THE DHIBIR COURT
BEIRA, QUEEN OF WINTER
The Queen of Winter raised her hammer and channeled magic to increase the tempest. Overhead, more clouds added to the mass of those turning in a circle as they darkened from light to dark grey. Thunder boomed and lightning ripped across the sky. Winds lifted her from the mountaintop and carried her above the storm, where she stared at the full Long Nights Moon, also a Blue Moon — the second full moon of the month. There would be magic rampant in the world tonight.
The last two days of storms and sex had been building up to this — the double moon on the longest night of the year and the start of winter, when her powers naturally heightened.
Tonight, death and blood would add to the mix, combining all the most potent magics. The culmination of the celebration in her castle would elevate her magic to a level she’d not experienced since before her banishment.
She held her hammer aloft, collecting lightning, thunder, and the light of the double moon. Power crackled over her skin, and she leapt from the sky.
As the clouds circled above, so the dark sea rotated below. Surrounded by standing waves, the massive whirlpool spun, revealing the basalt column on the sea floor. It was rare the whirlpool grew so large for so many days in a row. When uncovered, the grotto in the spire acted as a focus, collecting all the magic for miles around.
All hers, to do with as she pleased. It was the perfect time for casting the spell she’d been planning for two years to achieve the revenge she’d craved for decades.
Directing the wind to transport her to her castle atop Ben Nevis, she bypassed the towers and turrets of ice to soar into the banquet hall, where hundreds of men and women awaited her to commence the final night of festivities.
Some wore elaborate costumes — a few next to nothing. Those in attendance from the start looked a little worse for wear, while others were… fresh.
She smiled in anticipation. Not for long.
A row of twenty women with differing hair colors, but sharing the traits of pale, luminous beauty and slender builds, wore floor-length dresses to hide their deer-hooved feet. The Baobhan Sith had a large part to play tonight.
Long tables draped in snow white tablecloths, and filled with thus far empty place settings, lined the length of the hall.
"Celebrants of the Winter Festival." Beira raised her hammer and sent forks of lightning dancing through the air. Catcalls and whistles greeted her as she landed on the dais at the head of the tables.
"Tonight, we take the first step on our journey home. Inisfail Fae call us Alba Fae. They think because they banished us when they were stronger, that we belong where we ended up. That they could rip us away from our home and we would forget!"
Hisses and boos rang through the crowd.
"But we are not Alba Fae — we are the Dhibir. The exiled. And we will return to take what is rightfully ours!"
Rampant cheering echoed around the room.
Beria waved her arm in a sweeping gesture at the long tables. Platters of food and drink appeared. "Indulge yourselves." She picked up a goblet and raised it in a toast, adding in an undertone, "You'll need your strength."
More whistling and cheering as people took their seats.
Taking her place at the head of the tables, she followed her own advice and filled her plate. She’d need her strength for the spell she wanted to cast.
Shisti had been at the Raven Court for two years and hadn't snared the prince who would be king. While Beria hadn't forgiven the girl's father for what he'd done to their daughter, there hadn't been any point to wasting the opportunity having Shisti at court presented.
The spell Beira had placed on her daughter should be finishing now — the fogs that protected Inisfail Fae weakening and thinning. Her magic would never have worked from the outside, but placed on a guest of the court, well, it was always easier to take down an enemy stronghold from within.
Two years gone by, and no heir. Not even a pregnancy. That was disappointing, and about all the time Beira had to waste. Who knew when The Morrigan would return? She was a much more fearsome adversary than her sons. If the Goddess of War and Death came back, things would quickly get infinitely more complicated.
When Beira’s spell completed its dismantling work, she would be ready. Now to prepare.
Halfway through the meals, a squat man with shaggy red hair and saucer-shaped blue eyes, one of the many boggarts, indistinguishable from the others in the castle, made his way around the feasting crowd and sidled up to her. "Mistress, your guest has arrived."
“Good.” Beira set her fork down and dabbed at her lips with a napkin. "Bring her to me."
He bowed. "Right away, Majesty."
Artemis made her entrance, pausing at the top of the stairs. Her long chestnut-colored hair hung down her back, and green eyes lit with poorly hidden interest scanned the room. She wore black leather straps and gold armor, more ornate than functional, that displayed swaths of bare golden skin. The goddess was in no danger here. Although her carefully guarded virginity might be, if she planned to stay for any length of time. There was no shortage of men and women happy to relieve her of such a… burden.
