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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(140) by Anne Bishop
  • “Lia . . .”

    “Do it.”

    He thrust.

    And took the pain as well as the pleasure.

    For a moment, the world turned end over end, whirling them in a storm of sensations.

    He wanted to thrust again, to feel that pleasure.

    He was terrified of the blood that covered him.

    Lia dug her nails into his shoulders hard enough to break the skin and cried out in pain.

    Sheathed inside her, the impaled and the impaler, Jared forced his body to remain still while they rode out the storm.

    And realized that he could have stepped away from it. That he could have kept himself disengaged enough not to be swept away.

    That’show a Jeweled male broke a witch. He mired her in the duality of sensations while staying in the eye of the storm. And then he gave pain instead of pleasure. The witch became her own enemy, feeling as if she were inflicting the pain upon herself. Unbalanced by the conflict, she would try to flee, but the pain would follow, driving her to her own destruction.

    The knowledge made him shake.

    “Jared.” Lia wrapped her arms around him. “Jared?” She shifted under him.

    He struggled to find the self-control that would let him pull back enough not to get swept away by the physical sensations, not to lose control completely.

    “Jared,” Lia murmured, stroking his back urgently. “Please.”

    Even if he could have distanced himself from her body, he couldn’t bear to pull away fromLia .

    So he wrapped her in his strength—body, mind, and heart—and surrendered both of them to the pleasure of the Fire.

    Chapter Twenty-four

    Leaning against his desk, Krelis slowly twisted the Sapphire-Jeweled ring on his right hand.

    Darker than the Green Jewel, lighter than the Red.

    But skill and training counted for something, didn’t they? What was a pleasure slave’s raw strength compared with centuries of learning how to fight? What difference did it make if the bastard wore the Red? He didn’t really know how to use it.

    Except the Shalador Warlordhad held off the marauders who had banded together to capture the Green-Jeweled bitch-Queen. Had done a lot more than hold them off.

    Had his pet been partially responsible for that? Krelis wondered as the Sapphire Jewel appeared and disappeared with each turn of the ring. Had he used his own training to support and guide the Red? It could have ended with that ambush.Should have ended with it.

    His pet had been a serious miscalculation. He hadn’t expected loyalty. No Hayllian expectedreal loyalty from these here-and-gone races. But a man who allowed himself to be bought should have the good sense tostay bought.

    Well, that was one other thing he’d take care of when he got to that privy hole called Ranon’s Wood.

    “Come in,” Krelis snapped in response to a knock on his office door.

    Lord Maryk stepped into the room just far enough not to be noticeably still in the corridor. “All the supplies have been gathered, Lord Krelis. The guards from the last two southern Provinces are expected within the hour.”

    “I’d thought my instructions were simple enough to be clear,” Krelis said, keeping his eyes on his Sapphire ring.

    “We don’t need a lot of supplies. We’ll be back here by tomorrow night.”

    “Our men will need to eat after a fight,” Maryk replied stiffly.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire