🗡🗡🗡DARK MOONS RISING by Nia Farrell 🗡🗡🗡
A PNR shifter D/s MFM ménage otherworldly erotic novelette
99ȼ Amazon myBook.to/DMR
Heat level: Sizzling
Deidra of Ravenhill is a daughter of light, a healer whose energy can be tapped by the one who marks her. Mordred, bastard son of Owain ap Coel, is determined to be that man. He’s captured the castle, killed her family, and forced her to train as a comforter, preparing her for his ultimate possession.
While Mordred is gone, having the brand made to claim her, Deidra manages to escape the castle. She nearly dies in the forest but is saved from falling into a poacher’s pit by Thorne, a dark lord, one of the race of giant shifters that she’s been taught to fear since childhood.
With dark moons due to rise on the most dangerous night of the year, Thorne must become a centaur for them to escape the monsters that roam with the god of chaos. He carries her to the safety of his brother’s hunting lodge, but is she truly out of danger? From Mordred, perhaps, but there are two dark lords who want her – if she’s willing to share.
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Mordred wanted her. He would come for her. It was only a matter of time.
She tread lightly, smelling the earthy, fecund scent of ancient growth and rotting, fallen timbers. Instinct made her pause, rattled by the distinct, disturbing feeling that she was being observed. She listened, freezing when she thought she heard the unnatural shift of crisp autumn leaves. When she could breathe again, she threw one more glance behind her and launched herself into full flight, tearing through the deepening forest, dodging low-hanging limbs of the massive oaks as she raced along the deer trail, any thought of stealth abandoned.
Hunter and hunted, predator and prey, the distance between them closed. “Halt!” a voice ordered, low, gruff, decidedly masculine. Fueled by a sudden burst of energy born of desperation, she sped up, flying along the ground…until a massive arm snaked around her waist, plucked her up, and spun her around. Momentum carried them full circle.
“Fool,” he growled in her ear, pointing at the trap that would have claimed her. Sharpened spikes lined the floor of the pit, dug into the forest floor along the path.
“Poachers,” he spat. “I removed the cover to reveal it, but we’ve not yet had time to fill it in.”
Deidra shook in the confines of his hold, overcome by emotion. She thought she’d lost everything but she’d still had life, and breath. Her dream of regained freedom lived, too, if only she could talk him into letting her go.
She feared there would be no escaping him. The man was huge, with strength enough in his hair-dusted, muscle-roped arms that he held her as easily as he would a pet fenica weighing six stones. And he was fast – much quicker than the runners that her father had sent to summon aid…only to have their heads returned in a wicker basket with the demand to surrender or die.
“Please,” she whispered. Choking back the tears she’d refused to shed when the walls were breached, she softened the death grip she realized that she had on his arm. “And thank you,” she added, bracing to throw herself on the mercy of a man who might well have none. She turned her head, moving her gaze up her captor’s arm, over muscles that tested the seams of his hunting jerkin, past the whorls of black hair that peaked from the v of his shirt. Above the thick column of neck, his beard-shadowed jaw was strong and square, his chin firm and cleft in the middle. His full, sensuous lips were as perfect as those carved by a master sculptor’s hand. She risked a quick look higher and glimpsed thick black lashes framing eyes as blue as the waters of Saint Illian’s spring. She resisted the urge to see if they were just as deep and mysterious.
The man was huge, at least six and a half feet tall, his long black hair tied with a leather lace that had come loose in their chase. His long bow and a quiver of arrows remained slung firmly across his back. His clothes were clean enough to have been put on fresh this morning. He smelled of the forest – woods and sweat, linen and leather. His skin was either naturally dark or he was well-kissed by the sun goddess, Sola. Laugh lines at the corners of his mouth and eyes bespoke a nature much kinder than Mordred’s.
It could be worse.
“My name is Deidra,” she whispered, forcing herself to keep her gaze lowered, giving the appearance of meekness, at least. “I seek sanctuary. Can you give it?”
He lifted her chin and crooked a smile. “Perhaps. If I can trust you to follow and obey. If not…” The lines of his mouth flattened, underscoring the weight of his words. “We’ll have to spend the night here, at our peril. Which is it to be?”
With dark moons rising, she had no choice. The things that hunted on the night of the full moons were nothing compared to what fed in the blackest hours – especially this time of year, when the veils between the planes were thinnest. “I will do my best to match your stride, if you will lead, my lord.”
“Thorne,” he said, relaxing his hold so that she stood before him, dwarfed by his size.
“Keep your eyes on me. Step where I step. If you start to fall behind, let me know at once. Understood?”
“Aye,” she said, refusing to think of anything else but surviving, one step at a time.