At the age of thirteen, Sednan Princess Irisa’s long blonde hair fell out, but then grew back midnight black. At seventeen, her body erupted in beautiful rainbow-colored markings that show no signs of ever fading. Now twenty-one, she falls prey to the Frenzy—a condition of overwhelming lust. A condition that hasn’t happened to a Sednan female for over five hundred years.
Her parents are helpless to aid her, but her twin brother tries to save her sanity, enlisting the assistance of his three best friends to love Irisa through her torment.
With non-stop sex the only hope to save her mind, can Irisa find peace or will she be bound forever to the Frenzy?
Didier studied Tito over the rim of his brandy snifter. Uncertain whether to laugh or simply walk out of his friend’s private receiving room, he met Tito’s gaze and held it far longer than politeness allowed. Holding it longer could provoke Tito to call him out—or whatever Sednans did when their honor was challenged.
Unwilling to fight his best friend, Didier said, “What you’re asking is impossible.”
Tito gave a slight nod, but said, “A challenge, yes. Impossible? For you? No.”
“Your sister is a beautiful woman.”
A bitter smile came and went on Tito’s face and his normally calm gray eyes filled with pain. “A beautiful woman whose sanity is being threatened by this…monstrous disease.”
“Is it contagious?” Didier asked, not because he considered accepting Tito’s challenge, but because he had concerns for Tito’s health—both mental and physical—should he become stricken as well.
“Millennia ago it struck most Sednan males between fifteen and twenty years old. To my knowledge, my father was the first male stricken in several centuries.”
“And females?” Didier pressed in a gentle voice. Tito was prone to wander down historical paths if not kept on target. Didier did not need to know the disease’s history, especially since he had no intention of curing Irisa of it, but if talking eased Tito’s mind…
“Irisa is the first female in more than five hundred years to be stricken.” Tito swallowed most of his brandy, then stared at the snifter as if he wanted to crush it in his bare hand.
“Hire someone to tend her or tie her to her bed until she’s cured,” Didier suggested, sounding colder than he intended. “Better still, find her a husband. There must be a Sednan male who’d jump at the chance to marry a future queen, never mind fucking—” Realizing he had gone too far, he shrugged an apology.
Tito, clench-fisted and red-faced, grimaced. “The problem being Irisa doesn’t want to marry. Not that she’ll admit it to anyone—especially not to me or our father.”
“Then hire a gigolo,” Didier countered, setting aside his glass and standing.
“That’s precisely what I’m trying to do, Didier. Isn’t serving women how you earn your way?”
Unexpected, the verbal blow hurt more than he thought it could. Or perhaps it hurt so much because of who spoke the taunt—a lie that Didier found easier to hear than the truth about himself. What rake worthy of the name wanted his tending to elderly aunts bandied about in gaming hells throughout the galaxy?
“You want me to serve Irisa without servicing her?” Tito’s avoidance of the term lay at the heart of his friend’s dilemma. “Is that it? For me to touch her intimately while leaving her…”
“A virgin, yes.” Tito gave a helpless looking shrug. “In case she changes her mind about marrying. Or our father decides for her.”
Sednans are stuck in a past that ignores a woman’s rights to decide for herself. Very…archaic. But, he supposed, royalty was raised with a sense of duty about their own desires.
Plopping down into the chair he had vacated mere moments ago, Didier emptied his snifter, then filled it again from a nearby decanter. Leveling an assessing stare at Tito, he re-evaluated his position.
If he refused, Tito could without doubt ruin Didier’s reputation. While he could survive being mocked as softhearted, he stood to lose much more. Other gamblers might fear his reneging on his vowels—not that he ever wrote IOUs—if they suspected his winnings supported genteel ladies. They might want to break him in a gambler-to-gambler way—replacing him as the top gun as it were. Putting women in the poor house might lead his marks not to gamble with him at all.
And that he could not allow—not when he had only recently ruined those who had abandoned him years ago. He needed more time to consolidate his power. His presence on Sedna afforded him the opportunity to rest, to review and select his staff to oversee his far-flung businesses, to gather his physical and mental strengths before returning to finish the game. To put paid in full to the account long overdue.
“How long?” he said, a way of giving in while keeping his pride intact.
Tito bowed his head, a silent gesture of gratitude. “As long as it takes.”
Disgusted with Tito’s evasive reply, Didier heard himself laugh. “Stupid question.” Standing, he sketched a bow. “I shall bathe before attending to your sister’s needs. I trust you’ll send someone to escort me to her rooms.”
“You needn’t rush. Your aid will keep until another attack,” Tito said, his gaze sliding to his hallway door.
“Expecting someone?” Didier hazarded, not knowing if he had a way out of this agreement or if Tito would tighten his noose around someone else’s unsuspecting neck.
A shameless grin brightened Tito’s solemn face. “According to my father, treating the Frenzy is best done by three.”
Not wanting to know whom Tito intended to entrap next, Didier beat a hasty retreat.