Authors: Kathrine Emrick
Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #90 Minutes (44-64 Pages)
Hawk stared Dera in amazement; wondering for a moment whether he'd hit his head more badly than he'd thought; or maybe he'd entered a parallel universe! What was going on? He'd no reason to think Dera was lying; if she said that was Isolde's handwriting then he believed her. He shook his head in disbelief wincing and looking down as a wave of dizziness swept over him. He looked at her again. "I have absolutely no idea Dera." He paused trying to decide what and how much to tell her of what had been happening.
"Look Hawk, I'm aware of the fact there is trouble in Aberlone. Isolde already told me several months ago about it when she came to visit. Has she sent you to me for some reason?"
Hawk shook his head again. "I thought Isolde was totally unaware of what was going on," he exclaimed, "I thought your grandfather was keeping it from her, he said he didn't want her to know."
Dera snorted in amusement. "Keep it from Isolde, I hardly think so Hawk. I don't think those two have a secret between them."
"But he told me, he hadn't told her, he said it would put her life in danger. Dera I have no idea what's going on. I'm the King's closest adviser, I'd know if she knew what was happening. Geraint would tell me."
"I think the best thing to do is start from the beginning and tell me exactly what's been happening," Dera said sitting down at the table in front of him. "My grandmother has obviously sent you to me for a reason, I'm sure we'll discover what it is between us." Hawk groaned putting his head in his hands. "Please can we do this in the morning, my head is hurting just thinking about it."
Dera jumped up and came round to his side of the table, concern etched in her face. "Of course we can Hawk, my apologies for being so thoughtless. I'm sure another few hours won't make much difference. You can sleep in the spare bedroom." She bent down to assist him to his feet as he started to stand and found herself staring into his dark eyes. Desire for her appeared in them despite his aches and pains and she knew her own mirrored the same passion. She licked her lower lip nervously and his eyes darkened even further. She glanced down as she assisted him to his feet noticing further evidence of his desire and blushed slightly as she stepped back.
"Okay you need to be up the stairs and the first bedroom on the right," she said hastily. "It doesn't have an en-suite I'm afraid but the main bathroom is across the hall, there's plenty of hot water and fresh towels if you want to take a hot bath to soak the rest of your aches and pains. I have some special bath salts here that will help." She knew she was gabbling but she couldn't seem to help herself. There was something about this dark stranger that made her ache in places that hadn't ached in a long time.
"A soak in the tub sounds wonderful," Hawk murmured as he turned and headed for the hall. "We'll have that chat in the morning, I think we're both going to have plenty to tell each other." It also gave him time to decide exactly what he was going to say to her; he still wasn't convinced 100% he could trust her.
Dera lay in her bed listening to the sounds coming from her main bathroom. She'd showered briefly in her en-suite and now lay curled up thinking about her unexpected house-guest. She had surprised herself inviting him to stay, but there was something about the man she'd trusted instinctively. Besides, she was convinced her grandmother had sent him and she'd hardly be likely to send someone who wasn't trustworthy to her own granddaughter. Isolde doted on her three granddaughters; she'd been a strict but loving grandmother. Isolde had always had a fondness for the earth realm; she'd spent many years here from being a relatively young girl. She'd settled in Carog which is where she'd met Norah Roberts who'd been her lifelong friend. She'd used a glamor spell to make it look as though she was aging and she'd intended staying in the earth realm a few more years until Norah had passed; just visiting the Fae realm from time to time. Geraint had been a frequent visitor. Unfortunately the political situation in Aberlone had worsened and Geraint had asked her to come back to the Fae realm and help him stamp out the unrest. It had been with a heavy heart she'd had to fake her death and leave Norah and her granddaughters behind.
Isobel Isolde's daughter and the three girl's mother had fallen in love with a mortal whilst she was visiting Isolde and had decided to settle in the earth realm with him. Unfortunately he'd been killed in a car accident when the girls were teenagers and heartbroken she'd returned to Aberlone to live in seclusion leaving them in their grandmother's care. Isolde had made a lot of sacrifices to stay with them, not least leaving Geraint for long periods. All three sisters appreciated what she'd done for them.
