Her freedom depends on one man. A criminal to his realm. STOLEN DESIRE – erotic paranormal – ADULT #TinaDonahue #EroticParanormal
Book 4 Outlawed Realm series
Her freedom depends on one man. A criminal to his realm…
Outlawed Realm, Book 4
One minute, Paige Ross is outside a Seattle bar, grieving a failed engagement. The next, she jerks awake in a weird, candlelit room with velvet walls, black silk sheets, and a man who motions for silence.
Paige has little choice but to trust the powerful stranger who promises a way out of what looks like Satan’s brothel. And pray his promise to keep her safe is as real as the heat burning in his eyes.
Banished from E2’s ruling elite for supposed crimes against the realm, Zekin risks everything to rescue those brought to E5 for the guards’ carnal pleasure. Paige will be leaving this inhospitable realm of fire and ice—if he can somehow forget the way her trembling body melts in his arms.
Safe—temporarily—in an underwater world populated by strange creatures, Paige’s sexual awakening explodes into an unquenchable need that consumes them both. But the guards will be looking for her. And Zekin’s plan to send her home is a dangerous journey she cannot—will not—take without him.
Scorching-hot sex and loads of aching tenderness between a drool-worthy hunk who’s determined to do the right thing and a woman who’s not about to give him up.
Two months before her wedding day, Paige Ross hadn’t expected to be fighting for her freedom and her life.
Her head pounded with the steady throb of a migraine, its searing pain keeping time with the rapid thumping of her pulse. The side of her neck stung. The skin was puffy and tender from something that had burned or bitten her. What could it have been? When had it happened?
Paige couldn’t recall. The last she remembered, she’d been guzzling a martini at Rozie’s, a Seattle watering hole where local professionals got a buzz on after a hard day. Hers had been particularly brutal because of the shitty news she’d gotten from her fiancé. When tears had threatened to overwhelm her, she’d hurried into the alley for a little privacy, not wanting to embarrass herself. The next thing she knew, she’d woken up in here.
Wherever here was.
Please let me be dreaming this.
Even as she prayed, Paige knew what she’d begged for wasn’t possible. Her head hurt too badly and her senses recorded too many details for this to be nothing more than the world’s worst nightmare.
What appeared to be velvet covered the walls. Some of the panels were red, the others a deep scarlet. Black candles, not lamps, lit the space. Black silk sheets draped the bed she was on.
Paige groaned, then promptly froze. Don’t make any noise, she warned herself. If you do, someone might come inside.
She stared at the door, suddenly realizing this room had one. After rolling off the bed, Paige swayed on her feet, then gaped at the floor. It appeared to be made of stone, possibly granite. However, it was warm, as though there was a heat source beneath it.
Frowning, she noticed her feet were bare. No high heels or stockings. A quick search told Paige the items weren’t in here, nor was her purse. She hesitated, then slipped her hand beneath the velvet hangings. Holy crap. The stone walls were icy, as though this room lay inside a refrigerated meat locker.
Whimpering, she snatched back her hand and regarded her clothing, relieved she still wore her power suit, blouse and underwear. The thought of someone touching her or undressing—
Uh-uh. No way was she going there. Right now, she was alone. If she got hysterical and started to scream, someone might come in here to find out why or to shut her up.
She stared at the door, then screwed up enough courage to try it. Locked. She searched the room for a weapon and settled on one of the candleholders. Made of metal, the fixture felt nicely heavy in her hand. With one well-placed whack, she could knock out the psycho who’d brought her here. Then she’d run like hell before he could—
Paige’s thoughts paused. She forgot to breathe at the sound of footfalls, the steady tap-tap-tap of someone approaching the door.
Skittering away from it, she bumped into the mattress, then thought better of being anywhere near the bed. She gripped the candleholder as hard as she could and went to the side of the door, hiding behind it so when her captor came inside she could clobber him.
The footfalls stopped.
Paige lifted the holder above her head.
Nothing happened. Had he changed his mind? Was he going to—
The knob turned. She focused on it as she’d never done with anything else before. To the right it went, to the left, as though the psycho was testing it. Didn’t he know the damn thing was locked? Had he lost the key?
Then she’d never get out of here.
She pressed her lips together to keep from making any noise. Her heart slammed against her chest, her arms ached from the candleholder’s weight, her migraine pounded.
