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New Erotic Romance Book Coming Soon: Lucifer’s Castle

Cover for ebook Lucifer's Castle

Lucifer's Castle final cover

Cover of Lucifer’s Castle

Note: I’ve made a change to the cover. For some reason the cover for this book gave me fits. I just wasn’t satisfied with the design and kept having do-overs. This is the design I’m going with, so it’s the one you can expect to see at online retailers.

Copyright © 2011 by Tessa Tremaine

This story is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and incidents are invented by the author or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental. All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the author.

Chapter 1: Lucifer’s Castle

The stateroom was first rate, with a full bathroom and a bed big enough for two people to sleep comfortably. The carpet was a hand-woven Turkish reproduction, the furniture upholstered in creamy ivory white mohair, the glassware real glass. It was the best money could buy, and Genevis was beginning to hate it.

She hadn’t even been there very long—just overnight. Belle Station, where she lived, boasted a near-by wormhole that had in fact been part of the incentive to build in that location. Travel to and from Belle was quick and easy. She simply didn’t want this assignment to Earth.

If she could convince the captain to turn around and run back to Belle without ever entering Earth’s system, she would be delighted with the stateroom. Thrilled. She’d savor every minute she spent in it.

Her view screen pinged and an image of her uncle, Warren Belleren, popped up. He wore his usual dark suit and was smiling, which only served to underscore how much weight he placed on her mission. That smile didn’t bode well for her request for a change.

“Hello, Genevis. I imagine you’re getting pretty excited now that you’ve almost entered the solar system.” He winked. “It won’t be long now until you’re at Lucifer’s Castle and you finally have the male attention you’ve been craving.”

He never missed a chance to remind her how unlucky in love she was. “Actually, I wanted to let you know that I’m reconsidering this assignment. I’m just not suited for it.”

She braced herself for his response. Refusing an assignment and being indecisive were two of the greatest sins a member of the Belleren family could commit. Her behavior in this matter wasn’t going to do her career or her standing with Uncle Warren any favors.

The time delay in communications meant that she had ample opportunity to observe his expression changing from smug to stern. He leaned toward the view screen. “You know how important this is to the station. We need you to move forward on this.”

“I understand that. But I’m not the right person. I don’t know anything about brothels and I find slavery reprehensible.”

The long pause between her statement and his reaction made her stomach churn.

At last he waved his hand in dismissal. “You don’t have to know about brothels. You’re an expert in hospitality. These are transferable skills, Genevis. As for your political ideals, they’re irrelevant. The needs of the family and the station have to come first.”

She sighed at the guilt that swamped her. It was true—Belle Station came first. Always. She would let down the family and the station if she backed out. But she had a compelling reason to ask for a reassignment.

“Uncle Warren, I’m fat. None of the men in that place are going to want to—um—be intimate with me.”

Waiting. Waiting. Genevis tapped her fingers nervously on the stateroom’s satiny built-in desk of real Earth cherry wood.

Warren made another dismissive gesture. “It doesn’t matter if you’re fat. The Demon Kin will happily pleasure anyone. And if they won’t, we need to know that. You’re the perfect person for the job.”

Wow. Thanks, Uncle Warren. Just once it would be nice if he would tell her she was attractive, even if it was in spite of her size. Get over it, Genevis. You’re a grown woman and a professional. You don’t need reassurance that you’re pretty.

The fact was that, given his attitude, she wouldn’t be able to squirm out of the assignment without causing an irreparable breach with her uncle. She should have known.

“Alright. I’ll do my best.”

“That’s the right answer. Remember, Belle is more important than any of us individually. We all must do our part.”

She’d been hearing that since she was five years old.

“Yes, sir.”

“I look forward to your full report.”

Genevis nodded. “I look forward to presenting it, sir.” The standard response.

So she’d just humiliated and made herself look weak for nothing. She still had to present her rotund self to the Quert Industries liaison, still had to endure the eye-rolls and expressions of distaste she got from men who inevitably preferred slender, delicate women over her. This was going to be fun.

Lucifer’s Castle, here I come.

For crying out loud, couldn’t they have picked a better name? Talk about crass. But it probably brought them a lot of customers who were titillated by the idea of fornicating in Lucifer’s domain.

Perhaps she could negotiate for any Demon Kin they purchased to be freed after a certain number of years. She could put up with some humiliation if it meant even a handful of slaves would go free. That would make this travesty of an assignment worthwhile.

Well, here she was in the garden of Lucifer’s Castle. Who would have thought that the Lord of Hell kept a garden? With flowers and everything. From what she’d seen of the place, it was overwhelmingly Gothic in theme, dark and decadent, except for this enclosure surrounding a generous, sparkling-blue swimming pool and fountain. Here was sun and bright flowers in every color, and a mind-boggling array of Demon Kin.

There were dozens of gorgeous men in the garden, and she had to have sex with at least one of them. They’d probably have to draw straws, and the poor sucker with the short straw would get her.

She was the wrong person for this job. She knew it, and the oily representative of Quert Industries standing next to her probably knew it too. But she’d be damned if she admitted it. Genevis gazed at the milling throng of sex slaves populating the sunny garden and forced a smile.

“Impressive.” She nodded, to reinforce the illusion that she knew what she was talking about.

