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The wanderer in him was becoming the man who wanted roots #MCRomance #KU @HTSelfPubs

The wanderer in him was becoming the man who wanted roots #MCRomance #KU @HTSelfPubs




Title: Blind Love
Author: Shannon Heighton Hicks
Series: Iron Back Warriors, book 1
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Cover Designer: RMGraphX
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Available now!
Amazon: US | UK | AU | CA


Recently widowed after twenty years of marriage, Claire Stewart moves to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to make a fresh start. She never expected to get involved with the Iron Back Warriors MC or two of its dangerous, compelling members.

Priest is a man apart, adrift since the death of his wife years ago. Now vice president of the MC his father founded, his pursuit of her makes her heart race. Then Priest is gone without a word, and she’s once again shattered… until she meets Ranger. Their instant attraction is electric, and when Ranger reveals that he wants Priest and Claire both, she finds herself plunged into a situation she never could have imagined.

But circumstances are not in their favor. When a stalker and Priest's fears get in the way, will their delicate new relationship stand strong?




“Man, you just don’t understand. She got to me. It was incredible. I didn’t know I could feel like that. It scared me.”
The ticking of the air conditioning unit was the only thing Priest heard at first. He’d started to look at his phone when Ranger replied.
“You should have told her. You crushed her. You don’t do that shit, man. She is not some throwaway club girl. They know the rules. They may hope the brother will change his mind, but it’s known.”
“Being with her was like being with you,” Priest whispered, shocking himself by making that admission.
“What?” Ranger asked.
“I’m serious. Being with both of you makes me feel whole. I have never felt like this before. Not even with….”
“Nina,” Ranger whispered.
“I didn’t tell Claire about her.”
“Fuck, man. You screwed this sideways quick. I don’t know what to say.”
“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”
“Yeah. About the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
“Those eyes.”
“That hair.”
“Her tits.”
“I kissed her.”
“Her ass. Da fuck you say?” Priest added, sitting back up.
Ranger huffed a laugh. “I kissed her. Seeing her again Saturday.”
Priest was silent.
“Brother, this is going to work. It will be different, but it will work.”
“You want to try with all three of us?” The thought was a turn-on. 
“Yeah. I do.”






Raised in Central Virginia, Shannon Heighton Hicks loved to read and write stories from a very early age. Her grandmother would often take her to the Campbell County Public library, where Shannon would get stacks of books as tall as she was. She doesn’t read books, she devours them, as many as she can get in any genre. 

Her love of reading and writing is nothing compared to her love for her family. Without them she never would have gotten as far as she has.

 Hot Tree Self-Publishing


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Forbidden fruit tastes a whole lot sweeter #KindleUnlimited @MadisonFayeSmut Sofa King Wrong

Forbidden fruit tastes a whole lot sweeter #KindleUnlimited @MadisonFayeSmut Sofa King Wrong






Title: Sofa King Wrong
Author: Madison Faye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 3, 2018



Blurb

Hard. Huge. Completely untamed.
He’s got the perfect tool to get the job done.
This off-limits brat is his duty to protect.
But forbidden fruit just tastes a whole lot sweeter

Life on the street taught me to fight to survive. Prison taught me to endure. I spent years locked up like an animal for protecting the ones I loved. Six damn years without the soft feel of a woman under my rough hands.

Now I work for my buddy’s moving company, Sofa King Movers. A job up in the Hollywood Hills seem like a piece of cake, until it turns out I’m not there to move boxes. I’m there for her,

Alyssa Campo. Hollywood starlet, movie sensation, tabloid drama queen. A barely legal wild-child with a reputation for being a class-A brat. And they want me to be her fucking bodyguard.

She’s off-limits in every possible way – too tempting, too famous, too way-too-fucking-young for me. But when the sassy-mouthed little tease under my watch decides to flaunt my rules, she’s going to learn how firm I can be with bad girls like her.

I know I should keep my distance, but once I’ve had a taste of those forbidden lips and those tempting curves, there’ll be no keeping me from her.

Alyssa’s mine to protect. And mine to claim.

She’s the forbidden fruit. But years behind bars has me hungry.

…And I’m gonna feast until the juice runs down my chin.








