Excerpt for The Chosen One
Here's the excerpt for my paranormal romance called The Chosen One. You can find it at Liquid Silver Books HERE.
He was back. Kali felt her heart beat faster. Just the sight of Gar standing in her throne room with the other supplicants sent her senses reeling. Why had he come?
She focused her attention on the next person who stood patiently in line. As queen of Zudris it was her duty to settle disputes among her people, and she took her duty seriously, making sure to listen closely to both sides. Today she found it hard to pay attention knowing Gar was watching her every move. Her body all too clearly remembered what it felt like to be held in his strong arms, to have his powerful body surging into hers.
When the final petitioner was heard, Kali remained on her throne and waited for the room to empty. Only Gar remained. She sat up straighter, adjusting her broad sword where it hung at her waist, and watched as he made his way across the room. It had been five years since she last had seen him. He had left when she had needed him the most.
He moved with a warrior’s grace, sleek muscles rippling with each step he took. Kali’s gaze followed his progress. At six feet nine inches Gar was a giant among men. Heavily muscled from years of swinging a broad sword, he would have made an adversary think twice before crossing him. He wore his white blond hair long, the ends falling just past his broad shoulders. His pale green eyes were blank, showing no emotion. No smile played upon his firm lips. Kali knew how those lips would feel on hers. She had missed tasting them. At twenty-six he was a man in his prime.
Gar stood before her, waiting. He never bowed before her and never had. That was what had drawn Kali to him in the beginning. He had never treated her as if she was someone who had to be revered. He had treated her as his equal. To Gar she wasn’t just the warrior queen of Zudris, she was also Kali. He was the only one with whom she could be herself with. Just plain Kali.
Looking into his tanned handsome face, Kali knew she would have to speak first. “I see you have returned. Didn’t you vow never to do so the last time we spoke?”
“I may have been too hasty in making that vow.”
Kali gripped the arms of her throne. The feeling of betrayal rose up inside her. She had been eighteen when she had ascended the throne of Zudris. At the time her people had been embroiled in an ongoing, two hundred year war with a neighboring country. With Gar fighting at her side she had begun to drive their opponents back across the border. Just before the final battle Gar had refused to fight, leaving her to lead her warriors alone. She had emerged victorious, finally giving peace to her people, but at a terrible cost to herself. The one man who had owned her heart had walked away, leaving her alone to pick up the scattered pieces that were left of her country. Gar was to have been her mate, her prince consort, and he had walked away without as much as a backward glance. He gave it all up, gave up on her.
“What do you want, Gar?”
“I can see you haven’t forgiven me.”
Kali narrowed her eyes at him. “You left me when I needed you.”
“You know I had my reasons.”
“I no more understand why you felt it was necessary today than I did then. My feelings on that subject have not changed.”
Gar stepped closer and placed his hands on top of hers. Bending forward, his eyes swept her face. “Nor have mine, Kali. If anything, I feel more strongly about it. You are the one.”
Having him stand so close to her, Kali had to resist the urge to pull him to her so she could devour his mouth with her own. Taking a deep breath, she filled her nostrils with his scent. The musky maleness of it brought images of hot sweaty sex to mind. Memories of Gar in bed with her, his hard body pressed to hers as she held him tight. She felt wetness pool between her legs, aching for him to possess her again. But then his words sank in. Standing, she pushed past him with a snarl and moved to the middle of the room.
“I am not the one.”
Turning to face her, Gar shook his head. “Kali, think of what you could do with the power.”
They were back to that old argument again, picking up where they had left off five years before, with Gar pushing and her resisting no matter how convincing he sounded. “The price of failure is too high. How could you ask me to take that chance?”
“Because I believe you can do it.”
“I wish I felt as sure as you do.”
“At least listen to what the priests have to say.”
Kali growled with rage. “You brought priests of the Order here?”
“I have been with the brothers for the last few years.”
“You have become one of them?”
“No. I stay with them to learn. And the more I’ve seen the more strongly I feel you need to speak with them.”
“I don’t like the position you have put me in. You know what could happen if I refuse.”
“If there was another way to get you to agree, believe me I would have used it. You left me no choice.”
“Like when you had no choice and walked away.”
Before Gar could respond, Kali walked out of the throne room. All the old hurts she had pushed aside were coming back to the surface. She cursed the blood that ran through her veins. Pantherinae blood flowed through her body, which caused her eyes to be that of a cat, pure gold in color and pupils mere slits. They were a gift from her great-great-grandmother. Kali was the only one of the royal line to be marked so since. And it had given the Order all they needed to latch onto her.
