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Bale Ammadon’s life mate Helen died by the cruelest of circumstancesâ€”psychokinetically raped and murdered by the outlaw Asmoday. As the king of the magical race called Watchers, Bale was one of the most powerful beings on the planet. But the knowledge that he’d been unable to protect the light of his universe was a constant pain that Bale endured for a century.Now Helen has been reborn. But the contemptuous, rebellious, sexually promiscuous woman who vexed Bale at every turn hardly resembled his kind, wise mate of old. When Helen revealed in a fit of rage that she’d come to Dunleavy Castle to kill him Bale began to fear that Asmoday had been manipulating his emotionally scarred mate from the subtle realms.
Helen wondered bitterly why the face that haunted her dreams had to be the epitome of male beauty and virility. Despite her fear of Baleâ€”and of sexual release in generalâ€”she found herself hungering for his touch. Now she was forced to face the grim fact that if she truly wanted to destroy Bale she would have to face her greatest fear and give herself wholly to him.
Because only by conferring Bale with her singularly powerful orgasmic Rush would he ever be mortal enough to die.
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A tense silence prevailed between them as he led her into a back entrance to Dunleavy and finally into an entirely masculine room containing book-lined shelves, an oval conference table and most notably an enormous oak desk that impossibly looked like it was carved from a single tree. Helen paused for a moment when she saw it and blinked several times. She started when Bale leaned down over her shoulder, his voice low and intimate.
“You recognize it, don’t you?”
Her heart skipped a beat when she registered how close he stood. Her gaze trailed down his length. He wore a pair of black pants that were perfectly tailored to fit his long legs and lean hips. Her eyes lingered on the simple, austere silver buckle on his belt that pressed against his stomach inches below where she guessed his bellybutton lay. Just the imagined sight of that indentation in his taut flesh, the thin line of black hair that trailed down to the thicker, more abundant thatch around his cock caused heat to flash through her cheeks and neck and then to fan out over her chest.
Her nipples pulled tight.
His nostrils flared slightly as though he had just participated in the sensations along with her. Helen cleared her throat and glanced away.
“You’re asking if I recall your desk? Not much of a throne is it, Your Highness?” she asked scathingly as she stepped away from his overwhelming presence. “No, Mrs. Southwick wouldn’t allow a hussy like me to clean your precious room. She only allows Stella to wipe up after Your Holiness.”
He hardly heard her sarcasm. Disappointment briefly flickered over his expression. “You often retain a few memories from your former lifetimes, more than most Watcher mates.”
“Which would be relevant if what you allege about me were true but I have yet to see any proof of it.”
Bale stiffened when he saw the small, knowing smile and the glint in her wide cornflower blue eyes as she glanced over her shoulder. He would swear she was teasing him, taunting him with the knowledge of who she was, what she was to himâ€”his life mate, his lover, his wife, the mother of his children, his best friend, the Goddess in flesh.
The light of his universe.
In the next second though, confusion and something elseâ€”something that made his gut clench in anguishâ€”shadowed her features. Then that disappeared as well.
Her golden eyebrow arched expectantly. “What’s with the summons, Your Highness?”
He scowled darkly as he went behind his desk and lowered himself into the large leather chair. “I would appreciate it if you would stop calling me that. Although I technically do hold the title of “Ëśking’ among Watchers we are a small race of beings. In addition, our governance is actually quite liberal and decentralized.” He sighed when he glanced up and saw that her voluptuous mouth was pulled into an amused grin at his show of defensive pique.
“Right. I’ll get to the point then.” He gestured for her to sit, which she did with a graceless plop into the chair before his desk.
“A young man named Charlie Vandy has just paid me a visit on your behalf,” Bale began tonelessly.
Helen unhooked her knee from where she’d just flung it over the side of the arm on the chair and sat up from her slouch. “Charlie Vandy? Came to see you?”
Bale nodded as he scrutinized her reaction. “That’s right. I gather that you know him then?”
Helen laughed softly as she slouched back in her chair. “Not well, no. He’s a good friend of my cousin Ralph and he works in the stables. He gets arseholed on the same amount of whiskey that my gran takes for medicinal purposes. I had his cock in my mouth the other day when you saw me in the kitchen.”
She watched for his reaction with a provocative gleam in her clear summertime eyes.
“He came to ask me for your hand in marriage,” Bale said impassively.
Her expression segued from incredulity to hilarity in a second. “You’re talking bollocks!” she managed between peals of laughter.
“You’re surprised that he wants to marry you?”
Her expression told him that he’d completely missed the point. “I meant that I don’t believe for a second that Charlie Vandy would come to you to ask permission to marry me.”
Bale leaned back in his chair. When Helen saw the way that his eyes seemed to glow with banked power in his dark face her amusement faded.
“Your uncle told him to take his petition to me. It would seem that the general consensus in the environs of Dunleavy is that Nell Scott has become the official ward of the bloody King of the Watchers.”
A tense silence ensued for a few seconds before Helen lunged out of her chair. “A general consensus that was no doubt instigated and then supported by you!”
Bale merely shrugged in the face of her fury. “Someone’s got to take charge of you. Everyone seems to think that I can. I haven’t done a bad job of it for the past few days have I?”
“That’s got nothing to do with you! I just haven’t felt the urge to get pissed and blow cock that’s all!”
“Or steal from your employer?”
The riot in her eyes escalated to lynch mob proportions. “Yeah whatever! But that’s all going to change tonight! We’ll see how admirable of a job these gormless subjects of yours think you’re doing warding it over Nell Scott come morning! And maybe after that I’ll just take Charlie up on his kind offer of marriage. Won’t your subjects think it’s right funny to see how the stable boy can take charge of me when the mighty king can’t?” she shouted furiously before she started to storm out of the room.
Helen never saw the cornered expression in his eyes or the tensed muscle that flexed just beneath the skin of his cheek. She was too busy squawking in outrage when she realized that the heavy oak doors to his inner sanctum had been sealed shut like a tomb with her inside of it.