Pleasure of a Dark Prince Read online

Page 8


pocket.

  She blinked in confusion, backing away.

  "Doona walk away," he growled. "You think I will no' follow?"

  "You don't understand!"

  Her eyes are. . . haunted? "Then make me understand! Is it because of what I am?"

  "If you try to follow me, I-I'll hate you forever. "

  Damn it! What was happening here? She looked like she was about to flee for her life.

  Suddenly thoughts of his cousin Bowen's tragic history arose in his mind. Deadened Bowen was a cautionary tale to all Lykae males of what happened when a mate - who was other - ran.

  Bowen's female had perished as she'd fled from him, dying gruesomely.

  Cold fear suffused Garreth at the thought of Lucia hurt. He inhaled sharply, wrestling for control, even as he watched what he coveted most in the world slipping from his grasp.

  Chapter 6

  What just happened? How?

  Lucia had almost been. . . unchaste, about to lose her purity - and therefore her abilities - right before the Accession!

  One misstep had nearly cost Lucia her powers. Because Skathi hadn't gifted her with anything. Lucia's archery skills were on loan - and conditional.

  How close she'd been. How close. . .

  Yet even now her body was still thrumming for his touch - for more.

  Lucia made it really simple for herself. The Accession meant Cruach. Succumbing to this Lykae meant no archery. She'd be defenseless if the Broken Bloody One escaped his prison and returned for her. Returned to make me pay. . .

  Whatever MacRieve saw in her expression had him backing away with his palms raised. "There, lass. Doona be afraid. You've nothing to fear from me. "

  She knew her eyes were wild, her heart racing with dread. "I-I'm not afraid of you!" I'm afraid of him - afraid of being trapped back in his corpse-ridden lair. She put the back of her hand against her mouth as she retched.

  Lucia, I gave you meat and wine. . . .

  "Now, Valkyrie, just wait. I dinna mean to upset you. " MacRieve absently swiped a hand over his still-engorged shaft, as if it pained him - even now her body responded to the sight.

  "If you're bent on leaving, then meet me here this weekend," he said tightly, as if this was a great concession. "Saturday at noon, we'll return. That'll give us both time to cool off, to think about this. "

  His offer did surprise her. "I. . . I don't know. " He'd told her that she wasn't his mate, but she thought he'd lied since his reaction had been so fierce. Now she began to believe again, because otherwise he'd have been thumping his chest and snarling, "Mine!" as he slung her over his shoulder. "All right. I agree to it," she lied, feeling something she hadn't in a long time with a male. Five hundred years to be exact.

  Terror.

  There was no rain in the bayou Saturday night. Only quiet.

  Garreth had been waiting here since quarter past ten this morning. He'd risen at dawn, too anxious to remain abed, and begun to get ready. He'd intended to take care with his dress, to present himself as a male of worth, like the leader that he was. Not like the hard-drinking, foulmouthed brawler Lucia likely thought him.

  Then he'd realized he owned nothing but hole-ridden jeans, broken-in boots, and pullover shirts.

  Hardly a fitting match for a lass with her delicate beauty. Hell, it hadn't mattered anyway. She's no' coming. What he didn't know was why. Yes, the Valkyrie hated the Lykae, considered them animals. But she'd responded to him.

  Gods, how she'd responded. She'd taken her release and left him stranded and aching for his. He'd witnessed Lucia in the grip of passion, and she'd been like no female he'd ever imagined.

  At the memory of her lust, his cock swelled in his worn jeans, and he rubbed the heel of his palm down his raging erection. All week, he'd been like this, randy as a lad in his first brothel, no matter how many times he took release. He'd hoped to be inside her this day, imagining it in a thousand different ways.

  But she's no' meeting me. He checked the clock on his sat-phone. Ten at night. Clearly, he needed to call this. Lucia, it seemed, was in no way easy. He'd gotten his wish, and wished he hadn't.

  As soon as she'd left him here that night, Garreth had dragged Munro and Uilleam out of the still-going game and told them, "We need to find out everything we can on our new neighbors, the Valkyrie. All of them. " He'd been amazed at how little the Lykae knew about that faction of the Lore. And again he'd sworn his friends to secrecy. "Say nothing about this to anyone. " If word got back to the clan elders that they were about to have a Valkyrie for a queen. . .