“You’re lying.” That came from the other Shardar as leaned down to pointedly sniff her shoulder. “I can smell it on you.”
“That is enough!” The Matron stepped in, forcing the Shardar back and drawing his dark gaze to her. “Jezie would never lie. She is as honest and pure as any witch in my coven.”
“And that is supposed to impress me, witch?”
“Your tone is as insulting as your words, Shardar. Do you have no manners?”
“I have no patience,” the man snapped back. “Especially not for the games women like to play. Your girl lies. She was not at the bar last night.”
“She never said she was,” Mariam snapped back. “She said it was an accident.”
The Shardars exchanged a look that unnerved Jezie to the core. It was as if they spoke in some silent language and had come to an agreement that had the Jaris turning their attention back on Jezie.
“And how did this accident happen?”
“I…I will not answer.” Jezie had planned on lying, but Mariam’s defense of her had her feeling too guilty over the lie she had told to add another to the pile. Instead, she gathered her strength and straightened up, trying boldly to not appear intimidated by the glares she was receiving from everybody, including Mariam.
“Jezie, you must answer,” Mariam insisted, but Jezie shook her head.
To answer would be to betray her sisters, and that Jezie would not do. She could tell the Matron knew and understood perfectly Jezie’s dilemma. She sighed heavily and shook her head at Jezie before asking the question Jezie dreaded.
“And where are Layla and Darla?”
“Who?” The Jaris frowned at the mention of Jezie’s sisters, his frown betraying his annoyance at the sudden shift in conversation.
“Layla and Darla,” Mariam repeated slowly. “They’re both about six feet tall, very attractive, and actively looking for husbands. I imagine they were at the bar.”
Everybody looked at Jezie, clearly wanting confirmation, but she refused to give it. Instead, she let her silence speak for her, and it seemed to be all any needed to find her sisters guilty.
“And did they poison the tap at the bar?” Mariam pressed, clearly eager to have the blame shifted to Jezie’s sisters. Mariam didn’t care much for Layla or Darla, but Jezie did.
“It was an accident,” Jezie insisted. “They didn’t know I’d tampered with the potion.”
“But they did know they were poisoning us.” The Shardar growled his words, giving a clear indication of just what he’d do if he got his hands on her sisters. That would not be happening.
“It’s not poison,” Jezie retorted. “It’s a potion. It’s medicine.”
“We’re not sick, wench,” the Jaris snapped back. “Now tell us the rest. How did we all come to be put to sleep? Was that your sisters, too?”
“No.” Jezie would not allow them to heap any more blame on either of her sisters, especially when she was the guilty party. “That was me. I apologize for the strength of the spell, but I was a little panicked.”
That revelation drew a grumble of noise from the rest of the Jaris, and Jezie knew it pleased, as well as amused, the men that they had at least terrified her before she’d won the battle. Unable to control the urge, she shifted her eyes to the right, peeking at the Shardars to see if they could be counted as one of the amused. A slight curve of their lips didn’t equal a smile filled with humor but one of feral intent.
She caught the one she’d already seen naked eyeing her, his gaze slowly taking in her whole length as she stood there feeling stripped bare by the heat growing between them. It was almost tangible and altogether unnerving.
“And do you know where your sisters are?” Mariam pressed, drawing Jezie back to her.
“I don’t know. They went on a trip.”
“You mean they fled,” the Jaris translated for her, and Jezie could do nothing but nod. “And you know where they are headed.”
Like the crack of a whip, Jezie flinched under the hard growl of the Shardar. His smile disappeared in an instant, his gaze hardening with a demand that clearly threatened retribution if his wishes were not met. That she could not do, and Jezie had little hope that Mariam would save her from the beast.
“Answer.” His demand came fast on the heels of his statement, showing just how much tolerance the man had for these proceedings. The arrogance and presumption that he displayed ruffled the Matron’s own sense of self-importance, and she turned a regal glower on the big man.
“This is my questioning, Shardar.”
“Then I suggest, Matron, you ask more pertinent questions.”
“Are you challenging me?”
“Yes,” the man snarled with full bravo. “A crime has been committed, a crime against the Jaris, and we do not take such an event lightly. We demand revenge.”
“Are threatening me?” The air quivered around Mariam under the pressure of her fury.
Again, the crowd shifted behind Jezie. This time, though, they remained silent, fearing that any sound would draw the two powerful leaders’ attention to them. Jezie felt the building fight weighing heavily on her shoulders. She would not wish to cause any harm to her Matron.
“I know where they are headed.”
“And you will tell us,” the Shardar demanded.
Swallowing down the fear that threatened to send her running from the room, Jezie lifted her chin in the face of the Shardar’s anger. “I cannot.”
“You refuse to speak the truth?” A black brow lifted, though Jezie couldn’t help the feeling that the man wasn’t as astonished as he appeared. “You knowingly aid in the escape of criminals?”
“They’re my sisters.” Jezie could offer him nothing more than that and hope that the man had an ounce of mercy in him. “They meant no harm.”
The large warrior leaned down until his musky scent enveloped her in the warm odors of leather and earth. “That is not an excuse. There is no excuse from the law, healer.”
“And I am the law here, Shardar,” Mariam snapped back, apparently ruffled by the warrior’s arrogance.
The Shardar surged forward, stepping up to meet that challenge. “And what does your law say?”
