Page 35

“Alys, this is Harlech, captain of the garrison, and my foster brother,” Beau said. “Captain, this is Dr. Alys Stuart, my kyara.”

Harlech took a step back. “Your wife?”

“Hi, Captain.” Alys offered him her brightest smile. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Lady Alys.” Harlech bowed to her, but when he straightened, he gave Beau a pointed look. “I look forward to hearing your report on the morrow, brother. A full report.”

“Until then, Captain.” Beau carried Alys inside a chamber and, as the men in the corridor began cheering, closed the door.

Alys turned around to take in her new surroundings, which were far more luxurious than she’d expected. In addition to a huge bed, several chairs and tables, and an enormous armoire, Beau’s chambers were decorated with heavy, dark purple velvet curtains, several stark paintings of the sea, and a mounted display of some thirty different swords. Soft wool carpets covered the stone floor, and a banked fire glowed in a narrow iron hearth near the bed.

“This looks comfortable.” Alys went over to the curtains and looked out one of the tall arched windows at a massive citrus grove. “Do you bring a lot of wenches here?”

“You are the first woman I have ever brought to the Realm.” Beau came to stand behind her. “And you are not my wench. You are my wife.”

She tried not to stiffen as he put his arms around her waist. “Is that all it takes for a Kyn warrior to marry someone? You just say, ‘She’s my wife,’ and everyone holds up a sword and it’s done?”

“We cannot marry as mortals do. Our enemies hide behind the church. We cannot allow any official records to reflect our names or our whereabouts. For us, it must be enough to declare it to each other.” Beau turned her around to face him. “Why are you so unhappy with me?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never been a wife.” She ran her fingers along the strip of leather that laced the front of his tunic. “That’s not true. I always thought that if I ever married someone, I would have a real wedding.”

Beau drew her over to one of his big armchairs, and sat down with her on his lap. “What is a real wedding?”

“A traditional ceremony. Not in a church, but somewhere beautiful, maybe outside. I used to buy those wedding magazines and look at the dresses. I definitely wanted to wear a great dress.” She looked down at her Pirate World T-shirt and laughed. “That didn’t happen. It’s silly, I know. I should be grateful to be alive, and to be with you.”

“I wish I could give you that wedding,” Beau murmured, and kissed her temple. “I would love to see you in such a dress. But for now I must keep you here, and safe.”

“I understand.” He’d done this to protect her, and she could be gracious about it. “When it’s over, do you say, ‘She isn’t my wife,’ and that takes care of the divorce?”

“There will be no divorce, Alys.” Beau frowned. “You are my wife, and I am your husband. Whatever happens with the emeralds, and Tremayne, you and I will be together.”

Alys stared at him. “But it’s not real. You said—”

“I love you.” He cradled her face between his hands, kissing the space between her brows, the curve of her cheek, and both corners of her lips before he drew back to regard her with a fierce expression. “And I will have no other woman but you. However you feel for me, in my heart I will be your husband for the rest of my life. Perhaps our way is not how mortals go about it, but marrying means the same to us. More so for us to marry a mortal. Why would you think this not real?”

Alys took a deep breath. “You didn’t ask me to marry you, Beau. You didn’t even consult me.”

“There was no time, and I thought you felt the same. Christ Jesus, I am an idiot.” Beau got up from the chair to set her on her feet. “Forget everything that I have said, and everything I have done.”

“Everything?” She had some very fond memories from last night. “Do I have to?”

“The worst of it, then.” He went down on one knee, and held her hand between his. “I ask you now, Alys Stuart. Will you have me as your husband?”

All her amusement fled. “Some people would say we hardly know each other, but I don’t have the luxury of time anymore, do I? Not when I’m in love with an immortal. Maybe the reason I’ve never been able to emotionally connect with other people is because some part of me was waiting for you to find me.”

“I could say the same.” Beau kissed the back of her hand.

“Now that I’ve finally found you, and I could have what other women have…” She shook her head. “It’s not fair.”


“Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve accepted that I’m not ordinary, and that strange, startling things happen to me on a regular basis. Look at where I’m spending my wedding night.” Alys gestured around her. “A fourteenth-century castle. A working fourteenth-century castle.”

