Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Desperate to avoid a Joining with the wickedly handsome Sashtain Twins, Marina escapes them
at every turn. Relentless, they plague her days, and torment her dreams - wickedly erotic dreams that make her body pulse with the promise of dark desires revealed and a sexual heat that will send her up in flames.
But when the hated Seculars gain in strength, and dark magic weaves an insidious, invisible threat to all she holds dear, she discovers there is more to be gained by aligning her magick with the Sashtain Wizards than she thought.
Caise and Kai’el Sashtain, focused solely on convincing the innocent young Sorceress to bond with them, get a lot more than they anticipated when Marina unknowingly weaves her magick spell on them - a sensual spell that pulls them into a vortex of churning emotions, forcing them to decisions that could alter all their lives.
Dark magick is terrorizing the land, no one is safe, all become suspect, and trusting her Wizards with her heart, body and soul is a lesson Marina has to learn before all is lost.
There was such magick on Selmar. The three moons blazed overhead, the rings of power surrounding them casting a perfect illusion of serenity and peace above the land Marina so cherished. She leaned against the window, her hands pressed against the warm glass, her gaze trained on the rings, wondering if they appeared brighter, stronger than they had in the past. For so many years they had seemed so dim, just as the magick that flowed rich and hot in her veins had felt further out of reach than she knew it should have been.
Was it true that the magick increased from the bondings of Wizards and Sorceresses? That the matings of Wizard Twins to one magick female could truly heal the ills of their land?
If this was true, then her own future would be far more precarious than she had ever imagined it to be. Already the Matriarch's, the elders of feminine magick and truth were gathering together to discuss this matter. Her mother had been called away just this past night to attend yet another meeting called by the austere wise women.
Marina clenched her teeth in anger at the thought of such meetings. That so few would make decisions which would so affect so many of the sorceresses within their land. Already word had gone out that no bondings could be performed, that any promises of such pairing would be withheld until the meetings of the Coven were completed.
Her fists clenched as she pushed herself from the window, stomping across her bedchamber in a fit of pique.
"Tis not fair." She charged, her fury rising swift and hot inside her as she pushed her fingers restlessly through the red-gold curls that fell about her face. "I will not heed their demands. My future is my own." She snarled the words, but in her soul she feared there was no chance of such an outcome. She was being waylaid at every turn, pushed back, hemmed in by the very fact that she was a sorceress, a daughter of the Ruling House of Sellane, and as such, possessing the promise of great power. Power which could be harnessed, could be used to strengthen the land against those who would destroy the magick forever.
Even now, within her home, Wizards gathered, paying court to both her and her sister, Serena. Serena she could well understand. Even now, the heir to the throne of Sellane possessed great power. Her strength of her magick, even in its immaturity was often remarked upon. She was considered not just the heiress to the throne, but also the heiress of a power prophesied for centuries.
Marina's lip curled at the thought of the procession which met her sister within the receiving rooms on a nightly basis. Wizard Twins by the dozens, declaring their suit, eager to be chosen by the regal princess.
There had been no such gathering for her though, and she knew well the reason why. Caise and Ka'el. Damn their magick and their arrogance, they followed at her heels like great stalking beasts, growling and snarling at any other male who would dare to come to near her.
They gave her no peace. They gave her no chance to still the fears rising inside her, merely running over her objections, determined in their male superiority to claim her. And she could do nothing to fight them. That irked at her greatly. That there was nothing, no way to counter their suit for her body. And her magick had betrayed her the moment they had stepped forth.
Even now she could feel the crystalline spores of power surging through her blood, heating her body, and this was only at the thought of them. T'was worse when they were near, she could feel the heat pooling in her lower stomach, attempting to steal her breath as the harsh spasms tore through her abdomen. T'wasn't painful, though the uncomfortable sensations were highly irritating. What truly enraged her was that only when those hateful Sashtain Twins were near, did this occur.
On the basis of this reaction the Queen Mother and the Matriarch's had suggested, rather forcibly, that she give the Wizards a chance to prove their suit, to determine if their male and female magick could meld.
