The prince looked deep into her eyes and then she was in his arms, held close to him, and they were kneeling together on the floor.
Familiar scents swirled around her and she instantly felt more relaxed. â€œWhat did you do?â€
He drew back from her and she found that he had taken her home and they were kneeling in the middle of her small living room on the cream carpet, between the beige sofa and the TV.
The prince brushed cool fingers across her brow. â€œYou feel better now.â€
She nodded, her heart levelling out again, the soft feel of the carpet beneath her knees and the familiar surroundings making her feel comforted and safe.
â€œI cannot remain here… and that means you cannot either… but I will not rush you,â€ he said in a low voice, one laced with a solemn note.
She appreciated that because she could see how difficult this was for him. He was a man used to issuing orders and having someone instantly obey. He was a man unused to having a weakness and she knew that was what she was. She didnâ€™t want this bond between them either. She wanted it undone or broken or just gone somehow. She didnâ€™t care how.
â€œIs there a way to undo it?â€ she whispered, afraid to hope that there was.
â€œIt is possible it may fade if we do not complete it. I will have my men look into it and we will know soon enough if it is possible to break the bond. If it is possible, you will be free to go.â€
She didnâ€™t like the sound of that. â€œAnd if it isnâ€™t?â€
â€œIf it is not possible, then my only choice will be to complete the bond. Completing the bond will restore my strength, because it will make you immortal, stronger.â€ He held her gaze, unflinching as she glared at him, thinking about giving him another piece of her mind. â€œYou must understand… I must defeat my enemy and to do that, I need to regain my strength, whether that is through breaking or completing our bond.â€
In other words, she wasnâ€™t getting a choice. He was just going to make that decision for her.
â€œI donâ€™t want this bond. Iâ€™m stating that for the record. I didnâ€™t ask you to bite me and drag me into this mess. I donâ€™t want it completed. I want it gone.â€
â€œI will do all I can. I will have my best researchers on it as soon as we return.â€
Olivia shook her head. â€œIâ€™m not returning. Thatâ€™s another thing. I want to stay here until we know for certain.â€
His black eyebrows pinched together. â€œI cannot allow that. You will be vulnerable here.â€
Olivia held her ground, refusing to give an inch. â€œCanâ€™t one of your men stay with me, like a bodyguard?â€
His expression darkened and his ears went pointier again. His voice was a thick growl as he spoke, his fangs brushing his lower lip. â€œYou wish for another male to keep you company?â€
Not what she had said at all but clearly that was what he had heard, and he didnâ€™t like the idea one bit. Was the dark possessive snarl in his deep voice a result of the bond too or was it because he felt attracted to her? She hadnâ€™t failed to notice the desire that shone in his eyes at times either. Was that the bond at work? A fragment of her heart hoped it wasnâ€™t. Olivia squashed it.
â€œListen, Buddy, you donâ€™t seem to want to stay with me and you wonâ€™t let me stay alone, so what other option do we have?â€ She prodded his chest, driving her point home so he wouldnâ€™t be able to miss that she wasnâ€™t going to roll over and do whatever he commanded.
â€œYou will come with me.â€ Clearly, he hadnâ€™t got the message at all.
â€œI damned well will not,â€ she snapped and he leaned back, frowning at her. She could tell he wasnâ€™t used to people speaking to him like that but he was going to have to get used to it if he was going to be hanging around her. Maybe if she were caustic enough, he would let her have her way. â€œI have work to do and I donâ€™t need another boss in my life. One is enough, thank you very much. You caused this mess and that means you have to do some major sucking up… starting with allowing me to continue my work.â€
He snarled and Olivia bravely stood her ground. Or sat it. She realised that they were still sitting together with his arms around her. He hadnâ€™t made a move to release her and she didnâ€™t think he would. For all his growling, he clearly felt possessive of her. Because of her blood and the bond?
Olivia didnâ€™t like it. Not one bit. She didnâ€™t like how her feelings towards him were mercurial either, swinging from anger one moment to desire the next. The last time she had felt attracted to a man, she had ended up duped and then disgraced, and she wouldnâ€™t let it happen again.
â€œI cannot allow you to continue your work, because… because…â€ The demanding prince lost for words? This was a new one.
â€œBecause what?â€ she barked, trying to force him to spit it out. She really wanted to know his insane reasoning so she could rip it apart.
â€œBecause that would mean you desire to take one of my men into your laboratory.â€ His expression hardened, his purple eyes verging on black. â€œMen there would desire to harm them.â€
She couldnâ€™t rip that one apart. If he had spouted the answer she had anticipated, stating she desired one of his men, she probably wouldnâ€™t have had the heart to rip that apart either. At this point, if he looked at another woman, she would probably go all growly too.
What the hell was wrong with her?
