The Beast Fae's Bargain

“Don’t go, Tessa.”
“I have to,” I hissed. “Papa needs the juniper. The brew is the only thing that eases his stomach pains, and the fever is worsening.”
I strode to his bedroom door. His complexion was still pale, face glistening with beads of sweat by the firelight.
“If you wait till the morning, the apothecary may have gotten more.”
I scoffed, grabbing my brown satchel from the hook on the wall.
“That useless slug? Not a chance, Murgha. He’s so far up the high lord’s arse, he’ll never care about us lowlings.”
“Tessa!” My sister’s pointed ears tipped red, her pink mouth downturned. “We’re not lowlings.” Her gaze fell to the floor with a flash of shame.
Then I felt a similar feeling burrowing in my chest. “No, dear,” I added softly. “We are not.”
Every creature in our world had its place in the hierarchy of power. Those without any magick at all were given the derogatory title, lowlings. Our mother was one of them. Papa had never let any prejudice against her slip from his lips until Murgha began to grow older, her pale white hair never darkening. Until it was obvious that Papa wasn’t her real father. Until one day, he told our mother he had no use for wife who had no magick and who gave her body to other men.
Our mother had dark hair and eyes. As did Papa. As did I. But not Murgha. Her pale features, white hair, and violet eyes were the trademark of high-born moon fae from Lumeria. Though she had no wings like the moon fae, the rest of her features were a beacon that she had one of their kind’s blood running through her veins.
I’d hated Papa that day, sitting on the front stoop of our drab little inn with a five-year-old Murgha wailing in my lap while we both watched him threaten to kill our mother if she came back. She walked away, staring back at us with tears in her eyes. She never denied that Murgha was the child of another man. And that man never showed up to claim her as his own.
Not long after, Papa moved us into another clan of wood fae on the eastern border of Lumeria. Later, I realized he wanted to go where she couldn’t find us. He got his wish. She never did.
It wasn’t kind of me to use the lowling slur at all, even in jest. But it was obvious that our clan—a small cluster of wood fae living as far away from Issos as possible—was at the bottom of the feeding trough.
Wood fae weren’t nomadic clans by nature but we’d followed our high lord’s advice to leave the Midland when the war between the Wraith King and the Lumerians closer to Myrkovir Forest where we lived. We’d settled here in this territory on the outskirts of the Borderlands, preferring to be far from the ongoing war where the wraith king’s black-clad warriors roamed the land, burning villages as they went.
Unfortunately, we also lived far too close to Gadlizel and Meerland—the darklands ruled by demon fae and all manner of monsters.
Feeling guilty for upsetting Murgha, I walked over and pulled her into my arms on a heavy sigh.
“No, Mur. We’re not lowlings. But our clan is all but forgotten. Too far from Lumeria to matter, and the shadows continue to gather.”
She clutched at my back, her fingers curling into my homespun blouse. “Which is exactly why you should not go.” Her voice dropped to a breathless whisper. “I’m getting those itchy feelings again.”
Her magick was latent, just starting to manifest at seventeen, and so far, we didn’t know what kind of magick it was. Her skin itched when she thought bad things were going to happen. Like right before father fell ill, she’d itched her inner arm so badly, I’d had to wrap it with a poultice.
But no wood fae had ever manifested the gift of an oracle, and oracles didn’t predict omens with rashes and such. I was afraid that perhaps Murgha had no magick at all, that this was all a figment of her imagination. But I wouldn’t let my sweet little sister think herself a lowling, a curse for our kind.
“Besides,” she whispered ominously, “The beast fae have been seen.”
I shivered. The beast fae were one of the most feared of magick kind. They were neither fae nor animal, but something in between. Long ago, a warped shadow fae witch seduced a lone Meer-wolf. From their mating, she gave birth to a brood of half-animal creatures. They multiplied into a monstrous species. They are hideous to behold and fiercely deadly, constantly craving blood and their next meal of flesh.
Of course, I’d never seen one. If I had, I’d be dead.
Putting on a fake smile, I eased back and gripped her slender shoulders.
“Well,” I said lightly, “at least it’s not King Gollaya himself.”
