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Maiming: A Reverse Harem Series (To Tame a Shifter Book 3) by A.K. Koonce (1)

Peaceful Perfection

And now my life is a fairy tale.

That’s a lie. If my life were a fairy tale my prince charming wouldn’t be eye fucking my other prince charming right now.

A knowing smile pulls at my lips as Chaos watches Rime pull off his shirt. The ice dragon is avoiding the stares of his adoring fans on the shoreline. Chaos and I are all but holding up ten out of ten signs while Rime discards his jeans to reveal the sharp dimples on his lower back. Slowly he descends into the clear lake water. Deep orange and red leaves dot the ground around the shore while ripples of white waves bloom out around him. When he’s waist deep, he dives under.

It's peaceful here in the village of shifters. The place where Chaos and Kain grew up is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. They live off the land more. More hunting and less trips into the heart of the Kingdom.

It’s quiet. It’s nice

Warm breath meets the lower part of my neck just before Chaos’ soft lips and rough beard brush there. “Your turn, Low.”

“That water is fucking freezing. This is a you and Rime thing, not a me thing. I’m just here to watch the show. I’m your biggest supporter. On. The. Sidelines.” I turn to him, waiting for him to do his own strip tease. The way his broad shoulders fill out the white shirt holds my attention for a moment. Every part of Chaos is pure, beautiful strength.

His gaze sweeps over my face as his big palm pushes against my navel in a claiming way.

“You’re my biggest supporter?” There’s this awestruck look in his honey and sapphire eyes. You’d think I just said the most romantic thing in the history of romance.

Warmth flares up in my chest and I realize my life really is a fucking fairy tale. I have no idea how that happened to me.

His chest is hard against my arm as he leans just a fraction of an inch closer. A small breath catches in my lungs as I mirror his movement until our lips touch with so much teasing lightness that an ache spreads all through my core.

“Let’s go, fuck face. My tutor will be here in an hour and I can’t waste all my free time watching you screw her brains out. Again.” Alloex slaps the back of Chaos’ head, making me pull myself fully away from Chaos’ intoxicating warmth.

“Watch your mouth,” Chaos chides for the hundredth time this morning.

“Morning, Alloex.” I cock a brow at Chaos’ little brother.

The messy dark hair, the way it curls up at the ends, the solid build of their bodies; they’re too much alike. Even with over a decade separating them they’re too much alike. A smile like total kindness pulls at the corner of Alloex’s mouth. It’s such a familiar look that I pin Chaos with a glare like it’s his fault completely that his youngest brother is a walking replica of him.

A small herd of dragon shifters run down the grassy shore and dive right in to the cold morning water. One right after the other they take the leap. Ten strong, assured men jump into the waves. While I sit watching the males like a nature exhibit.

I still don’t know how Chaos’ mother survives raising eleven shifters. Their combined arrogance alone makes me sick some days.

“Come on, fuck face.” Alloex whines to his brother as he walks backward slowly.

“Watch your fucking mouth.” Chaos stares at the young dragon shifter before turning his attention to me. His mouth brushes against mine. Once. Twice. Three times. And then I’m thrumming for more.

Will it ever feel like enough? Will I feel this tingling need for the rest of our lives? Goddess, I hope so.

“I’ll be right back.” His fingers thread through the back of my hair as his mouth presses fully to mine, his tongue flicking just lightly.

He pulls back but doesn’t allow any space between us.

“I’ll be here. I support you.” A disgustingly adorable smile tugs at my mouth.

“I support you too,” he says.

A whisper of the bond that we share is faint and repressed within my mind. A single word slips through his thoughts and into mine.

And then all the words inside my head vanish. All logical thought disappears as he smiles a teasing smile at me.

The echo of his dangerous words slam through my mind as he walks toward the shore. The chant is so loud I don’t even appreciate his body as he slinks into the water. I can’t hear the laughter and the happiness that’s all around me in this perfect perfection that is my life.

I know what he said. I heard the words that came out of his mouth.

But the bond that links didn’t say I support you. It said love. It said love loud and clear within his thoughts.

Fuck.”

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