Taming Of The Night
By ThaChillinDude
January 8, 2003

Copyright Notice - Copyright  ©January 2003 by the author, owning the e-mail account thachillindude@yahoo.com.
This story is copyrighted by the author and the author retains all rights.  This work may not be duplicated in whole or in part in any form, physical, electronic, audio, or otherwise, without the author’s expressed written consent.  All applicable copyright laws apply and will be enforced.

Legal Disclaimer(s):

This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or individuals, living or dead, is purely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author.  If you are offended by descriptions of gay sex between male teenagers, or if the law in your area forbids you to read this, leave this story now.  If not, welcome and please read on.  

Author's Notes:

A friendly explanation here: this story is a series.  It will last for several chapters and is not meant to be a quick jerk-off story.  This story is more about love, friendships, relationships, romance and the supernatural.  These first few chapters will set up and cover a lot of background.  

I really want to do a good job with this story and I really want you to enjoy it, so I really look forward to any feedback, thoughts, encouragement, corrections or suggestions.    Please send them to me at:  thachillindude@yahoo.com.   Also, this is the first story I’ve ever written, so any slack you cut me will be greatly appreciated!!!  I will answer all e-mails as quickly as I can.  

Be warned, all flames relegated to the porcelain facility.

Note To Readers: 

To everyone who wrote in with your comments, I really appreciate the time and effort you took!!!  I have answered all the emails I've received as of the posting of this story and will continue to do so.  PLEASE keep sending me your comments and suggestions so I know how I'm doing!!!  For those of you who haven't emailed me, PLEASE do so and for those who have, keep letting me know how I'm doing!   I'm really eager to hear your thoughts and get your feedback!!!!! 

Also, don't forget to drop by and chat with all of the members of #niftywriters chat room. -- tcd

Chapter 3:  Brothers

The next day, at noon, Jared gently shook Chuck awake.  Jared motioned for him to get dressed and come out into the den then left.  Chuck quickly and silently, so as not to wake the sleeping Dray, slipped out of the bed and got dressed.  When Chuck entered the den, he found Jared waiting patiently on the couch. 

"Sorry about that, I needed to wake you, but I didn't want to wake Dray. We need to get out to the farm.  Are you hungry?"  At Chuck's shy nod, Jared cheerfully said, "Good, I've got some breakfast for you upstairs in the kitchen. I can explain while you eat." 

"Thanks.  I don't want to put you through any trouble, though" said Chuck as he quickly followed the handsome boy upstairs. 

"No prob." responded Jared.

As Chuck started to eat, Jared began to explain what they were going to do.  "I know you've got a lot of questions and I can probably answer most of them in the car.  But for now, I can tell you that Craig and Dray are going to visit your parents today with our lawyers." 

Seeing Chuck's quick look of panic, Jared looked sympathetic and hastily continued, "Let me finish before you freak.  They're going to get your parents to legally turn custody of you over to a couple who're members of House Thorn.  You won't have any problems with your parents anymore and you don't have to worry about school.  You're going to be privately tutored." 

Jared grinned as he continued, "In other words, all that work it took to keep a 3.87 GPA wasn't for nothing." 

Seeing Chuck's look of relief, Jared reached over and shyly placed his hand on Chuck's shoulder, saying, "We're your family now. Believe me, there's nothing to worry about.  We'll take care of everything." 

Chuck felt a great sense of relief at this.  He had only met Jared briefly last night and if he were to be honest with himself, he still felt some resentment over what had occurred between Dray and Jared, but Jared's earnest, friendly manner made it hard for Chuck to be angry at the boy. 

Because Jared came across as open, friendly and honest, he was able to put Chuck at ease.  He also had a quality that made people instinctively trust him and want to like him as Chuck found himself doing. 

As if reading Chuck's mind, Jared said, "I wanted to apologize to you about last night.  That was instinct that Dray was acting on.  I love Dray like a brother and I certainly would never do anything to hurt Craig."  This last was said with a deep blush. 

"That's alright, you don't have anything to apologize for.  Besides, I really don't have any claim to Dray so I certainly don't have a right to get mad." 

Jared simply stared at Chuck with no expression. 

After awhile, Chuck shrugged with an embarrassed grin and said, "Well maybe I do want more of a claim than I have." 

Jared grinned back saying "I know what you mean.  I went through the same thing with Craig." 

At this, Chuck perked up and said, "Can I ask you some questions?" 

"Sure! But right now finish eating and we can talk in the car." 

After Chuck had finished eating, he and Jared headed out to the garage where a black Lincoln Navigator with darkly tinted windows sat next to the 350Z.  Jared unlocked the Navigator and both boys climbed in.  Jared backed the car out of the garage and made his way to Peachtree Street slowly maneuvering the Navigator through Friday rush-hour traffic toward the freeway.  Turning in his seat, Jared grinned at Chuck and said, "By the way, I know your names Chuck Mitchell. My names Jared Harris, we were never really introduced." 

"How do you guys know so much about me anyway?"  Chuck asked curiously as he shook the extended hand. 

"We've been watching you for about four years now and we've shared all we've learned with each other, Chuck.  One thing you've got to learn about Dray, Craig and Lee is that they don't have any secrets from each other.  Let me explain a little about the House so you can understand it a little better and why there can't be any secrets." 

"The Ducal household is composed of the Duke, his family and their relations.  Dray's only family is Craig, but because Craig is adopted and isn't in the line of succession, he can never inherit the Ducal title." 

"All Children and Familiars of the Duke are his relations but only his Children and their children are his family.  The actual members of the Ducal household are Craig, Lee and I.  Lee and I are Dray and Craig's Familiars. Craig is an Earl and Dray is his liege Lord." 

"You're a Ducal household member now because like us you'll reside with the Duke but more importantly as Dray's Familiar and someone that he's planning to sire, you're a presumptive member of the Ducal family." 

"Any member of the Ducal household and the Ducal family especially, can read the minds of the others if invited.  Dray, Craig and Lee are so close that they know they can't keep secrets from each other.  That's part of what makes the House so strong.  Also, remember, I'm only talking about our House so don't make assumptions about how the other seven Houses work.  They're quite different from ours." 

"What are the other houses like?"  Chuck curiously asked. 

"I guess the best way to explain is to list them in order of rank and power. The King's House is House Talon, then there's House Thorn and then House MalDraad.  Those are the three most powerful Houses, the Great Houses.  Then there's House Saphreen, House Nephaleer and House Belladon.  Those three Houses aren't as powerful as the Great Houses but they're still forces to be reckoned with. 

The last two Houses, House Shadoor and House Lycandreen are smaller than all Houses except House Thorn.   Those Houses are secretive.  Their members usually keep to themselves. To tell you the truth not much is known about them but even though they're generally held to be the two weakest houses, no one ever bothers a member of either House Shadoor or House Lycandreen. As for what they're like… you'll learn more about them in your training."

As an afterthought, Jared added, "Craig was a member of House MalDraad before he became the Earl of Thorn." 

"Why doesn't Dray have more children?"  Asked Chuck, thoughtfully. 

"Well… when a Dragon sires a Child part of his essence, the thing that makes him a Dragon, is used and given to the Child.  So the more Children the Dragon has the weaker the Sire becomes.  The same is true to make a Familiar but to a much lesser extent.

Adopting another Dragon into a House takes even less essence.  The adopted one already has a Dragon's essence and the adopting Dragon only has to imprint him, although he can give the adoptee additional powers if he chooses. 

Anyway, Dray is extremely careful about siring a Child so that he doesn't become weakened to the point where he is essentially a normal Dragon.  Craig is just as careful for that matter.  They have to be, any weakness would be quickly exploited by the enemies of the House." 

Craig maneuvered the SUV to a place in the line of cars waiting to get on the interstate and continued.  "Now, when Craig sires me, or if you sire a Child when you're a Dragon, that won't deplete Dray's essence but it will deplete you as the sire. I can tell you now, aside from you and I, Dray and Craig don't plan on siring any other Children.  As the firstborn and heir apparent, that makes you a Ducal prince or heir to the Duchy. It makes me, as Craig's firstborn, heir to Craig's Earldom.  Since we share the same blood as all others in the House it makes you and I brothers. 

