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When Delan stumbled into the Temple, he wasn’t expecting to be welcomed as a Temple servant. He wasn’t expecting his only duty to be to serve Lyander, cloistered son of the High Priestess. He wasn’t expecting to fall in love.


And he wasn’t expecting that he was going to have to choose: love, or saving the world.


Chains of Light

Elizabeth A. Schechter


ForbiddenFiction
www.forbiddenfiction.com

an imprint of

Fantastic Fiction Publishing
www.fantasticfictionpub.com

Copyright 2018 Elizabeth A. Schechter
Smashwords Edition



CHAINS OF LIGHT

A ForbiddenFiction book

Fantastic Fiction Publishing Hayward, California

© Elizabeth A. Schechter, 2018

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission from the publisher, except as allowed by fair use. For more information, contact publisher@forbiddenfiction.com.

CREDITS
Editor: Lon Sarver
Cover Design: Siolnatine
Cover Photo: Adapted from photos by Tveritinova Yulia & alexkich at Shutterstock.
Production Editor: Kaye O’Malley
Proofreading: Evron Malaika Teig

Originally published in April, 2013 by Pagan Writer's Press

SKU: ES1-1.000310-01 SW
ISBN: 978-1-62234-344-7

Published in the United States of America


DISCLAIMER

This book is a work of fiction which contains explicit erotic content; it is intended for mature readers. Do not read this if it’s not legal for you.

All the characters, locations and events herein are fictional. While elements of existing locations or historical characters or events may be used fictitiously, any resemblance to actual people, places or events is coincidental.

This story is not intended to be used as an instruction manual. It may contain descriptions of erotic acts that are immoral, illegal, or unsafe. Do not take the events in this story as proof of the plausibility or safety of any particular practice.

Such content should not be read as a depiction of the desires, opinions, or fetishes of the author or the staff of ForbiddenFiction.com.

Contents

Disclaimer

1. In the Thraya

2. Outside the Doors

3. The Heart of the Temple

4. The Man who Fights

5. On the Offensive

6. Freed

7. To Serve the Sorcerer


About the Author

About the Publisher

Chapter 1:
In the Thraya


The late afternoon sun slanted through the high windows of the silent Thraya, setting motes of dust aglow like tiny stars as they floated through the air and settled on the silken and velvet cushions and draperies. The single occupant of the enormous room ignored the finery around him. He shook his dark hair back off his shoulders, focusing on the book settled on his folded legs. He read in silence, the quiet broken only by an occasional, faintly musical jingle. The source of the sound was the reader himself, as he shifted to turn pages, moving one hand forward and tucking the other behind his back with the ease of long practice. His movements made the jeweled chains that bound his wrists sparkle in the sunlight, casting blood-red shadows across the pages as he returned his palms to his thighs, fingertips just resting on the edges of the large tome.

From somewhere overhead, a deep gong sounded. The reader looked up, his expression one of mild surprise. He took hold of the volume in both hands as he unfolded his legs and stood, his long silken loincloth fluttering down around his knees as he moved. He set the book down and turned away from the couch in time to see the heavy doors swing open, revealing an armored woman and a man carrying a tray.

“Lyander, I’m sorry I’m so late,” the man called as the guard pulled the door closed behind him. He moved toward a table, revealing a pronounced limp as he walked. He set the tray down on the table and started setting up the meal. Lyander watched him. He’d had other attendants before Delan, and while he knew he didn’t know enough to compare, he did so anyway. He didn’t have Trivir’s simplicity, or Aniki’s startling contrasts of pale hair and dark eyes. He certainly didn’t have Jyase’s startling dark beauty. Compared to them, Delan was a sparrow, or a wren – plain, solid, and brown in both hair and eyes. And, in Lyander’s eyes, he was perfect. “I hope you’re not too hungry?”

“Starved,” Lyander answered, smiling and coming over to the table. “I was starting to think I’d mislaid my days again and it was a fast ” He glanced over his shoulder, toward the door that led out to his walled garden. “Delan, what is happening out there? I could hear shouting from the garden when I went out to feed the birds, but I couldn’t hear anything clearly and I don’t like to stay out there for very long.”

“Ah, never you mind it, Holiness.” Delan turned and leaned against the table. “It’s nothing. Some upstart warlady, the Holy Mother says.”

“A warlady marching against the Temple?” Lyander gasped. “Is she insane? Eldest Sister will take her apart!”

“So the Holy Mother says. So the Warrior grants. Eat now, while it’s still hot. Then perhaps we’ll see to other things...” Delan smiled, reaching out to brush his fingers over Lyander’s cheek. “There’s time before the sunset meditations.”

Lyander shivered at the light in Delan’s eyes, and sat down at the table, letting Delan uncover bowls and set them down. Then he tucked his left hand into the small of his back, pressed up against the metal loop on the belt locked around his waist that held fast the chain connecting his wrists. That allowed him enough movement in his right hand to eat, and he set to with enthusiasm, only to stop after a moment to look up at the young man watching him.

“Sit down, Delan. Share with me.”

In the months since Delan had first come to the Temple and been appointed to serve in the Thraya, Lyander had made the offer at every meal. His previous attendant had always accepted; Delan, for some reason always refused. “I’m honored, Holiness, but the Holy Mother would have my hide if she knew.”

“She wouldn’t, Delan,” Lyander said. He shook his head and started eating again. “She sends you to share my bed, why shouldn’t you share my meals?”

“That’s different,” Delan said, turning away and limping across the room, the uneven sounds of his steps echoing from the high ceilings. “I don’t understand how you can live like this.”

“Like what?” Lyander asked. “In the Thraya? This is how sons of the Warrior Goddess have always lived. Didn’t you know that?”

“No. So far as the people outside the temple know, there aren’t any men in here. Shocked me silly the day I met you. I just ─ you’re alone! And they keep you chained like a beast! Even outside the Temple, the men don’t live like this. How can you stand it?” Delan turned back, his arms spread wide. “There’s enough room here for... what? Two dozen men and boys? More? And yet─”

Lyander looked around trying to remember when there had been someone else here besides him. When last there had been another male in the Thraya. After a moment, he shook his head and admitted defeat. “There used to be that many, but it was a long time ago. Or so I’ve been told. When the Warrior Goddess’ Temple was first among all and the Warrior’s bloodline was stronger. Then? Well, you know the history. I don’t have to tell you about the holy wars. Now, I’m a Temple-born male, the last male of the Warrior’s bloodline unless Eldest Sister decides to take a consort and somehow bears a son. I don’t know if Brina will do either. She’s near to being too old to carry a child safely. I’ve heard this year at the spring rites, I’ll stand at my Mother’s side─”

“And be nothing more than a stud set among the mares. I’ve heard that, too.” Delan shook his head and repeated, “How can you stand it?”

“I could ask the same of you, Delan.” Lyander laid down his spoon and rested his hand on the table. “I have my books. I study the ancient lore and the mysteries. I have the birds who live in my garden. I have the Temple sisters at meditations, and Eldest Sister and the Holy Mother.” He looked up at Delan and smiled, adding, “And I have you. What else do I need?”

“What about your freedom?” Delan asked. “I have more freedom than you do, and I’m just a servant to the Temple. You’re the Holy Mother’s own son!”

Lyander blinked in surprise. “I was dedicated to the Temple the day I was born. I’m to be the Warrior’s Consort. I’ll sit at her right hand─” He stopped and wondered if he’d said too much, then shook his head. “That’s been my destiny, always.” He sighed and looked at the half finished meal. “Delan, come and eat with me. They always send more than I can finish and Jyase always ate with me. I miss the company.”

Delan hesitated for a moment, then came closer. “I’ll sit─”

“Delan!”

“All right. I’ll eat something.” Delan sat down across from Lyander and picked up a piece of bread. “What else did he do? Jyase, you said his name was?”

“Yes. You haven’t met him?”

Delan shook his head, spraying crumbs across the table. “No. They told me when I came looking for a place that your last attendant left the Temple before the first harvest started. Went to the army, from what gossip I heard.”

Lyander went silent for a moment, stunned. Then he murmured, “They never told me. All I knew was he stopped coming. One of the Sisters brought my food, for a long while. Then you came. I didn’t know he had left the temple. I thought he might have tired of me.”

