Breath of Innocence - Book cover

Breath of Innocence

Ophelia Bell

Age Rating


Camille never believed she could capture the attention of the object of her desire, the gorgeous, irreverent geologist, Eben. Now she is over the moon with happiness at being adored not only by him, but the Dragon Guardian, Roka, who she awakened during the Ritual with her virgin blood.

But when a black dragon, a Shadow named Rafe, shows up unannounced and in dire need of help, their perfect trio is forced to split. Without the Guardian’s balancing influence, Camille and Eben find themselves at odds over their new mission: rejoining Erika to help locate the lost fragment of the Verdanith, the magical artifact that will enhance dragon fertility and allow Camille to conceive Roka’s child.

There are secrets being kept even among their close-knit group, and the only dragon Camille trusts to be honest with her is thousands of miles away on a separate secret mission. Even Eben’s uncharacteristic silence worries Camille, but she can’t seem to get through to him.

Will she and Eben be able to overcome their differences and find their way back to the love they first shared? Will their idyllic trio be reunited after Roka completes his mission?

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Chapter 1

A shift in balance of the large yacht woke Camille from a sound sleep, which was unusual. She usually slept like a baby when they were out on the open water of the South Pacific.

There it was again, the subtle rock of the boat, like a swell had hit it. The weather report had promised calm seas for the next week.

The calm of night and the warmth of two bodies had lulled Camille to sleep hours earlier. The large cabin of the yacht with its massive bed was illuminated only by the thin wash of moonlight that found its way through the narrow portholes and the still faint glow of her dragon mark.

Roka’s steady breathing halted abruptly and he tensed beside her for only a split second before he shot out of bed as quiet and quick as a breath.

Camille sat up. “What is it?”

The deck above their heads shuddered as though something immense had fallen on it.

“Stay here,” Roka said. The gleam of his white hair receded quickly down the corridor, the rest of his muscular bulk cast in shadow. He disappeared up the hatch to the upper deck.

Camille nudged the sleeping Eben and saw that he was already awake, his eyes wide. “What the fuck is out there?” he whispered. Soon, he was out of bed, though moving more slowly than their dragon lover.

“Stay here,” he said to Camille.

“The hell I’m staying here alone, you ass.” She followed him, ignoring the exasperated look he cast back at her before heading up the steps.

They found Roka on the helipad, kneeling over something. Whatever it was, it wasn’t moving.

“How the hell did he get here?” Eben said.

Camille cautiously moved closer, and could make out the pale form of a large, naked man, prone on the deck. His eyelids fluttered and he groaned.

“Sweet Mother. Where did you fly from? What happened to you? Rafe?” Roka shook the man’s body. The slight jostling caused a sickly glow to emanate from the man and he convulsed, his skin erupting briefly into shining, jewel-like black scales before receding again to human-looking skin.

“Magic … almost… dry. Can’t keep… body…”

Camille barely made out the words, but she inferred enough to guess what was wrong. “He needs energy, doesn’t he? Who is he?”

“No time,” Roka said. “It will be quicker for you, my love. He needs human Nirvana.”

That detail was clear to her from the convulsions, but it took her a second to register Roka’s suggestion. She was simultaneously shocked and aroused, particularly when she glanced at Eben and saw his intrigued smile.

“You want me to just… right now?” She kept her eyes on Eben’s face, watched him raise one eyebrow in slight challenge as if to say, ~If you don’t, I will.~

The man convulsed again and his body contorted.

“You could wait until he loses the last of his magic and is forced back into his true form. He’s about my size.”

Camille wasn’t oblivious to the facetious tone that bled through Roka’s obvious concern. She nodded, her heartbeat speeding up with anticipation. She’d be damned if she’d give Eben the satisfaction of one-upping her. “All right. Just… hold him down and, well, you know what to do.”

She moved to straddle the spasming shape while Roka grabbed the man’s arms from above and pinned his hands over his head. Eben took his place behind her at his feet.

“What’s his name?” Camille asked, looking into Roka’s silvery eyes.

“Rafe,” he answered. “He is Kol’s Second.”

“Kol’s stupid second, if you ask me,” she muttered. She placed her hands against his chest and peered into his contorted face. Dark, pleading eyes opened to stare back at her.

“Please…” he whispered.

“It’s alright, Rafe. I’m going to take care of you.”

She rested her bare hips atop his, her backside just barely brushing his flaccid cock. She rose up and shifted a little lower so that her bare, sensitive lips pressed lightly against his hardening length. She was acutely conscious of the silken heat of his skin between her thighs and his quickened breathing. Barely half erect, Rafe’s thick shaft was easily as large as Roka’s, the shadow of which twitched as her pale dragon lover watched her prepare to fuck this near perfect stranger.