The virginity of a goddess would add power, and an ironic touch, to the spell.
"Artemis." Beira touched the back of the seat next to hers. "Welcome to our festival. Sit, and we can talk."
Hundreds of eyes fixed on the Goddess of the Hunt as she made her way to the proffered chair. Artemis filled a plate, a ubiquitous servant poured wine, and the goddess started her meal.
Beria sipped from her goblet. "Will you stay for the whole celebration?" Virgin the goddess may be, but far from innocent. She’d partaken of pleasure in Beira’s court before. It was no coincidence the goddess had arrived tonight of all nights.
"Perhaps." Artemis' lips twitched in a half-smile."I wanted to check in and see how things are progressing. Gaia is growing… impatient. She wants the satyrs."
"Not to worry.” Beira pushed her plate away, eager to get on with things. “My magic is shredding the fog around Inisfail Fae territory as we speak. Rally your Amazons. I'll be able to open a portal for them soon, and they can hunt satyrs to their hearts’ content. Gaia's vengeance for Echo will be complete."
“I love a good hunt.” Artemis sipped her wine. "Gaia will be pleased with this news."
The midnight hour would be upon them soon. Beira stood and clapped her hands once. Tables and chairs vanished to make room for dancing. Musicians moved to their spelled instruments, and music drifted through the hall. Dancers paired up, and the waltzing began.
Every touch, step, emotion, and breath caught by the music added potency to her magic.
Catching the eye of a Blue Man across the hall, Beira inclined her head toward Artemis. The man’s eyes lit up, and he turned his attention to the goddess. He moved toward her with a singular predatory grace, muscles flexing under his blue skin.
For a moment, Beira regretted not keeping him to herself, but she’d get more power from the pleasure of others tonight.
“For me?” Artemis purred.
“I thought you might like him. The Blue Men are infrequent visitors to my court. He should satisfy your taste for an exotic curiosity.”
“He does look good enough to eat.” Artemis allowed herself to be lifted from her chair and swept into the throng of dancers.
The waltzing changed from formal to manic. Formal costumes shredded under hands eager to touch flesh. New rhythmic motions took over, moans and the sound of skin slapping against skin replaced the music.
Beira felt every stroke, caress, thrust, kiss, and orgasm as if it was happening to her.
“Ladies.” Beira leaned forward in her chair. As one, every Baobhan Sith glanced up from her partner. “It’s time.”
The vampires laughed and drew sharp talons across the necks of their partners.
Blood magic added to the sex magic, making the atmosphere in the room even more heady.
Beira reached into the earth for the tunnels through the mountain that ran deeper, under the sea, to the basalt column in the center of the maelstrom. She opened herself to the store of magic waiting for her.
The first thrust was almost too much, more pain than pleasure as power forced itself inside her. She swallowed convulsively as magic slid down her throat, then gasped as pure energy lifted her from her seat to float in the air.
Magic stroked her skin, traced her curves, and pulsed into her in waves, filling her, sending shafts of desire all the way to her core. What felt like hands trailed down her belly, barely touching, sending shivers of desire through her.
She parted her thighs, the magic swirling and pressing against her center, slow and sweet. Raw energy filled her, so tight and heavy. Deeper and more intimate than any sex with a man. The lust grew more intense, taking her hot and hard, over and over, faster and faster.
The first of the men the Baobhan Sith preyed on succumbed, then the others fell, one after another. Their deaths added the final power she needed.
The pleasure and magic crested, rushing in like a tsunami as the standing waves in the sea dropped and the whirlpool shattered, forcing the last of the magic to empty into her. White fire rippled over her skin, and warmth spread through her stomach and chest, out into her limbs until her fingers and toes tingled.
As her orgasm went on, she gathered the energy in the hall, pulling what she wanted. Hunting instincts from the Baobhan Sith. The ability to create storms from the Blue Men of the Minch. Some foretelling talents from the Bean-nighe. Lightning from the dragon, Beithir-nimh. Shape-shifting from the kelpies. The orgasm of a virgin goddess. A touch of spell casting and life from herself.
