"ENDICOTT REX" is the sequel to "DRAGONWALKER." This new addition to Torquere Press' Arcana line is based on the King of Wands Tarot card.
Endi’s life changed forever when he learned how to call forth the hidden dragon natures in the dogs of his hometown, and even more when his new talent threw him together with his longtime crush. Now, Endi and his Chief are back! Endi's trying to learn how to be a sub and not just a slutty bottom, and Chief's working on balancing being Endi's boss with topping the irrepressible Dragonwalker. When the dragon-dogs of Endicott begin disappearing, Endi and Chief step in as first responders…and into a world of trouble where the threat of failure could tear them apart. Will they be able to tease fact from fiction, friend from enemy, in time to figure out the mystery of the dragon-dogs and save their love? Find out in this madcap sequel.

The King of Wands is often associated with the quintessence of masculine energy, with vitality, dynamism, and mastery.  Here is the Sage of Wands from The World Spirit Tarot by Lauren O'Leary.
Endicott Rex REVIEWS
Nannette of Joyfully Reviewed says, "Endi and Chief’s May/December romance is sexy. ...  Endicott Rex is fun, creative, and even exciting. It’s liberally laced with witty humor as well as romance, sex, and suspense." Read Nannette's review.
And according to Danielle of CoffeeTime Romance & More: "Lee Benoit's tale is definitely unique and entertaining. ... The romance between Endi and the Chief was hot and spicy...." Read the rest of the review.
The dogs of small-town Endicott start turning into dragons, and it's up to dogwalker extraordinaire Endi to save the day...
Endi has lived in the same small town his whole life.  He walks and grooms dogs for a living, tries to keep up with the sprawling old house his grandparents left him, manages a boyfriend, and tries like heck to hide his crush on the town's fire chief.  Pretty ordinary, right?  But Endi's always hoped for better than "ordinary."  One day, he meets a mysterious new friend and his canine clients start sprouting wings and spewing fire.  Can the motley collection of pooches really be dragons?
Dragonwalker REVIEWS 
CB Potts, author of the Rockhounds series, writes: "Dragon Walker by Lee Benoit is surprising and complex.  I thought I knew what was going to happen to naive-yet-very-sexy Endi, only to have what should have been a predictable love story turn into something very different -- and so much better!" Read CB's review
"Dragonwalker is a blast. It's a very creative and heartwarming story. Endi and the chief's relationship is a little shy of taboo and I love them together!" says Nannette of Joyfully Reviewed.
Nicky at Fallen Angel Reviews says: "I loved this story for the utter uniqueness of dragons mixed in with the normal world. ...A perfect quirky tale all around!"
"Dragonwalker is a prime example of imagination at its best. ... This short read is definitely a gem," says Sage Whistler of Dark Diva Reviews.
One night a while back I was reading my kids yet another triumphal dragon rider story (might have been Eragon) and I thought to myself how funny it would be if the dragon's human companions were more...humble -- not dragon tamers, or dragon slayers or dragon riders, but...dragon walkers. I cracked myself up, and fortunately Syd McGinley was editing a anthology of stories about men in pickles (not men with pickles -- get your minds out of the gutter!).  I started writing and the result was "Dragonwalker," which appeared in the ANOTHER FINE MESS anthology!
DRAGONWALKER is currently out of print, but will be reissuing soon as a Single Shot Classic from Torquere Press!
Here is how DRAGONWALKER begins:
It all starts with a blowjob.
As it turns out, the blowjob itself isn’t all that important.  In fact, it doesn’t even have all of my attention, or I wouldn’t have noticed the wings.
I’m on my knees in Peter’s kitchen.  I’d come to walk his dog at lunchtime, like always, and he’d popped home from his office in the next town over because he’d “forgotten something.”  Yeah, to stick his dick in my mouth, that’s what he forgot.  Not that I’m not happy to oblige.
But there’s happy and then there’s happy, if you know what I mean.
He smoothes his hand over my hair as I suck him off.  He isn’t guiding me, or forcing me, no, he’s tidying me up.  That’s Peter all over: his priority during fellatio isn’t getting off, or holding off, or controlling my technique, it’s subduing my unruly hair.  How a guy like him can own a dog is beyond me.  But the dog, not his dick, is why I’m there, and we both know it.
Without letting up on my patented bob and weave technique, I swivel my eyes around to see if Blackie’s still in the room.  Call me a freak, but I think it’s kind of impolite of Peter to get sucked off in front of his dog, especially since he says his dog is neutered.
There’s Blackie, sitting in a shaft of noontime sun from the kitchen window, watching us without blinking, his yellow ear fur all lit up.  Oh, yeah, Blackie’s not black; Black is Peter’s last name, arrogant jerk.
In the light from the window, it looks like Blackie isn’t a dog, either.  He dances his paws a little on the floor, flexing his shoulders, and I swear I see a pair of wings extend behind and above him, flap once, and fold back into nothing.
It’s a good thing Peter’s just finished shooting down my throat because I spit out his floppy prick and sit back hard on the green linoleum.
“Did you see that?” I yell.
Peter chuckles and tucks himself away.  “What, kiddo, did I make you see stars?”
I must have a pretty harsh look on my face or something because his face registers concern for the merest second.  “Did I hurt you?  Cut off your air?”
I look over at Blackie, who takes my sprawled position on the floor as an invitation to play.  He ambles over and I watch him every second, waiting for those wings to appear again.  He sniffs my face and licks at my mouth, which is kind of gross if you think about what was most recently in my mouth.  I stroke over his shoulders and down his spine, scratching a little.
No wings.
“Well, Endi, I better head back to the office,” Peter says, not offering to help me up off the floor.  “Those homeowners’ policies won’t write themselves.”
He chuckles smugly, as if what he does is so much more important than what I do.  He pats his hair, which is perfect even after a blowjob—I think he shellacs it every morning.  I stand and check Blackie’s food and water -- taking one more look for wings -- and follow him out.
“Next time, Endi,” he says with a wave.  He never kisses me.  You never know where my mouth might have been.
I head home to have my own lunch and pick up Lomi for our afternoon rounds.
It’s nice living in a tiny little town all your life.  Everybody knows you, and nobody locks their doors (except Peter), and every little thing, from the burl on the oak in front of the post office to the assortment of old fellas sitting outside Burgess General, is familiar.
I wave to the old guys, missing my Grampy a little.  No matter how many of the porch-sitters pass, there always seems to be four of them on the wide porch.  I think they’re the only people left in town who walk their own dog.
Just in case, I look for wings on old Sounder, their collectively-held dog, but there aren’t any.  I think I see a wisp of smoke rising from his nostrils, but I wouldn’t put it past Milton and them to give Sounder a pull on their pipes, so I don’t think much of it.
I go round the back of my house, open the kitchen door, and land on kitchen linoleum for the second time in thirty minutes.  Only this time, I’m completely thrilled to be there.
Lomi is the smartest and most beautiful dog in the world.  She doesn’t need a leash but I use one anyway.  Sets a good example for all the less perfect dogs out there.
After lunch (roast beef and apples for me, roast beef and kibble for Lomi) we don our armor (jacket for me, leash for Lomi) and head out to patrol the streets of Endicott.  That’s right, I have the same name as the town.  I don’t want to talk about it. 
We lollop along saying hello to everyone, then nip in at the co-op to say hey to Butch.
“Hey, sexy guy,” I say.
“Hey,” he says back.  He stacking kiwis and holds up two in his big palm, rolling them around like they’re a pair of balls.
I giggle.
Butch frowns.  He hates it when I act queeny.  But I wrangle animals for a living and he fondles fuzzy fruit, so I let it go.  I make a peace offering.
“Peter came home while I was feeding Blackie.”
Butch’s eyebrows shoot up to meet his hairline (not that it’s a long trip) and he leers.
“You’ll tell me all about it?”
“Sure.  I was bent over the tub of kibble, digging around for the scoop, when -- ”
“Idiot!  I meant tell me later.”
Lomi does that head cocking thing to show she doesn’t approve of Butch’s tone but is too refined and polite to say anything. For a second I think I smell sulfur.
“And get that dog out of here before Walter sees it.”
I make a “pooh” noise.  Walter humps in with a crate of something leafy balanced on his head.  He was in the Peace Corps in Tanzania like fifty years ago and carrying stuff on his head is his way of keeping his glory days alive.
“Hey, Walter,” I say.  “Lomi came to visit you!”  Preemptive strike.  I don’t want to be accused of smuggling a canine into a health food store.
“Hey, Endi.  How’s my pretty girl?”  He means Lomi.  I’m not that queeny.
“We’re good.  On our way to the park. You need anything delivered?”  If it’s something heavy Walter will make Butch carry it and then we can walk together and I can tell him about Blackie’s wings and Sounder’s smoke.
“Just some of the Sisters’ bread for the firehouse.”
“Think you can handle it?” Butch asks me.  He really only wants to spend time with me if he’s fucking me or I’m telling him about one of my adventures – that’s how I know he’ll be by later, to hear about Peter’s surprise inspection.  Grammy would say I deserve better but this is Endicott, not San Francisco: boys who like boys are pretty thin on the ground.
“Yeah,” I say and heft the basket of bread Walter gives me.
“What’s that smell?” Walter asks as Lomi and I turn to leave.
“Sourdough?” I suggest.
“Smells like burning hair.”
I know what he means.  Around the edge of the bread basket I catch sight of Lomi, squinting into a little puff of smoke and glaring in her classy way at Butch.  I blink hard.  Must be dust, or steam from the bread.
Lomi and I resume our patrol.  It’s always nice to have a legitimate excuse to stop at the firehouse.  Not that I don’t stop to say hi all the time, but if I bring something to eat I usually get invited to pal around with the firefighters and EMTs.  If I’m there to work I get stuck in the exam room with the pups and a pair of nail clippers.  Not that that’s a bad thing, but what would you choose if your choices were doggy toenails versus firemen in suspenders?
“Hey, Endi!!  Not your regular day, is it?”
“Yikes!  Jimmy, grab this before they knock me over!”
I’m about to go down under a wave of spotted dogs.  I swear every stray in the county with more than two spots on it, ends up at Endicott’s firehouse.  No Dalmatians, just spotty mutts.  I’m caught in the undertow.
Jimmy grabs the bread -- gotta admire the man’s priorities -- and shouts the herd into the run out back.  “Got time for a slice of this?  Maybe some coffee?  Quiet day around here.”
“Didn’t you get the memo, asshole?  No caffeine for Endi.  Station policy.”  That’s the chief.  He says I’m sensitive to stimulants.
Chief steers me into the kitchen by my shoulder and looks me dead in the eye.  I practically melt.  Jimmy’s cute, in a just-scrubbed, greased-pole, fireman kind of way, but not even the sight of him sliding down the fire pole naked will ever get me revved the way one serious look from the chief does.  Chief’s eyes are the same brushed-steel color as his hair.  He’s pushing fifty, really tall, and has this bushy moustache and this huge grin and if he weren’t practically related to me I’d add him to my rotation of kitchen-floor blow jobs.
“Everything okay, Endi?”  I know what he means.
“I’m getting there, Chief,” I say. I try to hold his gaze when I mumble, “Still cry some nights.”
The chief’s moustache ripples a little, like a caterpillar on a branch.  “Me, too, kid.”  His smile is sad.  Grampy was his best friend, and his boss back before Grampy retired.  We knew he wouldn’t last long after Grammy passed, but I know we were both hoping for a little more time.  I wasn’t finished yet, you know?
We reach the kitchen and Jimmy starts slicing one of the loaves.
We chat about my job, the pups, station gossip.  Then Chief says, “That boy treating you right?”  He means Butch.
I shrug.  “I guess so.”  There’s a lot I don’t say, but Chief seems to hear it anyway.
He nods with that sad smile again and pours me some juice.
“Can Lomi have some water?” Lomi is so well behaved she gets to stay in the firehouse when all the other dogs have to go outside, and she loves me so much she doesn’t mind not getting to play with her buddies.  Butch doesn’t understand that.
I smell that sulfur smell again and look at her full on.  Sure enough, little curls of smoke are rising from her nostrils.  I look at Jimmy and Chief from under my hair to see if they notice.  Surely firefighters would be the first to smell smoke.  But they don’t wrinkle their noses or say anything; maybe they’re immune to the smell after years on the job.
© Lee Benoit


Chapter 1. The Feckless Page
It all starts out with a perfectly innocent lunch.
I bop into Zorro’s to meet David and some journalist friend of his who wants to do a story about the amazing dragon dogs of Endicott. I say a quick hi to Bennie, who makes eyes at my uniform, and who can blame her? I’m a ravishing combination of working class chic and military dash, if I say so myself. The uniform is my own creation, seersucker coveralls with a shiny brass zipper, my name embroidered on an oval patch on the chest, and the official crest of my position on the sleeve. A flying dragon with a leash held by a golden hand. It’s fabulous.
David’s friend is impressed, I can tell.
“Mr. Thorne, a pleasure. Thanks for taking the time.” He’s at least ten years older than me, which makes him years younger than David. I wonder how they met.
I buss David on the cheek and notice that he blushes a little. Is it delight in the attentions of my hot young, uniformed self, or embarrassment at being kissed in front of his friend? I let it go as we dig into paninis and Italian sodas and I race to keep up with Perry Manton’s questions. This is my first official interview, and I don’t want to mess up.
Manton doesn’t ask about my job as the Town of Endicott’s official Dragon Wrangler, or even too much about the dragon-dogs themselves. He doesn’t even ask about my new outreach program with at-risk kids in Burgess County, that teaches them how to care for dogs, dragon or otherwise. Anyone knows dragon dogs are amazing, but it breaks my heart that no one thought these kids were amazing until now. I’d love to tell this big-city reporter that, but a second look at his studiously slick look and I realize anything real I say will be lost on him. Instead he asks how I think it’s possible that most of the dogs of Endicott (except the terriers) can turn into dragons on an order from me. He doesn’t seem to know that David can also call the dragon natures of some dogs. I wonder how well they know each other, after all.
I fumble my way through that question and the next ones about my powers. I’m feeling a bit out of my element, just like in Town Council meetings, where all the old guys who hired me look to Chief instead of me whenever they need an answer about the dragon-dogs. Why isn’t David jumping in? He could help. I wouldn’t mind.
Bennie clears our plates and brings coffee and cranberry-orange hemp cupcakes with soy-cheese frosting (I think this was yesterday’s special, too, and hope these don’t become a regular menu item). She’s forgotten Chief’s coffee moratorium, and I’m so grateful I don’t even correct her, though I know I’ll be confessing to Chief later. He’ll notice, for sure.
I dive into the coffee and try to think as Manton starts in with questions I’d really prefer not to answer, questions about my time in the psych ward right after Endicott’s dogs started manifesting their scaly, flying, fire-spitting abilities. He asks about how they almost destroyed the town before Chief sprung me and I got them under control. I’m really uncomfortable with all this and shoot David a helpless look, which is a stupid thing to do because David is as blind today as he was yesterday. You’d think his dark glasses would remind me, but I just forget.
“Am I making you nervous?” Manton asks and I notice how slick his smile is. Expensive orthodonture and a really good haircut. Even for a big-city reporter. “How about you tell me how the town of Endicott is profiting from the dogs, eh?”
That question burns my britches, but I’m still trying to be all official and professional.
“You’re not what I expected,” I mumble as I fiddle with the tab on my zipper. I know I come across young and insecure, so I sit up straighter and look Manton in the eye. Colored contacts, I’m almost certain. “You’re not asking about the good stuff. About how amazing the dogs are when they fly, or all the good work I’m training them to do.” I’m so proud of them all, and I want them to have their day in the limelight.
“Those things are a matter of public record, Mr. Thorne,” Manton says. “My readers want to hear about the juicy bits.” He pauses, and I resist the urge to look to David for support again. How can this guy be David’s friend? “They want to know about your relationship with Endicott’s Fire Chief, a man twenty-five years your senior. They want to know how your lover got you a job with the town when you’re barely qualified to pull espressos in this second-rate café. Now, come on, Endi. Give me the goods.”
I’m so hurt and surprised I can feel myself heating up. It’s a good thing Lomi isn’t with me today ‘cause I just know she’d be shooting flame about now. How could David set me up like this? I’ll be asking him later, for sure, but I can’t pitch a hissy in front of this smug bigshot reporter -- he’d love it too much.
I stand up and turn to David. “I gotta go,” I stammer. “Late for a meeting.”
As I blunder past Bennie, caffeine singing in my blood, I hear the reporter say, “Well, he certainly is green, isn’t he, Davey? How charming.”
I hate him all the way to Chief’s office.

© Lee Benoit