General Excerpt from The Heart of WarAdult Fiction by Lisa Beth Darling
"Women are incapable of understanding men?" Alena mused and touched her fingertip to her lower lip, mocking the God of War. "I don't know about that, I think we understand you perfectly. Although admittedly we do try in vain to better you."
Ares laughed, though he tried to stifle it so as not to frighten away any wildlife that might be eavesdropping on their private but quiet conversation. "What could you possibly do to better me?"
She could start with a good pumice stone and smooth out all those rough but charming edges of his but she refrained from saying so. "If there's nothing I can offer you, nothing I have that you want, why don't you just let me go? Relieve yourself of my presence, take me to Athens and be done with me?"
"I told you, I can't let you leave this island," Ares said sternly. "No one who comes here leaves here. Not unless they are an Olympian, and you are no Olympian, little Fey." This seemed as good a time as any to tell her of his impending plans. "I, however, am leaving this island tomorrow, I will return in a few days or even hours. While I'm gone I want you to watch your back. If you don't, Kat is apt to plant a dagger in it," Ares warned.
"Leaving?" Alena gasped. "Where are you going? Take me with you! Just drop me off anywhere! I won't tell anyone you're here, I swear it!" With each word, her voice grew higher in pitch and louder in tone. She had no desire to be here on this island with Kat. Ares was quite correct, the first chance the woman got she would do her best to make Alena disappear although Alena had done nothing to incur such ire. "You don't want me here anyway!"
"Be silent!" Ares ordered. He knew she was going to pitch a fit when she discovered he was going away. "Where I'm going is not a concern of yours. That I am going is. So watch your back." Over the days she had been here, he had brought up the subject of her time in the water, of the pirates, and the ship bound for Rome that exploded. Each time he did, her story got bigger and bigger as she told it. It became more detailed and quite interesting. Ares decided it was time for him to know the truth of how she came to live on his island and, to that end he had to go to the refugee camp she spoke of so often in grim detail. Perhaps someone there could tell him how Sister Maggie departed their wretched little village. If so, then he would be one step closer to finding out who dropped her off in his waters.
"I don't understand," Alena said, trying to keep her voice calm. "Why do you want to bring Cernunnos' Druids here? Why do you want to risk such a thing? You are Ares; you understand the lengths he will go to once he finds me. Why not just rid yourself of me and be done with the trouble I will cause? Avoid it and let your island and your solitude remain." He just stood there silently staring down at her, his brawny arms crossed over his broad chest. "What is it? You don't want me, you don't come to me in the night for these things, you say you have enough women to please you, I am nothing to you, so…just let me go."
One hefty arm unfolded and the hand reached out to put the fingertip under her chin. "But I do come to you in the night, woman. I watch you sleep." Although the fingers on her skin were gentle, his voice was dark. "I stand there over you, in the dark. I follow you in the day; you felt me by the waterfall as I crouched by your naked side. Didn't you?"
Alena thought she was alone as she explored her untouched body under the afternoon sun yesterday, but then she'd had the strangest feeling, as though… "I felt your breath on my cheek."
"Did you?" Ares thought back to yesterday and how he'd crouched by her side invisible to her eyes, inhaling the sweet scent of honeysuckle rising off her as the bare place between her legs glistened in the sun. He wondered then if he laid a hand on her if she would think it a dream or that she was just lost to the heat of her own fantasies. Then the wind changed and he caught whiff of Nicco in the bushes. "Then remember this, I can take you at any moment I choose."
Feeling vulnerable and betrayed and yet feeling something even stronger still, an incredible, almost electric heat seemed to radiate from him. It was intoxicating. Hypnotizing. Animal. Alena cringed and felt her heart skip a beat as it sped up. "What are you waiting for?"
Ares wandered this Earth thousands of years and he was no one's fool. Whenever he glanced at Alena from the corner of his eye, more often than not he found her staring back at him. It was not difficult to read the thoughts dancing behind those stormy eyes. "For you to come to me."
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Copyright 2018 Lisa Beth Darling and Moon Mistress Publishing USA All Rights Reserved
Lisa Beth Darling
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