He growled so low that she only felt it as a rumble through her chest and then strained against his manacles, becoming so agitated that she feared he would hurt himself again. His face screwed up, his enormous fangs on display, and he threw his head back and roared as he arched off the dark stone slab.
â€œYou need to calm down.â€ Rosalind reached for him.
She froze when his eyes snapped open.
Her breathing accelerated.
She shook her head.
He couldnâ€™t be.
He stared at her, vivid purple eyes flashing wildly as his lips peeled away from his fangs again. Fangs. Purple. Mother earth, she was going to hyperventilate.
His overlong black hair parted to reveal the pointed tips of his ears and she almost passed out.
Rosalind shot backwards away from him. Pain erupted in her side, searing her ribs and stealing her breath together with him. Not a damn elf. He couldnâ€™t be a bloody elf.
She shook her head and huddled into the corner, holding her knees and staring at him as he wrestled with his manacles.
Anything but an elf. Why couldnâ€™t he be anything but an elf?
She went back seventy years, to a magical summerâ€™s day when she had been having tea in the garden with her grandmother. It had all been so peaceful and perfect. Endless blue skies. Flowers in full bloom. Butterflies and bees going about their business. A perfect moment.
Until her grandmother had turned sombre, staring at her in silence and worrying her. Rosalind had asked her what was wrong and her grandmother had looked right into her eyes with ones that swirled like a silver storm and had spoken words that had changed her forever.
In Rosalindâ€™s future would be an elven prince, and after meeting him, she would die.
When she had helped King Thorne with his war, she had specifically avoided seeing or meeting Prince Loren of the elves who had been assisting him too.
She warily eyed the elf in the cell with her. He didnâ€™t bear the markings of a royal elf, ones she had learned about during her research into the species. He didnâ€™t look much like a prince either. She tried to shake off her fear, and her rising panic with it. It was difficult. She had spent her whole life convincing herself that her grandmother had been having one of her strange episodes when she got her wires crossed and thought she was talking to someone else, and now she had the horrible feeling that it hadnâ€™t been the case at all.
She had seen Rosalindâ€™s future and had spelt it out for her.
And now Rosalind was locked in a cell with an elf.
She shook off the last clinging threads of her fear. She had met the elf Bleu without dying, and the fae history books only mentioned one elf prince. The one she had avoided. This male was not that prince. The prince had a calm aura. Not a violent one.
She blew out her breath and winced as her ribs protested.
The elf male stilled, his eyes locked on her. They were focused, but not right. He looked lost, a wild beast struggling to comprehend her and his surroundings. He drew in a deep breath.
He craned his neck, turning his head towards his right arm. What was he doing? Studying his restraints?
He sank his fangs into his forearm.
â€œStop that.â€ Rosalind raced across the room to him and stopped short of grabbing his wrist to pull his arm free of his fangs.
He released his arm and blood bloomed there. His purple eyes grew wilder and black spots formed in them like inky blotches that began to spread as he stared at her.
He growled in a commanding tone, â€œDrink. Female.â€
Rosalindâ€™s stomach turned and she shook her head. He snarled in response to her refusal and struggled against the manacles again. Blood crept down his arm, stark red against his pale skin. He spoke in his language, his voice alternating between softness and hardness, between a whisper and a growl. The thick metal restraints cut into his wrists as he frantically fought them, spilling more blood. She couldnâ€™t take it.
She grabbed his bare shoulders and used her weight to press down and restrain him, her body laying partially across his.
She breathed hard, every inch of her shaking, a heady mixture of fear, adrenaline, and relief sweeping through her. Mother earth, she hoped he didnâ€™t bite her or attack her. She had placed herself within easy reach of his fangs. A stupid move, but she hadnâ€™t been able to stop herself. He had been hurting himself because of her refusal. He had been losing himself to whatever came over him at times when he was under duress.
â€œFemale. Drink. Heal.â€
Rosalind eyed the blood. He wanted to heal her? He was truly insane. Lacerations and wounds covered him from head to toe and he was worried not about himself but instead about her?
He urged her again, dark and commanding this time.
The thought made her ill but she wanted to be strong so she could escape this nightmare and didnâ€™t want him to hurt himself anymore because of her. If she could achieve one of those things, she would take his blood. Just a sip.
She knew all the fables about elf blood, including the one that said it could heal. She just wasnâ€™t sure she believed it.
Only one way to find out whether it was true.
She bent her head to his arm, poked her tongue out and tried not to think about what she was doing, sure she would retch if she did. She licked the blood, following a line of it up his arm, trying to be as gentle as she could with him so she didnâ€™t startle him.
He startled her instead.
He moaned and his hips undulated against her.
Rather than shocking her into moving away, the sound of pleasure emanating from his lips enticed her to move closer, emboldening her.
Rosalind wrapped her lips around the twin puncture marks his fangs had made and sucked, earning a dark hungry growl from him. He bucked his hips wildly, nudging against her, his actions driven by instinct rather than a conscious decision. She knew it to be true because she wanted to rock hers too, ached and burned low in her belly, possessed by a need to rub against him while she drank him down.