Purchase Links

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AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited





Also Available



99c for a limited time

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited



Author Bio

#1 bestselling contemporary romance author Madison Faye is the dirty alter ego of the very wholesome, very normal suburban housewife behind the stories. While she might be a wife, mom, and PTA organizer on the outside, there’s nothing but hot, steamy, and raunchy fantasies brewing right beneath the surface!

Tired of keeping them hidden inside or only having them come out in the bedroom, they’re all here in the form of some wickedly hot stories. Single-minded alpha hero, sinfully taboo relationships, and wildly over-the-top scenarios. If you love it extra dirty, extra hot, and extra naughty, this is the place for you! (Just don’t tell the other PTA members you saw her here…)

Join the mailing list for author updates, special prices, and TWO free starter-library books! http://eepurl.com/b-b5Pz


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She's faking her amnesia to fool a very real killer @meliraineauthor #Romance #Suspense

She's faking her amnesia to fool a very real killer @meliraineauthor #Romance #Suspense





Out Now—False Memory by Meli Raine (@meliraineauthor)

THE FALSE SERIES: False Memory (Book 1), False Hope (Book 2) & False Start (Book 3)
Author: Meli Raine
Release date: November 13, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series Description:

She's faking her amnesia to fool a very real killer.

FALSE MEMORY (Book 1)
Release Date:  11/13/18

It all started with the bereavement flowers with my name on them.

Not the best way to wake up, right? I work in a flower shop. I know a funeral arrangement when I see one.

I know a killer when I see one, too. And one is standing in my hospital room right now, straight behind the man who saved my life.

I can’t tell anyone the truth, because that’s the fastest way to really die. So I do the next best thing. I “lose” my memory.

I fake my amnesia.

Pretending not to remember a brutal attempted murder has its perks. The killer is backing down, spending less time around me, loosening the noose.

The less I claim to recall, the more my rescuer, Duff, works to help me “remember.” I hate lying to him.

But he doesn’t understand that my memory is dangerous. To me. And to him.

Fooling everyone isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Except it’s starting to look like I’ve been fooling myself.

In more ways than one.

FALSE HOPE (Book 2)
Release Date:  12.11.18

FALSE START (Book 3)
Release Date:  01/15/19

Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Social Media Links:

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/beV0gf


Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

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They are playing for keeps | The Lady Stole My Heart @AimeeNWalker #Romance #KU

They are playing for keeps | The Lady Stole My Heart @AimeeNWalker #Romance #KU




THE LADY STOLE MY HEART
THE LADY IS MINE TRILOGY, BOOK 2
AIMEE NICOLE WALKER
ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 10.31.18

COVER DESIGN: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art
COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: WANDER AGUIAR
MODELS: Zack & Kari



BLURB
Six months after a tumultuous beginning, Maegan Miracle and Elijah Markham aren’t just playing house; they’re playing for keeps. The girl who dreamed of someday living in Bliss House is now the lady of the manor and resides with her very own Prince Charming. The man who lived too long as a lone wolf has shed his cold existence for the lady who loves him fiercely.

Pulling strength from their chosen family, Maegan and Elijah lay to rest the ghosts from their past to focus on building their bright future. Sunday brunches, quirky capers, and blazing passion abound on their journey of acceptance, forgiveness, and healing.

The Lady Stole My Heart is the sexy, funny, and endearing follow up to The Lady is a Thief. The Lady is Mine series must be read in order. This novel contains sexually explicit material and colorful language intended for adults 18 and over.
  
EXCERPT
“WAKE UP, SLEEPY HEAD,” I whispered in Elijah’s ear. He was sprawled naked across our bed on his stomach with nothing but a sheet covering him. Our central air-conditioning was working overtime to keep up with the oppressive mid-July heat. Even though our unit was new and efficient, hot, humid air rose to the second story and seemed to hover there. Both Elijah and I tended to kick off the duvet and only cover up with the sheet.

“I don’t want to get out of this bed. My heart is happy, and my dick is satisfied in ways we never dreamed possible. What more could I possibly want?”

I climbed onto the bed and straddled his hips, feeling his firm ass between my thighs. I couldn’t resist grinding my bare clit against the fine cotton sheets separating our flesh. “We?” I asked. “You do know that you and your dick don’t have two separate personalities, right?”

“He does have a mind of his own at times,” Elijah said, stretching his arms and tucking them under his pillow.

“How about now?” I asked, leaning forward, grinding in earnest. “Are you both thinking the same thing? Something about being satisfied and wanting to be left alone?” Elijah arched his back, pressing his ass tighter against my clit. I could’ve gotten off from the friction alone, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I relaxed my thighs, and he rolled over beneath me. The sheet shifted so the head of his cock and its first three inches peeked out from beneath it. “Your cock looks neither sleepy nor satisfied.”

“Every part of me wakes up craving you, Freckles. I’m always hungry for more,” Elijah said, slowly sliding his hands up from my spread knees while staring up into my eyes. I saw the truth in his soulful, brown eyes, and it never failed to make my breath catch and my pulse race. I wanted him more with every breath I took. “I will never get enough of you.” Words every woman longed to hear were made better by the sincerity with which they were spoken. Elijah made me feel cherished, adored, and wanted. “I will reach for you until my last breath.” His hands didn’t stop their upward glide until his thumbs reached my bare lips, and even though I saw his naked desire to be inside me, Elijah took his time running his thumbs up and down the silky skin until one of his thumbs got impatient and pressed firmly against my clit.
Aimee Nicole Walker Logo

 
I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees. I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever- after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

The-lady-isa-thief-customdesign-JayAheer2017-bookmark1

The Lady is a Thief, Book 1
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54000 words of naughtiness packed into one steamy read @cw1985 #shortstories

54000 words of naughtiness packed into one steamy read @cw1985 #shortstories





Multi-Orgasmic Vol 2 by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #erotica

Blurb
If you’re a fan of erotic short stories, then get your hands on this collection from the pen of award-winning erotica author Lucy Felthouse.
From famous movie stars to sexy farmers, holiday flings to seducing delivery drivers, and even unusual household items being used as bondage, this book has variety galore. It’s sure to get you hot under the collar and eager to turn just one more page.
Enjoy nineteen titillating tales, over 54,000 words of naughtiness packed into one steamy read.
Please note: Many of the stories in this book have been previously published in anthologies, as standalones, and online, but three are brand new and never seen before!

Buy links
B&N  
iBooks  
Kobo  


Excerpt:
“Yvette!” Jack snapped. “Are you even listening to what I’m saying?”
“Yes, Sir!” I’d only missed a bit. Maybe a couple of words. And it wasn’t my fault.
“So what’s the problem? Are you uncomfortable? Would you like a cushion?”
“No, Sir. I’m fine, thank you. It’s just…” As another noise filtered in through the double glazing, I was unable to stop my gaze slipping in that direction.
“What—?” Jack strode past me, all stompy and masterful.
I allowed myself a shiver of pleasure at his demeanour. He was sexy when he was grumpy, though naturally I didn’t enjoy it when he was grumpy with me.
He peered out the window to see what had distracted me. “Neighbour is mowing his lawn, that’s all. Can’t very well go around there and complain about that, can I?” he muttered.
Jack stepped back in front of me. “The window is closed, Yvette. I can’t really do any more than that.” He shrugged.
“It’s okay, Sir. He’ll be done soon. I can ignore it. It’s not that loud.” Ever since he’d given me that look and ordered me into the bedroom, my pussy had ached, and I had yearned for his orders, to do his bidding. To please him. I certainly didn’t want to displease him by allowing the next-door-bloody-neighbour’s garden maintenance to get in the way of our scene, but it’d be tough to remain entirely focused with that racket going on.
“Hmm. All right, then. Let’s continue. So, where were we?”
I hoped like hell that was a rhetorical question, because I’d been distracted enough by the noise outside that I hadn’t, in fact, heard all of what he’d said. I bowed my head and waited, mentally keeping my fingers crossed that Jack would answer his own question. Luckily for me, he did.
“Come here, take out my cock, and suck it.”
“Yes, Sir!” I almost got carpet burns on my knees as I eagerly shuffled forward. I reached out and undid his zipper. Slipping my right hand through the gap, I manoeuvred until my fingers closed around his shaft—which was rigid, red hot, and irresistible.
Carefully, I popped his cock out through the opening in his boxers and trousers, where it stood proudly, looking just as irresistible as it felt. All purple and swollen; raring to go. Licking my lips, I pumped my fist up and down his length a couple of times, before closing my mouth around his glans. Immediately, the delicious musky, salty taste of him hit my taste buds and I hummed happily and prepared to start sinking further onto him.
Just then, a high-pitched roaring sound reached my ears.
Jack picked up on my flinch. Stepping back—and slipping his dick out of my mouth in the process—he exclaimed, “Oh, for heaven’s sake! It’s really distracting you, isn’t it?”
I sat back on my heels and pouted. “I’m sorry, Sir! I can’t not hear. If I could switch my ears off, trust me, I would.”
Jack’s expression softened. “Hey, it’s okay. It’s not your fault. It’s just… kinda ruining what we’ve got going on here.”
I bit my lip. “Yeah, I know. But what are we supposed to do about it?”
*****
Bio
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

