Pleasure of a Dark Prince Read online

Page 6

gaped at his resilience, he cast the bloody arrow aside, then started on the next, repeating the process. With each one, the muscles in his body went tense; once the arrow was freed, he groaned and relaxed - somewhat. Almost as if he'd taken sexual release but wasn't sated.

  A part of her was flattered that he'd rather go through this than receive her help. She could've snapped the ends, allowing him to pull them forward, but instead he withstood this pain - because he didn't want to leave her alone?

  His strength amazed her, his fortitude imposing. That awareness returned, and her skin pricked in the clammy night air.

  When he began removing the last arrow, he advanced on her once more, tearing it free as he stalked closer, barely giving a wince, that determined mien never faltering.

  She took a step back, debated using her one remaining arrow to put him down. She couldn't kill him, but she could slow him with a shot between the eyes.

  "I believe I've earned the right to stay - as well as a kiss from you. "

  She made a sound of frustration. "As if you'd be happy with a kiss? You expect to have sex with me and it simply will not happen - "

  "But you want it to, do you no'?"

  To have him take her here, hot and sweaty in the swamp? She swallowed. He was a Lykae - he'd want her on her hands and knees. . . Her heart sped up at the thought, but she shook her head stubbornly. "Of course not! Understand me, MacRieve, I'm a Valkyrie. I'm not bound by your. . . animalistic needs. "

  His voice a low rasp, he said, "After one night with me, Lousha, you will be. "

  Chapter 4

  Adrenaline and need coursed through Garreth, muting the pain of his wounds, until all he could feel was the growing pressure in his shaft and an overwhelming lust for the creature before him.

  A Valkyrie. Again, he marveled that Fate had given him a shield maiden for his mate. Now he didn't know whether to laugh or howl. He'd likely have been damned happy about the fact if she'd stop resisting the fierce attraction between them.

  Just earlier he'd wished for a more challenging female. Now he wondered why she was fighting this. She was aroused; the scent of his mate's desire was mouthwatering, making him want to go to his knees in thanks - and to taste her. Her nipples were so hard they had to be throbbing.

  So why wouldn't she surrender to him? Aye, he regretted his wish. He dimly wondered whether she would fall into bed with him if he told her he was a king.

  Then he frowned as a thought surfaced. "Does another male. . . have a claim on you?" He might be needing to make a kill this very night.

  "A male's claim? On me? No one!"

  Her heart had not been given. So it's mine to win. He found his lips curling.

  "Nor will they ever," she vowed.

  "Uh-huh. That so?"

  His amused tone must have flustered her. "A-again, not interested. You couldn't find a more uninterested female. "

  "You forget I'm a Lykae. I can scent your interest. " Gods, her scent was like a drug to him, her arousal so sweet.

  Her face flushed, a light pink along high cheekbones. "Maybe I was interested in one of the other males on the field. "

  Jealousy seared him inside. Never had he felt its equal. He was upon her before she could raise her bow again, his callused palm wrapping around her delicate nape. "Take it back, female. " He'd been able to rein in his aggression from the game. With more difficulty, he controlled the adrenaline pumping through his veins after finding her at last. But this jealousy was overwhelming.

  "Or what?"

  "Or I'll kiss you till you canna remember another. " He would seduce her, using everything he'd ever learned about women to coax his way inside her. "Kiss you deeply, thoroughly. Till you're panting for more. "

  Lightning struck nearby, though she seemed not to notice. He could tell she wanted him to kiss her, was unconsciously rocking her hips to him, driving him wild. Why couldn't she let go?

  She stared at his lips as if she were trying to imagine it just then. But then she muttered, almost scornfully, "You win the timing award, Lykae. That's for certain. "

  "Doona understand you, Valkyrie," MacRieve rasped. "When is it ever bad timing for a kiss?"

  What would his be like? As if she had anything to compare with it. Playing a dangerous game here, Lucia.

  He leaned in to nuzzle her hair, his breath hot against the pointed tip of her ear.

  Not the ears! She was so sensitive there, and he grazed his lips right over the tip. That feels so good. . . .

  "Ah, my lass likes that?" he asked, nuzzling again. When she sagged into him, he took the opportunity to back her into an old oak.

  He rested his hands against the tree on each side of her head, reminding her of his incredible strength. The Lykae were the most physically powerful beings in the Lore, could lift trains. He could have broken her like a doll, yet he'd been so gentle with her, even after the brutal contest earlier.

  Even after I shot him.

  He eased even closer, until their bodies were touching. When his gaze dipped to where her breasts met his battered chest, she felt his penis pulse harder in a rush, and a last ounce of sanity told her, Stop this!

  She needed to get away from this werewolf, but she couldn't outrun him all the way back to Val Hall. Besides, fleeing from an enemy was something Valkyrie tended never to do.

  Have to shoot him between the eyes if I must. From close range. Otherwise, with his speed he could dodge the shot. And put her in agony. "MacRieve, I'm giving you one last - "

  He silenced her with a sizzling kiss to her neck, his tongue flicking against her chilled skin. Shivering with pleasure and surprise, she gazed up at the tree limbs above her, biting her lip.

  Yet when he pressed his erection against her, she cried, "Let me go now!"

  He didn't, so she gouged her thumb into one of his wounds. His dark claws dug into the tree, but he didn't release her. "Woman, that bluidy hurts. "

  "Then stop kissing me!"

  "Nothing hurts that bad. " His mouth descended to her neck once more. He seemed to be not only kissing her but tasting her. . . gentling her.

  "I can make it hurt that bad," she said inanely, striving to keep her eyes open as his tongue darted.

  "I feel only one ache in my body. " He drew back, and the corner of his lips curled. "And you're soon to ease it. "

  So earthy and sexy. Lucia couldn't remember the last time she'd felt this much excitement with a male. . . . Her thoughts trailed off.

  No, I can remember the last time. Vividly. Lucia was still paying for it. She attempted to pull away, but he clutched her to him. And Freya help her, she wanted him to. No! No more pretending that she was a normal woman about to have a clandestine affair with the most sexually attractive male she'd ever seen. "Never, MacRieve. "

  She could be as vicious as any of her sisters. Just be cause a Valkyrie's innate ferocity wasn't her first impulse in a conflict didn't mean she couldn't draw on it when she needed to. "Kiss me again, Lykae, and I'll make you regret it. "

  He kissed her again. So she kicked him between his legs, ducking from him. As he dropped to his knees, she hastened away. But she heard him grunt, "Still doona regret it. "

  Chapter 5

  Stalking her through the bayou once more, he tracked her heady scent - with his bollocks aching from her kick and his chest wounds on fire.

  "I can scent you, know you're near. " Yes, she was close. He circled in place, his eyes narrowed. "Doona run from me! You will no' get away. " And we crave the chase. Ah, gods, we crave it. "You've only got one arrow left. "

  "But I'm going to make this one count," she whispered above him.

  Before he could swing his head up at the sound, she'd tackled him into a bed of moss, knees into his shoulders, her arrow pressed into his forehead.

  In a slow, awed tone, he rasped, "I - like - you, lass!" So lovely, so wild. An avenging angel, with her bizarre bow seeming to glow above him.