â€œDrink. Female,â€ he uttered, his voice a bare whisper. â€œKiâ€™ara.â€
She instantly tore herself away from him. He called her by another femaleâ€™s name?
Cold engulfed her, emptiness that left her emotions reeling, clashing violently as she struggled to comprehend what had just happened and fought her instinct to bash him across his thick skull.
She spat the remaining blood in her mouth on the floor, gaining a dark glare from her companion, one that she ignored as she went to work on him. She wasnâ€™t gentle as she healed him. The bastard didnâ€™t deserve gentle after calling her by another womanâ€™s name. She would have told him to go to Hell, but since they were both already there, it hardly seemed worth the effort.
Besides, she couldnâ€™t find her voice. Her throat felt thick, squeezed so tight that she could barely breathe, let alone speak.
He passed out at some point. She didnâ€™t care enough to note when it happened, but was glad that he had left her alone in a way. She wanted to be alone.
The incubus in the cell opposite kindly remained quiet too, although he prowled his cramped quarters, his gaze constantly on her. She hated him too. She hated that he had witnessed the whole affair and could probably see the hurt on her face. She never had been good at hiding her feelings. She had never seen the point before now.
Now though, as she sat in a cell with an elf who had somehow managed to slip past her defences and get under her skin, she wished she knew how to lie and how to shield herself from others, concealing her emotions so they couldnâ€™t be used against her.
Rosalind sank back onto her heels and let her breath out on a sigh. She was done with him and still had hours before moonrise. No punishment for her.
The maleâ€™s eyelids flickered and then opened.
He deserved punishment though.
Rosalind stood and towered over him with her hands on her hips. â€œWhoâ€™s Kiara?â€
He frowned, a confused edge to his steel-blue eyes. Part of her was glad they were no longer purple. When he looked like this, she could fool herself into thinking he wasnâ€™t an elf, and that she had hope of making it to her one hundred and first birthday.
â€œI have no kiâ€™ara,â€ he muttered.
She loomed over him and gave him her best glare. â€œThat wasnâ€™t the case when you commanded me to drink from you.â€
His expression sharpened, darkening by degrees. â€œWhat are you talking about? I did no such thing.â€
She pointed a shaky finger at the marks on his arm. She wanted to see him try to deny they were his, because she wasnâ€™t in possession of a pair of fangs.
â€œYou made me drink and then you had the bloody audacity to call me by anotherâ€™s name.â€ Her heart pounded wildly, beating so fast she felt sick.
She stormed to the cell door, grabbed the bars and rattled them with all of her strength, which was considerably more than it had been prior to drinking from the bastard elf. She mentally marked the fable about elf blood having a healing ability as true.
â€œGuards!â€ Rosalind hollered, unwilling to spend another second in his company. Heavy footsteps echoed along the corridor. She looked over her shoulder at the elf, her lip curling. â€œThe demon king will be questioning you now, and I hope the bastard gives you what you bloody deserve.â€
He stared blankly at her.
The guards opened the door. She huffed and strode out of it, pausing at the bars for long enough to cast him one last withering glare.
â€œNext time, you can damn well heal yourself.â€
The elf blinked, shock written across every line of his handsome face.
Rosalind ignored the bolt of heat that went through her, turned her nose up and stomped along the corridor towards her cell, shaking like a leaf in a storm and unsure whether her jelly legs would give out before she reached her quarters.
There was one thing she was sure of though.
The next time she set eyes on that elf, he was going to find out that Hell had no furies that could match a witch scorned.
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
Tempted by a Rogue Prince
An elf prince on the verge of losing himself to the darkness, Vail is maddened by the forty-two centuries he was under the control of a witch and forced to war with his brother. Now, he roams Hell seeking an escape from his terrible past and the heads of all who bear magic. When demons of the Fifth Realm capture him, he sees a chance to end his existence, but when he wakes in a cell to a beautiful female, he finds not death but his only shot at salvationâ€”his true fated mate.
Captured by the enemy of the Third Realm when the war ended, Rosalind has spent months in the cells of the Fifth Realm with her magic bound, forced to heal the new kingâ€™s demon warriors, and haunted by the lives she has taken. When sheâ€™s brought to heal an unconscious man, she discovers her only hope of escape has come in the form of her worst nightmare and the first part of a prediction that might spell her doomâ€”a devastatingly handsome and dangerous dark elf prince.
Unwilling to fall under the control of anyone ever again, Vail must escape before the Fifth King can use him as a pawn in a deadly game of revenge, but he cannot leave without Rosalind, the woman who looks at him with dark desire in her stunning eyes and awakens a fierce hunger in his heart. A witch who drives him mad with need even as the darkness within whispers she will enslave him too.
Can Rosalind escape her fate as they embark on a journey fraught with danger and resist the temptation of her rogue elf prince? And can Vail overcome the memories that madden him in order to seize his chance for salvation and the heart of his fated female forever?
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: