His Twisted Fantasy is going to hit the Zon in fourteen days! Here is anorher sneak peek. Check out the first chapter here, and another sneak peek here. Leave a comment and let me know what you think 🙂
Warning! Boxing scenes ahead! There is violence!
This is why I never train with anyone but Declan Santori, The Bull. He can take my punches, swift and vicious and damaging, without ending up whining on the octagon floor like a beaten pimp. He’s a pro, a UFC champion back in his fraternity days in college, and a legend of underground fighting, too. He can’t say no to an illegal fight, hence his mask and nick-name, The Bull. No one can ever know his true identity.
A famous billionaire that never misses a red carpet, he’s many a city girl’s wet dream. I don’t think he’d ever settle for one girl though because, like me, he’s a fucked up bastard, with fucked-up secrets. But he was a promising boy when he came to me for help years ago, and I just couldn’t let him go to waste.
I couldn’t let him fall down the same dark pit that had turned me into a monster.
So I covered up his screw-up, and he’s been a loyal puppy ever since, albeit one with grit, and dignity. Fearless and dangerous, The Bull doesn’t need to suck up to me, not anymore. Unlike all other men I know, he doesn’t offer his adoration because he’s secretly afraid of me. On the contrary, if anyone stands a chance against me on pretty much all levels, then him.
Sweat dripping down my back, I throw punches so hard that one of his mitts flies off.
“Whoa, not feelin’ very friendly today, are we?”
I heave, my fists still up. I’m not wearing gloves, just the wraps, wanting to feel the impact of the blows full force. But now that I’ve thrown some punches, I know that what I need today is to be the punching bag.
“Hit me,” I growl. “Hard, in my face or my stomach, I don’t give a fuck, just make it hurt.”
The Bull hesitates, like he always does.
“Just do it, Declan.”
He knows better than to hesitate a second time. Dropping his mitts, his right fist hits me straight in the gut. It would send a large man bending from his waist and spitting his guts out, but all the years of training, all the fights to the death in prison, have taught my body to withstand much more than normal men. My muscles clench, and the blow bounces off of me like a fucking ball.
“Harder,” I push through my teeth, gritting them until my jaw hurts.
Declan hits again, and I buck forward, my abs turning into a wall of concrete. He shoots another blow, and another, so fast that his fists whip the air. My fists strain against the chafing bandages. Before I know it, I respond to his blows, and we dance in a full-fledged fight in the octagon, a stark light from above falling in the middle of it. We keep to the circle of light, the way we did back in the octagon where we met seven years ago.
The only draw in my life. And in his.
Right now, I need the violence that only he can give me. Something to knock out the beastly lust inside that threatens to consume me. If anyone can make the lights go out, then Declan.
The last few blows send us both outside the cone of light, bouncing against the octagon net walls, heaving. We have another go at each other, another flurry of blows that scrambles both of our brains. Another groaning pause sees us bouncing from net walls, struggling to find balance on our feet again.
“What the hell is wrong with you, dude?” Declan hisses among labored breaths, his large chest heaving, Unlike me, the former frat boy doesn’t have any tattoos. It’s a thing of the elites, not to mar their own bodies. But on the inside, his soul is a scarred wreck.
“And don’t even try to tell me it’s nothing because I’m gonna beat the shit of you until you talk.”
“No.” My chest vibrates. “You’re going to try.”
He does. He launches himself at me with a war cry, his arms bouncing off my guard as I block his punches. He does finally land a jab to my jaw, and I groan at the pain that splits my head–loving it, embracing it. Snarling, I stick out my tongue like an enraged gladiator, ready for more. The Bull throws his next hammer-like punch to my face, knowing exactly what I want. What I need. Had he gone for the body, my muscles would have reacted by instinct and turned to concrete, shielding me from any real damage.
But as long as I keep my hands down, nothing can pad my face against the onslaught of violence.
I revel in his blows, my mind focusing on the cracks and splinters and lightning that cut through my head. I grin like a madman, leaning into his pummeling until Declan suddenly stops.
“What are you doing?” I snarl. “Keep going.”
“Like hell I will. What the fuck dude, why are you doing this to yourself?” The sight of him swims in front of my blurry eyes, his fists unclenching at his sides. There’s blood on one of his bandages, which means the slick wetness above my eyebrow is from split skin.
“What you askin’ stupid questions for? This isn’t the first time we’re doing this. Go on.”
He shakes his head and steps back, running a hand through his soaked hair. “This is different, man. Seriously different. I’ve never seen you like this before, and honestly, it scares me.”
I fall back against the octagon wall, trickling down to the floor, exhaustion sliding through me. I rest my forearms on my knees, eyes closed to take in the feeling. At least for a few minutes, the beast will be quiet, stunned by the blows, reeling as it tries to regain some focus. Ah, there’s that feeling, of having gotten what I deserved.
“Start talking,” he presses.
“Or what?” I retort, my head leaned back against the octagon wall, my eyes closed.
A small laugh escapes me. Here it is, Declan’s unique way of cracking me open. I start unwrapping my bandages, focusing on the smooth movement as I speak.
“It’s, I–” What the hell do I say? I’ve never talked about women with a guy, simply because I was never interested in one.
Luckily, Declan has this uncanny ability to sense stuff.
“It’s a chick, right?”
My eyes fly up, meeting his eerily black irises. A grin curls up his lips.
“Well, well, well, the great Jax Vaughn has fallen for a girl. Who knew he even could.”
“It’s not like that,” I grunt.
“By the way you just tried to have it beaten out of you?” He clicks his tongue, pointing a finger at me. “It’s totally like that.”
“What would you know?” I grumble, ripping a piece of my bandage, folding it, and dabbing at the cut above my eyebrow.
Declan’s face tightens. Damn it. It’s been so long since we talked about it that it slipped my mind.
“I’m sorry.” I’m a bastard. “I don’t know what I was thinking, it’s just–” I refold the bandage and press it harder to my brow, until it forces me to hiss. “I haven’t fallen for her, this is something else.”
“Oh, but there’s no way you can tell, is there?” Declan says. “You’ve never been into someone before. You have nothing to compare it to.”
I throw a stray glove at him with my free hand. It happens swiftly, his hand raising a split second too late, and the glove hits him in the face.
“The fuck man,” he protests, hurling it back at me across the octagon. I catch it in the air, and drop it next to me. “It’s not my fault a woman is finally getting to you. I’m just trying to help here. I’m not even sure how, but I know beating the shit out of you isn’t a long-term solution.”
“Why not? I’m not a glamorous character in public life, like you, I don’t need to pamper my face.”
“No, but it still is a pity to see you roughed up. You’re a pretty boy, you know. Besides, what will that girl of yours say if you turn up looking like Kitschko run over by Muhammad Ali?”
“She’s slipped under my skin, man.” The words just slide out of my mouth. I rub the folded bandage into my wound, gritting my teeth. “I’m capable of doing the most horrible things for her.”
Declan stares at me keenly. “But not to her.”
“Never,” I react quickly, out of my gut. “But to anyone that tries to take her away from me. Like her ex, he kept texting her the other day, and I just lost it. I considered getting him in a dark alley and breaking every bone in his body. And that’s not even the worst part.”
“What is then?”
“She’s only been there for one night and one morning, and I already told her about Dominic.”
His face freezes. He knows what this means. “How about what happened in prison?”
I shake my head, wet strands whipping against my forehead. “Not yet.” And not because I didn’t want to, but because I couldn’t face the disgust that would have twisted her features. She must never know what I did.
“I don’t know dude,” Declan says, rubbing the five o’clock shadow on his square jaw. “On the one hand it sounds great. You’re a hard boulder to crack, and being able to talk to someone like that, it’s priceless. Not something one wants to lose.”
“But something one definitely should let go of when they’re a–”
“Don’t say it,” he cuts me off.
“It’s what I am.”
“That doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to be–” He’s careful about the use of the word, but he goes for it in the end, “you know, happy.”
“Happy.” I spit out the word. “That’s not in the cards for me. The prison shrink said as much when he declared me a menace to society after what happened. I’m incapable of good feelings. I destroy everything I touch.”
“You know damn well that’s bullshit.” Declan is usually a controlled guy, but there’s no missing the anger lacing his tone now. “You come from a shitty background, where everyone predicted you’d become an addict and a goon. Hell knew all the other boys down your lane did. Instead, you never touched drugs, got your first job at sixteen, brought all your money home to your mother, and even enjoyed the pure slavery they subjected you to on those construction sites because it gave you purpose. If there ever was a good man, Jax, then you. You made something great of yourself even in those terrible circumstances, just imagine what you could have accomplished if you were born to a couple of posh narcissists like my folks.”
I scoff bitterly, wishing I could believe that I am a good man, at least in essence. But Declan is biased because I helped him when he was at his lowest.
“Even if I were a good man, prison changed all that. In a sense, I never came back out.” I slap the bloody folded bandage on the floor.
“I can’t fall for her, Declan,” I say, my voice the closest thing to a whisper. “I would squeeze the life out of her, cage her in, and go mad with jealousy every time she stared with melancholy out the window, suspecting she might be thinking of some other guy. The only person I can tolerate around her is her friend Mia. And don’t even get me started on the effort it cost me to agree to those few dancing classes a week that she gives.”
When Declan fails to latch onto that, I look up from the floor. If I were to define melancholy, it would be the look on his face right now.
“Everything all right?” I probe.
“Yeah, it’s just–” He stares into nothing, his mouth hard. “That name.”
I soften my voice, speaking carefully. “Was it her name?”
He nods, his throat working as if he just swallowed a word he couldn’t say out loud.
A good friend would probe deeper. But a brother knows better.
“You know, if you ever feel like talking about her, I’m here.”
Declan bursts into laughter, coming back to himself, and throwing a mitt at me. “If I ever felt like talking about the woman that destroyed my life, it wouldn’t be with an emotionally crippled bastard who’s just tasting merciless passion for the first time. But as the more experienced of us I can tell you, Jax–the experience will hurt. There’s no avoiding that. Yet every second of it will be worth it, and you’ll crave more.”
As you’ve been surely expecting, I’ve been feverishly working on my upcoming book, His Twisted Fantasy, under my new pen name, Ana C. Blacklace. It’s a dark billioniare romance (emphasis on DARK, so steer away if that’s not your cup of tea), with an over-the-top, obsessed hero who will stop at nothing to get the woman that he wants. Because I’m dying to share this book with you, and I can’t wait until I’m done writing it, here is a new excerpt. Please keep in mind this is a first draft, and it still needs some editing. Lemme know what you think in a comment. Warning, strong language ahead!
NOTE: This is NOT the first chapter. You can read the first chapter HERE, and the excerpts that I will keep posting as I write do not follow in order. This scene happens in chapter III, for example, some time after Adalia and Jax met. Enjoy! Especially if you need some inspiration for a Valentine’s Day full of spice, and over-the-top, stalkerish chasing that is only ever safe in fiction.
Have yourself a blast 🙂
Title: His Twisted Fantasy
Main characters: Adalia and Jax
The rain patters against my windshield, a pair of incoming headlights fogging my view of Adalia’s window. My leather gloves squeak against the wheel as I grip it harder. I wonder what goes through her mind as she sits with her friend at the kitchen table, her forehead resting in her hand, knowing she’s only got herself to blame for the girl having lost her internship at HQ.
She should have known better than to reject me.
While her room-mate speaks, Adalia shakes her head, pouring them both more wine from the bottle standing between them on the table. I promised her I’d find her motivation to do what she professed she’d never do, and there it is–the people she loves. Maybe she won’t fight for her own dreams, but she won’t put the dreams and livelihoods of those she loves in jeopardy. She’ll give herself to me, in exchange for my leaving them alone.
I keep my eyes trained on her face through the rainwater trickling down my windshield, congratulating myself for not having sent her the contract after the first time we met. Adalia Ross isn’t a woman to have for a one night stand. It’s gonna take more to quench my appetite for her.
Her face turns to the window, her expression ghostly. There’s no way she can see me sitting in an anonymous black car parked across the street, but maybe she can sense the beast watching her from the night. Her friend is still talking to her, gesticulating amply, but Adalia just stares lost out into the rain. She comes to her feet slowly, her hands going to the sides of the window. For a moment, I worry she might close the drapes. Instead, she leans against the window frame, peering outside while her room-mate keeps talking.
My cock stirs in my pants, and I have to grab the bastard with one hand, my leather glove creaking. My eyes flash into slits as I zoom in on those dreamy blue eyes, remembering their long, curved lashes. The harder I stare, the more I wonder if that’s what attracted me to her from the start. If it was her selflessness, her capacity for love and dedication, her self-sacrificing nature that affected me on a visceral level, even before she proved them to me. Ah, how good it will feel to corrupt her. To ruin her. To break her apart and then piece her back together into my own Frankenstein’s monster.
Making her completely mine.
The day I met her I was certain she’d thrown herself to her knees to grab my attention, to turn me on, to have a shot at personal contact with me. Now I know that wasn’t the case, but fuck, I wish it had been. A week later here I am, chasing a woman for the first time in my life, even if there won’t be any chocolates or flowers. I won’t be turning up in a limo at her curb, because I’m not a knight in shining armor. I’m a ruthless bastard that will ravish her.
My cock turns to steel in my pants as I imagine her finally bending to me. In less than twenty-four hours, I’ll have her on her knees. Soon, her pussy will be clenching around my cock while I drive it deeper inside of her than any man has ever been.
She stirs at the window, as if she sensed my thoughts. A second later, a shadow simmers against the orange light coming out of the hall as it pushes the door to enter her building. She reacted when she saw him from the window, so she must be expecting him. Tall and lean, he moves confidently, like he knows what he’s doing, but something about it seems overdone.
His style could probably fool men who hadn’t spent half their lives in prison, men who aren’t used to stalking people from a distance, and observing everything around them, watching for any element that could become a threat. But my observation skills and deadliness are what kept me alive all those years in prison. Being able to assess an opponent within the first seconds of seeing him was vital in the prison octagon, where I first made a name for myself among heaps of money–illegal fights, to the death. It was either me or the other guy. The way this one moves, he’s not even a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. He’s a hyena trying to fake the elegance of a dignified predator.
The leather gloves stretch over my knuckles, and I growl deep in my chest, wanting to bite his head off.
Especially when my hunch turns out to be spot on.
Mia Rogers stands up from the table only to return with the visitor. Adalia turns to greet him, and the bastard throws off his coat, putting his gym-trained arms around her. Next to his princely presence, I’m a boulder. My jaw clenches as I wonder if this is what she likes, if he is what she’s into. Neat hair, beard so well-tended I wonder why the fuck he grows one at all, considering beard stands for raw, beastly masculinity. For something straight out of the caves, which he obviously isn’t, and which I take pains to hide being by always sporting a cleanly shaven jaw.
Except now, because I haven’t shaved in days, focused on the one thing I’ve wanted in years–her.
I wonder how she’d react if I crushed him right in front of her, squeezing the pretense out of him. If I proved to her just how useless city rats like him are against the likes of me. If protection is what she’s looking for in his arms, she’s gonna find out soon enough what a lame excuse for a man he is.
I hitch out my phone, zoom in, and snap a picture of him. It’s good to have state-of-the-art technology at your fingertips at all times, the kind normal people don’t even imagine exists yet. After an investigation of a few minutes and a few firewall breach hacks, I have all the info I need. He’s Camden Murray, stock broker, well-known ladies’ man in New York, and Adalia’s ex who she supposedly broke up with. I hiss at my phone and put it away. Later, I’ll dig up the last vid on PornHub he watched, what time he took his last dump, and all the dick pics he sent to other women while dating Adalia. I’m gonna break his image in her eyes, as well as every bone in his body. But right now, I need to watch every move he makes around her.
Hello, people! As some of you may know, I’m working on a new book, under a new pen name, since I’m starting a series of contemporary dark billionaire romance novels and novellas. His Twisted Fantasy is going to hit the Zon mid March, and this is the first chapter. Let me know if you are interested in an ARC (a reader e-copy you get a week before release) so that you can post a review on Amazon on the day of release. Comment on this post, leave your e-mail address if possible, and let me know.
Please keep in mind this is the first draft.
I go into tycoon Jax Vaughn’s office looking for a job. When I come out, it’s with an offer I should definitely refuse.
But the most powerful man in America doesn’t give choices. He twists arms.
Not everybody has a price. But everybody has a weakness, and I’ll dig up Adalia Ross’s, if that’s what it takes to make her mine.
The curvy little angel refused my proposition and my money, but we both know, it’s only a matter of time until I’ll have my twisted way with her.
From the moment I saw her, dirty thoughts flooded my brain. Blood raged through me, making me rock hard. It’s been a long time since a woman affected me like this, too long.
This little angel opened up Pandora’s box, and there’s no closing down that lid again.
I’m a ruthless, relentless bastard, and now, I’m obsessed.
But then, she uncovers something that should have stayed forever hidden.
This changes things–it changes her contract. If she ever dares break it, someone will end up in pieces. Most likely any man whose attention she invites.
So welcome to the devil’s den, little angel. One way in, no way out, if that’s what it takes to keep you. Because who would choose to stay with the broken monster you’re about to discover in the dark?
The only thing harder than Jax Vaughn’s perfectly sculpted face and bulging muscles is his heart. Cold, stony, impossible to break. Want can’t move him.
But on the rare occasions when he desires something, there’s no scenario in which he doesn’tget it. And now what he wants is me, doing things with him that would have any decent lady clutching her pearls.
Except I’m not a decent lady. I’m a far cry from the innocent girl that came with big dreams to New York five years ago. Those dreams shattered, and now I have dirty secrets and bad habits. By the look of it, I’m also developing an obsession with a man way out of my league. A predator that wants nothing more than to consume me, and break me. In the end, he will succeed.
But I sure af won’t make it easy on him.
Chapter I – First Sight
Vaughn Corp Tower is one mean, impressive motherfucker. My neck hurts as I stare up at the monolith of glass and steel that scrapes the clouds. Even though it’s standing in the heart of Manhattan among others of its kind, it still dominates the landscape, demanding special attention and respect.
Which it kinda sorta deserves.
In the last few years, the V.C. Tower has become as much a symbol of this city as the Empire State, and all because Jax Vaughn, the man who runs it, is a whole new level of mobster. A dangerously smart one. He emerged from prison onto the stock market ten years ago, and bulldozered through everything in his path. Soon, organized crime bowed to him, and politics was quick to follow. Yes, I’ve done my homework, seeing that I’m now applying for a job at one of the crook’s companies.
Don’t judge. It’s a job I can do well–social media marketing–and one of his start-up brands is paying a banker’s wage for it. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to quit my nightclub job, and pay back all of mom’s debt, too. Practically a fairy tale, but with work. I can’t afford not to grab this chance.
I take comfort in the idea that Jax Vaughn must be old, ugly, and probably bald to make up for his money. Nobody knows for sure what he looks like, because there are no pictures of him online, but who builds something like this in their thirties, right?
I prance towards the building, trying to look confident in my two-piece suit and high heels, but as soon as I step through the rotative door, my jaw drops.
Fuck, how many people signed up for this?
I let my eyes run over the crowd in the lobby. Men and women, all looking crisp and competent, the kind of people with their ambitions forged in Manhattan, are stepping on each other’s toes.
What was I thinking? I should have expected hellish competition for this. Not many people are truly good at social media marketing, but everybody thinks they are, so it’s only logical they’d try for something this well paid.
“Ma’am,” a dry voice reaches me. My eyes find a tall lanky man in a suit, glasses down on the tip of his nose. Salt and pepper hair, in his fifties, high-brow. He holds out a device. “Your name and registration number.”
“Of course.” I pull out my phone, transferring the information by holding it to his device.
“Thank you.” He motions to a line I can now make out snaking through the crowd. Apparently, the people clustered together have already taken the interview, and are now exchanging notes. From what I hear, there are a number of openings on this job, not just one. I breathe out in relief. Maybe there actually is a chance.
“It will be around fifty minutes,” the man says.
More like five hours by the look of it.
I join the line.
“Also,” he adds, “No pictures, no matter what. Keep your phone tucked away at all times. When you hear your name, you walk up to that door.” He shows me a large black door across from the elevators and walks away, moving on to the next people entering the Tower.
I wonder why he didn’t demand that I give up my phone, but I guess it would be too much trouble collecting the gadgets from everyone here. I haven’t seen a lobby this packed since Jason Momoa stayed at the Crowne Plaza. Plus, there are cams in every corner, at the top of every marble column, so whoever breaks the rules sure won’t get away with it.
Half an hour later, there’s barely any progress, the crowd only getting thicker, the air hotter, and my feet are killing me. I’m shifting from one leg to the other, cursing under my breath. I better get this job, because it will be days before I can go back to dancing in my cage at the nightclub.
The red-head in front of me flips her hair for the hundredth time, whipping it over my face. The space between us has tightened so much I can smell her sweat mixing with Chanel No. 5. Why the hell did they have to put us in a line when we’re being called in by name? Maybe Jax Vaughn likes it this way. I imagine the heartless bastard watching us mere mortals through his cameras, swarming like cockroaches for the crumbs under his table, taking sick pleasure in it.
“Yeah, sure, no problem,” I bite out when the red-head fails to excuse herself. She turns around, arching an eyebrow. She’s got so much fill-up in her glossy lips that it must take a huge amount of effort to move them when she speaks. She gives me a once-over before her features distort in arrogance.
“Excuse you,” she says, waving a hand with pointy, black-polished fingernails like I’m trash standing too close. “Some distance would be great, thank you.”
“No, can’t do.” I throw my thumb behind me with a wink. “Peer pressure. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a tsunami back there. So why don’t we just be considerate of each other?” She glances over my head at the sea of people behind, but it doesn’t seem to faze her.
Every piece she’s wearing is designer made, and expensive as fuck. She scoffs and turns her back to me again, giving me the chance to measure her up and down, noticing she’s wearing only V.C. owned brands. Of course she’d try to impress like that. I would have done the same, if I could afford it.
Except maybe she doesn’t either. Shit, I should have rented, too. There is a place just down the street. Now here I am, dressed in my room-mate’s best two-piece suit that’s too small for me, wearing the most uncomfortable heels that ever existed. The suit jacket didn’t reach over my bust, so I had to leave the lapels open, enabling a view of my breasts that always borders on indecent no matter how hard I try to cover them. I don’t have the breasts of a porn star, but I do have those of a wet nurse, and they did get me my job at the nightclub. There’s no hiding them. It’s been five years since I dropped out of Julliard, and I’ve put on more weight than any ballerina would ever tolerate on her bust and thighs, so it surely wasn’t my dancing skills that got me into the cage. When Snake hired me, he said that I looked like a MILF at twenty-five, which was what his clients liked to watch.
And he was fucking right. None of the bastards drooling around my cage with drinks in their hands is right in the head, you can tell that much by midnight. They have crazy eyes, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the glittery Swarowsky mask that permanently covers my face, ensuring anonymity. If I took it off and went with them to the hotel, I’d probably have paid off all of mom’s debts and the mortgage by now, but I’d also be a suicidal alcoholic, and I can’t afford that. Let’s be honest, mom’s problems are never over, and she’ll never stop needing me.
With a little luck today though, we both will gain some stability.
I glance at my fuzzy reflection in the glossy marble column, clear enough for me to check my hair-do. It’s anywhere but in place. It’s too hot and too clammy in here, so there’s hardly anything left of my chignon. Blonde strands have rebelled everywhere, making me look like a secretary that just got fucked.
Who am I kidding? I’m so not ready for this, and I don’t stand a chance anyway. I mean, come on, how many people are in here? A hundred? Two? I should freaking go. This is a waste of time.
I turn to leave, but a piercing ‘ding’ makes me spin around. Elevator doors open, and men in black pour out of it. One of them holds his hand up, his face dead serious.
“No pictures,” he croaks.
When the last man steps out of the elevator, the others line up to flank him.
Even among his bodyguards–because that’s what they are, since the last guy is clearly the boss–he is seriously massive. He arranges the cuffs of his Brioni suit with a sleekness that is both refined and dangerous. Damn, his elegance could rule both the jungle and the city.
Which it actually does.
No doubt, this is him. Jax Vaughn. There’s no other reason why every member of staff should freeze in the straightest posture a human could take, or why dead silence sweeps over the entire room. And fuck me, he’s not old, ugly, or bald. In fact, he runs a hand through his thick brown hair as he prowls towards the exit, and the side of his face that I can see is so perfectly sculpted, it’s not fair to the rest of mortal men.
My jaw slackens, and so do my hands, a loud whump following–My bag, all of its contents spilling onto the floor. The sound echoes through the silence, causing the bodyguards to stop, and Jax Vaughn’s head to snap right to me.
One second, and the world tips.
Our eyes lock.
The wildest green I’ve ever seen pops against the backdrop of skin like caramel.
What a beautiful animal…
And he’s staring right at me, fully aware that I exist. My heart pounds crazily, heat flooding my cheeks until annoyed huffing rips through the magic. The red-head, arms crossed under her tits in a way that pushes them up, stares at me like I’ve just pooped on the floor.
“Clumsy much? Or just desperate for attention?” She sneers.
I look down at my stuff, and shame grips my guts. Not only have a few tampons spilled from their package, but my new battery-operated friend that Mia gifted me during lunch peeks out, too. One glance at Jax’s eyes, and I know he’s seen it. Good God, he’s seen it.
I drop to my knees, scooping my stuff quickly back into my purse, the red-head’s laughter so shrill that it echoes against the luscious walls. All the attention weighs like a boulder on me, even though it’s obvious she’d rather hi-jack it for herself. I can only hope that this is all too unimportant for Jax Vaughn, and that he’s already moved on, his schedule way too tight for him to waste another thought on either me or the red-head, but no.
I meet his eyes again the moment I look up, except this time there’s more than just surprise in them. He seems angry, his masculine face bristling with aggression. He doesn’t like this, not one bit, but then why isn’t he leaving? He should be out by now, people like me are nothing but ants to him.
Sweat runs down my spine while all sorts of thoughts plague my head. Is he thinking about having his men throw me out? No, why would he do that, I mean, only over a few tampons and a dildo?
Holy shit, he saw my dildo! Is this how I’m going to stay imprinted in his memory? On my knees, desperately trying to conceal the thing?
On the other hand, there’s no shame in single girls having their fun with their battery-operated friends, is there? Even though I would do anything to turn back time, and make sure Mr. Fucking Universe doesn’t find out I use one.
I should get up and bolt out the door right now, minimize the damage, but I can’t move, not under Jax Vaughn’s cold scrutiny. He pins me down with those green eyes like a wild animal does prey in the jungle.
Barely anyone in the room dares breathe.
It feels like an eternity until he finally signals his men to follow with a jerk of his head. But even as he exits the building, I can’t help feeling that he’s still aware of me.
Judging me. Despising me.
Probably laughing at me, like the red-head. I turn to stare daggers at her, but it doesn’t faze her any more than the competition did before, when she ran her eyes over the crowd. She’s just glad she used me to catch his eye.
Delusional bimbo. Jax Vaugh has a dozen like her lining up to suck his dick at a snap of his fingers, she’s nothing special to him. None of us are. Men like him are so spoiled for choice, only the sickest things can still arouse or interest them–I dance in a cage at a nightclub for a living. I should know.
“Really?” the red-head shrills. “Staging yourself in a pornographic position to get the billionaire’s attention? Come on, I’m sure you can do better than that.”
Anger shoots up to the tips of my ears.
“I didn’t stage anything.”
“Sure you didn’t.”
How satisfying it would be to punch the sneer off of her face, but I don’t need any more trouble at Vaughn Corp. I’ve had enough for a whole fucking lifetime. Making sure my purse is firmly shut, I prance out of the building in my heels with completely fake confidence. On the inside, I’m dying.
I wish I could block out the crowd’s whispering as I walk by, but my senses are only sharper. The adrenaline worked like a radioactive spider, so there’s no protecting myself from all the, “I’ve heard chicks do some crazy shit to get the guy’s attention, but this?” “How fucking lame.” “Stupid broad.” “Come on, it was funny.” “Who cares about the hoe, have you seen him? Oh. My. God.” Hand slapping chest. Giggling takes over before I even step between the glass blades of the rotative door, smoothing the hair off my face, leaving the swooning over Jax Vaughn to the girls who still have some dignity left.
I take a deep breath in an attempt to tell myself that life goes on, but the moment I step out, the tall man from before blocks my way. He looks down at his device, double checking my information, then at me.
“Miss Adalia Ross?”
Oh shit. Is it that bad?
She stared at me like a deer in the headlights, and my cock stood up to attention for the first time in what? Months? Years? It’s been so long since a woman turned me on that I lost count.
But the moment I saw her, I could barely keep my cock down.
Women have been throwing themselves at me for years. I’ve seen and experienced literally everything, and I was sure nothing could impress me anymore. Yeah, I can fuck, rough and hard, if a bitch insists, but I never initiate. I’m never the first one horny.
Until the woman on her knees inside the lobby of my Tower.
I stare out the dark window of my car with my jaw clenched. My boxing-roughed knuckles rest against my mouth as I focus on keeping my cock in check, and on taming my bristling.
I thought myself immune to this kind of shit, yet here I am, falling for the cheapest scheme a woman could pull. Dropping her bag with the dildo, and then pretending to gather her things by going down to a doggy style position, who does that? But ah, how her top stretched over her bouncing tits as she moved her arms to gather her things back into her purse…
I can’t get those messy blonde strands out of my mind, hanging over a perfectly plump mouth that looked ready to suck cock, her tits inviting jizz to spill all over them. Sweat glistened on her flushed chest as she stared up at me out of those milky blue eyes, making me wanna unzip for her.
I imagine those eyes on me while she masturbates with that dildo that slipped out of her purse.
My cock rages in my pants, this is insane.
Against all odds, I’m alive again, awakened by an onslaught of twisted cravings.
So twisted, like a sickness rising.
On an impulse, I reach for my phone, and text the chief of staff. ‘The girl that dropped her purse. I want her in my office when I’m back. Don’t let her leave even if you have to lock her in. I’ll deal with the legalities, if it comes to that.’
I tuck my phone back into my chest pocket, and rest my fist against my mouth again, trying to think about my upcoming meeting. It’s the first one with a secret group of underground tech rebels from the Middle East, and it took hell to arrange it. Yet here I am, thinking about fucking Ms. Clumsy’s mouth while she writhes on her dildo, instead of focusing on national security.
I straighten up, and pull at the lapels of my jacket, sharpening my focus.
She wanted my attention. Well, now she’s got it. She opened Pandora’s box, and there’s no fucking way that lid is closing again, not until all that darkness has spilled over her, and consumed her.
Today, he is my protector. Tomorrow, he could be my ruin.
The abuser from my past has returned, bent on getting me back in his power. Now only a shadow of my former self as a cheerleading team captain, I know I won’t survive abuse at his hands again. Enter Sinai of the Yces, winter fae and badass academy star boy with a grudge against my tormentor. He offers me protection, but his reasons don’t stop at our common enemy, and he’s not exactly my friend either. I’m not sure I want him to be, not with that perfectly chiseled jaw, those bulging muscles and the smoldering way he looks at me. He’s feared, nasty and dangerous, and yet I want him all over me. I feel that his rough lust can heal me. But Sinai is sweet poison that could lead me to my doom. I should run away from him as fast as I did from the other one, except this time I’m hooked. Hooked on the deadliest man I’ve ever met.
TRIGGER WARNING. This book deals with themes of abuse (physical and emotional, NOT between hero and heroine), stalker, forced proximity, jealous/possessive hero and related tropes. This is NOT a bully romance. There is a HEA.
