Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus has a new MM sci fi space opera romance out: "The Pet and His Duke."
Robert is a pet, a human pleasure slave, and well past his prime.
So when teenage Duke Thomar of Aylian buys him via mail order, Robert first suspects a dreadful misunderstanding. The duke is young, handsome and headstrong, and the very last thing he needs while struggling to secure his reign over his planet is an aging bargain bin pet by his side.
Only, the more time Robert spends with Thomar, the more he learns that the young duke rarely makes mistakes. Unless, of course, Thomar dashes off on one of his mad adventures, which Robert increasingly becomes a part of…
‘The Pet and his Duke’ is a standalone m/m romance novel in the ‘Virasana Empire’ universe.
Written by Rainbow Book Award winners Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, it is a story of self-determination and love, and Happily-Ever-Afters in the most unlikely places.
Robert looked up from his latest romance novel as the door to the Ducal Suite opened to admit his master.
He was seated in his armchair at the burning fireplace, huddled under a woollen blanket. Early autumn in the capital of Aylian was usually pleasantly mild, but this year had brought an uncomfortable chill to Toraskah.
Thomar had explained that this was a problem caused by the Eigenrealität-bubble of the Aliaerean Realms leaking through the demon portal above them, messing with the climate. Whatever that meant. Apparently someone very important named Lady Beverly was working hard on correcting the issue, but it was all very complicated and would not be fixed before this winter, which promised to actually bring snow to the capital, a rare occurrence indeed.
All Robert had understood was that it was fucking cold, would get even colder, and would stay that way for a few months.
Blinking somewhat owlishly through his reading glasses, Robert watched his master carry a huge bowl filled with various types of fruit over to him. Thomar was home from work early and that usually meant he was so fed up with his duties that he was only left with the choice to either walk out or start shooting people. However, his smile looked decidedly indecent and made Robert discount that theory.
Thomar placed the bowl of fruit on the low sidetable next to Robert's armchair. He pushed Robert's feet off the footstool and inappropriately settled himself there, smiling up at his pet.
Robert carefully took off his reading glasses and placed them on the table with his book. His master obviously wanted something, and as usual, Robert wasn't sure what it was.
"How was your day, my lord?“ he tried to gauge Thomar's mood.
"Pretty nice, actually.“ Thomar drew a vicious-looking N'Ptalini dagger from a concealed compartment in his left boot, picked up a lima fruit from the bowl and started peeling it. "I was stuck in a meeting between Bishop Claudius of the Belligra and demon Ambassador Brassion for the last three hours and got to listen to them yelling at each other while entirely ignoring me.“ He dropped the lima peel to the ground, cut a fillet out of the ripe fruit and noisily sucked it off his blade. „I don't think they have noticed that I left.“
"I see.“ It was of course exceedingly impolite for the Duke to slip away like that, but Thomar knew that perfectly well himself.
"So, I thought I'd come home and see how my favourite pet is doing.“ Thomar discarded the rest of the peeled lima and picked up a mango instead. Again his dagger went to work, this time with juice dripping over his fingers.
"I'm good, thank you, my lord,“ Robert replied politely. He was not sure where his master was leading with this seemingly innocent conversation.
"You do look a bit cold.“ Thomar eyed him thoughtfully, licking mango juice off his fingers. "I've been wondering if we should find someone to fix the palace’s central heating.“ He popped a piece of mango into his mouth and continued sucking on his fingers with obvious relish. "Not sure if it's worth the effort if the climate is fixed by next winter though.“
"I'm sure we can make do until then.“ It was kind of hard to concentrate on the conversation when his master was such a pleasant distraction.
"Yeah, you're probably right.“ Thomar discarded the half-eaten mango as well, along with the dagger, and started rummaging in the fruit bowl until he produced an already cut piece of melon. "And the cold has some advantages too, eh? Snuggled up under blankets, sharing warmth...“
Thomar bit into the piece. Melon juice ran down his chin and he spent some time mopping it up with his fingers and licking them clean.
Robert watched hypnotised. He was slowly getting an idea of what his master wanted but he felt it was safer to ask first. Only how to phrase that question?
"So... anything in particular I can do for you tonight, my lord?“ he finally asked, while Thomar picked up a handful of strawberries from the bowl.
"Hm... actually... yes.“ Thomar lasciviously licked the first fruit and bit off half of it. "You know... I enjoyed that afternoon on the first day of our vacation.“ He sucked the juice from the rest of the strawberry. "When you ordered me onto the bed and fucked me so hard I thought you'd split me in half.“
Robert gave an undignified, half-choked sound. Pounding his master hard while half-crazed with lust was one thing. Having his master talk about it and demand more of it was another thing altogether. Then again, Thomar was doing a great job of getting him to that half-crazed state again.
"You seem to need some inspiration...“ The next strawberry followed, this time including Thomar licking red juice off his lips with his terribly agile tongue.
By now, the blanket as well as the fire seemed way too hot for Robert's liking. He felt heat pool in his groin as Thomar grinned up at him, sinfully sexy in his black uniform and that innocent face with eyes that promised pleasure as far from innocent as possible.