She squeezed her eyes, hoping it would relieve some of the pain.
A key turned, and the door swung inward.
The sound galvanized her. Blindly, she brought down the holder and hit the knob rather than the man. The metal ting drowned out her gasp.
She’d expected a troll. Even through her panic, Paige could see this guy was possibly in his early thirties, tall, with olive skin and black hair combed away from his forehead. Dressed in what seemed to be camouflage gear, he was surprisingly good-looking and seemed sane, though troubled.
Why? Was he a member of a SWAT team sent to save her? Did the operation tank and now he was a prisoner too? If so, how in the hell had he escaped his room to come into hers?
Wait a sec. This wasn’t her room. She wanted out of here.
Before she could flee, he took the candleholder from her all too easily, closed the door and put his forefinger to his lips, indicating she needed to be quiet.
The sounds she’d repressed earlier poured from her now.
“Don’t make any noise,” he whispered, “or the others will come.”
Others? There was more than one maniac to worry about? What about him? His thick accent sounded Greek or Middle-Eastern. Even if he did look really good, Paige didn’t know him.
“Who I am doesn’t matter.”
The hell it didn’t. “Why are you here?”
“Do you want to go home?” he asked.
“Are you kidding? Of course, I do.” Big freaking time.
“Then you’ll have to trust me.” He offered her his hand.
For the first few seconds, she couldn’t move. And then she realized she could either go with him or stay here and wait for the unknown maniac. They couldn’t be one in the same.
Paige forced herself to take his hand. His palm felt dry, nicely warm. Gently, he curled his fingers around hers. Hardly the touch of a lunatic.
“I’ll do all I can to bring you back to E1,” he said.
He didn’t answer. After pulling open the door, he led her into a candlelit hall.
At a tapping sound to the side of them, Paige stiffened. Footfalls? The others? They were coming? Following? She turned, ready to scream, bolt, do both, but only let out her held breath.
The hall was empty. A good thing, given the utter weirdness of this place. The ceiling was low and claustrophobic, the walls and floors constructed of the same stone as the room she’d been in. As though this was an ancient monastery…or possibly Seattle Underground, a subterranean tourist attraction only a few miles from Rozie’s.
Was that where she was?
Her guess evaporated at the wall ahead. Shackles and whips hung from hooks, ready for a Dom to use on a submissive in a twisted BDSM fantasy.
Oh holy shit. Was she in a brothel? Was she even in Seattle any longer?
Paige’s throat tightened on a cry she didn’t dare let out, not knowing who the noise might bring. She shivered, wanting to run. Didn’t matter where. She just needed to take off and keep going until she couldn’t anymore. And then what? Paige didn’t know, a deeper, primal terror making her thoughts and movements sluggish. Haltingly, she took another step as though she’d just learned to walk.
The man squeezed her fingers as though he needed her to move more quickly.
He glanced over at her.
Candlelight deepened the richness of his complexion and shadow of beard. Several strands of his hair had fallen forward to skim his forehead, complementing his masculine features. Handsome didn’t begin to describe his male allure, his raw sensuality. Again, she noted his camouflage gear. The kind military people wear during rescues.
If that was what this was.
“Please don’t hurt me,” she blurted.
He regarded her quivering mouth, the tears filling her eyes. When she yanked her hand from his, he didn’t try to stop her. He murmured, “Hurt you?”
He leaned closer. Paige forced herself not to edge back, uncertain what he’d do. His clothing smelled crisp and clean, the scent of air on a wintry day.
“Never,” he whispered.
In spite of his unnatural composure—given the weird situation they were in—he was obviously frustrated that she wasn’t following him blindly. Indignation crossed his face. It was in the way he glanced at her hand but didn’t take it, as though he wanted her permission. What rapist or lunatic did that?
“If you don’t come with me,” he warned, “the guards will hurt you.”
Guards? This was a prison? Where? Mexico? Afghanistan? Iraq? None of this made sense. How could she have been taken so far away? The candles’ flames flickered. Threads of dirt trickled from shallow fissures in the ceiling, making this place even mustier. The dust tickled her nose and the back of her throat.
She swallowed repeatedly to suppress her cough, her body tense with the effort.
“You have to trust me,” he repeated.