Thea has risen to the top of her field in data accumulation. She knows that her soul is incomplete and has come to grips with all that it means to her. Hathir is a gladiator at the top of his game who has the same problem. When they meet, sparks fly and souls are made whole. Hathir wants more than half his soul back, he wants to convince Thea that they are meant to be together, even if it means that he has to participate in a wedding where she is the maid of honour. Doing ritual battle with his soul mate at the wedding is a foreign idea to Hathir, but with her instincts marked by carrying half his soul for most of her life, the battle is on. Let the best woman win.
JKAHLER (Saturday, 16 January 2010)
A wonderful, romantic tale of two soul mates who manage to connect despite a universe between them. I loved learning about the marriage customs of
the Mer-thaka, and having the bride and groom choose champions who get to battle to see who controls the household for the first 5 years of the
marriage was an entertaining addition. With vivid characters and Ms Grace's trademark humour, this is a wonderful addition to her Terran Times series
and I look forward to Enchanted, Enthralled and Enraptured in the near future.
"Cheater! You knew that I was uncomfortable in that room and I would take any excuse to leave it." She gave up when his arm formed a warm band around her waist and held her to him.
"I did. Just as you knew that I was waiting for an opportunity to pounce."
"I didn't then. I do now." She was a little sour. She crossed her arms over the peaks of her eager breasts and scowled at him. "Cheater."
"Ask any of the glads. If you win, it isn't cheating. I have definitely won this round." He snuggled her against him and she relaxed in his embrace.
It was the place she wanted to be after all.
He lowered his mouth to hers, teasing the seam of her lips with his tongue until she parted them on a moan. She learned his taste--dark, sweet and spicy. Chocolate and chilli pepper.
He lifted his head for a moment, "Mmm. Honey and roses," before diving back into her mouth with exploration on his agenda.
She would swear that he learned every tooth, every slide of her tongue against his. Her taste, touch and texture in a kiss that seemed designed to gentle her. Her body was limp, only his embrace keeping her upright for his kiss.
She learned him as well, the texture of his mouth, the slightly rough stubble on his chin, the heat of his flesh against hers and the hypnotic beat of his heart. The slow and steady pulse contrasted sharply with her racing blood.
Finally giving in to impulse, she sat up, grabbed fistfuls of his hair and took control of the kiss. She pursued and he gave ground. She could feel his surprise and smiled as she sucked his lower lip into her mouth, biting it gently.
He groaned in reaction and that noise prompted her to end the kiss. She drew back, shaking. "That was interesting. Let's not do that again in the study of my best friend's fiancé."
His breath was coming a little faster, his heart pounding harder. While he was recovering, she shifted off his lap and sat in her own chair. She knotted her fingers together and held them tightly in her lap. "I think we should be getting back to the party. Your fans are probably wondering where you are."
"I don't care." He crossed his arms and scowled. "I am not letting you leave here until you agree to let me court you. We will be at several public outings with the happy couple and I can't be that close to you without trying to make you mine."
"Do you swear not to scamper off with one of the glad wraps?"
"What is that?"
"Ah." She blushed a little. "There is a clear plastic film back on Terra and it is used to wrap items for storage. The way some of the women plaster themselves to the gladiators, it reminded me of that product."
Thea rose, scooped up their cups and saucers and placed them carefully on the tray. He hadn't answered her. Straightening her gown and hair, she made a beeline for the door to the study.
Hathir stepped between her and freedom. "I swear to peel all women off me within seconds of their first contact, either with words or hands. Good enough?"
She looked into his earnest face. "If you can make it through the rest of the party, my answer is yes."
"Then let's go." He held his hand out to her, a brilliant smile running over his face when she took it.
She could see her future in the smile. Now, they only had to deal with the present.