Bob Tate grinned. “They are, aren’t they?”

A small, buzzing insect flew right by her ear. She clamped down hard on the urge to yelp. “Oh, yes.”

There must have been a hundred of them, male and female, standing in small groups under rose-covered arbors, sitting on benches and the coping of the elaborate central fountain, even reclining on the velvet-green grass of the walkways. All of them stark n@ked in the Southern California heat. She’d never seen so many n@ked people in her life, and they were all beautiful.

Although they spoke quietly, there were so many that their voices completely drowned out the sound of the fountain.

Demon Kin. That’s what Quert called them. And they looked the part, with curling horns on their heads—some sticking out to the sides and others up toward the sky—and long, serpentine tails that swished gently back and forth as they walked. They were so surreal that she had to fight an urge to stare—she who’d met representatives from every alien culture in contact with Earth.

The males also possessed hard, muscular bodies and c*cks so thick and long that it was all she could do not to gape at them. Her p^*sy gave a sudden, embarrassing throb at the thought of one of those c**ks inside her body.

The Demon Kin were looking back at her, obviously curious about her. Probably wondering who she was and why her visit entitled her to a private viewing of the assembled slaves. Or had Quert announced her family’s interest in purchasing some of them in order to establish a Demon Kin brothel on Belle Station?

Of course, no brothel under her command would sport tacky devil imagery. If she had to establish a place like this, it would be tasteful. Elegant. Beautiful. And because it would be on a space station, there would be no nasty little bugs to fly or creep about stinging and biting people.

Her gaze came to rest on a large male standing with his back to her about ten yards away. He possessed hair so dark it was nearly black, even in the bright sunlight, and a body of such perfection that she caught her breath. The tight rounded globes of his a$$ made her wish she could caress him.

I probably could. Isn’t that why they’re here?

But it would be wrong. Slavery was wrong. Unfortunately, her uncle Warren didn’t agree with her on that point, and family loyalty and honor demanded that she play the part of an interested potential buyer.

I just have to get through the next week. Then I can take my vacation and forget all about this place.

The dark-haired male turned toward her. Even with the distance between them, the bright sapphire of his eyes was obvious. She’d never seen eyes so blue. He glowered at her, his close-cropped goatee and mustache making him seem Satanic. Resentment and barely suppressed fury seemed to radiate from him.

Genevis suppressed a shudder. “Are you sure they’re not dangerous?”

“Absolutely sure.” Tate pointed to the neck of a nearby female. “See the collars? They provide complete control. In addition, all our slaves have undergone extensive obedience training.”

“I see.”

A narrow golden band around the blue-eyed slave’s neck glinted in the sunlight. So that was what controlled them? How did it work? It couldn’t be direct mind control or he wouldn’t be glaring at her like that.

Genevis’s pulse rapped out a steadily increasing beat as they stared at each other. The deep parts of her body grew warm and heavy and moisture pooled between her thighs. She wanted to take that arrogant, staring bastard down a notch. He was a slave; he had no business staring at her that way.

She saw him bending over her, taking her mouth in a brutal kiss, mastering her with his powerful body, his hands all over her, delving between her legs. The fantasy brought another throb of yearning from her pussy.

The man next to him turned as if to see what his companion was looking at. This one’s hair was chestnut brown. His eyes were brown, too, his features just as beautiful as his blue-eyed friend.

Brown-eyes smiled. It was a flirtatious gesture and Genevis smiled back at him, but underneath his friendliness was something predatory. His smile broadened, showing a hint of his long, sharp incisors.

Fangs? They have fangs? Her sources had said nothing about that.

“The Demon Kin are highly sexual,” Tate continued. “We bred them for enhanced sexual appetites, to make them better at pleasing our customers.”

“A wise choice.” Her voice came out in an unenthusiastic monotone.

She needed to look away from the two males, but her gaze seemed to be pinned to them. Captured. They were not human. That was obvious, so why did she find them so exciting?

Many customers patronized Quert’s brothel for that very reason—because of the exotic appearance of the Demon Kin. That much she’d learned from the research she’d done on the ship from Belle Station to Earth. Evidently some humans derived sexual excitement from the idea of making love to a demon. Or, in the case of the Demon Kin, creatures who looked like demons.

The two men both had dark horns that curled away from the sides of their skulls in graceful, spiraling arcs. Their tails were dark, too, covered in silky hair and ending in forks covered by puffs of fur.

Like lion’s tails. The tails flicked back and forth, reinforcing the cat-like image.

I am not the kind of person who gets off on screwing freaks.

Genevis winced at her own crudity. The Demon Kin weren’t freaks. They were a new, genetically-engineered race of humanoids.

A thought occurred to her. “Are they sterile?”

“Oh, no. They are quite a fertile race. However, we keep both males and females on long-acting birth control except for those we’re breeding. And the breeding pairs are kept out of rotation in the brothel. We at Quert do everything possible to ensure the Demon Kin genome doesn’t escape our compound. You needn’t worry about a pregnancy.”

“That’s a relief.” She tilted her head. “Can they reproduce with humans?”

“Yes, they produce fertile hybrid offspring. But as I said, you don’t need to worry about that. You must be tired after your long journey.” Tate took her by the elbow. “We have refreshments waiting in the lounge, if you’ll come this way.”

