Cursed at birth, Dion is a demon who has searched for his beloved for centuries. Upon meeting Morgan, he knows she’s the one he’s been waiting for, the one woman he can love forever, the one woman capable of helping him break the curse. However, Jistin, the curse-giver, has other ideas…
Morgan longs for a relationship and release from her solitary life aboard her yacht, The Magenta Starling. She longs for Dion—who’s not all that he appears. When he reveals his feelings for her, Morgan allows Dion to take her to his world, the realm of Thradmos. Her love for him growing even as she struggles to accept his reality, Morgan realizes she would do anything for him—including give up her life in the real world.
At a party held in celebration of Dion’s impending freedom, Morgan is snatched away by Jistin. In a final battle, Dion will fight not only for his freedom, but also that of his beloved, lest he be cursed for all eternity…and lose Morgan in the process.
An Excerpt From: MAGENTA STARLING
Copyright © NATALIE DAE, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
At anchor in the deepest part of the bay, Morgan’s large yacht, The Magenta Starling, bobbed intermittently on languid evening waves. Morgan stood on deck, leaned on the prow rail and took in the lit shoreline, a pitch sky the backdrop to golden lights. The ocean crept up the beach as though unsure of its welcome, yet retreated just as slowly. Music filtered from the bars and clubs, a cacophony of mingled beats, unrecognizable as any individual tune. A carnival atmosphere raged ashore, the same as every other summer night—nothing unusual for this part of the world, where holidaymakers partied hard and spent their cash fluidly.
Morgan smiled. If only they knew what their cash could buy here.
A taxi-boat chugged toward her yacht, the tall floodlights illuminating white foam in the smaller vessel’s wake. Morgan made out two occupants—the captain and her client. He’d telephoned earlier and requested an evening appointment, but she’d been fully booked this sultry Friday. As soon as the call had ended, her cell rang again—her last evening client cancelling. She’d contemplated another night alone before a rush of abandonment gripped her. She’d contacted Dion and informed him of the free slot.
Now she released a harsh laugh at the pun. She hadn’t been filled in a long time. Unwilling to give herself to just anyone, she rebuffed any offers from clients wishing to include sex with their spankings. No. She wanted a genuine relationship, not men who visited her for what they couldn’t get at home.
Morgan sighed and ousted the dismal thoughts. Tonight she would once again play a part. The role of a woman in total control. And revel at being in Dion’s company.
The boat drew nearer, so she straightened and smoothed the front of her dress. Unusual for a client to request a little black frock that wasn’t made of rubber, but Dion always did. Still, she wasn’t complaining. Her normal attire would have been hell to work in tonight. The heat still lingered despite the cooler breeze, an almost stubborn refusal to be gone and give respite. She wiggled her toes in strappy black sandals and peered at the boat as it chugged alongside hers with a splutter-chug-burp. The captain waved and smiled, his gap-toothed grin dull in a face tanned deeply by the merciless sun. Dion stood, his back to her, hands in suit trouser pockets. The cut of his jacket appeared expensive, as did that of his blond, wavy hair, and Morgan deduced he’d had it trimmed since she last saw him.
“All right there, missus? I’ll be back at eleven then?” the captain shouted, the engine noise and burble of the ocean from its propeller muffling his words.
“Yes, thank you.” Morgan smiled, though her gaze remained on the man in his boat.
Dion turned in slow motion and revealed his profile, one she had seen in her dreams day and night since he’d first set foot on her yacht. He faced her, his skin bronzed, white shirt open at the neck. Tawny chest hairs peeked through the gap and set her heart racing.
God, I want to fuck him.
He gave a lazy smile and stooped to pick up a picnic basket, his gaze remaining on her. Excitement fluttered in her stomach and she swallowed to wet her suddenly dry throat. He walked toward the side of the taxi-boat and Morgan leaned over the rail to relieve him of the basket he held aloft. Though curious as to what lay inside, she stilled her tongue and placed the basket on deck.
Dion turned to the captain. “I will call you later. I may not be ready by eleven.”
His voice, so cultured, reminded her of olden-day gentry. The captain saluted and Morgan frowned. For all Dion knew, she had another client booked after him. But in truth his audacity heightened her desire.
Dion held the rails of her yacht ladder and Morgan stepped back as he hauled himself aboard. His aftershave wafted in the humid air and she inhaled as deeply as she dared without alerting him to what she was doing. Undertones of bergamot and lemon assailed her, images of him naked and at her mercy dancing through her mind. Her cheeks heated and her pussy grew wet. Dion eyed her, his brown eyes harboring…lust?
Morgan swallowed again and clasped her hands in front of her. The taxi-boat sped off back to shore, and she bent down and gripped the basket handle. Dion’s hand covered hers and he lifted the basket between them. Dion’s palm was warm against her fingers and Morgan stared up at him, into eyes that set her clit to throbbing, and wished, wished…
“Good evening, Morgan.”
His smile, a slight tilt of his head and a wink jellied her knees.
Damn him for making me feel like this when I can’t have him!
“Good evening, Dion. What’s in the basket?”
She began to lift the lid but his free hand pushed hers away, their fingers entwining. Heat rushed to her face and she cursed the telltale stain that would surely alert him to how she felt.
“Oh, just a few things.” He uncurled her fingers from the basket handle.
“Things?” She quirked a brow.
“Yes. Shall we?” He motioned to the steps that led below deck. “Or would you rather play outside tonight?”
Her stomach churned and excitement swirled through her. She glanced around—no other boats in sight—and said, “Oh, outside should be fine. Besides, if anyone approaches, we’ll hear their motor.”
“And if anyone watches us through a telescope, we will be none the wiser.”
Morgan stifled a gasp and Dion laughed, loud and hearty, quelling the momentary flare of panic inside her. She shoved the thought of Peeping Toms from her mind and breathed deeply, willing herself to take command. Without her tools, though, she floundered, hands by her sides.
“I’ll need to go down and get—”
“I told you,” he leaned in and whispered beside her mouth, “I’ve brought some things…in the basket.” He kissed her lower lip.
Startled, she jumped back and a high-pitched “Oh!” escaped her. Dion had never crossed the line before, had never kissed her.
Does that mean…?
“Right,” she said on a ragged sigh, heart skipping a beat, legs lust-addled. “Let’s have a look insi—”
“I rather thought we would reverse roles tonight. I want to take charge.”