Since his wife's murder Elfin warrior, Hanarom Avindaul's, life had been an endless quest for peace, one he felt became less likely of success each day. He'd been fighting for others for so long he'd all but forgotten he had needs of his own-until he rescued the maiden, Kaiya Galbraith.
Kaiya Galbraith had always known her father, the duke, harbored no love for her. Still, until it happened, she would never have believed him capable of bartering her life away to a stranger in return for coin to pay off his debtors. All hope of finding love appeared lost to her forever...until she was rescued by a being she'd only ever seen in her dreams. When the Elfin warrior, Hanarom Avindaul, plucked her from imminent death into the safe shelter of his arms, though, she discovered she was all too eager to stay.
When the flames of passion ignite between these forbidden lovers, will the bond they forge endure? Or will her procurer's horrendous plotting, and their insurmountable mortal differences prove too much for their magical love to withstand?
“Fool,” she grumbled to herself. “He’s not even in the room and you’re swooning.” Was it because of magic that he affected her so? Flying down onto the pallet, she buried her face in the blanket in frustration. “Nonsense.”
“What was that?”
Startled, she rolled to her back. Her heart thudded to see him standing in the doorway of her tent, not only looking much too amused, but much too handsome.
“’Twas naught,” she replied, wondering how long he’d stood there, what all he heard.
“Well then.” He winked and ducked inside, the roguishly lopsided grin of his letting her know he’d heard plenty. “I came to tell you our plans for travel on the morrow, and to replace these,” he said, holding up the irons.
At the sight of them, she groaned and slumped against the pallet. “Nay, why must I wear them?”
“’Tis not up to me to decide if or why you’re bound,” he said, kneeling down to her.
“Now, sit up so I can put them on you.”
“I’m not getting up. I was about to take a rest before you disturbed me,” she answered.
Defiantly threading her fingers under her head, she turned away. She stared at him out of the corner of her eye, hoping he’d leave.
He sighed, his broad chest rising and falling. Then, he moved. Kaiya’s eyes widened as in one graceful effort her hovered directly above her.
“Don’t make me force you,” he said in a voice so low, it made her eyes close at the promise that lay beneath the tones. Images of his lips on her skin, his flesh against hers flashed behind her eyes. She opened them, about to quip back something boorish. But the instant she beheld those eyes of his, not a foot from her own, she could think of nothing. The raw heat and need she saw flickering behind his blue eyes mirrored her own.
Without taking his eyes from hers, he placed his knees on either side of her hips. Kaiya shifted beneath him, trying to ignore the tingle sweeping along her spine. When he bent, reaching for her wrists, her breath sawed in and out of her lungs. All the blood in her veins rushed like hot fire through her suddenly useless and lethargic limbs. The tips of his silky hair danced against her skin, a sharp contract to the hard muscles pressing against her chest. At the delicious friction, her nipples beaded, reaching up, begging for his touch. Her mind, cluttered by his magical presence above her, could think of nothing save for how glorious it would be if he did.
“Stop it,” she blurted.
He stilled instantly. His eyes lowered, searching out hers. “Stop what?”
“Stop using that magic of yours on me.”
A smile quirked his lips and again his arms stretched above to the hands behind her head.
"I’m not doing anything." His warm breath feathered against her neck, sending a spike of heat through her core. "But trying to get at your hands.”
Stars, she smelled of honey and flowers, Hanarom thought in spite of his best of intentions not to notice. Closing his eyes, he reached under her head feeling his way to her hands. The velvety soft skin of her cheek brushed against his, making his body tighten. Sweet, hot breath warmed his skin in quick bursts. Her pillowy soft breasts flattened against his chest with each one. One tilt of his head and he could claim her lips. One shift of a hand and he could cup her breast. At the thought, sweat broke out on his brow. He didn’t sweat? Frowning, he drew in a long, slow breath in attempt to calm himself, only to assail his already muddled senses with the blissful, dizzying scent of her.
Hands shaking, he grabbed hold of her slender wrists and moved the fetters around them. Out of nowhere, thoughts of what he could do to her, what he wanted to do to her bombarded his mind, causing his fingers to fumble with the lock, and even more of his body weight to press upon hers. She sighed and lifted her hips. At the feel of her pliant curves against him, at the unconscious invitation her body just sent his, he stifled a groan. Gritting his teeth, he tried to suppress the growing reaction her closeness incited upon his body. His mind screamed it was wrong to even be in such a position with her.
Then he recalled her words by the cave. She wanted him here. Wanted to be his.
For a moment, his heart ceased to beat.
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