I’m so excited to bring you Kellan and Zoe’s story. I have a new take on Harpies, and she was fun to write. Keep reading, and you’ll see the first chapter.
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Storm Wrath Preview
Copyright 2016 Brandy L Rivers
Everything changed in a matter of moments. Love, revenge, and justice all played out in a series of events that altered Kellan’s perspective for the better. He watched Jayde, the woman he loved, reunite with her mate and forge a bond stronger than anything he’d witnessed. That was when he let her go, realizing he wanted what Jayde and Scotty shared, but he needed to find his own mate.
His mother, Saressa, had been obsessed with Scotty and her vision of Jayde killing her. A battle ensued. Love won.
Kellan witnessed Jayde transfer the mortal wounds Saressa inflicted on Scotty to Saressa. A bond he hadn’t realized tied him to his mother evaporated as Saressa’s life drained away, lifting a weight that held him down for as long as he could remember.
Jayde and Scotty’s magic flared brilliantly, binding them closer.
Power ignited in Kellan’s veins, flowing from deep inside. He went to his knees, clutching his hand over his heart as the whole world burst with colors as if he were tripping on faery wine.
In a daze, Kellan stumbled to his feet and opened the portal, allowing Scotty and Jayde to go back to Earth, where they belonged—together. Alenathos followed. The water dragon had gone to ensure Saressa didn’t succeed in her quest to tear apart Jayde and Scotty, and to prevent Kellan from crawling back to mommy—which he had no intention of doing.
Kellan took a final look around as he realized he no longer belonged in Faery. Maybe he never had.
His gaze locked on Zoe as he stepped into Shenanigans. Everyone else fell away as he made his way to the blonde who lit a spark in his soul from the moment they’d met an hour before.
The spark flared, exploding through his nerves. Purpose flowed through him. Kellan strode down the hall and captured Zoe’s face in his hands as he bent to kiss her breath away.
Her delicate fingers skated up his chest as she met his hunger with her own. Her taste washed away the craving for a woman he could never obtain, replacing it with instinct to claim the woman before him.
He broke away, meeting her dazzling blue eyes, and smiled. “Tell me you’ll come home with me.”
“I live a few blocks away. Why don’t you come home with me?”
“Mmm, all right. I need to make sure I’m no longer needed before we leave.”
“Of course. Hurry back.” She pushed him away, light shining in her stunning eyes.
“You’re holding my full attention captive. One moment and I’m all yours.”
She dipped her head in a nod as the corners of her lips curled in a smile.
Kellan made his way back to the group, finally feeling like something more than a pawn in his mother’s playing field.
* * * *
There had been a spark when Zoe first locked gazes with Kellan. Disappointment set in when Kellan disappeared once the band stopped playing and people rushed to the hallway. Next thing she knew, Saressa’s sirens filled Shenanigans. Zoe took on her harpy form to join the battle.
The battle was won, and a portal opened in the hall.
Lightning struck when Kellan followed Jayde and Scotty through the swirling light and made eye contact.
One look and everyone had fallen away as Kellan stalked toward her.
That brief conversation ignited a desire so hot she could only think about taking him home. As he walked back to the group, she tore her eyes away to make her way to Brent, who stood off to the side, away from everyone else. His eyes twinkled as one corner of his mouth tipped up.
“I take it you have plans tonight?” he hinted.
One brow arched. “I do.”
“Good. He’s exactly what you need.”
She rolled her eyes. “You want this story written?”
Brent owned and operated In Other News. Zoe was one of his reporters. The publication delivered news to Others, while humans who picked it up believed they were looking at the latest Inquirer.
“Yes, people should know what happened here. An evil queen has been defeated. Many people were set free. Though please keep Jayde and Scotty’s identities secret.”
“You don’t want their stories told?”
“Oh, I do, but we don’t need all the realms to know who finally defeated Saressa. The two of them deserve happiness that has long been denied.”
“What’s my deadline?”
“You have a week.” His eyes sparkled as he glanced at Kellan, who was already strolling their way. “For now, celebrate the victory.”
A chill traveled down her spine. Brent’s words were ominous.
Kellan closed the distance, his emerald eyes sparkling as he swept her into his arms and laid his mouth on hers. A tugging sensation pulled at her heart, elation dancing along her nerves.
Once upon a time, her father told her how he felt when he first laid eyes on her mother. How the attraction nearly consumed him until they managed to find some privacy.
Could Kellan be her mate?
Eldred’s final words came to her.
His blue eyes burned as he walked forward with a hiss. “True love would only destroy you. No harpy is worthy of an everlasting bond. I’m the best you’ll ever have.”
“You’re wrong. You don’t love me. You never have.” She fought back tears. In the beginning she’d believed his lies—for years she’d loved him. Maybe he honestly believed he felt something real for her, but she’d learned the truth. She was a coveted possession. He never cared about her feelings or what she wanted.
His eyes burned with anger. “I’ve always loved you. You are mine. Now and always. Sooner or later, you’ll see.”
