Waters of Fate
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by Jessica Jarman
Description: Book two in the Fey Series What's a Princess to do when the man Fate has chosen for her denies her? As Princess of Fey, Neiva has led a privileged life. When she sees her mate in the Waters of Fate, she is shocked at who Fate has paired her with. When he refuses her again and again, her shock quickly turns to anger. Rhys has been friends with the King of Fey for centuries. Surely Fate would not be so cruel as to mate him with his friend's daughter? Never mind that he hears the Song of Souls when she is near--she has mistaken the situation and he must let her down gently. After yet another denial from Rhys, Neiva decides it's time to move on. She leaves the Fey Realm and goes to the human world--the world of her mother--determined to find some semblance of happiness. Rhys is given the duty of watching over her while she is there--a task that drives him mad with desire and frustration. But danger has followed Neiva there. Now she is not only in danger of losing her heart, but also her life.
eBook Publisher: Total-e-bound, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: October 2009
11 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [173 KB]
Reading time: 101-142 min.
"What a good story! I love confused men, women who know what they want and are determined to get it/him. A+++ to the author." -Paranormal Romance Reviews
Either he'd accept her tonight or she gave up.
Neiva strode through the lush, fragrant garden towards the entrance of the Great Hall. Men and women strolled along the curved paths in search of the fresh night air or a bit of privacy.
She paused in the tall, arching entryway and surveyed the large gathering. Rhys was nowhere in sight.
She bit back a sigh of regret and entered. Winding her way through the crowd, she made her way to the platform where the King and Queen sat.
When she was before them, she lowered herself to her knees and bowed her head.
"Stand, Neiva," the King commanded.
Both stood as she did and came forward to embrace her.
"I wondered what kept you, daughter," King Kaelen murmured in her hair.
"I lost track of time while in the gardens. I'm sorry if I worried you."
Chuckling, he released her. "I had no worries, otherwise I would have reached out to you."
Her mother took her hand. "You look lovely tonight."
"As do you." It was true. Her parents radiated happiness. Her father was clothed in his habitual black. Wings of silver opened behind him, framing his form. His long, raven hair flowed over his shoulders, a beautiful contrast to the thin band of gold encircling his head. Her mother wore a long flowing gown of green, accenting her beaming verdant eyes. Her chestnut curls fell to her waist.
"Mom, you are fairly glowing."
"We have news, Neiva, and I hope it pleases you. We plan to announce it tonight, but want you to know first." Nervousness wove through her mother's words.
"If it pleases you, I'm sure it'll be pleasing to me as well."
Her father wrapped an arm around his wife's shoulders. A grin nearly split his face in two. "You will have a brother or sister soon."
Shock coursed through Neiva. "A child? Truly?"
Her mother's face flushed and she nodded. "Are you all right with this news?"
"Of course I am! I'm a bit surprised, but thrilled. Are you feeling well? Having any sickness?" She knew her mother had had a difficult pregnancy with her.
"I'm wonderful. No sickness," she assured. "Only worry that this would bother you. There is such an age difference..."
Neiva chuckled. A twenty-five year age difference between siblings was hardly abnormal for the fey. She reminded herself that her mother was human--human with fey gifts but human nonetheless. This was not normal in the human world.
"I am so pleased with this news. I can see that both of you are." She wrapped her arms around her parents, creating a warm circle around the life her mother carried. Now aware and concentrating, she could feel the energy flowing from the tiny being in her mother's womb. Her brow furrowed as she concentrated. Slowly, a smile formed. It was a boy.
"Welcome, my brother," she whispered in her mind. A burst of energy answered her. Her mother gasped and covered her abdomen with one hand.
Neiva placed her hand over her mother's and closed her eyes as her father's larger hand surrounded theirs.
"Such a strong baby," her mother whispered.
"He is strong in body and mind," Neiva replied. "He will be very powerful."
"He?" her father questioned.
"Whoops." She pulled away and grinned. "I probably wasn't supposed to let that out, was I?"
"I thought it was a boy," her mother interjected. "Are you sure?"
"I'm certain. I can feel him. His energy. He'll be a handful."
"You connected with him?" her father asked.
Neiva nodded. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw several people lined up to pay their respects to her parents.
"I'll leave you to your duties. Should I come to your dwelling tomorrow?"
Her mother embraced her. "That'd be great, sweetheart. There's much to prepare for, seeing as fey children don't take the normal nine months to make their appearance."
Neiva chuckled. Even after twenty-six years in the faery realm, her mother still considered human standards as normal.
"I will see you tomorrow then." She hesitated a moment before asking, "Is Rhys here this eve?"
"Yes, he just arrived." Her father nodded across the room at his friend and second-in-command. "He was taking care of some things for me. Is something wrong?"
"No, I simply wanted to say hello. It's been a while since I've seen him," she rushed to assure.
She embraced her parents once more and walked towards where she'd seen Rhys. She was reluctant to make known her plans. She had deliberately closed her mind around her parents with regard to him. She didn't know how her father would react to the fact that she was mated to his oldest and dearest friend. Especially considering Rhys' reaction to the whole situation.
Her stomach fluttered as she approached the man in question. Her body responded almost violently when around him. Every cell in her called out to him. And the blasted man refused to admit they were meant.
"Good eve, Rhys," she greeted and drank in the sight of him.
His long blond hair was pulled back away from his sculpted face, revealing slightly pointed ears. His green wings framed him from behind, contrasting with the dark blue of his garb. Neiva's gaze travelled the length of his body, from his broad shoulders to the muscled legs encased in his tight trousers. Heat raced through her body. Sweet Lady, she needed him. Stubborn man.
"Princess," he acknowledged with a nod. The coldness of his greeting warred with the heat of his gaze as it swept over her body. Under its scrutiny, her nipples pebbled beneath her thin dress, and desire softened and moistened the folds between her thighs.
"Rhys, we need to talk." She cursed the breathlessness of her voice.
His clear green eyes narrowed. "I believe we have already discussed everything we need to."
"Not to my satisfaction." She stepped close to him and lowered her voice. "Rhys, you cannot keep denying the bond between us. We are true mates. You heard the Song of Souls, the same as I have. How can you deny me?"
He leaned down and Neiva inhaled the clean, earthy scent clinging to him.
"We have been over this. We are not true mates. You are a youth, I am an elder. My loyalty belongs to your father and I am not about to betray that."
"So you betray me instead?" she hissed. Anger swept hotly through her.
"I betray no one. I looked in the Waters and I have no true mate in this lifetime."
"I saw you in the Waters, Rhys. You are my true mate. And you cannot deny that you heard the Song when you were with me."
"I heard nothing."
"Neiva," he warned in a low growl.
"Liar," she repeated.
He grasped her arm and pulled her to the side. "You were a child when you looked into the Waters. You mistook who you saw."
She pushed the consuming anger down and stared into his eyes. "You keep telling yourself that. I'll not bother you with this again. Live with the fact that you denied your true mate."
She pulled free and hurried away from him.