Another thing to remember is that no Dragon can sire a child without their Duke's permission.  Sorry if I got sidetracked, I'm trying to cram in as many answers to each question as I can.  I remember what it was like when it was all new and I don't want you to go through the same things I did."  Jared added this last with an apologetic grin and concentrated on his driving while Chuck digested what he had just been told. 

After awhile and considerable thought, Chuck glanced at Jared, and asked, "Why is the House so important to everyone?"

Jared chose his words carefully as he answered, "Dray and Craig are odd in that Dragons are usually solitary and predatory by nature. Normally not even taking a single permanent mate.  The only thing that binds them is their instinctive need to be with and protect their clan or House.  That's what makes the House so important.  Dray and Craig are different because they've grown to love each other as kindred spirits and brothers.  This allows them to function as a team.  They know they have no secrets from each other and there's nothing that they wouldn't do for each other. 

That's why Dray is careful to only pick people with the same needs we all share to bring into the House.  I guess you could say that the quality Dray looks for is the need to love and be loved by others.  Without that quality it's easy to lose your humanity.  Anyway, that's why, even though we're the smallest House, we're also the most powerful.

House Thorn is second in power only to the King's House.  That's also one of the reasons we watched you for so long and learned everything about you. We needed to make sure you would fit in with the House." 

"Do you think I'll fit in?" asked Chuck.

Craig glanced over at Chuck with a serious expression on his face as he guided the big SUV down I-75.  "I know you will.  The question is do you think you'll fit in?"

Chuck, deep in thought, stared out the passenger window at the buildings along the down town connector as they crept along with the rest of the rush hour traffic.  "I feel as if I've been stolen from hell and brought to heaven. It’s as if I'm where I belong for the first time in my life. 

I also have really strong feelings for Dray even though I don't really know him and that brings me down to my biggest problem.  I don't know if all these feelings are a result of being turned into a Familiar, if I'm being made to feel this way or if it's what I really feel." 

"I understand, I think I can help sort out what you're thinking and feeling.  I know you don't know me very well right now, but I really want to help you and if you'll trust me, I'll do what I can."

Chuck was moved by Jared's appeal more than he cared to admit.  He liked Jared and something about this boy made Chuck instinctively trust him on a level he was not fully aware of.  Chuck was also desperately in need of friends, someone he could talk to but the rejections he had encountered all of his life made him wary. 

Chuck returned Jared's gaze and searched the handsome, earnest face for any signs of deception.  Finding none, Chuck decided to take a chance and quietly asked, "Why would you want to help me?  You don't even know me."

As the SUV sat stuck in traffic along with everyone else on the connector, Jared returned Chuck's look and without hesitation, answered simply, "We're brothers now.  Brothers help each other."

Unknowingly, Jared had answered Chuck in the one way that would make Chuck truly decide to trust him.  Chuck sighed as he decided to go with his instincts and take a chance that the friendship being offered was really what it appeared to be.  He smiled shyly at Jared and said, "I don't have any brothers, I don't know what brothers do but if you'll help me I'll try to be a good one." 

"Deal!" grinned Jared, thrusting his hand out for Chuck to high-five.  As Chuck slapped his hand, he knew he had made the right decision.  Jared, with evident pleasure showing on his face, said, "Tell me about yourself.  I already know most of it, like I said we don't keep secrets from each other, but I want to hear it from you." 

Chuck surprised Jared by going back as far as he could remember.  Chuck told his whole life story as truthfully as he could, omitting nothing.

He described his childhood up to the last night when he had tried to commit suicide.

He described the beatings and constant verbal abuse from his parents, which were so much apart of his life.

He described the constant reinforcement by them of how stupid and worthless he was. He described the isolation and loneliness he endured for all of his 16 years. 

He described how Luke, if only for a little while, had taken away the feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. 

Haltingly, he then went on to describe how even that was taken away from him and he was finally left with nothing worth living for. 

Jared understood the trust and faith that Chuck was placing in him by telling him the most intimate details of his life and he was deeply moved and felt greatly honored. 

Jared's face showed this as clearly as if he had said it.

Then Jared went on to tell Chuck of his own life. Starting with the poverty and abuse at home as well as the molestation by his father and uncles that he and his twin had suffered.

He described the ridicule and torment they both had suffered at school at the hands of bullies. 

He told how he and his brother had turned to each other for comfort and companionship, both sexually and mentally. 

He told how, at fourteen, they had run away to Atlanta and made their living as street hustlers. 

He described the degraded life they led as gay, street prostitutes; the rapes and beatings and bare existence they fought for on the streets; how, in the end, the life they lived on the streets was the best they could ever hope for. 

He then went on to tell, in a voice so low it was barely audible to Chuck, how his brother had gotten Aids and eventually died and how he himself was dying from the same disease until Craig had found him and brought him home. 

In a low voice, he told how Craig, Dray and Lee had nursed and cared for him and how Craig's blood had gradually and painfully killed the virus that infected his body.  "I was lucky, even Dragons blood doesn't usually provide a cure. Craig couldn't turn me like that, because if he had… if I hadn't been cured, I would have suffered for all eternity." 

In a compassionate whisper, knowing full well that if he had not decided to kill himself that last night he would have run away and probably ended up the same as Jared and his brother, Chuck asked, "You love him don't you?  Craig I mean." 

Without taking his eyes from the car creeping along in front of them, Jared said quietly, "I do.  But not because he saved my life and then gave me a better life than I would ever have known.  I love him because he's Craig.  I wouldn't let myself admit that for a long time. It hurt him and it hurt me. I was afraid like you. Afraid that what I felt for Craig, from the minute I first saw him, was because I was turned into a Familiar.  I didn't realize that although Dragons can control humans, they can't make them love or hate.  It was such a simple fact but my not knowing it held us apart for a long time.  It's taken us over three years to stop the hurting and admit we love each other." 

Both Jared and Chuck sat in silence for long minutes after Jared said this.  Chuck thinking over what he had just been told and Jared regretting the hurt he had caused Craig. 

Finally, Chuck gently placed his hand on Jared's arm causing Jared to look shyly at him.  Feeling awkward and shy himself, Chuck said, "What do I do? About Dray I mean.  I   really like him and to be honest, I've never felt this way about anyone, even Luke…  I'm scared." 

"Take your time and get to know him.  Dray's a cool guy, and whether you know it or not, you two are meant for each other.  Don't rush it.  Be his friend, and let him be yours." 

"What do you mean we're meant for each other?"

Jared turned toward Chuck and grinned wickedly.  "Anyone could tell that by the way you wanted to strangle me last night and again this morning. The way you looked at him when he was asleep was a dead giveaway.  Yep!  You two guys have it for each other and it's only going to get worse!" 

Chuck playfully slugged Jared in the arm and joined in his laughter.  "Are all Dragons gay?" 

Sobering, Jared shook his head.  "Nope, about the same as the human percentage. About ten percent would be my guess.  It may seem like more in House Thorn, but that's only because you've just met Dray, Craig, and me.  Lee's also gay, but aside from a few of the other Familiars, the rest are straight and a few are bisexual.  All houses have at least a few members who are gay or bisexual and all houses have at least a couple of members who don't like same sex pairings. 

As Dragons or Familiars, we don't normally have to put up with the prejudices that normal humans do, but when we do run across them it can get bad.  Don't worry about that though. Until you're able to protect yourself, Dray, Craig, Lee and I will protect you.

And let me tell you, no one in their right mind, Dragon or human will fuck with you when you’re a member of House Thorn.  Dray doesn't put up with shit like that, period!  And considering how Dray feels about you, that goes even more so." 

"Just how powerful is Dray?"  Asked Chuck curiously.

