When her ship’s AI forces a landing on Priznik, Hellara knows that everything around her is about to change, possibly with devastating results. She is pampered, primped and produced in a ballroom with two dozen other women, waiting for a dance with the Overlord of Priznik. Three days of balls and events will occur before he makes his selection of a consort, but what Hellara sees in his eyes makes up her mind on him on day one. She sees behind the Mask of the Overlord in an instant, and now wants to see even more.
After two hours of watching the dancers she decided that the path was safe. When the men were all dancing with partners for a fresh round, Hellara darted out and daintily snagged a few tidbits from the table as well as a glass of wine before returning to her hiding place.
The servants manning the table had seemed friendly, so she did not think that they would tell on her.
She was just licking her fingers clean when a shadow fell across her hand. Swallowing nervously, she looked up into the eyes of one of the males. “The Overlord, I presume?”
He held out his hand and she finished licking her right hand, giving him her left. His gaze had fixated on her tongue as she removed the last of the cream. She watched him visibly shudder and jerk as he got control over himself.
As he led her to the floor, she whispered, “I don’t know how to dance.”
“Leave it to me.” His voice was low and amused. The full lips quirked and he stood on the side of the dance floor, holding her tightly against every inch she had been admiring from a distance. It was quite a few inches if her guess was any estimation.
He shifted forward and she jumped back in reflex, but with his hand on her waist and the other holding her right hand, she had no choice but to stay plastered to him. He moved again and she got out of his way and after a few more of those moves, she realized that they were dancing.
He spun her around and around, each step letting the heat from his body soak into hers.
“Aren’t we supposed to talk or something?” She bit her lip as the second song began and he led her in a different pattern.
“What do you wish to talk about?”
“Why am I here?”
His lips quirked again. “Is that a philosophical question or geographical?”