A ripple of heat travelled through Thorneâ€™s muscles, sending a shiver of awareness through him.
He was turning before he knew it, his gaze seeking her, drawn to his little female.
When it found her, his blood chilled and then burned for a different reason.
She was beautiful, resplendent with her long black hair twirled and clasped at the back of her head and her lips rosy, but she did not wear a dress of mortal fashion.
The long flowing blue garment reached her ankles, the sheer layers parting as she walked, revealing glimpses of bare thigh through the gauzy material that made him want to growl at every male in the room who dared to look upon his female. In contrast to the loose skirt, the top was tight, the blue bands of material held in place by elaborate arcs and swirls of brushed silver metal that acted as a corset over them.
An elven dress.
The wretched elf male beside her raked an appreciative glance over her body, blatant hunger in his purple eyes.
Thorneâ€™s lips peeled back off his fangs and his horns curled in front of his ears.
He stormed through the crowd, shoving demon, elf, vampire and werewolf out of his path, picking up speed as he neared her and the male. Sableâ€™s golden eyes met his, a smile rising onto her lips. It faded when he growled low in his throat. She tensed, her eyes going wide, and backed off a step. He pushed the last obstacle aside and seized Bleu by his throat, barely registering Sableâ€™s gasp, and kicked forwards, using all of his speed to slam the male against the stone wall behind her.
Thorneâ€™s muscles ached, beginning to expand as his fury took hold of him, ruling his actions. His dragon-like wings burst from his back and tore through his shirt and his muscles strained against the now-tight white material. His horns grew, curling around themselves and flaring forwards into deadly points. His fangs descended, his lower canines sharpening to match them.
He heaved a breath and roared in Bleuâ€™s face as he hauled the male up the wall so his legs dangled above the floor.
Rage burned in his blood, the sounds around him drowned out by the rush of it in his veins and the thunderous beat of his heart.
Bleu coolly stared down at him.
Thorne cursed him for it when a familiar burn raced through him. Sable. She stared at him.
He slid his gaze to his right, looking at her out of the corner of his eye. Her horrified expression spoke of her desire to separate them.
To protect the elf.
Thorne tightened his grip on Bleuâ€™s throat and snarled in the demon tongue, â€œShe is not your kiâ€™ara. You would know your fated female and would be unable to ignore the urge to fight me. How dare you dress her as your kiâ€™ara!â€
Bleuâ€™s hand calmly encircled his wrist and he looked as if he would allow his armour to transform his fingers into claws and wrest Thorneâ€™s hand from his throat, yet he made no move to fight him.
Thorne needed to fight.
His blood pumped hard and hot, and his mind screamed with fury over what this male had dared to do with his fated one. His female.
He wanted to throw him across the room, to rain blows down upon him until his temper flared and he fought back. He wanted to snag the female with his free hand, curl his claws over the metal bodice of her dress and rip the offending garment from her body.
He yearned to kiss her until she knew that she belonged to him.
He could do none of those things.
Everyone was staring at him and clarity was beginning to pierce the red haze in his mind like the rising sun drove back the darkest night, bringing calm to all those its rays touched.
He had brought these elven folk and mortals to his world because he needed their aid, and he was ruining his chance of keeping his kingdom safe.
For the sake of a female.
Thorne snarled, torn between tightening his grip around Bleuâ€™s scrawny neck and releasing him. His chest heaved with each harsh breath he sucked down into his lungs in a fight to calm himself and his fingers twitched against Bleuâ€™s flesh. The urge to press his claws in, to draw blood and ignite the maleâ€™s anger was hard to ignore. He wanted to tear into him with claw and fang, to push him into responding, all to sate his need to ensure this male no longer dared to pursue his female.
He needed to kill him.
Sable moved, taking a brave step closer, and shock rippled through him when his rage lifted enough for him to realise that she looked only at him. Broken words reached his ears, filtering through the red mist clouding his senses.
She spoke to him directly and everything male in him demanded he listened to his female.
He eased his grip and turned to her. She appeared small and delicate, but formidable too as she stood with her hands braced against her hips, her bright golden gaze locked on him in a scowl.
His female was fearsome. A warrior.
He wanted to grin at that.
A female fit for a king.
â€œDial it back, Tiger,â€ she said.
He didnâ€™t understand her strange words or why she equated him with a savage animal of her world, but he knew from her gentle tone and softening expression that she meant to calm him.
Thorne could only obey.
He lowered the elf to his feet and fought to convince himself to release his throat. Sable continued to stare into his eyes, her gaze commanding his to remain rooted on her. It took a few seconds before he managed to uncurl his fingers from Bleuâ€™s neck, and only a few seconds more than that for him to notice the ragged state of his clothes, the horrified expressions of the mortals surrounding him, and the barely concealed anger flashing in the eyes of the elves.
Thorne turned away from Sable and shoved past Bleu, heading for the door beyond the mortals. They scurried out of his path, their fear tainting their scents.
He growled and tossed over his shoulder, â€œI will return. Prepare the feast.â€
He stormed out of the great hall, needing space to rein in his anger, and requiring a change of clothes. There was little point in donning a new shirt until he had his temper back under control though. He growled and snarled as he stomped along the torch-lit corridor towards his rooms, his mood degenerating again, thoughts of Sable with Bleu dragging him back towards the red mist. He female was there with the elf, no doubt checking on the male, touching his bruised throat and speaking words of concern and tenderness.