Murgha gasped, her face going white at the mere mention of the Wraith King—Gollaya, the Butcher.
She spat over her left then right shoulder, then touched her thumb to forehead, chin, and chest, all in two seconds. A charm to keep demon magick out of her mind, mouth, and heart.
“Don’t even joke about such things, Tessa.”
I grabbed the fileting knife I used to gut and clean our fish, waved it at Murgha and stuffed it in my belt.
“There’s a juniper bush near the fork of the stream. I’ll have what I need and be back in an hour. Lock the door behind me.”
Before she could say another word, I was gone. I paused only long enough to hear the bolt slide home.
“Good, little sister,” I muttered before I launched into a sprint toward the woodlands behind our cabin.
Though our house was comfortable, I missed our home in the Midlands. We lived in tree houses in the tops of an oak grove. That’s where we belonged. Everything was backward now. Ever since we left, we’d lost something more than our home. It was like we’d lost ourselves the farther we migrated away from the center of the light fae world—Lumeria.
Shrugging off our old woes, I focused on my current one. It was warm now that we’d settled into early summer. A balmy night breeze blew through my hair as I ran. I’d worn a short-sleeved blouse tucked into my thinnest skirt, foregoing undergarments altogether.
I had no breasts to speak of, not like Murgha, even though I was five years older than her. There was no point in wearing a corset, and unless it was my bleeding time, I preferred to be free beneath my skirt.
Attuning my magick to what I needed, it guided me through the dark, my path lit only by the half-moon above. My skirt billowed freely around my ankles as I drew closer, the gurgling of the brook filtering through the night sounds of a hooting owl and buzzing insects.
Coming into the open of a small clearing, I slowed my steps toward the thick old oak stretching tall and wide next to a boulder.
“Good evening, Mr. Oak and Ms. Stone. Still carrying on your little affair, I see.”
Smiling, I sauntered toward the boulder through the short grass that grew close to the brook.
“Well, don’t mind me. I won’t interrupt you for long. You’ll pardon me, Ms. Stone,” I said, kneeling at the slanted side of her where the tiny, evergreen bush of juniper berries sprouted. “I simply need a few of these, and I’ll be on my way.”
Removing the fileting knife at my belt and the satchel from my shoulder, I set to work, cutting sprigs carefully and storing them quickly.
That’s when I realized there was no sound above the murmuring creek. No owl hooting. Not even insects buzzing. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, my magick prickling along my skin, recognizing the aura of its kind in the air.
I stood and spun, thrusting my sharp blade in front of me.
A pair of glowing yellow eyes high in the tree line stared back at me. At first, I thought it some kind of night creature hovering in the low branches but then the owner of that set of glowing eyes stepped forward into the patch of moonlight and my breath hitched.
Standing seven feet tall, taller counting the tips of his four horns, was a dark fae—a muscular one vibrating with potent magick. He was shirtless and wore nothing but a leather skirt around his waist that hung to near his knees, revealing an expanse of bronzed amber skin.
His thighs were bare, but a thicker pelt of fine fur started at his knees, covering his lower legs to his claw-tipped feet.
Rune tattoos swirled over his forehead and across his broad chest which was also sprinkled with fine fur down the backs of his forearms. His four horns, two thicker than the others, curled backward and swooped up at the tips, both beautiful and menacing. He wore jewelry, piercings trailing up his ears, silver encircling the base of his horns and also his wrists. He was important.
Was he royal?
He stepped closer, slowly, carefully, while I still held my knife in front of me. It was comical to think I could defend myself against such a huge, powerful beast, but I’d die trying if I must.
While his gaze raked me with intense scrutiny—a low purr rumbling in his chest—he made no sudden moves to attack. Then he spoke and my knees wobbled.
“What are you doing here, fair one?”
His voice, deep and sonorous and unfairly seductive, rumbled along my skin, raising gooseflesh as it swept over me. But it was a shiver of fear that trembled down my spine when I caught a glimpse of sharp teeth.
“You’re a beast fae,” was all I managed to spit out, voice shaking.