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Watching Outlaw King on #Netflix for #StAndrewsDay

Watching Outlaw King on #Netflix for #StAndrewsDay


Looking for a way to celebrate St.Andrews Day? 
How about watching OUTLAW KING on Netflix? 


Description:
In 14th-century Scotland, Robert the Bruce claims the crown and leads a fierce uprising to win back the country's independence from English rule.

This is based on a true Scottish history and currently on my watch list.


Other movies based on Scottish history you should check out:
Rob Roy
Braveheart
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Nothing good can come of this attraction. Only a Good Man Will Do @DeeSKnight #BookRelease

Nothing good can come of this attraction. Only a Good Man Will Do @DeeSKnight #BookRelease





New Release! Only a Good Man Will Do Book 1 of the Good Man Series by Dee S. Knight (@DeeSKnight)

Blurb:
Daniel Goodman is one of a set of triplets—natural, identical triplets, a rare kind of birth. He is a serious man, often feeling estranged from his wild and carefree brother Jonah and his free-spirited parents. He's also distanced from his other brother Mark, a genius who might or might not realize that he's unlike most other people and doesn't seem to care.
Daniel Goodman is a man on a mission. For years he has striven for perfection, fighting for the pinnacle achievement in his world of academia, Headmaster of Westover Academy. Westover, established before the American Revolution, is still one of the most prestigious schools in the country. They accept only boys whose parents fit a certain mold and only those teachers who hold to a stringent set of mores, on and off campus. Jonah considers his brother a prig. Daniel sees himself as doing his best to serve his students. How much better can he serve them as headmaster? That is what he seeks to find out.
Suddenly, into his cut and dried, strictly black and white life of moral and upright behavior, comes Eve Star, formerly one of Europe's foremost exotic dancers. Her life is anything but cut and dried, black and white. Bad enough that she's enrolled her son in Westover Academy under false pretenses. More, she runs the town's most disreputable bar. Worst, much to Daniel's dismay, he finds himself drawn to her like a kid to chocolate. Nothing good can come of this attraction. Or can it? He is after all, a good man.

Buy links:
B&N 
Kobo 

Excerpt:
 Daniel walked into the parlor of the headmaster’s house Saturday afternoon seeking first the food table and second, his friend, Stan Baxter. He spotted them both near the front window.
“You’re late,” Stan said.
“Lots of people wanted to chat.” Parents’ Weekend, when teachers sat in their classrooms to meet their students’ mothers and fathers, meant mandatory tea afterwards for all professionals at the Academy. Board members and parents attended at their own discretion, and the boys—the reason the school existed and they were all there—mostly stayed out of sight and hearing.
“Fortunately for me, a good many parents now have grabbed their progeny and left campus, so I have access to the snacks unimpeded,” Daniel said, examining the finger food on display before making his selections. The challenge was always how to load his plate while appearing to take a socially acceptable portion. “Did I miss anything?”
“Only an angel.” Stan turned toward the window.. “Holy Mother! Look at that,” he muttered.
“What?” Daniel asked, fitting a cucumber sandwich beside the smoked salmon-topped cracker on his dessert plate. “Am I missing a table of fare? I swear, every year the offerings at these teas are more meager than the last.”
Stan chuckled and answered in the same low voice, “Is your stomach all you think about? I was talking about another kind of dish. One you can have fun eating in bed, if you catch my drift. And she just slipped out onto the lawn.”
“Is your libido all you think about?” Daniel bit a carrot stick in two and sighed. Only three more hours and he could order a pizza. With all of his charges gone from the dormitory for Parents’ Weekend, he had a rare, private, two-day holiday ahead of him. With the tiny plate full, he joined Stan at the large windows. “Where is this goddess?”
“There. In the red dress and hat.”
Daniel saw nothing but the shapely form of a woman walking away. Slender ankles topped three inch heels. A dress of some kind of lustrous material hit her mid-calf. The style was soft and feminine, and berry red. Not many women showed up at Westover in a color sure to make them the focus of attention. Not that most of them didn’t expect to be the focus—didn’t demand it, in fact—but they usually weren’t so obvious. The breeze at her back molded the material to the curves of her hips and ass, and fluttered the dress’s full sleeves. A wide-brimmed hat hid her hair, but based on what was visible, Daniel easily imagined a long column of neck designed for kissing.
“If the rest of her matches the back view, you’ve got reason to be drooling down the front of your gown.”
Frowning, Stan glanced down as though to make sure the drool comment was only facetious. “Can’t afford to drool on this. I had to use my tax refund to pay for the thing and show off my Master’s chevrons. I don't know how you afforded to pay for your Ph.D. paraphernalia.”
“The new degree looks sharp on you. Now, why are you mooning over a woman you see at the headmaster’s tea, when you know she’s some student’s mother and off limits?”
“She looks young enough to be a sister, so it’s not a given she’s out of bounds.”
At that moment, a young boy wearing the school uniform and a big grin ran up to the woman. She bent to catch him in her arms. When she straightened, she ruffled the boy’s hair. His expression and his wagging finger showed that he chastised her, but then he laughed and finger-combed the mussed hair back into place. She took his hand and they walked toward the circle where most of the parents parked. Looking up at the woman, the boy’s lips moved the whole while, carrying on a steady monologue.
Something in her actions captured Daniel’s attention. They were artless, performed naturally and with unabashed love. The child fairly skipped beside her and the frequent turns of her head showed she looked at him as though hanging on every word he spoke.
“How wonderful,” Daniel murmured, impressed with her total attention to the boy. “Did you see that?”
“Oh, yeah. I didn’t think her hips would ever stop swaying, and it’s a crime they make hemlines so long.”
Daniel laughed. “You’re such a hedonist.”
“And proud of it. But you were right. Looks like she’s a student’s mother after all. Damn the luck.”
For once, Daniel agreed with his friend. But not just because of the woman’s obvious good figure. More because she seemed to love her son and didn’t care who knew it. He normally kept his distance from flashy women, as this one appeared to be, based on her dress color, but her easy manner with the boy would be enough to make him ignore his own inclination toward the conservative. If she weren’t also a patron of the school. Assuming the gods smiled on him and he became headmaster, he and the woman would be on business terms, and nothing good ever came from mixing business with pleasure. Pleasure is what every male instinct in him screamed she would be.



Bio:
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That's how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she's lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more join Dee on Nomad Authors. Contact Dee at dsknight@deesknight.com.
Author links:

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Trouble is brewing from someone in his past | String of Pearls @parr_books #MMRomance

Trouble is brewing from someone in his past | String of Pearls @parr_books #MMRomance





Thank you for inviting me to your blog today with new release MM romance,
String of Pearls
The story is set in the same SciFi fantasy city as last year’s release, The Dreamboat.
Indigo Vaughn, the warlock head of security, features in the story along with a new cast of characters. When I wrote The Dreamboat, I already had the new characters in my head along with their story. Tobias Mars and Dante Pepper, the elite space pilots for the royal court, very nearly made an appearance in The Dreamboat, but because that story is about Indigo at last finding love, I decided they needed their own story.
Once upon a time Dante and Tobias were close to becoming lovers, but Dante met Viridian and fell in love. Tobias has yet to meet his love when String of Pearls, opens. He’s a man of high integrity, handsome, caring, but also longing for love and sex. String of Pearls is his love story.

Blurb
Handsome, elite space pilot, Tobias Mars is completing a special mission, when on a water planet, recently ravaged by space pirates, he discovers Dreft Hann hiding and injured in the sand dunes.
There’s instant attraction between the two men, but honorable Tobias believes the fact Dreft is in his care precludes him from showing his growing love for the young man. What’s worse is his shocking discovery of Dreft’s real identity. Even so, Tobias can’t deny his feelings for Dreft.
When head of royal security, powerful warlock, Indigo Vaughn discovers Dreft’s secret, he anticipates trouble.
As beautiful Dreft falls in love with Tobias and dreams of joining the elite pilot squad, trouble is brewing from someone in Dreft’s past.
Will love finally win with so many obstacles in Tobias and Dreft’s path?
Warning, the book contains MM sex, MMM sex, gay anal sex, MM oral sex