It was the bond. She was blaming the bond. She had been wrong the night they had met. It hadnâ€™t been blood loss that had made her feel attracted to him, hazy and hot whenever he touched her or looked at her. It was this stupid bond.
â€œWe would want to study them, not hurt them.â€ Although she could see why he had reservations about it. He wanted to protect his men. â€œIf a demon or fae isnâ€™t a threat to mankind, then Archangel doesnâ€™t hurt them. Besides, I would like to run some blood work and see if there is something I can do about this bond. If I have a sample of your blood and my blood, and perhaps some blood from an elf who isnâ€™t bonded, then I might be able to see how weâ€™re connected.â€
He arched an eyebrow. â€œI highly doubt that.â€
Olivia sighed at the incredulity in his tone and then reminded herself that he was five thousand years old and hadnâ€™t been in the human world in four of those. He might not have a clue about the progression science had made in those four thousand years.
â€œListen… Iâ€™m a scientist. Studying demon genetics and physiology is what I do for a living, and Iâ€™m very good at it. I know a lot about demon and fae, as well as human, genomes. If this bond is somehow physical… a change at a base level in our bodies… I might be able to find it and find a way to reverse it. At least let me try.â€
He stared blankly at her for long seconds, as though trying to decipher what she had just said, or maybe he was impressed that the little human female knew things he and, probably, his people didnâ€™t have a clue about. Finally, he released her and rose to his feet in one effortless fluid movement.
Olivia used the couch and scrambled to hers. Her feet tingled, numb from the awkward kneeling position. She scrunched her toes, trying to clear the pins and needles so she could walk without making a fool of herself.
The prince paced a short distance away from her, his handsome face locked in a troubled expression. He still looked too damn gorgeous for his own good whenever he turned pensive. Olivia looked anywhere but at him, thinking about how she could convince him to let her do her thing while his men did theirs. She was sure that the answer to the bond lay in their blood. It had to be something like that. A change on a molecular level.
â€œWhat is your name?â€ He turned to look at her and she lifted her chin. His eyes captured hers again, their incredible colour still fascinating her.
â€œOlivia.â€ It was on the identity badge pinned on her left breast pocket but she didnâ€™t mention it. Making a prince look like a fool when he was already on the edge would probably tip him over it and she preferred him calm. And pensive.
He padded towards her, his steps silent on the carpet, but she knew he wouldnâ€™t have made a sound had he been walking on solid stone. He held his hand out to her. â€œLoren.â€
Loren. A very noble sounding name. One that suited him. Prince Loren.
Olivia slipped her hand into his. A shiver of current shot up her arm as they came into contact. The way his pupils dilated, swallowing his purple irises, told her that he had felt it too.
â€œOlivia,â€ he said, his foreign accent and deep voice combining to make her name sound exotic and sensual, leaving her wondering how it would sound if he husked it close to her ear. She shook herself out of her dirty thoughts. She wasnâ€™t going there. Never. His fingers closed around hers and he drew her closer, and she lost awareness of the world again, falling back into his eyes. â€œI will escort you to your laboratory.â€
She blinked. He was going to let her continue her work and was going to be the one to stay here with her? That surprised her until it dawned on her that he would sooner risk himself than one of his men.
She could see he was a prince as he stood before her, tall and beautiful, noble and willing to step into the lionâ€™s den to protect his men from those he believed would seek to harm them, offering her a diplomatic solution to their problem and patiently awaiting her answer.
Olivia felt as though he had just offered her a second shot at regaining her status within Archangel too and she wasnâ€™t going to waste it.
She nodded and shook his hand.
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
Kissed by a Dark Prince
Olivia thinks itâ€™s her lucky night when a dangerously handsome unconscious fae ends up on her inspection table. Heâ€™s her chance to redeem herself with her employer, the demon-hunting organisation, Archangel. But when the tall, dark and deadly immortal warrior awakes, she gets much more than she bargained forâ€¦
Attacked by his enemy in the elf kingdom, the last thing Prince Loren expects when he comes around is a beautiful angel watching over him and medical technology of the mortal realm. Hazy from his injuries, all he can focus on is the pulse ticking in her throat and the sweet allure of her blood.
One single bite reveals she is his eternal mate, triggering a bond between them that will leave him weakened until it is completedâ€¦ or broken, and pulling Olivia into the crossfire of his ancient feud.
To protect his people and his mate from the machinations of a madman, Loren must risk everything by working with Olivia at Archangel to find a way to break the bond blossoming between them.
But will Loren be strong enough to place duty before desire and give up the one thing he has waited millennia for and craves above all othersâ€”his eternal mate? And will Olivia be able to resist the incredible heat that burns between them and the temptation of her dark princeâ€™s kiss?
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: