Fate is giving her the one man she'd never want for her very own.
Princess Ari of the planet Falconia knows it's her time to marry and has picked out several suitable men in her mind--none of which are Falcoan Army Commander, Rurik of the Fifth. The man tormented her as a child, causing her untold humiliations. But there is really no need to worry about such a match. Shifters cannot rule and Rurik is a natural born falcon shifter.
Trusting destiny, Ari sips from the Marriage Chalice, sealing her future. But things don't go as planned. It would seem fate is giving her to the man she despises. How can she find happiness with the one man she could never want for her very own?
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October 31, 2006
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Excerpt from Talons Seize the Hunter by Michelle M. Pillow
Rurik bit the inside of his lip, his gut clenched as he watched Ari lift the Chalice to her lips. Even from across the hall he could see that her eyes hadn't changed in their blue intensity. She saw him, he had no doubt, but she didn't smile, didn't show that she recognized him.
Part of him wanted to watch her, the beauty of her face, the soft curves of her body as she moved beneath the clinging material. The years had been kind to her, maybe too kind for they'd made her a gorgeous woman. He'd heard people speak of her beauty, but in his mind she was always the young girl, awkward and without power. He'd been attracted to her then, but now, now she was a woman and attraction didn't even begin to cover what he felt.
The two women kissed his neck, but he didn't feel them, not really. Their hands were on his thighs, but in his mind he only wanted one person and neither of them was she. His hands trembled, and he longed to wipe the makeup from her face, longed to run his fingers through her loosened hair.
Ari drew the Chalice down from her mouth, her eyes wide as she looked down. The Chalice dropped from her hand and he felt a strange tingling in his stomach, an almost nauseous sensation. Jealousy? Regret? Anger? A shiver worked over his spine and he couldn't move.
"You're cold as ice." The blonde pulled away from him. "Commander, what is it?"
"He's freezing," the dark haired temptress added.
"Commander?" Ivor and Lleu said simultaneously.
Rurik opened his mouth to say he was fine, but a rush of air hit him, filling his lungs and knocking the breath from him, followed by a blinding light. He couldn't see a thing as the noises of the hall disappeared into the pounding sound of warriors' feet running over a battlefield seconds before they took to flight.
Then, suddenly, darkness replaced the light, a heavy, disorienting contrast. Soft cushioning pressed into his hands and knees and he realized he was bent over on a soft mattress. Something warm was by his leg and he reached over blindly to feel what it was.
"It's done," a woman whispered. There was relief in her tone. "I can't believe it's finally done."
His fingers ran over a leg, buried within a gown. It didn't take long to ascertain it belonged to the woman.
Nae, not just a woman. It belonged to...
"Ari?" he whispered.
Rurik drew his hand away as if burnt. Jerking back, he spread his wings slightly. They bumped an invisible boundary. He reached for it, feeling the air like a thick wall encircling them and keeping him trapped with the princess.
"Yea," Ari said. Her tone had deepened into an almost sultry, vixen's tone.
"Princess Ari?" he said, more to himself than to her.
"Yea, are you well, Lord?" she asked. "Did the transition take you by surprise? What is your name? Who has the Chalice chosen for me?"