Beau rose to his feet. “But you will never be an ordinary woman.”

She nodded. “I’ve accepted it. I’ve tried to be a good sport, and see it as an adventure instead of a curse. I think I’ve coped pretty well, all things considered. I won’t complain. There’s really only one thing I want you to understand.” She pulled the T-shirt up over her head to remove it, holding it in her hands for a moment before offering it to Beau. “This is not my wedding dress.”

He took the shirt and draped it over the back of a chair.

Alys stripped out of the skull jeans, shaking them out and folding them neatly before placing them with the shirt. “I know we’re in terrible danger, and there is no time, and who knows when this will be over? I can wait. But someday, when things stop exploding and all the traitors are vanquished and the dungeons are empty, when this is finished, Beaumaris, I want a real wedding dress. I deserve one.”

“So you shall have it.” He pulled off his shirt before he took her into his arms. “I never wished I could be human again, until now.”

She had to be sure he knew what he was getting into. “I wonder if you’ve really thought about us. The reality of us. I could die any day in an accident, or from disease. If I do live on, eventually I’ll grow old, and you’ll have to watch that happen. Whenever my time comes, you’ll have to let me go. Can you do that?”

“I would do anything for you,” Beau said, and caressed her arm with his hand. “Come, you need to sleep.”

“On my wedding night?” Alys shook her head, and drew him over to the big bed. “That’s not something I’m willing to wait for.” She glanced down at herself. “Besides, you don’t have to undress me. I’m already naked. Think of the convenience.”

“There is that.” Beau reached for the front of his trousers.

“Let me.” Alys beat him to it, unfastening the button and sliding down the zipper before she slipped her hand inside. The bulging length of his penis pressed against her palm, deliciously rigid. “You’re not sleepy.”

“No.” He watched her work his trousers down from his hips, and stepped out of them for her. “Not at all.”

“Good.” She moved around him, running her hands over the hard planes of his muscles. “There are so many things I want to do with you. I hardly know where to start.”

“I have some suggestions.” Beau caught her by the waist and pulled her against him.

“I liked your first one.” She kissed her way across his chest. “When we were in the hotel room.”

He buried his hands in her hair. “What was that?”

Alys pushed him onto the bed, and knelt in front of him. “You wanted to keep me quiet.” She brought his hand to her lips and pressed a soft kiss against his palm. “But you didn’t want to use this, did you?”

Beau’s pupils narrowed to slivers. “No.”

Alys set his hand aside and brushed her cheek against the upright, straining column of his shaft. “This is what you wanted to put in my mouth.”

His thighs tensed under her hands. “Is that what you want now?”

“I admit, I’ve been thinking about it.” Alys looked up at him, holding his gaze as she parted her lips, and let her breath whisper over the satiny plum of his cockhead. “What it would feel like.” She brushed her lips over the small slit, collecting the drop of semen there with the tip of her tongue. “What it would taste like.” She closed her eyes, savoring him.

A big, unsteady hand cradled the back of her head. “Show me what you wanted, love.”

“This.” She opened her mouth, enveloping him and sucking lightly as she curled her fingers around his swelling length. Slowly she worked her mouth over him, taking him in, using her tongue to caress and the edge of her teeth to tease. Slowly she let him slide from her lips, relishing his groan when she nearly released him, and then drawing him deeper.

Beau’s fingertips caressed her scalp as he guided her, his voice soft and low as he murmured to her. “Your lips are so beautiful on me, love. So warm and wet. I thought of this every time I looked at your mouth. I wanted to see you like this, suckling me, loving me. God in heaven, you feel so good.”

Alys reveled in the power it gave her over him, that such a simple thing could make her strong, invulnerable warrior tremble and groan. She released him only once, using her hand to stroke him as she looked up into his half-closed eyes.

“Now show me what you wanted.” She released him to lie back on the rug.

Beau came down over her, pressing his body against hers as he pinned her wrists beside her head. “Open your mouth for me.” When she did, he rose, straddling her breasts and guiding himself to her mouth. “Take it,” he said as he pushed his penis between her lips. “Take all of it. Just like that, yes.” He tipped her head so he could forge deeper, his hips stroking faster.

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