Home > Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark #9)(4)

Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark #9)(4)
Author: Kresley Cole

Gods, she was as exquisite as her scent -

Wham! The demons tackled him with the force of a freight train, flattening him on the field, piling on top of him. His left shoulder popped from its joint. A knee to his jaw wrenched three back teeth loose. He growled, not with pain but with frustration, punching the still-hitting demons with his one good arm. As he battled to free himself, he sucked his teeth into his windpipe.

The twins ran to help him, finally peeling the demons off him. Garreth struggled to his knees, futilely coughing, hacking as he watched the strange female.

Suddenly, in a laserlike movement, she readied her bow, nocked three arrows from her quiver, and drew the bowstring to her cheek. What the hell? Everything happening so fast... Aiming for the nymphs? No, not them. A kobold cowering among them. Never hit it from so far away.

She was poised, motionless, for a shot. Though rain and wind whipped her hair over her cheek, she never blinked, never took her eye from her target even after she released that bowstring.

The arrows flew between two nymphs and sliced through the kobold's neck, severing its head from its miniature body. A fantastical shot. Yet she appeared bored with the result.

Heaving, choking, Garreth saw her casually wend her way through the stunned nymphs. Once she reached the two pieces of kobold, the archeress chucked them into the nearby swamp.

She replaced the bow over her body, then strolled back in the direction she'd come from. When she realized all attention was on her, she slowed. "Oh." She gave them a Queen Elizabeth wave and said, "Play on."

As he wheezed and his cousins whaled hits on his back like anvil blows, she met Garreth's gaze. He reached a muddy hand toward her, but she frowned with disdain, then disappeared into the brush. Finally Uilleam kicked Garreth in the back, and his back teeth flew from his windpipe like Chiclets.

"What in the hell's the matter with you?" Munro demanded.

Between labored breaths, Garreth clambered to his feet. He'd been told what to expect when finding his mate, but never had he imagined the strength of his reaction. "It's... happened."

They knew immediately what he spoke of. Munro looked incredulous; Uilleam, jealous. How long had they both been waiting?

"The archer?" Uilleam asked. "Never seen anyone shoot like that. But she looked like she might be... a Valkyrie."

Munro swore under his breath, "Bluidy bad luck."

"Just force my shoulder back in place! Be quick, man!" Naturally, the first time Garreth encountered his mate - the one he'd awaited so long - she'd seen him calling his competitors pussies and playing by dirty rules. He was shirtless, well on his way to being drunk, and filthy with blood and mud. He wasn't even wearing shoes.

And it probably appeared as if he'd been about to take part in an orgy.

"You tell no one of this," Garreth grated.

"Why the hell no'?" Munro gave a hard yank on Garreth's arm.

"Whatever she may be, she's other," he said. "And she's to be the Lykae queen? No one knows, not until she's marked and mated. Vow it!"

"Aye, then, we vow it," Uilleam said.

The second they popped his shoulder back in, he took off at a sprint.  - Track her. Claim.  - With his Instinct louder and sharper than it'd ever been, he ran headlong through the rain.

He'd just been despairing over another year without his older brother, another year of royal responsibilities that he'd never thought would fall to him. On this day, the fates still refused to surrender Lachlain. But they'd given Garreth his mate in that ethereal creature.

As he charged forward, excitement welled within him, followed by overwhelming relief. With the way the rain had been pouring earlier, he could've missed her scent. Now he was on her trail.

Yet at the line of moss-curtained cypresses - the entrance to the most remote section of the swamp - he slowed. Somehow her scent was emanating from four different directions. He decided on one to follow, then raced through the brush, hurdling streams and bogs.

When he reached the source of the scent and there was no sign of her, he turned in place. Then gazed up to find one of her arrows lodged in a tree, so deep only the flights showed. And to those, she'd tied little bits of her T-shirt. Clever girl. She'd used her arrows to obscure her trail.

But he would follow each to the end, tracking her for as long as it took. She'd been born for him. And I was born to find her....

Terrain passed beneath his feet for half an hour before he located her true trail. With the innate stealth of his kind, he prowled closer, hunting this huntress in the now drizzling rain.

The swamp made it easy for him to approach her undetected. There were a thousand shadows to conceal him, with animals constantly creeping about to distract her.

Once he spied her again, he just stopped himself from sucking in a breath. Up close, she was even lovelier than he'd thought her. She had to be a Valkyrie, one among a species of women both notoriously beautiful... and notoriously fierce.

Her features were stunning - high, bold cheekbones, plump lips, and a slim, pixie nose - but her coloring made her beyond compare. Her skin was golden and smooth, her eyes the color of Scots whiskey.

She was of middling height and curvy, wearing a wet white T-shirt that hugged generous br**sts. Khaki shorts fitted tightly over her pert arse and displayed shapely legs. Her hair was long - a dark mane, heavy with rain.

On her right hand, she wore a leather shooting glove. A long leather forearm guard stretched from her left wrist to her elbow. Who knew archery gear could be so sexy?

His female would wear her leathers when he took her curvy wee body tonight. At the thought, his shaft hardened in his damp jeans, and he almost growled.

Instead, he silently followed her, watching as she closed in on the prey he'd already scented in the burrows beneath them.

If she was in fact a Valkyrie, she'd possess superhuman senses like his own - keen hearing and the ability to see in the dark or over long distances. Yet her sense of smell wouldn't be nearly as developed as his own. She'd need to track the creature by sight and sound - and she was doing so expertly.

But all the while she would freeze, jerking her head back in his direction, her pointed ears twitching.

Without warning, she leapt up into a waterlogged oak, crouching there as she resumed her shooting stance, nocking another arrow. From a distance, her short bow was unassuming, a recurve bow with the ends arching away from her and a thickened grip in the middle. Typical, if old fashioned. But as he neared he could see there were etched gold markings in the polished black wood.

Her weapon was as fine and proud as its owner obviously was....

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