He led her along one of the grassy paths that wound amongst the flower beds and re-entered the brothel. Inside, the floors were of cool black marble and the light came filtered through the louvers of black shutters covering the tall windows. A Demon Kin male pushed a broom down the hallway, while a female with a basket of cleaning gear on her arm opened a door and disappeared into a side room.

“You have them working as janitors as well?”

“We find they are better adjusted if they have work in addition to their sexual duties. They rotate tasks, and take care of all the maintenance of their building and garden.”

The male, who wore a pair of snug black shorts and nothing else, glanced over at her and smiled. So they weren’t all as angry as the blue-eyed male in the garden. Genevis smiled back at him. He was shorter than Mr. Angry, with sandy hair, caramel-colored horns and a deep tan. His body was just as beautifully developed as all of his peers, with a taut waist and bulging arm muscles. The fit of his shorts had an opening in the back to allow for his golden tail and revealed most of the shape of his generous sex. She blinked and turned her gaze away, scanning the hall for something else to look at.

“Do you like Nick?” Tate said.

“He’s very attractive.”

“I’ll assign him to you for tonight, then.”

Her face burned, and she knew she was blushing. No man as good-looking as Nick would want to spend the night with her. She wasn’t exactly the stuff of male sexual fantasies. But she couldn’t refuse, could she?

Genevis forced herself to meet Tate’s eyes and smile. “Thank you. That would be lovely.”

Tate gestured toward a large room that opened directly onto the hall. Its open windows looked out onto yet another garden, this one shaded by a huge tree and full of tropical-looking plants with enormous leaves in a profusion of shapes. Here and there, brilliant orange flowers peeked out of the greenery.

The room itself featured an enormous painting, dominated by black, orange and red tones, of a gorgeous male Demon Kin clasping a fainting human woman in his arms. Exotic ancient weapons hung on the other walls. A marble-topped table in dark gleaming wood already loaded with food and drinks stood next to one of those windows.

“You certainly have a beautiful setting here,” Genevis remarked. “I couldn’t have done better myself.” If I were filming a horror vid, that is.

“Are you in the hospitality business, Miss Belleren?”

“Didn’t my uncle tell you?” The rat. “I’m the director of hospitality on Belle Station.”

Tate raised his brows as they strolled toward the table. “That’s a position of great responsibility for one so young.”

“We Bellerens start working in our mid-teens.” And of course they had nepotism on their side, but she wasn’t going to say that to Tate. Instead, she picked up a strawberry and held it to her lips.

Outside, a man shouted. Genevis jumped, her head swiveling to look out the window. The shout came again, two voices this time, loud and furious. Two men strode into the sun-dappled tropical garden, their faces distorted with rage as they brandished signs reading “Death to Satan’s Minions.”

“Son of a bitch,” Tate muttered. He pulled a voice link from his pocket and hit the numbers.

The men outside both noticed her at the same time. They pointed at her through the open window. “Slut! Whore of Babylon!”

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The Devil You Know Is Here: Free erotica excerpt

The Devil You Know

Tessa Tremaine

Copyright © by Tessa Tremaine 2011

This story is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and incidents are invented by the author or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental. All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in form or by any means without the prior written consent of the author.

Chapter 1

She wasn’t supposed to be here. Anne’s parents had strict rules about how close she was allowed to get to the Malefican embassy next door, and inches away from the boundary was way past the limit. She was fifteen, and they still treated her as a child.

The sun beat down on her dark head, making her perspire as she walked along the gravel path at the edge of the garden. The gravel crunched underfoot, making her wince and hope that no-one from her house could hear it. Heat radiated off the stone border wall. It was really too hot to be outdoors, especially for a girl. Novus Vitan girls always wore long skirts and long sleeves, no matter the weather.

A splash came from the other side of the wall. Was it him? She’d seen him swimming in the Malefican Embassy pool every day this summer. Last summer, too. Sometimes she watched him from behind the curtains of her bedroom window, or through a knot hole in the gate that led between her parents’ property and the embassy grounds.

She could watch him now.

Anne went to the gate. It was standing ajar. Normally it was locked from the other side. She touched the green-painted wood. No-one would notice if she opened it just a little wider, would they?

Carefully she pulled the gate open another handspan. She peeked around the edge, but the thick stone wall and the gate itself blocked her view of the pool. And she wanted to see. Anne slipped through the gate.

Sunlight glittered on the blue pool water, nearly blinding her. She squinted into the glare. The pool was closer to the wall and the gate than she’d realized.

“Hello.” The voice was deep, masculine, the voice of a young man, not a boy.

Shielding her eyes from the sun, Anne looked toward the voice. It was him. He supported himself on his hands at the pool edge. Water glistened on the golden tan of his bare skin.

Oh, my.

That was a lot of bare male skin. She may have watched him through a knot hole, but this was different. This was up close.

His blond hair was dark with water, slicked back from his forehead. Two cinnamon-colored horns curved up from his skull, and his reddish-gold Demon Kin tail floated out behind him. Anne tried not to gape, and failed.

His smile widened, showing gleaming white fangs. “You must be Miss Anne. You live next door, right?”

She nodded wordlessly.

“I’m Damien.”

“H-hello.”

“Would you like to take a swim?”

