From the Author
Reena sighed and snuggledin her bed. As her illness progressed, a persistent chill had pervaded herbones. The heaviest robe, the thickest blanket could not banish it. Thismorning? So comfortable and cozy. Her blanket, though unusually heavy, was ohso warm, and so was the pillow beneath her head. But hard. What kind offeathers could make a pillow so firm yet still tickle her nose? She rubbed hercheek against it, absorbing the unusual, pleasant scent. Musky, and earthy.Like woodsmoke or fresh evergreen. Or a combination of both.
If only every morningcould be like this. She hugged her pillow. Soon an attendant would arrive torouse her for breakfast, but maybe she'd feign sleep. Naughty. She smiled.
Then sobered. Yes, she'dbeen naughty. She had displeased her cousin by refusing further treatment. Whathad occurred after that? She crinkled her forehead, trying to remember. She'dpoured out the tincture, and then...then...
A Lahon had burst fromthe foliage.
Then muscle cramps andsearing pain. Paralysis.
Her eyes flew open.Rough-hewn walls, large, rustic furniture filled her field of vision. Gone werefamiliar accoutrements and luxuries. Instead of finely woven fabric, a furry animal hide covered her, and, supportingher head, was hard flesh covered by a thick mat of...of, hair. A man's chest.
She bolted upright with ashriek
The Lahon sprang upwithout a sound.
"Help!" She tried toscramble from the bed, but he hooked an arm around her waist. "Let me go! Help!"
She slapped at hisshoulders, his chest, his face. Neither blows nor screaming fazed him a bit,and she found herself flat on her back, her cries silenced by his callousedhand, her arms restrained, her lower body pinned by his heavy, muscular thigh,and something sizable and rigid poking her leg.
She stared into darkeyes. Be careful what you wish for--you may get it. She'd longed to see a Lahonup close and personal. It couldn't get any closer than this. She could detectthe pores on his face, discern that his "green" eyes were composed flecks offern, moss, and teal, and that a muscle twitched in his square jaw. Long,unbound dark hair fell against broad shoulders.
Her heart fluttered likethe wings of a frantic bird. What had happened? How had she gotten here? Wherewas Honna? And...and her robe? Oh Goddess. He was naked, too. That, that, thingdigging into her leg was his...his manroot.