Bond is a secret spy for the Gloria Furore space pirates, a former member of Princess Anguissa’s crew, and a fallen angel with a love of pleasure. His wings will be returned once he meets the Host and completes his mission—but Bond isn’t counting on the distracting allure of a dragon shifter princess determined to seduce him. Percipia has no interest in romance or love, but knows she has to claim the Seed and fulfill her obligation to her kind by conceiving a child. But Bond isn’t interested in a quick seduction—he prefers to savor every moment—and the Gloria Furore soon catches up with him. Being with Bond makes Percipia feel more alive than she ever has and she soon realizes she is falling in love. Being with Percipia is too much like heaven for Bond to resist giving her all she wants from him…but when they are attacked and Bond must choose, will he save Percipia or complete his quest at any cost?
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An excerpt from Wyvern’s Angel:
No doubt about it, Bond was going to miss the pleasures of the flesh.
His assignment in the mortal realm had been a novelty, both thrilling and terrifying, and there had certainly been moments when he had been impatient for the peril to end. If he’d realized that life was so dangerous, Bond wasn’t sure he would have volunteered in the first place. The celestial realm had its benefits, one of which was tranquility, and he had often wished for that when fighting for his survival or fearing treachery. He had played a complicated game, betraying one morally-bankrupt mortal for another, but all in pursuit of a greater good.
All the same, it was exciting to feel so vital. Even though the sensation had become familiar, he suspected he would yearn for it. Was this curious mix of feelings a mortal curse, too?
Either way, the final piece of the puzzle would soon move into place and his quest would be complete. All he had to do was get to the rendezvous place and summon the Host. His mission would be done, and his time in the mortal realm at an end.
Bond already felt a sense of triumph. Victory was close, but he reminded himself that he wasn’t done yet.
He left the Archangel as soon as the vessel docked at Incendium’s star station, giving no outward sign that he was unlikely to ever see any of his comrades again. He avoided the captain, Anguissa, as she was particularly perceptive. It was imperative that he maintain his disguise to the last moment.
Even if he had become unexpectedly fond of Princess Anguissa and her crew.
There was no time or place for emotion. He had a task to complete, and speed was of the essence. The Gloria Furore were never deceived for long—if at all.
Bond knew that every moment counted.
Unfortunately, the Star Station was jammed with disappointed travelers. He wasn’t sure why the king had forbidden all departures, but the station was crowded as a result. Every bar and restaurant was filled to capacity, with a line of waiting and impatient would-be patrons. Every corridor was crowded with throngs of passengers with nowhere to go, impatient freighter crews and more luggage than he’d ever seen in one place. The line for the shuttles to Incendium city’s starport looked to be endless, and the lines for the security check were even longer.
There was nothing to do but get in line and wait.
By the time Bond stepped out of the Incendium starport and took a deep breath of the familiar scent of the city, the sky overhead was becoming dark. He treated himself to a last survey of this place that had become the closest location to a home for him. He glanced back up at the station in orbit and the double column of shuttles, rising and descending, admiring the lights. He eyed the palace that dominated Incendium city, built on a mound in the midst of the plateau that was the site of the city, its pennant snapping from its highest tower. In the distance, on the far side of the city, he could see the snow-topped peaks of the Algor Mountains stretching into the distance.
The city itself was prosperous, its inhabitants affluent and content. Most of the shops were closed by this hour, but there were people in the streets, meeting friends for a drink or a meal. Bond’s footsteps slowed of their own accord on the cobbled streets of the old city as he looked and admired and savored for the last time. The shop windows were filled with glorious things: finely made shoes, lengths of shimmering cloth, fat books with gold embossing on their leather covers, spectacles and pens and furnishings for the home. The jewelers were removing their wares from the windows, as were the specialists in computing and communications devices. He paused to watch an automaton at the clockmakers, smiling at the mechanical dragon soaring around a city that looked a lot like Incendium.
Who would have guessed that dragon shifters would build such a society as this? He passed an apothecary just as a tall blond man was taking in the sign from the walkway. That man glanced up, a question in his eyes, but Bond shook his head and continued on. He could smell delicious food and hear laughter, the rattle of coins, the clink of glasses raised in toasts, the conversation of friends.
If he was to live anywhere in the mortal realm, Incendium city might be his choice. Bond was glad to be returning to the celestial realm and looking forward to the restoration of his wings, but all of this activity and passion tugged at his heart, making him want to stay just a little longer.
Would he forget it all? That was what he’d been told to expect, but Bond had a hard time believing it. Mortals lived with such color and passion, and his experiences were so vivid in his memories. How could he forget it all?
Would they forget him? The notion troubled him, although he wasn’t sure why. He’d come to complete a quest, not to make friends or memories. What he had learned was of no relevance in the celestial realm, where thoughts were shared, motion was effortless, and serenity ruled.
Would he be bored?
Bond shouldn’t have been surprised that his footsteps turned toward the river, down to the less reputable part of the city and the part he knew best. He inhaled with pleasure as he entered the market: he could smell the spices and foods sold there in the mornings, even though those vendors had packed up their stalls hours before. He didn’t intend to walk further than the port itself. He’d planned to rent a vessel and sail out of the city as soon as possible, heading down the River Nebula to his destination, but realized it was late to embark on his journey. Those who rented boats had closed up their businesses for the night.
And he was hungry, a sensation that always surprised him.
Then he saw the sirens and a different appetite was awakened.
They were in the street just ahead, promoting their charms, calling to potential customers. They were beautiful and beguiling, each and every one of them, and Bond couldn’t resist one last walk through their midst.
He turned away from the docks and continued into the region thick with clubs, bars, and dancehalls. He flirted with a few women, wanting to take memories of their beauty to the celestial realm. The lights flashed; the music was loud; the laughter was deeper. There was a hum of sexual tension, even in the street, and Bond admitted that this was the part of mortal life he’d miss the most.
If he could remember anything, he’d choose to remember sex.
His footsteps halted in front of a club that hadn’t been open when he’d last visited the city.
Temptation flooded through him.
He would be gone from this realm in less than three days, never to return.
Never to taste and feel again.
The music coming from the establishment had an insistent beat and he could envision the dancers within. Another pleasure of the flesh. How many times had he been part of the throng, moving to the beat, seduced by the sound and smell and touch of his fellows? How many times had his heart beat faster and his body perspired as he danced long after he should have stopped? How many times had he sung along, or shouted for more?
Could there ever be enough times?
His need for sensation was sudden, poignant, and piercing.
Ambrosia was popular, sufficiently popular that a dozen people stepped around him and entered while he hesitated. In the end, Bond couldn’t resist the temptation to just take a peek. He wasn’t disappointed. This club was different from the others, more luxurious, lit by pulsing lanterns that threw colored light onto the dance floor. The floor was so crowded with beautiful beings that Bond’s mouth went dry. He gazed upon them hungrily, loving how they painted themselves and adorned themselves, how they groomed themselves in pursuit of pleasure—and the prospect of sex.
This facet of mortal life was one that Bond intuitively understood. If he had been mortal—if he hadn’t had an assignment—he would have spent all his time and money in a place like this one. He might have owned a place like this one. He would have watched the dancers, both sirens and regular people; he would have danced with them, and he would have seduced them repeatedly. He would have reveled in it all, surrendered to sensation completely and never would have wanted to be found.
He would be ethereal again within three rotations of the planet Incendium. It would take him a day to reach the rendezvous.
Bond would treat himself to one last night.
Excerpt from Wyvern’s Angel Copyright 2018 Deborah A. Cooke