“Oh, no. No, I couldn’t.”

“Then I’ll get out.” He leapt from the pool with the ease of a jungle cat.

Anne’s breath caught. He was almost entirely naked. The only garment he wore was a tight sort of breechcloth that outlined every contour of his bulging sex.

The bulge seemed to swell as she looked at it, as if in response to her gaze. Something in her own body ached in harmony with it, and the space between her legs grew moist. She tore her gaze away from the disturbing sight, only to encounter the flattest, tautest male abdomen she’d ever seen. She took a step backward.

“Hey,” he said in a softer voice. “Don’t go. I’m not going to hurt you.”

She raised her gaze to his. “I’ve never spoken to one of your kind before.”

An odd expression crossed his face. “We’re just people.”

She’d hurt his feelings. “I’m sorry. That was rude. It’s just that I—”

“You’ve heard all the horror stories about us.”

“Yes.”

“Well, they’re not true.” He gestured toward a table and chairs set under a vine-covered arbor. “Will you stay and talk awhile?”

Anne hesitated. If anyone should see her or find out where she’d been, she would face awful consequences. But how likely was it? Her mother was out of town visiting Anne’s aunt today, and her father was at work. The servants only rarely looked this way. Damien smiled again, an inviting smile that made her want to take the hand he offered her.

“Alright. I’ll stay.” She put her hand in his.

Damien’s long fingers closed over her flesh. They were cool from being in the water, and she could feel the banked strength in them. But he was gentle as he led her to the table.

The touch of his hand on hers gave her a jolt of excitement. What would it be like to touch other parts of him? His shoulders, his face, his chest . . . . She glanced at him, wondering if he’d read her thoughts. People said the Demon Kin could read minds if they wanted to.

“I’ve seen you before,” he said. “You walk in the garden sometimes.”

“Yes.” Her face heated. Did he know she watched him? “I like to be outdoors.”

“But not to swim?” He pulled out a chair for her.

“I—it isn’t allowed. Not for young ladies.”

“That’s unfortunate. I love swimming. I can’t imagine it being forbidden to me.”

A horned and tailed servant, dressed in loose trousers and an exotic-looking tunic, appeared from within the embassy building. “Would you like some refreshments for you and your guest, Master Fallyn?”

“Yes, thank you.”

Damien snagged a towel from the back of the chairs and dried off briskly. Then he took the seat next to Anne, just as casually as if he weren’t virtually naked. The servant disappeared into the house, then returned moments later with a large tray bearing a pitcher, glasses, and a large plate of snacks.

“You don’t have to go to so much trouble for me,” Anne said.

“It’s no trouble.” Damien poured a glass of some pale, golden drink and handed it to her.

She sipped. The taste, both sweet and sour at once, was extraordinary. “What is it?”

“Lemonade. Have you never tasted lemonade?”

“No.”

“We grow a lot of lemons on Belleren.”

That was the name the Maleficans used for their world. Anne looked at him to see if he was teasing her. Of all the stories she’d heard of the Demon Kin, none of them mentioned anything as mundane and wholesome as agriculture. But Damien didn’t seem to be joking. He merely poured a glass for himself and lifted it to his lips.

Beautiful lips. Most young men didn’t strike her as beautiful. Damien was. Even with horns on his head, he was the best looking man she’d ever seen. When she looked at him, her belly began to flutter in the most disconcerting way.

“What do you like to do, besides walk in the garden?” He punctuated his words by offering her a pastry.

“I like to read.”

“Do they let you read?” His eyes twinkled.

She smiled at him for the first time. “Not so much. Sometimes I sneak books.”

“Perhaps you’d like to read some of mine. I just finished an adventure story.”

“Oh.” No-one ever offered to loan her books. “You’d do that for me?”

He reached out, as if to touch her hand, and then stopped. “Of course I would.”

A month later, Anne opened the gate one-handed and squirmed through it with her package tucked under her free arm. Damien always unlocked the gate for her now, to make their daily meetings easier. She had the book he’d loaned her, too.

His books made her feel strange, on edge at the thought of a world so much larger, full of people and ideas more varied than she’d ever imagined. But they were exciting, too, like the young man who’d loaned them to her.

Suddenly the gate swung back and he was there, smiling, his hair gold in the sun. Her heart lifted. She smiled back.

“Did you read it?” he said.

“Of course.” Under the covers, with only a tiny book light for illumination.

“What did you think?”

She blushed. “I think it wasn’t proper reading material.”

He nudged her playfully as they walked together to the shaded sitting area. “But you finished it anyway, didn’t you?”

Her blush deepened. “Yes.” She glanced at him from under her lashes. “Were your people really created as sex slaves?”

“Uh huh. Genevis Belleren and her Demon Kin lovers really established a colony on our planet, too. The rest of the story I’m not sure about. It might be exaggerated a little to make it more exciting.”

Anne offered him the package. “I brought you some of those cookies you liked.”

“Thanks.” He peeked inside the wrapper. “They’re my new favorites.”

They set the cookies and Anne’s reading device down on the table. Damien was relatively clothed today, wearing the typical Malefican loose trousers and tunic. But the fabric was thin and loosely woven, and it molded to the musculature of his upper body. Anne’s fingers itched to run themselves over the contours of that body.