The affair between fae prince Salazar Shadowthorn and me, a human witch, is three things – toxic, destructive, and forbidden. Now, it might become deadly.
Salazar is a prince without a crown, a tragically beautiful force of night. Shadow and smoke are deadly weapons in his hands, and even demons have learned to fear him. Yet now a mysterious power is closing in on him and his people, and Salazar can’t beat it alone. He needs to awaken the shadow fae king. Only that awakening the king is no less problematic than the dark power seeking to gain control of his kind. Because of me.
There’s a big fat chance that I’m the king’s fated mate, which means that Salazar and I would have to stop this toxic thing we’re doing. He likes toying with me, making me beg for him in basements, and pleasuring me in public in order to humiliate me. Perverted delights, to which I’ve secretly become addicted. We’ll have to kill this sick chemistry between us, if we want to stand a chance against this new power. A rising menace that can lead us both, ruthlessly, to our deaths.
A cursed beast lurks in the woods outside my village, and it wants one thing—me.
I learned to fear the Scorpio Beast many years ago. He is the most dangerous thing out there, brutal and cruel, so when he takes me captive in exchange for my brother’s freedom, I know to expect the worst. Yet deep into the ruins of his ancient castle, I discover there’s more to Ares Amberson than his ruthless reputation. There’s a tortured soul behind his mask, and a sensual touch behind his iron fist. There’s also more to my own past than I ever knew, a secret buried in my bloodline that Ares wants to use me for. But in order to unlock my dormant powers, he needs to teach me. Train me. Seduce me. Ruin me. The pull I feel towards him is wrong on all levels, but I’m hooked on the devilish pleasures he’s giving me. I must fight against it, or die trying. The secret of our bloodlines makes it impossible for us to be anything but rivals, polar opposites, enemies. In the end, there can be only one on the throne of the kingdom that we were both born to rule.
Note: This book offers you a strong female lead and a tortured villain, so brace yourself for dark themes and possible triggers related to past trauma. These two go to work on each other. Yes, there’s a HEA.
When you’re destined for each other – as sworn enemies.
With a common rival sitting on the throne that was meant for one of us, the Scorpio Beast and I are forced to work together – as a fake couple. We must fight against the evil usurper that brought misery upon our kingdom. But, in the end, there can be only one on the throne of Celestia. In the end only Ares or I can survive a terrible prophecy – that one of us is destined to kill the other.
Throne of Lust and Ruin is Book II of the Court of Scorpio series, telling the story of a passion that can only lead to ruin. Beware of triggers and dark themes. This is an enemies-to-lovers romance.
Hey book lover! I’m working on a new book, Queen of Blades and Roses, which is expected to hit the Zon at the end of August. Read the first chapter , and feel free to comment or e-mail and tell me what you think. This is a passion project for me, on which I’m working in parallel along with the next book of the Legends of the Fae series! So here we go.
A cursed beast lurks in the woods outside my village, and it wants one thing—me.
I learned to fear the Scorpio Beast many years ago. He is the most dangerous thing out there, brutal and cruel, so when he takes me captive in exchange for my brother’s freedom, I know to expect the worst.
Yet deep into the ruins of his ancient castle, I discover there’s more to Ares Amberson than his ruthless reputation. There’s a tortured soul behind his mask, and a sensual touch inside his iron fist. There’s also more to my own past than I ever knew, a secret buried in my bloodline that Ares wants to use me for. But in order to unlock my dormant powers, he needs to teach me.
The pull I feel towards him is wrong on all levels, but I’m hooked on the devilish pleasures he’s giving me. I must fight against it, or die trying. The secret of our bloodlines makes it impossible for us to be anything but rivals, polar opposites, enemies. In the end, there can be only one on the throne of the kingdom that we were both born to rule.
The Cursed Woods looked almost romantic from the window table at the Fyre Dragon Inn and Pub. Soaked in the scents of hearth and ale and leather, this was a place where stories had been born for many, many years, and most of those stories were about the Cursed Woods.
But the truth lurking in the hilly darkness spreading out between Azoth Hollow and Doomsday Mountain was far from the romantic adventure the pub’s storytellers made it out to be. They never told things the way my brothers and I gave it to them—raw and gut-wrenching. It frustrated my brothers. As for me, I didn’t take it quite as personally. After decades of suffering under the effects of the Spades fae’s curse, people needed some fantasy to keep them sane, and I felt for them. Not so my brothers.
“Do they even see our bleeding hands when they take the gold from them?” Thornan grunted, cocking a thick black eyebrow at the loud crowd from behind his pint. Scars adorned his rough fist, and his rugged looks placed him well beyond his twenty years. Part of that were his aggressive features, but most of it was what we had been doing for a living for years.
It had turned all three of us into brutes, even if it was less obvious in me, probably because I was female. One that dealt better with swords and knives than with baking, laundry and child-rearing, but still female. I had been fighting in the Cursed Woods for over a decade to help this village survive, and I was a Scavenger before anything else.
Once every month, my brothers and I put it all on the line venturing into that forested hell, hunting for treasure—and books, which were the rarest and most valuable items. I sure lived for the occasions when we found them. We spent the rest of our time training for our incursions into the woods. It took over our lives completely, but gold, silver and gems were the only things that got the people of Azoth Hollow through the winter. It helped us buy stuff from the other human settlements that didn’t have to suffer under the Spades’ wrathful curse, the curse that had turned our home into a haunted village.
Azoth Hollow intrigued outsiders and travelers, it fascinated them, but no one in their right mind would spend a full moon night here if they had a choice. As for leaving this place to settle somewhere else—others had tried before, and failed miserably. Being born here was like a scarlet letter, as if we could carry the curse into the wider world.
And maybe we could. We didn’t know for sure, but the curse might well have affected all of us in some way.
One sure thing was that our village wasn’t safe beyond nightfall on the three full moon nights of every month. Ghosts would creep onto the streets, hungering for human flesh. Consuming it made them feel alive again, even if only for a few hours. They were spirits of dead Scorpio fae, cursed by the Spades to dwell between life and death forever, unable to resume complete physical form or to cross into the spiritual world for good.
The spirits couldn’t enter cottages uninvited, but whatever they caught outside was theirs for the taking, and they never spared a life. Their hunger for flesh was beyond themselves, almost vampiric.
It was these stories that drew travelers to Azoth Hollow like moths to a flame. It was also why the three men at the bar were here, talking to Big Reo, the inn keeper. Checking them out from the corner of my eye, I’d have said they were monks.
“Those idiots, look at them,” Kovra groaned next to me. “Scented clothes, heads swimming with bedtime fairy tales, happy to believe all that bullshit.” He banged his pint on the table, the ale sloshing over the edges. “There are no fucking fairies in the Cursed Woods,” he called out, drawing the three strangers’ attention. “No fucking mermaids in its murky lakes. Only slimy stuff coiling around your feet, skeleton hands reaching out from the mud to pull you in, scorpions roaming around every fucking pile of treasure. It’s hard-earned silver that pays for this ale.”
Kovra tossed his ale down, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and looked away. I could only hope the three men wouldn’t dare to come over, but Big Reo leaned in and whispered to them who we were. The strangers’ eyes widened as he spoke, their curiosity and spiking interest obvious in their neat, monkish faces. One of them, probably the leader, licked his lips greedily, but still hesitated, which was understandable.
Kovra’s androgynous voice was one of many misleading things about my twin brother, but his words and tone always had a sobering effect. He was angry, always on the edge, and very efficient with a blade which, for some reason, shone through in him the most. We were both blonde, blue-eyed, fair skinned and half-fae, the last part making us particularly beautiful to the human eye, but that was pretty much where the similarities between us stopped.
Kovra was everything his name suggested. Fierce and swift. He’d inherited the fae looks of our mother, but his mordacity he got from Da, the best blacksmith in Azoth Hollow, and once the best blacksmith in the Golden City of Celestia, too. Yet my twin and I would have been seen as abominations in Celestia. Hybrids between fae and humans were extremely rare, and even those rare ones were born of human mothers and fae fathers, from affairs that rarely survived the night of conception. But Kovra and I were the product of a forbidden love between a fae princess and a human blacksmith, a story that ended in tragedy.
In the aftermath of that tragedy, Da got cast out of Celestia, and sent back to Azoth Hollow with my brother and me when we were still babies. Grief for our mother almost killed him, but the Allmother took mercy, and a kind girl from the village fell eternally in love with him. I guess there’s no resisting a handsome blacksmith with a broken heart. Thornan was the result of that union, two years later. They’re fine together, Da and Thornan’s mother, but I think Da never stopped being nostalgic about Celestia, and his lost love.
Sometimes, on clear days, you could see the city with the naked eye on top of Doomsday Mountain. But such days had been rare over the last two decades, ever since the Spades usurped the Scorpios. The curse spread a permanent veil of clouds over Azoth Hollow, unleashing hell into the woods covering the hills between it and the mountain.
These were the kinds of stories that travelers came here for, and that sure wasn’t any different for the three monks heading over to our table right now.
“May we join you?” the leader inquired, sinking his hands into the wide brown sleeves of his monkish garment. The other two drew close to him as they flanked him, looking fearful but greedy for information. A holy trinity of well-fed, well rested boys. I wondered how much they were willing to risk for the knowledge they desired.
My brothers had clearly already decided the monks weren’t worth the effort of even opening their mouths. Thornan took another sip of his ale, while Kovra shot them a killer glare. Chills ran through the flankers, but number one kept his ground.
He pulled a chair, and sat down. The old wood creaked.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Kovra demanded under his breath and shot forward, his long blonde hair framing his face like glinting platinum. It made a fierce contrast with his pale blue eyes, sharp nose and the angry curve of his lips. I was his female version, only that my hair was golden and up in a tight pony tail on top of my head, my eyes sparkled more, and my lips were fuller, all an effect of the vestigial lust-inducing magic I’d inherited from our fae mother.
“We don’t remember inviting you to take a seat,” Thornan bit out.
“Big Reo there said you were The Scavengers,” the leader said. “You’re famous.”
“Very famous,” the monk to his right chimed in. I named him number two.
“You have no idea,” number three said from the leader’s left.
“Fuck off,” Thornan growled.
“We have money,” number one put in, and pulled a pouch from his sleeve. It landed on the table with the telltale clink of precious metal. Coins. “We understand that people like you don’t let other people partake in their experiences just like that. They’re valuable, the things you’ve lived, the things you’ve seen. We understand that, and we’re willing to pay for the privilege of learning.”
“So, you want to learn,” Kovra said through his teeth. “How about you join us tomorrow, and learn by doing?”
Thornan burst into a raspy laugh that made number one’s throat bob, but he got a grip quickly. He reached to the pouch, unfastened the leather string around it, and spilled its contents onto the table. Thornan’s dark eyes fell to the silver coins. He ran his tongue over his teeth, his face unreadable to the strangers, but Kovra and I knew exactly what he was thinking. We had every intention to back him up, so my twin took on an even colder, forbidding and opaque demeanor, while I leaned back to let my brothers take center stage. This could prove lucrative.
“What’s this supposed to mean?”
“Like we said—”
“A few chipped silver coins? We get that within the first few minutes in the woods.” That was a lie, but Thornan was the kind of guy you took seriously.
The monks looked at each other and, after a few moments of hesitation, number two pulled a second pouch from his sleeve. When the contents spilled on the table, Thornan’s eyes glinted.
“Diamonds and sapphires,” number one stated proudly, pushing out his smooth boyish chin. “Originals from Celestia.”
“Celestia,” Kovra said. “And how does a man like you possess something from a Golden City?”
“My brothers in faith and I come from the oldest monastery in Northern Kaledonien.”
“Hmm,” Thornan purred. “Where the pilgrims go.”
“Yes. Where the pilgrims go. They bring much value to our holy place, new knowledge, exotic goods.” He looked down at the gems. “Rare items.”
“Then why did you need to come here, to this cursed place? Why search for the stories when the stories come to you?”
“Because only here we can learn the truth about the most famous monster in the world. The Scorpio Beast.” He bent in with greedy eyes, but lowered his voice to a whisper, as if the name alone could strike him dead. “He’s said to dwell in the Cursed Woods. Ares Amberson.”
A heavy silence spread out at our table, dampening the nearby chatter. There wasn’t much noise to begin with, not with everyone’s ears turned toward the conversation at this table, but even the little cacophony there had been died down now. It was the effect of that name each and every single time someone spoke it out.
“Ares Amberson,” the leader monk pressed on. “The cursed heir of the Court of Scorpio, the—”
“We know who the bastard is, we don’t need a fucking profile,” Thornan spat out.
The monk licked his lips, his eyes so big now I could see the red under his lower eyelid. My eyes flicked down when he put his hands on the table. It was my job in the team to take in the details and evaluate danger.
“Heroes from many parts of the world come to Northern Kaledonien, and all of them know about the Scorpio Beast. But we never met anyone who’d actually laid eyes on him. He became a myth with too many versions. We’re here for the truth.”
“Why would you even want that kind of truth?” Kovra grunted. “I would un-know it anytime if I could.”
“And I can understand that,” the monk said. “You and your siblings have been through hell.”
“You understand nothing,” Kovra burst out, shooting forward and causing the monk to snap back into his seat. My twin held out a long, scarred finger in the monk’s face. “Don’t you fucking patronize us. We’re sick of you useless scribes coming around, going all paternal on us. You have no fucking idea what it’s like to feel death’s cold breath wrapping around you from the moment you enter that cursed darkness. That place out there—” He motioned with his head towards the window and the woods. “That place is hell. You want to know what it’s like? With pleasure. Tag along tomorrow, and we’ll show you.” His eyes glinted pale blue from under white-blonde eyebrows. “Unless, of course, you’re afraid we’re going to take your treasure and use your ass as fodder for the very beast you’re so eager to see.”
Number one stared with a blank face for seconds before he spoke again.
“We’re not looking for the beast. We’re looking for the truth in order to write about the beast, and keep the accounts forever protected in our library, and you of all people should see why. Don’t you think the world should know about what’s really happening here?”
“We think the world should fucking help,” Thornan interjected. “But it’s easier to just come snooping around, and then get out of town before darkness falls.”
“I think they should know about the Scorpio Beast,” I chimed in, drawing the three monks’ attention.
“Oh?” one of them breathed, as if he couldn’t believe his ears. “She speaks.”
I gave him a smile meant to make him uncomfortable. Why wasn’t I surprised that he didn’t like a woman speaking?
“We know one or two things about him, it’s true,” I began, keeping still as a statue. The monks stared mesmerized as I spoke, surely because of my looks. The fae traveled the world of men only rarely, and they tended to keep their faces obscured under hoods on most of those occasions. Kovra and I might well have been the closest thing to fae these three men had ever seen, and my appearance as a female was even more specific. I proceeded to give them some of the knowledge we’d gathered about the beast.
“Ares is the eldest son of the late Scorpio King, Zavros Amberson, and his wife, Lumeia. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. King Gariel of the Court of Spades killed both King Zavros and Queen Lumeia when he took over Celestia. For that, he used black magic, because he wouldn’t have won against Zavros any other way. The Scorpio King was the world’s best fighter, and some said his wife was one hell of a strategist. She was the commander, and he was her General. Together, they were an unbeatable force, so Gariel turned to dark powers in order to defeat them. He sold his soul to the devil, if you like. I’m sure you of all people understand the concept. Ares and his siblings survived the terrible curse that fell over their court, but at a great cost.” My voice lowered, my tone darkening. “They had to integrate the curse, to let it run through their veins. They had to become one with it, and live with it like with a disease. They were all small children when this happened. It is said Ares had the worst fate of all. Have you heard anything about what this curse did to him, honored clergymen?”
The leader blinked as if recovering from a mesmerized trance. “Indeed, yes. The curse, ahm—” He scratched the back of his head. “Like I said, the Scorpio Beast has become a myth in its own right. There are many speculations.”
