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Order of the Black Rose

A short gay erotic romance by

Shayne Carmichael

Waiting at the temple, I impatiently tapped my foot, waiting for the wizard to finish inventorying the list.

Settled at his desk, Wizard Green ran quietly over the list in his hand to make sure all the columns listed on his report matched. When he'd determined there were no discrepancies, he looked up at me. "Everything's clear here, Mr. Adair. The High Priest Malcolm has left orders that I'm to accompany you to Four Paradises and aid you in obtaining the Jerhan Relic for the Ritual of Chaos."

"What?!" I'd no idea that the damn wizard in front of me was suppose to trot along for the ride on my next trip. "You can tell him I don't allow riders on any of my trips."

Whirling angrily, I made it halfway to the exit before the wizard's voice stopped me cold. "Then all your contracts are voided, Mr. Adair."

Considering my contracts with the temple ran for the next five years, and were worth a pretty piece of gold, I had to slowly turn back to face him. My words came out in a pissed-off growl. "The son of a bitch thinks he has me by the balls."

"Unfortunately for the both of us, he does." His dry retort only aggravated me all the more as I glared at him.

"Then you better be ready now. The ship leaves port within the hour. So I suggest you pack and meet me at the dock." I could always hope he didn't make it in time.

His expression clearly had a pained look to it before he nodded and said, "Make sure you don't leave without me. I little like this as much as you, but neither of us have a choice."

"One hour, Wizard Green." Turning on my heel, I left the office and couldn't make it out of the temple fast enough.

In less than ten minutes, I was back on the deck of my ship. Over the next hour, I stayed too busy issuing orders to the crew to even notice if the wizard made it on board or not. When Dagger Rhoads pulled me aside, he let me know Wizard Green had been taken down to his cabin. Sparing only a second to curse the gods of Sarus, I spent the next few hours making sure everything was safely stowed away for the trip to the Four Paradises.

Over the next two days, the wizard stayed in his cabin, never venturing above deck. Cook told me most of his food had remained untouched. I assumed he suffered from a case of seasick, which only earned him my deeper contempt. Why the High Priest thought to saddle me with such a useless excuse was beyond my comprehension. The trek through the Abartan Forest would be dangerous enough without having to drag along a wizard who had obviously never left the confines of the temple.

By the time we docked and I was ready to leave the ship, Wizard Green appeared with a small traveling case in hand. His wan features proved I'd been right about his bout with sickness. His long ebony hair made his face seem all that much paler and the blue of his eyes stared out at me. He looked helpless and definitely out of his element. The effect seemed to tug at me for a moment. Frowning slightly, I shook my head as I motioned him to join me.

"It'll take us several hours to get through Abartan. You stick close to me and no wandering off. There's too many fucking dangerous things lurking in that damn place."

"Aren't you going to bring others with us?" He gave me an astonished look.

"No, it'll slow us down too much. The fewer that go, the faster in and out. We should be back to the ship before nightfall." Shrugging, I picked up my own bag, slinging it over my shoulder.

Taken to shore by one of the long boats, we trekked slowly up the sandy dunes littered with sparse, dry brush. The unwelcoming feel of the beach and its jagged boulders that dotted the sand made sure few thought of this as a tourist place. The edge of the jungle stretched from one end of the beach to the other. There was no way off the beach but to follow the well-worn dirt path that was repeatedly hacked out by the those who walked it.

Machete in hand, I mildly commented as I led the way, "The jungle is always trying to take back this little slice that man keeps carving into it. Trips out here don't occur often enough to keep it completely clear all the way through."

"I've read about Four Paradises and the forest, Mr. Adair."

"Read, but have you ever lived outside that damn temple of yours? And for fuck's sake, call me Nick." I hated the Mister handle, it made me feel like my father.

"You know very well not many wizards venture outside the temple, Nick." He carefully stressed my name. "My first name is Dale."

He followed behind me as I began cutting some of the growth that had crept over the path to make our way clear. Years of being under the sun had left my skin bronzed and toughened. The occasional sting of one of the vines hitting me didn't even phase me. Pausing to dig out a tie from my pocket, I pulled back my blonde hair, getting it out of my face. Picking up the blade again, I muttered to him, "Try not to get yourself killed, Dale. I'm sure High Priest Malcolm would dock some gold from my pay if you die."

His quiet answer gave me a mental pause. "I'm relying on you to not let me die, Nick." There was a definite vulnerability in the words that would have made most people refuse to utter them. It seemed Dale didn't have a problem with relying on another person, which actually made things a whole lot easier on me.

Occasionally the sound of the local wildlife that teemed within the jungle reached us. The shriek of a disturbed corwail sent shivers down both of our spines. Though they were vicious creatures when cornered, normally they shied from human presence.

Keeping my senses alert, I was constantly aware of Dale as he followed very close behind me. The moment I caught the lack of sound, I whirled quickly right before his scream pierced the air. Adrenaline rushed through me, in a split second ready to fight and the sight of the massive vines that entwined Dale's limbs, beginning to drag him off the path, had me slicing at the thickest parts. The panicked terror on his face had me reaching out to him with one hand. I pulled him back towards me, but the strength of the creature caused me to skid along the path. Quickly, I dug in with my heels and renewed the slashing at the green tendrils until I yanked Dale quickly against me. The remaining vines swiftly dragged themselves back into the underbrush as I held his trembling form tight to mine. Once the danger had passed, a creeping awareness stirred inside. I could feel the thin form clinging to me and it aroused me to an unexpected degree. The material of my pants strained with the hardening of my cock.

Looking down at him, wide frightened eyes meet my grey ones. For a moment, Dale's expression altered a fraction, seeming to relax as a small sound rose in his throat. My gaze drifted slowly over his face, finally taking in the soft trembling of his lower lip before my lips claimed his. That pull of attraction I felt was undeniable as his body molded so tightly to mine, feeling as if he fit me perfectly. As his arms wrapped around my neck, I deepened the kiss, parting him with my tongue. The sweet taste of his mouth hinted at his favorite candy with its flavor of vanilla.

The sound of a rustling in the brush near us kicked me back into an alert awareness of our precarious position. Abruptly I pulled away from Dale before I spun around and started back to the path. "Come on. We better get out of here."

It took Dale a moment to recover from the sudden withdrawal before he hastily followed behind me. I could feel his eyes staring at my back but I had no clue as to his thoughts. He'd been willing enough as I kissed him, but it could have been because I had caught him off guard in a moment of danger.

Refusing to think on it, I had to get both of us through to Four Paradises in one piece and I couldn't afford the luxury of being lost in thought. Silence reigned between us for the rest of the hike. It was a long time before the sight of the jungle gave way to the glimmering silver walls of the temple. Behind its gates was the richest temple in the seventeen kingdoms. As the gates opened, the domed central temple came into view. Richly carved in hues of white and black marble, the oblong building jutted upward into spires tipped with gold. One of the priests hastily came out to greet us and then ushered us into the main sanctuary.

"Welcome, gentlemen, we've been expecting you. I'm Wizard Truener." Bowing to us, he smiled before he continued. "High Priest Evar was unexpectedly called away so you won't be able to meet with him until tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll be happy to show you to your rooms where food and drink will be brought to you."

Normally that kind of delay would have irked me to no end. Silently eyeing Dale, I really didn't look forward to another trek back through the jungle. So I managed to return Truener's smile with a degree of a calm before we followed behind him.

"Your room is right next to this one, Wizard Green." Truener said as he gestured further down the hall and then opened one of the doors. The room we entered was lavishly appointed which wasn't surprising for this place. Dark woods blended with emerald green in the huge carved bed, and echoed in the graceful lines of the writing desk and chairs.

As Truener clapped his hands, several servants emerged from a door off to the side, carrying trays. As the lids were taken off, a rich variety of fruits and delicacies were offered to us. As I settled into one of the chairs, Dale hovered near me, appearing reluctant to go very far from me. After helping myself to some of the food and a glass of wine, I watched Dale pick his own as I began to eat.

"If you need anything else, simply let me or one of the other wizards know. I hope you both enjoy your stay."

"Thank you, Wizard Truener. The temple's generosity is unsurpassed." Dale's comment was diplomacy at its best.

Bowing to us again, Truener left the room.

Once we were left alone, I studied him for a long moment in silence, taking a sip of the wine. The taste of the rich Paradise wine surprised me. Apparently we were going to be treated to the best. "So tell me, Dale, why did High Priest Malcolm send you to accompany me?"

Giving me a level stare back, he seemed to consider his thoughts carefully before he spoke. His tone was very low. "I believe he thought it was convenient way to get rid of me."

Frowning, I was surprised by his answer, and even more surprised that he did come with me even knowing that. "Yet you made the journey even knowing that. Why? And why would he want you killed?"

"I don't excel as he thinks I should. You could say I'm a very weak wizard and it bothers him to no end as a stain on the reputation of the temple. But to admit to that is near impossible for him, he'd rather I just disappear before the Jerhan relic is brought back. My worth is not determined by him, and going on this trip is my way of proving that." The whole time he spoke, his expression maintained a calm, dignified edge that impressed me. I was beginning to see much more behind the man than I had initially.

