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Blood Of The Ruby Throne

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Royal’s Wedding Night

Wedding Night excerpt – adult post

Sarc left the celebration soon after Zera’s departure. He found his appetite lacking. Concern for his bride gave him an unsettled feeling. Zera hid her nervousness well but not from him. He doubted it was evident to many. Her demeanor was cool and composed when she retired. Not wishing to stress her further by going through his own night ritual in their chambers, he prepared for their wedding night elsewhere.

Careful to open the doors to their chambers in silence, when Sarc entered he was assaulted by the sensation of emptiness. Zera was gone. Panic washed over him. Sarc felt the lack of her presence to the depth of his soul and he realized how much the proud warrioress meant to him.

Has she flown? Has fear of our first evening together overwhelmed her mighty courage?

He caught sight of the open garden doors. In silence Sarc walked out into the cool night air leaden with moisture, so different from the dry warmth of Alphxorn. He hoped Zera hadn’t discovered the surprise he ordered prepared for their first night together. Looking to his left, just at the edge of a garden enclave, he saw Zera sitting. Her back was to the doors and she stared at Alphxorn.

Good!

Going back inside, he poured two glasses of the wine left for their enjoyment and returned to the gardens.

* * * *

Zera felt a presence beside her, a glass of wine appeared and she looked up into her husband’s eyes. Their gazes joined for a time, each measuring the other, much as they’d done in battle. Zera sighed, accepting the glass Sarc presented. He joined her.

“It’s cold out here.”

“Yes,” Zera managed and drank the wine straight down.

“You’re trembling.” Sarc placed his arm around her shoulders and drew her close to warm her.

Zera looked at him. Again their battle flashed through her mind. She knew she would lose this one too. Overwhelmed by the emotion his presence evoked, she wasn’t able to still the desire she didn’t comprehend. Zera bolted, running a short distance down the nearest path. Sarc’s chuckle stopped her. She turned, ashamed. He stood, his hands on his hips, regarding her, a slight tilt to his head, a lustful grin on his lips.

Unable to endure his blazing stare, Zera looked down. Accustomed to challenges, taught from early childhood to meet them straight on, Zera had yet to fail, until now. Positive she looked foolish, dressed in a satin negligee, shod in satin-heeled slippers, and running from her new husband and lord.

Some fearless warrior…and a queen at that!

Moments passed until his hand was under her chin lifting her face to his. “So vicious in battle…so afraid of love?” His voice was gentle and sincere, he didn’t tease her.

Zera trembled but not from cold. Heat flowed through her body fueling an inextinguishable fire. She closed her eyes and Sarc swept her feet from beneath her, holding her snugly in his arms. Such security overwhelmed her, his lips closed over hers, drawing her breath away with her trembling, replacing it with fierce desire. Zera laid her head against his chest. She prayed he was the man he appeared to be. Her attraction to him wasn’t just to his magnificent body but went deeper, to his principles. Conflict raged in her soul. The security found in his arms must be real.

At the center of Zera’s gardens, Sarc had ordered, as a surprise, the construction of a large, multi-room tent. A custom on Alphxorn when a couple wed, their first night was spent in a special pavilion. Comfortable and private, a tradition reminiscent of their short nomadic heritage when their world was less civilized. Sarc carried her to his private lair. Zera opened her eyes when he laid her on the finest white linen-sheeted bed. Startled by the tent, she dismissed the change in setting, luxurious as it was. Sarc’s gaze was on her as he slipped out of his robe and joined her.

She watched the candlelight play over his sun-bronzed muscles, not noticing when he pulled the robe’s belt from around her waist. The fire from his burning stare was like a tangible flame sweeping over her. Both sides slipped open, sliding away from the slick material of the revealing gown clinging to her body. Zera closed her eyes, his prisoner, at passion’s mercy. Tender lips caressed her face. His strong hands gently pushed the robe from her shoulders. Again, she was assaulted by the unfamiliar feeling of being diminutive. In some way in need of his protection, only this man held such power over her. Her roaming gaze was drawn into his intent stare.

Unwilling to overlook the doubt he saw in her cobalt eyes, Sarc asked, “What thoughts haunt you this night, wife? I would have no secrets between us?”

Zera glimpsed his hands, to return his stare and become entranced. “When we dueled and you stood over me as victor…you bade me decide my fate and that of my people.” She dared delve deeper into his gaze, to look into his soul, searching. “I wondered what it would be like to be at the mercy…of your hands.”

“Tonight you will know,” Sarc assured her in a voice rich with passion and sincerity. His lips found her neck, his hands caressed over the satin covering her, touching places no other man dared. Torturously slower than he’d pulled the belt from the robe, he drew the cord from the gown. He didn’t watch the gown open. Instead he looked into her eyes. Unhurriedly his gaze fell on her partly hidden nakedness.

No man had beheld her body before, not unclothed, and Zera wondered how Sarc perceived her. The thought she might be lacking in some manner hadn’t occurred or mattered to her before this night. Now that notion added to her already growing anxiety. The urge to flee occurred to her again, yet her pride kept her from running. Her dignity forbade her from begging for clemency she wasn’t sure she wanted.

The hands she feared proved gentle and seemed to hold magical enchantment. Where he touched, Zera became a part of him. Feelings of captivated intensity, stronger than the emotions after they dueled, returned with devastating force. She gasped. Liquid fire flowed inside her innocent, virgin sex. Her breath quickened.

Sarc’s kisses drained her reluctance. His caresses smoothed her fears. Bold, yet tender hands fondled her voluptuous breasts, their large nipples hard and sensitive, his thumbs massaging around them. She moaned from the ecstasy.

Sarc whispered into her ear. “Wife, do you fear me, or do you fear the pleasure I bring you?”

Before she could draw enough breath to answer, he drew her ear lobe into his mouth sending shivers down her body, then moving to kiss her neck and nibble down to tease her nipples with his tongue. She didn’t know what she did. Her instincts drove her. Zera entwined her fingers into his heavy hair holding him to her breast, so fierce were the sensations of his mouth as he shared like attention on each.

“I…” She drew a ragged, passion-intensified breath. “I fear the loss of control to you…my lord.” She managed a latent answer and groaned from the emotions pulsing through her.

His hands caressed her slim hips and over her abdomen, passing over her nest of blonde hair, lighter than the long strands on her head. Zera, intent on his lovemaking, jumped, feeling the heat of his hand move over the area where all the sensations centered. She groaned. Embarrassed, but under the spell from his loving attention, she didn’t stay his touch. She never perceived such delights existed. Her hands caressed his tight muscles, moving over his back and strayed down over his buttocks. In a separate, dim part of her mind, she was amazed at her own tenacity. Sarc’s mouth left her breasts, the nipples cool in the night air. His kisses moved over her abdomen to tease her navel.

“Sarc, what are you.…”

He stopped and their gazes joined. His stare full of passion and lust but something more tender too. She knew he wouldn’t be denied.

“Who rules here?” he growled but with a smirk continued.

Her trepidation was fleeing and turned into an uncontrollable demand from a body she thought she knew from hours of training. That was the warrior Zera. This was the woman and a stranger. Under his mastery, her breathing in short gasps, the feelings propelled her to a height of pleasure she hadn’t known—and finding the peak, teetered on the edge of oblivion, she cried out her rapture.

With a triumphant smile on his lips, Sarc kissed her lips and moved over her. His body-weight alarmed her and Zera tried to move away. Sarc gently drew her back to his embrace

“Your evening is yet begun, Zera, you won’t escape so easily.” He gazed down into her enraptured face. “Tonight my love, you learn who your lord and master truly is.” His look held sincere love as he stared down into her eyes. Despite his tender gaze and gentle manners, the threat of her master, caused a tremble of rebelliousness to rage and sweep through her for a passing moment. “You even now fear me Zera?” Sarc asked somewhat incredulous. “Or do you fear any master?”

She didn’t answer him, the euphoria of his lovemaking taking her.

Zera’s hands, though shy, became bolder, to move over his tight, flat belly to the thick hairs surrounding his ready manhood, eager to complete their union. Her blue eyes, turned to deeper cobalt, widened at his mass and size, and a quaver seized her. Zera had seen men naked before. She knew Sarc was a masterful lord in that area. But never had she seen a man aroused.

“My lord!” Zera exclaimed in a soft frightened voice but his lips took hers before she could say more. His loving arms surrounded her.

“Zera,” Sarc faltered, his breathing labored. “My love, I know you are unaccustomed to a man’s control.” He held her close, not allowing her to escape him. “For now, let me show you how pleasurable what has begun between us can be. Relax… Permit me to guide you where you’ve never been.” Sarc placed tender kisses on her breasts and soon she grew accustomed to his more familiar touch and to his dominance. He relaxed a leg between hers.

A moan slipped past Zera’s lips. Sarc’s hands caressed her, willingly under his control. Moving slow though it took all of his restraint, he whispered to her, “I want this night to be blissful for you. To be remembered as heavenly…I want you! I wanted you the moment I saw you, I could see your grief. I didn’t want to duel with you. I wanted to make sweet love to you and comfort you…to hold you so nothing would ever hurt you again.” His words whispered, heated, and passionate.

“I am yours milord. You are again the victor and have conquered me!” Zera answered, her breathing ragged in complete surrender.

“Say my name, wife!”

“Sarc,” she whispered.

“Zera, I hold no command over your head this night. Tell me you want me. Shall I stop until we know each other better?”

“No, Sarc, please,” she sobbed. “Don’t leave me. I…I want you!” Zera’s arms pulled him closer. “Sarc, I’m afraid, I’ve never been afraid before, never in my life.”

Sarc’s compassionate loving gaze caressed her with a flaming amber blaze of passion’s fire. “I know, Zera, don’t be. I’ll be gentle.”

His arms tightened deliciously about her, holding her close Sarc began to merge with her body. Her passage, blocked by her virginity, seemed to cause him a slight discomfort. Zera joined his grunt with a low groan of her own discomfort. With a little more pressure, he opened her passage.

Zera’s world spun, caught in an explosion of ecstasy she never knew was possible. Such exquisite ecstasy turned into a searing pain that washed through her when he entered her body and plunged her into a pit of panic, a cry escaped her.

“Shh, my Zera, just once my love, never again, only pleasure now,” Sarc told her, kissing her face, his lips possessed hers and the pain faded, replaced by a fullness she couldn’t believed she’d lived without. A world of elation found between two people truly mated, body and soul, opened before her.

His light kisses rained over her face to pause for a moment and his lip took hers. Their tongues fenced as if they dueled. He stopped for a moment to allow her body to adjust to his. Their bodies joined, their hearts throbbed as one. Their union completed, Sarc held her tight, his hands eased her fears. She relaxed, finding his control not frightening but reassuring, a feeling of safety unknown. With measured care and a slow pace he began to propel them into a world of euphoria. Sensations of delight built inside her as he plunged into her body, erasing any remembrance of discomfort. He created a spreading rapture of consuming titillating sweetness. She became part of him, lost and helpless, under his control. He touched her in places which seemed to belong more to him than her. Her body was exposed to him, yet more, her soul. Could she ever defy or deny him? Would he forever protect her?

