â€œIs there a dress code for tonight?â€ Sable looked at the beautiful gown and then Lorenâ€™s fine clothing resting over the chair.
She hadnâ€™t brought anything for this sort of situation and she doubted her team had either. All of her clothes were fit for battle and nothing else. Even if she had known in advance about the feast, it wouldnâ€™t have helped. She didnâ€™t own anything as fine as the dress Loren held. She didnâ€™t own a dress period.
â€œI really donâ€™t want to offend Thorne,â€ she ignored the teasing look Olivia slid her way, â€œbut I know all of my team brought only battle clothes with them.â€
â€œThat will not be a problem.â€ Loren laid the dress down on top of his clothing and turned to her. â€œYou represent your team so only you will be seated at the main table with the other commanding officers. Thorne will not mind if your subordinates are dressed plainly.â€
In other words, he would mind if she was.
Sable refused to panic about this. â€œMaybe thereâ€™s a demon female I can borrow a dress from.â€
â€œThat wonâ€™t be possible,â€ Olivia said, snatching her focus. â€œThere are no demon females.â€
She gasped. â€œWho were those women then?â€
â€œWitchesâ€¦ a vampire or two. I believe there was even a shifter amongst them,â€ Loren replied and Sableâ€™s gaze darted back to him.
â€œDemons donâ€™t have females?â€ How had she not known that?
â€œNo,â€ Olivia said for him and why hadnâ€™t her friend told her about this? â€œThe Devil put some sort of curse on seven demon species when they seized these lands to make their own realmsâ€¦ I guess he was pissed because he wiped out all the women and made it so the men would have to seek out their fated one. Now, demons can only mate with their fated females. The kicker is that most of them are mortalâ€¦ and demons stick out like sore thumbs in our world.â€
Sableâ€™s pulse kicked up a notch. â€œHow do they know their female?â€
â€œThey dream of her after meeting her.â€ Lorenâ€™s smile turned wicked and she didnâ€™t like the glint in his eyes.
Cold slithered through her even as her cheeks began to heat.
â€œYouâ€™re talkingâ€¦ naughtyâ€¦ dreams.â€ Could she sound any more innocent and nervous?
He nodded. â€œVery, very naughty.â€
â€œLoren,â€ Olivia chided and crossed the room to him. Sable thanked her for backing her up until her friend turned to her, forming an allied front with Loren, her smile just as wicked as his was. â€œYouâ€™re not having naughty dreams of Thorne are you, Sable?â€
â€œNo.â€ Lie. A whopper of one. The dreams sheâ€™d had of him had been x-rated and hotter than all of her real-life encounters rolled into one. â€œBesides, Iâ€™m not a demon male. Why would I dream of him?â€
Loren preened his jacket and casually said, â€œBecause their female dreams of them too, and they both experience the same dream if theyâ€™re sleeping at the same time.â€
Holy hell in a hand-basket. His triumphant smile said he had noticed the blush that had risen onto her cheeks before she had gotten the better of herself.
â€œScrew both of you. Stop messing with me.â€
â€œIn all seriousness, demons are aggressive and it often takes their female to tame them and teach them civility, so try to avoid the unmated ones.â€ Olivia touched Sableâ€™s arm.
She nodded, even though she didnâ€™t think they were particularly aggressive. Thorne seemed quite calm to her most of the time, and the demons she had encountered so far were not as she had pictured or how Olivia said they were.
Olivia squeezed her arm. â€œWhy did you hurl yourself into that fight?â€
Sable glared at her. Could she not have five minutes without Olivia or Loren insinuating that she fancied Thorne?
She sighed. â€œI honestly thought they were attacking him. What else was I to think? We were called here to help in a war and we appear in the middle of a huge fight!â€
Loren smiled and she wanted to slug him. â€œYour clue was that the other demons in the area were merely watching events unfold and not stepping in to protect their king.â€
Sable loosed a ripe curse in his direction and then added, â€œShut up.â€
â€œItâ€™s just like you to see a fight and want in on it,â€ Olivia said and she was about to nod in agreement until her friend ruined it by tacking on, â€œOf course, if it hadnâ€™t been Thorne in the middle of that battleâ€”â€
â€œYou can shut up too.â€ Sable took her arm away from Olivia and scowled at both of them.
