Harlequin Nocturne (Cravings)
Release date: July 1, 2012
From the back cover:
Dragon shifter Damon Frost has been banned from stepping foot onto Were land after sharing a night of pleasure with Sasha Moore, heir to the Were throne. Since then, he’s been waiting for the opportunity to return and claim her once again—until a territory dispute finally reunites him with his werewolf princess. Damon plans to use every minute with Sasha to remind her of the passion they shared—a fire he’s determined to reignite.
With their desire impossible to resist, Damon and Sasha indulge in a night of illicit ecstasy. But will it be enough to satisfy their lust? Or will their forbidden love start a war between their clans?
“Forbidden by Fate is an incredible must read!” –The Jeep Diva
“This novella is a great read if you want a quick, fast-paced story to satiate your romance craving! Forbidden by Fate is both fiery and sweet!”–Nocturnal Readings
He was coming for her.
No matter the years spent apart or the order from the Alpha of her werewolf pack forbidding them to be together, Damon Frost—the Draco who had Sasha’s heart clutched in his grasp—was finally coming for her.
Seven agonizing years later.
The dark outline of Damon’s wings could barely be seen beating over the tree line to the west, but she could feel him closing in. Electricity sparked in the air like a Feralon lightning storm, starting a fire in her heart. As Sasha Moore leaned over the balcony of stone-faced Were Mountain, peering through black-and-blue cloud cover, anxiety peaked in her core, freezing the blood in her veins.
How much had Damon changed? Sasha wondered. Would she still know how to make him smile? How to rile him up and turn him on?
Hell, how much had she changed?
Her hair was darker, almost midnight-black, and had grown down to her waist since she’d seen him. She’d gotten curvier, too. Would he like the memory of her more than the woman she’d matured into? Maybe he wouldn’t want her with the same intensity…
She didn’t have much time to think things through. Damon closed in on the balcony, the strong beat of his wings pounding the cool night air. Sasha jumped back with a gasp as the massive length of his wings flapped quickly before he settled with a thud, a few steps in front of her.
Good Lord, Damon was gigantic!The breadth of his chest formed an impenetrable gray wall of sculpted muscle covered by silky soft scales. He was easily the largest dragon to grace Feralon’s skies. Strong, yet lean. Majestic. Silver scales rippled down his twitching flanks. Steel-gray eyes measured her, boring right through her skin, as if he could see the wolf lurking within her.
Sasha stepped back as he rocketed forward. He breathed heavily, the steam from his long snout mixing with the breath pushing out of her mouth. For a second—a stupid, wavering second—Sasha thought about running back inside her den, closing the door and calling the whole thing off.
He shouldn’t have come.
The time they lost couldn’t be reclaimed. She was insane for thinking it could. It was gone forever. Everything had changed.
But then he sat back on his haunches and tucked his sparkling silver wings against himself. Gave a little shudder and shifted back into his Draco, or human, form. Even though he was buck naked with layers of sweat glistening over his chiseled body, Damon didn’t hide or turn away. He closed the distance between them in a single stride, his eyes burning such a light gray, they were nearly white. He grabbed Sasha around the waist, pulling her tightly against him.
She didn’t have time to think. Or breathe. His hands and mouth were suddenly everywhere, exploring and possessing her body. He kneaded her breasts, her backside, claiming her mouth with his tongue and fisting handfuls of her hair. He sucked the breath from her mouth, nipped at her earlobe and bit into the flesh on her neck.
No matter how Damon fed Sasha’s hunger, she was starving for him. For his touch. For his mouth. His tongue. She yearned to slide down his chiseled body and take the full length of him in her mouth. She wanted her naked body pressed against his. She wanted to be straddled over him. Pinned beneath him. Falling around him and losing her mind as he pushed her toward orgasm, here and now.
Desperate to touch him skin to skin, Sasha reached behind her, untied her dress and let it fall to the floor. With a low, pained groan, Damon kissed her harder, deeper. He roped one of her legs around his waist and his fingers found her core, hot and wet with desire.
