I know you don’t know all of these characters – but that’s okay! The hope is that someday you WILL know all of these characters and will enjoy each of their journeys. Until then, just enjoy the underlying love story happening like we did as we wrote this piece – just for fun. I’m breaking from the norm here and adding in a fun little bunch of posts that revolve around characters we’ve written during the Solstice Season leading into Christmas. Rose Matthews is Gabriel Kennedy’s aunt. She is having a huge celebration and has invited not only her family, but the extended family of supernatural characters Dawn and I have been writing for years. I understand that you don’t know them as well as we do, but I’m hoping you can at least enjoy them for this little series within a series. Let us know if you take a liking to any certain one or set of them. We love them all, and they each have their own stories within the Walking the Blade series.
“They’re under the mistletoe doesn’t it still count?”
Alex froze. We are just friends.. We are just friends.. he kept mentally repeating the mantra to himself. He doesn’t like you that way so snap out of it before you throw yourself at him like an idiot… like last time. Just friends means just friends. He mentally chided himself so much he didn’t even hear the answer to the kids question.
“I think it does,” Arkin replied. He didn’t realize they were now the spectacle of the moment. Not that he really cared. He’d always been one to believe in seizing the opportunities given you. And so, even as Alex took a slow step back and seemed a bit cautious… the dragon took a step forward and placing a hand on his cheek, he put their lips together. This kiss was anything but chaste…a very different experience from what had happened upstairs.
Looking into Alex’s beautiful eyes once the kiss came to an end, Arkin whispered, “A very Merry Christmas, indeed.”
His knees actually shook a little and he grasped Arkin’s upper arm to steady himself as the world spun. Alex’s cheeks warmed and he had that dreamy eyed look on his face as all he could get out right then was an “Mhmm very very.. yeah..” Damn the man tasted as good as he looked.
~ So I need to take you to a seat? Maybe we shouldn’t stay under the mistletoe too much longer. Others might want to use it. ~ Arkin was amused by his “friend”.
Rose had to grasp her dragon’s arm to keep him from rising up in defense like the protective father he was. Uscias actually made a low growl. Arkin was quite the partying dragon, and Alex had a very gentle heart inside of that tough little exterior. He didn’t like this one bit.
“Oh no daddy, no trouble from you either. He’s happy, let him be happy. Besides he is already lost to that one, when was the last time Alex brought anyone home much less to a holiday gathering?” Never.. was the answer. “We just need to be ready to catch him when this one lets him fall.”
“He’d better not let him fall.” Uscias grumbled and held Rose close so that she could keep him from doing something bad.
Gabriel had to walk away a little as something deep inside actually wanted to march across the space and rip Alex away from Arkin.
Senias took a step back from his fiance when the man turned from the moment and swallowed. His smile turned to confusion. He had just about been ready to clap and whistle, like most everyone else was doing when anyone wound up kissing under the mistletoe… but the emotions he felt off of Gabriel had him pausing.
Gabriel was equally confused by his own emotions. What in the actual fuck was wrong with him? He didn’t want Arkin, but he didn’t want Alexander to have Arkin either..? His head began to pound and he could hear the ripping of the paper in high def as the others went on with opening their gifts.
“Gabriel?” Senias whispered, realizing that his mate was bleeding.
Dabbing at his nose he smelled the blood and muttered to himself as he walked farther away from the crowd of supernaturals with their heightened senses of smell. ~ Going inside for a minute.. I’ll be back. ~
Senias watched Gabriel march away from him and he looked back over at the newest couple. His eyes narrowed. Was there something going on between his kindred and another dragon? He didn’t like the notion of it. Not one bit. But he didn’t know what to say or do about it.
Neither he nor Gabe had opened their presents. He looked over to Mariah and Gareth. Mariah was also taking note of what had happened. When she saw him looking at her she shrugged and motioned for him to follow Gabriel.
“Your friends don’t look happy. This ain’t gonna go well, is it?” Gareth asked his mate.
“Not sure. I thought…” Mariah sighed. “Not sure what I thought, to be honest. Hopefully, they figure things out.”
“Want to dance? Or maybe grab some dessert? Cook made all kinds of sweets.” He hadn’t stepped back after the kiss. Alex was unaware of all the discussions that were suddenly going on about them.
Arkin hadn’t moved back, either, instead his hand went around Alex’s waist. He turned with his host toward the house proper again.
“Well, so long as your family doesn’t think it’s rude. I’m sure a sweet would be nice. Maybe some more dancing before the night’s over and done and we wind up in flannel, passed out over cherry blossoms?” He moved his nose against Alex’s upper cheek and ear as they walked, testing his boundaries now that the man knew he was definitely interested.
The way Arkin teased him sent shivers all through Alex. His body instantly reacted and he was thankful he’d worn loose denims, “I like flannels, they’re sexy.” He flushed even deeper pink as they started towards the main house intent on seeking out the kitchen.
“Oh, that’s not good,” Eva put her eyes back on her task of helping one of the little ones open presents. She knew Devon heard her, so she added, “Think Gabe and Sen are okay?”
Devon’s gaze lifted and he sighed, “Guess I’m running interference, huh?”
“If you don’t mind. You could take some of the boys in to get dessert or drinks? Kind of keep those two away from the other two? If that’s even possible.” She got up and turned to Dev and whispered in her mate’s ear, “I did not like the aura I saw on Gabriel just now, Devon.”
Her mate nodded and climbed to his feet, “Alright mama’s wantin’ sweets and I bet the other gals could go for some, too. Come on Dare and Cody let’s grab dessert and some drinks.”