â€œCome, come. I believe we have teased her enough. She will use one of those crossbow bolts on us if we do not stop.â€ Loren held his hand out to Olivia and she slipped hers into it and went to him. He pulled his mate flush against him and smiled down into her eyes before turning his gaze back on Sable. â€œDo not worry about the feast. Bleu will have left a dress for you in your room.â€
There was a knock at the door. Sable opened it and stared as a huge blond demon rolled a large wooden tub into the room and set it down by the fire. Others entered behind him, carrying pitchers of steaming water.
Sable wanted one of those too. She needed to relax before she could even think about showing her face at the feast. She wanted to scrub away her shame and embarrassment, and unwind.
She leaned out into the hall and looked along it towards her room.
A big dark-haired male stood there with another tub and an impatient look on his rugged face.
â€œGot to dash.â€ She looked over her shoulder to Loren and Olivia, at the tub and then back at them. â€œTry to keep the volume turned down when youâ€™re scrubbing her back, Big Guy.â€
Loren blushed and he blushed hard.
Sable tossed him a victorious grin and shot from the room. The demon waiting with the tub scowled at her and then something flickered in his dark red eyes and he straightened and bowed his head. She grimaced when she recognised him as one of the demons from the courtyard. Just great. She got to have her tub delivered by someone who had witnessed the whole debacle with his king.
â€œRoll it in, Big Guy.â€ She pushed her door open and waved him on. He grunted something under his breath and heaved the tub forwards, picked it up with one hand on the rim, walked to the fireplace off to her left and set it down. She hadnâ€™t meant to challenge his strength but he had clearly taken her pet term and words as just that. Maybe he wasnâ€™t good with English.
He flicked her another glance, raking his gaze over her from head to toe this time, curled his lip and stalked off.
Not stalked. Limped.
Great. Not just a witness but one of the ones she had shot.
â€œSorry,â€ she called after him but he didnâ€™t stop.
He disappeared around the corner and the other demons filed in, depositing the hot water into the tub.
Water in Hell. Back at Archangel, she had wondered if they would have such things in this part of Hell. Lorenâ€™s kingdom had water but then they had portals that channelled a river through their lands. Where did this kingdom get its water?
Probably through portals. Demons could teleport too.
Sable closed the door after the last demon had left and turned to the bed.
A beautiful sky-blue dress lay on top of the furs. She crossed the room to it and gazed down at the gauzy layers of fabric and the elegant silver metalwork of the corset beside it. It took her breath away. She had never worn anything so beautiful or so feminine.
A vision of her walking into the great hall and Thorne going wild for her the moment he set eyes on her rose into her mind.
She shut it out. She couldnâ€™t let things go that way. She was here on an important mission, one that would decide the fate of Thorneâ€™s kingdom. She couldnâ€™t let her desire get the better of her. She couldnâ€™t become a distraction for Thorne.
She couldnâ€™t give him the impression that she wanted him, even when she burned for him.
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
Claimed by a Demon King
The moment the demon King Thorne of the Third Realm set eyes on the mortal huntress Sable, he knew she was his fated one. The fiery, dangerous female awakened hungers he had never experienced before, a dark craving and passion that has consumed him in their time apart. As the lunar cycle wanes, she enters his world again and nothing will stand in the way of him claiming his forever with herâ€”not the relentless assault from the Fifth Realm or the dark elf male determined to seduce her out of his grasp.
Intent on achieving the coveted position of commander at Archangel, Sable leads her small team into the dark underworld and the Third Realm, to a war where her allies are the very creatures she normally huntsâ€”vampires, werewolves, and demons. Her eagerness to lead the deadly mission has everything to do with winning her promotion, and nothing to do with the kingdomâ€™s brash, lethally seductive demon kingâ€”a king who stirred fierce desire and wildfire heat in her with just a look and an innocent touch when they first met, and has been in her wicked dreams ever since.
As the gathering storm between rivals unleashes irresistible passion that flares white-hot and the heat of the battle brings life-shattering realisations, can Sable place her duty before her heart? Or will she surrender to her deepest desires and be claimed by a demon king?
If you haven’t had a chance to read any of the books in the Eternal Mates romance series yet, they’re all available at major ebook retailers and in paperback, and you can find the links and samples of the books at my website: