Prince Magnus and the Carpenter
Royal Mates, Love's Diamond ~ Book 2
Prince Magnus and the Carpenter
Prince Magnus Sorenson is a warrior who is used to the isolated life of a soldier. He is responsible for the safety of his royal family and their subjects and is haunted by his failure to protect his parents. Magnus never expected to find his aheri—his beloved mate. He didn’t deserve him.
Archer Stockton is a humble carpenter who plays baseball with his buddies on the weekends. Archie is a gentle giant with a pure heart who had been beaten by his father for being gay, causing him to have to learn to talk, read, and walk again. He knew he wasn’t much of a catch. Mag deserved better.
Magnus knows Archer is perfect for him. Archer brings love and gentleness into his life. Miraculously, Archer can see through the glamour of Mag’s world. He also sees the beauty of their future and the babies they will have together. Magnus is a soldier who is afraid. Afraid to hope.
Note: It is suggested that the previous title in the Royal Mates, Love’s Diamond series be read first for continuity.
Magnus took a deep breath and took in the delicious scent of his mate. The smell of the food in the restaurant couldn’t mask how good Archer smelled. The way Archer sat beside him, close enough that their thighs touched, made Magnus crave the contact with the man he knew would soothe his pain if he allowed it. But Magnus could not allow Archer to get close to him. Not only would it be dangerous, it would be unfair to Archer to saddle him with a mate who had lost all honor.
Archer leaned against the back of the chair he was sitting on, trapping Mag’s arm along the top of it. He turned to face Mag and smiled, reaching out to take Mag’s hand as it rested against the man’s muscular thigh.
Magnus looked around the back room of the restaurant and saw that all of his brothers, except for Daxton, were in attendance and were sitting next to the men he assumed would be their mates. He was happy for them. They all deserved to find the man who would give them a loving future. Looking at his oldest brother Merek, he listened intently as Merek warned them about the Legari warriors who were hunting them down with the intention of killing off the members of the Royal Bloodline and their aheris. A chill of fear went through Magnus at the thought of Archer being in danger. Picturing this man injured or killed made it difficult for him to breathe. He reached up and covered his chest with his hand as an ache settled deep within him.
“Are you okay, Mag?” Archie asked quietly.
Magnus turned to face his mate and smiled sadly. “I am well, Archer. Thank you for your concern,” he told him, trying to pull away so that their bodies wouldn’t touch. He didn’t have much control left. If he continued to lean into the warmth of his mate’s body, he knew he would do something foolish like grab him and claim him right then and there. That he could not do.
Archie reached up and framed Mag’s face with his hands, rubbing the pads of his thumbs across the handsome man’s cheekbones.
“Don’t be sad, Mag,” Archie told him softly, petting his face as he leaned in and kissed his cheek lightly.
Magnus turned to face the man who was meant to be his and smiled. “You are very kind, Archer,” Magnus whispered, leaning forward to touch his forehead to the man who gave him such gentleness so freely.
“You’re not mad that I kissed you?” Archie asked him worriedly.
“No, baby. I’m not mad,” Magnus answered quietly.
“I’m not a baby,” Archie told him immediately, pulling back as anger filled him. “I’m a man.”
Magnus looked at Archer, stunned. He saw the blazing fury in Archer’s hazel eyes and knew that his intended was indeed strong of character and had the heart of a soldier.
“I am well aware that you are a man, baby,” Magnus told him quietly, reaching out and grabbing Archer by the back of his neck and pulling him closer to place a gentle kiss on his lips.
What have I done? How could I have been so cruel?
Magnus couldn’t believe that he had just violated his promise to himself to remain distant from his man. Now he had just set into place a future of misery for his aheri. There was no possibility that he could claim Archer as his.
Archer did not deserve what he had just done to him. Even though Magnus had no intention of toying with him or hurting him, he had done just that. Archer would be hurt and confused because of his moment of weakness in wanting to be close to his aheri.
Archie leaned back and touched his fingertips to his lips. No one had ever kissed him like that. Oh, he had been kissed. He had even had sex, but no one had ever kissed him with such tenderness. He felt as if Mag really put his heart into that kiss.
Joy filled him. Maybe Mag had changed his mind. Maybe he wanted to be with him after all. The happiness that coursed through him at the thought of having Mag as his boyfriend made something in his chest flutter with excitement. Maybe there was an actual chance that they could love each other and have a life together.
Archie took a calming breath and counted to three. Vance had taught him that trick so he could gather his thoughts whenever he was confused, excited, or afraid. Right now, he was all three of those things.
“I guess I don’t mind if you call me that,” Archie finally told him after a moment. “Does that mean you want to be with me?”
“More than you will ever know, baby,” Magnus answered softly. “But I know that you should not be with me.”
He turned in his chair and looked away from the gentle man. It was too painful to see the beauty and kindness of the sweet man and acknowledge that he could not allow the bonding to grow between them any more than it already had.
Panic pounded through Magnus. He was a soldier. He was the general in charge of the Royal Guards. He should not be feeling panic. He should not be feeling fear. He took a calming breath and focused himself. He could get through this. He had to get through this. He had to get through this without breaking his aheri’s heart.
Archie reached out and took Mag’s hand in his, tugging at it until Mag looked at him once again. “You shouldn’t lie, Mag. It’s bad to lie. You’re a good man, and you know you shouldn’t lie.”
Magnus looked at the incredible man before him. A small smile started to form as he felt the goodness of his intended. Before he could say another word, Archer pulled his hand toward his mouth and kissed the inside of his left wrist where Archer’s name graced his skin. He was stunned. He didn’t know how, but it seemed that Archer was able to see the mating mark.
“Why did you do that, baby?” he whispered.
“Because I like that my name is on you,” Archie answered in a whisper. “It means that you belong to me. Do you see your name on me, Mag? Do I belong to you?"
Copyright © 2013 ~ Lyssa Samuels
All Rights Reserved.