A long tail covered in fine pelt fur and a thicker tuft at the tip flicked behind him close to the ground. He inclined his head as if I complimented him, his giant, claw-tipped feet taking a circling step toward me. Corralling his prey, it seemed.
“And you are a lovely wood fae female…all alone in the middle of the woods at night.”
Then he smiled, revealing his four sharp canine teeth, and I truly understood the meaning of fear.
“Please don’t eat me,” I blurted, my hand shaking where I held out the knife.
His smile widened. “I can’t make any promises.”
Squeezing my eyes shut, I shot a prayer to Elska, Goddess of the Wood. Then snapped them open, keeping my eyes fixed on the slowly circling beast fae.
I couldn’t believe I was actually looking at one. He wasn’t hideous. I expected a malformed face and snarling yellow teeth dripping slobber and blood and the flesh of his last meal. Though his nose and mouth jutted out more than a normal fae’s face and his forehead was more prominent, it was interesting and oddly…attractive.
“You shouldn’t be in these woods at night, fair one.”
“I needed the juniper for my father. He’s sick.”
“A good and obedient daughter.”
“Most of the time,” I admitted, thinking if I kept talking, he wouldn’t want to maul me and drink my blood.
“Does my appearance offend you?”
“No,” I answered honestly. “But you don’t look like I thought you would.”
“What had you expected?” he stopped moving, now in front of the great oak’s trunk, his tail flicking slowly behind him as he studied me.
His canines flashed again with another smile, and I wondered at my reckless behavior, telling him everything I thought and felt. A strange tug at the center of my chest compelled me to open to him.
“What is your name?” he asked in that same deep, silky voice.
“Tessa.” Again, the impulse to give him what he wanted, to please him, both confused and disturbed me. “Do you have the magick of compulsion?”
His brow lifted in surprise. “My kind do not have that sort of magick.”
“Is it true?” I asked, my hand lowering slightly. “That your ancestor was a shadow fae witch who mated with a Meer-wolf.”
Amusement crinkled his eyes as his chest rumbled with low laughter. “My, my.” He shook his head, easing a single step closer. “Have you ever seen a Meer-wolf?”
“No.” Of course I hadn’t. Their packs lived in the northeast, far from where I’d lived most my life.
“They are as tall as a Pallasian stallion, some even taller, and twice as thick.” Pallasian horses stood twelve to fifteen feet tall. “A Meer-wolf’s fangs are as long as you are from here to here.” He pointed from his inner elbow to the end of his wrist. “And though some of the wolves are tamed by our hand, they would not mate with a fae. Nor would a fae desire to mate with an animal.”
His look turned to something like pity mixed with disgust.
“I’m sorry if I offended you.” Because the last thing I needed to do was make this demon fae angry. “That’s what our elders say.”
“The all-knowing light fae elders.” He quirked his brow haughtily. “They mislead you.”
“How did you get to be…” I gestured toward his body. My hand shook where it still held out the knife, my sad attempt at defense against a beast fae. A high-ranking one. “Like you are.”
“Cursed.” His golden eyes flared brighter with a pulse of magick.
I bit my lip to keep from whimpering at the dazzling sensation of his magick caressing my skin. It was like no magick I’d ever sensed before, a pleasurable hum of potent energy dancing across my exposed arms, neck and face, trying to burrow beneath my skin to the flesh beneath.
“Cursed by whom?” I asked, voice shaky again.
“A light fae priestess. Long ago.” He tilted his head, drawing my attention to his magnificent set of horns. “The beast fae are children of the demon god Vix and his fae consort Mizrah. We have always had an affinity for animals, particularly Meer-wolves, our magick more akin to their senses.”
“How do you mean?”
“We are excellent hunters. Our magick enhances these senses,” was his quick reply, his yellow eyes glinting brightly. “But then a moon fae priestess cursed our people to look more like the wolves we so loved, like the beasts we revered. So we would be reviled by fae-kind.”
I blinked at this astonishing revelation. I believed he was telling the truth. “That’s not at all what my kinsmen have said of your kind.”
“Of course not. Then the blame for our monstrous appearance,” he gestured down his body, “would be set upon them. Rather than ourselves.”