Mariam dared to challenge the male’s word. “Jezie is a child of Iriria. She is under my authority. I will see to the fair measure of her punishment.”
“What measure is that?” the Shardar snarled. “The woman has already confessed to a crime against the Jaris. We are the victims, and so shall we be the punishers. I demand that you release her into my authority.”
Not about to be outdone by a man merely because he stretched two feet higher into the air, Mariam refused to back down. “And if Jezie does reveal her sisters’ direction? Would she not then be freed of her crime?”
“She has openly declined to consider such a revelation,” he roared, making the windows all but shutter with the force of his bellow.
Jezie felt like a twig in a storm as the Shardar’s words washed over her. It stirred the hairs on her head with its force. The molten blast brought every eye back toward her. Jezie felt herself shrinking under the scrutiny of so many. The only thing worse than being made a public spectacle was being made one while trapped between two raging tyrants.
Jezie turned to stare at the bed. It was big and intimidating, just like both men watching her every move. A feral hunger glinted in both brothers’ gazes, making them glow and smolder with a heat that was almost palatable. Warmed by their lusts and emboldened by their obvious appreciation of her body, Jezie couldn’t help but feel beautiful.
It was the most special gift she’d ever received, and it still didn’t make it any easier to crawl up onto the massive bed centered in the middle of the room. It was larger than a king with four massive posts that had rings on it, which, thanks to Arianna, Jezie now knew could be used to tie her up.
Arianna might have not been the most pleasant woman, but she hadn’t been greedy with her thoughts. Instead, she’d shared them freely, all but horrifying Jezie as she explained the rumors and the legends about the Jaris and how they liked to bind and dominate their women. At the time the very suggestion had horrified Jezie, but now she found herself curious.
Besides, it wasn’t as if she had any choice in the matter. Neither did she want one. Tempted by the pleasures that Kragen had already showed her, Jezie found herself more than willing to obey their commands and crawled up onto the soft, plush bedding.
It gave beneath her, and she focused on making her way to the mound of pillows piled at the head, refusing to allow the embarrassment of waving her ass in the air. After all, she didn’t want to get spanked again…or maybe she did.
Jezie wasn’t ready to consider what she really wanted. It was far easier just to allow the Shardars to take full responsibility and direct her. They were going to take what they wanted anyway. It wasn’t her fault if she found it pleasurable. That was much better than the alternative, Jezie assured herself as she reached the pillows and turned around to do as the brothers had commanded. She knelt, spreading her legs wide.
The cool air brushing up against her intimate flesh as her folds parted felt erotic and decadent, making her ache in the sweetest of ways. Her mind immediately went to the scene she and Khan had walked into when they first entered the room. The woman had been touching herself most inappropriately, and now Jezie found herself with the same urge, and she couldn’t help but wonder if the Shardars hadn’t woven some magical spell around her.
That thought, along with every other one, vanished in an instant from her mind as she lifted her gaze to find both Jaxon and Kragen stalking toward the bed. Suddenly she felt cornered and very uncertain of what was coming next, but she need not have worried. They’d already told her what they planned¾dinner.
That wasn’t code either, she realized as Jaxon paused to pick up the platter of food that their servant had brought in. The memory of what the man must have seen had her face heating again, even as she felt her intimate flesh softening once more. That was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, she repeated to herself, but it didn’t change her body’s response to the memory. Wrong or right didn’t matter when it came to passion, and passion was what was building, thickening with every step as Kragen and Jaxon drew closer.
Without a word to her or each other, they settled down onto the bed, flanking her on either side as Jaxon placed the tray full of small chunks of meat and cheeses before Jezie. They didn’t need to tell her what was expected as they stretched out beside her, and dinner passed in silence as she lifted the small bites of food to each Shardar’s lips.
They accepted her offerings, pulling her fingers into their mouths. They sucked, licked, nibbling on the tips until she felt ready to squirm. There was something so purely erotic about the gestures that she couldn’t help but respond. The proof of her desire thickened along the tops of her thighs, perfuming the air with a rich, musky odor that would have embarrassed her at any other time.
Tonight she felt free, if still a little uncertain. How could she not feel a little uncertain with the massive bulge each brother was sporting? Jezie’s eyes kept straying downward to the enormous tents straining against each man’s pants. She couldn’t help remember just how big and daunting Jaxon’s penis had been when he dared to storm into the Matron’s house completely naked. She wondered if Kragen was identical in all ways to his brother.
Jezie suspected he was.
One thing was for sure. He’d caught her staring. Jezie felt the blush raging across her cheeks as Kragen reached out to lift her chin up with a single, rough-tipped finger. Their gazes collided, and she felt him peering straight into her soul. Jezie’s breath caught as Kragen whispered out in a husky murmur that was like a stroke to her senses. His words, though, had her eyes widening and her heart leaping back into a double beat.
“Undo my pants.”
She hesitated for the barest of seconds before she lifted her trembling fingers to fumble with the snap of his waistband. Finally Jezie managed to pull it free as Kragen lifted his hips, allowing her easier access to the metal tab of his zipper, and she tugged hard at it.
“Careful now,” he murmured. “You don’t want to hurt anything, do you?”
She certainly didn’t, for Jezie didn’t know him well enough to know how he’d respond. So she moved slowly, easing the tab downward and trying not to stare as his cock burst free. It was huge and flushed, the blind eye at the center of the large, bulbous head weeping as it stared up at her.