The throbbing pain in his head became piercing, causing Dragon’s body to bow under the pressure. He threw his head back and groaned in agony. The pain drove him to his knees, his breathing coming in short gasps trying to control the pain. The pain that he suffered at the hands of the torture masons paled in comparison to what he was going through presently. Then, as quickly as it had overtaken him, it was gone. Dragon, still on his hands and knees, tried to take deep controlling breaths to calm his body. His teeth clenched, his body hummed and felt like he was being drained by some unknown force. Sweat poured off of his brow and dripped onto the deck, time itself seem to slow down. He saw every drop perfectly formed slowly, slowly falling and splattering on the floor. As soon as he could talk, he would order his men to scan for hostile forces.
Mace tried to help him to his feet, only to be waved away. Dragon carefully dragged himself to his feet unsteadily. He went to push his hair out of his face when he stopped dead in his tracks and stared unwaveringly at his hand.
“Dragon…your hand,” Mace whispered in awe.
Dragon was staring at his hand not being able to comprehend what he was seeing. It took his brain a minute to realize what he was looking at and longer for him to comprehend what was going on. Sacred, scarlet scrollwork in an intricate and unique pattern was appearing on his left palm and reaching up his arm to his elbow.
“This is not possible,” Dragon whispered hoarsely.
“Congratulations! The Goddess has blessed you with a Mate. If it happened to you, there is hope for the rest of us.” Mace couldn’t believe it. He, along with Dragon and many others, had believed that they would never be lucky enough to be blessed with Mates.
Members of the crew one by one came forward to congratulate Dragon. He went through the motions as if he were in a dream. He was still staring down at his hand, disbelieving the intricate pattern that was now fully developed on his skin.
The Goddess was truly female in Dragon’s eyes. While the females in the initial joining ritual experienced mind blowing orgasms, the males went through excruciating pain to remind them of the pain that their soul would feel if they never found their Mates.
“Good Goddess,” Dragon exclaimed still staring at his hand. “I hope you know what you are doing.”