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Lion Rising

by Diana DeRicci

Jayce Morrow is like any other college student: part academic, part nerd, part dreamer. Adopted by the only family he’s ever known he has no idea of his true identity. Or what his unknown history means.

Saving the world wasn’t part of his college application, after all.
When a gorgeous mage appears out of thin air in his apartment, he’s positive he’s dreaming, convinced one of his friends has jumped the shark looking for players for their D&D dungeon by hiring LARPers.

Except there is no dungeon to strategize through. Mages and magic are real. And he’s about to learn his role in saving their world.

Note from the Author: This story is a slow burn MM romance with some really stubborn characters, a few comments about an elf’s amazing hair, and challenges that can mold the man regardless of plans.


“Who are you?”

“My name is Rune.”

He flipped back his cowl and Jayce all but gasped. He was beautiful, beyond beautiful. Pale, almost white blond hair lay thick and pulled taut in a ponytail at his nape. Wide almond eyes that formed a downward tip at their corners. Eyes that were… They had to be contacts. They weren’t normal. Jayce blinked and drew a breath. Not important. “Okay, Rune. Who are you? Why are you here? And how the hell did you sneak up on me like that?”

Rune steadied his staff, and when he released it, it stayed standing upright in place. Jayce’s eyes goggled as Rune took a step away from him. When he twisted his head, he got his third shock.

“Are your ears…” He slapped a hand over his mouth. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. It was all too much to believe, but… No it had to be fake. Someone was playing a prank on him. Had to be.


Rune arched a fine eyebrow, but didn’t rebuke him when nothing else followed. “As for who I am, I’m Rune, Mage of the Fifth Circle, Master of nature and fire.” He bowed low. “It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Jayce’s mouth popped open on repeat, unable to form words. What the hell? This guy was good at whatever he thought he was LARPing. Jayce never took his eyes off the person in his apartment. He had a few ways to protect himself, though it was usually him scaring off guys from the girls down the hall and he never thought he’d be doing it against a cosplayer nutjob. “Did Joni send you? She really must need people to join her game if she’s hiring RPG characters to be part of her campaign.”

Rune offered an elegant hand, he guessed to help him up off the floor. Where he legit still sat. “I apologize. I do not know a Joni.”

Jayce clasped his hand and was eased back to his feet. The flare of power that rocketed up his arm at the contact had him gasping again and leaping backward. “Holy fuck,” he murmured. He shook his hand out. He thought he could see the electrical zaps in the air surrounding them after touching his hand.

For the first time, Rune looked uneasy. “How old are you?”

“Twenty-two. Why? How old are you?” he shot back.

“One hundred and forty-two.”

This time when Jayce fell to the floor, it was a faint.


About the Author

Diana DeRicci is the sexy, flirty pen name of Diana Castilleja. A romance author at heart, DeRicci’s writing takes you into a saucier spectrum of sensuality and sexual adventure, where a happily-ever-after is still the key to any story. Diana lives in Central Texas with her husband and one son. You can catch the latest news on all of Diana DeRicci’s writing and books on her website. Feel free to drop Diana an email. She’d love to hear from you.