Elemental Heir : Book 1 Of The Elemental Heir Series

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Chapter 27

The next day, I sifted through my closet in search of something to wear to the training rooms. I scowled at all of the dresses, sweaters, and leggings, wondering what the hell I was going to do. None of this would work for fighting.

After another ten minutes of throwing random clothes over my shoulders, strewing them all around my bedroom, I finally gave up.

I stormed into the kitchen, grumbling beneath my breath, and found a bowl of fresh fruit waiting for me, along with a streaming cup of coffee. I downed half the cup of sweet liquid before biting eagerly into a crisp, juicy pear. The gritty, sugary flesh of the fruit dissolved on my tongue as I paced around the living room, waiting for Warrick to arrive.

I glanced down at the black leggings and sweater I was wearing. If I showed up to a room full of Dragon and Fae warriors dressed like this, eager to train, they’d surly all have a good laugh. I groaned and set my breakfast down before scurrying back to my room.

I gasped in shock when I walked through the open doorway. The clothes that I’d thrown around the room were gone, somehow immaculately hung back inside of my closet. My eyes darted around the floors, searching for the several pairs of shoes I’d discarded there, only to find them tucked against the far, left wall in a neat, organized line.

“That’s a little creepy...” I muttered, walking toward the bed.

But when my eyes fell upon the set of clothing that had been laid out, I immediately grinned. “Did I say creepy? I meant to say brilliant.”

On my bed, there was my own array of daggers, a bow with arrows, and my own personal set of women’s fighting leathers. They looked similar to Dristan’s, only mine were of black leather instead of dark brown.

The pants were tight fitting, with several pockets and weapon sheathes built in. The top was long sleeved, and just as tight fitting as the pants. It had a long zipper at the front, connecting all the way from the bottom, to the neckline, which was cut quite low. There was also a pair of black, shiny, knee high boots. They looked expensive, and sturdy enough to last years.

I picked up the fabric, feeling the sturdiness of it beneath my fingers. It felt soft and breathable, like it wasn’t made of leather at all. I furrowed my brows in confusion. To the eye, it looked thick and tough, like hide. But then, why did it feel like cotton?

Curious, I laid the clothes back down and picked up one of the sharp, gleaming daggers from my bed. An idea crept into my mind.

I raised the knife above my head and plunged it down into the center of the shirt. My blow was met with a substantial force of resistance, which did not make sense, seeing as the fabric felt as thin as a regular shirt.

I lifted my hands, blinking in confusion, and set the dagger down before picking the shirt back up. I examined the point where I’d stabbed at the material, searching for the point of impact. I saw nothing. No tear, no scar... Nothing.


I grinned and stripped before pulling the fighting leathers on, amazed at how light and breathable they felt on my body. It felt like I was wearing nothing. I swung my arms around, testing the range of motion, and then kicked out one of my legs.


I spent the next ten minutes strapping daggers to my hips, thighs and boot straps, before walking into the bathroom and gazing into the floor length mirror. I smiled in delight at my reflection.

This was me.

Not the well mannered, sweet little princess who wore pretty dresses all of the time. I was a fighter, a hunter, a woman who’d worked her entire life to survive. For the first time since arriving here, I finally felt like I recognized myself.

I watched the other me in the mirror as she ran her hands over her breasts and abdomen. I was still so infatuated with the way the material looked like tough leather in the mirror, but felt like a thin, cotton shirt beneath my hands.

Magic never ceased to amaze me.

I parted my hair to the side and quickly created a dutch braid, beginning at the crown of my head, down to the back of my ear. I threw the rest of my hair up into a messy bun on top of my head and pulled down a few stray hairs near my temples to frame my face. I decided to skip the make up. I’d just end up sweating it off, and I didn’t really like wearing it, anyway.

Lastly, I pulled on my rune necklace, running my fingers over the smooth stone as it laid against the hollow of my throat. I smiled, knowing that I would be able to relax from now on, not having to worry about my feelings being known to everyone around me. How strange, it felt, to be grateful for something that one shouldn’t have to think twice about.

I suddenly felt an overwhelming surge of happiness flow through me. I was in a better mood than I had been in in a very long time. I beamed at myself in the mirror, eagerly accepting this newfound feeling of contentment.

I pushed my worries away.

Today, I’d be happy.

Finally, the knock I’d been waiting for sounded at my front door. I nearly skipped to answer it, desperate to get out of the confines of my room. I swung the door open and smiled hugely up at Warrick, who raised his eyebrows in surprise.

He let out a low whistle. “Well, I see you’ve been taking full advantage of your closet’s adaptability.”

My smile widened. “Well, you weren’t expecting me to train in a sundress, were you?” I said, pushing past him and closing the door behind me.

He gave me a quizzical look. “You want to... Train?”

My head cocked to the side. “Why would I want to go to the training rooms if I did not wish to train?”

He rubbed at his chin, his hand scraping against the wiry scruff of his stubble. “I just wasn’t expecting...”

I planted my hands on my hips, pretending to be offended. “Do you think a princess isn’t capable of getting her hands dirty?”

He chuckled and began walking down the hallway. I followed at his side, my face alight with humor.

“You continue to surprise me, Princess Brenya.” He said fondly.

I grimaced at his formality. “Would you mind just calling me Brenya?”

He chuckled again. “See... You’re doing it again.”

I laughed as we walked, feeling so at ease with him. I couldn’t understand why I felt so comfortable with Warrick. I felt as if I’d known him for a very long time, like he was family, almost. He had a very warm energy about him, an aura of peace and serenity. It made me feel like I could breathe more easily when he was around, like I could let loose and be myself instead of the perfect Princess everyone expected me to be.

I didn’t think my mood could have possibly improved, but I was wrong. When we finally arrived at the training room, my eyes widened and I nearly jumped up and down with joy and excitement.

Numerous males and females, both Fae and Dragon, were spread throughout the expansive room, some sparring together, some practicing alone. The walls were adorned with a wide array of different kinds of weapons and gear. Several thick, woven mats covered the floors where a few, very large Fae males, were wrestling with each other.

Some of them were sparring with weapons, others were using their magical abilities. I stared in wonder as I watched a Fae female extend her hand and lift her opponent into the air with an unseen force, before throwing him back ten feet.

The room was gargantuan, stretching at least a quarter of a mile in length, and half of that in width. I gazed around in wicked delight, my body already itching to stretch and test it’s limits. It had been so long since I’d practiced my fighting skills.

Back home, I used to spar in secret with a boy in my village. His name was Phillepe. The girls in my village used to gang up on me and beat me when I was younger. They’d tell me I was a freak and that no one wanted me there. As I grew older, I’d had enough of it. Phillepe taught me to fight, five days a week, in exchange for wild game.

He was also the first and only one, besides Dristan, that I’d ever been with intimately... I lost my virginity to him when I was fifteen. I even thought I might’ve loved him at one point in time... But he did not wish for anyone in the village to know about us. He hid our friendship, and our growing relationship, from everyone. I hated him for it, and eventually, I stopped seeing him altogether.

I trained on my own after that, in the woods, any chance that I got. It had been weeks since I’d been able to practice, and I knew I was out of touch with my abilities. But that would change, starting now...

I stared around the room, thrilled, but my elation slowly began to thaw as people in the room, one by one, began to notice us standing there. One at a time, the people stopped sparring, each turning to face us. One at a time their jaws fell open, some murmured to each other in confusion.

I stared at them, suddenly self conscious of all of their attention on me. But I quickly pushed the feeling away. Yes, I was a Princess, but I had just as much a right to be here than any of them did. I would not let them ruin my day.

I stepped forward as silence fell across the room, all eyes on me.

“Good morning! I’ve come to see the training rooms, and perhaps spar a bit. Does anyone have a problem with that?” I asked, staring each of them in the face, a pleasant smile on my lips, the perfect image of confidence.

Some of their eyes widened, while others smiled, pleased at my boldness.