My gaze wandered down his torso yet again, my pulse pounding faster at the sight of his thick, muscular thighs and arms, his broad chest as wide as the medicine cabinet in our kitchen. He was made of slabs of muscle, his hair thick, almost fur-like along his calves and thickest near his giant clawed feet. I realized I was rudely staring, but I couldn’t help it. I’d never seen any fae so powerfully built in all my life.
“Perhaps the lady would rather see all of this beast fae, to feed her curiosity,” he said in that deep, sonorous voice.
“No, that’s not necessary. I—”
Within a blink, he unwrapped the leather skirt at his waist and tossed it aside, now completely, shamelessly naked before me.
“Mother of stars,” I muttered, my breath sucked from my chest.
A thick thatch of hair covered his chest as well but not completely, thinning to a narrow line beneath his naval. The rippling muscle and broad pectorals could easily be seen, but it was what hung semi-erect between his thick thighs that had my jaw dropping.
“You, y—” I licked my lips trying to summon saliva into my mouth so my tongue would stop sticking to the roof of it, “you can put that back on.”
I pointed aimlessly off to the side with the tip of my blade, my eyes still devouring every hard inch of him.
“I prefer it this way. I like that look on your face.”
Trying to school my features into some semblance of calm, I forced my gaze to his face and tried to keep it there.
“Besides,” he shrugged in that slow, easy mannerism, “I have no shame of my body.”
Heavens above, he had no reason to be ashamed.
He circled the outer perimeter of the clearing, seemingly moving farther away, but I knew what he was doing. He was attempting to calm his prey, to ease me into letting my guard down. What could I do anyway? If I ran, he’d catch me and overpower me. If I fought, he’d subdue me. It was understood between the both of us. So I had to use my brains instead.
“I am not a maiden,” I blurted.
His mouth quirked, biceps flexing. “Why do you tell me this?”
“Because we know that beast fae seek virgins to satisfy their appetites.”
“You know this?” he asked, arching a sable brow.
He was mocking me. “It is known. The elders tell of it.”
“Ah.” He gave a definitive nod, dragging my attention to the four horns curling almost regally around his head like a crown. “Well, if the elders tell of it, it must be true.”
“You’re making fun of me. Are you saying this is not true?”
His yellow eyes flashed. “I need no virgin to satisfy my appetites.” He continued to pace closer.
“You will not force me then?”
“I could,” he said so cavalierly. “Your scent is intoxicating.”
Stars above. He could smell me, and I was well aware that the sight of his naked form had stirred arousal. The mention of my scent warmed me further between my thighs.
He purred with a low, “Mmmm.”
He stopped several feet from me, locking his stance wide, his arms casually at his side. But I knew he could burst into action and tackle me before I could even open my mouth to scream. Who would hear me out here anyway?
“But will you?” I asked, voice high and nervous, pulse pounding faster. “Force me?”
Tension built of both fear and arousal stretched between us. And I couldn’t fathom how I was feeling both of these sensations, my body tightening as if anticipating some great event.
He tilted his head again in that almost animalistic way, a predator sizing up prey.
“It is not our way,” he said casually then, “Let us play a game.”
“What kind of a game?” I asked in a whisper.
“One where if I win you give me your body willingly.”
“My body?” Though I knew what he meant, I couldn’t help but ask for clarification.
“You lay with me,” he clarified.
He said it so casually that I should’ve been revolted, but somehow it didn’t have the effect I thought it would. I kept my gaze on his, too afraid to let it drift too far south. I was already struggling to think straight.
“You say that so casually. Like its nothing at all to have intercourse with someone.”
“It’s rather the opposite,” he stated, those golden eyes glimmering brighter. “To share your body with another is as close to the divine we can achieve on this earth. I’d say that isn’t nothing.”
How could this beast fae speak so philosophically, so poetically, about sex? I found myself wondering what that would feel like to lay with a creature like him.
