Title: The Fallen King
Author: T.A. Grey
Series: The Bellum (#4)
Genre: Paranormal Erotic
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 28, 2012
The human mumbled to herself, her head lolling left and right. Something tightened in his gut as he looked at her. He didn’t like it. Gazing upon her stirred something deep inside of him.
Who was she to try to compete with his Arianna? She was no Arianna. Arianna was a goddess. Beautiful, shining, dark black hair fell down to her slender waist and a graceful figure and demeanor that could only be obtained with the best of haute, aristocratic blood in her veins. This human looked nothing like his Arianna. She had hair the color of wet dirt. It looked thin and not heavy like Arianna’s hair. She had wide hips and more curves than Arianna, but Arianna didn’t need blatant curves. Her graceful figure brought about attention alone.
Simply put, she wasn’t his Arianna.
Then why did his gut clench just looking at her?
Too long without a woman, maybe. His gaze trailed over her form once more taking in the slight span of her waist and the flare of her hips. The sight stirred something hot buried deep inside him. He wondered how she’d feel pressed tight against him…bare skin to bare skin.
His cock hardened like steel.
Alrik charged into the dark cave. He didn’t need his sight in his place; he knew it like the edge of his sword. He went far back into the cave, sidestepping the fire pit he’d made before he’d left to find the human. Then he dropped the human to the ground. He wasn’t gentle about it and she gave him the response he’d been looking for. Her eyes shot open, mouth forming a big circle as pain pinched her features. She let out a low, husky groan that did nothing to alleviate the pressure in his groin.
“What the hell,” she groaned, turning on her side to rub her back.
“We will talk now.”
She hadn’t been aware of him, he realized. Now she was. Slowly her head fell back, her eyes turned up to meet his. Recognition dawned slowly. Her eyes darted wildly around the cave filling with panic and fear. She stood in a rush then wobbled on her feet. Panic had her in its grip. She swung her arms out, found the wet cave wall with a hand, and then leaned towards it to steady herself, pressing both hands against it.
“What the hell’s going on? Oh my god, where am I?”
“Be quiet. I will talk and you will listen. Do you understand?” He hadn’t met a human in years. In his previous experience, some were smart and others not so much. He hoped his salvation didn’t lie in a daft girl who looked entirely too young to have the amount of power the seer spoke of.
She turned and glared at him. The spark of anger was good, and the cleverness he spotted in her eyes even better. Good, she wouldn’t be daft.
“Excuse me? How about you tell me who you are, demon, where I am, why I’m here, and what you want with me?” She crossed her arms and set her light green eyes on him.
Alrik had the distinct urge to stalk over to her and tower over her just to see her quiver in fear. She will learn her place soon enough. Her attitude would go even quicker. He was a king, and some lowly human would not treat him like a servant.
“You are not done working, Abbigail.” He sounded pained to say her name as if he couldn’t say it without yelling it. “Get back up there or I swear I’ll--”
She spun around and let all the frustration and anger that had been building throughout the long day fly from her mouth. “Or you’ll what? Magically force me to cast a damn spell? Sorry, but I don’t think even you can do something so ridiculous. I think I did good today. I started not even able to make the stupid little branch move a hair. Now I’ve made it fall over twice, and you know what? I’m wiped. Totally freaking wiped. I’m hot and sweaty, my skin feels sticky, and all I want to do is wipe the dirt and grime off me. And nothing you can do, I mean nothing, will stop me from doing just that, you got me?”
To prove her point she grabbed the hem of her shirt and whipped it over her head. It had to be the emotions riding her that made her wad the shirt into a ball and throw it at him. It didn’t come near hitting him but he didn’t seem to care. His eyes were locked on her chest. She had a moment of panic before anger overtook that too.
She propped her hands on her hips. Maybe she wouldn’t have been so cocky if she didn’t have a bra on, but right now she felt like she could command an army. “Are you gonna stand there and watch me bathe too?”
Something changed in the air. Energy crackled. His eyes turned hungry. That’s the only way she could describe it. His gaze darkened, eyes smoldered and devoured her body as if seeing her as anything other than “the witch” for the first time. He had the look of a man that wanted to eat her up. She could almost feel his gaze caressing her breasts. Her breasts pulled tight at the predatory look—the look of assessing a female.
Her breath caught. “Alrik?” she said hesitantly. Something about his stiff stance, the way his eyes glowed brighter, made him look as if he was fighting some inner war with himself.
His eyes flicked up to hers. His voice sounded thick, heavy, and slow. “Yes.”
Breathing became difficult, as if all the oxygen around them had disappeared. “Yes what?”
He blinked. “Yes, I’ll watch.”
She swallowed over the knot in her throat. Oh.
Alrik couldn’t move. He was rooted in place not by a spell but by a human woman. Abbigail. Surely, life couldn’t be so cruel as to send a woman like her to him. She was seductively formed, small waisted with hips made for a man to hold on to while he thrust inside of her, and breasts that made his palms itch to hold.
She turned her back to him and waded into the water like a brave enchantress. The sight of her shapely backside and the sexy dip of her lower back nearly sent him after her. Her legs were strong, with just enough muscle that they rippled as she stepped into the lapping water.
Was she testing him? Trying to taunt him with something he couldn’t have or wouldn’t take?
Wait. He’d take it. Yes, he’d take it and so much more if she offered her young lithe body to him. After all the horrible deeds he’d committed in the past, using her body would hardly fare against them. He’d taken several steps towards her retreating back before he stopped himself.
No, he couldn’t touch her. They both needed to stay focused. He’d had and lost his love.
He could not turn so easily to another woman with Arianna’s death still lingering on his hands.
But it’s been a year since she died, a voice in his head taunted.
Abbigail ducked into the water and came up with a splash that glistened from her hair and bare shoulders. His mouth watered at the sight of naked skin, and his cock throbbed and hardened to a painful point.
Breathing hard, he stepped away from her, away from the temptation. She wouldn’t welcome him. He could make her but the thought of that didn’t sit well in his gut. If he touched her, something terrible might happen—he might begin to care. No, he couldn’t risk it. He couldn’t risk gaining any feelings towards her lest he be unable to go through with his plans. He needed her to die to save him. He finally had a chance to become the man he’d once been and he wouldn’t lose that chance no matter what.
He’d already lost one woman he cared about, he wouldn’t put himself in the same situation twice. No matter how the light glinted off her body. She cupped handfuls of water and scrubbed her face. She turned just enough so that he caught a glimpse of the side of her breast. He groaned low in his throat. He ached to know how she’d feel in his hand—heavy and full or light and firm? His cock became a heavy, throbbing mass.
He couldn’t do this. Not for him and not for Arianna.
Alrik made one of the hardest decisions of his life then and turned around.
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