A dull roar of murmuring erupted among the crowd of people as they muttered their approval, some waving at me eagerly, some turning away and going back to their training.

I waved back, and smiled before turning back to Warrick.

He stared at me with his usual, easy grin, an arched brow raised slightly.

“All right, then...” He muttered, unsure of what to make of me.

I shrugged innocently and walked toward one of the vacant wrestling pads. I turned toward him and began to stretch, arcing my arms over my head and to the sides, before sitting down and stretching the muscles of my legs.

He walked toward me, his eyes sweeping over the room dutifully. Was he always on guard?

After awhile, I stood up and shook out my limbs, loosening them. “Okay, I’m ready.” I said, holding my hands out toward him, palms forward.

He turned his head toward me, his face screwed up in confusion. “What?”

I rolled my eyes. “Come on, I need a sparring partner.”

He chuckled. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

I huffed a sarcastic laugh. “Don’t be a rutting chicken!”

His face grew serious. “Brenya, I can’t. Dristan would kill me if I harmed you.”

I planted my hands on my hips. “Dristan is not my keeper.”

“No, but I am his keeper.” A familiar, deep voice said from the doorway behind me. I whipped around, my eyes zeroing in on him.

He grinned, leaning against the post of the doorway. He pushed off of the frame and stalked toward me, dressed in his fighting leathers, his wings flaring behind him. He lowered his horned head, staring at me with dark intent and thinly veiled amusement, as he approached.

I schooled my face out of the shocked expression plastered to it, straightened my spine and grinned. “Then perhaps you would like to be shown up by a Princess?”

He chuckled, stopping at Warrick’s side. “Perhaps you should start with a punching bag. Or at least a more equal opponent. A novice, like yourself.”

I narrowed my eyes. “And who might that be?”

“I’ll spar with you.” A male voice said from across the room.

Dristan, Warrick and myself all turned to the voice and I was shocked to see Marrok striding toward us. Sylvie was at his heels, her face alight with a beaming smile.

“Marrok! Sylvie! What are you doing here?” I asked, stepping off of the mat.

“Dristan was pleased with our work these past few days, and he’s allowed us free roam of the castle! As long as we are accompanied by a guard, of course.” Sylvie chimed, gesturing toward the heavily armed Dragon warrior, posted near the wall, his serious eyes glued to the wolves.

They stopped a few feet away, both smiling warmly at me.

“I’m pleased to hear it.” I said, smiling back at them. “Marrok, would you like to spar?”

Dristan stepped forward. “Absolutely not.”

I slid my eyes to him, my expression annoyed. “Why not? There are plenty of guards here to protect me. I doubt the Marrok is so foolish as to sign his own death warrant. Isn’t that right, Marrok?” I asked, turning to grin at him.

The corner of his full lips pulled upward. “I would never harm you, Princess.” He promised.

I looked back at Dristan, my brows raised, as if to say, ‘see? stop being an overprotective idiot...’

Warrick grinned from behind him, his eyes alternating between the four of us, obviously enjoying the entertainment.

Dristan glared daggers at Marrok, his lips a thin line. Finally, he stepped back, but his eyes still flashed with lethal warning. “Tread carefully, pup.”

Marrok nodded and moved toward me, stepping around me and onto the wrestling mat. I turned and lowered my stance, extending my palms toward him.

He stood perfectly relaxed in the center of the mat, his hands folded behind his back, as I began to circle him. He watched my every move, his face an unreadable mask of calm.

He was very tall. Taller than Warrick and Dristan. It would be difficult to strike him with his advantage in height.

I lunged forward, aiming the crook between my thumb and forefinger directly at his throat. He leaned backward, just out of reach, before standing straight again. I smirked at him as I continued circling. He remained still, his eyes following me.

I suddenly spun to the side, throwing my elbow back, aiming for his gut. He side stepped my attack effortlessly, his calm expression never faltering. I smiled as my body warmed up.

“You’re fast...” I said, letting him think that I had no idea what I was doing, giving him a false sense of confidence. The corner of his lip turned up.

