[Siren Classic: Erotic Futuristic Paranormal Sci-Fi Romance, shape-shifters, HEA]
Can a princess pledged to an evil wife-beater and a dragon prince who can’t transform into his dragon save each other from fates worse than death?
Being a princess has never been a picnic for Kari, and it gets worse when her father announces plans to marry her to a man whose many wives have a habit of winding up dead. Can she escape a miserable—and probably short—life and find her own destiny.
Jaren is a prince in danger of not only losing his throne, but his sanity as well. If he can’t find the one woman who can give him the power to unleash his dragon, he will lose everything.
Their love might save them both, but it could also start a war of galactic proportions. And even if war can be averted, will Jaren’s dragon send Kari running, taking Jaren’s heart with her?
A Siren Erotic Romance
“Tell me what happened.” Jaren did not reply, and she turned to look at him, noting the hesitancy in his eyes.
“There will be time to discuss this later. For now, I need to know how you feel.” Kari didn’t miss the evasiveness of his answer, but decided to let it go for now, so long as he would eventually fill her in later.
She took a few moments to test her arm, happy that it was only slightly sore. She touched her face and realized that there was no pain there at all. She had a slight soreness in the back of her head. Other than that, she felt pretty good.
“I’m okay. Much better than I thought I’d be.”
Without another word, Jaren picked her up off the med table and carried her from the medical room, keeping her cradled tightly to his chest as he made his way back to his quarters.
“I can walk, you know.” Jaren just smirked and continued walking.
Once in his quarters, he deposited her gently on the bed and went to the food dispenser. After pushing some buttons and collecting a bowl full of something steaming hot and a spoon, he returned to the bed and settled himself next to her. Much to Kari’s chagrin, he began spoon-feeding her the tasty stew.
“I can feed myself, you know.”
He smirked again as he lifted another spoonful to her lips. “No talking. Just eating.”
She really was hungry, and the stew really was good, so Kari let him have his way. For now. She wasn’t used to being pampered, even if she was a princess. A former princess, she amended. She was just an anonymous runaway now. She was going to have to do something about finding an alternate identity. She would also need to find some way to support herself, but she had no idea where to start.
Jaren had referred to himself as a warrior. That must mean that he was part of a military, right? And military needed people to cook and clean for them. She had spent plenty of time helping out in the palace kitchens. Maybe Jaren could help her get a job. She could settle in to a normal, low-profile life, and her father would never find her. She thought that sounded like a pretty good plan.
“So…” She looked at him expectantly. Jaren set the empty bowl on the floor and took her hands in his. He twined their fingers together, and he turned so that they faced each other.
“My sha-lia.” Jaren’s voice was soft and seemed tinged with something that made Kari’s stomach clench with dread. “You are Karinna, Princess of Montore, are you not?”
Kari felt like the bottom just dropped out of her world. Her mouth went dry, and she began to tremble, her entire body shaking. Jaren held her gaze, and his breath, while he waited for her answer.
“How did you know?” The words were barely a whisper.
Jaren closed his eyes and took a deep breath, then looked again into Kari’s eyes. “The man who attacked you—you were pledged to be his wife.” It wasn’t a question, but Kari nodded anyway. She searched for the accusatory glare from him that she expected, but all she saw was sorrow reflected back at her.
“I’m sorry I had to lie to you,” Kari rushed. “I don’t want you to get hurt for helping me. Just please don’t take me back. I’m begging you, if you will just–just—” Tears sprang to her eyes and she choked the words out. “Just drop me off somewhere. I’ll–I’ll be…” The words were coming in gasps, as the tears finally fell from her eyes and ran down her cheeks.
Jaren dragged her onto his lap and wrapped her in his strong arms while rocking her like a child. “Hush, silly little female. I am not taking you back to Montore, and I will certainly not drop you off anywhere. You are coming home with me.” He kissed her hair as he rocked her and waited for her sobs to subside.
It took a few moments for Jaren’s words to register.
“You’re–you’re—taking me—home with you?” Her words were halting as she hiccupped them out.
