Forbidden Desire [No Holes Barred Book 5]
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by Angelia Whiting
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Xander is in dire straits. He's in love with his King's wife. But the woman who stepped through the gateway in his chamber at the No Holes Barred nightclub claims to be someone else altogether. Does he believe her? If it wasn't for that maddening fragrance she wore that kept him in a constant state of lust, Xander might have been able to turn away. Might have. Rhea's come to the nightclub with another agenda. She's made a bargain to seduce the handsome royal and then make a quick get-away. Falling in love with Xander was the last thing Rhea expected to happen when she stepped through the gateway. But can she endure the shattering of her heart when he discovers she's a criminal and has been sent to betray him? Rating: Contains explicit sex, graphic language, and adult situations.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: November 2006
90 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [145 KB]
Reading time: 85-119 min.
Xander Alik sat alone at the table in the farthest corner of the club's main level. He watched the many guests taking pleasure in the amenities that the No Holes Barred Nightclub and Spa had to offer. Some were content to engage in the company of the patrons on the first floor. Others wandered up one of the two wrought-iron, spiral staircases seeking more adventurous activities promised at the top.
His gazed lifted upward, sweeping across the faces that peered down from the second floor mezzanine, and then turned his attention to the patrons on the lower level once more. For the most part, all seemed to be enjoying themselves.
He was not.
Restlessness seemed to be the most appropriate word he could think of, though Xander had no clue as to why he felt this way. He had plenty of wealth, plenty of opportunities to travel the galaxies abroad, plenty of women willing to satisfy his carnal needs.
Not that Xander was soft. There were many times his services were required in battle, when the security of his planet, Handris, was threatened by forces seeking to conquer it. He'd even engaged in a few ground combats while aiding other planets in need, witnessing the foul consequences of war.
But always he had the comforts of his home to return to--a home filled with conveniences that many commoners of his planet could only dream of.
He was a royal after all, born with title. That alone afforded him luxuries that were beyond the reach of most of his people, though he suspected that despite their lack of privileges they were still content with their lives.
Xander should be content, grateful, appreciative of his status.
Yet, of late he was feeling unfulfilled. Something was missing in his life, something much, much more than his bestowed, material comforts could offer.
Focusing on a couple who seemed deeply engaged in conversation, Xander studied the way that they stared at each other, touched affectionately, the seductive body language and smiles that passed between them. His attention shifted to the male and Xander noted that the attention he showered on the woman truly appeared genuine. It had Xander wondering if he himself would ever be so taken with a woman that nothing could distract him from her.
"Hey there, gorgeous," a voice interrupted his thoughts, and Xander looked up.
Shial Lenn stood at his table, smiling, apparently waiting for an invitation to sit down.
Xander motioned to the seat on his right, though he was less than enthusiastic about her presence. "How have you been, Shial?"
"Bored," she answered with a sigh as she fidgeted with the crystal teardrop pendant that rested on her chest. "I haven't found much satisfaction since ... since...."
"I don't wish to discuss it," Xander warned.
Xander knew what she alluded to. He and Shial had shared two eves of sex on the second floor, and ever since then she'd been prying into his personal affairs, pushing Xander to tell her if he'd bedded another since they'd been together. He suspected she wanted more, but they both knew the club's rules--twice a date, thrice a mate.
It was for that reason Xander refused to offer her another eve of sexual indulgence. The men of Handris scented their mates and Shial was not his mate. Xander was grateful for that because the woman was a bit too brassy and meddlesome for his taste.
"Tell me, have you found pleasure with another since our last date?"
Xander shook his head. He couldn't believe she was prying again after he told her to stop doing it. He looked at her necklace, which now glowed blue. She seemed to always be fingering the thing--an unconscious habit, he presumed. "My personal affairs are none of your concern."
Shial's mouth turned downward into a disgruntled frown.
But she was the last person Xander would extend private information to. He was quite sure he couldn't trust her. Especially since the incident that occurred during their second date. Xander had fallen deeply asleep. When he finally awoke, it felt as though he was emerging from a drugged stupor. And there was another woman in the room--a woman with berry pink hair.
At first his thoughts turned kinky, but when Shial made a point of telling him the woman was a chamber maid, he became wary. Being a regular at the club, Xander knew most of the employees, and surely he would remember a staff member with such distinct hair. He'd never seen this woman before.
Aside from that, the woman left without tidying a thing, augmenting Xander's suspicion. He couldn't help but feel Shial and the woman were up to something.
Stealing from him perhaps?
But he had no proof and nothing in the chamber appeared disturbed or missing. And of course he never saw the so-called chambermaid again.
Xander let the incident drop.
"Ah, there you are." Trina Wensling, the club's manager appeared.
She took a seat in the empty chair on Xander's left, and without warning, she lifted her hand, curling her fingers around the back of Xander's head. Jerking his face toward her, Trina planted a lip to lip kiss on Xander, lingering longer than what could be considered a platonic greeting.
It took Xander by surprise and his eyes widened. He could nearly feel the heat of Shial's irritation radiating directly at him.
Pulling back, Trina smiled slowly, her eyes twinkling with mischief.
"My handsome scoundrel," she said, dragging a finger lightly down the line of Xander's cheek and across his jaw.
Xander tamped down a snort. He'd never bedded Trina, but knew her well as a friend. She was rescuing him--that was suddenly obvious--from Shial's persistent pursuit of him.
