I LOVE it so much!
Check it out!
And then to make it even MORE awesome, geeport also from Deviant Art, COLORED it for me and she did SUCH a great job. So SO LOVE it.
*squeeeeeeee* Just so awesome. I have no more words!
Thank you so much, ladies!
Bustling around a shop—two with Anais’s weaving shop and the tanners’ shop—was new, but Erron was getting used to it. She liked to help in any way she could. She had a new family, and she was thriving.
Marriage suited her. Jarek suited her, too. She loved everything about him. Being loved by him was something she would never cease to be amazed by.
The first sevenday she was his wife flew by, and then the second. She was halfway through the third and had seen and heard nothing of her father. For the most part, Erron had even stopped looking over her shoulder. Norden knew where she lived now, after all. If he was coming back, there was little she could do about it. The Blessed Spirit had given her a gift that redeemed what she’d been through.
Jarek growled any time her father’s name was brought up, so she didn’t very often. Besides, she had no desire to talk about him. Think about him.
Erron finally had a life.
Anais was teaching her to use her loom and Erron was enjoying learning to create. She’d never known she had the knack for making things. She’d already woven a colorful rug that now resided in she and Jarek’s sleeping room. Next she’d learn to make baskets. The idea was exciting.
Her mother-in-law was also enjoying her second marriage—as was Kirgan. The couple never stopped smiling. Erron grinned as she recalled Anais’s bright cheeks at the breakfast table when Jarek’s father had kissed her soundly. Kirgan was the father she should have had and her new mother was wonderful and beautiful. Would Erron still blush when she reached Anais’s age?
The bell to Anais’s shop jangled, indicating someone had stepped inside. Erron was minding it while the older woman was at market. She looked over her shoulder from the baskets she’d promised to stack, a smile on her face and a welcome on her tongue.
“Erron.” The gruff voice was thick and Erron’s heart stopped.
She turned slowly, a basket still in hand and swallowing against the sudden lump in her throat.
Her father stared back, now silent and standing just inside the shop door. Erron said nothing as her heart sped up.
Norden was a mess. His beard and hair were disheveled blonde fluff on his head and face. His clothing looked as if it hadn’t been laundered in a month. Which was probably close to the truth—Erron had always washed and cared for his garments.
She faced him completely, setting the basket down and inclining her head as if he was a customer. She was done with him, and she would show him. Tell him. Norden was out of Erron’s life. He wouldn’t ruin things for her now.
“Norden,” she said. Never again would she greet him with the word he’d never really been to her. Respect he’d never deserved.
His gasp made her pause, but Erron grasped her new normal with both hands. She wouldn’t let him dislodge her strength.
The back entrance to Anais’s former home slammed and the rush of booted feet made both Erron and her father’s heads snap in that direction. Jarek rushed into the store, his face red, mouth set in an angry line as he slid between her and Norden.
“Get out. You are not welcome here,” her husband barked, arms crossed over his broad chest.
“I’ve a right to see my daughter.” Norden’s voice broke, every word a struggle as his chest heaved.
“You’ve no right to my wife,” Jarek said, shaking his head and slicing the air with a hand.
Erron took a step forward before her father could answer and placed a hand on her husband’s forearm, tugging gently. “I want to speak with him.”
Jarek’s dark gaze flashed to her, his expression softening. “Why, love?” he whispered. He still blocked her from her father, body tight.
Smiling up at the man who’d stolen her heart and soul, Erron straightened, squaring her shoulders. “You have given me everything in such a short time,” she told him, keeping her voice low. “I won’t let him ruin it.” She leaned up and pressed a kiss to his cheek.
Jarek made a sound in his throat. Acquiescence or admonition, Erron didn’t care. Her husband would protect her whenever he saw fit, and it made her stomach somersault. He was really hers, and she was all his. Forever.
She slid forward to stand beside her husband, facing her father. Jarek grabbed her hand and Erron entwined their fingers, his touch giving her even more strength. She cleared her throat. Was she really going to do this?
“What you did to me, a young girl should never have to endure.” Something flickered across the pale eyes that matched hers, but her father said nothing. Erron took a breath. “I’ll never forget but I’m at peace now. You’ll never touch me again. So go from here and never come back here. I’ve put you in my past, and that’s where you’ll stay.”
She should scream, fuss, pound his chest with both fists, but with every word Erron felt lighter, the sharp pain of what Norden had taken from her fading to an ache. It wouldn’t dissipate right now, but with time, perhaps she would completely heal.
Jarek squeezed her hand and she forced another breath, her chest heaving.
“I’m done with you,” Erron said.
Norden’s shoulders slumped at the phrase he’d so often used to release her from his bed. She felt nothing as she observed his defeated figure. Not even pity or sorrow. It was as if she was gazing at a stranger.
He stared, his eyes glued to her face, but still said nothing. What was he thinking as he studied her? Had he expected her to leave with him? Why had the man even come?
Slipping his arm around her waist, Jarek pulled her flush to his side. “Well, go on. You heard what my wife said. She’s done with you.”
Her father’s eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth as if he would speak, but her husband growled.
“You. Are. Not. Welcome. Here,” Jarek bit out.
With that, the man who’d tormented her for ten turns slipped from the shop without another word. The sense of finality settled over her and Erron’s stomach fluttered.
He was gone. For good.
Jarek yanked her to him and covered her mouth with his before she could take a breath. She slipped her arms around his neck and melted into him—like she would for the rest of her life.
“Are you all right?” he breathed as he parted their mouths.
Erron smiled up at him. “More than all right. I’m perfect.”
“Yes you are, love. I’m so proud of you.”
Her heart skipped a beat. “I’m proud of me, too.”
“I love you,” Jarek whispered before pressing another kiss into her lips.
“I love you, too.” She snuggled into his chest and her husband rested his cheek against her hair. “Do you think he’s gone for good?” Erron asked after several moments of a companionable silence.
“I’m not sure, but we have the rest of our lives to find out. But I’ll keep you safe.”
She lifted her head and met his dark eyes. “I’ll hold you to that.”
Jarek grinned. “You’d better.” He leaned down and claimed her mouth.
Erron clung to him and kissed him back.
For generations, the Ryhans, ruling family of the Province of Greenwald have been keepers of a sword rumored to possess enough magic to defeat kings. Lord Varthan, a former archduke and betrayer of the king, covets the sword and invades Greenwald.Lady Ceralda Ryhan, daughter of the murdered duke, gains the sword and flees, trusting only her white wolf, Trikser—magically bonded to her. Cera needs nothing more to aid in her fight.Jorrin Aldern, half elfin and half human, left his home in the mountains of Aramour to find his human father who disappeared twenty turns before, but finds Cera with Varthan and his shades on her tail instead. His dual heritage and empathic magic will tempt Cera in ways she never thought she’d desire. But can he convince her trust and love can pave the path to redemption or will the epic battle end in tragedy and evil conquer them all?
Erron trembled as she sat on the edge of the bed in Jarek’s sleeping room—their room. She shouldn’t be scared. And she wasn’t…exactly. Jarek would never hurt her. She wanted this. She wanted him. They were married now. So what was the problem?
The day had been whirlwind. First they were married, then they celebrated with neighbors, Anais throwing together a feast complete with music, dancing and congratulations from people she didn’t know. Worries of her father had actually been pushed to the back of her mind. She’d enjoyed herself, though her face would be permanently red from all the attention.
As evening settled over them, the other newlyweds crossed the road to Anais’s home and weaving shop, leaving Erron and Jarek in the living area of the tanning shop. Alone with her new husband.
Erron’s heart galloped and she forced a breath. She was dressed for sleeping, in one of the two chemises she’d brought from home. It wasn’t fancy or sheer—definitely nothing to impress a new lover. Would Jarek mind?
“Love?” His voice was soft. Unintimidating, nonthreatening. Gentle. Like always.
He stood in the doorway, so handsome in his wedding attire. Her stomach flipped and she offered a half-smile. How could she love him so much after such a short time?
Jarek came to the bedside and squatted in front of her. Taking both of her hands in his, he kissed her knuckles. “Nothing has to happen tonight that you don’t want.”
“But…we married today.”
He slid onto the bed beside her. Jarek cupped her face and stroked her cheeks with both thumbs. “And we’ll be married tomorrow. And the next day…and next sevenday and the one after that, next turn…and the one after that. I need you forever.”
She smiled and heat rushed her cheeks—again. He pressed his lips to hers in a tender kiss.
“I love you,” Erron whispered.
“I would hope so, or today was a huge waste of time.” Jarek grinned and pulled her into his arms.
“Are…you ready for bed?” she asked, the sound muffled against his soft leather doublet.
Her new husband pulled back, still smiling. “I can be ready when you are. For anything you are.”
“What if…I wanted to try…and…”
His dark eyes bored into hers as Jarek cupped her face again. “I want to make love to you,” he whispered. “But if you can’t, I understand. If you want to try, I’m willing. Believe me, I’m willing. I’ll stop any time you tell me to.”
She shivered but not from the temperature in the room. Erron pressed her lips to his in answer. Jarek groaned and deepened the kiss, slipping his tongue against hers. She pressed closer, hands flat on his chest. Warmth spread across her body, settling low in her belly, and she wanted more. Erron wanted to touch his bare skin, feel it against hers. She tugged at the ties beneath her fingertips.
Pulling away gently, Jarek gripped her wrists, panting. “What do you want, love?”
He smiled and made quick work of the doublet, shrugging out of it and then yanking the ivory tunic off. Jarek stood, peeled his belt open and started untying his breeches.