“Let us hear some,” I encouraged him.
“Well, there are those who say he can kill with seduction. He can give pleasure, but that’s all an illusion. In truth, terrible things happen to people’s bodies when they think they’re being pleasured by him. Where they feel a caress or the stroke of a tongue, it’s often the tickle of a scorpion. But that’s only one of the many theories.”
“Why am I not surprised you chose one related to carnal sin? But the beast is about more than that.” I placed my elbows on the table. They made a blunt clanging sound against the wood from the elven protective plates I was wearing over my black mail. Elven armor, scavenged from the woods. The metal in my outfit had the Scorpio heraldry carved into it, the intricate undulations of a scorpion. Everything that belonged to the Court of Scorpio, including their treasure, had been thrown out into the Cursed Woods in the aftermath of the bloodbath, imbued with the same curse, which rendered the treasure untouchable by fae of Spades blood. Luckily, my twin and I were only half fae, and our mother had belonged to another court, so we could make good use of what we found.
“Let us start with the beginning,” I told the eagerly listening monks. The leader’s looks had turned slightly more lecherous, but I didn’t mind just yet. I wanted their masks off. “Tell me, clergymen, do you know how fae names are chosen?”
The two flankers shook their heads no, while the leader kept staring.
“From their birth, fae emit a certain kind of energy. An aura, if you want. Like the name suggests, Ares Amberson was first and foremost a warrior prince, because he was born with martial magic. He would one day become head of the Scorpio Army. But the dark magic King Gariel cast over the Scorpios twisted what was already inside the children. For example, it turned Ares’ little brother, Taurus, into a nasty shifter that goes mad at the scent of blood. You can hear his chilling howling on full moon nights, and you can be sure no creature happening in his path escapes with their lives.
“It turned his sister Lybra into a dark executioner, a creature that will deliver justice in cruel ways. It’s not unlikely to find a wayward clergyman with obscure sins hanging from a cross with his insides spilling out of him.” I bent in closer over the table, driving tension into the monks like a rod up their asses. Only number one retained some measure of control over his facial expressions, while the others stared like they weren’t sure they wanted to listen to this anymore. “Can you imagine what it turned Ares into?”
Snorting laughter broke through my story, giving the poor bastards some respite. It was Thornan, unable to hold back his amusement.
“Look at them, staring like you’ve turned into the fearsome creature yourself. Relax,” he slapped number two’s back, nearly throwing the man off his chair. “It’s just my beautiful lady sister. For now.”
“Let them answer my question,” I said through my teeth, not trying very hard to hide my displeasure. I made a mental note to ruin my little brother’s fun the first chance I got, too.
“A devil,” the leader said quietly. There was fear in his voice, but also reverence. My cheek twitched.
“People shouldn’t revere monsters, clergyman, for whatever reason. It’s not like it’s real admiration anyway. It’s just a suck-up to power. Yearning for a monster’s approval is a weak man’s business. And even monsters despise weak men. They use them, chew them up, and then spit out the leftovers.”
“Have you ever seen him?” he managed.
Kovra scoffed by my side.
“You don’t see the Scorpio Beast and live to tell the tale. He’s killed more monsters with his bare hands than we ever slayed with our weapons. Facing creatures like Ares Amberson isn’t how you survive those woods.” He pointed to the darkening window behind him. “And it’s sure as hell not how you scavenge treasure every month to help this village survive.”
“Find a place by the hearth to spend the night, clergymen,” I concluded, leaning back in my chair. “Brace yourselves, because tonight you’ll hear the lamentations of ghosts, and the howling of Taurus. This, gentlemen, is the most dangerous night of the month—the last of three full moon nights. Not a great time to arrive in Azoth Hollow, but it seems that’s how your fate would have it. Tonight, death descends over the village, taking on treacherous forms. That’s why we gather in large groups in places like this.” And why we, The Scavengers, would go on our monthly hunt the next day, but I left that out. The monsters gave their all on these nights, and they slept deeper the next day, which made it easier for us to move through the Cursed Woods. “I hope you appreciate the great opportunity you’re being offered. You’re going to experience the thrill of your lives, but beware. The ghosts will call on you, using their power to lure you out of your sanctuary—the very reason we stay together on these nights. Whatever happens, don’t even think about leaving the inn, because you will certainly die.”
I took no pleasure in sowing fear, and I pitied number two and three. Poor bastards fidgeted in their seats, turning to their leader, searching his face for reassurance. But number one, he deserved every ounce of this.
“You shouldn’t be joking about these things—” he paused, realizing he didn’t know my name,“—milady.”
“Vyper Gladwell is the name,” I offered impassibly. “And these are my brothers, Kovra and Thornan.” My twin and my little brother raised their pints as I gave their names. “And I assure you, we of all people take these things very seriously. Just look around.”
Patrons looked away as the monks turned to analyze their surroundings more carefully. Mothers and children had already started to pour in, raising the noise level. Babies wailed in women’s arms. A bunch of chickens used the chaos to slip in as well, expertly scuttling their way among people’s feet.
The Fyre Dragon Inn and Pub wasn’t the only place of gathering in town, but it was where The Scavengers spent the night, and people felt safe with us. Some of the women walked over to say hello before they started up the stairs, screaming at the children to stop running and stomping. Big Reo always reserved the rooms upstairs for women and children, and he had a soft spot for chickens, too. The monks’ eyes swept over the thick sheepskins and the fire logs stapled by the fire where a group of men had already settled in, close the hearth.
The leader stood up swiftly, realizing he’d have to move fast if he was going to get a spot close to the hearth. He hesitated for a moment, his eyes moving from the hearth to me and back again. Sure, he was uncertain whether to leave our conversation about the Scorpio Beast. I often found myself wishing sensation mongers like him would get a taste of the horror stories they came looking for, of the horrible things that happened to other people.
“We’ll talk some more about this in the morning?” he probed. I folded my arms across my chest.
“If we live until morning.”
The other two got up and crammed around him like scared children. The bastard found it in himself to bring about a grin.
“I don’t expect this will be The Scavengers’ last night. If you expected it were, you wouldn’t be so relaxed.”
Kovra burst into grating laughter. “Oh, believe me, clergyman, we’re not relaxed.”
“We’re just a wee bit drunk,” Thornan added, while I said nothing. The monster admirer wasn’t worth it, so I might as well save my breath.
“You’ve outdone yourself, sister,” Thornan said after the travelers left, working their way among the crowd to reach the hearth. The closest spots were already taken, but they could still squeeze in by the bar, if they curled their knees up. My brothers and I would take up position by the door, like we always did. We were here as protectors, not protégés. We hadn’t had a careless night’s sleep since we got out of diapers. “You scared the shit out of them.”
“I like this new skill of yours,” Kovra said, proudly raising his pint.
I raised mine, too. “Bottom’s up, boys. Within the hour, these streets will be swarming with ghosts.”
My brothers joined their pints to mine. I took a long pull and set mine down, turning my head to the window. Night was nearly upon us.
Our job wasn’t something that one ever got used to. The third full moon night in a month brought nightmares to life, and surviving it was never easy, especially since The Scavengers weren’t by far the badasses we projected to the village. But thinking we were strong made the people of Azoth Hollow feel safe, so we let them take comfort in that lie. The three of us were good fighters, but no real match for the evil out there.
A claw squeezed my heart as we took our places by the door, yet it didn’t have to do only with the hungry ghosts out there. I had enemies in this room too, among the very people we protected. Some believed I was the real reason why the curse had spread over Azoth Hollow, and now those men sat right by the monks. It wasn’t long until they huddled together in conversation, eyes on me.
“They’re not even trying to fucking hide it,” Thornan grunted, flanking me on my right, Kovra to my left. “Back in the day, they would have burned you at the stake.”
“Back in the day, I would have cut their balls off in the main square,” Kovra pushed through his teeth, his sharp jaw tight. “It’s what they’d deserve for being stupid today, too.”
“We all know it’s not stupidity that makes them hate me.” I hooked my fingers into the leather girdle around my waist. “It’s the lust I awakened in them when I was girl, and my powers went as crazy as my hormones. It was a scary time for all of us.”
“You were only twelve, Vyper. It’s not like you were trying to seduce drunk middle-aged men,” Kovra said.
“Yeah, well, no way of convincing them of that,” I whispered, looking away from the group, and trying to swallow the knot of disgust in my throat. “Placing blame is natural. We all do it.”
“Yeah, but not when it means punishing a mere child for our own perverted nature,” Thornan added. “I’m with Kovra. Stupidity should be as deadly as bubonic fever.”
“It’s the ghosts out there that are going to start killing unless we focus on our job,” I said, fitting two curved magic blades into my girdle. They were rare finds that could make ghosts dissipate into thin air and get sucked back into limbo.
Before long, hissing seeped into the night, a full moon rising in the sky. I watched it through the window as it took over the firmament like a queen of the underworld. I focused on it to center myself as trapped fae souls took to the streets, whispering. The room went awfully quiet as the ghosts started circling the inn. People huddled together, barely breathing. The only sound inside was the rustling fire that spread out a dim but dependable glow over the space. Upstairs, mothers and their children kept a grave-like silence.
Twenty years ago, when all this began, it had been easier for the ghosts to lure out terrified children. It wasn’t long before their mothers followed, desperate to save them. They could easily feast on Azoth Hollow. Now, decades later, people had toughened up, but the ghosts had also upped their game. My hands tightened on the hilts of my blades as ghostly whispers slithered under the door. They couldn’t infiltrate the inn, but they’d start using some of their uglier tactics soon enough. The spectral lamentations of a mother in an attempt to draw out a kindred spirit wanting to help filled the air, the cue that the fight for our lives was on. The sound was gut-wrenching, appealing to deep-seated instincts in a mother’s heart. A few years ago, one of the women had thrown herself out the window over something like this, and I couldn’t stop her. I was too late, and that was going to haunt me forever, but I’ll be damned if I’d let it happen again.
My muscles tensed, my eyes sharpened, and my hands wrapped tighter around the daggers at my waist. I would be ready this time.
Failing to get anyone to respond, the sound morphed into the wailing of babies, and then the calls of long lost, dead parents.
“Fuck it,” Thornan spat out. “They’re extra vicious tonight. Someone’s bound to fall.”
There was a heavy fatality to that statement that neither Kovra nor I could deny. Allowing yourself to be blindsided didn’t help things. We couldn’t know what everybody was hearing, because the ghosts could sound like anyone they loved. They lured people outside with promises that, if they got out there, they would be reunited with their lost loved ones. Only that this time it wasn’t a mother longing for a dead child that sought her way out. No. The one who stood and made his way towards the window, squinting, was none other than clergyman number one.
Of course. Unlike the locals, the monks were inexperienced. Easy prey.
“No,” Thornan hissed. “Get away from there.”
But the man was already entranced, mentally beyond Thornan’s reach. Those huddling on the floor didn’t bother to stop him because the foreigner going down meant more chances for the locals to survive the night. Maybe his flesh would appease the ravenous spirits. All the other watchers were upstairs with the women and children, which made us, The Scavengers, the only guardians on the ground floor. That also meant that the clergyman was our responsibility.
“Fuck! Stupid idiot,” Thornan spat out as he made his way toward number one. He got to the man before he could get to the window. The ghosts could take the shape of the Allmother herself, for all we knew, making him capable of anything.
A howl ripped through the air just as Thornan pushed the clergyman away. It sent ripples through the windowpane.
The howl of Taurus.
The blood froze in my veins, and my hands on my daggers. That was close. Too close. And if Taurus lurked in the area, Ares, the crownless king of the Court of Scorpio, wouldn’t be far.
Fuck me, this night would be the nastiest one yet. My pointy ears shifted imperceptibly as I focused on the sounds of night.
I watched Thornan with wide, unblinking eyes as he turned slowly towards the window, his lips parting.
“No! Fuck! Thornan!” Kovra sprang up, ready to sprint over and push our brother down to the floor. But what if the evil got to him, too? All I knew was that I couldn’t lose my brothers.
I shot up to my feet, jamming my shoulder into Kovra, and shoving him aside so I was the first to reach Thornan and place myself as a shield in front of him.
An icy fist tightened around my heart. My only luck, if I could call it that, was that fear always anchored me, making me hyper aware of my surroundings, which always proved an advantage. Even people’s breathing turned loud in my ears, yet clearly distinguishable from the sounds of night. Mothers hushing their babies upstairs, the quiet whimpering of a child, even rats in the basement scurrying to safety became loud thumps in my ears.
It was the first time I saw the three terrors, yet I didn’t have a doubt about who they were. You couldn’t mistake the dark executioner Lybra with a scales in one hand, and a blade in the other, or the creature to her left—a huge huffing shadow, steam curling out of its nostrils, its eyes red as fire.
A chill ran down my spine as the third creature stepped into the moonlight, right between the first two. There was no mistaking his identity, even though a hood obscured his face completely. He was bigger than Taurus, a black cloak flowing down from his broad shoulders, and he emitted so much power that all life seemed to be shrinking away from him. All he needed was a scythe, and I could have sworn I was looking at the bringer of death himself.
“Scavengers,” his ghostly whisper seeped into my head, while an icy mist coiled around my body.
Thornan shifted behind me. He must have heard him, too, and so did Kovra. I knew, because I had a direct line to my twin’s feelings. Still, I also felt the voice was addressing me more than either of them. I felt spoken to. And the more I stared at the hooded figure standing between dark executioner and shifter, the more I felt his focus. Penetrating. Cutting into my mind like knife through butter.
“Get out of my head,” I pushed out through my teeth. My jaw clenched so hard that it hurt, making speaking difficult. Was it him, not wanting me to talk out loud? What the hell, was he taking control over my body?
“I could,” he hissed, sending ice rolling down my back. “But you wouldn’t want me to come over there, would you?” A low rumble followed, as if he enjoyed this.
“Please.” I reached out to grab the sides of the window’s wooden frame. “These people are innocent. They’ve done you no wrong. Let them be.”
“They’ve done me no wrong, it’s true. But you have wronged me, and so did your brothers.”
A feeling of doom settled in the pit of my stomach.
“Scavengers,” he continued, the icy mist around me infiltrating my senses. “You’ve been violating the Cursed Woods, stealing Scorpio treasure. Now, we want it back.”
I begged the Allmother for an idea, but my mind stayed stubbornly blank. This was a monster I was talking to, the most dangerous creature in the Cursed Woods. I had to be very careful with what I did next. The responsibility weighed heavy on my shoulders. I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.
So, I did what I had never done before. For the first time, I accessed my magic, tapping into rusty instincts. My voice changed to a rippling soft tone, not entirely seductive, but getting there. The odds that my magic of seduction would work on the Scorpio Beast were close to zero anyway, but a deeper part of me was desperate enough to try.
“We can’t return the treasure, because we don’t have it anymore. It is spent. We don’t venture into the Cursed Woods for fun, you know. We do it because the Spades’ curse took Azoth Hollow in stride, and we can’t earn a living, so we have to buy one. The cursed treasure is how we’ve subsisted all of these years.”
A low growl like distant thunder made my skin pebble. When his spectral voice spoke in my head again, it chilled me.
“Well, then you’ll find that the Scorpio Beast isn’t beastly in all ways. I could let this slide, on the condition that you never come into the Cursed Woods again. That you never touch Scorpio treasure again.”
“You know that’s not a promise we can make. It’s the only way we can survive,” I pressed on, my fingers tightening on the window frame, the ridged wood starting to give way under my grip. “If you think about it, you owe this to us. We are all suffering under your curse, and we shouldn’t have to. We’re innocent.”
He burst into laughter. It was deep, controlled, but I could hear the repressed anger behind it, and it terrified me.
“Innocent,” the voice hissed in my head. “You mean we Scorpio fae deserved this?”
“I didn’t mean—”
“Save it, princess. I’m not here to discuss morals. You either give back the treasure, or pledge not to steal any more of it. Of course, since all good things are three, there is one other thing you could do to placate me.”
Rage tightened like a fist around my neck. He enjoyed torturing me with this. I wanted to scream at him that he was the most despicable creature, since he didn’t need the scraps of treasure we found in the woods, and everybody knew that, but I pressed my lips shut.
“You could pay your village’s debt,” he said, clearly taking dark delight in this. “In fact, if you choose this third option, I give you my word that neither my siblings nor I will set foot Azoth Hollow as long as you’re in my power. And if you make yourself really useful, we might provide the village with the means necessary to survive this winter, and maybe all the winters that follow. I might even protect Azoth Hollow of the ghosts on full moon nights. What do you say?”
My mind went blank. What the fuck was happening here? Why would he want me of all people, of what possible use could I be to him?
“All you need to do, Vyper, is give yourself over to me, as tribute.” His voice darkened, and more blood drained from my face with every word he said. “Do that, and see your village spared. Even those that don’t deserve sparing. You know exactly who I’m talking about.”
I did, and it scared the hell out of me. Did this monster know my secrets?
“Why would you even want me?” Even inside my own head, my voice was barely more than a shaky whisper.
“Come to the Well of Sorrows tomorrow at midnight, and see your questions answered.”
The invisible fist of anxiety closed tighter around my neck.
No one who ever went to the Well of Sorrows ever came back. No one that ever gazed down at their own reflection in the water ever resisted the urge of throwing themselves in it. Word had it that a terrible sadness came out of the well, and it overwhelmed even the most mentally robust.
“What you ask of me is pure suicide,” I said.
“Relax. If I wanted you dead, we wouldn’t be talking right now.”
“Then what do you want with me?”
The dark hooded figure shimmered, and chilling fear went through the entire room behind me. This man was pure terror. Every creature in the Cursed Woods knew to fear him, scurrying to safety whenever they felt his presence close. The ghosts that had invaded the village streets at nightfall had stopped whispering, now barely more than a quiet presence out there, as wary of the dark triad facing me through the window as I was. People behind me crouched in silence, barely daring to breathe, while Kovra kept tense like an arrow ready to spring if I needed protection.
Not that he’d be able to protect me. If anything happened, he’d only end up losing his life. I couldn’t let it come to that.
“What do you want from me, Ares Amberson?” I pressed on in the velvety tone of a nymph, even though it only seemed to amuse Ares.
“All in good time, princess. The Well of Sorrows. Tomorrow at midnight.”
I squinted at him, trying to pierce the night and get a good look at his face under the hood. My half fae eyes were able to scrutinize the darkness, but he managed to keep himself shrouded in a veil of mystery.
He raised his head just a little, upping the static that prickled my skin. Brilliant green eyes like pure poison gleamed under his hood, emitting light that hinted at the sharp, dangerous edges of his face that seemed made of metal.
While his siblings began to draw back into the night, Ares lingered, as if he were still waiting. Something glinted behind him, a blade in the moonlight as a war cry ripped through the night. Time slowed down as the silvery light revealed the attacker’s face. My blood thumped in my ears as I screamed out his name. The sound of my own voice deafened me, wood splinters piercing my skin as my hands crushed the wooden window frame.
“Thornan, no!” tore out of my throat. Taken with the Scorpio Beast, I hadn’t noticed when my brother had slipped outside.
The ghosts must have cleared the streets in fear of Ares, and Thornan saw opportunity. He took one hell of a risk to do it, and for what? This was pure madness. Ares turned, and the veins in my neck swelled as I screamed out my brother’s name once more. Probably for the last time.
Thornan never stood a chance. My heart crumbled into pieces as I realized that my little brother was about to perish. Watching his face, much more rugged than a twenty-year-old’s should be, felt like a knife through my heart. The moment Ares raised his arm, his black garment falling back from a large hand that was obviously used to heavy weaponry and to easily twisting the necks of young men, I knew.
My little brother had sealed his own fate.
Thornan was a big brawny man, but compared to Ares he seemed almost feeble. Even in a simple fist fight, one blow from that large hand that seemed capable of cracking an anvil would have rendered my brother senseless. But it didn’t come to that. An army of scorpions emerged from under the Scorpio Beast’s sleeve, the sight of them enough to send shivers all over me. They jumped on Thornan, throwing him down and spreading out all over him like termites. He scrunched his face and bared his teeth, screaming and thrashing on the ground.
“No!” I cried. “Please!”
Ares turned, but all I could see was a poisonous green eye glowing from under his hood, his face obscured.
“Your brother, yesss?” he hissed in my head. “Hmmm. I think I’ll keep him. You know, as a token of your good faith,” he rumbled, cunning behind his words. “Make sure you don’t do anything foolish, like try lukewarm, brothel magic on me again.”
With that, Ares Amberson disappeared into the night fog beyond the moonlight, dragging my brother along with him, and leaving me only with the sound of my own blood thumping in my ears. I started to feel the pain in my palms from the splinters that had pierced my skin. Pain shot through my hands as I unimpaled them from the splintered wood. Then the room tilted, and the ground disappeared from under my feet.
“Vyper!” I heard my twin as if through water as he caught me. I grabbed his dependable arms, my eyes hanging desperately on his pale blue gaze, struggling to stay conscious, my palms leaving bloody traces on his mailed biceps.
“He’s got him, Kovra. He’s got Thornan.” My voice sounded hoarse, like I’d been screaming for hours. “He’s only twenty, this can’t be how his story ends. It just can’t, I can’t let it be. He was in love, you know? And he kept on loving him, even if he didn’t want Thornan back. All he ever knew was pain. We have to save him! We have to, I have to—” my voice trailed off, and everything went dark.
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You like to read? Great. You’re a booktoker? Even better! Look at the covers and blurbs below, and tell me which one of these four books you would buy if you had to choose. Remember! Even if multiple books appeal to you, you have to pick ONE. Take a deep breath, and try to make that decision from your gut, without letting your mind interfere. That way, we’ll know the choice you make is purely authentic. So here we go—Tell me what you’d read, and I’ll tell you who you are.
Are you ready to enter into a new realm?
Fight for survival in the deadly gladiator Fae Games.
I shifted into a saber-toothed tiger…but that was just the beginning. Jax, Cobra, and Ascher are now my teammates. Once again, we’re fighting for our lives. And our futures. But nothing is as it seems, and for every secret we uncover, another unfolds.
Under the spiteful watch of Xerxes and the evil Fae Queen, it’s not clear we’re going to survive. Can we work together? Or will we implode?
One thing is for sure, I’m about to uncover my destiny.
Power is in my veins.
I spent most of my life feeling dead inside — until I met Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.
It wasn’t until Pan and Neverland that I finally felt alive.
But things are not all full of magic and sunlight on the island. There’s something darker and more sinister haunting the forest.
And worse, the fae queen and Captain Hook are ready to fight for control of Neverland and they will stop at nothing to get what they want.
War is brewing—can the Never King get his shadow back and assume his rightful throne? And if he does, where will I fit?
Or will all of Neverland be in jeopardy right along with my dark, twisted heart?
I could save him, but he would ruin me.
The beast. The creature that stalks the forbidden wood. The dragon prince.
He has suffered a fate worse than death. We all have. A curse put upon us by the mad king.
We are a kingdom locked in time. Shifters unable to feel our animals. Stuck here by a deal between the late king and a demon who seeks our destruction.
The only one keeping this kingdom alive is Nyfain, the golden prince to a stolen throne. The last dragon shifter.
He’s our hope. He’s my nightmare.
When he catches me trespassing in the forbidden wood, he doesn’t punish me with death, as he’s entitled.
He takes me, instead. Forces me back to the castle as his prisoner. Seeks to use me.
Apparently, I can save him. I can save the whole forgotten kingdom, locked away by the demon king’s power.
But it would mean taming the monster beneath his skin. It would mean giving myself to him.
Let me tell you a secret – Dracula had a brother. This is true. They called him Radu the Handsome, but his beauty was deceiving, and it hid a deadly secret…
With high ambitions as a journalist, Juliet Jochs travels to the Carpathians to investigate a mysterious and unnaturally beautiful prince. She suspects that he’s a dangerous man, and that this mission may cost her life. But, as the prince’s masks begin to peel off, she fears she may lose her sanity. Prince Radek’s dark powers suck Juliet into a whirl of hypnotic desire—no woman has ever resisted his lures. She must keep her head above the water if she is to save herself, run away and not look back before he consumes her completely. But can she resist opening the last door to his most terrible secret?
One thing is for sure—you’re fearless. You know that life isn’t fair, and expecting it to be is purely frivolous from your point of view. You’re highly intelligent, Machiavellian even when need be. You don’t make ruthless decisions lightly, but when necessity arises, you don’t back away from what needs to be done. You can be quiet, but you’re also powerful. You’re probably the one who takes action when everybody else freezes. You like to be loved and desired, but you also need freedom. You have many talents, whether of intellectual or athletic nature, but, in order to use those talents as sharply as you need to, you require space. You may not be ready to offer it in return, though. And let’s face it—There are times when you like to be smothered, because you love extremes like that. (PS: you should probably kick the habit of checking your significant other’s phone).
If anyone knows about inner demons and the power of their torment, it’s you. You’ve learned to tame them better than most people, but that sure took one heck of a toll on you. You can be the most quiet person in the room, but also the most dangerous. If people knew what’s going through your head sometimes, chills would run down their spine. You’re sort of like the vigilante of the inner world. There’s no place too dark for you, nothing where you’re afraid to delve. You’ve seen multiple faces of evil, and you’re always ready for a new one. Your love is deep and kind of twisted, and that’s the kind of love you like to get in return. One of the titles I would choose for you is “surgeon of the soul.”
You are the most profound romantic at heart! Erudite and with refined tastes, you have a fascination for all things ancient, as well as respect for the wisdom of the ages. In a fantasy story, you’d probably be the guardian of dangerous secrets (Let’s be honest here, you probably already safeguard quite a few secrets of your closest friends. People tend to tell you stuff because they find deep understanding in you, and you never judge). You could make a great therapist. You love beauty and tragedy all in one.
You can’t resist a dark mystery, especially when it comes with the promise of romance just as dark. You’re into secrets and mysteries, but the climax needs to be worthwhile. You’ll probably rarely ever read a murder mystery because, to you, it’s not whodunnit that matters, but WHY they dunnit. You like quiet, reserved people with an aura of shadow and power. People whose love and trust are hard to earn, but once you earn them, they’re dependable. You’re obsessive in love, and you like to be loved obsessively in return. With you, it’s all or nothing. A relationship with you is all consuming, but so darn worth it.
Enjoyed this? Plenty more where it came from. Check out more of my Personality Tests here, and please! Don’t shy away from sharing with your friends. If you know someone who’d like this, tell them about it. As for me, I always love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and tell me what you’ve got. My result is in the comments. (P.S. Long Live cover artists and blurb masters!)
Please take a deep breath, relax, and look at the covers below. Take a few seconds to listen to your innermost self. Try not to take more than five seconds, to make sure you stay honest with yourself before your thoughts start playing tricks on you. It’s important to keep your mind as quiet as possible to feel the truth. Ready? Which character/cover/title do you feel more attracted to? See the results below (DO NOT peek before you’ve made your choice!) Please share your result, you know I always love to hear from you.
You have a very rich inner world. Your strength in a relationship lies in the imaginative and fantasy-rich sides you can put on it. Living with you can be like living in a world of wonders. With you, your partner can experience things they’ve never dreamt of before. You need stimulation in a relationship, that’s often what feeds your imagination. You have to feel your partner is worth it. Still, you probably made peace with the fact that your ideal partner will remain just that—an ideal; but you certainly know how to become your partner’s fantasy, and that is one of your core strengths.
Your ideal partner is mysterious, dangerous, profound, intellectual. You’re profound yourself, and your needs are sophisticated. You need intensity in your relationships, and you offer it in return. You have a vast and interesting mind, and enjoy long and deep discussions. You’re attracted to a partner that can mesmerize you, and you can be quite mesmerizing, too. You can create addiction in a partner, to you, your essence, your relationship, but beware! You’re susceptible to the same.
There’s something about the bad guy you just find irresistible. You might attract the predatory kind of partners. But there’s another side to that coin. You can make your tormenter dependent on you. You can sort of embody the perfect emotional victim. You can be quite manipulative in your responses, giving this kind of bad boy exactly what he needs. You have an instinctive understanding of what this kind of people need, emotionally, and you know how to exploit that. But beware! There is a great danger to all this. These predators are usually apt at taking without truly giving anything.
You’re seriously into protector vibes. There’s a vulnerability and sensitivity about you that’s quite precious. You’re dedicated and nurturing when you fall in love, you’re all about The Other. Very protective of your (future) children. You’re generous, giving, honest in your feelings. You’re loyal, and you need stability. You like the idea of family, of starting one with the partner of your dreams, of putting down roots. Your strength in a partnership is loyalty, reliability, you’re a good family person. You like a splash of danger in your protector-type lover, and that points that you might have an anxious nature.
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Time for a NEW personality test based on your favorite books, covers and characters, loves. As always, please don’t peek at the answers before you make your decision. Look at the covers and captions below (it’s important to consider the captions!), and decide which one speaks to you most. Ready? Here we go.
Ice fae king holding you captive.
Deal with the devil. He’ll make your deepest desire come true – for the tiny little price of your soul.
Vampire king with an obsessive need for your blood.
Celebrity vampire stalking you.
(Lord of Winter). You have powerfully developed fantasy, and you crave a partner that is superior to you in that regard. That is often hard to come by. You love beauty, and may have certain dreams about how your ideal lover should look like. You need someone strong that can dominate you. If you have to choose between a love story and a life story, you will most probably choose the first. To you, a relationship without passion is not worth it. To you, there’s no point to stability and safety if your heart isn’t aroused in the only way that matters – through intensity and passion. Of course, that is also the kind of love that you offer, and will take nothing less in return.
(Mister Dark). You don’t shy away from risk in matters of the heart. You’re definitely not afraid to play with fire, and you’ve probably done it often enough that you’ve learnt some stunts around it, too. A relationship with you is an adventure, often a rollercoaster ride. You can sure offer your partner some powerful sensations. It takes a daredevil to be with you, and some serious amount of Dark and Dangerous to get you going; a queen of the night at heart, whoever takes a chance on you is in for pleasant, electric surprises.
(Prince of Blood). You’re not gonna believe this, but at heart, you’re the princess that every prince dreams of saving. You’re pretty traditional in matters of your heart’s desires, not trying to be original or pretending to want something else just for the sake of being “different” or “interesting” or even woke. You’re very clear about what you want and yes, it’s the vampire that craves your blood, because that means he’ll never want another woman besides you. What you crave most in a relationship is complete dedication. You would give up anything for a partner that can persuade you that you’re the apple of his eye. Problem is, you’re not very easy to persuade of that, are you? Your needs in order to feel emotionally safe are extreme, even if your demands might not be. You have no desire for freedom.
(The Porcelain Prince). Let’s be honest here, you have a thing for painful relationships, don’t you? Maybe unrequited loves? But enough about the dark side of your emotional nature. You crave excitement in your love relationships, and periodically you need renewal. Stability? Yeah, it’s nice but not necessarily what you’re after. What you want is emotional stimulation. Having the undeterred attention of the one person you’re crazy about is your favorite way of feeling alive. It’s your own personal kind of high. To you, love should be something you can get drunk on, the one emotion that should replace any drug. You probably think that, if people had the love lives they truly craved, no one would turn to destructive substances. Of course, love can turn toxic and destructive too, but you probably think it’s worth it. Considering that you offer what you expect, you might be right, too.
Liked this? Check out the books in question, and it will be practically be like reading about yourself. Also, feel free to roam the site. THIS page has a wealth of personality tests for you to choose from, and please—let me know what you get. I’m super curious like that.
Okay loves, same as all the tests before. Please DO NOT peek at the answers before you’ve taken a good look at the images, and taken your pick regarding which one speaks to you most! Look at the book covers below, and let your gut insitinct decide which one is The One to you. Try not to think about the answer, but feel it instead. So here we go:
Toxic – your secret sin is Lust. But hold on. You’re not only a lustful person, you’re also quite good at igniting lust yourself. If you’re not experienced in deed, you’re rich in fantasy, and you feel things on a very deep level. When you trust a lover, you can reveal sides of yourself that they can become highly addicted to. There are probably only two types of people out there – those who fear to get too close, and those that are attracted like a moth to flame, unable to resist your innate magnetism. Because there is a magnetism about you that either freaks people out, or pulls them in.
Scarred – your secret sin is Pride. But wait. That also means that you are royally generous, you care about the needs of those you love, and you are fiercely loyal. Yes, you’re particularly sensitive to humiliation, but you’re also dependable, you never tire of finding creative ways to help and lift up those you love, not to mention you have a gift for bringing luck, good fortune and good vibes into your loved ones’ lives. You invest yourself completely in your relationships, and you’re particularly hurt when the other party holds back. You go all in. There are few people in the world more dedicated than you, but probably also few that have been betrayed worse than you.
Ward – your secret sin is Greed. But there are two sides to that coin. You may be demanding, and your expectations soaring, but you’re also highly artistic, you have a way of enchanting people, and those that get tangled in the web of your charms rarely ever find their way back out. You’re interesting, and probably compelling and fascinating. You see shades and hues to things that others can’t, and you’re often disappointed and impatient with other people’s shortsightedness. Mathematical and analytical types are offensive to you through their crudeness. You appreciate good style, not only on the outside, but also in matters of inner life and intellectual abilities.
Forbidden Fae – your secret sin is Escapism. But there’s more to that than meets the eye. You may have a soft spot for forbidden fruit stories, which probably caused you a lot of pain in your love life. You have very rich imagination, and quite the ability to picture things in your head as if you would live them out in reality. Deep down, you could harbor the secret conviction that those fantasies could actually happen. You have a fascinating inner world, and people gravitate towards you because there’s something irresistibly intriguing about you, no matter what you look like. Still, it may rarely be the people you want. You tend to dream about what you can’t have. Be careful that it doesn’t become a psychological issue.
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Okay, ladies and gents, you know the drill. No peeking at the interpretation before you’ve read the quotes, and let your gut decide which one speaks to you most. Try not to think about the answer, but feel it instead. So here we go:
Which of the following sentences holds true for you
“To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.” Winston Churchill
“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never changes.” Confucius
“The problem with a life spent reading is you know too much.” Josh Lanyon
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” Will Rogers
You are a dynamic person, future-oriented. Your level of ambition is very high. You’re interested in new developments, and you’re probably an early adopter in matters of technology, too. You’re curious and inquisitive by nature, and you might be talented in fields such as journalism and detective work, even science. Competent, determined, energetic. Undeterred. Hard on yourself but lenient with others, except maybe with your partner after many years of being together.
People who know you might refer to you as a wise old soul. You’re probably an intellectual even if you didn’t study long. Despite your knowledge of many things (you have a diverse wealth of knowledge), you could be rigidly set in your ways. You believe in the deep wisdom of tradition, in the complexities and value of experience. You may be resistant to new things, and consider many modern developments frivolous. You do have some kind of mystical access to ancestral wisdom through your appreciation of nature and of the entire chain of planetary evolution.
You often feel like part of an “elite”, and you may sometimes discard other people’s opinions because you feel they don’t have the intellectual basis to emit them. Put simply, you can get a little judgy. But that happens mostly because you’ve often been praised for your intellectual prowess, when you emitted an opinion you’ve often been right, and you’ve been blessed with a taste for intellectual pleasures. You tend to live more in the mind than in the heart, but that doesn’t affect your well-developed capacity for compassion. You’re interested in people and what makes them tick, and you like developing theories, which are often well-articulated and viable.
You have a very rare quality—you’re a good observer. In fact, a good career choice for you could be that of a spy. You pick up on the most inconspicuous details, and you’re usually spot on about their interpretation, too. You’re a silent, but powerful opponent. You’re probably mysterious and compelling, and people are drawn to you. A strategist. Tough, methodical. Very patient. In a thriller, you would probably be the silent character who turns out was the villain all along. But once someone wins your loyalty, you’re there for life. You’re one of the most reliable people out there, and you have qualities that are truly very hard to find.
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NEW personality test by Ana Calin. Be warned – this one is for dark, complex souls. It’s one of those articles in which we’re exploring our demons (you know, because that’s what I do all day writing sexy shifters, vampires and fae princes). So here we go.
Please read the following sentences and decide without much thought, within a few seconds, which one holds truest for you. Try to feel the answer rather than think it, and please, do NOT even peek at the interpretations before you’ve made your decision.
I’ve been spending my life waiting for a drop of tenderness.
True love isn’t a sweet delight, it’s a decadent pleasure.
I take my love stories with a bed of roses and a dash of poison.
There’s no crueler hell than unrequited love.
Yours is a bottomless soul with a tragic story. You were probably subjected to emotional abuse in your early life. You might be prone to develop the Stockholm Syndrome. Your love stories are profound, but they always have an element of pain to them. It’s that element of pain that attracts you, and that makes you attractive. You might be inclined to create victim-abuser scenarios. Try reading villain romances, bully romances, you might like them. You love a bully if you feel he is a hurt soul in need of rescue.
Your love stories are probably toxic and glamorous, which is why you might be highly addictive to your partners. You love hard, but you hate even harder. You tend to take matters into your hands, and you probably go after the men or women you like, too. You’re mentally very robust, but you can still go stalkerish on your love interests. Your lovers are either so affected by you they can never forget you, or they run away from an intensity they can’t handle. You simply burn too hot for them.
You might be slightly (or seriously) masochistic, and here I don’t necessarily mean your sensual preferences, even though those could be as interesting and elegantly twisted as your personality. You’re interested in sophisticated and demanding lovers that challenge you on multiple levels, helping you grow. You’re most probably that kind of lover, too. You know how to make your SO feel special, but you can crush them, too. You don’t mind being the one crushed either, because to you, that is sometimes the price of a love story that’s worth living.
You are a natural giver. Your love is like a deep, mysterious ocean that yet hides more sorrow than golden treasure. You have a tendency to fall in love with emotionally unavailable people, or may have an attraction towards forbidden love scenarios. You may have a subconscious pattern of putting yourself in painful situations. Subconsciously, you may fetishize being emotionally mistreated. It’s very possible that you have deep-seated worthiness issues. You may gravitate towards people who seem indifferent to you in an effort to feed your self-deprecating self-image. But make no mistake—being loved by you is like being cradled by ocean waves; it’s a one of a kind experience.
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Also, if you’re in the mood for a romance as dark and creamy as chocolate with sexy demons, vampires, fae and shifters, check out this page. It’s got over thirty titles that might be just the kind of entertainment you need tonight. I always love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, share what you think.
NEW Dragon Shifter book coming out in ten to fourteen days!
Evil has crept back into the human realm, and only two people can banish it. A fire dragon with a heart of ice, and the only woman who can melt it.
Igor Davydov is a dragon shifter with a godly body, a sculpted face, and deadly skills. He’s been protecting me from afar ever since the serpent god Apep was banished from the human realm, but now evil is back, and so is Igor. Up close. In front of my apartment building. Crashing my date that’s gone terribly wrong anyway, and asking to come up.
To him, I was always just a sickly girl that depended on meds to keep herself on her feet. Still, for this mission, he needs me, because despite my weakness, I have one mysterious supernatural strength. Problem is, there’s only one way to defeat the serpent god, one that will bind Igor and me to each other forever, for better or for worse. And right now, things are bad, going on worse. But somewhere along this dark and dangerous road I discover the tragic life story behind Igor’s tough shell, and the more I learn, the harder I fall for him. He wasn’t always a brute that thrived on war and blood. He was once a beautiful boy that now only I can see, and that I’m falling madly in love with. Hopelessly in love, because there’s no way in hell he can ever feel the same about me. Is there?
“Let me out of here right now,” I demand, but my voice is shaky. He laughs, clearly not impressed, putting a hand on my thigh. I look down with a sense of dread. I’ve gained some weight since I started taking my medication regularly, but Darryl’s hand is still big enough to grab the entire girth of my thigh. “Give me one kiss then,” he says. “Come on, it’s the least you can do for all the time and money I invested in us, don’t you think?” A wave of nausea travels up to my throat, and I go light-headed. This can’t be actually happening to me. I press myself against the door as he leans closer, his hand tightening on my thigh, until a terrible force yanks the door open. Reality becomes sharp as hell as I stumble backwards, a strong arm catching me before I hit the ground. The first thing I recognize about the intruder is his scent, one that I would recognize anywhere. Campfires, and dragon skin. “Okay, this is where you call it a night.” Igor Davydov has the deepest voice I’ve ever heard, and if the situation weren’t making me so sex-adverse right now, I’d probably mention how sexy it is. Failing to find the balance I need, Igor keeps his concrete hold on me, looking down at my face out of those brutishly blue eyes. He doesn’t say it, but ‘what were you thinking?’ is written all over his face. A wave of shame runs through me, causing me to lower my blushing face, but why, damn it? I haven’t done anything wrong. “Who is this dude?” Darryl asks after a few moments of what I expect was stunned silence, which makes total fucking sense. It’s not every day that a guy reaches into your car for your date, much less one like Igor Davydov, who looks like the modern Viking role was created based on him. He’s big, blonde, and seemingly sculpted out of a piece of rock. There’s also something unmistakably brutal about his face, with eyes like rough blue diamonds, which would place him just right among the Northern warriors—or, better yet, their gods. His mouth is particularly sensual though, if you ask me. And maybe not just me. Women forget how to breathe whenever he walks into a room, I’ve witnessed that more than once. Igor is a dragon shifter, and dragon shifters have that effect. Most people don’t know that they exist, they don’t know there are supernaturals out there at all, but still, you can’t look at this man and not realize he’s different. The power contained in those muscles, it emits its own freaking aura, and somehow when he’s dressed in a simple Diesel T-shirt, jeans and army boots, like tonight, the effect is even more compelling. My sister, Vienna, said it was the dichotomy of it, their supernatural looks wrapped in our all too mundane fabrics that make them so impossible to look away from. Under the impact of first impression, Darryl blinks up at Igor as if something just hit him in the head. In a few moments though, his subconscious mind has already crafted a story that makes sense, and animosity rearranges his features. “I’m talking to you, Hazel, who is this guy?” he demands like a husband that was just screwed over. “That’s none of your fucking business,” Igor replies in my place. “Is she seeing you, too?” Darryl pushes, his voice too high-pitched. “Were you trying to play me, Hazel!?” “We’re, we’re not—” “We live together,” Igor cuts in. He turns to me and raises a very dominant eyebrow when all my brain does is scream ‘Whattt?’ inside my head. “Tell him, Hazel. Tell him how long we’ve been room-mates.” “So you live with your sister, right?” Darryl spits, glaring at me like I’m a cockroach worth squashing. “I should have known. You looked like trash the first time I saw you, I should have never expected you to be anything else.” That should offend me, but my confidence is leaving me. Maybe I did lead him on. The way he reacts, as if I owe him something, it confuses me. Inexplicable guilt crawls up from my stomach, but Igor’s deep voice tears through that. “You better watch your language, you sorry piece of shit.” Darryl’s lips become a hard line as he prepares his comeback. I can feel the muscles in Igor’s arm work around my shoulders, and one glance at his large hand confirms he’s clenched his fist. Shit, if this escalates, he’s gonna rip the guy apart. “Listen, why don’t we all take a deep breath, all right? This has been nothing but a big misunderstanding.” I hold up my hands, but I get the opposite effect of what I wanted. Igor’s body heats up, his arm like a stove around my shoulders in the chilly evening. His dragon fire is mounting, and he’s staring daggers at Darryl. “Darryl got the wrong impression, that’s all.” I turn to my date, placing a hand on my heart. “Listen, you’re a great catch, any girl would be lucky to have your attention. I was flattered, too, so I went along with it, and that wasn’t fair to you, because I wasn’t ready. You see, I—” But he interrupts me before I get to tell him about my strange condition of autophagy and draining energy, and how I desperately needed contact to the outside world, to people, because I was going to go insane in isolation. “Oh, save it,” he bites out. “I get it. It’s fucking obvious.” His eyes spit venom at Igor and me. “You were hopelessly into your room-mate. You probably fuck, too, whenever he feels like it, of course. But if you think you can fuck your way into a real relationship with him, let me burst your bubble now. Guy’s top of the food chain, he probably fucks a second-hand rag like you every other day.” My skin burns in indignation, but a second later I just stare with an open mouth, flabbergasted. Igor reaches in and grabs Darryl by his throat. ***
The book’s gonna be ready for you by the middle of the month! But here are the first two books of the series, if you’re feeling impatient. DRAGON CHRONICLES
Okay folks, so this month I intend to release two books. One of them is a fae novella, Desired by the Fae Prince, and the second one is the third installment of my dragon shifter series, Dragon Chronicles, a book titled The Dragon’s Game. While The Dragon’s Game might take until the beginning of February to hit the Zon, Desired by the Fae Prince is going to come out at the end of this coming week! Here is the opening excerpt. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.
Runar Hauldron is a fae prince in glimmering armor, but behind all that, he’s nothing but a monster. Yes, he’s a starlight fae, outrageously handsome, and he’s the ruler of this kingdom. And yes, he’s the one who made Fort Solar into what it is today, namely one of the most vibrant kingdoms in the realm. But he built all that on a pile of bodies.
Including the bodies of my family, and it probably won’t be long until I disappear down that deep black hole, too. Still, the ‘Why’ needs a bit of a backstory.
Perched on the highest mountain and overlooking the ocean, Fort Solar is one of those gems crisscrossed by winding streets that brim with magic, and bustle with business. There are stands overflowing with precious silks and gems along the roads, while special shops hold the rarest magic items. If you’re after something rare and valuable, you’re sure to find it here, which is why people travel to Fort Solar from all over the world.
The dark side to all of this abundance is that it’s procured by the blood and sweat of those like my family. Of metahumans, namely humans born with some magical abilities that we’d be better off without because all they’re doing for us is make us useful to oppressive royalty like Runar Hauldron. In Fort Solar, and all over the realm, really, we’re the lowest class. Only fit to be servants, and even slaves. No task is too low and no work too hard. Half of us die in the colonies, extracting magical gems and metals from the rock. Being traded among the rich and powerful is what happens on a good day. Surely it’s obvious there’s no breaking from that social class, no chance at higher education, no opportunities.
Which is why I am here now, at the old wine cellars that have been closed to the public for decades, meeting with the closest thing we metahumans have to a secret society. One that’s been built to break the social order, and bring down evil princes like Runar.
“We’re not nearly strong enough to strike now,” Cary blurts out—one of the prince’s servants, and my closest friend. He jumps up from his chair with wide eyes and a scared pale face. “It’s a handful of us, against one of the most powerful men in the realm!”
“It’s now or never, Cary,” the old sage replies. He’s the leader of our group and the person who made the proposition. When he speaks the rest of us hardly dare breathe, but this is a hard pill to swallow for all of us, which is why Cary grows hysterical.
“I work for the prince’s inner circle, I know what we’re up against,” he argues. “You can’t imagine the kind of security the man has around him at all times. And even if, by some absurd chance, anyone got close enough to assassinate him, he’s fucking Runar Hauldron! The slayer of the Great Unseelie King, he’s the man who defeated the Unseelie armies. Some say he’s the best swordsman in the entire realm, and I’ve seen him in close combat. Trust me, the guy is a weapon!”
“And yet we must find a way to kill him!” voices rise from the other side of the table.
“Before his dark mist kills every single metahuman outside his castle,” someone else chimes in desperately, murmurs of approval rising.
The old sage remains quiet.
“We don’t stand a chance,” Cary insists, exasperated. “Not like this. We need a plan, and we need someone strong to do it. It needs to be a supernatural, a powerful one, like him.”
“The boy is right,” a plump maid says, wringing her hands over her apron. “I work close circle, too. And we’re not ready to attempt an assassination, we might never be, not during our lifetimes. It’s just a handful of us, while there’s an entire world of them. I am fully committed to our cause but, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think any of us can do it. I don’t think we can do it even if we all attack as one, together. This kind of mission needs a few generations’ preparation.”
“And it needs military training, years of it,” another man puts in.
“Or a skilled, experienced mercenary,” another one cries from the back.
“I will do it,” I say.
All faces at the table turn toward me, surprise slapped onto them.
But the old sage doesn’t seem thrown off at all. He opens his mouth like a man with a vision, his white eyes seeming to stare at something compelling.
“The high spirits have spoken,” he muses. “It will be Sandra of the Ray.”
“What do you mean? She’s just a girl, an orphan you took under your roof. She doesn’t look like she can survive a storm, let alone the prince,” the man next to the maid says. I strain to remember his name. Oh yes, Goran Dukovnic. He and the maid—his wife—keep to themselves a lot. Her name is Lativia, if I remember correctly. Goran is a reserved guy who looks like a dependable handyman, complete with a square jaw, scruffy stubble, and a grey shirt with rolled-up sleeves that reveal strong forearms.
“You have to give us more than that, oh Wise One,” Lativia adds, giving me an appraising side-look. “Because the only idea that seems crazier than attempting assassination at this point is to send a child to do it, because that’s what she is, basically.”
“I stopped being a child the day that bastard took my family away from me,” I spit out through gritted teeth, reliving in my mind the dark mist seeping into our home and taking them away, cold and indifferent to my desperate screams. I kept trying to claw at it, but there was nothing I could grab onto, only black air. My knuckles show white as I tighten my fists on the table. “He made me an orphan! Prince Runar sent that mist, as he always does when he needs to feed the dark power that fuels him. I will stop him, or die trying.”
“Pace yourself, my child,” the old sage says in his raspy and yet soothing voice. “That you would offer yourself tonight was foretold by the high spirits. I was waiting for you to say the words. And now that you have, destiny is sealed. Still, it won’t be easy.”
“The high spirits spoke to you about this? They announced it should be me? Why didn’t you just tell me?”
“Because it had to come from you. What you did is a willing offering to the high spirits. Your intention sends precious scents towards the sky, like burning incense.”
“But why would the high spirits want it to be me?” I look up at the sky, holding up my palms. “I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful. I’ve dreamt about this for many years, ever since—” Since the only people who ever loved me were sucked away by that dark mist as if they’d never existed, and I had to go live with my uncle. But I clench my jaw before the words leave my mouth. After all these years, I still can’t talk about it. My uncle was the best baker in Fort Solar, and a kind man, yet his wife was another story. She beat me daily, bruised me, her bestiality growing until she broke my ribs. Even then, she had me keep wiping the floor, while she kept kicking me.
That’s when I ran away, hunched over and holding to my side until I collapsed at the old sage’s door. He took me in, as he often took orphans. Still, he probably saw my arrival as sent by the high spirits, because he always treated me as if I was something special, even though I’m not. I’m just a twenty-one year old wretch, without any special magical abilities except my relationship to plants. I can feel their roots, and their magical powers. Also, I’m not particularly pretty, despite Cary’s insistences on the contrary. I’m too skinny, with high cheekbones that used to look skeletal when the old sage first took me in, and small grey eyes. My hair is a heap of sand-colored hay, and my lips are thin because I made a habit of keeping them tight, giving my face a forever tense look. Still, that didn’t stop unwanted advances from men, especially when the old sage sent me to get herbs from the market or get water from the well. They’d never marry a wretch like me, but they’d sure fuck me on the edge of the well, or behind a market stand. Cary says they’re attracted to my vulnerability and femininity, but I think that’s bull. They’re attracted to how easy it is to prey on me and then dump me. The only man who ever truly cared about me that way is Cary. But no matter how badly I wish I could return his feelings, I just can’t.
Cary is also an orphan who grew up in the old sage’s house, and he’s the closest thing I have to a brother. We grew up as family. But then he started opening up to me about his true feelings since he got that job at the castle, arguing he’s got enough money now to feed another mouth, but I can’t do this to him. Not with the bitterness and anger that have been living inside me for ten years like coiling serpents.
“Who can say they can decipher the mind of the high spirits,” the old sage says. “There’s not a wise one in the world who can claim they’ve had more than mere glimpses of its divine essence. But those glimpses are priceless, and they reveal a whole world of meaning. They foretold it could only be you, my child. Only you can discover Prince Runar’s weak spot. And only you can bring him down.”
“What if he doesn’t have a weak spot?” the maid inquires. “I’ve been at the castle for a long time, and I didn’t discover any.”
“Neither have I,” Cary says.
“The high spirits have a plan, and it will be revealed to us as we go,” the old sage muses, his sightless white eyes directed at the sky, as if he were receiving answers from the high spirits as we speak. We can all feel his connection to the higher planes, to something divine and timeless that yet needs us, creatures made of flesh, to put its divine plans into action.
“We would be risking Sandra’s life,” Cary argues, shaking his head in refusal. “I can’t let that happen.”
“Then help me,” I reply, making eye contact, which gives him pause. I’ve been avoiding looking at him directly for weeks. “Help me get in. Help me get close to him. And when the time comes, help me end the bastard.”
I can’t remember the last time I felt as light in my chest as I do now, emerging from the old wine cellars. I pull my hood over my head, making sure to stay inconspicuous as I round the corner into a side alley, and then weave my way through the crowded market. Right in the middle of it there’s a statue of the starlight prince that a secret society has just agreed—however reluctantly—that I’m going to kill.
I shield my eyes against the sun to stare up at a prince Runar made of gold and precious gems. The statue depicts him in motion on a mighty stallion, sword raised high above his head, his long golden hair blowing in the wind. His armor, encrusted with precious stones, is built specifically to showcase his athletic body which is, at least in this statuesque depiction, a fantastically beautiful thing. I scoff to myself. Pretty sure he doesn’t look like that in reality. I mean, he is fae and all, but this is fucking perfection, and I’m not buying it.
Needless to say I’ve never seen the fae prince up close. But in only a few days, Cary hooks me up with a job at his court. On Wednesday, I finally get to lay eyes on him.
The first sight is from afar, of course, since the castle is humungous, and filled with nobility and military all day long. There’s less activity at night, but the corridors are never empty. The prince is always surrounded by a bunch of generals and advisors, and he seems to be working a lot, from early morning until late at night. If he’s ever alone, one can’t know when and where, yet Cary says he often spends his nights in the castle library.
But the doors are never open, and I can’t roam the castle too much at night. I might get lost if I do anyway, not only because of the winding corridors, but because of all the magic this place is imbued with. Magic meant to protect and to kill. So I have to work my way closer and closer to the prince, which I finally succeed at a Friday dinner that he throws for his closest staff. Cary made sure that I got a serving slot here, and it wasn’t easy. When I finally approach enough to get a good look at the prince’s face, I freeze with the tray of starters in my hands.
In person, Runar Hauldron is even more majestic that the statue I saw of him days ago. He’s so large that that statue of him might as well have been real-size, even though I know that’s just an illusion. He’s big, yes, as all fae are, especially the warrior types, but the larger-than-life impression he makes is something that comes from the inside. His face is milky white, his features so beautiful he’s compelling to look at, and his blonde hair falls in flowing waves down to his waist. I never thought I’d find a pretty boy so attractive, but there’s an inherent masculinity about Runar despite his ethereal beauty. He’s not wearing his armor, but a white linen shirt that’s almost see-through, and that reveals contours of his powerfully built body. He sure looks like a prince descended from the stars, which is what starlight fae are. Compared to him, I’m a blade of grass with eyes.
“Close your mouth, your jaw dropped,” Cary says as he brushes by me. I stir from the enchantment of prince Runar and make eye contact with Cary long enough to catch the jealousy in his gaze. He walks away, placing a tray of steak and one of side-dishes on the table. I manage to make my way close to the prince so that I have to lean in and place my own tray on the table right next to him. My arm brushes over his in the process.
Current runs through me when it happens, sending a shudder all through my body. And when the prince’s ocean-blue gaze meets mine, I freeze in place. The world seems to tilt around me. Is this a special power of his, making humans feel dizzy in the head just from looking at him?
“How dare you touch the prince?” one of the men at his table reacts. The hostility of his voice tears me from the enthrallment of the prince’s gaze, and my head snaps to him in time to see one of the generals reach out and grab my wrist with the look of a mad dog on his face. “So typical of metahuman filth, to think you can rub yourself in the face of royalty just because you serve at their table.”
The fae general has already started to drag me towards the exit before I even realize what’s happening. My feet skid on the polished floor, making a squeaking sound, and my face heats up as the general’s grip tightens around my neck. It’s like an iron vise, inescapable. It’s like I’ve been literally grabbed by a machine. I claw at his hand, desperate to free my windpipes, but he’s too strong. The last thing I see before squeezed-out tears blur my vision is Cary’s stricken face as we pass him by. He’s unable to react because, I realize, this must all be happening too fast for him, but a voice as strong as thunder stops the general in his tracks.
“Harthuil, let her go!”
The man stops abruptly, but it’s seconds before he drops me. I hit the floor, coughing, not even trying to come up to my feet. I know it would be a futile attempt. I take my hand to my throat to make sure nothing is broken, since part of me wonders how come I’m still alive. There’s an exchange of lines around me, two men talking, the thundering voice giving orders, while the other accepts them meekly. It takes some time until enough oxygen finds its way back into my head so I can make any sense of it. When I do, I understand the kind of trouble I’m in, and my eyes pop out of my head.
Enjoyed this? Plenty more where it came from. Check out some of my other fae books here and here, so you have something you can binge until this one comes out. I love to hear from you. so leave me a comment and tell me how you liked this excerpt, and what you’d like to see in this new book. I always take your suggestions to heart.
It’s been an intense ride, but this fae fantasy romance is LIVE, exclusive on Amazon and in KU! I have grown attached to the story and the characters as I wrote it, and it’s safe to say often I got lost in them. Here is the first chapter, I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and feel free to leave a comment, or share it with people you know might enjoy an intense fae romance for Christmas : )
A fae prince made of shadow and smoke whisked me off to another realm—with dark intentions.
We humans are nothing but lowly creatures to the fae. They’re arrogant and cruel, and who could blame them? They’re formidable beings, and they consider us nothing but mortal bundles of flesh, worthy only of the dirt under their feet. Only that this particular bundle of flesh—Yours Truly—is the shadow fae’s only chance of survival as a race.
Salazar Shadowthorn, their prince, needs me in order to rise to former glories. He’s deadly and feared, but his enemies are as many as his admirers. And they’re after his most valuable possession—me. I may be his slave, but it turns out I’m special. I have magic, and Salazar needs to help me scale it in order to use me for his purposes. Still, we were never meant to become more than master and slave. In his world, it shouldn’t even be possible. But as enemies emerge from the shadows, both Salazar and I are faced with a truth we can’t deny—if we want to win this, we have to give in to that dark, dangerous calling that we feel towards each other. Problem is, it comes with a huge price.
Hutchinson, Massachusetts, is a cursed place. With the ocean waves crashing against its dark cliffs, and thick forests surrounding it, this town has always had a foreboding air about it. I think it was this very gloom fit for a mystery movie setting that drew all the rich and famous to buy holiday estate here, though I’m sure its secluded location played a part too. As did the expensive private school.
Almost the entire population of Hutchinson consists of rich kids abandoned by their high-flying parents at the Ivy League Anne Hutchinson High, living under the meek supervision of their staff. Many seniors used to throw wild parties at their mansions, but the partying has died down now. All gates and doors are locked after dark, and the most expensive alarm systems switched on, because some seriously weird shit has been going down.
Two people went missing in the past month, and nobody has a clue what could have happened to them. It’s like they vanished into thin air, and neither police nor press, not even private investigators have gotten a single lead so far. Both of these people were from my school, and both of them female. The first was Georgia Hathaway, head cheerleader and wet dream of the entire male population at Anne Hutchinson High. The second one was Josephine Norman, a Scandinavian cold beauty with straight As in science and serious abandonment issues. She’s also my best friend.
If we’re looking at a crime, the victims are two people who couldn’t have less in common.
Josie’s disappearance has left behind two picture perfect parents, probably not as devastated as the media portrays them to be. Her father runs a film-making company, her former model mother does charities, and both of them always dreaded having to spend time with their child. There wasn’t ever any real emotional connection between them, Josie said. A child was a box that needed to be ticked before her mother turned thirty-five, so they adopted her from Scandinavia. But the glamor of being a new mom faded for the former model rather quickly, which means that Josie was mostly raised by maids and nurses.
She’s had to deal with some serious bullying at school, too, and if anyone understands bullying, and how far it can go, it’s me. As a working-class kid who’s gotten into an Ivy League high school through a scholarship, I’m nothing but a parasite to the high-flyers. One they take great pleasure in torturing. I can barely walk the hallways without being called all sorts of names, and my locker gets vandalized so often it’s not even funny anymore. A-hole Lachlan Vallar, popular jackass with a face crisscrossed by chicken pox scars but a frame big enough and a proclivity for violence steep enough to scare all the other guys shitless, never runs out of ideas. He’s the reason I always try to close the distance from school to the dorms as quickly as possible on my bike. I don’t want to give him a chance to drive after me, calling out all the things he’d do to me if I just joined him and his mates in his car.
“Neveah McKinney, you little tramp, no point hiding those perky tits behind that oversized sweater. We all know you’re dying to have cum squirting all over them,” he’d yell after me in front of all his mates, window down. ‘Tramp’ is his favorite word to use on me. I can almost taste his pleasure as he rounds the word in his mouth, and it disgusts the hell out of me. He likes painting it on my locker, and he’s threatened it’s only a matter of time until it’s tattooed on my ass, too.
I really can’t afford to stop until I get to the dorms, but a street lamp with a large Missing Person sign stops me in my tracks. I dismount my bike and hook my fingers tighter around the straps of my backpack as I stare into Josie’s face, her spectacles fitting her bone structure perfectly, but barely hiding her ever-gloomy expression. Tears come to my eyes, along with some of the most painful memories we shared.
“There she is, Hutchinson High’s sweetest little tramp.”
I spin around. Damn it, the bastard is approaching on foot, and I’d been relying on the loud rumbling of his sports car to announce his presence. I back away towards the street light as he and his friends close in on me like hyenas. Lachlan is the biggest of them all, always in the spotlight, while the others lick their snouts, anticipating the show. Josie said they might be getting off on watching Lachlan torture a skinny girl in oversized clothing. My mousy brown hair and unassuming pale face that I never apply make-up to doesn’t seem to cock-block him either. On the contrary, it seems this helpless school-girl look only turns on his dirtiest fantasies.
“Now I’m getting it, Neveah McKinney,” Lachlan says, grabbing my sweater loosely. “The baggy clothes, the gypsyish hair. It’s all a part you’re dressing up for. You know it turns me on, and it’s why you do it.”
“I’m not trying to stand out to you,” I spit out, but Lachlan’s grin gives me the chills.
“Come on, you know that’s not true.” He traps me against the street light as my backpack hits the pole. I’m shaking, my eyes feel hot, and I’m hardly blinking. He grips my face, forcing me to look up into his. It distorts with a larger grin, the chicken pox scars tightening on his skin. “Why don’t you let me feel those tits.” He pushes one hand under my oversized sweater.
“You mother—” I try to hit him, but he slams me against the pole.