Smug. Arrogant. An easy target.

I circled him again, this time noticing the way that he held his weight on his right leg. Every time he re-situated himself, he avoiding putting extra pressure on his left knee. This meant that he’d sustained an injury to his left leg at some point in his life.

A weakness.

I eyed his face a moment as I circled and subtly flexed my right hand, drawing his eye toward it. The movement was a distraction, one that I knew would make him think that I was about to strike with that hand, when really, I planned something entirely different.

I lunged, faking a punch with my right hand. He moved to side step to the right, ready to evade my blow once again. But instead of connecting my fist with his face, I crouched low and spun my body with significant force, swinging my leg around and slamming my heel into the back of his left knee.

He grunted in pain, surprise flashing across his face, as I knocked his legs out from under him. He fell to his knees beside me and I spun around, grasping a fistful of his hair in my left hand, while my right hand swiftly grabbed a dagger from my hip. I pulled his head back by his hair and brought the dull edge of the dagger against the artery in his neck.

“But being fast will get you nowhere when you make the mistake of underestimating your enemy.” I breathed tauntingly into his ear.

His throat bobbed against the edge of the blade before I pulled it away and stood to my feet, playfully ruffling his fair hair with my hand.

He stood to his feet slowly, limping on his injured leg. He turned to me and raised his brows as he met my eyes, his lips still parted in surprise.

Warrick suddenly broke out in a roaring fit of laughter. I grinned at him as I replaced the dagger at my hip. Sylvie laughed too, her bell like giggling filling the air around us.

People throughout the room, who had apparently been watching as well, began to clap, applauding my display of unexpected skill, some laughing along with Warrick and Sylvie.

My gaze slid to Dristan, who’s eyes were shifting between me and Marrok with a dumbfounded expression. His eyes settled on me and the corner of his lip slowly quirked upward in a gesture of brief, surprised delight.

“Did you fetch us the lost Princess, or did you simply bring back some feral beast that you found in the woods?” Warrick asked, still chuckling. He slapped a hand on Dristan’s shoulder.

Dristan shook his head slowly in response, his eye still glued to mine.

Sylvie stepped forward, her eyes still alight with humor. “I’ve never seen him bested before, and certainly never by a woman. You’re officially my favorite person on the planet.”

I laughed and swiftly bowed to her, pleased at her praise of my performance.

“I let her do that...” Marrok mumbled, sending me a small grin.

“Of course you did.” I grinned back.

For the next few hours, Marrok, Sylvie, and Warrick, all took turns sparring with me.

Sylvie was quicker than anyone I’d ever faced before, and I could never seem to land a blow on her small frame. Though she never made a move to strike me, I knew she could’ve if she’d wanted to. I’d hate to ever have to fight her in real life.

Marrok heeded my warning, and did not underestimate me again. He kept his leg left behind him at all times, not giving me the chance to catch him off-guard. Though he was slower than his sister, and I did manage to send a direct kick to his chest, knocking the wind out of him, but he mostly managed to evade all of my attempted strikes.

Warrick was an entirely different story. I couldn’t even come close to hitting him. After an hour of frustration, I’d finally given up. He’d laughed and told be better luck next time, though he’d secrelty told me I’d almost clipped him a few times. I had the feeling he was lying, but I’d grinned at him all the same.

Dristan had refused to spar with me. I had tried and tried to change his mind, taunting him endlessly, but he never gave in. He simply watched, leaning against the wall, his expression as hard as granite, along with an occasional grin of approval, as I practiced.

I finally slumped to the ground, huffing in exhaustion, unable to go on any longer.

“I think that’s enough practice for today.” I sighed, wiping the sweat from my brow.

“I will escort you back to your chambers, if you are ready.” Warrick said, stepping forward.

“You’re leaving? I thought we were just getting started!” Sylvie complained, her lower lip poking out.

I grinned at her. “We’ll have to come back another day, together.”

She beamed at me. “I’d like that very much.”