Sliding from the chair, I moved towards him as he set his plate down. He'd remained standing the entire time he ate, and I could see the nervous tension stiffen his body as I approached him. Storm blue eyes held mine with a mixture of barely suppressed need and fear. It drew me closer to him as did the memory of the flavor of his mouth.

"It's not a wise indulgence, Nick." The words hardly made it from his lips before mine claimed his again. As my arms circled his waist, pulling him in against me, I felt that tension relax as he molded his body to mine.

With the harder nudge of his hips, I could feel his cock pressing against mine and I hastily broke off the kiss to quickly remove his robe. It was strange to realize the man that I had at first held in contempt now drew only thoughts of lust to whatever little part of my brain was still functioning. Hungrily, my gaze slid over him. His lanky, muscular frame drew my immediate attention, lingering over the contours of his body. The sight of the magnificently thick cock of his made my mouth water.

As I pressed him back towards the bed, he slid over the covers and I followed him, kneeling between his parted legs. His dark blue gaze followed me as I lowered my head, taking his cock quickly in my mouth. The small taste of liquid on the head was as sweet as his lips were. Drawing the thickness deeper into my mouth drew a series of soft groans from him as his hands moved to my hair. His words came from him in gasps of breath. "Need. You. Nick."

That immediate response pleased me immensely. Slowly taking my own taste of him, my tongue slid along the underside as my mouth swallowed him. His hips arched up, trying to drive himself even deeper as I felt the almost painful tug of his fingers in my hair. "More, please. Don't. Stop."

I had every intention of stopping, just not quite yet. My hand slipped to beneath his balls, gently massaging them and the more sensitive spot underneath them. Dale shuddered in reaction, drawing in a harsh, quick breath. I released his cock and lifted my head to meet his eyes, staring down at me in a dazed lust. His hands slipped to my shoulders, desperately trying to pull me up. As I shifted position, I wet my hand to slick over my cock. My own need to feel the tightness of his ass surrounding me drove me more hastily than I normally liked.

With the guidance of my hand, I pressed the head inward at the crack of his ass. Staring down at him, I watched the play of expression as I slowly slid inside him. The taut mask of pleasure held me captivated as did the feel of heat enveloping my cock. His body shuddered beneath me when I was fully buried in him and the sensations drew their own shudder from me. My control at best was tenuous and the writhing beneath me broke what little I had. As I lowered my head to capture his moan, my hips pulled back only to thrust hard back into him. My tongue mimicked the furious movement as I fucked him. Each forward drive sent the harsher need curling over my senses until all I could think of was the need for my own release. The slap of my balls against his ass heightened that.

Before I could lose it entirely, my hand slid down his chest and then lower to curl around his cock. In time with the motion of my hips, my hand stroked over him. For him it took very little. As I released his lips, he called out my name as the warmth of his come spilled over my hand. When his muscles clenched tightly around me with the uncontrollable shudder of his body in a deeper orgasm, the sensation dragged me under. The thrust of my hips buried into him as deeply as I could as my own release pulsed through me in shattering waves.

"Dale." The one word escaped me as a groan of sound as I came. The slippery stickiness of his come slicked between our bodies as he held to me.

When the feeling began to ebb, I drew my own deep breath, trying to come down from the high. Staring down at him, I knew this wasn't going to be a temporary thing. I wouldn't be satisfied with that. I didn't think he would either. Feeling myself still buried inside him, the intimate sense of that drew out my protective instinct towards Dale. It had begun when I'd first seen him emerge from his cabin on the ship and then strengthened when I'd saved his life. Now it was even stronger.

Quietly, I said, "I think Wizard Green is going to disappear before we make it back to Sarus."

From his expression, I knew my words had completely surprised him.

"There's no way to do that, Nick."

"Yes, there is." Rolling off of him to my side, I continued, "When we dock, you'll remain on the ship and I'll report your unfortunate death to the temple wizards."

"You want me to stay with you?" Turning to face me, he stared at me uncertainly as if not certain of what he had heard.

"If you want, Dale. I would like you to, but that part is up to you."

"But how will you pull it off? There will be an investigation and I wouldn't put it past High Priest Malcolm to drag you over the coals on it."

A pass of my hand over my wrist revealed the tatoo of a shield with black rose. As I looked over at Dale, he stared at it in shock, whispering, "You are of the Order of the Black Rose."

Nodding slowly, I smiled. Everyone knew of the most famous mystical cult in all the seventeen kingdoms. "There is nothing High Priest Malcolm can do to you under their protection, Dale."

And I would make damn sure of that.

The Great Carmichael

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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author's deranged imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.

All this stuff is mine, mine, mine. You touchy, I hurty. 2017 and all that jazz.