.
Out on the dance floor, Angelus held Largros close. He had been passed back and forth between his two dragons all night and he was high off of them. Inea had always had Seamus as back-up. Even now, he saw the ginger hair through the crowd. He was dancing slowly with their dragoness, and they were talking quietly to one another. Then, they broke off from the dance floor to go to their table. Angelus nodded a bow as they looked his way. That’s when his gaze landed on Isabel Matthews who was sitting at the bar, watching them. He tried to ignore it and play nice, but the glare and the emotions he felt from her were difficult to ignore. Against his lover’s ear, the incubus whispered, “You need to go to the bar before her gaze succeeds in banishing me to the furthest depths of hell.” He was smiling as he chuckled and pressed a kiss against Largros’ pulse point just beneath his ear. “She’s been staring holes through us.” It was odd that Largros hadn’t felt the arrival of his little magic user.
“I don’t know when she got in but I’ve felt that heat up my spine for the last half-song. I just… had hoped she’d not be like that. It’s what I get for falling in love with a mortal.” Largros took Angelus’ hands in his and held them before making the pose into a dance move, placing him a step-back from the enigmatic one before him. “Besides, your sister is waiting for a dance from you. Now might be a good moment to … let go.” Largros found that he enjoyed the banter between himself and the half-demon. The best thing was – they both understood the other.
Angelus pulled the dragon back to him once more and let his double fangs be seen with his smile. Largros’ eyes sparkled yellow for a split second, just for Angelus before he found himself twirled away with the beat of the music. The dragon moved off the dance floor to hop excitedly up behind Isabel, his arms wrapping around her from behind and a kiss landing on her pulse point, exactly the way Angelus had just moments ago given him a kiss.
“My light? How long would you have waited?” He asked it with a chuckle, because he knew her all too well. “Or were you plotting our spankings while drinking?”
“Perhaps I was, and you would deserve it because I know you are a naughty dragon.” Isabel laughed softly as she rubbed the goose bumps from her arms that he’d put there with the kiss. “You were dancing and looked quite content so why would I interrupt?”
“Because I want to dance with you as well, Isabel.” He scooted his way closer and turned her to him so he could look into her eyes. “Mmmm… I want to hold you close and listen to you giggle and breathe naughty words in my ear.” He tried to kiss her mouth if she would let him.
“Then why am I still sitting here on this barstool?” Her head tipped so that he could kiss her and her arms went around Largros’ neck. “Oh by the way, you want to try the howling good local that Dare just got in, it is fantastic.” She smiled and refused to give into the green eyed demon within herself. She did slide her hands along his spine knowing the shiver she’d get in return. Was it a tad bit of a possessive move? Yes, she wanted to remind the demon that Largros was her’s first and foremost – and his only when allowed to be. And she knew all the proper places to get her dragon to shiver for her.
Largros sucked in a breath and straightened in her grasp, his body pushing into her involuntarily with that move. He let the air move over his vocal cords so that it sounded like a bit of a hiss and then purr before he pulled her onto his body, his hands holding her behind so that her legs had to encircle his waist now. He felt her arms at his neck as he picked her up from the stool.
She was breathlessly giggling, she couldn’t help it! Isabel’s fingers moved through his hair as her thighs clenched to keep herself up on him.
“Better?” he asked, his face nuzzling her neck so he could enjoy her scent. “Love the outfit, by the way. Maybe we should go to that bar Derek talks about and do some boot scooting?” He chuckled as he finally moved to let her get her feet again. “You could dress me up for it. And then undress me later.”
“Now that sounds like a plan I am 100% for.” Easing back a little she looked him up and down while still smiling, “I didn’t dress you this time, but I just might help you out of those clothes if you talk extra sweet to me.” Before he could draw her back in, Isabel eased away taking Largros’ hand as she walked towards the dance floor. She looked back over her shoulder only once. “Come on handsome show me what you got.”
“Oh, my. It seems we’re about to get a show,” Inea pointed out to Seamus before looking over to Angelus on her other side.
“Hmm.. she’s feeling possessive.” He chuckled as his arm rested along the seat behind Inea. “You’re correct, though. It makes for a wonderful show, so let’s be entertained.” He grinned showing his fangs to his dragoness.
“The games ye devils and dragons play, I swear.” Seamus just chuckled before drinking more of his stout and whiskey.
“I suppose I’ll let them enjoy. I’d hate to show the younger generation how it’s really done.” Inea let her hands move along both men’s thighs so she had plenty of muscle to rub while watching the delightfully sexual dance happening before them.
As Largros and Izzy were dancing, the crowd slowly began giving up space. He pulled her to hid body and they moved as one to the music. His hand on her lower back and their moves perfect to one another, both were beginning to feel their desires. Their emotions and amorousness could most certainly be felt by those around, especially empathic beings – like half-demons? Every sensual sway and quick step pulled her away and pressed her back against him over and over again. His muscled thigh pressed against her center and Largros seemed to thrill with every intimate touch. It wasn’t long before sweat was forming between her breasts and her pulse was racing from the adrenaline that made her eyes sparkle.
“I don’t think they’ll be on the floor long.” Mira spoke to her bonded. He actually started just a bit when she had come up so quietly beside him. Or was it that he was lost in the show, too? He turned to her and kissed the side of her head before handing her a cold glass of water. It was like Derek knew exactly what she needed, and Mira loved that about him. It almost made her forget the way he had been watching Largros and Izzy. Almost. The succubus was soaking all of that energy into her. She had needed it! And it wasn’t just Largros and Izzy that were pushing that kind of energy outward.
“That’s a good thing,” Derek whispered, though he felt a bit of a dissenting tone from his inner wolf. He remembered long nights on the beach, dancing until they were the only ones left and then making love in the moonlight. Izzy had been a wolf’s dream. But like a dream, she always escaped by morning. He shook it off and pulled his mate closer to his side.
As the song ended, Largros pushed Izzy’s lithe form upward into a lift that ended with her then being moved around his body until he had her dipped back to the floor. There was clapping all around. A bead of sweat dropped from his nose to her chest as he righted her once again.
“Ready to leave?” he asked while panting.
“Mmmm leave such a party and go where exactly? What do you have in mind sir?” Oh yes this was his spanking, he would have to convince her that leaving was going to be much more fun than staying at the club.
His eyes sparkled. ~ To my home. ~ It would be the first time he had taken her to it. The dragon had tried to invite her more and more into his life previously, but she had always pushed away. Since the kidnapping and the return, she had been wanting more and more from him. Tonight, Largros felt truly blessed. She had shown him that she could handle sharing him with Angelus. Maybe it was time for the next step? She had asked for baby steps… “It’s not bonding, but it’s the first step toward it…”
“Really?” Her excitement tripled in that moment as her arms wrapped around Largros neck and she kissed him. It would be obvious to those watching them that something very important was taking place between the couple. Whatever it was Isabel was very happy about it! “Okay.. I’m ready to go.” Her smile was bright and glowing, just as it had been when she’d first seen Derek at the bar earlier.
“Then let’s get out of here. We can’t portal from inside,” Largros chuckled at her enthusiasm. He turned to look at the table where Angelus and the others sat and he nodded a silent goodbye, before moving right behind his lady, his hand upon the small of her back.
“Well I guess he found a way to please the little witch after all.” The incubus chuckled as he leaned to kiss the shell of Inea’s ear. He drew in her scent and rumbled for her as her nails dug into his thigh through the material of his pants. He loved when she teased him like that.
“He’d better find a way to please her,” Inea stated matter-of-factly. “She needs it.”