When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(13) by Alexandra Ivy
Fallon stiffened. What was wrong with her?
“I’m not trying to charm you,” she stubbornly denied.
Abruptly he’d stepped around her, clearly intending to leave her abandoned in the caves.
He sent an impatient glance over his shoulder. “Now what?”
“We’re obviously stuck with one another for now,” she said, pointing out the obvious.
“Do you have a point?”
Heathen. Barbarian. Hulking, gorgeous, pain in the ass.
She counted to ten.
“You could at least try to be civil.”
He folded his arms over his chest. “And what does ‘civil’ entail?”
“I obviously can’t stay in these caves.” She waved a dismissive hand toward the damp floor, shivering at the distinct chill in the air. “I’m assuming you have private rooms I could use. And I’ll need food. Oh . . .” She glanced down to the plain, too-short robe. “And clothes. Silk.”
Something dangerous lurked in the jade eyes. “Anything else, princess?”
“Nectar.” She used her most grating princess voice. She was a guest here, dammit, not a prisoner. It was time that Cyn fulfilled his duties as a host. “Preferably from my homeland.”
A stark, dangerous silence followed her daring command. The sort of silence that came before the strike of lightning.
Or a nuclear explosion.
Instead there was a flurry of movement as Cyn reached out to grasp her by the waist and with one smooth movement had her tossed over his shoulder.
Fallon gasped in shock. No man touched the royal princess. Not unless he wanted to be burned to a crisp by Sariel. And certainly they didn’t haul her around like she was a sack of potatoes.
“What are you doing?” she finally managed to choke out.
Leaving the cave, Cyn headed up a narrow set of stairs carved into the stone.
“Let’s get one thing straight, princess. This is my lair,” he growled.
She slammed her fist against his back only to wince in pain. Crap, the man felt as if he’d been chiseled from granite.
“I wouldn’t be so quick to boast about this shabby—”
Her furious insult came to an outraged halt as his large hand landed on her butt, giving the tender flesh a deliberate squeeze. Fallon’s breath tangled in her throat. She was livid. Of course she was. But more than that she was . . . oh dear God, was she aroused? Was the intimate touch of his hand turning her on?
Or maybe being in this world was screwing with her hormones. Yes. That was a much better answer.
Belatedly aware they were moving through a long hallway lined with heavy tapestries, she gave his back another punch.
“Put me down, you barbarian.”
“Berserker,” he snapped.
“Is that supposed to be better?” she ground out, wiggling in an effort to dislodge his hand that was causing tiny sparks of pleasure to race through her body. “I told you to put me down.”
Her wiggles were futile, but thankfully they’d reached a closed door and he was forced to release her butt to shove it open.
“My lair, my rules.”
They entered what appeared to be a large room with a woven carpet in shades of silver and violet.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means that I’m not your damned servant.” He crossed the floor, abruptly dropping her on a massive four-poster bed with a feather mattress. “So long as you’re beneath my roof you’ll treat me with respect.”
“Respect is earned, not commanded.”
“Actually I just did.” He planted his fists on his hips, using his powers to ignite the logs that were neatly stacked in the stone fireplace. “And you’d better pay attention.”
“Or I’ll return you to the caves and you can rot down there for all I care.”
Fallon glared into the forcefully handsome face, catching a glimpse of snowy white fangs. Sensibly she knew she should be afraid of him.
He was a lethal predator who had her completely at his mercy.
But she wasn’t afraid.
She was angry and frustrated and terrifyingly aware of the hard, male body barely concealed beneath the thin robe.
“I really dislike you,” she muttered, trying to tug the robe down her legs.
“The feeling is mutual.”
“I . . .” Fallon forgot what she was going to say as she belatedly noticed her surroundings. “Oh.”
Cyn was instantly wary. “Now what?”
She forgot her urge to slap his arrogant face as she slowly scanned the pale ash furniture that filled the room.
Beyond the canopied bed, there was a chest set beneath a large stained-glass window that was composed in shades of indigo and saffron and crimson with threads of gold. The arched masterpiece not only provided beauty, but filtered out any potential sunlight. Near the fireplace was a rocking chair that matched the large armoire near the door. And nearer the bed was a delicate washstand.
There was a definite medieval vibe, but it was the exquisite craftsmanship that captured Fallon’s attention.
With a soft sigh she shoved herself to her knees, reaching to skim her fingers over the delicate pattern that had been carved into the wooden posts of the bed.
Row after row of tiny flowers and woodland creatures flowed from the top of the post to the bottom, each one charmingly different in design. And the carvings were echoed on every piece of furniture, giving the room an ethereal beauty that tugged at her heart.
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