Read an ExcerptChapter 1
Lord Lyon Satyr prowled the twilight streets of Paris, hunting. He breathed deep, searching the air and finding it rife with the scents of chimney smoke, dank river, and likely feminine prey. The blood of his ancestors pumped in him tonight, priming his body toward a carnal lust that was vital to the survival of his kind.
Because King Feydon had sown his seed where he should not, Lyon would soon find himself yoked with a bride not of his own choosing. One whose name and face were unknown to him, but whom he nevertheless had journeyed here from Tuscany to find.
According to Feydon, his three FaerieBlend daughters were each in some sort of danger and time was of the essence. Nicholas, his eldest brother, had found the first of the daughters on the outskirts of Rome in a matter of weeks and quickly wed her. Raine had recently located the second daughter in Venice and brought her under his protection.
Now Lyon was left with the task of finding the third daughter here in Paris. But tomorrow would be time enough for duty. Tonight was for something altogether different.
This-his first night in Paris--could well be his last night of freedom. He planned to enjoy it.
A shout drew his attention. There was some sort of revelry commencing ahead, atop Pont Neuf, the Seine River's most famous bridge. The "new bridge" it was called, though it had seen completion over two centuries earlier.
Lyon veered in its direction, abandoning the row of stately town homes along Quai de Conti for the opposite sidewalk that edged the river. As the light waned, the black-clad booksellers that lined the walk had begun to pack away unsold books in theirboxes. In the depths of the channel just beyond them, the river flowed like molasses, cutting a long serpentine swath through Paris.
His hotel was expecting him. He'd sent his bag ahead and could be there himself within thirty minutes. Which meant his cock could be buried deep inside a conjured Shimmerskin female within thirty-one. No doubt his brothers would have made their way there and done exactly that in his place. It would be the wise thing to do. The careful thing.
But unlike his brothers, he craved variation in both setting and partner in his liaisons. And an element of risk.
He was on the bridge now. Kiosks in the half-round bastions that protruded at intervals from the railings were being abandoned by the costumers, perfumers, and sellers of fans, trinkets, crepes, and fromage. These were giving way to street performers, chestnut carts, and throngs of unusually high-spirited Parisians. Pickpockets and prostitutes vying for custom, had come as well to rub elbows with the finely dressed.
As Lyon threaded among them, women of every rank in society turned to gaze after him, analyzing his worth and weighing the outward signs of his sexual prowess all in the sweep of a well-trained feminine eye. Taller and more muscular than his brothers and blessed with a masculine face so remarkably handsome it had actually caused women to swoon, he was accustomed to such attention and hardly noticed.
A couple passed and the lady's skirt brushed him, wafting her natural feminine perfume to his nostrils. He took it in, closing his eyes briefly at the jolt of euphoria it afforded. It mingled with those of other nameless females, a jumble of starchy pomades, spicy fragrances spritzed from crystal bottles, and Human musk. A heady combination for a man who was already consumed with libidinous intentions.
Whispers reached his ears. Glancing over his shoulder, he was startled to note that at least a half dozen women trailed in his wake. And all were eyeing him as though he were a prime cut of meat at the local butcher shop.
Dismayed, he ground to a halt. His female entourage took it as an invitation and swarmed. Prettily gloved hands petted his arm, his back, his hair.
"Bon soir, monsieur."
"Est-ce que je peux vous aider?"
A chill crawled its way between his shoulder blades and up the back of his neck. He'd never suffered from an inability to attract females, but this level of overt attention was disconcertingly bizarre. The notion that something was very out of kilter tugged at him, but it lost out to other more overwhelming considerations. Whatever magic troubled Paris tonight would have to wait for his attention until after this soul-deep hunger within him was satisfied.
"Bon soir, Mesdames," he told them in greeting, for it would have been insulting to presume that the situation of any unfamiliar French female was that of spinster. He stroked a cheek, a throat, a pulse.
Carefully powdered faces returned his smiles and touches. Soft voices cajoled. Padded, shapely garments rustled and enticed. A covetous hand brushed his cock--mano morte. It could have been any one of them, pretending it was an accident.
All acted on him like aphrodisiacs sending blood coursing ever hotter through his system. The fabric of his trousers and shirt rasped the sensitized skin of his thighs, massive shoulders, and broad chest.
He needed a woman. Now.
With a brief dip of his head in her direction, he singled out a plump female in a pink dress, who stood just outside the circle of admirers. She'd been staring at him as had the others, but more shyly. His instincts told him she was a woman who'd known men. One who yearned for what he would offer. One whose body would accommodate his better than those of most Human women.
Unsure of his invitation, she touched her chest and raised her brows. At his nod, pin lights of delight brightened her mellow brown eyes and transformed a plain countenance into a pretty one. With a quick word or two, she brushed off her young attendant before parting the crowd and moving toward him in tacit acceptance of his summons.
