As my valentine gift to you, my readers, I wrote a special wee snippet today. It’s situated at the time the book Awakening is set, so doesn’t reveal any spoilers for those of you that haven’t read the second or third book. It could be considered adults only, though it’s written with a fair amount of *cough* discretion. I hope you enjoy it!
the fire proved more relaxing than Alek had intended. He’d thought Cat would
have appeared by now, and the book, while interesting, wasn’t as intriguing as
the plush fur rug he’d sprawled across was comfortable. With a yawn he let the
book fall to the side and rolled onto his back, hands resting on his stomach. I’ll
just rest my eyes, he thought with another yawn.
down the corridor, wincing at the sharp cracks my boots made against the hard
wood floors; funny how I never noticed the sound during the day. I’d finally
finished training with Leseach only to be cornered by Yakov, wanting to go over
more protocol details. Honestly, how he expected me to remember all the varying
nuances of society felt beyond me. After a brief shower and change, I hurried
to where I’d promised Alek I’d meet him hours ago. Reaching the library, I
pushed one the doors, catching the edge when the clever hinges went to swing it
wide. I paused in the doorway, staring into the eerily beautiful library; such
a different sight by moonlight. The white stone that the bookcases were set
into gleamed against the darkness and the shadowy coil of staircase looked like
something from a ghost story. My heart beat faster. Turning, I silently closed
the door and tiptoed across to the far bookcase, feeling weird about making any
sound in the voluminous dark.
sound made him blink awake and then chuckle at the muffled curses. Cat sounded
to be having trouble finding the catch to release the door into the study. Alek
contemplated getting up but then he heard the ‘click’. Without a second thought
he dropped his head back and pretended to sleep.
Alek forced the instant smile her presence brought from his face. Perhaps it
was the memory of the times he’d done this to his father that inspired him,
but he felt the anticipation rise as he thought of surprising her. She’ll
shriek for sure, he thought, fighting to keep his face calm at the mental image
that rose. Probably thump me too.
footsteps came his way, then a sharp clang of metal followed by a sharper clang
when whatever she’d walked into fell.
hissed, and he heard her scrabble on the floor to pick up the item. Alek made a
huffing, grumble of a sound and shifted, turning his head away from her; the
only way to conceal his grin at her breathless silence. Minutes ticked by and
by now he could sense her energy, feeling the running anxiety while she
listened to the sound of him ‘sleeping’.
from the fireplace flickered across his sleeping face. Thankfully my knocking a
cup off the desk hadn’t woken him and I just watched for a few moments. It
looked as if he’d just leaned back, book tossed aside. I certainly hadn’t meant
to be this late. The dying embers of the fire created soft shadows, making him
appear young and old all at once and I smiled, leaning against the desk. He
looked almost vulnerable, a fallen Greek statue; strong cheekbones, full lips
and the firm jaw I loved to kiss along. Should
I wake him? I pondered that, casting an eye around the study. It is the eve to our rest day; it wouldn’t
really matter if we slept here. I nodded to myself then turned, trying to
remember where I’d seen a wool throw stashed.
doing? Alek peeked when he heard her pivot and move away, then pushed up onto
his elbows, watching while Cat rummaged around the place. She lifted the lid on
the low trunk that doubled as a seat, searching through it. The sight of her
poised beneath the lid gave him an almost irresistible urge to shout, but he held back. As if she sensed him, Cat’s head jerked around
and he caught a flash of shocked green eyes as she jumped, cracking her head on
exclamation Alek stood and quickly strode to where she now sat in a tight ball
beside the trunk, both hands griping her head, face pressed to her knees.
around her and drew her close. To his surprise and dismay, he felt her shudder,
like when she cried. ‘Cat?’
hurt,’ came the muffled, teary voice, her face still pressed to her knees. ‘How
long were you watching me?’ She lifted her head, green eyes reddened and a hurt
expression on her face. ‘Why didn’t you say something?’
woke.’ A minor lie, but better than confessing his actual plan. He didn’t think
she’d take the joke well at the moment. The brief moment of tears seemed to
have passed and she leaned against him.
trying to find a blanket.’
pressed a kiss to her hair, smiling. ‘Did you want to
sleep in here?’
didn’t want to wake you. And I can’t carry you,’ she pointed out dryly.
laughed then and helped her to her feet. ‘You were in the wrong trunk.