BUY the book
On special new release discount price only on the Evernight Publishing website


Read an excerpt
Tobias Mars gazed at Dreft lying on top of the bed in room ten of the infirmary. Hari’s treatment had worked wonders and not only on Dreft’s wounds. Hari had cleaned Dreft up. His hair, now a dirt-free glossy hazelnut brown was brushed back to show off the handsome planes of his face. Hari had replaced Dreft’s strange boy-like clothes with the infirmary’s grey cotton pants and t-shirt. The man was, as his colleague, Dante, put it, deliciously pretty. For a fleeting moment, Tobias wondered what it would be like to kiss those perfect lips and hold that muscular body to his own. He shook the thought away.
Dreft opened his eyes and a shy smile spread on his mouth. As Tobias neared him, he shuffled up the bed to sit. “Thank you so much for helping me, sir.”
Tobias pulled a chair beside the bed and sat. “My name’s Tobias, Tobias Mars—no need to call me sir. How are you feeling?”
The handsome man’s eyes held gratitude. “I’m so much better. Thank you. I noticed the insignia on your jacket, sir.”
Tobias grinned as his fingers went to trace the gold and blue embroidered crest. “I’m one of the queen’s pilot explorers. I guess you could call us the elite unit. All the same, call me Tobias. I’d like that.”
“I’ve heard that you have to be aristocracy to be chosen for the unit. Is that true?”
A little frown creased between Tobias’s eyes. “Have you? Where’d you hear that?” A spike of worry prevented him from answering with the truth. His intense security training from the warlock, Indigo Vaughn, threw a question into his mind. Could Dreft be a rival court’s spy or even assassin?
“Sorry. I mean no harm. I heard a lot of things during my years as a slave.” Dreft’s voice held anxiety. His blue eyes clouded.
Witnessing Dreft’s unease, a wave of kindness softened Tobias’s look and tone. “How long were you a slave?” He remembered Hari’s description of the scars on Dreft’s back.
Sadness passed in Dreft’s eyes. “Five years—I’ve been a slave since I was stolen from my home when I was eighteen. I, I’d become desperate, hence the leap from the ship when we cruised reasonably low to take water from the lake on the planet where you rescued me.” His voice cracked a little.
Tobias watched fear replace the sadness in the young man’s eyes. He wanted to lighten the mood. “Hey, are you hungry? I bet Hari hasn’t given you breakfast and I’ve not eaten yet. Do you feel up to a little walk? My home isn’t far. I have loads of food—fruit, pancakes, savory pastries, and coffee. What do you say?”
Dreft gave him the most endearing look. “I’m very hungry.”
Tobias stood and pushed the chair away from the bed. He held out his arm for Dreft to take and helped him stand. “Hang on. You have no shoes.” Tobias left Dreft perched on the side of the bed. He went to the closet inset at the end of the wall and brought back a pair of felt slip-ons for Dreft.
Dreft pushed his feet into them. “Thank you. I think the medicA threw away what I was wearing.”
“Hari is the best medicA available. I trust him implicitly, but he’s a hygiene fanatic. He probably burned what you were dressed in.” Tobias laughed. “Can you manage or will you take my arm. It’s a gesture of support.”
Dreft’s gaze raked Tobias’s face and he smiled softly. “I know the clothes you found me in probably gave you the impression I’m a pirate’s plaything. I’d like to explain—”
“You don’t need to—” Tobias hurried to assure Dreft.
“I want to.” He held Tobias’s arm.
“After you’ve eaten, then.” Tobias led the way from the room, along the corridor and out of the infirmary door. His villa was two doors down from Dante’s and he walked slowly favoring Dreft’s halting steps.
“I’m limping but Hari said my legs were only bruised under the abrasions. Sorry. I didn’t expect them to hurt so much. My ribs don’t and they were broken.”
“Hari fixed your ribs and administered slow release pain reliever at the site. He fixed your abrasions somewhat, but it’s good to heal naturally where possible. He wants you to rest.” A smile sprang to Tobias’s lips. “If he sees us, he’ll probably say to me, ‘Sir, you got Dreft Hann up too soon.’”
©E.D. Parr, Evernight Publishing, 2018
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