Song of Winter(4)

By: May Sage

“He has nothing to do with this mess,” the queen continued. “His one sin is having an ass for a father, and I can’t very well begrudge him that. Besides, he may be of help. I’ll speak to him, of course, but I consider him our guest.” She paused. “For now.”



Just a taste, Valerius told himself. A fleeting touch of Devira Star Rivers’s tantalizing lips and then they’d go back to talking politics, machinations, wars, and nonsensical notions such as the absurd idea of his occupying the most powerful position in the Isle, the throne that ruled over all thrones. Ludicrous. She must have hit her head too hard before passing out during the attack they’d just survived.

Him, the dark prince, made king of kings.

Part of him—the part that made people shudder, the part that relished the suffering of others—desired it greatly. But he knew better than to wish this fate upon the world. It was one thing to govern a few thousand souls he cared for in his remote northern home. Calling himself monarch of the rest of the Isle was another thing altogether.

The second his mouth took hers, none of that mattered. He wanted—needed—more. He couldn’t have controlled himself if he’d cared to. Vale and the dark prince were again in agreement: their one wish was to keep caressing her delectable, soft skin and savoring each moan, shiver, and wordless gasp. His lips only left her mouth to tease her neck, her collarbone, the curves of her breasts.

Devi held on to his shoulders and ran her fingers through his hair again. That was her thing, apparently. Vale found he liked it just fine, although he couldn’t recall the last time he’d let a female do anything so intimate.

Anyone else and he would have pushed away, or taken her hand and shoved it in his pants. Anyone else and he would already have been buried deep inside one of her holes, pumping in and out. Devi he wished to explore and savor every part of her flesh and soul, one exquisite bit at a time.

He lifted his head to reach her throat and ran the tip of his tongue on her golden skin. Devi’s flavor was salt, woods, ocean, and sin. He trailed kisses from the crook of her collarbone to her ear, perhaps the single most sensitive part of any fae. Vale wanted to bite her earlobe hard enough to leave a mark. He wanted to demand she extend her wings so he could caress each long golden feather. To claim every part of her—the parts she wouldn’t share with anyone. Not his Devi. She was too proud for that. She wouldn’t have let herself shudder, beg, or fall into the arms of anyone else.

Fisting her disheveled black hair, Vale inhaled her scent and sighed. Finally, he moved away, putting one foot of distance between them.

“You’re bad for me, Devi Star Rivers.”

“Oh no,” she purred low next to his ear, and playfully nipped at his earlobe. Fuck. If he hadn’t been hard before, he would be now. His length throbbed in his breeches. “I’m very, very good. Trust me.”

But he didn’t.

After their ordeal, he would have trusted her with his life. Vale was mistrustful to the extreme; he’d never actually slept with any of his previous lovers. After fucking, he would return to his apartments or ask them to leave his. Yet he had slept next to Devi without once thinking she might take the chance to slit his throat while he was helpless.

He felt confident he could show her his back and count on her to guard it.

Before her, there had only been one person he could say as much about: Kallan. But Devi would lay down her life for him. She’d already done it, back in the Square of Dawn. She hadn’t counted on him to help her, and he’d seen the shock in her eyes when he turned his horse back to get to her.

What he couldn’t, wouldn’t trust her with was this. His intimacy. His feelings. He’d never been fond of the game of affection everyone played in the Court of Night. No one ever won.

It was perhaps why, despite his mother’s best efforts to match him, no female she’d ever introduced him to had ever tempted him until now. The ladies of his mother’s court had been raised as powerful females who knew their place: at the top of the world. They collected conquests like pearls for a necklace.

Having sex with Devi was one thing. The danger lay in letting her touch his heart. He feared she’d already gotten too close to it.