“Ah...shit,” Delan whispered, his face suddenly pale. “Lyander, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

Lyander nodded, his eyes never leaving his hand. “Thank you. You should eat while the food is hot.”

Lyander heard movement across the table, then felt pressure under his chin as Delan reached across and cupped Lyander’s chin with his hand. Lyander looked up to see Delan, studying him with an unusual-for-him seriousness in his eyes. “I’m not leaving you,” Delan said firmly. “I’m sorry he hurt you. You cared about him, I can see that. He obviously didn’t deserve it. And you should eat, too.”

“Oh.” Lyander studied his bowl and pushed the bits of potato and carrots around. “Do you mean that?”

“That I’m not leaving?” Delan asked. “Yes, I mean that. I like it here. And I like you. I’m not going anywhere. Now eat and stop chasing it around.”

Obediently, Lyander took another bite of stew, then laid his spoon down and took a piece of bread when Delan offered it to him. As he ate, he watched Delan who was eating heartily.

“Tell me about yourself?” Lyander asked. “Before you came to the Temple, what were you?”

“Dirt poor and starving,” Delan answered immediately. “I don’t imagine you know about the famines?”

“No!” Lyander answered in surprise. “Famines? Really? Is that why we have fast days so often? Tell me, is it very bad?”

“Yes.” Delan nodded, staring past Lyander at something only he could see. “You plant your crops, they either don’t come up at all or die before they’re anywhere near harvest. I can’t remember the last time it really rained during the growing seasons. And the winters come sooner, and they get harder every year. You set your animals to pasture, maybe half of them come back at sunset. Predators come on two legs and four, and there are babies dying, too weak even to cry. The Temples do what they can when they aren’t fighting each other. But there are a lot of us in need and not enough help to go around. The Priestesses of the Light, they’re more interested in their tithes than in helping the people, and there aren’t many Temples of the Warrior anymore. I was lucky to find this one when I needed help.” Delan shook his head. “Yes, it’s bad and getting worse. There are warbands roaming wild, raiding the farms and villages for whatever they can find. Food. Money. Conscripts.” He stopped and frowned.

“Delan?”

“Nothing,” Delan said quickly, waving one hand dismissively. “Don’t mind me, I get maudlin. What did you mean before? How I can bear it? Bear what?”

Lyander cocked his head as he thought, then remembered what he’d said. “Oh, yes. How can you stand living outside of walls, being out in the open?”

Delan coughed, surprised. “Are you serious?”

“Yes,” Lyander answered. “Being in my garden is all I can bear of being under the sky, and I don’t stay out there long even then. It’s so vast. It’s terrifying. You were a farmer?”

Delan laid down the crust of his bread and licked his lips before answering slowly. “Once, yes. Once, I was a farmer.”

“So how did you do it every day? Under all that emptiness?” Lyander shuddered and looked down at his slowly-congealing stew. He pushed the bowl away, bringing his left hand forward before dropping both hands into his lap. “I’ve lost my appetite.”

“It frightens you,” Delan said, sounding incredulous. “It really frightens you.”

Lyander nodded, rising and moving away from the table. His stomach churned at the thought of being trapped outside, unable to reach the shelter of the Temple, unable to hide from that enormous weight of nothing. He jerked in surprise as arms closed around him from behind, then relaxed at the sound of Delan’s gentle voice in his ear.

“It’s all right. I’ve got you, Lyander. You’re safe. You’re inside.” He repeated it over and over, and Lyander felt his terror fading away like incense tendrils in the air. He turned in the circle of Delan’s arms and rested his head on the other man’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured when he could finally speak again.

“Nothing to be sorry for,” Delan answered, his hand moving in slow, comforting circles on Lyander’s back. “I didn’t know. Now that I do know? Well, I won’t suggest taking any meals in the garden for a start!”

Lyander smiled and closed his eyes, resting his fingertips on Delan’s waist and breathing in the musky, incense-and-spice scent of his skin. He moaned softly as Delan’s hand dipped lower, skimming over Lyander’s hip. Lyander pressed closer and was unsurprised to feel the heat of Delan’s erection against his leg. Lyander raised his head to meet Delan’s eyes and his smile widened.