Carefully, Beira crafted the magic into a tiny ball, gave it sentience, and released it on a gentle whirlwind. Storm clouds moved southwest, across Alba and the sea, toward Inisfail Fae.
Above enemy territory, the storm sought a way through the mystical fogs. Forks of lightning struck, and there… in the sky, a rift. Her spell working perfectly. The cloud drifted through, carrying the ball of magic. She directed the wisp toward the black edifice of Raven Castle. Spiraling up the stairs, Beira sent the magic under Shisti's door, but her room was empty.
Beira spun her magic out of a window and rose up the side of a tower to peer into Fechin's room. Maybe Shisti had finally made some progress. But there was a different woman in Fechin’s bed.
Disdain rose in her. Shisti should have been rid of her competition long ago. Her daughter always had too soft a heart. Happiness required the ruthlessness to take it and keep it. A lesson she’d hoped her daughter would have learned by now. Twisting downward, Beira let her senses open, spreading her cloud thin. There. Shisti wasn't far away.
She lay over a table, arms bound over her head, while the wrong brother thrust into her. What was Shisti's game? Perhaps her visions had changed and Fechin didn’t become king anymore.
Beira guided the ball of magic to Shisti's womb, only to find it already occupied — by a boy with magic that felt like wolf. So Vilkos was to be king, not Fechin.
That change in circumstances didn’t alter Beira’s plan. Coaxing the magic to take form settled her magic against the boy. This child would be a girl, naturally.
And when she was born first, someday the Raven Throne would return to a queen.
THE FOMORIAN COURT
Bres lay on his bed, running his fingers over his bare chest. In the pitch black of his windowless tower room, he couldn't see the scar, but he didn't need to. Instead of flattering, his nickname of The Darkly Beautiful was now a taunt.
The perfect looks he was so proud of — high cheekbones, long, sleek black hair, big blue eyes, and ethereally glowing skin were traits he’d from received from his Fae mother.
All of them meaningless with the single, ugly slash across his chest.
On the giant-sized Fomorian stature he’d inherited from his father, the scar was barely noticeable. The physical wound The Morrigan inflicted on him during the last war had healed, but the reminder left behind felt like failure.
The Fomorian side of him was proud of the mark on his flesh. Many warriors wore their battle scars with pride. But the Fae side of him detested the lack of perfection. After all, he'd become king when the ruler before him lost an arm fighting for the Fae, and was therefore disqualified from ruling because his body was no longer perfect. The Fae admired ideal beauty almost to obsession.
His magic was even slower to recover than his body. The Morrigan had struck him with the Sword of Light. She had not only marred his skin, but drained his immortality until he’d been hardly more than human, and left him to die. He should have. That he survived was surely a sign he was meant to rule. His powers, years later, were almost to the point of fully restored.
He longed to return to the forest of Inisfail Fae territory. Toraigh, the island he'd taken refuge on after the war, was windswept to the point of no trees at all. It was a cold, lifeless expanse of rock. Appealing to the Fomorian side of him, but not the Fae. It seemed like the two halves of him never agreed on anything.
But the time to repay the crow was rapidly approaching.
If he could find her.
And a treasure.
The sword was out of reach, wielded by Fechin. Bres had no desire for another taste of that blade. He wasn’t likely to survive that again. Three other treasures were fair game, though, their locations lost.
Possession of any one of them would strengthen his claim to the Inisfail Fae throne — especially if he found the Stone of Destiny. It sang for true kings. No one could deny his right to rule when it sang for him.
Of course, an heir wouldn't go amiss.
The treasures were lost — had been for centuries — but now that his magic was restored, heirs he could do something about immediately.
Bres rose from his bed, pulled on his leather pants, and headed up the stairs of the tower barefooted. Torches mounted on the walls burst into flame as he approached, illuminating the dark corridor as he spiraled to the top floor and opened the wooden door, locking it behind him.
Windows allowed moonlight to stream into the room through the bars. A fire warmed the open space, filled with a couch and a couple of chairs arranged around a low, rectangular table that held the remains of dinner.
Three doors, to two bedrooms and a bathroom, led off the main area. While his prisoners couldn’t leave, they lived in relative luxury. They had comfortable furnishings in clean surroundings. Meals prepared with the best foods. Nice clothes of the richest and softest materials. Books and art supplies to occupy themselves.