“Get that backpack off of her,” he orders the others, who hurry to do his bidding and rake the backpack’s straps off of me. I struggle, desperation clouding my vision and making me wonder who this is happening to, because it can’t be me.
Lachlan’s lackeys hold me still, enjoying the show as he pushes his hands under my sweater, grabbing my breasts over my bra so harshly that I yelp.
“The more you struggle, the more difficult you’re going to make this on yourself.”
“Are you crazy, you can’t rape me! The police—” But then it hits me. What if he did the same to Georgia and Josie, and then did away with their bodies? My lips seal as the scenario runs before my eyes. No, it can’t be, Lachlan is a bastard, but he can’t possibly be a killer. Can he?
“And who do you think the police would believe?” he says. “You’re a nobody. No one in Hutchinson has ever heard your last name, which makes your family pretty much shit. Whereas mine…” He wriggles his hairless eyebrows, a gesture that finishes the sentence for him. He’s someone, I’m no one. He pushes his groin into me, his engorged member pressing like a gun into my lower belly.
“I’m gonna give you this dick, you little tramp.”
I scream and struggle like a lunatic against the other goons’ hold. They might beat me to a pulp to get me to quiet down, but it’s worth it if it draws someone’s attention, anyone’s. Only there is nothing but the great expanses of gardens between the gates hidden behind trees, and the rich mansions they belong to.
The street lamp behind me starts flickering as if some electric field were messing with it. Lachlan’s goons’ hold slackens enough for me to shake myself free of them, but that only prompts Lachlan to yank me closer. I knock against his meaty body, his beefy arms closing around me. They choke the air out of me as the light goes out completely.
Such complete darkness takes over that I wouldn’t even be sure whether the world still existed if it weren’t for Lachlan’s very real body against mine, the side of my face pressed into his chest. He whispers something above my head, his breath on my hair. To my surprise, it’s not something threatening. On the contrary, it’s monotone and calm, like some kind of magic spell. I still, listening as the darkness thickens. I’ll be damned, I would recognize those words anywhere. I know them, I’ve read them before, in my favorite books.
Legends of the Fae.
The books have been passed down through my family for generations, and I’ve been obsessed with them since the first time I read them. I have them in my dorm, on the upper shelf along with a few framed pictures and a music box, some of the few things from my childhood that I’m fond of. I used to find refuge in those books, take comfort in their fictional world, which is why I remember whole chunks of them. But that doesn’t explain how come Lachlan is whispering spells from Legends of the Fae. Dark spells, spells that are supposed to invoke shadows and smoke. The more he does it, the tighter he squeezes me as if he wants to suck me into himself, and the more I panic, rummaging desperately through my own mind for a solution. My mind gets stuck on the light spells that I know by heart from the same books, spells that dispelled shadows in the series.
Computing with a speed that I never thought it capable of, my brain plucks the words from the recesses of my memory. I breathe them into Lachlan’s chest, my eyes closed tightly. It takes a monumental effort to calm myself down enough to do it, emulating the characters from my favorite book series. If Legends of the Fae is the answer, then I must be completely calm for the spells to work, like the characters in the series had to be.
Run the moonglow through my veins,
Take the shadow by the reins,
Blind it with the silver light,
That shall carry all my might.
The street light starts flickering again. I try not to rejoice, but keep myself in that steady low frequency, and continue whispering the spells. ‘There’s a fine line between feeling the right thing and feeling nothing’, Legends of the Fae, Book One, said. But I lose the frail balance when Lachlan lets me go, and I catch a glimpse of his face—utter surprise and anger are imprinted on it.
“H-how is this possible?” he breathes, but I’m not gonna stick around to find out what he means. I take advantage of the fact that he let me go and break into a run, feeling his stricken eyes on my back as I give it all I have, heaving and forcing myself to go as fast as my legs will take me.
I should probably wonder why they aren’t coming after me. Maybe because they’re big and heavy, while I’m small and light on my feet, yet by the time I reach the expanse of lawn and snaking alleyways in front of the dorm building I hear them behind me, calling out my name. I keep saying the spells under my breath, and lights flicker on along the alleyway leading to the red brick dorm building. It seems the light causes Lachlan and his goons to fall back like vampires hit by sunlight.
I always keep my key card in the back pocket of my jeans, so I manage to take it out in time and swipe it through the entrance device. As soon as I’ve leapt inside, I force the door shut again, the system being too slow, my whole face scrunched and red from the effort. I succeed at the last moment, expecting my chasers to slam against the frosted windowpanes the moment the door falls into its locks.
I take a few steps back, eyes on the fuzzy white light that makes it through the frosted windowpane. The only sounds I can make out is the sound of my own breathing and the slow shuffling of my steps. Seconds feel like minutes as my eyes keep stuck to the windows. I’m not even blinking. Had this happened last month, it would have been surprising that no one’s on the hallways, no boisterous students disregarding some disgruntled teacher on night watch. But since the disappearances, an air of doom has been hanging over this town, and now all those daredevils prefer to keep out of the spotlight. Muscular heartthrobs and alphaholes with black belts keep their doors locked. There’s never any sign of a girl in the hallways at night, and I don’t want to hang around here for too long either.
I find my way back to my room, holding carefully onto the banister. Those goons could be thinking of something as we speak. The sensors should have picked up my presence on the hallway, for example, and turned on the lights, but that doesn’t happen. I might be falling down the steep slope of paranoia, but I can’t help thinking that maybe those bastards outside did something to cut the power off. But they wouldn’t go this far for a bullying job, would they? Or maybe this turned out more serious than they planned, and now they have to go all the way. Threatening a woman with rape in the street has consequences even for the big and powerful these days, no matter how insignificant the victim. Could they be dangerous just because they panicked?
I take the last few steps to my room at a run, slide my key card through the device attached to the knob, and storm into what I expect to be the warmth and dim light of my matchbox dorm room, but something’s wrong. The lamp on my desk by the window is off, and the heavy curtains apparently drawn, casting the room into total darkness. I stop in my tracks, the door still open behind me. I need a few seconds to make sense of this. I’m sure I let the lamp on—it has an energy-saving bulb—in order to make it look like someone’s home. There has been some breaking-and-entering going on lately. I’m pretty sure I didn’t pull the curtains shut either.
The wheels in my head turn faster as I start walking backwards, re-considering the safety of the only place I’ve ever really felt safe in. I turn around, ready to break into a run, but the door slams shut. In shock, I don’t even scream. I stand here in the darkness as it starts wrapping around me like the arms of a man.
A very strong man, because his arms don’t give in an inch as I struggle. I scream in panic, but the darkness thickens, swallowing the sound.
“Jesus fucking Christ!”
I return to the one thing that worked when Lachlan and his goons got me in the street. I take a deep breath, even though what fills my lungs is smoke, and not air. Maybe there’s a fire somewhere close, but then again, if there were fire there would also be light. Not to mention the alarm would be tearing all through the dorm building, and other students would be running out of their rooms, trying to save themselves.
With my fists clenched and my back against something that feels like stone, I say the spell again. I can hear the lamp fuse buzzing on my desk, and the man holding me whips around, turning me in the process. The lamp keeps spewing out silver light, as if struggling on its own. My captor no longer holds me, but he’s not gone either. I can feel his presence so heavily that I can’t breathe.
A face begins to take shape from the swirling smoke, and the more I see of it, the lower my jaw drops. It’s a horned man with angular cheekbones, square jaw and completely black eyeballs. I was never much of a believer in good and evil as the religions serve them, but this must be a vision from hell, and this guy must be a demon stepping out of a portal of smoke. Probably the same one that took Georgia and Josie, too.
“No, this can’t be real.”
“Neveah McKinney.” His voice sounds as demonic as his eyes look, raising the finest hairs along my spine. “Daughter of Leah McKinney, born Silverstone, only female descendant of the Silverstone family. I’ve been looking for you for a long time.” There are leather pads on his broad shoulders, and those horns look more and more like a crown. He’s obviously strong, stronger than any human could be, and his face, even though masculine and aggressive in its lines, has an ethereal kind of beauty to it. Long black hair frames his face, and his skin has the color of moonlight.
“You wield magic. You use spells from books you shouldn’t possess,” he continues. “Now, where are those books?”
I don’t have to ask what he means. Legends of the Fae, the trilogy mom gifted to me on Christmas Eve, ten years ago. Back then, I thought she only gave me the books with their chipped covers and old illustrations because she couldn’t afford to buy something new. She was already drinking heavily at that point, and Dad had started down the same path, having failed to save her. That’s where all their money went.
“You’re gonna have to let me turn on the light to find them.” My voice trembles as I point in the general direction of the shelves where I keep them. The demon smiles in the corner of his mouth, a knowing, almost seductive smile. His silence feels like an invitation, so I turn on the lamp, this time with my hand.
I walk carefully to the shelves, rise onto the tips of my toes, and slide the cased omnibus set from the upper shelf. I keep my back to the demon for a few moments, clutching the trilogy to my chest and wondering whether I should try and make a run for it. But maybe I can negotiate with him.
“If this is what you’re after, you can take them,” I say. “You can have them with my blessing. But I’m gonna want Georgia Hathaway and Josephine Norman back.”
“Oh, I will take the books. And I will take you as well.”
“What? Why? All I remember from these books is that spell. You came here for the books, and you have them now. What could you possibly do with me? I mean look at me!” I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore, I’m babbling like an idiot, backing away towards the closed door until there’s nowhere left to go. The demon—or shadow fae, it occurs to me as I start remembering the stories inside those books—stands still, wisps of smoke swirling around him until they spread over the entire room. They crawl over the ceiling and the walls, my bookshelves and my bed, exuding so much power that I can feel it crawling over my skin.
It’s magical power. I desperately try to free myself from the wisps that curl around me, pulling me closer to their master, but not even the light spells can help me now. The desk lamp goes out, and now the only source of light is this fae man’s frosty face, its natural glow that resembles moonlight.
“I didn’t come here for the books. I came here for you.”
Yes, another personality test it is! For this one I got inspired by the American Music Awards.
Here is today’s drill. Tell me which member of the famous k-pop group BTS is your bias (crush in k-pop language), and I’ll tell you who you are. So which one of the seven idols is your favorite? If you don’t know the group, it’s okay. Take a look at their faces, and try to silence your mind while you do so. Choose with your heart—or your gut. People’s faces tell us who they are, so there’s a high chance this will work even if you don’t know the band. Once you’ve made your choice, read the interpretations below.
2. Suga (Yoongi)
5. J-Hope (Hoseok)
You have a great particularity—you see the weakness in the powerful. You’re tough and methodical, but that wasn’t always the case. You were once vulnerable. You used to feel insecure, not necessarily about your looks, but about your inherent value. You don’t admit to this often, but you wish someone would get the weight of the world off your shoulders, at least for little while—you do carry a lot of responsibility around. You crave a partner that you can look up to. You’re not often enough on the receiving end of kindness, understanding, and nice gestures. You’re probably starved for affection. You may find yourself in an unfulfilling relationship at the moment. You may be in a situation right now where you’re taken for granted. You feel your partner doesn’t support or appreciate you enough. You crave structure, reliability and, if we are to get really down to the nitty gritty, an earthy kind of sexuality that grounds you. It’s probable that your love life has been a mess for a very long time, you’ve had to fend for yourself in more ways than one for too long, and you crave feeling secure.
You may find pleasure in suffering. You’re touched by and attracted to things that seem to be created from sadness. You’re attracted to the introverted and the pained, to genius and intelligence. You may be attracted to people whose ego is tightly connected with their minds. Also, you are very probably attracted to people who are at peace with their darker side, because you’re not as comfortable with yours. You seek connection to the greater powers of the universe. You have a protective nature, and you most probably have a robust and strong physical constitution, too. You may be good at sports and outside activities. You’re capable of deep trust, love and dedication. Once committed, you’re capable of sacrificing yourself for the sake of your loved one. Don’t get this wrong, but you thrive in a toxic relationship, as long as you can breathe in it. Attracted to people who challenge you. Attracted to people who have been hurt. You may find bruises sexy.
Okay, listen—you may have a thing about seeking approval. It probably took you a long time to feel comfortable in your own skin, if you ever even felt that way. You may still have trouble accepting your own face when you look in the mirror, even though you’re probably very attractive to other people. You’re attracted to glamorous and mysterious things. You’re very creative, and you may be a good writer. You have all sorts of scenarios about ideal lovers in your head. When you’re first attracted to a person, it’s probably the look in their eyes that calls to you first. You’re attracted to the Romeo and Juliette type of scenarios. You may be prone to judge your own value by the kind of person that is interested in you. You’re not just attracted to beauty and pretty faces, but faces that tell a story. You tend to show people that you care about them by doing things for them. You may be subconsciously attracted to people who treat you badly. Just so you know, there’s something dramatic about your inner world, and your soul, that is unique, and can be deeply captivating.
You’re attracted to taboos and all things forbidden. You would blow the laws of society to smithereens. You crave a love that is all or nothing, an affair that will shatter your world. You may be prone to self-destructive behavior, and may even crave relationships that push you in that direction. No experience is worth living for you unless it’s so intense that it shakes you to your core, even if it tears you apart. You crave personal power—and probably have more of it than you believe. You may have sadomasochistic inclinations, even though you may not be fully aware of them. You yearn to dive deeply into the world of emotions, and explore the most hidden depths. You’re not waiting for an angel to save you, but for a demon to drag you down into the nooks and crannies of your own emotional body. To you, five minutes of true emotional exaltation are worth a year of agony. That kind of exaltation is a kind of high that no drug can create. You’re possessive, magnetic, and non-compromising. Tough, vindictive, and loyal to a fault.
You’re energetic, sociable, physical. You don’t enjoy emotional turmoil, at least not for the sake of it. If there’s a crisis between you and your loved ones, by all means, you’re willing to work through it, but you won’t make a way of life out of it. You like sunshine, joy, optimism. You don’t believe in the depth of gloomy intellectualism. To you, true redemption, happiness and even true knowledge can only be found in the light. You’re more willing to help an optimistic person out of a rut, than someone who dwells in darkness and depression on a regular basis. Not only are those people lost causes to you, but you have little tolerance for what people do to themselves by clinging to the same old patters. Sometimes, suffering is a choice, that is your motto, and you have little patience for that kind of people. But if you’re convinced someone genuinely needs help, you’re the first person to be there. Heck, you’ll often make it before the paramedics do. You’re most probably someone who works hard, and plays hard, too.
You’re humorous, witty, light hearted, full of soul. You’ve probably been through a whole lot of dark stuff in your life, and you’ve had it. No more toxic relationships for you, thank you. Been there, done that, seen the bottomless bottom of Tartarus and you don’t want to see it again. You like people with nuances and different facets—people like yourself. You are multi-layered, multi-faceted, and you see things in people that no one else does. You appreciate physical beauty, but only when it speaks of the inner one. You read people’s personalities on their faces, and a pretty face without a pretty heart is nothing but an image empty of meaning to you. You may have been through stuff so dark that you still need healing. You have a very keen appreciation of music, of sound in general, and you will hear and appreciate things that other people don’t even perceive. You’re a very good judge of character.
Deep down, you’re attracted to things dangerous, scary, draconic even. Yours is the dungeon kind of sensuality. You’re all about dungeons and dragons in your emotional life. You want things you shouldn’t want, and you take delight in it. You’re earthy, and very sensual. On a level you can’t explain, you feel a strong connection between love and death. The kind of darkness that you crave isn’t the ‘commercial’ type. It isn’t the easily bearable, Fifty Shades kind of darkness, rather the Psycho type. Emotionally, you go places where others fear to tread. You admire determination and effort. They are two of your core values., along with discipline and dedication, even though, on the outside, you may be very feminine and sweet. You enjoy taking care of your loved ones in a traditionally feminine way, which includes cooking and tending to their wounds, whether physical or emotional. You’re a caregiver, a ‘mother’, but one with dark inner complexities.