"You're such a naughty girl," Xander responded, playing her game. "You never fail to amuse me, mistress."
"You look bored, Xander." Trina peered around him, looking at Shial. "He looks bored, doesn't he?"
"Xander and I were having a private conversation," Shial answered, making no attempt to hide her annoyance at Trina's intrusion.
"Oh." Trina pressed her palm to her chest in an innocent gesture. "I'm so sorry."
She moved to stand, but Xander grabbed her wrist. "Our private conversation is over. Please stay."
Xander turned his head toward Shial. "You don't mind, do you?"
Shial's mouth dropped open, but apparently she thought better of what she was about to say. Her mouth snapped shut. As if it were a strain to say the words, she merely shook her head from side to side. The muscles in her jaw twitched, and Xander could see that Shial was clenching her teeth.
"Of course I don't mind," she finally answered, but her miffed tone belied her real feelings.
"Oh, good!" Trina answered. "Xander promised to show me his talents."
"Really," Shial answered dryly, turning her head aside.
Trina pressed her body closer to Xander, but directed her question toward Shial. "Would you like to join us?"
Shial's head snapped around and her body stiffened as she hauled a harsh breath of air into her nostrils.
"Hardly!" Her voice rose with outrage. Abruptly, she stood.
"Please, Shial, sit down," Xander pleaded, hoping she would leave. "I'm sure Trina meant no offense."
"I'm sure," Shial answered sarcastically. "Excuse me, there's something I need to do."
With that, she turned, her head jerking askew, her chin jutting pompously.
Xander watched Shial stalk from the club before turning to Trina.
"Since when do you resort to lying, Mistress Wensling?"
"Me, lie?" Trina feigned offense, her head tilting slightly. "Why, Xander Alik, I am not lying."
"I never promised to show you my.... "Xander cleared his throat. "...talents."
"Of course you did. Don't you remember?"
Xander drew his brows together. "No."
"Why, early on yester's dawning you were telling me that you could make the most wicked chirkare salad in the galaxy. You promised to teach me the recipe."
After staring at Trina briefly, Xander burst out laughing. He'd forgotten about that.
His expression sobered. "You truly are a demon, Trina."
"Now, why would you say such a thing?"
"You know very well the impression you gave Shial. I believe the woman's feelings were hurt."
"I wouldn't worry about Shial's feelings. Men of status and wealth are frequently her target. A fortune huntress that one, I think. I'm sure by now she's honed in on her next prey."
Xander shrugged. He couldn't care less what Shial was doing as long as she wasn't directing her motives at him. Still he asked. "Then why do you allow her to keep invitation here?"
"Not all males or females are as discreet as you, my prince. I have it on good gossip that she is sexually clever and adept. As long as she remains out of trouble I will allow her to please my guests."
To that Xander grinned subtly. He knew firsthand it was true.
A server appeared at the table. "Your order, mistress." She lowered the tray she was supporting and set it on the table top.
"Thank you, Narla," Trina said.
The server nodded and then departed.
Trina turned over two crystal glasses and looked at Xander. "Fruga Wine?"
"Thank you, yes," he answered.
Filling both glasses, she slid one to Xander, and then stilled when she heard yelling coming from the corner of the bar. One of her patrons, a Zedlet male was clasping her bartender by the shirt and yelling at him, his green, pointed nails tearing through the frightened employee's shirt. The patron was obviously upset about something--he received the wrong drink, or it was too weak.
"I need to attend to this, Xander." Trina stood. "Excuse me."
Xander was watchful as the mistress approached the Zedlet male, ready to intervene if the need be. But always the perfect hostess and effective peacemaker, Trina resolved the issue quickly and was now enjoying a drink with the patron.
The chatter in the club, which stopped abruptly when the disruption occurred, had resumed and the atmosphere became light and festive again as nerves began to settle.
Xander relaxed against the back of his chair and sighed. He stretched his legs beneath the table and closed his eyes, pondering which of the club's activities he might enjoy.
A massage, he thought, imagining a female's hands caressing the surface of his skin.
His eyes snapped open and Xander realized that it wasn't just a massage he wanted. It was to feel the hands of a woman stroking his erected flesh, sucking it, sinking down upon it.
His cock twitched and then hardened.
He needed sex.
Nearly three moon cycles had passed since he'd had a woman--not that he was counting. It was no wonder he was restless.
Why had he gone so long?
Truth be told, Xander was depressed.
It was Jicar's fault.
Things just hadn't been the same since Xander's king, his cousin, his best friend, Jicar, married some six moon cycles past. Jicar's dedication to his woman was admirable from the start, but it was that very dedication that left Xander feeling abandoned. Where he and Jicar spent many enjoyable jaunts at the No Holes Barred Club gambling and drinking and fondling the females, Xander was now alone.
Trina was a good friend to both Xander and Jicar, but it just wasn't the same. She was female and no replacement for the unique male bonding he shared with Jicar.
And though Xander had invited Damiar, a male acquaintance and one of his royal guards to join him on this particular outing, his presence didn't compare to the riotous good times that Xander enjoyed with Jicar.
In fact, Xander had hardly seen Damiar at all since they'd arrived.
Shifting in his seat, Xander's eyes flicked to the upper floor. With a slight nod to himself he rose from his chair and headed towards the staircase. His aim was to stir things up a bit in his life, and he would start by seeking a woman.
A wild one.