Following the treasure-lined path he had earlier, he found Arabelle Bahari exactly where they’d left her, standing before her father’s now-empty desk.
Not entering immediately, he remained in the shadowed hallway and
studied her. Her shoulders were slumped and head bowed, and Gareth didn’t think it was the overwhelming presence of six powerful magickers who invaded her sanctuary that caused this display of emotion.
A single tear dropped from her cheek to the desktop.
Although she was the most exotically beautiful woman he’d ever seen, Gareth was surprised at his reaction to her. He wanted her with a fierceness he’d never experienced. Never expected.
“Are you going to stand in the shadows for what’s left of the night?”
Her voice was even huskier now, putting him to mind of moonlight on her skin as that golden skin wrapped around him. When she looked up, her eyes were clear as glass, the blackest of glass.
“I was worried about you,” he said, stepping into the brightly lighted office. “You lost a friend tonight, that could rattle anyone.”
“I’m not rattled,” she said, voice melancholy. “I’ve lost friends before. As magickers.” She tossed her head and her long black hair whirled about her. He hadn’t noticed it before, the silk of it, the length. It added to her allure. Gareth wanted to feel its weight, feel it against his skin, wrapping around them as they made love.
“We grow all-too accustomed to losing those we care for.”
Making the effort, he rounded the desk to stand before her. He debated
taking her hand, uncomfortable with such displays. “Yes. We’ve lost too many, to
the point where our grief has hardened us.”
“I’m surprised,” she said, leaning a hip against the desk.
“That I understand grief?” Gareth offered a short bitter laugh. “You’re not the only one who’s lost those she loves.”
“No,” Miss Bahari said, “I’m surprised the grief of those outside your circle affects you.”
Angered with her callous remark, Gareth grabbed her upper arms and shook her. They were slim and muscular beneath the loose white top she wore. “I didn’t ask for this, Miss Bahari. I was born to it and have done the best I could under the circumstances in which we live. It’s never been just my life at stake.”
“You’ve protected yours,” she snapped back, “but what about the rest of us?”
She didn’t try to break away but her voice fought him, her eyes blazed fury at him. Some small part of Gareth thought he shouldn’t be so attracted to her anger, but it was soon drowned out by his own anger, anger and desire.
“You denied us the chance to learn from you. Even now, I can feel my own magick increasing with your nearness. Yet you’ve left us in the cold.”
“It was not,” he said softly, still holding her, “my intent.”
The air shifted between them, then, sparked around them. She hadn’t moved, hadn’t tried to break free since he’d grabbed her. Suddenly her hands were on his face, pulling him forward. Her mouth was on his, hot and greedy. The spark turned to an inferno and he embraced it.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Dark Desires of the Druids III: Desert & Destiny
The third of my Druids stories and the final one in the Witch Hunters arc. I really had a lot of fun with this story. The research was intense, but Egypt during this time was so interesting!
And Arabelle, she has issues, but isn't weak. Far from it. Gareth, he has more issues, lots of bitterness and resentment but grows--evolves. Remember, he's Raven's jilted lover from Murder & Magick. He resents every second he has to be near Raven's husband's Malcolm but the all need to pull together to defeat the Witch Hunters and find the Repository of Knowledge.
They came together out of need, helpless to resist the passion between them. but when an old enemy tries to kill Arabelle, will Gareth realize the depth of his emotions? Or will the desert swallow them all?
Desert & Destiny: England, April 1883
5 Cherries from Whipped Cream Reviews: The location this time, Egypt of the late 1800’s, is one of contrasts. There are luxurious hotels catering to the tourists and crumbling hovels that the native people live in almost next to each other. The characters are, as always, richly charismatic and superbly detailed. The women are strong and intelligent, and as willing to jump into the fray as the men are. The action is fast and exciting, the mystery engaging, and the romance is searingly hot.
4.5 Nymphs from Literary Nymphs: Isabel Roman has done a wonderful job of writing about ancient Egypt, the Magickers power to control the flow of life, and how love will survive. I especially love the fact that she added a twist to the couple’s lives without their knowing. Once the group retrieved the book they were looking for, I felt as though there should be something more, and hope that Ms. Roman will make me a happy camper continuing this series.
4.5 Tombstones from Bitten by Books: The romance develops so naturally. Especially when considered how the foundations were purely physical, Ms. Roman does an excellent job of developing the passion into true romance.