The sisters, twins with red-hair and glowing fair skin, watched him with wary expressions. The look of dread on their faces when they first saw him always gave him a thrill. They were right to be worried. He kept his treatment of them random — kind, cruel, loving, impersonal. They never knew what to expect from him, or what they could do to influence him.
He couldn’t blame them for being confused — from day to day it was a mystery to him how he’d react to them. Some days he saw them as beautiful women he cared about, and others they were just reminders of what he’d lost.
Meghan wore a floor-length gold silk dress while Morgan wore a green long-sleeved shirt, black pants, and boots. She sat on the floor in front of Meghan as she brushed her sister’s hair. They jumped to their feet as he crossed the room.
“Meghan. Morgan. How are you tonight?”
“Release us, Fomorian.” Morgan glared daggers at him. She was the more spirited one and always made the demand.
Bres flashed a grin at Morgan and turned to Meghan. She tried to back away, but he stretched out one long arm, palmed the back of her head, and forced her to him. Bending, he pressed his lips to hers and breathed magic into her.
Between heartbeats, she stopped fighting him and parted her lips with a needy moan so he could slide his tongue inside her mouth. She wrapped her arms around his neck and went soft against him.
He wasn’t called the Master of Love Spells for nothing. “Show me how much you missed me.”
Meghan leaned into him, her long red hair falling forward to tickle his skin. She pressed a feather-light kiss on his mouth, then on his chest as he urged her head down. Small, delicate hands caressed his shoulders and chest. Kneeling in front of him, she trailed her mouth over his abs. Meghan’s clever fingers undid the laces of his leather pants and freed his cock.
Her palm encircled him, fingers exploring the length of his semi-hard dick. He lifted his gaze and met Morgan’s icy, emerald eyes as her sister stroked him to full hardness. The pressure of her hand was just right, the speed and rhythm steady.
Under his influence, she would have no memory of doing this for him unless he wanted her to, but she remembered how to please him. She and her sister had pleasured him often since he’d taken them as tribute when he was king.
Meghan’s lush, pink lips wrapped around his cock. She opened her eyes and looked straight at him, pure lust in her gaze. Each stroke, lick, and suck brought him closer to the edge. He thrust his fingers into her hair, guiding her. Slowing her down just enough to stop him from going over, but still sending zings of pleasure up and down his spine. He didn’t want to come in her mouth tonight.
Bres pulled Meghan to her feet and gave her a playful swat on her ass. “In your room, little one.”
“You bastard.” Morgan stood, fists clenched.
“Don’t be jealous. You’ll get your turn.” The door clicked behind him.
Meghan’s room, in feminine in shades of gold and dark pink, smelled of vanilla and roses. She pulled her dress over her head, dropped it to the floor, and waited by her canopy bed, sighing when his hand found her breast. Her dusky nipple hardened under his fingertips and his body throbbed.
Bres shoved his pants to the floor. Covering her mouth with his, he kissed her, tasting and teasing, his teeth gently biting her lips as his hand slipped down her stomach and between her legs. She opened to him, gasping when he slid one finger between her folds, her heat and moisture tempting him to bury himself inside her right then.
He lowered her to the bed, and she spread her legs wider as he took her higher and higher with gentle strokes of his finger.
“I — oh!” Her lips parted as he replaced his finger with his erection and teased her clit with the head of his cock until she was moaning and gasping.
When she tumbled into orgasm, crying out his name, he grabbed her by the hips, and buried himself deep in her.
Meghan’s eyes opened and locked on his, a look of pure ecstasy on her face. Underneath him, Meghan moved her hips, little movements that drove him just a little deeper inside.
He filled her up, seating himself fully inside her. Hauling one of her knees up, he pushed further, making her cry out as he thrust in deep. Closing his eyes, he moved slow. He wanted to feel everything, linger in the feeling of being inside her, so he took long, leisurely strokes.
She groaned, her hips lifting to meet his, urging him to move faster. Not yet. Bres gritted his teeth, wanting this feeling to last longer, but losing that fight. He picked up the pace, leaning down so he could kiss her mouth. Her neck.
