Darque Anbhás was known throughout the Megaverse as the Faolchú Príomha, the Alpha of the Black Tribe, defender of his werewolf clansmen and warrior to equal none before him. When his little brother is murdered by their enemies, he takes hostage the daughter of the Lord High Chancellor in retaliation. What started out as brutal vengeance on his part became the sweetest of temptations he could not resist. He will cleave apart two kingdoms to keep Aisling at his side for the young witch has brought his aching heart back to life.
“I think you’ll need me to unbutton your gown,” he said, getting to his feet.
She dipped her head—unable to look into his face for her cheeks were on fire. “This is the most beautiful gown I’ve ever seen,” he said as he worked the buttons.
“It is,” she agreed. “It was my honor to wear it.”
“You certainly do it justice,” he said and she trembled as his knuckles crazed her flesh where the chemise did not cover it. “I’m curious…”
She felt his hands at her waist then heard him grunt. “What?” she asked.
“I thought I could circle your little waist and I was right.”
“You have large hands, milord,” she said, self-consciously.
He leaned down to put his lips to her ear. “And you have a tiny waist, milady.” He kissed her ear and her knees nearly folded beneath her. The spiral of his breath winding through her ear canal made her belly clench again.
He straightened and finished with the remainder of the buttons. When she would have turned, he put his hands to the top of her gown and began peeling it over her shoulders and down her chest. She stilled like a deer caught in a spotlight. Breathing was out of the question as the gown lowered to her waist then slid silkily past her hips.
“Up,” he said, his palm grazing her thigh sensuously.
Obediently she lifted her leg and then the other and he had the glorious gown in his hands. He carried it to one of the overstuffed chairs and laid it gently over the chair back. When he turned back to her, she had the wild urge to run for the look on his face scared the hell out of her.
Standing there in her chemise and stockings, she felt more naked than if she actually was.
He came back to her with the easy, confident stride that marked him as the Alpha of his pack. The hot gleam in his eyes kept her riveted even though every instinct in her body screamed at her to run.
“Lovely,” he said as his gaze swept down the chemise. He cocked his head toward the couch. “Sit, milady.”
His eyes were so mesmerizing, his expression so potent, it never occurred to her not to obey. She moved to the couch—her feet feeling as though they were encased in cement—and sank down, watching him warily. When he hunkered down before her, she knew a moment of confusion.
Then he put his palms on her thighs and began to inch the hem of the chemise up her legs. She gasped.
He arched a brow and his lips twitched. “Your stockings?” he asked in a throaty voice that sent shivers up her spine.
“Aye,” she whispered.
It was his right to undress her, she thought. He was her husband and according to the laws of his people and hers, he had total, complete authority over her. She was his possession. She belonged to him. He could do whatever he wanted to her.
His fingers were warm as they touched her left knee. He slid his hand under it and lifted her leg to remove her slipper. He put the shoe aside then glided his palms up her calf to her knee to her thigh then took hold of the garter. His eyes locked on hers, he slid the black lace band down her leg and off her foot.
“You have gorgeous legs,” he said as he hooked the fingers of both hands under the stocking and peeled it gently down her thigh.
“Thank you,” she murmured.
“No,” he said with a grin. “Thank you.”
She couldn’t help grinning back at him. He acted as though she’d given him a present of some kind.
“You should smile more often, milady,” he said as he reached for her right foot. “It makes you even more beautiful.”
Once more the heat invaded her cheeks. Her hands were curled around the edge of the couch cushion and she was glad for she felt as though she might float away any moment from the lightness that had entered her heart.
Until she saw him frown.
His hand was on her slipper but his gaze was riveted on the iron band beneath the stocking.
“Is s…something wrong, milord?” she asked.
A muscle clenched in his jaw then he looked back down at her ankle. He removed the garter then drew the stocking down her leg. It snagged on the band and his frown deepened.
“It didn’t put a run in the silk,” he said as he took the stocking from her foot.
“Thank goodness,” she said. “It would be a shame to ruin something so lovely.”
He looked up at her through his lashes. “If I remove this band, what will you do?”
She frowned. “Do, milord?”
“Will you use your magic against me to leave Daingean?” he asked, his eyes boring into hers.
“Where would I go, milord?” she countered. “You are my lawful husband. Why would I use my magic against you for any reason?”
He snorted. “Milady, witches have been using their magic against weremen since time began. There has never been any love lost between our kinds.”
She lifted her chin. “Not this witch. I bear you no malice, milord. I never have.”
He stared at her for a long moment. “You swear it?”
She put her palm to her heart. “On my honor,” she replied. “Did I not vow to honor and protect you? I do not lie, milord, and I never go back on a vow.” She swallowed hard. “It would be a mortal sin to do so.”
He slowly raised his head and his look was unreadable. “Aye, it would,” he said in a gruff tone. He sighed.
“Unfortunately I don’t have the key. Paddy does.”
“He will advise you to leave the band where it is, milord,” she said.
“It isn’t his call to make,” he replied.
Charlee, as she is known to her readers, is the author of over 90 published speculative fiction novels. Her signature Reaper characters can be found in five different series including DemonWind, WesternWind, WindVerse, WindWorld, and HellWind. She has won several prestigious awards from top review websites and has a large and loyal following of readers. There are over 900 reviews of her novels on her website where you can spend hours learning all about her creations, characters, and the worlds she has built. Married to her high school sweetheart for 43 years, she lost the love of her life in 2009. She is the mother of two sons, grandmother of two and great-grandmother to a gorgeous little girl who bears her name. House slave to seven demanding felines, she is currently at work on her 100th novel and trying to throw kitty kibble away from the keyboard so she can type.