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"This union cannot happen," she choked out. "It will not."
"Ah, but, little one, it will." Pierce closed the distance between them and caught her wrist when she would've retreated further. His thumb brushed against her wildly beating pulse. "The kingdom of the falcons must merge with the tigers and lions."
"We have no wish to merge with either kingdom," she cried, tugging at her hand. "Release me."
"As king, your father is solely responsible for that decision. He has made his choice." Irritation flickered in his eyes as he tugged her closer. His breath feathered warmly across her cheek, sending a shiver down her spine. "And I have made mine. You, little one, are simply his daughter. Nothing more than a princess--or shall I say pawn--in our little game."
Oh! How dare he? Anger churned in her gut and her eyes flashed. "I will not unite with you."
"You will unite with us. The price of merging our kingdoms has always been and will always be you."
She glared at him. He was right. Essentially she was nothing more than a pawn.
"Hmm. Such lovely eyes you have, Delilah. Almost ... gray, are they not?" He smiled and then shrugged. "And yes, little one, you will unite with me and Jason. You know him quite well, I believe." He touched her hair, tugging on one golden curl. "He has spoken of your beauty for years, how he has ached to sample you."
"Jason would never! We are friends."
"Yes, you are. But what does that have to do with him wanting to fuck you?" He slid his hand to cup her chin, stroking two fingers down her cheek. "I don't blame him."
"You are vile." She turned her face in an attempt to escape his touch. His hands surprised her.They were not the soft, pampered hands of nobility, but callused and rough.
"You will enjoy having both of us in your bed, Delilah." He caught her chin, forcing her head back so she had to look at him. The white of his teeth flashed in a sudden predatory smile. "I promise you this."
She opened her mouth to shoot down his perverse promise, but a vision slammed into her mind. Her eyes fluttered closed. Pierce's hands roamed her body, his fingers teasing between her legs, while Jason cupped her breast, drawing a nipple between his lips.
"You've seen it."
Pierce's knowing words jerked the vision from her head and she gasped, her eyes snapping open. Heat stained her cheeks and her breasts swelled with sudden arousal.
"No," she denied.
"Yes, little one." He lowered his head, until his mouth was just above hers. "It is your destiny."
"It is my nightma--"
His mouth crushed down, silencing her as his tongue thrust past her lips. It was no gentle kiss, but one that staked a claim. He explored every inch of her mouth, stroking the roof of her mouth and grazing her teeth, before returning to suck her tongue into his mouth.
While her mind screamed in protest, her blood rushed like fire through her veins, spreading heat and desire. Her nipples tightened, stabbing against the hardness of his chest.
He released her just as rapidly and she stumbled back, panting. She lifted a trembling hand to her mouth and stared at him in horror. She'd begun to respond to his kiss. Had enjoyed it. No. This couldn't be.
Pierce's chest rose with an unsteady breath. It offered little relief that he had been just as affected by their kiss as she had.
"Tomorrow, Delilah. The three of us will unite in a ceremony. With or without your consent." His heated gaze landed on her mouth. "But in our bed, there is no doubt. You will not only consent, you will beg."