"That depends on whether you're talking about physically or mentally. By mentally, I mean magically.  Dray is second only to the King in terms of physical strength and speed, a very, very close second at that, from what I'm given to understand. 

In terms of mental powers, Dray is what we call a ‘Battle Mage’.  That means his mental abilities are geared toward offensive and defensive magic.  When it comes to battle magic, Dray is the most powerful Dragon Mage in existence.  Each one of the Eight Houses has a specific type of magic that they have an affinity for.  Dray's line has an affinity for battle magic." 

"It sounds like Dray doesn't have to worry about being beaten in a fight." 

"It may sound that way, but it doesn't work out quite like that.  It's true; Dragons are strong.  I know you think we're strong as Familiars, but we can't compare to the strength, speed and power that either an older Dragon or a Dragon Lord has.

In the entire world, I think the only Familiar that could stand toe to toe with a full Dragon Lord would be Lee. 

But getting back to your question, even with their great strength and powers, Dragons can still be hurt or killed.  Like any living creature, no Dragon is invincible.  If they are decapitated, they die.  If their heart is removed, that will kill them also.  If they sustain enough damage so that their essence can't heal them, they'll die.  Dragon's can also be killed by exposure to sunlight, but the powerful ones like Dray and the King are immune and the sun will only hurt them if their essence has been depleted. 

One on one, I don't think Dray would have a problem with any other Dragon except maybe the King himself.  But, it's possible if several Dragons attacked him together, to inflict enough damage that Dray's, or any other Dragon's essence, would start being depleted.  If that happened, the Dragon could be destroyed." 

Jared briefly halted his description as the traffic started to pick up speed causing him to have to concentrate on driving.  As the traffic slowed back down to a crawl, he looked over at Chuck and continued his conversation.  "Lee and Craig together could probably defeat Dray; they’re that powerful. 

Lee is the oldest Familiar in existence, although if you saw him you'd think he was maybe fifteen or so, but Lee knows more about combat and martial arts than anyone and he should; he’s been studying martial arts for over 2,500 years.  Craig is probably as strong as any of the Eight Dragon Lords except Dray because he shares Dray's blood.  They could probably defeat Dray, but they'd probably have to kill him to do it and that'll never happen." 

Chuck looked thoughtful as he asked, "So if a Dragon's essence were depleted enough, he could be hurt like any other person?" 

"Yeah, if a Dragon is hit, he feels pain and he bruises just like you or me but he heals instantaneously.  The same if he's shot or stabbed.  If a Dragon's essence is depleted, he takes longer to heal.  Always keep in mind that the more a Dragon uses his powers, the more drain he places on his essence which is the source of those powers. 

Human blood is what replenishes a Dragon's essence and they have to feed regularly.  But, unlike television, Dragons don't have to kill when they feed, although some do.  You already saw some of what depleting a Dragon's essence can do last night with Dray." 

"Man!" murmured Chuck.  "That's a lot to take in.  But, I'm glad you're telling me these things.  There's so much to learn that I don't know where to start." 

After a brief pause, he added, "Another question that I have is why don't regular humans know about us other than legends of vampires and stuff?"

"There is one law that all Houses must follow, if a human finds out about us, that human must die or be brought under our control.  There are no exceptions.  Even the King can't violate that law.  That's what protects us." 

"So, if I hadn't agreed to become a Familiar…"

"You would have died."  Said Jared in a flat, emotionless voice.  This was greeted by silence as Chuck tried to grasp what would have happened if he hadn't wanted to join Dray.  After awhile, Jared continued on in a normal voice.  "Don't dwell on that.  It serves no purpose.  Most Dragons are far less gentle with their Familiars and Children than Dray or Craig are.  Dray wants to gradually make you a Dragon so that you'll have time to adjust.  Most aren't so lucky.  It warps them I think.  Makes them mean and hateful and takes away their regard for life. 

I just thank God that Dray and Craig aren't like that…  Enough of that!  I should be telling you about you're training, not scaring you with this morbid shit."  Jared smiled reassuringly at Chuck who looked a little frightened at what he'd just been told. 

"There's no turning back now, is there?"  Chuck asked in a resigned tone. 

"No."  Replied Jared, sympathy evident in his voice. 

"Well, I just wanted to know…  I really gave up on life at the bridge and I gotta admit, I've hoped for something like this all my life…  I guess it just takes awhile to get used to."

Chuck closed his eyes and Jared watched as the boy struggled to regain his composure.  After awhile, it was evident that he had successfully managed to calm himself and was determined to focus on the more positive aspects of his situation.  Chuck stretched in the passenger seat and looked over at Jared with a sheepish grin as he asked, "I know you said I was going to be tutored.  Does that mean I can still get my high school diploma?" 

"Sure you can... but you need to understand some things first.  This is a little complicated, so bear with me.  High school and college diplomas are usually used to get jobs and to secure your future.  You're never gonna need a job like most humans do.  Your job will be House Thorn." 

Jared paused and concentrated on driving as the traffic started to pick up a little.  Chuck watched him drive, patiently waiting for Jared to start explaining again.  As the traffic came to a standstill, Jared picked up the conversation. 

"As I was saying, your job will be House Thorn.  House Thorn has about 90 Familiars and not all of us are the same.  Lee and I are the most powerful Familiars in the House, although Lee is far more powerful than I am.  We don't age and we have a great deal of physical strength and mental powers. 

We're also highly resistant to human diseases and frailties, almost like a full Dragon.  That's because of the amount of essence given to Lee by Dray's Sire and the amount of essence given to me by Craig.  You're gonna be the same way. 

The rest of the Familiars don't have these powers, they're simply bound to the House by Dray or Craig's blood and they only have rudimentary powers at best.  The purpose of the other Familiars is to be the face of House Thorn that humans see, and to run the businesses that House Thorn either owns or controls. 

That's how the House gets its money; part of the profits generated by those businesses is put into offshore accounts for us to use.  Those businesses include the largest telecommunications company in the southeast, a major airline, the largest security firm in the world, an international shipping company, hospitals and the list goes on and on.  We control bankers, doctors, lawyers, judges, congressmen and senators.  You don't know it, but you're one very rich and powerful motherfucker!" 

Jared paused as if gathering his thoughts.  "The point to all this and to answer your question, is you don't have to go to any school because your forced to.  You can get any diploma from anywhere with enough money and persuasion.  We have the luxury of going to school because we want to learn something.  Dray, Lee, Craig and I have all taken classes that interested us or gave us the knowledge to do something we wanted to do.  The same is gonna be true for you." 

Chuck stared at Jared with his mouth hanging open, causing Jared to snicker.  Chuck quickly shut his mouth and leaned back in his seat trying to digest all that he had just been told. 

After a few moments, he turned toward Jared, a sad look on his face.  "We never had more than the basic necessities, even with my grades, I knew my parents couldn't afford for me to go to college, besides they made it clear that as soon as I graduated high school they wanted me out of the house.  I've never had any money myself so I don't know what to do with any wealth or power." 

Jared nodded knowingly.  "I felt the same way.  Coming from having nothing to having anything I could want was a shock. It made sense when I realized that the purpose of all that wealth and power was to protect and serve the House.  As a member of the House, you'll have duties and responsibilities that require the use of that wealth and power, but that's part of what your training is about… so don't sweat it right now." 

"What will my training be like?" 

"The first and most important thing is for you to learn how to protect yourself from attack, both physical and mental attacks.  You won't be able to join the rest of us outside the House until you learn how to protect yourself.  Since it's critical that you learn this as soon as possible, Lee and Craig are going to use a technique they've developed where they implant the knowledge in your mind so it's like you've always known it and you train until it becomes second nature to your body. 

I trained that way and believe me you'll be astonished at how fast you pick stuff up.  Lee's gonna teach you martial arts and Craig will teach you the mental disciplines.  You'll also learn about the House and how it works and later, you'll learn your duties and responsibilities to the House." 

"What will you and Dray teach me?" 

"We'll be your work out partners.  You'll go into town with Dray and I to practice the mental disciplines and we'll be your sparring partners for your self-defense sessions as well.  I'll be your partner for strength and stamina training.  Don't worry, it won't be all work, we're close to a fairly large city and we'll go to movies, clubs, play video games and do stuff like hang out at the malls and boy watch!"  This last was said with a leering grin at Chuck. 

Chuck grinned back and replied, "I thought you had a boyfriend already!"

"I do, but I still get to watch and besides, I think Craig watches more than me!  As long as we don't touch, it's cool." 

"Does Craig only watch?" Chuck, trying to bait Jared, Grinned.

"If he wants to keep his cock, he does!"  Said Jared, rising to the bait and causing both boys to burst into giggles.

With each boy getting to know the other, Jared and Chuck continued the drive to the farm.  As they talked and opened up to one another they were beginning to each get the feeling that they had been friends all their lives.   

They discovered in each other a wicked sense of humor and easy-going, accepting attitudes toward the world.  They shared confidences, hopes and dreams. When Chuck asked Jared why he hadn't been made into a Dragon already, Jared confessed that Craig was eager to do it but Jared had held back because he wasn't convinced Craig was ready to accept him as a life partner and mate. 

"In fact I wasn't sure until last night.  Dray really needed blood or things would have gotten very bad, very quickly but Craig asked me to feed Dray.  He didn't compel me as he had every right to do and I, as his Familiar, would have had no choice but to obey. 

Craig is totally loyal to Dray and loves him like a brother, and he would do anything to protect him but he still asked me.  He would have compelled anyone else.  I told him this morning that I want him to do it right after you're made and boy was he happy!  In fact, I'm still walking funny, he was so happy."  Chuck howled with laughter and Jared joined in. 

"What's Lee like?  I haven't met him." 

"Lee is cool.  He's funny and kind to his friends and there's no one other than Craig or Dray I'd rather have beside me if trouble comes.  Don't let his kindness fool you though; Lee's merciless to an enemy of the House.  He raised Dray you know. 

Dray was taken from his parents the moment he was born and his sire left him with Lee to train.  Lee's fanatically devoted to Dray although you can't tell with the way he rags on Dray sometimes.  But don't let that fool you, Dray thinks of Lee as his big brother.  That's one thing about Dray, he's not a trusting type, that's for sure and although he knows a lot of people, the only friends he has are Craig, Lee and I… and now you. 

But, he'll lay down his life for any member of the House and especially his friends.  Dray will never, ever leave a friend to face trouble alone, and he'll never forgive betrayal.  That's true for all of us but especially for Dray.  If someone were to betray the House, Craig, Lee, or myself would make sure they paid but Dray… Dray would make sure they suffered.  He will never forgive betrayal."

Chuck thought this over for a moment and then remembering his own betrayal at the hands of Luke and Jon, quietly said, "I don't think someone who's betrayed you could ever suffer enough."  Jared shivered at the quiet, emotionless tone of Chuck's voice. 

Both boys were silent for long moments after that. 

Eventually as traffic started moving, the boys resumed their conversation.  Jared, who had done his share of watching Chuck and knew his thoughts and character well, was more impressed with each mile.  Chuck had an open and generous nature and he had a lot of love that he had never had an outlet for before.  He was funny, kind and considerate. 

With a flash of intuitive insight, Jared suddenly realized something that Dray had seen from the very beginning.  Chuck had a will of iron.  Chuck treated others the way he wanted them to treat him despite what he had suffered and despite the poor way in which others had continually treated him.  Somewhere along the way, Chuck had made a conscious decision to not let others destroy him or have power over him by making him bitter, resentful, and hateful by their treatment of him.

 Even though Chuck's friendliness and open attitude toward others had not often been reciprocated, Chuck had relentlessly, and with dogged determination, not wavered from his belief in himself and what he wanted to be or in his treatment of others.  If this wasn't evidence of an iron will and strength of character, Jared didn't know what was.  He only knew that this boy beside him was uncommonly courageous with an exceptional will.  In Jared's book, that was character.  It was a curious combination that Jared had rarely seen before in another, a lack of self confidence and a poor self concept combined with strength of character, courage, and an iron will.  These qualities served to attract Jared to Chuck and make him want to know even more about him. 

It wasn't too long before Jared started subconsciously thinking of Chuck as a kid brother.  Jared's nature was to be extremely protective and nurturing toward his family and without realizing it, he transmitted those feelings to Chuck, who in turn picked up on them and responded to them on a subconscious level.  As a result, as they neared the farm, Chuck and Jared had both found a friend and brother in each other.

Jared began pointing out landmarks, as they got close to the farm.  There were houses scattered along the two lane road and Jared told Chuck that those houses served as guard posts and that they were owned by their security company and that security personnel, whose only purpose was to guard the farm, lived in them.  As they approached the end of the road, Chuck could see a very big ranch style house, a large barn and two smaller buildings beyond it. 

There was a tall electric fence surrounding the area that the buildings occupied. As they reached the gate to the electrified fence that surrounded the compound it was opened by a cute farm hand that looked to be 18 or 19 years old.  He simply waved at Jared as they drove through. 

"That's Billy. He's the adopted son of Martha and George. Martha's the housekeeper and George and Billy take care of the place.  They stay in the far house past the barn.  While any of us are in residence they usually don't come to the main house so you probably won't see much of them, if you see them at all. Although, you may see Lee and Billy sneaking off together."  Jared snickered as he said this last. 

When they stopped in the driveway a handsome, young Asian boy walked out with a wide smile and greeted them.  As Jared introduced Chuck to Lee, Chuck had an opportunity to study Lee.  Lee Chan appeared about 15 years old.  Standing at 5' 7", his body was slender with incredible definition.  His features were delicate with large, intelligent black eyes set over high cheekbones and a narrow nose.  His lips were small, almost thin.  He greeted Chuck with a slight, almost indiscernible accent.  "Chuck, it's nice to finally meet you face to face.  Come on in. I'm sure you guys are hungry and Martha has already made lunch for us." 

The boys entered the back door into a well-appointed, spacious kitchen.  It opened up on one side into a large breakfast area. Through a wide archway, Chuck could see a formal dining room with a long hallway off to the right between the dining room and breakfast area.

The hallway, lit by skylights, was bright and sunny and Chuck could see several doors opening on either side.  On the other side there was a huge, well appointed family room with a large, stone fireplace.  Noticing Chuck's curiosity, Jared showed him around while Lee put out food for them to eat. As Chuck was shown through the house, he discovered it was a five-bedroom ranch house with elegant, comfortable furnishings.  The décor was decidedly masculine. 

Through the dining room was a spacious, elegant living room that looked as though it didn't get much use.  As Chuck and Jared walked down the hallway, he saw that it led to five large bedroom suites, each with it's own bathroom and sitting area.  The master bedroom at the end of the hall was the same but was even larger with two sets of French doors that led to it's own private garden. 

When Chuck and Jared returned from the tour, they could see that Lee had put out a platter of sandwiches and a bowl of salad.  All three boys were soon busy eating.  As the boys ate lunch, Lee explained to Chuck that Craig would prepare him that afternoon when Craig arrived with Dray and that their training would start tomorrow.  Looking at his watch, Lee said that he was late for his meeting with Billy, apologized for having to eat and run, and quickly went out the back door. 

Jared and Chuck grinned at each other as Jared made a fucking motion with his fingers.  "I hope Billy has some time to spare, from what I'm told, Lee can go for hours," laughed Jared. 

Jared and Chuck both started to clean up the kitchen and continued talking. 

"Why don't Martha, George and Billy come up to the main house," asked Chuck.

"They do… but they try to give us privacy when we're here.  They're part of House Thorn and they're always welcome." 

Finished cleaning up, both boys headed over to the family room and sat on the couch.  Jared looked over at Chuck and grinned.  "I can see the questions on your face. Go ahead ask away bro.  You'll never learn if you don't ask." 

"Well, it's just that Lee looks so small…  I mean I'm not much bigger than he is and every time I got into a fight, I got my ass beat." 

