A Living Forest
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Paula Calloway
Word Count :6058
Publication Date :2013-05-20
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-1644-7
Sometimes a childhood promise coming back to haunt isn’t a bad thing.
When a childhood promise made in fear for her life is set before her years later, Lysette knows the green-eyed male is far more than he appears.
The threat of losing her to a life-stealing disease forces Arrden to choose between what will be and what can be in exchange for his immortal life.
Lysette bolted upright in her bed. Fire in her lower lungs ripped through her. Every gulp of air forced into her body created pain and teased her life. Clutching at her chest, she prayed it would be over soon.
Her difficulty breathing city air had coincided with the loss of her parents and their gifting her with the old cabin several years ago. Forest eyes haunted her nightmares and weight on her lungs intensified with each passing month as the disease ate away at her. She knew all things were inevitable, and there was nothing to help slow the slip of time trickling through her fingers.
Lysette yanked aside the covers, rose, and, with the rise of the sun still almost an hour away, showered, donned a simple white cotton sundress, and pulled on her slippers.
“I need a walk,” she said, walking through the cabin. The slam of the front door rattled the window, but it faded with her tromp across the meadow. “I never smoked or did drugs. I even avoided coffee and colas and swallowed vitamins so what did I do to deserve this?” Her turn onto the path into the forest a childhood habit, she walked with little care for where she ended up.
Startled by a rustle on her right, Lysette realized just how deep in wild territory her lack of attention allowed her to traipse. A howl on her left jerked her head around. “What a fool I am.” She backed up several steps, pivoted, and tripped. Her cheek smacked a tree root, but she paused only long enough to clear her head. With her palms on the ground, she pushed up and froze. Dark brown boots the color of tree bark were mere inches from her nose.
“Didn’t your mother warn you of what lurks within the woods?”
Hesitant, she came to her feet while her gaze assessed the male figure towering over her. Deep green, snug pants hugged muscular thighs. A rocked thrust of narrow hips urged her continued assessment. The bare upper torso revealed a flat stomach, but veined and muscular crossed arms hindered her complete view of the broad chest. Gorgeous brown hair fell over broad shoulders. Deeply tanned flesh rippled over powerful muscles. A strong, square jaw, straight nose, and tempting lips marked a handsome face. Corners of the delectable mouth turned up as if the man caught something familiar.
“My beautiful little wood nymph has returned for me.”
If sex possessed a voice, it just spoke, and its depth attested to the five-foot-eleven frame’s virility. Lysette looked up, and her eyes widened as she choked on a lump that suddenly appeared in her throat. Dark moss green eyes stared back. “Oh my god.”
One eyebrow rose. “Never been called that before, but I’ll be happy to oblige.”
“My nightmare—” Darkness devoured her world as an earthy scent engulfed all of her senses.
* * * *
At her slump, Arrden dove and caught her body. “Interesting response.” Red hair brushed his arm as a wild and woodsy scent washed over him, the evoked memory sweet. Honeysuckle and lilac wafted on the air. He scooped her into his arms and strode toward the glen that served as his home, the weight in his arms insignificant. With the leaves and mosses willed into a thick bed, he knelt and laid her down. His muscles stiffened at the jolt of his erection as he recalled the absence of a willing woman for the better part of the last century while progress closed in on his domain. Civilization’s intrusion remained inevitable, and he expected them to overwhelm him within a few hundred years.
He recollected the feminine intruders he benefitted from during his rule. He lost track of how many times he welcomed a single lady who traipsed through his realm and bathed at the falls or napped on a comfortable moss bed. When a proffered opportunity arose, he physically pleasured the bathing and sleeping beauties. It never ceased to amaze him the number of times a woman surrendered herself to an unseen force, drenched his cock in silken cream, then fled in terror. Oddly enough, the molested women returned a time or two. Some even more.