This is from Canes and Scales: The Novel. This ls part of the all new territory.
PG-13 Excerpt Canes & Scales M/M fantasy S.A. Garcia
We stepped into the room. Heads turned toward us. The admiring glances cast my way made me feel secure in my fashion choices. I inhaled a deep breath and began greeting the swarm. I don’t know how the numerous nobles expected me to remember their names. I hadn’t seen many of them in years. Summerlands nobles enjoyed staying close to home. I impressed myself with how I spun their names off my tongue.
I maneuvered toward the buffet table. What a sumptuous display, varied in colors and textures. Wait… no. Oh no. I choked on a sip of wine. I wanted to strangle Keith. A miniature version of me in uniform, my arms raised to the sky in triumph, fouled the table’s center. I never, ever wanted to see myself crafted from rose petals, candied fruit, and other edible treats.
I wanted to eat my head to spare the embarrassment.
“Cousin!” Keith slapped my back. “The likeness is remarkable, eh? You look heroic yet cranky.”
I narrowed my eyelids in scolding. “I thought you liked me, Cuz.”
As he huffed with mock insult, Keith held up his hands. “I do love you, Cousin. Be fair, I did spring for top-grade peach-hued rose petals instead of merely using a peeled potato for your royal head.”
“I must admit using black licorice for my boots is hilarious.”
“A lovely touch, eh?”
We smacked each other’s shoulders as we laughed.
“You have some nerve, slave!” An angry male voice cut through our laughter.
The nobles surrounding me turned as one toward the disruption. They sensed something to slake their thirst for drama.
“Please, Baron, I am with the prince!”
Powers! How had Alasdaire ended up parted from me? I thought he still hovered behind me. The nobles must have cut him off from me.
Keith gripped my arm. I shrugged him off, handing him my wineglass. I pushed my way toward Alasdaire. He was trying to back away from a tall dark-haired noble. The noble grabbed Alasdaire’s wrist.
“Baron, please let me go!”
Alasdaire tried to yank away from the noble’s grip. I focused on the hairy hand restraining Alasdaire’s left wrist. When he reached up to grip Alasdaire’s chin, I almost succumbed to my rage. Instead, I inhaled a deep breath.
I reached his side. “Alasdaire, are you all right?”
He radiated shame-tinged anxiety. I automatically put my arm around his shoulder.
A tall, swarthy noble I did not recognize scowled before he realized who stood before him. “My Prince!” He released Alasdaire and quickly bowed, red-faced and nervous. “So good to see you again.”
I flicked through names. Ah, Baron Otto from Mineia in the Western Summerlands stood before me, “Baron. Is there a problem here?”
He bowed again. “Not at all. I enjoyed this fair slave last summer. I merely wanted to experience him again.”
“I am sorry, but as he said, he is with me.”
“My apologies, Prince Linden.”
The Baron bowed and left the ballroom. What a wise man. My heart slowed down. If he had remained near me, I feared I would punch the Baron until I felt better. What a sure way to spoil the evening.
Low murmuring rippled through the watching nobles. I suspect I had disappointed them by not providing a more violent display of temper.
Alasdaire stood staring at the floor, trembling with self-control. I thought he was willing himself to vanish beneath the floorboards. My lingering rage quickly turned into concern. I released his shoulder to touch his cheek canes. “Alasdaire?”
He stared up at me. His slightly wild expression worried me. “My Prince, let me return to the suite.” His harsh whisper caught in his throat. “Forgive me. I can’t remain down here. They stare at me like hungry dogs.”
At least he kept his voice low. I massaged his upper arms. “Of course. I will come with you.”
The wildness faded from his stare. He blinked with surprise. “Truly?”
I raised my hand. “Truly.” I gently gripped his elbow and guided him toward the side door. All eyes watched us.
I turned to wave. “Farewell, everyone. I fear I must retire for the evening. Keith, please send up treats and wine to us.”
As we walked along the long upper corridor, I glanced down to smile at Alasdaire. His reverent expression made me feel like a true prince riding up on a white charger to save the day. I enjoyed the emotion.
Too bad I had never eaten my rose-petal head.
Once we escaped to my suite, my guards admitted servers. To my delight, one large silver tray supported my edible body. Dear Keith knew how much I wanted to destroy the thing.
Alasdaire and I laughed until we almost cried. The servers stared at us with great confusion. After they departed, Alasdaire examined my fruit-and-petal faux body. “They performed an excellent job making you appear heroic.” He tickled his finger against the figure’s crotch. “Mmm, I want to eat this part. I know the real thing tastes wonderful.” He fluttered his lashes in sultry tease.
Seeing him act playful relieved me. To celebrate, I reached over and plucked off my head. Alasdaire gasped before he laughed along with me. I bit into my hair, revealing a fluffy cream filling. The pastry chef had turned me into a cream puff. I laughed harder.
Alasdaire dipped his finger into the neck. “How suitable—heroic on the outside, sweet on the inside.”
“Watch out, the chef might have laced the cream with Uurkian pepper sauce. That’s more accurate to my personality.”
“Nonsense.” He seduced me by licking more cream from his finger.
I popped the remainder of my head into my mouth. A mix of sweetness, floral accents, and mint met my tongue. I tasted lovely. “Let’s save dessert for last.”
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