Her body moved with his. Zera found herself in a place of hazy, intense rapture. Already she’d experienced so much, it seemed impossible to go further but Sarc propelled her to a place so high and distant even their fastest starships couldn’t voyage. It was their place, and together they’d found paradise. She cried out her release, again, as if a dam burst, not caring who heard. Zera’s hand touched his face. His gaze and hers joined, and in his eyes she saw that his world spun too, in ecstasy. Zera drifted off to sleep, her face radiant with contentment.

* * * *

Despite the ferocious warrioress he battled so few hours past, Zera was, in truth a sensuous and tantalizing woman. Sarc gazed down at her in sleep and gathered her closer. His heart hurt for the lack of her company. He envied her dreams. Had Zera refused to marry him, he would never have found the barbarity to carry out his threats of cruelty toward her. He loved her. With care not to wake her, he kissed her lips.

“You wondered what it would be like to be at the mercy of my hands, Zera,” Sarc told his sleeping wife. “Now you know. I couldn’t have hurt you. It was all a bluff, my love.” Sarc held Zera close, surrounded in her scent until sleep wrapped them both in dreams.

 

Web Site: www.sultrysummers.com

Buy Link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1119

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Web Link: http://www.sultrysummers.com.BloodOfTheRubyThrone.html

 

Blood Of The Ruby Throne

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Excerpt – Part Two – First Meeting

Teriana watched in awed silence. She had never witnessed her sister fight a duel except in a practice match. Though she was confident in her sister’s skills, butterflies still fluttered in her stomach. This duel would determine her future and that of Seti-Cronus’. Her gaze fixed on the battling pair, she moved away from the fray, not wishing to be-come a distraction. She found herself in the arms of a young and attractive Alphxorn captain. Even though she was terrified at first, the captain’s strong hands sent her blood racing.

Of the same mold as Zera, though untrained, Teriana at-tempted to relieve the captain of his sword. Her hand found the hilt of his weapon and managed to have it half-drawn before he restrained her in his muscular arms. His larger hand covered hers, stilling her endeavor. A stern look from him stilled future plans of action, but further warmed her body.

With the realization the captain meant her no harm, but instead to move her away from the conflict between his sovereign and hers, Teriana relaxed in his arms and allowed his protection. She was already conscious his touch was both pleasant and arousing. Her face burned from the comprehension of his desire that lit his fierce gaze, glowering down into hers. More experienced at romance than her older sister, she leaned against the captain in a coy manner. She might need to use her feminine prowess to her advantage, if escape became necessary.

Zera and Sarc’s fighting drew Teriana’s attention back to the duel. The sound of fine, tempered Triplat-steel rang loud in near perfect rhythm as their swords clashed. Teriana observed the powerful vibration of each strike flow into the combatant’s hand and arm, but appeared unnoticed by them. Zera’s sword hand was bare. Generally her sister fought wearing a glove. Lord Sarc’s gloved sword-hand allowed him a better grip, and reduced the vibrations, giving him an advantage. Teriana caught her bottom lip between her teeth with concern. The two fighters’ stares seemed locked to-gether. Neither aware of anyone else in the room. Their universe consisted of each other. Each parried the other’s thrusts as if choreographed. Occasionally one would outmaneuver the other and the reverberations of their swords echoed the change. Zera’s skirt didn’t seem to hinder her movement, but added grace to her swirls and dodges. Teriana suppressed a gasp. Sarc’s blade sliced the feminine fabric of her sister’s dress in a downward pass. The slash al-lowed Zera greater ease of movement as she turned in a sudden spinning maneuver, exposing her slender legs well above her knees. Teriana observed they were well matched for their duel. The two met at the crossed hilts of their swords, and paused. In a test of strength, and it seemed a test of wills.

* * * *

They were face to face, isolated in their battle despite the enlarging crowd in the room. Zera’s strength held against her opponent’s at the crossed hilts of their weapons. Sarc’s nostrils flared. It seemed he stole all the air, leaving little for her. Zera faltered, for the first time affected by a masculine scent. She paled and wavered from the new sensation. Sarc gazed ruthlessly down into her face, and desire burned in the fire of his stare. She took a deep breath; her vigor returned, energized by the battle, and aroused by his nearness.

Breaking the spell between them, a young page came through the door between the anti-chamber and throne room. Sarc and Zera pushed away from each other. Zera swung her blade meeting Sarc with a hard, firm cut. He stepped back forcing the page back out. Zera’s aggressive assault continued and drove Sarc through the portal up the dais to the Crystal Throne over which they fought for possession. Swords flashed in overhead slashes ringing in a steady cadence, broken by an occasional low counter slice.

Aware Sarc’s gaze and concentration was fixed on her, Zera studied his style, judging his next move. This was a test of techniques, and skill, as much as strength.

Zera and Sarc duel progressed to the top of the dais, the throne between them. Zera’s weapon drew first blood, leaving a nasty slice on the forearm of Sarc’s sword arm. Sarc’s vest was splashed red from the slash and blood streaked his arm, but he acted unhindered. The rich cloth cushions of the Crystal Throne were removed when not in use, allowing a deposit of his blood on its smooth seat.

Much to Zera’s chagrin the slash served to strengthen and provoke Sarc. With a devilish grin, he became the aggressor and renewed his attack. In the many duels she’d fought, Zera had never experienced such ferocity and intensity in an opponent’s eyes. In his stare she saw desire, but not the wish for her death she was accustomed to seeing from a foe. His fervor made her blood run hotter, and her body craved his. Their gazes locked, she swallowed hard.

Her breathing grew labored. Not from exertion but from passion, an emotion she knew nothing about, and found overwhelming. Zera hadn’t noticed, in the zeal of battle and the flood of new, devastating emotions, her sword grew heavy.

She chanced a glance at the throne room and confirmed a small crowd of nobles stood in shocked silence. With a second fleeting look, she glimpsed Alphxorn guards in each exit. Seti-Cronus guards were suspiciously absent.

“Zera!” Sarc glowered, pressing his attack. “It doesn’t have to be this way. Marry me!”

“No!” Zera put all her strength into her parry, refusing to use both hands. She was aware her sword grew weighty after she sliced Sarc’s forearm. Her mother’s warning rang in her head louder than the clash of their blades.

If the blade should draw the blood of your true mate, it will become too heavy to lift with one hand.

Zera fought on, pushing the legend and the recent vision to the back of her mind. She refused to believe this man was her mate, but feared the haunting intuition was true.

“When I have beaten you, will your men honor your de-feat and leave my world?” Zera taunted, her sword so heavy she longed to use both hands, her arm aching.

Sarc laughed roughly. “You are mine, Zera. It’s a matter of time until you are at my feet. I cannot allow you to win. After I release your military from tranqsleep, will your military swear their allegiance to me?” His cold smile froze Zera’s heart and the fire in his gaze melted it. Her steps be-came unsure.

* * * *

Zera’s stamina seemed inexhaustible. Sarc must over-power her in the duel or be forced to kill her. His spies on Seti-Cronus advised him of her abilities with the enigmatic sword handed down to her from her mother, a renowned swordswoman. He couldn’t allow her to see any mercy, compassion, or weakening in his determination. With longing in his heart to hold her and take away her pain, he maintained a fierce façade.

On they fought. Sarc knew he must overpower her in the duel. A thing he now grasped he couldn’t do. The thought of piercing Zera’s beautiful body, ending her precious life, made him ill. He loved her.

Watching Zera, he saw signs she was weakening. Since slashing his forearm, Zera had difficulty holding her sword. After she’d drawn his blood, her sword seemed to become heavy. With a skilful maneuver learned from an old sword master, he judged her declining timing and caught the hilt of Zera’s sword, flipping it from her hand. In performing the trick, her hand was sliced, numbing it. The tactic caused her sword to land, and stick point down in the polished wood floor on which the throne rested. From the intensity of Zera’s assault and the sudden loss she longed to use both hands, her arm aching.

 

Sarc laughed roughly. “You are mine, Zera. It’s a matter of time until you are at my feet. I cannot allow you to win. After I release your military from tranqsleep, will your military swear their allegiance to me?” His cold smile froze Zera’s heart and the fire in his gaze melted it. Her steps be-came unsure.

* * * *

Zera’s stamina seemed inexhaustible. Sarc must over-power her in the duel or be forced to kill her. His spies on Seti-Cronus advised him of her abilities with the enigmatic sword handed down to her from her mother, a renowned swordswoman. He couldn’t allow her to see any mercy, compassion, or weakening in his determination. With longing in his heart to hold her and take away her pain, he maintained a fierce façade.

On they fought. Sarc knew he must overpower her in the duel. A thing he now grasped he couldn’t do. The thought of piercing Zera’s beautiful body, ending her precious life, made him ill. He loved her.

Watching Zera, he saw signs she was weakening. Since slashing his forearm, Zera had difficulty holding her sword. After she’d drawn his blood, her sword seemed to become heavy. With a skilful maneuver learned from an old sword master, he judged her declining timing and caught the hilt of Zera’s sword, flipping it from her hand. In performing the trick, her hand was sliced, numbing it. The tactic caused her sword to land, and stick point down in the polished wood floor on which the throne rested.

From the intensity of Zera’s assault and the sudden loss of her sword, she stumbled. She caught herself on the throne’s seat, and sank to the floor, her breathing heavy. Blood ran from the cut on her hand onto the seat of the throne, unnoticed, but near the pool of Sarc’s blood.

Defeat was unknown to Zera and Sarc saw disbelief in her eyes. Zera gasped air, disarmed and at his mercy. She faced possible death without panic, but glancing at the people of her court. He saw her flinch. Fear for their lives and that of her sister passed over her features like a specter. He watched her trying to regain her strength and composure enough to stand. She stilled when the cold, Triplat-steel of his blade near her throat. Her gaze followed the length of his sword to meet his. He didn’t see shock or surprise in her cold stare as he held his sword so close. As victor, he’d won the right. In her steady gaze Sarc saw Zera’s expectation she might join her brother. She chanced a fleeting glance at her sister, Teriana, the sixteen-year-old princess.

Sarc had reports of how, hours earlier, the princess had sworn to fulfill her duties should something befall Zera. Teriana stood on the side watching with large alarm-filled eyes, restrained by an Alphxorn captain. His brother, Phorx, with his arms wrapped snug around her slender waist.

Zera returned her full attention to her conqueror, him.

“You have won…my Lord Sarc,” Zera submitted.

He noticed she trembled and wondered if she considered her fate with him more frightening than death. Possibly, she felt death might be easier.

He guessed Zera was naive of the view she presented. Her slit skirt exposed her muscled and shapely long legs, his scrutiny caressed those perfect twins downward and for the first time he realized…she wore no shoes!

Sarc’s scrutiny moved upward over her pulsating body, taking possession of Zera’s gaze in a moment of amused amazement. The revelation served to bring his attention back to her wide, anxious eyes. Aware a lustful smile tugged at the corners of his mouth and softened his fierce expression he didn’t try to suppress it.

