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Home > Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark #9)(14)

Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark #9)(14)
Author: Kresley Cole

Too much! The remembered agony. Bones grinding... skin so tight.

Her body twisted and her fingers clenched as a shriek was ripped from her chest, then another and another. Every window and light in the manor shattered all around them, raining daggers of glass, leaving them in darkness.

Over the pain, she dimly heard a Lykae's beastly roar answering in the distance....

Annika unconscious. Regin fighting off two. Want to tell her to run. Ivo and the demon watching. Can't move...

Another roar, even closer. MacRieve? He'd heard her. Was he coming for her? Would he help her sisters?

Through the chaos, she caught sight of movement across the murky room. White fangs and pale blue eyes stood out against the blackness, but she could barely see him through the dust and haze of her tears.

Then lightning illuminated him, and she recoiled, her pain redoubling. Can't be him... can't be.

He was massive, even more towering than before, his fangs and dark claws longer and sharper. A shadow of a ferocious beast flickered over his body.

MacRieve. A monster from legend.

As he crept over to where she shook on the floor, she gritted her teeth but couldn't move, crippled by the pain.

Crouching over her, he reached for her face with his huge hands. When his claws glinted like onyx, she flinched. What would he do...?

He's trying... to pat my tears? "Shh, female." He scooped her into his arms while she stared up with dread. "Do no' fear me." His voice was guttural, his ice-blue eyes burning with possession.

In an instant, she comprehended two things: why immortals feared the Lykae.

And that she was this one's mate.

"Protect you."

Yes, he could never hurt her, would believe he'd been born to safeguard her life. "And my sisters," she weakly bit out.

He gazed at the door, clearly wanting to remove her from the threat -

"Please, Lykae... fight these vampires."

Finally, a jerk of his chin. He carried her out of the way, gently tucking her behind a table. In that beastly voice, he grated, "I'll give you... their throats." He gazed at her with such longing, but she was horrified to see him completely turned. He knew it, could see - she was in too much pain to hide her disgust.

He twisted from her and reared up with an awing fury against the vampires. After recovering from her surprise, Regin teamed up with the Lykae, each facing off against a vampire. The demon vampire held back, guarding an enthralled-looking Ivo.

There was no contest against MacRieve. With dizzying speed, he lunged forward before the vampire could trace a retreat, snapping his jaws closed on his opponent's neck. Bones cracked and arteries spurted as he ripped the vampire's throat out.

In a gruesome spray of gore, MacRieve spit it into the male's shocked face. Then his Lykae claws sliced through the rest of the vampire's neck cleanly. Head and body dropped to the crimson floor.

MacRieve turned to Regin's vampire next. She'd stabbed it several times, but it was tracing around her like crazy, materializing and vanishing, delivering blows. She couldn't land a killing strike.

Seeming to predict where the male would appear next, MacRieve sprang for the vampire. He tackled him between traces, pinning him to the floor. The Lykae's head descended, and he savaged that one's neck as well.

In mere moments, the two enemies were decapitated.

Confronted by a fully-turned, battle-maddened Lykae, Ivo and the horned one traced away, fleeing.

As soon as the threat was gone, MacRieve sped to Lucia's side, crouching with blood dripping from his fangs. She stared up with revulsion. "No, no." Just like before, a handsome face concealed a monster.

Delirious, shuddering, suddenly she was back in Cruach's lair. The Broken Bloody One was above her, blood pouring from his gritted fangs, splashing into her eyes. Crimson pools and grisly leavings all around them. I give you meat and wine, my love....

"Lousha," MacRieve grated, rousing her back to the present. "You're... safe." He tenderly skimmed the backs of his wet claws along her cheek.

"No, get away... get away from me."

Brows drawn as if in pain, he rose and loped out into the night.

The deadly shadow that was Garreth MacRieve disappeared.

But she knew he'd be back.


 9

He hadn't been back.

But unfortunately for MacRieve, for most nights over the last week, he hadn't strayed far from Lucia.

"Celts' pelts! Celts' pelts!" Nïx cried happily, summing up the reason there was a hunting party of over two dozen Valkyrie gathered in a remote swamp on this desolate eve.

Lucia, Regin, Annika, Nïx, and several others were stationed in a carefully selected clearing, while even more Valkyrie were positioned throughout the misty bayou to call in sightings from distant vistas or trees.

All this effort was to trap... Garreth. And Lucia was the bait.

"Helloooo." Regin snapped her fingers. "Lore to Lucia!"

"Huh? Yeah."

"You're spacing again." Regin's look of irritation immediately shifted to one of concern. "It's too soon. I told Annika it was too soon."

Though Lucia had just missed a shot so recently, the coven had asked her to shank one more, predicting that if Garreth had come running the first time, he would again. "No, I'm good," Lucia said. She'd had to delay them a few days to build her strength - and nerve - back. She paid for each miss, had nearly forgotten how much, it'd been so long since the last time.

"You sure? Let's call this off." Regin alone comprehended how punishing this would be.

"I can handle it," she insisted, even as she nervously plucked her bowstring.

"All right. They wouldn't have asked, but...."

But aggression against any of the Valkyrie was always met with a show of force - swift, vicious force. And a Lykae had seriously aggressed them.

Garreth's older brother, Lachlain MacRieve, had returned as if from the dead to reclaim his crown. But his very first order of business? Nabbing little Emmaline the Timid, Annika's foster daughter.

King Lachlain had been the "hottie" Emma had mistakenly trusted in Paris. And now he had her trapped at the Lykae castle in Scotland.

After Annika had gone aneurismal, shrieking until car alarms blared in three parishes, she'd hatched this plan: trap Lachlain's only living immediate family and use him as leverage to get Emma back.


 4

Garreth MacRieve. With his firm lips and maddening touch...

Regin said, "If not the pain, then what gives with you? You're not thinking about MacRieve, are you?" She tossed up her dagger, catching the tip in her fore-claw. "Since you're his mate and all. And for the record, ewww."

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