Trust hides the truth and spans eternity when one secret—born of treachery and upheld by honor—stands between a broken heart and shattered soul.
If you could live forever, what would you choose to live for? I chose honor...
Awakening to a new world, Gawain has high hopes that the last 500 years have cooled the fires of hatred burning in the heart of his wife, Nimue. Cruelly betrayed by the one person she put all her faith and trust in, Nimue hasn't forgotten the lone cowardly act of one of King Arthur's greatest knights. Together again and yet forever apart, can they heal the past when a new enemy rises to threaten the foundation of all they hold dear?
"Nim. I don't want to fight anymore tonight. I'm tired and annoyed. Hate me all you want, berate me until you're blue. But you need to feed. You're still not fully recovered from the poison. Stop being stubborn, woman and take it."
Her light fingers on his arm were soft as she pushed it away and rolled up her own sleeve.
He faltered. "What are you doing?"
"I've taken enough of your blood, Gawain. And you've not once asked for mine. Fairness dictates I rectify that."
He caught his breath, already salivating at the image of his lips on her flesh, her taste filling his head, his body. "Change of heart, Nim? Dare I hope your hatred for me is weakening?"
Her pale, azure eyes met his own, face impassive. "Don't read anything into it, Gawain. As I said, I owe you. And despite my personal views on your black soul, your brothers love you. As does Merlyn. Uther needs to be destroyed, I understand the need for retribution, trust me. And it's your right. I swore to never reveal your treachery. And I won't. I can hope you have presence of mind, someday, to come clean and admit what happened to the others on your own. Once you clear your conscience, I'll be more than happy to help you along to the afterlife. But right now, they need you. So do you want it or not?"
"I'll take anything you offer me, Nim. Even if it's just your blood."
His large hands caressed her arm, curling around the delicate wrist and bringing it closer. It would be ecstasy to drink from her, it always was. Her taste always hinted at pomegranates or elderberries. Delicious, heady. He could smell her blood now, saw it thrumming through the delicate blue veins under the skin. Her heart pumped fast, her pulse skittish. Feeling his fangs punch down in anticipation, he hovered over her ulnar artery, his gaze holding hers as he bit down, breaking through the skin. She gasped, her eyes holding his. The rich flavor of her blood hitting his tongue was all it took and he was harder than stone, throbbing for her. He pulled on the vein slowly, watching her lashes sweep down, obscuring her eyes, her breathing altered in panting sighs. Another mouthful and memories fell into his mind, of them making love, laughing. So long ago. Teasing minx, he'd shown her decadent things that had her blushing but eager. Her mouth on him, warm and wet, torturing him with her tongue, her grip on his shaft all the while. His hands buried in her glorious, silky blonde hair as he came in throbbing spurts and she greedily swallowed it all down. Oh Gods.
Her blood heated, the flavor coupled now with her own body's arousal as he drank. Lifting his head, he ran his tongue over the fang marks, head buzzing with energy, with her. His mouth trailed a moist, bloodied path up her arm, dipping into her clavicle. His fangs nipped her throat, he moved closer and before he could stop himself, he sank into her carotid artery and almost came from the intense rush it brought. He barely missed her own arms wrapping around his shoulders, pulling him down on top of her as she laid back, hooking a long leg around his hip unconsciously.
Was he dreaming? Surely, he must be and had no wish to wake. He felt her arch up under him, every sleek angle of her body pressing up into him and lost control. Tearing his mouth from her throat, he laved the wound shut and sat up, grabbing the hem of her thin top, ripping it off. She wasn't wearing a bra. Her perfect, small breasts thrust upward proudly, nipples tight and begging for attention. She moaned, thrashing beneath him, her own fingers fumbling for the zipper on his pants when a soft knock on the door had her freezing, eyes snapping wide open to blaze hell his way. She growled low, blinking and shoved upwards so hard, he flew back and hit the floor with a solid thump.
"Nimue? Is Gawain with you? I'm making sure everyone is accounted for. Alex reset security to extend down the whole hill. I’ll add my wards to reinforce." Merlyn's voice was muffled on the other side.
"Yes. He's with me. He's just leaving. Is Bri okay?" She narrowed eyes at him and he glared back, standing up slowly and looming over her.
"She's sleeping already. I doped her up. She won't be pleased when she wakes, I'm sure. Alex is with her."
"That's good." She pointed at the door, dropping her voice to hiss at Gawain. "Get. Out."
He gave a slow, devilish grin, staring at her wickedly. "I'll have you again, Nim. We both know it." Christos, she turned him on so much, even in anger.
"You're threatening the wrong person, Gawain. My blood is the only thing I owe you."
"We'll see, my Lady Disdain. And it wasn't a threat, love. It's pure promise." He swooped low, capturing her mouth once more with his for a quick, hard kiss then was gone in a rush of air.
Torie James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going. This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped her keep her feet on the ground while her head stayed firmly in the clouds. Lover of Dr. Pepper, all things chocolate, and Duran Duran, her dreams finally became a reality with her debut novel, Timeless Night, in 2013 by Breathless Press. Creator of the New Camelot series, as well as The Cloie Chronicles, Ms. James has plans to continue spinning many new worlds.
Torie lives in Southern California with her family and a houseful of pets who rule the roost.