“Eighty years, Eldred, and you have yet to convince me you know what love is.”
“Do you even know?” he hissed, taking a step forward.
She shook her head sadly. “I know it’s not this.”
“I’ll never let you go.” Reaching his hand toward her, he shouted a spell.
Before he could finish, she shifted and thrust her talons into his body. Zoe flew through the window, using him to break the wards holding her in. As long as something pierced his body, he couldn’t dematerialize.
“You can’t leave me. I’m all you have,” he screamed.
She glared down at him. “I’d rather have nothing.” She turned mid-air and slammed him into the tower that had held her prisoner. His eyes slid closed as consciousness fled. She tossed him into the churning sea and flew to freedom.
Maybe Kellan would prove that monster wrong.
“You ready?” Kellan asked, his eyes raking over her. Concern replaced his desire. “Where are your shoes?”
Ducking her gaze, she glanced around the room. “Lost them in the battle.” Ash covered most of Shenanigans. “I doubt they made it through the magic flames.”
His head tipped slightly. “I’m assuming you came through unharmed?”
She had sustained a few scratches but those had already healed. “I’m fine.”
Brent laughed. “Careful with Zoe. She’s mean if you rile her too badly.”
Kellan grinned. “Oh, I plan to rile her in all the best ways.”
Zoe touched Brent’s shoulder. “Good night, Brent.”
Kellan swept her off her feet and carried her to the street.
Laughing, Zoe shook her head. “You can put me down. My feet are tougher than you’d expect.” She didn’t want to scare him off by telling him she destroyed her shoes when she shifted to her harpy’s form.
One of the few things her father explained about harpies was that most fae considered them monsters. That the stories were warped and twisted to make them into the villains, when in truth, they were the victims of an evil king so obsessed with power and desire, he convinced everyone they initiated the war between their people. Instead, he broke their treaty and launched war on her people.
Maybe if Zoe hadn’t left home at sixteen, her father would have explained more of their history. She’d studied what she could find, but the stories were cryptic and biased, written out of fear and hatred.
His lips quirked as he stared into her eyes. “I don’t mind carrying you a few blocks.”
Pressing her thighs together, she purred, “Save your energy. I plan to wear you out.”
Mischief danced across his face as he let her down and took her hand. “Then lead the way.”
They hurried through the streets.
Was she keeping secrets? Yeah. If they didn’t mate, he’d never have to know what she was. If they did, the secret would come out sooner or later—hopefully late enough prejudices wouldn’t warp his view of her.
One look at Kellan and she felt a storm brewing. She couldn’t wait for the current to ignite. Glancing over her shoulder, she hurried up the steps and unlocked the front door. “Stairs are faster than the elevator.”
The draw to Kellan was electric. She wanted to explore their connection, see if he was her mate. A hint of fear danced through her along with her excitement. Shoving all thoughts aside, she let him into her apartment.
She didn’t have a chance to turn before his hands caressed up her thighs, pushing her short dress up.
He licked the shell of her ear. “Tell me you want me.”
She pressed her ass back, feeling his hard length. “Need you.”
“You’ll have me.” He had her dress over her head in an instant, then trailed his fingers down her ribs to push the panties past her thighs.
She spun and hurried to strip him down. His mouth collided with hers as he clutched her close.
“Gonna be hard and fast,” he warned, “but I promise next time I’ll make it last.”
Already dripping wet, and she had been since he walked through the portal, she didn’t care if hard and fast was all she ever got. Him deep inside her was the only thing she wanted.
She gripped his cock and stroked. “Don’t need slow as long as you make me come.”
“Over and over again.” He backed her against the wall with a thud.
Hooking her leg over his hip, she guided his length into her. Kellan pulled her hand away as he slammed deep.
“Oh, fuck yes,” she hissed.
Kellan’s tongue slid against hers, kissing with as much force as he thrust.
Zoe wrapped her arms around his neck and hopped up, locking her thighs on either side of his hips so she could undulate against him.
“Damn, Zoe,” he growled, backing toward the couch and falling against the cushions.
She rose over him, taking over as she gripped his shoulders. His hands explored her body, urging her faster. She threw her head back as she climbed closer to ecstasy.
His tongue flicked over her nipple, then his lips closed over the sensitive tip. Light flared through his skin as air rushed around them.
Tiny flames flowed over her body as his climax neared. He flipped her onto her back, pulling one ankle to his shoulder as he thrust deeper than anything she’d ever felt. Electricity danced through her, awakening a primal need greater than she’d ever experienced.
Her back arched as she pushed on the armrest. His magic rushed through her, branding his essence into her soul. They both hit their climax, and his eyes glowed silver, bathing the room in light.
He collapsed on her, pressing a kiss to her collarbone. “Didn’t expect that,” he panted.
“Disappointed?” she whispered, fear trickling along her senses.
He pushed himself over her until they were eye to eye. “Best surprise ever.”