“As would I, princess.” Marrok said from beside Sylvie, giving me a small nod. “You’ve proven to be a worthy opponent.”

“Thanks, Marrok.” I said, standing to my feet.

Dristan pushed away from the wall and walked toward us, his hands folded behind his back. “I will escort Brenya back to her rooms. Warrick, I need you to show the wolves their new job assignments. Take them to the armory. They will be further instructed by William.”

I furrowed my brows. “Who’s William?”

“Our lead blacksmith.” Dristan said, giving me a brief glance before turning his face back to Warrick. “I’ve already sent word that you are coming.”

Warrick nodded. “Of course.”

“And double their guard duty.” Dristan added, his eyes sliding toward Sylvie and Marrok.

Warrick nodded again, and then gestured toward the wolves, silently instructing them to follow him as he turned on his heel and began to walk towards the door. They followed without hesitation, both giving me a small smile before they disappeared through the doorway.

“Come.” Dristan said to me, turning to leave as well.

I stood to my feet, wincing at my already sore muscles. I was going to be hurting tomorrow, that was for certain. I followed Dristan out the door, the sound of people sparring fading away, as we made our way down the corridor.

He was strangely quiet, as he had been all day, and I was starting to worry that he was upset with me after seeing Ronan and I talking last night. I walked behind him, my head lowered, trying to think of something to say.

But he beat me to it.

“You seem to be in unusually high spirits today.” He said quietly, not turning to look at me.

I stared at his back as we continued to walk at a leisurely pace. His wings were tucked in tightly, giving me a clear view of the delicious way his broad muscles shifted beneath his clothing with each step that he took.

“Am I not allowed to be in a good mood?” I asked, perplexed.

“Is it because you are looking forward to your date tonight, with Ronan?”

I blinked, my jaw falling open. He must’ve heard our conversation last night, even after rounding the corner. He’d been eavesdropping. My hands balled into fists at my sides at his assumption, angry that he’d think I actually wanted to spend time with Ronan. The only reason I’d said yes was to help him.

A group of Fae passed us in the hallway, their eyes widening when they realized who Dristan and I were. They slowed down, as if they might say something to us, but the growl of warning from Dristan’s lips had them scurrying along with panicked eyes as they passed us and disappeared down the hall.

Grumpy, fire breathing, bastard...

“Why would you even think that?” I hissed when they were out of sight, my anger coming through. I knew he couldn’t scent my anger now, so I wanted him to hear it in my tone.

He stopped suddenly, spinning around to face me. I nearly ran straight into him, rocking back on my heels, as I stared up into his stony face. The deep V between his brows was fully visible as his brows pulled inward. His jaw muscles flexed beneath the skin of his jaw as he stared down at me.

I held my ground.

“He made you laugh. You were laughing.” He said the words as if they tasted bad in his mouth.

I gaped up at him, my eyes widening. He didn’t wait for me to respond. He turned around again, a grunt of anger sounding from his throat, as he continued walking down the hall.

I caught up, reeling and confused at his anger.

“B-because he gave me the rune necklace...” I stuttered.

He didn’t respond.

“It keeps my emotions from being scented... You don’t know how exhausting it is, trying to hide my emotions all the time. I was... relieved.”

We turned a corner, entering a hallway that was much smaller than the previous one. I didn’t recall coming down this hallway when Warrick had brought me to the training rooms...

Numerous, wooden doors lines the narrow walk space and flaming torches lined the stone walls, each heating the sides of my face every few feet as I passed by them.

We walked for a few moments in silence before Dristan stopped and turned toward me again. His nostrils flared in anger as he glared down at me. I shrank beneath his intense gaze, feeling like he could see straight into my soul, as his eyes pierced me.

“If you care for him, tell me. Right now.” He said, his voice a deadly whisper.

I shook my head as I gaped up at him, shock and defensiveness clawing at my insides.

“I’ve already told you...” I said, my voice hardly audible.

“Then tell me again!” He commanded, his eyes flaming.

My eyes burned as moisture built up behind them.

