It’s my birthday today and tomorrow is the release of Changing Destiny. I’m excited about this book. I hope you love it as much as I do.
If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can do so here.
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I’ll give you a taste of the first chapter and the playlist in just a moment. First, I have a giveaway running. Enter now.
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As for the playlist
Now, for the first chapter
Copyright 2015 Brandy L Rivers
Two hundred fifty-four years ago…
Big, strong, and made for pleasure, Endiscott closed the distance in long strides. Trapped by his rich brown eyes, Jayde struggled to appear unaffected by the walking temptation.
Surely he’s going to change directions, and approach another woman.
But to her surprise and heart’s elation, his seductive gaze never drifted away. He stopped inches from her, forcing her to look up. Jayde’s mouth watered, and her hands twitched with the need to touch the magnificent male before her.
Her mother’s gaze pressed on her, watching to see how she would address the nymph every woman desired.
“Pleasant morning, Endiscott. To what do I owe this honor?”
He licked his full lips, eyes trailing down her body in a way no respectable court fae would ever indulge in public. His parents were Lord and Lordess of High Elm Grove. Always proper themselves, but everyone knew their son rarely followed protocol, which meant he was not often invited to court.
A smooth baritone washed over her. “I would like a word with you after court. Perhaps we could share a meal?”
Jayde blinked slowly, feeling the path of his eyes as if his fingers made the journey. With the seductive distraction she must have heard him wrong. “A word?” she asked breathlessly.
The warm touch of a hand on her shoulder drew her gaze. Her mother smiled. “If Endiscott wishes to properly court you, a meal is a fine idea.” Lordess Janessa of Moonrise Cove watched him with great interest. “Is that your intention, young man?”
Endiscott tore his attention from Jayde and met her mother’s questioning eyes. His expression changed from lust-filled to one of determination. “Yes, Lordess, that is my intention.”
Blinking, Jayde turned back to Endiscott. His eyes swept to hers and the room, along with everyone in it, faded away.
“Give the young man an answer, Jayde,” Mother prompted.
Snapping out of her daze, she managed to reply, though her voice was breathless. “Yes, of course. I’m looking forward to learning more about you, Endiscott.”
“Not nearly as much as I crave learning you.”
Heat flushed her cheeks. Surely he didn’t mean to imply her body? Other than her awakening, which had been rushed and not nearly enough to leave her satisfied, she was inexperienced. The nymph before her had been with hundreds of women over his two hundred years.
His dimples deepened as he took her hand and placed a soft kiss to her palm. “Good day, my lady.” He turned and walked toward his family.
Her mother smiled and leaned close to her ear with a hushed voice. “Proof I wasn’t lying when I told you that you are beautiful, Jayde. You’re not the plain girl you think yourself to be. Endiscott does not approach women. They come to him, and he turns most of them away. He came to you, my sweet. You must see where this goes, without letting him into your bed.”
Is that even possible? One look and I melt.
She stole a glance at Endiscott. He sat with his parents, his eyes locked on her. With no clue what to make of the encounter, she concentrated on staying proper for court.
* * * *
Endiscott took his seat next to his parents. Maybe their decision to drag him along wasn’t as torturous as he’d thought. The second he walked in, he caught sight of a beautiful woman he’d never seen before.
Two hundred twenty years, and he’d never been so captivated. Curves barely contained by the ridiculous court getup. Hazel eyes an intoxicating mixture of green and gold. Chestnut-colored locks that hung down over her shoulder in a thick rope.
One look and he knew he wanted more than a quick roll in the sheets. The shrewd expression as she took in the crowd intrigued him. Face a carefully composed mask of indifference, but something in her stance made it clear she wasn’t one to be pushed around, no matter how shy she appeared.
Her gaze swept to him. She stilled for a second that seemed to stretch an eternity before looking away. A slight blush warmed her cheeks. He couldn’t wait to delve inside and learn everything about Jayde.