"The one thing you've got to learn about Dragons and their Familiars is that you can't take anything at face value.  Lee is probably the single most dangerous person on the planet.  He's been a master of his arts for almost 2500 years.  Even if he didn't have inhuman strength and speed, he would still be the most deadly person you would ever meet.  He'll teach you and you'll see for yourself." 

The boys continued to talk for most of the afternoon until Dray pulled up in the 350Z with Craig in the passenger seat.  When Dray came in and got settled, he filled Chuck in on the events that took place with his parents.  Martha and George were now Chuck's legal guardians until he turned 18.  Chuck had been withdrawn from school and as far as the state was concerned, Chuck was being privately tutored at home. 

This was all handled through House Thorn's lawyers.  It came as no surprise to Chuck when Dray told him that his parents had been paid a substantial sum for their cooperation and were more than happy to take the money and leave on an extended world tour.  Chuck's ties to his old world were being severed one by one, and that suited him just fine. 

Later that evening, Lee, using Craig as a conduit, implanted in Chuck's mind knowledge equivalent to 10 years of martial arts training.  Craig then went on to implant knowledge of the arcane arts.  When Craig was finished, he said, "You have the equivalent knowledge of self defense that a Ducal Heir should have.  Your mind knows it, now you have to practice to make your body learn it."

And learn Chuck did.  At first, he was awkward as his body sought to do what his mind told it.  Lee was patient with him as he slowly went through the movements and forms. Always gently correcting him when needed and never saying an unkind word.  Dray and Jared were just as patient as they sparred with Chuck for hours each day under Lee's watchful eye.

 Although Lee was always kind and encouraging with both Jared and Chuck, much to the delight of the boys, he often used Dray to illustrate maneuvers. Dray essentially became their practice dummy much to the embarrassment and oftentimes pain of Dray.

Dray took it all good-naturedly and had no problem encouraging both boys.

Many evenings, after practicing under Lee's watchful eyes, Dray and Chuck would practice together, just the two of them.  They would practice their movements, kicks, thrusts and blocks in silence. When Dray needed to correct Chuck, he would stand closely behind him and guide him slowly through the motions over and over until Chuck picked it up.  Chuck grew to love the feel of Dray holding him when he did that and daily felt more and more attracted to Dray.  At first these corrections were often but day-by-day they became less frequent. 

Although Chuck was clumsy and awkward at first, each day he improved and the improvements came more and more quickly.  By the end of the first month, Chuck was the equal of Jared in terms of skill and now he and Jared both began to learn new things. 

It was not all training and exercise, Dray and Chuck went into town many nights when they weren't too tired.  During their nights out they would go to one of the gay clubs to dance and chill out, out to a movie, simply hang out at a coffee shop or the malls.  As they got to know each other, they discovered that they had a great many interests in common and that they shared the same attitudes and feelings toward a great many things.

This was totally new to Chuck, he had never had friends that he could do things like this with and he found that it satisfied a need that he had not known existed.  Chuck also quickly came to think of Dray as his best friend and came to realize more and more each day that the more he got to know Dray, the more impossible it became for him to imagine life without him. 

They soon shared an easy banter and it was not uncommon to hear friendly insults tossed back and forth between the two.  The wit shown by the creativity of these mock insults never ceased to delight both Dray and Chuck. 

At first, because they had promised that they wouldn't have sex with each other until after Chuck's training and they were so physically attracted to each other, both Chuck and Dray thought that sleeping in the same bed would cause problems.  On the first night at the farm, when Dray said that he would sleep in another room and give Chuck the master suite, Chuck made a leap of faith.

Convincing Dray that they could exercise self-restraint he told him that he didn't really want to sleep apart.  Dray, with some misgivings, was persuaded and both boys soon became accustomed to sleeping with each other.  They also became accustomed to jacking off while the other wasn't around as a method of easing the sexual tension between them. 

Chuck's mental abilities improved at an even more rapid pace than his physical training.  He found that he could maintain the concentration necessary to allow his mind to influence the world around him with ease.  It largely became a matter of practice and as his abilities progressed, each day, either Dray, Jared or Craig would take him to town to a mall or other public place where Chuck read the minds of others that they encountered and practiced taking control of both their minds and their bodies. 

When Jared and Chuck went alone, more often than not the results were hilarious as each boy loved pulling harmless pranks on anyone that they encountered who had a bullying personality.  By knowing their thoughts, Chuck also began to understand the motivation behind much of the bullying that he had encountered in his life.

He now knew that some of the hostility that he had encountered from boys was because they found themselves attracted to him and didn't know how to handle it. 

Others were simply jealous, seeing in him what they dreamed of being, and in their own minds could never attain and hating him for it.  Those he pitied. 

There were also those who made others miserable because they derived pleasure from it.  Those he hated. 

Chuck, as well as Jared, also got no small amount of pleasure reading the minds of the cute boys they encountered.  Many times, he read envy in their minds as they saw he and Jared hanging out together.  Although at first surprised, Chuck understood when he looked at himself and Jared from their perspective.  Both Chuck and Jared had put on muscle and increased their definition with their intensive training. Their diet was designed to add muscle without fat.  So they both became accustomed to getting admiring and envious thoughts from both males and females. Surprisingly to Chuck, many were straight males at that. 

It was not unusual for some of the guys they encountered, thinking that both Jared and Chuck were straight, to fantasize about what they would like to do with either one or both of the boys.  Both Jared and Chuck made a game of harmlessly flirting when they encountered boys like that. 

They did nothing mean to them, but by knowing what to say, were able to put them at ease and help boost their self esteem with a few well chosen comments.  As a result, both Jared and Chuck were able to make friends with a few of them. 

When Craig went with Chuck, he would make Chuck use his abilities to lure someone outside to a secluded area so that Craig could feed.  When Chuck asked him why, Craig replied, "It kills two birds with one stone.  Because of all the extra activity involved in your training, I deplete my essence more quickly and I have to feed more often.  I don't want to impair Jared by feeding too much from him, so I use people we meet here.

It also gives you practice with controlling humans and changing their perception of what really occurred." 

Chuck soon became used to this and always chose someone that he didn't like. 

As the months progressed, these encounters went a long way toward building Chuck's self esteem.  He no longer judged himself by the way others treated him, he now was able to appreciate himself for who and what he was, not what others told him. 

This newfound confidence did not manifest itself as arrogance or vanity. Instead, Chuck became more sure of himself and confident around others.  Because he no longer acted like a victim, people did not treat him that way.  Chuck had always been open and friendly with people whenever he had the opportunity to be that way but few, if any, ever seemed to respond. 

That had changed completely, without being aware of it, Chuck's new confidence and self-esteem seemed to draw people and he often found himself in conversations with strangers who seemed intent on establishing a friendship or more, with him.  Chuck really enjoyed this when the person trying to get to know him was a young, cute guy.

Although, Chuck never allowed things to get out of hand, he enjoyed it immensely when a hot guy was attracted to him.  Taking a page from Jared's book, Chuck allowed himself to look and flirt, but he never touched and he certainly didn't mind when the looks and flirtations were returned. 

Even though Chuck, when with Jared, really enjoyed looking at other guys and even enjoyed flirting with them, it did not lessen or change his feelings for Dray; if anything, it intensified them.

In fact, Chuck found himself barely able to stop from jumping Dray's bones whenever they were near each other.  It was as if each lustful thought that he encountered from others or lust that he felt toward a hot guy were magnified a thousand times when he was around Dray.  He and Dray fit each other.  Whether they shared a quiet evening watching television or an evening of skateboarding at the mall with others they found there, the time was always better and more fun because Dray was around. 

Dray was always kind, funny, supportive, and engaging with anyone that he met but he was even more so with Chuck and Chuck soon became enamored of Dray for this. After watching Dray interact with others, Chuck realized that this was just how he was; he wasn't acting, this was his real personality. 