Intent on exercising his rights as victor, he leisurely took full measure of Zera, surveying his prize. He feasted his eyes on her chest, still heaving from their long duel, gleaming with sweat trickling down between swells of her rounded cleavage. Sarc ogled her freely. Zera raised her chin, her gaze showing her anger at his perusal. Sarc was impressed. Even in defeat, her spirit sustained her pride.

She had fought better and with more style than any man he’d faced with a sword. Sarc admired her courage. With her beautiful face flushed from exertion, Sarc reminded himself not to allow his passionate and protective instincts to sway him.

By the moons of both worlds, I long to carry her to the nearest bedchamber…now!

Perhaps he should claim her as a Slave of the Victor, al-lowed in both cultures. His gaze intensified, and he re-minded himself of his commitment to the agreed-upon strategy.

They stared into each other’s eyes for long moments, the silent crowd below them watching from the throne room floor, forgotten. Emphasizing his dominance, Sarc looked down the length of his sword into the stare of the High Lady of Seti-Cronus lying defeated at his feet. He had no idea of the intense passion and fire revealed in his stare.

“Now, for the choice!” Sarc whispered for her ears alone. His voice further bared his desire. “Marry me. Retain your position on your world and gain it on mine. Your people will join mine. We will again be one. Our children will rule this system as it was meant to be.” He paused, and the sword moved a fraction closer, the cold composite of the blade just touching her delicate skin.

His tone grew into a whispered inferno. “Refuse me, and become my very personal slave.” Sarc’s lust seared through his words, to divulge the depth of his raw desire. Watching her, he saw a sudden flush of innocent abashment brighten her battle-heated face, confirming his spies’ ac-count of her virtue. “Your people will lose their world. It will exist to serve mine. You will exist to serve me. Our children will be conceived with the screams of your dying nobles in your ears.” His intent clear, he watched her face turn pale. Sarc pressed her cruelly, leaning another fraction closer. “And Zera, we will have many children to rule this system. Either way, my lady, you are now mine, as is your world.”

Sarc watched her eyes, reading Zera’s thoughts. She was in turmoil. Sarc again noted her trembling, but doubted it was from fear, maybe from exhaustion and the over-stimulation of the past days. She looked at his hands. Was she questioning their mercy, or perhaps their brutality? Zera looked back into his eyes. He met her gaze unflinchingly, without looking or turning away.

Perhaps she considers my commitment to my word.

“Time to choose, Zera!” Sarc snapped in a quick, low growl. He could see an emotion he was sure no one had ever seen before in her exquisite face. Panic!

Zera gasped. It seemed she took her final breath and prepared for death. For a moment, concern she would make a poor choice flooded his thoughts.

Have I pushed her too far?

“You have left me no option, Lord Sarc. I will marry you, and I pray you are a man of your word.” He saw surprise on her face when he sheathed his sword and extended his arm to assist her to stand in the time-honored manner of an equal warrior. Grasping her arm to arm, he took care not to further injure her hand.

“Good!” he declared. Sarc’s fierce gaze delved into her surprised one. “I knew you’d make the correct choice and be my queen.” Before Zera could speak, Sarc gathered her into his arms, no longer able to resist the urge to hold her. He covered her tempting mouth with a heated kiss. His hands molded her warrior’s form to his as he tasted and explored the depth of her sensuous mouth. Response flowed through her inexperienced lips, and for a second her body relaxed against his. His embrace left no doubt he claimed her. Her warm hands rested on his hips, contact points of heat, Sarc drew her tighter against him.

A loud gasp passed through the assembled crowd, and as one, the court moved away from the Crystal Throne. Sarc stood to one side with Zera, keeping a possessive arm around her waist. Together they turned to see the Crystal Throne changing from clear to deep scarlet. Their blood, spilled dur-ing the duel, merged on the seat forming one pool. As they would unite their worlds, inexplicably, their blood mingled and absorbed into the non-porous crystal, changing it.

Awestruck, neither had witnessed such a phenomenon before. Zera, eyes round in wonder, looked to Sarc.

“I think our union has been approved,” he whispered with amazed humor in his voice. “Zera, we must seize this moment to make the transition smooth.”

“I am aware, Lord Sarc. I have given my word, I will abide by it.”

“Citizens of Seti-Cronus,” Sarc’s voice boomed over the noise and confusion happening below them. All attention turned to their new sovereign, and the noise stopped. “I am Sarc of Alphxorn.” Silence hung heavy in the room. “High Lady Zera and I have been settling the terms of our marriage contract.” His cold, dry humor failed to bring a smile to anyone’s lips. “We have come to an agreement. This outcome could have been tragically different if she were not the intelligent and perceptive woman she is. You all owe her your support, your loyalty.” He turned, gazing at Zera, admiration shining in his eyes, “and your lives.” His stare turned cold when it again traveled over the crowd. He addressed her. “My Lady Zera?” allowing Zera to set the day and time, hoping she would know it needed to be soon.

Buy Link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1119

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Of-The-Ruby-Throne-ebook/dp/B00D567T64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387689841&sr=8-1&keywords=Blood+Of+The+Ruby+Throne+by+Sultry+Summers

Web Link: http://www.sultrysummers.com/BloodOfTheRubyThrone.html

Blood Of The Ruby Throne

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Excerpt – part I – First Meeting

Outside the main double entrance doors to the anteroom a thunderous disturbance disrupted their tranquility. Zera jolted out of her trance and assumed an alert posture. She turned toward the commotion, amazed when the doors burst open. Her bodyguards spilled through from the entrance in a defensive manner.

Training and battle reactions had become instinct. Zera grabbed her sword from the nearby table, drew it from the sheath, tossed the sheath aside and pushed her less experienced sister behind her.

Her people were subdued by mass numbers, some down with injuries. She was amazed none were dead, and it appeared the invaders took care not to kill or cause serious injuries. Zera stood braced to meet the lord she knew would follow the men who forced the doors.

Men in uniforms she recognized. They weren’t pirates. Pirates didn’t wear matching, freshly-pressed attire, their dress best. Zera’s blood surged hot with anger.

* * * *

Sarc strode through the door. His sword was sheathed and un-bloodied. He hoped it to keep it that way. Confident of his dominance of the circumstances, he surveyed the room. With deliberate purpose, he avoided looking at Zera until he read the situation. Zera’s well-trained bodyguards were subdued and posed no threat. They had been taken by surprise, overwhelmed by numbers, and Lord Sarc’s men held them impotent at sword point. Sarc, relieved more sophisticated weapons hadn’t been needed, glanced at his second in command, nodding at him to carry on. When he was satisfied all was as planned, his gaze settled on Zera.

Now secure in his control of Seti-Cronus, regardless of the outcome of his confrontation with their high lady, Sarc appraised her. Zera raised her chin in obvious defiance of his scrutiny.

Such spirit!

He saw she was unaccustomed to being so evaluated, offense at his inspection clear in her reddened eyes. Her entrancing blue eyes showed signs of weeping mingled with exhaustion obvious in the dark circles beneath them.

Sarc, Victor by Conquest of Seti-Cronus, had Zera’s military under his control and was aware she was unconscious of the fact. Maintaining a stern countenance, he could ill afford to show any empathy for this magnificent woman, not yet. Despite the effects of her predicament on his sympathies, he kept his compassion in check. Sarc held his features impassive and cold.

She stood ready for battle, her sword grasped tight in her hand. Yet her lips seemed to beckon a kiss, tempting him, slightly parted in surprise. Sarc’s gaze drifted from her face, and he squelched the urge to lose his fingers in her heavy blonde hair.

Compared to Zera’s true beauty, the pictures and stories of her loveliness proved unworthy. He remembered her picture on his desk. Sarc’s gaze swept over her again. He wet his lips without realizing, observing she didn’t flinch away but met his stare without fear.

Does she fear anything?

She wore a gown and was unprepared for combat so femininely attired. In her grief, he assumed she had dressed for comfort. All the pictures of her flashed through his memory, not one of her in a dress.

Sarc was aware of Zera’s skill as a warrior. He didn’t expect her to surrender her throne without a fight, but wanted to avoid bloodshed, especially hers. He refused to resign himself to the possibility he would have to kill her and marry her much younger sister. Something he refused to do, she was a child. Sarc hoped Teriana and his younger brother Phorx would find each other compatible and double seal the throne. He wanted Zera as his wife, at the very least, his mate. If she wouldn’t concede to marriage, she would fill the role of his concubine. Her death must be avoided at all costs, but he feared he might not be able to. Zera’s skill with a sword was legendary on both worlds.

* * * *

Zera needed no introduction. Then again, she was astonished at Lord Sarc’s insolent audacity, entering her palace without invitation or petition.

How did he and his men get past planetary security?

Zera stood stunned. Sarc’s presence dominated the room. Like a living force, his charisma focused on her, surrounding her. His authoritative personality threatened to draw all defiance from her already drained spirit. Instead, her fiery temper flared at his bold affront, and she was incensed he would come to her as a conqueror at this time. But no training prepared her to meet such a man.

Reports furnished by her intelligence community detailing Lord Sarc were useless under-estimates of the true measure of both his physical stature and natural persona. A man’s height had heretofore been meaningless to her, even in hand-to-hand combat. The High Lord of Alphxorn, taller than her by almost a full head, seemed to tower over her, weakening her resistance. She dismissed such an unfamiliar wave of frailty that washed through her, refusing to believe he could in any way be the source. She attributed it to the strain of the past two days and squelched the rush of unfathomable emotion he evoked deep inside her innocent body. Dismissing such foreign sensations, she credited them to grief and the trauma of recent events.

Zera leveled her gaze and appraised him as she would any enemy she prepared to battle. Sarc’s dark hair showed a hint of auburn, accenting his strong and masculine face. A firm jaw and chin further indicated the measure of sound character. She gazed a second longer to glimpse past the stern countenance he portrayed. His demeanor suggested a man of courage and honor. Still, a hint of arrogance slipped through.

Large, heavy-lashed, fierce amber eyes held her gaze captive from the distance of the room with little effort. She felt his ogle explore her body, which was untouched by a man’s hand. His stare caused a tremor to flow through her, and she knew his touch from across the room as sure as he if had caressed her. Her mouth went dry.

What power does this man hold over me?

Zera sized-up Sarc’s dress. He hadn’t come to her at-tired as a warrior, but as High Lord. Beneath a golden-hued cape fastened at his left shoulder by the Royal Triplat emblem of Alphxorn he wore a double-breasted, leather vest giving his arms freedom, should he need it. She appreciated the garment accented his toned and tanned, muscular shoulders and biceps, the reflection of dedication to hours of physical training. Zera recalled reports of his bravery in battle, defending the autonomy of his leadership. A flush warmed her face. She was embarrassed, unaccustomed to admiring a man’s physique. He crossed his arms over his broad chest in regard of her. His stern countenance wavered. A slight upturn of his generous lips seemed to mock her re-action. Her temper flared hotter. Zera scowled and concentrated her attention. With a deep breath, she prepared for the duel she was about to fight, fearing this might be the first one she would lose. He stood with confidence, his powerful legs clothed in snug suede breaches. Sarc’s presence and self-assured poise aroused Zera beyond her understanding. Her face grew hotter—abashed at her own tenacity, appraising him. She never so measured a man before. Resisting her reaction to the High Lord of Alphxorn,

gripping her sword a little tighter, and pressing the hilt into her ungloved hand, she positioned her stance to attack.