Inside, Gabriel was coming out of the downstairs bathroom drying his face and found Sen waiting for him. He dropped his gaze to the unopened gifts in his fiance’s hands and he cringed. He rubbed the back of his neck, “Sorry.. I really need to get a grasp on these energy bursts. Can we open those in here? Too much noise out there for me right now.”
“Of course, love.” Senias wasn’t going to mention the way Gabriel was making a little white lie. He just wanted to enjoy the evening. Maybe forget about this? Yeah. That’d be great. He was about to hand his fiance the present when Gabriel stopped paying attention to him.
There was laughter coming from the lenai entry and Gabriel glanced around Sen to see Alex and Arkin enter. Great, just who he had come in to avoid.
At the sight of his cousin the laughter stopped as concern took its place.
“Gabriel are you alright?” Alex asked, letting go from his crush to worry over Gabe.
“I’ll be okay, just a headache.” Gabriel assured.
Alex pointed to the neck of Gabriel sweater, “You’ve um… got blood there. Want a clean shirt? John has some spares upstairs that will fit. Let me go get you one.” He wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. “I’ll be right back, Ark, and then we’ll hit the desserts.” He moved away and rushed up the stairs to find Gabriel a clean shirt.
Arkin watched Alex run off and he smiled before turning back to the other two. His eyes traveled over Gabriel and then to Senias. The dragon did not look happy anymore. It was almost a normality between them. The elder lord of his clan of dragons had been an ass to him since they had met.
“What?” Arkin asked. “I’ve been on better behavior than you normally exhibit, so, why am I being scrutinized this time, Senias?”
“Tell him thank you but this shirt is fine.” Seeing the look on Sen’s face Gabriel took his fiance’s hand and tried to leave, “Sen, let’s go back out there, shall we?” He’d suffer the noise rather than what seemed to be brewing here.
“You’re not trying to avoid noise,” Senias said, right as Devon and his crew came inside. “You’re lying to me and it’s about him.” The growl was deep and it hadn’t come from Arkin.
“Not here.” Devon was quick, moving before the dragon elder to hold the male’s shoulders. He purposely kept between the two dragons.
“You, go now.” Devon pointed at Arkin before dealing with his dragon brother. Eva had been right to send them in. Derek was on one side of him and Cody on the other, just in case.
The dragon Councilor stepped back, but refused to take on any stance that put him as less-than the ancient before him, despite their age difference. He was not one to back down from a fight, especially one he hadn’t started.
~ Not the proper place, Lord Senias. ~ Arkin warned his eyes boring into the elder dragon in human form before him. Then, he looked to Gabriel. “I’ll go find Alex. You enjoy your night and I’ll enjoy mine.” With that he turned his back on the other dragon. The move was a stance of haughtiness among the dragons, for Arkin even paused with his back turned and feet together before starting toward the stairs. Yes, it was intentional. If the old claw could be an ass, he’d return the sentiment in-kind.
Had Devon, Cody, and Derek – with Gabriel not far behind on action – not stepped in the way, Senias would have had Arkin on the ground. However, the dragon lord found himself being manhandled into the library by the lycan. In this form, he kind of had no means of getting free of them. Yes, he was stronger than most human beings, but nothing supernaturally so.
Once they were in the library Gabriel watched as Cody and Derek held Sen while Devon spoke to him.
“Let me go,” Senias snarled, fighting against the holds. “You have no idea how disrespectful that whelp just was to me!” his voice had deepened to match his low mood.
Gabriel had come through challenge after challenge with Senias. He understood that such things came with the territory when you decided to bond as a kindred to a dragon. That’s why he also understood that it wasn’t Devon’s place to settle Sen, it was his. He picked up the presents and held the door to the library open.
“Thank you, but if all of you will step out I’d like a word with my fiance in private.”
Devon looked at Gabe like he’d lost his mind, but when he got that cool stare right back he threw up his hands.
“Alright Gabe, we’ll do it yer way. Cody, Dare.. let him go.”
Senias jerked away from them, but only took one step toward leaving the room. Instead, he was drawn to his kindred, his love… and he watched the man while trying to calm his own breathing. He felt pain and he turned away to try and sort things out in his head.
Devon wasn’t pleased to be stepping out but he did so along with his boys.
Gabriel closed the door and walked to his kindragon. Sen was pissed, he could feel it. His dragon had a right to be. Setting the presents on the nearby table he moved to Senias. He forced his dragon to truly face him. Placing his palms on his love’s cheeks, Gabe looked into his eyes.
“Nothing has happened between us. I told you there was attraction when I returned from the investigation with him. But I would never betray you and hurt you and break your trust in me by cheating.” Gabriel knew how painful it was and how hard it was to trust again afterwards. “He offered and I declined. I will fight the attraction because I love you and want only you. I don’t need more. I just need you.” The speaking was slow and deliberate. Still holding Sen’s face, he pressed his forehead to that of his dragon’s.
“It’s not that. It’s not…just that.” Senias spoke, his words a bit ragged thanks to his emotions. he pulled away from Gabriel. “You punished me for feeling something for another – someone I had loved for centuries. Said you couldn’t comprehend wanting anything more than me. Made me feel like I was a horrible creature for still harboring those emotions. But I would do anything for you. I would even turn away from others for you. I’ve agreed to this and I am proving it. And life has been good for us. But since you first went up against Arkin in Council, you’ve had dreams and headaches. Now I know why. You’re trying to suppress your own feelings. When they kissed, you’re jealous of Alexander. I felt it.”
Gabriel couldn’t deny what was being said. He was about to face the music when his fiance, his dragon, the man he loved spoke a word that had him pulling back as though he had been slapped.