I’d had two lovers before. The apothecary’s son Finleal was my first. He was sweet and tender, but obviously as inexperienced as I was. Then there was a fae warrior Melkin last year. He and his regiment were passing through from Issos on their way to Morodon. They’d rested from their long journey with our clan for two weeks before moving on. Melkin was more masculine and satisfying in bed than Finleal.
And yet, I couldn’t help wondering if this beast fae had more to offer. Murgha always said I was too reckless, too excited for adventure for my own good. She was right.
I scoffed and lifted my chin defiantly. “You plan to cheat.”
He held his right hand over his naked chest over his heart. “I swear on Lumera. I will not.”
“I don’t pray to the moon goddess.” I arched my own brow in a haughty retort. “And neither do you, beast fae.”
His lips quirked, then his expression lightened with curiosity. “Who do you pray to?”
“Elska. Goddess of the Wood, of course.” His gaze remained transfixed on me. “You don’t know much about the light fae, do you?”
“I’ve never met one before. Until you.” His gaze dipped along the line of my body before returning to my own. “Now back to our game.”
“How do we play?”
“You do nothing, but let me kiss you.”
“That’s not a game. How does one of us win?”
“Easy. If you make no noise at all, then you win. But if you make any sound of pleasure, I win and can take my prize.”
“What if I make a sound of disgust?”
He grinned. Long, sharp canines on top and bottom gleamed white under the moonlight. “Then you win. I’ll even escort you home, unmolested.”
“So if I win, if I make no sound of…of pleasure, then you escort me home.”
He dipped his horns. “And if I win, you give yourself to me.”
This was madness. I could hear Murgha shrieking a protest if she were here, telling me how reckless and foolish I always was.
But Murgha wasn’t here. And this enticing beast fae was. And what other choice did I have? Perhaps if I lay with him, he’d let me live. And that dark spark that lived in the heart of me was taunting my spirit with temptation. The kind I never walked away from.
“What is your name?” I asked.
“Will you consent to the game?” he asked, dodging my question.
“Are you a lord of your kind?” My gaze flicked to the silver cuffs on his wrists and the ones around his horns. “Are you a king?”
He eased forward, now only a foot from me. “No. I am chief warrior to one.”
A warrior. There would be no fighting my way out. My breath hitched as I gazed far up at him. He was easily two feet taller than me, his horns making him three.
“Lean back onto the rock, sweet Tessa.”
Without ever agreeing to his game, I found myself gripping the slanted stone behind me and laying back. My mind might be screaming to run, but my body wanted to play.
He knelt before me, still towering higher than me even on his knees. His hands gripped the bottom hem of my skirt and lifted.
“What are you doing?”
I grabbed his forearm right above the circlet of silver, magick reverberating through my body with a tremor of power. His magick wanted inside me. I could feel it. I wanted it inside me.
“You said just a kiss,” I protested though it was a weak protest.
“And that’s all it will be if you win. But I did not say where the kiss would be placed. And you did not ask.”
“Demon’s trick,” I hissed.
“Always, fair one.”
His honey-gold eyes locked on mine as he began lifting the hem of my skirt, the pads of his fingers trailing along the sides of my calves, my knees, then my thighs.
“Lean back, my sweet,” he crooned through those devilish fanged teeth, his molten gaze hot on mine.
I did as he commanded and leaned back on the stone, letting my head fall to the hard rock, my arms and hands splayed at my sides. His mouth quirked up as he lifted my skirt to my waist, his gaze finally dropping to the apex of my thighs.
A deep, guttural growl rumbled in his chest. “So lovely.” He coasted his thumbs along the seam of my thighs and cunny.
He leaned forward, his mouth open as he took a deep inhale, his golden eyes closing with pleasure. Then he opened them and pierced me to the stone at my back.
“Not a sound, my sweet. Or I win.”
Then he leaned forward and flicked out his tongue. My breath hitched. His tongue was so very long, abnormally so. He kept my gaze and spread the folds of my cunny then circled the tight nub between, his eyes sliding shut on a groan.
I sucked in a breath and bit my lip, my body thrumming with maddening pleasure. I tightened my fists on the stone, biting my lip so hard I tasted a metallic drop of blood.
“Not a sound,” he whispered against my quim then opened his mouth over it and sucked slowly, deeply, salaciously.