Thorne threw his head back and roared until his throat burned and he had no breath left. He dragged his claws along the stone walls, craving the pain and aching with the need to unleash his anger on something. Anything.
He reached his rooms and barged through the arched wooden door, slamming it shut behind him. He paced from one side of the expansive bedroom to the other, his gaze locked on the floor, his footfalls shaking the timbers. He snarled and tore at his ruined shirt, and only grew more frustrated as it snagged in his wings. They wouldnâ€™t go away. Not while he skirted the edge, on the brink of losing his mind to the rage pouring through him, eating away at him, filling his head with images of Bleu and Sable.
Thorne roared again and ripped the remains of the shirt from his body. He tore it to shreds, threw it to the floor and flexed his claws as he paced, his wings shifting with each step. His bones ached as his body expanded again, muscles tight against his skin, and his teeth hurt as he clamped them together. He snarled and turned on his heel to stomp back towards the door, feeling like the beast his female had called him.
A feral tiger trapped within a cage, wild and driven to pace the cramped confines to unleash his energy lest he go insane.
A soft knock sounded.
Fargus, no doubt. The fool was the only male mad enough to approach him when he was in a rage.
Thorne stopped at the door and yanked it open, ready to bite his commanderâ€™s head off about the disturbance. No one was there.
His gaze dropped several inches.
He stilled right down to his heartbeat.
Her determined expression faltered and she looked uncertain, as if she had forgotten why she had come to him.
She had come to him.
Her golden-brown eyes fell to his bare chest and his horns curled at the way she slid them over his flesh, her pupils dilating and gaze growing heated.
Could she desire him?
Was she not Bleuâ€™s?
â€œWhat do you want?â€ he brusquely said and cursed himself for snapping at her. Just the name of the bastard elf in his mind had been enough to sour his mood again, destroying the calm that had come over him upon seeing Sable.
She cleared her throat and inched her eyes back up to his. â€œI get the feeling I did something wrong and I wanted to apologise. I didnâ€™t mean to offend you.â€
Curious little female. â€œYou did not offend me. The elf did.â€
â€œHow?â€ She frowned at him and her question surprised him. No female had ever dared to question him.
Was this some sort of ruse? Perhaps she was trying to discern the truth by taking the blame for his outburst. Did she desire to know why he had lost his mind and had attacked her male?
He would tell her.
â€œThe male attempted to claim what is rightfully mine.â€
Confusion flickered across her pretty face.
Thorne spelled it out for her by catching hold of her metal bodice, yanking her to him and grasping the nape of her neck to keep her still. He took a deep breath for courage and then dipped his head and claimed her mouth.
She stood frozen with her hot hands pressed against his bare chest, burning into him, and he thought she would push him away.
The moment his femaleâ€™s lips yielded to the hard demanding press of his and their tongues touched, pleasure nearly felled him.
He focused all of his will on holding back his strength, fearing he would hurt his little mortal with it, and tore the pins from her hair with his right hand. He sifted his fingers through the soft black strands, groaning at the feel of them slipping over his flesh. With his left, he clasped her against him.
Her dress was silk and her warm curves giving beneath his hand. He slid it lower and clutched her backside, pinning her against the full length of his body as he laid claimed to her mouth. She tensed and then melted into him, her lips parting to allow their tongues to touch again. Hers stroked his, dizzying him and driving him to kiss her harder. He gave in to the urge, unable to deny his hunger to taste her. So warm and sweet. His female tasted like ambrosia of the gods.
His knees loosened, threatening to give out as pleasure he had never experienced before flowed through every inch of him. It was stronger than he ever could have imagined, consuming and owning him, dragging him into a drugged daze where there was only fierce sensation and emotions, and the connection bursting to life between him and his little female.
Did she feel as he did? Did her limbs tremble from the pleasure overloading her and her blood run hot, thundering in her veins as desire blazed through her? He wanted to know, ached to draw back and look deep into her eyes and see that she was his now and he wasnâ€™t alone in his passion and desires, but more than that he didnâ€™t want this kiss to end.
Thorne clutched her more tightly, pulling her closer, obeying his instincts to possess her and claim her as his forever. His fangs dropped.
His female tensed, planted her hands harder against his chest and shoved him back, pinning his spine to the doorframe behind him.
She released him, wiped her mouth on the back of her hand and squared up to him, fire flashing in her eyes. His female was not pleased.
â€œI came here to apologise because I thought I had done something wrong again. Well, now itâ€™s your turn to apologise.â€
Thorne growled. â€œI will never apologise to the elf.â€
Her slap caught him off guard. His left cheek buzzed fiercely and he tasted blood. He ran his tongue around his mouth, finding the source of it on the left of his lower lip. She had struck him hard enough to cut him on his own fangs. He growled again, opened his mouth to warn her not to defend the male around him, and frowned as he realised she was storming away from him, heading back towards the great hall.
â€œMen,â€ she muttered darkly. â€œDoesnâ€™t matter what species they areâ€¦ theyâ€™re all bloody idiots.â€
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: