(#futuristic #eroticromance #MF)
Passion awaits on the Northern Shores far from the arid heat of her desert home. Lessons in pleasure from a water-dweller awaken a desire that is doomed from the beginning, because Elita Watende, youngest daughter of the High Lord of the Desert Borders, has been promised to the Lord Guardian of the Northern Shores. The match is tied to an important treaty for Elita’s rebellious tribe, and it is a union she cannot refuse.
More danger than she can possibly imagine awaits her beyond the desert borders. When the fiery-haired Elita rides one last time in her beloved homeland she is captured by the minions of Kadin, the Dark Underlord, whose plan is to use her as a pawn in a battle for control of the planet.
Elita believes all is lost, but before the dark minions can mark her as the property of the underlord, a fierce blue warrior from the Northern Shores descends upon the horde, freeing Elita from their clutches. He serves Lord Raoul Duarte, Lord Guardian of the Northern Shores, and Elita’s future match.
Yet he is so much more. For he is also an instructor in the arts of Amak, a mysterious man whom Elita knows only as Teacher who will school her in the knowledge of love for her union with another man…
She saw the darkling nod and her body shifted as someone behind her began to tear at her clothing. In moments every piece of material was ripped away, exposing her to the night and to these devil’s minions.
He removed a glove, letting it drop to the ground, and she shuddered when he reached out to stroke a clawed hand over her breast. The touch was hard and cold as death.
“I’m going to take my time with you, pretty. You will grovel at my feet before we leave this place. You will beg for mercy. Our lord will see how well his new possession can be tamed for his pleasure.” He touched her chest, just above the full swell of her breasts, a spot that would be front and center visible for all to see. “Right here,” he said as he pressed the palm of his cold hand flat against her skin. There would be no way to hide such a horrible mark that would be seared into her skin forever.
Elita had never been so frightened in her life. But it wasn’t death that she feared, so much as living. A quick death in battle she understood. But looking at this creature standing before her, the smile on his face a parody of pleasure, she knew she would have an eternity in hell to regret her impetuous actions.
She had played on her father’s love and guilt in arranging a match she did not want, to get him to allow her to ride one last time in the desert. His guilt and her desire for freedom had overridden caution. And she would forever suffer for that act.
“You might as well relax, pretty, because there’s nothing you can do. Your pitiful guards all dead, no one to alarm your weak father to your disappearance until long after we have reached the labyrinth. And once inside, no one would dare to enter. Count your moments of freedom, for they are fast dripping away.”
She knew very well about the labyrinth to the cavernous kingdom. There was only one way to navigate it and that was through the benevolence of its underlord. To meld body and soul with the darkness, accept him as master.
She was to be used as a pawn, as a taunt to her father like a yellow banner to a ferocious minnocat. Her father could die because of her thoughtlessness.
She felt the tears threaten, but she refused to let this creature see her fear. She swallowed them down, forced the rage to burn inside her. It was the only way she could fight the pain she knew she was about to experience when that brand iron touched her flesh, searing and burning its way toward her soul.
The creature lifted the hand holding the iron, and she closed her eyes, then flashed them open again as screams rent the air. All around her were flashes of blue light swirling and arcing. The creature dropped the iron and turned to engage in the battle.
A tall man dressed in silver battle garb ran toward her, the thick blue plume on his helmet and the azure silk material emblazoned with an emblem she couldn’t quite make out marked him as the leader. He raised the sapphire blade of his sword and brought it down across the chains that imprisoned her legs. Sparks flew, his actions a blur.
He curled a strong arm around her waist as he chopped at the chains imprisoning her hands, and he steadied her as she dropped into his arms.
He slashed at the underworld wraiths as they made their way through the battle. As his blade ran through them, Elita was shocked to see them dissolve into black dust at his feet.
She wanted to yell, “Give me a sword, I can fight,” except she was still gagged and he had her imprisoned so tightly in his strong, muscled arm she couldn’t reach up to remove it without causing him to lose concentration. And she knew, as most women in this kingdom did not, that loss of concentration for even a second, could mean death.
The battle was over quickly and then the warrior picked her up and strode into the darkness beyond the scene of battle. She saw a pale shadow in the distance. As they drew closer she recognized the lines of a gigantic white battle steed. The warrior pulled a blue velvet cloak from the saddle and wrapped her in it. Then he removed the gag.
She worked her jaw to ease some of the ache. Before she could say a word, he had mounted and she was secured before him.
“Who are you?”
He looked down at her, the molten glitter of his strange eyes pinning her like a bird caught in the sites of a hunter.
“I serve at my lord Duarte’s command.”
She gasped. “You’re from the Northern Shore? But I thought you weren’t due for another week.”
She saw the shadow of a hard smile split the hard lines of his face. “My lord has heard of your headstrong ways. It was his intention to offer you protection in case something like this happened. It appears he was correct in his assumption.”
“I didn’t plan this,” she said mutinously.
“Nevertheless, it happened.”
“Where are you taking me?”
“To safety. To where the underlord would not dare trespass.”
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