“How dare you!” Zera demanded in a low growl. Infuriated he would interrupt their period of bereavement.

“You bade me bring my proposal in person, did you not, Zera?” Sarc retorted in a low, rich voice that challenged her decision of his proposal. Their gazes clashed before their swords.

“Lord Sarc, your presence at this time is unwarranted. As I am sure you know. Your timing is terrible. Or is it?” Zera sneered. “What of the apology from your Ambassador? It would seem you should be mourning your own dead from this tragedy. We paid them high honors, as it appeared they gave their lives attempting to assist our warriors. Were we mistaken in such an assumption? Or were they complicit in our people’s deaths?” Zera’s stare didn’t waver, nor did Sarc’s at the accusations she threw at him. Despite the clarity of the recorded transmissions, she made her reservations known.

* * * *

What a woman! She has no equal!

Sarc read grief in her eyes and knew she couldn’t mask it, but her spirit amazed him. Her sword was gripped so tight in her bare hand her knuckles were white, the blade lowered, but ready. Even in the comely, simple dress, Sarc appreciated her supple, toned muscles tensed beneath the fabric. He would rather kiss her, hold her close, and comfort her than do battle. A sigh slipped past his stern countenance.

Combat had to come first. To win this woman he would have to best her in a duel, prove his honor and win her trust, to gain her heart. The realization came to Sarc he wanted Zera as much as the crown of Seti-Cronus, and her security as much as that of Alphxorn’s.

“Circumstances change, lady. Your brother’s death and the manner he died, brings the threat closer.” Sarc tempered his demeanor, his position clear.

“You do propose war!”

“No!” Sarc was firm. “War with you, Zera, has already been avoided.” He saw a questioning look pass over her face. “My ambassador overstepped his authority and no longer represents Alphxorn. Zera, the threat isn’t from me. I suspect you know this. The threat is from the pirates. You know they are massing. Lord Enos discovered their larger fleet, and because he found their lair, they attacked and killed him. As the transmission shows, my squads did at-tempt to assist your brother.” Sadness over his own losses drew his brows tight. “Kudious didn’t want their presence, position, and numbers revealed.”

“How would you know? Unless you are in collusion with them,” Zera accused. Blue flames lit her frigid stare.

“Spies! Well placed ones. That was why two squads of Alphxorn fighters were hidden on one of the smaller outer planets. Lady Zera, Kudious’ plans include you. He wants you as much as he wants Seti-Cronus,” Sarc informed her. His lusty ogle swept over her, his own desires unmistakable.

“I wouldn’t wed Kudious! The man’s lower than a snake,” Zera hissed. “Now, leave us with our grief.” She suppressed a sob, yet it was a command.

Sarc allowed some sympathy to show in a pained smile. “You don’t understand, Zera. Kudious doesn’t care if you are willing to wed him or not. He plans to conquer your world with you as his prize. If he did so, and his military were strengthened by possession of Seti-Cronus forces, Alphxorn would be his next target. That is a risk I cannot al-low.” Sarc’s stare became hard as stone. “You, beautiful Zera, will be my bride. Seti-Cronus and Alphxorn will again be one!”

* * * *

“No!” Zera scoffed. Her sword raised a fraction in anger. “Not while I can still fight. I will not marry.” She hid her heated, racing blood behind a frozen glare. “My people will not follow you, Sarc,” Zera warned. But her mother’s words, two nights prior, haunted her.

Is this the man who will rule beside me? Still, I have no way of knowing, and only a duel, fairly fought will reveal the truth. I will not marry a man who may have had a hand in Enos’ death! Oh mother, how will I ever know for sure?

Zera’s blood surged hot through her veins, and heat flamed in her face. Sarc’s stare scorched her with amber fire, melting the icy fear he’d sent through her with his words. She remembered witnessing a firestorm once and found she was in its midst. Zera shrugged off the feeling, drew her strength into her body as she did before a battle, preparing to win. Never having lost, she didn’t intend to now.

Sarc drew his sword. The grim line of a cold smile made his face hard. She almost missed the shadow of pain that passed through his eyes and wondered at the emotion.

“Then, my lady, let us settle this now! Your military will follow me. They have no other choice. They have been neutralized,” Sarc imparted, a sly grin glinting in his eyes.

“Neutralized? What do you mean?” Immense alarm entered her voice. What he had said about war with her al-ready being avoided, repeated in her mind.

“Contact any post you wish, all are now under the control of my forces. Join me Zera, for both our worlds’ safety. Together we can defeat the pirates.” His voice held an ear-nest appeal, his gaze locked with hers.

Zera was in shock; she needed time to think. She backed away from Sarc, who held his sword low and un-threatening. He waited, patiently, allowing her to contact three of her posts at different points around her planet. Zera found all manned by Sarc’s people. All addressed her respectfully, she noted, as “My Lady” or “Your Majesty.

“How?” she demanded in a tone she would use on a subordinate. Though frightened, her training and her bra-vado helped Zera hold her composure.

Anger flashed in Sarc’s amber eyes, angered by Zera’s tone. “By use of a series of neural tranquilizer bursts two hours ago, following the services for Lord Enos. We waited out of respect for him…and you.”

* * * *

“Treachery!” Zera snarled. He heard death in her tone.

Sarc strode two paces closer at her accusation. “No! Treachery would have been to kill your people, your nobles, imprison your family as hostages and take you as my slave.” His stare, with slow intent, stripped her clothing from her body. “I offer a choice!”

“Choice? Lord Sarc, I will not give my people to you!” Zera growled in vicious defiance tightening the grip on her sword. She swayed slightly.

“I propose a union,” Sarc offered in a reasonable tone. He retained some hope for a peaceful settlement. He won-dered at the sudden change in the pallor of her face, her eyes unfocused for a second, and there was a slight sway in her stance. Should the stress of the past few days, and the pre-sent circumstance prove overwhelming, he would be gallant and catch her should she swoon. Despite the venom of her words, he envisioned holding her body close in a protective embrace. He prayed she would faint.

“With my people subject to you? Never! If you want my kingdom, Lord Sarc,” she threw the challenge at him and bravely lifted her chin, “you will have to go through me.” She raised her sword and fiercely attacked, giving Sarc a mere second to guard against her first, lightning strike.

Sarc noticed Zera’s bodyguards, the uninjured ones who remained standing, moved back and assisted the others. Lady Zera’s skills were well known, by her close guard more than most. She had trained them well enough to know they couldn’t become involved in a one-to-one duel of honor.

 

Buy Link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1119

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Of-The-Ruby-Throne-ebook/dp/B00D567T64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387689841&sr=8-1&keywords=Blood+Of+The+Ruby+Throne+by+Sultry+Summers

Web Link: http://www.sultrysummers.com/BloodOfTheRubyThrone.html

Blood Of The Ruby Throne

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Blurb:

Sword duels, space battles, ruthless space pirates and planets ruled solely by women when the men are warriors but decorate the court.

Come travel to another galaxy, another solar system that orbits the star, Seti. To two neighboring planets; one, the mother world, Seti-Cronus, a green and blue world, much like Earth, and Alphxorn, a world that appears to be a desert planet. Each world populated by people from the first world, Seti-Cronus. Over several generations, they have grown apart, and distrustful of each other. Before tensions erupt into hostilities both worlds are threatened by space pirates out to conquer and enslave the populations, posing a joint threat.
In an effort to unite their two worlds, Lord Sarc of Alphoxn offers marriage to Lady Zera, sister to High Lord Enos of Seti-Cronus. But distrustful of their disassociated cousins, she refuses. Still the neighboring worlds face an invasion of space pirates against which only their combined military strength can prevail.
On patrol, Enos, and his entourage are killed by pirates, despite assistance from two squads of Alphxorn’s fighters and Zera assumes the throne of Seti-Cronus.
Lord Sarc, renders Seti-Cronus’ military temporarily impotent, and marches into Zera’s palace as a benevolent conquer, and demands she marry him. A sword duel between them ensues.
Zera, known to be unbeatable with her heirloom sword, draws first blood fulfilling an ancient prophecy. Her weapon becomes impossible to wield, leaving her disarmed and at Sarc’s mercy. How will he acknowledge her, as wife or slave? How will her heart accept him? With both worlds’ militaries to command and Zera’s love to win, Sarc struggles amid undercurrents of treachery. Can he convince Zera he’s guiltless in her brother’s death—can Zera deny the feelings Sarc has awakened in her?
A bold new adventure in love, intrigue, villains, danger, and love – you don’t want to miss it!

Buy Link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1119

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Of-The-Ruby-Throne-ebook/dp/B00D567T64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387689841&sr=8-1&keywords=Blood+Of+The+Ruby+Throne+by+Sultry+Summers

March’s Contest

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Hi to all! Hope you are having a GREAT weekend.

Before I start posts on the book I’m featuring at The Romance Studio – I would like to let you all know about my MARCH contest.

CONTEST RULES FOR MARCH:

Contest Rules for March

Send an e-mail to: sultry.summers@ymail.com

Please put March Contest in the subject line.

In an e-mail explain why you would enjoy a real Caribbean Island Vacation back to the 1700s.

Drawing will be held at the end of March.

There will be two e-book copies as prizes to different winners.

Good Luck to all!

Sultry Summers

 

 

Buy Links – In case you just cannot wait. http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sultrysummers/subsintime.html

AMAZON – http://www.amazon.com/Submissions-Time-Sultry-Summers/dp/1612353908/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393658547&sr=8-1&keywords=Submissions+In+Time+by+Sultry+Summers  

 

    

Atlantis Vortex

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This is a repost of my first part post. Due to losing satellite DSL coverage (snowbound) my character interviews will now be posted on my blog at http://wwwescapeintoromance-dareimagination.blogspot.com and a gallery of pictures of Atlantis is already up on Pintrest at

http://www.pinterest.com/sultrysummers/atlantis-vortex/

http://www.pinterest.com/sultrysummers/atlantis-vortex-in-pictures-2/

Make it a point to drop by!!

February marks one year since

               Atlantis Vortex’s release!

I plan to celebrate! With a re-release month, complete with a contest give-away.

Atlantis! One of my favorite subjects. What a great “legend”, or is it a legend?

As you can imagine, I did quite a bit of research on the subject while writing Atlantis Vortex. However, I must admit growing up in Florida, so close to the Devil’s Triangle, with a constant supply of stories about that mysterious place kept my imagination busy.

Having lived on the central east coast of Florida, some call the Treasure Coast and well inside the Devil’s Triangle, or the Bermuda Triangle helped. This is where the famous Spanish Treasure Fleet was lost in a monstrous hurricane in 1715. Today’s treasure hunters comb the waters of this area.

