Sparkles and Scowls Chapter 1


Well, it looked like the quiet librarian was just as kinky as everyone had predicted and just as shy as expected judging by the not-so-quiet pep talk he was giving himself. “It’s just toys and nosy neighbors. That’s not scary.”

I liked him, even though shy and slightly skittish wasn’t my thing, and it was nice to see a familiar face, so I stepped closer and tried to make him laugh. “I happen to think the neighbors are scary, so don’t feel bad.”


The way he jumped and whirled around in the entrance said I hadn’t been as loud as I’d thought I’d been. Holding my hands out to my sides, I took a step back and did my best not to look like I was about to hold him up at a bank robbery or steal his wallet.

Most of the locals knew I was safe, but newbies always panicked first and asked questions later. “Sorry. I said hello but now I realize you didn’t hear me.”

The librarian relaxed as soon as he realized who I was, recognition quickly showing in his eyes as he let out a breath. “I was talking to myself and panicking too much. I’m sorry.”

I appreciated seeing how quickly his fright receded but that didn’t mean I made any sudden moves. However, Stefan smiled brightly and looked like he was in the library, not getting ready for a littles play party at the VFW Hall. “How did you like the new series you started? I’ve been expecting you to be in any day to get the next book.”

Books were clearly his comfort zone, so I let my hands come down to my sides and smiled, glad to be able to distract him. “Work’s been busy lately, so I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s good.”

“That’s wonderful.” Fidgeting, Stefan rocked back and forth before glancing deeper into the building. “Do you know about the…the meeting tonight? It’s my first time coming.”

With how badly it seemed to have been explained to him, I wasn’t surprised that it’d taken him a while to show up.

“Yeah.” I wasn’t much for randomly sharing about myself, but I tried to look relaxed and pleasant as I nodded and forced myself to open up to the nervous sub.

It wasn’t my natural state unless I was dating someone but it seemed to be what he needed, so I pushed back my own reservations. “I’m not sure I’m what some of the subs are looking for, but half the town stopped by the shop over the past week and made sure I knew the playdate was tonight.”

They’d been a pain in the ass, but it’d been clear that if I wanted to get anything done, I’d have to come to at least one.

Stefan bit his lip before a giggle slipped out. “Everyone is very nosy.”

He seemed to enjoy that part, so I couldn’t help chuckling. “Yeah, I think they’re at the end of their rope with me, so I figured I’d at least show up once to get everyone off my back.”

Stefan’s nod said he thought that was a good plan. “Is wishing you luck appropriate?”

He looked adorably confused about that, and I couldn’t hold back a grin, but luckily he wasn’t offended and shrugged, returning my smile. “I have no idea what I’m doing here or what’s bad manners.”

Another issue that someone in town should’ve thought about…including me.

But in my defense, I hadn’t wanted to seem like I was coming onto him or being as nosy as everyone else, so I’d done nothing. Which, looking back, might not have been the right option. I’d been telling myself that Boyd would do it, mostly because it was obvious how head over heels he was for the new librarian, but again, not a good plan.

“Not going to assume I’m going to ask you out?” Stefan’s adorable blush had me chuckling again. “I’m teasing. I appreciate the thought.”

He straightened and seemed to find some gumption with my teasing. “No, because the woman at the post office told me that you’re looking at getting to know someone else. I just didn’t realize she was warning me off because of…well, because we might have a mutual interest.”

I couldn’t help groaning and shaking my head. “This town…”

Not that she was wrong…but he hadn’t needed to know that.

Stefan’s grin said he didn’t seem to find it as frustrating as I did, but he hadn’t lived in the crazy town his whole life. He probably thought they were cute or quaint, but I was ready to drown most of them. A few I might just put sugar in their gas tank, but most were beyond just a bit of torture.

“The town is very curious and I’m fairly certain someone will arrive to shove us in the door if we don’t actually walk in ourselves.” Stefan glanced around like he wasn’t sure if he was teasing or not, and I knew the feeling, so I laughed.

“Yeah, I’d have to agree with you.” I playfully looked around too and actually wasn’t surprised to see a few people standing across the street.

Nosy fuckers.