* * * *
Gar watched the throne room doors shut behind Kali. That had not gone the way he had planned. After five years, he had thought she would have been a little more forgiving. It was obvious she still felt he had betrayed her. She had no idea how hard it had been for him to leave her. Kali had been everything to him and she still was. No amount of time would change that. What he had done had been for her benefit. He had known that if he had stayed she would not be the strong warrior queen she was today. She had depended on his support too much. So he had left her, leaving his heart behind.
He had stayed away but had held close every bit of news he had heard about Kali, like a miser coveting his gold. Now seeing she was no longer the girl he had once known, but a strong confident woman, beautiful with her long straight jet black hair and skin the color of wheat, made the lonely years worthwhile. But those times spent living without his heart was over. He had no intentions of leaving her ever again. He would make her his mate. But first he would have to get her to see he was right. And Kali being Kali, he knew that would be no easy task.
* * * *
With thoughts of what could have been still swirling in her head, Kali headed for the training room. After a long day of hearing grievances and Gar popping back into her life, she needed the peace she would feel after an hour of sword training. Luckily the room was empty. She was in no mood to make small talk with anyone. She needed to think and she did her best thinking alone.
Swinging her sword, Kali felt the pull as her muscles stretched with the movement. The slashing and cutting motions were second nature to her now. She didn’t have to think about what she was doing. Letting her mind drift she thought of that last day she had spent with Gar.
It was the day before the battle that had ended the war. After holding council with her generals, she and Gar had spent the rest of the night alone. He had taken her to bed. There had been something in his lovemaking that hadn’t been there before, a feeling of desperation. Almost as if he needed to have her and nothing else mattered but that. At the time Kali had thought it had to do with the upcoming battle. It wasn’t until after they had made love, until they were both sweaty and completely sated, did he tell her what he wanted her to do. That he wanted her to take the Order’s test.
Lost in thought, Kali didn’t immediately sense she was no longer alone. She came back to herself when another sword suddenly blocked hers. Following the line of their crossed swords, she glared at Gar as she pulled her sword free.
“I came here to be alone.”
Gar sheathed his sword in the scabbard that hung at his side. “You haven’t changed. You still do your best thinking with a sword in your hand. I hope it was thoughts of me that kept you so preoccupied.”
Kali lowered her sword. She would be damned before she let him know that, even though she had been thinking of him. “Don’t flatter yourself. I do have a kingdom to run. You aren’t the only thing I have to worry about. I now have the added stress of having to deal with priests from the Order.”
Gar moved closer. He stood so a mere breadth of space separated their bodies. If Kali took a deep breath the tips of her breasts would brush against his wide chest. “I can help you, Kali. I know how to handle their kind.”
She found her eyes riveted to his mouth as he spoke. Tearing herself away she looked up into Gar’s eyes. They were heavy looking, pupils dilated so only a ring of green remained. Kali licked her bottom lip with the tip of her tongue. “You can’t expect me to just let you walk back into my life as if nothing happened.”
I know I hurt you, but I’m back now and I intend to stay. Trust me, Kali.”
Slowly, Gar lowered his mouth to hers. Kali’s eyes fluttered shut. It had been so long since she had tasted his lips. There had been no other to take his place. His lips brushed hers once before he covered them fully. When she didn’t push him away, he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her up against his hard body. Every inch of him pressed along the length of her. His tongue swept the seam of her mouth and her lips parted allowing him entry. He tasted as she had remembered. Kali purred in the back of her throat.
Reality crashed in when he shifted her so his erection rubbed against her core. Even though her sex-starved body betrayed her as her pussy ached to have him deep inside, demanding that she let him take her, a small voice screamed inside her head that he had hurt her before. That he could do it again.
Shoving at Gar’s chest, Kali broke free of his hold. Her breath came in shallow pants as she shook her head. “I shouldn’t have done that.” Gar tried to pull her back to him, but she stepped away, putting more space between them.
Gar bit back a frustrated groan and stared down at her. Kali knew he could see that her lips were swollen from his kisses and that her golden cat’s eyes were heavy with desire. “Give me another chance. That’s all I’m asking. Let me earn back your trust.”
“I don’t know if I can do that. You already brought trouble by bringing those priests to Zudris. I’ve been able to hold them off without complicating matters, but because of you that will no longer be possible.”
“Talk to them, Kali. That is all I ask. I’m sure once you have granted them an audience and they have said their piece, they’ll return to their house.”
Fine, I’ll talk to them, and not because you asked me to. The longer they are here the higher the chances of something unpleasant occurring, at their doing.” Kali brushed past Gar as she headed for the door. Before leaving she turned to look at him. “As for you staying, I’m undecided. You do anything like this again, I will not only ask you to leave I’ll banish you from Zudris.”