Toryn dropped into the seat beside him. He leaned over to whisper in his ear, “You’re about to ignite the poor girl in flames. Keep watching and she’ll spontaneously combust.”
Endiscott dropped his eyes to his hands, which were folded in his lap, hiding the evidence of his desire. “Can’t help it,” he muttered.
“That enraptured by the girl? I hear she has the same gift as her mother. Heals by taking power.”
Endiscott couldn’t help glancing her way. Their eyes locked. This time she didn’t look away, silently challenging him.
“Need her,” Endiscott answered, barely above a whisper.
“Think she’s the one?” Toryn asked with a raised brow.
“Never felt anything like this. No other woman exists. Only her.”
“Not even Saressa, who is still watching you like her favorite pet?”
Endiscott’s eyes cut over with a sneer. “Reance’s warning stays with me. Saressa may be beautiful, but she’s heartless. I won’t dabble with the likes of her. I’ve seen what she does to the men stupid enough to play her game.”
Toryn nodded. “Don’t have to tell me, I’ve seen the same. Now, Jayde, you’ll have to go slowly. Are you capable of such patience?”
One corner of his mouth lifted. “For her, I can wait.”
“You spoke to her for all of a moment. How can you possibly know that?”
He looked back to Jayde who still watched him. “She is etched into my soul. There is no one else.”
“Good luck, my friend.”
* * * *
Jayde rose with the rest of court, ready to escape the heat of Endiscott’s gaze. There was no chance he would forget his promise to take her out for the evening. Her mother had counselled resistance, but she wasn’t sure that was possible.
As if hearing the course of her thoughts, her mother squeezed her hand. “Jayde, darling, relax. He wants to know you.”
“You heard what he said,” she whispered.
“Yes. He is a man.” She shrugged with a soft laugh. “However, he will not cross your barriers.”
Do I have any barriers with regard to Endiscott? He’s every woman’s fantasy, no one ever resists. How in the abyss am I supposed to?
Mother squeezed her hand again. “Don’t let him under your skirts. Make him earn your love.”
She nodded dumbly, trying to smother her smoldering desire.
A warm hand gently curled over her shoulder. “Are you ready, Jayde?”
Turning, she attempted to find her voice but promptly lost it again in a tidal wave of desire. His broad shoulders and hard body were carved from fantasy. Endiscott’s smile promised wicked delight, and those eyes took in her every move. Unable to formulate a verbal response, she nodded.
His smile warmed as he stared into her soul. “I promise to be on my best behavior.”
“I’ll see you tonight, Jayde,” her mother reminded, before slipping past them.
Jayde reluctantly swept her gaze through the auditorium. They were already alone. “What are your plans?”
One corner of his mouth quirked. “To sit under the stars in a lovely clearing not far from my home. We’ll eat a wonderful meal while you tell me every last detail about yourself. I’ll tell you about myself, and hope I manage not to scare you away.”
“What could you have possibly done that’s so horrible?” she asked breathlessly.
“I have lived much longer than you, through some dark times, and I regret a few of my decisions.”
“Don’t we all?” she countered.
“You? Regret what?”
One side of her mouth tipped up. “Nothing worth mentioning.”
Grinning, he took her arm, sending a thrill of excitement through her. “Come, we have the whole afternoon and evening before us.”
* * * *
After the carriage ride, and a silent walk, Endiscott finally relaxed. She watched him with desire and curiosity. Without the pressure of court, she had loosened up and a genuine smile appeared.
He took her hand and helped her to a seated position before sitting alongside. “Soon, we’ll have that promised meal, but I’m enjoying this time alone with you.”
“I’m content to stay here with you. Food or not.”
“I would be a poor host if I did not fulfill my promise.”
“True. Though I’ll be honest, I didn’t come for a meal.”
He leaned closer, a smile flirting across his full lips. “What did you come for?”
“To solve a mystery.” Her brow arched. “What does the most desired nymph in all of Faerie want with a Paineater?”
“I’m captivated by you. No other woman exists when you’re present. My thoughts haven’t strayed from you once, Jayde. I can’t be the only man who craves your time, though I’ll gladly monopolize all of it.”