"You think you can repeat that performance?“ Thomar asked, turning his attention back to the bowl of fruit.
This time he reached for a banana, but Robert's hand shot out and grabbed his wrist before he could pick it up. Discarding any kind of careful considerations, Robert got to his feet and pulled his master against himself forcefully. He was rewarded with a breathless laugh full of delight. He covered Thomar's mouth in a demanding kiss and tasted the unexpected fruit cocktail with Thomar's own taste the cherry on top.
The Pet and his Duke
a Virasana Empire novel
by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
- Excerpt E, Unique -
The Duke was his new owner.
Robert had been owned by nobles before, but never by any of such high rank. He raked his memory for any details about his new master. Vaguely, he remembered reading that the old duke had been killed during the demon invasion of Aylian and that his youngest son now held the title. Oh, that was dreadfully little information to go by.
Why in all the empire would a young duke buy a pet like him?
The N'Ptalini got out of the glider and opened the door for Robert with a slight smirk. “I hope you don't need much sleep. The Duke's quite a handful.”
Now, what was that supposed to mean? Sadly, this time the warrior did not reply to his thoughts, but instead grabbed Robert's bag from the trunk, and led the way inside the palace. Though, this was more of a fortress, Robert had to admit. Most nobles preferred a more airy, representative style for their homes, while this was definitely built to withstand invasions, with its thick walls and narrow windows. Maybe the fortress hadn't been so damaged in the first place and that was why repairs looked all but finished here.
On their way through the fortress, it became clear that the place had been breached and looted, however. There were scorch marks on naked stone walls and very little furniture or decorations in sight. The maze of corridors was confusing, but Robert didn't worry about it too much. After all, it was unlikely a pet like him would ever have to find his way on his own.
Much too soon, they reached what had to be the ducal suite. Robert was still trying to prepare himself for meeting his new master and trying to figure out how best to make a good impression.
Outside the suite, another N'Ptalini waited, guarding the door.
“Ah, so he's home?” Robert's guard asked.
“Yeah,” the other warrior answered, grinning, “and waiting for you. He can't wait to see his new toy.”
The N'Ptalini who had picked Robert up pushed open the door without knocking and headed inside, so Robert had no choice but to follow. The suite was furnished, but the style was eclectic to say the least. The floors were covered by thick, slightly mismatched rugs, the walls were bare stone, the furniture itself looked as though it had been scavenged from a dozen different rooms to fill the space, which probably they had been. It didn't look like anything Robert would have associated with ducal or noble pride. It looked ... comfortable.
“Thomar?” the guard called, surprising Robert yet again by apparently being on a first name terms with the Duke. “I'm back!”
A young man entered from where Robert guessed the bedroom to be, and he quickly dropped to his knees and lowered his eyes. He only caught a short glimpse, but whatever the bad side of this new master would turn out to be, it certainly wasn't his looks.
“I've brought your pet,” the N'Ptalini explained unnecessarily.
“Thank you, T'lark,” the Duke sounded youthful and pleased, “Please leave us.”
The warrior departed, closing the door behind him and Robert's heart rate picked up. Was he really nervous about suddenly being alone with his new master? He had thought himself over such feelings. Granted, there were about a million horrible things that might happen to him now, but he had reconciled himself with that years ago. There was nothing he could do anyway. He was a pet.
A pair of heavy combat boots came into view and circled around him.
“So you are Robert, yes?”
“Yes, Master.” Why had the duke bought him? Had he somehow been deceived? Or was he pleased with his purchase?
“Your listing said that you've had a ton of owners already and that you're very experienced at being a pet?”
So at least that had been accurate. “Yes, Master.”
The circling boots stopped in front of him. “Look at me, please.”
Now taking a proper look at the young duke, he couldn't help but think that the boy looked cute enough to make a wonderful pet himself. Lean and trim, but also a bit lanky, still growing. Chestnut brown hair that was just long enough to fall into his eyes in a floppy wave, bright brown eyes, a face that would one day be angularly noble, but at the moment retained a touch of boyish roundness.
Shush. This is your new master, not a boy. Your Master. And definitely not ever anyone he should dare to think of as a pet.
The Duke had been studying Robert himself and grinned. “I think they cheated with your holos in that catalogue. You looked much younger in them.” Why did he sound so pleased at that?
“I ... uh ... I'm sorry, my lord...?” His stammered excuse was immediately waved silent.
“No, it's good. Even better than I hoped.”
His master made no sense at all to Robert. This was not what he had expected. Not that he had expected anything in particular, but this certainly wouldn't have been it.
“Wow, this is so great! You are exactly what I wanted!” The young duke was practically bouncing with excitement. “I hope you're not too tired from the journey?”
“No, my lord?” Robert replied hesitantly.
“Awesome!” Before he knew what was happening, Robert was already being hauled to his feet by his wrist and dragged towards the open bedroom door. “Let's take you for a test drive!”
We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.
Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.
An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.
An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.
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