“Bow your head to the High Lord and speak only if he commands you to. School your face so that it does not show your thoughts.” She leaned closer, voice low as she added, “Your very presence here will be perceived as an affront. There are many who do not believe Caspian Nightfall was adequately punished for slaying the priestess Vanora. And many more who feel the punishment is too far-reaching, introducing a human into the bloodline.”
Beneath my chest, my heart pumped rapidly, like distant thunder rumbling ever closer and louder. The bloodline. Forced to marry the lordling as punishment. Expected to… to perform the duties of a female to her mate.
Mate and murderer. Stupidly, it only just occurred to me to ask, “What’s the stop him from killing me after the mating ceremony?”
Two Dark Vows
Somehow I make it through the first harrowing night in the Court of Shades. My new home. Where I, Clementine Thornbury, am to be married to the high lord's son as punishment for the crime of murdering a priestess. His crime. All my life I believed I would live and die a slave in service to the fae. It was the best a human could hope for. Not this.
The more I learn about my soon to be mate the more I spiral into terror for the future lying before me. There never stood a chance for choice. So I do the only thing I can think of to take back control of my own life, my own destiny... and it fails spectacularly. Right into the arms of a golden-eyed winged fae who is not at all what he seems. And more interwoven into my future than I will ever know.
As for my mate... Lord Nightfall is harboring a secret at the core of his murderous sin that makes his intentions with me very clear. I could either die a slow and agonizing death dreading every day of my life, or I could reach deep within me to find any darkness or shadow of my own to survive what lies ahead.
I knew better than to speak or ask questions, choosing instead to keep quiet as they made work of undressing what their predecessors had so meticulously dressed. When they were done, I was modestly covered beneath a layer of thin linen, my skin underneath it reacting to the cold of the room with fields of gooseflesh and a puckering of the tips of my breasts. Some forgotten instinct inside of me thought to cross my arms over my chest to cover my modesty, but I knew better than act on those thoughts, leaving my body exposed to the chill, and the females attending to me.
And then one of them spoke.
“You’re rather pretty for a punishment.”
One Dark Kiss
I heard rumors of magic linking tunnels together to allow for traveling between realms in minutes or hours compared to the days or weeks it would otherwise take. There was no other explanation for it, I realized as we emerged into afternoon light from a wide opening in the mouth of the cave to a dense forest lush with evergreen trees, their earthly scents assaulting my nose and mouth. A welcome but overpowering change from the daily smells of the compound.
One Dark Kiss
I’ve been preparing for this moment all my life. Willing my mind to forget all that I have seen and heard and done before. Training my heart to loosen, to not hold my human emotions, such as they were. As if they were precious and could easily break. Where I was going there would be no need for feelings or ideas or fascinations. Nothing tinged with light belonged in a place where it was shunned by darkness, and certainly not in the black void of hope that was The Beyond – the fae realm.