The Royal Touch
Noble Romance Publishing LL, Apr 2, 2010
The truth is that I'm human. And Zane, my lover, knows. He knows my weaknesses and plays them to his-and eventually my-advantage. Sometimes, he knows me too well.
Sometimes, he doesn't know when not to push.
Tonight, I'm a queen for him because I'm a sucker for gleaming golden torques, a crown . . . and a new toy that makes me tremble at the mere sight of it.
Then Zane shows me Harry. Sweet, brown-eyed Harry who shines from the inside with his own golden glow. Harry, whom Zane stares at with an intent I know too well. Harry, who looks back at us with a need I want to answer.
There's only so much manipulation I can take.
Tonight, I'm going to be the ruler of my own personal kingdom of two . . . and someone is going to learn the meaning of "bow before the queen."
Special Content Alert: M/M/F menage, Caning
I tapped his cheek. "Don't get distracted."
"So pretty." My pulse kicked. I squeezed Zane's hand.
He pulled me into the conversation smoothly. "Guys, this is Nefertiti." He introduced me to everyone in turn. Mike was Caesar. Jason, the Cowardly Lion. Rich was Nixon, complete with an all-too-lifelike mask. Each of them held a plastic cup. Then there was Harry, of the sweet brown eyes, who held nothing at all.
I smiled for him. "Marc Antony?" It wasn't exactly a shot in the dark. It was either him or Caesar, and most preferred to be Caesar of the toga. Still, Harry's delighted smile was worth the not-quite-a-guess. "Very original." I felt more than saw Zane's smile. "But where is your Cleopatra?"
He gave me sad, puppy dog eyes. My heart may have melted. "She left me for Caesar."
Mike sputtered on his beer, clutching his chest, his eyes wide with horror. Harry chuckled, but there was an edge along the sound.
"Not this one," Harry added.
Jason clicked his tongue. "Hey, no worries, buddy. We'll find you a better queen." He turned a friendly grin to me. "Nefertiti, for example."
I lifted a brow. "You know your queens."
Zane choked behind me. Mike, Harry, and Rich cracked up, while Jason turned a rather adorable shade of red, sputtering something about, "not "that" kind." The other guys laughed harder. Jason gave up and buried himself in his beer.
I turned my smile on Harry. He straightened under my gaze. Inside, I applauded Zane's choice. The attention-needy could be fun . . . if one knew what kind of attention to give. "Jason does have a point." Ego I could only feel while dressed as one of Egypt's most hailed beauties gave my voice a purring edge. "I'm a much better queen."
Someone whistled. Harry's eyes widened as he took in me, then Zane, with a flare of curiosity not completely hidden. "You . . . him . . . ?"
I flicked my gaze at the curious faces surrounding us. The timing could have been better, but nothing was ever perfect. Still, I had no idea what those minds could be thinking. The last thing I wanted for Zane or Harry was a fight in the future.
I let go of Zane's hand, putting a little distance between us. A tiny step but it spoke volumes. "He gets to watch."
With me in the forefront, Harry's eyes found a place to lock on. My dress did its job to an admirable degree. Or maybe it was my cane. Or both. Either way, he swallowed. Hard.
Rich gave him a half-serious punch. "Dude, you're so drunk." He slurred the words almost beyond understanding.
"Drink your beer, Nixon." Harry tossed the words casually over his shoulder, without as much as a blink at the contact. Maybe I'd worried for nothing.
Behind me, Zane's laugh was all anticipation.
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