“Ready for the past and future to collide, my love?” Damon growled into her neck.
She nodded frantically, legs trembling, breath hitching. Letting her head rest on the stone behind her, Sasha braced for Damon to drive into her.
Regardless of the years that had passed, Sasha wanted him. Needed him.
“Sasha, come!” The gravelly baritone of her father’s voice jarred Sasha from her daydream. A wave of chills rolled down her neck as a burning ache spread between her legs.
“Damn it,” she said, shaking the fragments of the daydream from her mind.
She needed to be doused with a gallon of cold Feralon spring water. Damon wasn’t coming for her. Never would.
She turned from the window and ran her hand along the bumpy, stone-ridden wall that led down the hall. She knew where to find her father—in the den conducting business. Where he always seemed to be at this late hour.
In not one bit of a hurry for the daydream to fade completely, Sasha hiked up the ruffles of her black chiffon dress and shuffled around the corner into his candlelit den.
The doorway was huge, dwarfing her five-foot waiflike frame, but it would’ve been a tight fit for a giant…or a wolf, as it were.
“Yes, Father?” Surprised to find the room filled with ten glaring packmates in their human, or Were, form, Sasha skidded to a halt. She’d never seen so many of her father’s colleagues gathered together before. By the tension hanging thick in the air, Sasha knew something terrible had happened. “What’s going on?”
Ten pairs of eyes, each one as gold as the harvest moon, set upon her. Each packmate had a smokelike marking, much like a tribal tattoo, stretching from their chest to their neck, even though only a portion of it was visible above their clothes. No Were moved a large, lethal muscle.
“It’s about time.” Her father rose, the gleam in his eye unyielding, and spread his arms to the ring of leather chairs arranged in the center of the room. “You’re the last to arrive.”
Having so many Weres gathered together like this made it easy to see why her father dominated the rest of the pack. He was at least two feet taller and a good fifty pounds heavier than even the largest packmate, with a mess of jet-black hair on top of his head and black eyes that had grown more accustomed to scowling than blinking. His shoulders were as wide as a doorway. The robust features of his face cut into severe lines that made him a focused, determined predator. His enormous stature had not only earned him the position of Alpha but the reputation of being one of the most merciless werewolves in their long and tattered history as well.
“Better late than never, right?” She curtseyed, hoping the burn in her cheeks wasn’t tainting them pink.
Her father spoke in a low voice that only she could hear. “I want you to be present when the Draco arrives so you know how I expect business to be conducted in our pack. They are watching your every move.” He nodded to the glowering pack.
“Like I care what they think.” Sasha refrained from rolling her violet eyes.
“You should. You could be leading this pack sooner than you think.”
“Not if they have anything to say about it.” She paused, wondering what her father was thinking, and if the pack was mind-speaking during the silence.
As packmates, they used mind-chatter to hear the Alpha’s thoughts and had little use for words. But Sasha was different…female Weres were deaf to the Alpha’s commands. When she was present, everything had to be spoken. Would that change if she stepped into the Alpha position? If she took over after her father, would females be viewed differently? Would they be able to hear the mind-chatter and be regarded as equals?
“Father, with all due respect,” she said. “I’ve sat in on business meetings a dozen times before. Can’t I catch the next one?”
“You’re acting as if there’s somewhere else you need to be.”
There was, but she wasn’t about to tell her overbearing father that. She wasn’t about to tell her father how often she thought about Damon, either. How much she wondered where he was. If he was thinking of her. If he was gazing at the same round face of the moon, wondering the same thing: What if?
“You haven’t been to a meeting like this one, I guarantee it,” her father said, cutting her thoughts short. “A Draco hasn’t been granted access into this den in the last fifty years.” He pushed back the flaps of his burgundy robe and strode around the inner circle before the pack. The men adjusted themselves on their chairs and watched him circle with bright, glowing eyes.
“Then why now?” she asked. “What’s changed?”
“The boundary lines of Feralon have been drawn.” He clasped his hands behind his back. “But there is one piece of the isle that has not been spoken for.”