With both hands, she clutched her breasts, pinching her nipples until they stood up in hard peaks. Little zings of pleasure shot between her legs, wet warmth spreading. She shifted her hips just enough to give Rafe a taste of slick friction. His eyelids fluttered and his hips tilted up in response.

Bracing her hands on the deck beside his head, she lowered herself to his chest, whispering her lips across his mouth and rubbing her breasts against his torso. She slid up, until both her soft orbs caressed the sides of neck and jaw. She twisted to let one nipple brush over his lips, and then the other way, aiming the other breast across his jaw toward his mouth. The soft contact sent electric pleasure through her body.

A long, forked tongue lashed out at her, startling her when it wrapped around her nipple and pulled the hardened flesh into his mouth. His hips bucked up harder. She moaned at both the smack of hot, thick flesh between her thighs and the tingling pull of his mouth against her nipple.

He sucked hard, as though he thought he could pull her climax straight through her nipple in some hungry infantile fashion. If only it were that easy, she thought, but the sensation reignited the longing that had visited her frequently over the past several months.

She was dimly aware of Eben’s chuckle from behind her.

“He’s ready. And so are you, from the looks of it,” he said.

Rafe’s body shifted, tightened in a struggle to get free of the two men holding him down, but they held tight.

Camille knew from the heavy throb between her thighs that they were both indeed ready, but Rafe seemed disinclined to release her from his mouth. She pulled away forcefully and he craned his neck to follow as she shifted back down.

With one hand, she groped between her thighs and found him, long and thick and as hard as polished stone.

She sighed when she sank down on his shaft, holding Roka’s gaze the entire time. He seemed to be able to read the pleasure as if it were plain on her face. It may have been, but every time she’d had another dragon deep inside her like this, it was as though they revisited their first time together.

This poor, exceedingly reckless dragon between her legs needed her now, however. If the situation had been different, she would have given a piece of her Nirvana to Roka, too. Unfortunately, Rafe was so far gone, once probably wouldn’t be nearly enough.

Rafe jacked his hips up against her and let out a guttural roar. He pistoned into her slick depths hard enough to make her teeth knock together and she braced herself against his chest, clutching at him for stability.

Roka held his arms from the top, but Eben apparently had other ideas.

She couldn’t see behind her, but felt Eben’s solid, warm body slip up against her back, his hands circling around to cup her breasts. He nuzzled against her ear. “Let’s give him a double dose.”

The familiar feel of his talented fingers between her thighs made her moan in pleasure. He found the throbbing bundle of nerves and teased it in tiny circles. His other hand groped between them, repeatedly slicking bits of her juices between her ass cheeks. He tested once, slid a fingertip two knuckles deep, then urged her to lean over further.

She did, bracing her hands on the deck again, struggling to stay alert in spite of the return of Rafe’s mouth hungrily sucking at her breasts and Eben’s gentle prodding at her ass. The urgency of the moment infused Camille with an energy she hadn’t felt before, and an urgent desire to provide Rafe with the much needed infusion of Nirvana.

In spite of the care he took in getting her ready, Eben’s first thrust beyond her tight barrier made her cry out from the sudden painful stretch. The sensation subsided quickly into a familiar pleasurable feeling of being too full. She attempted to move her hips, but Eben held them tightly in both hands while he fucked her. He’d released Rafe’s legs so the man was now free to thrust up into her from beneath, each push of his thick length into her coinciding with a ripple of dark scales appearing in place of his fairer skin.

She was nearly out of her mind with the pleasure when the hot, pungent scent of Roka inundated her from the front. It only took a brush of the velvet tip of his cock against her lips, the salty-sweet flavor of him slick against her flesh, for her tongue to dart out instinctively to taste. She opened her mouth, welcoming the length of him as he slid deep until she tensed and nearly gagged. He gently gripped her head and she opened her eyes, trying to get her bearings. He was right where he’d been, just behind Rafe’s head, but had released his arms. So that’s whose hands were needfully groping her breasts now while Roka fucked her mouth.

Her orgasm crashed through her like an avalanche of pure, unadulterated pleasure. The white blaze of her mark illuminated all four of them, pulsing with the waves of power that traveled from her and into the body of Rafe beneath her. There was an odd sensation of resistance from Roka. He wanted it, but refused to take it, letting his friend have all her Nirvana instead. She would happily take his, however.

She sucked and licked, the shaking remnants of her orgasm making her desperate for the cleansing wash of Roka’s energy. His thrusts between her lips changed tempo and the telltale growl began deep in his chest. His fingertips dug a little deeper into the back of her neck, holding her head so he could control the depth of his cock. She closed her eyes, relaxed her throat, and pushed back against Eben, the only real motion she could control.

The twin shafts piercing her body’s other end hadn’t stopped moving. Eben’s hands gripped her hips like a vise as he yelled out and plunged in deep, holding her tight against him while he shot hot pulses deep into her ass. He didn’t move when he was finished, but instead reached around between her thighs and began toying with her clit again, urging her to another climax.

Roka bellowed at the sky as his thick, hot spunk shot down her throat. He pulled away from her slowly, leaving his hands gently cupping her head, thumbs caressing her cheeks. He grazed one thumb across her cum-slick mouth, the light caress teasing the magic-infused fluid along her lips, the energy it contained even more potent than his breath.

She lurched from the slam of Rafe’s cock into her pussy and his body arched beneath her. The rough friction made her cry out, from pleasure, not pain. Roka chose that moment to lean down and capture her mouth with his, teasing his tongue gently against hers in odd contrast to the utter possession she’d felt with his cock in her mouth a moment earlier. Her second climax washed over her with a gust of Roka’s breath, sinking through her from her head to the tips of her toes. The shimmer of it cascaded into Rafe and he went limp, panting and lolling his head to one side.

Eben slipped out of her after leaving a soft kiss on her shoulder and collapsed in an exhausted heap to one side. Roka knelt placidly above Rafe’s head, looking down at the man.

Camille sank flush against Rafe’s chest, too spent to move even enough to extract his still erect cock from inside her. It was a comforting sensation, at least, even if it didn’t belong to one of the men she loved.

The sheer size of him became apparent once her grasp of reality returned. Still joined at the hips, her head rested comfortable on his chest, the steady thud of his heartbeat loud in her ear. It was so much like making love to Roka, she almost forgot he was a stranger. The feeling persisted when he wrapped both solid arms around her, let out a deep, satisfied sigh, and kissed the top of her head.

“Not quite the welcome I was expecting,” he murmured. “But thank you.”

The sound of Roka’s laugh from somewhere too far to be this new lover’s voice reminded her of the truth. Camille sat up abruptly, gasping at the fresh pressure of the hard cock inside her. She met Rafe’s sated gaze, taking in the slightly amused smile, uncertain whether she should be offended or not.

“You’re welcome…ah…” She glanced down between them uncertainly. He was still very ready, and the truth was she probably had a few more rounds in her, too. But the fact remained, he was a stranger and she was not mated to him.

He shook his head and reached out to grip her hips and lift her off. “As much as I would love another dose, as your lovely man said, I have more important things to discuss.”

Roka’s voice cut through the dark again. “Such as why you’re showing up on our boat in the middle of the night with no warning, nearly capsizing us in the process?”

Camille moved to Roka’s side and settled against his large, naked warmth. It was a chilly night, though unseasonably warm for mid-July in the southern hemisphere, but she’d been less sensitive to extreme temperatures since becoming a dragon’s mate. Still, the heat of Roka’s body was a comfort.

Rafe sat up and looked around. He grunted in amusement. “It would take a dragon the size of Kol to capsize this monster. Clever idea, though, a boat. It must make it easier to fly when you want, being so remote. It took me nearly three weeks to find you out here.”

Roka’s torso tensed against her and his hand squeezed her thigh involuntarily. “Please tell me you haven’t been flying non-stop for three weeks. Though I guess that would explain why you were so unstable when shifting. Most dragons know better than to go that long without replenishing their energy. How long has it been for you, my friend?”

“Nearly a month,” Rafe said. His expression grew shadowed. “That’s why I’m here. The last woman I was with is missing.” He seemed to hesitate, the next words caught halfway past his lips. “She’s a dragon, and a purebred who never knew her true nature until I found her. She ran before I had the chance to teach her everything she needs to know. I need your help finding her.” The repressed anguish in his words made Camille’s heart clench in sympathy. Rafe was very clearly in love with this woman. The thought of ever losing either Roka or Eben terrified Camille, but she had no reason to fear that happening. At least she hoped not.

“But surely the Verdanith can help…” Roka began.

Rafe cut him off. “Even if I were allowed to use it first, I can’t risk the time it will take, nor risk the Council finding her first once it’s assembled. No doubt you know by now that there’s a piece missing. It will take time to locate. I’ve already wasted enough time coming here, but Kol won’t allow me to do this alone. And with our combined powers, we should be able to track her more quickly than they can find the lost fragment of the Verdanith. I absolutely have to find her before the Council has a chance to discover she exists, and once the Verdanith is assembled it won’t be long before they know.”

“She is Unbound,” Roka said in a hushed tone.

Rafe didn’t answer, but the worried look in his eyes told Camille that Roka was right. She suddenly wished there were more she could do to comfort the man, but she wasn’t the woman he loved. The fact that he’d gone so long without seeking out a human simply for the sake of replenishment spoke volumes about his feelings for this woman.

“Stay here and rest until you’re ready to leave,” she said. “I think our bed is big enough for one more, if you need to top off.”

Rafe gave her a perplexed look, then his eyes widened slightly when he caught on. She was sure he must have blushed but couldn’t see it in the shadows.

“This isn’t something I normally do,” he said apologetically. “Before I met her, I might spend one night with a woman every few days and that was enough to keep me going. I’m not used to storing up more energy than I need to last until the next tryst. But I haven’t had the stomach for them since I met her. The hunt has become too tedious. You are too generous to offer.”

“She is,” Eben said, giving her a look that made her skin prickle in irritation. He always seemed to get a little bent out of shape if she initiated with anyone other than him.

“You were on the verge of offering, too,” she said to Eben, her voice honey-smooth. “You’ve been sizing him up, wondering what it might feel like sandwiched between a Shadow and a Guardian. I love you because we have so much in common, you know. At least I don’t mind sharing.”

With an exasperated shake of his head, Roka stood and beckoned to Rafe to follow him. “Sometimes being mated can be just as tedious, brother,” he said. He chuckled at the rude gestures Camille and Eben both directed at him.

Eben stood, gave Camille a resigned look, and followed the two dragons.

Camille watched the trio of perfectly toned, naked bodies saunter across the deck and disappear down the ladder to the lower deck. She marveled at the contrast between the two men she spent virtually all her time with. Eben was definitely the jealous type, but it was as though he were only selectively so. As long as it was Roka’s idea, he was on board, but they hadn’t actually shared her with another since the ritual six months earlier.

In spite of maintaining a kind of status quo among their trio, Eben had become oddly distant lately. When the three made love, he tended to become withdrawn for a brief span afterward, seeking out solitude and leaving her alone with Roka to wonder whether they had done something wrong. Earlier that night was the first in several that she’d awoken to both warm, male bodies in her bed, but they had also fallen asleep without making love. It was a rare occurrence, but it happened, particularly if she fell asleep early. She had learned later from Eben that Roka had forbidden him to wake her, “Because that kind of peace is too lovely to disrupt.”

She understood the sentiment, having woken on many occasions to see the two of them, serene in their slumber. Serene was a bit of an overstatement, however. Eben talked in his sleep, and Roka had a habit of embracing her in the middle of the night and nuzzling her neck until she was mad with need. He swore every morning that he didn’t remember doing it.

Camille had no compunction against waking either of them for sex, at least, and had yet to hear a complaint. She had been doing it more often lately. A series of vivid dreams had begun to visit her nightly for the last couple months, ever since Roka had broached the topic of starting a family. Dreams of a baby suckling at her breast, a tiny, beautiful bundle in her arms with golden hair like Eben’s and silver eyes like Roka’s. She would wake from them so overwhelmed with need she was sometimes blind to which one she turned to first.

Eben had been noncommittal about the family idea initially, but the last time she’d awoken him in the dark of night he had responded to her with an urgency that matched her own. Afterward he had held her in a desperate embrace, refusing to let her go even after her soft protests.

When the chilly ocean air finally began to affect her enough to give her goose bumps, she stood and descended into the warmer confines of the lower deck. Eben could be remote when it came to his feelings, particularly where she was concerned, so she was at a loss as to how she should get him to open up. Roka, on the other hand, was open and honest to a fault, and didn’t seem to grasp Eben’s reticence. She would have to figure out some way to get through to Eben and find out what it was that bothered him. Perhaps when they docked in Sydney, the three of them could have a night out before Roka was back at work managing the Australian branch of Kol’s security firm.

The lowest ranking of the Court dragons, Roka had been granted the least desirable territory, but relished it even as spread out as it was. Camille loved the scenery herself, and loved being able to travel at a moment’s notice between New Zealand, Australia, and Africa. They’d chosen the yacht for precisely the reason Rafe had suggested. Not only was sailing preferable to being trapped on an airplane to travel between the cities within Roka’s territory, it allowed him the opportunity to fly when he liked without the worry of being seen. Their travels the past six months tended to take them across the Indian Ocean frequently, with stops in port to refuel and restock, as well as check in with Kol’s bonded staff.

She had hoped this lull in their travels would give both men a chance to unwind and relax. It had worked for Roka, but Eben had just grown quieter with each day. Now she wondered if it might not be better for the two of them to have some time alone.

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