Chuck slowly came to realize that even though many of the guys he and Jared encountered were hot and he certainly couldn't deny a definite sexual attraction to many, they couldn't compare to Dray.  He had to admit, that if he had the chance to have sex with any one of them or Dray, it would be Dray every time. 

By the end of the second month of his training, Chuck finally admitted to himself that he really was in love with Dray.  This admission started one afternoon when they were both washing Dray's car.  Both boys loved cars and they especially loved Dray's 350Z.  As they were bringing out the cleaner and waxes that Dray used, Chuck asked Dray why, when he could have any car in the world, was this car so special to him. 

Dray glanced over at Chuck who was filling up a bucket with detergent and warm water.  Thinking over his answer, Dray began to hose down the car.  "Money and material things really don't mean that much to me.  They're too easy to get.  And besides, everything that I own really belongs to the House, which is as it should be.  But this car is one I picked out and had specially customized for me.  I don't let anyone else drive it.  It's like it's the only thing in the world that really is completely mine, or at least I like to pretend it is.  It's hard to explain."

Chuck soaked a sponge in the bucket and threw it over to Dray so he could do the other side.  As Dray started on the driver side roof, Chuck did the same on the passenger side.  While he washed, he was silently thoughtful until he finally said, "I know what you mean, I think.  I've never really had anything worth having that was all my own.  My parents never spent anything on me unless they absolutely had to, not that they had that much to spend, and they wouldn't let me get a job. 

I always wanted to learn how to drive but I didn't want the beating I'd get for asking.  After training's over, I'll get you to teach me in one of the other house cars, if you don't mind."  Chuck said all this as if he were discussing the weather.  There was no bitterness in his voice, just an acceptance of the way things were. 

Dray, in a way that left him profoundly moved and deeply saddened, now really understood the unfairness of Chuck's childhood and how he had never known the simple things that most other kids experienced.  Dray well knew that, in this country, learning how to drive was a right of passage that nearly all 16 year olds went through.   The fact that there was no bitterness to Chuck's simple acceptance of being deprived this right of passage brought tears to Dray's eyes, which he quickly hid by bending down to wash the door panel.   "No problem dude,” he answered, trying to keep the tears from his voice. 

When they finished washing and waxing the car, Dray threw Chuck the keys and said, "Come on, I'll show you how to control this beast!" 

Chuck stood there with the keys in his hand slack jawed.  He, along with everyone else in the House, knew how much Dray loved his car.  "Dray!  I can't, what if I wreck it?" 

"As long as you're not hurt, I don't care.  You need to learn how to drive, and I'm glad you asked me to teach you.  Now let's ride!!"

That day, Dray began teaching Chuck how to drive.  He never criticized Chuck, only guided him.  Soon, through practicing with Dray and Dray's patient teaching, Chuck was driving Dray’s car whenever they went into town.  Several weeks later, on the day Chuck got his license, the only person happier than Chuck, was Dray.  That was the day Chuck finally admitted to himself how he felt about this beautiful guy who had stepped into his life. 

After that, the two were almost inseparable. 

Each night that they slept together, it became more and more of a struggle for Chuck to keep his promise and not initiate sex.  Each time that Dray fed from him, Chuck became more and more happy that he could at least give this part of himself to Dray.  Each time that Chuck fed from Dray, Chuck became more and more possessive of Dray.  Even though they had not consummated their relationship, they were completely intimate in the way they interacted with each other. 

It hadn't been planned. It had just happened.  It was obvious to all who saw them together, that Dray was madly in love with Chuck and Chuck felt the same way.  Even Chuck had noticed that Dray, with no conscious thought, always spoke in terms of us, meaning he and Chuck, and not me. That was just fine with Chuck.  Because Chuck realized that even though Dray had marked him as his property, Chuck, in turn, had marked Dray as being his. 

Even though Chuck felt this way and all of his actions said it more clearly than words, he hadn't yet worked up enough nerve to tell Dray how he felt.  Instead he spent as much time with Dray as he could and trained.  Chuck was by now very proficient at self defense and he and Jared had to be very careful not to hurt each other when they sparred.

Lee took away this risk by having Craig spar with Jared, and Dray spar with Chuck.  Lee had made it quite clear to Jared and Chuck that they were not to hold back, under threat of great pain from Lee if they disobeyed.  Things continued this way through the third month. 

Craig, Lee and Jared had talked over Dray and Chuck's predicament and all felt that the commitment needed between the two for a successful relationship was there.  They agreed that Craig and Lee would release Dray and Chuck from their pledge if they asked.  The sexual tension between the two continued to grow, much to the amusement of Craig, Lee, and Jared, and neither Dray nor Chuck thought to ask anything. 

Around the end of the third month, Lee stood in the field behind the barn and watched as the two boys practiced.  Dray six feet tall, with black hair, buzzed to fit his skull like a cap and the other, shorter by some three inches, also with short, black hair but longer on top and faded on the sides.  Both boys executed a series of katas with unerring precision. 

Lee watched critically as, in the cool evening air, they executed a series of body positioning and movement exercises, side by side, which formed the basis of this particular school of karate.  The traditional form and style he himself had mastered while visiting Japan over 2000 years ago. 

Lee permitted himself a smile as he reflected on the shorter of the two, Chuck.  Chuck had come a long way in almost four months time.  True, Craig implanted the knowledge of the movements and of the art itself in Chuck's mind but it was Chuck's dedicated practice and commitment, which allowed his body to use that knowledge as if born to it. 

Lee and Chuck both knew that commitment stemmed from the pride that Dray felt in Chuck's accomplishments.  Lee also knew, even if Chuck didn't realize it, Chuck would do anything to please Dray. 

The boy was a gifted athlete with an almost frightening capacity for concentration.  So gifted, in fact, that between Craig's mental efforts and Chuck's hard work and dedication, Chuck was at the level a normal human could not hope to achieve in ten years of study and practice.  Chuck had only to practice what his mind already knew until his body knew it just as well. 

That Chuck, unconsciously seeking Dray's approval, pushed himself even harder than Lee pushed him was all to the good as far as Lee was concerned.  No one wanted to fail in front of the one they loved. 

Lee slowly nodded his head as Chuck and Dray continued the movements in synchronous motion, almost like a dance.  To Lee, Chuck appeared to be almost a shadow of Dray; he copied the boy so closely.  As he turned his thoughts to Dray, Lee felt pleased.  This killed two birds with one stone.  Dray had desperately needed control.  While he knew the movements and the forms as well as any, Dray had lacked concentration and control relying instead on his inhuman speed and brute force when executing a maneuver.  

Circumstances had not permitted Lee to teach Dray concentration and control.  Now, that situation was being rectified.  As Chuck's sparring partner, Dray could only move at normal speed for a human, which, to Dray, was slow motion.  Dray also had to pull any power from any blow that he delivered, which Lee had to admit, was more and more infrequent as Chuck rose in skill. 

This left Dray with only skill and technique and he dared not be anything other than precise with those under Lee's watchful eye.  Lee sighed as he thought that it was a shame that once you became a Dragon, it became impossible to implant knowledge as Craig had done with Chuck. 

It would have saved Dray a lot of pain, but then on the other hand, Chuck would not have established the bond with Dray that he had over four months.  In fact, it was that very bond between the two that made Dray so precise in everything that he showed and taught Chuck.  He knew what a Dragon Lord faced and he was determined not to let Chuck face it unprepared. 

Lee nodded his head approvingly, with his newfound control and concentration; Dray would be an opponent to be feared, even by the King himself. 

"Break!"  Lee commanded.  The two boys stopped and came to rest facing away from each other while standing sideways to Lee.  "Face off and spar!  Chuck, don't take pity on him, if he had practiced more he wouldn't move like a pregnant ox!" 

Chuck, wearing only loose gym shorts was bathed in sweat. Bowing slightly to Dray, while keeping an eye on him, Chuck grinned at this last comment and Dray, similarly attired but not sweating, looking resigned to being the butt of Lee's jokes, returned the bow.