With a groan of pleasure, he rolled onto his back, taking Meghan with him. She let out a little cry of surprise but straddled him, his pulsing member still buried deep. Eyes wide with the shock of fresh pleasure, she lifted herself, then sank slowly back down. He grabbed her hips and lifted her, driving himself into her as her mewls of pleasure reached his ears.
As she rode him, the spiraling pleasure consumed him, the feel of her welcoming body taking him higher. She opened her eyes and looked down at him, her mouth slightly open, little cries of pleasure escaping her lips.
Putting her on her back, he pinned her wrists above her head and indulged in taking her.
“Oh. Yes,” she murmured in a breathy tone.
Her legs wrapped around him as her hands roamed, touching his face, his shoulders, trailing down his back. He buried his face in her neck, inhaling her scent deep roses and vanilla scent.
“Yes, yes,” she moaned against his ear as he ground into her deeper. Their moans, sighs, and groans filled the room, the sounds of their lips and skin slapping together. He held her tighter against him and pummeled into her. Kissing and licking every bit of skin he could reach as her body shuddered with pleasure. He reached between them to pluck at her clit while continuing to fuck her.
Her tight sheath clenched around him.
“Yes, that’s it, beautiful,” he urged between thrusts until squeezed him tight. He rocked into her again, staring into her forest green eyes, as she looked back, eyes glittering with lust.
Meghan arched off the bed with a moan. Her orgasm set off his, her sweet pussy milking his aching cock. He grunted as he thrust deep, feeling his balls drain dry as he came and filled her with his seed. His vision went white, and spine-tingling pleasure coursed through him. He collapsed atop her, savoring her body against his, wishing any part of it was real.
With a sigh, he pulled away and left her to sleep. In the bathroom, he showered and opened the door to reenter the living area, raising one hand to catch the candlestick Morgan tried to implant in his skull. It was always something — a fork from dinner. A chair. A shoe. She’d even tried to strangle him with curtain tiebacks and shoelaces. Morgan was imaginative.
He took a step forward, and Morgan backed away. She had more fire in her than her sister, and he liked to play with it, unable to ignore the urge to get burned.
Had they found themselves in different circumstances, she might have ruled beside him in Inisfail. But the timing had never worked. She’d loved another, then he’d had to marry for political reasons. His wife and son were dead now, and Morgan had been betrayed — handed over to him as tribute he’d never wanted.
Yes, when he was king, he had treated the Dagda and Ogma badly, but the men had always been cruel to Bres. Nearly dying changed a man’s way of thinking, though. Not about the Morrigan — Bres’ blood burned with the desire to kill that crow — but about his actions. He could free the sisters, but a part of him couldn’t.
Plus, they’d be killed if they returned to Inisfail. The Hunt would run them down. Their father had killed a Wulven woman, which caused her mate to go insane. He’d taken over The Wild Hunt and repurposed it to seek revenge by wiping out that entire bloodline. Morgan and Meghan were the last two descendants.
Bres had sworn an oath as king to protect them and not reveal the danger to them. Of course, he’d sworn it to The Morrigan, who had then later tried to murder him, so maybe he had been released from that vow. Part of him wanted to be honorable, though. The Morrigan had tried to kill him, not released him from his promise.
“Come here, pet.” He couldn’t resist taunting her.
“Don’t call me pet.” Her lips curled in a snarl.
“Remove your clothes.”
She tilted her chin in defiance and took another step back as he closed in.
“Do it yourself, or I’ll do it, and make things worse for Meghan.” Threats were the only way to get Morgan to react. He detested her impassiveness and disgust. He’d rather have her passion and anger.
She pulled the shirt over her head and dropped it to the floor, pulling off her pants and boots to reveal her lush figure.
“Get on the bed.” He reached for her.
She didn’t. Morgan bolted for her bedroom. He knew she would. She always did.
Bres lunged after her, catching her and taking them to the floor. With his heavy, giant-sized build, he easily pinned her beneath him. She lay on her stomach, with him pressed against her backside. Her body trembled, but not in fear — this was rage directed at his control over her.
Morgan needed to feel like she fought as hard as possible before she succumbed to the pleasure he gave her, so he offered her every chance. In truth, even if he let her run, she couldn’t escape the tower or leave the island.