Though the rest of the besotted troupe must have realized he'd made a selection, they lingered, reluctant to accept it. He fanned his fingers, palm toward them, disbursing a hint of magic in the air.
"Allez," he murmured. "Go."
As one, they immediately disbursed to carry on with their business, seeming to forget why they'd gathered around him in the first place.
The silk gloving the hand of his chosen one slid across his work-toughened palm. She smiled shyly at him and his cock twitched, thirsting for a taste of succulent quim. He wrapped an arm around her and tucked her head to the hollow of his shoulder.
Eyes narrowed, he surveyed the bridge, quickly locating an area of isolation and leading her toward it. She went unquestioningly and within a few steps, they'd quit the thick of the crowd for the shadows behind the equestrian statue that lorded over the center of the bridge. Other couples had already congregated there along the railing, their heads close. Surreptitious hands moved busily under clothing and covert encouragements warmed the air. Intent on their own gratification, the current residents paid the new arrivals no attention.
Lyon's head whipped in the direction of the speaker and saw it was a servant, who took a nervous step back at his fierce expression. Apparently, his lady's maid had decided to trail after them, trying to dissuade her mistress from folly.
He reached out and touched the girl's cheek, sending a Calm over her. The concerned expression on her young face instantly eased and she returned to the place on the bridge where he'd first seen her, prepared to placidly await her employer's return.
Lyon looked down and found the woman's gaze on him. He ducked his head close. "Bon soir, Madame."
"Bon soir," she whispered.
He pressed her back against the base of the statue--against inscribed words which explained that it was a bronzed King Henry IV who rode majestically above them--the very monarch who had seen this bridge finished.
"Ici? Here?" His lover's rapt attention had never once left his face, but now an uncertain frown puckered her brow and she glanced about them.
He touched the underside of her jaw with two fingertips, lifting her to his kiss. His hand slid into her hair, his palm so broad that it encompassed the back of her skull. "No one will see. Nor care," his husky voice promised against her parted lips. "Just enjoy."
His body crowded hers flush against the gritty stone and still he spoke to her-low reassuring words that warmed her ear and readied her for what was to come. Here, he would take his clandestine pleasure of her under sky and, later, star.
Her body was Human and would require considerable time to adjust to the size and strength of his. Even then she would be unable to take all of him in as well as the half-Faerie he'd come to Paris to find might have.
Annoyed that thoughts of that duty had intruded, he shook them off. Still, it was true that women in EarthWorld were frail and he could safely join himself to this one no more than a half dozen times here in this alcove. It would have to be enough.
With gentle lips, he brushed the tendon that ran from her ear to the hollow at the base of her throat. His pawlike hands roamed lower, gathering and lifting the front of her skirt and petticoat in great fistfuls, baring her to the cool air.
Her bosom rose on a quick indrawn breath and her fingers fluttered to clutch the chiseled muscles of his shoulders. He leaned in, surrounding her with his body and scent.
Long, knowing fingers slipped under her skirts--first warming a thigh, then sliding between them and roving even higher to thread through soft, feminine bristle. A strangled moan escaped her as the first finger brushed her clit. At the second brush, she closed her eyes on a sigh.
He stroked her again and again, knowing all the while that it wasn't a kindness he would be doing her in this act. Far from it. For after this night, a remembrance of their joining would remain with this woman, a new constant in her physical makeup. Though he would wipe the specifics of the hours they spent here from her mind, a small part of her would hereafter always pine for him, not knowing why or for whom she longed. And though this was a hurt he was reluctant to give her, he needed her too badly to let her go. The least he could do was to make sure that any impression he left with her was an extremely pleasant one.
She was panting now, emitting a tiny whimper each time he caressed her. Her arms had gone lax, hanging on either side of her hips against the stone. Slender wrists were turned upward in a pose of vulnerability, a sign she'd placed herself at his mercy.
His desire to possess her ratcheted higher. Heat pooled in his scrotum, tightening his balls into fists and thickening knotted blue veins that corded the length of his cock. He drew one of her hands to his groin and taught her the shape of him. She groaned against his neck.
His middle finger pressed urgently at the brink of humid feminine folds that gated what he sought. She was wet. Ready. He pushed her hand aside and found the fastening of his trousers, releasing himself.
Gods! Relief could not come soon enough!
Abruptly, an eerie crooning broke the air around them, reaching him even through a haze of lust and the surrounding din. A breath away from his sweet goal, he faltered. His head lifted and cocked to better listen.
The song came again. Eyes narrowed, he tipped his face in the direction from which it had issued. The river.
It came yet again, urgent and familiar. Feminine.
Nymphs. From the sound of things, they, too, were out hunting tonight. And they'd scented his presence. Voracious lovers, their bodies would be well able to handle all he had to offer. And they were noted gossips as well, a fact that might prove beneficial to his purpose in coming to Paris. Perhaps they'd gotten wind of the whereabouts of a certain female with a mix of both Faerie and Human blood in her veins . . .
© Copyright 2008 by Elizabeth Amber