What was wrong with her? She’d been having more and more of those thoughts lately, along with strange hot dreams that left her achy and longing for something she didn’t understand. The dreams always involved Damien. And kissing. She didn’t even like kissing.

She was beginning to think she was in love with him. Their friendship had begun with a definite infatuation on her side, but the more she learned about him, the more she got to know him, the more attached to him she became.

Love. I’m in love with Damien.

“Anne,” he called in a sing-song. “Are you in there?”

“Huh?”

“I asked if you wanted to go for a swim.”

She rolled her eyes. “You always ask that. And I always say no.”

“It was worth a try.”

Anne shook her head, laughing. “I’ll always say no. You ought to give up and save yourself some trouble.”

“I can’t give up where you’re concerned. You’re all I think about nowadays.”

His golden skin colored, as if he hadn’t meant to say those words. But he didn’t take them back, either. He just stood there gazing down at her with those dark blue eyes of his.

Anne’s face began to burn. “I—I think about you, too.”

“You do?” He caught her hand, drawing her closer.

The touch of his skin on hers felt like a revelation.

“Yes,” she whispered. She wasn’t sure what she was assenting to.

His thumb worked in gentle circles across the back of her hand. The caresses seemed to get inside her somehow, opening her up and making her long to press herself against him.

She looked up at him, wide-eyed, as he drew her closer. His gaze caressed her face with something she could only describe as tenderness.

He leaned down and gently brushed his lips across hers. Then he did it again, with just a little more pressure. Her whole body went warm and tingly from that brief contact.

His hands splayed across her back, holding her to him as he kissed her. They were big hands, hot even through the fabric of her dress. Anne reached out, touched the warm bare skin of his forearm, let her palm glide over it.

His body felt just as hot. He was pressed against her whole length, her breasts crushing against the lower part of his chest. Anne touched her hands to the hard muscle of his shoulders, then lifted them as if he’d burned her.

He licked her, his tongue flicking across her lower lip. Anne instinctively opened her mouth, allowing him access. And he put his tongue inside her. Instead of pulling away as she ought, she moaned softly and pushed herself against him, her hands tightening on his shoulders.

His mouth was like a world if its own, warm and wet, intimate, tasting of the cookies they’d shared and something else, something that was purely Damien. One of his hands slid downward to cup her rear end, squeezing.

Gravel crunched under quick, heavy footsteps. It came from the direction of Anne’s house, close by. At the base of the wall?

Dear God, what was she doing? If they were seen, caught, her punishment would be twice as bad as it would for merely talking to him. And he might get in trouble, too. God only knew what her father would do to Damien if he knew the Demon Kin boy had even talked to her. She jerked back.

“I can’t. I have to go now.” She ran blindly for the gate.

Damien called her name, but she didn’t look back. She reached the gate, yanked at the heavy wood and plunged through the opening only to slam into a thick body. Anne stopped with a gasp. Her father.

He took her arm in a bruising grip. “You’ll wish you’d never set foot outside, Miss Slut.” And dragged her toward the house.

 

 

Damien left the gate open for Anne all the rest of the summer. She never returned. She’d left her reader behind, yet she didn’t come back or even send a message asking for it. He found books he thought she might like, but he couldn’t share them with her. He’d repulsed her with his barbaric caresses. That must be it.

He’d never seen such a look of horror on a girl’s face, and hoped never to see another one like it as long as he lived.

Winter came. The staff drained the pool. Snow fell, turning the land gray and white, and freezing his Demon Kin blood. Still, Anne didn’t come. He knew she despised him, knew she regarded him with nothing but disgust, yet he couldn’t help missing her.

One day at the beginning of spring, he took a shortcut through an alley a few blocks from the embassy. About fifteen paces in, he picked up the sound of footsteps behind him and turned. Five Novus Vitan men were following him, their faces grim and intent.

Damien broke into a run, splashing through puddles of ice melt. Five more men boiled out of a couple of doorways, blocking his passage. He swallowed hard. Ten against one were poor odds, even for a Demon Kin.

He sprang up and clutched a doorjamb of the building next to him, trying to get purchase on the smooth stucco wall. Someone grabbed his jacket, dragging him down. He hit the filthy pavement with a grunt.

One of the men drew back a booted foot and slammed him in the ribs. Damien groaned. He snatched another man’s trouser leg, jerking the fellow off balance. His enemy fell to the street next to him.

The rest jumped on him, punching and kicking, until he felt something break inside his rib cage. Gods of Belleren, they were going to kill him. He was going to die, and he hadn’t even been able to see Anne again or tell her good-bye.

“Stop! He’s had enough,” one of the men growled.

The thugs quit assaulting him and got to their feet. Damien lay curled in a frigid puddle, trying not to make any sounds of pain. He wouldn’t give the bastards the satisfaction of hearing him cry out. A warm trickle of blood ran down his cheek. He ignored it.

The one who’d spoken stood glaring down at him. “That’s what happens when one of your kind touches a decent woman. You get my meaning?”

“Fuck you,” he croaked in Bellerenic. Anne’s father must have sent them. But why now?

The man motioned to his cohorts and they turned and left him there. It was a long time before he gathered enough strength to stand up and totter home.