He’d just emptied himself into Meghan, but his cock hardened against Morgan’s ass.
Bres kept Morgan trapped under him until she stopped struggling and let her feel him loosening his grip a little at a time so she could move, but only as far as he let her. He lifted his thigh from her legs and pressed his body away from her, not touching but keeping her aware of him and caged.
“There is nothing like the feeling of being inside you,” he murmured. “I know you feel it, too.”
“I hate you.”
“I know. That makes how good you feel so much better. I love that you hate me, but your pussy gets slick. I love that your mind fights while your body surrenders. The sweetest things you give me are the parts of yourself you’d rather keep.”
Morgan threw her head back. Her skull struck his chin, and she made a break from him. There was her fire.
He caught her again, putting her on her back and pressing her into the floor with the length of his naked body against every inch of hers.
She screeched in anger and frustration. “It means nothing. You’re using magic. You can make us want you,” Morgan sneered, “but at least you can’t get us pregnant. It’s the only blessing in this place.”
Bres laughed. That was true before, but with his body and magic restored, he could most definitely get the sisters pregnant now. Meghan probably already was. “Is that what you think? I control how your body reacts to me. I control when you orgasm, how you pleasure me, if you remember what I do to you, or make you do to me. You think I can’t control your body as to if you get pregnant or not?” He spread his palm over her flat stomach.
Her eyes widened. “No.”
“Yes.” He sat back on his knees. “Look at me.”
When she didn’t, he put a finger under her chin and lifted her face to his. “I’ve told you, you belong to me. This body is mine to pleasure and take pleasure from. I have been enjoying you and your sister as you are. If and when I require a child from you, this body will provide me that pleasure, too.”
So many emotions ran through her green eyes. Dread. Fear. Anger. Denial. “Just get it over with.” Morgan spoke with a tone of resignation.
He resented when she tried to make their encounters something she had to endure. The darkest part of him was determined to make her enjoy what he did to her. What they did together. Make her see what happened between them, though coerced at the start, didn’t have to be bad.
Bres took her hand and placed her palm flat on his chest. Morgan closed her eyes as he forced her to feel him. He let his eyes half close, savoring her touch as he made her small hand slide over his skin, down his chest and abs, until her soft palm settled on his cock.
He curled their fingers around his length, hating that even after all this time, she never touched him of her own volition.
Bres cupped her breast with one hand, earning a gasp of pleasure. His cock jerked in her hand at this small victory. She might not want to touch him, but he’d learned what touches she liked.
He brought her pleasure when he was with her. He could tell by the way she bit her lip. By the way she fisted the sheets. The way the muscles of her pussy clenched around him when she orgasmed.
But she would die before admitting it.
She shuddered as he caressed the tip of her puckered nipple, rolling it between his thumb and finger. Bres lowered his head to press his lips to hers, following her as she leaned away from him. He used kisses to transfer magic to Meghan, but he didn’t do it now, although that’s what Morgan expected.
Morgan turned her head and parted her lips, no doubt to give him a different sort of tongue lashing than he wanted from her.
He wrapped his hand in her long hair to hold her in place, taking advantage of her opened mouth to deepen the kiss before pulling away.
“Tell me you don’t want me.”
“That’s what you want, isn’t it? I won’t give you any more power or enjoyment than you already take from me.” Morgan glared at him. “Do what you like. You will anyway.”
No, it was the opposite of what he wanted. Bres growled and lifted her off the floor. He wanted her to admit she felt pleasure from him. Speak the truth, so for once they could join as equals, not with him her captor and her his tribute. But the fire he loved in her made her stubborn. She would never volunteer those words. And in that way, she wielded more power over him than he ever could over her.
Well, tonight he was going to make her want him as a woman wanted a man.
She lay passive when he placed her on her bed and flinched when he reached out to tuck a strand of red hair behind her ear. That instinctive movement to avoid him enraged him and send a pang of guilt through him. He’d never beaten them or raised a hand to them in anger, even so, she feared his touch.
Bres wrapped his hands around her wrists and placed them on his shoulders. He licked a line over her collarbone and nibbled his way to her chest.
Morgan gasped as he tongued the underside of one breast and closed her eyes as his mouth closed over the tip and sucked. He trailed kisses from one breast to the other and nibbled at the sensitive flesh. Pushing the full softness of her breasts together, he held them to his mouth for suckling.