Currently there is an excavation going on just off Ft. Pierce’s beach in thirty to fifty feet of water on a sunken Spanish Galleon. Damned, if it is not right over an area my family use to snorkel. We never saw a clue it was there, and no other snorkelers or divers did either. Why? Bad Luck? No, just one of the more recent hurricanes revealed it, and of course, a treasure hunter researched the area and had the detection gear to locate it. Sometimes a beachcomber will find a piece-of-eight of a gold coin. We weren’t so lucky.

All the stories of shipwrecks, mysterious disappearances of boats, and aircraft, together with the bizarre tales of compasses that go haywire in other nautical vessels and aircrafts lend to the aura of the area. On the north side of the cut of Jupiter inlet, stands one of the last remaining lighthouses on the East Coast of the U.S.  (A cut is just that, a place where the barrier island has been cut, dredged, and the sides supported by huge chunks of rocks to keep the sea from reclaiming the opening of the inlet into the inter-coastal waterway.) As with most lighthouses, it stands as navigation landmark and it too has a spooky story that goes with it. It is supposed to be haunted. Every night the light in the famous red lighthouse comes on to warn ships and boats as far away as fifty miles out to sea that the water becomes shallow near the coast of Florida. However, closer in, on the land around the majestic beacon the windows open to let light into the structure. A glow is sometimes seen, emitted through windows on different levels, as if someone with a lantern were walking up or down the inside stairs. The tale says it is the children of one of the lighthouse’s previous operators that were killed there. It does not say how.

When we became residence of this area, both my husband and I had already dove several of the reefs and the shipwreck, the Mitzpah that is sunken in ninety feet of water just past the inlet. After our daughter was born, we pretty much became snorkelers, and stuck to the beautiful reefs, enjoying them by free diving in the crystal blue-green waters. Many of the reefs come right up to the beach and people hunt for lobster in snorkel gear. In this area are also large stones that appear to be cut into wide roadways like the ones found in about the same depth of water off Bimini back in the sixties and are considered to possibly be an indication of lost Atlantis.

Much of this material added to the writing of Atlantis Vortex. If you caught my blog on The Romance Studio of January 31st, it tells the entire story; this is a shorter post.

Now that I have let you all in on some of how Atlantis Vortex came about, it may give you a little insight on the area most of it is written about. The setting and area influences the attitude of the characters and their perceptions.

Atlantis Vortex, from its conception is a special book for me. Therefore, I decided to celebrate Atlantis Vortex’s anniversary month. I will be doing some new posts from the books at The Romance Studio’s Valentine’s Day Release Party over the next few days. Some will be new interviews of the characters. I already have some interviews up on my Blog; http://wwwescapeintoromance-dareimagination.blogspot.com . The party interviews will be with the main characters and others not yet interviewed. Then those interviews will go to the blog site. I will be posting some new pictures of Atlantis and of the archaeological treasures found at the dig in Okeechobee. Those pictures will eventually go to Pinterest.

The contest instructions and prizes will also be up on my blog site http://wwwescapeintoromance-dareimagination.blogspot.com & my web site at http://www.sultrysummers.com .

The contest’s official start with the Valentine’s Day Release Party. Atlantis Vortex is a great adventure, fantasy, and a romance. The first time out the reviews were great…and they have gotten better.

CONTEST RULES

One – Check out the book on my web site:
www.sultrysummers.com  then e-mail me at sultry.summers@ymail.com – In a short sentence or so, tell me what interests you about Atlantis in general.
Two – please put Atlantis Vortex in the subject line.
Three – be sure to include your snail mail address and of course your name.
Three – Winners will be chosen at random by drawing at the end of the month.
Simple!!!
First prize is a signed/ Paperback copy of Atlantis Vortex – a $17.99 value plus a sterling sliver & sapphire pendant necklace. The necklace holds a connection to the book.
One second prize of one free e-book of Atlantis Vortex will also be awarded.
Good Luck to all who enter:
Sultry

Sultry Summers

e-mail    Sultrysummers@ymail.com

 

More Excerpts on web site at – www.sultrysummers.com

BUY LINKS:  http://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-Vortex-ebook/dp/B00BG04KC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360893903&sr=8-1&keywords=Atlantis+Vortex+by+Sultry+Summers

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sultrysummers/atlantisvortex.html

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Atlantis+Vortex

Atlantis Vortex

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Second part of Wedding Night Post

Xerxes was puzzled. From all information, surface women rarely remained untouched until their marriages. Yet this one acted terrified of intimacy. He shrugged.

As gorgeous as she is, some young man must have won that victory with her. It’s an act.

Still, it didn’t matter, later when she realized her life was no longer in jeopardy, and she understood why, she would feel different.

He admired her spirit, and her intellect. Their children should be remarkable. It would be their generation to bear the responsibility of revealing the existence of the second world of Earth. Xerxes sighed. He had known for some time, he loved Jessica and dared to hope, she would come to love him. Like the night before, he went to prepare elsewhere and await her return.

“Milord,” Margie bowed, slightly, “your lady awaits you.”

He saw concern in Margie’s eyes. “Not willingly I take it?” Xerxes lamented. A rueful smile briefly crossed his lips.

“I don’t think that’s it—exactly. The Lady Jessica, I truly believe she is ah, innocent. Sire, she’s a brave woman but frightened.

“Thank you, Margie.” Xerxes replied. He was grateful for the people of Atlantis such as this woman. They filled every profession from the simplest to the brilliant, all needed and equal. He respected and loved all his citizens. Xerxes escorted her to the door, opened it for her and thanked her again. Her confidence in his leadership was gratifying. She trusted he would not be angered if she spoke her mind openly, and was comfortable enough to do so.

Xerxes waited a few moments before entering their bedroom. As he expected, Jessica wasn’t in bed. He grinned. Xerxes’ gaze traveled over his wife appraisingly. She watched him careful as a caged wildcat watches her trainer. His stare lingered. He always appreciated fine beauty. Glad he had encountered Jessica the day in the shopping mall and bought the nightgown and matching robe. She looked exquisite in it. Her long red hair had been brushed until it glistened and flowed down over her shoulders to her waist. Xerxes sensed his perusal made her uncomfortable. Turning, he slipped out of the chocolate silk robe he wore, revealing his massive chest and leaving him in the matching silk sleep pants. Xerxes draped the robe over an upholstered chair and turned his interest to the refreshments left for them.

A rare vintage of chilling champagne, partially submerged in a silver bucket of ice on the sideboard occupied his attention while he opened it. Xerxes, his back to Jessica watched her reflected in the mirror over the sideboard. The bottle opened with a pop, and she jumped. He suppressed a smile. Xerxes poured the wine into two crystal and gold tulip glasses and presented one to Jessica.

Xerxes admired Jessica’s bravado. Despite her obvious nervousness, she held her head high and bravely met his gaze. In her eyes, he saw desire, passion and a good amount of anxiety.

What does she fear? Is she afraid of the loss of her independence or of the passion we share?

His stare narrowed slightly. She drew away as if confirming his thoughts, she was afraid, but not of what?

“It is an excellent wine, Jessica, you really should try it.” He encouraged with a smile. Finally, she accepted the glass with an unsteady hand. Xerxes warm hand gently covered her cold one to keep her from spilling the contents. She looked at the ancient gold and crystal glass with his hand steadying hers. Their gazes met and joined as they had the day at the mall. His hand released hers and Jessica managed to finish the glass. He turned to refill their glass’.

“I chose this myself.” Xerxes explained as he poured, breaking the silence. “I’m sure you know the specialty shop at the corner of P.G.A. and U.S. One. It’s called The French Bakery, I think. Not a fancy name and easy to remember.”

Jessica didn’t answer, her voice failing her. Xerxes noticed her eyes had become round with apprehension, and she sipped this glass slower. She delayed the inevitable. Xerxes didn’t hurry her, hopping she would relax. Finishing his glass, he sat it next to the bottle.

Catching her unexpected he turned back to her with a small tray of chocolate-covered strawberries. Xerxes watched Jessica’s eyes soften at the gesture, her lips parted in amazement. He touched one of the delicacies to her lips. She looked into his passionate gaze, her trembling had stopped. Jessica took a bite of the confection covered fruit. The juice turned her lips red, a little of the nectar running down her chin. Before she could react, Xerxes kissed the liquid away.

Unnerved, Jessica drank the last of her champagne. Xerxes finished the strawberry and took her glass to join his leaving the tray of delicacies for later. Turning back, Xerxes couldn’t take his gaze from the emotions he saw in his bride’s gaze. So much desire and undeniable passion he was sure she didn’t realize was so evident, mixed with a sobering amount of fear. With a shaky quick breath, she started to back away from him. Her face pale again. Xerxes stepped toward her.

“No!” Her denial a soft, frightened whisper, she swayed to avoid him.

Perhaps she is a virgin.

Fearing she might faint, he moved closer. The sudden knowledge of her innocence, while heightening his passions also produced a curious protective instinct. If this was her first venture into carnal love he wanted it to be pleasurable, not coerced or stressful. He wanted her to remember this night with the most exquisite memories, and he saw she was afraid. Xerxes remembered her fear when he saved her from the Aztecs and her sweet kisses afterwards. Any irritation from their earlier dispute fled. He wanted his wife willing. If he must, he’d wait until another night and spend this one as he had the previous one, holding her close while she slept, though it wreaked havoc on his body.

“Oh, Jessica!” He caught her in a quick sweep and drew her lightly-clad body against his tanned chest, feeling her quake. “Shh…” He comforted her in a quiet voice. Tilting her head gently back, he placed a short, light kiss on her quivering lips. Cradling her protectively he stared down into her face. Xerxes concentrated on allowing the depth of serious concern and love he felt for her to fill his gaze. He felt his brow knit. “Never would I have guessed with your fiery temper and courage, that my simple lovemaking could alarm you so completely,” he said in a soft, tender voice. His accent lent his expression a sensual tone. Xerxes swept her feet from the floor to hold her entirely in his arms.

Only her cheeks had regained color, scarlet spots on her pale features. Gently he kissed her. A short kiss, but finding response endured into a longer, more demanding embrace. The hunger he felt was almost beyond his potent control. Slowly, rang in his mind. Sure now she was innocent. In a most old-fashioned way, he was elated.

“You are exquisitely beautiful. That night at your tent, I almost kidnapped you then. I should have kept you with me after we saved you from the Aztecs. Had they killed you, I wouldn’t have rested until I removed them all from this world. I’ve thought of little else since.” Xerxes placed kisses on her throat and down to the edge of her peignoir’s neckline. He carefully positioned her in the center of the bed, hoping she didn’t flee him. Xerxes sat on the bed, close to his apprehensive bride.

Unbuttoning her robe’s only fastener, he pushed it from her shoulders. The long silken fabric slid from her, leaving her in the rose gown with its translucent layers. Her charms revealed, little left to his imagination, but she was more than his imagination could invent. He remembered her well from the night of the storm, and every meeting before. Now she was his.

