Friday, October 2, 2009

ENRAPTURED by Scarlet Hyacinth

Coming October 8, 2009

The son of the Alarian king and an unknown human woman, Gabriel is forced to live more than half of his life buried in a monastery, under the iron fist – and lascivious hands – of its superintendent, Lothar. However, things can always get worse. On his 19th birthday Gabriel finds out that he is to be mated to his worst enemy. In despair, he decides to take his own life, but a chance encounter changes the course of his life, uniting him with Lucien, a demon prince.
What follows is a tale of impossible love, a journey from despair to rapture, threatened and cursed by secrets of the past and by pain buried but not forgotten. Not only does Lucien have to fight death to save his young lover, but he has to rebel against his parents as well. In a world of prejudice and hatred, can one impossible love survive?


Leaning on the railing, Gabriel observed the beautiful Alarian landscape. It was too bad really. He’d have liked to see more of Alaria. He’d have liked to see Earth, too. Gabriel’s eyes filled with tears. Earth. His mother. It would have been nice to meet her.
Wiping furiously at his eyes, Gabriel forced himself not to cry. He would try to enjoy what time he still had left on Kaldor without thinking of what could have been. Maybe he could sneak into the garden and spend some time among the flowers. He was surrounded by plants and through the past week or so, he’d missed them horribly.
Suddenly, the Alarian hills started to be hazy in front of his eyes as a wave of dizziness hit him. Surprised, Gabriel tried to support himself with both hands on the balcony railing, but lost balance. Instinctively, Gabriel screamed. Oh Light above! Heeelp!
Much to his surprise, Gabriel’s body didn’t hit the hard ground of the palace courtyard, but collided with something warm and reasonably soft. Warm and soft? No way! He’d crashed into a person. His father would surely be furious, but more important, the man or woman Gabriel crashed into was probably hurt. Gabriel struggled to defeat his dizziness and move off whoever was on the ground beneath him. He needed to apologize and maybe help heal this unwilling savior.
Just as these thoughts passed through his mind, a familiar scent enveloped Gabriel. Clarion, ash and leather. Strong arms steadied him, wrapping around his waist like they belonged there. All unpleasant sensations disappeared, and his eyes flew open. There was a moment frozen in time when everything disappeared as ice-blue eyes met his own. Hypnotized, Gabriel could do nothing but stare. It wasn’t possible. His dream mate!
Long platinum blond hair, decorated with war braids, framing a perfect face. Elegant, yet stern features and a full mouth made for kissing. An icy blue gaze analyzed him with awe, concern and maybe a hint of lust. Gabriel drank all the details of the vision in front of him. Was he dreaming again? Was he dead?
Loud laughter interrupted his private moment of heaven. Gabriel’s head turned, snapping up to see the source of the intrusive noise. It proved to be bad idea, since the movement caused his head to painfully collide with the chin of the blond god still holding him in his arms. This caused another bout of laughter in the courtyard, and this time Gabriel could see from whom it came. His eyes widened at the view.
A group of large men stood proudly in front of the Alarian palace. They weren’t many, but even so, they seemed to occupy all the space in the huge palace yard. Their black steeds were the same color of the black wings on their backs and their dark leather armor. Instinctively, Gabriel’s head turned to the man holding him. Black wings on this one, too. He’d been too lost in the man’s eyes to observe them. The Xeetah had arrived.
Oh damn, what a greeting for his father’s guests! The blond was openly glaring now. Gabriel gulped and tried to move away, but he just held him tighter. Nervously, Gabriel tried squirming away, but to no avail. His dream mate’s hold was just too tight. “Stand still, little one! I don’t want you fainting on me again,” the handsome man whispered in Gabriel’s ear.
Gabriel’s bones melted at the seductive whisper. Obviously his dream mate wasn’t upset with him. And who was he to protest if his demon wanted to hold him? He sat back comfortably in his dream mate’s hold, tempted to wriggle a little to see if the hard erection he'd dreamed about was also true. He felt so calm and safe in his demon’s embrace that he almost jumped, startled by said mate’s sudden outburst, “What the hell, Cade? What’s so funny?”
“Are you kidding, Lucien? This has to be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.” Cade came forward, analyzing Gabriel, obvious mirth glittering in his violet eyes. He was also indecently beautiful, actually resembling the blond holding him. They must be related. Even so, for some reason, it didn’t make Gabriel’s heart race. Instead, Cade just made him feel very uncomfortable and embarrassed. Particularly when he added, “Now, now, don’t glare! I must say I’m actually jealous. You’re, as usual, extremely lucky, with such a beautiful prize falling literally in your lap. That is so you, my brother.”
Prize? Gabriel felt his face flame at Cade’s words. Lucien was obviously not pleased at his brother’s words—well at least Gabriel was right about that—or at Gabriel’s embarrassment. “Fires of Kaldor, brother! Are you stupid or are you just faking it? The little one fell a pretty long way. He could have easily hurt himself, and you’re laughing.” Cade’s face fell and the all amusement disappeared from his eyes. Obviously he hadn’t thought about that.
Still, Gabriel didn’t want to cause strife among the Xeetah or make them feel bad. He didn’t want the two siblings to argue. Aside from Orin’s aid today, Gabriel knew from personal experience how much it hurt to have your brothers showing you hatred or disdain. “Thank you, but that’s quite all right. I’m fine. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”
As he spoke, all the demons turned towards him. Oh, no, Gabriel didn’t like being in the center of attention. Of course, Lucien found this perfect moment to make him feel more embarrassed. Gabriel was maneuvered in his dream mate’s hold until they practically embraced, their eyes meeting. “Are you sure, little one? You seemed dizzy and affected by the fall.”
The mention of dizziness hit Gabriel with a bang. It wasn’t the fall. The potion was finally taking effect. Gabriel started trembling in Lucien’s hold at this realization. He really didn’t want to die. “Shit!” Lucien cursed. “Get a medic, now!”

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