Her fingers dug into his shoulders as she gave him one reaction while trying to avoid rewarding him with another. A thrill of victory stole through him.
Bres gave her nipples each a sharp bite, then released her and moved down, kissing and nibbling his way over her belly. He drew a hand up her leg toward the apex at her center, wanting to feel proof of her arousal. Her body stiffened and her thighs slammed together.
When his fingers touched the hot slickness he wanted to find, his cock hardened even more. She turned her head away.
Forcing her thighs apart, he settled between them and lowered his face to her sex. Pulling her closer, he opened this fresh assault on her senses with gentle laps along the delicate folds of her pussy until she writhed against his mouth. He held her in place, giving his attention to the swollen nub of her clit.
Bres slid his gaze up her body. Eyes locked on hers, he licked her slick cleft, suckled her clit, and slid a finger inside her.
Morgan moaned, fighting his hold, not to escape, but to raise herself to his lips and every thrust of his tongue. Her face, unguarded in the moment of her orgasm, showed pleasure that was more honest than any words.
Pure male satisfaction flooded his already heated veins. He wanted to flip her over and ride her hard. Take out all his anger and bitterness toward the Morrigan by driving himself into the woman beneath him. Take her in nothing more than a mindless rut. Bury himself so deep inside her, she never forgot how it felt and couldn’t deny him ever again.
Instead, he lifted her hips and positioned his cock at the entrance to her glistening pussy.
She was ready.
“Watch.,” he murmured, wanting her to stay aware of him as her body surrendered to his. Bres drew his initial taking of her out for both of them, pushing into Morgan with one slow, relentless thrust until her wet heat embraced every inch of him.
Morgan let out a breath as he held still, her tight sheathe rippling around him.
He withdrew and thrust again, almost losing himself. Using all his will, Bres slowed their passion, taking the time to watch his cock slide from within her, shiny with her arousal, then disappear into her as he claimed her body again.
He found his iron control slipping as she lifted her legs and joined her ankles behind him, welcoming him even deeper inside her.
Morgan’s body arched toward him. The cry from her lips and the telltale rhythmic spasms of her sex snapped the last of his restraint. He gripped the swell of her hips and pounded into her, letting her release draw his from him.
Bres emptied himself into her as a guttural moan tore from his throat and he collapsed atop Morgan.
Holding her thighs around him, Bres allowed himself a few moments to savor this connection between them as he remained inside her, allowing her womb time to take his seed.
He pulled out of her warmth and stood to pull the blankets over her naked flesh.
This night he’d created life within her, and didn’t want to sour the experience by remaining with her when her ire and hatred returned. Especially when she figured out he hadn’t used any magic on her — that all the pleasure and desire she felt this time was real.
He had Morgan to fight him and Meghan to love him, but as soon as the pleasure was over, both left him feeling empty.
Bres locked the tower door behind him, went through his quarters, and continued down the tower stairs until he emerged into what he thought of as a rock garden. There wasn’t even enough sun in this place to warm the ground enough for plants to grow.
His father, Elatha, stood with his head up to the sky, hands clasped behind his back. Where Bres was dark, his father was light — golden hair and eyes, suntanned skin. Even his clothes were golden, as were his rings and the chains around his neck. “I received your message.”
“I didn’t know you were coming today, or I would have prepared a welcoming party for you.”
His father faced him. "It's all right. I don't plan on staying long."
Naturally not. Bres’ mother refused to set foot on the island, and his father didn't like being away from her. "I think I know what you want to talk about, and I won't be part of it. I have no advice for you other than to forget about being king again."
"The throne is mine."
"It was. I don’t think you can say it’s yours anymore."
"Not helping, Father."
He shrugged. "I’m not here to help you. One war got you the throne, a second lost it to you. Is it worth a third? How many must die? Leave the Fae to the Fae."
"I can't. I wasn't a righteous king before, but I know better now. If there's a chance Vilkos could take the Raven Throne, we have to stop him. His father is mad. With Vilkos on the throne, they'll control the realm and The Wild Hunt. No one would be safe."