“It was you!” Jessica whispered when she regained her voice, “I thought it was the drug. I remembered the golden knife falling and your eyes.” She whispered, her voice faltering. Xerxes lips seared her skin where they touched. “I was never sure if you were real or a…dream. Until now.”

With his fingers laced in her luscious long hair, he held her close to possess her lips. Held in innocent shackles for so long, Jessica couldn’t stop her passions from responding to his less-restrained desires.

“I wouldn’t let those pagans kill my bride.” He looked down into her blushing face.

Without taking his gaze from hers, he gently drew her satiny long red hair from behind her to ease her back against the pillows strewn on the massive bed. Masterfully he rested an arm across her. Xerxes leaned forward, breathing in the fragrance she bathed in. It smelled heavenly on her as if an aura surrounded her.

“I knew you’d smell delicious in that scent,” he murmured. Nuzzling her neck, he kissed her throbbing pulse, feeling it race through her veins.

Jessica bristled. “You saw me buy it, didn’t you?” Her voice wavered with the accusation “and you saw me looking at this?” She touched the sheer garment, her hand brushing her breast. Xerxes placed a kiss through the fabric as her hand passed. His eyes dark with passion watching her nipples peak. She gasped.

A low, amused rumble of conquest echoed deep in his chest. “Yes, but that day was an accidental meeting. Your fate was sealed long before.” His voice was husky, their lips almost touching, his teased hers. Her lips trembled until he took them, hesitant and unsure. He understood her sudden fright, the feeling she was trapped beneath him. Gently, his strength far greater, hers a mere gesture; he took her hands from his shoulders holding them lightly. Xerxes placed a lingering kiss on each wrist while lovingly looking into her face. Flames burned bright in the passionate depths of her brown eyes. “I’ve wanted you for so long.” Xerxes whispered then released her hands to caress her shoulders and lightly caress her breasts through the thin material. Tentatively, her hand touched his cheek to caress downward over his muscular shoulder. Her first willing touch sent scalding heat through his veins.

* * * *

The world was spinning, her skin was on fire, yet she trembled. She didn’t understand. Why? Maybe it was his power and control over her. Perhaps the intimacy she’d never shared with another? Always honest with herself, now, she found it difficult, attracted to this virile, intoxicating man. He was the one who had haunted her nights. For how long? She was faced with once elusive, vague memories, now clearer visions of past events but still disjointed in her mind since the night of the hurricane. Jessica realized she feared he would leave her again as he had after her rescue from the Aztecs. Her emotions were in powerful conflict. Could she trust him?

The heat of his body surged through her touch, amazed at the heightening fire in his gaze. She had always depended on her strong will power but found she didn’t have the will or the strength to stop his tender attack on her senses. She would die if he left her. Her desire for him overwhelmed her fears. The awareness of her need for him and his strength was dizzying. Her strength had always been enough, now she needed another’s—his. Xerxes brought a foreign thought to her mind. He would always be her strength as he had been when he saved her.

These revelations and her inexperience in romance left her feeling vulnerable. His lips caressed her neck, leaving a trail blazing down her shoulders. Without conscious action both her hands rested on his broad, muscular shoulders. Currents of electricity flowed from the touch of each finger into him and back.

Jessica heard a low groan deep in Xerxes’ throat. He released the strings holding the gown before she could stay him, giving his hands access to her aroused breasts. A gasp from surprise and the shock at the surge of ecstasy slipped past her lips. Never had a man touched her so personally. A sigh of pleasure escaped her from the touch of his warm, gentle hands. His mouth found hers and met no protest expressing his passions, teasing her tongue. Her head spun from the rapture of being held and tasted so vigorously. His mouth left hers, and she protested the loss. His lips journeyed down her throat to kiss each breast and their hard, hot nipples. Weakened by the pleasure his tongue brought when he tasted and suckled each nipple, she caressed his shoulders. His hands smoothed over her hips. Clasping his head to her breast for a moment, her fingers combed through his heavy blond hair.

“Xerxes, please,” she whispered hoarsely, pleading.

“Please?” Xerxes questioned. “Shall I stop?” For a moment, he did. He looked into her eyes and seemed to understand her apprehension and her passion. Xerxes’ gaze was tender, a lover’s smile on his lips. His fingers ran through her long hair. “The maids I assigned you told me you were innocent. Shall I stop, Jessica? Will you be less fearful on another night?”

She saw the earnestness of his question and the reluctance to stay his actions in his gaze. Somewhere, in the dizziness of her own unfolding ecstasy, Jessica understood what a difficult proposal he offered her. She stared into his sincere expression, judging. In that moment, she realized her love for him, convinced he loved her, such new and untried emotions.

“No! Please…” Jessica’s voice was anxious, her arms tightened about him. “But Xerxes you—I, am afraid. You assume all upper-world girls are knowledgeable.” Jessica whispered. “I was busy with other things.”

“I know what a difficult admission that was for you.” Xerxes tenderly kissed flush from her face. “My love, I know you’ve had boyfriends.” Xerxes hands smoothed between her legs before Jessica knew and rested them there.

“Yes, but I didn’t sleep with them.” Jessica exclaimed in an affronted whisper.

“I’m pleased you didn’t.” Xerxes chuckled, his lips teasing hers as he moved to ease her back among the pillows. His hands returned to explore her. He met with shy resistance. Xerxes drew back and gazed down at her.

“Jessica, my love, I will have you,” he assured her. “I’ll wait, for a time if it will be easier for you, but I taste sweet desire on your lips and see passion in your beautiful eyes.”He whispered convincingly in her ear, “Do you say me nay? Let me teach your body the pleasures of love. I know your fears and will gently take you on your first journey of passionate love.”

Xerxes rolled her onto her stomach and gently massaged the tense muscles of her back. His big, but gentle hands found the tense trigger spots in her muscles, sending warm chills down her spine. He kissed her back as each tense muscle relaxed. Moving lower over her buttocks to plant light burning kisses as he went. To Jessica’s astonishment he applied his kind ministrations to her beautifully shaped legs and feet. He rolled her onto her back and kissed her lips long and tenderly while his hands explored her body. Jessica found her arms around his neck, returning his warm embrace. Only when his hands found the sensitive place between her legs where all her arousal centered did she shy away.

Xerxes moved his kisses from her lips, downward where his hands had begun to explore the nether regions of her femininity. Jessica felt her face flame scarlet, her bravery waned, her hands moved to stop his attentions.

“You’ll know the full measure before I take you wife,” he said in a low, throaty voice.

“What…do you mean?” Her question came in a gasp.

“Jessica, surely?” His voice was lost in his attention to the thick red hairs of her mound. Xerxes held her hands gently at her sides, their fingers becoming laced. Jessica moaned as he blew his hot breath through her scarlet covering. Freeing her hands his gentle fingers explored her wet sex, followed by light kisses. Jessica jumped when his mouth locked onto her clit. A gentle finger teased the opening to the unexplored canal of her sex, her body readied for his.

“Oh you can’t!” She protested.

“Why not?” He asked. But Jessica found her brain wouldn’t function to answer.

“No more!” Jessica finally managed. “Xerxes, please!” She gasped. “I can’t endure anymore.”

“Shh! You forget yourself, Jessica.” Xerxes reminded in a commanding voice, “I am lord here.” He chuckled. “I shall see you pleasured and enjoy your innocence before it is lost.”

Tenderly his tongue teased her swelled lips. His teeth gently pulled at her clit. With a gentle finger, Xerxes judged how sensitive and tight she was. He heard her groan and then try to wiggle away, but he held her by her shapely hips, his finger penetrating her.

“Please, Xerxes!” She begged. “No more!” Her voice jagged with arousal.

“Let go, Jess, let the ecstasy take you.”

Jessica couldn’t stop the heightening sensation roiling through her body, or the cries of rapture that broke from her lips leaving her sobbing from her first climax. She hadn’t known what pleasure the right man could wring from her body.

Jessica shuddered from the intensity. Xerxes moved to stare down into her eyes. She gazed into his. He slowly bent to kiss her lips. His essence surrounded her, the musk of her first sample of carnal love clinging to him. Jessica reached up to touch his face and grasping a handful of his long blond hair roughly pulled his lips closer in her surrender. The heat of his desire scorched her. The tip of his heated cock touched her. His size and passion renewed her fear. She drew away.

“Xerxes!” Alarm in her voice.

He kissed her, possessing her. “Why are you afraid? I won’t hurt you my love.”

Jessica timidly caressed his burning, ready cock. A groan of closely held desire elicited from deep inside him. His size caused her pause, her hand didn’t fully wrap around his erection. Xerxes’ looked intensely into hers, his passion plain. He continued the journey he promised.

“Xerxes …,” she rasped, “the size?”

“…will bring you more pleasure.” He promised. “Guide me—if you…” her hand took hold and did as he suggested, the head again touching the opening. Positioned between her thighs, one of her knees up, Jessica adjusted to the heat and pressure of the head of his cock. A hesitant breath escaped her. The head moved against the tight flesh of her canal.

Xerxes held Jessica’s gaze captive. She reveled in the feel of his arms around her body. His gaze held hers, hypnotic, he increased his possession of her body slowly. Their gazes joined, hers widened as he entered her.

Jessica lost herself in the aquamarine gaze that always bespoke safety. Her body had craved his for longer than she allowed herself to acknowledge. The touch of him against her sex was electrifying. Her arms pulled him closer in her desire to complete their union. First, a gasp from the tautness of his fit, and in an ethereal voice she knew to be her own, she groaned. His arms wrapped her closer, she glorified in the tightness of his embrace and his burning lips pressed against her face and throat.

Sudden, intense pressure, and pain seared through the mist of the sexual arousal Xerxes engulfed her in. But the time came, and in one sweet moment he took her quickly, holding her tight as if he too could share the pain/ecstasy of her lost virginity. Jessica’s cry was that of a lioness who had mated her first lion. She moaned, her body wilting for a moment.

“Never again,” Xerxes promised and kissed her face. With slow, gentle measure, he began to move in a blissful rhythm.

Jessica clung to him. The hurt faded, forgotten, replaced with bliss greater than she had thought achievable. Xerxes’ touch was gentle, his manner slow and calculated, propelling her into a spinning world of heated ecstasy, encouraging Jessica to match his rhythm. Her unremembered dreams flashed before her closed eyes; of caressing Xerxes’ rippling muscles. Long minutes of heated delight later Jessica reached the top of her swirling vortex and he followed in his own momentous climax. Xerxes held her in his arms reluctant to let her go.

“I never knew.” Jessica gasped in awe, gazing into his face after she regained her voice.

“I know.” Xerxes gaze of love held hers. They slept entwined to awaken hours later cuddled in their lover’s embrace, covered in a veil of euphoria.

 

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Atlantis Vortex

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NOTE: Due to the OH SO fun winter storm I haven’t gotten to post as I had planned. However, I do want to post the Wedding night from Atlantis Vortex. I’ll do so in two posts, below is the first half.

Wedding Night ? When was the Wedding?

