The Price of Vengeance

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Sheltered

“Yes,” She agreed. “but it was mine to be here naked and sated now in my former lover’s bedroll, is it not?”

“Former?” He asked a bit roughly.

“The one man I’d sworn would never have me again.” She added. Refusing to answer the question he was really asking.

How can she call us former lovers now?

He was staring at her ferociously. “The one man you’d ran like Hell to escape?”

“Yes,” She chewed her cheek. Dropping her face back against his chest so she was no longer looking at him. “that one.”

So, she admits she ran from me, now?


Nealinim ran. Her feet quick and true. Smooth feet barely touching the ground and spraying thin puddles in a shower of droplets. Behind her she could hear the large cat on the hunt.

The Obtrane. A giant tan feline with spotted fur, and legs longer than any horse’s moved close behind her. Tracing her scent.

She could hear it closing the space between them despite that she’d been so far ahead.

A sheen of sweat dampened her forehead and her heart thudded deeply in her chest. She ran faster. Her palm skimming the bark of a white trunk as she passed.

Red hair flashed between the trees in the silver of a night lit only by the moon. She was a vivid blotch, but her step was soundless, and she was counting on the silence to make her escape.

Thunder rumbled and a silver light bloomed above them before darkening the sky to pitch again.

Behind her, the Obtrane made quick work of cutting through the woods. Trailing her expertly. Pausing only long enough to press his dark snout against the tree she’d touched, confirming were she’d caressed it.

Lowering its nose, as it loped closer. Catching the flash of red in the silver-white night.

There she was. Just ahead.

She squealed as the animal lunged up and slid its jaws around her shoulder to lightly yank her back. Spinning around to cover her, he quickly shifted into the naked body of her lover. Laughing together he dropped his weight atop her.

“I caught you.” He said softly. Trailing a fingertip over her lips and the curve of her chin.

“You did.” Her teeth flashed white in the dark. “I’m proud of you.”

“I’m getting faster.”

“Because you’re a better tracker now, you think?”

“Because I’d know your scent anywhere.” He gave her a half smile. “I could find you anywhere you went now.”

“But you’re supposed to be learning to track fey. Not just me.”

“But you’re the only one I want.” And he took her mouth with a hungry passion. His corded arms tightening around her as he tasted her.

Suddenly she was awake. Realizing that the warmth of those arms was very real. They were twined around her. Covering her in a smell that had woke her many times during those years in the Demon King’s dungeons. A smell she’d have given anything to take in again.

Now it was too much.

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