Authors: S. E. Smith
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Science Fiction, #Adult
Tears blurred her vision as she sank shakily
down onto the low wall. She stared out over the ocean, becoming
almost hypnotized by the rolling waves as she let her mind drift.
Her body moved without her realizing it, turning around until her
legs were over the side of the short wall. In her mind, she could
almost see herself dancing and twirling across the gentle swells
like she used to do with her mom and dad in the dance studio. How
she longed to be with her parents again, surrounded by their love
and safe in her own home.
She closed her eyes, lifting her arms up and
out as she imagined being back in the dance studio with her mom and
dad. The cloak fell from her shoulders. She shivered as the cool
night air brushed along her bare arms. Sliding forward so she could
stand up, she reached for the imaginary hand of her father as he
smiled down at her. She wanted to dance again. She wanted to sing.
She wanted to…
“What the hell do you think you are doing?”
A dark angry voice demanded harshly.
Thick arms wrapped around her waist, pulling
her backwards and out of her memories. Emma’s eyes flew open in
alarm and she gasped as she realized she was hanging over open
space. She would have fallen to her death if the male had not
A low, animalistic cry built deep inside her
as she realized that the image in her mind was just that… a memory
from her life before.
Ha’ven’s heart thundered in his chest and he
was actually shaking. He didn’t know if it was from adrenaline,
anger or fear. It didn’t matter which one it was, he didn’t like it
and it was the fault of the female in his arms.
“What were you thinking?” He demanded.
He pulled her back over the low wall and set
her down. Once her feet were on the ground, he roughly turned her
around and shook her. When she looked up at him with wide confused
eyes, he let out a low tortured groan before capturing her parted
lips with his own and pulling her against his hard body. Fear and
relief warring inside him.
Ha’ven moaned as the taste of her washed
over him. The moment his lips touched hers he knew he was in
trouble. The power Aria had unleashed surged through him and flowed
around them. From the corner of his eye he could see the bands of
power swirling around both of them, encasing them in colorful
whirling ribbons of energy.
He moaned louder as he felt the shift inside
himself. It felt like a huge weight was being lifted from his
shoulders. The feeling of relief was impossible to describe. He had
never felt anything so….
His body jerked and he gasped as pain
suddenly overcame the pleasure he had been experiencing. He rocked
backwards, grabbing his crotch as the first wave of excruciating
pain eased into a second, longer one. He breathed deeply through
his nose as he fought to stay on his feet while the tiny figure he
had been holding seconds before fled into the darkness.
“I hate to say this but that looked
painful,” Adalard commented as he stepped out of the shadows.
Ha’ven pulled in a hissing breath as he
glared at the retreating figure of the woman who had been in his
arms just moments before. He finally turned his heated glare on his
younger brother as he slowly straightened up. He closed his eyes as
another wave of pain, thankfully lesser than the first two, washed
“What are you doing here?” Ha’ven bit out
harshly, slowly opening his eyes again.
“I was worried about you,” Adalard admitted
before he grinned. “It looks like I had a right to be. She kneed
you pretty good.”
Ha’ven grimaced as he turned and sat on the
low wall. He breathed deeply as he sent a small amount of healing
energy to his bruised crotch. He had definitely not been expecting
the female to do that. Normally when he kissed a female they were
more interested in doing something much more pleasurable with his
balls. Relocating them up to his throat had never been one of those
“That was… painful,” Ha’ven finally
admitted. “And very unexpected.”
Adalard chuckled as he sat down next to his
brother. “So, what was all that about?”
Ha’ven threw Adalard a disgusted look. “It
is called kissing. I thought you would know that by now,” he
“I know what you were doing,” Adalard
responded with another chuckle. “I’m talking about the fact that
you both were glowing bright enough to be seen from the Spaceport
orbiting the planet.”
Ha’ven drew in another breath and realized
he didn’t feel the crushing pressure inside that had been his
constant companion since Aria’s betrayal. A small satisfied smile
curved his lips. His mate was turning out to be an enigma he was
determined to solve.
“That is what happens when you discover your
true mate,” Ha’ven finally responded to his brother’s observation.
“I had heard stories. We all have. I thought it was a myth that
when a true mate is found their powers merge, becoming one.
Father,” he grimaced as he stumbled over the unfamiliar use of
Melek’s position. “Father said the same thing happened when he was
“But, that female is not from our world,”
Adalard pointed out. “From everything I have seen and heard, they
do not have the ability to manipulate energy the way we can.”
Ha’ven looked up into the night sky and
sighed. “My mate can. I do not know if she does not want anyone to
know that she can or if she is unaware of it but the fact remains,
she can.” He looked over at Adalard. “I need her, Adalard. I can no
longer control the power that builds inside me. She is the only
thing between me and total destruction,” he reluctantly
Adalard hissed loudly as he stared in
disbelief at the male who had been his biggest role model. He had
never known Ha’ven to lose control. He had known he had changed a
lot after his capture but he had never dreamed the situation was so
“What are you going to do?” Adalard asked
Ha’ven grinned, suddenly feeling more like
his old self. “I’m going to claim my mate,” he said.
Adalard’s eyebrow rose as he looked
skeptically at his brother. “She didn’t look like she was
interested in being claimed from where I was standing. What if she
Ha’ven shrugged and rose to his feet. “Then
I’ll kidnap her and hold her until she agrees. It shouldn’t take
more than a day,” he said flexing his shoulders. “Have you ever
known a female who could resist me?”