Until two years ago the gate between the two realms had been quite flexible and they had seen Isobel frequently being able to visit her and their grandfather in Aberlone and she and Geraint visit them; but since the problems in Aberlone had started Geraint had decided to severely restrict access between the two realms. Someone in his court was using the gate to cause deep political unrest in Aberlone and he needed to discover who it was. So the girls had rarely seen either their mother or grandparents since it had closed; just the odd guarded visit into Aberlone at the Kings discretion. They had all badly missed visiting both their homeland and their family.
She turned over in bed thumping her pillow. Dammit she couldn't sleep; maybe a cup of hot milk might do the trick. Padding downstairs she put a pan of milk onto the Aga to warm. Turning to take a mug down from the shelf she gasped in shock. Hawk stood in the doorway devouring her with his eyes. She looked down at her body; only belatedly remembering she was wearing a skimpy nightdress that rode rather high and she hadn't fastened her dressing gown. Thank goodness she'd actually thought to put it on; normally she wouldn't have bothered. Belting it up she turned back to the milk warming on the stove trying hard not to remember how sexy he'd looked standing there bare chested.
"Would you like some warm milk. I'm having some, I can't sleep?"
"No thank you Dera, though I can't sleep either. I think we both know the reason why we're having such a sleepless night though. Mine is certainly not a headache, it's just about gone now thanks to your care."
Surprised she swung back round to face him to find he'd moved silently across the kitchen and was now standing closely behind her, desire written across his face. "Err what you mean?" she mumbled looking down. He raised her chin with his fingers.
"Look at me Dera, what do you see?"
She looked up at him, licking suddenly dry lips. "I see you Hawk," she whispered; "What do you see?"
"I'm seeing a very desirable woman," he murmured before he lowered his head and took her lips in a scorching kiss.
Dera felt her insides explode. She'd been kissed before; in fact she'd had a couple of long term boyfriends; she'd even briefly thought about marrying one of them so she was no novice to sex and romance; but nothing prepared her for Hawk's kiss. It was long and deep, and it melted her bones.
Hawk devoured Dera's lips with his. He hadn't meant to kiss her even though it had been on his mind ever since he'd had his bath. He'd lain relaxing in the healing waters thinking about her; his body hard. He'd heard her come downstairs and without a thought he'd followed her down; he couldn't get her out of his head, no other female had ever affected him like this. His head was pounding and he still wasn't quite sure if it was due to his injury or the desire coursing through his body.
He felt her hands slip around his neck as she moved her body further against his and he groaned into her mouth as he felt her breasts crush against him. She pulled back slightly and looked up at him. "Are you okay?" she whispered. He pulled her firmly back against him; she fitted like a glove against him and he marveled, it was as if she'd been fashioned just for him. "I'm fine, just fine." He took her lips again, inserting his legs between hers so she could feel his throbbing arousal. Just the feel of him rock hard against her core was nearly driving her wild. Her nipples had peaked into hard nubs of desire as they pressed against his chest. Hawk brought his hand round so he could caress them and groaned again. "I'm not sure what it is you're doing to me." He bent his head so he could take one of her nipples into his mouth through her sheer nightdress and Dera felt her knees buckle. What was it about this man that affected her so much? She felt as though she would orgasm there and then just by having his lips on her body.
Hawk raised his head and looked into her eyes. "Do you want this? If not I'll turn round and walk away, as difficult as it's going to be."
Dera looked back at him deliberately before she turned her back on him to rescue the nearly boiling milk; thinking hard. She wanted him and she wanted him badly. She thought back to what Gwenna had said about taking the opportunity in both hands and took a deep breath. As she did so she felt him move closer behind her and kiss her neck; feeling a rush of anticipation she turned back to him and smiled taking his hand in hers as she led him up the stairs into her bedroom.
Hawk stared at the sleeping woman in the early morning light. He shook his head; he was like a love-struck pup; he just couldn't stop looking at her. He thought back to the night before as he gently brushed strands of her sweat streaked hair from her face. She was a passionate woman; they'd made love several times during the night, well into the early hours. He smiled to himself; he had searched most of his lifetime to find the other half of his soul and here she was, lying in his arms, he marveled at the thought. He'd known this woman less than twenty four hours yet he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
Dera stretched and yawned as she opened her eyes, smiling sleepily at him. "What time is it?"