Damien staggered around the corner at Anne’s parents’ house. And there she was, bundled in an ankle-length woolen coat, her long auburn hair pinned up and covered by a fur hat. An elderly man who looked like a servant walked beside her. It was the first time he’d caught a glimpse of her since the day he’d kissed her.

“Anne!” he called, breaking into an agonizing run. “Miss Anne!”

She didn’t even glance his way.

Damien caught up with them. The servant tried to put himself between Anne and Damien, giving the young male an evil glare.

“You are to leave my mistress alone.”

“Anne, please talk to me.”

She kept her eyes—those magnificent gray eyes he remembered so well—fixed straight ahead.

“Look at me!” He reached for her arm, but the old man caught his wrist.

“Begone with you,” the servant said. “Miss Anne does not consort with devil spawn.”

“Anne?”

Still she didn’t look at him. Damien stopped, listing to one side because of the pain in his ribs. He watched as the servant brought her up the front walk and into her parents’ house. The door closed behind them, leaving him on the icy sidewalk.

He never saw her again.

Not long afterward, one of the female human servants in the embassy accused him of raping her. He didn’t know her name and had given her no more than a few cursory glances when she made her claim. The Novus Vitans threw him in prison without a trial, and it took his parents and the Bellerenic government a year and threats of heavy economic sanctions on Novus Vita to get him freed.

He’d been out of prison six months when his father, the Bellerenic ambassador, was accused of smuggling contraband onto Novus Vita. Their intelligence suggested the source of the accusation was Anne’s father. The Novus Vitans couldn’t imprison him due to his diplomatic immunity, however his effectiveness as an ambassador was utterly destroyed. Damien’s family returned to Belleren, but he never forgot the girl who’d been the start of it all.

Chapter 2

Twelve years later

Damien Fallyn sat in his king’s private office and thought of all the ways he could tell his monarch no. He was done being a controller. Five years of pleasuring strangers whether they were attractive to him or not was enough. And he knew this subject, or he’d known her once at any rate. Long ago. Gods of Belleren, she’d been the loveliest thing he’d ever seen.

“No.”

“Damien, this is no idle request.” The king steepled his fingers and gazed at Damien over their tops. His glossy black tail flicked out beyond the edge of the desk.

“Gods, do you think I don’t know that?”

“I know you have a history with this young woman.”

He shoved his fingers through his hair and bumped into his horns. “A history. Yes, I have a history with her. Someone else needs to perform her Soul Opening.”

“The other controllers have all expressed open hostility toward Miss Paulsen. I’m not confident in their ability to perform the ceremony without causing harm to the subject. And I can’t waive the ceremony without punishing her brutally for what she did, or the people will riot in the streets.”

Damien held back an irritated sigh. “What makes you think I’m not just as hostile?”

King Night gave him a sharp look. “Maybe my information is bad. I was told you loved her.”

Love. Was that what it was called? More like adored from afar, while she looked down her prissy Novus Vitan nose at him. Damien’s own tail began to swish restlessly.

“I . . . cared for her. She didn’t reciprocate.”

“Do you hate her?”

“It was a long time ago.” He raked his hair again. “No, I don’t hate her.”

“Then you’ll be better than any of my other possible choices. Besides, you’re the most experienced controller I have.”

He watched Night carefully. “Why do you need so much experience?”

The king shrugged as a blush crept over his face. “She’s—uh—she’s a virgin.”

“What?” It couldn’t be true. “She’s got to be at least twenty-six or seven. And she’s beautiful. Why hasn’t she—”

“You know how these Novus Vitans are. Given her association with the terrorists, she’s probably of an extreme NV orientation.”

Yeah. That would fit with his memories of her. And Night expected him to make love to a frigid little stick like that? While she laid beneath him and glowered up at him in hatred and resentment.

Who are you kidding? You’d do anything to touch her again. But to have her once and then leave her would crush him.

I fucking hate being so confused.

“Do you think she knew what she was carrying?”

Night shrugged. “There’s no way of telling how much she knew without doing a Soul Opening. All we know is she worked for them for six months. She claims she didn’t know what kind of organization they are.”

He wanted to know. Needed to know. Had Anne become the kind of person who would hide explosives on her body so they could be detonated in a public place? “I’m not sure I can do it without being enchained.” He shook his head. “I still think it’s better to use someone else.”

“There are ways around enchainment.” The king leaned forward in his chair. “We need the information from her, and the wrong controller will do more harm than good. Don’t make me beg, Damien.”

“Gods.” He sighed. “Alright. I’ll do it. Just have a supply of super-codone on hand for me. I’ll need it to get through the enchainment.”

Night smiled, his dark eyes creasing at the corners. “Excellent. We have the chamber already prepared. The subject is waiting.”

Damien narrowed his eyes. “You assumed I’d give in?”

“Not assumed. Hoped.”

 

They came for her in the morning, pulled her from her cell and marched her to the shower room. There, the only female guard in the prison supervised her grooming, telling her exactly where and how to apply the depilatory cream and how to wash every inch of her body. As if she didn’t know how to bathe. Afterward she rubbed scented oil into her skin, still under the hard-eyed gaze of the Demon Kin guard.

Finally, the woman handed her a loose white tunic of heavy slubbed silk. “Put it on.”

“Where are the undergarments?”

