Kisri: ...and the Beast, Book 2
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by Moira Rogers
Description: His duty...her pleasure. ?and the Beast, Book 2 After three years at war, Ennon bears the burden of seeing the High Lord's vast armies home. Keeping thousands of fiercely independent lions in line isn't easy. When his soldiers discover a beautiful, royal female hidden beneath an illusion spell, the lure of her inheritance threatens the order of his camp. The men of her family protected Kisri, until the war stole them away. Tired of defending herself from greedy suitors, she's in search of her only remaining male relative. Instead she finds Ennon, her cousin's most dangerous warrior. Perhaps the only man in the kingdom who has no interest in claiming her birthright. Which makes him unique?and tempting. Delivering Kisri to his High Lord's side--while keeping his distance--is Ennon's one and only duty. Yet Kisri's untutored advances crack his formidable resistance. And she proves to be a dangerously adept student. Especially when their passion wakes a magic beyond their control? Warning: This story contains a dangerous shapeshifter warlord, a lioness with a sword, innocent passion, sexual awakenings and a happily-ever-after worthy of any fairy tale.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: July 2011
11 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [115 KB]
Reading time: 68-96 min.
They made good time, but it was still only a matter of hours before they had to make camp. Ennon had carefully paced their travel, and he watched Kisri closely for signs of overexertion.
She was tired. A fool could see it, but every time he drew too close she snarled, ears pressed back against her head, teeth bared. It wasn't until she stumbled that she allowed him to check their progress. Even then her back was stiff with the same pride that laced her thoughts. "I am no weakling."
It sparked his own temper. "Only a fool flouts his limitations without reason. We are in no danger. We should not push ourselves."
Her footsteps faltered. She stopped, her head low, and capitulated with an attempt at grace that failed to hide her trembling anger. "I will be guided by you."
"But you will not like it."
"You have my obedience. Would you demand my submission too?"
Her submission. He almost stumbled at the thought. What would she be like, on her belly for a man? Being of such high birth, she was almost certainly a virgin...or was expected to be one, at least. Plenty of noble women had successfully played the part of the innocent when they were anything but. Hell, he'd had his share of them himself.
But not like Kisri.
He shifted forms, but even his attuned clothing did little to hide the arousal she'd elicited. "I demand nothing of you," he told her as he slid the similarly enchanted packs from his shoulders.
Magic tripped up his spine. She blurred, became a human woman kneeling in the grass, clad only in a thin, flimsy shift that did little to conceal her body. "You demand nothing of me," she agreed, lifting her chin. "It should be a relief."
He ordered himself not to ask, for all the good it did. "Is it not a relief, sweet Kisri?"
"I wish it to be a relief." She shivered, and the fabric clinging to her breasts couldn't hide her tight nipples or the flush rising toward her neck. "I have never--" An awkward pause. "I liked boys. They would steal kisses, and I would slap their hands if they wandered too freely, and I was always in control. But I grew bored of boys."
His hands moved of their own volition, stripping off his leather vest, and he could barely hear his own words over the blood pounding in his ears. "Men are not so easily controlled."
"I know." She didn't seem alarmed by his actions. Anticipation sparked in her eyes, as did nervousness. "I enjoy my freedom. What man would take me without taking my independence? My life?"
He was the wrong man to ask. Plenty of soldiers had mates waiting for them to return from the battlefields now that the war was over, but Ennon had never even flirted with the idea. "I don't know. The right man?"
Her eyes lit. "You don't want a mate. You don't need my fortune."
"No." The only thing he desired was to take her, make her cry out as he pleasured her with his tongue.
She fisted her hands and rested them on her thighs. "Perhaps we could come to an arrangement. If you found me appealing enough to bed, that is. I could...satisfy my curiosity about men. And you would be free to go your own way once you delivered me to my cousin."
Malrion would murder him, pure and simple, and the knowledge didn't stop him from considering her offer. "It's a dangerous game to play, Kisri. If we were found out..."
"Then I'd be like every other noble woman who dared to take her pleasure into her own hands. I'd be no less valuable than I am now. It's not my body that brings them to my door, touched or untouched."
A convenient truth, one that made it too easy to step closer. What harm could it do? As she said, she would be fine, no worse for the wear. And Ennon could take care of himself, even if he had to brave Mal's wrath. "Are you certain?"
She rocked to her feet. Her shift fluttered around her thighs, leaving her long, lean legs bare. "How can I be certain when I barely understand my own needs? I'm asking you to let me learn with you. Is it so different than any other type of sparring?"
She deserved the truth. "It could be exactly like that, and you should know how that can end."
"With mating?" She tilted her head and studied him. "I'm aware of the risks. But I understand if you find them sufficient deterrent."
"You're the one who's worried about her freedom. I can't think of a worse hell than being mated to someone I could not have."
She flinched a little, drawing in on herself. Backing away. "I don't need you to fret over my heart or be gentle with my ego. If you don't wish to bed me, for whatever reason, simply say so."
The words startled him. "You think I'm talking about you?"
"I don't know what you're doing." It was very close to a snarl, the anger not strong enough to hide the sting of rejection in her eyes. "I'm practically naked in front of you and all you care to do is talk. Even a virgin can tell that you don't want to touch me. At least be man enough to admit it."
"You're mistaken." Ennon kept a tight leash on his temper, and he gave her plenty of time to escape before dragging her close to his body, to his arousal. "Say it once more--that I don't want to touch you. Say it with my cock pressed against your belly."
Her breath came in short little hitches, and her head fell back, her eyes fluttering shut. "Your body wants me. It makes me float. I want to know how high I can fly."
So many years at war had given him a highly developed sense for danger, and that's exactly what she was. "I accept your proposition."
Small but strong fingers curled around his arms. She stroked him, exploring, and eased her hands up. Her nails pricked his skin, and a sleepy smile curved her lips. "Play with me, Ennon. I don't know the rules, but I've always been a most attentive student."
"I believe it." She might fumble, but she was eager, and that was the most pleasurable thing of all. "Would you like to kiss me?"
She was fast, limber. One hop and she had those legs wrapped around his hips, her arms around his neck. Her lips found his chin first, fluttering tiny little kisses along his jaw, her nose nuzzling his cheek. Then she licked the corner of his mouth and all but purred. "I like how you taste."
Or perhaps she wouldn't fumble at all. His cock throbbed as he wrapped his fingers around her bare thighs and captured her mouth, urging her lips apart. Heaven. He sipped her and hungered for more, insane when his mouth had not yet left hers.
Eager though her body was, her kiss was awkward. Curious. She licked at his tongue and shivered, a reaction impossible to miss with her body pressed to his. So easy to read her responses in her unashamed moans and eager squirming--easier when her shift rode up and her naked cunt pressed to his abdomen.
He groaned. She was wet already, and his head spun. He wanted to spill her to the ground, but he hadn't laid out bedrolls or even started a fire. "Kisri."
This time her nails dug into his shoulders. "What?"
He marveled at how calm he managed to sound. "We need to set up camp before we do this."
Dark eyes studied him, the slightest hint of suspicion there, as if she anticipated a trick. "And then you will take me?"
If he tried to walk away, his traitorous body would root him to the spot. "Yes, I will take you. My way."
"My way." He set her down and turned to his packs. She'd never known a man's touch, much less the sweet way one could lose control. She would spit and scratch, fight the pleasure until she was ready to give in.
The thought weakened his knees, and he moved faster, hurriedly readying their camp.