"But the way you want to go about it — you want to take with injustice what you could not keep justly. Look at what you do to the women you took as tribute years ago. Why would the Tuatha dè Danann trust you're different if you still treat them like slaves?"
Bres summoned calm. Not even his father could know of the promise Bres had made. "My claim to the throne is strengthened if I have an heir. The women are granddaughters of The Morrigan."
"You've kept them prisoners for years.” Elatha shook his head. “You think the Fae have forgotten about them? Their uncle occupies the throne you covet. If he sees you again, you'll have to answer some questions, if he's in the mood for conversation rather than revenge."
“Meghan and Morgan aren’t safe in the court.” That was as much as he could reveal.
"That’s not the only reason you keep them. If you insist on going through with this quest of yours, talk with Balor."
"Has he returned?"
His father nodded. "He didn't find The Morrigan this time either, and is likely to be in a foul mood and spoiling for a fight."
The Goddess had turned the tide of the war, driving the Fomorians into the sea, proclaiming the first of her sons to sire an heir would take the Raven Throne, and vanishing.
Balor, also injured by The Morrigan, had hunted for the goddess ever since.
“Thank you, Father.” Bres strolled through the makeshift town a short distance from his tower. Balor was holding court at the bar. He wore an eyepatch to cover where The Morrigan had half-blinded him when she took his eye. Two human women sat in his lap, touching his bare chest and hair. "Ah, Bres. My favorite former king. What brings you here?"
Taking a seat, Bres waved away the woman aiming for his lap. "Inisfail Fae."
Balor swatted the women's asses, making them squeal as they left him. He leaned forward, elbows on the table, voice low.
"I heard Vilkos was heading home on my way back here." Balor took a swig of his drink and wiped his mouth on his sleeve.
"That makes things more urgent. Something must be happening."
Balor shrugged. "What does that have to do with us?"
"Maybe the Morrigan will come home."
The Fomorian rubbed the skin around his eyepatch. "But we still can't enter Inisfail. That's why I've been searching for the witch outside the wards."
"I still have her granddaughters. They might be able to get us past the wards."
"You would be king again?"
"The army dispersed. It will take time to find enough Fomorian soldiers for another war. If you want to fight quickly, you'd be better off hiring some mercenaries from the Winged Court. Or maybe an Ifrit. Fire would tear through the forest quickly enough."
The Ifrit lived in another realm. At one time, Bres would be able to travel there with little more than a thought. Having to make the journey on horseback, by boat, and on foot would be tedious and take months. The idea of burning the forest made him nauseated. There were many kinds of Djinn. He didn’t have to buy the services of an Ifrit.
"I'd rather not become King of Ashes." The Fae would never forgive him if the forest burned.
"That makes things more complicated.”
What wasn’t complicated when it came to the Fae? Bres’ powers would be at full strength soon, but soon was relative. It had already been years.
There was nothing keeping him on the island. A long journey would be a break from the monotony of the rocky landscape. If he made it to Aribi before his magic returned, the time to get there wouldn't have been wasted. And if it returned on the way, he could shorten his trip. Nothing lost.
"Is your daughter still in the high tower?" Some prophecy about Balor’s death had scared him enough that he'd locked his daughter in a tower on the island, which had given Bres the idea for Meghan and Morgan.
"Will you watch over the tributes?" Traveling with Meghan and Morgan would be problematic. Morgan would try to kill him and escape at every turn. Now that the sisters were pregnant, nature would take its course without his presence. It might even be better if he wasn’t around when they figured out they were carrying his children.
There were many kinds of Djinn. Maybe he could get some help in finding the lost treasures rather than burning down the land he was destined to rule. Leaving Balor to his women and drink, Bres walked to the cliff edge and down the rough-cut stone steps to the waterline where the cold, black ocean washed up on the shore.
The trail along the stony beach was almost invisible. He hadn’t come here since he’d taken refuge on the island after the war.
Inside a sea cave, Prydwen awaited. The proud ship had languished in the sea cave since Bres stole her from King Arthur. A vessel like this was meant to be sailed into battle and conquest. Golden dragon heads graced the bow and stern. Copper plating gleamed from her sides. The ship was armed with dragon fire to protect herself, and spelled by Merlin himself to catch favorable winds in her three sails.
The perfect transportation for his long trip.