Chuck swiftly launched a series of perfectly controlled, powerful kicks at Dray while Dray swiftly moved to block and parry.  Dray, who would never do anything to hurt Chuck, pulled the power from all his movements.  Chuck was under no such compunction, not because he didn't care for Dray equally but because Dray could sustain massive amounts of damage and recover quickly. Chuck, being still essentially human, could not.  

"Concentrate! Chuck, Concentrate!  Remember, Balance, Concentration and Focus!"  Called Lee as Chuck continued to inflict hits on Dray that would have severely hurt or killed an ordinary human.  Dray for his part had all he could do to keep up with Chuck. 

Lee could only laugh as Chuck snapped a quick strike to Dray's head with his closed fist that spun Dray around.  As Dray turned full circle, Chuck quickly snuck a kiss and danced back as Dray launched a kick that missed entirely, leaving him unbalanced and out of position.  A situation quickly capitalized upon by Chuck, as indicated by Dray's painful grunt when he was kicked in the solar plexus.

Lee knew that Dray would have the bruises and soreness to show from this evening's exercise because Dray was not feeding as much as he should.  The two had made a pact that Dray would only feed from Chuck and Chuck would only feed from Dray.  Because of the increased mental and physical energy that Dray was expending over the last four months, Dray's need for blood had increased proportionately. 

Chuck could only give so much without impairing him, and Dray well knew this.  So, Dray was consuming only enough to allow him to function at a greatly reduced level from his norm.  As a consequence, Dray did not heal instantaneously as he normally would. 

Fortunately, Dray did not face another Dragon or he would have been easy prey.  Lee smiled as he remembered that both boys had tried to keep this agreement between themselves and didn't know that Lee knew of it.  Chuck had made the agreement with no knowledge of what it would do to Dray.  Dray had made the agreement because Chuck had asked him to. 

Lee allowed himself a small smile as Dray began to rain a flurry of blows on Chuck, several of which slipped through his defenses, rocking him.  As Chuck fought back, without losing concentration or focus, Lee let his mind slip back to his musings. 
Chuck had really formed a bond with Dray over the months. 

In fact, Lee readily admitted to himself, the boy had fallen hopelessly in love with Dray.  "Now, if Chuck will only tell Dray!"  Lee thought humorously.  No one who saw the two together had any doubt that it was love.  Chuck thought of Dray as his.  Not in the sense of master and slave, but in the sense that lovers have for each another. 

Dray, for his part, returned the feelings with all of his being.  Lee snickered as he thought of the first time that Chuck had wounded Dray in a practice session.  Dray, sorely pressed by the increasingly skillful Chuck, had blocked a kick improperly resulting in a dry snap, as his arm was broken. 

Chuck was almost hysterical as Dray dropped to the ground writhing in pain and turned on a snickering Lee with murder in his eyes, causing Lee to laugh uncontrollably.  As Dray was put in even more pain from having to restrain Chuck, Lee howled with laughter.  Chuck quickly turned his attention back to Dray almost yelling his apologies and looking desperately around for help. 

It took Dray, Craig and Jared to finally calm him down and stop him in an ill-fated attempt at attacking Lee for laughing at Dray.  Once Chuck understood that Dray would heal just fine and no damage had been done, he had sheepishly apologized to Lee.  Lee then patiently explained that no human could harm Dray like that normally. He was able to be hurt because of the energy he was expending but would fully recover.

Also, Chuck was no normal human now.  He was a Familiar and as such was extremely powerful when compared to other humans.  It was then that Lee insisted that Chuck use all the strength and power he could when he sparred with Dray to make it more realistic for Chuck. 

Chuck had refused at first but Lee told him that if Chuck wouldn't do it, he would. After demonstrating the power he could muster by cracking the concrete driveway with a single blow, Chuck quickly agreed.  Lee was somewhat startled as he was remembering this when the flash of Dray's body sailing through the air quickly pulled him out of his thoughts.  He quickly gathered his wits as Chuck flew past him in pursuit of Dray. 

Lee watched intently as Chuck, with a look of absolute concentration, began to demolish Dray's defenses.  Dray quickly retreated but Chuck stayed on him, giving him no time to recover.  Before Lee could call a halt Dray signaled surrender.  As Dray stood panting, bloodied and bruised, Chuck quickly backed off, elated because he had never before beaten Dray.  As he checked the battered body of Dray, Lee told Chuck, "I would say that you are where you need to be in terms of self defense.  " 

Chuck looked pleased and a bit apprehensive as Lee bowed to him.  Returning the bow, he moved slowly, almost hesitantly, over to the battered and bruised Dray who was kneeling on the grass with his head bowed as he sought to regain his breath. 

Chuck quickly knelt down with his arm around Dray's shoulder.  "Hey bro, you okay?"

"Just give me a few to get my go back," replied Dray, the pain and exhaustion evident in his voice. 

"No going into town tonight for you two.  Take him back to the compound, get showered and put him in bed," said Lee.  He watched as Chuck gently helped Dray stand and walk back, with Dray heavily limping on his right leg that sported an impressive bruise.  Dray leaned on Chuck the whole way.  The body language of the two told Lee all he needed to know about their feelings for each other. 

As Lee slowly lowered himself to the lotus position, he mentally called in the wolf pack they used as additional guards for the compound.  The pack was controlled by Lee as Arms Master .  With the pack on guard no Dragon or human, not even a member of the House, could approach without the pack alerting Lee, Dray or Craig.  "Not that Dray would be of much help with the shape he's currently in," snorted Lee to himself.  "My God!  That Chuck is formidable.  He's taken to his mental training from Craig as well as he's taken to his physical training.  He'll make an excellent prince and the time of his training is almost over.  Dray will have to turn him as soon as he completes his mental training. Craig says that will be soon the way he's progressing.  He thinks of Jared and Craig as his brothers.  He thinks of me as the wise elder brother and he worships the ground Dray walks on!  Those two still have a lot to work out with each other; I hope they do it soon.  The pace of this training is wearing Dray, Craig and I out!  I've never seen anyone adapt as quickly and as well as Chuck to the training, not even Dray!    I wonder if Craig will turn Jared after Dray turns Chuck.  I guess time will tell."  Lee grinned as he slowly rose and went to check on the guard posts around the compound.  "And to think, they still haven't had sex yet!  The sexual tension between those two is so thick you could cut it with a knife!" 

As Chuck and Dray reached the large ranch house that was their living quarters in the compound, Chuck quickly opened the back door and helped Dray in.  He had not ever seen Dray this worn out and beaten even though they had had far more strenuous sessions than the one this evening.  He made a mental note to talk to Jared about it. 

He smiled as he thought of Jared and the good friends they had become over the past four months.  Both Jared and Craig were the brothers he never had.  Jared had helped him through the difficult period of adjustment as he became a Familiar and also as he became more and more bonded to Dray.  He loved Jared, Craig and Lee the same as he would his brothers, if he had any, but he found it easier to talk to Jared since their situations were so similar.

Jared was a Familiar to Craig and Chuck a Familiar to Dray.  Plus, Jared was one of those people you instantly liked.  He had helped Chuck with his growing powers and often the two spent hours together just talking and hanging out.  When Craig had taught Chuck how to read minds with his newly acquired powers, it was mostly Jared and Chuck who would go into town to the mall and hangout reading the minds of the cute boys they watched.  Even though Chuck had finally made up his mind that he loved Dray and wanted only him, he still enjoyed watching the guys walk by and he enjoyed even more, reading their minds. He could tell that some were attracted to him.  "Not that I'd ever hurt Dray by cheating on him!  It's a shame that I can't read Dray's mind. That would make this so much easier but a family member can only read the mind of another Dragon if invited and they have to share the same blood at that.  I want to tell Dray how I feel. I think he still feels the same about me but I'm not sure.  God I'm scared!"  He thought as they walked down the hall toward their suite of rooms. 

As they passed the open door to Craig and Jared's suite, Jared stuck his cute, spiky, brown haired head out the door and snickered.  "God, what did you do to him, he looks like six miles of bad road!" 

"He beat my ass like I'm gonna have him do to yours if you don't shut the fuck up," said Dray as he grinned tiredly. 

"Wow!  You really beat Dray in a session?  Congratulations!  You're really coming along to be able to keep up with him!  I can't wait to tell Craig." 

"Thanks," grinned Chuck, hotly blushing.  "I just wish I didn't have to kick my boyfriends ass to keep improving!" 

"Not as much as I do," groaned Dray in real pain, causing Jared to burst into a fit of giggles. 

"Go ahead and shower him and put him to bed.  He'll feel better soon enough.  And don’t forget to feed him!"  Said Jared to their backs as Chuck, by now carrying Dray more than helping him walk, waved and headed towards their suite. 

Entering the bedroom and kicking the door closed, Chuck gently laid Dray on the bed and pulled his gym shorts and jock strap off causing Dray to whimper as they rubbed the massive bruise on his right thigh. 

"Sorry, Babe," Chuck said as he gently kissed him.  "I'll run the water and you can soak in the tub for awhile.  That'll help until your body heal." 

"Okay, but please hurry, my back is killing me from when you flipped me and my balls are aching from when I caught your foot in my groin."

He understood the pain Dray was in. He had been in similar situations himself over the last four months! Chuck shook his head as he filled the oversized tub with water, almost too hot to stand. Slipping off his own shorts and Jock strap, he went back into the bedroom and gently picked up the moaning boy and carried him to the tub. 

He slowly sat Dray down in the tub, got in behind him and leaned Dray back against his chest.  As they reclined in the tub, he could feel Dray's abused muscles quivering and started massaging his back and arms, staying away from as many bruises as possible.  When Dray began to relax from the water and the massage, Chuck pulled his head gently around and kissed him.  As his tongue probed Dray's mouth, he felt his dick start to expand.  Pushing Dray's head down to his neck he whispered, "Go ahead and feed." 

"I can't, I don't know if I have the energy to control myself." Dray barely whispered.

Chuck told him, "Go ahead, I'll stop you if it gets too bad." 

Knowing that Chuck now had the mental control not to become entranced, Dray extended his fangs and delicately pierced the skin over Chuck's Jugular, causing Chuck to stiffen in momentary pain.  The feelings of ecstasy quickly blocked the pain. Chuck successfully held off the feelings so that he could maintain control over Dray as he fed.  Dray instinctively did not draw enough blood to endanger Chuck or make him pass out.  When Chuck felt that Dray had fed long enough he gently pushed his head away causing the two small puncture wounds on his neck to close and heal as Dray's fangs were withdrawn. 

Dray slumped down and would have gone under if Chuck had not held him up.  He held him tightly until Dray recovered and stirred slightly against him.  He then lightly caressed Dray's chest and leaned back with a relaxed sigh of contentment. 

After awhile, Chuck, mind-to-mind, asked Jared why Dray was so wiped out and if there was some sort of problem.  Jared told Chuck, in the same way, that Dray's essence was too low.  He needed to feed more.  There was a gentle reproach in Jared's mental voice that made Chuck feel guilty. 

"Why doesn't he take more then?"  Sent Chuck. 

"I'm pretty sure it's because he doesn't want to impair your abilities or your training.  He needs to feed from other humans and if he doesn't do it soon, something's gonna have to be done."  Replied Jared, his sympathy clearly evident to Chuck. 

"Thanks."  Chuck sent back, moved almost to tears by yet one more example of Dray's love for him. 

"How can I be so selfish?"  Chuck thought to himself, "Well…I guess it's time to be honest with Dray about how I feel and see where it leads." 

After awhile, Chuck and Dray washed each other and dried off. Dray having recovered to a large extent still had faded, ugly bruises evident on him.  Still both naked, Dray followed Chuck out to the bedroom. He couldn't help but admire his body, especially his ass.  The training over the last four months had left Chuck with a lean, hard, extremely muscular body that Dray loved looking at as well as touching.  When they got to the bed, Chuck glanced at Dray as he climbed in, and asked, "What are you grinning about?"

"Oh, just looking at the best looking ass in the lower 48 states."

"Yeah… right, get in horndog, you look like you're about to fall over." 

"As my Lord commands," Dray said as he climbed into bed. 

"I want to talk about that if you feel up to it"

"Talk about what?" Asked Dray as he pulled the covers over them.

"About Lords and commands dip shit," grinned Chuck

"Huh?" Asked Dray, still not understanding.

A serious expression on his face, Chuck pulled Dray to him as Dray moved closer.  Softly Chuck said, "That night at the bridge you said you loved me.  I guess I need to know if you still feel that way." 

Before Dray could answer, Chuck rushed on, "I mean if you don't, I'll understand.  It's not like you should feel obligated to lo…"

Dray stopped Chuck in mid sentence by gently placing a finger over his lips.  "Yes I still love you.  Only now it's different for me.  I knew your thoughts and feelings but I had never met you.  Now that I know you, that love increases more each day.  I stopped telling you because I didn't want to put any pressure on you." 

Chuck closed his eyes and didn't say anything for long moments.  He finally leaned his forehead against Dray's and let out a small sigh.  "I needed to know because I want to be with you.  In any way that you'll have me, I want to be with you.  I don't want to be with anyone else. I don't want you to be with anyone but me…  I love you Dray." 

They held each other for a long time after that. 

Lightly kissing Dray on the lips, Chuck said in a soft voice.  "I want you to come with me to the mall tomorrow morning.  I know you haven't been feeding right and I want you to feed when we get there."

"But what about the promises we made to each other?" 

"I didn't know what I was asking of you when I asked you to feed only from me.  If I had known, even then…  You're more important and I don't want you to get so bad that we have a repeat of what happened between you and Jared.  And I still don't want to have sex with anyone but you…  Do you still feel that way?" 

"Always...  I did from the moment I saw you that first time.  When I first felt your mind I knew that I loved you, and while you lived, I would never love another." 

Tears trickled gently down Chuck's face matched by the wetness trailing down Dray's.  Chuck said in a low voice, filled with emotion, his heart pounding,  "That thing about not reading my mind; I don't want that anymore…  I want us to read each other’s minds whenever we want.  You don't ever have to ask me ‘cause I belong to you." 

Dray held Chuck's hand and pulled it to his lips, kissing it gently, saying with his mind, "I am now and will always be yours."  Caressing Dray's mind, Chuck replied, simply, "You are my Love and my Lord, forever."

Dray closed his eyes as he wept and there was silence for a long time.  After many long moments, Chuck tearfully murmured," Babe, I want you to feed from me again.  I know you didn't feed enough a few minutes ago."   

Dray sighed and moved to meet Chuck as Chuck leaned in and kissed him. 

The kiss grew more and more passionate and Chuck moaned as Dray moved down to his neck.  Gasping as he felt a sharp pain where Dray kissed him, Chuck stiffened and almost blacked out from feelings of sheer ecstasy.  He made no attempt to stop Dray now. 

Chuck surrendered himself completely saying with that surrender, more clearly than words could ever hope to, that he was Dray's to do with as he pleased.  Chuck groaned and panted and knew only the ecstasy he shared with Dray.  He lived only in that blissful moment and in that moment cared only for Dray. Nothing else in the world mattered to him.  He knew only the love he and Dray shared. 

When Dray felt that he had fed long enough, and long before Chuck was in any danger, he gently pulled his head away.  "That's enough Babe.  I'll feed more tomorrow.  Sleep now." 

Chuck felt Dray caress his mind and returned it lovingly.    "God Dray, I don't know why you love me.  But for the first time in my life, I feel complete… and safe… please, just hold me Babe." 

Chuck felt Dray whisper in his mind that he would hold him forever. The words a gentle lullaby singing him to sleep. 

No sex here again, but it's coming and soon!!!  Part 4 is on its way!  Please let me know what you think.  My e-mail address again is:  thachillindude@yahoo.com.  --- tcd