Read What the Heart Haunts Online

Authors: Sadie Hart

Tags: #paranormal romance, #shapeshifter, #fantasy romance, #hounds, #wild hunt, #love and longing, #hellhounds, #romance and fantasy, #immortals romance, #weredog, #haunted hearts

What the Heart Haunts (5 page)

BOOK: What the Heart Haunts
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For a moment, she looked scared, fear
touching her eyes. “Unless, of course, he forgives you...”

This time it was Khost who reached out to lay
fingers against her lips. “No. I’m not going back. Whether or not
me and you end up together forever, I don’t know. But we’ll both be
here, we’ll both know that we’re not alone. That we made this
choice.”

Nalla started to smile when a loud voice
thundered through the air around them. “How touching.”

Anger curled like a fist around him and Khost
winced, a memory of a whiplash against his skin. A harsh voice and
a raised hand. He turned to see a large man braced against a tree.
Pale white, nearly see-through in the dim lighting of the moon.
Herne was huge, standing by the base of an oak tree. The thick
trunk looked dwarfed when placed besides the god’s bulk. Khost
swallowed.

“Hello Herne,” Nalla said, cuddling closer.
She laid one hand over Khost’s chest and the trembling inside him
eased. She sounded so confident. Unshaken. “It’s been a long
time.”

The Huntsman’s eyes flicked to her and Khost
watched as lines layered his forehead when he frowned. “You lead
another Hound into temptation, as if your punishment has not been
enough?”

She didn’t back down or deny it. Just
shrugged and stared up at him, unyielding. “Merely a kiss. Khost
made the rest of the choice on his own.”

“A kiss is all it takes.”

“To make a man remember what it’s like to
feel? Yeah.” Khost lifted himself up a notch and hauled Nalla
closer. He wouldn’t let her take the fall for his decisions. “To
make me remember that a person is supposed to have more.”

“You died. You already had your life. I gave
you another.” Herne gestured towards the sky.

“I don’t want it then.” Khost stiffened.

“And if I don’t offer you this one? I could
kill you. I killed her last lover.” The god leaned slightly towards
them, his shrewd gaze darting to Nalla. “Or I could kill her. She
was, after all, the tempter in this.”

Nalla shook her head. “You’re god of the
Hunt, you’re not god here, Herne. We’re not in the sky like we were
last time. He fell, Herne. You can’t hurt him. And it’s been a long
time since you could hurt me.”

She tugged Khost’s hand up to her lips and
kissed his knuckles. Reassuring. “You can’t touch either of us
here.”

Herne roared and lunged. His massive body
leaping from the tree to land in front of them, and Khost jumped,
only Nalla’s hand in his keeping him from running straight back up
into the sky. Nalla didn’t even flinch.

“We’re not yours anymore. I haven’t been
yours since the day you cast me out. Khost made his choice.”

She glanced at him, one eyebrow arched and he
knew she was asking, double checking, and he nodded. “I’m
staying.”

Nalla turned back to Herne. “See? But I do
have something to give to you.”

She let Khost’s hand go and brushed aside the
wavy blonde locks of her hair. Khost undid the clasp at the back of
her neck, watching as Nalla caught the horn as it fell into her
palm. She held it out to him. “You’ll need this. A Great Hunt is
upon us soon.”

Herne stared down at the golden horn, then at
Nalla. Her smile was soft when it came, gentle. “It is never that I
didn’t want to run with you, my lord. Or that I didn’t cherish
being reborn a Hound of yours. Just that when I also found love, I
couldn’t give it up.”

Herne reached for the horn with a grunt. “The
Hunt and I are enough.”

Nalla shook her head. “Not for me.”

“Or me,” Khost said softly.

Nalla tipped her palm and let the necklace
fall into his hand, the chain slipping away as the horn grew to fit
the god’s palm. Herne stared between them, large fingers clasping
the instrument in his hand.

“I made a mistake with you,” he said to
Nalla. “I never should have exiled you. I should have killed you
with your partner. It was a failing as a hunter. I won’t make it
again.”

Khost tightened his grip around her waist and
laid a kiss to her temple. Herne, Lord of the Hounds, God of the
Wild Hunt...he could regret this now, but he couldn’t take Nalla
from him. And that was enough for Khost.

Nalla inclined her head in a small nod. “I’m
sorry you feel that way.”

Herne snorted. “No. You’re not.” Then to
Khost, “Good riddance.”

Herne jerked to a stand and vanished, leaving
nothing, not even a stir in the air to prove he had been there just
seconds before. Khost sagged against her, shivers trailing up and
down his spine. “I was so worried you were wrong and that he could
have us both.”

Nalla shook her head.

“No. Even Herne has limits.” She flinched.
“But I feel sorry for those still running. If they find what we’ve
found...they’ll never have a chance at escaping.”

Khost touched her cheek and wiped away a
tear. “There’s always a chance, Nalla. They could always fall.”

He patted the ground behind him and grinned
at her. “The ground isn’t nearly as hard as one might think.”

Then he rolled her beneath him, that grin
turning sinful in the dark. “Especially not with you to pad it. You
were worth this, Nalla. These emotions, these feelings, these
sensations—they were all worth this.”

“You say that now, wait a hundred years.”

Khost shook his head. “I’ve already waited a
hundred and forty eight, feeling nothing. This is worth it. You
can’t help what you want, but damn, it’s nice to want
something
.”

Nalla ran a hand down his cheek and Khost
closed his eyes at the touch, reveling at the feeling of connection
spanning between them. Joy settled deep in his chest. Nalla brushed
a kiss over his jaw, feather light. “Then want me, Khost.”

“I already do.”

And he intended to want her, to find love
with her, for a very long time.

 

 

 

*****

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

***

 

About the author:
During the day,
Sadie Hart works as a secretary in a library. At night, she writes
steamy, paranormal romances revolving around the things that go
bump in the night—both the spooky and the naughty kind. She lives
in Michigan with two large dogs and a flying pig, who’s possibly a
superhero and possibly a figment of her imagination. You can find
her on
Twitter
and
Facebook
, or
at her website here:
http://sadiehart.com/

 

BOOK: What the Heart Haunts
10.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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