Suzana ran. Shadowy branches reached out to grab her, and rocks burst forth from the ground to trip her. She fell often, but picked herself up and continued.
Stupid! She railed at herself, even as she continued. She had only the scant clothes on her back, no food, and no survival skills. She did not have the key to the belt around her waist. Nor was her body fit for such exercise. She fully expected a huge, wild animal to come crashing down on her at any moment and end her life.
In fact, she welcomed the idea. Her entire family was gone. Everyone she had loved. Gone in a shipwreck she had somehow managed to survive. By rights, she should be dead, as well, deep in the depths of Lir's watery embrace.
She stumbled again, fell to her face and tasted dirt. Stunned, she lay for a moment, catching her breath. Her fingers dug into the scrubby grass as she tried desperately to think what to do.
Weight descended on her. She screamed, instantly struggling, but went nowhere. Shadows encased her wrists, pinning them to the ground, and a solid mass straddled her hips, imprisoning her without smothering her.
Her screams stopped abruptly when a sheet of white came hissing down from the shadow above her. Shocked, she watched it catch the scant moonlight, glowing faintly blue as it curtained her and the shadow above her.
A dark chuckle sounded over her head. "Caught you, little one," said a voice that resonated in her very spine.
Slowly, she twisted her neck to see his face, which loomed just above her left ear. Even in the meager light, she could see his strong features and could just make out the lightning tattoo that crisscrossed his features. He smiled, flashing white teeth from between ebony lips.
Suzana felt her existence halt. Her entire self lost itself in those eyes, eyes she was suddenly obsessed with seeing in the light so she could know their color. Her body heated, and reality faded away. Her nostrils filled with the strangely exciting scent of him, unlike any other male she had ever encountered.
His grin faded, burned away by the heat of his gaze. In one swift, sudden move, he backed up and flipped her over. Before she knew what had happened, the length of her front was pressed against the hard mass of his body. Only her clothes separated them, as he was gloriously bare from the waist up. Instinct rolled her hips to rub her aching center against his flat belly, the short tunic riding up her hips. But the horrid metal of the chastity belt covered her pleasure and denied her the touch she sought.
"What's your name?" he demanded, the fingers of his big hands spearing the hair at either side of her head to force her to face him. Not that she wanted to look away.
"Suzana," she breathed, fascinated by one short stray lock of white that drifted down from the crown of his head to caress her cheek.
"Suzana," he rumbled, bending his head to seal their lips.
Suzana had never been kissed. Not like this. Not by a man. Even her suggested suitors back home had only kissed her cheek or hand. No man had ever before crushed his mouth to hers, stolen her breath by inhaling it himself.
He pulled back slightly. "Open your mouth."
She did, more out of surprise than anything else. Instantly, his tongue plunged in, shocking a groan from deep in her chest. She pulsed upon hearing an echoing purr from him. He took from her, and she could only lie there and accept. And enjoy. Oh, he tasted good!
Her hands sailed up the slick skin of his arms to find the wealth of hair that hung from his head. Gods of water, he smelled good! His calloused hands slid from her face, down her sides, to command her hips. His fingers slid in under the metal panel between her thighs, stroking her dripping core. Her gasp was lost in his groan.
She heard the voice only distantly. Her hands had filled themselves with silky white hair, clutching it near his head as his fingers struggled to enter her body.
Abruptly, he tore from her. Eyes open, she shuddered at the fierce growl that vibrated in his chest, matched by the snarl on his upraised face.
He was beautiful!
"Krael, you can't take her like this."
Again the snarl as he glared at someone over her head. Someone she irrationally hated for interrupting their tryst.
"Leave off, Radin."
"I can't do that."
Krael growled, his lips peeling back from his teeth just like a caged black jaguar she had once seen. Unable to help herself, she whimpered.