This Insane Saturday I thought I’d give another sneak peek as “Rahasya” Book 3 of the Tome Series due out later this year! Enjoy, dear readers!

Like a thrashing child in the midst of a temper tantrum, Iz seized control inside of Izumrud with surprising strength for a five-year-old. Her arm shot between the bars as she reached for the calm security she so desperately hungered for. Catching Luca by the front of his shirt, she jerked him toward her, pulling him into a breathless kiss. She could feel his surprise and, as soon as his mind caught up with what was happening, his resistance. Pressed against the bars, she kissed him passionately until she felt his flailing hands make their way between to her shoulders and push her away even as the smallest part of him returned the caress of her tongue over his.

Tien were consummate lovers. Seduction was an instinct that, combined with their lustful nature, only sharpened over their immortal lives. No one was immune, not entirely and certainly not a young Elf who had yet to live a full millennium.

Panting for breath, Luca stumbled back. She’d gotten to him, there was no way she couldn’t have, but the look in his large blue eyes spoke more of anger than arousal. Strange, since judging by the way he’d responded to her she would have sworn he had yet to know a woman.

“Is celibacy a requirement of your order?” Izumrud asked as she clawed her way over Iz’s clinging need. The child’s lingering echo hung a tinge of disappointment on her voice.

Luca angrily wiped his mouth with his forearm. He could wipe away the taste of her all he liked, but it would be a long time before he was able to get rid of the feel of her kiss and even longer, the sensations it invoked.

“You’re mad.”

Izumrud laughed in spite of how his calm unsettled her. It was as if she hadn’t affected him nearly as much as she believed.

“How long did it take for you to come to that conclusion?”

She had no delusions about her mental state. There wasn’t a bez khozyaina who wasn’t touched in the head. The insanity only grew worse over time and always won in the end. After more than two thousand years, she was fully aware of the reality of her state. Malinovyy was the only salvation in her world. He kept her from falling apart completely. He was her lover, her guardian, her protector, her servant and her master…the only person in the world she completely trusted and would do anything for.

Izumrud slumped to her knees, her hands sliding down the bars. She couldn’t breathe. Darkness clouded her vision as the child’s terrors enveloped her. Shaking, she sobbed uncontrollably.

A hand on her shoulder sent her reeling into her past. Iz had clung to the priest’s cassock with bloody hands, desperately reaching for the light that dispersed the darkness and willing to do anything to keep it from leaving her. Even now she reached up with a trembling hand and gripped his with the touch of one terrified to be left in the darkness.

When she lifted her head, the sympathy in Luca’s understanding gaze, distant though it was, hurt her more than anything he could have said or done. To be pitied by one of the Lesser Races, by a child, no less. The Elf couldn’t have been more than six, perhaps seven centuries old. He was practically an infant compared to her. What right did he have to empathize with her? He didn’t know her.

Infuriated, Izumrud firmly seized control and took his hand from her shoulder. He withdrew from between the bars and her eyes flicked past him to the barracks on the other side of the slave compound. Captain Hari Madhava was leaving for the night.

“If you’ll excuse me, there’s a pressing matter I must attend to.”

~ Excerpt from “Rahasya” Book 3 of the Tome Series due out later this year, copyright AJ Culpepper 2016
~Image courtesy of  Artist Unknown


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