Sold to the king of a distant land, Jovena finds herself in the court of a terrifying, savage warlord.
In the midst of a feast, the king unleashes his lust and his inner beast. Refusing to be denied, the wolf-king slakes desires that Jovena never knew she had.
His black eyes sparkled again as the sun rose high enough to crest the city walls. The lines of Shingo’s cheeks stunned me for a moment. I paid no attention to the words he said or the blush creeping up my throat. Then it dawned on me that he said something about the parade.
“It was bad, but I took myself out of it. I forced myself to look at faces in the crowd and not think about what was happening to me.”
Shingo raised his hand and put it on the back of mine. That time I didn’t jump.
“How does the girl do it? So much sadness and crying and yelling here; there is so much pain and terror. How do you not weep for what you have lost?” His hand warmed mine. It sent little tingles down my wrist to my elbow, then to my shoulder and down my side. “And why is she not afraid of me? How does she keep smiling?”
I blushed again when he spoke, but it was the sort that’s deep inside. My skin felt warm when he touched my hand, but his words warmed me from the inside out. It took me a second to collect myself enough to respond.
“I don’t know that I’m doing anything special,” I finally managed. “I’m just getting by however I can. It’s not like I want to be here, but my father, he needed...”
“A girl sold herself to a king out of love for her father?”
“Yes, that’s it, more or less.”
He stroked my hand with his fingertips, then gathered both of my hands in one of his, and pressed the whole bundle to my chest. Just like before, he radiated heat that sent curls of energy out from where our bodies met.
“Shingo!” A cry came from off to the east, from one of the guards atop the wall. “What are you doing? If you’re going to take her, do it and get on with your work. One of Morzan’s purchases tried to escape and hurt herself somehow. Come set this wound!”
“Ah. Quite sorry little princess.”
“Oh, not princess? Thought auctioneer said girl was a princess.”
“No,” I giggled. “Most certainly not. Just the daughter of a lowly lord without enough money to buy crops for the next year.”
He nodded a grave, serious nod.
“You are a special girl. Shingo will see you again.”
“When? I mean – do you work for Morzan?”
“Ha! Does Shingo work for Morzan, she asks.”
“Shingo and Morzan are very close. He trusts me to do things he trusts no one else to do. I will see you again. Shingo will be in Zor after the snowy season breaks.”
“But I thought Zor was a winter kingdom? I thought it snowed all the time there?”
“No. Well, yes. For a part of the year, it snows a little less. Zoran call that time of year summer.”
“Oh,” I said. “Is that when the sun shines?”
“Yes, yes, every day the sun shines. For at least an hour.”