Eventually she found a sandy white beach with few people. She settled herself on the sand beneath a coconut tree and watched the water. This was one of the many public parks, like the marinas, in the city where the ocean was controlled, and allowed under the dome to meet the dry land. A few people were swimming. The water seemed chilly to Jessica but the sand was comfortable. How long she sat there, she didn’t know. She dozed, still tired from her harrowing dive experience. Feeling a hard stare on her, she woke with a start to look at two leather sandal-clad feet before her. Slowly her gaze moved upward.

“Mr. Kallias!” She stretched like a newly awakened child.

“Are you lost, Jessica?” She heard annoyance in his voice, anger blazed in his stare.

“Nope…” She stretched again. “I knew you’d find me.” She stood unsteadily, weak from lack of food. “Where could I go? I trust you weren’t too concerned?” Sarcasm teased in her voice.

“We can discuss that in private!” Jessica could hear anger grow in his voice.

She laughed, amused to have annoyed him. “You have a very beautiful city. I can see why you wish to keep its existence a secret. But that doesn’t require me remaining here.”

Xerxes firmly took hold of her right arm and roughly pulled her towards him. “Jessica…you try my patience.”

“And you, sir, try my temper!” She jerked her arm free. “I am not your chattel, regardless of your view. Now, I have no more desire to disturb the beauty and peace of this lovely place with a public argument, if you please.” She stepped a little away. “I will accompany you. You need not use force unless you enjoy it.” Jessica challenged him.

Jessica suddenly found herself wrapped in his strong arms, his mouth hard on her soft lips, stilling her protests. “Now my perky little wife, you will come with me.”

“What did you call me?” Jessica stopped, flabbergasted, causing him to turn and face her.

“Your hearing is fine, as is your understanding. No more words for now.” He took her arm again, this time she knew escape wasn’t possible. Nevertheless she put enough resistant pressure against his grasp to let him know she wasn’t pleased, not caring his grip would bruise her arm.

Jessica was furious, and let Xerxes know it as soon as the private door to their apartment closed. She turned on him with a snarl. “I most certainly am not your wife! I remember no ceremony, no ring, and definitely no consented vows.”

“Here…” Xerxes enlightened her, his face in hers, “none of that is required. I but sign the papers.” He informed her with a self-assured, rakish smile.

“And what of my signature?” Her voice was a low and dangerous hiss.

“Yours, my dear, as someone from the upper-world and a high risk to our security, is not required.” Xerxes smirked, grinning. He dismissed the fire in Jessica’s brown eyes.

“I refuse!” Jessica protested.

“You haven’t a choice!” Xerxes finally laughed at her outrage, unable to contain his mirth any longer. He pulled her into his embrace. She slapped him. He kissed her again and before she delivered a second blow, wrapped her tight in a hug. “I told you—you wouldn’t like the answers.” He smiled devilishly. “Last night, I allowed you to rest. I am not without feelings for you. However, before we celebrate our wedding night, perhaps dinner is in order. It is my understanding you haven’t eaten this day.” He released her and called to have their evening meal brought.

Jessica sensed he expected her outrage and was amused by it. It seemed in his observations of her; he had learned her temperament well. She turned from him to stare out the windows at the vastness of Atlantis.

A servant presented their meal and left. Jessica turned to face him but remained standing. She stared at Xerxes as though he had lost his mind.

“I will not sit at your table, sir!” Jessica expressed in an indignant tone. Her body tense, every muscle ready to react.

“Of course you will, Jessica.” Xerxes guided her by the shoulders and sat her down. “Now, do I treat you like a spoiled child and feed you, or will you behave as an adult and be civil?”

“Very well.” Jessica acquiesced, tempted to throw the contents of her plate in his face but her hunger won out. She ate. Her hands trembled from fear and rage. “Mr. Kallias, you simply cannot keep me here.” She attempted in a reasonable voice, laying down her fork.

“Jessica.” His gaze was firm, almost cold as his tone, past patience. “I can, and I will. You are legally my wife, and very soon will be in all respects. For your own sake, accept these facts. It isn’t as if we are total strangers.” His gaze captured hers. He managed a smile despite his anger.

Jessica considered him and that haunting smile. His eyes and smile plagued her for so long, most recently before she found the pyramid. Her eyes narrowed. Holding her stare with his, Jessica was reminded of the safety of his embrace. His arms around her after the Aztec thing and yet another time, further back, the dive recue of her and her parents , something about that she couldn’t quite remember. Damn him! And the way he made her feel!

“Why? You didn’t bring Bruce here and he knows as much as me.” Her words came out in a low whisper.

“Bruce is not a beautiful woman, and you know far more than he does.”

“Hate to break it to you, High Lord of Atlantis, but Bruce knows all I know, except he didn’t see the maps.”

“Perhaps…I’ll have him abducted next. But I have no desire to share a bed with him. Now finish your dinner.” Xerxes bantered back. He smothered another smile.

Her gaze dropped to the plate she had scarcely touched despite the gnawing emptiness of her stomach. This magnificent man’s affect on her made her weak, the realization she desired him confused her. Looking down at her food and trying to eat some of it, she found her appetite had left her.

What must he think of me? Why should I care?

“Tonight, Jessica,” his voice startled her, “if you have finished your dinner, you will be prepared for our wedding night. Go now and do so.” Xerxes, raised to rule, commanded.

“Never!” she gasped breathlessly. “I do not recognize a marriage that did not take place and that I did not consent to.”

Never say never, my dear.” He laughed at the cliché. “And Jessica, our marriage is as legal as any can be, with the exception we have yet to consummate it.” He pushed a button on the communications panel and the same two ladies from the previous night came in.

“Ladies, you have your instructions.” Xerxes turned to his wife. “Jessica, do as you are told. For your own good, don’t give them a difficult time.” He stepped closer and informed her quietly and privately, “After all, surface women are familiar with this part of life early, or so we are told here.”

Jessica affixed him with a look that would melt marble. “I was correct yesterday. This is the Devil’s Triangle and I am already in hell.” Her temper flared hotter. “By what rights do you judge my morals?” She turned, her head held proudly and left as he directed, knowing she had no other choice.

The garden bath, awaited her. Warm waters once again swirled in the huge shell tub and Jessica planned to linger in the spacious pool as long as the two allowed. She regarded the tub in the landscaped garden lit by torch and candlelight tonight. A vivid vision of Xerxes relaxing in the soothing waters, leapt into her imagination, bringing an unwelcome surge of arousal to her body. She looked to each of the ladies assigned to her care hoping they didn’t see the blush in her cheeks. Neither seemed to notice, or if they did, were too polite to show it.

Tonight her favorite bath soap, lotion, and perfume waited for her; Dream Angel’s from Victoria’s Secret. Jessica spied a gauzy rose peignoir she had admired on her last shopping trip. That day flooded back to her. She had seen Xerxes in the Gardens Mall, their attraction to each other was strong enough to stop them both in their steps. Heat swept through her leaving her weak realizing how long they had stared into each other’s eyes. Embarrassed, she became aware of the twins discreet gaze on her, they waited to assist in her preparations. Jessica knew she couldn’t stall any longer.

“I can manage…”

“Lady Jessica, we have our instructions to assist you,” one said. She held a huge natural sponge. “My lady, this is a special night, we only want to make it so.”

Jessica considered the woman. Her intentions and instructions seemed benevolent. “As you wish…” She gave in, removed her clothes and stepped down into the heavenly scented waters.

“We’ll allow you to soak for a time,” Margie explained. Touching a panel the curtains slid back revealing the underwater landscape just past the dome covered garden of the bath. Jessica suppressed a gasp the view was so breathtaking, unexpected and contrasted between the garden and the underwater scene. A glass of wine was poured and left for her to enjoy.

Above Jessica and around her on three sides, as in the bedroom, the beauty of the underwater world stretched before her. Overhead she could see the same bright glow as before but she couldn’t see the surface of the water.

How deep is Atlantis? Above her, looking out the tremendous Plexiglas windows she had seen before, Jessica tried to estimate the depth of the water covering Atlantis. She couldn’t begin to guess. Her education and knowledge of the Atlantic told her she wasn’t in the Gulf Stream any longer but she was still in the tropical Atlantic judging by the sea life.

Jessica gazed out at the undersea utopia visible at some place from each room she had visited since arriving in Xerxes’ home. Beautiful wasn’t a word strong enough to describe an underwater paradise. Coral outcroppings provided variance and color as did the multiple size and shapes of seashells, some enormous. Sea fans waved gracefully with the motion of the water. A steady one-way current didn’t seem to be present. As when she had awakened in the Vortex Chamber, shoals of fish swam by in multiple varieties, some familiar, some she’d never seen. The numbers were astounding. The ocean floor teamed with life from lobsters the size of small cats to oysters the size of truck tires. The oysters amazed Jessica. She could only imagine the size of the pearls such oysters produced. On the dome itself some coral growth was present but only at the bottom. Farther away, Jessica saw the undersea farming she’d observed earlier. Massive machines tended what appeared to be fields stretching out of sight. She looked up, and the silver-blue glow, present in the day had dimmed to resemble night. Instead of stars, a glimmer seemed to stretch to the edge of her sight horizon and covered what she guessed was the entire city. All questions left her mind as she became lost in the beauty around her. She sipped the wine poured for her, unmindful of its calming results. Margie returned and Jessica noticed she now had a large bottle of bath gel with her.

“You know, Margie.” She eyed the lady with a firm stare, “I haven’t had someone bathe me since I was a baby. I really can do that.” Jessica reached for the sponge, but the woman wasn’t to be swayed.

“In Atlantis, Lady Jessica, Lord Xerxes gives few orders, he doesn’t need to. But this is one he did give,” Margie explained. Jessica could see the determination in her eyes and knew it was useless to argue. Jessica was overwhelmed when the other lady reappeared and proceeded to wash her long red hair then apply conditioner to the long tresses. They refilled her glass of wine and encouraged her to drink it. Jessica sipped the fine vintage to placate them. When Jessica felt she could bear their kind efforts no longer, she found they were finished. Margie left her in the tub, returning with a large, warm bath sheet to wrap her in and a smaller towel for her hair. Jessica glanced at the other “lady” whose gaze was occupied elsewhere.

Resolved to their actions, Jessica stepped out of the water, and allowed the woman to wrap her in the warm towel. She sat on a satin covered stool. The other lady set to brushing her hair dry.

Reality was returning. The wine’s effects were minimal to relieve her apprehension, though they poured her another glass. Jessica didn’t forget why the ladies were pampering her. Trembling set in and she couldn’t still it. Her emotions were revving up on overdrive as was her pulse rate. By sheer force of will she sat still, unaccustomed to having simple grooming chores performed for her. This took enormous patience. By busying her mind she survived the ladies attentions to her wedding night’s preparations. Jessica kept the absolute terror trying to take over that lurked at the edge of her consciousness under control, by distracting her mind, and by drinking another glass of wine—straight down.

Margie picked up the rose peignoir and presented it for Jessica to admire. Jessica’s face heated, confronted with the garment. She found she couldn’t rise from the stool she sat on. A flash-back to the Aztec women dressing her in the flimsy white shift for the sacrifice flew through her mind. Summoning her sheer force of will Jessica stood and Margie slipped the garment over her head. The negligee caressed her body like a feather, floating downward over her breasts, hips, and thighs to touch the floor in the back and provocatively show her legs in the front. Margie tied the satin bodice ribbon behind Jessica, tightening the garment around her breasts, accenting her full bust. Margie surprised her by producing the matching robe for her to wear. Xerxes had spent a tidy sum of money on this set. She remembered what the cost had been when she had admired it.

“Thank you,” Jessica whispered. She was grateful for their kind efforts, despite Xerxes having assigned their duties and her having difficulty sitting through them.

“Know happiness, my lady,” the two chimed together.

Jessica felt heat in her face, her gaze shyly found Margie’s. She saw sympathetic empathy in the lady’s gaze. “Lady Jessica, Xerxes is a kind lord. You have nothing to fear from him. He has waited…patiently…” Margie paused obviously embarrassed to reveal her lords’ personal stress, “for your arrival for many weeks until he could safely bring you home.” Both ladies smiled, and left her standing alone in the luxurious bedroom she shared with her husband, to await his coming. Jessica stood bewildered and confused.

Heaven help me, I want him as much as he does me.

But to allow a man so much control over her was unimaginable. Just the recognition of her desire for him was a giant leap. Jessica wiped away a tear before it could streak down her cheek, disappointed with herself. She looked out the glass windows into the underwater vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Where I am?

2nd post to follow….

 

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Atlantis Vortex – Royal Romance

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Swirling around the main love story between Jessica and Xerxes in Atlantis Vortex are other romances. The love between Xerxes’ parents and Jessica’s parents. Other relationships are hinted at; a pending marriage, the love of an alien husband for his pregnant wife, and the unrealized connection that could bring down the oldest civilization on Earth, Atlantis. This post concerns Xerxes’ parents and the beginning of that unrequited love that eventually endangers that secret. Xerxes reads his father’s journal:

Today I was introduced to the beautiful daughter of the High Lord of Atlantis, Astraea, or Starmaid! Legend, myth, says she was Zeus’ daughter. Without question, I now believe in the old myths. Astraea is lovely beyond description. Her long golden hair is the color of the finest beach sand, and her eyes are the color of the sea. I became lost at sea the moment I saw her. If she were the daughter of a shrimp farmer, I would not care. I would marry her tomorrow if she would have me.

Xerxes paused, sipped his wine and remembered even as a little boy of four, he knew his parents loved each other. He scanned on.

Astraea has stayed an extra week! My mother called her mother and assured the High Lady of Atlantis all was proper, Astraea was well- chaperoned. My father and Astraea’s father talked for a long time.

Xerxes scanned through a few more daily entries before finding the next pertinent passage.

Our solicitors have reached an agreement! Thanks be to God! I told Astraea I loved her and would gladly serve as her consort husband, allowing her full rule of Atlantis and Pacifica. Whatever she wished! I wanted only to be with her as her spouse. She smiled sweetly and kissed me. Never has a kiss affected me so profoundly. She rose and left me in the garden. My heart sank, I feared she was leaving. An hour or so later her solicitor approached my father with her terms. Joint rule of Atlantis provided we retain her family’s Atlantean name of Kallias.

With father in agreement, I gladly signed the documents. Tomorrow we will journey to Atlantis to begin preparations for our wedding.

Xerxes skipped ahead; most entries were of their happy times together before their nuptials. But two days before the wedding, Xerxes found a disturbing segment.

As I was touring the city today, the people of Atlantis greeted me warmly. All I met seemed friendly, content with Astraea’s choice of a husband and as their next High Lord. These are delightful people, and I find myself already at one with them. Returning to the palace through the gardens, I heard Astraea’s voice raised in anger. Shocked, I paused, not wishing to interrupt, yet feeling much embarrassed by listening. Marcus Trident had confronted Astraea, and I could hear his angry words with her. I write this as a reminder to myself to be wary of this man.

“Astraea,” he raised his voice, “I think you a dimwitted female to marry a man from a foreign city. If that isn’t absurd enough, you intend to allow him joint rule. Your parents have spoiled you! They refuse you nothing!”

“Marcus, even if I were not in love with Andros, which I am. I would not consider you in any stretch of the imagination. I made this clear to you before I went to Minoan. You are power-mad. You always have been. For some reason, you seem to believe you have a right to rule Atlantis. Why, I am sure, only you could know or understand. Leave me! I do not wish to be near you. I will choose whom I will, and I have!

At this point, I walked out to find Marcus forcibly kissing my bride. Without a thought, I pulled him away from her. She was badly shaken and crying. Normally I would not strike another, but Marcus now sports a blackened eye. Astraea found gentle comfort in my arms as she always will.

Further on, Xerxes found an entry that explained;

Marcus aspired to marry Astraea before she journeyed to Minoan. She refused his proposal. Astraea enlightened me, a distant ancestor of Marcus’ once ruled Atlantis for a short period as a regent. He invested too heavily in his own interests then attempted to murder his young charge. He was removed and executed for his crimes. Marcus felt it his duty to expunge what he considered a wrong. Marcus will be a worthy archaeologist, like his father; however, he is one man I will watch carefully.

So, this is not a new thing. Xerxes looked again at the first picture he found of Marcus at his parent’s wedding. Amazed one picture revealed so much. Xerxes made a point to keep it separate. He placed it in the journal, a marker to the entries regarding the argument between Marcus and Astraea.

Xerxes read on, his eyes smarted with tears from many of the accounts. His parents had been utterly in love. His birth brought them immense joy, as had his sister Alena, eighteen months later.

Andros’ entry of Astraea’s accidental death shortly after Xerxes turned four was heartbreaking. Xerxes put the journals aside for a time. Reflecting on his father, he knew only his children and a strong sense of responsibility to Atlantis kept Andros from joining Astraea.

Further devastated by the unnecessary events which caused her death, a reason for the accident was not determined. Xerxes remembered Andros was away in Pacifica overseeing the working government there, also his responsibility. During that time, a new section of what the archaeological department, truly only Marcus, thought was the old city had been exposed.

Astraea and several others, including Marcus, investigated in an exploration sub. Mysteriously a slide in a sea ridge buried the craft. Astraea, the sub’s pilot, two students and Marcus were in the sub. Marcus dressed in a pressure suit, managed to get out before a second slide hit, completely covering the craft. Andros’ entry explained the incident in chilling depth. Geologically stable, the area showed no traces of any archaeological importance after the sub’s recovery. Andros, puzzled about the area where the presumed discovery was, questioned why a slide of such nature would occur. He wrote his suspicions about Marcus in his private journal. Since there was no proof of foul play, he couldn’t charge him with an indiscretion. From all indications, it was a freak accident.

Andros wrote;

I instinctually know it was not an accident! My beautiful wife is gone from me, and our children deprived of their mother because of that mad dog’s lust for power. He will not have it! Atlantis and Pacifica belong to Xerxes and Alena. I will hold it in trust for them. I can only grieve with the other families who also lost loved ones.’

Xerxes now understood what drove Andros to become the master administrator and leader who shaped all three of his children. Xerxes, who ruled Atlantis, Alena, who, became ambassador for both city-states and Ainu, their half brother, who now ruled Pacifica. Lurking in the shadows, trying to steal Atlantis and Pacifica from Andros at any given opportunity, was Marcus. In his journal, Andros had written the old cliché;

Keep your friends close

And your enemies closer!

This is what Andros had done.

A sudden pall of fear shook Xerxes. Marcus’ obsession for power compelled him to murder, and though there was no proof. Andros’ suspected treason too. Marcus was dangerous, capable of any act to achieve his own end.

Later entries mentioned Marcus’ remarks;

Astraea was the legal heir. Andros should step aside and allow a true Atlantean to rule until Xerxes comes of age.”

However, the Atlantean people had come to love Andros as Astraea had. Andros retained his position, unquestioned by anyone but Marcus. Now Xerxes understood why his father hadn’t set Marcus aside as councilor. To do so could have invited criticism. Instead, the people of Atlantis saw tangible proof of Andros’ compassion.

 

More Excerpts on web site at – www.sultrysummers.com

BUY LINKS: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sultrysummers/atlantisvortex.html

http://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-Vortex-ebook/dp/B00BG04KC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360893903&sr=8-1&keywords=Atlantis+Vortex+by+Sultry+Summers

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Atlantis+Vortex

 

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ATLANTIS VORTEX

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Book Blurb:

Come tag along for a romantic adventure. Join in the danger and mystery of Atlantis Vortex. Discover the ancient entrance to an unknown, believed lost, civilization and become a part of the intrigue to hide it from the known world.

Recently graduated archaeologist, Jessica Carter, discovers the entrance to Atlantis and the conspiracy to keep it hidden, plotted by High Xerxes, unfolds. However, there are soul-wrenching complications. Jessica and Xerxes have met before. Before he became the ruler of Atlantis and before she became an archaeologist. Xerxes saved her life, and that of her parents, but to protect his identity he helped them all to – forget, or so he thought.

Neither Jessica’s heart nor his could forget. Xerxes had lived with the memory every day and Jessica has been haunted – off and on with dreams of her lost – love. With her discovery of the entrance and the out-of-place Egyptian antiquities, those dreams and the memory of his eyes have become a waking partner in her life, one she cannot quite touch or understand.

The deeper into the enigmatic pyramid shaped entrance she and her friend and colleague dig the stranger the events become. Both know they are being watched even after the military takes over security and though they keep it to themselves, both know what civilization they’ve found the entrance to. Strange takes a turn to dangerous with a hurricane brewing that will submerge their find but it will also place Jessica’s life in deadly peril. Enough so, the man who has haunted her dreams, the High Lord of Atlantis, will have to chance revealing himself to rescue her from sacrifice by blood thirsty Aztecs.

Shortly afterward, High Lord Xerxes, extracts his team of undercover Marines from Jessica’s dig, retrieves the artifacts uncovered, and kidnaps Jessica away to Atlantis. He succeeds in restoring her memory, and weathers her temper at his deceptions, while he prepares to defuse another danger that has lurked inside Atlantis. A traitor.

Gathering enough evidence against the turncoat uncovered inside his council, Xerxes moves to arrest him, but the slippery criminal manages to leave the city. Jessica, hearing her parents have gone missing also leaves the city. Now her life is in peril as is that of her parents, as their paths and the traitors become intertwined. Nothing short of Jessica’s life and revelation of Atlantis to the entire world hinges on Xerxes actions. Can he save the woman he loves and her family and still protect his underwater kingdom?

More Excerpts on web site at – www.sultrysummers.com

BUY LINKS:

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sultrysummers/atlantisvortex.html

http://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-Vortex-ebook/dp/B00BG04KC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360893903&sr=8-1&keywords=Atlantis+Vortex+by+Sultry+Summers

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Atlantis+Vortex

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