"For being the last of a dark fantasy saga eight-books long, it's quite surprising and ties up all loose ends left open in the previous seven books!" eXtasy editor
"I find this ending fitting with the concept of the saga and with everything the author has built up in all the other books. Oh, and the sex is the absolute best there is in all the eight books!" Pierluigi Pomponi
From the Author
"From now on, you are a slave, therefore forbidden to speak or wearclothes." Gripping two separate ends of her top, she ripped it off. "You willact only under your master's instructions and obey his every command and wish."Then clamping Ylianor's right arm, she fingered the blue-gray rose-shaped stoneof her bracelet before gesturing to the servant. "Take it off. She must becompletely naked--"
"Don't you dare touch that." It was a growl. So nasty, it made Chrissound very threatening.
"Lord Templeton, the rules--"
"Fuck your goddamn rules!" Walking over to Ylianor, he snatched her armoff Cecilia's grasp. "That's a token of her master, the leader himself, so noone can take it off except him." He revealed the same bracelet on his left arm,only the rose-shaped stone was misty green.
"He's right, Ceci." Trying to be as accommodating as possible, Duncanlowered his voice, "I gave it to her to make it clear she belongs to me."
"And to her mate, evidently." So Lady Hurst had noticed the coincidenceof the stones' colors. "All right, I'll allow it." Having made her generousconcession, she nodded to the man next to the princess. "Take her down to theslave's underground chamber. I want her..."
The voice trailed off in Duncan's mind. Something was terribly wrong.He just was not sure what. But when he saw her caving in on herself, he lurchedforward, beaten by the angel, who managed to catch her before she collapsed tothe ground.
"Is she ill?" Concerned, Cecilia swung her gaze from the still formChris now cradled to his chest to the prince.
"I told you she's tired and hungry." I hope it's nothing more, Angel.
Her energy is very low. The husky whisper seemed to come from somewherefar away, as if Chris were not quite physically there. And her pregnancy isn't helping, considering how much effort cominghere was for her.
"No problem, Leader." She gestured to her servant who went toward theangel. "We'll take care of her. Don't worry."
The man extended his arms, probably expecting Chris to hand him theprecious charge. Something Chris simply refused to do, clasping her fiercelyagainst him and moving back, just to be on the safe side.
"Lord Templeton, please give the slave to my servant."
No way! Thanks the gods, he kept it as a thought. "I'm not sure you can takeproper care of her."
"Then she's really ill." Lady Hurst's conclusion seemed inevitable.
"Well..." Chris looked to him for support. "Let's say she'd be better offwith us."
Demon, I'm not that bad off, really. Ylianor's soft voice testified she was alreadyrecovering part of her strength. I canhandle it--
Shut up, sleeping beauty. There was so much tenderness in his rebuff thatthe prince's heart skipped several beats.I'm the healer here, remember?
"I'm sorry, Lord Templeton." Getting upset, Cecilia's tone becamestern, "I can't allow it. I said it before you entered the Game. Now, if she'snot dying or anything--"
"Ceci, it's not a matter of dying." Prince Caldwell raised his voice tocool off everyone's temper, "Simply a matter of her energy fluttering." Would you accept a compromise, Angel?
What sort of compromise?
"Then you'll have no objection if we take care of her." Her lips curvedin an ironic snarl. "Or don't you trust me, Lord Templeton? Perhaps you thinkI'm in the habit of killing off the slaves that I admit to the Game, under mypersonal protection--"
"Forgive me, Lady Hurst, but you haven't been exactly one of my mate'schampions at the Hall," Chris retorted.
"Here it's different."
The fuck it is! The blue-gray eyes flashed dangerously. Lover, don't let her have sleeping beauty. You know how Cecilia hatesher. How she doesn't give a rat's ass about her--
But David does. "There's no need to get flared up over this." Would you feel better if we entrusted her to him, leaving Ceci out ofit?
At first, the angel tightened his hold on Ylianor. Then, as thoughrealizing he could not fight it much longer, he nodded in agreement.
"I apologize that we're placing you in such difficult position, Ceci."Duncan bowed. "Believe me it wasn't my intention."
"Darling, it's really nothing--"
"Please, let me finish." Holding up a hand, he blocked her protests."I'm also aware that you can't possibly look after my slave with all the manythings I'm sure your duties as hostess and Game Master require. And since Idon't want to break any rules, I ask you that David look after her until suchtime as she's fully recovered."
"David?" Shocked, Cecilia took a step back. "But he isn't even part ofthe Game--"
"I'm sure he won't mind." He made it sound very persuasive.
"Plus, he has a million things to do already--"
"I'm sure he'll find time for my slave."
"Either he takes care of her, or I'll take her to my room now." He had been patient enough. "Anddisregard your rules." At this point, it had become a non-negotiable condition,especially since the angel heated up at every one of Ceci's silly objections.
"All right, all right." Defeated, Cecilia whirled to her servant. "Takeher to David's room immediately, then go find him wherever he is and tell himabout this new...complication."
"And see that she gets to eat on the double," Duncan added.
"Yes, please do." Wearily, Cecilia nodded.
"Yes, Mistress." Again, the man extended his arms to Chris.
For all response, the angel crushed Ylianor against him, his mouthpressing on her lips in a slow, sweet kiss that moved Duncan beyond words.
If you need anything, anything at all, just call. Managing to break off the exchange, Chriscaressed her very pale face. Then reluctantly, he handed her over.
"Isthere anything else I can do for you, Leader?"