Jaren chuckled softly against her hair. “That is usually the customary course of action when a male takes a mate.”
“M–m–mate?” Kari’s voice came out as a squeak.
“Yes, Karinna.” Jaren kissed her forehead and sighed. “Mmmm, my Karinna. Your name is beautiful, you know.” He pulled back to look at her. “You are my sha-lia, Karinna. I knew the moment I first looked into your eyes. You are mine, and I will never let you go.”
“What does that mean? Sha-lia?”
Jaren cocked his head as he studied her. “It is an ancient word from my homeworld. It means light of my heart. You are my shining light now, Karinna.”
Kari’s heart swelled at his words. Never in her life had she felt so wanted. Whether she really could spend her life with this man was something she would have to figure out later, but for now she just wanted to forget about everything else.
Trying to be strong, she met Jaren’s hard look with one of her own and put as much steel as she could muster into her voice. “You have to take me back.”
Kari blinked, then glared at him in shock. “You have no idea what my father is capable of. He would kill you and everyone you know for defying him.”
“He can try.” Jaren’s voice was calm, like he wasn’t even worried about it.
Kari couldn’t believe Jaren’s cavalier attitude. He obviously had no idea what the stakes would be if she didn’t return to Montore. She was going to have to educate him.
“Damn it, Jaren! You don’t get it, do you?” Kari demanded as she slammed her cup down on the desk, sloshing out the liquid, and stalked toward Jaren. She poked her finger forcefully at his chest, emphasizing each word. “You. Can’t. Win. This. Fight!”
In one motion, Jaren threw his cup across the room and grabbed Kari by the waist, spinning them around so that her back was to the wall. He had both of her wrists captured in one of his big hands, pinning them above her, with his hard body pressed against hers. Kari wasn’t sure how he had managed to move so quickly.
“You doubt my ability to protect you?” His voice was harsh and demanding. Kari was stunned by the speed and roughness of his response. Rather than being offended by it, Kari found herself responding in a completely unexpected way. She shivered and felt heat spread through her body. Her breathing became shallow, and she licked her lips nervously. Jaren inhaled deeply, and she knew he could smell her wet desire.
“No.” Kari’s voice was breathless. “I don’t doubt you. But I can’t let you put yourself or your people in danger for me.”
“My Karinna, even now two of your brothers are on their way to Aldryss to demand your return and escort you back to Montore. You will not be going back. My people will defend a sha-lia with their lives. You will not persuade us to do otherwise.”
“Do I get a say in this?” If he was going to be stubborn, then so could she.
“No.” His lips descended on hers with a crushing intensity that left nothing else to discuss.
He dominated her mouth with a ferocity that took her breath away and almost made her forget what they were arguing about. Kari was helpless against the onslaught of his lips and his probing tongue. With a moan, she surrendered to him and the desires of her traitorous body. She leaned into him, and Jaren growled his pleasure. With his free hand, he untied the belt at Kari’s waist and let her pants fall to her ankles. He unfastened his trousers and shoved them over his hips, his erect cock springing free and providing evidence of his desire. He placed his hand under her ass and hoisted her up effortlessly. The loose pants around her ankles fell to the floor. Taking the hint, Kari wrapped both legs around his waist and locked her ankles at his back. Without hesitating, Jaren slammed his hard shaft inside of her. Both of them cried out at as he seated himself fully in one thrust. He pulled almost all the way out and then pounded back into her, sliding against her slick walls. He slammed into her again and again. He gave her no mercy as she cried out with each thrust.
Karinna had always been willful, never truly submitting to anyone, even her father. But with each forceful thrust, she felt her will falling away. She knew she had finally met the one man she would submit to. She was powerless to do anything else.
“You are mine, Karinna. You will never leave me,” he growled. “Say it, sha-lia.”
She couldn’t help herself. She knew what he said was true. “Yes, Jaren! Yes, I’m yours!”
He thrust again. “And you will never leave me. Say it!”
“No! I won’t leave you!” Her need rose until she couldn’t stand anymore, and she arched against him to get more contact.