Don’t say it. Not Feralon’s hot springs. Those springs needed to remain neutral for memory’s sake alone. But what other land could he be speaking of?
“Is there?” Sasha shrugged and gave an apathetic eyebrow perk. “Where?”
“It lies between Were and Draco territory.”
Damn it. Sasha knew that borderland and the hot springs well. Too well. She’d gone there every night as a teenager to meet secretly with Damon, her first—and sadly, only—love. The series of bubbling ponds tucked into the base of the werewolves’ mountain had both fueled her midnight fantasies and extinguished her innocence.
Remembering the passion she’d experienced there with a man she’d never forgotten, Sasha shivered. The werewolves had carved out the inside of the mountain and had made it their home, but they’d left the hot springs untouched. The Dracos had paid no attention to the hot springs before now, but Sasha figured it was because the springs were too close to Were territory for Draco taste. Sure, the two shifting races were at peace, but treaties could be broken faster than a snap of her jaws.
“The hot springs haven’t been claimed by any shifting race on the isle.” Sasha struggled to keep her gaze level with her father’s. “Why do you think Dracos would take interest in it now?”
A broad-shouldered Were in desperate need of a shave, stood and waved his hand impatiently. Jasper. “Forget your daughter’s twenty questions, Kenyon, and focus on the task at hand—figuring out why the Dracos want the hot springs and then kicking that lizard out of our mountain.”
Jasper spoke over Sasha like she wasn’t even there. After what happened between them, she deserved every revolting look, every nasty word. A few years back, when Sasha got fed up pining away after Damon, she’d invited Jasper into her bed. No matter how she tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life—with someone new—daydreams of Damon and their sizzling rendezvous wouldn’t subside. It seemed a part of her deep down inside just wouldn’t let go…
“Good to see you too, Jasper,” she said.
As if she hadn’t said a word, Jasper retreated to his chair.
“Draco in five,” another Were said with a grunt. “I can smell him.”
“Yesss,” Kenyon said, taking his chair at the front of the den. He patted the leather-wrapped seat next to his. “Sit, Sasha. That’s an order.”
Damn it. Just like him. Pull rank when all he had to do was ask nicely and maybe throw a “please” in there somewhere and she would’ve complied. Werewolves, male or female, could not—ever—disobey a direct order. If Weres chose their own will over their Alphas, they were kicked out of the pack, never to return. They’d lose the only family they’d ever known and wander the Isle of Feralon…lost.
As Sasha settled into the chair, despite herself, her father said, “Now watch your old man ruffle some feathers.”
“Scales,” Sasha whispered to herself. “Dragons have scales.”
Footsteps sounded down the hall. Kenyon narrowed his onyx eyes on the door. Packmates growled one by one—a symphony of aggression and testosterone that made Sasha sigh in amusement.
What an incredible waste of time this was. She could be in her den. Reading. Writing. Hell, who was she fooling? She’d sneak out from under her father’s thumb the first chance she got and head down to those hot springs…to the best view of the moon, so she could wonder for the umpteenth time what would’ve happened between her and Damon had her father not forbade her to see him.
Maybe she could finish the daydream she’d glimpsed earlier…
She couldn’t fight the weeds pushing through her thoughts: Where was Damon now? And would he remember her and the passion they shared if they met up again?
Her father’s pack perched on the edge of their seats, as if any questionable movement from the visiting Draco would send them leaping into the air, fur flying, teeth snapping. Heaven forbid the Draco scratch his nose.
It wasn’t like a lone Draco was going to burst into their mountain—breathing fire, wings blazing—and kick some serious canine ass. Dracos didn’t breathe fire. Their wings didn’t blaze. And they certainly didn’t want anything to do with the Weres. At least they hadn’t…until tonight.
Tension crackled through the air as the door thrust open, slamming against the stone behind it. Two Were guards escorted the visiting Draco into the room. Kenyon growled so loudly that the floor rumbled beneath Sasha’s feet.
“Damon?” Sasha’s heart clenched.