Adalard stood and shook his head. “No,” he
admitted. “But, I’ve never known one to try to rearrange your balls
“She’ll be eating out of the palm of my hand
before the sun sets,” Ha’ven responded confidently. “She was just
Adalard stood watching as Ha’ven started
back toward the palace. He thought about the look on the female’s
face as she kneed his brother and shook his head. If the look of
fierce determination was anything to go by, he had a feeling it was
going to take a little bit longer than a day to get the female to
“I don’t think it is going to be as easy as
you think, brother,” Adalard said doubtfully as he started after
him. “I think you have met a female who is as stubborn as you are
Emma stood on the balcony to her room later
that night. She had rushed back to the safety of her bedroom after
she escaped from the dark male who had grabbed her in the
He did save my life,
obstinate part of her admitted.
If he had not grabbed me, I
would be fish food right now.
Yes, but he didn’t have to kiss me!
She argued silently with herself.
Frustrated, she realized that she would
never be able to sleep. Her body was humming with unexpected
energy. She felt like she had stuck her finger in an electrical
outlet only to discovered it was live. Every nerve-ending in her
body was tingling, especially where he had touched her.
She had waited over an hour, staring
intently out into the darkened garden for any sign of movement
before she finally grabbed the little courage she had left and
stepped out onto the balcony.
At once, the cool dark silence cocooned her
in its magic. She closed her eyes and soaked in the sounds of the
night. She loved the darkness.
Walking over to the railing, she leaned on
it and looked up at the stars. She wondered where Earth was in
relation to where she was at now. A sense of longing engulfed her
as she thought of the small, blue marble that had been the only
ever known until now. She
lowered her eyes, letting them sweep over the dark gardens with
their strangely lit plants. A movement under one of the trees to
the left drew her attention.
Emma gasped as a dark figure stepped out of
the shadows of the tree into the moonlight. She stumbled backwards
in fear as Abby’s words about a threat echoed through her mind.
Turning, she bolted for the door leading back into her bedroom and
“Wait… please,” a familiar deep voice called
Emma paused with her hand on the door as she
recognized the voice of the man who had kissed her earlier in the
garden. She fought between the desire to run and hide and the need
to find out what he wanted. Drawing in a shaky breath, she
reluctantly turned until she was facing him. She stared at him in
silence, wary of what he might do next. As a safety, she kept her
hand on the door just in case she needed to bolt inside.
“I never properly introduced myself,” he
said, stepping onto the first step. “I am Ha’ven Ha’darra, Crown
Prince of the Curizan.”
Emma tilted her head and studied him
silently, waiting to see what else he had to say. She really didn’t
care what his name was. She was more interested in why he had
kissed her. A light blush rose as she remembered the heat of the
kiss and the feel of his arms around her. She swore she could feel
electricity moving through her body when he touched her. That was
what had scared her so much. She had never felt so alive
She bit her lower lip to keep from smiling
when he shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the next when she
didn’t respond to his introduction. She honestly didn’t know what
he wanted or why he was even talking to her. It wasn’t as if she
had done anything to encourage his attention. In fact, she would
have thought after she kneed him he would have done everything in
his power to avoid her. A low curse filled the air as he waved his
hand at her.
“Most women are impressed when I tell them
who I am,” he grunted out in annoyance.
Emma couldn’t keep the twitch of amusement
from curving the corner of her mouth or lighting up her eyes at his
statement. It was obvious he was not used to women ignoring him.
Studying him in the soft light of the moon, she could understand
why. He was huge! Emma guessed him to be well over six and a half
feet tall. He had broad, muscular shoulders. She had felt the hard
muscles under her palms when he kissed her. She also knew there was
no way she could wrap both of her hands around his forearms. Long
dark hair hung down his back almost to his waist. He wore a
long-sleeve black silk shirt tucked into black pants that hugged
his thighs. She blushed as her eyes brushed over the front of his
pants. She wondered briefly if the rest of him was built as big as
well. She was mortified by her thoughts. She had never thought of a
Emma blushed a brighter red and was thankful
that it was dark so he couldn’t see her rosy face. She remained
silent instead, curious as to what he
say next. She had to lower her head to hide her
amusement when he growled in frustration at her lack of
appreciation for his position.
“You are called Emma?” He asked with a
She lowered her chin in acknowledgement. The
smile that had been threatening to escape disappeared when he
climbed the next two steps. Her eyes darkened with mistrust when
she realized he stood on the balcony not more than a few feet from
her. Her hand tightened on the door and she started to open it when
he asked his next question.
“Why do you not speak?” Ha’ven asked,
desperate to keep her from leaving.
Emma briefly closed her eyes before she
looked past him into the dark garden.
She didn’t know how to respond to his softly
spoken question. If she answered him then she would be forced to
remember. If she remembered then the nightmares and feelings of
what she had gone through and what she had lost would overwhelm
Shaking her head, she opened the door. It
had been foolish for her to stay outside. She should have just
remained inside where it was safe. Where she could hide. How could
a man as strong as the one standing in front of her understand what
it was like to feel weak and helpless? He would never understand
what it was like to feel hopeless and lost.
“Don’t leave,” Ha’ven called out softly. He
hated the feeling of emptiness that filled him at the thought of
her pulling away from him. “Please, I….” He paused, desperate to
think of some way of convincing her to stay longer. He waited until
she turned to look at him again before he continued. “I promise not
to touch you unless you say I can,” he rashly vowed.
Emma studied him for several long minutes
before she reluctantly let go of the door. She relaxed when he
stepped back down onto the steps. She watched as he sank down to
sit on the top step. It was as if he knew she didn’t trust him to
keep his word. She finally walked over to one of the chairs and sat
down. They both recognized and understood the uneasy compromise
that they had silently agreed upon.
They sat like that for hours. She listened
attentively as he spoke of his world. She loved the images he
shared as he described the great waterfalls and thick forests where
he played as a child with his two younger brothers. She couldn’t
stop from giggling when he explained how his youngest brother,
Jazar, earned the nickname Arrow.