"I will not." She fought to push the heaviness in her limbs aside, to still the heat growing between her thighs, dampening the swollen lips of her pussy, sensitizing the once silent bundle of nerves hidden with her folds.
She paced her room, aware that the nervousness building inside her owed much to the determination of the wicked Twins. She found no ease, even within her dreams, there was no peace. There was only Caise and Kai'el. There was only the hunger that brought twisting shadows and memories of fear and of pain.
She pressed her palms to her stomach, fighting to hold back the fear churning within her. The long folds of her gown rasped against her flesh with each movement, raking her hardened nipples, wringing a gasp from her lips.
"I will not allow this thing to happen," she swore, her breathing ragged, her voice rough as she fought for control.
She could feel them. Bastards that they were, she was certain they were using their magick to draw her to them. No desire this heated, this uncontrollable could possibly be anything but of an evil design. Somehow, the Twins has learned the secret of control, of possessing another's thoughts and minds and forcing their wishes to be heeded. Such magick went against all the mandates of all magick holders. It was forbidden. It was punishable by death. Why, it was said there were wizards trained to search out such perverted users of power and destroy them on sight.
And yet, what other answer could there be? Her body and her magick reach out to the Wizards, despite her own wishes. They were stealing her mind, stealing her will. She would not allow it. She had fought back her fears for years, forcing herself to be the warrior she had always dreamed of being. She fought the Secular's, she defeated them, all male, and she laughed in the face of their cruel smiles and twisted confidence. Her blade tasted their blood and her vengeance found strength in their deaths.
She was no wanton harlot to be so easily manipulated. She was a Princess of the Ruling House of Sellane. Her magick was powerful. It was a part of her, and it would forever belong to her. Not to the likes of them.
She flung open her bedroom door, the fires of anger burning through her mind as she felt the heated surge of magick rising inside her, filling her mind, her soul as she stalked, she did not walk. She did nothing so weak as to move unhurriedly, she stalked through the silent halls, making her way about the castle until she moved into the neighboring wing that the Wizards had taken for their stay. She would tell them now, she would show them, she was no weak kneed female to bow at their feet and worship the cocks they believed were so all powerful.
She halted just before their door, enraged, the fiery sensations of her fury churning through her, making her feel flush, powerful, confident. They were no more, no less than the hated Seculars. They would not control her.
Her fist pounded on the heavy door, striking it in demand as she ignored the harsh sting the motion brought. She cared not for the pain. She had endured worse. She would deliver worse before this week was finished.
The wide double doors were thrown wide by an unseen hand, magick pulsing in the action as her eyes narrowed in contempt at such laziness. She stomped into the room, enraged at the small slight. A real man, a true wizard would use no such displays. He would present himself accordingly, by welcoming his guests face to face and presenting them…
Sweet Merciful Matriarchs!
She heard the doors slam closed behind her, felt her breath lodge in her throat and her clitoris scream in excitement.
They were all but naked, wearing naught but snug loin clothes as they battled in the center of the room. Naked, darkly tanned flesh gleamed beneath the glow of a hundred candles blazing from the walls as they stared back at her from their locked stance.
Thick muscles bulged in their arms and legs as they battled both physically as well as magickally. Gold and blue whipping strands of power pulsed around them, snapping, crackling small demons intent on destruction. Gold and blue eyes watched her with amused indulgence as hard, bare buttocks clenched as each fought to maintain their positions despite her presence.
"We should greet her," Caise, his golden eyes filled with laughter taunted his brother as he strained within the grip each man had on the others forearm.
"Why? She never greets us," Kai'el growled as he moved suddenly, his ankle hooking around his brother's quickly as he moved to flip him to the floor.
Caise countered in a surge of strength, flipping from his hold as his magick moved to block his brother, weaving quickly through the strands Kai'el sent to trip him up to strike against his powerful leg.
Kai'el moved not a moment too soon, jumping back and to the side as he sent his own magick to counter it.
Like lightening flipping across the sky in an age old battle, one with the other, the powerful arcs of brightly colored power snapped and sizzled before the brothers were at it once again.
