Bastiel hasn’t left his own realm to visit the Veiled Court since he was a child. But when he learns he’s fated to the youngest prince, Rory, he resolves to make peace with the Fey of the Light, despite the prejudice he knows he might encounter in the Veiled Court.
Rory didn’t expect to be fated to a man, much less to the King of the Dark Fey. Bastiel introduces himself as if there is no question that they are perfectly matched, but Rory can’t accept that. They don’t know each other at all, and their union would throw the order of both their realms into chaos.
Enchanted from his first glimpse of Rory, Bastiel refuses to give up. Rory has no choice but to face his confusion and misgivings head on, and decide if the pull he feels to Bastiel is worth all the risks and uncertainty that come with it.
Rory felt a jolt of energy run up his spine. Not a chill so much as a tingle of some kind. The wind picked up, and it seemed as if everyone had gotten quieter. He carefully set a few apples in the basket and glanced around. Everything seemed fine, but he stopped when he saw a man dressed almost entirely in black heading toward him. The man had long black hair that shone in the sun and whipped in the wind. His intense gaze fixed on Rory, and he smiled.
Rory smiled back, even though he had no idea who the man was. Yet as he drew closer, Rory felt his power. He was someone important, and Rory wiped his hands on his trousers as he straightened up and turned toward the man.
“Are you Rory?” the man asked, his voice low and deep.
“Yes.” Rory swallowed, feeling nervous suddenly. “I feel as if I should know you, but I don’t.”
“We’ve never met before, but I’m very pleased to finally do so.” One arm folded over his chest, the man bowed low. “I’m Bastiel, King of the Dark Fey.” He straightened up and came closer. “And you, sweet prince, are my cariad.”
Rory blinked as he looked up at the man who was almost as tall as his oldest brother. As an excuse to put some distance between them, he backed up and imitated the king’s low bow. “It’s an honor to meet you, Your Majesty.”
Bastiel smiled and eliminated the distance Rory had put between them with two long strides. “I know you must be surprised, but please don’t be afraid of me. I know rumors about our realm are rampant here.”
“I’m not af-fraid. Of course n-not,” Rory said, cringing inwardly at the way his voice shook.
Bastiel reached out and cupped his cheek. “You’re as handsome as your older brother, but with a marked difference. A beauty all your own. The way your hair curls. And such rich brown eyes.” His thumb stroked Rory’s cheek. “I think you’ll have me wrapped around your finger in no time.”
Rory couldn’t do anything but stare. His brain refused to move forward, and his tongue didn’t seem to work at all anymore. His breathing had quickened, and he swallowed, trying to get it under control. The king’s hand was warm and strong, and Rory actually thought he could feel the man’s power flowing into him.