Moment of truth time. “Even if my race is an outcast among fae?”
“Shit.” He pushed himself up and sat back on his heels with a smirk. “Can’t be as bad as what I am. I’m the bastard child of Saressa and Aeremaius. Only thing worse would be an arachnian, but I don’t see eight extra legs.”
Her eyes widened as she sat up. “No, but harpies aren’t much better.”
He let out a laugh, humor dancing through his emerald eyes. “That’s what happened to your shoes.”
Zoe’s head tipped to the side as she watched him. “You aren’t appalled?”
“I just told you who my parents are…were, and you aren’t fazed by that?”
One shoulder lifted as she sat up. “You aren’t your parents. You loved a woman, and you selflessly helped her keep her mate.”
Kellan nodded slowly. “I did. I suppose a part of me always will—as a friend. That a problem?”
“Considering you helped ensure your mother died so she could have her mate, no. You proved her happiness was all you wanted.”
“That’s a relief.”
“So what do you want with me?”
A slow smile pulled at his lips as he dragged his eyes down her body. “To learn everything about my mate. I don’t know much about harpies.”
Her smile fell. “I was raised here by my father. I never knew my mother. I know very little about my kind and most of that I learned through experience or secondhand. There aren’t many of us left.”
“If you’re interested, I’m sure we can learn more. Right now, I want to find out what makes you scream.”
She pulled back, staring at Kellan in awe. “You accept me that easily?”
“Shouldn’t I?” he asked, dropping his eyes to look into hers.
Between Eldred’s harsh words and the stigma against harpies, she couldn’t help worrying. “Sorry. Old insecurities playing with my head.”
“Let me help you forget them.”
She reached for him, dragging him toward her room. “I think that’s the best idea I’ve heard all night.”
* * * *
Kellan trailed his fingers over Zoe’s curves, memorizing every inch of her gorgeous figure. He couldn’t fathom why he should care that she was a harpy. All he could remember was that they were a misunderstood species.
“Do you ever sleep?” she murmured, turning to wrap her arm around his waist while burying her head under his chin. Her breath fanned across his chest and his dick woke up. “You’re insatiable, aren’t you?” she teased, sleepy but amused.
He kissed her head. “You don’t like being worshipped?” He hoped she did. Her pleasure drove his own. He needed more.
“Liked everything you’ve done, but I could hibernate for a year.”
Chuckling, he rubbed her side. “Do harpies hibernate?”
“No, but you’ve fucked me so thoroughly I don’t want to move.”
Kellan couldn’t help remembering where he first saw her. She’d been with Scotty, who was now his friend and happily mated to the woman Kellan had chased for years. Unsuccessfully, he attempted to banish any thoughts of competing with a nymph. Something no one wanted to do.
She leaned back, frowning. “What’s on your mind?”
He rolled to his back and shook his head. “Nothing that should be.”
Her eyes lit up as she sat up and threw a leg over his hip to straddle him. “You’re thinking about my night with Scotty, aren’t you?”
“Unfortunately. Shouldn’t matter.”
“You’re wondering if you’re better than a nymph, aren’t you?”
He groaned. “Trying really damned hard not to.”
“Does it help if I tell you I haven’t thought about him at all since I laid eyes on you? And if you hadn’t gotten all sullen, I wouldn’t have thought of him now.”
He caressed her thigh, trying to hold his hips still before he thrust into her once again. “It does.”
She shifted, taking him in. “You’re better.” Her body rocked as she leaned back, placing her hands on his knees.
He watched the way her breasts swayed with the motion. Graceful, sexy, and his. He cupped her breasts, teasing her pearled nipples.
“Oh, damn, that’s good,” she groaned.
He sat up, leaning forward to suck at one sensitive peak, then the other.”
She wound her arms around his shoulders and drove her fingers into his dark hair. His heart thumped in time with hers, their breathing synced, their bodies moving in harmony. The connection grew, entwining his soul with hers.
He lifted his head, capturing her mouth in a kiss as she pushed him over the edge with her.
Collapsing back, he pulled her onto his chest. “Thought you were tired.”
“I’m supposed to resist when all you want to do is make me come?”
He grinned. “I hope not.”
“Sleep, at least until the sun comes up. Then we can make love all day if you want.”
“We can start with making love, but then I’m taking you on a date.”
“A date?” she teased.
“Mmm, how else do I learn about my mate?”
She curled closer. “Are you going to share too?”
Kellan sighed, unsure who he really was. Free of his mother’s expectations and demands, Kellan didn’t know what to do with his life. “You want to know about my fucked up childhood? Or maybe the way I chased a woman who was never going to love me for five years? How about the fact that I have no clue where I stand in any world?”
She caressed his face. “I’ll tell you what you want to know, but I’ll have questions too. Doesn’t matter if you don’t know where you’re going. We can figure that out together. Now sleep.”
He kissed her neck and closed his eyes, feeling at peace for the first time he could remember.
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