Go sit by the fire, I’ll grab it.’
tiredly and made her way over, wobbling precariously as she kneeled to the rug,
then slumped to sitting.
more tired now and it made the bump on my head hurt worse than any of the hits
I’d taken during training. It took a good amount of effort to focus my energy,
letting it smooth the bump away. With the ache now gone, I watched as Alek
decisively moved about the room, almost seeming to snatch cushions and soft
blankets from mid air in the dark. His brisk movements felt hard to watch, too
energetic for me at the moment, and I closed my eyes, listening.
arms full, Alek turned back to the fireplace. The last embers cast a slight
glow over his now sleeping princess. He sighed and shook his head at the
situation, walking over to her. Dropping to his knees he organized the cushions
then spread a blanket over it. He turned back to Cat and carefully slipped an
arm beneath her neck, and the other beneath her knees. She mumbled when he
lifted, a small hand clutching his shirt but didn’t wake, not even as he lay
her down on the cushions.
he said in a soft, scolding tone, ‘I thought you were meant to be doing this
his fingers found the tops of her boots, loosening the ties then easing them
off. She jolted in shock. ‘Al!?’
chuckled, not really able to see her face now, but he could hear the surprise.
‘You are so jumpy when you’re sleepy.’
the study,’ he replied, working at her other boot. She jolted each time he
removed a piece of her clothing and the scent of her clean warm skin smelled irresistible to him. He dragged the long sleeved top she wore, off, gently
kissing the plump soft underside of her arms when she slowly leaned back
against him, her hands hooking behind his neck.
sighed when he moved to her neck, nuzzling, and dropped her head back against his
shoulder. His intentions of merely getting her ready to sleep vanished at the
delicate sounds she made while he caressed her naked figure.
very good; sleep pulled me in one direction, and Alek pulled in the other, leaving
me floating in a strange, suspended sense of heavy pleasure. The gentle kisses
followed by teeth sent delicious shudders echoing through my weary body. He
paused, laying me back and I listened as he stripped off, a sigh slipping out
when his strong thighs moved between mine, the hair coarse against my bare
skin. I felt him lean over me, his lips brushing my forehead before
tracing down to my lips. I lifted my hands, catching his face, stroking over
the jaw before sliding my fingers into the thick waves of hair. I gave a gasp,
unintentionally gripping his hair when he slid inside me, my back arching at
the desired, yet unexpected invasion. He chuckled against my throat, taking an
easy but strong pace, lips and teeth against my throat making my head swirl
while a slow deep pulsing began within my core.
pulled her knees up; he could feel her feet pressing lightly against the back
of his thighs as her cries grew urgent. His head sung with her energy and his,
the sound ringing until it seemed to echo in his bones. At the final thrust the
brilliant gold light flashed out, passing through his eyes, blinding as well as
winding him for an instant. They both panted, Alek bracing himself on his
elbows over her, nose gently rubbing hers then he rolled to the side. Cat
twisted, the cushions yielding to their weight, causing her to roll into him.
She giggled, slender fingers tracing over his chest then snuggled closer. She breathed
in, sighing deeply, and it felt to him as if she dozed off instantly. He
reached across her back and dragged a thick blanket across them, then bent
to kiss her, missing her temple in the dark, lips grazing a cheekbone.
he whispered, hearing her steady breaths. A moment later and it was his turn to
jolt when a hand unexpectedly touched his ear. He heard a breathy giggle before
she mumbled, ‘Love you too,’ and snuggled back down.