“Where?” he whispered, feeling his own cock starting to rise. After their second couching, Delan had expressed a desire to pleasure Lyander on every possible surface in the Thraya. Lyander had been skeptical at first. After all, Delan had been a farmer, not someone Lyander would have expected to have talents in the arts of lovemaking. But what Delan didn’t have in experience, he made up for with enthusiasm, and Lyander was starting to suspect the Temple sisters might have been coaching Delan when he was outside the Thraya. Delan’s next statement confirmed the suspicions.

“One of the sisters found out I can read, so she gave me some books. To learn more for you,” he murmured, leaning forward to kiss Lyander’s lips, then his cheek. He laughed and added, “I never knew ... didn’t know anyone ever wrote about this kind of thing. Now I can’t wait to try some of the things I’ve been reading about.”

The unveiled eagerness in Delan’s voice made Lyander laugh with him. He tipped his head back, offering Delan his throat. “What kind of things?” he asked, closing his eyes in pleasure as Delan’s teeth raked gently against his skin.

In answer, Delan chuckled and pushed both of Lyander’s arms back, grabbing his wrists in one hand while doing something with his other. When he was done, he released Lyander’s wrists and stepped back, grinning as Lyander discovered his hands were firmly pinioned at the small of his back.

He struggled for a moment, then looked at Delan.

“What did you do?” he asked, feeling his heart hammering against his ribs.

“Used a piece of wire to shorten your chains. I’ll undo it when we’re done.” He stepped close enough to cup Lyander’s cheek with one hand. “If you don’t like it, tell me.”

Lyander tugged against the chains, finding it somehow both disturbing and arousing to have no use of his hands at all. He met Delan’s deep, brown eyes, saw the question in them and answered by turning his head to kiss the warm palm resting against his cheek. As he turned, Delan pulled him closer, taking his face between his hands and kissing him deeply. Lyander closed his eyes and moaned, feeling as if he was about to burst into flames as Delan slowly started pushing him backward until his back was against the wall. With Delan pressed against him, there was nowhere for Lyander to go. Nothing he could do but struggle and whimper as Delan’s hands ran over his body, and his teeth and tongue explored Lyander’s jawline, throat, and shoulder.

“Do you like this?” Delan whispered, pulling away slightly.

Lyander gasped as the pressure on his chest abated and staggered forward a step, hearing Delan laugh as he caught Lyander in strong arms.

“I take it that means yes?” he asked, running his fingers through Lyander’s long hair.

Lyander nodded, his cheek brushing against the rough weave of Delan’s shirt. He felt Delan kiss the top of his head, then his hands caressed his shoulders before moving down Lyander’s back. He steered him until the backs of his legs hit the edge of the couch. He sat and watched as Delan stripped his shirt off over his head and dropped it to the ground, the lamplight silvering the scars that marked his chest and back. His trousers followed, revealing more of the marks about which Delan refused to answer any questions. Delan reached down and drew Lyander back to his feet, running his fingertips over the jeweled belt of the loincloth.

“Shall I take this off?” he asked.

“Yes, please,” Lyander whispered, pressing against Delan’s body. “I like being bare for you.”

“You realize you’re already mostly naked every time I see you,” Delan answered with a laugh, finding the catches and letting the silk panels fall to the floor. He ran his hands up and down Lyander’s sides, over his hips, finally letting them rest at Lyander’s waist. “It’s maddening.”

“Then I’ll be all naked for you whenever you see me,” Lyander offered. “I like when you look at me.”

“Just look?” Delan teased, stepping back and crossing his arms. “Is that all you want me to do?”

“Delan!”

“As if I could.” Delan stepped forward again, pushing Lyander down onto the couch and kissing him. He crouched over Lyander as his hands explored the familiar territories of Lyander’s skin. Lyander arched and squirmed under Delan, wanting more, gasping, and unable to find the words. The only word he could manage was his lover’s name.

“Delan,” he moaned. “Delan!” Then he found another word. “Please!”

“What do you want, my lovely one, my Lyander?” Delan whispered, his hands resting on Lyander’s shoulders and pushing him down. “What should I do to you?”

Pinned, completely unable to move, Lyander looked up at Delan and whimpered, “Anything. Everything. Please!”

Delan smiled. He leaned down and kissed Lyander gently, then stretched out next to him on the couch. “There’s the problem. I can’t think what to do with you first.” He ran one firm hand down Lyander’s chest. “I don’t have much time, so I suppose I’ll just have to fall back on my old favorites.” Delan kissed Lyander’s bare shoulder. “I forgot the oil.”

He got off the couch and limped over to a set of shelves, picking up a bottle as large as both his fists together. He carried it back to Lyander, looked down with a grin, and uncorked the bottle with a flourish, pouring scented oil over Lyander’s naked chest and belly.

“What are you doing?” Lyander asked.

“Anointing you. Worshiping you,” Delan answered, his voice thick with lust. He knelt over Lyander’s legs and started smoothing the oil over Lyander’s skin. “Loving you.”

Lyander closed his eyes as Delan continued the massage long sweeping strokes over his belly and chest, his shoulders and throat, then back down until Delan’s hand closed around Lyander’s cock. It was so very good as Delan toyed with him, one hand busy on Lyander’s shaft, the other playing with his nipples. All the while Lyander strained and struggled, gasping and moaning, knowing Delan was not going to let him spend. Not yet.

“Delan, please!” he stammered. “Please, now!”

“Are you ready, my Lyander?” Delan asked. “Are you ready for me?”

“Yes. Yes, please.”

“Good. Because I’m more than ready for you,” Delan said.

He stopped what he was doing and shifted, moving off of Lyander’s legs and helping him to roll onto his side. Delan kissed his hip, then moved away again, coming back with several cushions. When he was done, Lyander was laying over the pillows, his ass raised, his knees spread wide. He gasped at the cold trickle of more oil as it ran down his back, only to have it be warmed almost immediately by Delan’s hands.

Another massage up and down Lyander’s back and arms left him relaxed and whimpering in pleasure, a soft counterpoint to the jingling of chains as Delan’s hands brushed against them. Above him, Lyander heard Delan laugh, then his oil-slicked hands moved down over his ass, a massage that grew increasingly more intimate, until the hands fell away and were replaced by the warmth of Delan’s body.

“I can’t wait any more,” Delan groaned, and Lyander heard a wet, slicking sound that he realized was Delan preparing his own cock. Lyander tried to turn, tried to see Delan, but was blinded by his hair. “I’m ready to burst for want. Tell me you’re ready.”

“B-e-eeen... been ready.” Lyander gasped. “Please, Delan!”

Delan groaned and pressed hard against Lyander’s ass, his fingers digging into Lyander’s right hip. Lyander forced himself to try and relax as he felt something hot and slick probing against him, pressing too hard, too fast. He whimpered, and Delan stopped.

“Easy, love. Easy,” Delan whispered. He slowed, pulling back slightly, then moving in again more slowly. “Sorry. Too eager. Are you all right?”

“Yes. Yes, Delan.”

“Should I continue?”

“Yes, Delan!”

Delan laughed and pushed forward again, slowly filling Lyander until his hips rested against Lyander’s ass. He started pumping, thrusting again and again until Lyander was panting and moaning, his eyes closed tightly. He tugged hard on his wrists, wanting to move and touch, but helpless to do anything. Being bound was nothing new, but being completely at someone else’s pleasure, unable to even touch himself, was deliciously intoxicating. Lyander howled as he crested, hearing Delan’s deep, familiar rumbling gasps as he came a moment later. His movements slowed, then Delan went still, his hands warm on Lyander’s skin for a moment before he shifted, leaning over and kissing Lyander’s back. Then he withdrew and helped Lyander lay down flat on the couch before stretching out next to him and pulling Lyander into his arms.

Chapter 2:
Outside the Doors


“You’re magnificent,” Delan murmured, kissing Lyander’s mouth, then his forehead.

“You are, too.” Lyander sighed, happy and sated, curling against Delan’s warmth with his head resting on Delan’s shoulder. “I’m curious. You never shout,” he added, rubbing his cheek against Delan’s shoulder, feeling the scar there like ropes beneath the skin.

“Hmm?”

“Jyase, the others. They would shout when they came. Make some kind of noise. You don’t. Why?”

Delan yawned, his fingers tracing idle designs on Lyander’s back. His voice was sleepy when he answered, “Taught myself not to.”


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