But with human senses, Stefan hadn’t noticed them, so I smiled and nodded toward where the noise was coming from. “You ready? I happen to know that a certain grumpy…guy is going to be in attendance tonight.”

His dramatic groan made me laugh. “You’re not the only one who’s been warned off.”

Nearly every visitor I’d gotten lately reminded me that Boyd had a thing for the librarian, so I had to stay in my own lane. The descriptions of what they thought I would be doing varied from the confusing to the ridiculous, but everyone was convinced Boyd would get Stefan and that was that.

And I had to admit…they’d obviously been right.

There was definitely something between the two men if Boyd would get off his ass and stake his claim.

“Let’s go in before I die of embarrassment in the parking lot.” The little librarian took a breath and turned back toward the main room, but his gumption quickly began to fade at the idea of actually having to move his feet.

He looked like he needed a push, so I tried to look reassuring as I followed him. “You’ve got it, cutie. And don’t look now, but you’ve got company.”

“What do I do?” His startled expression made it seem like a legitimate question, so I answered him seriously.

“You talk to people. Hang out and see if something catches your attention. Have a snack. Just explore. There’s no right or wrong.” My overly simplistic answer had him nodding, though, so I thought I’d done pretty well.

“I like snacks.” Offering up random information was better than panic, so I smiled and tried to encourage him.

“Then make Kenzie very happy by asking for a piece of his cake and that will go a long way in helping you make a few more friends.” I’d have liked to give him another boost of confidence, but Boyd was glaring at me like he was planning where to hide my body once he killed me. “The grump is incoming and looks kind of jealous if you ask me.”

Giving Stefan a wink just to drive the grumpy accountant insane, I stepped back and headed off to find anywhere else to be, just in case.

Fucking with the jealous dragon was not my goal, even though I wasn’t sure why I was at the party. The little I was interested in always seemed to be in his own world and never looked twice at me, and the grump I was also drawn to wasn’t much better.

But at least he knew there was a spark between us…not that he was overly pleased with the situation.

Yep, there he was, glares and everything.

Hmm, I was starting to see why Lorne never looked twice at either of us. We were probably giving off the most conflicting signals and fuck only knew what he’d been told by our wonderfully nosy neighbors.

And Carrick’s wonderfully cheerful disposition was probably a great help.

“You know, if you keep frowning, your face is going to stick like that.” Walking up beside him, I did what I did best…fuck with him. “Wait. It already has. I’m sorry.”

Rolling his eyes, he went from scanning the room to glaring at me. “I’m here because I was threatened.”

That was new.

“Groceries? Post office? Oh, or fucking with your garden again?” Those were the top three that everyone had used in the past but he shook his head.

“Landing on my house and setting my favorite tree on fire.” Carrick didn’t say who’d done it, but he pissed off half the town on a regular basis, so it could’ve been anyone.

“That was a good threat. They must’ve really wanted you to come play.” Yep, someone had not thought their plan through.

“I don’t play.” His clipped response and dry tone made that clear.

Carrick was not a Daddy and I wasn’t sure anyone at the party was interested in his love of floggers and paddles.

Anyone who said that mages didn’t have hoards was blind.

Their hoards were just weird.

“You just don’t play like this.” Nodding toward tables filled with coloring books and cake, I wasn’t sure what to say about Lorne’s mess of beads.

If I hadn’t known what his hoard was already, I’d have thought it was craft supplies.

Carrick’s scoff was so pretentious it made me want to laugh. “I have no desire to play with random littles who don’t give me the time of day in real life.”

He didn’t seem to understand his attitude was the problem standing between him and the subs in town. However, considering there seemed to be more littles than traditional subs in the area, smiling probably wouldn’t have helped.

And our slightly odd dynamic probably didn’t help either.

Oh, and I couldn’t forget that our mate seemed to be the sparkly little with his head in the clouds.

“I’m sure there are games one particular little might be curious about playing with you.” Lorne always radiated happy innocence, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t nearly as naïve as he appeared. “I heard from a very reliable source that he was researching if handcuffs came sparkly or if they were all plain.”

Occasionally, the nosiness was helpful.