The guard gave a harsh bark of laughter. “You don’t need undergarments where you’re going.”

Anne slipped the tunic over her head to hide her flush of shame. The guards in this place never lost a chance to remind her of what awaited her. And now the time had finally arrived.

The guard took her roughly by the elbow and brought her through a narrow door into a larger, dimly lit chamber. In the center of the chamber was a huge bed, piled with variously shaped white pillows and hung with white curtains. Anne stared at the bed. Good God, they wanted her to . . . perform on that? It was like a stage.

On the opposite side of the bed, two banks of thickly cushioned chairs sat like seats in a theater. All of them were occupied by men who wore hoods over their heads, shadowing their faces. One of the men wore white, like she did. He must be the one who would . . . .

A woman with long silver hair and silver horns approached Anne and the guard from their right. She wore a flowing silver tunic that matched the rest of her. The woman held a hand out to Anne.

“My name is Lorca. I’m the Senior Ritualist here.”

Anne nodded, her throat too tight for speech.

Lorca looked at the guard. “You may go now.”

As the guard turned on her heel and left the chamber, Lorca turned to Anne. She lifted a goblet, which Anne hadn’t noticed before. It was filled with some kind of dark liquid.

“Drink, that you may be open,” she said.

Anne accepted the goblet and drank. It tasted like red wine with spices in it. How much was she supposed to have? She took a big swallow, and then another before Lorca held her hand out again, smiling.

The ritualist then went to the seated men and passed the goblet around to them. Each one drank. Did that mean they were all going to be with her? She’d thought it was only one. Her hands turned even sweatier than they were already, and icy cold.

One is enough. One is enough. One was too many.

In a far corner of the room, a band began to play soft music. It was like a parody of some romantic encounter in a vid. Anne stood next to the giant bed, feeling lost and wondering what to do next. If more than one man were to get up from those chairs, she was going to run out of here. To hell with their ceremony.

But only one man rose. He was tall. She couldn’t see his face. The hood cast shadows over him, making him look even more mysterious and frightening than Demon Kin normally did. Anne nervously gripped the sides of her tunic.

Then he pushed the hood off his head and she gasped. Recoiled.

“Damien!”

It was him. Even after ten years, she could still recognize his face. He’d grown out of his teenage beauty into a man’s face and form, his features more rugged and sharply carved than they’d been when she’d known him. But she remembered.

He still had those deep blue eyes, like the deepest ocean, heavily fringed with lashes, and that long blond hair hanging in waves past his shoulders. How he could have such long hair and still look so masculine was a mystery.

There was a scar on his face, though. It ran from the left side of his nose all the way down to his jawline. Her hand began to rise in order to touch it. She clenched it into a fist and willed it down to her side.

He frowned at her. “Anne. There’s no reason to be afraid of me.”

She lifted her chin. “I’m not afraid. But I won’t participate in the ceremony with you.”

“Child, you have no choice,” Lorca said.

“Yes, I do.” She took a couple of steps backward, toward the door. “I won’t do it with him.”

“Why not? You already know one another.”

“Because she despises me, Lorca.” Damien’s gaze on her was hard as stone. “She’s always despised me. However, there is no-one else.” He advanced on her.

“No!” She couldn’t let him touch her. Even after such a long time, she could still remember how it had felt to have his hands on her.

His russet-gold tail flicked back and forth behind him, like the tail of an agitated cat. She’d made him angry. Anne turned and bolted for the door.

Damien caught her. His hand closed around her arm like a vise and yanked her around to face him. She looked up into his face, expecting to see hatred there. He scowled down at her.

“Get the restraints,” he growled. “You and I, Miss Anne, have some unfinished business.”

At the sound of her old name, she writhed in his grip. She leaned backward, pitting her body weight against his hold. But it did no good at all. He was far stronger and bigger than she, and he didn’t seem to feel the slightest strain from all her struggling.

She’d thought that after so many years she wouldn’t feel anything for him anymore. In fact, she’d never expected to see him again. Hoped never to see him again. Now here he was, preparing to take her and make a whore out of her, and there was nothing she could do about it.

Damien dragged her to the bed. He picked her up and threw her on the mattress, pouncing on her when she tried to slide off the far side. His big hands pushed down on her shoulders, pressing her into the bed. His angry face loomed over her.

“I don’t want to have to do this to you,” he said.

“Then don’t.”

“If I don’t, someone else will. King’s orders.”

So that’s all it was. He wasn’t here in this chamber because of her, but only because his king had ordered him to do it. Anne burst into a new round of struggles. Damn him. If he didn’t want her, he should have let someone else perform the ceremony.

A smaller hand caught one of her arms and unbent it, forcing it to straighten. She turned her head. It was Lorca, strapping her arm down with a padded restraint. She wasn’t any bigger than Anne, yet she mastered her struggles with no apparent effort. All the Demon Kin were unnaturally strong.

The woman reached over her head and pulled a sling-like device down from the canopy of the bed. She picked up Anne’s leg and strapped her calf into the sling. This secured her leg in a high, bent position. A humiliating position that opened her completely to Damien and caused the borrowed tunic to slide all the way back to her hips.

Damien got off her while Lorca repeated the procedure on Anne’s other side. Now both her legs were high in the air, her sex utterly exposed. She pinched her eyes shut, trying not to think of all the men in those chairs. Watching.