“It’s you... It’s always been you.”

He lunged, slamming my back into the wall, as his mouth collided with my own. A shocked gasp escaped my lips. The heat of his tongue swept across my lower lip as I did. My hands entangled into his hair as he tasted me, his mouth moving with mine in a claiming and desperate way, more intensely than I’d felt before.

His left hand roughly grabbed the back of my right leg, jerking it up and swinging it around his hip, pulling my core tightly against him. His right hand shot up, gripping the hair at the nape of my neck tightly.

I moaned as a sudden, searing rush of desire washed over me as he eagerly flexed his hips, grinding the hard bulge of his massive erection against my center.

Heat exploded outward from my belly, lowering toward the apex of my thighs, with an intense tingling sensation. I immediately felt a dampness gathering between my legs, right where he was pressing himself against me.

“Tell me again...” He demanded, pulling my head back by my hair, exposing my throat, as he trailed his tongue and lips up and down the column of my throat.

I squeezed my eyes shut as the pleasure of his touch enveloped my senses, drowning out any and everything around me.

“You! I want you! Only you!” I gasped, my hands tightening their grip on his silky, dark hair.

He growled in satisfaction at the sound of my breathless words, his teeth nipping harshly at the flesh of my neck. I whimpered at the pain before he licked and kissed at the bite marks.

His hand suddenly disappeared from my leg as his lips trailed up the slope of my neck. His hand shot to the side, fumbling blindly at the handle of the door beside us. He pushed it open and swept me inside of the dark room, slamming the door behind us.

I glanced around, my eyes not yet adjusted to the darkness, and realized we were in a small storage room. It was hardly big enough to fit three people inside of. There was a shelf littered with random tools and supplies against the left wall. The right wall had a small work table pressed against it, a few papers and a single, unlit lantern perched atop it. The room was empty, other than that.

I turned my face back toward him, just as he scooped me up and set me on top of the work table. His eyes were wild and crazed with lust, even through the darkness, as he lunged again.

He gripped my hips and pulled me forward roughly, toward the edge of the table, forcing my legs around his hips again. I could feel the wide, stiff shaft of his cock pressing firmly against my thigh as he pulled me to him, kissing me fiercely, as if his life depended on it.

“You’re mine.” He growled desperately. His hands gripped my hips tightly, rocking my heated core against him as he ground his hips into me.

I mewled at the contact, tilting my head back and giving him access to my throat. He trailed heated kisses down my neck, his breath hot against my skin and sending goosebumps down my entire body.

“Yes...” I moaned softly.

He pulled back suddenly and lifted a hand to the zipper at the top of my shirt. His eyes flicked down to my pronounced cleavage, and when he looked up at me again, his eyes were like molten lava.

“I want to see you...” He breathed, gripping the zipper between his thumb and index finger, but not yet pulling it down. He stared at me with hesitant eyes through the dim lighting, and I realized he was waiting for my permission.

When I realized this, I smiled shyly up at him. I was moved by his respect for me. Despite his, and his dragon’s, overwhelming sense of desire, which was surly threatening to overtake him, he still wanted to make sure I was okay with what he was doing.

“Yes...” I whispered, sucking my lower lip between my teeth, knowing it would drive him crazy.

He bared his teeth at my action, his slitted pupils dilating further. He lowered his gaze as he slowly pulled the zipper down, revealing my bare flesh to him.

When the fabric fell away, exposing my breasts and pert nipples, he simply stared. I felt my cheeks heating as the moments ticked by, and his eyes grew darker. He licked his lips hungrily.

I was about to say something, beginning to grow impatient, when one of his hands suddenly came around me and pressed against the small of my back. The other lifted, pressing against my right shoulder.

With the hand on my back pulling me forward, and the hand on my shoulder pushing me backward, it caused my back to arc involuntarily, causing my breasts to push outward and expose me to him even more fully.

Before I could react, he lunged forward and sucked the hard, sensitive skin of my left nipple into his mouth. I cried out, shocked by the sensation of the heat of his tongue against my chilled skin.

