Rapunzel’s strange circumstances led to her being a housing for energy, her parentage made her a princess. With the fate of the next Xefar queen in her hands, Rapunzel must go on a journey with a strange Duke who’s interest in her hair sparks a reciprocal fascination. Arnolth is unlike any man she has ever spent time with…but that would make sense with her being raised underground in an ant colony.
“Do you have a mate?”
He rolled to one side and pulled her against him, his body keeping hers warm as the stars blinked above them.
“No. I do not have a mate. I was asked to accompany you to the city with the hope that I would appeal to your instincts. Your mother’s letter was very specific.”
Rapunzel leaned back and gave him a surprised look. “She orchestrated this?”
“Only if you were receptive. If you had given any signs of distaste or disinterest I would have stopped immediately.”
She stared at his features in the flickering firelight. She found the strong slope of his nose, the hard chin and full lips very pleasing. The column of his neck meeting the muscles leading to his thick shoulders made her heart flutter and the care with which he was holding her made something softer spring to life.
“You have no regrets? I am not quite sure what we were doing.” She bit her lip again.
He leaned forward and drew her lip between his. “No regrets. Are you sore?”
“No. My energy has taken care of the small wound you inflicted. If that kind of pain is normal, I don’t know how humans have kept their population up.”
He chuckled. “It is only the first time. After tonight, you will be able to engage in this kind of activity any time you wish without injury.”
“Oh, excellent. This is the sort of thing that could be a lot of fun.” She sighed and snuggled against him.
“And yet, you can have me for the event any time. I would recommend that you not try this with just any human male.”
Laughter welled within her, but she held it back. “I will take that under advisement. I am rather tired now, can we sleep?”
“Of course. We have quite a ride on our schedule tomorrow.” Arnolth pulled her tightly to him and flipped his cloak over her.
Though he had woken with another erection, Arnolth had not tried to couple with her again. Rapunzel was a little confused, but she ate the food he provided and got back on the horse after it was saddled.
He rode next to her and she found herself intensely curious about him. “Why are you not living in the capitol?”
“I chose to live and manage my family’s concerns outside the city. Life there was too complicated for me and my father was pressuring me to marry.”
“You don’t wish to mate?” She felt slightly unsure. Without her willing it, her mind had begun to spin a future with him at her side.
“Mating for life has never been appealing.” His words came out before he realized what he said. His quick words showed his awareness of his lack of tact. “Until now. Now it is on my mind frequently.”