Carrick went very still, but his grumpiness only came down a tiny notch. “Really? I think that’s highly unlikely.”

“Nope, the source is trustworthy.” Because he hadn’t known I’d been listening in.

People really shouldn’t gossip or overshare near open doors, but I wasn’t going to point out the behavior when it was helpful.

“I think that’s a very good sign.” Not that Carrick seemed to want to admit it. We just had to figure out how to get him to notice us without coming across as creepy or overbearing.

But considering my dragon side was very interested in adding the sparkly cutie to my hoard and Carrick was startlingly possessive for a mage, I wasn’t sure how we were going to accomplish that.


Nope, even though I had a mage who was handy with fascinating things, I wasn’t going to cheat by using it even if it were possible.

But using the townspeople?

Yep, that would just be using my resources.

“You know, if we dropped a bit of gossip in the right ears, we could probably get him to come to you. I bet he’d be very curious to know where you found sparkly handcuffs or a plug that was decorated with rhinestones.” It wasn’t something that I would personally find fascinating but those two were different creatures.

“What would you be doing?” His tone didn’t tell me if he was worried I’d feel left out or if it was something else, but I shrugged anyway.

“I haven’t figured that out yet, but my fallback plan is to be the one to return his wallet the next time he loses it somewhere.” I’d hoped that he’d come into the shop eventually but the nut seemed to trade his car in every six months.

So that’d been a bust.

And we were going to talk about his love of sparkly new vehicles too…but that would wait until after I was his Daddy.

“How are you going to manage that?” Carrick’s glare came back in my direction but I could see the spark of laughter he wasn’t going to let out.

“I fixed Nancy’s car for free.” And Lorne left his wallet at her diner at least once a week. “She threatened to burn my food for the rest of her life if I was mean to him in any way, but she thought it was a fair trade.”

The town, and everyone in it, was fucking crazy…but that worked to my advantage sometimes.

Shaking his head, Carrick’s grin peeked out for a split second. “That’s devious.”

He definitely approved.

“Yep, but just remember the deal. First one to get his attention and an actual date has to explain that there are two of us.” It wasn’t incredibly common to have more than one mate anymore—fuck, it wasn’t common to have mates anymore—but there was no doubt that we were a package deal.

I didn’t think the cutie would mind, though, and I was fairly certain it’d take two of us to manage him.

“How many boxes of beads should one little own?” I’d been trying not to get distracted by the incredible amount of crafting supplies that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, but it was getting to the point of ridiculous.

“Not that many.” Frowning instead of glaring, Carrick sighed. “Do you think it’s another compulsion? I told you that you should’ve let me hex that—”

“First, he has to give us permission to take over his life, and second of all, he doesn’t know we’re his mates, so it would’ve looked like we were stalkers.” We’d been hoping he’d stand up for himself, but he seemed to have been enjoying the attention and the watches he’d been collecting, so the mixed signals hadn’t helped us know what to do.

“Third.” Carrick rolled his eyes at me as he continued. “I’m going to be a damned good stalker once he’s ours.”



It’d taken him almost six months to start saying that on a regular basis and it was still cute as fuck.


I just hoped Lorne didn’t mind having an overbearing Dom and a mushy Daddy for a mate.

Want to read the rest?

Sparkles. As the most fabulous dragon that has ever graced the skies, Lorne always pictured his mate as…well…at least slightly shiny. He knows he’s incomparable, but he thought his mate would match him in some wonderfully glittery way. What he’s not expecting are two mates who seem to think black is a lifestyle and not a sin against fashion.

Mages. When it comes to insane mates, nothing holds a candle to a drama queen mage who expects the worst…but their oblivious cutie who always has his head in the clouds is running a close second. As a Daddy without a little and a mate who’s all alone, though, Monroe knows it’s time to stop waiting for fate to have all the answers.

Dragons. They’re a pain in every conceivable way, but Carrick knows he’s stuck with them when fate matches him with not one but two illogical dragons who seem to have been put on the Earth to drive him crazy. Unfortunately, it seems like their insanity might be one of his favorite things about his unexpected mates.

When one mate isn’t as innocent as he appears and the other two are diamonds in the rough, three men will come to realize that mates are always meant to be.