Exclusive Excerpt from Imperial Twist
by Jessamyn Kingley
Damian slapped his towel over the bar and walked into his bedroom. Once he got to the closet, he selected a pair of jeans and a T-shirt since he would be relaxing at a ball game. It was a far cry from the tuxedo he’d worn the night before at a networking dinner for Draconis Enterprises. He wasn’t sure if it was necessary for the Emperors to be attending, as they’d long ago handed the company over to executives, but they would do whatever they could for the dragons.
Once his hair was combed, he left the dark decor of his private space to walk into the bright white, teal, black, and green medley that served as the palette for the shared areas of the condo. It made him smile to see the combination of colors that symbolized all of them, even Findlay with his ebony hair and mossy eyes. He jogged down the stairs and found a group of men frowning in the kitchen.
“What are we going to do?” Ellery asked forlornly as he stared at the counter.
“Does it really matter?” Tiri responded, his voice laden with confusion.
Ellery’s black-and-white hair with its gilt beads slapped his cheek as he whipped his head quickly to his best friend. “Of course it matters.”
“What’s going on?” Damian demanded. He tugged his earpiece out of his pocket and slipped it in, sure that something dire was happening, though as the man who ruled security, he should’ve been the first to be told.
“Ask your twin,” Ellery demanded as he aimed a dark look at the man he loved.
Damian was surprised to see so much anger directed at Chrysander; he knew how Ellery adored him. “What happened?”
“I was trying to make you a cup of coffee,” Chrysander told the unimpressed elf-dragon hybrid.
“We need to hurry, or we’re going to be late. Costas and Niko are already on their way,” Tiri complained.
“Well, we sure as heck aren’t going to let Chrys make the coffee. He sucks at it,” Damian grumbled as he strode past the frowning men to the coffeemaker.
“He does not just suck at it; he has broken it,” Ellery snapped.
Damian turned on one heel to face his Emperors. “What do you mean, ‘broken it’? How are we going to live without caffeine?”
“All I did was add the coffee and the water, and the damn thing busted,” Chrysander nearly roared. “Sorry, Tiri, I owe you a dollar.”
“I told everyone you don’t have to pay me for your potty mouths any longer,” Tiri reminded him. He’d arrived at their household from the exceedingly poor Sprite Grove and in order to save his pride at accepting Zane’s money, Ellery had suggested that they each give Tiri a dollar for each curse word they used. All the dukes in their court had readily agreed to pitch in, eager to help the friendly sprite. Unfortunately, Zane had decided to reimburse everyone behind Tiri’s back. When his mate found out, Tiri had demanded Zane stop the program entirely since he now made plenty through his company. No one, however, was willing to end the payments as nothing had changed Tiri’s aversion to foul language.
Zane snorted. “Good luck telling His Majesty not to give you money.”
“I’m not going to argue with you,” Tiri countered as he slapped his hands on his hips. “You guys are going to have to deal with life without your coffee. We need to go. Praxis is going to be mad if we miss his game.”
“I need coffee,” Ellery said dejectedly.
“Come on gang, we’ll find a coffee shop on the way to the field,” Damian decided.