A soft laugh escaped her lips. “It’s been merely a day, and I realize you’re interested, but I am not persuaded the sentiment is lasting. Perhaps for a nymph this is unusual, but I need proof you won’t move on to the next woman who catches your eye.”
“I’ll persuade you in time. My interest won’t wane.”
Amusement danced through her hazel eyes. “We’ll see.”
“As for other men, they must also see what I do.”
Her nostrils flared as she shook her head. “Most men are afraid of what I can do. Others would use my power for their gain. I won’t be anyone’s tool.”
He sat back with a scowl. “What is it you think I want?”
Looking away, she lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “Not a clue.”
“You’re a beautiful woman. You’re clearly intelligent. There is no one like you. Is it so hard to imagine you’ve captured my interest?”
“You are the first man to show true interest in me. How do I know what’s in your heart?”
“That is not true. Every man watched you today. Even Aeremaius, who obviously wants your mother in the worst possible way.”
A shudder rocked through her as she glared back. “The man disgusts me. He doesn’t count.”
“Smart woman.” He didn’t trust the prince of Air either.
“You can’t tell me you didn’t feel every pair of female eyes on you at court. Every woman wants a taste of the great Endiscott.” A slight blush colored her cheeks, but she didn’t pull away.
“Does that include you?”
“Yes,” she admitted, her eyes dropping to his mouth.
He leaned toward her, brushing his lips over hers. When he licked the seam of her mouth, she opened, and his tongue caressed hers. Sweet and tangy, unlike anything he’d encountered.
Endiscott groaned as he sat back, craving more, but he remembered Janessa’s words. Courting indeed. His parents would be thrilled when he announced his plans to claim her as his mate. He could feel the pull of a bond, something he’d never experienced in the past.
Snapping twigs and rustling branches alerted Endiscott. Smiling softly, he dipped his head. Elondril had given him fair warning they weren’t alone.
Jayde sat still as ice. Her lids closed as she struggled for breath. She affected him the same way. His chest heaved, yet he wanted to lean in for another taste.
Elondril carried a large woven basket into the clearing. His hair bound in its usual braided twist that showed all colors of the rainbow. They’d been friends since childhood. Elondril and his parents were technically slaves, but functioned more like family. Each served some valued role in the house, not like most slaves in other households. His parents had always voted toward freedom of all people, and had taken in the Hyter Sprites to keep them from an earth dragon’s clutches.
The basket was placed before Jayde and Endiscott. Elondril straightened, giving Jayde a smile. “Enjoy,” he said, before walking back the way he came.
Endiscott looked back to catch the wink Elondril gave him. Then he shifted into a hummingbird to fly back to the house. When he turned to Jayde, one brow arched. “Isn’t Elondril your friend?”
“Can you keep a secret?”
She dipped her head in a nod.
“I truly hope so. It’s best if people believe it rumor, but yes, he is a trusted friend, though everyone believes his family to be our servants. The ruse is for their protection.”
“Seems you have several close friends, such as Toryn and Reance.”
“Aye, they are. Though I don’t count many people as true friends.”
“Would you count me? Or am I simply a woman you want?”
“I want, more than anything, for you to be my friend first, and lover second. I will do everything in my power to prove it’s more than your body I crave.” He caught her hand, twining his fingers in hers.
“I want your full trust before I do more than taste your lips. I want your heart, your love, before I claim you as mine.”
Blushing, she looked down at the basket.
“Say something,” he pleaded.
“You have a lot to prove, Endiscott. Your reputation,” she shook her head with a small laugh, “is tarnished.”
“I’ll polish it to a luster for you. Give me a chance to prove myself worthy.”
“No other women for you? How will you survive?”
“A kiss now and again will tide me over until you believe.”
She leaned in and sucked his bottom lip into her mouth before sitting back. “Our supper smells wonderful.”
“I did promise to feed you.” He opened the basket, serving them dinner.