"It's just after seven am."
She gave an unladylike screech as she threw back the covers, "Oh hell," she wailed, "I'm going to be late setting up my stall."
She paused halfway across the bedroom as she made her way to her bathroom, turning to look at him accusingly. "I hardly have anything to sell, I was supposed to make a load of my potions up last night and thanks to you it completely went out of my mind."
Hawk chuckled at the scowling woman stood before him with her hands on her hips and pulled the bed-covers back invitingly. "In that case you'd better give it a miss today and come and jump back in."
Dera pursed her lips whilst she contemplated him then grinned as she hurried back to the warmth of his arms "Why not," she purred as she wound her arms around his neck.
An hour later they were both still snuggled up in bed whilst they discussed Hawks predicament.
"I need to contact Isolde and see why she sent you to me, she obviously has her reasons," Dera said thoughtfully. "Hawk what exactly has been happening in Aberlone, it's been difficult for us to keep up with everything since Geraint and Isolde closed the gate. Where exactly do you fit into all of this?"
Hawk lay back thinking hard. "I've been friends with your grandfather for many years," he explained. "In fact I'm his closest adviser. We don't advertise that though as he likes to keep me in and around the court with my ears open. I act the fool a bit, most Fae think I don't have much between my ears and that's how we like it. If the Council thought I was any more than the foppish idiot I pretend to be I wouldn't get to know most of what's going on out there. Many of them talk in front of me thinking I don't have a clue."
"I heard a rumor a few months ago that a high ranking Council member has been using the gate secretly and we don't know why. As you know Dera, traffic between the two realms is monitored closely and we get a tad suspicious when individuals start acting dubiously. It's caused a lot of political unrest as well. It's understandable that many Fae are concerned the gate is being used illegally and a lot of them are worried that there are serious undertones. We can't possibly risk mortals finding the gate and alerting everyone here on earth that we exist. We're legends and rumor and that's how it needs to be kept. Can you imagine the chaos here on earth if it became common knowledge Fae really exist?"
Dera sat up in bed hugging her knees as she thought about his scenario. He was right; there were a few humans on Earth who knew about Aberlone; many over the ages had even visited the magical realm. The Fae had also interbred with humans; she and her sisters were testament to the fact. But otherwise the Fae were as Hawk said, just stories and legends told to children and that's how the Fae liked it.
They were a peaceful very long lived race who had once mingled with humans on a daily basis. But as mankind had grown more technically minded the Fae had watched with horror as they raped the Earth for their own ends and grew their arsenal of nuclear weapons. The Fae had decided to withdraw from the earth for their own protection lest their own realms became tainted and now they rarely visited the earth. She sighed as she thought about it. Mankind was the poorer for not having the Fae help turn themselves around from their lost path.
As they both lay there lost in thought they heard a call from the garden below, someone was shouting Dera's name. She looked at Hawk puzzled as she threw on her dressing gown and ran over to the window, parting the lace curtains as she did so. Hawk heard her gasp in surprise.
"What's the matter?" he exclaimed alarmed, "Who is it?" She turned round and beamed at him. "I think you're going to have your questions answered sooner than expected, Isolde is downstairs demanding to be let in and she has my mother with her!"
Hawk jumped out of bed and ran over to the window standing next to Dera as he peered out of the windows. Below were his nemesis and another woman who he recognized as Isobel, her daughter. He groaned to himself as Dera flew down the stairs to open the door to the two women. Caught in bed with Isolde's granddaughter; he would never get his powers back now, she'd definitely have his head.
Sighing, he pulled his clothes on as he listened to the happy chattering downstairs, Dera was obviously elated to see her mother and grandmother and they her; he seriously contemplated sneaking out so he wouldn't spoil it. But he knew how cowardly that would look to Dera; he'd have to face the music, so taking a deep breath he walked downstairs into the kitchen where the three women were seated waiting for the kettle to boil for their tea.