Such strength. Marina could only stare in wide eyed amazement as they battled not just as Wizards, but as warriors. Powerful, magickal warriors, as timeless as the land itself, as strong as the mountain that birthed them. She could feel her own magick rising within her, streaking to her already hardened nipples, engorging her clitoris further, sending the hated, silky heat spilling from between her thighs as her pussy clenched in an instinctive response.
Nay, she could feel no desire for such creatures. Surely, even amidst their battle, they were performing their dark magick against her.
"She could have changed her mind regarding our suit," Caise pointed out as he zapped his brother with a particularly strong bolt of golden power.
Kai'el grunted mockingly. "And the Seculars will lay down their weapons on the morrow."
Marina snorted silently. At least he was not a stupid Wizard. It was her greatest fear that his arrogance would be but misplaced ignorance. Which wasn't necessarily a good thing, she told herself with a spurt of concern.
"I don't know Kai'el." Caise flipped out of the way as his brother's foot nearly connected with his chin. "It seems a bit impolite to ignore her. She is waiting patiently after all."
Marina could no more than stare in bemusement at the impressive bulge riding between his spread thighs for the brief moment she was given the chance to glimpse it. Aye, she had been smart to refuse their suit, hadn't she? After all, that was no puny male, either in strength or in manly parts.
"Let her wait. We have waited weeks. And I will not…allow you…to distract me. Damned cheat." Kai'el cursed as Caise winked back at her audaciously a second before his brother's magick took supreme advantage of his distraction and snaked furiously around him.
Surprise and chagrin flashed across his face before he chuckled heartily as his own magick confined Kai'el as well.
"I believe we have once again ended this battle in a draw," Kai'el's voice was now amused as he stood still before his brother. "One day, Caise, you will falter in the face of your fascination for the wench and lose entirely."
Marina's lips opened as the insulting words left the Wizards lips. Her arms crossed over her breasts as she glared back at them, no longer bothering to stem the rising ire filling her or the magick pulsing in her center.
"Princess Sellane." Caise bowed majestically, his arm sweeping before him in a completely mocking display of respect. "To what do we owe the pleasure of your fair visit. Dressed in naught but your nightrail and your beautiful, furious violet eyes." He straightened arrogantly. But at least he deemed her worthy of a greeting. His brother, the irritant that he was, merely laughed in the face of her displeasure as he moved across the room to the pitcher and glasses on the smooth, dark wood of the bar on the other side of the room and poured himself a drink.
So why had she come to their room? She glared at Kai'el, her gaze slipping once again to his wide, glistening shoulders, the perfection of his muscular chest and tight, contoured abdomen.
"You are unnatural." She stomped her foot, her rage rising faster, hotter, searing her within its power as she felt her magick whipping through her.
It happened each time they were near. The weakness in her stomach, her thighs, the surge of power that left her shaking, unable to find the control which had once come to her as naturally as her own breath. It was insanity.
"Unnatural?" Kai'el lifted a dark brown in infuriating mockery as his lips curved upwards. Strong, full lips. Lips that touched her in her dreams…
"Think I know not what you are attempting?" She bit out, suddenly terrified of the power they were wielding against her. If she could not control something as simple as her own inherent gifts, then how could she ever escape their clutches. "I know you for what you are," she sneered. "You are using the dark gifts against me, stealing my mind and my soul. I will not allow such an atrocity. It is forbidden. It is beneath contempt, even for a Wizard Twin."
"By all that is sacred." Kai'el slammed his goblet to the bar as he frowned at her darkly. "I knew not to open that door. I knew it was insanity." He cast an accusing glare at his brother. "Are you happy now? Now we are demons from the very Pits attempting to steal her soul. Next we shall be stealing sweets from babes next?"
"Well, there was Harka's young daughter last season." Caise frowned with all apparent thoughtfulness.
"Merciful Sentinel's the little witch was slapping me with that overlarge stick of goo," Kai'el, cursed in amazement. "I should have zapped the little gremlin rather than just taking the sweet."
"I would not put such past you," Marina could only stare back at them incredulously. Did they take nothing seriously?
Kai'el's eyes narrowed. "Use goo against me my little temptress and you will wear it as well, as she should have rather than losing her treat. Are all female's so irrational?"
Or was she indeed losing her mind?
What was wrong with her? She was no shrew to rail at others, nor was she so stupid as to confront any that she believed could wield the dark gifts. Where had her sanity flown? She was in their rooms, dressed in only her sleeping clothes, her body humming, her magick whipping not just through her body, but through the throbbing depths of her cunt, aching, zapping her with a hunger which made no sense, which terrified her in the deepest parts of her woman's soul. She was not the weak child she had been years before. She was not without her own strengths. Why then did these two weaken her so?
"Marina," Caise's voice was a hard, irritated growl, the frown that creased his brow owed nothing to anger though and much to irritation. "This day has been trying, and as you can see, the night is growing late. Unless you have a reason other than such accusations for being here, then it may be best you take your leave."
He spoke as though she were of no consequence, as though her anger, her confusion mattered not to him. She stared at him fully, only distantly aware of Kai'el moving to the side of the room, crossing out of her line of sight as she glared at his brother.
"I am not simpering a fool to be dismissed," she snapped. "I would know now what you have done to me. Why you must torment not just my days but my dreams as well. Stay out of them, for my rest is much needed and the sight of you only infuriates me, whether waking or sleeping."
He smiled, a wicked curve of his lips that set her teeth on edge.
"Such innocence," he sighed, his gaze gentling, his arms flexing with a hard ripple of muscle as he faced her with his fists braced on his lean hips. "Come to me Princess, I will show you the cure for such wicked, evil imaginings as you seek your sleep." He held his hand out to her, his gaze hungry now, filled with deceptive warmth.
She saw much more than that though. She saw the tightening of the cloth between his thighs, the engorged length of his cock pressing against the tanned animal skin, appearing thick, long, a weapon to be avoided at all costs.
She backed up, desperate to escape him now, cursing her own foolishness in having come to them. The quick step brought her hard against the heated, lean, hard body blocking her exit.
Marina turned quickly, a cry on her lips, fear stealing into her mind as she faced the broad chest, rivulets of perspiration drying on the perfect bronze flesh as her face raised, her gaze caught, pinned by the flinty depths of blue surveying her.
He held his hands out to his side slowly.
"I do not hold you here, Princess, just as I did not call you here. But know this." He lowered his head until his lips were poised just above her, his eyes holding her captive as she fought to breath, to draw in air not tinted with a hint of sandalwood and spice and dark, hot male essence. "Do you come to this room again, unescorted, dressed only in material so thin I can see the sweet perfection of your hard little nipples and the soft red-gold curls of your womans mound beneath it, then you will indeed find reason to chastise us. Now, do you not wish to learn that lesson this night, then I would suggest you leave." The last word was a husky, rough growl that caused her to flinch, to back away, only to be halted by what she knew was Caise's chest at her back.
A whimper, sounding more of need than of the fear she knew it must be, left her lips as she felt hard hands cup her hips, steadying her, holding her close for but a brief moment before moving away once again.
"Run little bird," Caise whispered seductively, the sound of his voice drying her lips, sending sensation shooting throughout her body as she trembled before them. "Run hard and run fast before the smell of your sweet cunt tempts me further than the caution my brother preaches at me daily. He may be willing to wait, but I grow hungry…"
"Enough." She pushed away, side stepping the hard, hot bodies as she faced them once again, her lips trembling, confusion mounting within her mind, her body. "I will not be manipulated by you. Nor will I allow you to so deceive me. Leave my dreams be. Leave my mind be. In the name of all that is merciful, leave me be."
She would not shed tears she swore. She would beg no further. She would not go to her knees before these two, she would not give in to their demands. She rushed from them instead, betraying the vow to herself that she would never run in the face of their arrogance or the threat of their touch. But run she did. As though the demons of the Pits were at her heels, snapping with greedy ferocity at her tender flesh. Just as the Twins snapped at her soul.
As the door slammed closed behind her and the walls of the castle flew by her, in her soul Merina knew, she may never truly escape.