The tip of his searing tongue swirled around the hardened peak, causing me to lean my head back and moan in pleasure.

He growled in approval at my reaction as his other hand left my shoulder, dragging down my ribcage, before wrapping itself around the swollen mound of my other breast.

I knew that he could scent my growing arousal as I felt liquid pooling inside the confines of my panties. I began to pant, trying desperately to hold back the moans of pleasure fighting to break free of me as he switched breasts.

He massaged the soft mound firmly, his thumb flicking the hard point of my nipple occasionally, while he worshiped my other breast with his expert mouth.

His teeth clamped down suddenly, causing a sudden sharp pain to shoot through me, and I cried out a bit too loudly at the unexpected sensation.

He immediately let go and lifted his face to mine, covering my parted lips with his own.

“Shh...” He breathed against my lips, his hands still firmly kneading my aching breasts.

“Dristan... I can’t...” I complained, flicking my tongue out against his.

I felt him smile against my lips.

“We shouldn’t do this here...” I panted, still kissing him, still grinding my hips against him, contradicting myself.

He pulled away, just enough to be able to look into my eyes, as his grin widened. He wrapped his arms around my back, pulling me against his chest with one hand, while the other wove itself into my hair.

“I know... I just wanted to give you something to think about later, when you’re on your date.” He murmured, his eyes twinkling with mischief.

My mouth popped open and I scoffed.

“You tease!”

I captured his lips with my own again and pulled his lower lip between my teeth before biting down on it with force.

He hissed, his tongue flicking into my mouth and sweeping against my own, before he pulled away again. “I won’t apologize.”

I giggled as I stared into his glimmering, ocean depths, and he pressed his forehead against mine as he smiled. “I love that sound.” He murmured.

He lowered his eyes and unwound his arms from me, before re-situating the zipper at the hem of my shirt. He slid the zipper up, my bare skin disappearing beneath the clothing. When he’d fully zipped me all the way up, he lifted his eyes back to mine.

He took my face in between his large hands and kissed me with heartbreaking gentleness. I felt my insides melting at his tender touch. My body screamed at me to keep going, but I knew we couldn’t do this here.

We could get caught. And he knew it, too.

I made a mental note to get back at him later for teasing me this way.

I frowned as he pulled away and unwrapped my legs from around himself. He reached between his legs and winced as he tried to re-situate the erection beneath his pants. I knew it must hurt, and that realization made me feel a bit less frustrated at his teasing assault. At least it wasn’t just me who was suffering.

I sighed as I jumped down from the table.

Ten minutes later, we arrived at my door. I turned to him, amazed at how he could go from a lust driven, sex crazed maniac... To a perfectly calm, decorous, High Lord... In the blink of an eye. He gazed down at me, his face a serious mask of polite indifference.

“High Lady.” He nodded, his face blank, but his eyes flashing with hidden emotion. “Enjoy your evening...”

I stared at him gloomily, suddenly sick to my stomach. I didn’t want him to leave. I didn’t want to spend the evening with anyone else. I swallowed the lump in my throat as I realized I didn’t have a choice.

“I will be thinking of you.” I whispered.

The corner of his lip turned upward briefly.

“Goodnight.” He said with a small nod.

I smiled weakly in return.

He turned to leave and I watched for a moment as he dutifully strode down the hallway, exuding authority and power, as his wings flared behind him.

I sighed and slipped into my rooms before resting my back against the door. Ronan would be here any time now. I pushed away from the door and slowly made my way toward the washroom to shower and get ready.

As I started the water, I tried to suppress the stinging sensation that was beginning to build behind my eyes. I struggled to battle against the depression that was threatening to overtake me as I stepped into the shower, knowing that the water was too hot, and yet feeling too numb to care.

My good mood was long gone.

And when I realized that it was not the water from the shower dripping down my face, but my own, traitorous tears instead, my body began to tremble...

And I knew that the battle was lost.

It would always be lost.

The never ending battle between my head and my heart...

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