Erron stared. She couldn’t help it. His body was lean, pectoral and abdominal muscles defined. And he was all hers. She wanted to reach for him, but her hands remained on her lap.
Jarek paused before shoving his breeches off his slim hips. “Are you all right?”
“Yes,” she whispered, flashing a smile. “I…want…to touch you.”
“Good. I want to touch you, too.” He pushed the fine leather down, as well as his short pants and stepped out of them.
Erection jutting to freedom, Erron continued to study his body. She wanted to…touch him…there. Explore him, feel him against her, and then have him inside her. She wasn’t afraid. She felt only…desire. She gasped.
Smiling, her heart tripped over itself. “I’m fine. I…really am. Come to me, Jarek?”
His motions were slow, as if he didn’t want to spook her, and he trembled when she dragged her hand down his chest, but soon her husband sat next to her on their bed. Jarek kissed her, melting her into the heat of his bare chest as he pulled her to him. Erron kissed him back, scooting as close as she could get, arms around him, hands exploring his smooth warm skin.
“You’re killing me,” he whispered, parting his mouth from hers and meeting her eyes. “Can I see you? Are you ready to undress?”
Erron nodded, allowing Jarek to undo the buttons at her neck. Lifting her arms, he pulled the gown over her head. She looked away as she was bared to him. She’d been naked too many times to count with a man who should have never seen her. Trembling, she banished the thoughts. Her father would not ruin this for her. Her first time with her husband would be special.
Warm hands cupped her shoulders as he took an audible breath. “Blessed Spirit, you’re gorgeous. I can’t believe you’re mine.”
She met his gaze, eyes blurry and swallowing hard. Her voice was gone.
“I love you,” Jarek said, pulling her against him.
Erron closed her eyes as her breasts flattened into his chest. The heat of his body made her burn for his hands on her, but how far was she ready to go?
He kissed her again, cupping her breasts with both hands. With Jarek’s thumbs teasing her nipples, a moan slipped from her lips and heat shot downward, making the place between her legs throb. Erron wanted…ached…in a way she’d never experienced. She needed him on top of her…inside her.
Instead of fear at being trapped beneath his body, she was rushed with desire for his weight on her, the warmth of him, his touch…everywhere.
Jarek pushed her back, scooting them up the bed as he settled over her. The shock of the cool bed linens was a pleasant contradiction to the heat of his skin as she lay prone, her husband following her and settling into the cradle of her body. He spread wet kisses down her neck, teased her nipples with his fingers and tongue until Erron writhed beneath him.
She jumped when Jarek pressed his hand between her legs, dragging his fingers across her core, parting her pale curls. He groaned and Erron wiggled. Where he’d touched was pulsating, demanding more.
“Do you want me to stop?” he whispered.
“No,” Erron breathed.
“What do you want, love?”
“You inside me.”
Jarek froze, his dark eyes wide and tender. “We don’t have to do that tonight.”
“I…” she pushed herself up on her elbows, staring into his eyes. “I…want you.” Heat rushed her whole body. She’d actually said it out loud.
Her husband parted her thighs with a knee and came back to her, kissing her languorously, dragging his hands over her body. Erron melted into him, lifting her hips and pushing against him. Jarek was in no hurry, but she ached for him.
“I’ll go slow,” he breathed against her mouth.
She didn’t answer, but watched as Jarek guided himself to her with a hand and slowly pushed inside. Erron sucked in a breath, expecting the normal pain, but a shiver travelled down her spine as the opposite assaulted her. She moaned and wiggled.
Jarek stilled above her, his dark eyes intense. “Are you all right?”
“Yes.” She nodded, her vision blurring again. “I’m…perfect.”
“Are you crying? Am I hurting you?” Jarek didn’t wait for an answer, he started to pull away from her. Erron shot her arms and legs around him, holding him hard and fast.
“No pain. Please stay with me. I feel good. I just…didn’t know it could be like this.”
Flashing a smile, Jarek kissed her. “This is the just the beginning, wife.”
“Show me, husband.”
Jarek propelled forward, Erron moaning his name. She stayed wrapped around him, moving with him as he thrust. His kisses were endless, his tongue moving in rhythm with his hips.
Pleasure and pressure built until she screamed his name, arching against him. Her whole body tightened, her inner muscles contracting as pleasure washed over her in waves. Jarek groaned her name, taking her mouth hard as he, too stiffened. His release shot into her.
Erron was boneless as he collapsed on top of her, but she held him close, her heart pounding against his. She’d never felt so good in her life. “I love you,” she breathed.
Jarek lifted his head and met her eyes. “I love you, too.” His chest heaved and she leaned up to kiss him.
“Thank you for taking care of me.”
He slipped from her body and rolled to his back, taking her with him, pressing a kiss into her forehead. “It’s my job to take care of you. I’m your husband.”
She snuggled close. “I could get used to that.”
Erron grinned and kissed him again.