“Stars save me,” I muttered.
His grin slid wide while he continued to lick in a slow, circular rhythm. “Awfully close to a sound of pleasure,” he breathed hotly.
I squeezed my eyes shut and tilted my head back, arching my neck as he continued with his erotic kiss. His magick sizzled along my skin, vibrating through flesh and bones, melting me from the inside out. It was as if this wild fae was meant to kneel at my feet and worship me this way.
How can that be?
I tried so hard, inhaling deep to keep any sound from escaping my mouth.
But by the heavens, there was no ignoring the mind-blurring, body-trembling pleasure trembling through me. His velvet tongue was coaxing my spirit into his keeping. I wanted to crawl into his lap then inside him. What a bizarre feeling.
He lapped softly then slid his long tongue inside me, thrusting while lifting one of my thighs wider, his clawed hand wrapped entirely around my thigh near my knee.
By the gods, there was no winning this game. And strangely, I didn’t want to. I wanted this beast fae, his magick skimming along my body, his power over me, inside me, begging to wholly possess me.
I rocked my pelvis up, thrusting my cunny against his mouth and whimpered a moan. His answering groan was one of triumph as he lapped at my swollen bud.
When I lifted my head and opened my eyes lazily, he lifted his own. “I believe I’ve won,” he whispered in a low, deep purr, his mouth sliding into the wickedest smile.
“Yes,” I agreed, knowing I was consenting to more than him winning our little game.
In a flash, he’d scooped me off of the rock and lay me on the tufted grass near the gurgling brook. He was so massive, he completely engulfed me, caging me against the forest floor with his huge body. He spread my thigh open with his knee as slid the broad length of his cock along the folds of my cunny.
“Open for me,” he demanded gruffly. “I must get inside you.” It was the first time he’d appeared untamed or close to the savage I’d imagined.
I let my other thigh fall wide then reached up and instinctively gripped his two largest horns.
“That’s it, fair one.” He swept his wide mouth against mine. “Hold onto your demon while he rides you hard.”
I hitched in a breath when the head of his cock pressed inside me. He was so much larger than my former lovers. When he thrust in a few more inches, I whimpered at the uncomfortable size of him.
“Shhh,” he whispered near my ear before licking and nipping my neck with teeth, slowing his entrance. “You can take me, fair one. Relax and let me inside.”
His crooning words and lapping kisses sent a spike of arousal through me. I rocked up, taking him deeper.
“Yes, my sweet. Just like that.” Then he pumped deeper, stretching my tight cunny until he was fully seated. “Perfect.”
“It’s so tight,” I breathed on a gasp.
He rumbled a growl. “Absolutely perfect.”
Then he withdrew to the tip slowly and stroked back in on a hiss, slow and easy. My arousal increased with every heavy thrust, my body sizzling with such intense pleasure I thought perhaps this was his true magick, this brain-hazing, rapturous sex.
He lapped at my shoulder as he fucked me harder, deeper, my moans echoing up to the trees. His tail coiled around my thigh, close to the knee, holding me wide.
I moaned and pressed my breasts against his chest with each of his dipping thrusts, my nipples peaked and aching beneath the fabric.
Suddenly, he hauled me up as he rocked back onto his heels. Curling his body over me, he ripped my blouse open and sucked my nipple, grazing with sharp teeth.
“Ah!” I gripped my thighs around his torso as he pumped up inside me, his mouth on my breast. Then my head fell back as a reeling orgasm shattered through me, my quim quivering around his thick cock. “Yes!”
His growl would’ve terrified me if I didn’t know it stemmed from extreme pleasure. His clawed hand cradled my head, his arm wrapped tightly around my waist as he fucked me with deep, slow thrusts. His mouth hovered against my lips, his feral gaze locked on mine, a startling ferocity sparking there.
“Oh, fair one.” His voice trembled as did his jagged exhale as something began to happen.
His cock seemed to swell even more at the base, and I realized with an odd sensation of both dread and longing what it was. I’d heard that beast fae knotted their women, tethering them together during sex. But the knot only formed for one woman. His mate.
“Is that…what I think it is?” I whispered against his wide, grinning mouth.
“Yes, my sweet.” He ground his cock inside me, the knot swelling bigger to near painful pressure. His golden eyes flashed with new intensity. “You’re mine, sweet Tessa.”
Then he roared up to the trees, his giant cock spilling inside me. I whimpered in his arms, still gripping his horns as if it gave me some power over him, as if I could master this formidable, magnificent creature.
His head dropped back to my throat and shoulder where he lapped, a deep groan pouring through him, vibrating against my chest. Then I felt the prick of pain in my shoulder as he sank his fangs into the muscle.
“Ah!” I jerked in his arms but he held me tighter, his moan humming against my skin as he sucked my blood. “Oh, gods. What is happening?”
He made no reply but the silky, satisfied hum of ecstasy as he held me tight, his cock knotted deep, and lapped at the bite mark on my shoulder. A tingling sensation—his magick—eased the pain.
My mind drifted in a haze of pleasure and pain together, the experience more sublime than anything I’d ever known.
Sometime later, though I couldn’t tell how long, he rocked us forward, my back landing on the plush grass again, my clothes half torn off me. He pulled his cock from my body with a jarring pop, a rush of his semen spilling out.
He cradled the back of my skull while he reached down between us and spread our mess over my overly sensitive quim. I whimpered and tried to get away.
“I’ve got you, sweet Tessa.” He continued to pet me down below. “I had not thought this night would bring such a treasure to me.” Then he surged forward, imprisoning me with his large body, and pressed his wide mouth to mine, kissing me with soft laps of his tongue.
I mewled and squirmed, arousal humming yet again. “By the gods, what is happening to me?”
He pressed his forehead to mine for a brief moment. “It has already happened, my treasure.” He righted my torn dress as best he could then scooped me into his arms and stood.
“Hallizel,” he called up to the trees, his eyes still on mine. “Ghasta met.”
Demon tongue.
A wood sprite flew down from the boughs of the oak, fluttering its transparent wings, birdlike talons hooked beneath its small, femininely shaped body. I’d seen them before though not this close. Its eyes were round and full black, its body midnight blue, almost black, with a pearlescent sheen even to the tips of its pointed ears. Tiny feathers wisped up at the base of its smooth, downy head.
He spoke a string of words in demon tongue to the faerie creature then it flitted off into the night.
“What did you tell her?” I asked, looping my arms around his thick neck, my body and spirit floating in a euphoric state.
“She will get the medicine to your father for you.”
“How will she know where to go?”
“She will follow your scent back to your home.”
I stared at him, soaking in his otherworldly beauty. Yes. Now that fear didn’t cloud my vision, I could see how truly beautiful he was.
“What is your name?”
His mouth quirked. “I am Bezaliel.”
“And where am I going?” I asked, somehow calm and serene, not terrified as I should be.
“Wherever I go, sweet Tessa.” He nuzzled his broad nose against mine, inhaling deeply. “Wherever I go.”
“But my sister? And how can I live with you? Your kind hate mine.”
“Another truth from your elders?”
When I said nothing, his mouth quirked as he carried me into the thick woods.
“My kind hate no one, though they are cautious of everyone. They will accept you because you are mine. Which means you are their kind as well.”
“What about my sister?”
“I will watch over her. From afar.”
“But not too far.”
“Not too far,” he assured me.
I pressed my body closer and snuggled my head beneath his chin as he walked deeper into the dark woods, the moon disappearing behind the canopy of trees.
I couldn’t say what exactly had happened, how I had changed so drastically from the woman who feared the dark fae to the woman who willingly accepted her fate as this dark warrior’s mate, willingly abandoning her family for him. But I knew down to the deep marrow of my bones that this was right. That he was mine as much as I was his. I had no other choice. My place was with him.
While he said his people would accept me, I knew that mine would kill him on sight if we tried to return to my village.
My magick hummed with joy as I sighed against his neck.
“Wherever you go, Bezaliel.”
He purred with satisfaction as he cradled me tighter against him, kissing the crown of my head as he walked on into the dark.