“I’m going to close the curtains,” Damien said.

“Very well.” Lorca patted Anne’s arm. “Damien will take care of you. There’s nothing to fear.”

What did she know about it? She was one of them.

The curtains were on small metal rings that made a chiming sound when Damien drew them closed. She made herself open her eyes. The draperies now enclosed them in a small nest-like space, dim and cozy. Or it would have been cozy if she hadn’t been tied to the bed frame.

He knelt beside her on the bed, looking down at her with a somber expression. “You know I would never hurt you.”

Anne said nothing.

Damien sighed. “I asked them to find someone else, but they couldn’t.”

Was that supposed to make her feel better?

 

Buy The Devil You Know at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005XGOW0K

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Fury Enchained: erotic romance sample

Fury Enchained is on its way! It should be available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble within a few days. Here is a free sample to whet your appetite.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

 

Her body swayed toward him. His arm came around her back, holding her against his unyielding torso. His body felt hard and hot against her softness, and for some reason that made her pant and moan under his kiss.

His hand moved down to cup her ass through the tunic. He squeezed her there, rubbing the muscles, as he explored her mouth with his. Her whole body felt warm and tingly now, and she ached inside her sheath. But it was a good ache, one that made her long to have his cock in her.

Fury left off squeezing her ass. His hands went to the belt at her waist, where he fumbled with the knot. He gave an impatient growl when it refused to submit to him.

“Take off your tunic.”

She fumbled with the knot, too, her hands trembling from the effect he had on her. Fury growled again, his hand going to the sheath on his belt. He pulled out a knife. Lily gasped, lurching backward.

He held up a calming hand. “I’m not going to hurt you, little one. I only want to cut the rope.”

“Just the rope?”

“Yes. Come here. I promise you I won’t hurt you.”

Lily forced herself to come closer. There had been another man with a knife. Zu had made him put it away because he didn’t want any permanent damage done to her. Yet.

Fury slipped the knife behind the belt and sliced through it. He stuck the blade back in its sheath. “See? I won’t cut you ever.”

She nodded wordlessly.

“Was there someone else?” His gaze narrowed, his tail once again moving in sharp flicks. “Did someone else cut you?”

“He wanted to.”

Fury put his arms around her and held her against him. Hugging her. Without thought, her own arms encircled his waist. It felt natural somehow to stand this way with him, her cheek nestled against his naked and muscular chest. He was the most confusing Malefican she’d ever met.

“You’re safe with me,” he murmured against her hair.

She almost believed him.

His engorged cock pressed hard against her belly, letting her know just how aroused he was. No woman was safe near an aroused Demon Kin male. Yet her body didn’t care about that; her body just wanted him to take her.

He was stroking her back again. His hands began to work her tunic up by the fistful, until he moved back a handspan. “Lift your arms.”

She did. Fury drew the ill-fitting tunic off and threw it to the floor. Then he stared at her so intently she began to shift uneasily from one foot to the other.

His right hand came up and cupped her breast. “Gods of Belleren, you are so beautiful.”

The heat of his hand made her tremble even harder. He lifted her breast, then squeezed it gently. She arched her back, shoving her chest higher, asking for more.

Fury brushed his palm lightly over the bottom curve, then again across the nipple. And once more. Lily’s breath went ragged.

He continued this treatment until she began to moan aloud at each stroke. Bending his head, he took her nipple in his mouth and sucked. Lily watched him do it. His black lashes made a fan-like shape against the olive tone of his skin.

The pull of his mouth on her breast caused bright arrows of pleasure and yearning to shoot all the way down to her womb. Her knees wobbled, so she clung to his shoulders for support. Her voice rose in one moan after another.

Fury walked her backward to the bed. He picked her up and placed her on top. “Spread your legs. I want to see your pussy.”

Strange how she could still blush after everything Zu had done to her. Yet her face was burning. Lily opened her thighs.

“Wider,” Fury said in a husky voice.

She pulled them farther apart. He let out a deep-voiced sigh. Then his gaze flicked to hers, a question in his eyes. “Have you ever seen yourself?”

“You mean my – “

“Yes.”

“No.” She knew her eyes were round as the moon.

Fury dashed into the bathroom and retured with a hand mirror. He sat on the bed next to her and held the mirror so it reflected her sex. Lily glanced at it and then looked away before she could really take in the image.

“Can you see it at this angle?”

“Yes,” she whispered, her face flaming.

“Look, little one. You’re beautiful.”

At his prodding, she brought her gaze back to the mirror. What she saw was strange. Foreign. There were folds of flesh between her legs, as pink as the inside of a shell.

She hadn’t known she looked like that . . . down there. When she washed, she used a cloth to touch herself. The folds glistened with moisture. Was that normal?

He continued to hold the mirror, while with his other hand he stroked along first one fold and then the other. Lily quivered. Fury spread the folds apart to reveal the small opening to her sheath.

“How do you – I mean, it’s so small – “

He laughed softly. “It stretches. It’s meant to take a man’s cock.”

Her sex pulsed in reaction to his words. She looked up, into his eyes. There was something in his gaze, something like tenderness. No, she had to be misinterpreting, seeing what she hoped to see instead of what was really there.

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